I attended a Press Event at Pixar Animation Studios in April for Monsters University. Air, hotel and meals were comped for me. Opinions of the movie and the events I attended are 100% my own.
On our last day of the Monsters U Event we got to hang out with one of the voice actors from the movie. Peter Sohn is not only the voice of Scott “Squishy” Squibbles but he works at Pixar. He talked to us about how he came to be working on the Pixar films as a voice actor.
“…working here at Pixar and then doing voices, it’s just like it’s kinda this give and take, uh, with all the other productions here ’cause it’s so familiar. When in such family, you want to do whatever you can for each other. So if someone’s just like you’re in the middle of a pitch, go, hey, could you quickly come down for ten minutes and just scream, uh, into the microphone about, you know, your mom.“
Peter was also asked about what he does at Pixar when he isn’t doing voices.
“I started here as a character designer on Finding Nemo in 2000. And then I moved into story on that on production. And then, I’ve been in animation. So I’ve been in many departments. But currently I’m co-directing, The Good Dinosaur with Bob Peterson, that’s coming out in 2014. It’s gonna be great. But I’ve been all over the place here. I really it’s been, amazing that this place allows you to just move around into what you’re interested in and what you want to learn about. You know, Pixar’s great about that.“
Squishy is one cute character. He’s a chubby little guy in a the loser frat Oozma Kappa. He’s young and very naive. He lives with his mother and her house is the frat house. When asked about his character Peter responded.
“I like that he’s so sincere about like kind of naive things. You know, like, there’s a scene in there where, Mike and Sully want to throw a party. And he’s like this is great. Grab some couch cushions ’cause we’re gonna build a fort. You know, I totally connect with that type of guy just ’cause that’s how I grew up with my cousins. We didn’t have the Internet. So the world was so like out there. For us it was just like Oh my God. You have the one piece of Lego like whatever that is that you can just nerd out for a while.“
We had our snack time in the Student Lounge. there were some fun Monsters University related items there, too, like Fear Pong.
Peter was so fun and gracious. He told us about how he grew up and went to the movies with his mother. His mother only spoke Korean and so Peter had to translate the movies for her. He started to like movies that told a story visually so that he didn’t have to translate as much and that brought on his love of animation. He would save his money and go to whatever animated features were out. His family teases hi a bit about being a voice in the movies. His brother says that he can only hear Peter and that take him right out of the movie.
Peter also talked about growing up and finding those people who were passionate about the same things. He ended on this note.
“I’m in– uh, growing up in New York, there was a lot of racial stuff that I had grown around with. And I was always pushed to a place where you are that color. I’m yellow. This is who I am. This is how– what I identify with. But then, like, you know, finding this passion in animation at a young age, finding people at school and people here of like minds, it’s like, wow, this is– this is my race now. It is not the color of my skin.“
I’m glad that he has found his place at Pixar and will now be looking out for anything new he is working on. Thank you Peter.
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