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Tag: Animation (21-30 of 232)

PRIZE FIGHTER: 'Frozen' wins Annie Award; 'Gravity' claims cinematography honor

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It was a big night for Disney at the Annie Awards on Saturday, as Frozen took the best picture prize and the retro-futuristic 3-D Mickey Mouse film Get a Horse! claimed the title of best short.

Meanwhile, at the American Society of Cinematographer Awards, Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki collected the top honor for Gravity, a groundbreaking hybrid of real actors, digital visual effects, and 3-D.

All three are leading contenders for the Oscars on March 2.

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Disney to showcase new Pixar short 'Party Central' in front of 'Muppets Most Wanted' - EXCLUSIVE

As any Jim Henson fan could tell you, Muppets and monsters are an ideal match, like chocolate and peanut butter or Cookie Monster and sugary baked treats. It’s only fitting, then, that Disney is set to unveil the latest Pixar short film — a Monsters University spinoff titled Party Central — in front of Muppets Most Wanted when that movie hits theaters on March 21.

In the six-minute short, which Disney first debuted at last year’s D23 Expo, Mike and Sulley and their Oozma Kappa frat brothers try to throw a monster blowout party but are dismayed to find that no one is showing up. Fortunately, they have some extra inter-dimensional doors handy, which they put to creative use (we won’t spoil how here) to get the party rocking.

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Screen Actors Guild noms: '12 Years a Slave' leads while 'The Butler' surprises -- BREAKING

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Good news for 12 Years a Slave and The Butler … not so good for The Wolf of Wall Street.

The harrowing drama about a free black man who is kidnapped and sold into bondage on a Southern plantation had a leading four nominations at the Screen Actors Guild Awards this morning: best ensemble, lead actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor, and supporting bids for Michael Fassbender and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o.

Among the notable snubs were Robert Redford, the lone actor in the survival saga All Is Lost, and The Wolf of Wall Street, which got zero nominations.

The big surprise was The Butler, the blockbuster drama about a black man who spends a lifetime working in the White House under eight presidents. It hasn’t been present in many of the critics awards this season, but came on strong with three nods from the actors union: best ensemble, lead actor for Forest Whitaker, and supporting actress for Oprah Winfrey.

Also with three nominations each, including best ensemble: August: Osage County and Dallas Buyers Club.

Contenders for the SAG Awards were announced in both film and television fields this morning. The guild awards are closely watched as an Oscar bellwether since actors are the single largest voting bloc within the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

A nod here can cement an actor’s chances, while a snub can sometimes reveal a fatal lack of momentum. There’s no Best Picture prize, but the Screen Actors Guild’s Best Ensemble award is typically seen as a key stepping stone in that race for that Oscar. READ FULL STORY

Critical Mass: We know the kids will like 'Frozen,' but will you?

Young children don’t pay much attention to critics’ reviews, but you can bet their parents do — especially when there’s a good chance they’re going to be dragged to the cinema by the tots during Thanksgiving weekend. Not only do the adults want to research the potential movie of the week to see if it’s age-appropriate, but they also want to prepare themselves mentally for what might be 90 minutes of mindless dreck.

Relax, moms and dads. Disney’s Frozen, fortunately, looks to be one of those treats that the whole family can enjoy. Not only are there princesses (Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel) and a talking snowman sidekick (Josh Gad), but the Broadway-caliber songs were written and composed by Robert Lopez, who won Tonys for Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon, and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

Very loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, Frozen tells the story of two princesses. The elder, Elsa, is gifted/cursed with the ability to turn everything she touches into ice and snow. When her secret talent becomes known, she blankets the kingdom in ice and retreats to a forest fortress of solitude. Her younger sister, Anna, ventures into the tundra to retrieve her sister and fix the ice weather before it’s too late. Along, the way, Anna meets a talking snowman and a handsome ice-salesman (Jonathan Groff), who, Oz-style, help her complete her journey. “The journey is a little generic,” writes EW’s Owen Gleiberman. “[but] the exploding-ice-crystal visuals are spectacular: You can almost feel them freeze-burning your fingers.”

Click below to see what other leading critics are saying about Frozen before you purchase your tickets. READ FULL STORY

Oscars announce Best Animated Short Film shortlist -- VIDEOS

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday the 10 animated short films that will continue in the voting process for this year’s Oscars. The 10 films were picked from 56 qualified shorts. Here they are in alphabetical order:
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'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' trailer: Ty Burrell is another goofy dad, but this time also a dog

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Your nostalgia is getting a 3-D twist.

Mr. Peabody and Sherman — from the 1960s Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon — are getting a big-screen adventure, featuring the voices of Ty Burrell, Stephen Colbert, Ariel Winter, Allison Janney, and Max Charles. In the family comedy, Sherman takes off with his dad’s time machine, The WABAC, screwing up history. When the gang must all go back to fix things, they stumble upon all sorts of big history moments — from the mummies in ancient Egypt to the painting of the Mona Lisa.

“At first, we were thinking, ‘Will we have to find somebody who will do a Bill Scott impression?'” director Rob Minkoff (The Lion King) recalled about casting Mr. Peabody at an event for the film this week. “That’s sort of where we quickly came to the conclusion that that would be a bad idea because we couldn’t really find anyone that did that. And so we sort of liberated our thinking and thought, ‘Who is this character and who is this character for today?’… This was something that was done over 50 years ago, and we wanted to make sure that we really brought him to life in the right way. And I think that Ty… he kind of embodied all the different aspects we were trying to convey, not just, you know, the intellect or the suave personality. But somehow, there was a sort of an underlying warmth that we really, really liked and wanted to bring to this character.”

Check out the first trailer below: READ FULL STORY

Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis to direct 'Angry Birds'

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Get ready for some pig-crushing! Rovio Entertainment has announced that veteran animators Fergal Reilly (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) and Clay Kaytis (Tangled) will make their directorial debut with Angry Birds, the upcoming 3-D CG-animated film.

Angry Birds is based on Rovio’s best-selling app and will be produced by John Cohen and Catherine Winder. David Maisel is attached to executive produce with a screenplay written by Jon Vitti.

The film is currently slated for a July 1, 2016 release.

Box office report: 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2' rolls past 'Rush', 'Don Jon' with $35 million debut

Four years after the original Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs stormed theaters, Sony’s $78 million sequel Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 topped the chart once again, earning $35 million in its first weekend. The film opened in an ultra-wide 4,001 theaters, and it notched a strong $8,748 location average.

The first Cloudy scored $30.3 million in its debut frame on the way to a $124.9 million finish. Most prognosticators were expecting Cloudy 2 to finish above the $40 million mark — in the same range as Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania, which opened last September with $42.5 million, the best September debut in history. Cloudy 2 finished a bit below that, but it still notched the fourth best September bow of all time behind Transylvania, Insidious Chapter 2 ($40.3 million), and Sweet Home Alabama ($35.6 million).

The film benefited from a lack of animated competition in the marketplace. Planes, the last animated title to hit theaters, debuted nearly two months ago, and moving ahead, Cloudy should endure quite well due to a dearth of family films in October. The next kiddie flick entering theaters is the Thanksgiving-themed Free Birds on Nov. 1. Thus, Cloudy, with its “A-” CinemaScore grade, should have no trouble playing to parents and children for weeks to come.

Last weekend’s champion, Prisoners, locked up another $11.3 million in its second frame, with a 46 percent drop from its $20.8 million debut last weekend. Warner Bros.’ $46 million revenge thriller, which stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, has now earned $39 million. Despite great reviews, though, the drama is facing serious competition from other well-reviewed adult fare such as Rush and Don Jon (and next weekend’s Gravity), which could limit its final box office potential.

That said, Ron Howard’s Formula One racing drama Rush raced off with a rather lackluster $10.3 million in its expansion from five theaters into 2,297 locations. The Universal-distributed film, which stars Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl, marks a major decrease from Howard’s last sports drama, Cinderella Man, which punched up $18.3 million in its 2005 debut. For Hemsworth, Rush (obviously) started off slower than both Thor and The Avengers, but it also under-performed compared to his non-superhero vehicles The Cabin in the Woods ($14.7 million) and Red Dawn ($14.3 million). The film will need great word of mouth to drive it to profitability, and given its strong “A-” CinemaScore, it may achieve that. Also working in Rush‘s favor? Its relatively low $38 million budget.

Two newcomers rounded out the Top 5, though both finished the weekend with rather lackluster totals. The Paula Patton-starring romantic comedy Baggage Claim flew away with $9.3 million from 2,027 theaters, while Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s porn-addiction comedy Don Jon pulled in a more tepid $9 million from 2,422 theaters. Baggage Claim‘s  “A-” CinemaScore grade suggests it could find an audience in the weeks to come, though Don Jon’s weak “C+” grade may signify challenging word of mouth (despite strong reviews) down the road. Fortunately, Don Jon cost only $6 million to produce, so it should turn  a nice profit for Relativity. Fox Searchlight did not disclose the budget for Baggage Claim.

1. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – $35 million
2. Prisoners – $11.3 million
3. Rush – $10.3 million
4. Baggage Claim – $9.3 million
5. Don Jon – $9 million

Further down the chart, Eugenio Derbez’s Spanish-language comedy Instructions Not Included scored another $3.4 million from 948 theaters, for a remarkable $38.6 million cumulative total. The film surpassed Pan’s Labyrinth ($37.6 million) this weekend to become the highest-grossing Spanish-language film in U.S. box office history. It’s a major winner for young distributor Pantelion, a joint venture of Lionsgate and Mexican media company Televisa.

This weekend, Sandra Bullock’s ultra buzzy sci-fi thriller Gravity floats into theaters — as does the rather unbuzzy Justin Timberlake-Ben Affleck thriller Runner Runner. Check back to EW to see how both films fare at the box office.

'The Nut Job' trailer features Will Arnett as a plotting squirrel

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Aww nuts!

Will Arnett is a scheming squirrel in the new teaser trailer for The Nut Job, an animated film from Open Road Films that also features the voices of Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, and Katherine Heigl. The action-packed comedy follows the travels of the mischievous Surly (Arnett) and his rat friend Buddy, who plan a nut store heist and unwittingly find themselves embroiled in a much more complicated and hilarious adventure.

Watch the trailer below: READ FULL STORY

Make a movie with Joseph Gordon-Levitt!

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Wanna make a movie with Joseph Gordon-Levitt? All you need is a computer and a great idea.

With hitRECord, Gordon-Levitt’s ever-evolving collaborative production company, you don’t have to start in the mail room or cut your teeth as a personal assistant. You just have to create a profile on the totally free website hitRECord.org and start submitting your ideas, whether it’s a poem, a film, a piece of music or a drawing. Nearly all forms of art are fair game. You don’t even have to be the most popular user to catch the attention of Gordon-Levitt and his small core staff. You just have to be one of the best, which is actually a fairly big hurdle.

“I think the most important thing about anything that we make at hitRECord is ‘Is it good?'” hitRECord producer Jared Geller told EW. “At the end of the day, if the piece isn’t effective or entertaining, then it kind of doesn’t matter how it’s made. It becomes a gimmick. The method can’t be the most interesting thing about what you’re making. The piece itself has to be great.”

Check out the animated short below for an example of one of hitRECord’s most popular collaborations, and walk through the steps of how Gordon-Levitt helped turn the original poem into a Sundance Film Festival-worthy animated short, all through crowd-sourced creativity.
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