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Chicken Run: a culture clash of two companies

Simon Brew Feb 21, 2018

The production of Chicken Run brought together two companies with very different styles...

It had been quite a journey from just off the M5 in Bristol, to Los Angeles and the Academy Awards. But for British animation company Aardman, it was a journey that was taken reasonably regularly. Nick Park, for his Creature Comforts and Wallace & Gromit short films, was collecting regular statuettes, and at the of writing, he has four on his mantelpiece.

The frequent awards attentions required equally frequent journeys to the States. And on one such visit, Park – along with Aardman co-founder Peter Lord, amongst others – found themselves in the company of both Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

It was the right coincidence at the right time. At this stage, Spielberg and Katzenberg had just set up their hugely ambitious new studio, DreamWorks Skg (along with David Geffen). Katzenberg was to head up the animation division,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Five Things You Didn’t Know about David Soren

David Soren has had quite a career thus far and it doesn’t seem like it could be slowing down anytime soon. There’s a good reason for it, and it’s because he’s proven that he’s worth keeping on since he’s been one of the reasons why DreamWorks has been doing so well these last many years. He’s been one cog in the machine for a while but he’s also stepped up and shown that he can be a leader as well when he needs to be. All it takes is vision and determination sometimes, and a good deal of hard work.

Five Things You Didn’t Know about David Soren
See full article at TVovermind.com »

Captain Underpants movie originally had a big homage to Magnolia

Feb 15, 2018

Exclusive: Captain Underpants director David Soren tells us about the homage to Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia that was cut from the film.

Mild spoilers for Captain Underpants lie ahead

Regular readers of this site will know of our love for the Captain Underpants film, that arrived in cinemas last summer. It’s a terrific adaptation of Dav Pilkey’s books, and a genuinely very funny family movie. As such, it didn’t do anywhere near as well as it deserved at the box office, and come the Oscar nominations, let’s just say one or two ‘less good’ movies took the spot that Underpants surely deserved.

I caught up with the film’s director, David Soren, a week or two back to discuss the movie post-release, and he filled me on a sequence that never made it to the final film. A sequence that would have been a
See full article at Den of Geek »

David Soren interview: Captain Underpants six months on

Simon Brew Feb 15, 2018

Captain Underpants didn't earn billions, or lots of gongs. But it's one of the best animated films of 2017. We caught up with its director.

Criminally overlooked by most awards bodies, Captain Underpants remains one of the finest animated treats of the past few years. On its release in UK cinemas last summer too, it fell short of the box office totals of the completely shinotverygood The Emoji Movie, and couldn’t land too many gloves on franchise fodder such as Despicable Me 3.

And yet it’s brilliant. It was profitable, too, but not the huge blockbuster success this writer for one thinks it deserved to be.

What, then, does the man who directed it make of the last six months, and of the reception to the film? I contacted David Soren, and we had a chat…

I’m not sure how I’d feel if I were you,
See full article at Den of Geek »

‘Blade Runner 2049,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ Lead Visual Effects Society Nominations

‘Blade Runner 2049,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ Lead Visual Effects Society Nominations
Blade Runner 2049” and “War for the Planet of the Apes” led the nominations for the Visual Effects Society on Tuesday with seven apiece. “Despicable Me 3” topped animated contenders, while “Game of Thrones” was the overall nominations leader with 11.

The nominees in the group’s top film category of outstanding visual effects in a photoreal feature were “Blade Runner 2049,” “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2,” “Kong: Skull Island,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” and “War for the Planet of the Apes.”

All five films competed in the motion picture Academy’s visual effects bake-off on Jan. 6. The other movies in contention are “Alien: Covenant,” “Dunkirk,” “Okja,” “The Shape of Water,” and “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.” Of those, only “Dunkirk” received a Ves nomination, for supporting visual effects.

The top television nominees were “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Game of Thrones,” “Legion,” “Star Trek: Discovery,” and “Stranger Things.”

Last year’s
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Blade Runner 2049,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ Lead Visual Effects Society Nominations

‘Blade Runner 2049,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ Lead Visual Effects Society Nominations
Blade Runner 2049” and “War for the Planet of the Apes” led the nominations for the Visual Effects Society on Tuesday with seven apiece. “Despicable Me 3” topped animated contenders, while “Game of Thrones” was the overall nominations leader with 11.

The nominees in the group’s top film category of outstanding visual effects in a photoreal feature were “Blade Runner 2049,” “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2,” “Kong: Skull Island,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” and “War for the Planet of the Apes.”

All five films competed in the motion picture Academy’s visual effects bake-off on Jan. 6. The other movies in contention are “Alien: Covenant,” “Dunkirk,” “Okja,” “The Shape of Water,” and “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.” Of those, only “Dunkirk” received a Ves nomination, for supporting visual effects.

The top television nominees were “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Game of Thrones,” “Legion,” “Star Trek: Discovery,” and “Stranger Things.”

Last year’s
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Ves Awards Nominations: ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Are Top Film Contenders

Ves Awards Nominations: ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Are Top Film Contenders
Announcing the nominees for their 16th annual Ves Awards, the Visual Effects Society brought welcome news for Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049” and Matt Reeves’s “War for the Planet of the Apes,” each up for seven statuettes. “Despicable Me 3” is the most-nominated animated film of the year (5), while the most-honored title overall is “Game of Thrones” (11).

The 21-year-old organization consists of 3,400-plus members in 35 nations. Each year, it recognizes visual effects innovators in film, animation, television, commercials, and video games.

In 2017, Disney’s “The Jungle Book” remake claimed five Ves trophies, more than any other feature (nominations leader “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” was shutout). It’s director-producer, Jon Favreau, will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award; Weta Digital director and four-time Oscar winner Joe Letteri will accept the Georges Méliès Award, named for the late French illusionist and filmmaker. Letteri is also a nominee
See full article at Indiewire »

With ‘Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie’, DreamWorks Animation Crafted a Quirky Indie Blockbuster

  • Indiewire
“Captain Underpants” turned out to be one of the animated surprises of the year as DreamWorks’ cheapest, most unconventional feature (outsourced to Canada and made for $38 million). Adapted from Dav Pilkey’s popular children’s books, it was a stripped down, comic strip of a movie that didn’t talk down to kids or adults and took all sorts of quirky chances.

It revolves around two fourth-grade pranksters, George (Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch), who create comic books about a a superhero named Captain Underpants and hypnotize their principal, Mr. Krupp (Ed Helms), into becoming their superhero when he separates them.

An Experiment in Cost-Cutting and Outsourcing

As a result of cost-cutting and reorganization in 2015, DreamWorks outsourced to Technicolor-owned Mikros Image in Montreal (“The Little Prince,” “Mune: Guardian of the Moon”). “It came about because the resources at the studio were on to other movies [‘Trolls’ and ‘Boss Baby’],” said producer Mireille Soria.
See full article at Indiewire »

Captain Underpants: a superhero who needs your help

Simon Brew Aug 23, 2017

One of the best family movies in ages is struggling at the box office. We take a look...

Trawling through the box office totals for 2017’s family movie releases is not the cheeriest of jobs. For me, the two most entertaining and funniest have been The Lego Batman Movie and Captain Underpants. Both have the best written gags I’ve enjoyed at the cinema all year, and both have found their box office slightly depressed.

The Lego Batman Movie, for all the noise it rightly made during its release period, actually recorded box office totals a good deal less than most of us would have expected a) for a Lego movie, and b) for a Batman movie. Still, Warner Bros’ marketing machine is busy selling DVDs right now to right that wrong.

But the underperformance of Captain Underpants is borderline criminal. Based on the excellent series of children’s books,
See full article at Den of Geek »

10 films to beat the 2017 franchise fatigue

Mark Harrison Aug 1, 2017

Bored with massive films and special effects? Then here are 10 smaller movies well worth your consideration...

It's that time of year when we usually give you a list of films playing in cinemas during August, as the summer blockbuster season winds down, that will help cleanse your palate after all the tentpoles and sequels that have proliferated throughout the year so far. But to be honest, this summer has been so good to us, we're more refreshed than usual.

Even aside from originals like Edgar Wright's Baby Driver and Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, this year's blockbusters have been of an unusually high standard. Wonder Woman pulled the Dceu out of its critical nosedive, War For The Planet Of The Apes is a gorgeous and emotional conclusion to the reboot trilogy, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming proved that Marvel's ever expanding continuity is still going strong.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie review – more than just flatulence gags

This surprisingly nuanced animation intersperses lavatory humour with narrative invention

Although one of the foundations on which much children’s cinema was built, lavatory humour was always perceived as an inglorious last resort. Can’t think of a funny line? Have a character break wind instead. By this logic, Captain Underpants, a film almost entirely crafted out of lavatory humour, should be a soul-crushing, puerile slog. However, David Soren’s animation, which was adapted from the children’s books by Dav Pilkey, is a delightful surprise. It’s a celebration of friendship, of the boundless creativity of children’s minds. It’s a dizzily silly collection of sly cultural references. It’s visually inventive, narratively agile. And yes, it has fart gags.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

'The Mummy' reaches $222m worldwide

'The Mummy' reaches $222m worldwide
Meanwhile, Wonder Woman surges to $483.2m globally.

Universal Pictures International’s The Mummy, from director Alex Kurtzman and starring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella, stands at $181.5m after debuting in 65 territories last week day-and-date with North America.

Universal’s first instalment of its ‘Dark Universe’ series of monster movie revivals stands at $222m worldwide as it heads into five additional territories this week, including France.

Following The Mummy, Universal will release several more monster movies including The Invisible Man, Frankenstein and Dracula.

Universal’s latest animation Despicable Me 3 will debut in five territories, including Australia and the Philippines this week.

The third instalment of the successful franchise is directed by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin and features the voice talents of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Jenny Slate.

F. Gary Gray’s action tentpole The Fate Of The Furious has reached $1.007bn internationally. Get Out from director Jordan Peele stands at $75.2m and has no new
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'The Mummy' has reached $222m worldwide.

'The Mummy' has reached $222m worldwide.
Meanwhile, ‘Wonder Woman’ surges to $483.2m globally.

Universal Pictures International’s The Mummy, from director Alex Kurtzman and starring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella, stands at $181.5m after debuting in 65 territories last week day-and-date with North America.

Universal’s first instalment of its ‘Dark Universe’ series of monster movie revivals stands at $222m worldwide as it heads into five additional territories this week, including France.

Following The Mummy, Universal will release several more monster movies including The Invisible Man, Frankenstein and Dracula.

Universal’s latest animation Despicable Me 3 will debut in five territories, including Australia and the Philippines this week.

The third instalment of the successful franchise is directed by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin and features the voice talents of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Jenny Slate.

F. Gary Gray’s action tentpole The Fate Of The Furious has reached $1.007bn internationally. Get Out from director Jordan Peele stands at $75.2m and has no new
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Video Movie Review: Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017): So Stupid, It’s Great

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017) Video Movie Review, a DreamWorks Animation movie directed by David Soren and starring Kevin Hart as George Beard, Thomas Middleditch as Harold Hutchins, Ed Helms as Mr. Krupp, Jordan Peele as Melvin and Nick Kroll as Professor Poopypants. In this video review, I delve into David [...]

Continue reading: Video Movie Review: Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017): So Stupid, It’s Great
See full article at Film-Book »

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie | Review

Director: David Soren Writers: Nicholas Stoller, Dav Pilkey, David Soren Starring: Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Thomas Middleditch, Jordan Peele, Kristen Schaal If you’re under the age of 12 and/or potty jokes are your cup of tea, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re really going to enjoy Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. Otherwise, this is a […]
See full article at SmellsLikeScreenSpirit »

Film Review: ‘Captain Underpants’ Saves Us From the Summer Snooze

Chicago - I’m sure from the title you can glean the level of seriousness to expect, but how funny “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” turns out to be is no laughing matter. The film’s surprising irreverence and respect for the comic book genre makes this the animated hero we’ve needed, and the second best superhero film out this weekend (See: Wonder Woman).

Rating: 4.0/5.0

For obvious reasons, most animated films like this one are aimed at children, but only the truly impressive ones incorporate aspects for adults, realizing that they will be the ones who have to sit through the film with their children. The general humor in the film caters to young boys, with enough potty humor to clog a toilet with. Nicholas Stoller adapts David Pilkey’s popular book series enough care to stay faithful to the series’ superhero essence while creating an original story with it.
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Review

There’s no question that – despite the timeless Marvel vs. DC debate (or perhaps because of it?) – superhero cinema is here to stay for a long time. The recent releases of such critically acclaimed efforts as Logan and this week’s Wonder Woman, however, underscore the genre’s need to explore some fresh approaches to comic book storytelling, lest the million think pieces heralding the cinematic fall of superheroes come to fruition. So, while adults looking to satisfy their bloodlust can see Hugh Jackman shredding off limbs in the aforementioned latest X-Men film, children can root for a decidedly less self-serious hero in Dreamworks’ latest release, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.

Based on the 12-book series by author Dav Pilkey, the film follows elementary school students George (Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch), who stumble upon the perfect way to keep their school’s notorious Principal Krupp (Ed Helms
See full article at We Got This Covered »

Movie Review – Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017)

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, 2017.

Directed by David Soren.

Featuring the voice talents of Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele, and Kristen Schaal.

Synopsis:

Two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.

As superhero films shift more in the direction of mature themes (even the PG-13 offerings are starting to push the envelope), a specifically child-friendly hopeful franchise starter such as Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is an appreciated gift. Based on the series of novels by Dav Pilkey, directed by David Soren (Turbo), and notably written by Nicholas Stoller (most known for critically acclaimed R-rated comedic efforts such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, also having successfully proven himself at adapting material for younger ones by writing both The Muppets Movies), the animated feature expectedly embraces lowbrow toilet humor,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Film Review: ‘Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie’

Film Review: ‘Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie’
The world of mainstream animated comedy, in case you hadn’t noticed, has been regressing to infantile states of being. Last year we had “Storks,” a light kiddie fantasy about how newborns get delivered; earlier this year, there was “The Boss Baby,” in which a glowering infant tyrant traded in his diapers for a corporate power suit and attitude to match. Now, the reversion to what Sigmund Freud — or maybe it was Adam Sandler — diagnosed as the 5-year-old funny bone reaches its apotheosis in “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie,” a high-spirited, low-comedy adaptation of the first of Dav Pilkey’s hugely popular series of children’s novels. (It was published in 1997, and in the years since there have been 11 sequels and three spinoffs, which have sold a combined 50 million copies in the U.S. alone.) Parents: Are you ready to hold your nose and giggle?

The title character of
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Despicable Me 3,’ Pixar’s ‘Coco,’ ‘The Big Bad Fox’ to Bow at France’s 2017 Annecy Animation Festival

‘Despicable Me 3,’ Pixar’s ‘Coco,’ ‘The Big Bad Fox’ to Bow at France’s 2017 Annecy Animation Festival
Illumination’s “Despicable Me 3,” China, Disney-Pixar’s “Coco” and “The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales” look set to figure among highlights at June’s 2017 edition of France’s thriving Annecy Intl. Animation Film Festival, a Mecca for animation companies and creatives from Hollywood and the world over.

In one sign of still-continued growth at Annecy, its International Animation Film Market (Mifa) will add an extra day, moving from three to four. Attendance at Mifa has grown year-on-year for the past decade, rating the film and TV market, which rolls off the dynamism of the international animation scene, as one of the fastest growing industry events in Europe.

Announced by the Annecy Festival as a world premiere, “Despicable Me 3” continues Chris Meledandri’s close relationship with the French festival which has hosted the bows of the first two parts of the franchise and “Minions” – to increasingly gargantuan worldwide box office.
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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