9 items from 2011
When Harry Knowles, the Grand Mufti of movie bloggers, has a birthday party he does it up big. It starts with the Internet's most die-hard cinemaniacs filling out an elaborate application for a coveted, assigned seat at Austin's Alamo Drafthouse Theater, and ends with intense film junkie bragging rights.
The event, appropriately called Butt-Numb-a-Thon, is a (more than) 24-hour movie marathon mixing hard-to-find vintage prints and first looks at forthcoming films. In years past, attendees have had sneak peeks at movies like "King Kong", "Kick-Ass" and "Hobo With A Shotgun", as well rare opportunities to see flicks like Disney's "Song of the South" or Orson Welles' "Chimes at Midnight."
This year, after a Friday night kick-off party at an elaborate pinball arcade, the lucky few exchanged tips on how long to wait until drinking coffee (everyone has their own theory) and tried to guess the line-up. This was my second Bnat, »
 We've got a lot of the usual news bits about casting, renewals, and so on in today's TV Bits, but first, don't you want to read about a possible racial slur in a decades-old episode of Fraggle Rock? After the jump: A Texas man reports an offensive slur in a 1984 episode of Fraggle Rock Fox's J.J. Abrams-produced Alcatraz changes showrunners NBC picks up Bryan Fuller's The Munsters pilot Comedy Central renews South Park for like the next million* seasons Becki Newton heads to CBS' How I Met Your Mother Lone Star actor James Wolk lands on ABC's Happy Endings * And by "million," I mean "five." We'll start with biggest Wtf. Texan Keith White was furious to hear what he interpreted as a racial slur in a 1984 episode of the Jim Henson series Fraggle Rock while watching the show with his two-year-old daughter. "I heard him say Jigaboo," said White. »
- Angie Han
This interview was conducted by Jim Batts on November 11th, 2011.
Bill Plympton is one of the most creative and prolific artists to emerge out of the independent animation shorts film arena of the late 1980′s. His short Your Face was nominated for an Academy Award and follow-up shorts like How To Kiss and How To Quit Smoking became the highlights of several traveling animation compilations and festivals. He soon branched out into feature films with The Tune and set up a New York animation studio to produce commercials and music videos along with more features and shorts. Recently Plympton has helmed several live action features. He’s here in St. Louis to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 20th Annual Stella Artois St. Louis International Film Festival. Mr. Plympton was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to speak with me by phone.
Wamg: My name is Jim Batts with WeAreMovieGeeks. »
- Jim Batts
I'm going to the latest Academy Celebration of Animation, Mary Blair’s World of Color: A Centennial Tribute, on October 20. Mary Blair died in 1978 and created the concept art for such Disney greats as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Song of the South and Cinderella, as well as the character designs for Disneyland's "It's a Small World." Check out the panel to be moderated by animation expert Charles Solomon: Pixar writer-director Pete Docter (Up, Wall-e, Toy Story, Monsters, Inc.), character designer/art director Michael Giaimo (The Brave Little Toaster, FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Pocahontas), Disney supervising animator Eric Goldberg (Genie in Aladdin, Phil in Hercules, and Rabbit in Winnie the Pooh), and director (Pocahontas, the “Rhapsody in Blue” and “Carnival of the Animals” segments of »
Exactly a month ago today, I was at the Beverly Hills home of Richard Sherman, 83, one half of the great “Sherman brothers” who were the only songwriters ever put under contract by Walt Disney. (Richard’s brother Robert Sherman is now 85 and lives in London.) Over the course of a two-hour interview for a book that I’m writing about film history, Sherman regaled me with stories about the evoltuion of some of the most famous and beloved songs of our time — “It’s a Small World” (for the 1964 New York World’s Fair), “A Spoonful of Sugar” (1964, for “Mary Poppins”), “I Wan’na Be Like You” (1967, for “The Jungle Book”), and the list goes on and on.
One song that I was particularly curious to learn the origin of was “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” (1964, also for “Mary Poppins”) — how in the world, I asked Sherman, did he and his brother manage to »
- Scott Feinberg
The Tfe reader community investigation continues. Get to know more about the other people reading this site! Maybe they're reading what you're reading at exactly the same time! Today we're talking to Ester in Brooklyn who is also a writer.
Nathaniel: Do you remember your first movie experience or obsession? Ester: My father took me to see the theatrical re-release of Song of the South in 1986, when I was four. I'm sure he gave me a lecture afterward about historical inaccuracies but all I remember is the animated "Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah" bluebird and being enthralled by the big screen. A little later on, I became obsessed with Jack Nicholson. It started with "Chinatown," which I would watch anytime I was sick because it was guaranteed to make me forget what hurt, and "Terms of Endearment," because I adored his relationship with the ballsy, hilarious Shirley MacLaine.
Imagine yourself as supreme empress of the cinema. »
- NATHANIEL R
Another bumper edition- I hereby pledge never to write several 2000 word reviews a week while neglecting this beautiful little column- with three weeks worth of viewing listed below.
An added element to the Film Diary this time around is the sub-challenge A Disney A Day, instigated at the behest of my girlfriend, who discovered that between us we now own every Disney home release- except the somewhat controversial Song of the South (which, despite featuring one of Disney’s most released soundtrack songs, is yet to see a DVD release)- and has decided that it would be a missed opportunity not to watch all of them as quickly as possible. Seems my spirit may have rubbed off there a little…
The count so far: 101 Films
Anyway, into three figures now, and catching up to the 1 film a day rate (though that’s slow for me). Read on, lovely Diary »
- Simon Gallagher
What started off as a rumor that in the world of films and rights negotiations, and usually would be scoffed at, has supposedly just been signed, sealed and ready to print in the next two weeks or so when Criterion sends out their usual New Release email newsletter. According to a very trusted source, the 1946 Disney film Song of the South, much wanted in the home video market, has been loaned, so to speak, to Criterion to put out in a new special edition that most cinephiles will be ready to snatch up.
The road has been a long and treacherous one for the film, many times rumored to come out on DVD and Blu-ray, but then pushed aside or canceled outright due to fears of what society might make of a release such as this. Of course the whole racism dilemma comes up, from the Uncle Remus character to »
- James McCormick
Last week, Disney presented the first concept image of their upcoming Shanghai Disneyland. However the image was released intentionally low res and blurry to protect the attractions from being quickly replicated by Chinese amusement parks prior to Shanghai Disneyland's opening. However Disney and More  noticed something familiar -- what appears to be a mountain with a big water drop.  Disneyland fanatics are speculating that this could be a new Pirates of the Caribbean ride based off the movie series, and not the original Disneyland attraction. Disney had formerly announced that such a ride was being developed for Hong Kong Disneyland, and you will see in Tim Delaney's concept art below (via Micechat ) that it is kind of a hybrid of Splash Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean.  Disney's Song of the South is pretty much banned from release on modern home video due to sterotypical depiction of African-Americans within »
- Peter Sciretta
9 items from 2011
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