Frozen is definitely Disney– perhaps Disney Junior better describes this ‘tween movie. There are bits and pieces of what we know and expect from Disney here, but when it is all put together, a little Disney does not a great film make. This film is obviously aimed squarely at girls 12 and under, with very little for anyone outside that target audience. The music, and much of the film, is confused, unfocused and bland. The artwork, while beautiful, sets no new Disney high-points for animation, and the acting does not stand out at all. Frozen has all the elements we expect in a Disney film, but limited in scope; they do not attempt anything new in this movie. While it is definitely no Chicken Little, it also does not come close to the classics like The Little Mermaid or The Lion King; it is more one of the more forgettable films in the Disney oeuvre, a young girls version of The Rescuers.
It was the best of animation, it was the worst of animation. Over the next couple months, you will be able to choose for yourself which is the true Queen, and which will be the also ran. One is from Disney, and one is produced in the frozen land of Russia; both are based on the classic tale The Snow Queen By Hans Christian Andersen… and both, interestingly enough, have just released new trailers in anticipation of their pending releases.
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.
“Delhi Safari,” directed by Nikhil Advani, will be in theaters across the United States in the top 20 regional markets featured on over 70 screens starting December 7, Applied Art Productions announced Wednesday.
The film features the vocal talents of Hollywood’s favorite stars, including Jane Lynch (Glee), Cary Elwes (Princess Bride), Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty), Brad Garrett (Ratatouille, Everybody Loves Raymond), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), Carlos Alazraqui (Happy Feet) and Tara Strong (Rugrats, Little Mermaid). Delhi Safari’s message is the preservation of the environment and the celebration of wildlife.
“Delhi Safari is a journey for these animals to stand up for their own rights, the rights to exist in nature and on the planet. They have to go to the humans because they’re in charge. What is really wonderful about it is even with such a huge cast, every part is very funny and unique,” said Lynch, the voice of the female flamingo.
“We’ve got a strong family that deals with crisis together; we’ve got a group of characters that go off on an adventure together with a mission, and a happy ending with fantastic music and great performances,” said Williams. the voice of Begam, Mother Leopard.
In the movie, the tranquility of jungle life is threatened when a real estate developer begins construction on a new subdivision. The unlikely team of a leopard cub named Yuvi; his mother, the leopardess Begam; an unruly monkey, Bajrangi; and a lovable bear named Bagga realize that the only way to stop things before it’s too late is by talking to the humans. This will take a major feat: enlisting the support of the only human-speaking animal, Alex, the Parrot.
Long since “off the reservation,” Alex lives in a high-end neighborhood with all the conveniences of modern life, from air conditioning to a massive flat-screen television, and a master. Surrounded by his comforts, he lives in denial that he is someone’s pet. When he rejecting the pleas of his friends, they resort to kidnapping him and showing him what is becoming of their precious home.
The clock is ticking as the troop set off on a seemingly impossible journey meeting an eclectic array of characters along the way. Arriving in Delhi, they cause absolute commotion and with it, successfully get the attention of the media. Now in the spotlight, they must share their story and get the support of the only ones who can make a difference: humans.
Animation for the 90-minute movie was produced by Krayon Pictures, a 3D animation studio in Pune, India. Directed by Nikhil Advani, the film is an original screenplay by the writing team of Nikhil Advani, Girish Dhamija and Suresh Nair, with additional dialogue by Milap Zaveri. Delhi Safari was produced by Anupama Patil and Kishor Patil and executive produced by Fred deWysocki, Ni***th Takia, Aditya Nath Jha and Namrata Sharma.
A Delhi Safari featurette can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8yHngCe9hc&feature=plcp.
For more information on Delhi Safari, visit www.delhisafarimovie.com/.
The National Film Board of Canada is launching the sixth edition of Get Animated!, bringing many of the country’s finest and funniest animated films to communities across Canada in celebration of International Animation Day (Sunday, October 28).
Taking place this year from Friday, October 26 to Saturday, November 10, Get Animated! will bring the magic of animation to over 30 centres, in every province and territory, with screening programs for audiences of all ages, workshops and more. And it’s all absolutely free!
Get Animated! is coming to a location near you, in:
Abbotsford, BC (October 27 and 30)
Calgary (November 2 and 4)
Charlottetown (November 2 and 4)
Edmonton (November 7)
Flin Flon (October 28)
Halifax (October 26 and 27)
Iqaluit (November 8 )
Miramichi, NB (October 28)
Moncton (October 27 and 30)
Montreal (October 27)
New Westminster (November 7 and 8 )
Prince George (November 2 and 4)
Regina (November 2, 3 and 10)
Richmond (November 4)
St. John’s (October 27, 28 and 31)
Saskatoon (October 29, 30 and November 1)
Stephenville, NL (November 4)
Tatamagouche, NS (October 28 )
Toronto (October 27 and November 1)
Vancouver (October 27 and 31)
Victoria (November 7)
Whitehorse (October 28)
Windsor (November 3 and 4)
Winnipeg (October 26 and 27; November 2 to 5)
Yellowknife (October 29)
– and more!
Get Animated! is presented by the NFB in collaboration with local partners across Canada. For a complete and up-to-date schedule of screenings, visit nfb.ca/getanimated.
Get Animated! programs New Releases
The New Releases program features a dazzling selection of the NFB’s most acclaimed international co-productions, created by many of the world’s top animation directors.
Highlights include Georges Schwizgebel’s Genie Award-winning Canada-Switzerland co-production Romance; Franck Dion’s Canada-France co-production Edmond Was a Donkey, winner of a Special Jury Award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival; Régina Pessoa’s Kali the Little Vampire, a France-Canada-Portugal-Switzerland co-production, recipient of the Hiroshima Prize at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival; Oscar nominee Paul Driessen’s latest NFB short, the Canada-Netherlands co-production Oedipus; and Polish filmmaker Kamil Polak’s international co-production The Lost Town of Switez, winner of 10 awards.
Get Animated! also offers kid-friendly animation fun for all.
The “Not So Scary Stories” program of animated films features Lynn Smith’s The Sound Collector, the quirky tale of a 6-year-old who collects sounds, along with Antoine Lanciaux and Pierre-Luc Granjon’s colorful and charming fairy tale Bonifacio in Summertime – perfect films for children ages 5 and up.
“Friends and Monsters” is ideal for the 10+ crowd, with Catherine Arcand’s Nightmare at School, a humorous look at the unsettling experience of being in a new school; Claude Grosch and Luc Otter’s Rose & Violet, about a very unusual set of twins’ and Paula Gillgannon’s vignette The Big Swing, from the NFB’s renowned Hothouse program for young animators.
Hands-on workshops will accompany the Family Program in a number of Canadian cities, giving participants the thrill of being part of an animation film crew while making their own short film.
Workshops in Toronto and Montreal on October 27 will feature puppet animation, with participants invited to bring costumes and story ideas. To register for the Toronto workshop, or for more information, call 1–800-267‑7710; for the Montreal workshop, call (514) 283‑9000. Both workshops include a half-hour program of animated short films. Workshops are offered in English or French, based on demand. Pre-registration is required for the workshop; screenings are open to everyone. For complete info on these and other Get Animated! workshops, visit nfb.ca/getanimated.
Get Animated! will include free events for animation filmmakers and students — however, these industry events are open to the public, too.
Highlights will include a presentation about the NFB’s Hothouse program by producer Michael Fukushima and industry panels led by Animation Studio executive producer Roddy McManus.
List of industry events:
Panel discussion with Roddy McManus: Carbon Arc cinema (Halifax, October 27, 3 p.m.)
Hothouse presentation with Michael Fukushima: Emily Carr University of Art and Design (Vancouver, October 31, 11:30 a.m.)
Panel discussion with Roddy McManus: OCAD University (Toronto, Nov. 1, 6:00 p.m.)
Panel discussion with Roddy McManus: ACAD (Calgary, Nov. 2, 1:00 p.m.)
Industry presentation with Roddy McManus: Université St-Boniface (Winnipeg, Nov. 5, 10 a.m.)
Industry presentation with Roddy McManus: Winnipeg Cinematheque (Winnipeg, Nov. 5, 7 p.m.)
Visit nfb.ca/getanimated for details.
International Animation Day, October 28, is an annual celebration in over 40 countries, initiated by the International Animated Film Association (ASIFA) in 2002. Norman McLaren was the first president of ASIFA, and the NFB is proud to be bringing this global celebration to Canadian communities for the sixth consecutive year.
Nickelodeon and the National Football League continue their relationship with NFL Rush Zone: Season of the Guardians, the second season of the first-ever original half-hour animated series developed by a major U.S. sports league and a cable network, the two entities jointly announced today.
The second installment of the Nicktoons series (24 episodes) – based on NFLRUSH ZONE, the NFL’s online world for kids – is set to premiere on Nicktoons this November and follows kid protagonist Ishmael (Ish) and his friends on a journey to protect the league’s 32 teams and the world from a plotting master villain.
During each episode, viewers will hear NFL players and coaches voicing their animated personas, including New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who passed for an NFL record 5,476 yards in 2011; Detroit Lions All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson; Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware; and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan.
“We are proud to partner with the NFL to bring Nicktoons viewers a full-length second season of NFL Rush Zone,” said Keith Dawkins, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick Jr. “Combining rich storytelling, animation, fantasy and kid-relatable content with teamwork, competition and the world of the NFL, NFL Rush Zone truly reflects the best of our two worlds.”
“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Nickelodeon by expanding the NFLRUSH ZONE world that kids love through a first-of-its-kind, animated series,” said NFL Vice President of Fan Strategy and Marketing Peter O’Reilly. “Young fans and parents will relate to our unlikely heroes while also experiencing their favorite NFL teams and players in a whole new animated way.”
In addition to the new series, Nicktoons and the NFL will create exclusive video segments with NFL Network analyst and Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders. During the weekly video segments, which premiere on Nicktoons following Sunday’s NFL action, Sanders will provide his top three plays from games played that week.
Season two begins with Ish and his family relocating to Canton, Ohio, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where he discovers the NFL is facing a new foe, Wild Card, and his wingman, Drop Kick. The pair schemes to destroy the NFL and the world by targeting the 32 teams’ Megacores – the essence of each team, its fans and its community – and the Core itself. With the escalation of this conflict, Ish heightens his own training, skills and powers and is joined by an unlikely group of heroes, members of his local Youth Football Tackle league.
NFL Rush Zone: Season of the Guardians will be accessible on Nicktoons.com and NFLRUSH.com following each episode’s on-air premiere. They will also be re-aired on NFL Network and produced in high definition for availability on video boards in NFL stadiums across the country.
NFL Rush Zone: Season of the Guardians is produced by Rollman Entertainment, Inc. The team is led by Rollman Entertainment CEO Eric Rollman, who previously served as president of Marvel Animation and worked on numerous animated TV series, including The Avengers: World’s Greatest Heroes, Marvels Super Hero Squad and Iron Man Armored Adventures.
Nickelodeon and the NFL initiated their partnership in 2010 with Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core, which launched as a short-form series. The 22-chapter micro-series followed 10-year-old unlikely kid hero Ish on his destiny to protect shards of a power source that were fortified in NFL stadiums across the country. Ish’s powerful enemy, Sudden Death, used an army of Blitz Botz in a plan to hunt down the shards and destroy the NFL in an attempt to take over the world. However, with a secret avatar, known as “The Sub,” Ish ultimately defeated Sudden Death in the season finale at Cowboys Stadium during Super bowl XLV.
The NFLRUSH ZONE, a role playing game on NFLRUSH.com, was launched in December 2007 and today has more than 2.5 million registered users. The NFLRUSH ZONE is an immersive virtual world where kids are able to create avatars, join their favorite team, play games, chat, and compete with friends in a safe and fun environment. All 32 teams are represented within the NFLRUSH ZONE with distinct team lands and team Rusherz and Avatars.
NFLRUSH ZONE will be accessible on mobile devices this season and will feature exclusive content associated with the animated TV series, including achievements and games linked to the show. Users will become NFLRUSH Zone Guardians, immersing themselves in the world as they “Enter the RUSH ZONE” with Ish and his fellow Guardians.
Genndy Tartakovsky’s “Hotel Transylvania” and the 3D version of “Finding Nemo” will both have their world premieres during the TIFF Kids program of the 37th Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from September 6 to 16.
Welcome to the Hotel Transylvania, Dracula’s lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free to be the monsters they are without humans to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula has invited some of the world’s most famous monsters — Frankenstein and his wife, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, a family of werewolves, and more — to celebrate his daughter Mavis’ 118th birthday. For Drac, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem — but his world could come crashing down when one ordinary guy stumbles on the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis.
A considerable portion of animation on Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania was completed out of the newly-expanded Sony Pictures Imageworks offices in Vancouver.
The general release date for Hotel Transylvania is September 28.
Meanwhile, also as part of TIFF Kids, Academy Award-winning film Finding Nemo returns to the big screen in thrilling Disney Digital 3D for the first time ever.
Teeming with memorable comedic characters and heartfelt emotion, this stunning underwater adventure follows the momentous journey of an overprotective clownfish named Marlin (Albert Brooks) and his young son Nemo (Alexander Gould) –– who become separated in the Great Barrier Reef when Nemo is unexpectedly taken far from his ocean home to a fish tank in a dentist’s office. Buoyed by the companionship of Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish, Marlin embarks on a dangerous trek and finds himself the unlikely hero of an epic effort to rescue his son –– who hatches a few daring plans of his own to return safely home.
All films are rated. Special child pricing applies. Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day at tiff.net/festival, by phone from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET weekdays at (416) 599-TIFF or 1–888-599‑8433, or by visiting the box office in person from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
And the partly animated Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story, by Brad Bernstein, will have its North American premiere as part of the TIFF Docs lineup.
Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story depicts one man’s wild, life-long adventure of testing societal boundaries through his use of subversive art. This film combines traditional documentary storytelling with original animation from over 70 years worth of art from the renegade children’s book author and illustrator. Featuring Tomi Ungerer, Maurice Sendak, Jules Feiffer, Steven Heller and Michael Patrick Hearn.
“There is great satisfaction in discovering films from new voices in non-fiction filmmaking,” said Thom Powers, lead TIFF programmer for documentaries. “Some of the most powerful stories being told are from these bold and original emerging filmmakers whose work stands strongly side by side documentary filmmaking greats Alex Gibney and Ken Burns.”
“We cannot wait to present the lineup of Canadian and international documentaries with Festival audiences and the industry,” said Cameron Bailey, the festival’s artistic director. “The diversity of subject and calibre of the films is a testament to the great non-fiction work being done in our country and abroad.”
Warner Bros. has picked up Sean Rubin’s upcoming graphic novel Bolivar for an intended animated feature film.
Irish filmmaker Kealan O’Rourke has been attached to write and direct the project. Akiva Goldsman and Kerry Foster will produce the film through their Weed Road company.
Archaia Entertainment is the novel’s publisher. Archaia editor-in-chief Stephen Christy will be a produdcer as well.
The novel, written and illustrated by Sean Rubin, is set for release in May 2013.
Bolivar is about Sybil, a young girl who moves to New York and learns that her neighbor is the novel’s title character, the last living dinosaur. Bolivar refuses to befriend Sybil’s in spite of her persistent efforts.
Sybil so desperately wants Bolivar to explore the world with her, but the dinosaur is rather reclusive. Soon, Bolivar realizes how important she if for him and that he would risk everything for her.
Last year, O’Rourke won a best animation prize at the Irish Film and Television Awards for The Boy in the Bubble.
Los Angeles-based Archaia Entertainment is an Eisner Award-winning publishing firm. Adaptations of other Archaia works are planned.
Disney, which distributes Ghibli pictures in North America, had Ponyo (2008) open on about 900 screens. Also in comparison, Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi (Spirited Away) opened on 750 screens.
“I just want to do everything I can to help make sure people can go see them because they’re just magnificent films that are very different than any other animated films these days,” Pixar’s John Lasseter said in an interview.
Japan’s Studio Ghibli has released animated films that have met with huge success in foreign markets. But in spite of critical plaudits and strong marketing assistance from the Walt Disney Company and Lasseter, these have met with only modest receipts at the American box office.
Released in 2010, Karigurashi No Arietti (The Secret World of Arrietty, The Borrower Arrietty) is based on The Borrowers, Mary Norton’s beloved children’s book about tiny people who live under the floorboards of a house. The movie already has grossed over $126 million abroad.
Nickelodeon unveils Mike the Knight, a brand new CG-animated preschool series that invites viewers into a fantastical world of castles, missions, dragons and trolls, on Friday, Feb. 3, at 10:30 a.m. ET/PT). The half-hour, adventure series teaches kids about friendship, loyalty, and determination as they join Mike, a young knight-in-training, on his missions to protect his kingdom, serve his Queen and become a full-fledged knight.
Following the series launch, Nickelodeon will air new episodes, Monday, Feb. 6 – Thursday, Feb. 9, at 12:00 p.m. (ET/PT). Mike the Knight, created by Alexander Bar (Lunar Jim) and penned by Marc Seal (Head Writer, Bob the Builder), is produced by HIT Entertainment and Nelvana Studio. The series (26 episodes) will regularly air weekdays at 12:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.
“Mike the Knight will take preschoolers on a journey of discovery through a medieval world filled with dynamic characters and imaginative stories,” said Teri Weiss, SVP, Nickelodeon Preschool. “The series will inspire and empower preschoolers to always try their best, continuously grow, and work hard to accomplish their goals.”
“Along with our co-production partner HIT Entertainment, we are thrilled that Nickelodeon will be the new home for Mike the Knight in the U.S,” said Colin Bohm, Managing Director, Nelvana Enterprises. “With its truly unique and exciting storylines, along with rich visuals, we are confident the series will be a big hit with preschoolers and their families in the U.S. and around the world.”
Mike the Knight centers on Mike, a young boy with a bright future ahead of him. The son of the King and Queen of Glendragon, he is determined to follow in his father’s footsteps to become a brave and noble knight. With the triumphant motto, “Be a knight, do it right,” the would-be hero is joined in his adventures by a host of medieval characters, including his trusty steed Galahad, two friendly dragons, Squirt and Sparkie, and his sister, Evie, a wizard-in-training. In every episode, a mission is set and Mike rises to the challenge with the help of his closest friends. Mike the Knight taps into children’s fascination with fantasy/medieval elements without removing them from the familiarity of their everyday lives.
In the series premiere episode, “Mike the Knight and Galahad the Great/Mike the Knight and the Scary Dragons,” Mike is so keen on making Galahad look good, he doesn’t realize what he’s dressing him in is stopping him from getting around the horse riding course! In the second half of the episode, Mike’s dragons Sparkie and Squirt try to act scary. Sparkie is better at it and Mike doesn’t notice how upset this makes Squirt. When a forgotten Squirt gets stuck in the tower, Mike learns to be sensitive to his friends’ feelings.