Even before the much anticipated film hits theaters, Disney has announced a new animated series to be based on “Guardians of the Galaxy“. Guardians of the Galaxy: The Animated Series- as well as a sequel to the theatrical film- were both announced San Diego’s Comic Con. Marvel Animation and Disney XD even went to far as to preview a one-minute teaser of the new animated series at the Comic-Con.
Oscar-Award winning stop-motion animation director Will Vinton has teamed up with Gnosis Moving Pictures to bring four new stop-motion animation projects to the screen soon. This ambitious schedule will be Vinton’s first major projects since Will Vinton Associates was wrestled away from him (and eventually became Laika Entertainment). Vinton is on board to direct and co-write all four projects.
Glen Kean, who made a name for himself as the late dean of Disney animators, has released his first new animated short from his association with Google and Motorola. Titled Duet, the film was released last week as part of a special Advanced Technology and Projects session at the Google I/O Conference in San Francisco. It is the third in a series of shorts called the Spotlight Stories that are designed to explore spatial awareness and the sensory inputs of a mobile device to create a distinctive storytelling experience.
In the mess of trailers before Maleficent this weekend, there was one that quite literally took my breath away. It was not Boxtrolls (which looks good), or Jupiter Rising, but The Book of Life, the new CG animated feature directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez. So full of life, or color, of motion, of raw energy, I sat mesmerized by where animation has taken us. I cannot wait to see this film.
Director Kelly Asbury’s The Untitled Smurfs Movie- planned for a 2015 release- has been pushed back a year. But there is still no official title. The film is believed to be a full 3D CGI animated film, not an animation/live-action hybrid like the first two Smurf films from Sony.
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/.