Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bits Journal #13


Book of Life deets, DreamWorks' Outback musical, Looney Tunes Volume 3 and dragons… More bits!

Some 'Book of Life' Details


Oh joy! Details of Reel FX's very promising The Book of Life have surfaced!

Diego Luna, who will be voicing the lead, revealed some things…

The main character Manolo is a young bull fighter and his goal is to become a musician. Also, the earlier synopsis said that film will have a "fresh take on pop music favorites", those pop favorites will actually be songs by Radiohead and Cafe Tacvba, an alternative band from Mexico.

Also, some footage was leaked… But that footage was from something else, but I assume we'll be getting a trailer very soon. It is an October release after all, and Fox marketing may get the word out before Relativity did with Reel FX's first feature, Free Birds. I'm surprised they didn't attach a teaser to Rio 2, that would've been a smart move methinks.

Of course, as we all know, this film is being directed by Jorge Guiterrez, it is being produced by none other than Guillermo del Toro and it's set to open on October 17th.

* Tip of the hat to one of my Rotoscoper comrades, Mayra, for finding these tidbits...

DreamWorks Down Under


Last summer, DreamWorks announced that a musical set in the Outback called Larrikins was in the works. The plot?

'Larrikins' tells the story of an uptight bilby (a desert-dwelling marsupial), who has lived a sheltered life in the safety of his family burrow. When he ventures out and becomes privy to a dangerous secret, he finds himself launched on a musical adventure across the mystical and untamed Australian outback. The film will be managed by DreamWorks Animation Head of Development Gregg Taylor and Development Executive Amie Karp.

Now it has a director… The very person who is providing the music, Tim Minchin! Minchin is a comedian, stage actor, musician and also the writer of Matilda the Musical. Though he's never directed a film before (his reaction was priceless), it'll be interesting to see how he pulls it all off. A person with no previous experience in directing animation can indeed direct an animated film, just look at Wes Anderson! Fantastic Mr. Fox is pure brilliance. However, there are some out there who shouldn't, but that's normally because they don't understand or don't want to understand how animation works. (Lawrence Kasanoff, I'm looking at you.)

He described the project as "a bit Star Wars, a bit God Must Be Crazy, a big road journey." If that's so, then color me excited. I was initially interested when I had first heard about it, but these details make me want to see it more. It sounds like something unlike DreamWorks' earlier films, and it's quite interesting to see the studio tackling a project like this and getting someone like Minchin to direct.

At this rate, the earliest this film will debut is in 2018. DreamWorks intends to release three films every calendar year, which they succeeded doing this year with Mr. Peabody & Sherman and the forthcoming How To Train Your Dragon 2 and Home. Next year we're getting three films (The Penguins, B.O.O. and Kung Fu Panda 3), and in 2016 we'll get another three from them (Mumbai Musical, Dragon 3 and Trolls). Fox locked numerous 2017 and 2018 dates for DreamWorks, Blue Sky and Fox Animation projects, though I think DreamWorks will stick to the 3-a-year plan.

If so, DreamWorks will most likely release Captain Underpants, The Croods 2 and Flawed Dogs in 2017. All three have directors, the first of which has a writer and is seemingly moving forward. The Croods 2 can't come any later than 2017, and a list on Variety Insight indicates that it will indeed be DreamWorks' summer 2017 release.

Only one other project has a director, and that's their untitled film about blue-footed boobies (Karey Kirkpatrick will direct that), and a film based on Hot Stuff the Little Devil has two writers attached. The former should arrive in 2018, and now that this Outback musical has a director, I expect that to hit in 2018 as well.

The slate could look like this…

  • Captain Underpants - March 10, 2017
  • The Croods 2 - June 2, 2017
  • Flawed Dogs - November 3, 2017
  • Untitled Blue-Footed Boobies Film - March 23, 2018
  • A sequel… - Summer 2018
  • Larrikins - November 2, 2018. Perfect timing, methinks. A November musical? Big bucks.

Just to clear up a few things, I am well aware that DreamWorks' summer 2017 film is currently slated for a 6/16/2017 release, the same day as Pixar's summer 2017 release. If anything, DreamWorks is going to end up moving.

Also, I'm aware that Fox intends to release Blue Sky's Anubis on 3/23/2018, but I think they'll bump it up to late 2017. Blue Sky usually aims for April or July these days (sans Peanuts), and I think March is now a DreamWorks staple. I think in 2017, Blue Sky will release two films a year, so we'll see Ferdinand in the spring and Anubis in the fall.

Also, it's very possible in this scenario that the Outback musical and birds film will swap places.

You never know though…

Finally!


Warner Home Video plans to release Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume Three - a long-delayed set which has been anticipated by fans for a while - on August 12th this year. Now even though there was no controversy surrounding this or any unnecessary censorship, the fact that this now has a release date indicates that Warner Bros. may cave in and give Tom and Jerry Golden Collection Volume Two - with or without those two demonized shorts -  a release.

Normally I wouldn't back down to censorship, but Mouse Cleaning and Casanova Cat are unfortunately (according to historian Steven Worth (a.k.a. bigshot), who talked about this on Home Theater Forum) now part of the infamous "Censored 11", now the Censored 13 (or maybe even higher), and don't expect those films to get a release any time soon. I guess I'll take the set, even if it doesn't have those two shorts on it. I think that's better than not getting the other cartoons at all, since - according to Jerry Beck - that set has been complete since last year and they're just waiting to release it. Well, if a single person in the legal department with way too much power is unstoppable, then I guess our work was sadly all for naught. We can't change the way this one person thinks about these cartoons, so I guess we'll have to wait for a very long time to see a complete, definitive Tom and Jerry collection all on one format. Looks we'll have to settle for the UK DVDs that include those two cartoons uncut, or the US VHS tapes from the early 90s.

Anyways, it's good to know that this volume of Looney Tunes is finally coming out. It seemed like WHV had the "no one buys classic cartoons except collectors and physical media is dying" mentality for a little while, but it's nice to know that they are still willing to put these classics out on Blu-ray. Oddly enough, they still continue making family-oriented DVD-only compilations for all the soccer moms out there. Ya know, the kinda "Tom and Jerry's Awesome Escapades!" stuff.

High Flying

A How To Train Your Dragon 2 clip has surfaced!


The scene was a lot of fun, and I bet it'll be amazing in the theater given how well the flying sequences were pulled off in the first film. Something tells me that this might be the film's opening, but we shall see…

Either way, I'm looking forward to it!

3 comments:

  1. I just hope how to Trin your Dragon 2 introduces (like the second book did) Alvin the Treacherous. He is perfect for an animated film series. He gets darker (after a faux affably evil start). He loses some body parts in each story, which would allow the animators to redesign him to fit the new story every movie. And of course no fan of the books (asuming they made it to book 8) could forget his mom who (ironically) firs the trope dragon-in-chief perfectly.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My predictions (Fox Slate: 2017 and 2018)

    The Croods 2: March 2017
    Rio 3: May, 2017
    Ferdinand: July 2017
    Captain Underpants/Flawed Dogs: November 2017
    Captain Underpants/Flawed Dogs: December 2017

    Anubis: March 2018
    Larrikins: June 2018
    Blue-Footed Boobies: July 2018
    Peanuts 2: November 2018
    Kung Fu Panda 4: December 2018

    Maybe Captain Underpants becomes next DWA franchise

    ReplyDelete
  3. My predictions (Fox Slate: 2017 and 2018)

    The Croods 2: March 2017
    Rio 3: May, 2017
    Ferdinand: July 2017
    Captain Underpants/Flawed Dogs: November 2017
    Captain Underpants/Flawed Dogs: December 2017

    Anubis: March 2018
    Larrikins: June 2018
    Blue-Footed Boobies: July 2018
    Peanuts 2: November 2018
    Kung Fu Panda 4: December 2018

    Maybe Captain Underpants becomes next DWA franchise

    ReplyDelete