Who knew that Secret of NIMH director Don Bluth and his crew had their own version of Beauty and the Beast in the works? Well they did, back in the day, and we stumbled across some pictures from the project. According to animation historian John Cawley (from Get Animated), “Early in 1984, Don began in earnest turning the famous tale into an animated feature. He even announced it in the Fall of 1990 in his Animation Club newsletter. At the time, he described it as ‘a tender love story that says, ‘a thing must be loved before it’s lovable.’ We sprinkled this classic tale with a generous amount of comedy, a little bit of terror, and a lot of love. From Nan, the clairvoyant dog, Max, a bird detective, and Otto, an escape artist lizard, to the King Bats, the Wee Beasties and Queen Livia, herself, this picture has something for everyone.’ An American Tail also interrupted this production. As work began on Land Before Time, Don felt that Beauty and the Beast would be his first independent picture. However in late 1986, the Disney Studio announced they were working on a version and by 1989 had begun full production (for a 1991 release). Knowing his version could not be completed before Disney’s, Don dropped the project.” The picture below and others were recently uncovered on Tumbler.
Roger Ebert has written that the best way to enjoy a movie is in a crowded, reactive theater. I beg to differ.
The best way to enjoy a movie is in an empty theater, where you do not have to worry about your fellow moviegoer’s reactions coloring your own.
I learned this lesson from the Muppets; perhaps my fondest movie theater experience is having an entire theater alone with just my family watching The Muppet Christmas Carol. It's probably neither the studio’s nor the theater owner’s favorite way for you to watch a movie on the big screen, but if you find yourself laughing out loud alone in the dark, you know that it is really you laughing.
Sadly for the Muppets, but happily for me, I had the theater all to myself for The Muppets. I found myself laughing in the dark once more.
Is the new Japanese animated feature Redline Furry? No, but its trailer, just released in the U.S., does show a human racecar driver (with an impossible Pompadour) competing against background Furry bioengineered or alien opponents in the far future.
Redline, directed by Takeshi Koike, produced by Tokyo’s Madhouse animation studio over seven years, and introduced on the international film festival circuit in 2009, comes to the USA for a one-week theatrical run. It is playing in downtown Los Angeles this month and in NYC from January 6, and will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on January 17.
It will be a five-nominee year for the Best Animated Feature Oscar. 18 films were sent in for a chance at nomination for the award, and all were accepted. The motion-capture debate seems to have been for naught; all three films under question were accepted, though only one is a contender.
There's a long tradition of horror stories set in Antarctica. H. P. Lovecraft set In the Mountains of Madness in the white continent, featuring a race of giant cave-dwelling albino penguins who shrieked “Tekelili!” over and over.
Happy Feet Two continues the tradition of Antarctic penguins repetitively crying out horrific noises. Instead of shout-outs to Edgar Allan Poe, however, these penguins cry out dated pop songs. The horror, the horror.
Last year, DreamWorks Animation put out three movies: the prestige picture, the fun picture, and the Shrek sequel. On one hand, MegaMind did not have the emotional resonance of How To Train Your Dragon. On the other hand, HTTYD did not feature Will Ferrell emerging from his own head screaming “Presentation!” while Guns’N’Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” blared on the soundtrack.
Do not go into this movie expecting any kind of emotional resonance or artistic enlightenment. This is not that kind of movie, and was never intended to be. Do go into this movie expecting to be entertained. As pure entertainment, Puss in Boots is worth watching.
For this month, I’ve kept the tags to ten. Hopefully they catch the furry zeitgeist.
The Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association, which administers the annual Ursa Major Awards, has updated the 2011 Anthropomorphic Reading List to include all of the titles recommended by Furry fans through the end of October. This list is often used by fans to nominate in the next year's Awards.
There are only two months left to recommend what you think is good this year. The 2011 Anthropomorphic Reading List will close on January 15, 2012, to give fans a couple of weeks to read/see works that came out at the end of December.
This is an opinion column, but this month I’m using that tag a bit more than usual, as I discuss the Academy’s bias against animated movies.
I’ll then tell you what’s wrong, not with the Ursa Majors, but with me covering them.
Lastly, I might actually have something to say about the Annies. Maybe.
Unfortunately it seems that hype was poorly founded. The movie is disappointingly short, especially at $20, but by the end I was thankful it wasn't any longer.
SPOILER WARNING: Don't read any further if you want to give this movie a chance.
This coffee-table art book is officially published on November 1, shortly after the movie is released (Oct. 28); but the publisher sent me an advance review copy (Oct. 21).
So I haven’t seen the movie yet. But we have seen its publicity for the last couple of months: the posters, the multiple trailers, the viral videos like “The Cat Haz Swagger” and “’No Pants’ Pants” that emphasize the hunky Puss and his new feline femme fatale, Kitty Softpaws – so we can be sure that this is a very Furry movie.
I guess this is part two in what wasn’t ever intended to be an ongoing series; reviews of junk no furry in their right mind would need a review for, because they’re obviously junk.
But Mystery Science Theater 3000 is still my favorite TV show of all time, so this is what I do with my free time.
Get ready for The True Story of Puss’N Boots, which, as the DVD box sadly points out, does not feature Antonio Banderas, but does present William Shatner in a role so bad, 'Priceline Negotiator' looks downright Shakespearean.
I wasn’t as proactive as I thought I would be, and I’m pretty sure I missed a couple posted during the first of September, so apologies there. Otherwise, here was last month’s Newsbytes.
September is an important month for next year’s awards. Major film festivals earlier in the month (which didn’t feature anything remotely furry, so this is their last mention), plus the beginning of screenings of studio hopefuls and even the first precursor award make September the unofficial beginning of “awards season” for movies.
Meanwhile, back in the furry fandom, a major player has had a setback, completely changing my Ursa Major predictions.