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Smurfs: The Lost Village Review: Welcome to Smurfette's Existential Crisis

  • MovieWeb
Smurfs: The Lost Village Review: Welcome to Smurfette's Existential Crisis
Smurfs: The Lost Village takes our favorite mushroom dwellers on a new, purely animated adventure. Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria are not popping up here. The film sends a strong girl power message in vivid CGI. The Lost Village is aimed like a laser at young, kindergarten aged children. There are no double entendres or sly references meant for adults. The target audience will be entertained, the parents not as much; unless they're dipping into the mushrooms as well.

It's a regular, happy day in Smurf Village when Smurfette (Demi Lovato) faces an existential crisis. Brainy (Danny Pudi) makes a device that captures your smurfiness; translated, smurf essence. It works marvelously on Hefty (Joe Manganiello) and Clumsy (Jack McBrayer), but draws a blank on Smurfette. What is she really about? What defines her character? She's the only girl, but created by Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) to trap the Smurfs. Smurfette's
See full article at MovieWeb »

SAG-aftra Announces Carol Burnett As The 52nd Recipient Of The Life Achievement Award

Carol Burnett – comedic trailblazer, actor, singer, dancer, producer and author – has been named the 52nd recipient of SAG-aftra’s highest tribute: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment. Burnett will be presented the performers union’s top accolade at the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 at 8 p.m. (Et), 7 p.m. (Ct), 6 p.m. (Mt) and 5 p.m. (Pt). Given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” the SAG Life Achievement Award will join Burnett’s exceptional catalog of preeminent industry and public honors, which includes multiple Emmys, a special Tony, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and both a Kennedy Center Honor and its Mark Twain Prize for Humor.

In making today’s announcement, SAG-aftra President Ken Howard said, “Carol Burnett is a creative dynamo and a comedic genius.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

U Q&A: Terry Fator Answers Fan Questions On His New DVD, 'America's Got Talent,' His Old Band

Terry Fator, the ventriloquist extraordinaire and season 2 winner of America’s Got Talent, is even more excited than usual these days — this time about the release of his new DVD. "This thing was many, many years in the making and the first DVD, I was pressured to making I didn'€.t feel like I was quite ready," Fator told Uinterview exclusively answering fan questions collected in Uinterview's Facebook app. “It’s got tons of great impressions, tons of great comedy, and I’ve never been more proud of anything in my entire life.”

Fator gained notoriety for the first time after wowing the audience with his puppet Winston's tuneful performance Etta James’ classic "At Last" on Agt. "All of a sudden that puppet opens its mouth and I gotta say all of the expectations were very low because they didn’t expect much from ventriloquists," he told Uinterview. "That really
See full article at Uinterview »

Review: The Hair Bear Bunch – The Complete Series

  • Comicmix
The Hanna-Barbera machine was showing its age by the 1970s. After producing countless hours of programming for the three networks’ Saturday morning schedules, it was clear that the creative juices were drying up. They were also struggling to come with creative variations on the talking animals theme, especially as the hand-wringing parents were getting increasingly vocal about violence depicted on programming intended for impressionable children.

All of which may well explain the not-terribly-original Help…It’s the Hair Bear Bunch series that ran on CBS from 1971-1974 and has been only sporadically seen since. Still, that has not stopped Warner Archive from collecting the complete series and releasing it in a three-disc set.

All the veteran animators, writers, and voice artists gave us a professionally looking and sounding series. It just wasn’t very original or funny or topical. The closest we get is Hair Bear, with his afro, at
See full article at Comicmix »

Disney 53 Double Feature Part I: The Fox and the Hound

As we march bravely on through 2013, Thn will take a nostalgic yet critical look at the 53 Walt Disney Animated Classics, from Snow White to Wreck-it Ralph, through the obscurity of Fun And Fancy Free to the Golden Age of Beauty And The Beast. These are the films the Walt Disney company are most proud of, the ones that hold a special place in our hearts, the ones that still cost a fortune to buy on DVD. This time, The Fox And The Hound.

Directed by Ted Berman, Richard Rich and Art Stevens

1981/ 83 minutes

Based upon the original novel by Daniel Mannix, The Fox And The Hound began its life under the working title Tod and Copper.

The original novel had a more realistic and bleak story, following the quest of a hunter and his dog, Copper, to shoot Tod after he has killed the hunter’s new dog, Chief. The
See full article at The Hollywood News »

The Smurfs 2 Set Visit: Hank Azaria Returns as the Villainous Gargamel!

  • MovieWeb
The Smurfs 2 Set Visit: Hank Azaria Returns as the Villainous Gargamel!
The Smurfs 2 Set Visit featuring an interview with Hank Azaria as Gargamel

Last June, Movieweb was invited by Sony Pictures to cover a set visit for The Smurfs 2 in Montreal. I had done the set visit for the first film in Queens, New York; two years prior, so I was pretty excited to see the progression of the story. Montreal, much like Toronto and Vancouver, has a bustling film industry. It is cheaper to film in Canada, but it's certainly not the cost savings that is the only draw. Montreal, particularly Old Montreal, the historic district on the St. Lawrence River, is incredibly beautiful. The city is distinctly French Canadian with a vibrant culture. Most of the exterior shots for The Smurfs 2 were shot in Montreal as a substitute for Paris, where a sizable part of the story takes place. There were also several gigantic sets built
See full article at MovieWeb »

Exclusive: Charles Fleischer Talks Who Framed Roger Rabbit? 25th Anniversary Blu-ray

  • MovieWeb
Exclusive: Charles Fleischer Talks Who Framed Roger Rabbit? 25th Anniversary Blu-ray
Charles Fleischer Talks Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, available now on 25th Anniversary Blu-ray

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is celebrating its Silver Anniversary this week with a brand-new 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray, which is in stores now! To celebrate this long-awaited release, we caught up with Roger himself, Mr. Charles Fleischer, to talk about his long history as the man behind the bunny. Charles isn't only a stand-up comedian and actor, he is also a published scientist and inventor who recently did a study on Gamma-Ray bursts for Cornell University. He talks about this, the inspiration behind Roger, and more in our exclusive interview.

Will we see Roger on screen again in the near future? Will Moleeds save mankind? Here is our very interesting conversation with the man of many talents, Charles Fleischer.

Charles Fleischer: What kind of recorder are you using? Are you using your computer?

No, I am
See full article at MovieWeb »

"American Idol" Recap: Steven Tyler's Drag Race

  • The Backlot
Look, I remember seasons 10 and 11. I know Steven Tyler was less a judge and more a starved mule dressed as Jimmy Buffett. I get that. But in his stupid, hacky cameo on last night's Idol as a busty blonde auditioner, I admit I kind of fell for the guy. Was it his go-for-broke attitude? His don't-give-a-f*ck spirit? His convincing womanliness? His blushing skull? Not really. It was the fact that he introduced himself with a full drag persona, one that he gleefully co-opted from (get ready) Paris is Burning! Watch as Steven-effing-Tyler introduces himself as "Pepper Labeija from the House of Labeija." Watch! I still can't believe it.

Now, it's possible that an Idol producer or gay stagehand threw Steven a name and persona to use for the moment. It's possible Steven has never seen Paris is Burning, and it's possible that Malcolm McLaren's "Deep in Vogue" means nothing to him.
See full article at The Backlot »

Blu-Ray Review: Disney’s ‘The Fox and the Hound’ Deserves Better Release

Chicago – As far as kiddie tearjerkers go, “The Fox and the Hound” is one of Disney’s finest. It’s not a great film, and certainly not in the same league as the watershed game-changers that came before or the renaissance masterworks that followed. But it is a tender and bittersweet fable with a message of refreshing complexity. At its heart is a friendship that society has deemed unsustainable, and the film doesn’t shy away from its troubling repercussions.

Based on the novel by Daniel Mannix, this 1981 effort functioned as a crucial turning point in the history of Disney studios, when veteran animators like Wolfgang Reitherman were replaced by a slate of new talent including Ron Clements and John Musker (future co-directors of “The Little Mermaid”). Creative differences intensified between the old guard and the rookies, many of whom found the project to be distressingly bland. This caused the
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

The Smurfs: Win Their Cartoon Adventures on DVD

The Smurfs have landed on the big-screen and the movie is a hit. While it will take awhile for the feature film to be offered on DVD, the original cartoon adventures are available already.

As you may recall, The Smurfs ran from 1981 until 1989 and were a cornerstone of NBC's Saturday morning line-up. Led by wise and gentle Papa Smurf, the cute little blue creatures did their best to live happily in the forest and to stay hidden from the outside world, particularly from evil wizard Gargamel and his nasty cat, Azrael. Some of the best vocal talent in the business provided the voices — actors like Don Messick, Lucille Bliss, Frank Welker, Danny Goldman, June Foray, Michael Bell, William Callaway, Hamilton Camp, Alan Oppenheimer, Alan Young, and Paul Winchell.

A 10 episode collection of Smurfs episodes have been released on DVD. You
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

Catherine Reviews Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall’s Winnie the Pooh [Theatrical Review]

  • CriterionCast
Looking at Christopher Robin’s room at the start of Winnie the Pooh, we see that the boy has not been tainted by modernity. His abode remains as it always was; chock full of books, stuffed animals, old-fashioned toys and an assortment of collections. It is doubtful any child’s room looks like this anymore, signifying that this is a film that will be a return to what once was. Recent animated features like Rango and Toy Story 3 are more accomplished fare with their complex and/or exquisitely executed themes balanced with wondrous storytelling, but sometimes it is nice to return to something as gentle and pure as A.A. Milne’s world of “Winnie the Pooh”. The new film may not stick with viewers amidst everything else out there, but it is a joy through and through.

A.A Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” stories are episodic in that each
See full article at CriterionCast »

Winnie The Pooh – The Review

Hand-drawn animation, lovable characters, and a timeless story all make Winnie The Pooh a must see in the theaters!

All is well in the Hundred Acre Wood. Winnie the Pooh is in search of honey. There is no honey left in his house and his tummy will not stop grumbling at him until Pooh finds some. While on his quest he finds Eeyore, who seems more down than normal. Turns out that his tail has gone missing. They gather up the gang and hold a contest to see who can find Eeyore a new tail. While out and about, searching for tails and such, Pooh finds a note from Christopher Robin that says “Gone out. Busy. Back soon.” and brings it to Owl to read. See, there isn’t a lot of reading going on in the Hundred Acre Wood, and Owl is the smartest of them all. Of course,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Interview: Winnie The Pooh's Tom Kenny

As I mentioned in the feature about my trip to Sony Pictures Animation, I am a voice-actor geek. As a result of watching far too many animated movies and television shows when I was younger, names like Mel Blanc, Paul Winchell, Tress MacNeille, John Kassir, Frank Welker, Hank Azaria, Billy West and Peter Cullen have always stuck with me. Certainly deserving of being included on that list is Tom Kenny, who many might know for voicing Spongebob Squarepants and Wheelie and Skids from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, but has other amazing credits including Rocko.s Modern Life, Dilbert, The Powerpuff Girls and Dexter.s Laboratory. I.ve been a fan of his work for years now and needless to say, it was an incredible experience when I got to interview him a few weeks ago for Winnie The Pooh. Visiting the Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, CA, myself
See full article at Cinema Blend »

Set Visit: The Smurfs Part 2

  • MovieWeb
Set Visit: The Smurfs Part 2
Our rather Smurfy set visit continues as we interview one of the greatest character and voice-over actors of all-time, Hank Azaria. He co-stars in The Smurfs as the evil wizard Gargamel.

Hank Azaria is best known for his multi-character work on The Simpsons, and for his live-action comedic performance in The Birdcage. Working at Kaufman Astoria studios was a return home for Azaria, who was born and raised in Queens, New York. I've had the chance to see some impressive sets, but nothing prepared me for the duplicate of Belvedere Castle on the main stage in Kaufman Astoria. Belvedere Castle, for you New York neophytes, is a beautiful castle south of the Great Lawn in Central Park.

The climactic scene and dance number in The Smurfs take place at the castle. Obviously, you can't hang cranes and wreck the real thing, so the genius crew replicated the castle exactly as it stands on set.
See full article at MovieWeb »

The Smurfs Take Over Sony Pictures Animation - Part 1

  • MovieWeb
The Smurfs Take Over Sony Pictures Animation - Part 1
Like many children of the early 1980s, many of my afternoons were spent watching Smurfs, those little blue creatures which sprung from the mind of Peyo. I can still hear that "La la la la la la (repeat)" verse in my head to this day. I can't help it. Smurfs were an indelible part of my childhood, and, thanks to the magic of CGI and the wizards at Sony Pictures Animation, The Smurfs are coming to life once again, with a new 3D adventure hitting theaters on July 29. A few weeks ago, I headed down to the Sony Pictures Animation studios to catch an early glimpse of some footage from The Smurfs, and talk to some of the folks who brought this new CGI/live-action hybrid to life.

We kicked off this smurfy day with a footage presentation, which included the first five minutes or so of the movie. They
See full article at MovieWeb »

Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles

  • Comicmix
Hanna-Barbera ruled Saturday morning television in the 1960s, cannily finding trends and adapting them to their pint-sized audience. Working in tandem with CBS Saturday morning chief Fred Silverman, they spotted a fad and capitalized on it. As the lids were galvanized by the super-hero trend which led to ABC’s surprise smash success with Batman in January 1966, it is little surprise that the fall 1966 cartoon season was festooned with colorful heroic figures. Among the dozen new series to debut that September there was Filmation’s earliest offerings: The Lone Ranger and The New Adventures of Superman, plus H-b’s Space Ghost and Dino Boy, The Super Six, and, notably, Frankenstein Jr. and The Impossibles. The latter series was split evenly between the two properties, each offering something for its viewers. The former show was about boy genius Buzz Conray (Dick Beals), who constructed the thirty-foot tall robot improbably dubbed Frankenstein Jr.
See full article at Comicmix »

Talking With Director Mark Goffman: The Man Who Pulls the Strings of Dumbstruck

(A waiting room of ventriloquist dummies, in Dumbstruck, above.)

by Terry Keefe

For any of our Hollywood readers who are struggling to succeed as a writer, actor, director, or musician, you already know that it's hard. If you've been at it for a while, you also probably love your chosen art form enough to continue to pursue it against some pretty long odds, because otherwise, it would be easier to just hang it up.

Now just imagine how long the odds of success would feel if the art form you loved so deeply, and were willing to give up everything else for... happened to be ventriloquism.

The world of ventriloquists, or "vents" in their own parlance, is the focus of director Mark Goffman's funny, and extremely poignant, new documentary, Dumbstruck, which is being released tomorrow (4/22) in New York and Washington, D.C., followed by a Los Angeles roll-out the following weekend (4/29).

Goffman,
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

[TV] Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch: The Complete Series

Suffice to say, not every studio is going to get it right every single time. Hanna Barbera has some of the most classic cartoon characters in its stable like Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, and so many others; but they’ve got a few misfires under their belt, and they’re easy to forget. Though, it was easier to forget them when they were locked away in Warner Brothers’ vault, not having seen the light of day since the transition from VHS to DVD and digital mediums. Sometimes you can revel in the retro cartoons just because they’re truly bizarre and goofy (like its recently rereleased Thundarr the Barbarian), but in the case of Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch, there’s nothing much to be said for the dusty television fossil except that it should have been left buried.

Filled with puns (including the very premise “car-toons
See full article at JustPressPlay »

[TV] Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch: The Complete Series

Suffice to say, not every studio is going to get it right every single time. Hanna Barbera has some of the most classic cartoon characters in its stable like Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, and so many others; but they’ve got a few misfires under their belt, and they’re easy to forget. Though, it was easier to forget them when they were locked away in Warner Brothers’ vault, not having seen the light of day since the transition from VHS to DVD and digital mediums. Sometimes you can revel in the retro cartoons just because they’re truly bizarre and goofy (like its recently rereleased Thundarr the Barbarian), but in the case of Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch, there’s nothing much to be said for the dusty television fossil except that it should have been left buried.

Filled with puns (including the very premise “car-toons
See full article at JustPressPlay »

Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch: Win the Complete Series on DVD!

  • TVSeriesFinale
Debuting in 1974 on NBC, Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch aired for just one season of 13 episodes. Though the animated series didn't last very long, its well-remembered by those who were watching Saturday morning television at that time.

The series revolves around Wheelie (Frank Welker), a red Volkswagen Beetle, and his girlfriend Rota Ree (Judy Strangis). Wheelie's a professional racing and stunt car and the rotten Chopper Bunch are always trying to make sure that he doesn't win his races. The members of the bunch are tough Chopper (Frank Welker), a sputtering three-wheeled motorcycle named Revs (Paul Winchell), tall and dumb Hi-Riser (Lennie Weinrib), and minibike Scrambles (Don Messick).

Warner Bros. is releasing the complete series of Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch on DVD and the three-disc set contains all 13 episodes. You can purchase Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch: Complete Series
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »
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