2014 is off to a great start with the huge success of Warner Bros.’ hilarious and extremely clever hit The LEGO Movie. The animated feature films scheduled to open in the U.S. over the next few months will offer filmgoers a variety of stories, styles, and experiences that all look “awesome” to us. Marc Vibbert and Tom Fonss discuss the spring features in episode 62 of the Animation Fascination podcast. Here’s my take on what to expect with the animated features coming to theaters this spring.
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen is a huge hit beyond anyone’s wildest imagination, including my own. The film is close to earning $1 billion dollars at the global box office (as of today, it stands at $958,495,613). The YouTube video of the film’s “Let It Go” sequence as sung by Idina Menzel has had over 100 million views and has spurred on countless video covers of the song done by everyone and their dog (and their dog’s dog). The film’s soundtrack reached the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart, the first soundtrack from a Disney animated film to do so since 1995’s Pocahontas.
Andrew Millstein, executive vice-president and general manager of Walt Disney Animation Studios, recently sat down with the Hollywood Reporter to talk about Disney’s blockbuster hit Frozen, upcoming plans for Big Hero 6, and the studio’s relationship with its mega-successful sibling to the north, Pixar Animation Studios. Here are some excerpts from the interview; check out the article in its entirety here.
GKIDS has secured the North American distribution rights to director Tomm Moore’s (The Secret of Kells) second animated feature Song of the Sea. Inspired by the mythological Irish “Selkies” (seals who shed their skin to become humans on land), the 2D animated film tells the story of Ben and his little sister Saoirse, the last “Seal-child,” as they embark on a journey of “ancient legend and magic in an attempt to return to their homeland by the sea.”
While it’s not necessarily considered an animated feature, New Line Cinema and MGM’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug probably has more animation in it than most films do. The monster hit film and second in Peter Jackson’s ambitious (and very long) The Hobbit trilogy is coming to Blu-ray on April 8th and is going to be available in lots of different packaging.
The Star Wars Rebels team is busy–not only are they working hard on creating episodes of the new series, they are also making some cool promotional materials to share with all of us Star Wars fans! New this week are more Star Wars Rebels character profiles of the series’ main protagonists.
Tom Fonss is back as our recurring monthly co-host! During the episode Marc and Tom discuss the four films being released during the late winter and spring. Among them; Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises, Dreamworks Animation’s Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Blue Sky’s Rio 2, and Summertime Entertainment’s Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return.
Also Discussed: Star Wars: The Clone Wars is coming to Netflix Instant, Game of Thrones, and tangents galore.
(Recorded on 02/17/14)
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) held their annual film awards last Sunday in London. For Best Animated Film, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen took home the award, winning over Pixar Animation Studios’ Monsters University and Illumination Entertainment/Universal’s Despicable Me 2.
Wildseed Studios, the creative startup studio co-founded by Miles Bullough (formerly with Aardman Animations) and Jesse Cleverly (formerly with BBC), has released their first animated short on their YouTube channel. Titled Battle at Serengeti, the animated short is based on the comics of underground British artist Ralph Kidson “where punchy and loutish animals launch into foul-mouthed tirades against each other at the slightest provocation” according to the press release. With an emphasis on “foul-mouthed” (you have been warned), here’s the video…