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A quintet of animation releases for July and August

Edited by GreenReaper as of Fri 1 Jul 2016 - 20:11
Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (9 votes)

The new Chinese 100-minute animated feature Big Fish & Begonia now has a music video as well as a trailer for promotion. Directed by Liang Xuan and Zhang Chun, and produced by their B&T Studio, the hand-drawn/CG hybrid feature will be released July 8 throughout China. No word on a U.S. release yet.

The 2015 98-minute French feature The Little Prince, based on the famous 1943 fantasy novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, has reappeared. The animated feature is a CGI/stop-motion hybrid, with Saint-Exupéry’s original story (which includes a talking fox) is in stop-motion animation, while a new framing story is in computer-graphic imagery.

The feature, directed by Mark Osborne, won the 2015 César Award as the best animated feature shown in France that year. It was heavily advertised in the U.S., with theatrical trailers and posters, as coming from Paramount Pictures on March 18, 2016; then it disappeared a week before that date. Now it has reappeared with a new trailer by Netflix, for a release simultaneously in theaters and on streaming TV, on August 5.

Disney’s remake of its 1977 live-action/animated Pete’s Dragon will also be released in August, but on the 12th. The 1977 film was a comedy; the 2016 remake, judging by its trailer, will have a different plot and will be considerably more dramatic. Like this year’s Disney The Jungle Book remake, it will be entirely “live action” with heavy VFX animation.

August will also bring us the animated Sausage Party and Kubo and the Two Strings, with CGI anthropomorphic, R-rated hot dogs, buns and condiments, and a stop-motion Japanese fantasy with a monkey and a beetle warrior. August will be a good month for anthropomorphic cinema.


Your rating: None Average: 2 (3 votes)

Bummer, nothing really worth spending movie theater prices or fighting the crowds at the drive-in for.

Your rating: None Average: 1.7 (3 votes)

Do people still do that? I mean, Netflix, iPlayer… lots of options out there. Bag popcorn is just as good and a lot cheaper.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I go to the cinema a lot, but then UK cinemas offer subscription services that make regular viewing much more affordable. Personally I much prefer to watch the big Hollywood movies on the big screen, in 3D if possible, and it's a good excuse to get out of the house and potentially meet people.

Also being a subscriber meant I got to see Zootropolis almost a month before the UK wide release on the cinema's biggest screen in the very middle of the theatre. Absolutely no regrets.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

If you don't mind forking out a few extra bucks for Ticketbastard style convenience fees, the indoor theaters here have recliner sofas, assigned seating, and 3D available. The pricing can be a bit expensive, a first-run IMAX 3D release at the times and days most people are working might run upwards of $30/seat. Live events generally start at that price and go up from there like cable pay-per-view. But if you time it right you can get a lot of the same frills (and don't care about watching a live event as an encore replay), you can go at 10 on a Tuesday morning for less than gas money.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

I do. Just last night saw Independence Day: Resurgence and Central Intelligence at the Admiral Twin Drive In. Part of the drive-in experience is communal. It's also how I first saw Zootopia and Kung Fu Panda 3, but running that pairing as their opening weekend, on spring break, before they've had a soft-open to make sure they have everything down for the season, proved disastrous when it ended up oversold (more or less preventing us from our usual tradition of fursuiting before furry movies at that theater's infield, among other problems). You get there early to get a good spot, and then go socialize with other people, check out the sweet rides that arrive, see who cosplayed as what, toss around a football, hit the theater's concession barbeque. Coincidentally, that doomed Zootopia double feature probably had the cinematic peak and trough of my movie experience this year, in terms of the films. Zootopia was so good that it has become it's own adjective to describe a good movie. Kung Fu Panda 3 hit uncanny hard, and especially being the B movie to Zootopia, was made that much worse by contrast. At least Manborg was actively trying to be an awful movie, Kung Fu Panda 3 didn't have that excuse.

Since it's rare for drive-ins (particularly south of about 42°N) to not show double features (and north of that if it's not a double feature, then it's something in the 2+ hour, possibly even Bollywood-length territory, in which they're having to start the first film well after ~10PM due to the late dusk and trying to wrap up the last one before 3AM before sunlight starts becoming a factor again), sticking around for the B movie is a great way to discover something you wouldn't have gone out to see otherwise. 42 was definitely a B movie and knew it, often going so far as to break the 4th wall regularly, and it was otherwise good enough I don't even remember what movie we intended to see that night. Central Intelligence was similarly good, though I wouldn't have gone out of my way to see either if they weren't on the same card as something I wanted to see.

Not to say that I don't grab stuff off Google Play Movies or Redbox as well...

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Glad to hear I'm not the only one that didn't like Kung Fu Panda 3. It has about the same Rotten Tomatoes score as the excellent first two films and I don't get it. I mean, the action scenes were excellent and the story had potential, but the pandas were just SO. ****ING. ANNOYING. The approach to humour in this film was to give each of the pandas an unfunny running gag and then force them into every scene, breaking the mood and flow of the film in the process. Such a disappointing end to a great series.

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About the author

Fred Pattenread storiescontact (login required)

a retired former librarian from North Hollywood, California, interested in general anthropomorphics