Monday, January 28, 2013

Visions of Tomorrow

It looks like more details about the legendary animation director's next live action project have been revealed...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

More Diamond Confusion

Those who have gotten their hands on the upcoming Diamond Edition of Peter Pan have confirmed that the Spring 2014 Diamond Edition will be The Jungle Book. Oddly enough, the UK and most of Europe are getting both The Jungle Book and The Little Mermaid as Diamond Editions this autumn. Certainly some strange changes have been going on with Disney's home entertainment division, that's for sure.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Rant: Where's That Other Disc?

Every time a Pixar film comes to Blu-ray, it gets the best possible treatment. On the first disc, aside from the main attraction, you'll get a few bonus features. Not just a commentary, but some featurettes and a few short films to top it off. Disc two? Tons and tons of bonus features about the story, production process, casting and almost everything else. The films get sets that are filled to the brim with bonus features.

Now, what about the recent films from the rejuvenated Walt Disney Animation Studios? All of them have one-disc sets with a minimal amount of features. That's right. One-disc sets with less bonus features, and ones that aren't extensive or detailed as much as the Pixar ones.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Pixar's Fairy Tale

Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
Co-directed by Steve Purcell
Produced by Katherine Sarafian
Screenplay by Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi and Steve Purcell

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Return to the Jungle?

Given some of the talk on's forums and the BBFC's recent classification of a trailer, it appears that The Jungle Book will be getting the Diamond Edition treatment sometime soon!

The Jungle Book, despite many warts in the story, is a personal favorite of mine and the Platinum Edition DVD from 2007 certainly did the title justice in the bonus features department. The aspect ratio choice was questionable, leaving a lot of fans who were used to previous versions (presented in 1.33:1) upset. My biggest problem with the DVD was the audio mix that was created for it; a few pieces of the score were missing for some strange reason. It's no different from the missing "Right!" that Jiminy Cricket shouts on the Platinum Edition of Pinocchio.

The question is, of course, when will it come out?

Personally, I'm thinking early 2014. With The Little Mermaid still on track for a fall 2013 release, this seems like the logical choice for that release slot. The classification says it's a Diamond Edition in the UK, so we know that it hasn't been dropped from the line over there unlike Peter Pan and One Hundred and One Dalmatians. UK Diamond Editions always come out around the same time as the US ones, so it won't be a case where Europe gets it months before we do. But... Here's one thing? Why has the trailer been approved so early? It almost implies that will come out this year in the UK. What about The Little Mermaid? Is that still a Diamond title in the UK?

What do you think?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Disney Updates Their Schedule

Walt Disney Pictures announced some new additions to their upcoming schedules and also moved a few releases.

For starters, the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean series will open on July 10, 2015. This is a return to the series' usual spot, only At World's End and On Stranger Tides were late May releases. As for the film itself, I can take it or leave it. I felt that On Stranger Tides was less convoluted than At World's End, but I thought it was just bland and lacked any punch. If the fifth installment restores some of the franchise's lost luster, I'll check it out.

Maleficent also moved. It was originally scheduled for release on March 14, 2014. It now opens on July 2nd. This way, it won't go head to head with DreamWorks' Me and My Shadow.

Brad Bird's cryptic upcoming project, 1952, is now penciled in for December 19, 2014. It will also be the director's first 3D film, but will they film it in 3D? Or will it be another post-conversion job? Speaking of 3D, the two Marvel Cinematic Universe films opening in 2014 will also be in the format: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (opens April 4th) and Guardians of the Galaxy (opens August 1). I assume both will be post-conversion 3D like the other MCU films.

The Muppets II was initially announced for a December 20, 2013 release; the same day as Saving Mr. Banks. Thankfully Disney moved the sequel to March 21, 2014. This way, it can probably outgross its predecessor and be a big hit. Why the first one didn't do so well is beyond me.

We got no word on other 2014/2015 releases. There's still no date for the Phineas and Ferb film adaptation; I just hope it isn't in limbo at this point. The untitled Walt Disney Animation Studios film (to be released on November 7, 2014) remains, well... Untitled. Star Wars Episode VII has no date either, but this is understandable. The usually May spot will dominated by The Avengers 2 among other releases. Hopefully we'll find out what's coming in 2016 in the coming months be it one of the new projects Disney green lit or the third Tron film.

Most of this is all good news, but part of it isn't. In fact, the last change is pretty bad news. The planned 3D re-release of The Little Mermaid is no longer a reality. I was hoping to see the 1989 classic on the big screen, but it seems as if Disney has lost faith in the 3D re-release routine. I believe they went about it the wrong way; releasing films that weren't out of reach to theaters and hoping they would replicate the success of The Lion King 3D.

I've been saying it for a while: The 3D re-releases of Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc. didn't make big bucks because they weren't out of reach. The Lion King was vaulted in January 2005, so the re-release came at the right time. Beauty and the Beast and Monsters, Inc. were available when the 3D re-releases hit theaters. Finding Nemo was vaulted in January 2010, but literally everyone and their brother has a copy of Finding Nemo. Of course those re-releases wouldn't match The Lion King 3D's $93 million domestic total.

All I can say is: Disney, you are making a mistake. Big time.

Update: Brad Bird confirmed on Twitter that 1952 being in 3D is a rumor.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Pixar's Brave has taken home the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature. Despite the fact it hasn't won in many critics circles, the well-liked picture from the hopping lamp was the grand winner of this ceremony. This begs a question: Will it have any chance at getting the Oscar?

Brave's only tough competition here was Frankenweenie and Wreck-It Ralph (I feel that the latter deserved the award); Rise of the Guardians and Hotel Transylvania didn't stand a chance. Of course, we know that the film will be going up against the two Disney releases plus ParaNorman and The Pirates! Band of Misfits for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars. I have a feeling that it won't take home the Oscar, but I'm glad it at least got something.

Awards season just got more interesting...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Stop-Motion and Disney: The Nominations

The Academy Awards have announced all of their nominations today, so what animated films made the cut? 4 out of 5 my predictions came true. How many of yours came true?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Termite Terrace, Phase 2?

Yesterday, Warner Bros. announced that they have formed a "Think Tank" of talented people to help revive the studio's animation unit.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Rainy City Tale

Did you ever follow the Twitter and/or Tumblr account detailing an upcoming Pixar short film? For a while, we've gotten various updates on the cryptic project. Now, we know what it's called: The Blue Umbrella. The Wall Street Journal was the first to get their hands on a clip. It's thirty seconds of typical Pixar: Pure brilliance...

The Blue Umbrella will be attached to Monsters University, which of course opens on June 21st. I'm already looking forward to this, and what's great is that it's another unconventional choice for a short film. That's what you always get from Pixar when it comes to the short films.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Move Over

Though these dates for the following four animated films were announced a while back, it seems like the studios behind them aren't sure where to put their upcoming films. Mainly DreamWorks, Sony Pictures Animation and Laika...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Looking Back on Twenty-Twelve

2012 was quite a year for animation, wasn't it? As we are now in a new year, let's pause and remember the best of last year...