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Entries in animated films (354)

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 ...

Friday
Feb032017

New to Netflix: Magic Mike, Woman in Gold, Babe and More...

Today on Netflix a new series debuts starring the long lost Drew Barrymore called Santa Clarita Diet but it's apparently a gore-fest so perhaps skippable? Those of you with a high tolerance for such things can let us know. But there are several enticing options that have just made available for streaming. As is our habit, we've freeze framed a handful plus of new selections at random places and are sharing anything that came up.

This is my idol, Paulina. Someday I hope to be up there with her.

Paris is Burning (1990)
The best documentary of all time? Well, one of 'em at least. And 100% the most quotable as you hear lines from it practically every day still thanks to drag going more mainstream.

Seven more after the jump including Magic Mike...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan232017

Personal Ballots Galore!

The Oscar correlative part of the Film Bitch Awards are almost done. Racing to the finish line here. In the updates you'll see the nominees for Best Screenplays and Animated Feature as well as Visual categories like Visual Effects and Makeup.

You never know where a great movie will come from. Who knew that a circular short story by Ted Chiang, an possibly unfilmable novel like "Oh...," or a novella like "Lady Susan" could make great movies like Arrival, Elle, and Love & Friendship? (Okay okay, everyone knows that Jane Austen stories can make great movies. But isn't it insane that Love & Friendship isn't locked up for an Oscar nomination? What was everyone thinking this year?) They're all up for the Film Bitch Award for Adapted Screenplay. The nominees are...

As for the Makeup and Hair ballot, I'll state straightaway that I'll never understand what Oscar's makeup branch wants from their movies (besides old age prosthetics. They love those). Everything that makes my list, save Hail Caesar! and Star Trek Beyond did not make the Oscar finals in that category (or perhaps did not even submit reels to the branch for consideration?). It may seem to on-the-nose to include Neon Demon, but when that nose is a work of art...

Previous Announcements
Picture/Director/Top Ten List
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actress
Costume Design and Production Design
Sound and Music Categories

Three more TBA: Actor, Actress, and Cinematography

Sunday
Jan152017

Lunchtime Poll: What Cartoon Should Come With a Trigger Warning?

In last weekend's most hilarious Golden Globes presentation, Kristen Wiig & Steve Carell equated Fantasia and Bambi with utterly traumatic childhood experiences. Which begs the question...

What cartoon sends you spiralling into depression? 

JOSEDumbo! As a giant eared child, it brings back so many traumas. 

ERIC:  Dumbo.  When caged Mama's trunk reaches for Dumbo's trunk: merciless!

NICKThe Legend of Bagger Vance.

KIMToy Story 3 was a pretty traumatic viewing experience for me; I came out of the theatre with my eyes almost swollen shut from crying. (The holding hands when they all thought they were going to die, you guys!) If I harken back to a movie that sent me off the edge as a kid, I'm going to go with The Secret of Nimh. I know it ENDS happily, but that movie is DARK. 

JORGE:  Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle throws me into a deep pit of out-of-body melancholy.

DAVID:  The Fox and the Hound is a regular feature in my nostalgic nightmares, even though I haven't watched it since I was about twelve and the VHS gave out. Under the weight of emotional distress, no doubt.

STEVEN:  Every time I think about the fact that there is a Cars 3 coming I get depressed. Does that count?

 

Tuesday
Jan102017

Cinema Audio Society Nominees

The Cinema Audio Society have announced their nominations for their 53rd annual awards. Though they can help us see what's on the mind an in the ears of sound professionals, they don't necessarily tell us what's coming down the Oscar pike in Oscar's two Sound categories...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan022017

2016's Box Office Scorecard. Big & Minor Hits (Some Flops due to Budget)

Each day for the past two weeks we've been looking back on the year that was from different angles. Today, the biggest hits of 2016 in two different categories (franchise vs original).

It will surprise no one that the year's biggest hits continue to prove Hollywood right (sigh) in pursuing nothing but animated and superhero pictures and franchisable intellectual property and neglecting the nurturing of movies for adults. On the bright side quality pictures do occassionally break through audience resistance to original concepts and voices, often with the help of awards at year's end. So next time you hear people complain about awards season, remind them that we might never get movies made for adults if there weren't shiny gold statues to chase.

How many of these 35 pictures have you seen and which will you hit next? 

Click to read more ...