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Michelle Pfeiffer and Grease 2

"I can't pass a ladder without seriously considering whether I should climb it and start belting Cool Rider" -Joey

"No matter what anyone says (even Nathaniel!), Grease 2 is awesome and Pfeiffer is wonderful in it."-Charlie

 

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Entries in animated films (350)

Thursday
Mar162017

2017 Animated Tease

With two new teasers out from two of the most reliable animation studios, Pixar's Coco (their last original for the next few years -sigh), and Aardman's Early Man, it's time to begin speculating about what the animated medium will bring us this year? What might Oscar fancy? 

The tentative schedule and teasers are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar132017

Revisiting Beauty and the Beast (1991) - Rank the songs!

By Lynn Lee

With the live-action remake of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast just around the corner, what better time to revisit the original animated masterpiece and its endlessly hummable songs?  If you saw the movie when it came out in 1991 and happened to be a bookish, musical theater-loving little girl (or boy) at the time, odds are you got the soundtrack and learned it by heart.  (I plead guilty on all counts.) 

While I have no idea what happened to my copy, every beat and lyric – by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, respectively – are still firmly etched into my memory.  I never saw the Broadway musical, which restored a song that had been scrapped from the movie (“Human Again”) and added several new songs by Menken and lyricist Tim Rice, but reportedly the new movie isn’t including any of the latter.  Instead it’s adding four newly new songs by Mencken and Rice.  However, fear not, fellow original Disney B&B enthusiasts: it appears that all of the Mencken-Ashman songs from the 1991 movie will be in the mix.  As Cogsworth would say, “If it’s not ba-roque, why fix it?” 

We’ll have to wait to debate the merits of the new songs but we can discuss how the original ones stack up against each other.  With the caveat that this feels a bit like picking one’s favorite kid, here’s my ranking from lowest to highest...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar012017

Interview: Céline Sciamma on "My Life as a Zucchini" and life after "Girlhood"

The past couple of years have featured many conversations about the need for fresh voices of all races and genders and sexual orientations in the movies. Consider it a healthy sign for the future that when this conversation comes up, there are dozens and dozens of young directors out there to champion. Certainly one of the most exciting newish female writer/directors working is Céline Sciamma in France. In the past ten years she's established herself as a revelatory voice in the genre of coming-of-age films, starting with her César nominated debut Water Lilies (2007) and reaching a new level of critical interest and popularity with Girlhood (2014). But, in something of a left turn -- which she says is no left turn at all -- she hasn't been behind the camera this past year but behind the screenplays of two acclaimed pictures.

She cowrote Andre Techine's well received LGBT film Being 17 and this past weekend her latest film, her first to win an Oscar nomination, My Life as a Zucchini, opened in US theaters. You should definitely go see it. She adapted the screenplay for this charming melancholy story about orphans hoping to find a home from a novel by Gilles Paris. Our interview is after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb212017

Podcast Pre-Oscar Show. What Are We Rooting For?

Katey (with her little Charlie in tow) rejoins Nathaniel and Nick to discuss our hopes for Oscar night and various mini conversations on Moana, Moonlight, Arrival, La La Land, Suicide Squad, and many more...

Index (43 minutes)
00:01 Animated, Screenplays
08:30 Cinematography, Costumes
16:11 Production Design, Editing
21:00 VFX, Makeup, Score, Song, Sound
30:00 Actor, Supporting Acting
38:00 Documentaries, Actress
41:08 Musical sign-off silliness!

With of course much name dropping and detours including Hacksaw Ridge, JK Rowling, Annette Bening, Viola Davis, Weiner, Janelle Monae, and Michael Shannon. 

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Pre-Oscar Show Pt 2: What we're rooting for

Tuesday
Feb212017

Interview: The Global Resonance of "Zootopia" and its Animal Kingdoms

Zootopia gets a lot of its pizazz from the clash of its odd couple leads but behind the scenes things are much more sympatico. When I sat down to interview the director Rich Moore (Wreck-it Ralph) and producer Clark Spencer (Wreck-it Ralph, Bolt, Lilo & Stitch) they weren't so much finishing each other's sentences as they were most definitely reciting from the same page. Rich calls Clark the 'best producer he's ever worked with' and credits him for creating a structure so that the creatives didn't have to worry about the minutae but were kept aware of it to keep them on track.

Unfortunately the third key member of their team Byron Howard, who the project originated with had bronchitis on the day we met. He'll be long since recovered by Oscar night which will likely be a happy one for the team.

Zootopia is the second project Moore and Clark have done together but when we sat down to speak over coffee the spectre of Wreck-It Ralph 2 hung like a comic cloud overhead because, as they joked, they've got deadlines! The film doesn't open until March of 2018 but that's a very short time in the production lifespan of an animated feature.

Byron Howard, Clark Spencer, and Rich Moore won the Golden Globe for Zootopia. Will they win the Oscar, too?

But for now, the wrap up of the long journey of Zootopia on Oscar night. This Disney fable about diversity and harmonious living has been successful all over the world grossing over a billion dollars globally, the fourth most successful picture of 2016 behind three films that had a built-in sequel advantage (Captain America, Finding Dory, Rogue One).

In other words, it's been quite a spectacular runaway success. Selections from our chat follow...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb072017

DVD Review: Trolls

Tim here. Today marks the DVD/Blu-ray release of Trolls, the 33rd feature film and only the second musical made by DreamWorks Animation, and a recent Best Original Song Oscar nominee (and if I may say so, the wrong song got honored, but whatever).

We haven't talked about the film much at all here at TFE, and this seemed like the best possible reason to correct that lapse. For a lapse it is: despite its 100% boilerplate plot, vaguely inspired by a line of toys that haven't been popular in more than two decades, and its wall-to-wall "pop songs and dance parties" structure, Trolls is, like, pretty good, y'all. It is, undoubtedly, assembled according to some Modern Kiddie Cartoon Mad-Libs: a crabby outsider, from a community dominated by one personality trait, finds himself in the position of being forced to save the day when catastrophe hits. By the end of the movie's trim 92 minutes, we've learned that real happiness was inside of you all along, and true beauty comes from confidence in being yourself.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb052017

Annie Awards Results. It's Zootopia vs Kubo for the Oscar

The Annie Awards have been happening for 44 years but after some bumpy years in which their loyalties to specific studios were questions, they seemed to have worked things out and their profile is higher each year. Yesterday's even at the UCLA's Royce Hall was a big night for Disney which took 10 prizes. Zootopia continued its dominance by taking the top prize.

Though we should quickly note that Kubo and the Two Strings is still a possible spoiler at the Oscars and took home a few Annies itself. As Kris Tapley recently noted, there is momentum for finally honoring Laika who have never missed a nomination in the Animated Feature category but have yet to win it. While I am in the minority that thinks Kubo is the company's weakest film to date (it's gorgeous, don't misunderstand -- I just think both the episodic plot and the voice work is weaker than in their other films) they're also rapidly outdoing Pixar who have fallen into repetition and sequelizing.

The winners with commentary are after the jump...

Click to read more ...