Meet Pixar's singing volcano in 'Lava' short

Pixar-Lava.jpg

Image Credit: Pixar

It’s a rare off year for Pixar, with no full-length feature in theaters until next summer. But Disney recently shared an adorable clip from Lava, the short that was slated to debut in front of The Good Dinosaur—before that movie was delayed from May 2014 to November 2015. As you can see, Lava is the story of a singing Hawaiian volcano, named Uku, who is looking for love.

The name Uku evokes the ukelele—the popular Hawaiian guitar-like instrument that practically scores the state’s sunsets and seduces millions of mainland tourists every year. The late Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s strummed a uke, and Lava director James Murphy told Yahoo that his short was in part inspired by the singer’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”“I thought that if I could marry the rich imagery and with the power and emotion of music, then I could really make something cool,” he told the site.

Singer Kuana Torres Kahele provides Uku’s voice, and one-third of the inspiration for the volcano’s face. The other two-thirds: Jackie Gleeson, and the cartoon bulldog in the Looney Tunes short, “Feed the Kitty.”

Lava will play before Inside Out when that feature opens in theaters on June 19.

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