ENJOY THE SHOW
Disney has revealed a short trailer for their latest animated short film, Inner Workings, which is playing in front of Moana - the Disney Animation musical in theaters this week. This film is the directorial debut of a story artist at Disney named Leo Matsuda, and it's an amusing and thoughtful look at life. Similar to Pixar's Inside Out, it turns various internal organs into characters that control a person. The short also plays with this wonderful idea that there's more to life than doing the same mundane work as everyone else, and that we need to let loose and trust our heart. This is one of the better shorts that Disney has made recently. Moana is worth seeing anyway, so head to your local theater and watch two great films for the price of one.
"We all know the place: the magic mushroom houses, the tiny white pants…" Sony Pictures has debuted a brand new full-length trailer for their CGI animated reboot of The Smurfs movie, titled Smurfs: The Lost Village. The first teaser trailer didn't show much, this trailer gives us a better glimpse at the story - which seems to involve finding more Smurfs elsewhere, including maybe even more girls. As expected, a few of the Smurfs go out on an adventure to find this "lost village" before Gargamel does. Smurfs: The Lost Village features the voices of Mandy Patinkin as Papa Smurf, Rainn Wilson as Gargamel, Joe Manganiello as Hefty, Demi Lovato as Smurfette, Jack McBrayer as Clumsy, + Danny Pudi as Brainy. This looks fun.
Miyazaki is coming back to theaters! GKids and Fathom Events have announced a special 15th anniversary screening of Spirited Away, Studio Ghibli's 2001 film written & directed by Hayao Miyazaki, which won the Best Animated Feature Oscar (in 2003). The film will be showing in theaters nationwide for two days only - on Sunday, December 4th (the English dubbed version) and Monday, December 5th (the English subtitled version). The special event will also include the short film "Ghiblies: Episode 2" - described as a unique 25-minute film from Studio Ghibli, featuring "several comedic vignettes and caricatures" of Studio Ghibli staff as they go about their day. As a huge Ghibli fan, it's always a treat to see their films in theaters.
Another impressive animated short film to feature today. Witness is a CGI animated short made by three filmmakers from the L'école Georges Méliès art school in France - Alexandre Berger, Christ Ibovy and Hugo Rizzon. The film tells another dialogue-free story of a man trying to track down the murderer of his wife. I like the twist in this, and I like the visuals - it's a dark and unsettling story that's told with clear and concise storytelling techniques. This film follows the outstanding short Borrowed Time, as another example of animation being used to tell a much darker and more emotional story than typically expected. See below.
"I am fighting a few different people… I like to fight around." Warner Bros has debuted the new trailer for The LEGO Batman Movie, to follow up the most recent trailer released at Comic-Con this summer. And this trailer might just be the best yet. This sequel to The LEGO Movie from 2014 focuses purely on Batman, obviously, and his various cohorts and associates and villains - including The Joker. The voice cast includes Will Arnett back as Batman / Bruce Wayne, with Ralph Fiennes as Alfred, Mariah Carey, Rosario Dawson as Batgirl, Michael Cera as Robin, Zach Galifianakis as The Joker. This looks like totally goofy fun. It seems to have the spirit of the first LEGO Movie and the absurdity of Batman mashed up perfectly.
"We need an instant-fame plan!" Samuel Goldwyn Films has released a new trailer for the upcoming release of Titmouse Studio's first feature-length animated film, titled Nerdland, from director Chris Prynoski. It tells the story of two best friends, voiced by Paul Rudd & Patton Oswalt - one an aspiring screenwriter, the other an aspiring actor - whose dreams of super-stardom have fizzled. They decide to "troll" Los Angeles on a "fame-grab journey, encountering and abusing friends both new and old." The voice cast also includes Hannibal Buress, Kate Micucci, Riki Lindhome, John Ennis, Mike Judge, Reid Scott, Laraine Newman and Paul Scheer. This looks totally wacky, and maybe fun to watch, but I'm not really that sure.
"We want tons of good ideas! And we've got, you know, 80 minutes here to knock everybody out." This is a fantastic new video essay examining the animated movies and storytelling techniques of filmmaker Brad Bird, who is currently working on making The Incredibles 2 at Pixar. Created by veteran editor Kees van Dijkhuizen Jr. (who retired in 2012, but is seemingly back now with more work) the video features audio clips of Brad Bird discussing his ideas and mentality, spliced with clips from his movies showing exactly what he's talking about. The opening quote is from the documentary about the making of The Iron Giant, released on the new Blu-ray this year. I've watched this video at least 5 times already, it's that good. Enjoy.
"Don't let fear stop you from doing the thing you love." Universal Pictures has revealed one final trailer for Illumination's latest animated movie musical titled Sing, an ensemble blockbuster comedy about a singing competition hosted by an ambitious Koala named Buster Moon, voiced by Matthew McConaughey. We've already seen numerous trailers for this movie before, including an extended 4-minute one, but this final one really packs a punch. The impressive ensemble cast includes Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Nick Kroll, Nick Offerman, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly and many others. It's cool to hear some Eminem and Aerosmith used in this, obviously they're really going all out trying to sell this, and maybe it'll draw some big crowds. Arrives in theaters Christmas week. Have fun.
"Fine, I can talk. Now let's see if you can listen." DreamWorks Animation has released the first teaser trailer for their next new comedy movie, titled The Boss Baby, from the director of the Madagascar series and Mastermind. Alec Baldwin voices the adorable little baby, seriously called just "Baby" in the film, who is a suit-wearing briefcase-carrying kid that teams up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co. Other voices include Miles Bahski, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire, and Steve Buscemi. This teaser makes it look like there is quite a bit of tension between the baby and his brother, but it seems like they'll probably end up friends by the end. What do you make of this?
This is a wonderful, heartbreaking short film that everyone needs to see. Borrowed Time is an animated short film from directors Andrew Coats & Lou Hamou-Lhadj. It's about an aging Sheriff going back to retrace the steps of the location where an accident took place years ago that he can never forget. Coats and Hamou-Lhadj explain in the making of video that they wanted to tell a more "adult" story with animation that "contested the notion of animation being a genre, and one for children specifically." The bigger theme of forgiveness is very potent in this, but there is also a focus on the emotions of overcoming hardship and letting go of your past. I've been thinking about this short every day since I first watched it. Don't miss this.
"You're not going to be a musician, Bodi, you're going to be a guard! Get used to it." Lionsgate has released a trailer for an animated movie called Rock Dog, which seemingly came out of nowhere. Luke Wilson voices Bodi, a Tibetan Mastiff who discovers it's his dream to become a musician when a radio falls out of the sky. The full voice cast includes Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons, Lewis Black, Kenan Thompson, Mae Whitman, Jorge Garcia, Matt Dillon and Sam Elliott as "Fleetwood Yak". This looks like one of those companions-to-another-movie-this-year, the other being Sing, even though I'm wondering if this one might actually be the better movie. There's some really weird things going on in this, but it looks enjoyable.
"I knew you had potential!" Netflix has premiered the first trailer for a new series called Trollhunters, developed at DreamWorks Animaiton by horror/monster mastermind Guillermo del Toro. I'm breaking our rules to feature a trailer for a television series, which we never do, only because this was originally a movie. We posted a first look shot earlier in the year and it was being developed as a feature at the time (as far as we know). In the meantime, Netflix has picked it up and is turning it into an "original series" available streaming on December 23rd. Ron Perlman and Kelsey Grammer provide two of the voices, but the rest of the cast is unrevealed so far. This looks fun, but derivative, with a cheesy story and all the typical tropes.