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The Wind Rises (Japan: Kaze tachinu), 2013.
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
A profile of Jiro Horikoshi (Anno/Gordon-Levitt), a Japanese engineer who designed fighter planes during World War II.
The swan song of Hayao Miyazaki…say it ain’t so!! Still, Clint Eastwood made a similar remark about retiring after Gran Torino (2008) and has still carried on. So maybe we haven’t seen the last of Miyazaki; it wouldn’t certainly be a huge loss to cinema and animation if it happens to be true. If Miyazaki has finally taken leave on his Ghibli efforts, what a way to go out. The Wind Rises is not the best the studio has produced – just because the man is leaving the business there is no need to get hyperbolic – though it is a spectacular film, »
- Gary Collinson
One of the unique fixtures of an opening weekend in Los Angeles, whether it's an art house release or a studio blockbuster, are filmmakers and sometimes stars popping their heads into a theater to see how their baby plays. Well, if you're going to a screening of the new animated feature "The Book of Life" in the Southland this weekend, there's a good chance you might see Jorge R. Gutierrez dropping by your theater. "Book" is Gutierrez's directorial debut and a project he's worked diligently to bring to the big screen for 14 years. The talented animator has received advice about handling the release from the film's producer, Guillermo del Toro, but Gutierrez jokes he's not listening to it. "He said don't read the Internet, don't read any reviews, like, don't look at the comments," Gutierrez says. "But I am a masochist, so I'm reading everything. And then this whole weekend »
- Gregory Ellwood
As massive and business-minded a corporation as it is, Walt Disney Animation leaves room in their pipeline for experimentation. Each year, crew members on any and every rung of the bureaucratic ladder have the opportunity to pitch short films to John Lasseter and the Wda "story trust," a group of the company's veteran directors, writers, and artists. The goal: Push story and animation technology to places where the feature slate can't go (at least, not until the shorts lay the groundwork). Animator Patrick Osborne pitched "Feast" as a living work of concept art — graphic, fluid, and nostalgic — that also fell into the Disney mold, a sweet story of a dog that loves food. Lasseter took to it, and this November, the fully rendered short hits theaters in front of "Big Hero 6." Mimicking the artistic style of illustrator Jeff Turley (who previously art directed "Paperman"), "Feast" chronicles the life of a puppy named Winston, »
- Matt Patches
"Frozen" fans excited for the upcoming Broadway musical adaptation of the animated hit may want to let it go for a while: According to the man in charge of putting the show together, the final product is still in the early planning stages, with no concrete timeline in sight.
In a lengthy interview with The Hollywood Reporter about his many successes adapting popular Disney properties into hit Broadway shows (including recent record-breaker "The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast"), Thomas Schumacher, president and producer at Disney Theatrical Group, told the trade that the "Frozen" stage production was a top priority -- but there's still a lot of work to do.
"My job is to corral the writers of the movie. I'm already talking to directors, and I have a design concept, and we have to begin to fashion this idea," Schumacher said of the planning process so far. "It doesn't need to be fast. »
- Katie Roberts
Inside Out is Pixar’s next highly anticipated release, but it’s also paired with a brand new Pixar short film that’s a must see, James Ford Murphy’s directorial debut, Lava. The piece focuses on a lonely volcano out in the middle of the sea who’s just looking for someone to love, or rather, lava. And it’s no wonder John Lasseter went with the idea when Murphy pitched him three options; for a mere seven-minute piece, Lava is extremely moving and the song is quite catchy, too. While talking to Murphy about Lava, he broke down the process of how to pitch ideas at Pixar, what it’s like bringing an immobile volcano to life, his thoughts on screening before Inside Out and loads more. Catch it all in the video interview after the jump. Lava will hit theaters with Insider Out on June 19, 2015. James Ford Murphy »
- Perri Nemiroff
Q. What do Lincoln, E.T., The Color Purple, War of the Worlds, Jurassic Park, 12 Years a Slave, Eat Pray Love, A Mighty Heart, World War Z, Jane Eyre, Saving Mr. Banks, Proof, Elizabeth, The Master, American Hustle, Zero Dark Thirty, Her, The Dark Knight, Man of Steel, Inception, Hustle & Flow, The Hunger Games, Monsters, Inc., A Bug's Life, and Toy Story 3 have in common? A. They were all produced by women. Look around. Female producers are everywhere: Shepherding the new Star Wars trilogy. Bringing the latest Hunger Games to theaters. And in February, when Oscar night rolls around, 11 women »
- Nicole Sperling
With this weekend's release of Gone Girl, director David Fincher has once again showcased the unsettling sounds of award-winning composers Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor (above). Ever since 2010's The Social Network, the duo have become a fixture of Fincher's work. The duo's deceptively minimal sound, with subtle motifs barely hiding cold electronic undercurrents, is remarkably well-suited for Fincher's trademark visual aesthetic, in which every smile and doorway can take on an air of menace if the camera lingers long enough. While he has worked with a number of composers before—most notably Howard Shore—Fincher has found »
- Joshua Rivera
Check out the new teaser trailer for Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out.
From an adventurous balloon ride above the clouds to a monster-filled metropolis, Academy Award-winning director Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Up”) has taken audiences to unique and imaginative places. In Disney•Pixar’s original movie “ Inside Out,” he will take us to the most extraordinary location of all—inside the mind.
Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, »
- Michelle McCue
By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
Barry Levinson‘s drama The Humbling, which stars Al Pacino, and Richard Lagravanese‘s musical The Last Five Years, which Jason Robert Brown adapted from his off-Broadway show — two films that had their world premieres at this month’s Toronto International Film Festival and quickly found U.S. distributors that see them as 2014 awards bait — will open the 21st annual Austin Film Festival and Screenwriters Conference on Oct. 23, the fest announced on Tuesday.
Additionally, Jon Stewart‘s feature directorial debut Rosewater, a drama based on the harrowing true story of the Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari, will close the fest in Texas’ capital on Oct. 30, with Stewart and Bahari — who have been working the fest circuit hard this fall — on hand for the festivities.
- Anjelica Oswald
The 2014 Austin Film Festival will open with the U.S. premiere of Barry Levinson’s “The Humbling” on Oct. 23, along with Richard Lagravenese’s “The Last 5 Years,” an adaptation of the Jason Robert Brown musical. Jon Stewart and Maziar Bahari will present Stewart’s “Rosewater” to close the festival on Oct. 30.
“The Humbling,” (pictured) based a Philip Roth novel of the same name, stars Al Pacino as an aging actor who begins an affair with a much younger woman, played by Greta Gerwig. “The Last 5 Years,” which writer-director Lagravenese will present at the festival, explores a five-year relationship between an ascending novelist, played by Jeremy Jordan, and a struggling actress, played by Anna Kendrick.
Stewart wrote and directed “Rosewater,” based on Bahari’s book “Then They Came for Me” with Aimee Molloy about the Iranian journalist’s experience of as a prisoner in his native country for 118 days »
- Kevin Noonan
For those who have wanted to see all of Big Hero 6 in action, the latest trailer for the Disney Animation movie is likely to please — and for those who’ve also wondered just where Baymax came from, you might be quite happy as well. Read More John Lasseter Dismisses Notion of Rift With Marvel Over 'Big Hero 6' Compared with earlier glimpses at the movie, the new trailer sets the scene for more than just Hiro and Baymax (voiced by Ryan Potter and Scott Adsit, respectively), although they’re still undoubtedly at the center of things. This time around, however,
- Graeme McMillan
A wind-up, one-man band toy finds himself cowering under the sofa when he attracts the attention of a boisterous baby. But when the anklebiter falls over and gets hurt, the mechanical trooper must decide what he's going to do. An early precursor to Toy Story, this enchanting short - written and directed by John Lasseter - was Pixar's first attempt at creating a human form with the computer. »
Travis Knight is an unusual man. He has two jobs at stop motion animation studio Laika. Firstly, he runs the company. But secondly, he's part of the animation crew, taking direction from a film's directors.
I have an ongoing belief that it's important to talk to children about 'real' things, and that there are few better Trojan horses via which to do that than film. When you look at a project that's appropriate for your company, is there a resonance that you're looking for, and is that way Laika's films to date have been steeped in pre-established literature? »
In case you're wondering what caused a sudden spike in Frozen trivia this week, ABC aired a special called "The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic" Tuesday night that gave a legion of fans a look into the film's path to blockbuster success. Given the heights that Frozen fandom has reached, we don't doubt that more than a few viewers were nudging the people on the couch next to them bragging, "I actually already knew that." For all but the top-tier Frozen-philes, however, the special offered a ton of trivia. Here's what we learned. 1. Disney had been »
- Drew Mackie, @drewgmackie
To promote the upcoming November 7th release of the Walt Disney Animation Studios feature Big Hero 6, the studio invited members of the press out to see portions of the animated action-adventure comedy and to participate in presentations and demos to show what it takes to put a film like this together, from all aspects of the production. The story follows robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) who, after a tragic event, turns to the robot companion Baymax (voiced by Scott Adsit). With a dangerous plot unfolding on the streets of San Fransokyo, Hiro transforms a group of like-minded friends – adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago (voiced by Jamie Chung), precision freak Wasabi (voiced by Damon Wayans Jr.), chemistry whiz Honey Lemon (voiced by Genesis Rodriguez) and fanboy Fred (voiced by T.J. Miller) – into high-teach heroes determined to solve the mystery and save the day. For more on the film, »
- Christina Radish
Disney Animation has a history of adorable animated dogs -- everyone from Mickey's beloved pooch Pluto to the barky stars of "Lady and the Tramp," "101 Dalmatians," and "Oliver and Company." And there is going to be a new dog that will soon rank amongst the studio's most adorable, heartily loved canines in its history. That dog is Winston, star of the studio's brand-new animated short "Feast," which is set to premiere in front of the upcoming superhero romp "Big Hero 6." And he is adorable.
We were out at the Walt Disney Animation Studios a few weeks ago and got to see the new short, and it's as groundbreaking as it is cuddly (in my notes are the words "cutest ever" with a circle around them). Director Patrick Osborne, who was head of animation on the Oscar-winning short "Paperman," was inspired by the app One Second Every Day, which records a »
- Drew Taylor
Talk has been stirring of a rift between Marvel Comics and Disney Animation over the latter's upcoming "Big Hero 6" animated film which is loosely based on the Marvel comics title of the same name. As previously reported, Marvel has no plans to reprint any of the comic's past adventures or re-introduce the characters into its pages.
At the same time, Disney Animation chief John Lasseter confirmed the other day that the film is essentially an all Disney production with Marvel having little to no input. Now, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso has now confirmed to Cbr that "there are no plans" for re-introducing any of the Big Hero 6 characters, adding:
"The characters and stories that have appeared in our comics are very different from what they are in the film. Releasing material that would be viewed as movie tie-in product would be a disservice to filmgoers. We wanted »
- Garth Franklin
What could easily play like another synergistic infomercial or glorified electronic press kit somehow trumps that with “The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic,” an ABC special touting its parent company’s valentine to warm the hearts of shareholders. Perhaps that’s because “Frozen” qualifies as a legitimate cultural phenomenon, plus the recollections of those involved – and how the film found its voice – are personal and enlightening enough to overcome the obvious fluff factor. Parents, in particular, should let their kids see the hard work underlying such an enterprise, since nothing here will spoil the magic.
For those unfamiliar with how labor-intensive the genre is, it’s stated right off the bat that the movie – now the highest-grossing animated film of all time – employed 600 people for 2 ½ years. More notable, though, are the contortions through which the story went before the signature song, “Let It Go,” “fundamentally changed the entire movie, »
- Brian Lowry
This Fall's "Big Hero 6" is the first ever animated adaptation of a Marvel property at Disney. Yet, in many eyes, it's not really seen as a true collaboration. The comic itself is obscure and consisted of only a few issues, the adaptation a relatively loose one, and it has no ties to Disney's other existing Marvel works.
Disney Animation and Pixar's John Lasseter seems to agree with that assessment. He was recently asked by Vulture if there have been any discussions between Marvel and Disney or Pixar to make an animated movie that could fit within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
He said: "Not yet. No, we haven't. If we went directly into the Marvel Universe, that would mean we'd work more directly with Marvel." He adds that, aside from some screenings involving Marvel Cco Joe Quesada, "Big Hero 6" is very much a Disney film - "Without question, it »
- Garth Franklin
Though Marvel and Disney have formed a lucrative partnership, the former has been dominating the superhero genre thanks to movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Disney.s animation arm is trying to close the gap a tad with the release of the heroic Big Hero 6 this November. Does that mean that a full-blow team up of Marvel and Disney.s animators could be coming down the chute? Not necessarily. John Lasseter, the Pixar head who helped right the ship at Disney Animation, was presenting to media on behalf of Big Hero 6, and was asked by Vulture if the studios have had conversations about joining their forces. Big Hero 6 is an adaptation of a less-than-popular Marvel title, but it has a distinct Disney flair to it, aiming it squarely as kids. But Lasseter, despite the potential of such a pairing, tossed cold »
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