||Oz, The Great And Powerful (regular and 3D editions)
Sam Raimi’s return to Oz is more lame and disappointing, truth be told, with surprisingly bad effects only countered by Danny Elfman’s score. Disney’s two conflicting disc options offer great extras or 3D, not both.
||Who Framed Roger Rabbit: 25th Anniversary Edition
Roger is back in the limelight for a 25th anniversary revisit of the groundbreaking contemporary classic that put animation back on the map. The Disney renaissance started here, the set celebrates the film well.
||MoviePass – Does It Work?
Last month we looked at the new movie theatre subscription service MoviePass. After a month of using it, does it actually work and is it worth it?
||Rotoscopers YouTube: The Art of Epic
In the latest installment of their continuing coverage of “Art of…” books, Morgan Stradling and Chelsea Robson review the The Art of Epic, showcasing the latest feature film from Blue Sky Studios.
||Howl’s Moving Castle
A young old woman, a bird-man, and an animated house all figure in this brilliant but confounding film from Miyazaki. It may be our most negative positive review ever.
||My Neighbor Totoro
Miyazaki’s most beloved film makes the jump to hi-def, while carrying over all the best feaures of the previous DVD. This gentle but great family film has never looked better.
Superman has to save the Earth from the alien cyborg known as Brainiac, while learning how to cope with the two women in his life: cousin Supergirl and girlfriend Lois.
||The Hunchback Of Notre Dame: 2-Movie Collection
Proving musical Hugo doesn’t just mean Les Mis, Disney’s bold take on Gothic literature looks gorgeous here, even if an almost total lack of extras and a truly risible sequel somewhat spoil the original’s legacy.
||MoviePass – How It Works
Would you pay $35 a month to see every movie you want to see on the big screen? MoviePass offers a subscription service that allows just that at almost any theatre in the country.
||Rotoscopers YouTube: Q&A Part 2
Morgan and Chelsea continue to answer your questions! In this installment they discuss topics including when Disney might go back to hand drawn animation and what can be done to improve job loss in the film, gaming, and visual effects industries.
||Rotoscopers YouTube: Planes test screening
Chelsea and Morgan had the opportunity to see a test screening of the upcoming Disney film Planes. And what do you know? They LIKED it! Check out their spoiler free video review.
||Rotoscopers YouTube: Q&A Part 1
Morgan and Chelsea asked what you want to know and now they answer your questions! In this installment they discuss the greatness of DuckTales, Disney crossovers and spinoffs they’d like to see, and how to make animation appealing to more people.
||Brother Bear: 2-Movie Collection
Disney’s quality animated animal adventure and its better than average video follow-up make for a strong Blu-ray package, especially with all their previous DVD extras also included!
Though you might not naturally select it based on the ads, The Croods might surprise you. Full of fun, stunning to look at, and filled with heart, DreamWorks’ latest is a step up the evolutionary ladder.
||Rotoscopers YouTube: The Croods
On the fence about DreamWorks’ latest film, The Croods? Morgan Stradling was pleasantly surprised, and says most everyone that gives it a chance will be satisfied with it.
||Wreck-It Ralph: Ultimate Collector’s Edition
Either the most unique movie in Disney’s recent history or the one that doesn’t feel like a Disney movie at all, Ralph is entertaining even if it’s game over for the very basic extras package.
Frozen teaser trailer online
The first teaser trailer for Disney’s upcoming film Frozen is now online. Based on the story The Snow Queen, Disney synopsizes the film this way: “Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey—teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven—to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom”. Frozen opens November 27th.
B.O.O. logo revealed
Jerry Beck's Animation Scoop has a first look at a logo from DreamWorks' 2015 film B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations, and an updated plot synopsis that takes the film away from the Monsters University/Inc. direction it was orginally going in: "B.O.O. (Bureau of Otherworldly Operations) is the super classified agency you've never heard of and certainly never seen. Dedicated to protecting humans from evil hauntings, the agents of B.O.O. have a secret weapon: they are ghosts themselves! When newbie agents Jackson Moss (Seth Rogen) and his odd-ball partner Watts (Melissa McCarthy) uncover a plot to destroy B.O.O. by the agency's Most Wanted Haunter, they must use every trick in their arsenal to defeat his powerful ghost army and save Earth from a ghostly fate." Check out Beck's site for more cast and crew information.
MU cast and crew interviews
ComingSoon has an almost nine minute video of new interviews with some of the Monsters University cast and crew: director Dan Scanlon, producer Kori Rae, actors Billy Crystal, Nathan Fillion, and Charlie Day.
First look at Disney’s Frozen
With the first trailer hitting the internet later this week, USA Today has a sneak peek at Disney's upcoming Frozen. The article features official images from the movie, as well as an interview with Kristen Bell, who voices Anna, a young woman who goes on a quest to find her long lost sister, who has become the Snow Queen. Also featuring the voices of Idina Menzel (Enchanted) and Josh Gad, Frozen chills its way into theaters this Thanksgiving.
New DreamWorks, Classic Media content coming to Netflix
After previously announcing that a series based on the upcoming film Turbo would premiere on Netflix, Deadline reports that DreamWorks has expanded the partnership. “This agreement, which marks the largest deal for original first-run content in Netflix history, is also the first time DreamWorks Animation’s beloved characters will be introduced into the television market as a branded collection of shows. The groundbreaking deal, which encompasses over 300 hours of new programming, is a cornerstone of a major initiative by DreamWorks Animation to greatly expand its television production and distribution worldwide. The new shows will be inspired by characters from DreamWorks Animation’s hit franchises and upcoming feature films as well as the vast Classic Media library, which DreamWorks acquired in 2012 and includes some of the most popular animated characters in history.”
UPDATED: Pics, vids and reviews for Despicable Me 2
Collider has 7 video clips and 23 high resolution images from Despicable Me 2. The film opens July 3rd.
UPDATE: Rotten Tomatoes has started posting the first reviews for the movie, with the sequel currently holding a "freshness" rating of 100%.
Clone Wars wins first Emmys
The Doctor and the Master picked up the first ever Emmy Awards for Star Wars: The Clone Wars this past weekend. George Lucas earned his first Emmy as producer of the show while David Tennant won for his performance as Huyang. Other awards went to Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness for Outstanding Children's Animated Program and Bubble Guppies from Pre-school Animated Program. The full list of animated winners, from The Wrap, follows:
UPDATED: Man of Steel bulletproof at box office
Man of Steel opened huge this weekend according to Box Office Mojo, despite getting mixed reviews from the critics. The film earned $113.1 million from Friday to Sunday (with an additional $12 million with early Thursday shows). That makes it the top film ever in June beating out the previous leader, Toy Story 3, which earned $110.3 million.
UPDATE: Weekend actuals are in, and the movie is even bigger than originally thought, with an opening weekend of $116 million and total gross of $128 million.
Lego Movie movie trailer coming soon
It appears Disney’s Frozen isn’t the only highly anticipated animated feature with a teaser trailer on the way. A tweet by ComingSoon.net suggests the teaser for The Lego Movie could hit theaters within the next few weeks, perhaps with either Monsters University next Friday or Despicable Me 2 on July 3. The Lego Movie will enter theaters on February 7, 2014.
Planes goes Canadian with new poster
Despite announcing Planes: Fire & Rescue yesterday, Disney still has the first Planes movie to promote. With that said, a brand-new poster for the Cars spin-off is now online, at Cineplex.com. U.S. moviegoers shouldn't bother seeking the one-sheet in their local theaters: this one is for Canadian theaters only. In both countries, Planes opens August 9.
Frozen teaser trailer to arrive next week
"Your summer is about to get a bit cooler..." reads a tweet from Walt Disney Animation Studios' Twitter feed. Indeed, the studio is finally releasing a trailer for Frozen next week. The teaser will hit online in five days, before premiering in theaters with Monsters University.
In other Frozen news, The Rotoscopers points out that PixarDisneyGhibli.Tumblr.com has a new leaked image showing the final renderings of the reindeer Sven and an unidentified male who may be Kristoff, traveling partner to the protagonist Anna. Frozen opens on November 27.
Planes: Fire & Rescue coming July 18, 2014
Folks who enjoy DisneyToons’ Planes this August won’t have to wait long for a sequel. Disney has scheduled Planes: Fire & Rescue for July 18 next year. The announcement isn’t totally unexpected, since the film’s teaser poster and Art Of book have already been revealed. However, the news does confirm that Fire & Rescue will receive a theatrical release, despite the Planes franchise originally being planned as a series of direct-to-video titles.
The Muppets…Again! retitled Muppets Most Wanted
Disney has announced that The Muppets…Again! is now Muppets Most Wanted. The title was actually unveiled earlier this year, when Disney Channel began airing behind-the-scenes ads for the upcoming sequel. However, the TV spots were unclear as to whether Muppets Most Wanted would be the final title of the sequel or simply a name for Disney Channel’s coverage of it. Starring Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey, Muppets Most Wanted will enter theaters on March 21, 2014.
Melissa McCarthy becomes agent for B.O.O.
Deadline reports that Melissa McCarthy has joined DreamWorks Animation’s B.O.O. (Bureau Of Otherworldly Operations). The film tells of the secret government agency whose mission is to protect humans from evil hauntings – though the agents themselves are ghosts. McCarthy will voice Agent Watts, who teams with fellow spook Jackson Moss (voiced by Seth Rogen) to stop the agency’s Most Wanted Haunter from destroying B.O.O. Directed by Anthony Leondis (Lilo & Stitch 2), B.O.O. will enter theaters on June 5, 2015.
Who will win this summer’s “animation war”?
The Hollywood Reporter profiles what it calls "summer's brutal animation war." A record six animated features are scheduled this summer: Blue Sky's Epic, Pixar's Monsters University, Illumination's Despicable Me 2, DreamWorks' Turbo, Sony's Smurfs 2 and DisneyToons' Planes. But is there enough interest from families to go around? The piece also looks at a growing rivalry between Disney/Pixar and Fox/DreamWorks, as the studios battle for prime release dates several years in advance.
First images from Free Birds now online
Going more or less unnoticed by most movie websites this past week was the debut of new images from Free Birds, the animated comedy about a pair of turkeys who go back in time to change the course of history. Collider has a first look at two stills from the film, and also announces that Eddie Sotelo, Josh Lawson and Danny Carey have all joined the voice cast in unknown parts. Free Birds opens everywhere November 1st.
And you thought they were gone! The Chipmunks are coming back to theaters
Although many thought that the franchise ended with 2011′s Chip-Wrecked!, Alvin & the Chipmunks are set to come back to the big screen in 2015, Box Office Mojo is reporting. The plot this time finds Alvin and his singing pals seeking revenge when their friend and owner Dave is murdered by their arch-enemy “Uncle Ian,” which somehow leads to the Chipmunks meeting up with the Rolling Stones…okay, all of that is of course a joke. In reality, no story or cast information is available at this point, but Alvin and the Chipmunks IV is set to squeak into theaters on December 11th, 2015.
The Croods pulled from Chinese theaters for making too much money
Chinese authorities have pulled The Croods from theaters, THR is reporting. This wasn't done because the movie hit any political nerves with the country's film censors, or because it wasn't doing well. Indeed, the DreamWorks Animation release was actually pulled because it was doing "too well," and was making much more money than China's homegrown animated efforts, including Happy Little Submarine 3: Rainbow Treasure, Kuiba 2 and The Adventures of Sinbad 2013. Presumably China is hoping that with The Croods gone, those movies will start seeing bigger profits, but its far more likely that Chinese audiences will just download The Croods online, as they did with Django Unchained when the authorities pulled that movie back in April.
The Little Prince gets a stellar voice cast
James Franco, Rachel McAdams, Jeff Bridges, Marion Cotillard, Benicio Del Toro and Paul Giamatti have signed on to lend their voices to the animated adaptation of the classic philosophical French novel The Little Prince, reports THR. The animated feature will be helmed by Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda), and produced by Onyx Films’ Aton Soumach (Renaissance) and Dimitri Rassam. No release date for the film has been set.
Billy Crystal and John Goodman reflect on Monsters University
In the excitement of Monsters University, Billy Crystal and John Goodman found the time to sit down with Collider and discuss the sequel which is really a prequel. In the interview, the respectable voices of Mike and Sulley discuss what they think about the new movie and the differences between the younger versions of their characters. They even share some stories from their own college days and offer advice about how to get out of class. Monsters University opens everywhere June 21st.
Epic Blu-ray available to pre-order
Despite having been in theaters for less than two weeks, Fox/Blue Sky's Epic is now available to pre-order at Amazon.com. Consumers may purchase the film in either the standard Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack or - for just three bucks more right now - the Blu-ray 3D combo pack. Released to positive reviews, Epic has collected $67 million domestically thus far. A release date for the Blu-ray has yet to be announced.
China wants to be known for fruit and veggie animation
China has long lagged behind in the animation industry compared to the US, Japan, and Europe. With DreamWorks opening a studio in Shanghai, animation studios in the Middle Kingdom want to improve the domestic product. China.org.cn interviewed Xiong Weihu–the founder and chairman of Chengdu Hengfeng Animation Co.–to get his opinion on the current state of Chinese animation. For awhile, Chinese animation was going strong, but the bubble popped and it has not regained its popularity. Part of this is due to lack of investments and proper technology–tough not mentioned we can surmise that foreign animation plays a part as well. Chengdu is interested in portraying Chinese culture and tradition through the medium and they have already created China’s first 3D cartoon called Galaxy Heroes. Instead of using animals or humans as characters, Chengdu used vegetables and fruits in the 52-episode series. The idea is that food products have not been explored to their fullest extent in animation and it will make China stand out amongst the foreign competition. Just wondering if Chengdu heard about Veggie Tales?
Planes rated PG, with Blu-ray coming this December?
While the official website for Disney's Planes says the film is not yet rated, IGN and Blu-ray.com claim the MPAA has given the Cars spinoff a PG rating. Both Cars and its 2011 sequel were rated G - a rating which proved controversial for the latter film as parents found it too violent for younger kids. Interestingly, IGN also lists Planes as hitting store shelves on December 31, although the date should be taken with a grain of salt for now. In the meantime, folks can check out the latest poster for Planes at Walt Disney Studios UK's Facebook page.
Animated look at MU animation process
Disney Insider is giving fans a chance to get a behind the scenes look at the making of Monsters University and Pixar’s six-step progressive animation process, showing one scene from the film as it is transformed from an initial sketch into the final frame that will appear on the big screen.
A first look at the live-action Kiki’s Delivery Service
Years ago, Walt Disney Pictures was planning on making a live-action remake of Hayao Miyazaki’s Kiki’s Delivery Service, but those plans fell apart a long time ago. Now a Japanese version is in production, with the first image being revealed on Coming Soon. This version is expected to follow the book series on which its based more so than the animated version did. From Takashi Shimizu, director of both The Grudge and its American remake, the movie is expected to hit Japan next year, but it is unlikely that it will see a theatrical release in the states.