Friday, February 6, 2015

Bits Journal #39

The Weinstein Company has pushed the US dub of Argentina's Underdogs back yet again.

At one time the film was supposed to be a mid-2014 release, but then it got pushed back to this coming April... Now it's set to open August 14th. No animated films were ever set for an August 2015 release, so it's a good spot for it. I wonder if they'll redub it again so it won't be too far removed from the original, but who am I kidding, right?

This leaves April without a new animated film... Hey, whoever has the US distribution rights to The Shaun the Sheep Movie, are you paying attention? Snag that spot, as soon as possible! For the longest time, it was rumored that Relativity Media would release Aardman's newest film on April 24, 2015, but now that Underdogs packed up and left, they should take full advantage of that 4/10/2015 slot.

That all being said, when the heck is the Ratchet & Clank movie coming out? We're already two months into the first quarter of the year, and still no concrete release date. Is it going to theaters? Direct-to-video? Will it be shown at film festivals only?

And also... No word on the CG animated adaptation of Paul McCartney's book High in the Clouds. Back in fall 2013 we were told that it was going to come out in 2015, but we've heard nothing since. Is it even in production? Is it on the docket? Who knows. Something like Strange Magic was in development for a decade, and in production when we didn't even know. We heard about a super-secret Lucasfilm Animation project, I assumed it was still in development and that actual animation production hadn't even started... But it did! And before Disney acquired Lucasfilm, too. They then opted to tell us the title, the synopsis and when it was coming out... 2 months in advance!

So I wouldn't rule out High in the Clouds, it could still come out some time this year. Ratchet & Clank to the best of my knowledge has been in the can for a while, I just wonder why it doesn't have a release date. No distributor picked it up here? Or elsewhere for that matter?

Yesterday, Disney stirred up some concern over Disney Infinity 2.0...

Sam Flynn and Quorra from TRON: Legacy are finally playable characters, but they are only playable in the iOS Toy Box app and the PC version of the game. Many fans are asking, "Where are the console versions?"

I have a gut feeling that this is a stunt. Consider. The TRON series is set in the digital world, so Disney decided to be a little clever and have the two characters be available on computers only, and not consoles. I'm very sure that Disney will eventually give us console versions of these characters, why wouldn't they? John Vignocchi may have said on his Twitter that console versions aren't coming, but you never know...

Speaking of Disney, the company is introducing their first-ever Latina princess, Elena of Avalor. But she will be the star of a preschool show that'll be launched off of Sofia the First... Which begs the question, why couldn't they just make a feature-length animated film about a Latina princess for everyone? Oh well, at least we're getting a Polynesian heroine on the big screen in 2 years. And who knows, Giants might not be a fairy tale set in Europe. For all we know, Disney could very well take that tale and plop it somewhere else. Like, imagine it taking place in India... Or somewhere in the Amazon... Or Malaysia... Or Japan... Or Australia... Or maybe even somewhere in Africa!

Reviews for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water have surfaced, and surprisingly it's gotten very solid reception. A good 74% on Rotten, which is higher than what the previous film scored back in 2004. I'm hearing nothing but good things, it's supposed to be over-the-top funny (like the show) and surreal (again, like the show), and honestly... That's kind of what we need in some animated features. Oh, and a good portion of it is traditionally animated, so...

Anyways, it's poised to break $40 million this weekend. More than enough of a good start for Paramount Animation. Hopefully Monster Trucks, which unfortunately has to open in the hurricane that is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, does well...

Lastly, Sony Pictures...

Now that they are seemingly back on track and have been making announcements left and right, other things went down. Amy Pascal, President of the company, has stepped down and will now just be a producer within the studio...

Could this be the proverbial peg coming out of the Jenga tower? Could her exit mean a major corporate overhaul? This is wishful thinking, but I've heard that the Marvel Studios deal is back on the table again. However, we have that one obstacle holding everything from falling into place... Avi Arad.

Once he goes, if he does, then we may see the web-slinger in the MCU... It's probably too late to integrate him into Captain America: Civil War, as that will begin filming before Pascal leaves. Again, the ideal situation is this: Marvel Studios gets full creative control over Spider-Man, and Sony sits by and collects the dough. Everyone wins. Get rid of Arad first, since he seems to think that Spider-Man is his and his alone.

Let's get webhead back where he belongs!

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