Sunday, December 8, 2013

December Animation Tidbits


Bits… From awards to Disney Animation news to Minions...


A few days ago, the Annie Awards have revealed the nominees for the 41st ceremony!

Earlier, I had predicted that Ernest & Celestine, FrozenA Letter to MomoMonsters University and The Wind Rises would be the five nominees for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature… Well, those five have also been nominated for the Best Animated Feature Annie! Looks like my predictions may all come true…

The other two nominees are The Croods and Despicable Me 2, kind of a short list… But let's face it, this was a very weak year for animation. How come other foreign films didn't make the cut if the American output was lacking?

I have a feeling that the award is either going to go to The Wind Rises or Frozen, though I think The Wind Rises has the advantage since Disney cleaned house (deservedly so) with Wreck-It Ralph last year. I liked Frozen, thought it was solid, but not great nor the masterpiece others say it is. To be honest, I'm not really rooting for it at the Oscars. Sorry folks…

By contrast, the Best Animated TV Show lists is impressive. On the "for children" front, Disney Television Animation's Gravity Falls is one of the nominees, since its first season concluded this year, I say give it to Disney. Either that, or The Legend of Korra. The rest of the competition? Well, it's mostly shows that have been around for a while (Adventure Time, Regular Show) or okay-ish newer entries. Teen Titans Go!, for example, is at times funny and quirky - but it leaves me wanting a real new Teen Titans show. You know… A serious one that's not a parody.

The "general audience" television show line-up has TRON: Uprising sitting alongside adult-oriented fare like Archer and Bob's Burgers. Another win for Uprising would sure serve Disney right for moving it to midnights - why they aren't kicking themselves over that, I don't know. Futurama could also win since it concluded on a high note this year, MotorCity could also get some love - another show that Disney mishandled greatly.

Either way, this is kind of "meh" all around. The individual animation and effects categories all have strong nominees, so it'll be fun to see which ones win. Again, I think that this was a weak year for animation and that the offerings we had here in the states mostly aren't up to snuff.

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Walt Disney Animation Studios' Moana - presumably not due out until spring 2018 - has gotten its composer!

Mark Mancina confirmed on his website that he'll be handling the music. Mancina also scored Tarzan and Brother Bear, arranged the songs for The Lion King and also handled some DisneyToon fodder. We'll see what he brings to the table for this film, since his scores for Tarzan and Brother Bear are quite memorable, the former's in particular.

Since the picture is said to be a musical, it's possible that he'll arrange the songs for whomever is writing them - that is, if he isn't writing the songs. Who will write the songs is the bigger question? Will it be Alan Menken? Or will it be someone that hasn't taken a crack at writing Disney songs before? I'm leaning on the latter, because Robert and Kristen-Anderson Lopez scored a huge hit with Frozen's soundtrack and everyone's praising the individual songs. Heck, they might be the ones to do it, though I suspect they won't because I just can't see Frozen's musical style fitting in with this kind of story. Perhaps they won't go the Broadway route, which is what I'm hoping for. How about a different kind of musical?

I've been backing this idea for a while, as it will be nice to see fresh new talent handle future Disney songs. What do you think?

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The Minions are finally heading to China…


Various reported issues held Despicable Me 2 back from opening in mainland China, but as confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter a couple days ago, it'll hit the country in January. To date, Despicable Me 2 has grossed $918 million at the worldwide box office off of a robust $367 million domestic gross. It's possible that the film will be the second ever animated film to cross the $1 billion mark, the first one being Toy Story 3.

Do you think it could do it?

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What do you think of the Annie nominations overall? Does the idea of Mark Mancina providing Moana's score excite you? Do you think Despicable Me 2 will score a huge gross in China? Sound off below!

1 comment:

  1. I think the news about the Annie nominations and the Moana score is pretty exciting. Plus, I'm sure Despicable Me 2 will do well in China, it did well everywhere else. By the way, did you hear that Sony registered three domain names for a potential Sonic the Hedgehog film?

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