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DreamWorks Animation has found their man in acclaimed filmmaker Edgar Wright, who is set to direct and co-write the screenplay for an original animated feature centered on the concept of shadows. Wright will co-write the film with acclaimed comedian and author, David Walliams. The Untitled Shadows Movie, a new approach to a previously developed concept, marks the feature animation directorial debut for Wright.
For DreamWorks Animation's Co-Presidents of Feature Animation Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria, the hiring of Edgar Wright is the latest example of the studio's focus on working with a diverse group of the industry's most gifted filmmakers. Wright's distinctive comedic voice has spawned a legion of loyal fans, with beloved films including Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World and Hot Fuzz. The multi-talented filmmaker also co-wrote the Golden Globe winning, The Adventures of Tintin.
Co-writer David Walliams is a celebrated comedian, actor, author, »
Gaumont is rolling off a stellar American Film Market, having closed major pre-sales on Pixar-style toon feature “Ballerina,” period biopic “Monsieur Chocolat” with Omar Sy and Jean Dujardin starrer “Up For Love.”
One of Europe’s most ambitious animated feature projects, “Ballerina,” which marks the first animated feature produced by Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou and Nicolas Duval at Quad Films (“Intouchables,””Heartbreaker”), pre-sold to eOne in the U.K., Videa in Italy, Belga/uDream in Benelux, Idc for Latin America, Monolith in Eastern Europe, Volga in Russia, A Contracorriente in Spain, Ascot Elite in Switzerland, Pan Cinema in South Korea and Odeon in Greece. Sales were inked following a private screening of a 40-minute cut of the film held on the eve of the Afm in Los Angeles.
- Elsa Keslassy
Now that Halloween is out of the way (any candy left? mail it to us!) it's time to get serious about holiday programming. For some people "holiday" may suggest Christmas, but nobody puts Thanksgiving in the corner. The CW just released its list of upcoming holiday specials and they were wise enough to include one of the great T-Day comedy classics, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," as well as more wintry fare, including "Kung Fu Panda Holiday" and "Merry Madagascar."
Here's The CW holiday schedule:
Tuesday, November 24
"Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown" - (8:00-9:00 p.m. Et)
A Celebration Of The Best Holiday Commercials From Around The World - Kevin Frazier ("Entertainment Tonight") and Keltie Knight ("The Insider") host this holiday celebration with a countdown of the 12 best holiday commercials ever - one for each of the 12 days of Christmas. In addition to the top 12, the special features other great commercials from both the U. »
- Gina Carbone
Multi-hyphenate artist and filmmaker Chris Rock will return to host the Oscars for a second time, producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin announced today. The 88th Academy Awards will be broadcast live on Oscar Sunday, February 28, 2016, on the ABC Television Network. Rock previously hosted the 77th Oscars telecast in 2005. Here's what producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin had to say about the new host in a statement.
"Chris Rock is truly the Mvp of the entertainment industry. Comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, documentarian - he's done it all. He's going to be a phenomenal Oscar host!"
With a career spanning more than three decades, Rock most recently directed the comedy special Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo which premiered this month on HBO. In 2014 he wrote, directed and starred in the critically acclaimed feature Top Five, and in 2009 ventured into the documentary world as a writer, producer and star of Good Hair. »
Chris Rock / 77th Academy Awards (ABC/Bob D’Amico)
This just in from The Academy:
Multi-hyphenate artist and filmmaker Chris Rock will return to host the Oscars for a second time, producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin announced today. The 88th Academy Awards will be broadcast live on Oscar Sunday, February 28, 2016, on the ABC Television Network. Rock previously hosted the 77th Oscars telecast in 2005.
“Chris Rock is truly the Mvp of the entertainment industry,” said Hill and Hudlin. “Comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, documentarian – he’s done it all. He’s going to be a phenomenal Oscar host!”
“I’m so glad to be hosting the Oscars,” said Rock. “It’s great to be back.”
“We share David and Reggie’s excitement in welcoming Chris, whose comedic voice has really defined a generation,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “He is certain to bring his amazing array of talents to this year’s show. »
- Michelle McCue
First breaking into composing for film by providing the score for 2001’s The Delivery, DJ Junkie Xl (also known as Tom Holkenborg, and best know for his remix of Elvis’ A Little Less Conversation) has gone to make quite a name for himself in the film world, providing music for Domnio, Blade, 300: Rise of an Empire, Divergent, Run All Night, as well as working with Hans Zimmer on Megamind, Inception, Madagascar 3, The Dark Knight Rises, and Man of Steel (they will once again collaborate on next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). He also provided one of the soundtracks of the Summer with his amazing score for Mad Max: Fury Road (seriously, play that in a car, and you’ll swear you're driving an armoured big rig through a post apocalyptic desert), so you better believe there were many fists pumped in the air when he announced »
- email@example.com (Tom White)
Based on the "Wallace and Gromit" television spin-off of the same name, Shaun the Sheep is written and directed by Mark Burton (Madagascar) and Richard Starzack. Below, the pair – along with Nike Drake, the creator of "Shaun the Sheep" – give us the inside look at just what it took to bring Shaun to the big screen. From the screenplay and storyboards, to character models, Aardman takes us behind the latest stop-motion adventure.
Animation studios are basically small cities, employing thousands of talented creatives who specialize in the tiniest of things – and Aardman Animations is no different. Five bucks that there are at least a dozen people who are in charge of making Shaun's clay coat look like wool.
Shaun the Sheep plays Cineplex theatres this summer on August 7th.
Go behind the scenes of Shaun the Sheep Movie below: »
- Sasha James
A cringe-worthy jamboree of dimbulb manflesh that’s even more embarrassing than the first film. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): didn’t like the first film, don’t like Channing Tatum, don’t find stripping sexy
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
If you want a picture of the future, imagine Channing Tatum grinding his crotch in a human face, forever.
You think I exaggerate? Between this cringe-worthy jamboree of dimbulb manflesh (and that of the first film, which wasn’t even this embarrassing) and Fifty Shades of Grey’s celebration of abuse as romantic, Hollywood has gotten a warped idea about What Women Want. Expect more of it, soon. Because plenty women have embraced these things. (Magic Mike earned $167 million worldwide on a paltry budget of $7 million. Xxl will do at least as well, because there’s nothing audiences love »
- MaryAnn Johanson
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 Bravest” marks the producers’ second animated film after “Ballerina” (pictured) which is being presented at Annecy in the Work In Progress section.
The English-language feature is currently in development. The animation will be created out at L’Atelier Animation in Montreal.
Set in the 1920’s, against the backdrop of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory disaster, “The Bravest” turns on a 15-year old girl who desperately wants to make her father proud. After finding out that her dad used to be a firefighter, she sets out to become one and enrolls into a fire station.
Zeitoun told Variety that “The Bravest” will be in the same artistic vein as “Ballerina,” the 1884-set film charting the journey of Felice, an 11-year-old orphan girl from Brittany »
- Elsa Keslassy
Read More: 6 Ways Virtual Reality Will Change Filmmaking On Tuesday, almost half a year after debuting its first four-minute virtual reality experience, "Lost," at Sundance, Oculus Story Studio introduced the star of its second project: a hedgehog named Henry, on its blog. Henry loves birthdays and balloons and friends, but his spikes make contact impossible and he only scares potential companions away. "Henry" is directed by Pixar veteran Ramiro Lopez Dau ("Brave," "Monsters University"), and the character was co-created by production designer Kendal Cronkhite ("Madagascar," "James and the Giant Peach") and character artist Bernard Haux ("Brave," "Toy Story 3," "Up"). These animation pros discuss Henry's social struggles in the teaser above. "[Henry is] really the first character in virtual reality," said producer Edward Saatchi. "We've noticed that he's starting to feel »
- Sara Itkis
Grammy nominated producer and composer Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie Xl is launching a new YouTube tutorial series “Studio Time with Junkie Xl.” The series will give aspiring composers, producers, and musicians a rare glimpse into the inner workings of a Hollywood composer.
The tutorial topics will range from technical advice, such as string and drum arrangements, to programming tips and advice on how to channel your musical influences. “Studio Time with Junkie Xl” launches today (Tuesday, May 26) at youtube.com/junkiexlofficial.
In addition to music, teaching has always been one of Holkenborg’s passions. He was an associate professor at Artez, the Dutch music conservatorium where he developed and taught a four year music program based on all of the elements of his career. His latest teaching endeavor is an online video series that will allow him to reach a broad audience directly from his home studio and share his knowledge of composing. »
- Michelle McCue
The Shaun the Sheep movie, the latest stop-motion adventure from Aardman Animations, is based on the television show of the same name – which is a spin-off of Aardman’s beloved "Wallace and Gromit." The film follows Shaun and his fellow sheep as they head into the big city to save The Farmer, who is suffering from a bout of amnesia after an accident. Unfortunately, however, Animal Control is hot on their heels – wait, do sheep have heels? – and Shaun, the sheepdog Bitzer, and the rest of the Farmer’s flock need to avoid capture at all costs.
Watch the trailer for Shaun the Sheep Movie below!
- Sasha James
Chicago – It’s “the greatest action movie ever made,” so says the television commercials (which means it’s true). And it’s buoyed by other quotables galore including “what a lovely day!,” “from mastermind George Miller,” “pulse pounding,” “heart wrenching” and “teeth grinding”.
While these words are actually true, though, the film doesn’t need them to sell it.
Though a cinematic “thrill ride” is often marketing speak – sometimes rightfully earned and oftentimes overhyped – this $150 million film sells itself because it really is exactly that. Gritty, dirty, mad and fun as hell, you can’t get much more of a thrill ride than “Mad Max: Fury Road”. And there’s no other filmmaker for the job than George Miller yet again, who not only proves he’s still got it but reminds us that he’s more than just the “Mad Max” mastermind. He’s also the creator of the »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Running Time: 92 minutes
Extras: Top-Secret Guide To Becoming An Elite Agent, Madagascar Mash-Up, Cheezy Dibbles Ad, The World Of DreamWorks
After the immense success of Madagascar (2005) it was inevitable that sequels would follow, and that they did in the form of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) and Madagascar 3: Europe’S Most Wanted (2012), with a fourth installment planned for 2018. However, it wasn’t just the main characters/animals to win over the hearts of children and adults alike; four penguins by the names of Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private have shot to stardom, with their film Penguins Of Madagascar a hoot from beginning to end.
When evil Dr. Octavius Brine aka Dave the evil octopus (Malkovich) decides he’s going to turn the world against cute, »
- Jazmine Sky Bradley
The family film was the weekend’s top ticket seller, pulling in a sterling $54 million, easily eclipsing projections that had it bowing to between $30 million and $35 million. It’s one of the studio’s best-ever openings for an original movie and the biggest debut it has had since 2012’s “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” kicked off to $60.3 million in 2012.
The studio has suffered through a string of film flops such as “Turbo” and “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” as well as failed sales to Hasbro and SoftBank. “Home” is the only film it is releasing this year, so expectations for the movie about an alien invasion were high and scrutiny was intense. “Home” cost $130 million to produce and launched in 3,708 locations. Fox distributed the picture. »
- Brent Lang
Massive writedowns. Failed sales. Deep staffing cuts.
It’s a trifecta of troubles that has left DreamWorks Animation struggling to find its footing and move forward after the worst year and a half in its often rocky history.
The company’s suffering won’t be alleviated when “Home,” its upcoming alien invasion film, lands on Friday. The picture is on track to open to between $30 million and $35 million, a respectable result but for the fact that it also carries a $130 million pricetag.
“Home” opened to strong numbers overseas last week, leading some analysts to predict that the film should end up with more than $100 million domestically and roughly $380 million globally.
“They would skirt the writedown and be out of a deficit situation with those numbers,” said David Miller, an analyst with Topeka Capital Markets.
Others are less optimistic.
“We have become a little bit more concerned that ‘Home’ could underperform expectations, »
- Brent Lang
Top Five Chris Rock's movie was one of the better comedies last year and it took me a couple times to realize this so definitely give it a chance and after that first viewing, if you aren't entirely convinced, give it a second spin.
Ride the Pink Horse (Criterion Collection) I have a copy of this, but haven't yet watched it, though I'm looking forward to it and will share some thoughts down the road. For now, here's Criterion's description: Hollywood actor turned idiosyncratic auteur Robert Montgomery directs and stars in this striking crime drama based on a novel by Dorothy B. Hughes. He plays a tough-talking former GI who comes to a small New Mexico town to »
- Brad Brevet
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
This gorgeous Oscar-nominated animated feature is about a girl named Saoirse and her brother Ben, who discovers that the fairy tales his mother told him about selkies -- half human, half seal creatures -- are all too true.
Here's another animated feature, albeit one with a much more modern flair. The bumbling penguins of previous "Madagascar" films are recruited for a wild espionage adventure. Voice actors include Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Chris Miller, and plenty of others.
TV Worth Watching
"Dancing With the Stars" (Monday, ABC at 8 p. »
- Jenni Miller
Brooklyn mobster and prolific hit man Jimmy Conlon (Neeson), once known as The Gravedigger, has seen better days. Longtime best friend of mob boss Shawn Maguire (Harris), Jimmy, now 55, is haunted by the sins of his past—as well as a dogged police detective (Vincent D’Onofrio) who’s been one step behind Jimmy for 30 years. Lately, it seems Jimmy’s only solace can be found at the bottom of a whiskey glass.
But when Jimmy’s estranged son, Mike (Joel Kinnaman), becomes a target, Jimmy must make a choice between the crime family he chose and the real family he abandoned long ago. With Mike on the run, Jimmy’s only penance for his past mistakes may be to keep »
- Michelle McCue
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