Pixar Animation Studios
First Look: Pixar's 'Lava'
First Look: Pixar's 'Lava'

Uku, the lead character in Pixar Animation's new short film, is crusty and prone to eruptions, but with a warm core underneath -- the kind of man James Earl Jones might play. But "Lava," the short by director James Ford Murphy, isn't about a man, it's about a volcano. The seven-minute musical love story between two mountains -- Uku and Lele -- will premiere at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival in Japan in August. Drawn to Hawaiian music and island culture as a kid growing up in Detroit watching Elvis movies, Murphy, an animator on Pixar's features since 1998's "A Bug's Life," got the idea for "Lava" more than 20...