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"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.
"We should never give up on our dreams." Gaumont and Entertainment One have debuted a full UK trailer for the French animated film Ballerina, about a young red-headed orphan girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina in Paris in the late 1800s. The English-language version of the film features Elle Fanning as the voice of Félicie Milliner, as well as Dane DeHaan, Maddie Ziegler and Carly Rae Jepsen providing other voices. This doesn't compare to Disney or Pixar, but it does have its charms and it does have a fiercely passionate inspirational side to it. If anything, this reminds me a bit of Frozen with all the dancing around and spinning. The story seems to be a bit cliched, but maybe there's something more to this hidden within.
"Thrills! Chills! Adventure!" It's here! It's finally here! You may have heard buzz, or seen images, from this amazing animated Indiana Jones film that has been in the works for a while from Dutch animator Patrick Schoenmaker. Titled The Adventures of Indiana Jones, this brief "short film" is designed to be an introduction to an Indy animated series (that Patrick hopes to one day create). For now it's just a wonderful 90-second adventure with Indy and Short Round and all his old friends, and it's so much fun. The animation in particular is impressive, and Patrick says it took him a long time to replicate the look of Harrison Ford as Indy. This plays more like the opening intro to the series, instead of one complete story, but I still enjoy it, covering many of his past moments. Here's hoping this inspires more fan-made Indiana Jones adventures.
"A magnificent, one-of-a-kind animated film." Sony Pictures Classics has debuted a brand new US trailer for the animated film The Red Turtle, directed by Dutch filmmaker Michael Dudok de Wit with help from Isao Takahta at Studio Ghibli - they also co-produced. This beautiful film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where I fell in love with it and wrote a glowing review. There's no dialogue at all, but it has a tremendous score by Laurent Perez Del Mar. It tells a simple story of a man who washes up on a desert island trying to escape, but every time he tries to a red turtle thwarts his efforts. It becomes a very moving metaphor for the cycle of life, and this trailer shows more of where it goes in the second half. My quote from my Cannes review appears in this trailer and I'm very happy to support this wonderful animated film. Enjoy.
An extravagant singing competition brings many different creatures of all kinds together in the animated musical Sing, one of the biggest question marks of this year's Toronto Film Festival. However, it turned out to be an enormous surprise once the closing credits started rolling. It's a huge crowd-pleaser and the best family film since Disney's Zootopia, blending a traditional underdog story with gorgeous animation and of course tons of fun. Sing is also the latest endeavor from Illumination Entertainment, the animation studio responsible for Minions, Despicable Me and this year's The Secret Life of Pets. The company is certainly growing with each new project and Sing could be the breakthrough that makes them a household name.
"An insane level of continuous action!" They're back! Years ago while attending Fantastic Fest one year, I was introduced to the brilliance that is A Town Called Panic - a Belgian animated series about the crazy antics of Cowboy and Indian. After one full-length film, Cowboy and Indian are back in two new short films, titled Christmas Panic and Back to School Panic. Both of these are packaged together in a 60 minute screening event and will be shown in theaters during the first annual Art House Theater Day coming up later this month (September 24th). If you've never seen this series before, you can start with these and then go back and watch the rest of everything related to A Town Called Panic. Or if you already know all about this series, then jump right in and find out what trouble these two goofballs found themselves in this time.
"The ocean is a friend of mine." Disney has debuted the full trailer for the musical Moana, to follow-up the extended teaser that arrived during the Olympics. This musical is the latest from Disney Animation and co-directors Ron Clements and John Musker (of The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, The Princess and the Frog) and is an adventure about a kick ass Hawaiian princess named Moana. We also get a better look at the big villain, the Lava Witch, in this new trailer. Auli'i Cravalho voices Moana, and the the cast includes Dwayne Johnson, Alan Tudyk, Phillipa Soo, Temuera Morrison and Jemaine Clement. This looks like it might actually be really quite wonderful, Disney is back at the top of their game. Have fun.
"Happiness is inside of all of us, sometimes you just need someone to help you find it." DreamWorks Anim has released a new full-length trailer for their next movie, Trolls, in theaters starting this November. While this is based on the funky little toys you used to collect as kids, it's also a musical about finding happiness and your "true colors". Featuring original music from Justin Timberlake, the film stars the voice talent of Anna Kendrick, Zooey Deschanel, Russell Brand, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches, Icona Pop, Gwen Stefani and many more. This new trailer briefly goes behind-the-scenes with some shots of Kendrick and Timberlake talking about music and bringing this story to life. This looks quite lovely.
"You know, that wagon used to be your dad's. What say we take it out for a spin?" Well, now this is just wonderful. Brandon Oldenburg has made a short film called Taking Flight that is inspired by the life and heritage of Antonio Pasin, the Italian inventor of the Radio Flyer wagon. The short tells the story of a boy named Tony who spends the day with his grandpa Nonno and ends up going on an unexpected adventure. There's a really beautiful blend of animation styles in this, along with some lovely music to top it off. This reminds me a bit of that movie Radio Flyer from my youth, where two kids build a Radio Flyer wagon that actually flies. This is also just an outstanding original short worth five minutes of your time to watch. Enjoy.