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Handmaid's Tale ep 1 & 2

"Margaret Atwood's novel is superb. If this is half as good, it will be great!" - Marcelo

"My one concern is how much of the novel is covered so quickly. Even in the first episode, they pulled a lot of events from the middle of the novel right in there to establish the universe. The pacing works onscreen, but what are they going to have left to cover by episode 9 and 10?." - Robert

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Entries in Disney (145)

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 ...

Monday
Feb132017

Would You Rather

Time for a favorite celebrity social media game. Pictures after the jump to help you decide your answer.

Would you rather...

... go to Disneyland with Michelle Dockery?
...snuggle with Bianca Del Rio & Latrice Royale?
...smush faces with Juliette Lewis & Alicia Silverstone? 
...or pay homage to George Takei with Westworld's Leonardo Nam? 

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...

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Tuesday
Dec132016

Doc Corner: 'Life, Animated' Lacks Complexities of Modern Disney

Roger Ross Williams’ Life, Animated is an emotional 90 minutes of a heart-warming story that will likely give your tear ducts a good workout. It’s also not a particularly good movie. This is a frustratingly directed film that details the life of Owen Suskind, a young man whose early predilection for Disney animated movies allowed him to revert out of his shell and prosper into young adulthood. Williams has adapted the non-fiction book by Owen’s father, Ron – a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist – who, alongside his wife Cornelia, feature prominently throughout telling in wondrous detail of the miracles that have come their way since discovering Owen’s passion with a viewing of The Little Mermaid...

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Wednesday
Dec072016

Kirk Douglas Centennial: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Here's Tim to continue our mini Kirk Douglas fest. The actor turns 100 this Friday.

And now, a little change of pace. I don't think the cinephile lives who'd argue that Kirk Douglas's performance in the 1954 sci-fi adventure 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is his best, or anywhere particularly near his best. It is, however, quite possibly his most fun, as is to be expected from a star turn as the meathead sailor hero in a live-action Disney film.

Douglas gets first-billing in the movie, though he's probably not the first thing you'd think about if you looked back over the film in your mind...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov292016

What did you see over the holidays?

How did you spend Thanksgiving weekend? I watched Moana again with the honorary nieces, saw a preview of Things to Come (yet another Isabelle Huppert triumph) with cinephile friends and caught up with a screener or two. 

What did you see over the holiday weekend? The actual box office results are after the jump...

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Sunday
Nov272016

Five Teensy Reviews: Moana, Miss Sloane, Rules Don't Apply, Etc...

by Nathaniel R

Presented to assuage Nathaniel's guilt from not having properly reviewed them -- all five are now playing in theaters.

Moana (Clements, Hall, Musker & Williams)
Story: A chieftain's daughter sails the ocean to right an ancient wrong and save her people
Review: The episodic plot is ungainly and repetitive but the rest, from animal sidekick, to magical animation, to the heroine's self awakening and theme song ("How Far I'll Go") sure is dazzling. Disney's most resonant and hypnotic climax in forever and ever. "This is not who you are..."
Grade: B/B+
Oscar Chances: A nomination seems certain but Zootopia will be a tough film to dismount from this year's throne. It's worth noting that composer Lin-Manuel Miranda will complete his EGOT if he wins the Oscar.

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