The Blue Umbrella was directed by Pixar camera and staging artist Saschka Unseld. It is the first time one of the studio’s technical artists has helmed a project. He “got the idea when he was walking in San Francisco one rainy day and he saw an umbrella lying in the gutter.” “It was the saddest thing,” he said. “I stood there and wondered what had happened to him. I think that was when I got the idea of giving him a story.”
Though we don’t see it in the preview, throughout the story various areas of the city come to life once they appear on camera. Speaking about the lifelike look of the film which is very evident in the preview, Unseld said that without the “photorealistic look” the idea of various items like construction signs and a mailbox coming to life would not be possible.