Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bits Journal #27

Birds, babies, brains, bits…

Yesterday, DreamWorks gave us a little first look at their rather mysterious Boss Baby film that first popped up earlier in the year when DreamWorks updated and stretched out their slate. The plot synopsis is definitely a little out there, but I think it could work. The character design of the titular character in this piece of concept art isn't too bad either, he looks a bit Megamind-ish. Coincidentally, Megamind director Tom McGrath will helm the film with Austin Powers co-writer Michael McCullen writing the script.

As I said over on the Rotoscopers, McCullen being hired to write this film is a bit unexpected and perhaps the film will be pretty irreverent. The premise kind of begs for a script like that, if you ask me. It's already goofy and ridiculous, an irreverent script would fit it perfectly. Something like that really would've worked for Megamind, because to me that film came off as a spoof of modern superhero films. What better way to spoof the sub-genre (can you call the superhero film a sub-genre?) than with animation? For me, that 2010 film's script did not go all out and was ultimately kind of dull. I understand others liked or loved it, though.

It seems to be getting a lot of backlash already, which reminds me of when Turbo was first announced in 2010. DreamWorks once in a while takes a very unlikely premise and tries to make something of it (similar to Pixar and their out-of-the-box premises), I think they succeeded greatly with Kung Fu Panda, but Turbo? Not so much. Let's hope this one is more Panda than Turbo. In my opinion, nothing DreamWorks has made in the last four years was bad. The worst films made after 2010, I think are just passable.

Boss Baby is still set to open on March 18, 2016. Alec Baldwin voices the titular infant, and Kevin Spacey voices his nemesis, an evil baby CEO.

Sony has also revealed the first look at another 2016 animated film: Angry Birds!

Now I bet a ton of people are already against this film, thinking it's a poster child for the death of creativity in Hollywood, yadda yadda yadda. I'll gladly admit that I enjoy the game it's based on, I remember playing it quite a bit three years ago when it was all the rage. Super-popular it might've been, I thought it was a very fun game. When it was announced that they were going to make a movie, I was a bit skeptical. Just how would they pull it off?

I like these character designs. They keep the Rovio shapes and designs, while giving them bigger wings and legs, though I think the yellow bird could've looked a little more triangular. But the banana design is alright. Overall they work quite well, I think. The cast is also impressive too: Jason Sudeikis voices the red bird, Josh Gad (expect him to pop up in more animated films) is the yellow speedy one, Danny McBridge is the bomb bird.

Bill Hader voices one of the pigs, Peter Dinklage is the Mighty Eagle. (Maybe have the dragon from Angry Birds Seasons cameo in it, yes?) The rest of the cast includes Maya Rudolph, the "Key" of Key & Peele Keegan-Michael Key, Kate McKinnon, Tony Hale, Ike Barinholtz, Hannibal Buress, Cristela Alonzo, Jillian Bell, Danielle Brooks, Romeo Santos, and the Smosh duo Ian Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla. It's very star-studded indeed, but hopefully this isn't a case of an animated movie with a bunch of big names (including lots of comedy ones) that has such boring voice acting. None of this "I'm voicing for the kiddie movie to get a paycheck" stuff, let's hope this movie is lots of fun. Animation veterans Clay Katis and Fergal Reilly are directing it, so it should be decent.

All I'll say is, I'm kind of looking forward to it. Big shock right there.

Other small tidbits…

Inside Out's trailer hits the Internet tomorrow. I saw an image (which I'm not sure I'm allowed to post here at the moment) that revealed what the world of Riley's brain looks like: It's a real 180 from the image of Riley herself that Pixar showed us in the Disney Movies Anywhere-exclusive first look. It's a lot less realistic-looking, unless that was the quality of the image itself, but it looked a lot different. It looked very spacey and colorful, too.

The trailer's release date makes a lot of sense, Disney can attach it to this month's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and Reel FX's The Book of Life. Then we can all see it before Big Hero 6, alongside the teaser for Avengers: Age of Ultron… And maybe even Tomorrowland's teaser.

Suffice to say, I hope this is a great teaser and not one that just leaves you wanting to see what the film will actually feel like…

Also… Here's a piece of concept art for Hotel Transylvania 2, a film I'm on the fence about. I wasn't crazy about the first; for me it really did feel like it went through six directors before the great Genndy Tartakovsky took over. Fantastic animation and design, but held back by a weak script that was short on good characters and surprisingly, laughs. Since Genndy was the director of this one from the start, I have some hope.

Now Sony… When's Popeye hitting the screens? September 23, 2016, yes?

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