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Studio Ghibli is Back from the Dead! Miyazaki is Developing New Film

Studio Ghibli

Can you believe it?! I don't know if I do?! Reports are going around that Studio Ghibli has re-opened its doors, started hiring a new team of animators, and will soon start working on a brand new project. It was massive, heartbreaking news a fear years ago when legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement (after finishing The Wind Rises in 2013) and then subsequently the studio he helped start, Studio Ghibli, decided to stop making new films and instead focus on monetizing their old filmography. In the last few years, Miyazaki kept himself busy by making an animated short film for the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo. But now the studio is back from the dead and Miyazaki has a new idea for a film, which is what this is about.

 Posted August 11 in Animation, Movie News | Comments

First Trailer for Animated 'Animal Crackers' About Reviving a Circus

Animal Crackers Trailer

"They say a circus is a lot like a family, but every family needs that special something that holds it all together." Blue Dream Studios (not related to Blue Sky Studios) has released the first official trailer for an animated comedy called Animal Crackers, about a down-on-his-luck guy who tries to revive a circus. The catch - he finds a magical box of animal crackers that allows him to transform into any of the animals in his box. He thinks this might save the circus, until he discovers he has to go up against his long lost evil uncle - Horatio P. Huntington. The extensive voice cast in Animal Crackers includes John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Danny DeVito, Ian McKellen, Raven-Symoné, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Warburton, Tara Strong, Lydia Rose Taylor, Wallace Shawn, Gilbert Gottfried, Harvey Fierstein, and Kevin Grevioux. This looks fun, even though it seems seriously derivative in many ways, but that's not surprising.

 Posted August 8 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Full Theatrical Trailer for Hand-Painted Van Gogh Film 'Loving Vincent'

Loving Vincent Trailer

"You're not going to stir things up again, are you?" Good Deed Entertainment has launched a theatrical trailer for the upcoming release of the film Loving Vincent, the very special hand-painted film telling the story of famed Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh. We've already featured a few trailers for this last year, but with a release date set for September they're finally giving this a stronger marketing push. The voice cast includes Aidan Turner, Saoirse Ronan, Eleanor Tomlinson, Helen McCrory, Chris O'Dowd and Douglas Booth. To top it off, the film features a score by the one-and-only Clint Mansell. I really love this animation, it's so unique and I'm still totally impressed they actually hand painted every single frame individually (behind-the-scenes here). I hope the film is as beautiful as the paintings. Can't wait to see this.

 Posted August 4 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Watch: Terrific Animated Short 'In a Heartbeat' About a Boy in Love

In a Heartbeat Short Film

Well, this will definitely fill your heart with an extra dose of love today. In a Heartbeat is a wonderful new animated short film made by Beth David and Esteban Bravo, produced at Ringling College of Art and Design where they are students. It has a very simple premise - a boy's heart pops out of hist chest and chases down the person of his dreams, embarrassing him in more ways than one. This is such a beautiful short that will really hit you emotionally, just because it is so simple and yet realized in such a lovely way. The music is also charming, and the animation is excellent, making you real feel for these characters. Watch in full below.

 Posted August 1 in Animation, Short Film, To Watch | Comments

Watch: Animated Short 'Piano' by Estonian Filmmaker Kaspar Jancis

Playing the Piano Short Film

We started this week with a short film, so why not end the week with a good short film as well. Piano is an animated short film that first played at film festivals throughout 2016 before arriving online recently. It's a charming, fun little short that can't really be described easily. "A film without main characters where the lives of characters that have lost their head intertwine in a dramatic and less dramatic way in an ordinary concrete panel apartment building." Piano was made by Estonian filmmaker Kaspar Jancis, a director, animator, and composer, who has made a few other films previously. All of his other work is worth exploring as well, and can be seen on Vimeo. But don't forget to check out this one below, it'll make you smile. Enjoy.

 Posted July 28 in Animation, Short Film, To Watch | Comments

New Comic-Con Trailer + Poster for WAG's 'The LEGO Ninjago Movie'

The LEGO Ninjago Movie Trailer

"A true ninja knows when to fight, and when to blend in the shadows." With Comic-Con underway, Warner Bros has debuted another new trailer for The LEGO Ninjago Movie at the comic book convention in San Diego. This latest LEGO Movie from Warner Animation Group, arriving in theaters this fall, tells the story of six young ninjas who must go back to their ninjas root to defend their island called Ninjago. Jackie Chan voices Sensei Wu, their master and ninja teacher. The rest of the main voice cast includes Olivia Munn, Dave Franco, Michael Peña, Abbi Jacobson, Zach Woods, Kumail Nanjiani, Fred Armisen, and Justin Theroux as the evil Garmadon. This looks as good as the previous two LEGO movies, with as much humor and action and wacky, fun quirks thrown in - like the cat at the end of the trailer. I'm down for this.

 Posted July 22 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

One More Official US Trailer for Animated 'Leap!' About a Ballerina

Leap Movie Trailer

"What if she's good, mother?" The Weinstein Company has revealed a new trailer for animated film Leap!, also known as Ballerina, telling the story of a young ballerina in Paris. The film already opened in theaters in most of Europe, and was scheduled for release in the US in March until TWC pushed it back to August. So this is another reminder that it's still not out yet, but will (finally) be soon. This is originally from France, but has been redubbed with English voices: Elle Fanning as Félicie Milliner, Dane DeHaan, Maddie Ziegler and Carly Rae Jepsen. The story is about an orphan girl who dreams of being a ballerina. She ends up in Paris where she tries her best to make her dreams come true. I'm tired of waiting for this already.

 Posted June 27 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Second Trailer for 'Ferdinand' Movie About a Bull Who Loves Flowers

Ferdinand Movie Trailer

"Built to fight, born to love." 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios have unveiled a second official trailer for the animated film Ferdinand, about a bull raised by a family in Spain and taken to be a fighter, who really prefers to smell flowers instead of battle against matadors. John Cena voices Ferdinand the bull, which might be one of the best voice choices all year. The rest of the voice cast includes Kate McKinnon, Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs, Gabriel Iglesias, Bobby Cannavale, David Tennant, Anthony Anderson, Flula Borg, Jerrod Carmichael, Boris Kodjoe, and Raúl Esparza. This looks charming and heartwarming, with a good message about animals/people being more than they seem on the surface.

 Posted June 14 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Trailer for Disney Short 'Olaf's Frozen Adventure' Playing Before 'Coco'

Olaf's Frozen Adventure Trailer

"Do we have any traditions, Elsa?" Disney has unveiled a trailer for their new animated short film, titled Olaf's Frozen Adventure, which will play before Pixar's Coco in theaters this November. It's a bit odd that there is no new Pixar short playing before the new Pixar movie, but I guess this might get people into theaters. Olaf's Frozen Adventure is a 21-minute (!!) short film spin-off from Disney's Frozen, featuring 4 new original songs and lots of extra time with the lovable snowman Olaf, as voiced by Josh Gad. There are also appearances by Elsa (Idina Menzel), and Anna (Kristen Bell). This looks wild and wacky and full of holiday magic and cheer, plus it should be a nice holdover for those anxiously awaiting Frozen 2. Have fun!

 Posted June 13 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

One More Gorgeous Trailer for Anime 'Mary and the Witch's Flower'

Mary and the Witch's Flower Trailer

"That power will change the world." Studio Ponoc has revealed another new full-length trailer for their animated adventure film Mary and the Witch's Flower, opening in Japan this July. Studio Ponoc is the spiritual successor to Ghibli started by a bunch of former Ghibli animators. You can definitely see how this looks/feels very much like a Ghibli movie, which I think is a good thing. The best way to describe it might be a mashup of The Secret World of Arrietty and Castle in the Sky, but this is still has its own unique story about a girl who discovers a broomstick and goes to a witches school only to learn that the animals are being kept in cages. Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, with music by Takatsugu Muramatsu, based on "The Little Broomstick". All these trailers are for the Japanese release, since there still isn't a US release set yet.

 Posted June 9 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Final UK Trailer for Japanese Animated Film 'The Boy and The Beast'

The Boy and The Beast Trailer

"Kyuta means to learn everything from you." Studiocanal in the UK has debuted a new trailer for the final UK release of the Japanese animated film The Boy and The Beast. Most people have probably already seen this, as it premiered in Japan in 2015, playing at the Toronto Film Festival and Fantastic Fest that year; it played at more festivals in 2016 and opened in US cinemas last year. It's finally getting released in the UK this July, hence the new trailer some two years later. The latest film from Mamoru Hosoda (Summer Wars, Wolf Children), The Boy and The Beast is about an orphaned boy named Kyuta from Shibuya who stumbles upon a fantastic world of beasts, where he's taken in by a gruff warrior beast looking for an apprentice. This actually looks really good, and I'm looking forward to catching up with it even a few years late. Watch below.

 Posted June 8 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Third Trailer for 'Despicable Me 3' Sequel Takes Gru Back to His Roots

Despicable Me 3 Trailer

"Become a villain again!" Sometimes you just gotta get back to your villain roots. Universal has revealed the third trailer for Illumination Entertainment's next sequel Despicable Me 3, hitting theaters at the end of June. The story brings back the lovable villain Gru (and his minions) for another misadventure, this time involving his long lost twin brother Dru (who is also voiced by Steve Carell) who tries to get him back into the villain business. The voice cast includes Kristen Wiig returning as Lucy Wilde, along with Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Michael Beattie, Dana Gaier, plus also "South Park's" Trey Parker as the stuck-in-the-80s supervillain Balthazar Bratt. This trailer really sells the complete story and packs in tons of finished footage from this sequel, which looks pretty much just like the other two films before it. Have fun.

 Posted May 24 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

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