Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Bits Journal #55

A few bits today... Bites, birds, and big dreams?

It looks like we got a taste of the upcoming adults-only animated comedy Sausage Party...

The picture, which is another Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg collaboration, will be a raunchy send-up of animated family films that dominate the marketplace today. ComingSoon reports that a work-in-progress screening of the film will be held at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas, on March 14th.

I have to say, it looks quite good. The voice of the lavash, David Krumholz, had this to say about the film...

“It might be the funniest movie of all-time. It was the funniest script I’ve ever read, and the stuff I’ve seen is just absolutely brilliant. I can’t wait for people to see it, and it’s R-rated but man, I’ll tell ya, it’s a loose NC-17. It’s pretty out there.” 

Sounds like they really pushed the envelope here! As I've said before, a raunchy animated comedy is the last thing I want in the world of mainstream adults-only feature animation, but if it's what we need in order to get to a diverse range of adult animated films, bring it on! Anyways, I'm looking forward to the film, since it has a great crew behind it and the premise sounds hilarious.

Next, Jeffrey Katzenberg hinted at what direction DreamWorks could go in one day...

When asked about buying a minority stake in Paramount, he seemed to like the idea of joining forces with them... Katzenberg, who actually began his whole career at Paramount in the 1980s, had the company distribute DreamWorks' films from 2006 to 2012. The partnership didn't end well, and currently DreamWorks is with Fox, but outside of a few successes, Fox hasn't really treated them well, either. Not too long ago, I asked where they should go when their distribution deal with Fox ends with the summer 2018 release of How To Train Your Dragon 3, I felt Universal was the ideal place to go to.

Anyways, I can see why Katzenberg would've thought of that idea. DreamWorks and Hasbro were once to set to merge, and the big Hasbro movies (Transformers, G.I. Joe) are under the Viacom-Paramount tree. Paramount actually did okay with marketing the studio's movies, only tripping up badly on Rise of the Guardians, while also being responsible for Flushed Away (though the costs didn't help that movie to begin with) and Bee Movie.

I still say Universal is the place to go, because they know how to market animated movies. They really, really do. Paramount also formed Paramount Animation partially because of DreamWorks splitting with them, and also because of how happy they were with the offbeat Rango. Anyways, it's an interested piece to the puzzle. I hope that DreamWorks' road to recovery continues, what with Kung Fu Panda 3 rocking the international box office and the TV division really waxing.

Earlier today, Sony unraveled an international trailer for The Angry Birds Movie that shows much more than the stateside trailer...

When the full trailer came out weeks ago, I admitted that I'm actually looking forward to this. A movie based on an arguably waning mobile game franchise is perhaps the last thing American feature animation needs right now, but it looks like its crew - mainly directors Clay Katis and Fergal Reilly, both super-talented animation veterans - have pulled it off. It looks to be a super-fun animated comedy with lots of chaotic action and a pleasant cartoony vibe.

This trailer is a lot more story-based, but does make time for some fun jokes. It also shows what I wanted the previous trailers to show... The birds actually fighting the pigs! Yes, I think it looks fun! Sometimes you can make a simple fun animated picture, so long as you do it right and not insult your audience. This, surprisingly, looks like it will work.

Speaking of animated birds... And Sony animated birds...

This... Happened...

At first I thought it was a joke, until...


Well, it's not surprising that it's a WWE-produced movie. If you know a thing or two about what goes on in animation, you'll remember that WWE co-produced a few Flintstones and Scooby-Doo direct-to-video movies. Why? I don't really know.

No, what's surprising is that the project in question is a sequel to Surf's Up. Surf's Up was Sony Animation's second movie, and it came out way back in 2007. It's a good film, too. Unique, even... But the marketing team at the time failed to make it look like a must-see movie, and to audiences it probably looked like a movie cashing in on Happy Feet's success. Consequently, it flopped at the box office.

So why a sequel? Why now, too? It doesn't look like the original gang of characters will return, either. I can understand Open Season DTV sequels existing, because Open Season did fine when it came out. Talk about an interesting development... Sony Animation themselves, oddly enough, haven't spoken about it yet.

UPDATE: New they have... Interesting that one close with Genndy Tartakovsky is directing it, and it appears the main character Cody is back (probably not voiced by Shia LeBouf though, for obvious reasons), and the animation - not surprisingly - will be handled by another studio, Rainmaker.


  1. And today A new ice age colision curse trĂ¡iler came out

  2. So.. In 2017 we are gona get 4 movies from sony animation, Smurfs the lost village, surf's up 2, the Emoji movie, and the lamb

    I am only interested on the Lamb