Saturday, June 30, 2012
Helmed by animator John Kahrs in his directorial debut, Paperman was created in black-and-white using "a groundbreaking technique that seamlessly merges computer-generated and hand-drawn animation".
You can see Paperman in theatres with Wreck-It Ralph on November 2. In the meantime, here's some equally attractive concept art from the production.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Epic looks like it could be good, but I honestly don't know much about it, except that it's based on a 1996 book by William Joyce, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs.
Joyce, who won an Oscar earlier this year for the short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, is serving as a writer and executive producer on the movie.
The synopsis from distributor 20th Century Fox reads:
Epic is a 3D CG action-adventure comedy that reveals a hidden world unlike any other. From the creators of Ice Age and Rio, Epic tells the story of an ongoing battle deep in the forest between the forces of good and the forces of evil. When a teen age girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she must band together with a rag-tag team of fun and whimsical characters in order to save their world…and ours.Epic is being helmed by Ice Age and Robots director Chris Wedge and features the vocal talents of Beyoncé, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Knoxville, Steven Tyler, Aziz Ansari, and Jason Sudeikis.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
|Hidden City Cafe in 2007. Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar|
Located in Point Richmond, California (Pixar's home before moving to Emeryville), the Hidden City Cafe is best remembered for its appearance in the WALL-E teaser trailer, wherein Andrew Stanton explains its significance in Pixar lore. It's also been winked at in Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story 2.
The reason for the closure? Recall Gusteau's in Ratatouille? Precisely. Remy's extended family members decided to get into the restaurant biz! Everything would have been fine had they worn their little chef's hats and not defecated in the kitchen.
Fan site This Day in Pixar, which first reported the story, has a photograph of the notice from the Contra Costa Health Services Environmental Health Division, dated May 4, 2012.
Ordered by the county to cease operations until the rodent situation (and a plumbing issue) was resolved, the cafe closed its doors for good. That—rat jokes aside—is pretty sad.
Topping the North American box office, Brave is Pixar's thirteenth consecutive No. 1 opening. The film's $80 million debut mauled analyst predictions that it would open at between $55 million and $60 million domestically.
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted slipped to No. 2 (as expected), but still pulled in a respectable $20.2 million in the U.S. and Canada, bringing its worldwide total to $365.9 million.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Tonight the studio finally switched on a redesigned site, less than a week after it relaunched its RenderMan section. The site now showcases some new content, like a fresh Behind the Scenes area with ten videos of artists discussing their craft.
Happily, all the feature trailers dating back to Toy Story are still around, now in a much larger size (playback is a bit choppy for me). There's also info on current events, like Pixar In Concert this summer in California.
There are actually another three slightly different versions out there at iTunes Movie Trailers, The Huffington Post, and Yahoo! Movies. They all end with Mike Wazowski as a fraternity disco ball.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
First off, the movie is a visual treat. From the characters—the design of Merida, Fergus, and Dingwall is stupendous—to the backgrounds, to facets as arcane as CG hair simulation, Brave is this year's most beautiful animated feature.
But does the story reach the emotional heights of Up or Toy Story 3? As with Cars 2, the answer is no. But it comes close. The ancient Scottish setting and, towards the end, Merida's relationship with her mother, does a lot to make that happen.
The film is much less dark than expected. I thought the marketing was hiding the tale's scarier parts; it wasn't. The action, though, is loud and intense, earning the movie its PG rating. (You'll have to watch to find out what the "rude humor" the MPAA refers to is all about.)
Although, as a fairy tale, Brave isn't as original as, say, a cultured sewer rat cooking at a fine Parisian restaurant, it never fails to entertain its target audience, which is everybody. Go see it this weekend.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Bringing its total worldwide lifetime gross to $277,451,000, Madagascar 3 demolished its live-action competition. It earned more than the No. 3 and No. 4 movies (both in their first week, and starring Cruise and Sandler, respectively) combined.
Although it's not an instant classic, I'm glad to see Europe's Most Wanted do well, since it's one of DreamWorks better efforts and a fun experience on the big screen overall. But it's only a matter of days until it inevitably surrenders to Pixar's bow-wielding princess.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Film editor Maurissa Horwitz (assistant editor on DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon and Monsters vs Aliens) lists Planes 2: Fire and Rescue in the Work History section of her webpage.
According to her site, Horwitz worked on the film for one month last August-Sepember, reporting to supervising editor Dan Molina; he previously edited Walt Disney Animation's 2008 short film Glago's Guest.
Special thanks to Pixar Geek for sending in the tip.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Combined with the DreamWorks film's foreign earnings of $75.5 million, Alex, Marty, Melman, and friends have sold tickets to the tune of $135,816,738, according to Box Office Mojo.
Buoyed by a mostly positive response from critics (it's holding at 76% on the Tomatometer), I wouldn't be surprised to see it do well up until Pixar unseats it with Brave on June 22.
The film, directed by Chris Buck (Tarzan) and produced by Peter Del Vecho (Winnie the Pooh), is slated for release in November 2013 and will be computer-animated. Original songs are being written by Broadway's Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
Frozen will star Kristen Bell as Anna, a "young dreamer" tasked with saving her kingdom from the curse of "eternal winter". Teaming up with "daring mountain man" Kristoff (voice TBA), Anna goes on a journey to find Elsa, the Snow Queen (Idina Menzel).
Friday, June 8, 2012
Sure, the storyline isn't genius and the flying animal gags start to get tired the tenth time around. But overall it's an enjoyable movie to watch. A glowing, Katy Perry-esque circus spectacular near the end was undeniably impressive on the big screen.
If there's one thing I like about DreamWorks versus Pixar (gasp!), it's that the 3-D effect in DreamWorks films is more substantial. Stereoscopic supervisor Phil 'Captain 3D' McNally and team did a great job here that strengthened the film.
Madagascar 3 is currently at 76% fresh on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes (only 58% among Top Critics) and may end up winning the weekend at the box office.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
The short, previewed above, will then play on ABC with the network's special airing of Cars on Saturday, June 16 between 8-11 PM ET. It will also reportedly air on the Disney Channel.
Time Travel Mater finds Mater disturbing the space-time continuum (á la Back to the Future) after travelling back in time to the founding of Radiator Springs.
The synopsis for the feature, currently set to land March 14, 2014, reads as follows:
Based on Jay Ward’s classic cartoon, Mr. Peabody is the world’s smartest person who happens to be a dog. When his “pet” boy Sherman uses their time traveling WABAC machine without permission, events in history spiral out of control. It’s up to this most unexpected of “father-son” teams to somehow put things back on track before the space-time continuum is irreparably destroyed.The film is being written and directed by The Lion King co-helmer Rob Minkoff. Mr. Peabody is being voiced by Ty Burrell from ABC's Modern Family; Max Charles, who plays young Peter Parker in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man, stars as Sherman.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Dolby and industry professionals are calling Atmos the "most significant development in audio since the arrival of surround sound". I can't wait to take a listen.
- AMC Barrywood 24, Kansas City
- AMC Burbank 16
- AMC Century City 15
- AMC Downtown Disney 24, Lake Buena Vista, FL
- AMC Garden State 16, Paramus, NJ
- AMC Van Ness 14, San Francisco
- Arclight Sherman Oaks
- Brenden Theatres at the Palms in Las Vegas
- Century at Pacific Commons and XD, Fremont, CA
- Cinemark West Plano and XD, West Plano, TX
- Cinetopia Vancouver Mall 23
- Dolby Theatre, Hollywood, CA
- Kerasotes Showplace ICON at Roosevelt Collection, Chicago
- SilverCity Young Eglinton Cinemas, Toronto
- China Film Stella Theater Chain Hefei 1912
- Cinesa Diagonal Mar, Barcelona
- Empire Leicester Square, London
- Shanghai Film Art Center
- UME Shuangjing, China
- Wanda Cinemas Wuhan Lingjiao Lake, China
What did you think? I'm sure a lot of people are loving it—Stitch Kingdom calls it "freakishly awesome"—I'm just not one of them. My doubts about the movie have only grown. Another character therapy session? Really?
As if that weren't enough, "three new Toy Story Toons are in development", all this according to a book industry e-catalogue from Disney Publishing Worldwide.
These specials are the ones Pixar president Ed Catmull suggested Pixar Canada could do back when the satellite studio opened in 2010.
Thanks to reader Taylor B. for the tip. No, it was not "old news".
Update (Jul. 18): Naturally, the page has been edited to delete the reference to the unannounced specials.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
The movie will be available in Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D Combo Packs. Both sets include the film on DVD, Digital Copy and UltraViolet.
The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack will feature a deleted scene, drawing tutorial, games, as well as three new 'mini-movies', to name a few of the extras.
Non-deaf parents beware: There's a karaoke feature!
Above, recovering video game villain Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) kindly hands out 'Pac-Man cherries' to unemployed characters from the 80's arcade game Q*bert. The station they're in? A power strip.
There's three more stills where that came from, which introduce us to tough shooter character Sgt. Calhoun (Jane Lynch), and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), who becomes sort of a little sister to Ralph in the movie.
Head over to USA Today for the complete article. Lots of tidbits on the movie are to be found. Hi-res versions of the images can be found at Dutch animation blog Animatie.nl.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Disney's Paperman short was inspiring.You'll be lifting your jaws off the ground at the end!— Chris Chua (@ChrisChua007) June 1, 2012
WOW! Just saw "Paperman", the new short from John Kahrs. I cried both times I saw it. Gorgeous, great music, a total home run. Watch for it!— Craig Good (@clgood) June 1, 2012
.@cathicks hear hear! I think Paperman is one of the most beautiful things (visually & story-wise) I've seen in a long time!— Josh Anon (@joshanon) June 1, 2012
If you, like me, are obsessively counting down the seconds until you can watch the short, the Animation World Network (AWN) has a Q&A with director John Kahrs (on Twitter @johnkahrs) and producer Kristina Reed that might be of interest.
Just had the great pleasure of watching John Kahrs innovative & wonderful hand-drawn/CG mash up "PAPERMAN".Annecy, you're gonna love it.— Brad Bird (@BradBirdA113) June 2, 2012
Paperman will be in theatres with Wreck-It Ralph on November 2.
Friday, June 1, 2012
Along with Walt Disney's Cinderella (going on sale October 2), this is one of my most anticipated Blu-ray releases of the year.