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Entries in Mickey Mouse (8)


Annie Awards swing giddily into the "Spider-Verse" and might predict Oscar's Animated Short winner 

by Nathaniel R

The directors of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse had a great great night at the Annie Awards

Though Disney dominated the Annie nominations with huge tallies for both Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet  it was Sony Animation's all time biggest hit that proved the ultimate champ with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hogging the big prizes at the event. Other big winners were Disney's Mickey Mouse, and two series from Netflix: Hilda  and Bojack Horseman. The winners list and commentary including a few full winning short films and notes on Oscar's animated short race after the jump...

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Happy Birthday Mickey! And Other Things to Celebrate. 

On this day in showbiz history...

1872 Suffragette Susan B Anthony is arrested for illegally voting. She was recently forced to turn over in her grave. Where's her biopic?
1917 Pedro Infante, Mexico's biggest movie star has his centennial next year! He died young at only 39 but not before his legend was cemented with nearly 60 movies and over 300 songs
1928 Steamboat Willie, the first Mickey Mouse sound cartoon is released.  It was his third appearance but Disney considers this Mickey Mouse's official birthday. So happy birthday!
1932 The 5th annual Oscar ceremony before the ceremonies started following exact calendar years...

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I am link parts, link skin, link heart... ♫

The Wrap Frozen nearing the $1 billion mark globally. Unreal.
Mail Online Matt Damon faxes his buttcheeks to Ben Affleck... for charity. No really. 
The Dissolve on the broken down grace of Bill Murray 
AMPAS you have to see this "moment" from the 68 Oscars with Jane Fonda and costume design!

LAist Spike Jonze in a very uncomfortable interview about Her
Gold Derby will Mickey Mouse finally win an animated short Oscar this year for "Get a Horse"? He's quite a loser in this category
TFE icymi Tim, our animation expert, reviewed that short here. (I loved it, too)
Mental Floss Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure just turned 25 years old. Can you believe I asked my team if anyone wanted to write about it and NO ONE did. sad face. 
Twitter I don't know why I find the 'Jake Gyllenhaal stole Taylor Swift's virginity' gossip so amusing but I do.(Jake used to have such better taste!)
Variety a review of that gay themed Brazilian film The Way He Looks that took a Berlinale prize 
Vanity Fair Katey talks to the Oscar nominated makeup artist on Dallas Buyers Club. the budget she had to work with is shocking.

It's a franchise world. We're just living in it only to consume
Pajiba the new Wonder Woman Gal Gadot "shows off her, uh, Amazonian biceps"
The Film Doctor with 13 questions on The LEGO Movie
Den of Geek Star Wars Episode 7 rumors and Indiana Jones 5, too 
Hypeable new stills for Guardians of the Galaxy 
Cinema Blend Steven Price, Oscar-nominated for his Gravity score, will be composing Ant-Man 

Slate an interesting share on the extremely rigid rules about figure skating at the Olympics. I knew same sex couples were not allowed but I did not know any of these rules about costuming and I was just wondering aloud the other day why the costumes were so monotonous from year to year apart from color changes and the occassional surprise of where the bejazzlements occur. 


The 2013 Best Animated Short Oscar nominees

Mickey Mouse is up for his first gold in agesTim here. Having already looked at the newly-minted Best Animated Feature Oscar nominees, let's turn for a little bit towards that category's older, smaller sibling, Best Short Subject - Animated. We already briefly discussed these films back when the 10-title shortlist was announced, but now that it has been whittled down to five, let's take a more in-depth look at each of them.

Feral (Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden)
For solely aesthetic purposes, this would be my favorite of the nominees. It's a simple enough story: a boy raised by wolves is brought back to civilization and has a hard time of it. The greatness lies in the marriage of that scenario with rough impressionistic images, some which look like extra-bleak newspaper comics, some which look like somebody was trying a sheet of paper apart using a pencil.

It's the most distinctive of the five by far, looking handcrafted because it so emphatically is: some of the images are drawn on computer, some are hand-painted, but they all have a desperate crudeness that lacks the polish of most animation, and this couldn't be a better fit for the material. It's available to rent for $1 on Vimeo.

Mickey Mouse, friendly witches, and more below the jump

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Happy Birthday, Mickey Mouse

Tim here. Today, the short film Steamboat Willie celebrates the 85th anniversary of its theatrical debut. And that makes today, according to Disney, the 85th birthday of Mickey Mouse, cinema icon and greatest company mascot in the history of mascots. This despite Steamboat Willie being only the third Mickey short completed (it was, however, the first one commercially distributed). But if the giant media conglomerate wants to semi-arbitrarily choose by diktat which day we are to gather in celebration of their most famous son, who I am to disagree?

Anyway, It’s an ideal excuse to revisit Steamboat Willie, one of the best of all early sound cartoons. Of which it was not the first, no matter what you might have heard; it’s certainly the most technologically sophisticated, though, and the one that introduces the idea that animals and inanimate objects make melodically squeaky noises when you poke at them. Thus revolutionizing the world of cartoon sound effects down to the present day...

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The 2013 Best Animated Short Film short list

Hi everyone, Tim here. Those who know me in my other life at Antagony & Ecstasy are well aware of my affection for animation in its many forms, and starting this week, that’s going to be carried over here to the Film Experience. Officially, as of now, this space will be home to a weekly column about the current world of animation with, I suspect, regular guest appearances from classics of both American and international animated cinema.

And there's some pretty exciting news to kick things off. Right on the heels of the announcement of the 19 films submitted for consideration this year in the feature category, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced the ten-film list of titles that will be competing for the Best Animated Short Oscar. It feels a little bit like a course correction after last year, which saw two major studio releases hit the final five: the only brand-name contestant in the lot is the Walt Disney Animation Studios film Get a Horse! , a new Mickey Mouse vehicle that’s going to be attached to Frozen when it makes its wide-release bow later this month. Rather conspicuously, The Blue Umbrella, Pixar’s annual short this year, failed to show up, perhaps because the plot is a functional retread of last year’s winning film Paperman.

Feral – Daniel Sousa, director, and Dan Golden, music and sound design (Daniel Sousa)
I know nothing of Sousa’s previous work, but the trailer makes this one look pretty incredible: a very penciled, scratchy aesthetic with the apparent illusion of mixed media.

Get a Horse! – Lauren MacMullan, director, and Dorothy McKim, producer (Walt Disney Feature Animation)
If nothing else, this sounds like it’s going to be a fun throwback to the more prankstery, old-school Mickey that Disney has been marketing all year. As the only big studio project, this is the one thing I’m willing to call locked for a nomination this year.


Gloria Victoria – Theodore Ushev, director (National Film Board of Canada)
Not only is the NFB one of the few national film programs that fulfills its mission of allowing talented people a change to make challenging, unusual work, it’s also great at making sure that work can be seen. By which I mean, you can watch this short online right now. Personally, I like the marriage of Shostakovich and 1920s-style lines and color, though the implicit narrative about civilization and warfare is a little overworked for such a small movie.

Hollow Land – Uri Kranot and Michelle Kranot, directors (Dansk Tegnefilm, Les Films de l’Arlequin and the National Film Board of Canada)
Right now the material online consists of a trailer and a clip, and though the very flat stop-motion animation is certainly striking, as is the dramatic darkness of the sets and lighting, it has the feel of a lot of other pantomime shorts out there. But there’s apparently quite a lot of story in there about the immigrant experience.

The Missing Scarf – Eoin Duffy, director, and Jamie Hogan, producer (Belly Creative Inc.)
Brightly colored and almost unbearably cute-looking, though we are promised that this will turn out to be ironic; you can watch the trailer for a taste. It stands out, but there’s not enough to say whether it’s going to be bright and imaginative and interesting, or suffocating in its overwrought pop-saturated images. George Takei as narrator does not immediately give one cause for hope.

Mr. Hublot – Laurent Witz, director, and Alexandre Espigares, co-director (Zeilt Productions)
A hand-hewn mechanized world in which a man lives in deliberate isolation, this one is going to live or die on the strength of its design, which seems from the brief trailer to be very much in the tradition of  City of Lost Children or Terry Gilliam at his least disciplined.That might be delightful in a short enough presentation; we'll have to wait and see.


Possessions – Shuhei Morita, director (Sunrise Inc.)
I can’t find more than a still online from this anime-style marriage of 2-D and 3-D animation technique (the same mix that helped Paperman to its Oscar), nor a terribly helpful description of the plot. That being said, this category loves impressive technological work, and this seems like it’s got that in spades.

Requiem for Romance – Jonathan Ng, director (Kungfu Romance Productions Inc.)
Another film available in its entirety online.The visuals are tremendous: spare lines, flowing water ink backgrounds, and a nice nod to traditional Chinese art overall. But God, is it appallingly precious: awww, the break-up is reflected in the fight choreography! Clever enough, but banal as all hell, and I would certainly rather watch it with the sound turned off, which is probably not what Ng was going for.


Room on the Broom – Max Lang and Jan Lachauer, directors (Magic Light Pictures)
A star-packed TV special from the creators of The Gruffalo (a nominee in 2010) and The Gruffalo’s Child (which didn’t even make the shortlist last year), made in a virtually identical style. I haven’t seen this one, but my problems with both Gruffalo films are identical (too long and slow-paced, the character design is very same-ey and uninteresting), and this doesn’t seem to be any different.

 Subconscious Password - Chris Landreth, director (National Film Board of Canada with the participation of Seneca College Animation Arts Centre and Copperheart Entertainment)
Landreth is a two-time nominee, and won in 2004 for Ryan, so it certainly doesn’t do to write this one off. But the deliberately gross mixed-media style (which you can see in the trailer) is absolutely not the kind of thing that everybody will respond to, and enough of it barely looks like “animation” as we typically think of it that I strongly suspect this one has a rough uphill battle.