4 items from 2016
Every year the field seems to get bigger for the Oscar animated feature race. Here’s a run-down of eligible features.
Studio: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
If “Angry Birds” gets nominated, it will make history, becoming the first Oscar contender derived from a mobile gaming app. To its credit, the bright, high-energy CG toon struck many as far more delightful than such a provenance would suggest.
April and the Extraordinary World
Studio: Je Suis Bien Content
Inspired by the steampunk-esque graphic novel by Jacques Tardi, this female-driven adventure story takes place in a world without electricity. One of the few hand-drawn movies in the mix, and the most classical.
Directors: Andrew Stanton, Andrew MacLane
Voices: Ellen DeGeneres, »
- Peter Debruge
Since premiering last summer, the animated picture April and the Extraordinary World has earned fine notices, being praised for both the beauty of its animation and unique stylings of its world. It was only a matter of time before this ’40s-era, Paris-set steampunk tale came to the U.S., and GKids are supporting its English-language overhaul with a release this Friday — just after a domestic trailer arrives.
There are no signs of its original French cast — which included Marion Cotillard, Olivier Gourmet, and Jean Rochefort — but what we get isn’t so bad: J.K. Simmons, Tony Hale, Susan Sarandon, and Paul Giamatti have stepped in, while Angela Galuppo takes the lead role. This preview will give some sense of its narrative and visual approach, two components that reviewers noted as being in harmony with one another.
Watch it below:
Paris, 1941. A family of scientists is on the brink of »
- Nick Newman
Gkids has announced the English-language voice cast for its French toon feature April and the Extraordinary World, and it’s stocked with names you likely recognize. Oscar winners Susan Sarandon and J.K. Simmons are joined by Emmy winners Paul Giamatti and Tony Hale for the sci-fi adventure pic set in an alternative steampunk world. Angela Galuppo stars as April, the role voiced by Oscar winner Marion Cotillard in the French version. Tod Fennell, Tony Robinow, Mark Camacho… »
War is an extremely mild form of hell in “Snowtime!,” an animated adaptation of the French-Canadian family film “The Dog Who Stopped the War,” which has been a seasonal mainstay for Canuck children for more than 30 years. Set in a mountain idyll where kids frolic outdoors all day while their (largely unseen) parents are home with hot chocolate at the ready, the pic concerns a two-week snowball fight that doubles as an allegory for human conflict. Covering the emotional spectrum between dog farts on one end and tragedy on the other reps a tonal challenge that “Showtime!” can’t pull off, despite a gentler touch than most kiddie fare of its kind. Passing through Sundance en route to a Stateside theatrical run next month, the film will play fine to the very young, but it’s far too anemic to trigger a box office avalanche.
Described as “the greatest village »
- Scott Tobias
4 items from 2016
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