There's nothing unique about being a Disney fan. It's very easy to say you like something that was obviously meant to have mass appeal. So in my everlasting attempt to stand out, I decided that rather than become the billionth sale for Disney's big furry flick of the year, I'd try and vouch for the underdogs – those dark-horse films such as Rock Dog, Sly Cooper, and what we're discussing here: Angry Birds.
It's a lot harder to make a case for a movie when no-one has any expectations for it. It was like fighting a losing battle, but I was happy to at least give these some attention.
And now, the first of these films which I championed has been released! I was fortunate enough to see it on release weekend and I can say that the theater was definitely packed. Was this film the embodiment of perfection or did it leave something to be desired? Let's see.
Back in August, Nintendo announced that Star Fox Zero would be coming to its Wii U console Friday after next. Then the game got delayed, so don't line up at your nearest game store next Thursday; you'll have to wait until April 22 of next year. In the meantime, enjoy this new trailer.
The announcement didn't note why the game had been delayed, though it has long been a Nintendo policy that "a delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad."
The trailers for anthropomorphic animated movies are coming thick and fast. Here is the teaser trailer for The Angry Birds Movie, due out (unless the date is changed) May 20, 2016. The concept is by Finnish video game company Rovio Entertainment, of course, but the CGI movie is by Sony Pictures Imageworks’ new animation studio in Vancouver (where Sony Pictures Animation moved it from Hollywood for British Columbia’s tax breaks). It’s what Sony Imageworks will be working on now that Hotel Transylvania 2 is finished.
The feature is directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly, from a screenplay by Jon Vitti. Voices include Jason Sudeikis as Red, Josh Gad as Chuck, Maya Rudolph as Matilda, Danny McBride as Bomb and Peter Dinklage as Mighty Eagle, with Bill Hader as Leonard, a Minion Pig.
No matter what it is, you can always take it to a new, higher, weirder level folks. Super Angry Birds is a new full-color on-line comic series from IDW and Rovio Studios, giving us a whole new take on (what else?) the Angry Birds universe. “It’s everyone’s favorite furious fowl as you’ve never seen them before! New Yolk City is your typical bustling metropolis and like every big city it has a dark side. Through lies, deceit and corruption, King Pig and his henchmen have taken over the town and have made life miserable for its citizens. This makes one group of birds angry…Super Angry! This new group of would-be heroes, with powers beyond mortal birds, fight a covert war against King Pig and his minions. They are the Super Angry Birds!” Told you. Two issues are out so far, so check it out over at Comixology.
From Variety: “Wrekin Hill Entertainment has acquired all North American rights to Christian De Vita’s 3D animated feature Yellowbird from TeamTO and Haut & Court. The film… is written by Antoine Barraud and Guilhem Lesaffre with Cory Edwards and based on artwork by Benjamin Renner (Ernest and Celestine).” Seth Green (Greg the Bunny, Robot Chicken) stars as the voice of Yellowbird, “…a teenage bird so scared to venture out into the world that he nearly misses the fun of discovering who he really is.” Other voices include Dakota Fanning (Charlotte’s Web), Danny Glover, Elliott Gould, Jim Rash, and Christine Baranski. The distributors have been slowly trickling the film out to North American theaters, so take a look around for it — or else visit the Yellowbird Facebook page. Meanwhile, the English trailer is up on YouTube.
An unusual new all-ages miniseries is coming soon from Archaia. Written and illustrated (in full color) by Jorge Corona, Feathers tells the story of a young boy named Poe who is, yes, feathered. But that’s hardly the strangest thing about his world. “A reclusive boy born covered in feathers must help his first-ever friend, a young girl named Bianca, as she tries to return to her home beyond the slums of the Maze. They must dodge street gangs and child-snatchers along the way, and perhaps together will learn the secrets to his mysterious past.” Check out the review over at Bleeding Cool, and look for the first of six issues to arrive in stores this January.
It had to happen, perhaps: A feature film based on a phone app. Of course, it is one of the biggest phone apps of all time: Angry Birds. According to an article over at Neon Tommy, Rovio and Sony Pictures have teamed up to announce the cast and crew for the upcoming Angry Birds movie. (In case you couldn’t guess, it’s going to be CGI.) “Cast as the lead roles in the animated movie, Saturday Night Live alums Jason Sudeikis (We’re The Millers) and Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids) will play Red and Matilda, alongside Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, who will be playing Mighty Eagle. Some other big names that will be joining the cast include Josh Gad (Frozen), Bill Hader (Skeleton Twins), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), and YouTube stars Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla of Smosh. Behind the scenes, John Cohen (Despicable Me) and former Marvel Studios president David Maisel will be producing the film, while Clay Kaytis (Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph) and Fergal Reilly (Spider-Man 2) have been announced as directors.” The birds will fly in July of 2106.
Three years ago, Nintendo announced Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS, the latest in Nintendo's series of fighting games featuring various Nintendo characters. As the game's Japanese version launched this Saturday, the full roster for the game is now known (though it had actually been leaked back in August). The starting roster can be found here. The furry part of the complete roster will be covered after the break, so don't click on Read More if you're worried about spoilers.
The game will be hitting stores everywhere else October 3, with the exception of Germany, which gets it a day early due to a national holiday. Lucky them.
This August a group of walkers spotted a rare white hummingbird in the Million Ranch development of South Fork. This turned out to be the first true albino hummingbird photographed in Colorado.
Local resident Kim Krahn first spotted the unusual bird on a morning walk around 8 a.m. Monday, August 25.
“I was the first to say anything, at least,” Kim said. “I just saw this bird flying back and forth. It sounded like a hummingbird, but it was white.”
She pointed it out to her husband Ken as well as fellow walkers Don and Betty Law of Balko, Oklahoma. At around 9 a.m., Don and Betty’s grandson, Jarret Kachel, took multiple pictures of the bird. Ken Trahn tried to get his own pictures later that night.
“It was already gone by the time I tried to look for it that night, to try and get some pictures of my own,” Ken said. “It must have already been migrating through.”
The unstoppable international phenomenon known as Rovio Studio’s Angry Birds continues with the new Angry Birds full-color comic book series from IDW Publishing. It’s written by Jeff Parker and illustrated by Paco Rodriques. “Angry Birds is based on the wildly popular mobile game by Rovio in which less-than-pleased birds launch all-out attacks on nefarious porkers. IDW’s series is just the latest feather in the cap for Rovio’s monster franchise, which has already spawned countless toys, shirts, games and more, including a film set to land in 2016.” Now you know. Check out the interview with Jeff Parker over at Comic Book Resources.
Here is the 1’32” trailer for the Swedish 79-minute Resan Till Fjäderkungens Rike, or Beyond Beyond, directed by Esben Toft Jacobsen, released March 21 in Sweden, and expected to screen at international animation festivals throughout the year.
Judging by the publicity so far, this is a strong contender to become the Ernest et Célestine of 2014. It’s got seagoing and circus-performing rabbits, and a giant furry bird, and a frog sea-captain, and… trolls? And what are those little blue things? Anyway, it looks like a feature that furry fans will love.
Let’s stick with the bird theme for the moment. Pengey Penguin is an orphaned flipper-bird who is the star of two new hardcover novels for young readers — both created by author John Burns. In The Many Adventures of Pengey Penguin, our smooth-feathered hero ventures out into the Big World, encountering many dangers yet making friends at the same time. In The Further Adventures of Pengey Penguin that “Big World” becomes New York City, as Pengey moves in with his adoptive human friend — and both of them learn to make the situation work. Visit the official Pengey web site and you’ll find not only the books and several tie-in items like Pengey t-shirts, but also a collection of nature documentary shorts and even links to penguin-themed cartoons. These books are not available in stores: Only on-line, so visit the web site to get them.
Not content to have the (as should be expected) “art of Rio 2“, Blue Sky Studios instead brings us The Art of Rio: Featuring a Carnival of Art from Rio and Rio 2. My, now that’s a title! “From 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios, the creators of Ice Age and Horton Hears a Who!, the musical adventure comedy Rio told the story of how rare Blue Macaws Blu and Jewel met and fell in love in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival. In Rio 2, the pair journey with their 3 chicks to the amazon jungle in search of their wild roots. With over 300 pieces of concept art, character sketches, storyboards and digital paintings, along with interviews with the key animation talent, this book reveals the artistry behind the 2 colorful movies.” It’s put together by Tara Bennett (who’s written and edited several movie tie-in books of the sort), with an introduction by Carlos Saldanha (the director of both films). Look for it at Amazon, where it’s available now in hardcover.
In anticipation of the upcoming Rio 2 movie (coming to theaters this April), this month Papercutz Publishing begins a new series of Rio trade paperbacks, with Volume 1 filling in the gap between the first movie and this one. Rio: Snakes Alive is a 64-page full-color comic book written by Stefan Petrucha (Power Rangers) and illustrated by James Silvani (Darwing Duck). There’s a preview up at Bleeding Cool. “The first volume… catches up with Blu and Jewel, the last surviving Blue Spix Macaws, as they raise their kids in the Blu Bird Sanctuary near Rio de Janeiro. When the sanctuary is threatened by financial trouble, Blu and the gang embark on a quest deep into the jungle to find an ancient treasure that may save their home.”