ENJOY THE MOVIES
"All my love… I put it into a song." Netflix has debuted the full trailer for Vivo, a vibrant new musical from Sony Animation. Featuring all-new original songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Vivo will take audiences on an epic adventure from Havana, Cuba to Miami. The film follows a one-of-a-kind kinkajou named Vivo, who spends his days playing music to the crowds in a lively square with his beloved owner Andrés. One day he receives a letter from the famous Marta Sandoval, inviting her old partner to her farewell concert in Miami with the hope of reconnecting. It's up to Vivo to deliver a message that Andrés never could: a love letter to Marta, written long ago, in the form of a song. Lin-Manuel Miranda voices Vivo, with Buena Vista Social Club's Juan de Marcos González as Andrés, Latin pop legend Gloria Estefan as Marta, Ynairaly Simo as Gabi, Zoe Saldana as Rosa, Michael Rooker as Lutador, Brian Tyree Henry & Nicole Byer as a pair of spoonbills, plus Katie Lowes, Olivia Trujillo, & Lidya Jewett. This looks totally adorable.
Meet Tomona & Inu-Oh. Asmik Ace has released the first teaser trailer for a new film from Japanese anime director Masaaki Yuasa, known for his vibrant animation The Night Is Short Walk on Girl, Lu Over the Wall, and Ride Your Wave. His latest work is a film called Inu-Oh, based on a classic story about the life of Inu-Oh "King Dog", a 14th-century Japanese performer of music drama at the time of its transition from the folk art of sarugaku "monkey music" into the formalized traditions of Noh and kyôgen. The story is about the friendship between a blind musician named Tomona, and a physically deformed dancer named Inu-Oh, who achieve great success and fame working together. The film's voice cast features Avu-Chan and Mirai Moriyama. This is premiering at the 2021 Venice Film Festival coming up in the next few months, playing in the Horizons sidebar section. There's plenty of appealing first look footage in this teaser, unsurprisingly, showing these two performing with enraptured audiences. Very curious to see more from this - stay tuned.
"If only we could choose to forget… So many memories that keep coming back. One's that just stick with you!" How often do we end up overthinking and over-analyzing everything that happens to us? All the time, right? Frank's Joke is an amusing, one-of-a-kind comedy short film made with both puppet animation + 2D animation, and a few live-action shots. Made by British filmmaker Ed Bulmer, this first premiered in 2018 commissioned by the BBC and BFI as part of Animation 2018, and is now available online to watch. Frank told a joke at his new place of work. Nobody laughed. Now at 3AM he's unable to sleep as he obsesses and ruminates over this social faux-pas, leading him to ponder on the nature of memory itself. He becomes trapped in a loop, a self-imposed purgatory for what seems like an age as the clock ticks by. With the voice of Spencer Brown as Frank. I dig the mix of animation styles, but it's also a good thought-provoking film.
Meet Titina! Screen has released the first promo teaser trailer for an animation project from Norway called Titina, a story about a dog that joined an expedition in the 1920s. It's still in production and is expected to be completed sometime in 2022, for release in the fall next year in Norway. This teaser is being released as a Cannes Market promo to gain interest from international distributors. "It revolves around the adventures of real-life fox terrier called Titina, who gained celebrity status in the 1920s when she accompanied her master, the Italian aeronautic engineer Umberto Nobile, and Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on an expedition to conquer the North pole in an airship. The adventure will be retold through her eyes as she becomes the first and last fox terrier to visit the North Pole, an environment to which she is wholly unsuited." This teaser also features a whale that she spots from the ship above. I'm already looking forward to seeing more from it.
"I dedicated my life to keeping Cryptids safe." Magnolia Pictures has released another official US trailer for the eccentric, psychedelic, wacky hand-drawn animated film Cryptozoo, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. This earned some rave reviews from various critics, mostly because it's insanely original and unlike anything you've ever seen before - the latest from the filmmaker behind the film My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea. As cryptozookeepers struggle to capture a "Baku" (a legendary dream-eating hybrid creature) they begin to wonder if they should display these rare beasts in the confines of a cryptozoo or if these mythical creatures should remain hidden and unknown. With the voices of Lake Bell, Michael Cera, Alex Karpovsky, Zoe Kazan, Louisa Krause, Angeliki Papoulia, Thomas Jay Ryan, Peter Stormare, and Grace Zabriskie. If you've been looking for movies that are unlike anything you have ever seen before - don't miss this one. Everything about it is unique and unforgettably mad crazy.
"Let the fun begin…!" Pixar has revealed the first teaser trailer for the next original animation project called Turning Red, marking the feature directorial debut of Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Domee Shi. She also directed the beloved Pixar short film Bao, which played in front of Incredibles 2 in 2018, and later won an Academy Award as well. Here's the concept for this: a 13-year-old girl turns into a giant red panda whenever she gets too excited. Which is, apparently, all the time! Beyond that, we're not sure where the story is going. Sandra Oh voices Mei Lee's protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming. And Rosalie Chiang voices Mei Lee, the girl at the center of the film. Of course, this is a hilarious and badass first look, especially with the Backstreet Boys song "Larger Than Life". Ha! What a fun introduction to this original Pixar movie.
Oh my goodness, this is an instant personal favorite. No exaggeration, this goes on my "all-timer" list right away. I want to watch it again right now. I want the posters, I want frames of the film on my wall, I want to listen to the score non-stop, I want to buy copies of the graphic novel it's based on. It has everything I love, everything that amazes me about this world: photography, mountains, Nepal, the Himalayas, Japan, Tokyo, the starry night sky. The Summit of the Gods (also known as Le Sommet des Dieux) is a French animated film made by animation filmmaker Patrick Imbert, based on the Japanese manga also titled The Summit of the Gods written by Jiro Taniguchi. It tells a riveting story about a Japanese adventure photographer and mountain climber who becomes obsessed with searching for a long lost Japanese mountain climber hiding out in the Himalayas who may have found a camera from an early Everest expedition. An engrossing story.
Magical House. Magical Family. Meet the Madrigales. Disney has finally revealed the first official trailer for Encanto, an original Disney Animation project arriving in theaters in November later this year. Encanto is made by the directors of Zootopia, Byron Howard & Jared Bush, and is also co-written and co-directed by Charise Castro Smith. The film centers on a young Colombian girl who, in spite of coming from a magical family, lacks magical powers. "Encanto takes you to Colombia, where a magical family live in a magical home." This will be Disney Animation's 60th feature film. It will also feature music written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is writing music for so many movies these days. The voice cast features Stephanie Beatriz as the voice of Mirabel Madrigal. This looks like a vibrant and heartwarming adventure - check it out below.
"Anne did not write this diary so you could worship her." Le Pacte has debuted the first official trailer for Where Is Anne Frank, the latest animated film from acclaimed Israeli director Ari Folman, of the films Waltz with Bashir and The Congress previously. This was a last minute addition to the 2021 Cannes Film Festival currently underway, premiering in the "Out of Competition" section. The film takes us back to the diaries of Holocaust survivor Anne Frank, but re-imagines her in modern day Europe. "In a year from today, Kitty, Anne Frank's imaginary friend, the one that Anne devoted her entire diary to, magically comes to life at the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. She believes that if she's alive, Anne must be alive as well. She sets out on a relentless quest to find Anne." Featuring the voices of Emily Carey as Anne Frank, Ruby Stokes as Kitty, plus Sebastian Croft and Skye Bennett. This does look like it is going to be something special.
"Time for some family bonding!" MGM + UA have released the full trailer for The Addams Family 2, the animated horror comedy sequel to The Addams Family update from 2019. Prepare to laugh your heads off. Literally. The Addams get tangled up in more wacky adventures and find themselves involved in hilarious run-ins with all sorts of unsuspecting characters. This new one has rounded out its stellar voice cast with the additions of Bill Hader as all-new character Cyrus, and Javon "Wanna" Walton taking on the role of the youngest Addams sibling, Pugsley. Hader and Walton join returning Addams Family film stars Charlize Theron (Morticia), Oscar Isaac (Gomez), Chloë Grace Moretz (Wednesday), Nick Kroll (Fester), Bette Midler (Grandma) as well as Snoop Dogg (as It). Director Greg Tiernan has also returned for the sequel, which will be released in theaters at the beginning of October later this year. They're releasing this head-to-head with the new Hotel Transylvania, which looks a bit better than this does. Check it out anyway.
"I am happy I directed a Star Wars episode as my final work." Whoaaaa this looks incredible!! Disney has unveiled a first look teaser trailer for a new series of short films titled Star Wars: Visions - arriving this September. Everyone knows that George Lucas was inspired by Akira Kurowasa while making the original Star Wars movies. Disney has decided to finally go to Japan to let Japanese filmmakers tell their own Star Wars stories. Star Wars: Visions is a series of nine entirely original SW short films made by seven different anime studios from Japan. "Each studio will use their signature animation and storytelling styles to realize their own visions of the galaxy far, far away." It seems they gave them creative freedom to tell any kind of story any way they want, and the results are jaw-dropping, unlike anything we've seen set in the Star Wars universe before. Anime fans NEED to see this. The first look video is more of a promo with interviews and behind-the-scene glimpses, without any finished footage yet, but I cannot wait to view more of this already.
"Behold… the Lord of Destruction!" Netflix has released an official trailer for their animated series Masters of the Universe: Revelation, directed by Kevin Smith. We've been waiting a long time for the live-action movie, which may or may not ever be released, but until then - check out this fresh anime update on the classic fantasy story. The war for Eternia begins again in what may be the final battle between He-Man and Skeletor. After decades of secrets tore them apart, it's up to Teela to reunite the broken band of heroes, and solve the mystery of the missing Sword of Power in a race against time to restore Eternia to its glory. Will the Guardians of Grayskull save Eternia and the fate of the entire Universe? Featuring the voices of Chris Wood as He-Man, Dennis Haysbert as Grayskull, Mark Hamill as Skeletor (oh hell yes!), plus Sarah Michelle Gellar, Adam Gifford, Jay Tavare, Diedrich Bader, Liam Cunningham, Lena Headey, Phil LaMarr, Jason Mewes, and Kevin Conroy as Mer-Man. This looks like a good time; flashy stoner animation and gnarly fantasy action. The end is only the beginning. Check out the first look footage below.