How LOU Came to Be with Director Dave Mullins & Producer Dana Murray

Photo Credit: Disney/Pixar

LOU is a short about a playground lost and found box and it is spectacular. It kind of sneaks up on you just how good it is and I’ve seen it twice now so I can say that it brought tears to my eyes both times. LOU also made me chuckle, loudly a few times. The question is who created LOU and how did this short make it to the big screen, premiering in front of CARS 3? That’s a story that came straight from Director Dave Mullins and Producer Dana Murray.

Photo Credit: Disney/Pixar

Director Dave Mullins told us about the conception of LOU. He said that John Lasseter and Pixar Films have very specific elements to make a great film: heart, entertainment, setting, and animation. It gave him a roadmap to pitch and he’s been pitching since 2005.

He pitched Lost and Found in 2012 and had a few rules. To bring in a Lost and Found that would have a built-in sense of purpose and add a conflict to give it heart. Dave brought in Producer Dana Murray in 2015 and with a producer, they said ‘a go switch is turned on’. Unfortunately, they were hit with a six-month pause for The Good Dinosaur because with Pixar, movies come first, everything else comes second.

Lou is the main character of this story and J.J. is second. J.J. is the bully of the story and Dave said that keeping the bully mean as long as possible was key to the story. Why? So that you could feel the shift and be that much more invested. I have to say that I absolutely adore this story because it exudes so much heart.

Photo Credit: Disney/Pixar

Dana Murray told us that at Pixar the best ideas are going to win and at the beginning, everything about LOU was animated by hand, like stop motion. The final version of LOU was created by Albert Lozano. Oh, and for you Frozen fans, you’ll recognize the composer of the soundtrack/score – Christophe Beck! The score adds so much to the dynamic of this short. It was recorded in the round, one note at a time. The score is quirky and was recorded at Skywalker Sound.

As for the toys used in LOU, they wanted to use more timeless objects, like balls, etc. The playground they used? It’s based on their kids’ elementary schools. They said it’s the same setup in a lot of California elementary schools.

Oh, and a little tidbit, J.J. was named after Dave’s mom, Joyce Jean. Insert collective ‘aww’ here. Then, go watch LOU before CARS 3, now in theaters!

LOU IMDb | Dave Mullens Twitter

You may also like