Interviews Movies

Pixar Short: The Blue Umbrella with Director Saschka Unseld #MonstersUEvent

The Blue Umbrella: Pixar Short

While on a recent all-expense paid Disney press trip for Monsters University, I was able to preview the new Pixar Short: The Blue Umbrella. One of the things I look forward to the most when viewing a Pixar movie are the adorable Pixar shorts that come before the feature film. This Friday is the release of Monsters University, which I know you will all love, but what you may not be aware of is that the Pixar Short: The Blue Umbrella, will play before the movie. Directed by Saschka Unseld, The Blue Umbrella is a fully animated short, which is simply amazing. Once you see the short, you will have a difficult time believing that the entire thing is animated, because everything looks so real!


The Blue Umbrella is a love story between a blue umbrella and a red umbrella. Divided by rain and wind, the blue umbrella is determined to find and meet his new love, the red umbrella. Filled with charm and some of the most adorable music, you will be sitting at the edge of your seat to see what happens next in this love tale.

Saschka Unseld, Director of The Blue Umbrella

While on a this recent Disney press trip , I had the privilege of interviewing The Blue Umbrella director, Saschka Unseld. Saschka has a fascination with photo series and the complexity and beauty that can be found in the city, which gave him his inspiration for The Blue Umbrella.

Saschka Unseld talks about his many trips into the city and adapting the reality to the animated short:

“A lot of it was me and the team going on trips into the city and looking at all these details, like, on the side of a newspaper box there’s streaks of probably someone tying their shoelace, and then you have the streak of the black rubber from the shoe there.

Everything kind of tells a story.  And a big, big struggle in the beginning was getting people to change how they work.  Like, it was amazing how much people are used to doing things in a more stylized, cartoony way.  The first version of the mailbox, which you see in the beginning.  We gave photo references to the modeler to build it.

Relatively straight forward, you would think, and then we looked at it, and it was, like, somehow this doesn’t look real.  Something is wrong.  And we had to really look into the details, and it was… The size of the screws were slightly too big.  Um, it was the way since a mailbox is made out of this kind of folded metal, the sharpness of a bend has certain physical restrictions.

And that was just wrong.  It was like all these details that are based on a manufacturing process of these things, or how thick something is, or all these things were slightly off, and all that gave the overall picture of this doesn’t look real.  So a lot of it was figuring out why are certain things in a certain way. So much of what you do is kind of, this is how I used to do it the last 10 years, and you’re not even aware of it.”

The city that gave The Blue Umbrella most of it’s inspiration and style is New York City, with some of San Francisco and some others sprinkled in.

Once you see The Blue Umbrella, I think you will agree with Saschka Unseld that the first rain drops that fall down on the ground is one of the best moments from the short. Here is why the director loves that moment:

“It’s something you wouldn’t normally even stop for.  And for me, it’s a beautiful moment, just kind of a rain drop hitting the asphalt, hitting the mailbox, making a different sound.  And somehow, for me it feels very personally important to me, just this, this detail thing of a beauty of just a rain drop hitting the floor. This is really more magical than anything that happens later on.  To a certain extent, it’s water falling from the sky.”


I love how passionate the director is about his creation, and I can’t wait for you all to enjoy the full short before Monsters University. They hit theatres on Friday, June 21st!

About the author

Emily Buys

Leave a Comment