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TIFF 2014: Charmed by Studio Ghibli's 'The Tale of Princess Kaguya'

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

As a die-hard Studio Ghibli fanboy, I always feel like I'm way behind when I finally see the latest film they originally released a year ago in Japan. But I'm so glad I finally caught up with Isao Takahata's The Tale of Princess Kaguya, originally released in Japan in November of 2013, but just now making its way to North America thanks to the Toronto Film Festival. I'm even happier I saw the original version with Japanese dialogue and English subtitles, the way it was meant to be seen, rather than the dubbed version coming up for the US. It's a wonderful film, incredibly charming and so much fun to watch. Of course, the animation is remarkably beautiful, unlike anything I've seen before - hand-animated to look like old watercolor scrolls.

 Posted September 9 in Animation, Review, TIFF 14 | Comments

Pixar's Precise Color Palettes Shine in 'ROYGBIV: A Pixar Supercut'

ROYGBIV: A Pixar Supercut

For those who don't know, part of the long process to make an animated film at Pixar Animation involves the use of color scripts? What is a color script? Well, like a normal script uses text to explain what happens on-screen in a motion picture, the color script is a visual companion showing the color palette, keys and tones that will be in each scene. And that's done for the entire film. Now a Pixar fan and Vimeo user Rishi Kaneria has decided to showcase just how precise and wonderful the use of color can be in Pixar's movies, from Toy Story all the way through Monsters University. It's short, sweet, and gorgeous.

 Posted September 9 in Animation, To Watch | Comments

Can Disney Veterans' Steampunk 'Hullabaloo' Film Save 2D Animation?

Hullabaloo

While computer animation continues to flourish with Pixar Animation films like Toy Story and Finding Nemo and The House of Mouse's own Walt Disney Animation with Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen, the old school hand drawn, 2D animation is starting to fall to the wayside. But some Disney veterans are getting together to create a new steampunk-themed adventure called Hullabaloo, which will be a short hand drawn animation film which they hope to turn into a web series, TV show or even better, a feature-length film. And what's even more exciting, is the two heroes are a pair of brilliant, female engineers. Look below!

 Posted September 4 in Animation, Kickstart This, Short Film, To Watch | Comments

Walt Disney Animation Brings Back 'Frozen' Characters in 2015 Short

Frozen

Last night, ABC acknowledged all the love that has sprouted for Walt Disney Animation's hit musical Frozen by debuting a TV special “The Story of Frozen: Making an Animated Classic," taking a look behind the scenes of the film featuring the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad. And Disney also revealed that all four of the main characters brought to life by those respective actors would return in Frozen Fever, a new short film debuting in the spring of 2015 and reunites directors Jennifer Lee & Chris Buck and songwriters Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Read on!

 Posted September 3 in Animation, Movie News, Short Film | Comments

DreamWorks Animation Delays 'How to Train Your Dragon 3' to 2017

How to Train Your Dragon

Briefly: While announcing that this summer's sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2 has crossed the $600 million mark over the weekend, DreamWorks Animation has also revealed that they will push back the release of How to Train Your Dragon 3 by a year. The third installment in the fantasy adventure franchise was slated to arrive on June 17th, 2016, but now the sequel will arrive on June 9th, 2017. It'll arrive just a couple weeks after The LEGO Movie sequel and one week before some unknown Pixar Animation film. We're not sure what the reason for the delay is, but animation takes a lot of time to perfect.

 Posted September 2 in Animation, Movie News | Comments

Aardman Animation's 'Shaun the Sheep' Gets a Second Teaser Trailer

Shaun the Sheep

If dry British humor and stop-motion animation make for a cup of tea that you enjoy, then you're probably excited about the forthcoming release of Shaun the Sheep, an adaptation of the popular TV series from across the pond. The first teaser for the film debuted this past spring, and now we get a better idea of the story as Shaun and a bunch of his sheep friends end up stuck in the big city, leaving them with no choice but to find their own way home. However, since this property is far more popular in the United Kingdom, don't expect a release in the United States too quickly, if it even makes it over here at all. Watch the trailer now!

 Posted August 29 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

First Look: Pixar's 'Inside Out' Reveals the Girl Outside of the Mind

Inside Out

So far, we've only seen a brief glimpse of Pixar Animation's forthcoming movie Inside Out. The film follows a little girl named Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job all the way in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions are the only first look we've gotten at the 2015 release from Pixar, and they're a big part of the movie as they live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. Now we finally have the first image of Riley in the film as well, though we're still not sure who is voicing her.

 Posted August 27 in Animation, First Look, Photos, Pixar | Comments

Pixar Animation Has Dismantled & Reimagined 'The Good Dinosaur'

The Good Dinosaur

Last fall, Pixar Animation had to push back the release of The Good Dinosaur from an initial release this past summer back to November 25th, 2015. The news came just a few weeks after we learned Bob Peterson had been removed from the film as director and a brain trust consisting of John Lasseter, Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, replacement Brave director Mark Andrews, and Party Cloudy short director Pete Sohn were put in place to take over the project. Now we have word that Pixar has completely overhauled the film as voice star John Lithgow says the film has been drastically changed for the better.

 Posted August 20 in Animation, Development, Movie News | Comments

Elegant First US Teaser Trailer for Ghibli's 'Tale of Princess Kaguya'

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

"As beautiful and imaginative as anything Ghibli has yet created!" Our friends at SlashFilm have unveiled a brand new 60-second teaser trailer for Studio Ghibli's The Tale of Princess Kaguya', from director Isao Takahata, which was originally released in Japan late 2013. The film is adapted from a 10th century Japanese folktale and is animated in the style of Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga scrolls - essentially it's unlike anything you've seen before, and this teaser plays up how gorgeous that animation looks. The trailer is for the dubbed US version with an English voice cast lead by Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Darren Criss, Lucy Liu, Beau Bridges and James Marsden. This is a short, simple but stunning teaser - check it out.

 Posted August 18 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Simon Cowell is Producing an Animated Feature Film for 'Betty Boop'

Betty Boop

The classic cartoon Popeye is getting the big screen animated feature film treatment with Sony Pictures bringing the sailorman to theaters sometime in 2016, but it looks like he's not the only retro cartoon character getting a movie deal. Simon Cowell and his Syco Entertainment have announced a team-up with animation house Animal Logic Entertainment to bring Betty Boop, the first animated female star who debuted all the way back in 1930, appearing in over 100 cartoons, many of them her own animated shorts on the big screen, not to mention popping up in the live-action/animated hybrid Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.

 Posted August 14 in Animation, Development, Movie News | Comments

Toshio Suzuki Clarifies Studio Ghibli's Plans for Future in Animation

Studio Ghibli

Mass hysteria was created online last week when some quotes out of Japan last week seemed to indicate that the legendary animation house Studio Ghibli was closing down. However, those remarks were clarified later that day by Toshio Suzuki as meaning that the studio would be taking a break from movies for a while, and would end up "housecleaning" and "restructuring" a little bit before they figured out what they were going to do next. Now Variety has word from Suzuki again, appearing on NHK morning show Asa Ichi, about what's really going on at Studio Ghibli and what fans can expect from them down the road. Read on!

 Posted August 8 in Animation, Movie News | Comments

Watch: Vibrant New Trailer for Fox's Animated 'The Book of Life'

The Book of Life

"I'll do anything to be with Maria." Though we're not accustomed to a filmmaker like Guillermo del Toro venturing into kids territory, the story at the center of The Book of Life certainly doesn't seem like a typical fairytale, at least when it comes to the vibrant style of the animation. Jorge R. Gutierrez is behind the new film which follows a young man named Manolo (Diego Luna) struggling to win over the love of his life and please his family. But things get complicated when a wager between the gods of the dead over who will win the hand of Maria (Zoe Saldana) forces Manolo into an adventure through fantastical worlds.

 Posted August 7 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Watch: Birds on a Mission in New 'Penguins of Madagascar' Trailer

Penguins of Madagascar

As someone who hasn't really enjoyed the Madagascar films much, after seeing some footage from the DreamWorks Animation spin-off at Comic-Con a couple weeks ago, the Penguins of Madagascar doesn't actually look half bad. Now a new trailer shows off more of the action adventure that sees the titular Arctic birds leading a double life as spies, now forced to team up with a sect of agents known as North Wind (led by a wolf voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). We also get some glimpses of John Malkovich as the octopus villain Dr. Octavius Brine. I might actually be looking forward to this one in the fall. Watch below!

 Posted August 6 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

End of an Era: Studio Ghibli Says They're Taking a Break from Movies

Studio Ghibli

No, no... no! Say it ain't so! Someone please tell me I'm just dreaming, and this news isn't real. Word from Japan is that the famed, acclaimed, legendary animation house Studio Ghibli is shutting down after 29 years. Various Ghibli fan sites are reporting that "just moments ago, Toshio Suzuki, Studio Ghibli producer, announced on [the MBS Jounetsu Tairiku TV show that] Studio Ghibli will close, [which will leave itself] only as a company that will manage its trademarks." Apparently the "production department of anime will be dismantled" though details are still coming in, considering this was mentioned in a business report on TV - seen here. It all seems to indicate - Ghibli will no longer be making animated movies any more. Sad news.

 Posted August 3 in Animation, Movie News | Comments

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