2 items from 2015
Animated films take years to complete. So animation directors can bask in acclaim one year and then seem to vanish from the scene, when, in fact, they are hard at work on their next picture. Variety caught up with three animation directors familiar to awards voters and asked them what they are working on and which of this year’s animated releases impressed them.
Selick is no stranger to accolades. His feature directing bow was the iconic stop-motion film “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993), an annual staple that was nominated for an Academy Award (for visual effects) before there was even a category for animated feature, He also adapted and directed 2009’s “Coraline,” the first full-length film from stop-motion powerhouse Laika. “Coraline” received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for animated feature.
Selick is excited about a of couple of new projects he’s been working on. One involves author Neil Gaiman, »
- Terry Flores
The visuals outshine the story in “The Book of Life,” a lively animated tale that mixes age-old myths with today’s toon tropes. But what lovely visuals they are. The feature debut of smallscreen animator Jorge R. Gutierrez (co-creator of Nickelodeon’s “El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera”) proves to be perfectly charming in relaying the tale of a lopsided love triangle set against the backdrop of Mexico’s Day of the Dead holiday. And yet it hardly matters what the characters are saying (or occasionally singing) when their warmly handcrafted appearance keeps stealing the spotlight. Opening domestically three weeks after Focus/Laika’s “The Boxtrolls” and three weeks ahead of Disney’s “Big Hero 6,” “Book” should have time to carve out its own space in the family entertainment marketplace and could become a significant sleeper worldwide, especially if Latin audiences respond to the pic’s universal, yet culturally specific, »
- Geoff Berkshire
2 items from 2015
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