Merida, the fiery red-head heroine from Pixar’s 2012 hit Brave, will officially join the Disney Princess “royal court” next month. On Saturday, May 11, 9:30 a.m. EDT, in a special “royal celebration” in front of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World in Florida, Merida will be crowned and become a full-fledged member of the Disney Princess brand. All 10 current Disney princesses (Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana and Rapunzel) will be in attendance. Merida is the first Pixar-created princess to join the Disney Princess club, I mean court.
Aardman studios have collaborated with brand agency The Frameworks to create a 2D digital animation for Durrell, a Jersey based conservation group committed to saving species from extinction. The charming animation follows the journey of the last Dodo on earth (voiced my Alistair McGowan) while he searches for a mate. The film also features several other endangered animals with which Durrell works including the Hispaniolan Solenodon, Pied Tamarin, Ploughshare Tortoise, Floreana Mockingbird, Pink Pigeon, and the Mountain Chicken Frog, who narrates the story and is voiced by Stephen Fry.
The Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (aka ITFS—International Trickfilm -Festival Stuttgart) wrapped up over the weekend. The popular festival, now in its 20th year, sponsors screenings and competition programs in nine different animation categories along with an audience award. ITFS also offers lectures and workshops, as well as school and studio presentations.
The voice of Disney’s infamous, turtle neck wearing hound, legendary voice talent Bill Farmer, will be putting his talents to work on one of Pixar’s up-and-coming films. The star tweeted this morning:
Khumba, the upcoming 3D animated feature film from South Africa’s Triggerfish Animation Studios has added the voice talents of Steve Buscemi (Monsters Inc., Boardwalk Empire) and Anika Noni Rose (The Princess and The Frog) to it’s already impressive cast list. Buscemi and Rose join Liam Neeson (Braveheart), Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix Trilogy), Jake T. Austin (Rio, The Wizards of Waverly Place), Richard E. Grant (TV’s Doctor Who, Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride) and Loretta Devine (TV’s Grey’s Anatomy).
The Annecy International Animation Film Festival has announced the festival’s official selection of films. Under the direction of Marcel Jean, Annecy Artistic Director, 2,460 films were reviewed from 45 different countries around the world to be included in the festival. 236 films were selected in the following categories: Feature Films (9 in competition, 14 out of competition), Short Films (52 in competition, 37 out of competition), TV and Commissioned Films (73 total), and Graduation Films (51 total). Each category has a jury which selects their favorites to win the festival’s coveted Annecy Cristal award along with other prizes and honors. Jury members are listed on the Annecy website.
More exiting Aardman news today, the English animation studio has teamed up with French distribution company, Studio Canal, for a Shaun the Sheep feature-length film. The character first appeared in Aardman’s Oscar-winning short film, A Close Shave, and since then has been the main character in a self titled TV show that has aired in over 170 countries.
Yesterday morning, slightly strange and oddly exiting news has arisen that there is a Ratchet and Clank movie in production. The popular computer game from Insomniac Games will be the basis for an intergalactic origin story of how the two title characters met. The trailer can be seen below…