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Good news for fans of Shane Acker, director of the acclaimed animated film 9 from a few years back, he's lined up another animation project. Deadline/Variety report that Reel FX Creative Studios (of Open Season 2 & 3, Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away, Turkeys) has signed on Shane Acker to direct their new CG animated feature Beasts Of Burden, based on the Dark Horse comics of the same name. The comics are about a team of investigative animals — five dogs and a cat named Orphan. Ever since first seeing 9 I've been keeping a close watch on Acker, who has lined up a few projects, none of which have hit the screen yet.
Five nominees. Five animated shorts. Who will win the Oscar in a few weeks? Now you get to decide. Thanks to a tip from our friends at Bleeding Cool via The Film Stage, we've collected the complete set of all five 2013 Oscar nominated animated short films for your viewing pleasure. Around this time of year, with the Academy Award nominations getting lots of attention, the short film noms usually end up getting shown in theaters (live-action or doc) or screened online (animated), which is the case again this year. Now they're available to view, in full, online and I can certainly say—without a doubt—all five shorts are worth watching.
After teaming up to bring Dr. Seuss' tales such as The Lorax and Horton Hears a Who to the big screen, Universal Pictures and Illuminaton Entertainment are teaming up again to animate one of the authors rhyming stories. However, this time will mark the first collaboration adapting a book that has already seen two different versions made. Variety reports How the Grinch Stole Christmas is on the docket for an animated adaptation that will be more faithful to the book, which actually lends itself better to the three act structure of a film, making it so less original material has to be created to pad out a feature film adaptation.
"Answering my flags?" GKIDS has finally released a full US trailer for Studio Ghibli's film From Up on Poppy Hill. Delayed in the US for almost two years from its premiere, From Up on Poppy Hill is directed by Hayao Miyazaki's son Goro Miyazaki and is more of a light-hearted teen romance. The trailer features actors providing English voices and voiceover, including the likes of Aubrey Plaza, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christina Hendricks and Ron Howard. This reminds me a bit of Moonrise Kingdom, but with a quaint Japanese twist (and animated). It still looks gorgeous, even though I hate English dubbing on Ghibli's films.
Aside from the fact that Wreck-It Ralph was one of the best animated feature length films from 2012 (it was nominated for the Best Animated Film Academy Award), the theatrical release also had a nice treat playing before the video game centric movie. Tangled and Ratatouille animator John Kahrs made his directorial debut with the hybrid hand-drawn and computer animated short Paperman, which has been nominated for both an Oscar and an Annie Award. Now Disney has made the entire charming short available to watch online, and you should definitely take six-minutes to watch it and try not to smile. Watch the short below!
Later this fall, we'll return to the small town of Chewandswallow with the animated sequel Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers, the sequel to the adaptation of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs from directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The Sony Pictures Animation film surprised the hell out of me by being witty, fun and original, even with a children's book as source material (it departed greatly from the childhood story). Now we have our first look at the sequel which sees Bill Hader return to voice inventor Flint Lockwood as he's tasked with trying to contain the outbreak of his FLDSMDFR invention which is now running wild, creating living food animals like shrimpanzees, tacodiles, flamangoes and others. Look below!
Welcome to #8BitLane! Every once in a while, an impressive promo hits the streets somewhere around the world, showing just how great modern movie marketing can be. Disney is just getting around to releasing Oscar-nominated animated movie Wreck-It Ralph in the UK this February, so they've started promoting it intensely in London. One of the displays is an entire street converted to 8-bit called, as we mentioned, 8-Bit Lane located near The Truman Brewery. Everything from "a London taxi, postbox, pigeon, tree, clouds, CCTV camera" and dog, complete with poop, have been made 8-bit. This is really cool, I want to go!
It looks completely adorable already! In addition to teasing some concept art for their upcoming projects, Pixar has also decided to unveil their new short film playing in front of Monsters University this summer (out June 21st). It's called The Blue Umbrella and the first introduction includes mention of the rather interesting director, Saschka Unseld, who pitched his way up from the technical artists section of Pixar, where the specialties range from lighting to clothing-simulation software, not usually where directors come from but he has some obvious talent. The reveal includes a quick clip from the new short film, see it below.
While we wait for Pixar to finish up a prequel to Monsters Inc and ready their next original project for 2014, titled The Good Dinosaur, we also still continue to mourn the loss of one of their "cancelled" projects - Newt. The film was originally scheduled for the summer of 2011 then was cancelled (in place of Cars 2) due to similarities to Rio. Essentially, it's about a blue-footed newt, a tiny little salamander, who finds the one remaining mate of his species. We first posted some beautiful concept art back in 2010, but an illustrator named Katy Wu has recently posted her set of concept art for the project and it's stunning. Gorgeous work.
After being a the helm of the Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards in 2009, director Juan Jose Campanella decided to venture into animation. It's not a traditional route for a director, especially after winning an Oscar, but Campanella apparently felt drawn to this Spanish language film Foosball (or Metegol). The 3D computer animated film follows Amadeo, a shy but talented boy, and a foosball trying to get back together after having been dismantled. With the help of the foosball players, Amadeo takes on the most terrible football rival: the Champ. This is a much more polished tease than the first one. Watch below!
Over a year ago, Alcon Entertainment announced that Eddie Murphy would be lending his voice to the titular character in the live-action/CG hybrid adaptation of Hanna-Barbera's 1970's animated series Hong Kong Phooey. And three years earlier, Warner Bros. decided to utilize their rights to the Looney Tunes library, capitalize on the trend of families buying into the live-action/CG hybrid adaptations of cartoons like Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Smurfs, and bring Marvin the Martian to the big screen. However, now it seems like both those projects are dead as director Alex Zamm has posted animation test footage for both of these films, and that likely wouldn't happen if both the projects were still happening. See here!
There's been two trailers for DreamWorks Animation's prehistoric animated family comedy adventure The Croods, and the imagery has been stunning, even if hearing a caveman voiced by Nicolas Cage is a little weird. Now a cool new motion poster has arrived that uses some familiar footage from those trailers, but then throws a curveball when a wild jungle cat jumps into frame and scares the whole family away. But then he notices everyone looking at him and gets the lens all steamy. This would be pretty cool to see on a screen in a movie theater, and I'm sure kids will dig it. Hopefully the film brings the goods next year. Poster below!
"Gentlemen, start your engines." DreamWorks Animation has unveiled the new trailer for their upcoming movie Turbo, about a little snail who aspires to be the "fastest snail in the world." Ryan Reynolds voices ambitious racer #5, Turbo, who we've seen before in a few first look reveals earlier this year. The voice cast also includes Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Luis Guzmán, Bill Hader, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph and Snoop Dogg (but none of them are heard in this footage). While there's not much to this teaser, I like the music. Nice riff on Drive and "Going the Distance", but I wanted to see more.
Just last month, the teaser trailer for The Smurfs 2 surfaced online after being in theaters for months. Now the full length trailer is has arrived. It shows Hank Azaria as Gargamel in Paris (where he's become a hit entertainer) bringing about The Naughties (voiced by Christina Ricci and JB Smoove) to cause some trouble for The Smurfs. More specifically the mischievous duo tries to turn Smurfette (Katy Perry) into being naughty, and never go back to her sweet, nice lifestyle. Apparently being blue-skinned means you're generally good in the Smurf world. You'll see what I mean if you dare to watch this piece of Smurf trailer.