Last year, I set a simple, clear, well-defined goal—get invited to a screening of Big Hero 6 at Walt Disney Animation Studios. It was a goal that I wanted ardently and one that I etched into my psyche. I mean, I even wrote it down (because “a goal not written is only a wish,” true?). I figured that if mommy bloggers and other fan sites could get invited to a day at the vaulted Disney Studio lot, why not Animation Fascination and why not for this film?
Check out these wonderful new stamps from An Post, the national postal service in the bonny country of Ireland. The four new stamp designs celebrate the Irish animation industry, an industry of which the country is extremely proud. And they have reason to be–millions of people around the world are discovering the great animation being produced by the talented artists on the Emerald Isle.
Kahlil Gibran’s 1923 book of philosophical poetic essays The Prophet has been turned into a very unique animated feature film and has now been picked up for distribution by GKIDS. The film will be released in New York and Los Angeles on August 7 with other cities to follow in subsequent weeks. A new trailer has been released, too.
In an unprecedented move, Pixar Animation Studios today announced that they have acquired the Animation Fascination podcast and website. The venerable podcast will become the official podcast of Pixar and co-founders Marc Vibbert and Matt Quest will join the staff of Pixar Animation Studios.
Disney has made exciting announcements today about the upcoming production of Frozen 2, the sequel to the most successful animated film in the universe, Frozen 1.
News broke recently from Nintendo that they are partnering up with fellow Japanese company DeNA. They will be developing games on smart phone platforms based on Nintendo properties such as Mario and Donkey Kong.
I prefer bad news first, so let’s begin with Frozen Fever. This 7 minute short that precedes Kenneth Branagh’s masterpiece retelling of Disney’s 1950 animated classic, Cinderella, is just annoying. Pandering, cheap, ridiculous premise (Elsa sneezes and snow babies pop out of her), cliché song and overall, just an obvious attempt at selling some new Frozen merchandise in the form of teeny stuffed snowmen and an Elsa dress that’s the same–but now in green! I pray this short is not indicative of what Frozen 2 is going to look like, but if the snowshoe fits…run away. Luckily, this brief, gratuitous sequel is not 90+ minutes long (yet) and the film that follows it is magical enough to almost make you forget Elsa singing, “a cold never bothered me anyway” (Get it? Cause she’s got a cold! And that’s also a line from “Let it Go.” Get it? Insert gun emoticon.) Almost.
It may be unfair to rank animated characters from television on the same list as those from film. A long running cartoon series has so much more time to develop the character. This character has had over fifteen years, four hundred episodes and two full length feature films in which to pique our fascination. However, I believe that SpongeBob Squarepants won this spot on the top ten most fascinating characters from the first moment we met him in episode one, “Help Wanted,” which aired on Nickelodeon on May Day of 1999.
Finally, the Walt Disney Studios is releasing Aladdin on Blu-ray and Digital HD on October 6th, 2015. We’ve been waiting way too long for this, so it’s very happy news that the U.S. will at last be getting this perennial favorite released in high-definition.