Showing posts with label disney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label disney. Show all posts

Monday, March 15, 2010

Around the Horn

Lost interest in this blog. I'm back for another post. No promises for when the next will come.

ImageMovers shuts down its Novato studio. Sorry for the people working there, but I'm not sorry to see the company go. Now, if only we could get Zemeckis out of animation for good.

"Princess-Frog" came and went. Yawn.

Pixar releases promo still for its new short that will play before Toy Story 3. Has some 2D animation in it. Will save my comments until after I've seen it. I'm a big fan of studios doing shorts, but this one doesn't have me all that excited.

Snuck into Disney to see some footage of "Tangled". Incredible animation. May be some of the best CG animation I've seen to date. The look is great too. Can't wait to see the finished movie. Before you ask, yeah the name change is stupid and from a business standpoint, I really don't think it will make an iota of difference.

"Up" won the Best Animated Film category. No surprise there. Good film. Not great imo, but good. The release schedule from Pixar is peppered with sequels. Bummer. Are we out of new film ideas already?

Heard that Core is closing. This is the same Core that produced that butt ugly CG film "The Wild". Tough times!

"How To Train Your Dragon" will be out soon. This looks pretty entertaining. Early reviews are overwhelmingly positive. I'll probably go to the theater for this one. If for no other reason, to look cool in those 3-D glasses.

That's it for now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Disney's re-entry into 2D w/ Princess and the Frog came up with around $27 million. It opened at #1, and despite it not having the totals of a Pixar movie, I'd have to bet that the execs at Disney are pleased.

The budget for this film was lower than the 3D films produced at either Pixar or Disney. So, $$ expectations are lower. While at first glance, it almost seems like a disappointment, the fact that it made back somewhere around half of its production costs in the opening weekend is a good sign.

I'll bet that Disney will greenlight another 2D film before too long.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Madagascar Christmas

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I missed the DreamWorks MvA Halloween special a few weeks ago. Lucky for me, the networks are already thinking about Christmas and DWA has a second tv special about to air.

Tomorrow night, the Madagascar Christmas special will take place. Hopefully I can remember to watch this one. And shortly, Disney will have their own called Prep and Landing.

I love seeing these high quality animated tv specials. Not only does it keep our artists busy, it opens the doors for more projects. Let's hope that they are all successful.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Goings On

Been a while, huh? What else is new. You should be used to my lack of posting by now. Hopefully, the three people that still visit this site will get some lunch time reading fodder out of this.

First off, SPA released a trailer for "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs". You can find it on the website of the same name. The low resolution trailer absolutely sucks. Why do companies release them like this? It just makes the film look worse than it possibly is.

The character designs are simple. I'm not sure that this is a bad thing. While at the same time, I'm not sure it is a good thing. I'm really mixed on the look of this film. I'll have to get back to you. As far as the story, it sounds entertaining enough.

Speaking of Sony. I forced myself to watch "Open Season 2" on video a few weeks back. The story was absolutely horrible. I could barely keep it on for the entire movie. But I did it anyway. Just for you! My faithful audience. My wife said the animation was fine. But as someone in the industry. I can only say the animation was bad. Not Hoodwinked bad, but pretty bad, just the same. Boog just looked off. Something weird about his model and facial expressions. The other characters just looked cheap. I was really disappointed.

As you may or may not know, much of, if not all of this show was done at Reel FX in Texas. I don't know what to make of those guys. Sometimes you see some decent stuff out of them (Furious Five animation comes to mind) and then you see crap like this. I hope it has to do with the budget. I've heard rumors it was under $10M for OS2. Much under $10M! If so, I guess I should give them a break. Even if the story sucked and the animation was well under the bar. I am thrilled that they kept the work in the USA. Kudos to Sony for doing that. I'm willing to bet that another badly written OS3 will be coming soon. That is okay if it means more work for those in the States.

Blur Studios in Venice released a still or two for "The Goon". A CG film they are doing. It looked pretty decent. Although, I'm going to hold back my judgement till I see more. Blur does some nice work. That short film they did with the two guys fighting over the woman with bouncy boobs was sweet. If they can keep the film on that level or better, we are in for some good eye candy. Maybe I just hope we get more CG bouncy boobs. If anyone will do it, Blur will.

I rented "Madagascar 2" to watch again. Nice entertaining movie. Didn't blow me away, but it was fun. The animation wasn't all that great, imo. But it was serviceable. Some really nice moments, then some crappy stuff. I'm slowly falling off the Monsters Vs Aliens bandwaggon. I'm getting less and less interested in seeing it by the minute. Not good.

Pixar has released the plot for their next short "Partly Cloudy". No, it isn't a ripoff of SPA's flick. Instead, it is about an actual cloud. While the last Pixar movies have been somewhat lackluster in my opinion, their shorts continue to entertain. I have a feeling this one will too.

I guess Disney is stirring up controversy with "Princess and the Frog". Why? Cause the princess is black and the prince isn't. WTF? Doesn't that mean more diversity? I don't get it. Some people are never happy. I expect this film to do pretty good when released. Will that mean more 2D features from the mouse? I don't know. Probably. But don't expect them to drop any CG productions to make room.

And lastly. Mr. Phil Knight has promoted his son to CEO of Laika. Travis will be taking the place of the previous exec Dale Wahl. Does this surprise anyone? It shouldn't. Maybe the kid is deserving, but it sure sounds like daddy warbucks is just buying Tiny Teabag (or whatever his rapper name was. (yes, he had a short career as a rapper. No doubt paid for by his dad.)) his own little kingdom to rule. Don't take this personally Travis, I'm just jealous. If I had a mega rich father, I'd want to be spoiled too.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Here and there

I'm back! Okay, so I didn't really go anywhere. Real life has just interrupted my blogging efforts.

So, what's going on in the animation world? First off, Kung Fu Panda comes out this weekend. It's going to be a good one. Be sure to check it out. I think this is probably the best DWA film yet. Whether the average joe will feel the same way, I don't know.

I predict a $38 million KFP opening

Just around the corner is Wall-E. The next Pixar toon. Another good film that will probably do well and be a great charmer. Visually, I'm more interested in Panda. Pixar seems to really be tilting towards more and more realism. Not my cup of tea. I'm sure I'll still like it. The winner of the box office battle will end up being Wall-E. Someone told me that Wall-E will contain a trailer for Bolt. Disney's next CG talking animal movie.

Speaking of Kung Fu Panda. Be sure to read this interview with co-director John Stevenson. He has some interesting things to say. I especially like how he slips in that he wouldn't mind doing a live-action or MOTION CAPTURE film for his next project. Crap. Just what we need, another person in the animation world that would rather do anything but animation.

With all the animation directors leaving the business for live action films, it makes more room for new directors to come up (and eventually leave to live action). Speaking of which. Panda co-director Mark Osborne jumps into directing this film after directing the short stop motion film "More". I know nothing about this guy. Did he work at DWA for a while before becoming a director for Panda? Or did he jump immediately in that role from his short film work? Kudos for him.

The cast for the Simpson's will be making $400k per episode for their voice work. That show must be making some serious coin to afford those prices. Amazing!

I read an interesting article about the rising cost of gasoline. They analyzed what could potentially happen from the trickle down effect. Cost of gas raises freight/shipping costs, therefore raising the price of virtually everything. Some analysts say that it could potentially put a temporary reverse on the popularity of outsourcing so many things to other countries. Now, this really won't affect animation outsourcing. But one can dream. Maybe we will actually see American made products in Walmart in the coming months/years!

Variety put up another interesting animation article here. Even though they quoted Max Howard, I still liked the story! I'd have to agree that we are going to see much more of this type of animation pipeline in the future. Disney, DreamWorks, Blue Sky, Pixar, of course they will continue to do things the way they are. However, these lower budgeted projects are going to almost entirely go down this same path. Although, I would like to reiterate that it doesn't necessarily have to mean outsourcing the production work to another country. Some very crafty companies right here in the US of A could take advantage if they put their minds to it.

That's it! See you guys in another three or four months! Just kidding, I'll try to write again before that. Maybe next month! :)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Disney and Pixar

The behemouth that Disney/Pixar are, they released a list of animated movies that will be coming out from now until 2012.

And what a list it is.

First thing I noticed is that now Disney owns Pixar, the almighty dollar has superceeded Pixar's stance on doing sequels. I'm speaking of Cars 2. The original movie was pretty lackluster and they are doing a sequel of it? If you claim that it is anything other than an attempt to capitalize on the enormous money that merchandising will bring in, I will quickly label you as an idiot.

Let's just go year by year through the list.

"Wall-E" from Pixar and "Bolt" from Disney. The former looks good and I'm interested in seeing what they do with it. The latter, ahh, umm, I can't say I'm looking forward to it. The character designs turn me off. Not to mention that Disney's animated films have been subpar at best. We'll see if Lasseter was able to help out with that one. No excuses.

"Up" from Pixar sounds a little strange. The synopsis left me a little cold. However, I have faith in Pixar more than anyone else. Even if they are doing a Cars sequel.

"Toy Story" will be re-released in stereoscopic 3-D. Once again, Lasseter has been trumped by the almight dollar. Not long ago, when questioned about turning his films in 3-D, he pretty much scoffed the idea. I guess his bosses put the screws to him.

"The Princess and the Frog" marks Disney's return to 2D animated features. I wish them good luck, but I'm going to bet that it doesn't do well. When/if it fails, Disney will once again pull the rug from out underneath 2D. And although Lasseter really wants to keep 2D alive, we can see how his influence is fading at the company. It won't matter what he wants. Almight dollar takes precedence at the mouse house no matter who is "in charge".

"Toy Story 2" in 3-D. Cha-Ching, Cha-Ching

Yippeeee! "Toy Story 3" comes out in Summer of this year. Starring all the original cast members. Except for the dead ones anyway.

"Rapunzel" finally has a release date. And that would be Christmas of 2010. I'm very interested in this one. Not so much in the story, but how Glen works out as a director. I'm hopeful he successfully pulls off the switch.

Where the hell did "Newt" come from? We all knew that Gary Rydstrom was directing a feature at Pixar, but I didn't know the storyline. Not until now. Sounds entertaining enough. It will be interesting to see how he transitions from audio guy to Pixar director. Speaking of that transition. For all you people working at Pixar with dreams of directing your own feature. Good luck. Sounds like you are better off leaving the company and trying somewhere else. Ever since Brad Bird, it looks like new director talent is being imported. Not groomed.

Speaking of grooming versus importing. Brenda Chapman will be directing "The Bear and the Bow" for Pixar in this same year. Ms. Chapman did work on Cars, so she does sorta fit the grooming definition. But really, she came from other studios. Having previously directed other hits as "The Prince of Egypt". I don't know this woman, but I have heard she is really talented. I'm just poking fun with the POE comment.

"Cars 2" releases in Summer of 2012. This one is being directed by Brad Lewis. Damnit! Am I going to have to eat my words on Pixar grooming its own director talent? Brad was the producer on Brad Bird's Pixar films. I guess it's still a little different than an animator clawing his way up.

Man, I'm really out of the loop. My head has been burried too far in my work. Never heard of "King of the Elves". This thing will release Christmas of 2012, and will be directed by Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker. It comes from Disney Feature and I'm assuming that it is a CG film since it will be released in "Disney Digital 3-D".

There you have it, the feature release schedule from Pixar and Disney. I like to bag on Pixar, but really, they always do a good job and I'm sure TS3 and Cars2 will be super stupendous!

However, I do get the feeling that Lasseters power is slowing evaporating. Just a gut feeling based on a few things that are happening. Oh yeah, he will remain the king of animation at these two studios, but mark my words, if he makes a decision on anything that will potentially pull money from the Disney coffers, that decision will be overruled. No matter how defiant he was in the past about it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Disney and Pixar

I watched Meet the Robinsons last night and was reminded how behind the eightball Disney is at the moment. I was disappointed when the two came together, because I wanted to see the mouse turn the corner themselves without Pixar's involvement. However, after watching MTR, I'm not sure how soon that would of happened, if ever.

MTR was visually acceptable. In fact, I thought the lighting was really well done in "present day". It was soft and warm and visually inviting. On the other hand, "the future" was too bright perfect. I'm sure it was done on purpose, but it just didn't feel right. (Overall, I'd give the art direction a B-. ) As expected, the animation was well done. Not great. But well done. Bowler Hat was especially fun to watch, even if I feel that he was often over acted. The models and character design were okay, but didn't have that big budget feel.

The story is where this movie fell apart. It was boring and uninteresting. I feel like they were trying too hard and forcing us to sad for Lewis. However, by the time it was over, I actually could care less for him and his plight. The idea had a lot of potential, but it just wasn't carried out very well, imo.

This is where I'm doing an about-face from months past. Now I really feel glad that Pixar and Disney are together. Maybe the stories will be better from here on out. When you look at Ratatouille and MTR side by side, it is night and day. A carefully crafted story compared to something that felt rushed and forced.

MTR didn't get the full Pixar treatment since it was in production before the two companies came together. It will be interesting to see the first WDFA film that was created after the buyout. Will we see an immediate improvement?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Here and there, Part 1

Here we go again, another long pause between blog entries. There is no shortage of things happening, I've just been too lazy to post.

Meet The Robinson's came and went without much fanfare. It performed okay, but I can't imagine it was considered a success inside the walls of Disney. More people laid off afterwards. Blah blah blah. Nothing exciting.

I read an interesting couple of comments from the mouths of Luc Besson and Harvey Weinstein. Wow, what happened between these guys? Luc wasn't too fond of how the Weinsteins distributed their film:
I've worked in the movie business for 30 years now," Besson told interviewer Robert Epstein when asked why his "Arthur and the Invisibles" did so poorly in America. The Weinstein Company, Besson said, "was the worst I have worked with in my entire life, in any country.

The French auteur said Weinstein went too far in "changing" the French fantasy for an American audience. But Weinstein, who brought on everybody from Madonna to Snoop Dogg for the English-language version, says Besson is the problem.

Harvey Weinstein couldn't let that go. At Cannes he had the following to say:

He's out of his mind." Weinstein, whose changes made "Arthur" a success in the U.K., accused the director of enriching himself by "lying about his budget," which Besson claimed was $86 million. "I'll write a $1 million check to the charity of his choice if he can prove that really was his budget. He's a has-been.

Those are quite the claims. It is always fun to read about these squables.

Sony's second film Surf's Up opens quite soon. The film looks interesting enough, but I am not looking forward to this one as I did with Open Season. I don't know if it is the documentary style or just that Happy Feet killed my interest in penguins. Whichever the case, hopefully it will do decently so that Sony can re-hire all those people they fired. However, I think it will do poorly. Even less than Open Season. By the way, I really love those "art of" books that are put out for the SPA movies. I saw the Surf's Up book this weekend. A little thin on the CG aspects, but the traditional art was good eye candy.

Speaking of Sony and firing people, they have officially announced that they are opening that New Mexico studio. I guess the tax incentives were cleared for what they wanted to do and they'll try to make it happen in the desert. It will be interesting to watch. I have a feeling it will be another disappointment - like when Fox had the Phoenix studio.