ENJOY THE SHOW
"You're a weirdo." The Weinstein Company has debuted a new trailer for the animated movie titled Leap!, originally titled Ballerina. The film has already opened in theaters in most of Europe, and is scheduled to open in the US in March. It's actually originally from France, but has been redubbed with English voices, including Elle Fanning as the voice of Félicie Milliner, as well as Dane DeHaan, Maddie Ziegler and Carly Rae Jepsen. The story is about an orphan girl who dreams of being a ballerina. She ends up in Paris where she tries her best to make her dreams come true. We posted the UK trailer for this movie previously, which I said reminds me of Frozen with all the twirling, but this new trailer seems to be better. Take a look.
Is this Pixar's first musical? Yes, but not quite. EW.com has debuted a first look photo from Pixar's Coco, their next big original movie coming out in 2017 (the other one Pixar is releasing is Cars 3). Coco is a film set around the Mexican holiday the Day of the Dead (or Dia de Muertos), and is about a young boy. In the photo, we can see him holding a guitar playing a song while some colorful confetti kicks up around him. Anthony Gonzalez voices Miguel, and the all-Latino voice cast includes Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt and Renee Victor. Coco isn't exactly "a break-out-into-song musical," but rather, one "set against the backdrop of musical performance." Reminds me of the fantastic Kubo and the Two Strings. See below.
"It's almost too thrilling for words…" Seriously, don't watch this trailer. It's so bad. Just skip it. Move on and forget about this movie right now. Sony Pictures Animation has unveiled the first teaser trailer for The Emoji Movie and it's awful, just terrible. This movie is completely unnecessary, it doesn't need to be made. From the looks of it, they ripped off the concepts of The LEGO Movie (the main character who doesn't fit in), Inside Out (the emotions) and Wreck-It Ralph (inside the digital world) and dumbed them down to tell a stupid story about emojis. The voice cast includes T.J. Miller, James Corden and Ilana Glazer. One of the alternate titles for this is "Emojimovie: Express Yourself", which is even worse. This is going to be bad.
"If you could feel what I'm feeling, it's the answer to the question of my life." Lionsgate has unveiled a new US trailer for the animated movie Rock Dog, originally produced in China. This musical is about a dog who realizes it's his destiny to become a rock star. 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 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 fun, and it has some wacky moments, but from what I've heard it's not that great. It looks a bit cheesy and the songs don't seem catchy, but you never know. Give it a spin.
"Mom, Dad! The baby can talk!" DreamWorks Animation has released a second full-length trailer for their next animated comedy, titled The Boss Baby, made by the same director as the Madagascar series and Mastermind. The first trailer introduced us to the "Boss Baby", an adorable baby voiced by Alec Baldwin who carries a briefcase and harbors a malicious desire to put an end to ever-so-cute Puppy Co. Other voices in this are Miles Bahski, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire, and Steve Buscemi. This looks fun, and they're obviously selling the sibling rivalry and cuteness above all else, I just hope there's something more to this. Maybe the story of them becoming friends is the core emotion. Check it out below.
It's always a good time to watch a Studio Ghibli movie. GKids is planning a very limited US release of a 1993 film that never actually was released in the US back then. It's titled Ocean Waves, and is about a love triangle between two good friends who both fall hard for a new girl who transfers to their high school from Tokyo. It was actually made as a TV anime but still plays a 72-minute feature, which is being released on Blu-ray following the theatrical screenings. Directed by Tomomi Mochizuki, Ocean Waves is set in the city of Kōchi, on the Japanese island of Shikoku. It doesn't exactly have the same feel as a Miyazaki movie, but it does look just as gorgeous as anything else Ghibli has made, built upon the honest emotions of growing up.
"Dance fight!" Universal has released the first full theatrical trailer for Illumination Entertainment's next sequel to Despicable Me, titled just Despicable Me 3 for now. The story brings back Gru (and his minions) for another misadventure, this time involving his long lost twin brother Dru (who is also voiced by Steve Carell) not seen in this trailer. The full voice cast includes Kristen Wiig back at his side as Lucy Wilde, along with Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Michael Beattie, Dana Gaier and "South Park's" Trey Parker as the new stuck-in-the-80s villain Balthazar Bratt. Nabbing Parker for a voice is the only thing that interests me about this. They show quite a bit of footage in the trailer, and it looks as amusing as expected.
Even with endless new CG animated features every year, stop-motion filmmaking is still going strong and it makes me happy to see this. This year there are a few stand out films, between Kubo and the Two Strings as well as My Life as a Zucchini. There's also some great short films being made, and this one here is another example of how impressive it is to see stop-motion used for visual storytelling. The Lighthouse is a B&W stop-motion short film made by up-and-coming Austrian filmmaker Simon Scheiber about a rather bored lighthouse keeper. The style and detail in this make it mesmerizing to watch, and the ending is quite trippy.
"You seriously saying there is nothing special about us?" "There is no us, there never will be." Warner Bros has debuted a new extended TV spot for The LEGO Batman Movie, which is hitting theaters in February in just a few more months. There's a bit of extra footage involving The Joker and some of Batman's other favorite villains this time, but we've already seen three trailers for this. I'm completely sold anyway, I don't need to see anything else. I'm planning to see this in theaters. 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 whole movie looks like the biggest Batman inside joke ever, and I am dying to see it. Glad to see them poking fun at every last aspect of Batman. Enjoy.
What a beautiful animated short film. The Fisherman is a short created and animated by Luke Saunders, featuring a very unique visual style telling a heartfelt story about family and remembering our loved ones. The brief description of the film explains that "a series of serendipitous events lead to a chance encounter and the fulfilling of an old man's last earthly desire." This is one of those out-of-nowhere fantastic short films that I encourage everyone to just stop and watch without reading too much about it beforehand, as the simplicity of it makes it more impactful in the end. I also just love the animation style and music, I want to see more shorts made like this. Thanks to the sci-fi network Dust for premiering this. Watch it in full below.
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.