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Bugs Bunny officially turns 75 today. The snickering rabbit made his first credited appearance in Tex Avery's 1940 animated short "A Wild Hare," and he remains a cultural icon three quarters of a century later. Here's why he could still use more respect. 1. He's an Academy Award winner. Not only was Bugs Oscar-nominated for his official debut in "A Wild Hare," but he picked up an Academy Award for 1958's "Knighty Knight Bugs" in the category of Best Cartoon Short Subject. Look, he even received it from Tony Curtis and his first wife (of six) Janet Leigh. 2. He stars in one of the great sports video games of the '90s. The Super Nintendo gave us plenty of classic sports games, including John Madden's football cartridges and the yearly NBA/NHL/Mlb releases. "Looney Tunes B-Ball," meanwhile, was one of the few fantastic video games not associated with a major sports organization. »
- Louis Virtel
Ladies, gentlemen, children, animals, babies, robot overlords, aliens, ghosts…we finally have the winner of our Greatest Animated Disney Film of All Time tournament. After five rounds and thousands upon thousands of votes, it's all over! The fans have spoken and only one Disney movie remains. In the final round, The Lion King went head to head with The Little Mermaid, basically turning the final voting into a '90s nostalgia face-off. And it was bloody. Well, as bloody as an Internet poll can get. The winner of our Disney competition won by less than 1,000 clicks and got just 54% of the votes. Told you it was a squeaker. Ready to find out which one has been crowned the Greatest Animated Disney Film of »
Do I Sound Gay?
Directed by David Thorpe
The director (and star) of the new documentary Do I Sound Gay? isn’t comfortable with his voice anymore. Not only does David Thorpe want to jettison his “braying ninny” speech patterns, he wants to deconstruct the ‘gay voice’ and figure out where the hell it comes from. His endlessly-entertaining search takes him to speech therapists, linguists, and veterans of the Gay Rights Movement. This hilarious peek into the gay psyche proves that identity and voice are inseparable, regardless of your sexual orientation.
Thorpe is the perfect guide for such a circuitous journey. He engages with his wit and sarcasm, yet remains completely serious about his inquiry. Coming on the heels of a bad break-up with his lover, 40-something Thorpe is adrift and vulnerable. “I feel out of synch with my voice,” he confesses. In fact, he finds a gay man »
- J.R. Kinnard
'90s Disney fans, it's time to show up or shut up! (Just kidding, don't shut up. Never do that). In the last round of our Greatest Animated Disney Movie of All Time tournament, only two films stand after a very heated final four round. The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Aladdin faced off to get the last two spots in our competition, and it was a very close race. But the two films left standing to do battle in the grand finale are… The Lion King and The Little Mermaid! To quote Ursula: "Life's full of tough choices, isn't it?!" This final round is one of those tough choices. How does one pick between Simba's journey to ruling »
BBC Culture has this week unveiled a new list of the top 100 American films, as voted for by a pool of international film critics from across the globe. The format of the poll was that any film that would make the list had to have recieved funding from a Us source, and the directors of the films did not need to be from the USA, nor did the films voted for need to be filmed in the Us.
Critics were asked to submit their top 10 lists, which would try to find the top 100 American films that while “not necessarily the most important, but the greatest on an emotional level”. The list, as you may have guessed, is very different to the lists curated by say the BFI or AFI over the years, so there are certainly a few surprises on here, with Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave (2013), Terrence Malick »
- Scott J. Davis
First off, let's make one thing clear. We're not scratching our heads at Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" making the BBC's 100 greatest American films. That movie, of which an image accompanies this post, not only made the list, but ranked appropriately at no. 25. It's the rest of the selections that have us scratching and, yes, shaking our heads in disbelief. A wonderful page view driver, these sorts of lists make great fodder for passionate movie fans no matter what their age or part of the world they hail from. There is nothing more entertaining than watching two critics from opposite ends of the globe try to debate whether "The Dark Knight" should have been nominated for best picture or make a list like this. Even in this age of short form content where Vines, Shapchats and Instagram videos have captured viewers attention, movies will continue to inspire because »
- Gregory Ellwood
Leave it to the Brits to compile a list of the best American films of all-time. BBC Culture has published a list of what it calls "The 100 Greatest American Films", as selected by 62 international film critics in order to "get a global perspective on American film." As BBC Culture notes, the critics polled represent a combination of broadcasters, book authors and reviewers at various newspapers and magazines across the world. As for what makes an American filmc "Any movie that received funding from a U.S. source," BBC Culture's publication states, which is to say the terminology was quite loose, but the list contains a majority of the staples you'd expect to see. Citizen Kane -- what elsec -- comes in at #1, and in typical fashion The Godfather follows at #2. Vertigo, which in 2012 topped Sight & Sound's list of the greatest films of all-time, comes in at #3 on BBC Culture's list. »
- Jordan Benesh
Every now and then a major publication or news organisation comes up with a top fifty or one hundred films of all time list - a list which always stirs up debate, discussion and often interesting arguments about the justifications of the list's inclusions, ordering and notable exclusions.
Today it's the turn of BBC Culture who consulted sixty-two international film critics including print reviews, bloggers, broadcasters and film academics to come up with what they consider the one-hundred greatest American films of all time. To qualify, the film had to be made by a U.S. studio or mostly funded by American money.
Usually when a list of this type is done it is by institutes or publications within the United States asking American critics their favourites. This time it's non-American critics born outside the culture what they think are the best representations of that culture. Specifically they were asked »
- Garth Franklin
The unending need to make live-action versions of every animated Disney film ever continues. The Hollywood Reporter revealed news yesterday that a live-action Aladdin movie, a prequel focusing on the origin of the Genie, is in development. Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (who both wrote Freddy vs. Jason and the Friday the 13th remake together) are already tapped by Disney to write the film, but a director has yet to be announced. An odd choice in writers, but Disney clearly sees something in these two to give them such a monumental project.
Along the same lines as what Disney did with Maleficent in taking a substantial supporting character and giving them their own film, this new film, entitled Genies, will tell the story of how one genie became the Genie we all know and love, voiced by Robin Williams in the original 1992 film. The main issue with this movie is »
- Sarah Pearce Lord
Somehow, we always knew it would come to these four movies. The moment we decided to do a tournament for Disney films, we bet on these four being the last ones standing. And here we are thousands and thousands of votes later and we're exactly where we predicted we would be. The final four in our Greatest Animated Disney Movie of All Time competition are... The Lion King Aladdin The Little Mermaid Beauty and the Beast Now that the elite eight has been knocked down to four (Sorry, Toy Story!), we have to soldier on and turn these incredible movies against each other! Only two Disney films can make it to the final round, and they need your votes! Don't let your beloved movie »
Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios has announced the launch of the Triggerfish Story Lab, an initiative backed by South Africa’s Dept. of Trade and Industry and the Walt Disney Co.
Buoyed by the success of its feature-length toons “Adventures in Zambezia” and “Khumba,” which both rank among the top-five grossing South African films of all time, Triggerish will be investing up to R44 million ($3.5 million) over the next three years in the Story Lab.
The goal is to give the next generation of African animators a chance to develop their ideas alongside Triggerfish’s global network of mentors. Selected talent will have a chance to turn their projects into a TV series or animated feature with an eye toward the global market.
“We are ready to bring a fresh voice to the world,” says Anthony Silverston, head of development at Triggerfish. “We believe there is extraordinary talent in Africa, »
- Christopher Vourlias
"Nothing is sacred anymore," is a popular sentiment these days, but if I'm being honest it's sort of true. We've got sequels and prequels, sidequels and threequels, cinematic universes, multiverses, reboots, spin-offs and who knows how many other ways there are of saying "this thing is related to something that already exists", but at the end of the day these phrases usually mean you're about to see more of something you've already seen. Most of these ideas make me say "eh, whatever", but every so often a truly interesting concept for extending or reintroducing an already-existing property comes along, and today might just be one of those moments. Maybe, it's tough to say, but buried deep among the news of exclusive Comic-Con trailers and footage for films like Suicide Squad, Deadpool, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Warcraft was the following tweet from journalist Jeff Goldsmith: https://twitter.com »
- Jordan Benesh
Star Wars creator George Lucas, composer Danny Elfman, All My Children star Susan Lucci, Disney Animator Andreas Deja and other beloved contributors to the Disney legacy will be named and honored as official Disney Legends during D23 Expo 2015 at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 14, in Hall D23 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The ceremony will be hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, and will include special musical performances. There will be eight individuals in total introduced as Disney Legends next month.
The Disney Legends Awards program is a 28-year tradition of The Walt Disney Company, and the first Disney Legend was Fred MacMurray (The Shaggy Dog, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Happiest Millionaire), who was honored in 1987. The three-day Expo provides the opportunity for Disney fans to be a part of the memorable and prestigious event. Here's what Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger had to say about the Disney Legends in a statement. »
Welcome to the Elite 8, Disney fans! This is the part of the tournament where your choices go from extremely difficult to pretty much impossible. Because how can a Disney lover choose between Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid? Or who gets your vote between the The Lion King and Toy Story?! Well, you're going to have to find a way because we have eight of the best animated Disney films (as chosen by you), and we have to get down to the final four! We know it's a lot to ask you guys, but one of our childhood faves has to be crowned the Greatest Animated Disney Movie of All Time, and it's up to the fans to pick it! This all-important round before the final four ends on Thursday, July 16 at »
Fincher famously helmed the beloved 1999 film adaptation of Palahniuk's "Fight Club", and now a tweet from the author suggests that Taymor is "working with David Fincher on a 'Fight Club' rock opera."
It sounds like Taymor, who has helmed a few films herself including "The Tempest," "Titus," "Across the Universe" and "Frida," is spearheading whatever this "Fight Club: The Musical"-style project is. How much Fincher is involved, who knows at this point but expect more news about it soon.
— Chuck Palahniuk (@chuckpalahniuk) July 12, 2015 »
- Garth Franklin
Though she has occasional dalliances in the cinematic world — 2002’s “Frida” remains a highlight, though 2007’s “Across The Universe” has some fans — Julie Taymor is mostly thought of as a theater director. Her stage production of “The Lion King” is estimated to have been seen by over 45 million people, and she may be on her way to translating another pre-existing and already successful work to the stage. According to a completely unexpected tweet by author Chuck Palahniuk, Taymor is “working with David Fincher on a ‘Fight Club’ rock opera.” Cruelly, Palahniuk doesn’t elaborate, leaving us to our unanswered questions. Presuming Fincher is actually involved, is it a fair assumption that the rock opera will closely mimic the aesthetic of his 1999 adaptation instead of Palahniuk’s novel? Taymor is not only a director in her own right but also a titan of the stage, so how/why exactly is she “working with” Fincher? »
- Cain Rodriguez
Every year, following the Tony Awards, Broadway settles in for the summer, celebrating its freshly-minted winners and welcoming a few brave new productions for tourists and locals alike. While the new season doesn't really gear up until the fall, there's no shortage of offerings in which to escape the sweltering New York heat. Beyond the favorites of previous seasons (Matilda, Aladdin, Kinky Boots, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, The Book of Mormon, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Les Miserables) and the long-running smashes (Jersey Boys, Wicked, The Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera), The Hollywood
- Ashley Lee
Phillip Schofield returns to host the ITV quiz show that sees celebrities and their partners answering questions about one another in a bid to win money for their chosen charity.
Joining Rochelle and Marvin in the new series is tennis star Martina Navratilova and her wife Julia Lemigova, Big Brother's Bit on the Side host Rylan Clark and his partner Dan Neal, and reigning King of the Jungle Carl Fogarty with his wife Michaela.
Speaking of the new series, Schofield said: "I can't wait to get back in the studio and start filming the new series - we have some great couples lined up.
"I love finding out what really goes on in the lives of these famous stars and revealing those little details »
Don’t you even dare call it a “kid’s movie.”
Animation has been around for a while now, starting with silent experiments such as Gertie the Dinosaur, followed by the more traditional Disney fare such as Snow White or Cinderella, and becoming more modern with another round of Disney hits like The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast but also with a touch of the outside thanks to Japanese imports like My Neighbor Totoro or Spirited Away.
But time and time again, the medium is relegated to kids duty. Like being sent to the smaller table at Thanksgiving dinner.
Brad Bird, director of The Iron Giant and The Incredibles, said it best when he referred to animation as a medium rather than a genre. Let’s define genre real quickly: “a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form.”
So that doesn’t confine animation; instead, »
- Zach Dennis
Sequels are never easy, especially in animation. Even with all the success Pixar has enjoyed with the “Toy Story” franchise there are few who felt the follow ups to “Cars” and “Monsters, Inc” lived up to even the conceptual charm of the originals. DreamWorks Animation pulled off rare successes with “Kung Fu Panda 2” and “How To Train Your Dragon 2,” but let’s avoid diving into the unnecessary chapters of the “Madagascar” universe, shall we? And as for 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky’s “Ice Age” series, those three sequels are almost the textbooks for fashioning strict consumer product just to sell tickets. The pitfalls of making a spin-off without creative justification is what Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment hoped to avoid with their new “Despicable Me” prequel, “Minions,” and they mostly succeeded. Yes, those adorable little yellow Minions who became the secret stars of both 2010’s “Despicable Me »
- Gregory Ellwood
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