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Entries in The Boxtrolls (5)

Saturday
Jul262014

Live from Comic Con: The Boxtrolls and Sin City's Sequel

Anne Marie here, surviving on pop tarts and coffee and delivering film news live(ish) from SDCC. This next bit covers two very different panels that were placed side-by-side: kid-friendly The Boxtrolls and blood-and-guts comic book noir Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.

The Boxtrolls
The latest picture from the studio that brought us Coraline and ParaNorman is another stop-motion animation that made the chattering crowd of Hall H stop and stare. The trailer gave us everything we expect from Laika; a creative world, seamless animation, and humor. But they really got the audience's attention from a preview of a nearly wordless scene featuring the Boxtrolls searching through the garbage and playing with a trashed teddy bear. Have you ever heard 6,000 people "aww" at the same time? It's both loud and cute.

The panel assembled creators Travis Knight, Anthony Stacchi, and Graham Annable, along with voice talent Elle Fanning (bubbling over and wearing yellow eyeshadow), Isaac Hempstead, and Sir Ben Kingsley. The Boxtrolls is based on Here Be Giants, and has been 8 years in the making (as long as Coraline, as the head of Laika informed us). Stop-motion animation is hardcore! Knight and Stacchi described a bit of the time-consuming frame-by-frame process, which puts animators through a physical wringer, burned fingers handling lights, contorted bodies fitting in tiny sets, sliced hands handling puppets. Knight admitted the sets get destroyed too, as the man-sized cameras push through the doll-size set pieces. The sacrifices look worth it, though. The Boxtrolls looks utterly unique. 

Sin City sequel after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
May022014

First Round Oscar Predix: Animated Feature

The first chart is up and we're starting with the toons since they're the easiest to tackle given a limited slate of contenders. Not that "easy" is a word one should use when surveying the current state of animation which is, shall we say, robust. Give or take live action superheroes, it's the single most popular film genre in the US marketplace. We'd prefer to call animation a "medium" which is more accurate given that there's no reason why there couldn't be animated dramas, noirs, westerns, horror flicks, thrillers, etcetera but in the US at least animation is not a medium but a genre (the computer generated family action comedy... with or without musical numbers).

Is Laika Animation still too unique for Oscar or are they 'thisclose' to finally winning? Could The Boxtrolls be their breakthrough?

In terms of the Oscar race ahead, I've already heard whisperings (including my own preemie voice) that this will be a slim or "weak" year but let's not get ahead of ourselves. That's what everyone was saying last year and everyone turned out to be wrong. Last year's shortlist was hardly an embarassment; Frozen, Ernest & Celestine, and The Wind Rises would be a fairly worthy trio of nominees in any year and The Croods wasn't half bad. (I never saw Despicable Me 2 but its popularity with the public was indisputable)

While I still think there's very little cause for this particular category to exist given the expanded Best Picture field, the animated genre produces its fair share of strong movies annually with most of the major studios upping their games steadily after nearly 20 years of watching Pixar horde all the loot & respect. The problem in current perception may well be Pixar itself. They've finally proven themselves fallible critically and awards-wise (they missed even a nomination in 2 of the last 3 Oscar battles) and 2015 is the first year in a decade without a new Pixar film in release. That was bound to cast weird shadows on "The State of Animation." But the sky isn't falling. If you love animation there are still a lot of films to look forward to.

first look at a fictional San Francisco in "Big Hero 6"

 

The Chart!
Which of these films are you most looking forward to and what you think will become of animation in the next few years? Do you think the race will be hotly contested this year or we'll have another slam dunk like Frozen?

Tuesday
Mar252014

YNMS³: The Maze Runner, The Box Trolls, Godzilla

It's a triple Yes No Maybe So to catch us up. After the jump the three pronged breakdown on trailers to The Maze Runner, The Box Trolls, and Godzilla. I realize the latter is a month old but I'm suddenly READY for summer movie season. Are you? I'm feeling an urge for movies that go down great with popcorn like I haven't felt in a good long while.  Does this have something to do with devouring a large bag of popcorn and laughing with my bestie at Muppets Most Wanted this weekend? Probably. 

More after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec262013

Previewing the animated features of 2014

Tim here. It’s the last edition of my weekly animation essay for 2013, which would ordinarily be the best time for a year-in-review piece. However, the year has been so rough for animation (remember Escape from Planet Earth? Are you happy about that fact?) that it seemed better just to quickly move beyond it and pretend it didn’t happen. Let us instead look with clear eyes and hopeful hearts to the future, and take a quick preview of the animated features that will be scattered throughout 2014. This isn’t meant to be comprehensive, but if I missed anything big, feel free to point it out in comments.

Films to maybe hold out hope for:

-The Lego Movie (February 7). The concept, and the cameos by DC superheroes, scream “branding exercise”, but with Phil Lord and Chris Miller on-hand as writers and directors, there’s reason to be hopeful. The duo has gone 2-for-2 so far with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street, and that’s not a track record to idly dismiss. Besides, the trailer reveals that its laziest sins (a “Chosen One” narrative, celebrity voice cast) looks to be applied with a more playfully ironic touch than usual. And the random sense of humor looks different from the usual family fare, at any rate: the bit with Wonder Woman’s invisible jet gets me every time.

Dragons, Boxtrolls and more after the jump

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb082013

Link-o-mania

This week has been so relentless that I haven't had a chance to publish any of the links I've been storing up. It's a tidal wave of links for vous. You've lots to read this afternoon and over the weekend. Ready Set... Go...

news bits
David Poland on the binge-viewing model people are talking about post House of Cards. Incidentally I'm not at all for this. If I'm going to spend multiple hours watching something, I can catch up on movies I missed. My favorite thing about TV might be its serialized brevity. Don't ruin that TV gods.
Playlist another new pic from Behind the Candelabra the Liberace biopic - although i almost didn't link because I hate when images are trotted out as "first official" when we've all seen myriad photos already. Splitting hairs for traffic. But since it's a Liberace biopic I shall let it slide this one time. 
Cinema Blend Ryan Gosling uses the casting couch! Girlfriend Eva Mendes joins the cast of How To Catch a Monster, Gosling's directorial debut 
LA Times Wong Kar Wai's The Grand Master opens Berlinale and gets bought up by Weinstein Co. 
Guardian both Ellen Page and Melissa McCarthy are going to direct comedy features soon!
In Contention Good news. ParaNorman did solid enough business that Laika and Focus will reteam for The Boxtrolls (2014) 

star-gazing
Hammer and Thump Nicholas Hoult draws pictures for film bloggers. Ugh. So sad I didn't do Warm Bodies interviews now.
Coming Soon Hoult has also just joined the cast of Young Ones, a sci-fi thriller costarring Elle Fanning
Laughing Squid animated Superman gif throws dozens of iconic characters into the mix 

individualistic takes
A Blog Next Door looks at Django Unchained. Loved the very last observation and not just because I'm tired of people not realizing that this movie is infinitely inferior to Inglourious Basterds
Two Dollar Cinema enjoys Pitch Perfect's organized nerd singing despite his very manly nature
Cinematic Corner 'best of' whoa, someone really likes The Dark Knight Rises.

how very random
L Magazine Ryan Lochte recreates the iconic Nirvana "Nevermind" cover, although the swimsuit kinda kills the effort.
i09 wonders why Batman doesn't return to TV where it could totally thrive again
i09 10 movies that should become TV series right now. #1 is a great punchline
Hark a Vagrant makes an insanely long scrawl joke out of a pop culture moment from 1987 

retro
Film Doctor looks back at Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious -- one of my favorites from his oeuvre. 
Stale Popcorn issues a warning Terence Stamp's crotch will drive you loco in Teorema.

gold-digging
New York Magazine Frank Rich on Oscars in the Obama age. He'd vote Django Unchained and here's why.
LA Times finally finds a way to make those Oscar Luncheon group portraits interesting. Make them interactive. I totally loved clicking around here. You should too.
The Carpetbagger Tony Kushner responds to critiques of Lincoln and the notion of "accuracy" in historical recreations
Awards Daily thinks Supporting Actor is anyone's game