Thursday, February 28, 2013

Do You Take This Ogre... Couple Marry as Shrek and Fiona

Think you're a hard core animation fan? Or maybe you think you've heard it all when it comes to animation fandom? Paul and Heidi Bellas are here to prove you wrong.

The Jersey couple (that's the British Crown Dependency off the coast Normandy, not the Garden State) took things to a whole other level recently by tying the knot while dressed as Shrek and Fiona from Shrek.

Since bailiwick law requires that the bride and groom be identifiable during the ceremony, the lovebirds ogres required special government permission prior to betrothal and Mr. Bellas had to be closely watched as he applied his ogre brows.

The verdant bride and groom tell BBC News that the idea of a Shrek-themed wedding came to them while watching the movie with their son Leo. The rest of the wedding party were also attired as fairytale characters.

"Every wedding's special, but the thing with us is—Shrek and Fiona—it portrays true love. Doesn't matter what you are, or who you are, or what you look like, love can come to anyone," said Mr. Bellas.

Casting News, New Synopsis for DisneyToon's Planes

DisneyToon announced today that comedian Dane Cook is voicing main character Dusty in Planes. He replaces Jon Cryer, who was announced as the lead back when the Cars spinoff was being produced as a direct-to-video release. The change evidently took place some time ago.

Directed by animator and aviation enthusiast Klay Hall, Planes is now set to open in theatres on August 9. In another sign that the film might be better that many expect, Disney has given it the full stereoscopic 3-D treatment.

An updated synopsis for the movie reads:
The all-new story offers an exciting cast of characters and centers on Dusty’s high-flying dream. But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing, so he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar.
A new trailer leaked on YouTube yesterday, but was quickly pulled. It's hard to tell from a minute and a half the quality of the story, but at least it confirmed that the visuals will be solid. (I'll be sure to post it when it becomes available again.)

Not that it matters to Disney from a financial perspective.

Grownups may balk at the idea of an extension to Pixar's Cars universe, but the target audience is going to to eat this up. It's a simple fact: boys love cars and planes. With the right marketing, Disney could see a good return on its investment at the box office.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Watch: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Trailer

As expected, Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation have released the first trailer for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, coming to theatres September 27. Watch via YouTube—

This actually looks great. Jurassic Park 2 with mutant food. Best gag: leek in the boat.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Menagerie of Mutant Foods in 'Cloudy 2' Poster

Not to be outdone by Pixar's new Monsters U poster, Sony Pictures Animation brings us this first poster for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, opening September 27. The teaser trailer for the sequel debuts online tomorrow.

Originally subtitled Revenge of the Leftovers, the film will find Flint discovering that his infamous invention is still operating and is now creating giant mutant food beasts—tacodiles, shrimpanzees, apple pie-thons, double bacon cheespiders and more—that threaten to destroy civilization.

Cloudy 2's voice cast features Bill Hader, Anna Faris, and James Caan reprising their roles from the first film. Kristen Schaal (voice of Trixie in Toy Story 3) will play Barb, 'a devious orangutan with a human brain' who likes to wear lipstick.

(via HeyUGuys)

Awesome New Monsters University International Poster

Disney/Pixar have unveiled this new international poster for Monsters University, which is less than four months away from opening in theatres. (Remember when a Monsters, Inc. follow-up was only a rumor?)

Although I tend to prefer minimalist posters (see here, here, and here) this is an awesome one-sheet that harkens back to the character-packed poster for Toy Story 3. It really makes you examine it closely.

Monsters University projects on traditional and 3-D screens on June 21.

Monday, February 25, 2013

PHOTO: Andrews and Chapman Celebrate Brave Oscar Win

A priceless shot of Brave directors Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman celebrating backstage after Pixar's 13th feature won for Best Animated Feature at Sunday's 85th Annual Academy Awards. (via @damoxy)

In related news, Paperman producer Kristina Reed got temporarily booted out of the Dolby Theatre auditorium by security after throwing paper airplanes in celebration of the short's win.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Brave, Paperman Win at 85th Academy Awards

Brave directors Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman accepting the Academy Award for Animated Feature 
(Credit: Darren Decker / ©A.M.P.A.S.)
The 85th Academy Awards, celebrating the outstanding film achievements of 2012, are being presented tonight by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the newly renamed Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

The animation categories have been announced and its a big night for Pixar and Walt Disney Animation: Brave and Paperman walked away with the Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature Film and Animated Short Film, respectively.

Paperman director John Kahrs accepting the Academy Award for Animated Short Film 
(Credit: Michael Yada / ©A.M.P.A.S.)
Although I really wanted to see Disney win for Wreck-It Ralph, and had little to say about Paperman, I'm okay with these films taking home the little golden guys. It doesn't come as a shock that they won. 

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Classy Poster for Pixar's 'Blue Umbrella' Short

Pixar continues its tradition of designing wonderful posters for its short films with this minimalist creation for The Blue Umbrella, which will be in theatres with Monsters University on June 21 and premiered Tuesday at the Berlin International Film Festival.

The studio shared the poster—one thousand copies of which were given away to festival attendees—on its viral Rainy City Tales 332 Tumblr today. The Blue Umbrella will have its first public screening in North America at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin on March 9.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Monsters University Extended Clip: New Roommates

A new, extended clip from Monsters University premiered on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Monday night, during an interview with John Goodman. Skip to 2:10 to watch—


(Thanks to Matt Bacon for the tip.)

Albert Brooks Signs on for Finding Nemo 2

Albert Brooks has signed on to reprise his role as overprotective clownfish dad Marlin in Pixar's as yet unannounced sequel to Finding Nemo. Deadline reports that the studio gave the actor a "fat deal" to lure him to the project.

Finding Nemo 2 is reportedly being helmed by Andrew Stanton, in penance for his live action directorial debut, John Carter. Ellen DeGeneres, who had long lobbied for a follow-up to the 2003 film, is also set to return to voice Dory.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Watch: Monsters University Full UK Trailer

A brand new, full-length trailer for Pixar's Monsters University, opening in theatres June 21, has been unleashed by Walt Disney Studios UK. Leave any skepticism at the door and watch—

Wasn't that fun? I think it safe to say that MU is going to appeal to teens and adults a lot more than Cars 2 and Brave. Pixar can rest easy knowing they have another box office winner in the bag.

Along with the new trailer, Disney/Pixar also revealed this morning that Dame Helen Mirren is part of the voice cast, lending her talents to the seriously freaky Dean Hardscrabble.

Friday, February 8, 2013

First Featurette for Monsters University

Here's the first featurette for Monsters University, hosted by director Dan Scanlon. Not the most polished promo, but it expands what we know of the plot and includes some new footage. Now can we get another trailer, please?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Peter Pan Diamond Edition Blu-ray Clips

Walt Disney's Peter Pan flies onto store shelves on Blu-ray tomorrow, the 60th anniversary of its 1953 release. In case you missed it, here again is my review. Now refresh your memory with these clips from the classic film.

Wreck-It Ralph Sweeps Annies (The Oscars Should Be Next)

So I'm a bit late with this... The 40th Annual Annie Awards were handed out in Los Angeles on Saturday evening by the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood.

All you really need to know is that Walt Disney Animation's Wreck-It Ralph appropriately swept the feature production and individual achievement categories, winning five awards:
  • Best Animated Feature
  • Directing in an Animated Feature Production (Rich Moore)
  • Music in an Animated Feature Production (Henry Jackman, Skrillex, Adam Young, Matthew Thiessen, Jamie Houston, Yasushi Akimoto)
  • Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production (Alan Tudyk as King Candy)
  • Writing in an Animated Feature Production (Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee)
Disney also took home the Best Animated Short Subject prize for Paperman. The complete list of winners and nominees can be found here.

Hopefully, this recognition by peers in the animation industry will give Wreck-It Ralph the momentum it needs to win the Animated Feature Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards on February 24.

Final balloting begins at the end of this week, and if A.M.P.A.S. members have any sense, they'll give it the award. Disney would be wise to do more in the "For Your Consideration" department—an investment in the March 5 video release and the sequel.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Must-See New Posters for Disney's Frozen [UPDATE]

Three new international posters for Walt Disney Animation's Frozen have made their way online at Argentine movie site Cine 1 (which felt the need to deface them with their site logo).

As you can see, two are character posters, featuring protagonist Anna and her sister Elsa, respectively. Anna looks a bit too much like Rapunzel from Tangled, but the design on her, and especially platinum-haired Elsa, is still really well done.

Frozen opens in North American theatres on November 27, 2013.
Update (10:21 PM): Disney has asked me to take all three posters down and I have complied. They tell me that they are "fan made" with images that are "not official". First Showing reports that the posters were "made from old character designs".

CONTEST: Win Monsters University School Scarf [WINNER]

On Wednesday, I received a surprise gift from Pixar: a Monsters University academic-style scarf! It's an exclusive promotional item you can't buy at the MU Store or anywhere else (except maybe the Pixar Studio Store, but that's not open to the public).

It's the real-life version—Made in England—of the one Mike Wazowski wears in this German poster for the film, opening in theatres on June 21. I suspect it will also show up in the actual movie.

And why am I torturing you with all these details? Just to show off? No! Because it might be yours! That's right: Instead of keeping it for myself, I'm giving it away!

For your chance to win, simply send an e-mail with your name and mailing address to, with the subject line "MU Scarf Giveaway". One entry per reader please.

Contest closes at tonight (Feb. 1) at 11:59 PM ET and is open to residents of the United States of America and Canada, including jurisdictions where illegal, such as Quebec. I'm such a bad boy. Woooo!
And the randomly selected winner is... Justin Miller of Herriman, Utah. Congratulations, Justin!

The Little Mermaid Blu-ray Trailer

Here's the trailer for the high definition debut of Disney's The Little Mermaid, coming to Blu-ray and digital on October 10. Watch via Yahoo! Movies

The Walt Disney Studios, of course, recently canned the film's planned 3-D theatrical rerelease, which had been set to open September 13, after lackluster box office results from Pixar's Finding Nemo 3D and Monsters, Inc. 3D.

Wreck-It Ralph Director Wants a Sequel

Speaking to The Huffington Post in a pre-Oscars interview, Wreck-It Ralph director Rich Moore says both he and cast members John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman are hoping Disney greenlights a sequel:
"My experience was so tremendous on this film and the animators, the designers, the story artists, the actors—I know everyone here had a good time making the film. I've talked with John and Sarah and we would all love to visit that world again and work with those characters again. We would jump at the opportunity. We're all crossing our fingers about as far as you can cross them that we get a chance to do that."
This isn't the first time Moore has been vocal about making Wreck-It Ralph 2. In December, he told Moviehole that possible stories were already being discussed. Reilly added that 'some big muckety-mucks' at the studio had told him they were "talking sequel".

With Ralph's successful box office performance (its made over $368 million so far), Moore and Co. will probably have their wish come true, if it hasn't already. There is no such thing as loose talk at Disney—these 'slips' are early publicity.

I never really thought of Wreck-It Ralph being sequel material before this, mostly because the ending thankfully didn't set it up. But there are a lot of games in Litwak's Arcade—many worlds that could be explored. I want to see this happen.