[watch] Over the Rainbow: Pixar’s Use of Color

By  · Published on July 19th, 2016

We’ve brought you time and again various video essays on certain directors’ particular usage of certain colors. Red in particular has been the subject of studies on Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson and Steven Spielberg.

In each of those essays, the directors’ myriad interpretations of emotion through said color or colors has been the focus, but this time around we’ve got an even broader study for you, not across a film or even a single director’s body of work, but rather across the output of an entire studio, Pixar. Rashi Kaneira, editor of the abovementioned essay on Kubrick, has put together a supercut entitled ROY G BIV (the acronym for colors as they move across the spectrum from warm to cool – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet) that showcases how the animation powerhouse employs color in a variety of ways throughout its various films. In animation more so than live-action films, I think, color selection and the shades within are maybe more important, more intentional and therefore more integral to the story. Certainly that was the impression I was left with after spending a quick 90 seconds with this video.

As the supercut is a couple years old, it only goes up to MONSTERS UNIVERSITY, but you can use your imagination to see how THE GOOD DINOSAUR, INSIDE OUT, and FINDING DORY fit in the scheme of things.

ROYGBIV: A Pixar Supercut from Rishi Kaneria on Vimeo.

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Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist