ENJOY THE SHOW
"You're no captain, and that's no ship." The Orchard has released the official US trailer for a stop-motion animated film titled Captain Morten and the Spider Queen, which is actually more of a kids fairy tale despite that ominous title. This premiered at the Annecy Film Festival last year, and is getting a direct-to-VOD release in the US in February. The film is about a ten year old boy who is waiting for his sailor father to return home. He accidentally floods a cafe and is magically shrunk down to the size of an insect, where he must find a way to sail his toy boat and outsmart the other insects in order to save the day. Featuring the voices of Michael McElhatton, Ciarán Hinds, Brendan Gleeson, and Susie Power. It's a very goofy film, with some seriously creepy character design. A bit too weird to be enjoyable but might entice a viewers.
"I need Captain Snowball for a top secret rescue." Universal + Illumination Entertainment have debuted a fourth teaser trailer for Chris Renaud's The Secret Life of Pets 2, the sequel to the animated hit from a few years ago about pets and the life they have after their owners leave for work. This teaser focuses entirely on a new character - a cute dog named Daisy, voiced by Tiffany Haddish. The first teaser featured the dog Max, the second teaser was all about the cat Chloe, and the third teaser re-introduced the rabbit Snowball as Captain Snowball, voiced by Kevin Hart. The full cast also includes Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Albert Brooks, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Kylie Hart, Nick Kroll, and Pete Holmes. Expect even more characters teasers in addition to these four. Meet Daisy below.
"Looks like someone's staying on the naughty list… Larry, light him up!!" What the craziness is this?! 20th Century Fox has released an extra-violent, stop-motion animated short film titled The Predator Holiday Special. And it's actually all kinds of awesome. The funny short is just a new mash-up of Predator and the classic "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" animated TV movie, telling a story about a Predator invading the North Pole - but Santa has an elite defense force of his own that jumps into action and fights back. This is all to promote the DVD/Blu-ray release of Shane Black's new The Predator, which opened this year (did you forget already?). I'm quite impressed - the production quality on this short is pretty damn good, and it's as violent & brutal as it should be (for a Predator riff). Worth a quick watch if you need a laugh these holidays.
We're almost finished with 2018, but there's a few more good short films to feature. Hors De L'Eau, which translates to Out of Water in French, is one of the final graduation projects for 2018 made by filmmakers at the animation school Gobelins in Paris, France. This animated short is a parable about exclusion, telling a story about a macaque mother who encounters hostility from a group of snow monkeys due to strict rules which govern their community. The POV perspective is really striking, and allows us to empathize so much more with her sad, harrowing story. This film does have a strong message that it's trying to convey, but it's also an impressive work of art - all the monkeys and the animation are exquisite. This is really worth your time to watch - it's only 7 minutes in total. There's no dialogue but the score is fantastic as well. View below.
"We are dealing with a 'collector' here, and not a serial thief." Sony Pictures Classics has debuted a new official trailer for an animated film from Hungary titled Ruben Brandt, Collector, or originally Ruben Brandt, a gyűjtő in Hungarian. It's about a famous psychotherapist who suffers from violent nightmares he has as a result of subliminal messaging he received as a child. Four of his patients, expert thieves, offer to steal the works, since he believes that once he owns them, the nightmares will disappear. He becomes a wanted criminal know as "The Collector". Who will dare to catch him and his gang? What a concept. And the animation style in this is unique, much different than what we usually see. Ruben Brandt, Collector features the voices (Hungarian) of Iván Kamarás, Gabriella Hámori, Zalán Makranczi, and Csaba Márton. The character design is super funky, but also kinda hard to look away from. I'm very curious about this one.
"Everything is MORE awesome – in space!" Warner Bros has debuted another international trailer for The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, a highly-anticipated sequel to the wildly successful, acclaimed original The Lego Movie from 2014. The is labeled as the "Space Trailer", focusing on the gang's tumultuous trip into outer space. This one isn't directed by Phil Lord & Chris Miller, but they did write the screenplay and they did produce it so they are still involved. There's some weird things going on once they get into space, but it still looks like a super awesome fun time. The main voice cast includes Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Stephanie Beatriz, Elizabeth Banks, Channing Tatum, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Jonah Hill, and Tiffany Haddish. From all these trailers, the plot for this sequel seems totally crazy with a mix-up of all kinds of characters and funky things happening. But hey, I'm sure it'll all make sense watching the movie.
"I'm calling this meeting of the Superhero Animal Friends to order!" And who is the leader of this group? None other than Snowball! Universal + Illumination Entertainment have debuted a third teaser trailer for Chris Renaud's The Secret Life of Pets 2, the sequel to the animated hit from a few years ago about pets and the life they have after their owners leave for work. This teaser focuses entirely on the rabbit Snowball, voiced by Kevin Hart, who was also in the original. The first teaser featured the dog Max, the second teaser featured the cat Chloe tripping on cat nip, and this one has Snowball becoming a superhero. The voice cast also includes Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Albert Brooks, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Kylie Hart, Nick Kroll, and Pete Holmes. More teasers are arriving soon.
Can you solve a Rubik's cube? This charming new animated short film titled Scrambled is about a cute little Rubik's cube that comes alive in hopes of being solved by a woman waiting for a train. Scrambled is made by the animation house Polder Animation based in The Netherlands, written and directed by Bastiaan Schravendeel. It's a simple story but with some intelligent nuance in both the style and substance, about a young woman who's inspired when she figures out how to solve this (lonely) Rubik's cube. It's a great lesson for everyone - about how taking a break and exercising your mind by playing a game or solving some other problem might actually give you a fresh perspective you can use to solve other problems in your life. Enjoy.
"What's going on in this crazy place?" Studiocanal UK has debuted the first cheesy teaser trailer for a new animated movie based on a toyline, this one titled Playmobil: The Movie. If it isn't obvious enough, this is based on the Playmobil toys and characters, made by a German conglomerate called the Brandstätter Group. I hate to be so blunt - but this is pretty much a wannabe The Lego Movie, but nowhere near as good. The movie takes audiences on an epic comedy adventure through a sprawling imaginative universe. Packed with humor and excitement the film combines endearing and hilarious characters, thrilling adventure and breathtaking scenery in this original, animated heart-warming tale. Featuring the voices of Anya Taylor-Joy, Jim Gaffigan, Gabriel Bateman, Adam Lambert, Kenan Thompson, Meghan Trainor, and Daniel Radcliffe. This is such a terrible teaser, for a movie that looks totally awful. Don't waste your time.
"This time it's Farmageddon!" Studiocanal UK has debuted the first official teaser trailer for A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, the latest comedy from stop-motion studio Aardman Animations. This is a sequel to the surprisingly successful first Shaun the Sheep Movie, released in 2015, and this time the sheep are heading to space! Seriously. When an alien with amazing powers crash-lands near Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun the Sheep goes on a mission to shepherd the intergalactic visitor home before a sinister organization can capture her. "It’s close encounters of the herd kind in Shaun’s new out of this world movie." The voice cast includes Justin Fletcher and John Sparkes. This is a simple teaser without much, but it's amusing and a good way to re-introduce the characters. Worth a watch to liven your day with some Aardman humor.
"Time to light it up, kid." Warner Bros has debuted a funny short film for the holidays in promotion of The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, the sequel to the wildly successful and highly acclaimed original The Lego Movie released in 2014. This short is about Emmet Brickowski putting together a holiday party in their Apocalypse-berge city, which (not-so-subtly) is hinted at in this short, will end up attracting their next foe. This time around, the citizens must fight off Duplo invaders from outer space. The main voice cast for The Lego Movie 2 includes Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Stephanie Beatriz, Elizabeth Banks, Channing Tatum, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Jonah Hill, and Tiffany Haddish. We also recently featured the second trailer for this animated sequel, so this is just some extra icing on the cake. Plus I don't think of the footage from this short will end up in the finished movie anyway. But it's amusing and harmless - have fun.
"All melted together into a single mindcrash." Brainfeeder Films has debuted an official teaser trailer for a new feature film that combines all of the 13 years of work from animator David Firth into a "single stream of nightmare consciousness." Remember Salad Fingers? Remember Spoilsbury Toast Boy? These are just a few of Firth's crazy creations, and he jams them all into this "feature length retrospective assemblage" titled Umbilical World. This looks as crazy, and twisted, and weird, and mesmerizing, as it sounds, especially considering it seems to just be a 79 minute non-stop mash-up of his work. Which is one giant cinematic acid trip. I'm glad they're releasing this, in hopes of bringing more attention to his talent. It also reminds me of Don Hertzfeldt and his animated features; they both deserve more acclaim than they have received thus far.