Bob Iger On CG

1Variety reports: “[Walt Disney Co. chief Bob] Iger noted how the use of computer-generated graphics has made filmmaking seem ‘too easy.’ ‘There’s a sameness to a lot of these films today,’ Iger said. ‘The wow factor isn’t what it used to be.’”

Full disclosure: This out-of-context quote actually refers to J.J. Abrams’ use of practical effects in Star Wars Episode VII and NOT Disney/Pixar’s last few animated films. That said, if the shoe fits…

Click here to read the full Variety article.

‘Inside Out’ Trailer #2

My reaction? Not good. This is the first bit of Inside Out promo material that I haven’t loved. Judging from this trailer, it looks like one joke spread super-thin. And the gag about the dad thinking only of sports is bad, just bad. Pixar has proved itself capable of doing so much better than tired cliches. Still, I’m looking forward to it. Joy must be at the controls in my brain!

Every DreamWorks ‘Art Of’ Book…Ever

tumblr_ng505g7kuy1ske259o1_1280Believe it or not, the DreamWorks ‘Art Of’ books are a great gift for DreamWorks detractors. While they may not be enough to change anyone’s mind about the artistic merits of Turbo, they DO give a gorgeous glimpse at what could have been. I mean, YES — Shrek Forever After was CLEARLY a corporate cash-in, but did you see the eerie-as-f*ck concept art depicting Shrek’s decrepit tree stump home?! It’s AWESOME! But the only way you’re ever going to see it is by flipping through a copy of The Art of Shrek Forever After. The movie version was…blah.

Compiled after the jump are the covers and ordering info for each and every one of these books. There’s a bunch, so make sure you view on a full wallet.

(P.S. I love me some DreamWorks, but even I think Turbo was trash.) Continue reading

It’s Official:
Benedict Cumberbatch Is Doctor Strange reports, “[Benedict Cumberbatch] will star in Marvel’s Doctor Strange, scheduled to hit theaters November 4, 2016. The film, directed by Scott Derrickson with Jon Spaihts writing the screenplay, will follow the story of neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a horrific car accident, discovers the hidden world of magic and alternate dimensions.”

Illustration by Jenny Harder

Impeccably Packaged & Endlessly Inspiring

24Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Nine Old Men: The Flipbooks

This box set of nine flipbooks pays tribute to Walt Disney’s legendary animators, The Nine Old Men: Les Clark, Eric Larson, Frank Thomas, John Lounsbery, Ward Kimball, Ollie Johnston, Mark Davis, Wolfgang Reitherman, and Milt Kahl. In addition to the flipbooks, the set contains a booklet of brief bios about The Nine Old Men, written by amazing animators like Glen Keane, Andreas Deja and Ron Clements. (Pic and GIF via A113.)

Problem, Solution

3When it comes to hipster hobbies, knitting is second only to micro-brewing. When it comes to cartoon-loving kiddies, Frozen is second-to-none. So according to my iffy, imaginary pseudoscience, that makes Drunk Girl Designs‘ ‘Cold as Fuck’ mittens the nexus (nadir?) of 2014′s pop culture trends.

Curious? Crafty? Cold as fuck? Click here to purchase the pattern.

Animation Essentials:
Character Vs. Personality

2Comedy for Animators has put up a nice post explaining the difference between personality and character. Animation students, in particular, would do well to check it out. In an industry that uses the term ‘character animation’ almost as often as ‘outsourcing’ and ‘imminent layoffs,’ it’s important to understand the true meaning of the phrase. Click here to read.

R.I.P. Bob Baker

1Puppeteer Bob Baker died Friday of natural causes. He was 90.

Baker’s Marionette Theater in Los Angeles is — no exaggeration — one of my favorite spots on Earth. It’s like visiting Disneyland or Pee-Wee’s Playhouse in the magical way that it transports you back to the innocence and wonder of childhood. This ‘magic’ isn’t limited to the shows, either. Thanks to Baker’s innovative approach to entertaining his audience, the ENTIRE THEATER is brimming with lenchanté!

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Stop-Motion Anne Frank Film Is In The Works

annefrank_2537766bI know that there’s probably a pretty great joke somewhere about stop-motion animators and Anne Frank both spending lots of time cooped up in tiny, dimly lit rooms, but I can’t think of a way to condense all of that down to Twitter size.

Instead, here are the facts: Ari Folman, director of Waltz With Bashir and The Congress, will be making a stop-motion Anne Frank film with the DP of Fantastic Mr Fox. For more details, click here.

TCM To Sponsor Disney’s ‘The Great Movie Ride’

12Disney’s The Great Movie Ride used to be the centerpiece of their Hollywood Studios theme park. Over the years, though, its popularity has waned in favor of newer, more ‘exciting’ rides like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Toy Story Midway Mania. The ultimate low came in 2001 when Disney execs erected a giant Sorcerer’s Hat in front of the ride to sell low-price souvenirs.

Disney and Turner Classic Movies plan to change all that via a new deal wherein TCM will add their name (and a large cash infusion) to the ride. Not only that, but that damned Sorcerer’s Hat is coming down, too!

So how does this tie into animation?

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syo1244qThe Peeping Tom’s at Nielsen TOPTEN have put together an infographic detailing how many hours…days…WEEKS you’ll spend binge-watching your favorite cartoons. Looking at it only gets more intimidating when you realize that the chart was made in May. Think about it — there’s now HOURS more Bob’s Burgers, Legend of Korra and Archer to catch up on! Well, what are you waiting for? TURN ON YOUR TELEVISION.

Click through to view the complete chart. Continue reading

LEGO Batman Movie Will Acknowledge “Every Era of Batman Filmmaking”

LEGO0LEGO Movie writer/director Chris Miller recently told Empire Magazine:

“Rest assured that every era of Batman filmmaking will be acknowledged. There have been so many interpretations of Batman and there is so much to play with there. There are 40 versions of his origin story alone.”

Even the Joel Schumacher Batman? Hallelego!

Are Former Disney Animators Planning A New Hand-Drawn Feature?

03Former Disney animator Ruben Aquino has revealed to that he and “a handful of other former Disney 2D artists” are in negotiations with an independent studio to make a hand-drawn animated film. Aquino says, “If it happens it’s going to have to be different than anything we’ve ever seen.” Continue reading

Coming Jan. 2015: Strange Magic

strangemagic-mainDisney/Lucasfilm have announced the Jan. 2015 release of Strange Magic, an animated, musical retelling of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

According to Disney/Lucasfilm’s official synopsis, the film will use “popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion.” Continue reading

Is Wes Anderson Returing To Stop-Motion?

11According to, Wes Anderson (Fantastic Mr. Fox) recently revealed that his next film may be stop-motion animation. In a Q&A at the Lisbon And Estoril Film Festival, Anderson said that the story would be divided into episodes, inspired by Vittorio De Sica’s The Gold Of Naples. The Gold Of Naples is made up of six short vignettes, the only connecting thread being that they’re all set in Naples.

4 Questions Re: Toy Story 4

00Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced that John Lasseter will be directing Toy Story 4, “a new chapter in the lives of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the Toy Story gang.”

Parks & Rec alum Rashida Jones, along with her writing partner Will McCormack (Celeste and Jesse Forever), will pen the screenplay. The film is scheduled for release on June 16, 2017.

While I LOVE the original trilogy, I must admit, this news came as a bit of downer to me. Reprinted below are the first four questions that popped out of my mouth when relaying the news to my gal, Mishka. Continue reading

Avengers vs. Attack on Titan is REAL

aot.jpg-large-600x291Marvel Comics Senior VP, CB Cebulski, has announced that the Avengers will be fighting Attack on Titans‘ titular titans in a Japanese comic book later this month.

Cebulski described the genesis of this unexpected crossover via his Twitter feed, saying, “I loved Marvel Team-Up and What If? as a kid. I would spend hours dreaming up my own crossovers & alternate reality stories. As I got more into manga, I always imagined how cool it would be for the Marvel characters to cross into the pages of manga worlds. If you ever wondered, ‘What if the titans from Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan attacked the Marvel universe?’ you’ll find out soon!”

‘The Simpsons’ Showrunner Reveals How The Show Should End

000The Simpsons‘ showrunner, Al Jean, told CNN what he believes is the ideal way to end the series: Loop it back around the show’s beginning!

“There is an ending I’ve always had in mind, which was, I thought it would be cool if in the last episode they’re getting ready to go to a Christmas pageant, and they go to the Christmas pageant that opens up the first episode, Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire, so the entire series is a loop with no end. That would be my way of concluding the run, but nobody has asked me for it yet.”

To read CNN’s whole interview with Jean, click here.

Stop-Motion ‘Elf’ Special Coming This X-Mas

NBC has announced an hour-long, stop-motion animated special starring the characters from Will Ferrell’s hit holiday film, Elf.

Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas premiers Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. and will feature NINE new songs, including Happy All the Time, A Christmas Song and Nobody Cares About Santa Claus. Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory) will voice Buddy, with Mark Hamill, Ed Asner, Fred Armisen, Gilbert Gottfried, Jay Leno and Kate Micucci also doing voices. The film will be animated by Screen Novelties.

Top 5: Comic Books That Take Place On Halloween

0One of my favorite things about the holidays is digging through my comics, finding the PERFECT stories to match the merriment. While the St. Patrick’s Day pickings can be a li’l paltry, Halloween never fails to provide. Listed below are my Top 5 comics that take place on Halloween. If you have any others that you’d like to recommend, feel free to share ‘em in the comments section. I’m always looking for more!

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Chris Sanders On ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’

qwwa5a0m“Everything about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow I consider to be perfect. The fall colors, the narration by Bing Crosby, the disarmingly cute opening and the scary end. Brom Bones’ song at the Van Tassels’ Halloween party always make me feel like I was there amongst the frightened guests. And the execution of Ichabod’s final, lonely ride through the deep woods and hidden graveyards of his township is a masterpiece of tension, humor, and sudden terror.”

Director Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch, The Croods) discusses his love for Walt Disney’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and its female lead, Katrina Van Tassel.

Click here to read Sanders’ whole post.