ENJOY THE MOVIES
"C'mon pups, Adventure City is in trouble!" Paramount has debuted the first official trailer for the animated adventure Paw Patrol: The Movie, from filmmaker Cal Brunker (Escape from Planet Earth, The Nut Job 2). This exciting new adaptation of the beloved children's TV series brings the heroic pups to the big screen to battle *gasp* evil cats! Ryder and the pups are called to Adventure City to stop Mayor Humdinger from turning the bustling metropolis into a state of chaos. Take him down, pups! Joining the PAW Patrol in their thrilling first big screen adventure are members from the original series' cast along with Iain Armitage, Marsai Martin, Yara Shahidi, Kim Kardashian West, Randall Park, Dax Shepard, with Tyler Perry and Jimmy Kimmel, and introducing Will Brisbin as the voice of Ryder. This looks as absurdly cheesy and adorable as expected, with plenty of dogs vs cats mayhem and humor. Looks like a very fun time.
"Nobody would think that Belle is a country bumpkin like you." Charades, French distributor of this film, has released a new trailer for Belle from acclaimed, award-winning Japanese animation director Mamoru Hosoda (of the films The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, Wolf Children, The Boy and the Beast, and Mirai). We've already posted a few Japanese trailers for this already, and it's expected this will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this summer. The animated adventure is about a teenage girl who lives between modern-day Japan and a virtual world called "U." The story follows her as she makes a new friend and "embarks on a journey of adventures and love both in their quest of becoming who they truly are." With a voice cast including Kaho Nakamura, Kenjirô Tsuda, Mamoru Miyano, Kôji Yakusho, Toshiyuki Morikawa, and Ryô Narita. I'm really looking forward to this! As magical as ever from Hosoda. Jump in.
"Is this some kind of ninja boy band?" Universal has unveiled a second official trailer for The Boss Baby 2: Family Business, an animated sequel from DreamWorks Animation. After numerous delays, this now opens in theaters in July and will also stream on Uni's Peacock service. The director of all the Madagascar movies and Megamind returns again to direct this follow-up to The Boss Baby from 2017. The Templeton brothers have become adults and drifted away from each other, but a new boss baby with a cutting-edge approach is about to bring them together again - and inspire a new family business. When baby Tina reveals that she's—ta-da!—a top secret agent for BabyCorp now on a mission to uncover the dark secrets behind Tabitha's school and its mysterious founder, Dr. Edwin Armstrong, it will reunite the Templeton brothers in unexpected ways. Starring Alec Baldwin, Jeff Goldblum, Ariana Greenblatt, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Eva Longoria, James Marsden, and Amy Sedaris. Doesn't seem like this will be that funny.
"Join Jonna and Gorilla on their quest!" Viva Pictures has released a new US trailer for a Swedish animated movie called Ape Star, or The Ape Star, which also opens in theaters in Sweden this month. Telling the story of a young orphan girl who meets the perfect parent – that just so happens to be a gorilla. Jonna has lived at the orphanage all her life. One day a Gorilla comes and adopts her. It takes some time for Jonna to get used to her new mother, but just as everything starts becoming good, the local authorities threaten their existence. Featuring the voices of Rebecca Gerstmann as Jonna, Pernilla August as Gorillan, Melinda Kinnaman as Gerd, Stellan Skarsgård as Tord, with Jack Bergenholz and Gunnar Bolin. Playing at this year's Annecy Film Festival before opening. This looks like it has lovely animation and a heartfelt story.
"The curtain only goes up when everyone has a part to play." It's showtime! Drawn Closer is an adorable animated short film made by the animation house Nexus Studios. It was made as an advertising project for Cox Communications, telling the story of a middle school drama department putting on a play - with some last minute changes. This story was "reimagined" as this animated short film after the pandemic cancelled Thurman White Middle School's play, but they got all the actual students involved to make this and it's just delightful. The short is written and directed by Oscar-winning animation filmmaker Patrick Osborne - of the acclaimed shorts Feast and Pearl previously, who is now working at Nexus Studios. This is just a feel-good bite-size ad, but it's the kind of feel-good filmmaking we always need more of these days. Watch below.
Does anyone know how to cure insomnia? Sometimes it's impossible - and everything just makes it worse. This intriguing, wacky, weird animated short film is a magical journey into the strange realms of insomnia. Room with a Sea View is kooky animated short created by Russian filmmaker Leonid Shmelkov, made while he was at the Estonian Art Academy. I don't even know how to describe it… Herbert arrives in the seaside city on a long work trip, there he falls in love with a very strange, beautiful saleswoman in a flower shop. But he has insomnia, which starts to mess with him. One comment eloquently describes it: "Super odd and imaginative, like an animated Kaufman movie. It has that Kaufman mix of psychosis and ennui caused by societal expectations." I always appreciate unique, quirky animation. There's a bit of nudity so it's NSFW.
"I don't go outside, outside, outside… I've got flagpoles firmly in my sights." Some of the best music videos ever made feature stop-motion animation (see: Bedshaped by Keane) and here is another one to boggle our minds. Talented animation filmmaker & illustrator Raman Djafari created this music video for the song "Pamphlets" by UK band Squid, from their album "Bright Green Field" released by Warp Records. There's a lot of strange things going on in this music video, following a person with horns running around. But the filmmaker explains how it connects to song: "it is about the emergence from that state of mind (being unfit, unlovable, not compatible) through the embrace of uncertainty, insecurity and difference." I am not a fan of the song, but there's an eerie, alluring vibe to this music video and the things happening in it. Watch below.
"Everyone's invited to this party!" Warner Bros has unveiled an official trailer for both parts of their new animated adaptation of the iconic comic book Batman: The Long Halloween. These animated direct-to-VOD / DVD movies are the latest animated WB DC offerings, based on the iconic mid-1990s DC story from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. Batman investigates a murder spree in Gotham that takes place on holidays. Few cases have ever tested the wits of the World's Greatest Detective like the mystery behind the Holiday Killer… The Dark Knight must fight a unified front of classic DC Super-Villains, diffuse an escalating mob war and solve the mystery of the Holiday Killer in The Long Halloween - Part Two. Featuring the voices of Jensen Ackles as Batman, and Troy Baker as Joker, with Laila Berzins, Billy Burke, Zach Callison, David Dastmalchian, Alyssa Diaz, John DiMaggio, Robin Atkin Downes, and Josh Duhamel. This looks quite similar to other Batman movies we've seen, but I'm still excited to see this story turned into animation.
"It's like Freaky Friday, but on a Tuesday, though…" Sony Pictures has debuted the first official trailer for Hotel Transylvania 4, also known as Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, continuing the popular animated franchise with yet another new story featuring Dracula and his family. "Drac's Pack is back, like you've never seen them before in the final chapter of the Hotel Transylvania franchise." They're turned into *gasp* regular people!! When Van Helsing's mysterious invention, the 'Monsterfication Ray,' goes haywire, Drac and his monster pals are all transformed into humans, and Johnny becomes a monster. Drac loses his powers and they all need to find out a way to switch back before it gets out of hand! The extensive voice cast features: Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Brian Hull, Asher Blinkoff, Brad Abrell, Fran Drescher, Jim Gaffigan, and Molly Shannon. Made by Sony Pictures Animation, lead by co-directors Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska, and executive producer / co-written by Genndy Tartakovsky. This one definitely does look wacky, that's for sure.
"That's my wish – I want my friend back." Netflix has released an official US trailer for the animated movie Wish Dragon, a Sony Animation production that is being released by Netflix coming up this summer. We already posted the teaser a few weeks ago. Based on a story by children's book illustrator Chris Applehans (who also wrote / directed), it's described as a "genie-in-a-bottle retelling set in contemporary China" that "picks up the moral challenges that emerge from the encounter between a boy and a dragon who is able to make wishes come true." A working-class college student meets a dragon and the two go off on an adventure through modern day Shanghai. "A tale of discovering the greatest wish of all." The voice cast includes John Cho as the dragon, Jimmy Wong as his new friend, plus Constance Wu, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Will Yun Lee, Bobby Lee, Jimmy O. Yang, and Ian Chen. This absolutely is an Aladdin remake from China, but the dragon still is adorable and there's always some good lessons to learn from telling this story anyway.
"Surely I have time for a smoke?" Netflix has released a second official trailer for Love Death + Robots: Volume 2, which is dropping on Netflix at the end of this week. Get ready!! This gnarly 45-second red band trailer is for the second collection of animated sci-fi short films created by Blur Studios and Tim Miller / David Fincher. The initial volume with 18 shorts launched in March of 2019. The adult animated anthology returns with a vengeance. Volume 2 (with eight new shorts) drops on Netflix starting May 14th, and they've already set Volume 3 (with another eight new shorts) to arrive sometime in 2022. Presented by Tim Miller, David Fincher, Jennifer Miller, and Joshua Donen. "From wild adventures on far-flung planets to unsettling encounters close to home…" I SO can't wait for this fresh batch of shorts!! Ready to dive in and explore all eight of these new films and all the craziness they're serving up to all of us sci-fi fans. Consume responsibly.
A unique short film from student filmmakers in Switzerland to enjoy. Concrete is an animated 3D and 2D mix short from the Lucerne School of Art and Design, and it originally premiered at film festivals in 2018, picking up a few awards along the way. It's now online thanks to Short of the Week and it's a must watch for animation fans. The story follows a "traveller lost in an alien land open", a restless backpacker trying to find his place in the world who discovers a concrete building in the midst of a barren swampland. There he discovers a painted fox and chases him around the building. Directed by Pirmin Bieri, Aira Joana, Nicolas Roth and Luca Struchen. This is very abstract filmmaking, but I adore it anyway. Especially that magical fox on the walls. What does it all mean? Who knows… You can take a guess and let us know what you think of it.