Sunday 30 December 2012

New ParaNorman For Your Consideration Ads

Laika are taking full advantage of all the awards critical circles are lavishing on them as of late, as well as their Annie and Golden Globe nominations, working them into their For Your Consideration campaign and presumably hoping to segue this success into Oscar success in February.

Awards Daily have three new ParaNorman FYC ads (although two of them are actually ones we've already seen, now adorned with the film's awards success) and you can check 'em out above, as well as the previous batch here. ParaNorman's odds of taking home the Oscar seem stronger and stronger by the week, and Laika's second outing is slowly becoming the one to beat.

ParaNorman is out on DVD and Blu Ray now in the US, and arrives in the UK on 28th January, 2013.

Pictures of the Day: Aladdin Meets DC Heroes and The Simpsons Meets Breaking Bad

I, like many a Disney fan, enjoy randomly bursting out singing A Whole New World. Do you know who apparently shares this passion? Superman. Check out this hilarious mash-up of Aladdin and Batman/Superman (from here) above; I think I may have just found a new iPod wallpaper! I like to think this is the kind of jesting that goes on in the Justice League.

Speaking of cool mash-ups, we've got another cool Breaking Bad one for you! Last time we showed you Threadless's cool Dexter's Lab/Breaking Bad crossover and today TV's best drama meets its most iconic cartoon family, with Breaking Bart (via Breaking Bad Memes).

Related news: What If: Fan-Made "Indiana Jones: The Animated Adventures" Artwork

Friday 28 December 2012

UPDATED: Watch: Hong Kong Phooey and Marvin the Martian Live-Action/CG Hybrid Test Footage

The latest in the stream of awful CG/live-action mashup movies - following in the critically derided but financially successful spirit of The Smurfs and Yogi Bear - are Hong Kong Phooey and Looney TunesMarvin the Martian.

Director Alex Zamm (Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2) posted test-footage from the Hong Kong Phooey film, complete with Eddie Murphy soundalike, out of place animation and toilet jokes! Zamm also posted a 3D test short (Yule Be Sorry) for a, subsequently cancelled, Marvin the Martian film.

The Hong Kong Phooey footage is pretty terrible: Penry/Hong Kong Phooey looks like the CG Scooby Doo from 10 years ago and the humour's severely off-kilter. The shame is that the Marvin footage (testicle jokes and product placement aside) was a lot better - funnier, more cartoony and closer to the original character - and that's been cancelled! That said, the fact that Zamm's posted the Hong Kong Phooey test too may indicate that that's also been shelved.

Check both tests out above, thanks to Bleeding Cool. UPDATE: 1/1/2013, 03:10 (GMT) - Ah, it seems Bleeding Cool's video has been removed, so check out the two clips, via Alex Zamm's Vimeo channel, here and here. Oh yeah, and Happy New Year, guys! All the best for 2013!

Via Cartoon Brew.

Thursday 27 December 2012

RIP Gerry Anderson (1929 - 2012)

Sad news emerged yesterday, that Gerry Anderson, best known as the creator of hit puppet sci-fi show Thunderbirds, has passed away at the age of 83. His son Jamie announced the death yesterday, saying he "died peacefully in his sleep"; Anderson also created Captain Scarlet, Joe 90 and Space 1999 - to name just a few.

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Guest Review: Wreck-It Ralph

By Damien.

Should non-gamers see Wreck-It Ralph?
A guest review disguised as an idiotic question.

Wreck-It Ralph is a video game character. Or rather, he's a video game villain. He's the bad guy in an arcade game called Fix-It Felix, Jr. He's the Donkey Kong to Felix's Mario; except, not that lucky, because while the giant ape had that 1981 game named after him, Ralph has virtually nothing.
There's no fun to be found in being tossed over and over in mud, no respect from his co-workers and no medal to show for it all. Ralph is bored, and wishes he could be a hero.
In the months leading up to the release of this film one of the main concerns was: "Are non-gamers gonna get it?"
Now, I'm not a non-gamer, but I can still offer my best guess on the matter. And here it is:

Monday 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas from A113Animation

Yes, the season is upon us once again. It may not be a white Christmas (not here, anyway), but it feels like it's going to be a good one. If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that Christmas TV is a gift to us all; case in point, Lady and the Tramp is on BBC1 right now!

So, from all of us here at A113Animation, have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and loving holiday - no matter how you choose to celebrate it. Thank you for visiting us over the past year, and I look forward to wishing you the same seasonal joy this time next year. After all, as Kermit says, there's only one more sleep 'til Christmas.

God bless, and Merry Christmas from A113Animation.

Saturday 22 December 2012

Animation Titbits: Croods Motion Poster, 'Art of' Books, Partysaurus Rex and Frankenweenie Short

DreamWorks have rolled out a cool new motion poster (in the vein of fellow Fox stablemate, The Wolverine) for their first release of 2013, The Croods. Based on the existing poster we'd already seen, this cool new motion one shows some of the gorgeous sceneries and animals we can expect to encounter come March next year. It's embedded above, but follow this link if that doesn't work - be sure to toggle the definition up to 1080p. Also, try downloading the DreamWorks Animation Augmented Reality app and scanning the poster with your smart phone or iPod Touch - it's pretty cool.

Friday 21 December 2012

DisneyToon Studios' Planes Now to Be Released Theatrically

DisneyToon Studios' controversial Cars spin-off, Planes, was previously intended for a direct-to-DVD release for next Autumn, however, Box Office Mojo now reports that it will be released in cinemas. A release date of 9th August, 2013 is cited, which will put it in box office competition with DreamWorks' seemingly Cars-esque Turbo (check out the teaser trailer for that film here).

As Upcoming Pixar points out, with John Lasseter producing, this could be a sign that the film has turned out really rather well. On the flip-side, the much more pragmatic and pessimistic side, it could be just a ploy for money. We'll find out soon enough, I'm positive it won't be Pixar quality, but it should be enjoyable enough

Planes is directed by Klay Hall (The Simpsons, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure) and stars the voices of Jon Cryer and Brad Garrett. In my interview with Superman Classic director Rob Pratt, he spoke about Planes and the team working on it, saying:

""PLANES" has been a pleasure to work on largely because of the support John Lasseter has shown for the production. "Cars" is clearly a passion project for him, and he is so excited about having that world expanded. My director, Klay Hall, is an inspiring guy to be around, so knowledgeable and a great collaborator. I've learned a lot from him! The story crew got to be very close - I truly like and respect everyone on our team. I'm very proud of how the movie is coming out!"

UPDATED: Christmas Recommendations: The Snowman and the Snowdog, The Art of ROTG and TV Listings

'Tis the season! As such, we here at A113Animation have a few TV recommendations and last-minute animation-related present ideas for you.

Some TV alerts for UK readers: On Christmas Eve at 8 PM, Channel 4 airs The Snowman and the Snowdog, the sequel to the absolute Christmas classic, The Snowman. The original aired 30 years ago this year and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. While creator Raymond Briggs didn't write this sequel, he did give it his blessing and it's animated and approached in the hand-drawn, soft style of the magical and iconic original.

Check out an interview from BBC Breakfast with some of the crew who worked on The Snowman and the Snowdog, complete with clips from it, over at the BBC website, and check out the promo for it embedded above. A113Animation's favourite actor is to narrate an audio e-book version of the story shortly afterwards as well.

DreamWorks Release Turbo Teaser Trailer

DreamWorks have released (via iTunes Movie Trailers) the first trailer for their snail-starring, Cars-like feature, Turbo. Turbo is directed by veteran DreamWorks story artist-turned director (Merry Madagascar), David Soren, and will be the second DreamWorks feature released under their distribution deal with 20th Century Fox - following The Croods in March.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Aardman News 11 - 'Tis The Season for Get Togethers

It's been far too long since we've had an Aardman News post and what better time to do it than Christmastime? You love Wallace and Gromit right? How about Chicken Run? And Creature Comforts and Shaun the Sheep too? Shame we never get to see them all together and interacting. Oh well, we can't have it all... What? What's that you say Aardman? We can have it all? Hooray! Thanks Aardman!

Check out this cool little semi-promo for Google+, showing Aardman's stop-mo pantheon video calling each other this festive season. It seems The Pirate Captain hasn't quite got round to web-cam just yet. We can only hope he's working on some For Your Consideration ads instead.

Check out the charming and fun video above and, UK readers, get ready to check out any and all Wallace and Gromit shorts on the BBC in the next couple of weeks!

Monday 17 December 2012

More For Your Consideration Ads: DreamWorks Hammer Rise of the Guardians Promotion!

Awards, awards, awards. Yep, this is another one of those posts. Awards Daily has the latest batch of For Your Consideration ads, and DreamWorks have the majority of them for us; today we get a massive haul of Variety covers promoting the studio's latest, Rise of the Guardians, to Academy voters. Any other year, Guardians would be almost certain for a nomination, but 2012 has been a particularly strong year for animation, and with Frankenweenie all of a sudden emerging as a top contender, DreamWorks are promoting their film as hard as they can (with a strong, but lesser effort for Madagascar 3).

The bold Rise of the Guardians (directed by Peter Ramsey) ads tout some of the film's accolades (including its recent Annie nominations) and tote the simple-but-effective line: "Believe in the best animated film of the year". Check 'em out after the jump break.

Sunday 16 December 2012

Guest Review: Rise of the Guardians

By Damien.

Who Am I?
A Weird Rise of the Guardians Guest Review.

Maybe I'm a visionary genius. Or maybe I'm the biggest idiot on Earth... Just look at one of my comments on this very blog, talking about Rise of the Guardians a few months ago :
"I'm somewhat excited for this film, but I think it's not gonna be a huge hit internationally, with the differences in popular cultures.
Basically, in France :
- Santa Claus : Okay, "le Père Noël" is pretty much the same thing. Exactly even.
- Easter Bunny : Replaced by Bells. Yes. Bells bring the eggs.
- Tooth Fairy : Replaced by a small mouse : "la petite souris".
- Jack Frost : Who is this ???"

Friday 14 December 2012

UPDATED: Seasonal Updates

Christmastime is upon us again! With less than two weeks to go until the most magical day of the year, I wanted to take a minute to address some blog business. First of all, you'll now see - here on the blog, and on our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages - our Christmas logos, adding a little bit of festive spirit to our mascots.

Secondly, it's usually this time of year (the 19th, in fact) that we announce our A113Animation Awards, but this year, they're going to take place a little later. Our picks for the best animated films of 2012 will take place on 22nd February, 2013. This means the 3rd Annual A113Animation Awards will more or less coincide with the 85th Annual Academy Awards (they're a little more prestigious, I'll grant you), but the main point of this delay is to allow me the chance to see almost every mainstream animated film: Wreck-It Ralph doesn't open here until 8th February, and I never got the chance to see Frankenweenie in cinemas, so I'll be checking it out when it hits Blu-ray on 11th February. Madagascar 3 arrives on home video the same day, and I hope to check Ice Age 4 out over Christmas. It feels like it'll benefit our awards, if I have a better sense of the whole field.

UPDATE - 17/01/2013, 19:10 (GMT): Frankenweenie's UK home video release has been moved back to 25th February, so it will, alas, not be considered for the 3rd Annual A113Animation Awards, which will now take place on 15th February.

I'll definitely be wishing you a Merry Christmas nearer the time, but, with all this horrid stuff in Newtown, it's worth remembering that, yes, the world is a dark, scary place sometimes, but it's only as dark and scary as the people who inhabit it. As fans of animated films, we tend to be optimists, to search for the happy, the magical, in life; it's up to us to counteract the actions of horrendous psychopaths, with ones of compassion. I'll leave you with an apt, seasonal, quote from Miracle on 34th Street:

"I'm not just a whimsical figure who wears a charming suit and affects a jolly demeanor. You know, I'm a symbol. I'm a symbol of the human ability to be able to suppress the selfish and hateful tendencies that rule the major part of our lives."

A113Animation wishes its most heartfelt condolences to all affected by this tragic event.

First Look at Disney's Frozen

Walt Disney Studios UK and Entertainment Weekly bring us our first look at Walt Disney Animated Studios' 53rd animated feature, Frozen (hi-res image via /Film). The loose adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, Frozen sees Anna, "a fearless optimist", (voiced by Kristen Bell) team up with buff mountain man Kristoff to try and stop the perpetual winter cast by the magic of Anna's sister Elsa (Idina Menzel), better known as the Snow Queen. In the actual film, we'll also meet Kristoff's "sidekick reindeer Sven", as well as "a funny snowman named Olaf", but in this piece of concept art, we just meet our two protagonists.

Check out this close up of Anna and Kristoff.

Above you can see Anna (who bears somewhat of a striking resemblance to Tangled's Rapunzel) and Kristoff; I like the character designs, and one thing's for sure, this is going to be a fantastic looking film! EW also grabbed a few words with directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee about the film's themes and production.

Frozen hits cinemas late next year, 27th November, 2013 in the US, and 20th December, 2013 in the UK. Might the trailer screen with Monsters, Inc. 3D (which opens Wednesday in America). Meanwhile, we're still waiting for Wreck-It Ralph over here, which arrives in UK cinemas on 8th February, 2013 (one week earlier than previously planned).

Thursday 13 December 2012

70th Golden Globes Nominations Revealed

Yep, awards season is definitely upon us. A few days ago we posted a round-up of a collection of critics' choices for Best Animated Film of the year, but, today, we move closer to the "big" awards of the year; first on the agenda, the Golden Globes.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association have announced the picks for the 70th Annual Golden Globes - the nominees that is, the actual Globes will take place on 13th January, 2013. Leading the pack is Spielberg's Lincoln with 7 nominations, with Django Unchained and Argo clocking in at 5 each. In terms of animation though, they're... well, they're somewhat odd choices.

The nominees for the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature film are:

  • Brave - Pixar Animation Studios; Walt Disney Pictures
  • Frankenweenie - Walt Disney Pictures
  • Hotel Transylvania - Sony Pictures Animation; Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures
  • Rise of the Guardians - DreamWorks Animation SKG; Paramount Pictures
  • Wreck-It Ralph - Walt Disney Animation Studios; Walt Disney Pictures

Firstly, that's three nominations for Disney-owned animated films, meaning the Mouse House stand a 60% chance of taking home the coveted award. Noteworthy, though, is that Hotel Transylvania is nominated, and ParaNorman is not. I liked Hotel T, it was fun, but ParaNorman is clearly the better film (and an awards favourite for that matter). It's too bad to see that Aardman's The Pirates! isn't get much love either, as it's definitely one of the year's finest animated films.

Check out this interesting article from Cartoon Brew, making the case as to why Tim Burton's Frankenweenie will probably win. Congrats to everyone nominated, and commiserations to Laika, Aardman and everyone who didn't quite make the cut - there's always the Oscars!

Peter Jackson to Shoot Tintin 2 Mid-Hobbit, for 2015 Release

Bleeding Cool (via RTBF) has some interesting new details about Tintin 2 - mainly, when we can expect to see it. During his press tour for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (which is freaking great by the way!), Peter Jackson - who co-produced the first Tintin movie, and is directing the second - fielded a couple of questions about the hotly anticipated sequel.

Jackson's subsequent two Hobbit films will be released around this time next year and then mid-2014 respectively, so one might worry that the sequel to Steven Spielberg's 2011 adaptation of Hergé's intrepid reporter might be a while off. But worry no longer, Jackson is meeting with scribe Anthony Horowitz "next week", and will set aside some time during The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug's post-production to shoot the mo-cap for the film, with a view towards a 2015 release.

Exciting news indeed, and this hopefully means that the follow-up to 2011's Best Animated Film A113Animation Award winner isn't too far off.

The question on everybody's mind though: Will The Adventures of Tintin 2 be 3 hours long?

Wednesday 12 December 2012

UPDATED: Pete Docter AMA, Monsters, Inc. 3D Featurette and New Monsters U Images

The fantastic Pete Docter took to Reddit today, for an AMA (Ask Me Anything), answering questions about Pixar, his work past and present (including The Inside Out and Monsters, Inc. 3D), and some somewhat off-topic stuff. The Monsters, Inc. and Up director was cut off in mid-stream though, by an impromptu fire alarm at Pixar - which he reassuringly posted about upon his return:

DreamWorks Preview Their 2013 Movies

DreamWorks, fresh off a critical hit, if not a commercial one (yet), with Rise of the Guardians, are looking forward to 2013, where - under their new distribution deal with Fox - they will release three films. Towards the end of last week, some post surfaced about said films, which have been previewed for press at the Fox campus.

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Angry Birds: The Movie Due 2016!

Today, on the third anniversary of the release of the original Angry BirdsRovio Entertainment announced that the planned film adaptation of the insanely popular mobile gaming series will hit cinemas in 2016!

John Cohen (Despicable Me) and former Marvel Studios chairman David Maisel (Iron Man) will produce and executive produce the film, which is being entirely produced and financed by Rovio themselves, respectively. Cohen has worked closely with Blue Sky Studios previously, but, worryingly, "had the idea to reimagine Alvin and the Chipmunks and developed the 2007 film." Otherwise, I'm pretty excited!

"Following Marvel Studios’ example, which was architected by David Maisel, Rovio will produce and finance the movie outside the studio system and retain full creative control while creating innovative entertainment at the highest level of quality." Says the press release.

Angry Birds: The Movie will have finished loading by summer 2016, and, who knows, maybe we'll see a film version of Angry Birds Star Wars one day - presumably after Disney have bought Rovio as well...

Monday 10 December 2012

UPDATED: Awards Roundup: ParaNorman, Frankenweenie, Ralph Take Home Coveted Prizes!

Awards season is well and truly underway. Kathryn Bigelow is surely making enemies out of Ben Affleck, Paul Thomas Anderson and Steven Spielberg, whose award-favourite films were fighting it out before the Hurt Locker director's latest, Zero Dark Thirty, came in and started swooping up all the awards. Because, in the last few days, the National Board of Review, Boston Society of Film Critics, New York Film Critics Circle and the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association have all announced their annual picks for the year's best films.

Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln seem to be dominating the major share of awards (with Ang Lee's Life of Pi getting some worthy cinematography recognition), but, in terms of animation, there hasn't really been a clear winner.

NBR named Disney's Wreck-It Ralph Best Animated Feature, whereas the Boston Society of Film Critics went for fellow Disney film, Frankenweenie, directed by Tim Burton. New York's critics agreed with Boston's, whereas Washington DC ones opted for Laika's ParaNorman. UPDATED - 11/12/2012, 22:02 (GMT): The Los Angeles Film Critics Association also chose Frankenweenie as their "Best Animation", and the New York Film Critics Online went for 2010's Spanish-made Chico and Rita, which was nominated for the Oscar in February (losing to Rango).

Noteworthy is that there's no love for Pixar's Brave. Also noteworthy is that there's still no clear animated frontrunner, heading into a very tight race as we approach the "main" awards ceremonies early next year.

Congrats to everyone from Disney and Laika on their respective, and hard earned, wins!

Via THR.

Saturday 8 December 2012

Rise of the Guardians Review - A Magical Film Worth Believing In

*This review is largely spoiler free, but read cautiously if you haven’t seen the film yet*

Fan, critic or somewhere inbetween, there is no arguing that DreamWorks have been on the up in the past few years. Having previously output beloved films like Shrek, DreamWorks became more defined for their asinine comedy, evident in films like Shark Tale and Over the Hedge. Since 2008 though, it's been an entirely different story. Kung Fu Panda was fantastic, as was its sequel; Monsters vs. AliensMegamind and Puss in Boots were lots of fun, and the studio reached a plateau with 2010's near flawless How to Train Your Dragon - the film that showed that world that DreamWorks could compete with Pixar on pretty much every level. While their latest, Rise of the Guardians, never quite reaches the incandescent brilliance of Dragon, it does rival the masterful storytelling, impeccable visual style and surprising heart of the Kung Fu Panda films.

Thursday 6 December 2012

Guest Review: Brave Blu-ray

By Munir Abedrabbo.

The Film:

Brave, the thirteenth feature film produced by Pixar Animation Studios arrived with a very high level of anticipation, expectation and controversy. First, it was the first Pixar film to have a female lead character; second, it was the first film based on an original idea after two sequels; and third, it was the film that was meant to be a “return to form” for Pixar, whose previous film Cars 2, released a year ago, received a lot of (somewhat unfair in my opinion) criticism and was labeled as Pixar’s first “bad” film. On the controversy side, Brave underwent some changes, first being called “The Bear and the Bow” and being promoted as the first Pixar film directed by a woman (Brenda Chapman). Chapman was fired in the middle of production and replaced by Mark Andrews (though she retained a director’s credit) resulting in many angry responses from women working in Hollywood and animation. With all this level of anxiety, Brave was poised to be either a great achievement or a great disaster. Which one it was? Keep reading to find out.

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Second Trailer for DreamWorks' The Croods

The second trailer for DreamWorks' first film of 2013 is now online. iTunes Movie Trailers brings us the second look at the Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon) and Kirk DeMicco (Space Chimps) directed caveman-comedy, due for release on 22nd March, 2013.

Not everyone's in full support of the film, some of the character designs are certainly a little blocky, but the world of the film is absolutely breathtaking, and the story promises to be an engaging one, infused with Sanders' usual flair and heart - as well as the abundance of comedy visible in the trailer. And I loved the little wink to Ice Age's Manny at around the 1:30 mark.

I can't stress enough how magnificent this film looks; it's stunning (check out a couple of particularly marvellous shots from the great new trailer above). I have very high hopes for The Croods.

Monday 3 December 2012

Awards Bits: 40th Annual Annie Nominations, and New For Your Consideration Ads

Awards season is soon to be upon us, as such, ASIFA-Hollywood have unveiled the nominations for the 40th Annual Annie Awards. After the Pixar shut-out a couple of years ago, it seems things are back to normal this year, with Pixar/Pixarians getting a total of 10 nominations this year. That said, this year seems to be a very evenly distributed year, with DreamWorks getting a colossal 26 nominations (bear in mind they did release two features and a few TV specials this year).

Watch: Roundtable Discussion with Animation Directors

The L.A. Times have posted an absolutely enthralling roundtable discussion with five animated film directors, in anticipation of the very tight Best Animated Feature competition at awards season this year. Hosted by L.A. Times reporter Rebecca Keegan, the roundtable includes Mark Andrew (Brave), Peter Ramsey (Rise of the Guardians), Chris Butler (ParaNorman), Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph) and Genndy Tartakovsky (Hotel Transylvania).

It's not all too equal a discussion, Rich Moore and Mark Andrews tend to dominate it, and it would've been nice to see Brenda Chapman and Peter Lord in the mix, but it really is brilliant! The start's your general stuff: talk about your film, your studio, your team, etc..., but it really takes off in the last fifteen minutes or so, when the conversation turns towards animation as a medium, the problem with American animation, and the directors' shared interests in seeing more 2D animated films, more adult animated films, and the versatility of animation as a medium.

Check it out!

Via Cartoon Brew.

Pete Docter's Mind Film Apparently Has a Title: The Inside Out

Pixar's upcoming slate is really taking shape, we have a lot of exciting projects; some sequels, some originals, some new directors. One thing we're a little short of though is titles. Up co-director Bob Peterson's directorial debut only recently got its title and some plot points, The Good Dinosaur, we know very little about films beyond that though. Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich is bring us an, untitled, film about the Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos, first-time feature director Teddy Newton will be bringing us a film, and Andrew Stanton returns to animation with, the tentatively titled, Finding Nemo 2. Sandwiched inbetween all that though, on 19th June, 2015, is the new film from Monsters, Inc. and Up director Pete Docter, which now has a title.

Sunday 2 December 2012

Brave Blu-ray Review

Pixar have had a rough deal of it as of late. It seems as though people were determined to hate Cars 2 no matter what, so it never really stood a chance - despite being an actually really fun film. That attitude has led many to foreseeing the, entirely fictionalised and false, fall of Pixar, which ultimately led to some unnecessarily harsh reviews of Brave. Saying "if this was a DreamWorks or Disney film, it'd be great. But it's Pixar, and we expect better" and giving it a harsh score is stupid; if it's a good film, it's a good film. And Brave is a good film. Rant over, for more, read my review of the film.

Saturday 1 December 2012

Robert Zemeckis Updates Us On Roger Rabbit Sequel

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is fantastic. There are very few who would argue with that statement. There should be a Roger Rabbit sequel. I'd hazard a guess that there aren't all too many people who would argue with that either, and director Robert Zemeckis clearly wouldn't.

The Art and Making of Peanuts Animation Review - It's a Great Book, Charlie Brown!

Peanuts, the acclaimed comic strip, TV specials, TV show and films stemming from the creative mind of Charles "Sparky" Schulz, is something I've always been aware of (who hasn't heard of Charlie Brown and Snoopy?) but never really known much about. Then, when the upcoming Blue Sky Studios adaptation was announced, I decided to try it out. I started on Halloween with It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and, as you'd expect, I loved it. The charming characters and conscious script, the infectious music and great animation, there's little not to like about it.

Friday 30 November 2012

Two Cool New Monsters University Posters

Brave's been and gone, and the big push for advertising Pixar's fourteenth animated feature film has begun. Today that manifests itself with two new posters for the Monsters, Inc. prequel, Monsters University!

We firstly get the above teaser poster, showing the film's leading duo, looking quite a bit younger, decked out in MU apparel. The minimalistic, white-background design definitely harkens back to the poster for the 2001 original.

Secondly, we get this awesome international poster for the film - titled Monsters Academy in France. I personally prefer this to the American one, it shows a little bit more from the film: some environments we can expect to see, the competitive relationship between Mike and Sulley, Little Mikey making a re/preappearance, and holy Easter Eggs, Batman, check out the time on that clock!

Monsters University is directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae, and hits cinemas on 21st June, 2013 (US) and 12th July, 2013 (UK).

With Monsters U on the horizon, be sure to check out Monsters, Inc. 3D in cinemas from 19th Decmber (US) and 18th January, 2013 (UK) - and have a read of our exclusive review of it here.

Thursday 29 November 2012

Teddy Newton Directing a Pixar Feature Film!

Pixarian Teddy Newton, who garnered particular attention in 2010, with his innovative Oscar nominated short film Day & Night which preceded Toy Story 3 (in which he voiced Chatter Telephone), is now developing a Pixar feature film!

Jennifer Lee to Co-Direct Disney's Frozen

Wreck-It Ralph co-writer Jennifer Lee has just been as the co-director for Disney's 53rd animated feature, Frozen. Lee joins Tarzan and Surf's Up director Chris Buck at the helm of the film, which is due for release on 27th November, 2013 in the US, and not too much later, on 20th December, 2013, in the UK!

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Classic Cartoons #12 - King-Size Canary

Today's Classic Cartoon is a classic of one of the all-time great American animators, Fred "Tex" Avery. Avery, best known as the genius behind Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny, also later developed Chilly Willy for the Walter Lantz studio. Some of Tex's best work, though, was for MGM's cartoon studio. At MGM, Avery created Droopy, as well as a stream of hilarious short films, including this one, King-Size Canary.

Cat and mouse, cat and bird, and cat and dog pairings are pretty common in animation, but this is something pretty special. The hilarious animation lends the short a sense of freedom that we rarely see in modern animation.

Avery's legacy is his zany, larger-than-life animation - animation we may be seeing a resurgence of, in CG; just look at Hotel Transylvania - and that animation is on full display in this critically acclaimed short from 1947.

Monday 26 November 2012

Brave Out Now on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK!

Fortunately, the wait for Pixar's thirteenth feature film to arrive on home video here in the UK hasn't been nearly as long as the wait we had for its arrival in cinemas, because Brave was released today on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK!

The film is available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D - I got the 3D package, despite not having a 3D Blu-ray player, because it includes the normal 2D Blu-ray disc, and an extra 2D Blu-ray bonus disc (as well as the 3D disc) for only an extra £5! We'll have a full review up of the Blu-ray package later in the week.

After the less than stellar array of extras on the Cars 2 release, Brave is packed full of everything from behind the scenes featurettes, an alternate opening, filmmakers' commentary and a brand new short, The Legend of Mor'du. Be sure to check it out, it's great!

Related posts: Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 2 Blu-ray Review

Sunday 25 November 2012

Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 2 Blu-ray Review

Pixar have a long and storied tradition with short films. As with their parent company, Disney, before them, the studio got their start with short films - films like The Adventures of André and Wally B., Luxo Jr. and Tin Toy. But while Disney has largely moved away from shorts (although seem to have returned to the format in recent years, with great short films like The Ballad of Nessie and Paperman), Pixar have remained loyal to short production - having one precede each of their feature films.

So, five years after its original Short Films Collection, Pixar have now released the second collection of its acclaimed short films on Blu-ray and DVD; and it's been worth the wait!

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Rise of the Guardians in US Cinemas Today - What Are the Critics Saying?

It's been quite a ride: anticipation running high, speculation that this could be the greatest DreamWorks film yet, some mixed reviews, some more positive ones, trepidation; and now US fans can find out for themselves how good DreamWorks' Rise of the Guardians - playing now in the US - actually is!

Watch: Clip From The Legend of Mor'du

Disney UK may suck at releasing films in decent time, but their YouTube channel is top notch. Today, Walt Disney Studios UK brings us the above clip of the new short film that's on the Brave DVD and Blu-ray, The Legend of Mor'du.

We got our first look at the feature-based short a couple of weeks ago, and you can really see the distinctively different visual style mentioned then in this clip. The short, which is directed by long-time Pixar storyboard artist Brian Larsen, (Ratatouille, Brave) is narrated by Julie Walters' Witch and follows the story of demon bear Mor'du more closely. It looks great and I can't wait to check it out with the fantastic Brave very soon!

The Legend of Mor'du arrives in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray with Brave this coming Monday - and is already out in the US. You can pre-order below.

So It Has Begun: First Round of For Your Consideration Ads

Yes, it is that time of year again. It has its detractors, but I happen to think Awards season is pretty exciting! So, in a bid to get their films nominates for as many awards (well, mainly Oscars) as possible, studios have begun rolling out For Your Consideration ads - and we've got some cool animation ones so far.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Watch: Brilliant New Trailer for Epic

Blue Sky Studios are great. They get a lot of flack sometimes for their more goofy, comic approach to animation - versus the more sophisticated stories of Pixar or, now, DreamWorks - but their films have heart, have depth, are gorgeous, and, yes, have lots of, sometimes asinine, comedy. I loved the first two Ice Age films (3, not so much; I still haven't seen 4), I loved Robots as a kid, Horton Hears a Who! was fun, and Rio was a great film! That said, the Fox-owned studio's next film, Epic, looks like a departure from their pre-existing mould, and I'm all for that.

Monday 19 November 2012

New Images From Blue Sky's Epic

It certainly looks like, at least somewhat of, a departure from their funny Ice Age-norm, but Blue Sky Studios' Epic looks just that: epic. Directed by Blue Sky co-founder and head-honcho, Chris Wedge (Ice Age, Robots), and based on the 1996 book, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, by William Joyce, Epic looks set to wow - particularly in terms of visuals.

Sunday 18 November 2012

UPDATED - Star Wars Update: Brad Bird's Out, Who's In?

The hot topic at the moment is who's going to direct Star Wars: Episode VII? Already the most anticipated film in the history of the world, the first film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy will allegedly see the return of Luke, Han and Leia, with more old faces seemingly set to return, along with everyone and their mum wanting to be a part of the film, which is being scripted by Toy Story 3 writer, Michael Arndt. With all the news we are getting though, the one bit we're not is that all important nugget of who's going to direct it.

The Fairest One of All: The Making of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Review - A Triumph Befitting Disney's Classic

Firstly, I apologise for the tardiness of this review; I've been snowed under, but hopefully normal service is now restored - there'll be a review up of The Art and Making of Peanuts Animation in the next week as well. Thanks to the team at Aurum Press for sending me a copy of this - US version sold by Weldon Owen.

The Fairest One of All: The Making of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is an almost complete account of the huge production of Walt Disney's first feature length animated feature, the fantastic classic, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Such a gigantically important, influential and trend-setting picture, obviously, took a mammoth amount of effort, as such, this book is an absolutely mammoth undertaking itself.

Saturday 17 November 2012

Brand New Frankenweenie Short to Appear on DVD/Blu-ray Release

Tim Burton's Frankenweenie hasn't had the best run at the box-office (just north of $63 million at the time of writing), but the critics love it, and the DVD and Blu-ray will likely sell well among Burton and animation fans.

Stitch Kingdom reports that the film arrives on home video on 15th January (in the US), and is bringing a brand new feature-based short with it. In the same vein as Brave, which is accompanied on home video with the new short The Legend of Mor'du, one of the bonus features on the Frankenweenie - which is also released by Disney - release will be a two minutes and twenty second short called Captain Sparky vs The Flying Saucers.

Going from the title, the short will likely follow the home movies Victor makes with his later-reanimated dog Sparky. Captain Sparky was written by Frankenweenie co-producer Derek Fray, a long-time collaborator of Burton's who also worked on Alice in Wonderland and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

No word yet on the UK release date though.

Friday 16 November 2012

Check Out Some New Rise of the Guardians Clips

The holidays are almost upon as, and DreamWorks rolls out its seasonal offering next week, the Peter Ramsey directed Rise of the Guardians. The film, based on William Joyce's Guardians of Childhood book series, sees childhood icons Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and Jack Frost join together to fight the malevolent Boogeyman, Pitch.

So, DreamWorks are in full promotion mode and have released three new clips from the film, and an interesting behind the scenes peek at the many looks of the film (above). Check out the clips after the jump break.

Finding Nemo Blu-ray Trailer

With Finding Nemo 3D recently in US cinemas, and Finding Nemo 2 in the works, Nemo-fever continues with the 4th December US release of the 2003 Academy Award winner on Blu-ray!

To help promote the impending release (that'll surely make Disney a bucketload of bucks this holiday season), Pixar have released the above ad for the film - which is sure to look absolutely stunning in HD. Interesting song choice though...

Finding Nemo 3D is scheduled for a UK release date of 29th March, 2013, so we can probably expect the UK Blu-ray release sometime in early April.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

DreamWorks Working on Puss in Boots 2; Kung Fu Panda 3 and Trollhunters Details

Producer-extraordinaire Guillermo del Toro recently spoke to Collider about DreamWorks' latest film, Rise of the Guardians, which he executive produced, and offered up some quotes on two of DreamWorks' upcoming sequels, Kung Fu Panda 3 and Puss in Boots 2, as well as an original film he's developing for the studio, Trollhunters.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Behold: Brave Easter Eggs Found!

A113 in Brave, carved in Roman numerals (ACXIII) above the doorway.

UPDATE: 20:33 (GMT) - you can now check out the references (including a newly found one, paying homage to the late-great Cars co-director Joe Ranft) in hi-res below; again via The Pixar Post.

It's not quite out over here yet, but Pixar's thirteenth feature film, Brave, is now out on Blu-ray and DVD in the US, and it's jam-packed with special features! The most special feature of all, though, is the film itself, and Pixar fans all over the web have returned to the film to try and nail down the few Easter Eggs that eluded us all in cinemas!

Those wonderful guys over at The Pixar Post have a breakdown of all the Easter Eggs you can see, ranging from Pixar-mainstays to some rather more interesting ones. We've already seen some of them before - the Pizza Planet Truck, Sulley from Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University, and a newt reference - but we also, finally, now know the location of A113 in the film (and the Luxo ball pops up as well).

A113 (top) isn't the most highly-defined and visible in the world, but it's there, and we'll add it to our A113 page ASAP! Check out the rest, of the slightly more visible Easter Eggs, below!

The Luxo ball, clearly - well, maybe not clearly - visible in the Witch's clutter.

The Witch's carving of the Pizza Planet Truck, which appears in every Pixar film except for The Incredibles.

Sulley from Monsters, Inc., who will also appear in next year's Monsters University, doubling up as a reference to past and future Pixar films.

A newt, paying reference to Pixar's cancelled film of the same name.

A carving of the late-great Joe Ranft's face.

Brave hits Blu-ray and DVD in the UK on 26th November - you can pre-order it below. In the meantime, to whet your Pixar appetite, Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 2 is out now in the UK and you can buy it here, and check out our exclusive review of Monsters, Inc. 3D (released 19th December, US; 18th January, UK).

Pictures and Easter Egg-spotting courtesy of The Pixar Post.