ENJOY THE SHOW
"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.
Miyazaki is coming back to theaters! GKids and Fathom Events have announced a special 15th anniversary screening of Spirited Away, Studio Ghibli's 2001 film written & directed by Hayao Miyazaki, which won the Best Animated Feature Oscar (in 2003). The film will be showing in theaters nationwide for two days only - on Sunday, December 4th (the English dubbed version) and Monday, December 5th (the English subtitled version). The special event will also include the short film "Ghiblies: Episode 2" - described as a unique 25-minute film from Studio Ghibli, featuring "several comedic vignettes and caricatures" of Studio Ghibli staff as they go about their day. As a huge Ghibli fan, it's always a treat to see their films in theaters.
Another impressive animated short film to feature today. Witness is a CGI animated short made by three filmmakers from the L'école Georges Méliès art school in France - Alexandre Berger, Christ Ibovy and Hugo Rizzon. The film tells another dialogue-free story of a man trying to track down the murderer of his wife. I like the twist in this, and I like the visuals - it's a dark and unsettling story that's told with clear and concise storytelling techniques. This film follows the outstanding short Borrowed Time, as another example of animation being used to tell a much darker and more emotional story than typically expected. See below.
"I am fighting a few different people… I like to fight around." Warner Bros has debuted the new trailer for The LEGO Batman Movie, to follow up the most recent trailer released at Comic-Con this summer. And this trailer might just be the best yet. This sequel to The LEGO Movie from 2014 focuses purely on Batman, obviously, and his various cohorts and associates and villains - including The Joker. 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 looks like totally goofy fun. It seems to have the spirit of the first LEGO Movie and the absurdity of Batman mashed up perfectly.
"We need an instant-fame plan!" Samuel Goldwyn Films has released a new trailer for the upcoming release of Titmouse Studio's first feature-length animated film, titled Nerdland, from director Chris Prynoski. It tells the story of two best friends, voiced by Paul Rudd & Patton Oswalt - one an aspiring screenwriter, the other an aspiring actor - whose dreams of super-stardom have fizzled. They decide to "troll" Los Angeles on a "fame-grab journey, encountering and abusing friends both new and old." The voice cast also includes Hannibal Buress, Kate Micucci, Riki Lindhome, John Ennis, Mike Judge, Reid Scott, Laraine Newman and Paul Scheer. This looks totally wacky, and maybe fun to watch, but I'm not really that sure.
"We want tons of good ideas! And we've got, you know, 80 minutes here to knock everybody out." This is a fantastic new video essay examining the animated movies and storytelling techniques of filmmaker Brad Bird, who is currently working on making The Incredibles 2 at Pixar. Created by veteran editor Kees van Dijkhuizen Jr. (who retired in 2012, but is seemingly back now with more work) the video features audio clips of Brad Bird discussing his ideas and mentality, spliced with clips from his movies showing exactly what he's talking about. The opening quote is from the documentary about the making of The Iron Giant, released on the new Blu-ray this year. I've watched this video at least 5 times already, it's that good. Enjoy.
"Don't let fear stop you from doing the thing you love." Universal Pictures has revealed one final trailer for Illumination's latest animated movie musical titled Sing, an ensemble blockbuster comedy about a singing competition hosted by an ambitious Koala named Buster Moon, voiced by Matthew McConaughey. We've already seen numerous trailers for this movie before, including an extended 4-minute one, but this final one really packs a punch. The impressive ensemble cast includes Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Nick Kroll, Nick Offerman, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly and many others. It's cool to hear some Eminem and Aerosmith used in this, obviously they're really going all out trying to sell this, and maybe it'll draw some big crowds. Arrives in theaters Christmas week. Have fun.