Ridley Scott's new film Exodus: Gods and Kings recasts the myth of Moses in typically grimdark swords-and-sandals fashion. It... ain't so good. Want something more artful? Look no further than The Prince of Egypt [alt], an underrated masterpiece of DreamWorks' traditional animation era. Directed by Brenda Chapman (a first for women in animation), scored to spectacular effect by Hans Zimmer and Stephen Schwartz, and voiced by, among others, Voldemort, Batman, and Professor X, the ambitious film features gorgeous, striking visuals and tastefully integrated CGI in nearly every scene. It also manages the improbable feat of maturing beyond cartoon clichés while humanizing the prophet's journey from carefree scion to noble (and remorseful) liberator without offending half the planet -- while still being quite a fun ride. Already seen it? Catch the making-of documentary, or click inside for more. [more inside]
Dreamworks animator Daniel Hashimoto turns his three-year-old into an action movie hero. (via) [more inside]
Mark Ames follows up on The Techtopus (previously) with a new report showing a much larger conspiracy than has been previously reported: [more inside]
Fifteen years ago this month, the WB network premiered what they heralded as the first animated miniseries: Invasion America. [more inside]
Badly Recreated Animated Film Frames: "Take a still from a multi-million dollar animated film that required thousands of man-hours to create and replicate it in Maya in 30 minutes."
In 2005, Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks produced a 6 episode miniseries that spanned the period of expansion of the United States into the American West, from 1825 to 1890. Through fictional and historical characters, the series used two primary symbols--the wagon wheel and the Lakota medicine wheel -- to join the story of two families: one Native American, one White settlers, as they witnessed many of the 19th century's pivotal historical milestones. The award-winning Into The West can now be seen in its entirety on YouTube. [more inside]
The Penguins of Madagascar is a funny, fast-paced, and family-friendly cartoon series that you may not be watching... yet. [more inside]
How to draw, by Rad Sechrist, storyboard artist at Dreamworks animation
"All In A Day's Work" is the first track on the new Eels CD Shootenanny (released June 3rd on Dreamworks). The band is previewing new tracks from the album every Tuesday, flogging a new live CD from the Electro-Shock Blues era, completely sold out of its previous web only release Oh What A Beautiful Morning, did soundtrack work for Ed Solomon's Levity (starring Billy Bob Thorton) and are hyping the mysterious MC Honky's CD I Am The Messiah, which features producer Mickey Petralia, drummer Joey Waronker, Butch, Koool G Murder and Li'l 'Fer (video for "Sonnet #3 (Like a Duck)").
What is Film Sampling? According to Mike Myers and Dreamworks Films, it's a revolutionary way to insert himself into old movies by using the wonders of technology. Have we created so much content in the past 50 years that it needs to be recycled before there is room for anything truly new? Will this work for films the way it's 'worked' in Music? Will the next generation of filmmakers be Puff Daddy clones reworking classic films, and are there films that should never, ever be touched?
Don't watch this. Dreamworks is starting up the hype machine for their remake of the Japanese horror film Ringu (aka The Ring), and it looks like they're taking the A.I. route with it. The movie centers on a mysterious videotape that causes those who watch it to die seven days later. Websites are popping up all over the place that seem to connect to the 'mystery'. The first link up top goes to a flash teaser of the actual video from the film, but if you're brave, you can watch the whole thing at iFilm. I'm curious if this will indeed turn out to be an online game like the Evan Chan mystery from A.I., or just some better-than-average Web marketing for what looks to be a damn creepy movie.
Josh Clayton-Felt, lead singer of 90's alterntive rock band School of Fish spent the last few years of his life battling his record company (A&M cum Universal) and his last few weeks fighting a highly aggressive cancer that rendered him comatose just weeks after its December, 1999 discovery. When he lost his fight with cancer in January, 2000, the rights to the third re-recording of his final album had just been returned to him. Dreamworks released it earlier this month to favorable reviews. It can also be heard in its entirety here.
Great article on "Shrek" & computer animation by Stephanie Zacharek at Salon.com. I don't deny that the form has possibilities, but I've been getting really impatient waiting for the day the guys at the Pixar/Dreamworks sweatshops realize that the really exciting moments in art only come when you leave some gaps for the viewers to close themselves.