10 items from 2015
Like any decent trick, "Strange Magic" came about as a bit of a surprise. Instead of the usual multi-year lead-up of most animated film releases, the release announcement for this film came as a bit of a shock when its beans were spilled last November.
The project is directed by Gary Rydstrom, a sound designer and editor credited with the majority of the most popular live-action and animated films ever made, from "Toy Story" to "Titanic," with the "Star Wars" prequels, "Jurassic Park," and "Saving Private Ryan" under his belt. He has 17 Oscar nominations (with seven wins), yet this is the first time he's credited as the director of a film.
The story is credited to Rydstrom's boss at Skywalker Sound, the one and only George Lucas. This is a straight-up fairy tale, complete with dark forests, goblins, elves and the like.
Oh, dear. Are you going to be some Lucas fanboy about this? »
- Jason Gorber
If any production studio operating in the film industry today can be said to inspire confidence by their name alone, Pixar would be the first one to spring to mind. Aside from a couple of recent dips in quality, on the whole their cinematic output has been truly stunning, especially when compared to their competitors.
Featuring an exceptionally high standard of technical wizardry and artistry as well as tightly-written plots with plenty of humour for all the family, Pixar’s movies have become renowned for their excellence – Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and others have justly gone down not only as masterpieces of animation, but classic films in their own right. With two new original properties – The Good Dinosaur and Inside Out – heading your way in 2015, there’s every reason to be confident that the studio is back on top form.
Still, no one is perfect, and while »
- Andrew Dilks
By Anjelica Oswald
When the 87th Oscar nominations for best animated feature were announced Jan. 15 and excluded The Lego Movie, the Internet exploded with confusion and disbelief. The film, which was largely expected by many pundits to win the Oscar, was a critical (holding a 96 percent positive score on Rotten Tomatoes) and commercial hit (earning $257.7 million stateside). It also earned Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations and won the Critics’ Choice Award for best animated film. It seemingly had everything going in its favor, so what went wrong?
One sentiment is that the animation branch of the Academy, which chooses the nominations, admire hand-drawn traditional animation and want to celebrate and preserve a fading craft rather than nominate solely computer animated and digital films.
The first computer animated film was Toy Story, which was released in 1995 and was nominated for original screenplay, original song and original score. Director »
- Anjelica Oswald
The Smurfs franchise is going to be rebooted, but rather than interspersing animation with live-action footage like its predecessors, it will be dedicating itself to just the former. Further details regarding the future of the film series have also been released, as Sony Pictures Animation looks to get it in shape ahead of its summer 2016 release date. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the rebooted Smurfs film will be overseen by director Kelly Asbury, while Mandy Patinkin is currently on the verge of finalizing a deal to voice Papa Smurf (replacing Jonathan Winters, who voiced the beloved character in 2011.s The Smurfs and 2013.s The Smurfs 2). Asbury is regarded as one of the most prominent and reliable animation directors in the business, having risen through the ranks of the animation world. He previously worked on the storyboards for modern classics like Toy Story and The Little Mermaid, but then he »
Paddington is an instant family classic, and will likely defy the expectations of those expecting another live-action CGI hybrid such as Scooby Doo, The Smurfs or Yogi Bear. Director Paul King is able to take the story of a young Peruvian bear known worldwide, and turn it into a unique and charming experience unlike anything seen before. It truly is a special little film, and it will surely continue to find an audience well after it leaves theaters. Its the type of movie that is impossible to hate on any level.
The movie follows Paddington as he travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined, until he meets the kindly Brown family, who read the label around his neck ('Please look after this bear. Thank you.') and offer him a temporary haven. »
This article contains spoilers for Toy Story 3.
It seems to have become surprisingly tough to keep an open mind about Toy Story 4. Pixar have a mostly excellent track record in these things, especially when it comes to the Toy Story series. We struggle to think of a more consistently brilliant trilogy of films, so why were so many upset about the very real possibility of a fourth, also brilliant instalment, when it was announced last year?
Although some would cite the Cars films, or the impossible and yet still disappointing expectation that Monsters University would live up to Monsters Inc, it doesn't come down to anything so jaded. In all of the ways that Toy Story 3 is an excellent film, it's mostly because it feels like a near unimprovable conclusion to the series. »
Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 36 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. Header Photo: Alien Rage Hi-Tops Warm […]
- Peter Sciretta
Easter eggs are a fun way to bridge universes, particularly in the animated genre. Pixar, for example, loves dropping Pizza Planet trucks (from the original Toy Story movie) into all of its features. And now Disney.s pointing out that threads of its smash hit Frozen made it into last year.s Big Hero 6, though you might have missed them if you blinked. Disney Movies Anywhere subscribers had access to the above clip, which is expected to be part of the Big Hero 6 Blu-ray and DVD combo pack (available on February 24). And in the clip, we see at least three mentions of Frozen items. One is very obvious: A stone statue of the deceptively evil Prince Hans. Thankfully, Baymax has a flying fist reserved for this wicked villain. The other two are much harder to identify without the aid of this clip. During Hiro and Baymax.s joyous »
DreamWorks Animation has announced that it has appointed two veteran producers, Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria, as co-presidents of feature animation. In their new roles, Arnold and Soria, respectively the lead producers behind the studio’s How to Train Your Dragon and Madagascar franchises, will oversee creative development and production for DreamWorks Animation’s theatrical releases. Between them, they have produced eight films at DreamWorks that have grossed more than $3.5 billion globally. As part of this transition, chief creative officer Bill Damaschke will step down from his position.
“Mireille and Bonnie are two of the most accomplished and prolific filmmakers working in feature animation today,” said DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Katzenberg. “I am confident in their ability to marshal the extensive creative resources available at our studio and lead DreamWorks’s vast ranks of artists and filmmakers as they produce the highest quality entertainment.”
“As two of our most successful producers, »
- Michelle McCue
Bill Damaschke will step down as chief creative officer, as part of the move.
At the moment, those are two of Dwa’s most reliable moneymakers, after being forced to take writedowns on the poor performance of its films. It took an $87 million loss on “Rise of the Guardians,” a $13.5 million hit on “Turbo” and $57 million writedown on “Mr. Peabody & Sherman.”
“Three of our last four films have not delivered in terms of audience turnout or financial performance,” Katzenberg told analysts in April 2014, before “The Penguins of Madagascar” also underperformed in the latter part of the year, with nearly $271 million worldwide, $78 million coming from domestic theaters. »
- Marc Graser
10 items from 2015
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