Pixar Adds Cultural Critic To ‘Coco’ Crew

11IO9 reports: “Cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz just announced that he’s joining the crew of Pixar’s Coco, an upcoming movie inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead. Why is this news? Well, in addition to being a fantastic artist and the creator of the syndicated comic strip La Cucaracha, Alcaraz is a political cartoonist who’s been sharply critical of Disney/Pixar’s treatment of Latinos and Latino culture.

“[...] In 2013, when Disney attempted to trademark the phrase “Día de los Muertos,” or “Day of the Dead,” as part of the legal preparations for Coco, Alcaraz led the outcry against the idea of trademarking a holiday with a cartoon of a rampaging calavera Mickey.”

To see that cartoon — and read IO9′s full article — click here.

Lasseter Reveals Plot to ‘Toy Story 4’

1025176-toystory2-woodyandbopeepJohn Lasseter got a little emotional while celebrating the 20th anniversary of Toy Story at this weekend’s D23 Expo. So emotional, he went ahead and revealed the (previously) top secret plot to Toy Story 4!

“When we made the first three Toy Story films,” Lasseter said, “we didn’t realize what we had done was to change the genre of each of the films’ story. For Toy Story 4, we are doing a type of story we have not done before: a love story. It’s a story about a relationship between Woody and Bo Peep.” Continue reading

I Am Digging This ‘Zootopia’ Teaser

A lot of animation aficionados watching this teaser are angry at Disney over the implication that anthropomorphism is somehow something we’ve never seen before. (Or: “be…fur” Ugh.) But for the first time in a long time, I’m actually DELIGHTED by one of Disney’s teaser trailers! Oh, sure, the unzipped fly joke is crap, but the character design and the leads’ animation? OUTSTANDING! APPEALING! EXCITING! ENTICING! I can’t wait to see more! And really, isn’t that the point of a teaser?

Kung Fu Panda 3: More Kung Fu, More Pandas

tumblr_nps94teXcG1ske259o1_1280USA Today reports: For two Kung Fu Panda animated movies, portly Po has believed all his bear kin were in panda heaven. That he was the lone survivor. But Kung Fu Panda 3 proves Po wrong. The new film (opening Jan. 29, 2016) is Panda-palooza. Po has a chance run-in with his long-lost panda father Li (Bryan Cranston), who brings Po back to an enclave where the pandas have been living since a fierce panda attack alluded to in DreamWorks Animation’s 2011 hit Kung Fu Panda 2.

“There is great joy,” says Jack Black, the voice of Po. “Lo and behold, there’s a secret panda village. There’s intense rejoicing as I am reunited with my people.”

The Original Concept For ‘The Rescuers Down Under’ Had The Entire Film Take Place In A Young Aborigine’s Dream

12The Rescuers Down Under is a good, solid film. Unfortunately, it was released between two all-caps MASTERPIECES — The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast — thus damning it to a second rate status in the eyes of most animation fans. Ah, but things could’ve been quite different. Continue reading

Coming Soon: Disney’s 1st Nude Scene
(Well, Sort Of…)

foxJohn Lasseter shared lots of new info about Disney’s upcoming slate of animated films while speaking to the press at the Cannes film festival today. The most click-bait quote referred to a scene from Disney’s 2016 release, Zootopia. As The Guardian UK describes it, “[Zootopia‘s lead characters] enter a club where animals have rejected clothes and decided to return to a ‘natural’ way of life. ‘This is Disney animation’s first nude scene,’ said Lasseter. [...] ‘It’s been a long time coming.’”

Sounds furry. I mean, FUNNY. Sounds funny.

Seth MacFarlane to Receive Genius Award at Critics Choice TV Awards

snmNo, that’s not the yellow, patterned wallpaper playing tricks on your eyes. According to Variety, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane “has been tapped by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association as the recipient of the Louis XIII Genius Award for excellence in the television arts, which will be presented at the annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards on May 31 in LA.” Congratulations, Seth! (WTF, BTJA?)

‘A Frozen Heart’ by Elizabeth Rudnick

45Just when you thought you’d bought your last Frozen tie-in, a clever sounding, Hans-centric novel is announced. A Frozen Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick is a Rashomon-like look at Hans’ sociopathic seduction of Anna. Or, as Disney’s marketing department so eloquently phrased it:

Told in alternating chapters from both Anna’s and Hans’ perspectives, A Frozen Heart takes a sophisticated look at events of Frozen, exploring the couple’s backstories, motivations, and doomed relationship.

To read an excerpt, click here. To order on Amazon, click here.

EW Ranks The Disney Villain Songs

disney-villainsHow in the hell do you decide which is better — Trust in Me or Prince Ali? What about Ashman and Menken’s Poor Unfortunate Souls vs. Menken and Ashman’s Gaston?!?! Impossible! I couldn’t do it.

More power to Entertainment Weekly for risking the rage of the internet in their crowded comments section with Hillary Busis’ post, 20 Disney villain songs ranked.

Disney Casts ‘Zootopia’ Leads

zootoWalt Disney Animation Studios has announced that Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman will provide the voices of the two lead characters in Zootopia, their 2016 animated feature set in a “modern mammal metropolis.” Goodwin (Once Upon a Time) will voice the optimistic bunny, Officer Judy Hopps, a new member of Zootopia’s police department. Bateman (Arrested Development) will provide the voice of the fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde, who Judy reluctantly teams up with to crack her first case.

Live-Action ‘Attack on Titan’ Trailer (W/ Subs)

Toho Studio’s live-action Attack on Titan movie is just around the corner. The film is scheduled to be released in two parts. The first part arrives in Japanese theaters 8/1/15. The second part will be released on 9/19/15. Yes, you read that right. They’re releasing them a mere ONE MONTH apart! On behalf of my impatience and constant fear of dying before completing something insignificant, THANK YOU, TOHO!

New ‘Dragon Ball’ Series Coming In July

8.5Toei Animation has announced that a new Dragon Ball TV series, Dragon Ball Super, will begin airing in July. Better still, the series will NOT be a re-make, but a continuation of the original, “set a few years after the defeat of Majin Buu, when the Earth has become peaceful once again.” Best-er still, the series is being written by the one and only Akira Toriyama — creator of Dragon Ball! (Via: Anime News Network)

Enchanted’s Evil Easter Egg

9MoviePilot.com: “In the early scenes of Enchanted, the giant troll pursuing Giselle wears a loin cloth comprised of many familiar dresses. The fashion-forward monster chooses Snow White’s rags, Cinderella’s maid dress, Belle’s village dress, and Aurora’s peasant garb.”

‘Nother fun fact: Enchanted‘s hand-drawn animation was done by James Baxter Studios — as in, ‘James Baxter, the genius who animated Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,’ James Baxter!

EW Reports: New Muppet Show Will Be A ‘Mockumentary-Style Soap Opera’

74Entertainment Weekly has a few new tid-bits regarding ABC’s upcoming Muppets revival. On the plus side: “The project is a mockumentary-style series that goes deeper into the Muppets’ personal lives…[and] will be shot…like Arrested Development and The Office.” Sounds cool! On the negative side: It’s being produced by Bang Theory co-creator Bill Prady and Anger Management writer-producer Bob Kushell, and they’re “planning a series that will go deeper into the soap-territory that is the trademark of ABC’s biggest hits like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.” Sounds like…we’ll have to wait and see.

LEGO Movie Release Dates

tumblr_n0t30xkmu31qzyu6ho2_500The Hollywood Reporter has posted an updated list of release dates for Warner Bros.’ upcoming slate of LEGO movies: The LEGO Batman Movie – Feb. 10, 2017; The LEGO Ninjago Movie – Sept. 22, 2017; The Lego Movie Sequel – May 18, 2018.

I’m super excited for the Batfilm and The LEGO Movie Sequel, but I’ve yet to hear much of anything about Ninjago. Anyone know anything?

‘When Marnie Was There’ U.S. Trailer

Quiet, mysterious and looking kinda like a blend of Anne of Green Gables and Wuthering Heights, When Marnie Was There is the newest flick from Studio Ghibli. It was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who previously helmed Ghibli’s The Secret World of ArriettyWhen Marnie Was There will be released on 5/22 in NYC and L.A., with a nationwide roll-out soon thereafter. For lots more info about the film, click here.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ & ‘Inside Out’ Co-Writers May Pen ‘Captain Marvel’

captaHR reports: “Nicole Perlman, who co-wrote Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy, and Meg LeFauve, who co-wrote Pixar’s upcoming Inside Out, are in negotiations write Captain Marvel, […] the company’s first female-driven movie. The project…has a release date of July 6, 2018. No director is involved at this stage.”

Related: Does The ‘Avengers Playset’ Spoil A Capt. Marvel Cameo?