ENJOY THE MOVIES
"You never know how long you have with someone… until they're gone." Netflix has revealed a third official trailer for Pinocchio, a stunning new stop-motion animated film from Guillermo del Toro. This looks absolutely wonderful!! All the reviews so far are already saying it's one of the best films of the year, not even just as an animated film, but out of any new film this year. GdT reinvents Carlo Collodi's classic tale of the wooden marionette who is magically brought to life in order to mend the heart of a grieving woodcarver named Geppetto. This stop-motion musical follows the mischievous & disobedient adventures of Pinocchio in his pursuit of a place in the world. Directed by del Toro & Mark Gustafson, the film features an all-star voice cast with Ewan McGregor as Cricket, David Bradley as Geppetto, Gregory Mann as Pinocchio, plus Finn Wolfhard, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson, Burn Gorman, Tilda Swinton, and Christoph Waltz. The film is already showing in limited US theaters now if anyone wants to watch it on the big screen. It will be out on Netflix for streaming at the start of December a month from now.
"The family you have… makes you rich." Disney+ has revealed a fun trailer for Zootopia+, a long-awaited animation mini-series coming to Disney+ this week. The first Zootopia movie by Disney Animation opened in 2016 and was a big hit for Disney, winning them an Oscar and plenty of love from audiences worldwide. However, they haven't been able to get a sequel together yet. Instead, this series will be the official follow-up. The series features six short-form segments set in the animal-filled Zootopia universe. The eps include an action parody starring Bonnie and Stu Hopps, a musical starring Duke Weaselton, a Real Housewives spoof with Fru-Fru, a film noir parody with Mr. Big, a dance competition segment with Clawhauser, Bogo, Gazelle, and a romantic comedy parody with Flash and Priscilla. Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde will also make a cameo. All of the cast members from the movie will reprise their roles: Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Tommy Chong, J.K. Simmons, Octavia Spencer, and Alan Tudyk. Looks like some harmless, wholesome fun for the whole family. Anyone excited for more Zootopia?
"The only way to get it back is to… go the world of the living." Warner Bros UK has revealed an official trailer for an animated kids movie called Mummies, another of these cheesy direct-to-video creations that is somehow getting a theatrical release in the UK next year. "Warner Bros. Pictures presents a production of 4Cats Pictures SL, Anangu Grup SLU and Moomios Movie AIE, with the collaboration of Atresmedia Cine, with the participation of MOVISTAR+ and with the collaboration of TV3." This clearly borrows the character design and family setup from the popular animated series Hotel Transylvania, but with mummies instead. The mummy family ends up in present-day London and embarks on a wacky and hilarious journey in search of an old ring that was stolen by a British archaeologist. Yes, teach kids what really happened! The English-language voice cast includes Joe Thomas, Eleanor Tomlinson, Santiago Winder, Celia Imrie, Dan Starkey, Hugh Bonneville, singer + songwriter + record producer Shakka, and Sean Bean. This looks like such a cheesy and bland movie, but at least it's about how Egyptian artifacts were stolen by the British.
"Of all the hazards in golf, fear is the worst." Have you ever wondered - what if a frog was a samurai? What would that look like, and how might he fight? Well, we have some answers. Time to meet a badass warrior!! Samurai Frog Golf is a fantastic 4-minute animated short film made by the Japanese animation studio known as Marza Animation Planet (they also worked on the anime Lupin III: The First). A retired frog samurai wants to spend his remaining years in peace on the golf course. But when he becomes the protector of a baby turtle he must draw his club for one more round. An animated amphibious adventure for golfers of all ages. It's dialogue free and features some radical fight scenes, which is all that you need to know before watching. This premiered at the SIGGRAPH conference, and is available to watch online for free. If this was a proof of pitch for a new anime series, I'd greenlit it right away! He seems like such a cool frog. View below.
"It's so cute!! I wanna merchandize it." Disney has launched another "Special Look" trailer for the animated adventure Strange World, from Disney Animation Studios and director Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh, Big Hero 6, Moana, Raya and the Last Dragon). Opening in theaters nationwide this November - watch the full trailer here from last month. The legendary Clades are a family of explorers - featuring Jake Gyllenhaal as the voice of Searcher Clade. This original action-adventure animation journeys deep into an uncharted, treacherous land where many fantastical & unique creatures await the legendary Clades, an intrepid family of brave explorers whose differences threaten to topple their latest—and by far— most crucial mission. The rest of the voice cast features Gabrielle Union, Dennis Quaid, Jaboukie Young-White, & Lucy Liu. This is recut of the most recent trailer, featuring most of the same footage with a few news scenes thrown in near the end. They're really focusing on promoting all the action adventure in this. Looks like a blast! I'm in.
"I don't do friends. Bad things happen to people I'm close to…" Who's ready for a stop-motion horror film this Halloween?? Netflix has revealed the full-length official trailer for Wendell and Wild, a stop-motion animation project from the delightfully wicked minds of Henry Selick (director of Nightmare Before Christmas & Coraline) and Jordan Peele (Nope, Us, Get Out). After premiering at the Toronto Film Festival a few weeks ago, it will be streaming on Netflix at the end of the month. The film tells the story of Kat (voiced by Lyric Ross), a troubled teen haunted by her past, who must confront her personal demons, Wendell & Wild (Keegan-Michael Key & Jordan Peele) to start a new life in her old hometown. Wendell & Wild also features the voices of Angela Bassett, James Hong, and Ving Rhames. This is a very funky trailer! Editing is a bit wonky, with tons of different characters and footage of all kinds thrown in here. Packed with nuns, demons, murder, a dead priest, and a goat. I have to see this for the stop-motion anyway.
"Mushroom Kingdom, here we come!!" Universal and Illumination Animation have revealed the first look teaser trailer for the new animated Super Mario Bros. Movie, arriving in theaters worldwide next April. They're finally bringing Mario back to the big screen after many other strange attempts in the past!! This new one is produced by Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, along with Illumination's CEO Chris Meledandri. There's not much revealed about the plot yet, but obviously it involves Mario having to stop Bower and his domination of the entire Kingdom. The film features the voices of Chris Pratt as Mario, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser (of course), Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike. This is an enjoyable first look!! I definitely want to see more footage, but so far so good. Pratt's Mario voice is a bit odd but it doesn't bother me yet. What do you think?
"Every Kami, young and old, must work together to defend our mountain." Netflix has debuted a main official trailer for an anime series titled Oni: Thunder God's Tale, arriving for streaming later in October. This stop-motion series is a whimsical and imaginative journey through the oddball gods and monsters of Japanese mythology. One of the creature's free-spirited daughters, Onari, is determined to follow in the footsteps of the mighty heroes of lore, but her unique powers are yet to be revealed. Does she have what it takes to protect her peaceful village from the mysterious "Oni"? Of course she does! The massive voice cast includes Momona Tamada, Archie Yates, Craig Robinson, Tantoo Cardinal, Brittany Ishibashi, Omar Miller, Seth Carr, Anna Akana, Charlet Takahashi Chung, Miyuki Sawashiro, Yuki Matsuzaki, plus Robert Kondo & George Takei. This looks so magical and inspiring and amusing. Such cuddly, cute characters!! I hope the adventure to save their mountain is as exciting as everything else so far.
"And she saw radiations and gases and rocks, and dripping volcanoes and oceans of lava…" Who's ready for a two minute voyage through time & space, into our souls and beyond? This mesmerizing short film is an experience unlike any - and it's just barely 120 seconds. Generation is a remarkable short film made by filmmaker Riccardo Fusetti. He shot a live-action dance performance then fed each individual frame into an Artificial Intelligence generator to create a stunning film. "A brief journey through the human experience as seen by the eyes of an A.I." Featuring a dance performance by and choreography by Evie Webzell. With narration by Paul Thomson. Riccardo explains more about the A.I. process: "It wasn't too dissimilar than working with a human illustrator, where I would make a rough pass of what I had in mind and then ask them to work on each frame and make it better and more detailed." The result is something that feels quite profound, an exhilarating experience. I hope you also feel the power coming through the screen in this one.
"I'm afraid of a world where Souta doesn't exist!" Japan's Toho has revealed a second official trailer for Suzume no Tojimari, the latest from acclaimed animation filmmaker Makoto Shinkai (of Your Name and Weathering with You). We've featured two other Japanese trailers previously - the most recent one here during the summer. It's an action adventure road story about a girl named Suzume, starring Nanoka Hara as her voice. 17-year-old Suzume's journey begins in a quiet town in Kyushu when she encounters a young man who tells her, "I'm looking for a door." Soon, doors begin to open across Japan, bringing destruction upon any who are near them. Suzume must close these portals to prevent further disaster. This new anime adventure features character design by Masayoshi Tanaka, art direction by Takumi Tanji, animation by Kenichi Tsuchiya. It will be released under the title just Suzume internationally, from Crunchyroll / Sony Pictures / Wild Bunch. No release dates have been set - expected in the US sometime in 2023. But still - this looks amazing!! Wait - this guy turns into a chair?! Oh my goodness, this is going to be so much fun.
"The curse is real!!" Laika has revealed a new trailer and poster for the film ParaNorman, their classic stop-motion animated horror comedy that first opened in 2012. This delightful, kooky film is beloved by horror fans of all ages and is getting a re-release in theaters (!!) this October. Glad it's coming back!! A boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse. The excellent voice cast features Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Casey Affleck, Anna Kendrick, Chris Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, and John Goodman. "Celebrate the 10th anniversary of ParaNorman this fall with an array of theatrical events, promotional activities, fan-favorite engagements. Newly remastered in glorious 4K with Dolby Atmos sound, LAIKA's supernatural action-comedy is rising back to theaters." Halloween weekend screenings through Alamo Drafthouse in the U.S. and in partnership with PictureHouse and Cineworld in the UK. Don't miss this chance to enjoy ParaNorman on the big screen (again)!! Have fun.
Who doesn't love pudding?! So soft and cuddly and – wait, what?? This amusing animated short film from the Netherlands is now available to watch online after its festival run. A Film About Pudding is directed by filmmaker Roel Van Beek, and it's about a city being overtaken. After Ronin neglects to clear up her dropped groceries, they start to mix and bubble, transforming into a small pudding. Whilst this seems odd, for Ronin, it is easily ignorable. Over the next few days, the pudding grows bigger and bigger. As it threatens to engulf the entire city how far will she, and the other inhabitants of her city, go to continue ignoring it? With the voice of Eleanor Anwen as Ronin. The stick figure style reminds me of Don Hertzfeldt's films, but this gives us something else wacky and tasty with the story. Is it about procrastination? Is it about what happens when we don't stop something bad from taking over? Maybe it's all the above? Either way, dive in.