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Entries in Pixar (60)


The animated short films Oscar shortlist

Tim here. Today, the Academy announced that it has whittled the initial list of 60 titles eligible for the Best Animated Short Film Oscar down to ten finalists that will go on to compete for the five nominations in January. Like all of you, I imagine, I haven't seen most of these ten, but let's run through them quickly to see what we've got:

Bear Story (Historia de un oso) - Gabriel Osorio, director; Pato Escala, producer (Punkrobot Animation Studio)
This Chilean effort - Cartoon Brew notes that it would be the first Chilean film ever nominated if it makes it - looks to be a toy-esque animal fable done in charmingly plasticky CGI. Trailer

Carface (Autos Portraits) - Claude Cloutier, director (National Film Board of Canada)
A car with, get this, a face, sings "Que Sera, Sera", accompanied by images in thick lines and full color of cars and machines. It never does to count out the NFB, which has one of the most reliable histories of producing terrific animated shorts anywhere in the world. Trailer

The other eight nominees below the jump

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NYFF: Shorts (Animated & International)

Part of the joy of film festivals (I’m told) is discovery, and so, this being Manuel's first full New York Film Festival, he figured he’d give its various Shorts Programs a chance.

It’s not a form I watch often though you’d think it’d be growing in popularity given our ever-shrinking attention spans. And with that in mind, rather than review all thirteen shorts I watched, I’ve singled out highlights from the programs screening at the festival, which include Pixar’s latest and a dazzling black and white queer short from Argentina. More...

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Q&A: Friday Nights, Voice Work, Underseen Gems

You asked some questions. I'm finally answering them. You know how this works. Please do chime in in the comments. The whole reason we do the column is for participatory flavor and that includes a pinch of you! Our Question of the Week which is Friday Night Lights themed is, annoyingly, from "Anonny" (how about a name?) so he/she gets to choose our next banner topic! (And how about our current "joy" banner. I put Jessica Lange in it for the first time and no one notices!?)

What is it, a crime? Is it a crime to look at Lange?

Pat Carroll recording UrsulaJAMES: Does the trend now that animated films only use "names" for voice work mean that we'll never see the likes of Pat Carroll again?

That would be among the greatest of cinematic tragedies. Unlike seemingly many TFE readers, though, I don't actually share an interest in voice actors getting Oscar nominations. But as with motion capture and the much discussed pioneering case of Andy Serkis, I do think this is where Oscar is really dropping the ball in terms of never giving out special achievement statues. I can't even remember when the last one was -- was it for Toy Story (1995) before there was the Animated Feature category? Pat Carroll's work as Ursula is the single greatest voice performance in the history of animation. (Team Experience shamefully put her in only 3rd when we took a poll)

The days of specialized voice talent getting prime opportunities like that are gone but there is hope: Pixar uses celebrities sometimes but they don't rely on them exclusively the way Dreamworks and other lesser studios do. And sometimes their "celebrities" aren't exactly household names so they aren't using them for advertising purposes, but because they genuinely love the voice. Wasn't Richard Kind a great choice for "Bing Bong" in Inside Out

DEBORAH: If you could choose one lesser-known movie each from the 70s, 80s, and 90s that everyone should see, what would they be (and why)?


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Sad Wednesday

Feeling blue today. I know there is much to be happy about but some days it just gets to you even if, with a little perspective, you know that your life is kinda all right. Call it The Pixar Depression (and please do click on that link for an illustration).

I was sad to read this morning that The Dissolve has closed shop effective immediately. They had so many good writers, and were kind enough to link us a couple of times. I hope we hear so many of their regular voices elsewhere soon. 

With the Pixar depression caveat in mind, let's just say that running a daily website about the movies is tough work. Though it can be emotionally and intellectually rewarding, it's no easily sustainable road financially... and can also be tough socially and creatively (you don't know what I'd give for a little corporate sponsorship in these parts -- the ability to hire full timers and meet in an office space and brainstorm ideas on a wipe board, and not to have to beg for donations). I sometimes think the movie web is not unlike the current movie business. If you're not on the blockbuster side of things (which for the entertainment web means paparazzi celebrity sites, aggregate list sites, and superhero movie rumor sites) you're only ever going to scrape by if you can scrape by at all. 


And today hug a fellow cinephile! The internet brought so many of us together but we are still a rare and precious breed. 


Julia, Stone’s Snowden & Pixar’s Sanjay: News Roundup

Mondays, am I right, Julia?

Manuel here trying to catch up with plenty of news from this past week but somehow not feeling many of them, maybe I'm having a case of the Mondays? I wanted to kick the week off with some more Julia news (is everyone replaying that Secret in Their Eyes trailer for that one perfect gif-able moment?) but somehow typing “Roberts signs on to Garry Marshall’s Mothers Day” was enough of a letdown that I stopped typing. I mean, sure, we could joke that we can’t wait to see Julia in Marshall’s next film, MLK Day, but 30 Rock beat us all to it.

So why don’t we instead focus on the moody teaser for Oliver Stone’s Snowden?

Intense, right? That cast list alone (Gordon-Levitt, Woodley, Leo, Quinto, Wilkinson, Ifans) looks wonderful, but then flashes of W. keep haunting me and well, let’s just say it leaves me wanting. Can’t start Monday on that note, now can we?

Trust Pixar (currently making bank but somehow unable to dethrone those genetically modified dinos) to finally give me something to be excited about this morning. After what’s easily their worst (worst, I say!) short film (seriously, guys, I do not lava Lava!) they might be priming themselves for a gorgeous surprise this Thanksgiving. From a description of the short Sanjay’s Super Team set to premiere before The Good Dinosaur this fall:

“The seven-minute short begins with young Sanjay watching cartoons and eating cereal in a bland, beige room as his father jingles a bell, beckoning him to join in meditation. Reluctant and bored by the ceremony, Sanjay begins daydreaming a kind of ancient, Hindu version of The Avengers, with the gods appearing like superheroes. As the daydream progresses, the color, light and animation of the film grows increasingly dazzling and cosmic, and Sanjay grows closer to understanding his father's inner world.”

"Sanjay's Super Team" is directed by Sanjay Patel, a long time animator at Pixar. [image src]

We’d seen some concept art but now we have two gorgeous images and I have to say, I am eagerly awaiting this short probably even more so than the photorealistic dino adventure that will follow it. I mean, look at those big eyes! Those bright colors! Those kickass character designs! 

Are you excited that Pixar seems to be actively trying to redress its diversity problem with characters like Riley, Sadness, Joy, and Sanjay? Are you still trying to forget you ever watched Lava? (If I watch Inside Out in the theaters again, I will definitely be skipping that gender normative sitcom of a short).


Boo-Boo Linky

W Magazine Taraji P. Henson, always fun, talks about getting the acting bug, auditioning for Precious and falling in love with "Cookie" on Empire even though she didn't want to do TV again
AV Club Taraji also has a new leading film role as civil rights activist Ann Atwater who in 1971 had meetings with the Klu Klux Klan leader on reducing violence. 
IndieWire a fun interview with the always amusing Jennifer Coolidge, who hopes to get a wider range of roles. "maybe I should write something"
BBC RIP "Avengers" star Patrick Macnee
Variety John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig, Rabbit Hole) will be honored at OutFest this year. He needs to stop being honored and start making another movie. 
Empire Aaron Eckhart to star in new thriller shot in real time. It's called Live! Eckhart's one of those actors I root for even though he keeps making movies I don't want to see. (sigh)
Vanity Fair is always trying to make Jennifer Lawrence happen. She already happened of course ;) but they just don't quit with the love fest -- they're already pushing for Oscar #2
New Yorker for any of you rebels who haven't been feeling Inside Out here's a negative review from the always interesting Richard Brody on "the curse of the Pixar universe"
/Film a new Star Trek started filming. Rumored title is Star Trek Beyond


Emmy Voting Ends Today
I know you diehard cinephiles are probably relieved that we won't be talking about TV so much next week but we hope you cinephiles who don't differentiate between screen sizes anymore (there seem to be more and more of you) have enjoyed this experiment. We have to keep experimenting to keep the site alive you know. In case you missed any of our FYCs here's an index of the acting writeups -- we tried to cover as many different series as possible during those --  our final ballots for drama and comedy, as well as guest blogs from Cara Seymour (The Knick) and Ann Dowd (The Leftovers) which we were super proud to host. It was fascinating to hear some of what went in to creating those memorable and surprising religious figures.

Happy Pride Month
THR on today's young male movie stars courting gay audiences. They're  trying to make "Stromo!" happen. But isn't it already called "Hetemo"?
MoMA acquires the original rainbow flag which is now 37 years old. Happy birthday flag. 

Showtune to Go!
And let's combine "Pride" with "Emmy Voting" for the finale. Since neither Jonathan Groff nor Sutton Foster are likely to receive Emmy nods for their terrific work in Looking and Younger respectively, we want them to know that they are loved. And obsessed over. In many places if not on Emmy voter ballots. So here's Jonathan's tribute to Sutton Foster in Anything Goes. It has 283,000+ views on YouTube so at least 190,000 other people besides me have watched it! And yes I've probably shared it before but it bears watching again.

and again. 
and again.
and again. 


Tim's Toons: The Many Tears of Pixar

Tim here. We're just a couple of days from the release of Inside Out, the 15th feature produced by Pixar Animation Studios, and by virtually unanimous consent, a return to the glory days of a company that has spent the last few years in search of its artistic mojo.

It’s a movie about emotions, the personification of Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear present in the mind of an 11-year-old girl. As befits its topic, virtually unanimous consent is also that it will make you feel lots. And it will make you cry. Lots.


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