13 items from 2017
It has been nearly a decade since the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences expanded the number of nominations for best picture from five to a possible 10 films, in a move meant to inject more blockbusters into the Oscar mix and generate more excitement around the telecast. Whatever the intentions, the experiment in populism has yielded mixed results.
Popcorn adventures like “Avatar,” “Inception,” and “Toy Story 3” have been nominated for best picture, but the vast majority of films in the category are smaller dramas and indie fare. This year, no big studio blockbusters made the cut.
“The more happy meals and candy and cereal boxes that your film is plastered across, the less chance you have of being taken seriously at the end of the year,” notes Jeff Bock, analyst with Exhibitor Relations.
That bias was exactly what the category’s expansion was supposed to address. After 2008’s “The Dark Knight »
- Brent Lang
Author: Zehra Phelan
It’s always nice to see a Mother and Daughter combo doing some serious bonding but Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn take it to the next level in the new trailer for Snatched. In this new film the pair give their kidnappers a run for their money while on an exotic holiday.
Related: Snatched Trailers
Snatched marks Hawn’s first role since 2002’s The Banger Sisters and this new film features an odd couple who have only their comedic roles in common. So whose bright idea was it to team up the once well known sex symbol actress Goldie Hawn and the outspoken, controversial comedian Amy Schumer as a mother and daughter bad-ass duo? That would be Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters director Paul Feig – who acts as producer on Snatched – as well as Schumer herself who co-wrote the outrageous comedy alongside her sister Kim Caramele and Ghostbusters and Spy writer, »
- Zehra Phelan
Tuesday morning’s Oscar nominations for best animated film skewed towards Disney Animation, stop-motion films, the international and the quirky — but Disney’s Pixar saw a rare shutout in the animated feature film category.
“Finding Dory,” Pixar’s blockbuster that grossed over $1 billion worldwide, was not among the nominees.
Pixar has dominated the animation category since 2004, when “Finding Nemo” won the Emeryville-based company’s first Oscar. Other winners include “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Wall-e,” “Up,” “Toy Story 3,” “Brave” and last year’s winner “Inside Out.”
Pixar did receive a nomination on Tuesday for animated short “Piper,” which played before “Finding Dory.”
Oscar Nominations: The Complete List
- Dave McNary
The honor will be presented at the 21st Annual Art Directors Guild’s Excellence in Production Design Awards on Feb. 11 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood
Adg President Nelson Coates said, “The Adg is thrilled to recognize the amazing contributions Brad Bird has made to narrative design, while so adeptly creating a visual cinematic legacy for generations to come. The amazing ways Brad and his teams have elevated the production design of animation, and live action, have raised and continue to raise the bar for all visual storytellers.”
The award is given “to those whose body of work in the film industry has richly enhanced the visual aspects of the movie-going experience.” Previous recipients include David O. Russell, »
- Dave McNary
If you're looking to kick up your wedding music a notch, we have just the thing. In honor of award season, we've pulled 20 Oscar-winning love songs (Ok, some are about friendship, but how could we not include "We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3?) that deserve a spot on your wedding playlist. Whether you're looking for a vintage track like "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's, a somewhat cheesy tune like "I Just Called to Say I Love You" from The Woman in Red, or a timeless classic like "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing, we've got you covered. »
- Maggie Pehanick
For years many Disney-Pixar fans have noticed familiar characters making cameos in other Pixar movies. A previous fan theory states that every Pixar film exits in the same universe, and now that theory is somewhat confirmed in a new Disney video shared on Toy Story’s official Facebook.
The clip reveals how various Pixar movies like “Wall-e,” “Toy Story,” and “Cars,” among others, are connected and reveals exactly where you can see the hidden Easter eggs. The video begins by spotlighting a little girl in “Finding Dory” who happens to be Riley from “Inside Out.”
Read More: ‘Cars 3’ Teaser Trailer: Pixar’s Latest Sequel Features The Dramatic Return of Lightning McQueen
- Liz Calvario
We've long suspected that every Pixar movie from Toy Story to The Good Dinosaur takes place in the same universe. Now a new Disney Easter Egg video shows how that is possible. With a few fun transitions, a dozen interlocking Easter eggs are revealed that quickly move through the entire Pixar catalogue. And it's nothing short of amazing, especially considering some of the foresight the animators had to have to pull it all off.
Things kick off with Dory bumping into a group of school children on a trip to the local aquarium, and if you look close enough, you'll spot Riley from Inside Out in the back ground. That transitions to Inside Out, where we see how Riley fondly remembers back to her time with the dinosaur, which cleverly connects to The Good Dinosaur. This then transitions to Milo, the star of that movie, who was actually a toy »
What cartoon sends you spiralling into depression?
Jose: Dumbo! As a giant eared child, it brings back so many traumas.
Eric: Dumbo. When caged Mama's trunk reaches for Dumbo's trunk: merciless!
Nick: The Legend of Bagger Vance.
Kim: Toy Story 3 was a pretty traumatic viewing experience for me; I came out of the theatre with my eyes almost swollen shut from crying. (The holding hands when they all thought they were going to die, you guys!) If I harken back to a movie that sent me off the edge as a kid, I'm going to go with The Secret of Nimh. I know it Ends happily, but that movie is Dark.
- NATHANIEL R
No one thinks about editors when watching an animated film. They’re drawn. There are no outtakes of Belle and Gaston improvising, just as there aren’t multiple takes of Donald Duck adjusting his spit level during monologues. A new video from The Royal Ocean Film Society, however, shows just how important the editor is to the animation process, as well as how much their process differs from their live-action counterparts.
Through archival footage and interviews with a number of Pixar and DreamWorks veterans, including Toy Story editor and Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, narrator Andrew Saladino shows how, in animation, editors are intimately involved with the creative process. Here, editors work with the director and writers to craft the film’s visual narrative, sequence by sequence, through a series of storyboards. According to those interviewed, the process can take up to two years of what is typically a »
- Randall Colburn
Ryan Lambie Jan 9, 2017
Microsoft's hit shooter franchise Halo almost got its own Mega Blocks spin-off, featuring Lego-style building as well as blasting...
For over a decade now, Tt Games' Lego series has been turning such properties as Star Wars, Harry Potter and the Marvel universe into fun, quirky action titles which mix up platforming, shooting, collecting and puzzle-solving. Microsoft's Halo franchise was a bit too gun-heavy and violent to get its own Lego game, but it did very nearly get the next best thing: a markedly similar third-person mash-up based on Mega Bloks.
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If you haven't heard of Mega Bloks, it could be described as the Pepsi to Lego's Coke: a construction system largely based on tiny plastic bricks, but without the global recognition. »
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures has released their upcoming slate of films coming down the pipe for 2017. The release schedule includes some the highly anticipated blockbusters Star Wars: Episode VIII ( Dec. 15, 2017), Cars 3 (June 16, 2017), Beauty And The Beast (March 17, 2017), Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (May 26, 2017) and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5, 2017).
Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladatorial contest »
- Michelle McCue
The maxim that good scripts are essential to making good movies is especially true in animation. In this medium, scripts and storyboards provide blueprints for completely invented worlds, and dialogue is recorded before the animation is done.
There’s been an Oscar category for animated feature for just 15 years; and toon screenplay nominations are relatively recent. Prior to that, animated movies typically were likelier to be recognized for song. Thus far, writer-director Andrew Stanton tops the list of Oscar-nominated animation screenwriters with four to his name (including “Toy Story,” “Wall-e,” “Finding Nemo,” and “Toy Story 3”), and he could compete again this year with the Disney/Pixar billion-dollar winner “Finding Dory.”
There’s another billion-dollar baby attracting awards buzz this season, too. Disney’s computer-animated “Zootopia” nabbed 11 Annie Award nominations (including writing) and a Golden Globe nod for animated film. It’s also the only animated feature among AFI’s 2016 honorees. »
- Ellen Wolff
Author: Jon Lyus
The marketing bandwagon for Pixar’s 2017 films has already roared off the starting grid with a marvelously dark and portentous trailer for Cars 3, due out in June this year. However there is, for only the second time in their history, another film on its way from the Emeryville animation studio in the next twelve months. Coco is directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina and is inspired by the Mexican holiday the Day of the Dead, itself inspiration for 2014’s The Book of Life and the much-loved LucasArts adventure game Grim Fandango.
Reuniting with his Toy Story 3 producer Darla K. Anderson, Unkrich’s new film will tell the tale of a 12 year-old boy (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez) who comes across the guitar of fabled musician Ernesto de la Cruz (played by Benjamin Bratt). Miguel uses the magic in the legendary instrument to open a door »
- Jon Lyus
13 items from 2017
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