Recently on Animation Scoop came the announcement of a new feature-length 2-D animation project called Unstable, which is being developed by “the star studded animation team of Jeff ‘Swampy’ Marsh (Phineas & Ferb), David Freedman (Groove High) and top BBC Comedy Producer, Gareth Edwards (Mitchell & Webb). The three have been looking for the right project to collaborate on since they all worked on the adult animated animated series The Mr. Hell Show (BBC2 and Showtime) back in 2000. ” Unstable tells the story of a police horse who is accused of a crime he did not commit (“un-stable”, get it?), and of the little girl whom he turns to for help. One of the producers describes the film as “Witness meets Oceans 11 bumps into Madagascar“. The film is being brought to the screen by Peafur Productions.
On January 24, my sister Sherry took me in my wheelchair to see The Nut Job at the Pacific Theatres 18-Plex at the Glendale Americana at Brand “shopping community”.
The movie was released on January 17, and for over a week I had been reading reviews on animation-community websites that were uniformly negative. They did not just pan it, they hysterically reviled it. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 12% favorable professional rating:
Hampered by an unlikable central character and source material stretched too thin to cover its brief running time, The Nut Job will provoke an allergic reaction in all but the least demanding moviegoers. (RT critic consensus)
“Anyone who doubts the truth of the bromide that January is the time studios trot out films that would otherwise be unreleasable should take a look at The Nut Job, a CG feature that has all the originality and individuality of a Dixie Cup,” begins Charles Solomon’s review on Animation Scoop. “[…] Numerous, predictable contretemps ensue […] the storytelling is simply inept […] The animation is unimpressive at best. […] The Nut Job was made in Canada and Korea, reportedly in association with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea - probably because sitting through the film makes the 12-hour flying time between Los Angeles and Seoul seem brief.”
Conversely, the box office of The Nut Job has been good – fortunately, or I would have wondered whether the critics were talking about the same feature that I saw.
Nominations for the 2013 Ursa Major Awards, for the best anthropomorphic movies, novels, comic strips, games, etc., will close on February 28. Voting for the winner will begin on March 15th and will close on April 30. The awards will be presented at CaliFur X on May 30 to June 1, at the Irvine Marriott Hotel, Irvine, California.
If you have not nominated yet, you have only a few more days to do so. All titles first published or released during the 2013 calendar year are eligible. The awards are given in eleven categories: Motion Picture, Dramatic Short Work or Series, Novel, Short Fiction, Other Literary Work, Graphic Novel, Comic Strip, Magazine, Published Illustration, Website, and Game. The final ballot includes the top five titles nominated in each category.
In addition to the animated movies with a variety of anthropomorphics, animals and anthropomorphic animals coming out some time this year, there are four major live action releases this year that furries may want to mark on their calendar: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hobbit: There and Back Again and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Dates listed are for North American releases. Furries in other areas of the world may have to wait a bit longer, but all four are big blockbuster type movies counting on worldwide revenue; be patient and they’ll reach you eventually.
In movie geek parlance, a ‘turkey’ is a movie that, well, it isn’t very good.
When Free Birds calls itself “the greatest turkey movie of all time,” it’s more than a little self-deprecating. Yes, the movie is about turkeys, but there’s that double meaning right there. That’s the joke, see. Ha ha.
It opens with a disclaimer reminding the audience that this movie is about talking turkeys; though Free Birds is about an historical event (the first Thanksgiving), it indicates that you should probably not take it too seriously.
Gee, the movie just apologized to me twice before I even got to watch it; that’s not a good sign.
According to an article in Variety magazine, Disney Animation has given the green light to produce a live action Chip and Dale movie. Yes. What’s more, the film’s plot is an origin story for the Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers. This means we get to see not only Chip and Dale but Monterey Jack, Gadget Hackwrench, and the fly known as Zipper all portrayed as CGI characters in the real world, a la The Smurfs or the recent spate of Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. The film is being written and directed by Paul Rugan, previously best known as a director of TV commercials. No word yet on a planned release date or any cast members.
Sly Cooper, the anthropomorphic raccoon star of several video games, is set to get his own movie. Although not due for release until 2016, the movie already has an official website, Facebook page, Twitter account, and a teaser-trailer:
The film will be made by animation studio Rainmaker Entertainment and indie production company Blockade Entertainment. The writer and director will be Kevin Munroe, who previously wrote and directed the CGI Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie of 2007.
The Criterion Collection has been around since 1984, making 2014 the thirtieth anniversary for the film collection that all but invented the modern idea of DVD bonuses. During those three decades, as the collection added "important classic and contemporary films," they included a single animated feature, despite releasing nearly 700 movies on Laserdisc, DVD and Blu-Ray.
That changes with the movie with 700 on the movie case's spine in the collection, which will be released Feb. 18. Wes Anderson's adaptation of Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr. Fox becomes the second animated feature to join the prestigious collection.
Criterion Collection, February 18, 2014, dual format Blu-ray/DVD (3 discs, 87 minutes, color, 1.85:1 ratio, English) Criterion store price $31.96
Correction: The original headline implied Fantastic Mr. Fox was the first animated feature in the collection. The Criterion Collection released an out of print Akira Laserdisc, making Fantastic Mr. Fox the second animated feature in the collection. Sorry for the error.
So the Comic Book Movie site has released an image they found showing a much more detailed look at what the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are going to appear like in the new film directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Battle Los Angeles) and produced by Michael Bay (Transformers, et al). The look is certainly… different, isn’t it? Guess we’ll see more images and probably some footage soon, as the film is scheduled for release this August.
Bringing yet another well-known video game to the big screen, Sony Pictures have announced that Sly Cooper — The Movie is filming and set for release in 2016. Erik Kain at Forbes.com has the complete story, as well as a link to the teaser trailer. The film is being directed by Kevin Munroe (one of the writers on the TMNT film from 2007) and animated by Rainmaker Entertainment and Blockade Entertainment (both of whom are currently working on the Ratchet & Clank movie, also for Sony). According to the press release, “Sly Cooper is a kinetic and comedic heist film that tells the story of Sly Cooper, an orphaned raccoon thief, along with his childhood friends and partners in crime, Bentley Turtle and Murray Hippo. In the film, Sly learns of his birth family’s secret legacy; that he comes from a long line of talented and international thieves. Endowed with this knowledge, Sly and his friends are catapulted into a global adventure as they race to reassemble pieces of an ancient book holding The Cooper Clan’s family secrets before it can fall into the hands of Clockwerk — an evil Russian metallic owl bent on ending the Cooper family line. ” With the movie not coming out until 2016, we can probably assume that the teaser trailer does not reflect the look or feel of the final film — but it does get the word out and hopefully gets people interested.
On January 18, the 130-minute Indian animated feature Chhota Bheem and the Throne of Bali came to five Big Cinemas theaters in the U.S.:
- Peachtree Theatre, 6135 Peachtree Parkway, Norcross, Georgia 30092 (Atlanta)
- Golf Glen Stadium, 9180 West Niles Road, Niles, Illinois 60714 (Chicago)
- Dos Lagos Stadium, 2710 Lakeshore Drive, Corona, California 92883 (Los Angeles-San Diego)
- Movie City 8, 1655 Oak Tree Road, Edison, New Jersey 08820 (NYC)
- Big Cinemas Fremont 7, 39160 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont, California 94538 (San Francisco)
The notice does not say how long it is playing at each, but probably for one week, so you should have time to see it if you hurry. The news also does not say whether it is dubbed or subtitled in English; it was dubbed in Hindi for its Indian theatrical release last year.
The awards are selected by a two-stage process of nominating and voting. Members of the public send in up to five nominations in each of the eleven categories. The top five nominees in each category (more in case of a tie) are then presented on a final ballot for a public vote.
The eleven categories are: Motion Picture, Dramatic Short Work or Series, Novel, Short Fiction, Other Literary Work, Graphic Novel, Comic Strip, Magazine, Published Illustration, Website, and Game.
Many nominations are likely to come from the 2013 Recommended Anthropomorphic Reading List, which has been built up through prior recommendations. However, inclusion on the List is not necessary for nomination if a work is otherwise eligible.
Jerry Beck’s Animation Scoop website noted on December 18 that the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry has announced its 2013 selection of twenty-five new additions. Several of the films are animated, or contain animated sequences, and among those, several feature anthropomorphized animals.
The Cartoon Brew has a preview roundup of 22 animated features announced as coming in 2014. Fourteen are American or will be released in America; eight are foreign with no current plans to be distributed in America, although this could change.
At least nine of them feature anthropomorphic animals, bugs, Lego blocks. planes, marshmallow soldiers, or other things that we ought to be interested in. (We’re still arguing over whether the dragons in How to Train Your Dragon are anthropomorphic or not.)
Amid Amidi reports on the Cartoon Brew website that China’s first CGI feature, the 70-minute Boonie Bears: Homeward Journey, is coming to the U.S. on January 6.
Didn’t China already produce a CGI feature, 2011’s Kung Fu Panda ripoff Legend of a Rabbit? Apparently nobody wants to talk about that. (Totalitarian nations are very good at rewriting their history.)
If three days sounds like very short notice, it’s because Boonie Bears: Homeward Journey will not be a theatrical release. It’s coming direct-to-DVD. What’s more, this was not even a theatrical release in China. It was a Chinese TV special last Spring.