Wednesday 31 July 2013

Disney and Harvey Weinstein Teaming Up to Produce Artemis Fowl

The children's novel, Artemis Fowl, is to be made into a live-action film by Disney, in collaboration with Hollywood icon Harvey Weinstein, who's producing.

Munir's Disney Retrospective -- Animated Classic #29: The Rescuers Down Under (1990)

Last Week's: Munir's Disney Retrospective -- Animated Classic #28: The Little Mermaid (1989)

When people remember this period of time in Disney's history, they tend to remember the group known as 'The Big Four' comprised of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. These films were all box office successes and brought acclaim to the studio. But, sandwiched between these insanely popular films, stands a little and less epic affair that always gets neglected or forgotten by the general audience, and that's The Rescuers Down Under. Released just after The Little Mermaid put the studio back on the map and before Beauty and the Beast took them to new glorious heights, The Rescuers Down Under suffers in comparison with the films that surround it, but nonetheless it offers plenty of charm and great character animation that keeps the family entertained. The first official sequel that came from the studio, this film is not as good or heartfelt as its 1977 predecessor, but it still manages to keep the audience interested and invested in the story, mainly because of the strength of the two lead characters. Bernard and Miss Bianca proved to be excellent heroes in The Rescuers and this time it's no different; the chemistry between the two is what makes this movie worth a watch. It also helps that Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor returned to voice the two mice so the chemistry that we found in the original film is still intact here. That, coupled with some spectacular flight scenes, some colourful new characters and the use of the new CAPS system to animate the film, make it a worthy inclusion in the Renaissance period. All in all, The Rescuers Down Under might not be as widely loved or remembered as most films from this era, but it remains an underrated film that deserves to be seen by any animation lover. Rating: 3.5/5.

Next Week -- Animated Classic #30: Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Guest Post: DC Animation Releases Flashpoint Animated Feature on DVD

By Juha DeGraw

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox will be the next animated film in the DC universe. The 2011 comic by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert followed The Flash (Barry Allen) as he awakens in an alternate reality where he's stripped of all this powers and the superheroes he knows from his own timeline are completely different.

Field Report: Tintin and Hergé in Brussels

As a huge Tintin fan, I felt it was my duty to go back to Brussels, visit some of the places featured in the books and see the Hergé Museum. Why go back? Well, I already went to Brussels, but not as a Tintin fan. I always liked it, but was not a Tintinophile forever. Interestingly enough, I believe I became a Tintinophile on the way back from my first Brussels trip, as a teenager. That's when I read the unfinished book Tintin and Alph-Art for the first time, and became interested in the Belgian reporter again.
Therefore, this trip was a first for me. It was the first time I went to Brussels as a Tintinophile. As I'm sure there are other Tintinophiles out there who can't go to Belgium, I'll share what kind of experience it is to be there, as a fan of Tintin. So, get ready to go on an adventure, as I guide you through the streets of Brussels!

Tuesday 30 July 2013

The A113Animation Podcast, Episode 3 - Monsters University

Episode 3 of A113Animation's flagship - and for that matter, lone - podcast is now online! We were going to have the full team this week, but that plan went somewhat awry. Nonetheless, Damien's back this week, and joining him and me on the show is our live-action Disney writer, Nadine! The three of us reviewed Pixar's latest offering, Monsters University (which has only just arrived on all of our shores this month), along with some chatter about recent animated trailers (yes, so there's less griping about Disney's lack of Frozen promotion!). We also dip into the world of giant robots and aliens for a brief discussion of Pacific Rim, too.

As usual, enjoy the show, get in touch and, if you're particularly moved by the show, you could always help us out by heading on over to our Support page. The episode is available on Podomatic now, and will be appearing in our iTunes feed and Stitcher playlist very soon.

Two Animation Cels from Disney's Get a Horse! Short

"Here Comes Trouble: Peg-Leg Pete interrupts Mickey Mouse and his favorite gal pal Minnie in this
 animation cel as they delight in a musical haywagon ride."

Disney have released two "vintage animation cels" from their beguiling new/old Mickey Mouse short, Get a Horse!, which is tipped to play before Frozen in November.

Monday 29 July 2013

The News We've All Been Waiting For: John Williams Is Scoring Star Wars: Episode VII!

This news was coming, but it feels good for it to finally be confirmed. Yes, John Williams is scoring J.J. Abrams's Star Wars: Episode VII!

Sunday 28 July 2013

This Week on A113Animation (22nd - 28th July, 2013)

This has been a rather slow week for news over here at A113Animation, particularly after the trailer-iness and Comic-Con-ly goodness of recent weeks. That said, we did get a few really cool teaser posters for some of the upcoming films that have us most excited, and a little bit of Star Wars news and Pixar stuff. We've also got your latest features and another new editorial about Toy Story director John Lasseter. Check out the rather slim breakdown of the past seven days below.

Saturday 27 July 2013

More Star Wars: Episode VII Casting Rumours

It's getting closer and closer to production, so casting rumours for J.J Abrams's Star Wars: Episode VII are rapidly flying around the Internet. The latest rumours concern names that are kind of a big deal: Ryan Gosling and Zac Efron.

Saving Mr. Banks Official Poster

It's a bit late, but still a big, new arrival for Disney's film Saving Mr. Banks has been released- a very charming poster.

Star Wars Rebels Logo and Concept Art Revealed

Star Wars Celebration is going on here in Europe right now, and there's some exciting things being announced! If you didn't believe that John Williams was back to score Episode VII, believe it now. But in more animated news, we also got a cool new look at the latest Star Wars animated series, Star Wars Rebels, and an official logo.

Editorial: Thank You, Mr. Lasseter. Or, An Analysis of Walt Disney Animation Studios' Spectacular Comeback (2007-2012 and Beyond)

With Disney's Frozen just around the corner, I think it's time to look back and see the slow-but-sure comeback of Walt Disney Animation Studios since John Lasseter took over. With the Disney Company owning some of the most influential brands in the world (Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel), the Disney Animation Studios sometimes gets lost amidst its more media-frenzy-inducing siblings. Nonetheless, since Walt founded it back in 1923, the Animation Studio has been, and continues to be, the cornerstone of the Disney company (even if sometimes that's not apparent).

Futurama, A Swan Song - Week 6

Previously on Futurama, A Swan Song : Week 5. Which was easily the least good episode of this season so far. Can Futurama turn things around with Calculon 2.0? Let's find out, in this mini-review (spoilers included).

Calculon 2.0
The Only Show Broadcast At The Speed Of Light

Calculon, the greatest acting unit ever, committed suicide one episode last season (The Thief of Baghead). Now he has been replaced in the soap opera All My Circuits, and the lack of Calculon in the TV show is threatening Fry and Bender's friendship. Thankfully, the Professor has some good news: it's possible to bring a dead robot back to life, using science…

Thursday 25 July 2013

Cool UK Teaser Poster for Frozen

It's a poster-y kind of week. Disney UK have just sent out this cool (haha, get it?) new teaser poster for the studio's 53rd animated feature film, Frozen.

Teaser Poster for DreamWorks' Mr. Peabody & Sherman

While DreamWorks' latest is getting a bit battered at the box office, the studio (now under the 20th Century Fox banner for distribution) sets its sights forward to next year, with a cool new teaser poster for their first film of 2014, Mr. Peabody & Sherman.

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Munir's Disney Retrospective -- Animated Classic #28: The Little Mermaid (1989)

Make Sure You've Read: Munir's Disney Retrospective -- The Renaissance, Part 1 (1989-1994) Introduction

The Little Mermaid represents a very important cornerstone in the studio's history. Not only did it mark the return to the fairy tale genre (something they hadn't done in 30 years, since the release of Sleeping Beauty) but it also marked the return of a better studio, a stronger and more confident one that wasn't afraid of new challenges and experimenting with new techniques in order to tell a story. Initially rejected because the company was afraid it drew comparisons to their recent live-action film Splash, the film was given a second chance by studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg; assembling a talented group of animators (including Glen Keane, Andreas Deja, Ruben Aquino, Mark Henn and more) and pairing them up with brilliant musical duo Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, and directors Ron Clements and John Musker, created a unique fairy tale which is not only brimming with fun, but also has spectacular characters with memorable personalities. It's also important to note how prevalent the influence of the late Howard Ashman was in the film; he completely envisioned the Broadway-esque style, where the music complements the story and advances it instead of just being a diversion (something the studio would use in nearly every picture of this era). With clever lyrics and a wonderful score by Menken, this film has some of the most inventive and catchy songs in all of the Disney canon; songs like "Part of Your World", "Under the Sea" and "Kiss the Girl" are now part of the public's consciousness and are beloved everywhere. Ashman also influenced some of the characters' personalities, making them more complex and layered.  It's astounding to compare their previous effort, Oliver and Company, - with its unpolished and sometimes bland, cheap animation - with this one, which has amazing character animation and lots of special effects that make you feel as though you're watching something made with care and love - something worth watching. Strong box office receipts and two Academy Award wins were just the icing on the cake for a film whose reputation had already been cemented as one of Disney's best and most appealing classics. Rating: 5/5.

Next Week -- Animated Classic #29 Review: The Rescuers Down Under (1990)

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Munir's Disney Retrospective -- The Renaissance, Part 1 (1989-1994) Introduction

After a difficult decade, where the studio struggled for survival, the end of the 80s arrived like a breeze of fresh air to the ailing studio. With John Musker and Ron Clements at the helm, they returned to the fairy tale genre and found tremendous success, a success that would accompany almost every feature the studio released for the next five years. Adding a Broadway-esque style and ambitious animation experiments, the studio arose like a phoenix, again becoming the king of animation. The first part of the Renaissance not only brought huge amounts of revenue to the company but also tons of critical acclaim and audience love. Moreover, this period of time put the studio back on the map and made animation important and relevant again. The animated films released in this era have become undisputed and beloved classics and brought some of the most talented crews of animators into the fold, crews that have now become legends in their own right. Arguably the best era for the studio since the Golden Age, the Renaissance is fondly remembered for its heartfelt and sharp stories, memorable characters, unforgettable songs and gorgeous animation and their films continue to enchant new and old generations of people even today.

Pete Docter Talks Inside Out's Story and Animation

The Hollywood Reporter were on hand at this year's SIGGRAPH convention, and got a few words with Pixar director Pete Docter about his latest project, Inside Out. Set inside a young girl's mind and showing her emotions as actual characters, Docter described the project as "one of the most challenging stories I’ve ever had to put together."

Sunday 21 July 2013

This Week on A113Animation (15th - 21st July, 2013)

Given that it's Comic-Con week, it's no surprise that there's been a lot of Marvel news this week, and we've got everything from casting rumours and posters to official titles and cast chats. Don't be expecting lots of stuff from Disney's other subsidiaries though, the Mouse House has largely withdrawn from Comic-Con in recent years, to announce big things at its own D23 Expo (next month). This week has brought some interesting articles, clips and a teaser though. As well as that and your latest features, we've got two editorial lists for you to check out too! Make sure you catch up on everything you might've missed in the past week below.

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Comic-Con 2013

Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn is fitting in to the Marvel family well, being extremely kind by teasing Comic Con audiences with footage - even though the film isn't that far into filming - as well as assembling the cast for the event.

The Avengers 2 Subtitle Revealed... And Villain?

Avengers director Joss Whedon took to the stage for Marvel's Comic-Con panel and told audiences, “I actually don’t have much to say, but I do have something to show you.” What a tease.

A small teaser for The Avengers 2 played, including the official title card for the film: Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Out of Comic-Con: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Cobie Smulders Join The Lego Movie

Warner Bros.' Lego Movie just gets more exciting and fun-sounding by the day! Morgan Freeman is voicing Lego Gandalf; other great names like Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell and Liam Neeson are in there. One of the most interesting and fun notes, though, was that Arrested Development's Will Arnett is voicing Lego Batman; news out of Comic-Con is that some other big name stars are going to be helping him assemble a Lego Justice League in the film.

Saturday 20 July 2013

Returning to Mars: 7 Reasons Why Andrew Stanton Should Get a Chance at John Carter 2

I just wrote an article for, detailing why I think Andrew Stanton's John Carter is enormously underrated, and listing 7 reasons why the director, who is currently helming Finding Dory for Pixar, should get a shot at a sequel. Here's the intro:

Andrew Stanton is an enormously respected name in the world of animation. The director is a double Oscar winner, having helmed two of the greatest animated films of all time, Finding Nemo and WALL-E. It’s hard to argue with the merits — dramatically, visually, thematically — of either of those films, which aren’t ‘good animated films’, they’re good films. Great, actually.

In recent years, we’ve seen directors moving in and out of animation. Gore Verbinski directed the Oscar-winning Rango, and Steven Spielberg helmed the acclaimed-but-snubbed-because-it’s-a-motion-capture-film The Adventures of Tintin; Brad Bird, who also made himself such a name at Pixar with The Incredibles and Ratatouille, successfully transitioned into live action with Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol and is now hard at work, with Damon Lindelof, on Tomorrowland. Andrew Stanton, it seems, has been the unlucky one. His live-action directorial debut was John Carter, based on the epochal Princess of Mars books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, a film marked as noted only by its caustic reception and disastrous box office results, which shook Disney management all the way to its core.

So, Disney might rightly not be in a rush to green-light a second romp around Mars, but here are 7 reasons why they should:
Read the full list on MoviePilot »

Friday 19 July 2013

New Planes Clip: John Cleese Gets Shamed by El Chupacabra

Disney have released a clip from their upcoming spin-off of Pixar's Cars franchise, Planes. The clip shows El Chupacabra (voice of Carlos Alazraqui) shaming seemingly arrogant veteran Bulldog (John Cleese). The humour's about what you'd expect it to be. Although word is the film is actually quite decent; our own Nadine saw the film in Leicester Square last week, but you won't be hearing her thoughts until after the embargo is lifted on 7th August.

Planes, which was originally intended as direct-to-DVD film, is produced by DisneyToon Studios and directed by Klay Hall. The film also stars the voices of Dane Cook, Stacy Keach and Brad Garrett; Pixar and Disney Animation CCO John Lasseter is executive producing.

The film set "above the world of Cars" opens on 9th August (US)/16th August (UK).

Thursday 18 July 2013

The Top 5 Animated Films to Watch for in 2014

Just over half the way into 2013, it may seem a little premature to start looking forward to next year. And that would be true, if next year weren't looking so damn appetising. Sequels, adaptations and original concepts populate an increasingly more exciting 2014, and here are A113Animation's top 5 animated films to keep your eyes on.

Futurama, A Swan Song - Week 5

Last time on Futurama, A Swan Song : Week 4. Prepare now to be spoiled and mini-reviewed, as we enter Week 5.

Saturday Morning Fun Pit
Brought To You By
Permanent Clown Makeup


The President of Earth, Richard Nixon's head, spends his Saturday morning watching cartoons at the White House, despite the protest of angry viewers on his lawn. Each cartoon is a parody of a famous animated show where the Futurama characters are reinvented: Scooby-Doo becomes Bendee Boo and The Mystery Crew, Strawberry Shortcake for Purpleberry Pond, and G.I. Joe for G.I. Zapp.

Watch: Another Rio 2 Teaser Trailer

Well, this is a little curious. Despite already having released a musical teaser for Rio 2 back in May, Yahoo! Movies have got another teaser for the Blue Sky Studios sequel, due next year. This latest teaser again focuses on the film's rhythmic sensibilities, this time having various animals belting out "Memories" from Cats.

The film doesn't look like it's going to set the world on fire with innovation, but it looks fun, and if director Carlos Saldanha and co. can recapture the same toe-tapping light-heartedness the first film had, Rio 2 should be an entertaining romp.

The film rolls out internationally on 20th March, 2014, before opening in the UK on 4h April and State-side on 11th.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Adults Dig The Wind Rises... Kids, Not So Much

The Wind Rises is due to officially open in Japan this weekend, and in anticipation of the film, around 10,000 people have been able to snag a pre-showing over the past week. As expected, the viewers have taken to the internet and social media to let everyone know their thoughts on the most recent Studio Ghibli film.

Munir's Disney Retrospective -- Animated Classic #27: Oliver and Company (1988)

Last Week's: Munir's Disney Retrospective -- Animated Classic #26: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

The 80s weren't kind to Walt Disney Animation Studios. After Don Bluth's sudden departure, he became their main competitor, churning out films like The Secret of NIMH, An American Tail and The Land Before Time, which were box office successes and surpassed their Disney competitors. At the end of the decade, the Disney studio returned to adapting a classic story, in this case Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist. However, in very Disney fashion, they turned most of the characters into animals and the title character became an orphaned kitten, adopted by a gang of street dogs and their leader, Dodger. They work for a pickpocket named Fagin (one of the few characters from the original novel to remain human) who is in debt to a loan shark named Sykes. When Sikes gives Fagin an ultimatum, he and his dogs wander the streets to look for something to steal and, after encountering some misfortunes, Oliver ends up in the hands of a rich and lonely little girl named Jenny, who adopts him. This gives Fagin an idea of how to repay Sikes. If you are a Disney fan, you probably know that Disney have never been completely faithful to the source materials they adapt their movies from and some liberties are always taken, in this case however, the film marks a radical departure from its source material and in the end what is left from it is just the character's name and the fact that he's orphaned. Instead of setting it up in 19th century England, the Disney team set the story in present-day (or 1980s, anyway) New York and turned around some characters' natures (for example, Fagin is no longer seen as a villain but rather a victim of circumstances). Unfortunately, this 'adaptation' is a mixed bag, mainly because the main character (just like in The Black Cauldron) is a bland, one-noted personality. The supporting characters add some colourful moments and scenes, and some of the songs are catchy, but the animation feels cheap and rushed, not giving the characters or their surroundings any quality to speak of. The main reason to watch Oliver and Company is because this marks the introduction of brilliant lyricist Howard Ashman, who later on contributed to some of the most memorable Disney movies and created some of the studio's most unforgettable songs. However, on the whole, Oliver is just a modest and forgettable affair that has little replay value. Rating: 2.5/5.

Next Week: Animated Classic #28 Review: The Little Mermaid (1989)

NY Times Profiles DreamWorks CCO Bill Damaschke

The New York Times has a great piece up highlighting one of the most powerful men in the animation industry: DreamWorks' Chief Creative Officer, Bill Damaschke. Damaschke may not be as well known to animation fans as Pixar's John Lasseter - in fact the article dubs him "The Quiet Force Behind DreamWorks" - but his influence and importance at the studio cannot be understated.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Limited Edition Comic-Con How to Train Your Dragon 2 Print by Drew Struzan

Legendary movie poster artist Drew Struzan has made a limited edition print for DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon 2 for lucky Comic-Con attendees. Director Dean DeBlois took to Vine to record a little message introducing the beautiful thing. Check it out below.

Monday 15 July 2013

2013 Comic-Con Posters for Thor and Captain America

Avengers cosplay at Comic-Con. Credit:

Comic-Con kicks off in San Diego in just a few days and the convention has released some pretty cool concept art posters for the next instalments of Marvel's Phase 2, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Click below to see them!

Doctor Strange Casting Rumours...

We already know that Kevin Feige is keen to make a Doctor Strange movie, but now, reports are surfacing of casting rumours for the neurosurgeon-turned-superhero.

Sunday 14 July 2013

This Week on A113Animation (8th - 14th July, 2013)

This was a pretty mammoth week for animation news. Disney managed to both enrage and delight us, with some irritating release dates and remake news vs. exciting trailers and intriguing plot details; there were a few magnificent trailers, some intense posters, a crackpot theory and more! We've also got your latest Disney Retrospective and Futurama, A Swan Song columns, and a review of Pixar's Monsters University! Check out links to the past seven days of A113Animation shakings and happenings below.

Saturday 13 July 2013

Monsters University Review - Pixar Scares Up Some Laughs, Twists and a Lot of Fun

*This review is largely spoiler free, and most plot-details mentioned are evident in the trailers, but read cautiously if you haven’t seen the film yet*

Pixar are the gold standard of animation. Once upon a time that was Disney, and if all stays as is it might well be again sometime in the near future, but since 1995, Pixar have been fully leading the animation revolution. We've gone from a time when Disney was more or less the only source of feature animation, to a time when there's about a dozen mainstream animation studios. That's thanks to Pixar. Toy Story was a complete game-changer - revolutionary both visually and thematically - and since then the studio have created classics like The Incredibles and Up. Since 2011 and Cars 2 though, it seems faith in the studio has been broken: that film was widely panned, Brave got a much harsher reception than it deserved, and their fourteenth feature film, Monsters University, has been received - while rather more warmly than the previous two films - to a kind of glum acceptance unfitting of a Pixar film.

An editorial Munir wrote recently has stayed with me; Pixar haven't lost a step, they're not slumping, they're not making poor films, but it is undeniable that their last three films aren't their greatest. The key line, I thought, was "Toy Story 3 is Pixar's Lion King," meaning, once you have reached the absolute pinnacle of creative, critical and commercial success, there's nowhere to go but down. So, while Monsters University is not Pixar's finest film, while it's not as good or as groundbreaking as Monsters, Inc. was 12 years ago, it is still a fine piece of cinema, a testament to great storytelling, and proof that Pixar isn't going anywhere fast.

Friday 12 July 2013

Do All Pixar Films Exist in the Same Universe? Well, No, But this Theory's Magnificent.

I'd say it's extremely unlikely that you haven't thought about the possibility that the talking fish of Finding Nemo exist in the same universe as the talking rats of Ratatouille or the talking insects of A Bug's Life. In fact, a lot of Pixar's filmography could well be interlinked. Well, Cars kinda scuppers all of that... But nonetheless, I doubt you've thought about in as much detail or as cripplingly hilarious a fashion as Jon Negroni.

According to Negroni's "Pixar Theory", which is making the rounds online, A Bug's Life is post-apocalyptic, Monsters, Inc. is set in the distant future and the witch from Brave is actually a time-travelling Boo looking for Sulley through time and scattering Easter eggs to help him find her. Oh, and "Wall-E is basically Robot Jesus". The theory is so massively extensive, at least some of it has to be true... right?

Check out the hilariously ridiculous and ridiculously hilarious theory in all its extensive glory here.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 Teaser Trailer: It's Not Just Dragons That Can Fly

Now this is a teaser trailer. Pure and honest, this one continuous sequence teases the audience with one of presumably numerous exciting, innovative things to come in DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon 2.

The sequel to DreamWorks' most critically acclaimed hit yet, 2010's How to Train Your Dragon, jumps five years, and sees a significantly more dreamy-looking Hiccup trying out a new hair-raising trick. Dean DeBlois, who co-directed the first film with Chris Sanders, is at the helm solo this time round, with Sanders admitting to us that he has "not been super involved". Nonetheless, DeBlois seems to be doing a sterling job anyway!

Watch: First Trailer for Saving Mr. Banks

Not long after the first look at Saving Mr Banks - Disney's retelling of the true story of Walt Disney's quest to adapt Mary Poppins from book to film - was revealed yesterday, the trailer has appeared online.

Thursday 11 July 2013

Futurama, A Swan Song - Week 4

Previously on our Futurama, A Swan Song column : Week 3. Stay tuned, as another mini-review unfolds before your very eyes. Right now.

The Inhuman Torch
As Seen At The 1939 World's Fair

The Planet Express crew goes on a rescue mission to the sun, in which Bender becomes a fire-fighter hero. So when they return to New New York, the gang evolves from the delivery business to fire-fighting. But there is a troubling pattern going through all their missions: Bender was in every place the squad had to intervene, before the fire started. Could Bender be setting fires for his own glory?

First Official Character Images and Descriptions for Disney's Frozen

The floodgates have been opened and the Frozen marketing is seeping onto the web, day by day. Yesterday we got an intense new poster for the film and a re-dubbed trailer, both in French. Today, Disney emailed out a hoard of character images and descriptions for the film! We've seen character posters before, but these are the first official ones, complete with descriptions. Check out the cast of characters that will populate Disney's 53rd animated feature film below!

Tonnes of New Details Revealed About Disney's Upcoming Slate!

Blue Sky Disney, who always have reliable tips and sources from inside Disney, have just spilled the beans on what we can expect from the Mouse House post-Big Hero 6!

We're getting the studio's 53rd animated feature this winter, with Frozen; next year we get their Marvel-adaptation, Big Hero 6, (or the year after if you're from the UK); beyond that, we had titbits about a Byron Howard animal comedy, a Ron Clements and John Musker Tiki/Rumpelstiltskin film which may or may not be animated in a Paperman style, and a few other irons on the fire. We also had some release dates with no films matched. But BSD's Honor Hunter just blew all that out of the water with some super exciting details about what we can expect all the way up until 2018! Check out the juicy details below.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

First Look: Saving Mr. Banks; Tom Hanks is Walt Disney

The first image for Disney's Saving Mr. Banks, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, has been revealed. Read below to find out more about the film and check out the exciting first look!

Vin Diesel for The Avengers 2?

He shared on his Facebook just last month that he'd been talking to Marvel, and Vin Diesel has just updated his page again with news of having an official meeting with Marvel, sharing with his fans, along with the above image:

Marvel meeting today…
Only the people in the room can tell you what was discussed…

Munir's Disney Retrospective -- Animated Classic #26: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

Last Week's: Munir's Disney Retrospective -- Animated Classic #25: The Black Cauldron (1985)

After the disastrous premiere of The Black Cauldron the previous year, the new Disney management, with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Roy E. Disney at the helm, took it upon themselves to rehabilitate the ailing animation studio. Instead of aiming for a big, ambitious and costly endeavour, they set their goal on a smaller but still entertaining film. Mice have always been a staple for the Disney Studio, so it's not a surprise that this film would feature another one of the studio's most famous animal. Based on the children's book series "Basil of Baker Street" by Eve Titus, the film tells the story of Basil (a mouse version of Sherlock Holmes) a very clever and astute mouse who solves the most difficult and puzzling mysteries. When a toymaker is mysteriously kidnapped, Basil sets his sights on his arch-nemesis Professor Ratigan (a rat version of Professor Moriarty) and, with the help of a veteran mouse, Major Dawson (Watson), they start unravelling a crime which could put the whole British Empire in jeopardy. The Great Mouse Detective may not be a particularly remarkable film, but it features an excellent cast of characters. The film boasts excellent character animation and top-notch vocal performers (Vincent Price is particularly stellar as the villainous Ratigan) and is also an early showcase of the talent of some of the young animators who would become legends in later years by creating some of the most famous Disney films in recent memory. A particular stand-out is Glen Keane's animation of Ratigan which makes him such an interesting personality. This is also the first film directed by the legendary duo of Ron Clements and John Musker who later created iconic films like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. All in all, The Great Mouse Detective may not be a cherished Disney classic (and the fact that is sandwiched between two disappointing films may be one of the reasons for that) but it offers clever entertainment and wonderfully animated characters; it's a showcase of early talent from some of the studio's top animators. Rating: 3.5/5.

Next Week: Animated Classic #27 Review: Oliver and Company (1988)

French Frozen Stuff: Trailer and Poster

The ice has thoroughly started to thaw on Disney's Frozen, as we're week-by-week getting more and more from the studio's 53rd animated feature film. After revealing a Japanese trailer last week, Disney today revealed roughly the same trailer, but in French, alongside a brand new poster.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Disney Planning Live-Action Jungle Book?

Just like the Kenneth Branagh-directed live-action Cinderella and the Angelina Jolie-starring Maleficent (and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland before that), it looks like another beloved Disney animated classic is getting the live action treatment: a live action version another live action version of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book is apparently in the works.

The Winter Soldier Teaser Poster

The first official teaser poster for the 3rd film in Marvel's Phase 2, Captain America: The Winter Solider, has been released.


Aardman News 14 - Morph Set for a Return?

Some interesting Aardman ramblings emerged yesterday, via studio co-founder and Chicken Run and Pirates! director, Peter Lord. Lord tweeted (as embedded below) that he'd been in meetings about one of Aardman's earlier creations, the little plasticine fella who goes by the name Morph.

Monday 8 July 2013

Big Hero 6 Not Released in the UK Until 2015? Or, Why Disney Still Hates Non-Americans

Yes, this is another international staggered release dates rant. If there's one thing that boils my bacon, when it comes to film studios, it's when films are released several months after their initial North American premieres over here in the UK. While writing a post about animated releases in 2014 (watch out for that in the next couple of days), I logged onto to check when Walt Disney Animation Studios' Marvel adaptation, Big Hero 6, was due over here in good ole Blighty. And I was very much not pleased with what I found: the film isn't even due here next year; much like the God-awful situation with Wreck-It Ralph last year, it's not arriving until 15th February, 2015!

Sunday 7 July 2013

This Week on A113Animation (1st - 7th July, 2013)

This was a jam-packed week for animation fans, not least because we got 4 brand spanking new trailers on the same day. And that was just by Tuesday! We've also got box office updates, interviews, posters and set pictures. As well as your usual features, we've also got a review of Illumination Entertainment's Despicable Me 2 and an editorial about the current state of Pixar. Check out links and summaries for all of that below.

This Was a Big Weekend for Despicable Me 2

While Monsters University started the week as the number 1 film in the US, it was usurped by another animated film this weekend, as Illumination's Despicable Me 2 took the top spot. The film, which had already been playing in foreign territories, including the UK, opened at #1, with an estimated $82.5 million haul over the weekend. That's impressively about on par with Pixar's mammoth hit, Monsters University. Factor into that the fact that Despicable Me 2 was made for allegedly about $200 million less than Monsters U, and this is a very good result for Illumination's parent company, Universal.

Saturday 6 July 2013

Despicable Me 2 Review - Illuminatingly Hilarious, Minion-Packed Fun

*This review is largely spoiler free, and most plot-details mentioned are evident in the trailers, but read cautiously if you haven’t seen the film yet*

2010 was a very strong year for animation, providing two of the best animated films of the last few decades with Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon; other great films were also released that year, including Tangled, Megamind and the debut feature from Illumination Entertainment, Despicable Me. The film won itself a lot of praise, with audiences loving the tender dynamic at the centre of the film, the adorable orphaned girls who Gru adopts and, most crucially, the hilarious little yellow swarms known as the minions. I loved the first film, but have been sorely disappointed by Illumination's two subsequent films, Hop and The Lorax. As such, I, sadly, didn't have high hopes for Despicable Me 2. And I've never been quite so spectacularly wrong: Despicable Me 2 is hilarious, well told and even manages to be better than the first film.

Friday 5 July 2013

Robert Redford on Set of Captain America: The Winter Solider

Everything has been a bit quiet with gossip on the Captain America: The Winter Solider front over the past few weeks. But a few days ago a set picture emerged of Robert Redford.

Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Etc. Talk Turbo

Jake Hamilton is back with more great questions for big stars, this time for the cast of DreamWorks' Turbo. The film premiered at a CineEurope event in Barcelona late last month, and Jake was on hand to ask some topical questions about the film to stars Ryan Reynolds (who voices the eponymous snail racer), Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Peña and Snoop Dogg. For some hilarious Sam Jackson-y goodness and more, check the interview out above.

Turbo hits cinemas on 17th July in the US, and 18th October in the UK.

Editorial: In Defence of Pixar -- Why Their "Decline" is Completely OK

While this editorial may seem like a contradiction to my previous one - where I condemned how critics seem to give a passing grade to every animated film whether they're good or bad, and how we need to demand better films from animation studios instead of being content with "fun" stuff - when it comes to Pixar, critics (and, in parts the audience too) have been particularly harsh towards as of late. Not that I think Pixar needs any defence, since they can do that themselves, or that we, as an audience, or film critics need to cut them some slack because they're Pixar and we need to take their side no matter what, but I want to share with you why some of this criticism is unfounded and, in many instances, malicious.