Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Trailer Train: 'Hotel Transylvania 2', 'Peanuts', and 'Secret Life of Pets'...

Talk about pulling out all the stops...

The trailer reel that's going to be attached to Inside Out on Friday was already pretty big to begin with: The Good Dinosaur, Zootopia, Kung Fu Panda 3 (one more day!)... Now add a new trailer for Blue Sky's The Peanuts Movie to the list, along with Sony Animation's Hotel Transylvania 2's first full trailer, and a teaser for Illumination's The Secret Life of Pets...

First, Hotel Transylvania 2...

If you've been here long enough, you'll know that I wasn't the biggest fan of 2012's Hotel Transylvania. I think animation mastermind Genndy Tartakovsky took a seriously troubled film - as it was in development since 2006 and went through roughly six different directors before he assumed the mantle - and somewhat salvaged it, as it did have some funny jokes and bits, and some really inspired, cartoony animation. However, I found the story to be average and I felt the tone was all over the place. It was, surprisingly, forgettable. Some characters stood out, but that was about it for me.

This trailer did have a lot of bits that made me laugh (the lullaby bit at the beginning in hilarious!), but then again, so did the trailer for the first Hotel Transylvania. On the whole, this was your typical animated film trailer, editing-wise: Noise, jokes, some story bits. I'll wait till the reviews for this one, because I heard some not-so-good things that happened behind the scenes. Again, I wasn't too big on numero uno, but Genndy's had this film from the start unlike the first film so there is some hope...

Oh, and the animation is great.

Moving on...

The Peanuts Movie...

Another visually splendid-looking film (from the beginning, I love its style), and now that we have a real look at the story, it looks like it respects the iconic Charles Schulz comic. I mean, why else wouldn't it? His son and grandson wrote and produced the film, and producer Paul Feig is a diehard Peanuts fan. He reminded us not too long ago that it was in good hands...

There are cliches present in this trailer and it's very comedy-based, but at the same time I think there's more to it than some of us may think. Also, the song choices are certainly not appropriate, but this is a trailer after all so hearing a popular song is expected. I want to see it, though I'm a bit cautious. Let's hope they not only make something that's worth of the comic and the classic films and specials based on it, but something that's really good too.

Lastly, and this was my favorite of the bunch... The Secret Life of Pets!

I can't quite say what I think of Illumination as a studio just yet. Their debut film, an all-original story, I thought was really good. It took familiar family movie tropes and had great characters, really good old-fashioned slapstick mixed with some quirkiness, and a lot of heart. Their second film, however, was a kiddie flick. Their third was a mediocre Dr. Seuss adaptation (to be fair, almost all movies based on Dr. Seuss books aren't good - stick with the animated TV specials!), and their fourth? Despicable Me 2 was entertaining enough and had some laughs, but it didn't go all out and was ultimately forgettable. I expected better from that one...

Minions? It looks really fun from all those trailers (Universal really knows how to market their films), hopefully it's what Despicable Me 2 should've been...

So now we're at an all-original story again, and it looks pretty promising. I like Illumination's weird, cartoony aesthetic, plus the jokes are all good here, especially the final one! It doesn't show much, being a teaser and all. (Despicable Me 1 & 2's teasers showed so little.) I'm sure the next teaser, or full trailer, will give us the plot and we'll see how it looks from there.

However, I think it has the potential to be as good as Despicable Me. Sure, films like Despicable Me don't really move American feature animation forward, but they do a lot right. There's nothing wrong with a safer family film done right (like, really right), and that's what I thought Despicable Me was. So yes, I always thought this project had something going for it, the teaser's cute and very funny, I'm excited to see more.

Lastly, I'll talk about Kung Fu Panda 3...

The film's Chinese trailer leaked onto YouTube on Saturday, but DreamWorks had it pulled immediately. I was out all day so I missed the epicness, but someone uploaded a chopped up version of the trailer, which also got pulled... It looked incredible, and it made heavy use of the series' trademark traditionally-animated sequences. I wonder how much of that style will be in the finished film. It looks darker, but in a good way, the villain looks pretty menacing, and it looks like the DreamWorks team have really raised the stakes. I couldn't be any more excited!

What are your thoughts on these trailers? What are your thoughts on these upcoming films? Sound off below!


  1. I haven't seen the first Hotel Transylvania yet, so I didn't watch the teaser, either. I don't want to spoil anything.

    Peanuts' trailer was pretty generic, with the joke pauses, and the music choices. It actually made me a bit worried about the film, but I'm sure it's gonna be great.

    I laughed a lot on the Pets teaser, and I think it's going to be a fun little film, but nothing more, than that. It won't make Illumination stand out from the other studios, which is not a bad thing, but Pets being their 5th film, some people (including me) might expect more from them.

    I watched the whole Kung Fu Panda 3 teaser, and oh boy, this film is gonna be EPIC, very likely that it'll be the best of the trilogy! I really hope that everyone will love it, and it'll be successful at the box office, so it can prove DW execs that what they said is pure, natural, 100% bull***t!

  2. I'm starting to see Illumination's definitive style, like how Disney (Disney-signatured faces, magic, fairy tales) and Pixar (wild, vibrant, modern) are.
    1. They prefer cartoonish-styled character designs, as seen in Lorax, this, and Despicable Me franchise.
    2. Their animation is very low-budgeted, and you can see it. they're not as detailed as the Big 3, and movements are snazzy and fast.
    3. They prefer physical humor, as seen in Despicable Me films and this also.

    oh, and Kyle, the KFP3 trailer was released officially in Chinese websites. Hope this one works:

    1. Thanks for finding that. That is an awesome trailer!

  3. I'm surprised. Somehow, I feel like I'm the only one who noticed a hand-drawn animated speech balloon in the beginning of the Peanuts trailer. That alone made me want to see it.