ENJOY THE SHOW
"Music is life! You just need to know where to look." There's another lovely new 60-second promo trailer for Pixar's Soul to watch. It was debuted this weekend at the Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans - and a Zoom Q&A with the filmmakers from that event is also included below. Soul is about a jazz musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself. Featuring the voices of Jamie Foxx as Joe Gardner, Tina Fey as "22", Daveed Diggs, Phylicia Rashad, and Ahmir-Khalib Thompson. This brief new trailer also features the song "Parting Ways", which was written, produced and performed by Cody Chesnutt. Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole worked as a cultural consultant on the film, and musician Jon Batiste wrote original jazz songs for it. The full-length trailer debuted in March earlier this year, and the new Pixar movie is now scheduled for release in November. This really looks like it's going to be the best ever, doesn't it? Can't wait to watch.
"You are now the proud owners of one rundown circus." Netflix has released a brand new trailer for the animated comedy Animal Crackers, made by Blue Dream Studios. The family movie is about a down-on-his-luck guy who tries to revive a circus. The catch - he finds a magical box of animal crackers that allows him to transform into any of the animals in his box. He thinks this might save the circus, until he discovers he has to go up against his long lost evil uncle - Horatio P. Huntington. The extensive voice cast in Animal Crackers (seen at the beginning of this trailer) includes John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Danny DeVito, Ian McKellen, Raven-Symoné, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Warburton, Tara Strong, Lydia Rose Taylor, Wallace Shawn, Gilbert Gottfried, Harvey Fierstein, and Kevin Grevioux. This originally premiered at the Annecy Film Festival back in 2017, but it has taken a full three years for it to finally get an official release - arriving on Netflix this July. This much of a delay isn't a good sign, though it still looks fun.
"It takes a lot of gall, to try to please, these dehumanizing entities…" We don't often feature music videos on this site, but sometimes they're just too beautiful to pass up. Along with "Radio Romance" earlier in the week, this music video features hand-illustrated animation and it's absolutely wonderful to watch - which is why we're sharing it. They use the animation to tell a story in addition to the song and what the lyrics are saying. Art Camp created this music video for the Bright Eyes song called "Mariana Trench" - featuring over 2,200 individual ink paintings. They recruited 18 people, working individually at home, to paint every frame one-by-one. I love seeing animated music videos because there's so much more attention to detail, so much more of a focus on the artistry. The colors in this are so vibrant, and the ink style makes it stand out from other animation. Even if you're not a fan of Bright Eyes, it's a must watch music video animated short.
"It's not a silly myth! It's real. She's on the moon… right now!" Netflix has debuted the first official trailer for an exciting new animated movie titled Over the Moon, developed in partnership with Pearl Studio in Shanghai. This is the first feature film directed by legendary animation master Glen Keane, who is working with John Kahrs (of Paperman) as his co-director. The story is about a girl who builds a rocket to travel to the moon in hopes of meeting the legendary Moon Goddess. It's also a musical with songs by Christopher Curtis, Marjorie Duffield, and Helen Park (KPOP); with a score by Oscar-winning composer Steven Price. Featuring a voice cast including Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Ken Jeong, John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles, Sandra Oh, Robert G. Chiu, Margaret Cho, and Kimiko Glenn. Keane is known for being one of the best classic Disney hand animators, so it's quite interesting to see him directing a 3D CGI animated movie. This looks charming! It reminds me of the animated short One Small Step also about an astronaut dreamer.
"To those who haven't given up - love is resistance." Rock on with this Lebanese band! There is a beautiful animated music video made for the song "Radio Romance" by the pro-LGBT rock band Mashrou' Leila (aka مشروع ليلى in Arabic). It was made by a Paris animation studio called Mathematic, and directed by a very talented animation filmmaker named Vladimir Mavounia-Kouka (aka "Vladimir MK"). This is not just a music video, the animated short film features a story as well. The story is about a loving couple that tries to kiss and embrace but doesn’t succeed. "A tender metaphor of a city and a world, where many love stories remain prohibited because of homophobia, xenophobia and any form of racism." Even if you don't like their music, these guys rock for being pro-LGBT in a country where that is very rare. And this is a really lovely music video that emphasizes how powerful love is, no matter who it's with, and how love should conquer all.
"Like any other child, I too learned to deal with the physiological characteristics conferred upon me." This is no ordinary short film about a person with an extra long nose. Nosis is a deeply philosophical, existential short film made by German animation filmmaker Vincenz Neuhaus based in Berlin. This is the short film he created and finished in only five months to present as his thesis while studying at the Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf. It first premiered back in 2018, and played at the Palm Springs ShortFest last year. Inspired by Erich Fromm's book 'To Have or to Be, the short is about a boy with an exceptionally long nose who one day accidentally falls into a cake - this changes his life forever. Now equipped with a "Super-Nose", he begins to re-explore life. But everything comes at a price. It always does. German filmmakers are good at digging deep into the existential psyche. I love the use of the two colors in this short, gives it a stylistic edge.
"They are part of a pattern that has shaped America's history… But it doesn't have to shape its future." Time for a quick look back. This vital animated short film is made by a non-profit in Seattle to help educate more people about America's true history. A Brief History of Xenophobia in America, directed by JJ Gerber of activism agency Movement Content, is based on the book "America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States". A condensed version of what's in the book, so to say. "The United States is known as a nation of immigrants. But it is also a nation of xenophobia." The short (and the book) go on to explain how and why this is, referencing the founding of the nation on slavery and genocide. "Forcing us to confront this history, America for Americans explains how xenophobia works, why it has endured, and how it threatens America. It is a necessary corrective and spur to action for any concerned citizen." So very true.
"What the hell do we know about cookin' chili?" Freestyle Digital Media has unveiled an official trailer for a ridiculous low-budget comedy called Dale Archdale, made by Ohio filmmaker Tyler Wirtanen. When Dale Archdale's trailer park shuts down, he is forced to move in with his ex wife at her free rental house in an upscale community. Dale manages to catch wind of a "Chili Cook-off" with enough prize money to save his beloved trailer park. Described as a "redneck slapstick comedy in the vein of Joe Dirt and 'Eastbound and Down'. It's called Dale Archdale." That fake mustache is in on it, too. The ensemble cast includes Matthew Warzel as Dale Archdale, with Ron Jeremy, Angelica Sin, Phoebe Dollar, Charles Auten, Braxton Lathan Williams, Taran Hall, Logan Mack, Nichole Amerson, & Bryan Cournoyer. It's not often that someone makes a film literally about "trailer park trash" as the protagonists, but here you go. Have fun.
Don't worry, be happy. Time for some wholesome visual storytelling that might be helpful to some of you. How to Float is a gorgeous animated short film that tries to "to tackle the complex subject of anxiety and depression" by following a hero "swept away in a lonely sea of worry" as she goes out in a city that looks a lot like Lisbon, Portugal. It's designed and animated by the animation house Good Form Studio located in Toronto, Canada. "Based on the story and scope of the project, we chose to tackle the animation using a 2D illustration style and animation heavily inspired by the suprematism art movement. In conjunction with our 2D approach, we used 3D techniques throughout the animation to help give the film depth." This is one of those fully experiential shorts you're supposed to just get lost in, and let it affect you in its own subtle ways.
We all know drugs are bad… But what if they're drugs made by greedy pharmaceutical companies, secretly working to keep you addicted and consuming more and more? All so they can pad their coffers? Quick Fix is a clever animated short film made by Irish animation filmmaker Chris O'Hara, and it's a must watch short (only 5 minutes!). "Got a problem? Don't worry, there's a pill for that!" The brutally honest short film takes viewers on a fast-paced voyage through one man's life, showing us how there's always a pill to solve every problem. And as long as you keep going and keep taking them, life will be great. Right? Right…?! Or maybe not… Despite making this short, Chris does understand the purpose of prescription medication. But he also hopes "that with a 'little more investigation and care' they may be able to find a better solution." View below.
"From a magic as old as the glaciers…" Disney Animation has debuted an official trailer for an interesting VR project spinning off of the beloved Frozen franchise. The official title is Myth: A Frozen Tale, and it's an 8-minute animated short film described as "an immersive journey through Arendelle lore that blends traditional hand-drawn animation with the latest in VR technology." It first debuted in front of the Frozen 2 premiere in Hollywood last year. This is another example of Disney showcasing "futuristic" storytelling by using VR interaction, mixed with beautiful stories from Disney Animation lore. Featuring the voice of Evan Rachel Wood as the narrator, as well as Nick A Fisher, John Lavelle, Bonnie Popp, and Vivienne Rutherford. There's not much to this trailer, but it is a very magical glimpse at the colors and visuals of the Myth experience. Such a simple name that reminds me of the classic computer game Myst. Give this a look.
"Her call to action continues to resound. Knowing 'what must be done' does away with fear." The creative agency Eido has produced this excellent animated short film titled The Hidden Life of Rosa Parks, in partnership with TED-Ed. Most of us known the story of Rosa Parks because we were taught it in school growing up. But most of us don't know the complete story, and all the "hidden" aspects of Rosa Parks' life - like that she was activist well before she decided to sit where she wanted to sit on the bus. "Throughout her life, Rosa Parks repeatedly challenged racial violence and the prejudiced systems protecting its perpetrators. But this work came at an enormous risk – and a personal price." The Hidden Life of Rosa Parks is directed by Joash Berkeley at Eido, along with a very creative team of designers and animators. And to learn more about Rosa Parks - visit RosaParks.org or Achievement.org. And enjoy this upbeat, informative short below.