David Eisenmann - News Poster


Google Spotlight Stories Releases Vr Short ‘Sonaria’ With Steam, Viveport, Mobile App

Google Spotlight Stories Releases Vr Short ‘Sonaria’ With Steam, Viveport, Mobile App
The Vr short “Sonaria,” a colorful and lyrical journey of two ever-changing creatures through different environments, is being released wide Friday via Steam and Viveport as well as on mobile for Android and iOS on the Google Spotlight Stories app.

The immersive short is one of the latest projects in Google Spotlight Stories’ growing and ever-more ambitious mobile and Vr canon. Released earlier this year on Steam and Viveport was the Jorge R. Gutierrez-directed short “Son of Jaguar,” which is going out even wider Friday on the Google Spotlight Stories app and for Daydream headsets. It will also be available on YouTube Kids.

The idea for “Sonaria” was conceived by Scot Stafford, creative director of music and sound for all the Google Spotlight Stories projects. Stafford co-directed the short with L.A.-based animation studio Chromosphere.

“It started off as an experiment in sound, which is something that in Vr takes on some additional importance than it
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Samurai Jack,’ ‘13th’ Win Juried Emmy Awards

Adult Swim’s action-adventure series “Samurai Jack” and Netflix’s searing documentary “13th” were among the winners of juried Emmy awards, handed out by the Television Academy. These awards — in the categories of animation, motion design, and interactive programming — will be presented at the Creative Arts Awards ceremony on Saturday, September 9. Entrants in the juried categories are screened by a panel of professionals in the appropriate peer group with the possibility of one, more than one, or no entry ultimately being awarded an Emmy. As a result, there are no nominees but instead a one-step evaluation and voting procedure. Deliberations include discussions of each work with a review of the merits of awarding the Emmy. The jury then considers whether the entry is worthy of an Emmy with a “yea” or “nay” vote. Only those with unanimous approval win. This year’s juried winners are: Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation “Samurai Jack” (Adult Swim/Cartoon Network Studios) Bryan Andrews
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Film Review: ‘2017 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Animation’

Film Review: ‘2017 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Animation’
This year, there’s a switcheroo afoot in Oscar’s two animation categories: Michaël Dudok de Wit’s gorgeous desert-island fable “The Red Turtle” is a rare, snowflake-singular work of art, made possible after producers at Japan’s celebrated Studio Ghibli fell in love with the director’s 2001 Oscar-winning short “Fathers and Daughter” and approached the helmer about collaborating on a feature. Meanwhile, four of the directors represented in this year’s animated short category have worked on Oscar-winning features, but are branching out in an effort to try more personal work. The results are a mixed bag, but make for entertaining viewing in ShortsHD’s annual theatrical package, which also includes three bonus toons that didn’t make Oscar’s cut.

Chances are you’ve already seen “Piper.” Directed by 20-year Pixar veteran Alan Barillaro, the 6-minute short played before the studio’s hit discombobulated-fish sequel “Finding Dory,” which
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo

Friday, May 30

Diving into their most realistic and ambitious setting yet, the talents at Pixar have produced an exhilarating fish story in the perfectly cast comic adventure "Finding Nemo". Not as flat-out inventive as "Monsters, Inc". or as sardonic as "A Bug's Life" and the "Toy Story" pics, "Nemo" finds its own sparkling depths, achieving a less mechanical feel than its predecessors through a stripped-down, fluid narrative and new levels of visual nuance.

Pixar vet Andrew Stanton demonstrates confidence and exuberance in his first stint at the helm, working from a script he co-wrote with Bob Peterson and David Reynolds. With the exception of toddlers who might find a few scary moments too intense, kids will get right into the flow of "Nemo", while those viewers old enough to drive will appreciate the plentiful humor designed to sail right over kids' heads -- not least of which is the inspired chemistry between leads Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres. Disney is primed to make a whale of a splash at the summer boxoffice.

The marine milieu calls for more visual delicacy and aural subtlety than in past Pixar features -- challenges the filmmakers have met through the work of myriad technicians and artists. Before taking poetic license with their CG creations (real fish don't have eyebrows), the animators and designers took lessons in ichthyology (among other things), to good effect. Their imagery captures not only the play of light through the ocean's depths but the texture of its roiling surface and the luminescence and character-defining locomotion of its inhabitants. Add to that Gary Rydstrom's meticulous sound design and the grown-up music score by Thomas Newman, and the result is the most complex and fully realized environment of any Pixar film.

"Nemo" dazzles from the get-go, beginning with a pre-credits sequence that might prove more frightening to parents than kids, dramatizing as it does the notion that bad things can happen even in suburbia. Clown-fish couple Marlin and Coral (Brooks, Elizabeth Perkins) have just moved to a nice, quiet neighborhood of the Great Barrier Reef -- a peaceful vista of jewel-toned sponges, anemones and sea grasses, and a good place to raise their 400 offspring, who will soon be hatching. Tragedy strikes, leaving Marlin widowed with one survivor in the fish nursery, whom he names Nemo and swears to protect always.

It's no wonder that Marlin turns out to be a nervous, overprotective father who follows little Nemo (Alexander Gould) on his first day of, um, fish school. Nemo's a spirited kid with an endearing flaw -- a smaller right fin that flutters constantly -- and a healthy sense of rebellion, which he takes to extremes in Dad's anxious presence, venturing off the reef into open waters. A diver promptly snares him as an exotic specimen.

Propelled by his frantic search for Nemo, Marlin ventures farther than he'd ever dreamed of going, joined by good-hearted blue tang Dory (DeGeneres). She's eager to help and unfazable, the perfect complement to Marlin's neurotic timidity, however exasperating her continual lapses in short-term memory become. They're two lost souls: He provides her with a purpose, and she lends the traumatized Marlin a newfound resilience, as well as being able to read the Sydney address on the mask the diver left behind. Their journey to the big city unfolds as a series of set pieces centering on encounters with would-be predators and helpful sea folk.

Nemo, meanwhile, is welcomed into a community of fish-tank eccentrics in a dentist's office not far from Sydney Harbor. A scarred, self-possessed Moorish idol named Gill (Willem Dafoe) is the only one of Nemo's tank mates who wasn't born in a pet shop, and the wide-eyed youngster inspires him to devise the latest in a long series of ludicrous escape plans. The goal is to get Nemo home before the dentist presents him as a birthday gift to his terror of a niece (LuLu Ebeling), a deliciously funny concoction of Brute Force and braces.

There's a built-in poignancy to the dynamic between son and single father that neither the script nor the actors overstate. That Nemo has no expectation his father will lift a fin to find him is the dark center of the story, setting in bright relief Marlin's every dance with danger as he pursues his stolen child. There's an especially perilous dash through a field of translucent pink jellyfish, culminating in a moment straight out of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", with Marlin struggling to keep Dory from falling into a deadly narcotic sleep. But it's not all rough waters: They also luck into the good vibes of surfer-dude turtles who take them through the East Australian Current. Director Stanton is a standout as sea turtle Crush, a mellow dad who teaches Marlin a lesson or two about the parental art of letting go.

The whole cast is aces, with turns from such vibrant talents as Barry Humphries, playing the repentant leader of a self-help group for sharks who are trying to beat the fish-eating habit, and John Ratzenberger as an annoyingly helpful bunch of moonfish showoffs. Geoffrey Rush voices a Sydney pelican who's well-versed in dental procedure, Allison Janney is a vigilant starfish, and Joe Ranft provides a French accent for a finicky shrimp.

But it's the give-and-take between DeGeneres and Brooks that gives the saga its big heart. DeGeneres' character was created with her in mind, so it makes sense that Dory is a fish with freckles, lips and a rueful smile. When, in an episode of lovely, freewheeling lunacy, she insists on communicating with a blue whale in its native language, the combination of vocal calisthenics and facial contortions is sublime.

Her goofy compassion would have only half the impact, however, without Brooks' contrasting nebbish-turned-hero. It's hard to imagine another actor who could deliver lines as angst-ridden and deliriously funny. This is, after all, the tale of a father who not only transcends fear to find his son against all odds but who learns how to tell a joke along the way.


Buena Vista Pictures

A Walt Disney Pictures presentation of a Pixar Animation Studios film


Director: Andrew Stanton

Co-director: Lee Unkrich

Screenwriters: Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, David Reynolds

Original story by: Andrew Stanton

Producer: Graham Walters

Executive producer: John Lasseter

Directors of photography: Sharon Calahan, Jeremy Lasky

Production designer: Ralph Eggleston

Music: Thomas Newman

Editor: David Ian Salter

Supervising technical director: Oren Jacob

Supervising animator: Dylan Brown

Art directors: Ricky Vega Nierva, Robin Cooper, Anthony Christov, Randy Berrett

CG supervisors: Brian Green, Lisa Forssell, Danielle Feinberg, David Eisenmann, Jesse Hollander, Steve May, Michael Fong, Anthony A Apodaca, Michael Lorenzen

Sound designer: Gary Rydstrom


Marlin: Albert Brooks

Dory: Ellen DeGeneres

Nemo: Alexander Gould

Gill: Willem Dafoe

Bloat: Brad Garrett

Peach: Allison Janney

Gurgle: Austin Pendleton

Bubbles: Stephen Root

Deb (& Flo): Vicki Lewis

Jacques: Joe Ranft

Nigel: Geoffrey Rush

Crush: Andrew Stanton

Coral: Elizabeth Perkins

Squirt: Nicholas Bird

Mr. Ray: Bob Peterson

Bruce: Barry Humphries

Anchor: Eric Bana

Chum: Bruce Spence

Dentist: Bill Hunter

Darla: LuLu Ebeling

Tad: Jordy Ranft

Pearl: Erica Beck

Sheldon: Erik Per Sullivan

Fish School: John Ratzenberger

Running time -- 100 minutes

MPAA rating: G

See also

Credited With | External Sites