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Liz Holzman, an animation veteran and three-time Daytime Emmy Award winner for her work on the 1990s series Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain, has died. She was 61. Holzman, an animator, character designer, storyboard artist, writer, director and producer, died Monday, her family announced in a paid obituary in the Los Angeles Times. She had battled cancer for years. A nine-time Daytime Emmy nominee, Holzman also worked on such series as Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Glo Friends, Smurfs, DuckTales, Muppet Babies, Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Darkwing Duck, Garfield and Friends, Baby Blues and The Zeta Project
- Mike Barnes
It’s hard enough to pick movies that connect with audiences. Today, studio chiefs like Gianopulos must navigate a rapidly shifting landscape where consumer demands, piracy and the collapse of the DVD market, as well as increasing competition from online diversions and quality cable TV shows, are wreaking havoc on the financial underpinnings of the film business. Media companies like Fox’s parent 21st Century Fox are on a quest to grow bigger in order to compete with digital superpowers like Google and pending mergers between cable and telco giants like Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and At&T and DirecTV. Gianopulos’ uberboss, 21st Century Fox chief Rupert Murdoch, made a surprise $80 billion bid to buy Time Warner that was rejected and he subsequently withdrew. But consolidation, it seems, is coming.
Photo by Art Streiber for »
- Brent Lang
As the wild success of this summer’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has reinforced, American audiences love nostalgia. It explains how film adaptations of properties like Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Smurfs became huge hits, as they tapped into the childhood rushes of many adults while also catering to the entertainment needs of their kids. So, it comes as little surprise that Hollywood is planning to resurrect the flirtatious animated icon Betty Boop for a big-screen affair.
Simon Cowell’s production company, Syco Entertainment, is partnering with The Lego Movie animation house Animal Logic to make “a music-driven hybrid animation comedy” with the famed cartoon. Betty Boop will be the first project in a partnership between the companies to make music-driven animated and hybrid animation-live action films.
“I’ve worked with some serious divas but I think Betty could be the biggest of them all!” Cowell tweeted. He also »
- Jordan Adler
The new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie is such a ridiculous guilty pleasure it will make even non-fans of the animated TV series cheer “Cowabunga.” Many groupies were wary about this film reboot when it was first announced, but all the bad buzz turned out to be bogus. Director Jonathan Liebesman (“Battle: Los Angeles”) and producer Michael Bay have successfully updated the Turtles to 2014. The joke-cracking crime fighters still love pizza, while also listening to Gwen Stefani and watching “Lost.” And they look better than they ever have, thanks to the motion capture technology used to bring them to life.
Film Review: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”
Here are five reasons why “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is one of the best surprises of the summer.
- Ramin Setoodeh
You can be sure of two things when you combine producer Michael Bay with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. One, your eyeballs will get a workout. And two, the most snarky critics will be tempted to write their reviews before the film even rolls.
In Wrath of the Titans’ director Jonathan Liebesman’s new live-action, CG-heavy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which stars Megan Fox as Turtle-pal April O’Neil, the four Renaissance-named turtles are still living up their name. Johnny Knoxville voices Leonardo, who leads the Turtles against their traditional antagonist Shredder—as well as a mysterious puppet-master who springs chaos on New York. »
- Jeff Labrecque
This weekend, Megan Fox plays April O’Neil in Paramount’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” but she’s not the first actress to portray the character. In 1990, Judith Hoag originated the role of the intrepid reporter who befriends the pizza-loving heroes, although she almost turned down the part. “When I first heard of it, I thought it was a horror film,” Hoag recalls on a recent telephone call with Variety. “‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ is such a strange name. I wasn’t into the comic books at all.”
Hoag, 22 at the time, was in the middle of shooting the Robin Williams comedy “Cadillac Man,” and her schedule prevented her from committing to “Ninja Turtles.” Then the producers were able to make it work, and Hoag had to fly from New York to Wilmington, North Carolina, on the weekends for production. “People would be wondering where I would racing off to on a Friday, »
- Ramin Setoodeh
Another beloved childhood character is heading to the big screen. Universal recently announced that an adaptation of Clifford the Big Red Dog, based on the children’s book series by Norman Bridwell, will be hitting theaters on April 8th, 2016.
Plot details for the film are scarce, but Bridwell’s series centered on a dog named Clifford, born the runt of the litter. When he was given to Emily Elizabeth as a birthday present, the little girl’s love for him caused Clifford to swell in size to a height of over 25 feet. Given the dog’s size, his owner’s family had no choice but to move to the wide open spaces of Bridwell Island, where Clifford encountered new friends like Cleo, Mac and T-Bone. Over 70 installments of the book series, which also spawned a popular PBS Kids TV show, have been released.
As for the film, it’s being »
- Isaac Feldberg
As far as I can tell, no one was begging for a sequel to 2004′s The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, but next year we’ll be getting one weirder and probably far worse than we ever could have imagined. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, an uneasy blend of traditional animation, CGI and live-action, spent Comic-Con weirding people out with new footage. And today, the first trailer for the film has hit the web, so that you can feel just as confused, unsettled and oddly repulsed as those con-goers.
Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Smurfs, Hop. What do all those CGI/live-action movies have in common? Firstly, they’re absolutely awful. Secondly, they made serious money at the box office. So before you ask why the team behind The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water decided to incorporate the hybrid format, the answer lies above.
Sadly, this film looks like »
- Isaac Feldberg
People come from all over to see specific panels at the San Diego Comic-Con, but I seriously doubt many, if any, attendees were there especially to see the first look at next February’s SpongeBob: Sponge Out of Water, a live-action/CGI hybrid that takes the cartoon sponge and other denizens of Bikini Bottom to our world, à la The Smurfs and Alvin and the Chipmunks. It seems pretty clear that this latest attempt to breathe new life into the long-running Nicktoon is going to be very, very strange and probably awful – and the movie’s appearance at Comic-Con did nothing to change anyone’s mind about that.
In the first look above, we can see SpongeBob and his friends in superhero get-up, complete with six-pack abs. In the Sponge Out Of Water movie, SpongeBob and his team begin in Bikini Bottom, as per usual, but turn into CGI »
- Isaac Feldberg
It took a few years and was very expensive to defend, but 20th Century Fox has largely come out on top in a lengthy battle over the Alvin and the Chipmunks property. When Bagdasarian Prods., the family company that licensed the Chipmunk characters, sued Fox in 2010, an incredible amount of money was on the line. A year earlier, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel came out and grossed more than $443 million in worldwide box office. The Bagdasarians demanded half of the profits. The lawsuit would feature several claims. List THR Reveals Hollywood's 100 Favorite Films Janice Karman, wife
- Eriq Gardner
This winter’s Paddington has received our attention for all the wrong reasons so far. First, there was that terrifying image of the film’s stuffed bear that sparked the hilarious Creepy Paddington meme. Then, The Weinstein Company released a disappointing first trailer for the movie that made it appear to be a spiritual – albeit less gratingly non-musical – cousin to Alvin and the Chipmunks, of all things. Finally, we learned that Colin Firth, who had previously been set to voice Paddington, had dropped out of the project mid-way through production. Luckily for TWC though, it doesn’t appear that the film will be delayed, as Skyfall actor Ben Whishaw has just been set to lend his voice to the animated bear.
Though the British actor is certainly less of a household name than Firth, Whishaw’s star has been steadily rising over the past few years. He’s won fans »
- Isaac Feldberg
Update: Paddington Bear has a new voice. The filmmakers determined the voice of Colin Firth (Mamma Mia!, Nanny McPhee) sounded too grown up for such a young stuffed bear. So, they searched for a new voice for the traveler from Peru and landed on Ben Whishaw, who plays Q in the new James Bond movies and played doomed poet John Keats in Bright Star. Luckily, Paddington is still on track to charm us, scheduled to open now on Christmas Day.Nov. 15, 2013 - Paddington will be in theaters next Christmas, the release date is set for Dec. 12, 2014.
Sept. 13, 2013 - Paddington Bear, the polite and proper stuffed animal from Peru, will get his chance at movie stardom thanks to David Heyman, the producer of the Harry Potter movies. Colin Firth, who won an Academy Award for playing King George VI in The King's Speech, will be the voice of Paddington in this »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tara the Mom)
Animated horror films are few and far between, but occasionally someone gets a great idea for one – see Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust - that makes us remember the genre can be more than just Alvin And the Chipmunks Meet whichever movie monster happens to need a paycheck at the time. It’s too early to say whether Malevolent is going to be one of those diamonds in the rough – but initial information about the pic is promising.
Today, we’ve learned that Homeland actress Morena Baccarin has signed on to lend her voice to the lead villain in the film. Malevolent centers on a “young woman (Dani Lennon) who must defeat her powerful, evil father in order to save herself and her siblings.” It was scripted by Jim Cirile and Tanya C. Klein (Liberator), and directed by Jason Axinn (Bite Me).
Baccarin will lend her voice to the role of Gamemaster, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Director Tim Story’s Think Like A Man Too opens in theaters this weekend on June 20. The film is the follow-up to the hit ensemble comedy Think Like A Man and reunites the original cast, including Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Regina Hall, Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson.
Story teamed up again with composer Christopher Lennertz for the film’s score.
He first made a splash with his breakout score for Alvin And The Chipmunks, which has grossed over $360 million worldwide. Since then he’s proven his steadfast talent with films like the star-studded Horrible Bosses, and Universal’s box office smash Ride Along.
While his knack for comedy is undeniable in films like Think Like A Man, he’s also contributed his unique »
- Michelle McCue
When I first heard that Paddington Bear, a beloved figure of children’s literature, was being brought to the big screen in Paddington, I wasn’t entirely opposed to the concept. After all, Michael Bond’s Paddington books don’t hold the same sway that they used to, and introducing the adorable bear of the title to a new generation seemed like a promising idea. Then, on the heels of two images for the film (and the hilarious Creepy Paddington meme that quickly followed), the first trailer hit the web.
The results, I’m afraid, are quite disheartening. Instead of the cute and adventurous character I remember from Bond’s book, this Paddington sticks toothbrushes in his ears, begins to eat the earwax that he pulls out of them, dunks his head in a toilet, floods a bathroom and then gets stuck in a turnstile. Paddington is beginning to look »
- Isaac Feldberg
Annecy– Bibo Bergeron, the director of DreamWorks’ “The Road to El Dorado” and “Shark Tale,” and Mike de Seve, a story consultant for many DreamWorks films, including “Shrek 2″ and “Madagascar,” are launching Monkey’s Uncle, a new venture aiming to develop and create a slate of original animated films’ IP’s.
An alliance of pedigree Hollywood talents who are well-connected, Monkey’s Uncle will also be joined by two more animation experts: Buck Lewis, who worked as character designer on such high profile toon pics as “Ratatouille,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Kung Fu Panda,” and Jurgen Gross, whose story artist credits include “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas” and “Rango” (as storyboard artist).
“With Monkey’s Uncle, we’ll be able to provide high-end creative skills such as writing, directing, storyboarding, production design and character design to production companies and financiers globally,” said de Seve, who is also »
- Elsa Keslassy
In a bid to launch the next big family film franchise, Sony Pictures and Sega are teaming up to bring Sonic the Hedgehog to the big screen in a movie which would feature a mixture of live-action setting and actors as well as CG animated characters similar to movies like The Smurfs and Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Little known writers Evan Susser and Van Robichaux will adapt the once incredibly popular video game series for Sony and Sega, while 22 Jump Street’s Neal H. Moritz will produce through his Original Film banner, with Marza’s Takeshi Ito and Mie Onishi.
They have big plans for the franchise and will apparently release a movie per year.
The first will focus on Sonic the Hedgehog’s rivalry with the same characters he feuded with in the video games, including his nemesis Dr. Eggman. Over the last two decades, the franchise has sold »
- Josh Wilding
It has been almost ten years since the release of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, a feature-length adaptation of the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon that grossed an impressive $140 million at the box office and received strong reviews. In some ways, it’s surprising that this long has passed without a cinematic follow-up, seeing as the show is still going strong and is now in fact gearing up for its tenth season. Regardless, at last, fans of the franchise can look forward to The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, which is set for release next February.
No one really knows what exactly to expect from the sequel, seeing as the plot has not been announced. However, a new poster for the film has been unveiled, featuring a CGI SpongeBob on a beach with a live-action crab. Going by that poster, it looks like Sponge Out of Water is going to follow in »
- Isaac Feldberg
The title is usually one of, if not the most important ways of marketing a movie to general audiences. A short, snappy, memorable title can do wonders in building up awareness for the product whether it be through print advertisements, viral marketing or video content. However, when it comes to summer blockbusters simple brand recognition is arguably more important than the title itself.
Big-budget studio franchises tend to follow the same several templates when it comes to their titles. There is the standard number or numeral system (Iron Man, Toy Story, Spider-Man), the franchise name followed by a subtitle (Pirates of the Caribbean, Transformers, Resident Evil), or the name of the title character with a quick summation of the plot (Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Austin Powers). Sometimes, a franchise movie can break from the mold and deliver something different but still memorable (The Dark Knight, The Wolverine, Rise of the Planet of the Apes »
- Scott Campbell
For the first time, audiences will truly see and feel what it was like when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. Walking With Dinosaurs The Movie is the ultimate immersive, big screen adventure for families. Meet dinosaurs more real than you’ve ever seen as you take off on a thrilling prehistoric adventure, where Patchi, an underdog dinosaur, triumphs against all odds to become a hero for the ages.
Experience the spectacular story that brings dinosaurs to life and the viewer back in time. Directed by Barry Cook (Mulan) and Neil Nightingale (Meerkats: The Movie) Walking With Dinosaurs The Movie features heart-warming performances from an incredible ensemble of Hollywood’s biggest stars including John Leguizamo (Ice Age, Rio 2) and Justin Long (Alvin And The Chipmunks).
Dino fans of all ages will be “herding” to get their own copy that is filled with immersive special features including “The Ultimate Dino Guide”, “Match »
- David Agnew
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