Friday, October 2, 2015

Bits Journal #50


Bits on Bird, busters of ghosts, Beatles, and more...

In a very detailed, comprehensive interview with JoBlo, Brad Bird once again spoke about The Iron Giant and the problems it faced on its road to release that eventually lead to the film flopping. Of course this is kind of old news, but The Iron Giant: Signature Edition (which played in select theaters yesterday and will play in those same theater on Sunday) will indeed receive a Blu-ray release with bonus features. When it'll come out is the mystery at the moment, but what can I say? One of animation's greatest finally coming to Blu-ray after years and years of waiting!

He was also asked about Tomorrowland, his ambitious original sci-fi adventure that sadly flopped earlier this year. He commented on how divisive the film was, and indeed it was. (It's hitting Blu-ray on October 13th, give it a watch I say!) One side thought it was great and the kind of movie we need in this day and age, and the other side said it was badly-written and was ruined by Damon Lindelof and yadda yadda yadda. I didn't take the middle road, per se, but I'd give it a solid 8. Not near-perfect like Bird's other films, but still something special.

Bird concluded by essentially saying "who knows how it'll be received in 10-20 years." It could be that misunderstood, polarizing Blade Runner-type masterpiece in the future, or maybe not...

He also said that The Incredibles II is being written and boarded by him, and that it's coming along fine. Nothing on directing though, but it seems obvious that he'll return to the chair for the sequel. I just can't really imagine an Incredibles sequel being directed by someone else.

Also, any interview with Brad Bird is a delight. The man is our modern day Walt Disney, I really believe that.


Speaking of animation masterminds, Genndy Tartakovsky said recently that he won't be at the helm of Hotel Transylvania 3, which of course is coming since the sequel had the biggest opening for a September release and is sure to make back its pretty small $80 million budget in no time. Tartakovsky is moving on for reasons obvious to anyone who is following the news concerning him: He has an original story that he really wants to go through with, an amazing sounding-tale called Can You Imagine?

He commented on Popeye once again, detailing that the previous management wasn't keen on it (as we learned a few times before now), and the hack had happened. Bad timing altogether, and now that the dust has settled, he's personally past Popeye at the moment, as he said in his interview with Cartoon Brew. Sony Animation still intends to make a Popeye movie, with or without Tartakovsky. As I said a few articles back, the best-case scenario: Sony Animation lets Tartakovsky do his original story, then after that's done he's interested in Popeye again, and the higher ups let him make the movie he wants to make. I'm asking for a lot, aren't I?

Speaking of sequels and Sony Animation, how come a third Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs isn't on the cards? Cloudy was their first film to top $100 million domestically, and its sequel did just as well domestically and worldwide. To my understanding (I haven't seen 2 yet), the sequel was a new story and not an adaptation of the sequel to the book the film is based on. That book, Pickles to Pittsburgh, I think can be adapted. So yeah, why no Cloudy 3 that's based on Pickles to Pittsburgh?

Also, speaking of Sony, animation, and spooky things...


An animated Ghostbusters movie is reportedly in development at Sony Animation, with Ivan Reitman attached to produce...

However, the scoop comes from Tracking Board, who are said to be very hit-and-miss with scoops. (They're the same site that reported the 90s Nicktoons crossover movie, among other things.) With that in mind, I'm taking this with massive, massive lumps of salt.

Would an animated Ghostbusters movie work if it were real? If the film is about the original Ghostbusters gang (I doubt it would be about Paul Feig's Ghostbusters gang), they can still have Egon but I think it would be kind of tasteless to have a Harold Ramis soundalike. Ghostbusters: The Video Game from 2009, which the original cast returned to voice for, is often called the "true Ghostbusters III." If this follows the game's storyline, then it could be the proverbial Ghostbusters III movie... Isn't that something? A live-action movie series going animated?

It almost happened with Mad Max, actually. At one point, director George Miller intended to have Mad Max: Fury Road be an animated feature... Imagine that!

One way this could work is if they have it closely resemble The Real Ghostbusters cartoon from the mid-1980s. Other than that, I'm really not sure about this at the moment. But perhaps I shouldn't say much, because it most likely isn't going to happen, though I wouldn't put it past Sony. Sony right now, especially since they're recovering from you-know-what, is really smacking the franchise button lately. There's a live-action Barbie movie in development, Bad Boys 3 and 4 are on their slate, a Men in Black reboot is being planned, a Jumanji remake is coming next Christmas, they even think Goosebumps 2 will happen...


That same site also reports that Warner Animation Group is developing an animated musical about The Beatles...

First off. That needs to be true.

Second, the title is also cool... Meet The Beatles, the title of their first American album on Capitol Records. Apparently the story is about "the one that got away". One what? Song? Oh sure, there are plenty of unreleased Beatles songs that are actually pretty good. The film is said to utilize the entire discography, so I can expect the film to take place from 1962 to 1970. That's quite a lot to cram into one feature, and once you get to 1968 - the year The Beatles (The White Album) was recorded and released, things start getting rather ugly. Or maybe it could be a story that's unrelated to the band's history, a fantasy adventure much like Yellow Submarine.

The report says that Paul King, director of the very fun and surprisingly good Paddington, will be at the helm, and Jared Bush (Mr. Popper's Penguins) will write. Now that's a good line-up, but again, I'd love to say more, but this report could very well be bunk. I'd love to be wrong on this one. There's always tons of potential when it comes to The Beatles, and I think animation is a medium that perfectly suits their wildly diverse discography.


Being a Beatlemaniac myself, I enjoy all of their films. A Hard Day's Night is undeniably a classic and still a riot to this day, Help! is also lots of fun. Magical Mystery Tour is essentially a glorified goofball psychedelic home movie, while Let It Be is a straight up documentary. Yellow Submarine is one of my favorite films, and for obvious reasons: Animation and The Beatles, but the story work and writing in it is very good too, and it's just relentlessly creative and out-there. In fact, mainstream feature animation needs a Yellow Submarine-esque film if you ask me. Yellow Submarine, released in 1968, came out at a time when animation had needed something of a lift. The world had recently lost Walt Disney, and cheaply-produced, kid-centric Saturday morning cartoons were dominating the airwaves. Yellow Submarine was a much-needed burst of excitement that showed what potential animation had then and even now.

If you remember, a remake of the film was going to be done by Robert Zebecks' ImageMovers, as a mo-cap film. I was always on the fence about that, given my thoughts about mo-cap, but anything Beatle-related did kind of have my interest. After Disney saw a management change in late 2009, ImageMovers was on the chopping block, the nail in the coffin was the disastrous 2011 release of Mars Needs Moms. The submarine sailed away...

So a new animated Beatles film using the original recordings and not covers? Sign... Me... Up...

But again, massive lumps of salt...


Lastly, some more tiny bits of The Good Dinosaur as the new trailer nears... Well at least I hope it's near...

This TV spot is just like the 1-minute clip Pixar released not too long ago, except there are some minor differences, some of which showing how nature will be the antagonist in the film...


What say you on all this news?

2 comments:

  1. I wouldn't go as far as to call Brad Bird "our modern-day Walt Disney." That honor, IMHO, belongs to John Lasseter, the man who made the Disney Revival possible.

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