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1-20 of 62 items from 2011   « Prev | Next »

The Best Animated Films Of 2011

29 December 2011 7:59 AM, PST | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

It’s a good time to be making animated films, enough so that even regular indie filmmakers may want to sit up and take notice. Animation has always been on the cutting edge of film artistry and technology, and in a year that saw innovative use of motion capture, rotoscoping, CGI, and 3D (in documentaries, no less), an animated picture may be indie film’s next big thing.

2011 was also exciting because it gave us a wide open field for cartoons. For over a decade Pixar has dominated feature animation, but there’s now room for newcomers and underdogs to enjoy their place in the sun. Award nominations already reflect this: the five nominees for the Golden Globe’s Best Animated Feature Film prize are fairly straightforward, but the 18 films submitted for Academy Award consideration run the gamut in terms of style, audience, theme, and nationality. (More on that here and here. »

- Randy Astle

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Trent Reznor: 'I'm not at war with myself as I once was'

23 December 2011 4:24 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Trent Reznor's score for The Social Network won an Oscar. Will The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo bag him another? Dorian Lynskey meets him at his Beverly Hills home

Some time in the late 1990s, the music video director Mark Romanek approached his friend Trent Reznor to compose the score for his feature debut One Hour Photo, a thriller in which lab technician Robin Williams becomes obsessed with a suburban family. It was not the happiest time for Reznor, who was straining to complete the third Nine Inch Nails album and, he says, was about to "slip off a cliff of addiction". While things were still at the demo stage, he received an apologetic call from Romanek saying the studio was pressuring him to use a "real composer".

The physical evidence of how much has changed since those days is 34cm tall, gold-plated and stands on the mantelpiece of Reznor's house in Beverly Hills. »

- Dorian Lynskey

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Disney's Snow Queen Defrosted

23 December 2011 12:18 AM, PST | EmpireOnline | See recent EmpireOnline news »

It's been on ice at Disney for years, but it now seems that a thaw is approaching Uncle Walt's version of The Snow Queen, which has just scored a November 2013 release date, under the new moniker Frozen. That whole clever "thaw" line doesn't really work when paired with that title, but give us a break, eh? It's Christmas.The story, of course, is Hans Christian Andersen's and involves Kay, whose mind is twisted when his heart and eyes are pierced by shards of an evil troll mirror. He's then willingly abducted by the Snow Queen, who travels the world with the winter weather. Kay's playmate, neighbour and sweetheart Gerda however, still believes in him and sets out on an epic quest to retrieve him from the Snow Queen's palace.Animator Glen Keane (The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, Aladdin) was working on the project as early as a decade ago, »

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'Dragon Tattoo' And Other Feel-Bad Holiday Movies

22 December 2011 7:29 AM, PST | MTV Movies Blog | See recent MTV Movies Blog news »

In addition to being one of the most anticipated films of the season, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" is also marketing itself somewhat subversively: as the "feel bad movie" of the year, something sure to put a damper on your Christmas morning. With a plot heavy on rape and murder, it's definitely not fun for the whole family.

But "Tattoo" wouldn't be the first inappropriate holiday movie, not by a long shot. For families really upset about the way their annual Yankee Swap turned out, there's a long history of violent and messed up films being released on Christmas weekend. Below, our top five picks for the worst way to spend a Christmas afternoon.


This near three-hour long Jewish revenge film dropped on December 23rd, making it either a super empowering Hannukah movie or the worst possible Christmas family outing. Steven Spielberg's look at Israeli retaliation for »

- Jeremy Gordon

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Alan Menken To Score Snow White Project

11 December 2011 11:24 PM, PST | CineMovie | See recent CineMovie news »

Alan Menken will be scoring the music to Tarsem Singh's Snow White project Mirror Mirror. The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin composer seems like a great fit for the reimagining of the classic Snow White fairy tale.

Alan Menken, an Oscar®-winning composer is has won more Oscar® statuettes than any other living person with eight wins. Alan  is best known for his work on numerous Walt Disney films, especially some of the most popular family-friendly films in entertainment.  Menken has 34 awards and 33 nominations accredited to his name since he began his career and has written songs and scores for some of the world’s most beloved films including: Beauty and the Beast (two Oscar® wins), The Little Mermaid (two Oscar® wins), Aladdin (two Oscar® wins), Enchanted (three Oscar® nominations), Pocahontas (two Oscar® wins), Hercules (Oscar®-nominee), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Oscar®-nominee), Little Shop of Horrors


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Alan Menken to Score Tarsem Singh’s Snow White Film Mirror Mirror

8 December 2011 5:54 PM, PST | | See recent news »

Relativity continues to distance their Snow White film Mirror Mirror from Universal’s dark and gritty take Snow White and the Huntsman, as the studio has tapped Disney regular Alan Menken to compose the score. The eight-time Oscar winner is responsible for the music and songs from classics like Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin. Heat Vision reports that Menken will be taking on scoring duties for director Tarsem Singh’s Snow White story, which is described as a “comedic adventure.” The trailer for the film was pretty terrible and cartoony, but maybe over-the-top is what Singh is going for. The addition of Menken is in keeping with the lightness we’ve seen of the project thus far. Menken recently composed music and songs for 2007’s Enchanted and last year’s Tangled. This year he contributed the song “Star Spangled Man” to Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger. »

- Adam Chitwood

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Alan Menken Set to Score Relativity & Tarsem's 'Mirror Mirror' Movie

8 December 2011 5:02 PM, PST | | See recent news »

Not that this may change opinions, but it's good news nonetheless. Relativity has announced that legendary Oscar winning composer Alan Menken will compose an original score for the upcoming reimagining of the classic Snow White fairy tale Mirror Mirror, directed by Tarsem Singh. Yes, we've already seen the trailer for this and unfortunately it looks pretty bad. That said, Menken is a great composer, he worked on the scores and songs for films like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Enchanted and Tangled. He makes wonderful, whimsical, Disney-magic scores, which this film certainly needs a bit of right now. Eight-time Oscar-winning composer, Alan Menken, has won more Oscar statuettes than any other living person and has cemented himself as the man behind the music to the most popular family-friendly films in entertainment. Menken has 34 awards and 33 nominations accredited to his name since he began his career and »

- Alex Billington

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Mirror Mirror Gets Composer Alan Menken

8 December 2011 4:21 PM, PST | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken has been hired to compose the score for Relativity Media's Mirror Mirror. Here's what the composer had to say about the scoring process.

"Despite my love of musicals, of both the stage and film variety, my most intense composing experience actually comes from scoring a movie. The contained period of time when I spend my days and nights living within every fraction of a second of a motion picture is an exquisite combination of being totally at the service of a director's vision and yet in a powerful position to influence and interpret the meaning of the film."

Alan Menken has also won Oscars for Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Pocahontas.

Tarsem Singh directs Mirror Mirror from a script by Melisa Wallack and Jason Keller.

Mirror Mirror comes to theaters March 16th, 2012 and stars Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer, Lily Collins, »

- MovieWeb

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Alan Menken to Compose Score for Relativity's Snow White Film 'Mirror Mirror'

8 December 2011 3:50 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Alan Menken, the man behind the scores and songs from early 1990s classic Disney animated movies such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, has been tapped to compose the score for Relativity’s Snow White project Mirror Mirror. Menken is an eight-time Oscar winner for his musical work, which also includes Pocahontas, Hercules, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and more recently Tangled. Among his live-action work are Little Shop of Horrors and Newsies. He worked with lyricists Howard Ashman and Stephen Schwartz on many of the acclaimed songs. “Despite my love of musicals, of both

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- Borys Kit

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Alan Menken to Score Mirror Mirror

8 December 2011 | | See recent news »

Tarsem's Singh's Snow White adaptation, Mirror Mirror , has found its composer in the form of Alan Menken, best known for his work on The Little Mermaid , Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin . Full details from the official press release are as follows: Eight-time Oscar®-winning composer, Alan Menken, has won more Oscar® statuettes than any other living person and has cemented himself as the man behind the music to the most popular family-friendly films in entertainment. Menken has 34 awards and 33 nominations accredited to his name since he began his career and has written songs and scores for some of the world.s most beloved films including: Beauty and the Beast (two Oscar® wins), The Little Mermaid (two Oscar® wins), Aladdin (two Oscar® wins), Enchanted (three Oscar® »

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Exclusive: ‘Happy Feet Two’ – Cast and Director Q&A

29 November 2011 2:02 AM, PST | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

We were lucky enough recently to sit down with Elijah Wood, Robin WIlliams, Hank Azaria, Common, and director George Miller to discus the intricacies of making an animated feature, voice acting and all things Happy Feet Two. Check out the transcript of our chat below:

George, can you talk about your collaboration with Savion Glover and the challenges of choreographing so many different sizes and shapes of animated wildlife?

George Miller:  Well, the first thing to know is that I can’t sing and I can’t dance, and so in a way I had no right to be there.  But we had very, very good choreographers and people who really understand music.  Everyone from the composer John Powell to three choreographers—in this case Wade Robson, who did the earlier material; Dein Perry, you might know him from Tap Dogs, who did all the tapping later on; and Kate Warmald, »

- Phil

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A Lethal Virus, a Deadly Teen, and a Demeaned Panda

27 November 2011 2:11 PM, PST | | See recent CultureCatch news »

It's that time of year again when film critics connected to societies that dish out annual awards find their mailboxes stuffed with dozens of DVDs and the occasional gift or two: a bag of popcorn and Puss in Boots wrapping paper from DreamWorks, for example. Or the shooting script of The Descendants, which boasts an inane quote from Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman: "[Writer/director Alexander] Payne has become the Stanley Kubrick of serious American comedy." That sort of hyperbole transforms the usually sensible Gleiberman into the Rip Taylor of serious American critics.

Anyway, let's stalk through the DVD pile a little.

1) Steven Soderbergh's Contagion (pictured), a paean to death by bat droppings mixed with a bit of pork, is being pushed for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor (Laurence Fishburne), and about 17 other nominations. The studio heads only overlooked a trophy for Best Catering.

Sadly, in the Death-of-Mankind cinema category, »

- Brandon Judell

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Robin Williams interview: Happy Feet 2, Call Of Duty, playing bad guys and more

25 November 2011 5:11 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Robin Williams talks playing bad guys, doing accents, his return to stand-up, voicing animation, and why he no longer plays multiplayer Call Of Duty online…

Reading a Robin Williams interview is like trying to listen to a Hendrix tune by staring at the guitar tab: so much of the good stuff gets lost in translation. He doesn’t so much answer questions as improvise a stand-up set around them, springing into voices and one-liners with the lightest of prompting.

Williams speaks fast, and laughs often. When he’s being himself - though how can you tell? - his vocabulary is full of “like, dude” and “big time” surf-speak. He nimbly evades anything getting serious by driving his answers full steam into entertaining anecdotes or gags.

In a 15-minute round table chat, he did at least 15 different voices (one per minute, though it felt like more) and cracked jokes I’m »

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My favourite film: Little Shop of Horrors

25 November 2011 3:58 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Jessica Hopkins tops up our writers' favourite film series with a toe-tapping tale of love, redemption and a foul-mouthed flytrap

Find this review hard to swallow? Why not write your own – or feed the beast in the comments section below

When we were younger, my sister and I seized on any excuse for singing, dancing and generally being a bit theatrical. We made up dance routines in the lounge to The Heat is on in Saigon from Miss Saigon, only vaguely aware that it is a song about marines buying prostitutes. As such, musicals and 60s girl groups (who were forever playing in my mother's car) were a regular feature of my childhood aural experience, and they remain a firm part of my adult one.

So, since it married the two so perfectly, I was completely captivated the first time I saw Little Shop of Horrors. I don't remember how old I was, »

- Jessica Hopkins

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Extra, extra! Newsies the Musical marches to Broadway

18 November 2011 4:32 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Adaptation of Disney film about New York child newspaper vendors starts three-month stint on Broadway in 2012

Newsies the Musical, an adaptation of the cult Disney film starring Christian Bale and Robert Duvall, will start a three-month Broadway run in March.

Following its premiere at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey, Newsies will start previews on 15 March 2012 with the final performance scheduled for 10 June. The show centres on the 1899 strike of New York child newspaper sellers and includes songs from the film, including Santa Fe, Carrying the Banner and Seize the Day.

Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, who wrote music and lyrics for the film, are behind the stage adaptation. Harvey Fierstein, who wrote the book for La Cage aux Folles, has reworked the narrative. Jeff Calhoun will direct, though Jeremy Jordan (who starred in the initial production) is currently leading Bonnie and Clyde, also on Broadway.

Speaking to the Associated Press, »

- Matt Trueman

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Blu-ray Review: The Nutcracker 3D – Visually Stunning Festive Film With Average Narrative

7 November 2011 4:12 AM, PST | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Christmas is quickly approaching now (less than 50 days now…where does the time go!?), so if you fancy getting into the festive spirit a little early, check out today’s Blu-ray and DVD release of The Nutcracker in 3D. But check out our review here first…

Nine-year-old Mary’s (Elle Fanning) dull Viennese Christmas is suddenly filled with excitement and adventure following the arrival of her beloved Uncle Albert (Nathan Lane) and his gift of an enchanted nutcracker. On Christmas night, Mary’s new friend, The Nutcracker (Charlie Rowe) or ‘Nc’ as he like to be known, comes to life and takes her on a wondrous journey into his magical world of fairies, sugarplums, and other Christmas toys which come to life. Mary soon realises that this fantastical kingdom is facing danger from the tyrannical rule of the evil Rat King (John Turturro) and his devious mother (Frances de la Tour »

- Stuart Cummins

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Interview With Lion King Producer Don Hahn

5 November 2011 4:06 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

To celebrate the release of The Lion King 3D in theatres and on Blu-Ray, Thn talked to the film’s legendary producer, Don Hahn. A veteran at Disney, his other work incudes Beauty & The Beast, The Emporer’S New Groove and The Little Mermaid.


Q – If you were doing The Lion King right now in 2011, instead of 17 years ago, do you think it might be different? Would the technology now be useful to do something else you planned many years ago and couldn’t have done?

A – Don Hahn: There have been huge technical advances in animation since we made The Lion King back in 1994, so no doubt we would have approached the movie in many different ways. I doubt that it would have affected the story, but the execution of the film would have been different. I’m not even sure that we’d make it a CG film. »

- John Sharp

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Don Hahn interview: The Lion King, Disney, Pixar, Frankenweenie and the future of animation

3 November 2011 11:22 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Don Hahn, the producer of The Lion King and Beauty And The Beast, chats to us about animation past, present and future...

One of the surprise box office successes of the year has been the 3D reissue of The Lion King, which has made a stunning $93m in the Us alone. It's also led to Disney confirming big screen re-releases for Beauty And The Beast, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc in the years ahead.

Ahead of the UK release of The Lion King Blu-ray, producer Don Hahn spared some time to talk about animation, his excellent documentary (Waking Sleeping Beauty), Frankenweenie and a whole lot more. Here's how it went...

You’ve briefly touched upon before the moment when people, back in the early 90s, first saw the amazing opening scene from The Lion King. You put it out as a trailer, well ahead of the movie’s release, »

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Gilbert Gottfried joins 'Law & Order: Svu' cast

27 October 2011 8:55 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Gilbert Gottfried has signed up for a recurring role on Law & Order: Svu. The actor and stand-up comic will play an under-appreciated It technician, according to TV Guide. "Those [computer] scenes can be dry, so I thought he'd be interesting," explained Svu showrunner Warren Leight. Tentatively named Leo Gilbert, the character will first appear alongside Detectives Rollins (Kelli Giddish), Amaro (Danny Pino) and Tutuola (Ice-t) in this season's ninth episode, titled 'Lost Traveler'. Gottfried is known for voicing the parrot Iago in Disney's Aladdin and also starred in the Problem Child (more) »

- By Morgan Jeffery

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"Glee" Star Darren Criss Sings with Real Princess Jasmine!

25 October 2011 1:53 PM, PDT | TooFab | See recent TooFab news »

Warning: This video of Darren Criss singing a medley of Disney tunes may be too cute for some viewers to handle. The " Glee " star was the musical guest last night for the 2011 Billboard Film and TV Music Conference , where composer Alan Menken received the Maestro Award for his songs in such classics as " Aladdin ," " Beauty & the Beast ," " Newsies " and more. Criss performed an amazing medley of hits from those flicks -- and upped the ante with one very special surprise: Princess Jasmine herself. Lea Salonga , who was the singing voice for Jasmine and Mulan, surprised Menken by joining Criss to sing "A Whole New World " ... and it was awesome. Just sit back and enjoy! Read more »

- tooFab Staff

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