Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Smurfs Production Blog

Here's a quick little press notification from Sony Pictures Animation:

Kelly Asbury (SHREK 2, GNOMEO & JULIET), director of Sony Pictures Animation's brand new all-animated computer-generated SMURFS feature film, launched his official blog this morning at THE BLUE PRINT will chronicle his journey directing the animated comedy, feature guest contributors and offer exclusive glimpses at the making of film.

First up is a piece of concept art teasing the new look of the Smurfs Village, very close to Peyo's original creation. Check back for several updates every week.

The Blue Print is the latest social media initiative from Sony Pictures Animation (HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS).

The studio's Facebook page recently passed 2 million fans, all organically and without any media buy:

Sony Pictures Animation's YouTube channel was also revamped last week and now features brand new videos every week:

Lastly, the official Sony Pictures Animation website is debuting employee video profiles every month with more free content coming soon for animation fans:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Batman, Robin & Wonder Woman Battle Catwoman & Poison Ivy

How to have fun with a video camera, some kids, some Legos and a few computer effects. Put together by a guy I knew a few years back.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Press Release: Sony Pictures Animation Unveils Updated Production Slate

Culver City, CA, March 11, 2014 – Sony Pictures Animation today gave an update on their lineup of upcoming projects—which includes the animated motion picture debut of a classic comic strip figure, an original tale from one of the form’s most multi-faceted filmmakers, as well as the continued expansion of two of the studio’s most popular worlds.

Bob Osher, President of Sony Pictures Digital Productions, states, “I am really excited by the variety of our upcoming projects as well as the amazing talent working on them.”

·            Sony Pictures Animation has hired animation industry veteran Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2, Gnomeo & Juliet) to direct an all new, fully computer-animated film featuring the world’s most popular blue creatures. The family adventure, currently going by the working title The Untitled Smurfs Movie, is anticipated in theaters August 2015. Jordan Kerner (The Smurfs) is producing, with Mary Ellen Bauder (Hotel Transylvania) co-producing.  The original two live action/CG hybrid Smurfs movies from Sony Pictures Animation grossed a combined $910 million worldwide.

·            Genndy Tartakovsky will return to the director’s chair for Hotel Transylvania 2, , scheduled for September 2015, which will bring back Adam Sandler’s Dracula.  Sandler and Robert Smigel are taking on writing duties for the comedy.

·            The über prolific Genndy Tartakovsky is also busy working an all-new CG take on the comic strip hero, Popeye, all the while developing an original idea for Sony Pictures Animation titled Genndy Tartakovsky’s Can You Imagine?, described as a fantastic journey through one boy’s imagination.  Producer Michelle Murdocca will once again work closely with Tartakovsky.

Kelly Asbury, who was nominated for the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or for Shrek 2, offers, “I'm really excited about taking the Smurfs in a completely new fresh direction. We're not making a Smurfs 3 film. Our character designs and environments will be stylistically closer to the original artwork created by Peyo. Our story will explore the beginnings of the beloved little blue creatures in a fun full CG animated comedy-adventure for every generation to enjoy.

13-time Emmy Award nominee Tartakovsky himself says, “It’s good to be back at the Hotel Transylvania, and I’m very excited to work on Popeye, a character that I’ve loved since I was a kid. I'm also looking forward to developing an entirely new and original animated feature here at Sony Pictures Animation.  This is an exciting time for me and for the studio.”

Michelle Raimo Kouyate, the President of Production for Sony Pictures Animation, is working closely with filmmakers on those projects while overseeing an extensive development slate for the animation studio.  Imagery and animation on all Sony Pictures Animation films will be provided by Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Sony Pictures Animation (SPA) produces a variety of animated entertainment for audiences around the world.  Last year’s hybrid live action/animated family blockbuster The Smurfs 2 and mouth-watering adventure Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2—the follow-ups to its two global comedy hits—together grossed more than $600 million worldwide; both titles are now available on Blu-ray/DVD.  In 2013, Sony Pictures Animation also released a brand new mini-movie on DVD and television, The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow.  The studio’s 2012 monster release, Hotel Transylvania, went on to earn more than $350 million in box office worldwide. The division, whose first feature film Open Season led to a very successful movie franchise, received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature Film for its 2007 release, Surf's Up.  SPA, in conjunction with Aardman Animations, has produced two critically acclaimed feature films:  the CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas; and the Academy Award® nominated stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, The Pirates! Band of Misfits.  Sony Pictures Animation is an operating unit of Sony Pictures Digital.

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Brain Divided

From Gentle to Mental

It's been a whole month and a half since my last post so it's time for a random animated short. I'm always interested in seeing shorts reach their full potential audience, and back in the Animated News days I was working privately on a spinoff project called Animated Shorts, to help give a showcase to the many deserving short animated films out there. A Facebook friend just posted this and it has pretty good production values for a student project, a well-paced and well-constructed storyline, a stinger of an ending, a female lead somewhat reminiscent of Vanessa Bloome from Dreamworks Animation's Bee Movie, and a male lead reminiscent of Remy from Pixar's Ratatouille. It even has a Facebook page with links to more related material, such as a Directors Interview. Cartoon Brew already knew about it but every once in a while I miss a post there. Watch it and help it make it to the 5 million views milestone (or watch it at Vimeo if you're the egalitarian type that knows YouTube is not the only way to watch online video):

Friday, January 17, 2014

Frozen-themed Guest Suite Press Release

I kind of like these stories about things from animated movies being brought to life. Here's a press release I just got about Anna and Else's bedrooms created from sculpted ice in a Quebecois hotel:



BURBANK, CA, January 17, 2014 – Today, Walt Disney Studios has unveiled the first images from the Frozen-inspired suite at Quebec City’s famed Hôtel de Glace, in celebration of Disney’s “FROZEN” Blu-ray & Digital HD release. 

Created entirely out of sculpted ice and snow and supervised by the film’s art director Michael Giaimo, the “Frozen Suite” is modeled after Anna & Elsa’s bedrooms. The collaboration will also include a “Frozen Activity Cave” bringing the wonder of Disney’s wintry tale to life like never before. The suite will be unveiled this weekend and remain open through March 23.  

About Disney’s Frozen
Walt Disney Animation Studios, the studio behind “Tangled” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” presents “FROZEN” a chilly twist on one of the most humorous and heartwarming stories ever told. “FROZEN” is an adventure that delivers a fresh and contemporary take on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic winter myth “The Snow Queen,” features an ensemble cast of fun and entertaining characters, including a comedic snowman brought to life by magic, as they embark on an exciting journey to save the kingdom from eternal winter and bring back summer!

Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey—teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven—to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. 

The film is directed by Chris Buck (“Tarzan,” “Surf’s Up”) and Jennifer Lee (screenwriter, “Wreck-It Ralph”), who also wrote the screenplay. It is produced by Peter Del Vecho (“Winnie the Pooh,” “The Princess and the Frog”).
Featuring original songs from Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“In Transit,” “Winnie the Pooh”) and Tony® winner Robert Lopez (“The Book of Mormon,” “Avenue Q”), and an original score by Christophe Beck (“The Muppets,” Oscar®-winning short “Paperman”).

Bring home Disney’s “FROZEN” on Digital HD & 3D February 25th and Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD & On-Demand March 18th — featuring a blizzard of never-before-seen bonus extras with gorgeous animation, memorable characters and unforgettable music. It’s dazzling fun for the whole family!

For more information, check out, like us on Facebook: and follow us on Twitter: @DisneyAnimation.

About Hôtel de Glace:
Located only 10 minutes from downtown Québec City, the Hôtel de Glace is a must-see attraction to discover each winter. The authentic Hôtel de Glace in America, has seduced over a million people around the world since its opening in 2001. With its huge snow vaults and its crystalline ice sculptures, the Hôtel de Glace impresses by its dazzling decor. From January 3rd until March 23rd, 2014, enter this magical universe and live an incredible experience by visiting this ephemeral work of art.

For more information about Quebec City’s Hôtel de Glace, please visit

About The Walt Disney Studios:
For more than 85 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; Disneynature; Marvel Studios; and Touchstone Pictures, the banner under which live-action films from DreamWorks Studios are distributed. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live! 
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© 2014 Disney

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Disney's Frozen Home Video Release

Available on Digital HD & 3D February 25th and Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD & On-Demand March 18th

Film Synopsis:               Walt Disney Animation Studios presents a chilly twist on one of the most humorous and heartwarming stories ever told. “Disney Animation’s best since The Lion King” (William Bibbiani, CraveOnline) will melt your heart.

Fearless optimist Anna sets off on an epic journey — teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven — to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.

Bring home Frozen on Blu-ray High Definition — featuring a blizzard of never-before-seen bonus extras with gorgeous animation, memorable characters and unforgettable music. It’s dazzling fun for the whole family!

Voice Cast:                         Kristen Bell (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Hit & Run,” Showtime’s “House of Lies,” Broadway’s “The Crucible”) as Anna; Idina Menzel (Broadway’s “Wicked” and “Rent,” “Enchanted”) as Elsa; Jonathan Groff (2013 Sundance Film Festival’s “C.O.G,”  “Taking Woodstock,” Fox's “Glee,” Broadway’s “Spring Awakening”) as mountain man Kristoff; Josh Gad (“The Internship,” “Love & Other Drugs,” Broadway’s “The Book of Mormon”) as the lovable snowman Olaf; Santino Fontana (Broadway’s “Cinderella,” “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” “Billy Elliot”) as Hans; Alan Tudyk (King Candy in “Wreck-It Ralph,” “42”) as the Duke of Weselton; Ciarán Hinds (“Game of Thrones”) as Pabbie & Chris Williams (“Bolt,” “Prep & Landing”-executive producer/story by) as Oaken

Directors:                          Chris Buck (Disney Animation veteran and director of Oscar®-nominated films “Tarzan,” “Surf’s Up”) & Jennifer Lee (screenwriter of the Oscar-nominated “Wreck-It Ralph” and the first female director in Disney Animation feature history)

Producer:                           Peter Del Vecho (“The Princess and the Frog,” “Winnie the Pooh”)

Screenplay by:                Jennifer Lee (Wreck-It Ralph)

Original Songs by:      Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“In Transit,” “Winnie the Pooh”) & Robert Lopez   (Tony® Award winner, “The Book of Mormon,” “Avenue Q”)

Original Score               Christophe Beck (“The Hangover” movies, Oscar®-winning short “Paperman”)
Composed by: 

Release Dates:              Digital HD & Digital 3D: February 25th, 2014
                                                Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD & On-Demand: March 18th, 2014

Direct Prebook:           January 21, 2014
Distributor Prebook: February 4, 2014

Packaging:                       2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) & 1-Disc DVD

New Bonus Features:                     The Making Of Frozen (Blu-ray, Digital)
·         D’frosted: Disney’s Journey From Hans Christian
Andersen to Frozen (Blu-ray, Digital)
·         4 Deleted Scenes with introduction by Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
·         Original Theatrical Short - “Get A Horse” (Blu-ray, Digital & DVD)
·         “Let It Go” Music Videos by Demi Lovato, Martina Stoessel & Marsha Milan Londoh (Blu-ray, Digital & DVD)
·         Frozen Teaser Trailer (Blu-ray, Digital & DVD)

*Digital bonus offerings will vary per retailer

Feature Run Time:     Approx. 102-minutes

Rated:                                 US: PG / Canada: G (CE and CF)

Aspect Ratio:                 Blu-ray: 1080p High Definition • 2.39:1
DVD: 2.39:1 • Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions

Sound:                                Blu-ray:  English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks
DVD: English 5.1 and DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital; Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks

Languages/                     English SDH, Spanish and French Subtitles (Applies To Film Content Only)

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