In a suprise move, a "bombshell" even, Disney and Lucasfilms have announced that Rian Johnson will write and direct the next two films in the Star Wars franchise
, Episodes VIII and IX, taking the reins from JJ Abrams after Episode VII
. Copious previously
Johnson has previously directed Brick
, and three episodes of Breaking Bad
. Johnson responded thusly
On June 7th, the Disney XD channel will premiere a new, 10-part miniseries: Tron Uprising
. The series, which will feature the voices of Elijah Wood, Lance Henriksen, Bruce Boxleitner (reprising his role as 'Tron',) Mandy Moore and Paul Reubens, will combine 2D and CGI animation styles, and is set between the events of the first and second Tron movies. Trailers: 1
. 2011 ComicCon Preview
. Disney released a full-length "prelude episode" yesterday evening (US Only): Beck's Beginning
) [more inside]
To paraphrase a character in the film, The Black Hole walks "a tightrope;" if not between "genius" and "insanity," then certainly between "genius" and "banality". If you're looking at this movie as a Manichean exercise between darkness and light, then you can -- for at least a few hours -- entertain the "genius" part of that equation.
It was bound to happen eventually. After a quarter-century
, 26 Academy Awards
, and an unparalleled streak of eleven artistic and commercial triumphs
, Pixar's latest project, Cars 2
, is Certified Rotten
. Critics have assailed the film
as a slick but hollow vehicle for Disney's $10 billion-dollar Cars
merchandising industry "lifestyle brand,"
replacing the original's serviceable tale of small-town redemption with zany spy games
, hyperactive chase sequences
, and even more lowbrow aww-shucks potty humor
from Larry the Cable Guy
. But it's not all bad news! Along with a fun new Toy Story 3 short
, preceding today's (3-D) premiere showings is a first look at next year's Brave
-- a darkly magical original story
set in ancient Scotland featuring the studio's first female lead (and director
). Evocative high-res concept art [mirror]
is available at the official website, and character sketches
have leaked to the web, with the apparently striking teaser trailer sure to follow. Also, be sure not to miss the sneak peak of Brave
's associated short, "La Luna"!
Toy Story 3
hits theaters today, and it's already winning universal acclaim
as an enchanting and heartbreaking wonderwork, employing understated 3D
and a "real-time"
perspective that deftly capitalizes on the nostalgia and can't-go-home-again angst
of a generation that grew up with the series.
It has a strong pedigree, with 11-year-old predecessor Toy Story 2
the rare sequel to equal its forebear, 1995's Toy Story
(itself the first CGI feature in history).
And it joins a lofty stable of films: over the last 15 years, Pixar has put out an unbroken chain of ten commercial and critical successes
that have grossed over $5 billion worldwide and collected 24 Academy Awards
(including the second-ever Best Picture nom for animation
), a legacy that rivals some of the greatest franchises in film history
But there's rumbling on the horizon. Although the studio has been hailed for its originality
(of the 50 top-grossing movies in history, only nine were original stories -- and five of them were by Pixar
), two of their upcoming projects are sequels
, both of them based some of their least-acclaimed films (Cars 2
in 2011 and Monsters, Inc. 2
in 2012). And while 2012 will also bring
The Bear and the Bow Brave
, the first Pixar flick to feature a female protagonist [previously]
, fellow newcomer Newt
has been canceled
. With WALL-E/Up/Toy Story 3
guru Andrew Stanton focusing on his 2012 adaptation
of John Carter of Mars
and with forays into live-action
already in development, does this mark the end of the golden age of Pixar?
Or is this latest entry lasting proof that even the toughest case of sequelitis can be raised to the level of masterpiece? [more inside]
Disney restyles "Rapunzel" to appeal to boys. Disney is wringing the pink out of its princess movies.
After the less-than-fairy-tale results for its most recent animated release, "The Princess and the Frog," executives at the Burbank studio believe they know why the acclaimed movie came up short at the box office.
Brace yourself: Boys didn't want to see a movie with "princess" in the title.
Dear Disney: Boys Aren't Stupid, but renaming "Rapunzel" is.
Coloring the Kingdom
: the story of the all-female “finishing school” of hand-drawn animation that worked behind the scenes to create the first animated full-length Disney feature, Snow White. (via.
made news as a revelation in music availability, by providing ad-supported free access or paid subscriptions to more than 6 million streaming songs
. This year, Sweden is the home to another streaming media landmark, with Voddler
. Currently limited to Sweden but with goals of reaching the world, the streaming video-on-demand provider was well
, but initial movie selection did not impress all
. That should change, as Voddler recently expanded the potential list of movies when they signed The Walt Disney Company Ltd and Paramount Pictures
, netting access to the Disney assets
and the Paramount library
. A deal with Sony may be forthcoming
. [more inside]
People have been trying to make the appearance of three-dimensional movement almost as far back
as the first movie cameras
. The very first efforts used stereoscopy
), which wasn't functional for theater-settings. In 1915, the first public test of 3D film was deemed unsuccessful
, as images presented with green/red lenses
detracted from the plot, but that didn't stop people from trying to make 3D films. Polarized glasses
are another inexpensive method of simulated 3D, while shutterglasses
are a more costly method. Up to 1998 or so, there were approximately 187 3D movies made
, not counting porn, cartoons and shorts (which bring the 1998 total to 263). 2009 is supposedly the year that 3D movies really take off
, as it has been reported that 3D films are expected to gross over $1bn (£700m) at the box office next year, a five-fold increase on their $200m haul in 2008. There are some really big titles coming
, including the "3D drug trip" that is Avatar
, and all of the announced future Pixar releases will get the Digital Disney 3-D treatment
. But 3D isn't limited to the big screen and big companies. The next format war could be over 3D TV
. And now the independent production company MeniThings
has released the feature-length movie, Battle for Terra
. [via mefi projects
, and a bit more on the movie after the jump] [more inside]
Cloned Disney cels: page 1 [Russian
, bad English
], page 2 [Russian
, bad English
Who Delayed Roger Rabbit?
Rich Drees lays bare the backroom bickering and production studio drama behind one of the 1980s' most successful comedies
. For an encore, Drees reviews the unproduced script of Roger Rabbit II: Toon Platoon
. Weep for what might have been.
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
(link to trailer) is due out from Disney
on December 9, 2005. The book
by CS Lewis
has already been made into a movie by the BBC
, however, the old films can not match the epic
promised by director Andrew Adamson
. (Previously discussed here
is Disney's first feature length 3d animated movie (without Pixar
). Mark Dindal
, director of Cat's Don't Dance
and Emporer's New Groove
, is at the helm. Is there a chance that the sky won't hit them in the face
america's heart and soul
- so, they wouldn't release fahrenheit 9/11, but this, this is okay. are they making efforts to distance themselves from any involvement with fh9/11, or do they want to make sure that washington keeps listening
From the chronicle:
Disney officials insist their 88-minute film, "America's Heart and Soul" -- stitching simple, positive vignettes of everyday Americans with sweeping vistas and up-tempo music -- is neither a response to Moore's politically charged hit nor any type of political statement itself.
more coverage here
, and a review
Pixar Dumps Disney: "It is impossible to know how bad this is for Disney."
On the other hand: Disney can begin creating sequels to all of Pixar's films, something it could not do under its current arrangement and is almost certain to exploit.
On the third hand: One film executive suggested that Mr. Jobs could now be considered a candidate to run Disney if indeed Mr. Eisner ever left.
It's the plot, stupid. USA Today
runs their usual insightful commentary about the upcoming release of Lilo and Stitch. It obsesses over the absence of CGI graphics pointing to Atlantis
as evidence for the failure of traditional animation to draw box office. Funny me, I thought that Atlantis
bombed because of a plot better left in 50s serial format, a cast of sterotypes rather than characters, and no sense of humor beyind dirty French jokes repeated over and over again. And is huge success of Pixar
due to their pioneering animation, or their brilliant comic talent?
What causes FX myopia anyway? Granted I can understand why fanboys obsess over the wrong things in a movie. Do the studios set it up by trying to hype each new summer release as the next big technical development (while the artistic development gets trumped by Waking Life
to bring Spirited Away, Japan's currently largest grossing film, to thje states. Disney owns the domestic rights to all of Hayao Miyazaki's films (think Princess Mononoke) and has no plans to release Spirited Away.
Tron returns with a vengeance.
With a theatrical sequel, a 20th anniversary DVD and a first-person PC shooter, you have to wonder why Disney is rollling out the red carpet all of a sudden.
Disney's Atlantis ripped from the anime movie Nadia.
Talk about role reversal (you see, a lot of anime creators style comes from trying to emulate Disney style in the early days of the genre) this site presents some interesting evidence that Disney's summer blockbuster is a complete copy of an earlier film released in 1990 in Japan.
Disney steals a plot from anime once again, and here is the proof