As the Franco-Belgian animated film Ernest & Celestine should soon be released on DVD, I thought this would be a good time to review A Town Called Panic (trailer), a movie produced by some of the same animators in 2009.
Actually, let's go further back to 2002, when Belgian animators Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier created a series of twenty shorts for TV called Panique au village (Panic in the village). Each was about five minutes long, and like Robot Chicken (2005), employed stop-motion animation with plastic figurines, clay and other objects.
Otherwise the two shows are pretty different. Robot Chicken enjoys mangling pop culture and doing random sketches; while Panique au village focuses on the bizarre daily adventures of a small, constant cast of characters. Something they both have in common is a joy of the absurd, and Panique is often more manic in this respect.
Fans of the last year’s The Avengers (like this article’s author) who were willing to pay at least US$150 (unlike this article’s author) for the ”Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1: Avengers Assembled” Blu-Ray six movie combo pack were given a glimpse at Marvel’s “Phase 2” of movies, including next year’s Guardians of the Galaxy, featuring Rocket Raccoon. Most of the revealed content for the upcoming movie was available online fairly soon afterwards, including this concept artwork for Rocket Raccoon.
It’s pretty cool.
The Cartoon Brew reports that Ellen DeGeneres, who voiced Dory, the regal blue tang fish with short-term memory loss in Pixar’s 2003 Finding Nemo, has announced that Pixar has asked her to reprise her role in the forthcoming sequel, Finding Dory. It will also be directed by Andrew Stanton, who directed Finding Nemo. Its tentative release date is November 25, 2015.
Finding Nemo is Pixar’s #2 grosser, behind only Toy Story 3.
After last month’s setback wherein I failed to predict the Academy would prefer a not very good movie over a movie that Skrillex contributed to the soundtrack (obvious in hindsight), I feel a little better this month when the Ursa Major nominees matched my predicted list perfectly for the second year in a row. A little better, because, seriously, what else were we going to nominate?
Well, minimally. I saw it yesterday with my sister, and we loved it. More importantly for Flayrah, we saw that, although it is 92% non-anthropomorphic, there is one definite if non-talking anthropomorphic character in it: the little sloth, Belt, who serves as Guy’s belt. His body language makes him a fully intelligent character through pantomime.
The blue-furred, long-armed Punch Monkeys confronted by Grug are also screamingly anthropomorphic in their actions.
The Croods, by DreamWorks Animation, was released on March 22. It is a bit late to introduce a story about it now (we covered an art print released at Comic-Con), but there should be someplace on Flayrah to discuss the movie.
The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki (trailer 1 - 2) is a 2012 anime film directed by Mamoru Hosoda. Unlike his 2009 Summer Wars, this movie is very slow, introspective, and somewhat tragic. It might appeal to a small subset of furries, but its furry elements are underplayed and it may not have enough animal content to hook us as viewers.
Talking about this movie without spoiling it impossible because the story has no complexity. Basically, a single mom moves to the country and struggles to raise two werewolf kids; one embraces their wolf heritage, the other rejects it, and the family moves apart. That's it. (See Wikipedia for a more complete summary.)
Despicable Me 2's yellow minions stretch the definition, but here's its new trailer anyway.
It looks like the new Bad Guys are the Good Guys. Screenrant thinks that the minions can be overdone. How does Gru kiss the girls without stabbing them with his nose?
Cartoon Brew reports that, “Now that Disney’s Oz The Great and Powerful is a box office hit, let the Wizard of Oz remakes commence.” CB goes on to report via Variety that, “Clarius Entertainment will theatrically release the 3-D CGI pic Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return in the first quarter of 2014. We posted the film’s trailer last fall, back when the film was called Dorothy of Oz, and the reaction was tepid.”
Flayrah announced Dorothy of Oz too last September, and it did get 13 comments. The link to the trailer still works. See Tugg the talking tree, Wiser the owl, the marshmellow soldier, and the new anthropomorphic characters in addition to the familiar Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the flying monkeys, and all of the beloved others.
Voting for the Ursa Major Awards for the Best Anthropomorphic Literature and Art of 2012 is now open, and will continue until May 15. The winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony at Anthrocon 2013 in Pittsburgh, July 4-7.
Anyone may vote, and you are encouraged to ask your friends to vote also — please help to spread the word!
There are five nominees in each of eleven categories, except where there was a tie for fifth place. To be eligible, a work must have been released during the calendar year 2012; must include a non-human being given human attributes, which can be mental and/or physical; and must receive more than one nomination.
Read on for the nominees...
Amid Amidi of Cartoon Brew announces that the 80-minute Quebec-made 3D-CGI feature The Legend of Sarila/La Légende de Sarila, animated by Modus FX in Montréal, debuted in Quebec last weekend on 32 screens, “grossing a modest $64,622 and landing in 10th place at the Quebec box office.” It is released in both English and French versions.
The movie, directed by Nancy Florence Savard, is about how in 1910 three young hunters of an arctic Iniut (“Eskimo”) clan – Putulik, who can (almost) talk with animals; the beautiful Apik, and their friend Markussi – search for the legendary paradisical land of Sarila for their starving people, despite many obstacles set by the evil shaman Croolik (who gets top billing because he is voiced by Christopher Plummer, the only “name” among the English-speaking voice cast). The hunters are accompanied by Kimi, a non-talking anthropomorphic overly-cute lemming; and Sarila has such magical creatures as the goddess/seal/mermaid Sedna.
When Flint [Lockwood] discovers that his [food-making] machine still operates and now creates mutant food beasts like living pickles, hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees and apple pie-thons, he and his friends must return to save the world. [IMDb summary]
Let’s see … Anthro strawberry. Semi-anthro monkey. Anthro shrimpanzees. Anthro butter pats. Anthro sandwiches. Anthro giant taco supreme. Anthro celery. Anthro hamburgers. Anthro slice of cake. (And lots of humans.) Yep, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2: Revenge of the Leftovers, to be released from Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation on September 27, is an anthropomorphic animated feature.
Did anyone notice that the original children’s picture book, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (1978) by Judi and Ron Barrett, has a completely different sequel, Pickles to Pittsburgh (2000)? Just in time for Anthrocon, presumably.
Well, I must say, I am enraged at the Oscars.
Host Seth MacFarlane promised at one point that the cast of Prometheus, my pick for worst movie of last year, would be up to explain “what the hell was going on there”. I watched the entire telecast, and was disappointed to find out that MacFarlane may have in fact have been joking. I was hoping they would just break down after attempting to explain it and start apologizing. No such luck.
I guess some other stuff happened too. Should probably write about that.
If tasked with coming up with a reboot of Mystery Science Theater 3000 – first of all, I wouldn’t actually reboot it. I’d have Crow, Tom Servo and a new host back on the Satellite of Love with absolutely no explanation, because it’s the show with “repeat to yourself it’s just a show, you really should relax” in the theme song.
Second, I wouldn’t pitch it to Comedy Central or Syfy, but to a family oriented channel, because God knows there are enough lousy kid’s movies to go after; I’d first go after The Hub, because they seem to go after the cult, family appropriate shows, they already have a working relationship with Shout! Factory, the company that does the MST3K DVDs (and that would help get them rights to air older episodes, probably) and finally it would be about the only way to do My Little Pony: The Movie, which I’ve already laid the groundwork for. Use that for the series premiere; relatively high profile movie for the opener!
Finally, I’d pitch myself as the host – this is a fantasy that will eventually segue into a review of a bad movie, so you might as well go for it, right?
The True Story of Puss in Boots is a definite get. Hyenas might not work for the new direction of the show, but I have another movie in mind. It’s called Cinderella, and definitely falls into the fantasy MST3K reboot territory.
Cartoon Brew has announced that Dark Horse’s Beasts of Burden comic book by Evan Dorkin (writer) and Jill Thompson (artist) is being developed into a CGI animated feature film by the Reel FX Creative Studios in Los Angeles and Dallas. The feature is to be written by Darren Lemke, directed by Shane Acker (director of darkly depressing post-Apocalypse animated feature 9), and co-produced by Reel FX’s Aron Warner and Dark Horse’s publisher Mike Richardson and Andrew Adamson of Strange Weather Films (director of the first two Shrek and first two Chronicles of Narnia movies).
While the history of animated feature films is replete with movies featuring talking dogs and other animals, there are relatively few starring four-legged “natural” dogs (Disney’s Lady and the Tramp and Amblimation’s Balto come to mind), and virtually none with serious suspense/horror plots.
Tower of the Dragon is a 3D animation project based in San Leandro, California. It plans to tell the story of Lyric, a young girl who has to save a world where reading is forbidden and magic is only used by those who obey without thinking.
The story is to deal with such issues such as bullying, insecurity, and self reliance. The fully-rendered movie is anticipated to cost $2,000,000 to make, so at present the project is focusing on creating an animatic of the screenplay.
A Kickstarter campaign has been started, hoping to raise $50,000 to fund its creation. Once the animatic is complete, it will be shown to 100+ reviewers, and their feedback will be used to create a revised animatic, in an iterative process until the story is ready to be rendered at full resolution.
With 21 days to go, the campaign has raised $16,811.