ENJOY THE SHOW
"We're going to find a new family!" Netflix has unveiled the first trailer for The Willoughbys, their next home-made animated movie following Klaus last year. This is actually made by Bron, an animation studio based in Vancouver. It's adapted from Lois Lowry's novel of the same name about a group of kids who get into all kinds of trouble. Convinced they'd be better off raising themselves, the Willoughby children hatch a sneaky plan to send their selfish parents on vacation. The siblings end up embarking upon their own high-flying adventure to find the true meaning of family. "It's a love letter to kid logic, unconventional families and awkward childhoods. It's a story for anybody who struggles to fit in," the filmmakers explain. Yeah that sounds about right. Featuring the voices of Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, Alessia Cara, Terry Crews, Martin Short, Jane Krakowski, Séan Cullen, and Ricky Gervais. Get a first look at the movie below.
"And also, I want the vastness of the sky." Here is a unique stop-motion animated film to enjoy when you have a few extra minutes. Raymonde or the Vertical Escape is an animated short by French filmmaker Sarah Van den Boom, co-founder of Papy3D Productions in Paris. In a remote farm, Raymonde (an owl) lives a solitary life. She takes care of her garden, raises rabbits, but loneliness starts to weigh on her. She asks herself questions about the meaning of things, about God, about her tardy virginity. Now, Raymonde feels an immense desire to live rising within her… The story "uses comedy as a means to explore themes of social acceptance, isolation, and sensuality." This was nominated for Best Animated Short in France's César Awards last year, and played on the festival circuit throughout most of last year, too. Featuring Yolande Moreau as the voice of Raymonde. The character design for this is particularly impressive, along with the deeply honest and intimate storytelling. View the full short below. (Click the CC button for subtitle options.)
Can you really know all of yourself? Another entrancing animated short film to enjoy and to contemplate. Solipsism is an experimental dark comedy animated short made by animator Jonathan Djob Nkondo along with artist / illustrator / filmmaker Tuna Bora, based on her pre-existing illustrations. The title is a reference to the philosophical concept of solipsism: "the theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist." It's about a girl trying to make sense of herself. "The film tells the tale of a young girl who gets lost inside the world around her–or rather, inside her own head–with a clear design that starts to crumble as the protagonist stumbles through an unidentified landscape." Personally, I always love these strange animated films with cool visuals that explore intriguing ideas and actually have something to say. Check it out below.
"Why would I fight for you?" Warner Bros has released the official trailer for an animated movie titled Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge, the latest "Mortal Kombat Legends" offering. But this one is particularly unique. It is an R-rated animated movie, given that rating for "extreme violence," "bad language" and "a bloody good time." The iconic fighter Scorpion is given a chance by a sorcerer to return as a specter and get revenge for his family that was killed in a genocide. Featuring the voices of Patrick Seitz as Scorpion, Joel McHale as Johnny Cage, Jennifer Carpenter as Sonya Blade, Jordan Rodrigues, Steve Blum, Artt Butler, and Darin De Paul. We probably won't ever see another live-action Mortal Kombat movie, but this may be better than that would ever be. Holy hell! What a trailer. Check it out below.
"Let's see how strong you are. Pull it up by its roots." Arbelos has released a new official trailer for the 4K restoration of an underground animated classic called Son of the White Mare. Heard of it before? This psychedelic Hungarian animated movie was made by animation master Marcell Jankovics (Sisyphus, The Tragedy of Man, Song of the Miraculous Hind, Johnny Corncob) and first released in 1981. It never showed in theaters in the US, and has only appeared at various film festivals or in bootleg form. The film has been restored in 4K using the original 35mm camera negative and sound elements by Arbelos in collaboration with the Hungarian Film Archive. A goddess in the shape of a horse gives birth to three super-powered sons who set out on a mission to save three princesses from three evil dragons and reclaim their kingdom from the underworld. The film acts as trippy visual commentary on pollution and humanity's destruction of the world. And it definitely looks stunning! If you've never seen it, now is the perfect time to catch up with this.
"There's a world full of other trolls! How different can they be?" Universal has released yet another new trailer (#3!) for Trolls World Tour, the sequel to DreamWorks Animation's movie musical Trolls from 2016. Is anyone excited for this? Anyone…? A member of hard-rock royalty, Queen Barb, aided by her father King Thrash, wants to destroy all other kinds of music to let rock reign supreme. In this musical adventure that will take them well beyond what they’ve known before, Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) discover that they are but one of six different Troll tribes scattered over the lands, devoted to six different kinds of music: Funk, Country, Techno, Classical, Pop, and Rock. The full voice cast includes J Balvin, Rachel Bloom, Kelly Clarkson, James Corden, Ester Dean, Jamie Dornan, Ron Funches, Flula Borg, Ozzy Osbourne, Anthony Ramos, Karan Soni, Sam Rockwell, Kenan Thompson, Charlyne Yi, with George Clinton, and Mary J. Blige. This still looks instantly forgettable, doesn't it? Arriving in theaters next month.
"This isn't about some guy in a rubber mask." "This is about one of us." Warner Bros has debuted a second (and final) trailer for Scoob, the new CG animated Scooby-Doo movie from Warner Animation Group. This updated take (see the first trailer) throws out the other hybrid live-action movies with Matthew Lillard, and restarts things by introducing us to the origins of the lovable crime-solving doggie and his friends in the Mystery Machine. They get tangled up in a kidnapping plot involving the Falcon Fury and Blue Falcon. The main voice cast features Frank Welker as Scooby-Doo, Will Forte as Shaggy, Amanda Seyfried as Daphne, Gina Rodriguez as Velma, Zac Efron as Fred, along with Mark Wahlberg, Mckenna Grace, Kiersey Clemons, Iain Armitage, Ken Jeong, Tracy Morgan, and Jason Isaacs as Dick Dastardly. This is pretty dang good, much better than anyone was expecting. Looks heartfelt and delightfully amusing.
"I never found my pile of people." What would life be like if you couldn't recognize anyone's face? What if you couldn't recognize your own face? Carlotta's Face is a beautiful short animated documentary made by German filmmakers Valentin Riedl & Frédéric Schuld. The film introduces us to a woman named Carlotta. "She suffers from the miswiring of a tiny brain region that makes it impossible for her to see and remember faces as a complete construct, called prosopagnosia or face blindness." Her entire life is completely different because of this. "Watching herself in the mirror, Carlotta each day views the face of a different woman." She overcomes this challenge by learning to recognize her face with thousands of self-portraits. Riedl & Schuld work to visualize her experiences through animation, and it's a mesmerizing and enlightening film to watch.
"Robots roaming the streets!" Whoa! Sony Pictures Animation (SPA) has unveiled the first official trailer for Connected, the new animated movie produced by filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller. This original animated comedy is about an everyday family's struggle to relate while technology rises up around the world! Another innovative, exciting animated movie form the same studio that gave us the phenomenal Spider-Man: into the Spider-Verse. Katie Mitchell is accepted into the film school of her dreams. Her whole family drives Katie to school together when their plans are interrupted by a tech uprising. The Mitchells will have to work together to save the world. Featuring the voices of Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Mike Rianda, Eric André, and Olivia Colman. I love the animation style, I love all the little visual flourishes, and I love the dog! This looks AMAZING! SPA is kicking serious ass with some of the best animated work out there. Can't wait to see more from this, seems like it will be one of this year's highlights.
"Let's get ready to rumble!!" Paramount Animation has unveiled the first trailer for their latest animated movie Rumble, arriving in theaters in January 2021 just under a year from now. In a world where monster wrestling is a global sport and monsters are superstar athletes, Winnie seeks to follow in her father’s footsteps by coaching a loveable underdog monster into a champion. While entirely different in many ways, this reminds me a bit of Monsters Inc with a world of monsters. The huge voice cast includes Will Arnett, Terry Crews, Geraldine Viswanathan, Joe "Roman Reigns" Anoa'i, Tony Danza, Becky Lynch, Susan Kelechi Watson, Stephen A. Smith, Jimmy Tatro, Ben Schwartz, and Michael Buffer. This is a fun first look trailer, introducing the characters and concept. It all seems a bit obvious but still amusing.
"The entire ocean has begun moving." GKids has unveiled an official US trailer for the Japanese anime film titled Children of the Sea, which has been playing at a few film festivals last year (after initially opening in Japan in the summer). This is the latest feature made by Japan's Studio 4°C (known for Tekkonkinkreet, MFKZ, Mind Game, Animatrix, Batman: Gotham Knight, and others), and is directed by Ayumu Watanabe, with a score by award-winning composer and longtime Studio Ghibli collaborator Joe Hisaishi. The story involves a young girl named Ruka who is drawn into a mystery involving sealife around the world, in which two mysterious water-connected boys are involved. Of course, she falls in love with one of them. Starring the voices of Mana Ashida, Hiiro Ishibashi, Seishû Uragami, and Win Morisaki in the original version. It's a funky film, with a few quirky, odd moments, along with the usual cute, fun moments in so many anime films these days. If the visuals catch your eye, you might as well check out this film when it opens in spring.
"Hell is empty… And the devils are here." Quiver Distribution has unveiled a full-length official trailer for an animated horror-thriller film titled To Your Last Death. It's not that often we ever see any animated horror projects, and it's exciting to watch the animation medium serve up all kinds of different stories. This trippy high concept horror is about a woman named Miriam. In order to save her siblings, she takes on her father and the powerful entity known as "Gamemaster", who ensnares humans into diabolical plots while her species gambles on the outcome. Well that sounds crazy! Dani Lennon voices Miriam, and Morena Baccarin voices the Gamemaster, plus a cast including Ray Wise, Bill Moseley, Florence Hartigan, Damien C. Haas, and William Shatner. The clunky animation style borrows mostly from FX's "Archer", with less character animation and more vivid visuals. I'm not too sure this will good, but it is worth a watch.