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So this is the new version Studio Ghibli. No longer producing feature films on their own, they're now an animation collaborator, working with global production companies and filmmakers to help animate their stories. While this news was first reported in April (by Screen Daily), a few weeks ago Studio Ghibli in Japan announced that they're co-producing, with French distributor Wild Bunch, an animated movie called The Red Turtle. Dutch-British animator Michaël Dudok de Wit is directing, along with Japanese animation legend Isao Takahata working as Artistic Producer. Studio Ghibli will release the film in 2016 in Japan.
"We have perfected and streamlined the process, devising a zero mistake workflow." Warner Bros has debuted a trailer for their new animated movie called Storks, which is actually co-directed by Nicholas Stoller, the director of the comedies Neighbors, Get Him to the Greek and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The voice cast features Andy Samberg as the voice of Junior, the top delivery stork at a global internet sales company; Kelsey Grammer voices the CEO of that company. This is mostly just an introductory trailer with Grammer explaining what goes on at their baby delivering factory. "From the studio that delivered The LEGO Movie, see Storks in theaters September 2016." I don't know, I prefer Secret Life of Pets a bit more.
"We are a passionate group of artists who believe that the smallest details help tell the bigger story." This month, Laika Entertainment based in Portland, Oregon is celebrating 10 years of "bold and memorable filmmaking". Laika is the stop-motion animation studio behind Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, and Kubo and the Two Strings (coming up). They do such amazing work constructing these wonderful films by hand, retouching frame-by-frame, moment-by-moment, creating everything from scratch and animating it painstakingly day-after-day. To celebrate the occasion, they've released a short 10th Anniversary video looking at the artistry behind Laika. It's a great reminder of just how much goes into this kind of animation.
"Hey look - shooting stars!" Fox has released the full trailer for Blue Sky's latest animated sequel, Ice Age: Collision Course, continuing the adventures of Scrat the sabertooth squirrel as well as Sid, Manny and Diego. For those who want to understand how this movie starts, we posted the full Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe short online showing how Scrat causes an asteroid to fly towards Earth. This trailer replays most of that short and continues with a tiny bit of footage at the end. This is the fourth sequel in the Ice Age series that started out back in 2002, and I haven't watched a single one of these since then. If you're interested in more give this a look. The voice cast this time includes Nick Offerman, Simon Pegg & Melissa Rauch. Enjoy!
The Quest Begins… Focus Features has unveiled the first teaser trailer for Laika's stop-motion animated movie Kubo and the Two Strings, a fantasy adventure inspired by "Japanese folktales and mythology, with lost civilizations, mystical origami, noble heroes, star-crossed lovers, and blood-curdling monsters." The voice cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, and Art Parkinson as Kubo. This teaser doesn't reveal too much yet, but it does give us a glimpse at the characters and the world, and I have to say - this looks awesome, I am so looking forward to it. It looks like Laika is really pushing themselves, with huge sets and challenges like rain. Enjoy!
Attention Studio Ghibli fans! The IFC Center in New York City is hosting yet another round of Studio Ghibli retrospective screenings through December. In honor of the upcoming re-release of Studio Ghibli's 1991 film Only Yesterday, directed by Isao Takahata, GKids is helping them show six of the best Ghibli films on the big screen. Only Yesterday will be re-opening with an English language re-release in theaters this January/February. Leading up to that release, the IFC Center will show the films Castle in the Sky, Howl's Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaä, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. If you're a Studio Ghibli / Miyazaki fan like I am, every opportunity to see these films on the big screen is worth considering.
I've got a good feeling about this one. We have yet to see a trailer, though hopefully there may be one soon enough. Focus Features is releasing Laika's next new stop-motion animated feature Kubo and the Two Strings next August, and they've premiered this eye-catching official poster. The film is described as a "gripping yarn woven from Japanese folktales and mythology, with lost civilizations, mystical origami, noble heroes, star-crossed lovers, and blood-curdling monsters." It features the voices of Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, George Takei, with Art Parkinson as Kubo. This is some beautiful art that shows quite a bit of promise, and I'm looking forward to seeing more.
What! This is great news for fans of Studio Ghibli. Just when we all thought things were winding down, GKids is keeping the spirit alive. Indiewire reports that GKids is going to be re-releasing Studio Ghibli's 1991 film Only Yesterday, directed by Isao Takahata, who directed the film The Tale of the Princess Kaguya recently (read my interview with Takahata). The film is being re-released in select markets, however, with a brand new English-language voice cast - essentially a "for English-speaking audiences" re-release. Whatever it takes to get more Studio Ghibli films into this country and in front of people of all ages, I'm down with it.
"I'm not so sure I want to grow up anymore…" Paramount has released yet another new trailer for the animated movie The Little Prince, based on the beloved story Le Petit Prince which is shown in this using stop-motion. We just featured the new full-length international trailer last week (not to mention a few other trailers), and now we have another that is very similar but features some incredible new footage near the end. The English-language voice cast features Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, Paul Rudd, Benicio del Toro, Paul Giamatti, Ricky Gervais, Albert Brooks, and Bud Cort. This does look wonderful and I still want to see it. "Do you know how to fly a plane? Buckle up."
"Flash, Flash - hundred yard dash!" Disney has debuted a new trailer for Zootopia, their new animated project coming to theaters next March 2016. We've already seen one teaser trailer introducing the world of Zootopia, and the two main characters we're following: a fox and a rabbit, named Nick Wilde (voiced by Jason Bateman) and Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin), respectively. In this new trailer, we get a glimpse of the world and it starts out all energetic and exciting as Officer Judy Hopps is on the case, then suddenly it slows down when they go to the DMV to run a license plate. There are a few good jokes in this, and the point is to show how the animals of this world interact together. It looks fun, but I want to see more.
"To get you into the festive spirit…" Universal has released an amusing Christmas-themed holiday teaser trailer for The Secret Life of Pets, the new animated movie from Illumination Entertainment rriving next summer. The first trailer for this debuted earlier in the summer, and I've got a feeling its going to be a huge hit once it arrives, just because everyone loves their pets and always wonders what they're thinking. This Christmas teaser isn't much besides some funny moments of pets wearing holiday costumes while having their picture taken. It should make you smile and maybe laugh a little, then hug your own pet. Take a look.
"Look at that - the stars are out!" This looks so lovely. A new set of trailers have been uploaded online for the French animated film The Little Prince, from director Mark Osborne based on the beloved book of the same name. We've already been posting a number of trailers, but these new ones have English voices thanks to an entirely new voice cast including: Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, Paul Rudd, Benicio del Toro, Paul Giamatti, Ricky Gervais, Albert Brooks, and Bud Cort. I love the animation style of this movie, but I also like the way the narrative intertwines the life of a young girl growing up and the original charming Le Petit Prince story we know. I'm looking forward to this.
This looks wonderful. You have to see this! GKIDS has debuted a beautiful trailer for the Brazilian animated film The Boy and The World, a feature film that is "entirely wordless, the narrative describes a clash between poor and rich, countryside and city, indigenous and imperial, handcrafted and mechanized – and throughout the tumult, the heart and soul of the people beats on as a song." It's from Brazilian filmmaker Alê Abreu, and features a lot of amazing imagery from Brazil telling the story about this boy going to the city. It's also told with music, using the pan-flute, samba, and Brazilian hip-hop. I'm not sure what to make of it until I watch the entire thing, but this has convinced me it's worth seeing and may end up with an Oscar nomination anyway. It will arrive in US release this December, before playing wider throughout January.
Well this is lovely. Google decided to celebrate the 101st birthday of Inventor and Hollywood star, Hedy Lamarr, on Monday, November 9th. This would have been her 101st birthday; she passed away in the year 2000 at the age of 85. She was never nominated for any Academy Awards, but Hedy Lamarr became a very popular and beloved movie star in the late 1930s and through the 1940s because of her beauty. Louis B. Mayer at MGM found her in Europe after fleeing the war, and changed her name to Hedy Lamarr, as she was originally born as Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Austria. She has become popular recently because aside from her career in Hollywood, she was a scientist and inventor behind a jam-proof radio guidance system.