Tuesday 31 May 2011

First Happy Feet 2 Trailer

Today we've got our first look at the sequel to the 2006 Academy Award Winning and utterly amazing animated film, Happy Feet. Happy Feet 2 is due in cinemas in November, the trailer - while not introducing anything particularly new - shows the comedy and music that made the first film such a hit. I for one can't wait to see more from Happy Feet 2.

Monday 30 May 2011

A113Animation Competition

You may have noticed for a few months now that there has been a page shrouded in mystery, the Competition Page. Well, it is no longer "Under Construction", it is now up and running and if you head over there you will see the above image. We are happy to announce the conditions of the first ever A113Animation Competition; you will have the chance to judge the the first ever "Second Opinion Award" AND win a free copy of the original Cars on DVD. All you have to do to win is write up a fairly detailed review (don't just put it in a big font) of any animated film from 2011 (including Tangled as that only came out in January in the UK so will be included in the awards) and e-mail it to a113animation@gmail.com by 5th October 2011. I will then read each one carefully and announce (on the blog) and contact the winner via their e-mail by the 20th October.

Also, please be sure to include your mailing address in the e-mail entry, so we know where to send the prize.

We're all very excited about this competition and hope it will be the first of many, so please, enter, tell your friends and just have fun.

Luke's Corner: Week 1

Allow me, as Editor-in-Chief of A113Animation, to introduce our newest feature, Luke's Corner, a column to provide another opinion and perspective to the blog. Without further ado, I will now hand you over to Luke:-

Hello and welcome to Week 1 of Luke's Corner; my name is Luke Ross and I am going to be doing this column regularly, generally every Saturday. Like William, I am a huge animation fan and this column is going to give my opinions on some of my favourite (and least favourite) animated films and give a short, quick, second opinion on the films that A113Animation has already reviewed, starting today with Tangled:

Well as a fellow Disney lover I must say that Tangled was one of the best Disney films that I have seen. It had pretty much everything a Disney movie should have in it: comedy, drama, suspense and more. It was just amazing, generally funny and surprisingly heartfelt. I think that the Rivalry between Flynn Ryder and Maximus made the film even more fantastic, there was so much comedy stemming from these situations. Overall, it just all added to one of the best Disney films in the last several years.

Although it wasn't perfect. I feel that some moments in the movie kind of dragged on for too long e.g. the Snuggly Duckling scene, which felt like it went for quite a while. Also, another criticism I have is the villain. In contrast to William, I don't think Mother Gothel was a great villain, she just seemed a bit so-so, furthermore, I think the Stabbington brothers were a bit too stereotypical as villains - just the regular old thugs that they have in A LOT of films. But these aren't that big problems.

Overall I give it an 8/10

The emotional scene in which Flynn Ryder reveals his real name, music, storyline

Downs: Not much evil portrayed, somwhat laggy scenes


Next Week: Toy Story 3 Review

Friday 27 May 2011

Tangled Blu Ray Review

As Tangled is finally released on Blu Ray and DVD over here in the UK, I thought I'd share my thoughts on the quality of the Blu Ray. This will review the visuals and sounds, not the film, I have already penned my extensive thoughts on Disney's 50th Animated Feature Film, which was absolutely fantastic and I can be quoted as saying that "Tangled is the best animated film made by Disney (and not Pixar) in over a decade. It was great to see a return to the magical Disney of the nineties to commemorate the 50th Disney Animated Film."

The picture quality in Tangled is superb; the HD visuals are fantastic, visceral, sharp and vibrant. The colours are all brilliantly articulated and the little details and nuances are intricate and crisp, this is particularly potent and visible on the hairs on Rapunzel and Flynn and, perhaps more so, on the bright, vivacious and effervescent look of the grass. Everything in Tangled looks so lush and realistic, yet not too realistic to detract from the animated feel of the film. Likewise, the character animation is top-notch, everything is detailed but also exaggerated and accentuated to look like old-fashioned 2D animation - like the size of Rapunzel's eyes (almost Anime like) and the blur and squishing and stretching of moving characters; it is a very intelligent animation style that clearly required a lot of effort and a large dose of kudos should go to the genius that is Glen Keane.

Similarly, the sound quality is splendid, the 7.1 surround sound is great and really effective. There is a nice fluctuation between scenes and the sound effects and voices are clear and detailed. Also, as this is a musical, the music is as good as it should be and helps to enforce the generally jaunty, up-beat feel of the film.

All in all, the Blu Ray quality is just superb and all just enhances a great film to the point where it can stand almost toe to toe with some of the best Disney classics. Tangled is just an all round winner and I can see it being my favourite animated Blu Ray film for the next few months, until the release of The Lion King this Autumn. So, overall, adding to a 9/10 film rating, I'd give Tangled a 10/10 Blu Ray rating; all combining to an extremely solid product and a must buy for die-hard Disney fans and casual viewers alike.

Want to find out for yourself? You can order a Double Play (DVD + Blu Ray) of Tangled by clicking above (UK link).

Disney Universe Details

Disney Interactive have unveiled a new game, Disney Universe (trailer above). A game in which you don famous Disney and Pixar character costumes, such as Mike Wazowski (Monsters, Inc.) and Stitch (Lilo & Stitch) in a romp through the universe of all of the films involved. The official website offers up the following description:
Disney Universe is an off-the-wall non-stop action adventure where Disney worlds and characters mix up for the first time. Suit up in iconic costumes and face challenges in legendary Disney worlds. Defeat enemies, collect coins and powerups, unlock new costumes and explore with friends as you battle in a mix-up of worlds inspired by numerous Disney and Pixar films.
  • Suit-up for action as more than 40 classic and contemporary Disney characters including Alice, Mike, TRON and Stitch.
  • Mischief, magic and mayhem reign as players explore 6 different worlds inspired by Disney and Pixar films.
  • Team up with up to four friends to solve puzzles or defeat enemies or toss your friend into trouble!
The trailer looks great, the idea sounds great and it looks to bring a brand new type of Disney game to the table. We also get some screenshots of the game, showing some familiar settings and characters (all below):

The screenshots show a familiar setting in the form of Monsters, Inc., showing that this game really will combine the best of Disney and Pixar for the first time ever in the video game world.

The game looks great and will be coming to Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii in Fall 2011.

First Look at Brave

Dutch blog, Animatie, (that a while back started the rumours that Monsters, Inc. 2 was in fact a prequel) gives us our first still (above) from Pixar's upcoming 2012 fairytale, Brave. The still looks to be the fully rendered version of the concept art we saw a while back.

Also, it is likely that this still will feature somewhere or other in the upcoming teaser trailer, to be attached to Cars 2.

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Tangled Released on DVD/Blu Ray

Those of you that frequent the blog will know that I loved Tangled (my review is a testament to that) and firmly believe that it is the best Disney film since the 90s. So, though I am usually useless at posting about new animated releases on DVD and Blu Ray, I am pleased to tell you all that Tangled is now out on DVD and Blu Ray in the UK.

It has my ringing endorsement, with a strong 9/10 and is (at the moment) my pick to win this year's A113Animation Awards. I would wholly reccomend buying it ASAP, I know I will.

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2 Response

This past weekend saw the premiere of DreamWorks Animation's newest sequel, Kung Fu Panda 2, and the early reviews have been surprisingly positive. I admit it, when I heard the plans for a sequel to Kung Fu Panda - though I loved the original - I didn't think it would be great, DreamWorks don't have the best track record for sequels. Nonetheless, I'm happy to seemingly be proved wrong, the reviews seem to articulate that Kung Fu Panda 2 is a grand spectacle, that packs a lot of heart; it currently holds an 88%, Fresh, rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sounds good so far, keep an eye open for my review nearer the time.


Slight drop, but still remains impressive, at 81%, Fresh (88% amongst top critics).

Saturday 21 May 2011

Pofessor Z Character Progression

Professor Z Character Progression

Above is the character progression, from original sketches to fully rendered shots, of Disney/Pixar's upcoming film, Cars 2,'s main villain, Professor Z.

A Smorgasbord of Pixar Stuff

We have seen a lot of new Pixar tidbits emerge have emerged this past week, including new details and posters on several upcoming Pixar projects:

Firstly, we get our first look at the official logo for Pixar's new Toy Story Toons (above), the logo is visible at the end of the new international Cars 2 trailer, which is currently airing in front of Pirates of the Caribbean 4 amongst other films.

We also, courtesy of Izaac at Pixar News Australia, can see the specific logo for the first Toy Story Toon - Hawaiian Vacation -, which will play in front of Cars 2 (above) as it was on the bottom of the newest Australian Cars 2 poster.

Secondly, we have two awesome must see videos (above), the LEGO version of the Cars 2 trailer, which just, simply put, has to be watched. I can't imagine the painstaking hours that must have gone into making it; we also have a new Cars 2 Featurette, showing off some great new Cars 2 footage. Both are great and really funny, however, watch out for some minor spoilers in the Cars 2 Featurette.

Finally, it has been confirmed that Cars 2 will see a return to Pixar tradition, as we will see a teaser trailer for Pixar's next project, Brave, before the film, along with the Toy Story Toon, Hawaiian Vacation.

Jeesh, that was a lot, but at least we are now kept up to date with the hottest Pixar news.

Friday 20 May 2011

Hey Now, You're Still an All Star!

As of Wendesday of this week (18/05/11), arguably one of the best animated films of all time and certainly one of the best DreamWorks' films, Shrek, is 10 years old. First released in North America on May 18, 2001, the film was the beginning of the signature DreamWorks franchise, spawning 3 sequels and with a spin-off (Puss in Boots) coming out later this year and grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide across all of the films. The original Shrek, now 10 years old, won the very first Best Animated Feature Academy Award, beating out even Pixar's fantastic Monsters, Inc.

Whilst DreamWorks have not always consistently provided such entertainment or depth; Shrek was a fantastic film and, even ten years on, retains its brilliance.

Friday 13 May 2011

Final Cars 2 Trailer

The final trailer (above) for Disney and Pixar's upcoming high-octane sequel, Cars 2, has just recently debuted on the Internet, courtesy of Apple Movie Trailers. The trailer showcases a lot of new footage as well as reiterating a lot of the great footage we've seen in previous trailers. The trailer also does a fantastic job of showing the worldwide feel of the film. Also, I'm loving Francesco Bernoulli!

This trailer just proves that Disney sure can handle advertising, I can't wait for Cars 2. Roll on July!

Monsters University Logo and Synopsis Revealed

Disney and Pixar have revealed a little bit more about Monsters University, the 2013 prequel to 2001's Monsters, Inc.

Firstly, we have the above logo, the official logo for the film, it's simple, but it's effective. It's a nice combination of the classic Monsters, Inc. logo and vintage varsity writing.

Secondly, Disney and Pixar have also released the official synopsis for the film (below):
Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn’t always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn't stand each other. Monsters University unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends.
As is to be expected from Pixar, it sounds great, a nice way to break up the massive stack of Pixar sequels as of late (with Toy Story 3 last year and Cars 2 due out this year) and I can't wait to see what Pixar'll do with a prequel.

The film is set to be directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae (A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., The Incredibles, Up) and is due to be released on 21st June, 2013.

Saturday 7 May 2011

The Pirates Voice Cast Revealed

Just as I'm beginning to get restless with the lack of updates on Aardman's second feature film with Sony Pictures Animation, due out next year, The Pirates: In An Adventure With Scientists, we get a huge block of news concerning the film.

Aardman and Sony's first feature film, due out on 11th November over here in the UK, Arthur Christmas, has an all star cast of such talented actors as Hugh Laurie, James McAvoy and Jim Broadbent, however The Pirates, if anything outshines that. The Pirates is due to star a veritable smorgasbord of British talent, led by Hugh Grant.

Hugh Grant takes the lead in his first ever animated role, the star of Love Actually, Notting Hill and Did You Hear About the Morgans? will bring a great British feel to the already quintessentially British Aardman. Grant is flanked by some equally fantastic talent, in the form of Martin Freeman (The Office, The Hobbit), David Tennant (Doctor Who) and Ashley Jensen (Extras, Ugly Betty), amongst others.

It truly is an all star cast that will only serve to boost an already fantastic sounding film, below is the announcement (courtesy of Aardman's website) in which you will find the entire all star cast:

Hugh Grant, starring in his first animated role, is the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain – a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas.  With a rag-tag crew at his side (Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen), and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award.  It’s a quest that takes our heroes from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.  Along the way they do battle with the pirate-hating Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) and team up with a young Charles Darwin (David Tennant), but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure!

The film sounds fantastic (you can see an image from it at the top) and I cannot wait to see the next stop-motion film (with Arthur Christmas being computer animated) from the geniuses behind Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run.

Friday 6 May 2011

More La Luna Details Emerge

Yesterday, details emerged on a brand new Pixar short, La Luna, set to debut later this year at the Annecy Film Festival and today yet more details emerge.

Firstly, we have the very simple yet effective looking title card for the short (above). As I said yesterday, I really like the look of the short and this title fits with what I've seen so far and just looks generally great.

Joining director Enrico Casarosa at the helm is Kevin Reher, as producer, who previously produced Partly Cloudy and Day & Night. It is a very solid sounding team at the top of this project and La Luna looks set to be a great addition to the already fantastic Pixar animated short film canon.

Finally, La Luna is set to have a running time of 6:53, which Mike of The Pixar Blog reliably informs us is Pixar's longest short film by almost a minute, adding to the feel of a "fable" that it is touted to be.

The short sounds great and could easily be the one we see attached to Brave in 2012.

Toy Story Character Quiz

This is just a quick note to let you all know about a little quiz that you can take. I created said test on Quiz Whiz for Facebook, the test tells you - by answering a series of 12 questions - which Toy Story character you most personify.

Good luck with the quiz and, as always, thanks for visiting A113Animation.

Thursday 5 May 2011

La Luna: Details on an Upcoming Pixar Short

Courtesy of Indiewire, we get a look at an upcoming Pixar short, La Luna. The short (image above) is set to debut later this year at the Annecy International Film Festival, which takes place in France on 6th June 2011. The short is described as a "fable" coming of age film and the official description can be viewed below.
La Luna is the timeless fable of a young boy who is coming of age in the most peculiar of circumstances. Tonight is the very first time his Papa and Grandpa are taking him to work. In an old wooden boat they row far out to sea, and with no land in sight, they stop and wait.  A big surprise awaits the little boy as he discovers his family’s most unusual line of work. Should he follow the example of his Papa, or his Grandpa? Will he be able to find his own way in the midst of their conflicting opinions and timeworn traditions?
The film is to be directed by Enrico Casarosa, who has worked as a story artist on Cars, Ratatouille and Up and La Luna will mark his directorial debut.

The fact that the short is to premiere in France feeds into my next point, the animation on the short looks distinctly french, bearing some resemblance to Illumination Entertainment's Despicable Me and a heck of a lot of resemblance to the awesome French animated short film, French Roast (which I whole heatedly recommend). The animation in the short looks unlike anything we've seen from Pixar and the short in general sounds fresh and interesting.

Can't wait to see it.

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Awesome New Cars 2 TV Spot & New Character

We have been treated to an immensely exciting new TV spot (above) for Pixar's upcoming sequel, Cars 2. The video is truly one of epic proportions, bringing yet more of an aspect of the international nature of the film to the viewers, we get a look at LOTS of different locales and get to see spy-in-training Holley Shiftwell spread her wings for the first time on screen. The film looks just generally stunning, ranging from dark, almost gritty, looking spy scenes to bright, vibrant and colourful race tracks and scenery, the film looks like a visual delight.

We also get a better look at one of the coolest looking new Cars 2 characters, Francesco Bernoulli, and I personally can't wait to see the whole thing on the big screen. With each passing clip and teaser, I get more and more excited for Cars 2.

On the subject of characters, we get a look at a brand new one, Brent Mustangburger (above).

Official Description: "Brent Mustangburger, an American sports broadcasting icon, is an excitable 1964 Ford Mustang widely considered one of the most recognizable voices in the history of automobile sports television and associated with some of the most memorable moments in modern sports."

Brent is set to join Darrell Cartrip and Bob Cutlass as a commentator during the World Grand Prix.


We now have the turntable for Brent Mustangburger (below):

Tuesday 3 May 2011

New Cars 2 Still - Mater and Holley

Above we have a new still from Pixar's upcoming sequel, Cars 2. The picture shows the 2 characters that we understand will form the romantic aspect of the film, Mater and spy-in-training, Holley Shiftwell. Remember, the film is set to focus more on Mater than on Lightning McQueen, and this image is a testament to that.

Image courtesy of Stitch Kingdom.