Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New 'Pooh' Clip

Above you'll find a new clip released for the upcoming WDAS film Winnie-the-Pooh... And it is awesome! Great animation, funny jokes, and the same old characters we all know and love.

Is it July 15 yet?...


New 'Monsters, Inc.' pic will be prequel: 'Monsters University'

Disney has just confirmed at the CinemaCon theater industry show in Las Vegas that on Novermber 2, 2012, we'll all be treated to the lovable antics of Mike, Sulley, and all of our favorite monsters once again.Well, maybe not all of the monsters...

After all, the announcement also revealed that it will, as leaked by rumors some time ago, be a prequel to Monsters, Inc., and be titled Monsters University.

The movie will follow Mike Wazowski and James. P. Sullivan at Monstropolis' University of Fear. As put by Disney's executive vice president of worldwide distribution Dave Hollis:

Obviously everybody knows at this point Mike and Sulley are amazing friends—the best of friends—but as it turns out, in this story, that wasn’t always the case. From the moment they met at university, they could not stand each other. This story takes you through the ups and downs, and how they overcame their own differences.
Of course, Billy Crystal and John Goodman will reprise their roles of Mike and Sulley, and even Buscemi's Randall is going to be making an appearance.

I am very excited to see this new Monsters film! Although I wish Pixar would focus more on original stories (like the upcoming film, Brave), Monsters, Inc. is my favorite Pixar film, so I'm naturally incredibly excited for its prequel.

As stated before, it will be released on November 12 of next year, and I can't wait!

Source: EW


Monday, March 28, 2011

'Up' writer Tom McCarthy's new movie is a WINner

A couple of nights ago, I attended a pre-screening and Q&A for the upcoming film Win Win. The movie stars Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, and Melanie Lynskey, and is summarized by Fox Searchlight Pictures as follows:

Disheartened attorney Mike Flaherty (Giamatti), who moonlights as a high school wrestling coach, stumbles across a star athlete through some questionable business dealings while trying to support his family. Just as it looks like he will get a double payday, the boy's mother shows up fresh from rehab and flat broke, threatening to derail everything.
Although the plot synopsis sounds rather dry and uninteresting, the film is phenomenal. Right off the bat, you really care for Giamatti's character. He is out of shape, in financial trouble, but tries to do right by his family and his business. You also care a lot for the teenage lead Kyle--he is the victim of a drug-addicted mother and her abusive boyfriend. The story of Win Win is uplifting, well-crafted, and makes you feel a range of emotions, from fear and love and hate to sadness and joy. And that's what a good story should do. Watch the trailer below:

After seeing the film, we were treated to a wonderful Q&A with director Tom McCarthy and the film's co-star Alex Shaffer. Tom McCarthy, as you probably know, is the co-writer of Pixar's Up along with Pete Docter and Bob Petersen.

Tom discussed parts of his experience with Pixar during the Q&A which I found very interesting. Apparently, Mr. McCarthy was contacted by Pete Docter to help on Up's story because Docter liked McCarthy's film The Station Agent.

Another interesting parallel that I drew between the story of Win Win and Up, is they both rely on laws that apply to the elderly. Paul Giamatti's character is an attorney for, well, old people. He makes sure they are cared for, deals with their estates, etc. This fact and the laws themselves are one of the main plot points of Win Win--the structure of the story relies on the laws and their effects. As you will likely remember, Carl Fredricksen's call to adventure in Up is when he is forced to leave his home after assaulting a construction worker. This plot turn, too, relies on laws that apply to the elderly. Someone in the audience asked Mr. McCarthy about this similarity, and he discussed that he has a friend back in New Jersey who is an attorney for the elderly (and who is incredibly passionate about the subject). This friend gave advice during the development of Up and, having never written a creative word in his entire life, co-wrote Win Win with Tom McCarthy. It is a very bizarre thing to have as a common thread through your films, but Tom pulled it off wonderfully. He has two movies which rely on laws pertaining to the elderly, yet they are both incredibly different, and very, very good.

The other aspect of the Q&A that blew my mind was Alex Shaffer. He is the lead of Win Win, who plays a damaged teenager with nothing good in his life except for wrestling. Alex's performance is spectacular; I totally buy that he is a lost, hurt, and lonely kid trying to find where he "fit in." That's why I was very surprised to find out that before Win Win, Alex had never acted before in his life. He was cast for his wrestling talent (he won the state championship in New Jersey several years ago), not his acting ability. He told us about how he worked with an acting coach, and then discussed how amazing it was to work with Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan. His story is really great--that one audition with Tom McCarthy drastically changed his life forever. I promise he'll get more parts in the very near future....

Anyways, I just wanted to share some of the interesting things I learned from Tom. I highly suggest that you go out and see the film when it is released in your state (it is an indie film, so it doesn't have a national release date). Win Win will make you laugh hysterically, make your eyes water a little bit, and, most importantly, it will make you think about yourself and your own life. Go out and see Win Win, and don't forget about the connection it has to everyone's favorite studio, Pixar.


New 'Brave' Art

EW has just released some exclusive concept art from Pixar's upcoming film Brave. The art is spectacular, and features great landscapes of Scotland, as well as some new looks at what the main character, Merida, might look like.

Also announced in the article is the fact that, although Brenda Chapman was taken off the project as director and replaced by Mark Andrews, they are both going to be credited as director upon the film's release.

The short article on EW does a wonderful job summarizing the project, and, at the same time, getting me really excited for June of next year...

Expect to see a lot more news leaking about Brave once we get Cars 2 out of the way this June.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Full-length film for Mickey?

During an interview with Disney veteran Burney Mattinson, Bleeding Cool discovered that a feature-length project for Mickey, Donald, and Goofy is in the very, very early stages of development. Mattinson, who worked on the classic Pooh pictures of the 1960s, as well as the upcoming Winnie-the-Pooh film, said in the interview:

I am working on just an idea of my own which is basically a Mickey, Donald, Goofy feature film idea. We have to present it first to the bosses to get the green light.
This hardly says anything concrete about the project or the likelihood it will get made, but it still presents an interesting observation and possibility. Up until now, I guess I never really realized or grasped the fact that Mickey and his pals have never had their own feature, but just a bunch of shorts and comics. That seems kind of ridiculous, doesn't it? The icon of a movie studio not having his own movie?! What's up with that? . . .

I s'pose it is probably because the studio doesn't want to gamble their most coveted asset and character on a high-profile feature film. After all, if they did make the film and ended up being awful, nobody would ever look at Mickey the same again, and that would seriously undermine the importance of the "symbol" of Mickey Mouse. I mean, after all, Mickey really is so much more than just a character, and I don't see how they could fit that aspect of him into a film . . .

I think another reason is that Mickey Mouse isn't an incredibly interesting character. I know that probably sounds crazy coming from a huge Disney fan like me, but it's true. Mickey is almost always happy and carefree and friendly--this results in no conflict whatsoever, which means a boring story. It's for this reason that Donald is my favorite character; Donald Duck is nothing but conflict. He is the most realistic and relatable character of the original Disney troop because he has real problems and reacts like we do (although perhaps exaggeratedly). I'd love to see a Donald Duck feature over a Mickey one.

Still, I wonder what type of plot they could develop for Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. There are so many different styles and portrayals of the characters, and so many different settings they find themselves in (I think I have seen Mickey living in at least 20 different houses over the years in the shorts, and comics, etc.), that I just don't know how the animators could decide on one definitive style for the very first feature of the world's most iconic characters . . .

I hope that this project gets made, I hope it has a wonderful story, and, above all, I hope they keep it traditionally animated. If Disney makes a feature-length film in the style of Mickey Mouse's Clubhouse, I might just disown Disney as my favorite company.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wooden iPad 2 Cover

Briefy: I know I don't post much about gadgets anymore, but this is just way too cool for me to pass up. Above, you'll find a video from Miniot, an awesome company based in Holland, demonstrating their brand new "smart cover"-esque cover for the iPad 2...and it is made out of wood! Very classy and cool. I stuck with my original iPad 'cause the sequel didn't entice me enough, but now I'm having second thoughts...

The case is going to be released tomorrow, March 25, in several types of wood, starting at €50, or about $70, which ain't a bad price, considering Apple's dorky, boring leather cases are the same price.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

'WALL-E' and 'Up' Posters, stylized

Briefly: At the top of this post you will find two awesome Pixar posters I stumbled upon at, by the talented artist Lópezgrafico.

Great stuff!!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Some 'Cars 2' news!

Here are some super-exciting updates related to Pixar's next feature, Cars 2!

First up is the poster heading this article--it was just released. I like the style. Nice n' simple. It ain't no Pooh one-sheet, but it does its job.

As soon as it seemed like we'd seen everything there was to see from Cars 2 until the film's actual release date, I stumble upon something as spectacular as the Japanese Trailer . . . Click here and watch "Japan Trailer 2" for tons of never-before-seen action and pure awesomeness!

A screenwriter is suing Disney, claiming that Cars was his idea. I'm sure that he is just a gold digger who had a similar idea . . . After all, could his tming be any more perfect with the release of Cars 2 just around the corner? Read all about it at The Pixar Blog here.

In June, the first part of a two part comic series, based on Cars 2, will be released by Marvel Comics. The cover is pictured above.

Cars 2, which I am becoming increasingly less skeptical about, will be released later this year on June 24.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

'The Ballad of Nessie' details, images

The Ballad of Nessie is an upcoming, traditionally-animated Disney short. The film will be a take on the classic Loch Ness Monster story, and will be attached to Winnie-the-Pooh on July 15 later this year.

Above and below you will find the brand new, hi-res stills from the short, which is being headed by Stevie Wermers-Skelton and Kevin Deters (How To Hook Up Your Home Theatre and Prep and Landing). Some of my favorite animators are involved in the project, including Andreas Deja and Mark Henn.

This looks great! As if I didn't need another reason to be excited for Winnie-the-Pooh!! I am so glad that Disney is re-embracing the wonderful art form of traditional animation. It is just so great to look at and watch . . . Is it July yet!?

For more info on the interesting production methods behind the short, check out this great post from Cartoon Brew.


New 'Pirates' posters and featurette

Briefly: In this post, you will find two just-released posters for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, as well as an interesting featurette on the film.

On Stranger Tides will be released in just a matter of months, on May 20.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

'Super 8' trailer and poster

J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg seem to have created something really special with Super 8. It is very, very Spielbergian--it basically looks like E.T. with a bunch of action. Or The Goonies with aliens. Both mash-ups I'd be very, very happy with. No gimmicks and no celebrities just to have celebrities; Super 8 seems to be an incredibly welcome and refreshing return to classic, wonderful storytelling at its finest.

Above you'll find the awesome, simple poster, and below is the just-released trailer.

Is it June yet?!?


Friday, March 11, 2011

Lasseter talks 'Cars 2'

Here's a short video of John Lasseter talking about Cars 2. He discusses his inspirations, his favorite characters, and the interesting fact that Finn McMissile was actually developed for the original Cars film. It's a short, sweet, very interesting clip. Definitely worth a look.

Also, John has managed to make me a little bit less skeptical about the film, claiming it's "not a parody of a spy movie, this is a spy movie."

Thank goodness. I knew I could count on you, Mr. Lasseter.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

'Art of Pixar' Book on its way

Briefly: According to, later this year, Chronicle Books will be publishing a book entitled The Art of Pixar: 25th Anniversary: The Complete Color Scripts and Select Art from 25 Years of Animation. It is by everyone's favorite animation guru/Cartoon Brew writer Amid Amidi, who also wrote The Art of Pixar Short Films several years ago. A while back, he was set to write The Art of Toy Story 3, but then announced that he wouldn't be anymore; many believed he had a falling out with Pixar, but now it appears that the exact opposite is true.

It looks like the 320-page hardcover book will land just in time for Christmas, around early November. . . And I can't wait to get my hands on it! 320 pages of Pixar at my fingertips... Oh boy!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New 'Cars 2' Trailer, Retro Posters, and Hi-res Stills!

Above you will find a full, extended, super awesome trailer for Pixar's upcoming film Cars 2. Below, you will find a collection of just-released stills. Click to massively embiggen. . .

And here is the pièce de résistance, a collection of retro Cars 2 posters (courtesy of Empire), straight from Emeryville, California. Click these to embiggen, too. . . Boy oh boy, would I want a print of that London poster for my wall.

I'm still questioning Cars 2. As I've been saying all along, it looks like it has great characters, spectacular animation, and even a cohesive plot, but I just don't see any room for the coveted "Pixar heart" that they've had in every film since Luxo, Jr. But I'm not going to pass judgment on the film just yet. If anyone's earned my trust and respect, it's Pixar. I'm gonna give them the benefit of the doubt until I see the film later this year.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Real 'Up' House

No, your monitor isn't broken. The image to the left is accurate and real--a team at National Geographic created Carl Fredricksen's house and tied 300 helium-filled weather balloons to it!! Although the house wasn't actual size, it was still fairly large at 16 by 16 feet, and flew at an altitude of 10,000 feet for over an hour.

This is quite possibly the coolest thing I've ever seen.

This was done for a new National Geographic TV series, How Hard Can it Be?

Check out Gizmodo for some more info and pictures.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

'Toy Story: Hawaiian Vacation' Clip

Disney/Pixar just released the above clip from Toy Story: Hawaiian Vacation, the upcoming short that will be attached to Cars 2.

EW spoke with the short's director, Gary Rydstrom, who discusses how all of the original voice actors came back for the short, and also how his favorite part involves a singing Mr. Pricklepants.