Canadian and South Korean animated co-production The Nut Job has a new trailer online. Based on Peter Lepeniotis’ 2005 short Surly Squirrel, this film is ToonBox Entertainment’s first feature length film. This film has a planned release date for January 17, 2014, and features the voices of Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Katherine Heigl and Liam Neeson.
The Big Cartoon DataBase announced upgrading their forum to a new software package this weekend, and the new forum went live Saturday morning. The upgrade was also accompanied with a change in URLs, to the new location http://forums.bcdb.com/. The changeover went over smoothly, with not glitches according to BCDB. All of the current moderators and Admins from the old forum moved over to the new.
Though it hardly seems like it, it is Oscar Time! The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced their short list for the Best Animated Short Film category. This is not the final list, but the final five will come from this list. Canada’s National Film Board leads the pack with three shorts, and Pixar’s The Blue Umbrella did not make the list. It has been a while since a Pixar film has not been in the running.
19 animated features have been submitted for consideration for the Animated Feature Film Oscar this year according to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. This years list includes films from France, South Korea, Canada, South Africa, Spain, Japan and Brazil. From the field of 19, the three to five final contenders will be chosen. Those final nominees will be announced on January 16, 2014.
Frostbite Falls most famous residents are coming to the big screen in 2014, according to DreamWorks Animation. Not only are Moose and Squirrel making their big screen debut in a new theatrical short, but a long-time voice actor is returning to provide one of the duo’s voices. While not explicitly stated in the release, it is expected that the short will accompany the theatrical feature film release of Mr. Peabody & Sherman.
Laika Entertainment, creators of 2009’s Coraline and last year’s Academy Ward nominee ParaNorman has just released their first teaser trailer for their next animated film, The Boxtrolls. Set for release on September 24, 2014, The Boxtrolls will be the first stop-motion animated film directed by Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable.
Disney has released the first trailer for Frozen, their take on the Snow Queen tale made famous by Hans Christian Andersen. Set for release this November, Frozen is a story that Walt himself considered doing, but never actually started on. A version was considered in 2002. By 2010, Disney shelved that project, then changed its status to “on hold.” The film gained new life in late 2011. when Disney announced a new title for the project (Frozen), and committed to a 2013 release date.
Walt Disney Animation has announced their first feature-length animated film based on a Marvel property Big Hero 6. Inspired by a little-known Japan-set Marvel series about a team of state-sanctioned superheroes, the film will center on a boy named Hiro Hamada and his beloved robot companion BayMax who join a team of crime fighters in a mythical mashup high-tech city called San Fransokyo.
It was a big night for Disney animation at the Oscars tonight with Disney short Paperman taking home Best Animated Short, and Disney/PIXAR’s Brave grabbing the statuette for Best Animated Feature. Paperman had previously won the Annie for Best Short, while Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph had won the Annie for Best Feature Film… so not so much on the Annies predicting the Oscars anymore.
The full video of the Student Academy Award winning Animation “The Jockstrap Raiders” is now available to view online. Five years in the making, this was a labor of love for director Mark Nelson. The film became his Masters thesis project at UCLA.
The Jockstrap Raiders is a Student Academy Award winning animated short film about a group of misfits during world war I. It takes place in Leeds, England where our heroes are all excluded from the war due to various abnormalities. Threatened by the invading German Kaiser and his army, they must learn to become a team and overcome their deficiencies in order to save Britain, and the world.
Completed at UCLA, it is Mark Nelson’s MFA thesis project. The short has won many awards, including: Student Academy Award; Best Animation, British Animation Festival; Best Animation Macon Film Festival; Best Narrative Short GI Film Festival; Audience Award Orlando Film Festival.
LAIKA and Focus Features, whose current animated feature ParaNorman is in the running for an Oscar, announced today that they have begun production on The Boxtrolls. The new movie will be released nationwide by Focus on October 17th, 2014 according to Focus CEO James Schamus and LAIKA President/CEO Travis Knight.
As on the previous animation collaborations ParaNorman and Coraline, Focus will hold worldwide distribution rights to The Boxtrolls., and Universal Pictures International will release the movie overseas (with eOne Distribution handling Canada). Coraline (2009) earned Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, and Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature Film; and was named one of the year’s 10 Best Films by the American Film Institute (AFI). In addition to its Academy Award nomination, ParaNorman (2012) is in the running for the BAFTA Awards’ animated feature prize. ParaNorman has won two Annie Awards (the animation community’s Oscars equivalent) and been cited as best animated feature film by 14 critics’ groups, more than any other 2012 animated feature.
The Boxtrolls is a 3D stop-motion and CG hybrid animated feature based on Alan Snow’s bestselling fantasy adventure novel Here Be Monsters. The Boxtrolls is being directed by Anthony Stacchi (co-director of the hit animated feature Open Season) and Graham Annable (story artist on Coraline and ParaNorman), and produced by David Ichioka and Mr. Knight. The voice cast includes Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley, Academy Award nominee Toni Collette, Elle Fanning (marking her fourth movie with Focus), Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Game of Thrones), Emmy Award nominee Jared Harris (Mad Men), Simon Pegg (Star Trek), Nick Frost (of Focus’ upcoming The World’s End), Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd), and Tracy Morgan (30 Rock).
The Boxtrolls is a comedic fable that unfolds in Cheesebridge, a posh Victorian-era town obsessed with wealth, class, and the stinkiest of fine cheeses. Beneath its charming cobblestone streets dwell the Boxtrolls, foul monsters who crawl out of the sewers at night and steal what the townspeople hold most dear: their children and their cheeses. At least, that’s the legend residents have always believed. In truth, the Boxtrolls are an underground cavern-dwelling community of quirky and lovable oddballs who wear recycled cardboard boxes the way turtles wear their shells. The Boxtrolls have raised an orphaned human boy, Eggs (voiced by Mr. Hempstead-Wright), since infancy as one of their dumpster-diving and mechanical junk-collecting own. When the Boxtrolls are targeted by villainous pest exterminator Archibald Snatcher (Mr. Kingsley), who is bent on eradicating them as his ticket to Cheesebridge society, the kindhearted band of tinkerers must turn to their adopted charge and adventurous rich girl Winnie (Ms. Fanning) to bridge two worlds amidst the winds of change – and cheese.
Mr. Knight said, “The Boxtrolls is a visually dazzling mash-up of gripping detective story, absurdist comedy, and steampunk adventure with a surprisingly wholesome heart. It’s Dickens by way of Monty Python. Tony and Graham have crafted a strange and beautiful world replete with fantastical creatures, good-for-nothing reprobates, madcap antics, and rip-roaring feats of derring-do.
But at its core, like all LAIKA films, The Boxtrolls is a moving and human story with timelessness and powerful emotional resonance. We’re thrilled to partner with Focus Features and Universal to bring this remarkable story to family audiences around the world.”
Mr. Schamus commented, “Following our successful collaborations on ParaNorman and Coraline, we are delighted to be embarking on a third wondrous adventure with the LAIKA artisans who transform everyday materials into living creatures infused with dimension, humor, and soul. With a wonderfully appealing menagerie of fun characters, and a generous, open heart at its center, The Boxtrolls will be a must-see for family audiences.”
Tonight, film critic Leonard Maltin and voice actors Pinky and the Brain, urm, Uh, I mean Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche are handing out the Annies at UCLA’s Royce Hall. For 40 years this annual event recognizes the best in animation from around the world.
Through most of the night, things look pretty well split up between the big studios, with one award going to DreamWorks, the next to Pixar, then to ParaNorman, and then to Disney. But when the big awards came down, it was all Disney, with Wreck-It Ralph pulling in Best Music, Voice Acting, Directing and Best Feature. Disney short Paperman won for best animated short.
The full list of winners:
Best Animated Video Game
Journey – Sony Computer Entertainment America
Best Student Film
Head Over Heels – Timothy Reckart
Storyboarding in a Feature Production
Johanne Matte, Rise Of The Guardians – DreamWorks Animation
Editing in a Feature Production
Nicholas C. Smith, A.C.E., Robert Grahamjones, A.C.E., David Suther Brave – Pixar Animation Studios
Character Design in a Feature Production
Heidi Smith, ParaNorman – LAIKA/Focus Features
June Foray Award
Howard Green (VP, Communications for Walt Disney Animation Studios)
Tex Avery Award
Winsor McCay Award
Music in a Feature Production
Henry Jackman, Skrillex, Adam Young, Matthew Thiessen, Jamie Houston, Yasushi Akimoto, Wreck-It Ralph – Walt Disney Animation Studios
Animated Effects In an Animated Production
Andy Hayes, Carl Hooper, David Lipton – Rise Of The Guardians – DreamWorks Animation
Animated Effects in a Live Action Production
Jerome Platteaux, John Sigurdson, Ryan Hopkins, Raul Essig, Mark Chataway The Avengers – Industrial Light & Magic
Ub Iwerks Award
Toon Boom Pipeline
Character Animation in a Live Action Production
Erik de Boer, Matt Shumway, Brian Wells, Vinayak Pawar, Michael Holzl, Life Of Pi – Tiger – Rhythm & Hues Studio
Character Animation in a Feature Production
Travis Knight ParaNorman – LAIKA/Focus Features
Production Design in a Feature Production
Steve Pilcher, Brave – Pixar Animation Studios
Winsor McCay Award
Best Animated Special Production
Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem – Illumination Entertainment
Best Animated Short Subject
Paperman – Walt Disney Animation Studios
Writing in a Feature Production
Phil Johnson, Jennifer Lee, Wreck-It Ralph – Walt Disney Animation Studios
Winsor McCay Award
Voice Acting in a Feature Production
Alan Tudyk as King Candy Wreck-It Ralph – Walt Disney Animation Studios
Directing in a Feature Production
Rich Moore, Wreck-It Ralph – Walt Disney Animation Studios
General Audience Television Production
Robot Chicken DC Comics Special – Stoopid Buddy Studios
Wreck-It Ralph– Walt Disney Animation Studios
Why have just one when you can have four!
Former Annie Awards host and movie reviewer Leonard Maltin and voice actors Rob Paulsen and Maurice Lamarche will share hosting duties, along with a special appearance by long time Annies presenter-favorite, actor and animation industry professional Seth Green, at this year’s 40th Annual Annie Awards, set for Saturday, February 2.
Celebrating the best in animation, this annual black-tie evening will begin with a pre-reception at 5 p.m., followed by the Annie Awards ceremony at 7 p.m. and an after-party celebration immediately following the ceremony. All events will be held at UCLA’s Royce Hall.
“We are very excited to have our hosts share in the 40th celebration of the Annies and know they will bring great energy and excitement to this year’s ceremony,” says ASIFA-Hollywood president Frank Gladstone. Joined on stage by a lively mix of animation luminaries, celebrity presenters and comedic talent — including animation legend June Foray — are Jessica Walter, James Patrick Stuart, Kristen Schaal, Mae Whitman, Sean Astin, Greg Cipes, Jason Biggs, Jessica DiCicco, Lucas Grabeel, Darren Criss and Joey Richter, Kevin Shinick, Jim Cummings and Diedrich Bader, Atticus Shaffer and Tucker Albrizzi, Jamie Bolio, Kevin Michael Richardson and Loretta Devine, Alan Tudyk, Mo Collins, Max Charles, Jon Olsen and Fred
Tatashiore, Sam Witmer and Matt Lanter, and Tony Anselmo.
This year’s Winsor McCay recipients are Terry Gilliam, Oscar Grillo and Mark Henn. The Winsor McCay Award stands as one of the highest honors given to an individual in the animation industry in recognition for career contributions to the art of animation. The June Foray award will be presented to Howard Green, and the Ub Iwerks Award will be presented to Toon Boom Animation.
Often a predictor of the annual Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the Annie Awards honor overall excellence as well as individual achievement in a total of 30 categories ranging from best feature, production design, character animation and effects animation to storyboarding, writing, music, editing and voice acting. Entries submitted for consideration were from productions that originally aired, were exhibited in an animation festival or commercially released between January 1 and December 31, 2012.
ASIFA-Hollywood is the world’s first and foremost professional organization dedicated to promoting the art of Animation and celebrating the people who create it. Today, ASIFA-Hollywood, the largest chapter of the international organization ASIFA, supports a range of animation activities and preservation efforts through its membership. Current initiatives include the Animation Archive, animation film preservation, special events, classes and screenings.
Created in 1972 by veteran voice talent Foray, the Annie Awards have grown in scope and stature for the past three decades.
Six of the 20 highest-grossing North American films of 2012 were completely animated pictures, including Pixar’s Brave, which was seventh overall with $237,262,307.
Others in the top 20 were Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (#10; $216,391,482), Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (#11; $214,030,500), Wreck-it Ralph (#13; $175,990,019), Ice Age: Continental Drift (#14; $161,990,019) and Hotel Transylvania (#16; $145,321,690).
In total, the animated films in the Top 20 delivered grosses of $1,150,135,597.
Although Rise Of The Guardians made much less than predicted, its North American box office gross is expected to exceed the $100 million mark sometime next week.
Almost all other films in the Top 20 had considerable amounts of special effects CGI, including the year’s top performer, The Avengers ($623,357,910). Others using CGI were The Dark Knight Rises, The Hunger Games, Skyfall, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey, Ted, Men In Black 3, Snow White and the Huntsman and Prometheus.
Using little or no animation were the 17th, 18th and 19th finishers, Taken 2, 21 Jump Street and Lincoln.