Disney Pixar Lava Inspired by Isolated Beauty of Tropical Islands

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Director James Ford Murphy grew up watching Elvis movies as a child as a result of his passion for Hawaiian music and the culture of the islands. The new short, Disney Pixar “Lava” is said to be inspired by the “isolated beauty of tropical islands and the explosive allure of ocean volcanoes.”

Inside Out - Pixar Lava

Disney Pixar Lava

In fact, Murphy was on his honeymoon over 20 years ago when he first got the idea for the animated short. When he was ready to pitch it to Pixar, he actually learned to play the ukulele and wrote the love song now featured in the movie. The “short but sweet” song is performed by Hawaiian recording artists Kuana Torres Kahele and Napua Greig for the film, and will stay in your head once you hear it.

Inside Out Long Lead Press Day dinner
Photo Credit: Pixar

Through his research of the islands, Murphy learned the story of an underwater volcano, Loihi Seamount. He also discovered that the Hawaiian islands are formed by volcanoes over a “hot spot” in the sea floor. All of this came together as he attended his sister’s wedding one day. He had an epiphany that would lead to Disney Pixar’s Lava.

Lava is a musical love story that takes place over millions of years. Uku (Kuana Torres Kahele) is a lonely volcano searching for his true love. Napua Greig voices Lele, another volcano and Uku’s love interest.

As Uku sings his song each day he dreams of finding his true love. Lele can only listen as she awaits their possible meeting one day. To Uku and Lele it is millions of years, but to us, Disney Pixar’s Lava lasts just over 7 minutes.

LAVA - Uku
Photo Credit: ©2014 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Yet, the song, once again, will be with you forever.

“I have a dream, I hope will come true. You’re here with me and I’m here with you. I wish that the earth, sea, the sky up above, will send me someone to lava.”

Lava is animated incredibly well with plenty of movement around the immobile volcano. Rich, bold colors highlight each scene, and you can feel every feeling that Uku and Lele experience. The animated short is sure to keep your attention and humming a tune or days to come.

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Lava opens in theaters on Friday, June 19, 2015, exclusively in front of “Inside Out.”

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