Thursday, April 26, 2012

Paperman Poster Shows First Look at Character Design

Behold the poster for Walt Disney Animation Studios' Paperman (read more). It was posted on Disney's official Facebook page for the short film last night. Gorgeous design.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Brave Will Test 'Breakthrough' Dolby Sound System

Amid all the Disney/Pixar news at CinemaCon yesterday, Dolby Laboratories announced that Brave will be the first film to be mixed in the new Dolby Atmos multichannel audio format for theatres.

Dolby plans to install the system in ten to fifteen cinemas worldwide in time for opening day. Under the supervision of Pixar's master sound designer Gary Rydstrom, Skywalker Sound will prepare an Atmos mix of the film for these screens.

Atmos is more than just the biggest leap in theatre sound since Dolby Surround 7.1 was introduced with Toy Story 3 in 2010. “This is, I think, the biggest breakthrough in sound that has happened in my career,” Transformers: Dark of the Moon sound man Erik Aadahl told The Hollywood Reporter.

With speakers 'positioned around the theater and overhead' for near-complete immersion in sound, the system is "capable of transmitting up to 128 simultaneous and lossless audio channels, and renders from 5.1 up to 64 discrete speaker feeds".

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Disney, Pixar Make News at CinemaCon

Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar made some major animation announcements to coincide with the CinemaCon exhibition industry confab in Las Vegas Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Disney released a title logo (pictured) and plot synopsis for the highly anticipated short film Paperman, which will play in festivals this year and, likely, in front of Wreck-It Ralph in November.

Paperman's 'revolutionary' animation technique, Disney revealed, involves 'seamlessly merging computer-generated and hand-drawn animation'. It's also created entirely in black-and-white.

Here's the official blurb verbatim:
Introducing a groundbreaking technique that seamlessly merges computer-generated and hand-drawn animation techniques, first-time director John Kahrs takes the art of animation in a bold new direction with Paperman. 
Using a minimalist black-and-white style, the short follows the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him. 
Created by a small, innovative team working at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Paperman pushes the animation medium in an exciting new direction.
My blurb: Paperman is going to rock.

At CinemaCon proper, Disney showed the first few, video game-themed minutes of Wreck-it Ralph, which received a positive response from attendees on social media. "Looks fun, like it can do for video games what Toy Story did for toys," tweeted one user.

Not to be outdone, Pixar announced a title and new release date for Bob Peterson's formerly untitled dinosaur feature, now called The Good Dinosaur.  The film will hit the big screen May 30, 2014. Question: Is it a Barney movie? Pixar could have done better with the title.

Pete Docter's still untitled 'inside the mind' film was pushed back yet again—more than another year—to June 19, 2015. For 2015/2016, the studio announced an untitled Mexican-themed movie, being directed and produced by Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson.

Finally, the audience was treated to the very first teaser trailer for Monsters University, which reportedly got big laughs from the entire audience. /Film's Peter Sciretta tweeted that it "involves Sully pulling a prank on Mike while he sleeps in the dorm."

Third Brave Trailer Shows More Footage

In accordance with our laws... of motion picture publicity, here is the latest trailer for Pixar's Brave, released this morning. Watch it below or in 1080p HD at iTunes Movie Trailers.



The editing is a little awkward at times, but other than that, it's a solid reel with a good dose of new footage. I love the impression King Fergus does of Merida; the look on his face is priceless.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Pirates! Band of Misfits Lives Up to Buzz

After weeks of hearing good buzz, I was finally able to screen Aardman/Sony Pictures Animation’s The Pirates! Band of Misfits on Saturday morning. (U.K. readers will recognize the film’s subtitle as In an Adventure with Scientists.)

I’ve gotta say the buzz was mostly right.

While the central storyline—Pirate Captain’s quest to win the “Pirate of the Year Award”—didn’t grab me (as a comic macguffin, was it meant to?), the movie is a fun experience overall and plays well to audiences regardless of age.

The tongue-in-cheek, historical fiction subplot is admirably original. A besotted Charles Darwin duped into kidnapping a dodo by Queen Victoria, who turns out to be a exotic animal eating menace? Check.

Everyone who sees The Pirates! will absolutely respect the team at Aardman for their artistry. Five minutes in and you’ve forgotten all about its stop-motion origins. The character animation and set design is the best the studio has ever done.

The Pirates! opens in North American theatres this Friday.

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Review of Disneynature's Chimpanzee

Disneynature's Chimpanzee is in theatres today. I was privileged to see it last week at the TIFF Kids International Film Festival and was blown away. It's the most heartwarming film you'll see this year. And it's narrated by Buzz Lightyear!

Since it's non-animated, my full review is up at The Disney Blog. After seeing the movie, please share your comments there.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wreck-It Ralph Teaser is Year's Best Poster So Far

This new teaser one sheet poster for Walt Disney Animation Studio's Wreck-It Ralph landed online today on the movie's official Facebook page. (Hopefully a trailer isn't far behind.)

The pixelated design, inspired by the 8-bit video games of yesteryear, is strikingly different than every other poster out there. It's the best animated film poster so far this year. But will audiences get it?

Wreck-It Ralph hits theatres November 2.

New Brave Featurette: The Triplets

Watch this new Brave featurette from Disney/Pixar introducing Merida's triplet siblings, Hamish, Hubert, and Harris. It's a follow-up to the Merida featurette released last week. I like the footage here better. The haggis is authentically revolting!



Also check out the Italian poster for the film, titled Ribelle (Rebel) in italiano.

(Embed via HeyUGuys)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Classy Cover for New 'Art of Pixar' Postcard Collection

Take a look at this beautiful cover (just added to Amazon) for The Art of Pixar, Volume II postcard set, coming September 19 from Chronicle Books.

This collection of 100 postcards featuring Pixar artwork is a sequel to the original Art of Pixar series released in 2005. As you might have heard, there's been a lot of good Pixar movies since then.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Brave Preview Draws Cheers

Pixar previewed the first half hour of Brave for a group of bloggers yesterday as part of a two-day media junket in Emeryville. While I wasn't able to attend (thus missing the complimentary archery lesson), the buzz around the film is so far unanimously positive.

Here are a few comments freshly culled from Twitter:
Brave opens in theatres on June 22.

Monday, April 2, 2012

See Four New Brave Character Posters

These four new Brave character posters (click to see larger) have been unveiled at Entertainment Weekly (EW), along with commentary from co-director Mark Andrews.

Hamish, Hubert, and Harris (a.k.a. The Triplets) is my personal favourite. The one of Merida, on the other hand, is a wee bit lazy; it's the exact same pose as the poster revealed in February.