ENJOY THE SHOW
Laika can do no wrong when it comes to stop-motion animation, and their latest project, the epic adventure Kubo and the Two Strings, is no exception. This looks like the animation studio's most impressive achievement yet, and the latest trailer will astound you when you remember that this movie is carefully crafted frame-by-frame. The story sees young Kubo setting off on a journey to learn about his samurai father's mysterious past, encountering dangerous mythical creatures and more. Matthew McConaughey and Charlize Theron accompany him as a loyal warrior and a talking monkey, respectively. Watch below!
The Pixar train has been running so fast and furiously the past couple of decades you'd almost be justified in forgetting about Disney's own animation studio. It's hard to believe we're 20 years or so removed from Disney being the strongest force when it comes to animated features. They do make themselves known every now and again, and their latest work, Zootopia, is a strong reminder of the quality in entertainment Disney can achieve when they flex their animators' skills. A consistently funny narrative littered with interesting characters and a healthy message to boot, Zootopia makes even the latest efforts from Pixar – The Good Dinosaur, at least – seem childish by comparison. It's no revelation that Disney was first when it comes to animation, but it's a nice surprise to see them reclaim such a title when they finish a project such as this.
With the Academy Awards just a few days away, there's no better time to watch one of the five nominated Best Animated Short Films. In addition to our top recommendation - Don Hertzfeldt's World of Tomorrow (which you can watch here) - one of the other shorts available online is We Can't Live Without Cosmos from Russian filmmaker/animator Konstantin Bronzit. The short follows two cosmonaut friends training for a mission in space. As Wired points out, this is "for every kid who went to Space Camp (or wanted to) and dreamed of one day doing real astronaut training with their best friend." The short is entirely dialogue free and yet still conveys plenty of emotion. It's now available to watch in full for free below - take a look.
"Don't you hurry me!" 20th Century Fox has unveiled the new trailer for Blue Sky Animation's latest sequel, Ice Age: Collision Course, bringing back Manny, Sid and Diego for another adventure. We've already featured the full-length Scrat short as well as the first official trailer for this fourth sequel in the Ice Age series. This new trailer continues with footage of a giant asteroid flying towards Earth, breaking down into purple glowing rocks with an electrical charge. I'm still not sure how many are looking forward to this, but have at it. The new voice cast in this includes Nick Offerman, Simon Pegg & Melissa Rauch. Have fun!
"We can find our way home - we are descended from the mighty wolf. We have raw primal instincts that are moments away from leading us home." Universal has released another brand new, full-length trailer for Illumination Entertainment's upcoming animated movie The Secret Life of Pets, about what your pets do when you leave for work every day. We've already featured one official trailer for this previously as well as the holiday teaser, but this trailer dives more into the story and all of the characters/animals we'll meet in this movie. The main voices include Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Lake Bell, Ellie Kemper, Jenny Slate and Eric Stonestreet. This does look fun and I'm sure it's going to be a big hit with audiences of all ages.
"Can anyone see what's going on here?" Sony has unveiled a second trailer for their upcoming animated The Angry Birds Movie, which even features a Michael Jackson song, because what better way to sell this junk than connect it with Michael Jackson. This animated movie is based on the popular video game series and it seems about as completely brainless as the games, without much of an interesting story. The voice cast includes Jason Sudeikis, Kate McKinnon, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Josh Gad, Danny McBride and Peter Dinklage as the voice of Mighty Eagle. This doesn't look like it's worth seeing unless you have kids, but give it a look anyway in case anyone is curious to see how they turned this into a movie.
"Liberated forever, domesticated never!" What a cute little bunny… until you find out he's crazy and wants to let everyone loose! Ahhh, evil rabbit, stay away!! Universal has debuted another trailer for The Secret Life of Pets, Illumination's next animated series launching in theaters in July this summer. We've featured two teasers previously. The film is about the lives of pets when you leave for work, and as far as I know, it's going to be a huge hit. This trailer focuses on introducing the adorable little white rabbit named Snowball, voiced by Kevin Hart, who is kinda-sorta the nasty little leader of an underground animal clan. We also get to meet the two main characters, the big shaggy dog and small spotted one, in the last few scenes. Have fun!
"We may be evolved, but deep down, we are all still animals." Disney recently debuted this full-length trailer for their upcoming animated movie Zootopia, featuring Ginnifer Goodwin as the voice of Judy Hopps, the first rabbit officer of ZPD, and Jason Bateman as the voice of a fox named Nick Wilde. This trailer finally sets up the story and the moment these two cross paths. It also fully introduces the world of "Zootopia", described as: "a gleaming city where animals of all breeds, predator and prey alike, live together in peace and harmony." Also featuring the voices of Idris Elba, Alan Tudyk, J.K. Simmons and Jenny Slate. This actually looks entertaining, better than you might be expecting after the first trailers. Have fun.
"You can't be serious!" Good news, Ghibli fans! GKids has already re-released the 1991 animated film Only Yesterday at the IFC Center theater in New York City, and should be expanding it to more theaters later in February. The new re-release version of this film features the voice of Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridey, as well as Dev Patel, meaning it has been redubbed in English if you catch it in theaters in 2016. The animated film is about a 27-year-old girl who travels to the countryside while reminiscing about her childhood growing up in Tokyo. It's one of the most beloved Ghibli films. Go see it in theaters if you can.
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!