Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Big Changes

Another director has been added to Walt Disney Animation Studios' Big Hero 6, and a new producer has taken over…

Twenty Fourteen

And so in a matter of hours, a new year comes… Another batch of assorted animated entertainments will be making the waves from the cold January to the equally cold December. Our big studios, minus three, are ready to roll their work to the cinemas.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ups and Downs

As the year draws to a close in a few days, I thought I'd look back on the good and the bad of this year in animation…

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Skating on Thin Ice

Hey folks, I hope you all had a fine Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or a fine day whatever holiday you happen to celebrate! Anyways… Back to blogging!

Distributor Phase 4 Films, in their attempts to cash-in on the recent Disney animated blockbuster Frozen (which happened to cross $200 million at the domestic box office), are essentially showing how foreign animation often gets treated here in the United States and how companies succeed at making money off of something else that isn't theirs…

Monday, December 23, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Storming In

Blue Sky has officially announced that a fifth Ice Age is happening, and just in time for the holidays, too! (I bet you are all cringing right now…)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What Happened to the Elves?

In April 2008, Walt Disney Pictures announced a big animation slate that went from the summer of 2008 to the holiday season of 2012. Yes kids, back in 2008, this slate was massive. It's not like today where Disney or DreamWorks comes out and says, "Here's what's coming out in the next five years!"

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

First Pick

Nowadays, studios have to claim dates very early on in order to set up a fortress of sorts. The big budget film world is a very competitive one, and so is the world of family-friendly animation. The six big studios currently providing our mainstream animated fare happen to produce costly films generally aimed at a wide variety of age groups.

December Animation Tidbits [#2]

Another round of bits...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Waiting… Waiting...

In March, three Disney animated classics arrived on Blu-ray alongside new release Wreck-It Ralph and non-canon film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. You could say it was "Disney Blu-ray Month", because we got a boatload of titles within a few weeks. Disney Blu-ray was release-happy again in June, giving us three more Disney animated classics. In August, four more!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Eyes on the Prize

DreamWorks has quite a lot of confidence in their upcoming Netflix series Turbo F.A.S.T., which is based on their unfortunate underperformer from this past summer, Turbo. The traditionally-animated series - a DreamWorks and Titmouse co-production - is set to arrive on Christmas Eve; now DreamWorks has a Netflix-based Croods series in the works as well, according to a Variety report on DreamWorks' latest ventures into television animation. It makes sense that this would be the next one in line, since the film was a huge hit for the studio. It's the second highest grossing non-sequel animated film behind Kung Fu Panda, with an impressive $587 million.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Big No-No

Many people will say that Walt Disney Feature Animation went through something of a dark age or two at some point in time. The first dark age is usually said to be the post-Walt/pre-Second Golden Age years, roughly the late 1960s up until 1986. The second, well… Was a little more recent. The post-Renaissance era, namely an era that contained most of the films produced after Tarzan and before John Lasseter took over Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2006.

Not So Golden

It's old news by now, but yes… The Golden Globe nominations are out… And I'll put it bluntly, I'm not pleased with the animation results.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Little Poor… But A Lot of Fun

With the success of The Aristocats behind them, the once-groundbreaking Disney animation studio would continue to thrive. The suits realized that animation wasn't something that had to be sent packing; The Jungle Book was a record-breaking hit and The Aristocats kept the success streak going. However, The Aristocats also showed the suits that you really didn't have to set the bar too high. The Aristocats got mixed reviews upon release, but it still made money and was considered a good diversion for family audiences. The next feature would also resort to that kind of storytelling laziness.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Top Dog

Frozen has officially claimed the record for biggest opening of a Walt Disney Animation Studios film…

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Frozen Frenzy

Frozen is most likely going to score the biggest opening weekend gross for a Disney animated film, beating out the previous record-holder held by last year's Wreck-It Ralph (which took in a solid $49 million) while also possibly being one of the rare non-Pixar films to cross the $250 million mark at the domestic box office. That's what good marketing does for you!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Anthology of Awesome

In the recent years, Pixar has shown that they are a studio full of people who are only human… Sometimes things don't work out, sometimes stories may not work out, sometimes films may have to be shown the door… Or the way to the shelf. The Disney studio faced problems like these after their Golden Age came to an end almost a year after the United States had entered World War II… Also, time does these things. And reality… The Disney studio just couldn't make Snow White-level brilliance each time out…

GKIDS: Distributor with a Plan?

Ernest & Celestine, a hand-drawn animated feature produced in France and Belgium from last year, will be getting a general release in North America this coming spring.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sony Animation's 2016 Film… Unveiled?

Earlier this year, after Disney and Fox announced their big animation slates, Sony Pictures Animation quietly put it out there that they had two untitled films scheduled for release in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

More Prehistoric Problems

Pixar is now no stranger to what the other animation studios and effects houses have been doing lately: Letting people go...

Since The Good Dinosaur ran into some major production problems which resulted in the removal of director Bob Peterson and a nearly two-year delay from its original May 2014 release date, the company will lay off less than 5% of its staff.

Certainly sad news, especially coming off of the abrupt and upsetting shutdown of Pixar Canada a month ago. Here's hoping, as always, they find work somewhere else in no time. The studio still hasn't said who the new director is going to be, maybe they haven't even decided yet… If that's the case, I'm a little bit concerned…

Maybe the news of the layoffs will lead to the announcement of the new director…

Disney Slate Update: Alice Returns, Jon Favreau Hits the Jungle

Disney is slowly but surely beginning to fill 2016 up with definite releases. For a while, 2016 only had three films: Two Walt Disney Animation Studios films (in reality, those two currently "untitled" films are Zootopia and Giants) and a Pixar film (formerly something untitled, now Finding Dory) - now it has a big live action tentpole release. Not the first Star Wars spin-off, not one of Marvel's untitled movies, not the delayed fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Take Off

The poster for How To Train Your Dragon 2 is finally here!

To be honest, I thought those teasers that were unveiled yesterday were for individual posters. Maybe one with just Hiccup, and one with just Toothless, but no - both are on here. It's a nice poster, one that implies that the sequel will be much more action-packed and perhaps a little more serious. After all, Kung Fu Panda 2 was just that in comparison to the original. The plot synopsis hints at something epic, now that the dragon has been… Ahem… Trained. It should do what a good sequel does: Go all out now that you've established everything in the first one.

Now let's hope that a new trailer is coming soon…

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tease, Tease, Tease…

DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox are going about marketing How To Train Your Dragon 2 in some pretty interesting ways. First off, they unleashed a teaser that was a full sequence rather than a selection of parts from the film, doing what Disney used to do for trailers (think The Lion King and Pocahontas); though it's possible that the sequence won't be in the movie itself and that it's just a custom-made bit for the teaser, much like what's used in Pixar's teasers.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thor's Second Outing Offers Fun

Thor: The Dark World is a solid addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one that's better structured than the first Thor, which I still loved. Thor at times tended to feel like it was a bridge to The Avengers, rather than a full-fledged Thor film with its own identity. That being said, director Kenneth Branagh had a lot to juggle with that film. The story-centric stuff works, the characters are good and the tone is handled well enough, it's just that the story does tend to hit some bumps on the road but it all ends nicely and is overall hugely entertaining.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Move Panda, Move...

Now that Disney has announced the official release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, I think it's high time that 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks move a certain production out of the holiday season…

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Regrading "Monsters University"

Monsters University was perhaps a film that didn't really need to be made, or even thought up… But you could say the same about the Toy Story sequels. We often look at sequels or prequels as unnecessary, especially to things that aren't broke, Pixar's films being prime examples. Far too often, sequels only exist to cash in on the success of the original and thus don't function as good companion pieces to the originals.

Setting Animation Back 50 Years

Hayao Miyazaki's swan song The Wind Rises is getting closer to closer to American cinemas, although the film is being shown in Los Angeles right now so it can compete in this year's animated Oscar race…

Bits: Star Wars, Changing Disney Dates and Hand-Drawn Goodness

Not necessarily Animation Tidbits, but just bits of news: Animation, live action and what-not...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

"Free Birds" Doesn't Fly

Reel FX's foray into the world of feature animation opened rather softly… But it is in good shape...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Where's The Party At?

Pixar's The Good Dinosaur was to have a Monsters University short film attached to it. Problem is, that Pixar film had been delayed from its planned summer 2014 release to the autumn of 2015. Of course, we all know this happened and why it had to happen, but…

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Figuring Fox's Animation Slate Out

In an attempt to fire back at a very confident Disney, who announced a giant upcoming animation slate that ended in fall 2018, 20th Century Fox grabbed dates for animated films from DreamWorks, Blue Sky and Fox Animation. Their slate capped off a month after Disney's...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Peanut Positivity

A new film based on Peanuts is something to celebrate, right?

Raising The Stakes... Again

The teaser trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the third installment of Marvel Studios' second phase of their cinematic universe, has surfaced...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

No Tintin 2?

Peter Jackson, in an interview with the New Zealand Herald, stated that after The Hobbit trilogy wraps up, he will be going small-scale...

Animation Box Office Update (October 2013)

We are now in a rather slow month for box office, though this month may be blockbuster month one day thanks to the success of Alfonso Cauron's Gravity - which I finally saw yesterday and greatly admired -  and we'll start seeing bigger films open during this month. Heck, it may be ripe for big animated films! LAIKA and Reel FX could make that month a goldmine, amongst other studios...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Event

To the people at Disney marketing... I have one thing to say...

Now that's how you do a trailer!