British Academy of Film and Television Arts or BAFTA– the British version of the Academy Awards– has announced their nominees for the 2014 awards, including the animated films under consideration. Three films are nominated for both the animated feature competition and the animated short category. Previously known as Short Animation, the shorts competition has been renamed British Short Animation to play up the UK involvement in the films featured. There has been an ongoing requirement that nominated shorts have substantial British contribution to the production; the feature nominees have no such restriction.
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.
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.
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
Vancouver’s Vancity Theatre is bringing back its popular program of Academy Award-nominated short films in the categories of Best Animated Short and Best Live Action Short from Friday, February 8 to Thursday, February 21.
Here are the Oscar-nominated animated shorts to be shown in an 88-minute program:
Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare (David Silverman, U.S.A., 5 min.)
Maggie Simpson spends a day at the Ayn Rand Daycare Center, where she is diagnosed at an average intelligence level. Longing to be grouped with the gifted children, Maggie finds her destiny by rescuing a lonely cocoon from Baby Gerald, who is busy smooshing butterflies.
Adam and Dog (Minkyu Lee, U.S.A., 16 min.)
The story about the dog of Eden. What happened in those first days of Creation that made Man and Dog so inseparable? The dog, as he lives through this curious world, encounters a strange creature; a human being named Adam — and with that discovers a new-found connection to the world.
Fresh Guacamole (Adam Pesapane aka PES, U.S.A., 2 min.)
Learn how to transform familiar objects into Fresh Guacamole!
Head Over Heels (Timothy Reckart, United Kingdom, 10 min.)
After many years of marriage, Walter and Madge have grown apart: he lives on the floor and she lives on the ceiling. They live separate, parallel lives, never talking, barely even looking at each other. When Walter tries to reignite their old romance, it brings their equilibrium crashing down, and the couple that can’t agree which way is up must find a way to put their marriage back together.
Paperman (John Kahrs, U.S.A., 7 min.)
Paperman tells the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced that the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him.
And for your viewing pleasure… three shortlisted contenders that did not make the final cut:
Abiogenesis (Richard Mars, New Zealand, 5 min.)
In this breathtaking science fiction spectacle, a strange mechanical device lands on a desolate world and uses the planet to undergo a startling transformation that has profound implications for an entire galaxy.
Dripped (Leo Verier, France, 9 min.)
Jack is a strange character. He steals paintings from museums to eat them. He feeds himself with the artistic process of the painter. But one day, the museums are closed, and he will have to paint by himself to survive.
The Gruffalo’s Child (Uwe Heidschötter and Johannes Weiland, United Kingdom, 27 min.)
A little Gruffalo ignores her father’s warnings and tiptoes out into the snow in search of the Big Bad Mouse.
Screening dates and times:
Friday, February 8, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 9, 8:45 p.m.
Sunday, February 10, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, February 12, 8:45 p.m.
Friday, February 15, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 17, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 20, 8:45 p.m.
Thursday, February 21, 6:30 p.m.
Vancity Theatre is at 1181 Seymour Street. Call the Film Info Line at (604) 683-FILM (3456) or visit www.viff.org for the latest info and listings.
Vancouver-based Bron Studios announced Tuesday that it is making its first CG-animated feature film, Sole Mates.
Set to begin production next year, the movie is an “animated journey of love, lost and found, with comedic charm and universal themes set in a familiar world from a new point of view.” Bron Studios will team up with Hidden Empire Film Group on the project.
Sole Mates is based on an original concept by Deon Taylor (Chain Letter).
Bron managing director Aaron L. Gilbert will be one of the producers, joining Taylor and Ahmet Zappa (The Odd Life of Timothy Green).
Taylor has produced, directed and written several other projects, including The Hustle (Charlie Murphy) and the drama Supremacy, with Danny Glover.
“Rise of the Guardians” went past the $100 million benchmark at the foreign box office over the weekend.
A distant second at the movies, the DreamWorks Animation movie made $20.1 million in its fifth overseas weekend overseas from 7,400 venues in 59 countries. The total foreign gross now stands at $119.4 million.
Distributed by Paramount, Rise of the Guardians opened in second place in Australia, collecting $3.7 million from 259 locations.
Budgeted at $145 million, the animated fantasy features the voices of Alec Baldwin and Hugh Jackman. This week, it’s opening in India.
As in North America, the live-action The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey topped the foreign box office. It made $138.2 million at 18,200 screens in 56 countries.
Meanwhile, the Disney 3D family animated film Wreck-It Ralph brought in $4.7 million in its seventh week in 29 countries. It’s made $57.7 million in foreign countries so far. Strong North American results mean a worldwide total of $226.5 million.
Sony Animation’s horror comedy Hotel Transylvania, grossed $1.9 million at 1,755 screens in 50 overseas countries. Its total foreign gross has reached $162 million.
Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s first film in five years will come out next year, distributor Toho announced Thursday.
Miyazaki will release wartime romance Kaze Tachinu, based on the novel of the same name, usually translated as The Wind Has Risen.
He created Spirited Away, which a 2003 Oscar for Best Animated Feature. His last movie was 2008’s Ponyo.
The protagonist of Kaze Tachinu is based on flight engineer Jiro Horikoshi, designer of the Zero fighter, Japan’s best known Second World War fighter aircraft.
Also next year, longtime Miyazaki collaborator Isao Takahata will release his first new film in over a decade. Kaguya Hime No Monogatari will be based on Taketori Monogatari (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter). Japan’s oldest novel, Taketori Monogatari is thought to have been written over 1,000 years ago.
Mikael Hed, chief executive of Finnish gaming company Rovio, says the company is going ahead with a 2016 feature film based on his company’s famous avians, the Angry Birds. But Hed is not happy just making a feature film, he plans on taking the giant of children’s animation, Disney.
The Rovio chief executive told AFP that the animated 3D film– which will not be released until the summer of 2016– could lead to the company setting up an animated movie studio that would compete with California-based Walt Disney Animation Studios.
“If this goes very well, that is what is going to happen. Certainly we are structuring this in a way so that it’s possible for us to continue to produce more movies after this one,” he said.
Rovio seems to be starting out right… they have brought in John Cohen, producer of computer-animated comedy “Despicable Me” to produce it, and David Maisel, former chairman of Marvel Studios, as an executive producer.
And animated films are not the only front Rovio is taking on the animation giant. The company already has two theme parks, on in Finland and one in Great Britain. They are building a third Angry Birds Land in Asia next year at a site near Shanghai.
Is that enough to take on Disney? Only time will tell… but it does seem that Rovio is aiming high for a one-trick pony.