Win or Lose Win or Lose

Win or Lose is Pixar Animation Studios’ first long-form original series, and will be released on Disney+ later this year.

The series is directed by two first-time directors Carrie Hobson and Michael Yates, who also co-created and executive produce the show together. The series follows the intertwined stories of eight different characters as they each prepare for their big championship softball game. The show, according to the studio’s official synopsis, “reveals what it actually feels like to be in the shoes of each character—the insecure kids, their helicopter parents, even a lovesick umpire—with incredibly funny, very emotional, and uniquely animated perspectives.”

Cartoon Brew spoke with Yates and Hobson and their producer David Lally at Annecy in June, where the trio sneak-peeked an episode of the nearly finished series. Watch the interview below:

Yates and Hobson have both worked on the studio’s features and it was while they were working together on one of the company’s films that the foundation of Win or Lose was laid.

Yates recalled, “Me and Carrie were officemates on Toy Story 4 and a lot of times we would come out of a meeting with different impressions of how that meeting went. That was something that really fascinated us. It’s interesting that you can both be in the same room and experience something completely different.”

Hobson added, “[We] wanted to explore the idea that everyone has a different perspective in life, so what if you could walk in someone else’s shoes?”

On the challenges of making Pixar’s first-ever series, Lally told us, “From a production perspective, the sheer size of 148 minutes being longer than a feature film, it’s a lot of animation to create. And with the show, we have these eight different protagonists. Instead of putting everything behind one main character, suddenly we have eight.”

These challenges, said Hobson, were part of the fun of the production. They were also necessary because, according to her, “If you’re gonna do a series you have to do something that a feature can’t.

There was plenty of fun to be had during production as well. Yates and Hobson say they especially enjoyed working with artists in all the different departments.

“We just love working with our animators,” said Hobson, “because it’s about the performance, the feeling that you relate to them. We wanted to make sure that we had characters that could be expressive and that our animators could have fun with, and you feel like it’s a caricatured sincerity. So, it’s not just cartoony. It’s cartoony with intention.”

Yates explained how important it was to let the artists do their work as well. “You’re not just making things different, you’re making them better.”

Cole Delaney

Cole Delaney hosts and produces Cartoon Brew's industry podcast.