8 items from 2015
“Minions” – World Premiere, Shrine AUditorium, Los Angeles, CA – Saturday, June 27, 2015 The story of Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures’ Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters—from T. rex to Napoleon—the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression. But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he—alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob—ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. The trio embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Academy Award® winner Sandra Bullock of The Blind Side, The Heat), the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London, »
I’m “biast” (con): …but hate Despicable Me 2
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Don’t pick at it, your mother said. Leave it alone, it’ll get infected.
And did you listen to your mother? Of course you didn’t. And neither did Pierre Coffin. His Despicable Me was a perfect movie, and told a story that was perfectly wrapped up by its end. Did he leave it alone? No. He had to go back and pick at the perfection until it had unraveled into the festering mess that was Despicable Me 2, which upended everything that was lovely and wonderful about its predecessor to the point where »
- MaryAnn Johanson
A “Despicable Me” prequel that traces Gru’s comic-relief henchmen all the way back to the time when they were single-celled organisms, “Minions” hilariously imagines centuries in which the little guys have sought to serve the greatest villain they could find, but quickly settles into more conventional cartoon territory once they fix on a dastardly new master named Scarlet Overkill, voiced by Sandra Bullock. Delivering more Minions but less heart than their two previous outings (which earned $543 and $970 million worldwide), this by-popular-demand detour proves that as boundless as the yellow creatures’ appeal may seem, they work better as supporting characters than as the main attraction — not that the Minions will be wearing out their welcome anytime soon. They’re still the funniest cartoon characters in town, hitting that silly sweet spot capable of delighting everyone from toddlers to Kim Jong-un, bound to reach new international box office heights for Universal’s Illumination Entertainment. »
- Peter Debruge
Annecy – One day before one of Universal’s biggest bets of 2015, “Minions,” premieres at France’s Annecy Festival, Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination Entertainment and its producer, accepted Mifa and Variety’s first Animation Personality of the Year Award.
Mickael Marin, head of Annecy’s Mifa’s market, and Peter Debruge, Variety’s Chief Intl. Film Critic, presented the award.
The Mifa-Variety Animation Personality Award recognized the achievements of one of the toon industry’s global driving forces, whose “Despicable Me,” “Dr Seuss” and “Ice Age” franchises, the last produced at 20th Century Fox, have grossed over $4.9 billion worldwide. The creative force behind Universal’s family movie business, Meledandri is also a animation pioneer, reaching out to Jacques Bled’s Mac Guff for animation on ”Despicable Me,” and then to create Illumination Mac Guff, the studio for “Despicable Me 2,” “The Lorax” and now “Minions,” all produced by »
- John Hopewell
Illumination Entertainment has released the first teaser trailer for the new animated film The Secret Life of Pets, and it’s kind of great. Directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me) and Yarrow Cheney, the comedy imagines the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day, focusing on the tenants of an apartment building in New York City. The physical comedy here is really on point, and though I’d be totally happy with a dialogue-free version of the film, a voice cast that includes Louis C.K., Jenny Slate, and Bobby Moynihan is icing on the cake. This is Illumination’s first non-Despicable Me film since 2012’s disappointing Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, but it really looks like they have a winner on their hands. With this summer’s Minions also looking extremely promising, could the studio have found its niche in dialogue-light animation? Check out the teaser trailer, »
- Adam Chitwood
While Illumination Entertainment is best known for its Despicable Me films and, more specifically, those adorable minions, the studio has other projects in the pipeline as well. They released Hop in 2011 and Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax in 2012, and in 2016 they will unveil The Secret Life of Pets. Directed by Despicable Me helmer Chris Renaud and co-director Yarrow Cheney, the film takes place in a Manhattan apartment building and revolves around its animal inhabitants. The ensemble voice cast includes Louis C.K., Albert Brooks, Kevin Hart, Ellie Kemper, Bobby Moynihan, Lake Bell, Hannibal Buress, Jenny Slate, and Eric Stonestreet. Steve is currently at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, and while on the floor he snapped some photos of a collection of posters for The Secret Life of Pets. They give us our first good look at the animated characters, and they’re kind of adorable. The various breeds have different facial structures, »
- Adam Chitwood
He may have passed in 1991, but Dr. Seuss' legacy continues to live on!
Random House is publishing a new children's book from a manuscript recently discovered by Theodor Geisel's (the author's real name) widow in his La Jolla, Calif. home.
Post by Random House Children's Books.
What Pet Should I Get?, according to Random House, captures "a classic childhood moment—choosing a pet—and uses it to illuminate a life lesson: that it is hard to make up your mind, but sometimes you just have to do it!" The book is set to release July 28.
News: Adorable Little Boy Freaks Out When His Dad Tells Him Their Car Has an Ejector Seat Button
In honor of the book's upcoming release, we are remembering some of our favorite works from Dr. Seuss' illustrious career. Let's get started!
What better place to start than Seuss' first children's »
The Minions were the breakout stars of the Despicable Me movies, so the fact that they’re getting their own movie later this year probably shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise!
The spinoff focuses on Kevin, Stuart, and Bob. While the Minions have been scene stealers in the past, whether or not they can carry their own movie remains to be seen. The Super Bowl TV spot below is a lot of fun though, and while it doesn’t contain footage from the movie itself, it should help viewers fall in love with adorable yellow characters if they aren’t already.
It’s fair to say then that if you liked any of Illumination Entertainment’s previous movie, you’ll love Minions!
The story »
- Josh Wilding
8 items from 2015
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