Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Upcoming Animated Films - My Thoughts (Part 1)

Hello folks, the following posts will be my thoughts on this year's upcoming animated films plus animated films scheduled to come out in 2013 and 2014. The only film I left off of this list is The Secret World of Arrietty, the US release of Studio Ghibli's The Borrower Arrietty (2010), but if I get around to seeing it, expect a review. So anyway, here's part one.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Studio: Illumination Entertainment
Release Date: March 2
  • Another adaptation of one of Dr. Seuss’ beloved stories, but this one seems to be following the same routine as the previous Dr. Seuss film adaptations. With its colorful animation and light-hearted tone, it looks like it’ll be a deviation from the original story. The film looks like it could be a genuinely fun film. Illumination gave us a fun romp with Despicable Me, but they can’t keep repeating that formula. I’m still a bit skeptical about this one, but it’s sure to be a smash hit with kids and family audiences.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Studio: Sony Pictures Animation / Aardman Animations
Release Date: April 27
  • The real title of this stop-motion adaptation of Gideon Defoe’s The Pirates! book series is The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!, a much better title in my opinion. They probably changed the title to make it more marketable to family audiences in the states, and to avoid any possible controversy. (You probably know what I’m talking about) Anyways, from the trailers, this looks like classic Aardman. Wit, hilarious situations and the traditional look of their films. It’s nice to see them return to stop-motion animation. Will it be a success? It depends on how American audiences react to it. The marketing is trying its hardest to convince audiences that this going to be something worth seeing, but it’s possible that audiences might reject this as a silly spoof of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, even though it isn’t. It’s possible that this film will be miles better than those films. Aardman's films normally don't do so well in the states, with the exception of Chicken Run. Anyways, the film looks like it’ll be a fun, witty flick with plenty of laughs.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Distributor: Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks SKG
Studio: DreamWorks Animation SKG / Pacific Data Images
Release Date: June 8
  • This film looks like a disaster, to be honest. The first Madagascar was a fun if not inconsistent romp that had stylish animation, a fast and frenetic first half and enjoyable characters. The second film, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, toned down the fun and focused more on rather contrived character development. Both films were average and enjoyable. This one looks like they just said “Whatever”. From the trailer, this looks like a ridiculous, cartoonish romp that does have some occasional funny moments. It just looks over-the-top and silly. However, the screenwriter is Noah Baumbach of all people. This isn’t his first time writing a screenplay for an animated film (the first time he did so was for Wes Anderson’s impressive Roald Dahl adaptation, Fantastic Mr. Fox), but the fact that he’s writing the screenplay will make this film rather interesting. It’ll probably be a fun romp that’ll generate big bucks for DreamWorks which will probably be used to fund original projects.

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