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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
This week in The Callow Way, Neil Calloway looks at the box office so far in 2015…
Number one at the global box office so far this year is Furious 7, which has made $1.5 billion dollars so far, the vast majority of it outside the Us, and also become the highest grossing film in the franchise so far – out of the seven films, the four most recent films occupy the top four spots in terms of box office, then the first film, then the second, and 2006’s Tokyo Drift coming in last.
It’s impressive that a studio has taken a franchise that had apparently ran out of gas with its third instalment and made it hugely successful, but it also shows that the home video market is playing an increasingly important role in the success of films; people are watching earlier parts of the franchise before catching the latest in the cinema. »
- Neil Calloway
You had only to look at the collected films of Brad Bird to know that Tomorrowland would be in large part a reverie for yesterday. The Iron Giant (1999) was such a friendly evocation of Cold War sci-fi that it belongs, in paperback form, tucked away in the back of a school library. The Incredibles (2004) was a tribute to 60s comics, 60s modernism, and the jazzy vibe of Thunderball-era Bond movies. Ratatouille (2007), with its story of talking rats in a timeless Paris, was a very classical kind of animation. More than anything else Pixar has put out—though Finding Nemo (2003) might come close—its style operates in the vernacular of what Disney animation used to mean in the 50s. Even Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011), whose place in Bird's filmography is largely to show if he could handle live action (he can!), is the biggest throwback of that franchise. Its plot centered »
- Duncan Gray
Twenty years ago Pixar Animation Studios released their first feature-length film: Toy Story. It was the first completely computer generated film out there and changed everything. Every other studio making animated films has been trying to catch up to them, not only in terms of technological achievements but in crafting stories that make everyone old and young laugh, cry, and thrilled. Not every single film they've made has been a home run, but their track record thus far has been pretty impressive. This year's release Inside Out is no exception, arriving as the fifteenth feature in the animation house's stable. Given the occasion, I've taken it upon myself to rank Pixar's first fifteen features to settle once and for all what is the best and worst from the studio. I contemplated bringing in the short films that precede each of their features, as many are just exquisite if not better than the films they accompany, »
- Mike Shutt
The Good Dinosaur preview: Disney/ Pixar’s big winter 2015 movie is release in November, and this week, we got a chance to catch some exclusive early footage from the highly anticipated movie. The Good Dinosaur preview
The Good Dinosaur preview: Yesterday (Monday 15th) morning Thn got up extra early to attend a very special preview footage screening of The Good Dinosaur. The film is one of the latest Disney/Pixar collaborations and is being directed by first-time director Peter Sohn.
Sohn took to the stage to talk through his feature debut whilst at the same time giving us a wonderful insight into the inner workings of everyone’s favourite animation house (sorry DreamWorks) Pixar. The talk kicked off with a ‘what it’s like to work at Pixar‘ video which quite frankly had me ready to sign on the dotted line afterwards. Sohn then talked through his career progression from »
- Kat Smith
Warning: The following contains major thematic spoilers for a movie nobody has seen.
It hadn’t been 2 weeks since its release when Brad Bird’s new film Tomorrowland had been dubbed a “failure” by the very studio that released it. In those two weeks the film was beaten at the box office by the sequel to a movie where glee club girls slid around in vomit, was projected unable to make back its reported 190 million dollar budget and became Disney’s convenient scapegoat for scrapping production on “Tron 3” – which caused internet trolls to take a break from complaining about Tron: Legacy and the abundance of sequels and remakes to complain that they won’t get to see “Tron 3”.
As with all news that goes viral, the reaction was swift and disproportionate, allowing box office performance to tarnish the film’s image and shut down discussion of the movie itself. A »
- Charlie Sanford
Cannes — In 2015, it's much easier to tell which company produced an animated movie as opposed to who directed it. That’s a tad disheartening considering how much energy the studios behind these films exert trying to nudge their directors into the spotlight. For instance, you can immediately tell a Pixar film by its character design and a story that almost always has a life message it wants to tell (which you can predictably see a mile away, for better or worse). Walt Disney Animation has soared in recent years by blissfully keeping the movie musical alive or finding the heartstrings in action-packed adventures. DreamWorks Animation films skew toward broad, interactive 3D animation that overshadows their peers and a sense of humor that can often appeal more to adults than kids (at times). Laika’s gorgeous stop-motion work has the quirky, dark corner completely covered. The artists at Universal’s Illumination »
- Gregory Ellwood
Brad Bird got his start in animation (he directed both The Iron Giant and The Incredibles), so it would be totally appropriate for him to include animation in his live-action work. Unfortunately, we never got to see a cartoon Tom Cruise running around in a special sequence of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. And also unfortunately, we won't get to see the animated sequence produced for his latest, Tomorrowland, as part of the movie. But we do at least get to see it online. Check it out below. This little animated short, created by the folks at Pixar, functions as a backstory prequel laying out some alternate history informing the plot of the feature, which is inspired by the same-named section of Disney's theme parks. Here we learn that Jules Verne, Thomas...
- Christopher Campbell
While Tomorrowland took a tepid photo finish victory during the Memorial Day weekend with $40.7 million over Pitch Perfect 2, the film, itself, was an immense awe-inspiring injection of optimism. However, one intended key piece of exposition in an animated sequence from Pixar was actually cut from the film. Now, that scene jumps from the cutting room floor to see the light of day online. Check it out in all its humanitarian glory! Director Brad Bird would call attention to the posting of this nixed scene. Bird, who made his name with animated epics like The Iron Giant and The Incredibles before moving to the live-action blockbuster arena, initially sought to integrate this Pixar-procured piece into Tomorrowland. However, if you.ve already seen the film, then, for the most part, it.s not telling you anything you don.t already know. That.s because Bird ultimately decided to explore this angle »
Brad Bird got his start in animation (he directed both The Iron Giant and The Incredibles), so it would be totally appropriate for him to include animation in his live-action work. Unfortunately, we never got to see a cartoon Tom Cruise running around in a special sequence of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. And also unfortunately, we won't get to see the animated sequence produced for his latest, Tomorrowland, as part of the movie. But we do at...
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People found better things to do over the Memorial Day holiday weekend other than go to the movies. For the first time in two decades, no film grossed more than $40 million in ticket sales over the long holiday weekend.
Disney’s costly Tomorrowland narrowly edged out Pitch Perfect 2 for the number one spot while Fox’s remake of Poltergeist opened in fourth place behind Mad Max: Fury Road. Experiencing its worst top ten in fourteen years, the North American box office found itself down nineteen percent from last year at this time when X-Men: Days of Future Past led the pack with a $90 million opening and a steep 43% from two years ago when Furious 6 scored $97 million.
Directed by Brad Bird (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, The Iron Giant) and starring Britt Robertson, George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, Tomorrowland has been a film shrouded in secrecy since the project was announced a few years back. »
It's time for my final Movies This Week post here at Slackerwood. I just want to thank Jette for bringing me on to contribute to this site over the last two years. I've really had a great time covering the local repertory scene and highlighting each week's new releases here in Austin. I've got one last review that will run over the weekend and then next week this site will cease publishing new material. I hope that you've found this a valuable resource and I'm going to leave you with a new one.
My good friend Zack McGhee is one of the biggest cinephiles I know. We met many years ago when we both lived in the Dayton, Ohio area and he worked not only for the Dayton Daily News, but also was a projectionist at the Little Art Theatre. Somehow, both of our jobs brought us here and we've »
- Matt Shiverdecker
The last 10 minutes of a movie are often what shapes our opinion most -- a strong ending can soften our feelings about a bad movie, and a weak, tone-deaf ending can spoil a filmgoing experience far more thoroughly than any overly revealing trailer or review. Tomorrowland is often a breathtakingly gorgeous movie with charming performances, but the ending is so unabashedly lesson-driven and heavy-handed that it's difficult to remember anything but its flaws and missteps.
The movie's opening and closing scenes are meant as bookends, but these are bookends created by your clumsy kid brother in shop class on the day the nails ran short. The first scenes in particular feel like a hurried reshoot/restructure to get George Clooney onscreen earlier. Frank (Clooney) and Casey (Britt Robertson) are speaking directly into the camera, making a video for an unknown audience. With interruptions from Casey, Frank begins setting up the »
- Jette Kernion
It might seem a bit premature for Brad Bird to be given the supercut tribute treatment, considering he's only directed five feature films, but his track record so far is very impressive. He's got three contemporary animated classics under his belt with "The Iron Giant," "The Incredibles" and "Ratatouille." He's also managed to take the "Mission: Impossible" franchise to new heights (literally, the Burj Khalifa sequence is one of the finest moments of the series) with "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol." And while he's made his first misfire with "Tomorrowland" (our review), it's worth remembering that until this point, Bird has been knocking it out of the park. Joel Walden has put together this video tribute and it's pretty slick, well done stuff. Matching cuts from movie to movie, this is a quick run through Bird's movies in just a couple of minutes capturing the spirit, wonder and humor infused in his work. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Now playing in theaters is Brad Bird‘s Tomorrowland. The film stars George Clooney as Frank, a disillusioned boy-genius who teams up with the optimistic and scientifically-inclined Casey (Britt Robertson) to discover the secrets of the enigmatic place known as “Tomorrowland”. The film also stars Hugh Laurie, Tim McGraw, Judy Greer, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key, and Thomas Robinson, and was written by Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen. At the recent Los Angeles press day I landed an exclusive video interview with Brad Bird. He talked about his first cut of the film, test screenings, deleted scenes, how they landed Clooney, why he made Tomorrowland over helming Star Wars, the status of The Incredibles 2, the possibility of The Iron Giant returning to theaters (I’ve heard it’s happening), and a lot more. If you’re a fan of this gifted director »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Brad Bird is an amazing storyteller. He has a terrific understanding of not only action, but also character, emotion, themes, and structure. So I’m amazed that his latest film, Tomorrowland, is an absolute disaster that’s horribly paced, bloated on runtime but short on story, and crams its cloying message down the audience’s throat. It’s the kind of screenplay I would expect from co-writer Damon Lindelof (who has good ideas but has difficultly constructing them into fulfilling story arcs), but not the guy behind The Iron Giant and The Incredibles. And yet for all of its celebration of Imagination!™, Tomorrowland is a bland, empty spectacle save for its lead actors and the energy they bring to a film that is shallow at best and philosophically despicable at worst. In 1964, young Frank Walker (Thomas Robinson), a brilliant inventor who’s unhappy with his unsupportive father, finds his way »
- Matt Goldberg
Brad Bird’s Disney-produced sci-fi adventure Tomorrowland is the most enchanting reactionary cultural diatribe ever made. It’s so smart, so winsome, so utterly rejuvenating that you’ll have to wait until your eyes have dried and your buzz has worn off before you can begin to argue with it. And you should argue with it — even if you had a blast, as I did, and want to see it again with the kids, as I do — because it’s a major pop-culture statement with all sorts of implications, both vital and nutty.As he has demonstrated in The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, Bird can tell stories with the lightheartedness of a child and the cunning of a master craftsman: His tightly plotted movies feel as if he were making them up as he went along. To reveal too much of Tomorrowland’s zigzag »
- David Edelstein
Remember, before Jj Abrams got the job, when it was basically a daily rumour mill as to who was going to direct what we now know as Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Director after director was linked with the job, including the mighty Brad Bird, of The Iron Giant and The Incredibles vintage.
Bird is currently on the promotional trail for his latest film, Tomorrowland, and he's been quizzed about Star Wars as part of that. In Bird's case, it seems he was actually offered the chance to take Star Wars on, but had to turn the job down. There was actually substance to the rumour in this instance.
Chatting to Yahoo, he said that "it absolutely was [a tough decision]" to pass on Star Wars. "But there »
A film about visionaries from all corners of our world meeting to create a brand new one filled with the advances of the future, Tomorrowland isn't too shy to name drop a lot of historical figures. Figures such as Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and, of course, Walt Disney himself are all mentioned at one point. As if that wasn't a prestigious enough grouping of minds, Brad Bird suggests that another historical heavyweight would have appeared: legendary film director, and avid futurist, Stanley Kubrick. Disney Insider spoke with Bird about his most recent film, as well as a bunch of other projects he's been linked or committed to with the studio in recent times. When the conversation turned to Tomorrowland's various easter eggs for properties such as The Iron Giant and The Simpsons, the question was asked whether there were any concepts that Brad Bird had wanted to include in »
A couple weeks back I got a chance to chat briefly with director Brad Bird and talk about his newest film Tomorrowland. I asked for an update on the long-rumored Iron Giant blu-ray release, what it means and doesn’t necessarily mean to be a live-action Disney film, the super slick modern look of Tomorrowland vs. […]
- Peter Sciretta
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