20 items from 2014
Tim here. Tomorrow, the much-hyped latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Franchise Expansion Plan opens, Guardians of the Galaxy. While reviews have promised a broad, inventive space comedy/adventure, the marketing to date has focused on two specific things:
1) Chris Pratt plays Han Solo.
2) Bradley Cooper voices Han Solo as a raccoon.
And since I take it as axiomatic that two Han Solos is better than no Han Solos (as graphically demonstrated by the Star Wars prequels) I’m actually perfectly okay with that. Anyway, it’s pretty clear at this point that Disney wants the Raccoon – Rocket Raccoon, to give him his proper name – to be the film’s big breakout character, so the time was perfect to launch into a brief history of the talking raccoon throughout animation history.
Rj, Over the Hedge (2006)
To date, the most visible of all anthropomorphic raccoons has been this character in DreamWorks Animation »
- Tim Brayton
20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation have released the first trailer for their upcoming animated film, Home.
When Earth is taken over by the overly-confident Boov, an alien race in search of a new place to call home, all humans are promptly relocated, while all Boov get busy reorganizing the planet. But when one resourceful girl, Tip, (Rihanna, who also contributes a song) manages to avoid capture, she finds herself the accidental accomplice of a banished Boov named Oh (Jim Parsons).
The two fugitives realize there’s a lot more at stake than intergalactic relations as they embark on the road trip of a lifetime.
- Michelle McCue
It looks like DreamWorks Animation finally has another hit on its hands with sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2, which opens in theaters tonight. If Dragon does indeed breathe fire at the box office, the company’s executives will finally be able to relax a little, considering that three out of four of the studio’s last efforts - Rise of the Guardians, The Croods, Turbo and Mr. Peabody and Sherman – have been financial disappointments. Next up, the studio has Home, about a girl (voiced by Rihanna) who befriends an alien (Jim Parsons) on the run from his race.
Based on the first trailer, Home is a bit more risky than some of DreamWorks’ other ventures, but hopefully kids will show up in droves to see the cute aliens, called Boovs, at the movie’s center. The studio is clearly putting a lot of trust in director Chris Johnson (Antz, »
- Isaac Feldberg
"Home" is a true fish out of water story, if you sub in an alien and an alternate universe for the fish and the water.
The animated flick follows a banished alien named Oh (voiced by Jim Parsons), part of an alien race hiding on Earth from their mortal enemies and looking to make a new life on the planet. Unfortunately, Oh has accidentally tipped off his enemies to the aliens' location, and now, Earth is in danger.
He teams up with a resourceful girl named Tip (voiced by Rihanna) to try to save the day, though her exasperation with his alien powers coupled with his misunderstanding of the workings of the planet make for some high-stakes hijinks. There are also plenty of good gags involving Oh's reaction to everyday Earth events (he thinks Tip's purring cat is about to explode, and at one point exclaims while dancing, "My hands »
- Katie Roberts
The Boov may not be able to shoot lasers from their eyeballs, but they can totally make your car hover. That may be the single most important takeaway message we got from the new trailer for DreamWorks upcoming movie, "Home." If you are looking for more details, we can tell you that the animated feature is directed by Tim Johnson ("Over the Hedge") and is all about what happens when an alien race, the aforementioned Boov, decide to use the Earth as their home and relocate the pesky humans. A comedy, "Home" follows the misadventures of one particular member of the Boov alien race, Oh (Jim Parsons), and a human girl, Tip (Rihanna). We found the trailer truly amusing and as we see more of the movie, which isn't due out until next March, it will be interesting to see if they're able to generate that same level of humor throughout. »
- Josh Lasser
Though 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation may have decided to swap release dates for their original alien adventure Home and their action comedy The Penguins of Madagascar, that doesn't mean they're not going to plug the hell out of both films with the release of How to Train Your Dragon 2 nearly upon us. The trailer for the latter Madagascar spin-off just debuted yesterday, and now we get full trailer for Home as well. We finally get to see our main human character Tip (Rihanna) and her relationship with outcast alien Oh (Jim Parsons). There's some really cool animation and amusing elements at work here with the aliens themselves and this just may turn out to be another hit for DreamWorks Animation. Watch! Here's the full trailer for DreamWorks Animation's Home, originally from Apple: And check out the short featuring Steve Martin's character from earlier this year right here. »
- Ethan Anderton
From DreamWorks Animation, the studio that brought you “Shrek,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “The Croods,” comes the highly anticipated sequel to the Academy Award®-nominated How To Train Your Dragon, based on the children’s book series by Cressida Cowell.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 opens on June 13th, but you can take the whole family to see it on Tuesday, June 10th.
Enter to win 4 tickets to the 7 Pm screening.
Winners will be notified on Monday, June 9th.
1. You Must Be In The St. Louis Area The Day Of The Screening.
2. No Purchase Necessary.
Check out the first five minutes of the film.
In the thrilling second chapter of the epic trilogy, five years have passed since the heroic young Viking Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) befriended an injured dragon and forever changed the way the residents of Berk interact with the fire-breathers. »
- Movie Geeks
On Thursday, Toothless and the cast of How To Train Your Dragon 2 stopped traffic at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
The film’s stars, Jay Baruchel, Djimon Honsou and America Ferrera, as well as DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, posed for the paparazzi on the Croisette, while Toothless roamed around through the crowd.
Check out the photos and watch the latest featurette from the film.
From DreamWorks Animation, the studio that brought you “Shrek,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “The Croods,” comes the highly anticipated sequel to the Academy Award-nominated How To Train Your Dragon, based on the children’s book series by Cressida Cowell.
In the thrilling second chapter of the epic trilogy, five years have passed since the heroic young Viking Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) befriended an injured dragon and forever changed the way the residents of Berk interact with the fire-breathers. Now, Vikings and dragons live side-by-side in peace on »
- Melissa Thompson
As someone who prides themselves on watching a large variety of films regularly, I firmly believe that the more new things a director or writer tries in their films the better off the film and the audience are. Consequently, with a movie like The Nut Job, which represents some of the first efforts of a number of different studios, you can’t help but feel like you’re stifling some of that variety you value when you say that it’s absolutely terrible and advise people against watching it. Though, that’s exactly what the film deserves. Though written, oddly enough, by one of the screenwriters of Dreamworks’ Over the Hedge, The Nut Job feels like poorly crafted imitation of that very film. Even the animation, which in some respects is well-polished, feels jerky and appears like it’s only 2/3 complete, as if it’s the semi-complete rendering and the »
- Lex Walker
DreamWorks Animation has released their fun sci-fi comedy short Almost Home online for everyone to see. You can see the short on the big screen as well. It's attached to the studio's feature film Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which was actually a really fun kids flick.
Almost Home is an adaptation of the children's book by Adam Rex, and the story follows an alien race on a search for a planet to hide from a mortal enemy. The leader of the alien race is actually voiced by Steve Martin. The movie was directed by Tim Johnson (Shrek, Over the Hedge) and it was written by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember (Get Smart, Epic). Here is the synopsis:
An overly optimistic, yet inept, alien race named Boov, led by Captain Smek (Martin), invades Earth to hide from their mortal enemy and make it a new home. Convinced they are doing a favor, »
- Joey Paur
This fall, DreamWorks Animation has their film Home hitting theaters. Formerly known as Happy Smekday!, the film is an adaptation of Adam Rex's children's book, The True Meaning of Smekday. The film follows an alien race invading Earth as their new home to hide form a mortal enemy. But when one lowly alien (Jim Parsons) accidentally notifies the enemies of his whereabouts, he is forced to go on the run with a stubborn teenage girl (Rihanna) to right all of his wrongs. Now an animated short film introduces us to the alien characters trying to find a new home planet, including the leader voiced by Steve Martin. Watch! Here's the DreamWorks Animation short film Almost Home from the studio's YouTube: Home is directed by Tim Johnson (Shrek, Over the Hedge) and written by Tom J. Astle & Matt Ember (Get Smart, Epic). An overly optimistic, yet inept, alien race named Boov, »
- Ethan Anderton
Dwa chief Jeffrey Katzenberg announced the news during the company’s fourth quarter and full 2013 year earnings results on Tuesday.
DreamWorks Animation will release “Home” on Nov. 26 through 20th Century Fox.
- Marc Graser
Although we have yet to hear any official confirmation from Sony Pictures, a new report from Variety reveals that The Smurfs 3 will be completely animated, as opposed to 2011's The Smurfs and 2013's The Smurfs 2, both of which were live-action/animation hybrids.
It is believed that The Smurfs 2's $347 million worldwide box office take, which was $215 million less than The Smurfs' $563.7 million, is a reason the decision to go with a fully-animated sequel was made. Both movies made over 70% of their worldwide grosses from international markets.
What's interesting is that The Smurfs' main villain Gargamel has been portrayed in live-action by Hank Azaria, so it isn't clear if the studio is crafting a new villain, or if they will simply use Gargamel in animated form. Other live-action cast members from The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2 include Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays as Patrick and Grace, »
Update: The Nut Job is a Huge success, making more money in its opening weekend than any other indie animated film. So, of course, the companies behind the nutty film will make a sequel! Nothing else is secured, like if director Peter Lepeniotis or any of the stars will be back. When a movie is expected to be a success, usually they have the stars sign a contract promising to come back but with a small film made out of South Korea, I feel pretty certain they did Not make a deal for future films with the film's key voices, Katherine Heigl or Will Arnett.
April 11, 2013 - The Nut Job isn't looking so squirrley anymore. Open Road Films, the folks behind The Host, has picked up the 3D animated film about a squirrel and a rat who plan to steal the nuts from a nut store. It will be in theaters Jan. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tara the Mom)
Aside from being one of the very best films of this awards season, the Coen brothers' lovely, melancholic Inside Llewyn Davis also features one of the very best performances from a cat we've ever seen on the big screen.
In honour of the wonder that is Ulysses the Cat, we've picked out eleven more of the movies' greatest felines. We only had one rule: these had to be domestic cats. Sorry Simba, Aslan, Richard Parker et al.
Thomas O'Malley (The AristoCats)
At first glance, Thomas O'Malley comes across as a bit of a douchebag, the self-assured charmer who you wish wasn't hitting on you in a bar (or, in the modern age, a box on the Internet). He's even got his own theme tune full of talk about how he's "duke of the avant-garde", for crying out loud.
Ultimately, though, Thomas proves to be pretty handy in a jam, saving »
Directed by: Peter Lepeniotis
Running Time: 1 hr 26 mins
Release Date: January 17, 2014
Plot: Rogue squirrel Surly (Arnett) discovers a nut shop that is also the front for an underground bank robbery.
Who’S It For? With its key demographics having already seen Frozen, the film may provide decent satiation for its crowd, but without any rich spectacle, only its animal-talking zaniness to carry it through an ironically turgid running time.
Looking back on the moment, it was probably intended by the Nut Job filmmakers that my Saturday morning screening of The Nut Job began with the image presented inescapably out of focus, in need of a restart that would repeat the film’s first five minutes. Even through squinted eyes, forever damaged by not being able to experience 3D even with the glasses on due to the film’s presentation itself, »
- Nick Allen
It was not long ago when Will Arnett mined gold with a curt, hilarious voice-acting role in Pixar’s Ratatouille as intimidating cook Horst, who brags about conquests of killing a man with his thumb. Well, Arnett’s thumb has about as much personality as his dithery voice in The Nut Job, a new animated film where the Canadian actor has the leading role. Here, however, he gives a rather unexpressive tone to Surly, a purple squirrel who is bossy, selfish and has little pity for anyone – even his mute, dependable rat sidekick, Buddy.
Surly is not just a bland protagonist, but he is intensely dislikable and Arnett’s smarmy voice does the protagonist no favors. By the film’s end, you wish that another of the actor’s characters, G.O.B. from Arrested Development, had passed you a “Forget-Me-Now” pill to remove this weak, children-aimed adventure from your memory. »
- Jordan Adler
Every year brings a new slew of documentaries depicting the ever-growing and ever-strange world of talking animated animals. The latest of them is The Nut Job, which tells the harrowing true story of a chatty squirrel who attempts a heist on a nut store to survive the winter, arrives this week. We've gotten used to seeing talking animals on-screen in great works of nonfiction like Finding Nemo, Over the Hedge and The Jungle Book, but how much do we really know about this peculiar subset of the animal kingdom? The study of talking animals is an entire field unto itself and not one that a single article can properly encapsulate. However, if you do want to journey into the wilderness to encounter these creatures for yourself, you might as well be prepared. These are the basics...
- Jacob S. Hall
Computer-animated critters have been coveting nuts since at least the Ice Age, which means squirrely Surly, star of “The Nut Job,” descends from a proud if exasperated tradition of animated acorn stealers. By way of novelty, this sharp-looking but otherwise uninspired Canadian-Korean venture gives its resident rodent a chance to steal a lifetime supply from a gang of crooks who’ve opened a nut shop adjacent to the bank they plan to rob. The critters look cute, but behave less so, while the competing-heists concept never quite takes off. Still, at a low cost of $43 million, the 3D toon should easily make its nut in the States before cleaning up abroad.
Credit Disney vet Ken Duncan and the artists at Canadian outfit ToonBox Entertainment with designing what is quite possibly the cutest pack of scavengers to hit the screen since Don Bluth (“An American Tail,” “The Secret of Nimh”) put down his pencil. »
- Peter Debruge
Saturday, January 4, 2014 ratings -- New episodes: 48 Hours. Sports: NFL Football Wild Card Saturday. Specials: Over the Hedge. Reruns: How I Met Your Mother, Almost Human, The Crazy Ones, NCIS: LOs Angeles, Bones, and Marvel's Agents of Shield.
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20 items from 2014
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