Viewpoint: Dreaming of DreamWorks

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We’ve all read the stories–DreamWorks Animation recently restructured its management team, reduced its workforce, and revamped its film slate. Sure, the news is depressing. It’s never fun seeing talented people lose their jobs. Sending promising films back into development could mean that we animation fans may never get to see them at all. Even with all of the bad news, the dream is still alive at DreamWorks Animation and, fingers crossed, the future looks promising.

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“Animation Fascination” Episode 77: All Hollow’s Eve

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Happy Halloween boys and ghouls!

Prepare for a very eerie episode with Tom Fonss and Marc Vibbert as they discuss Halloween classics new and old (as well as some forgotten favorites).

Also discussed: Reviews for Disney’s Maleficent & Planes: Fire and Rescue, Beware the Batman, and Mr. Peabody and Sherman on Blu-ray, as well as the Avengers: Age of Ultron teaser trailer, plus so much more!

(Recorded on 10/24/14)

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DreamWorks Layoffs Bring (Unjust) Speculation About Feature Animation

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On June 30th, some animation blogs leaked news that DreamWorks was laying off 40-50 people from their feature animation staff, saying “the studio didn’t have enough features requiring staff building front-end production elements, so employees in departments that were overstaffed were laid off and their contracts…paid out.” Of course, since How to Train Your Dragon 2 isn’t raking in the dough as heftily as many hoped/predicted, it leads to talk as to what this will mean for the future of DreamWorks animation and if our lovable Toothless is somehow to blame.

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“Animation Fascination” Episode 71: DreamWorks’ Dragons – Roundtable

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In this bewilderbeast-sized episode Marc is joined by Tom Fonss, Jessica Wersky, and the prodigal son himself Matt Quest.

Matt catches us up on what he’s been up to for the past six months as Tom and Jessica assist Marc in our How to Train Your Dragon 2 roundtable discussion. Special guests Jessie Forer and Jennifer Harlow hop on to talk about their favorite parts of the film and share some insight into their work on it as well.

Also Discussed: a whole gaggle of Blu-ray, DVD, and book reviews about – Doctor Who, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ernest and Celestine, Alexander, and The Nutty Professor.

(Recorded on June 15th, 17th, & 22nd, 2014) 

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“Animation Fascination” Episode 65: Jason Schleifer – Head of Character Animation at DreamWorks Animation

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Jon Hueber and Stanford Clark join Marc to interview Jason Schleifer, the head of character animation at DreamWorks Animation about his career as well as Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

We talk about his work at Weta Digital on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, moving up the ranks at DreamWorks, and receiving philosophical wisdom from a random guy on a sand dune.

Also Discussed: trailers for The BoxTrolls and Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, the DreamWorks short Almost Home, Frozen on Blu-ray, breaking news about Cartoon Network, and so much more…

(Recorded on 03/10/14)

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Review: ‘Mr. Peabody and Sherman’

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DreamWorks definitely has a questionable track record in my mind when it comes to animated features. I absolutely love some of their films (Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Chicken Run) but I have also been extremely bored and even annoyed with others (Shark Tale, Bee Movie, Turbo). I still try to go into seeing every film I see with a totally open mind, hoping (as just happened with me for The LEGO Movie) to be pleasantly blown away. That said, my Mr. Peabody & Sherman experience was neither Shark Tale nor Shrek, but right in the middle around Megamind.

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“Animation Fascination” Episode 63: Michael Amos – Character Animator at DreamWorks Animation

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You may have been expecting an AF news edition episode, but have no fear, we have something even more awesome for you. Jon Hueber joins Marc to interview DreamWorks Animation character animator, Michael Amos! We talk about Michael’s work on the upcoming Mr. Peabody and Sherman and the in-development Me and My Shadow, his animation influences growing up in Australia, and his time in the Animation Mentor program.

Also Discussed: the Guardians of the Galaxy teaser trailer, Gravity and Thor: The Dark World on 3D Blu-ray, as well as Adventure Time: Season 3 and Beware the Batman Blu-ray reviews.

(Recorded on 02/23/14)

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“Animation Fascination” Episode 62: Spring Movie Preview ’14

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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)

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“Animation Fascination” Episode 59: AF News – Week of January 26th, 2014

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The forecast for this episode is cloudy with a chance of awesome!

Stanford and Marc are joined by Jessica Wersky to discuss her studio visit to Sony Pictures Animation for the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Blu-ray press event. Jessica’s interviews with the co-director of the film Cody Cameron, and the director of the Blu-ray animated shorts David Feiss are included as well

Also Discussed: Stanford’s interview with actor Will Friedle (Bumblebee, Transformers: Prime), How to Train Your Dragon 2 teaser posters, Pixar’s Toy Story Christmas special, and Illumination Entertainment’s upcoming slate of films.

(Recorded on 01/25/14)

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2014 Animated Feature Film Guide

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Coming to a theater near you in 2014—lots of animated films! 2014 looks to be a great year for animated motion pictures. Here is Animation Fascination’s guide to all of the new animated movies scheduled to be released in theaters this year.

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