ENJOY THE MOVIES
With their home melting away, where do they go? Migrants is a wonderful 3D animated short film made by students studying at the PÔLE 3D animation school in France. Two polar bears are driven into exile due to global warming. They will encounter brown bears along their journey away from home, with whom they will try to cohabitate. But the brown bears don't like them there… The film offers a clever dual narrative - focusing on both climate change and refugees, by integrating both stories into one superb film about polar bears being forced to leave their natural habitat. Most of all, I'm most impressed by the choice to create all the bears with cloth - despite this being a CG short made on computers. The meaning of which is even more potent with that shot at the end, too. This 8-minute animated film is worth your time - watch in full below.
"When one has an abundance of power, they have a certain duty to use that power to--" Warner Bros has released the first full-length official trailer for the animated DC League of Super Pets movie, also known as simply DC Super Pets. It's based on a real spin-off comic series that first launched in 1962, created by Jerry Siegel and Curt Swan. Superman's dog named Krypto (of course) teams up with other superhero pets to stop crime while Superman is on vacation. He teams up with a group of other super-powered pets and teaches them how to harness their newfound powers, work together, and become the superheroes they were destined to be. Can they defeat a twisted guinea pig named Lulu and save the Justice League and Metropolis from destruction? The main voice cast includes Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, and Keanu Reeves as Bruce Wayne(!!). This is going to be a blast! A much better trailer than that DC FanDome teaser. Meet the Super Pets below.
"She has ideas, but can she really be the face of Christmas?" HBO Max has unveiled the official trailer for Santa Inc., a new "adult" stop-motion animated series arriving on HBO Max this holiday season. "Out with the old, in with the elf." An elf working in Santa's Workshop in the North Pole dreams of becoming Santa Claus someday. When the successor to Santa Claus is poached by Amazon on Christmas Eve, Candy goes for her ultimate dream— to become the first woman Santa Claus in the history of Christmas. Sarah Silverman voices Candy Smalls, and the voice cast also includes Seth Rogen (as Santa Claus), Leslie Grossman, Gabourey Sidibe, Nicholas Braun, Craig Robinson, Joel Kim Booster, and Maria Bamford. One of the newest productions from Seth Rogen's company Point Grey Pictures. This looks like good holiday fun! And also a nice companion to all the animated Christmas classics of the past. "…And to all a kick ass night!"
Pixar is getting even more experimental with something entirely different. Automaton is a 4-minute short film from the Pixar Effects team, using some of their own tools and Houdini 3D to make this mesmerizing creation. Pixar describes it as "a poetic interlude between a reality and an abstraction" - which doesn't really explain much. But there's more in an interview with director Krzysztof Rost last year. He says, "I wanted the main character to be a reality, a nature at its purest and seek out the hidden mystery behind its power of never ending process of destruction and creation, thus Automaton." He was also inspired by the filmmaking of Terence Malick & Michelangelo Antonioni: "In their films shots of landscape or a natural phenomena create this transcendental juxtaposition with human protagonists, almost [a] spiritual experience." There's nothing more to add other than you just have to watch this for yourself and see what you make of it. Enjoy.
"This little quirk runs in our family!" Pixar has debuted the full-length official trailer for their next original movie 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. Turning Red introduces Mei Lee, a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming, is never far from her daughter—an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she "poofs" into a giant red panda! But what happens next? We'll find out! Sandra Oh voices Ming, and Rosalie Chiang voices Mei Lee. This looks a bit like a superhero movie like Shazam!, where she must learn to use "her powers" responsibly. Oh this is going to be fun! Already laughing so much.
Who's ready for a mischievous adventure? This fun animated short titled Boys Night in Sidera Institute is worth a quick watch, especially if you're into animation and/or character design. The short is made by the filmmaker Adam Musa Othman - who's studying character animation at the well-known CalArts Institute in California. "It's a film about these two animals in space," is how Adam introduces this. Two scientists roam in the institute they work for, way past space curfew. They go around trying to steal something and make their way through a vast institute which seems to be dedicated to dinosaurs. It's his second film at CalArts, made during his second & third years there. The look of it is a bit rough, mainly just sketches and outlines, but it's still fun to watch and shows how much potential Adam has as an animator and a storyteller.
"It's time to get… Buck Wild!" 20th Century / Disney+ have debuted the first teaser trailer for an animated sequel titled The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, arriving in January directly on Disney+. And you thought they were done with this series! The first Ice Age opened in 2002, then they made four mediocre sequels, most recently Ice Age: Collision Course in 2016. Blue Sky Studios shut down after Disney bought Fox and the pandemic finished them off for good. But they're still keeping the franchise alive. Get ready for another wacky prehistoric adventure! The fearless one-eyed weasel Buck teams up with mischievous possum brothers Crash & Eddie as they head off to Buck's home – The Dinosaur World. Simon Pegg is returning as the voice of Buck, but no other voice cast has been revealed yet. Dive right into the amusing first look below.
"Do not worry, I will manage the cafe." Disney+ has revealed the first teaser trailer for the new Baymax spin-off series arriving on Disney+ next summer. This show follows Baymax from the Big Hero 6 movie on adventures around the city of San Fransokyo. The animated movie first opened in 2014, and there was already another animated series previously, but this is the first in-house spin-off series made by Walt Disney Animation Studios specifically. The characters in the unique city of Big Hero 6 get their own series. "Check in with everyone’s favorite healthcare companion in a trailer for his new Disney+ Original Series." In the movie, Scott Adsit was the voice of Baymax, the goofy inflatable healthcare robot friend of Hiro, but no voice cast for the show has been revealed yet. Don Hall, the director of the Big Hero 6 movie, is involved as the creator and writer of the series. Get a first look at some funny footage thanks to this Disney+ Day reveal.
"Get that little whippersnapper back quick! The company depends on it!" Grab your popcorn and soda, get your 1¢ ticket, and enjoy this old timey presentation of a classic work of cinema. The fine folks at Pixar have released an amusing "Pixar Remix" video taking Monsters Inc and turning it into a classic silent movie. The full 4-minute "short film" is available on YouTube and it's a totally swell way to brighten up your day. I love the attention to detail, all the fun title cards, and I really appreciate that they actually redid the entire movie (which normally runs 92 minutes) as a silent film. Monsters Inc is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month, originally opening in the fall of 2001. It's still one of my favorite Pixar movies; actually, it's one of the best animated movies ever made. I can still watch it anytime and I always feel better. Enjoy the show.
"I know it's scary, but out here we can be ourselves." Netflix has debuted the full-length official trailer for an animated comedy from Australia titled Back to the Outback, following a group of animals that escape and try to make their way home. This was made by Netflix Animation and Reel FX Creative Studios. Tired of being locked in a reptile house where humans gawk at them like they're monsters, a group of Australia's deadliest creatures plot a daring escape from their zoo to the Outback. Leading the group is Maddie (Isla Fisher), a poisonous snake with a real heart of gold, who bands together with the Thorny Devil lizard Zoe (Miranda Tapsell), a lovelorn hairy spider Frank (Guy Pearce), and a sensitive scorpion Nigel (Angus Imrie). But when their nemesis — Pretty Boy (Tim Minchin), a cute but obnoxious koala — unexpectedly joins their escape, Maddie and the gang have no choice but to take him with them. Also featuring the voices of Rachel House, Keith Urban, Celeste Barber, Wayne Knight, Lachlan Ross Power, and Jacki Weaver. It does look like good fun, a tad cliche with all the Australia tropes, but still – this pack is so cute.
"Before doing anything, I always take off my shoes." Oh this is just wonderful! What a delightful short film. Louis' Shoes is an animated short made by a group of four students from the Ecole MoPA, a prestigious animation school in Arles, France. The film was winner of the "Student Academy Awards" (Gold prize) and was their 2020 graduation project - and it's now available to watch online. The 5-minute short, also known as Les Chaussures de Louis, is about a Louis - an 8-and-a-half year old boy who is autistic. He arrives at his new school and is about to introduce himself. This film features one of the best depictions of autism you'll ever see (along with the doc The Reason I Jump), with so much thoughtfulness and understanding for how autistic children experience the world and react to others. Along with a huge heaping of creativity with the animation. And it will definitely bring a smile to your face watching Louis talk about his blue shoes… Enjoy.
"You will never be great, Johnny!" Universal has debuted a second official trailer for animation sequel Sing 2, from Illumination animation. As Gunter helps Buster dream up an out-of-this-world masterpiece, and the pressure (and sinister threats) from Mr. Crystal mount, Rosita's leading role in the show gets ripped away and handed to Mr. Crystal's spoiled daughter, Porsha, voiced by the Grammy-nominated artist Halsey. Desperate to save the show, and his life, Buster embarks on a quest to find Clay and persuade him to return to the stage. What begins as a dream of big-time success becomes an emotional reminder of the power of music to heal even the most broken heart. Sing 2 features the voice of Bono as Clay Calloway, a rock legend, with a fantastic cast including Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly, Nick Kroll, Bobby Cannavale, Halsey, Pharrell Williams, Letitia Wright, Eric Andre, and Chelsea Peretti. This sequel is looking much better - the animation is cleaner and more detailed, the characters are all more vibrant. Maybe this will top the original? Sing your heart out.