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Review: 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' Worthy Sequel to the Original

How Train Your Dragon 2

Did you think DreamWorks Animation would fumble the ball with How to Train Your Dragon 2? The first movie was a smash success, arguably the best animated film of 2010 over Pixar's praised Toy Story 3. At the very least, it was an extremely close race for supremacy, and loads of anticipation fell in the sequel's court as soon as it was announced. The time has come, and though the sequel couldn't possibly have brought the surprise or wow factor of its predecessor, it brings so much more that makes up for it. There's laughs, thrills, and heart of all shapes and sizes. It doesn't rest on just being a kiddie-pleaser and instead brings top-notch storytelling together with impeccable animation that only seems to be getting better and better.

 Posted June 13 in Animation, Review | Comments

Watch: Full Trailer for DreamWorks Animation's Delayed 'Home'

Home

Though 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation may have decided to swap release dates for their original alien adventure Home and their action comedy The Penguins of Madagascar, that doesn't mean they're not going to plug the hell out of both films with the release of How to Train Your Dragon 2 nearly upon us. The trailer for the latter Madagascar spin-off just debuted yesterday, and now we get full trailer for Home as well. We finally get to see our main human character Tip (Rihanna) and her relationship with outcast alien Oh (Jim Parsons). There's some really cool animation and amusing elements at work here with the aliens themselves and this just may turn out to be another hit for DreamWorks Animation. Watch!

 Posted June 12 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

GKids to Release 'The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness' Ghibli Doc

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness Doc

This sounds delightful. GKIDS, a US distributor of animation from all over the world, has acquired rights to release the documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness in North America. The doc is actually an inside look at Studio Ghibli, and the three men who are the "lifeblood of Ghibli": director Hayao Miyazaki, producer Toshio Suzuki, and the elusive Isao Takahata (all three seen above). GKIDS picked up the film prior to its appearance at Annecy International Animation Film Festival, but will likely release it in theaters later this year along with Ghibli's next US release, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. More below.

 Posted June 12 in Animation, Docs, Movie News | Comments

Danger & Espionage in the First Trailer for 'Penguins of Madagascar'

The Penguins of Madagascar

With the release of How to Train Your Dragon 2 this weekend, DreamWorks Animation is ready to get the hype machine started on their spin-off The Penguins of Madagascar. The animation studio just decided to move up the release of the film to November, swapping dates with their original film Home, and now we finally get a taste of the comedic spy adventure. Benedict Cumberbatch teams up with the penguins as a wolf named Agent Classified as part of a spy sect called North Wind. There's no sign of John Malkovich as the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine yet. If you don't like Madagascar, this probably isn't for you. Watch now!

 Posted June 11 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Laika's Animated 'Boxtrolls' Gets Two New Trailers for the US & UK

The Boxtrolls

It feels like we've seen a lot of Laika's new stop-motion animated feature The Boxtrolls with a behind-the-scenes teaser trailer, a Cee-Lo Green infused trailer, and a longer trailer from the United Kingdom. But now we get a much better idea of the story that will unfold this fall. Two new trailers have just surfaced online with one for audiences here in the United States and another for those across the pond. They both explain the Jungle Book-esque story of a young boy raised by these legendary, misunderstood creatures who live below the streets of Cheesebridge, and is now coming-of-age, looking for human interaction. Watch!

 Posted June 11 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Pixar Veteran is Co-Directing 'Finding Dory' with Andrew Stanton

Finding Dory

Sadly, due to the delay of The Good Dinosaur, we won't be seeing Pixar Animation's sequel Finding Dory until the summer of 2016. The original film's director Andrew Stanton will get some help this time though. Pixar Planet (via SlashFilm) noticed a Twitter update from Stanton which named Angus MacLane as his co-director whilst posting an amusing LEGO creation commemorating Iron Man. MacLane isn't new Pixar blood as he was at the helm of the Halloween animated short "Toy Story of Terror." Stanton doesn't specifically mention Finding Dory, but it's the only film he's working on at this time, so it just makes sense.

 Posted June 11 in Animation, Development, Movie News | Comments

Watch: Focus on Score in 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' Featurette

How to Train Your Dragon 2

This weekend, in addition to the raucous comedy of 22 Jump Street, families will have some entertainment with another sequel, How to Train Your Dragon 2. Early buzz on the film has been pretty great, and the last featurette for the animated film showed off some of the new dragons encountered by Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless. Now a new featurette focuses solely on the score, composed by John Powell (Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon) with the help of Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi. Powell comments on his task, "I believe it’s my job to be slightly behind your emotion as a viewer, never in front of it.” Watch!

 Posted June 11 in Animation, Featurette, To Watch | Comments

Sony Pictures Animation Announces a 'Medusa' Comedy on the Way

Medusa

Sony Pictures Animation has found success with animation director Gendy Tartakovsky, who made a name for himself behind cartoon's like "Samurai Jack" and "Dexter's Laboratory." Now another animation director from Cartoon Network's early past is getting a crack at a feature film now too. Lauren Faust has directed 29 episodes of "Powerpuff Girls"  and is best known for recently rebooting "My Little Pony" on television, and Sony Pictures Animation has announced that she will be at the helm of an animated comedy called Medusa, from a pitch from Antz co-writer Todd Alcott and reality TV producer Holly Golden.

 Posted June 6 in Animation, Development, Movie News | Comments

Meet New Dragons in Latest 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' Featurette

How to Train Your Dragon 2

The first featurette for the DreamWorks Animation sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2 showed us that five years has passed since the events of the first film, and dragons are fully integrated into the island of Berk. Now a new featurette shows off some of the new dragons we'll be encountering in the sequel that finds Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) encountering a new threat along with a new ally, his estranged mother (Cate Blanchett). And she brings with her knowledge of new dragons, including her own four-winged companion Cloudjumper. There's plenty of other new dragons to be discovered as well, so watch the featurette below!

 Posted June 4 in Animation, Featurette, To Watch | Comments

Indie Trailer Sunday: Tomm Moore's New Animation 'Song of the Sea'

Song of the Sea Trailer

How wonderful. "This is an ancient shell that my mother gave me a long time ago... Hold it to your ear and listen carefully..." Today's trailer is a teaser for the upcoming animated movie titled Song of the Sea, the second feature from Tomm Moore, whose work on the animated film The Secret of Kells earned him a Best Animated Feature Oscar nomination in 2010 (it eventually lost to Pixar's Up). His next film is about a child named Saoirse, who is the last of the selkies, women in Irish and Scottish legends who transform from seals into people. She escapes from her grandmother's home to journey to the sea and free fairy creatures trapped in the modern world. This is just a teaser, but it's full of wonderful animation that makes this a must watch.

 Posted June 1 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Paul Rudd & Danny McBride Joining 'Sausage Party' Arriving in 2016

Paul Rudd & Danny McBride

The voice cast of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's animated R-rated comedy Sausage Party was already top notch. Rogen was already lending his voice to the film along with Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Salma Hayek, Edward Norton, Michael Cera, David Krumholtz, Bill Hader, James Franco and Craig Robinson. But now a press release has revealed that Paul Rudd and Danny McBride are also lending their voices to the film along with "Workaholics" star Anders Holm. This truly is a star-studded voice cast. However, we'll be waiting awhile to see this flick, because Sony Pictures won't release it until June 3rd, 2016. More below!

 Posted May 29 in Animation, Casting, Development, Movie News | Comments

First Trailer & Poster for Guillermo del Toro's Animated 'Book of Life'

The Book of Life

Following yesterday's first look photos, the first official trailer and poster for the animated film The Book of Life from producer Guillermo del Toro have arrived. The story follows the journey of Manolo (Diego Luna), an aspiring musician struggling with pleasing his family and winning over the love of his life (Zoe Saldana). There's some truly stunning animation on display here, like a mix of the world of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas, but in the style of the Day of the Dead celebration. Channing Tatum seems a bit out of place as a rival romancer, but this still looks like an original adventure for everyone. Watch it!

 Posted May 29 in Animation, Posters, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

First Look at Guillermo del Toro and Fox's Animated 'Book of Life'

The Book of Life

Though the next film from Guillermo del Toro as a director is Crimson Peak, and that's not arriving until 2015, we'll still get a project that will have a special touch from the revered filmmaker. The Book of Life is a new animated film from Fox Animation coming this fall, and while we've seen some concept art from the project directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez, the first official stills have arrived, showing off a unique animation style. The male characters look a bit like boxy marionettes, which is a bit weird, and I can't decide if I really like it or not. But the settings look gorgeous, and again, it sounds like a truly original tale. Images below!

 Posted May 28 in Animation, First Look, Photos | Comments

Michael Giacchino to Compose Score for Pixar's Heady 'Inside Out'

Michael Giacchino

Sadly, we're not going to get a feature film from Pixar Animation this year. The Good Dinosaur was meant for release this year, but was pushed back to 2015, resulting in a delay of the Finding Nemo sequel Finding Dory to 2016. But still slated for 2015 is the original story Inside Out, with Up director Pete Docter at the helm. We got a first look at the characters from the film last year, and now we have word from Pixar Post (via The Film Stage) that Michael Giacchino, who composed the score for Up and was just hired for Jurassic World, will do the same to help bring these characters inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl to life.

 Posted May 27 in Animation, Development, Movie News | Comments

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