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"It was all very difficult..." It's not surprising that it is as wonderful to sit down and talk with the people from Studio Ghibli as it is to watch the wonderful movies they make. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to interview Hayao Miyazaki prior to his retirement during a trip over to the US to promote Ponyo. While up in Toronto at TIFF 2014 this year, I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet up with and interview Isao Takahata, the director of the beautiful film The Tale of Princess Kaguya, which was released in Japan last year and arrives in US theaters this fall. He was wonderful to speak with, making my entire trip worth it.
"It's like spooning a warm marshmallow." Following an amusing and impressive teaser trailer for the first animated collaboration between Walt Disney Animation and Marvel, a full theatrical trailer for Big Hero 6 has arrived. This time we get a much better idea of the overall story, from Hiro Hamada's seemingly passed brother who created the pudgy medical robot Baymax to our superhero team and the villain they'll be facing. There's some great animation at work here, fun characters, and a promising film that looks like another hit to stack on top of Disney's success from their big musical hit Frozen last year. Watch the trailer below now!
Because general American audiences have a weird aversion to films with subtitles, Studio Ghibli releases in the United States usually get an English-dubbed version featuring a wide array of actors doing the voiceover instead of the original Japanese recordings. The Tale of Princess Kaguya will see an English-dubbed version hit theaters this fall with Chloe Grace Moretz taking the lead role, and the first full theatrical trailer for that release has just arrived. Unlike the first US teaser trailer for the animated gem, this one showcases the film's dialogue, brought to life with the voice talents of James Caan, Darren Criss, Lucy Liu, Mary Steenburgen, Beau Bridges, James Marsden, Oliver Platt and Dean Cain. Watch now!
Sony Pictures Animation isn't slated to release their adaptation of the classic cartoon Popeye into theaters until sometime in 2016. But that's not stopping the studio and director Genndy Tartakovsky from giving audiences their first look at the spinach-eating sailor and his computer animated feature film. Some animation test footage has just surfaced online, but rather than this just being a leak or a random bit of footage from the movie, it's all part of a lovely little featurette that shows how Tartakovsky has always been fascinated with Popeye. We get to see sketches, storyboards and more. It's a nice introduction. Watch now!
From Pixar to Studio Ghibli to Laika, we love all kinds of animation. And because we also like showcasing short films from time to time, calling attention to this fantastic animated short called It's Payback Time seemed right up our alley. These little gray creatures find their world in upheaval when a mysterious blue substance is leading to catastrophic destruction. Where is this coming from? What's going on? Will they ever survive? While normally you might find yourself rooting for the little guys to overcome this disastrous development, the twist ending will actually have you glad to see this world destroyed. Watch the short now!
As a die-hard Studio Ghibli fanboy, I always feel like I'm way behind when I finally see the latest film they originally released a year ago in Japan. But I'm so glad I finally caught up with Isao Takahata's The Tale of Princess Kaguya, originally released in Japan in November of 2013, but just now making its way to North America thanks to the Toronto Film Festival. I'm even happier I saw the original version with Japanese dialogue and English subtitles, the way it was meant to be seen, rather than the dubbed version coming up for the US. It's a wonderful film, incredibly charming and so much fun to watch. Of course, the animation is remarkably beautiful, unlike anything I've seen before - hand-animated to look like old watercolor scrolls.
For those who don't know, part of the long process to make an animated film at Pixar Animation involves the use of color scripts? What is a color script? Well, like a normal script uses text to explain what happens on-screen in a motion picture, the color script is a visual companion showing the color palette, keys and tones that will be in each scene. And that's done for the entire film. Now a Pixar fan and Vimeo user Rishi Kaneria has decided to showcase just how precise and wonderful the use of color can be in Pixar's movies, from Toy Story all the way through Monsters University. It's short, sweet, and gorgeous.
While computer animation continues to flourish with Pixar Animation films like Toy Story and Finding Nemo and The House of Mouse's own Walt Disney Animation with Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen, the old school hand drawn, 2D animation is starting to fall to the wayside. But some Disney veterans are getting together to create a new steampunk-themed adventure called Hullabaloo, which will be a short hand drawn animation film which they hope to turn into a web series, TV show or even better, a feature-length film. And what's even more exciting, is the two heroes are a pair of brilliant, female engineers. Look below!
Last night, ABC acknowledged all the love that has sprouted for Walt Disney Animation's hit musical Frozen by debuting a TV special “The Story of Frozen: Making an Animated Classic," taking a look behind the scenes of the film featuring the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad. And Disney also revealed that all four of the main characters brought to life by those respective actors would return in Frozen Fever, a new short film debuting in the spring of 2015 and reunites directors Jennifer Lee & Chris Buck and songwriters Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Read on!
Briefly: While announcing that this summer's sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2 has crossed the $600 million mark over the weekend, DreamWorks Animation has also revealed that they will push back the release of How to Train Your Dragon 3 by a year. The third installment in the fantasy adventure franchise was slated to arrive on June 17th, 2016, but now the sequel will arrive on June 9th, 2017. It'll arrive just a couple weeks after The LEGO Movie sequel and one week before some unknown Pixar Animation film. We're not sure what the reason for the delay is, but animation takes a lot of time to perfect.
If dry British humor and stop-motion animation make for a cup of tea that you enjoy, then you're probably excited about the forthcoming release of Shaun the Sheep, an adaptation of the popular TV series from across the pond. The first teaser for the film debuted this past spring, and now we get a better idea of the story as Shaun and a bunch of his sheep friends end up stuck in the big city, leaving them with no choice but to find their own way home. However, since this property is far more popular in the United Kingdom, don't expect a release in the United States too quickly, if it even makes it over here at all. Watch the trailer now!
So far, we've only seen a brief glimpse of Pixar Animation's forthcoming movie Inside Out. The film follows a little girl named Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job all the way in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions are the only first look we've gotten at the 2015 release from Pixar, and they're a big part of the movie as they live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. Now we finally have the first image of Riley in the film as well, though we're still not sure who is voicing her.
Last fall, Pixar Animation had to push back the release of The Good Dinosaur from an initial release this past summer back to November 25th, 2015. The news came just a few weeks after we learned Bob Peterson had been removed from the film as director and a brain trust consisting of John Lasseter, Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, replacement Brave director Mark Andrews, and Party Cloudy short director Pete Sohn were put in place to take over the project. Now we have word that Pixar has completely overhauled the film as voice star John Lithgow says the film has been drastically changed for the better.
"As beautiful and imaginative as anything Ghibli has yet created!" Our friends at SlashFilm have unveiled a brand new 60-second teaser trailer for Studio Ghibli's The Tale of Princess Kaguya', from director Isao Takahata, which was originally released in Japan late 2013. The film is adapted from a 10th century Japanese folktale and is animated in the style of Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga scrolls - essentially it's unlike anything you've seen before, and this teaser plays up how gorgeous that animation looks. The trailer is for the dubbed US version with an English voice cast lead by Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Darren Criss, Lucy Liu, Beau Bridges and James Marsden. This is a short, simple but stunning teaser - check it out.