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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 »
Guardians of the Galaxy was considered by many to be a big risk for Marvel Studios, introducing these relatively obscure characters into the massively-successful Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, the risk paid off, with Guardians of the Galaxy grossing over $500 million worldwide after just one month in release. Marvel's parent company Walt Disney Studios are taking a similar risk with their first animated adaptation of a Marvel comic book this fall, Big Hero 6, a title much more obscure than Guardians of the Galaxy.
"They do feel like distant cousins. Guardians is a Marvel movie, but it's sort of gone off on a different branch. It indicates that fans of superhero movies are willing to try new flavors."
Since Big Hero 6 »
The special is hosted by Josh Gad, who voiced the character Olaf in the film, and will feature interviews with stars Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Gad. Jon Lasseter, chief creative officer for Disney Animated Studios and Pixar, and members of the filmmaking team will also be featured. Additionally, viewers will see footage of the Norwegian villages and landscapes that inspired the film’s look and design.
The one-hour special, produced by Lincoln Square Productions, will also include announcements about the next chapter of “Frozen,” along with a never-before-seen preview of “Frozen” characters Anna, Elsa and Kristoff on an upcoming episode of ABC’s “Once Upon a Time.”
It will also feature a sneak peek from Disney Animated Studios’ upcoming action-comedy film, “Big Hero 6, »
- Kevin Noonan
Disney's Pixar has released the first teaser of upcoming animated short “Lava.” It's not a trailer, but rather a short clip (above) of a volcano named Uku singing, and he has a lovely voice. Also read: Why Disney Fired John Lasseter – And How He Came Back to Heal the Studio Director James Ford Murphy's unique tale takes place over millions of years, and is inspired by the beauty of tropical islands and the allure of ocean volcanoes. “Lava” will hit theaters with upcoming feature-length Pixar film “Inside Out” on June 19 next year. »
- Greg Gilman
Believe it or not, it's been five years since Disney bought Marvel for a whopping $4 billion! However, the one thing that many of us thought would happen hasn't, and that's a joint production between Marvel and Disney. Disney Animation's Big Hero 6 appeared to be a step in the right direction, but while it may be using Marvel characters, it's not exactly a Marvel movie! When asked by Vulture about whether there have been discussions of some sort of team up, John Lasseter revealed: "Not yet. No, we haven’t. If we went directly into the Marvel Universe, that would mean we’d work more directly with Marvel. Without question, it was made 100 percent here. They’d forgotten the books existed." Director Don Hall meanwhile believes that people will gravitate towards the quirky looking Big Hero 6 for the same reason that they did for Guardians of the Galaxy. "They »
When Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment five years ago, bringing the comic-book juggernaut into a company that also includes Pixar, fanboys started drooling: Could the so-called Marvel Cinematic Universe, which carefully threads recurring plot points and superheroes through a series of live-action sequels, now include animated movies, too? Nobody would know that better than John Lasseter, who runs both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation, so when I saw him yesterday at a Burbank event touting Disney’s CG-animated Big Hero 6 — which is based on a Marvel comic book but doesn’t take place in the same cinematic universe as The Avengers — I had to ask if he’d talked to Marvel about mounting a big-screen animated venture that might slot into the movie continuity already established by films like Iron Man, Captain America, and Guardians of the Galaxy.“Not yet. No, we haven’t,” admitted Lasseter. “If we went directly »
- Kyle Buchanan
Early Wednesday morning, John Lasseter stood in front of a small group of journalists in a theater in the animation building on the Disney lot to introduce a presentation about November's new animated release, "Big Hero 6," and it felt to me, after over a decade of attending events where Lasseter has spoken, like a bit of a victory lap. And why not? Since "Bolt," Disney Feature Animation has been slowly but surely rebuilding what was a tarnished brand into something that is every bit as strong as the strongest moments from the "Mermaid" through "Lion King" era. "Frozen" was a global smash hit, and more than that, it managed that elusive cultural penetration where it goes beyond being successful and simply becomes omnipresent. "Frozen" was everywhere. Everyone knew what it was. Considering how dark things were for the studio before it was re-organized from within, it's amazing to see »
- Drew McWeeny
The 2014 best animated feature Oscar race might well come down to DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Disney's Big Hero 6. Dragon was one of this summer's biggest critical and commercial hits. Hero won't be released until Nov. 7, the first weekend after Halloween. But Disney-Pixar chief John Lasseter, the film's producer Roy Conli and co-directors Don Hall and Chris Williams teased the movie Wednesday by revealing 25 minutes of footage at a gathering of Oscar bloggers at the Disney Animation building in Burbank, a clear indication that Disney intends to give the film a
- Scott Feinberg
The 27th Tokyo International Film Festival (Tiff) has announced a seven-year collaboration with the Japan Foundation that includes co-producing a pan-Asian omnibus series.
UniJapan and the Japan Foundation are set to hold Film Culture Exchange Projects linking Japan and other Asian countries at Tiff for the next seven years.
Firstly, this year Tiff will launch Crosscut Asia, a showcase of Asian films that will focus on particular countries, filmmakers, actors and themes. In its first year, Crosscut Asia will focus on new Thai films. The line-up will be announced Sept 30 with the rest of the Tiff selection.
Secondly, Japan Foundation Asia Center will present the Spirit of Asia Award to one film from the Asian Future section for up-and-coming directors. The winning production team will get a trophy and a trip to Japan, or, in the case of a Japanese winner, an invitation to travel to other Asian countries.
Lastly, Japan Foundation »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jean Noh)
The upcoming animated short film Feast, which will run in theaters with Big Hero 6, opening on November 7th, is the story of one man’s life, as seen through the eyes of his best friend and dog, Winston, and revealed through the meals that they share. It’s a beautiful, funny, heart-warming story about love. During a recent presentation and screening at Walt Disney Animation Studios, to showcase their latest short, director Patrick Osborne talked about how quickly Feast went from pitch to finished product, all with the guidance and support of John Lasseter. During the interview, he discussed where this idea came from, making this as part of Disney’s shorts program, what the pitch process is like, creating the look of the food, developing a short versus a feature, what the lighting process is like, the must-have foods that he wanted to include, why he chose to »
- Christina Radish
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