Monday, March 3, 2014

The End

Wow. I almost can’t believe this is my last post on this site. Feels a little unreal and kind of sad. My first (clunky) post, back in November 2007, was short so I will try to keep this one as short as possible too.

As I wrote in December, I have absolutely loved every minute of my blogging experience here, first when this was The Pixar Blog, and for the past couple of years as Big Screen Animation.

Not only have I have gotten to enjoy some outstanding experiences—my all-expenses-paid, 2010 tour of Pixar’s Emeryville studio stands out—but I’ve been able to cover and discuss some of my favourite topics with so many readers. And that, I think, is what I will remember the most.

But all things must past. End the sitcom while it’s still good. I’m not going to be doing this in my eighties. So, with another year of animated motion pictures behind us, it's time to call it quits.

For your Pixar news fix, I’d like to hand things off to The Pixar Times. I don't know if he knows this, but Samad covers the studio better than anyone else I know. I must also give a shout-out Upcoming Pixar, the oldest active Pixar fan blog.

When it comes to general coverage of all things Disney, I strongly suggest you stay tuned to Stitch Kingdom and, of course, my second blogging home, The Disney Blog, where I will remain an infrequent staff writer. (I’ll be reviewing Muppets Most Wanted later this month.)

I will still be active on Twitter, where my user name will change from @bigscreentoons to @mikebastoli. Please don’t unfollow. I'll be tweeting out my favourite posts of the past six years throughout the week. Big Screen Animation will remain archived for a while. Thank you for reading.

Ride like the wind, Bullseye!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Animation at the Oscars: Frozen and Mr Hublot Win

Frozen's Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho at a pre-Oscars event on Friday.
Credit: Aaron Poole / ©A.M.P.A.S. 
Walt Disney Animation Studios' 53rd animated feature, Frozen, received the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film at the 86th Academy Awards, being presented tonight by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

The statuettes were accepted by producer Peter Del Vecho and co-directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, who delivered a brief thank-you speech. Completely expected and a deserved win, although not my first (or second) choice.

More surprising was the result in the Animated Short category, where independent film Mr Hublot took home the little golden man. First time directors Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares were on hand to accept the award.

Naturally, Frozen also won in the Music—Original Song category for "Let It Go", written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who delivered a raucous, rhyming acceptance speech. Best line: 'Let make Frozen 2!'

Shortly prior to the award being handed out, "Let It Go" was performed live by Idina Menzel, who started off nervously quiet but went on to deliver a rare better-than-the-original performance that made even me a fan of the song. (Pharrell Williams performed Despicable Me 2's "Happy" earlier in the evening, in what was the funnest moment of the night.)

Congratulations to everyone who had a part in bringing these films to the screen!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my farewell post on Big Screen Animation.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

LEGO Movie Tops Box Office with Super February Opening

Animation ruled the box office again this weekend. Warner Bros. The LEGO Movie brought in an estimated $69.1 million, reaching the No. 1 spot at the North American box office, in what is the second best February opening ever. Added to its overseas earnings, LEGO's worldwide gross has reached $87.2 million.

If you've been following me on Twitter lately, you'll know that I'm still highly skeptical of The LEGO Movie, mostly because of its painfully unattractive (to me, anyway) animation style. Although I applaud the production team for their artistic bravery, I can barely sit through the trailer.

However, with the nearly universally positive reviews—95% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, 97% Fresh among the review aggregator's top critics—I might have to go and take a look for myself.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Ernest & Celestine English Trailer

It feels like an eternity has passed since I reviewed the subtitled French version of Ernest & Celestine in 2012, but we finally have a trailer for the English dub version of the Oscar nominated film. I tend to prefer the original.

The English dub features the voices of Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, and Jeffrey Wright. Ernest & Celestine opens in select cities beginning February 28.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Watch: 'Courageous' Trailer for Planes: Fire & Rescue

Here is the first full-length trailer for DisneyToon's Planes: Fire & Rescue. The sequel to last year's spinoff of Pixar's Cars franchise, Fire & Rescue opens in theatres this summer on July 18.

As with Planes, adults may roll their eyes, but younger audiences are going to eat up the simple story and good visuals.