Pixar’s troubled feature has taken a new turn, and is hopefully sailing on calmer waters. In late October, Pixar announced- via Twitter- that Pete Sohn has been promoted to the director’s chair. Previous, Sohn had manned the co-directors position under Bob Peterson, before he was removed from the project in 2013.
Pixar is now officially working on it’s fourth in the Toy Story series. The film is set to be directed by John Lasseter, who directed and . The basic story is written by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Lee Unkrich, with Rashida Jones and Will McCormack turning out the screenplay. The new film will be produced by Galyn Susman.
This year, there looks to be 20 animated films as possible contenders in the race for the Best Animated Film Oscar. The list has no apparent front runner, and no film this year from Pixar. The field is a rounded out with many more foreign films than usual, with entries from France, Ireland, Japan, the U.K. and Latvia. The list induces three films from Disney and from DreamWorks Animation, and one each from Blue Sky and Reel FX Animation.
Disney Studio’s next animated feature film Big Hero 6 opened a little early in Russia… and bowled the Russians over. After opening to rave reviews at the Tokyo International Film Festival on October 23, 2014, Disney shuttled the film to Russia to take advantage of two weeks of school holidays in Russia in late October. Big Hero 6 brought in 5 million in the first two days, which is considered a very strong open in the Russia. The film opens to US audiences later this week, on November 7th.
Laika Entertainment’s latest stop-motion animate film The Boxtrolls had a strong opening weekend overseas last weekend. The film opened September 11th in Mexico, Sweden and Denmark, where it came in second, fourth and sixth, respectively. The film opened the following day in the United Kingdom, where it came in first for the weekend. The Boxtrolls pulled in 3.4 million in the UK, compared with previous Laika films at $3.7 million and $2.3 million for . Overall, the film brought in $5.7 million in his opening weekend.
The IndieGoGo projects started by ex-Disney animator James Lopez is seeing a ton of interest. Hitting the Internet on August 27, the goal was to just raise $80,000 to fun a short stem-punk inspired short Hullabaloo. They hit that goal in less than a week. Then they steam (punk) rolled over their stretch goal to produce a second short Curse of the Cheshire Cat. This morning word is in that a third short- The Mysterious Island- is now in the works with the project passing a stretch goal of $240,000 raised.
After Disney’s Oscar-winning Frozen became the highest grossing animated film of all time, it was inevitable that the mouse-house would revisit the arctic kingdom of Elisa and Anna. In a move that will make pre-teens the world over scream for more Icee’s, Walt Disney Animation Studios has announced that in Spring 2015 they will follow the feature film up with the release a theatrical short titled Frozen Fever.
A veteran of Disney, animator James Lopez has a special love for the traditional, 2D, pencil-in-hand style of the art. And in this ever increasingly digital world, he does not want to see that special art lost or forgotten. To that end, Lopez has started up and IndieGoGo campaign to finance a new, 2D animated short Hullabaloo.