Thursday, December 16, 2010

Little Mermaid at Blue Sky Cellar

The Blue Sky Cellar, which previews attractions coming to Disney's California Adventure, is now showing conceptual artwork used in the creation of the forthcoming Little Mermaid ride. Here's some pictures but be sure to check it out in person if you can.






Thursday, December 9, 2010

Prep and Landing Training Videos

Accompanying the recent broadcast of Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa, Disney has released some limited animation/Little Golden Book-style Kringle Academy "training videos." Here's one:

The rest are viewable here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

First Still from Disney's The Muppets

First still from Disney's The Muppets (click for larger image):

Winnie the Pooh 2011 Stills and Trailer

Click on each one for a bigger image. The first one is a better quality version of the image they use in the 3D diorama I mentioned in this post.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tron Gets Animated...

... or animated in a different way, or something. Yahoo's OMG site reports on plans for an animated series for television based around the TRON mythos and several big names (Elijah Wood, Bruce Boxleitner) are lending their voices. Oddly enough, it doesn't state what style of animation would be used. Perhaps it will be hand-drawn in the same way that the CGI Toy Story movies spawned a hand-drawn (albeit cheaply) spinoff in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Winnie the Pooh Diorama

The Toy Story Zoetrope room in the Animation Building at Walt Disney's California Adventure often has pretty bad lighting but they always have a couple large, usually three-dimensional dioramas up of the upcoming Disney and Pixar movies. Yesterday I saw one for the first time for the Winnie the Pooh movie coming out next summer. From what I have heard this movie is John Lasseter's idea and possibly an attempt to redeem Disney from some of the ridiculously sanitized, Barney-like versions of Winnie and gang that we've seen since around the mid-80's. This diorama gives me hope that the movie will meet its goal. UPDATE: Yahoo! Movies has a piece about the movie here and how it is bringing the "old school" look back.


Another view here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Lion King comes to life

Just saw this on Jennifer Klein's Facebook page. I always wondered what a "live action" Lion King might be like and this gives some idea. It's fan-made and some of the shots are rather pedestrian, while some are computer assisted but for some scenes they found some pretty good matching live action footage. The first clip has been around a long time (I found it first at circa 1998), but I'm including it here because it's a great version of "Circle of Life" and because this new fan-made Lion King starts after the opening song ends.

And a "trailer" for a live-action Simba's Pride:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lisa and Maggie . . . and Matt

Be warned that this is not the most exciting thing ever but it is interesting to see a young Matt Groening with his sisters named, what else? Lisa and Maggie. And his dad's name is, well, you can already guess the dad's name.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Oswald and Mickey Meet

I always wondered when this would happen:

from Stitch Kingdom

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Yogi Bear trailer

It's been a while since I posted anything so I'm going to slum it and post the new Yogi Bear teaser trailer:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

3D Blu-Ray Now Available for Home Viewing

Just got an e-mail from Sony (a mass e-mail, not just to me) about how Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has become the first release to feature high definition 3D, not the old-fashioned 3D where all the colors pretty much become grey. I believe the only way it works is to get a new 3D-capable Blu-Ray player. Oh, wait, its Amazon page says, "This Blu-ray disc will display only in 2D without special hardware. To watch this movie in Blu-ray 3D, you will need a 3D-capable television that comes with active-shutter glasses and a 3D-capable Blu-ray player. See 3D 101 for full details."

Other animated Sony titles coming soon to 3D Blu-Ray include Monster House and Open Season, and not animated but I suppose most animation fans will welcome the late July release of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Sony's 3D Blu-Ray Page

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Magic Carpet

When I wrote for Animated News I used to get all sorts of neato stuff sent to me. One of my favorite things was this Aladdin-themed mousepad that looks just like the magic carpet from the film, complete with real tassels:


Click here to see some bigger versions of the photo so you can catch all the detail.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Twenty Years and One Day Ago

Twenty years and one day ago the world lost a wonderful, kind, creative soul named Jim Henson, yet his legacy lives on.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Shrek: The Final Chapter: Fun Facts!

The fourth and final Shrek film was initially going to be called Shrek Goes Forth, then it was going to be called Shrek Forever After and they have apparently now settled on calling it Shrek: The Final Chapter. There may actually have been some other titles tossed about. Anyways, here are some fun facts recently released about the production of the film. One of the facts even mentions one of the discarded titles.
  1. There were 65 sequences written, recorded, and storyboarded over the course of the production. The final film has 32.
  2. Nearly 70,000 storyboards were drawn in the making of SHREK FOREVER AFTER.
  3. 23 storyboard artists contributed to the film.
  4. Shrek is 7 feet tall, has 22 teeth and his hand is about 13.5 inches from the base of his palm to the tip of his middle finger. His shoe size would be a size 22 (15 ½ inches) – similar to Shaquille O'Neal.
  5. Rumpelstiltskin's feet are 6¼ inches. That's like a child's size 9 or 10 – similar to a 2 – 3 year old kid.
  6. Rumpelstiltskin wears 4 different wigs in the movie: business wig, speech wig, angry wig and victory wig.
  7. Shrek 4 is the first show that did Cloth, Hair, Finaling, Chains, Smoosh and Feathers in one show.
  8. Crowd characters have up to 3 layers of clothing while most hero characters only have one.
  9. The S4 book was built to have 60 double sided pages.
  10. There are 241 shields in the ogre ball, and 34 ogres inside it.
  11. In the Ogre camp, there are 35 torches in 59 shots. That's 2065 layers or 4130 for stereo.
  12. In the World Fades, the tornado elements are generated (combination of 2 separate elements) simulating around/over 500 million particles per frame. Total length of the shots utilizes the tornado element is well over 1000 frames. The final look is achieved by compositing 14 separate channels.
  13. DreamWorks Animation software generated 74,016 different ogre variations, of which the same 51 were used throughout all the ogre shots.
  14. There are 430 witches on the dance floor and balconies when Shrek is brought in meet Rumpelstiltskin.
  15. Reference for the battle between ogres and witches was done with motion capture. Three actors with over 22 years of combined martial arts experience including one Aikido instructor, and one US collegiate Wu Shu champion. There were four fully choreographed fights.
  16. Reference for the dancing ogres with Pied Piper was a video of a professional dance troupe with about a dozen members. The choreographer was Michael Rooney, Mickey Rooney's son.

Admirable Asperger's Animation

Now animation should always be entertaining but sometimes it should be educational. Check out this well-animated spot about Asperger's Syndrome:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Annie Awards Videos

In my time spent skirting the edges of the animation community for the past several years I've been to a number of events that I thought would be great for people to see who weren't able to make it for whatever reason. Some of these events have been video recorded but I never find out later that it made it to the Internet. Fortunately that could be changing now with the appearance of the 37th Annual Annie Awards Webcast.

Here's a couple of the clips:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tangled on Display


The animation building at Disney's California Adventure is now sporting a 3D diorama of Tangled. I just hope they eventually change the name back to Rapunzel.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Over at o-meon Chuck Oberleitner reviews today's release of The Great Mouse Detective: Mystery in the Mist Edition and while enjoying the film he wonders how, in 2010, it did not get a Blu-Ray release. Have to admit I am wondering the same thing. Surely, this is a mystery for Basil to solve. "The Great Mouse Detective, full of warmth, charm, and characters, whose exploits you really want to follow, deserves far more than this lackluster, rehashed DVD release." Anyways, the recommendation is still to buy it if you don't have the prior DVD release or to rent it and await a Blu-Ray release if you do have a prior home video version.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Secret of Kells

Finally got to see The Secret of Kells earlier tonight. Missed it in its original theatrical run but getting an Oscar nomination has breathed new life into it and got it a much wider release. Check out the Notes section of its Facebook page to find where it's playing. You may be surprised to see that it is "at a theater near you" or will be soon. Don't be a lump on a log and wait for its DVD release, but go and see it the proper way. Imagerywise, the film seems to be 60% Samurai Jack, 30% Persepolis, and 10% Lucky Charms commercial and every scene is a new visual treat. You'll notice the main character near the end looks like Obi-Wan Kenobi circa Attack of the Clones, a wise sage who looks like Willie Nelson, and a minor character who looks like a cross between Mr. Magoo and Mr. Miyagi.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Beauty and the Beast Diamond Edition

(Click image for larger view.)

The cover art has now been released for the Beauty and the Beast Diamond Edition Blu-Ray set to be released on October 5. Disney is also getting ready to release Beauty and the Beast theatrically in 3D and apparently Blu-Ray players are set to hit the market near the end of the year that can play 3D movies so I wonder if Beauty and the Beast will have a 3D home release.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Meet the dragons

Following is some information on the several types of dragon species that will be seen in DreamWorks Animations How to Train Your Dragon, directed by the Lilo and Stitch team of Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois:

The rarest and most intelligent of the dragon species, the NIGHT FURY is distinguished by its dark color and piercing yellow eyes, as well as its smaller size, heavy chest and short neck. Possessing the largest wing-to-body ratio of all dragons, it can fly higher, faster and longer than any dragon, and its incredible power-to-weight ratio renders it capable of vertical takeoff. Yet, all that grace in the air translates into clumsiness on the ground. Its unconventional fire (a semi-solid mass alight with an acetylene/oxygen flame) explodes its target on impact. Its signature attack mode is executed after sundown and from high altitude—enwrapped in its wings, it dives like a bullet, pulling up at the last moment to deliver one precise and explosive burst…then vanishing back into the darkness. The only warning is the ballistic noise the diving Night Fury makes. Its kamikaze attack, along with its cautious behavior and analytical mind, makes the Night Fury a devastating opponent with an extraordinary success rate. To date, no Night Fury has ever been brought down.

Don’t be fooled, because the beautifully colored DEADLY NADDER—displaying tropical palettes as vivid and varied as a parrot—is also extremely dangerous. It is flighty, aggressive, and has a quick and explosive temper, which is made all the worse by its preening vanity. Its attack is two-pronged: it can breathe pure magnesium (the hottest dragon fire) hundreds of yards; and it can whip off a load of lethal spikes with a flick of its tail. This—along with the fact that its danger in the air is topped by its danger on the ground—makes it one of the most difficult dragons to fight. Carried by muscular and quick-moving legs, it can also fan spikes on its body and defend itself with its crushing crossbill beak. Its head also doubles as a battering ram, capable of knocking down all but the sturdiest walls and doors. Its weak point is its eyesight – because its eyes are on the side of its head, the Deadly Nadder suffers from a huge blind spot right in front of itself.

The flagship of the dragon species, the MONSTROUS NIGHTMARE is the most visually terrifying and iconic of known dragon species. The mostly red and black Monstrous Nightmare is violent, stubborn and tenacious, first to arrive and last to leave a battle. It is gifted with exceptionally good vision and extendable wings that make it appear even bigger, intimidating its enemies. It can attack on the ground (clinging to walls and utilizing its gigantic mouth and long horns at close range) as well as in the air—even though its enormous wings make it slow-going on land and its size renders it an easy target. That is compensated for by its armory of spikes and its greatest weapon, a kerosene gel fire. This heavy, sticky fire coats surfaces and seeps into cracks and trenches, making it nearly impossible to put out. Its strategy is to coat itself in fire from nose to tail and attack its enemy as it burns.

The GRONCKLE is distinguished by its robust body and relatively tiny wings that can flap with tremendous velocity, endowing it with the ability to fly backwards or sideways. The Gronckle loves to sleep, and can sometimes be seen dozing off in flight or piling on top of its peers, creating a giant heap of sleeping dragons. It divides its day thusly – Flying 1%. Eating 5%. Complaining 10%. Sleeping 84%. While attacking, the Gronckle smashes and crushes enemies with its extendable tail, capped with a mace-like ball, or by using its head as a battering ram. But deadliest is its fire—hundreds of pounds of ingested rocks are melted into lava, which is combined with oxygen (from breathing) and propelled like a flaming cannon ball at its attacker. Its Achilles heel is its terrible vision, sometimes even mistaking rocks as its eggs and sitting on them, waiting for them to hatch.

The most unusual of the dragons, the HIDEOUS ZIPPLEBACK is easy to spot (and easy to figure out where it got its name): just look for the two heads, each on separate necks that can “zip” together. While it’s the longest dragon, it also has the smallest wings, along with short, stocky legs—so it’s neither great in the air nor effective on the ground. Little matter, as its unusual attack is especially lethal. Instead of breathing fire, one head produces a flammable gas, while the other ignites it with a spark. It can, therefore, attack from remote locations, with the gas seeping into corners and crevices before it is ignited. Its physical shortcomings and dull mind have contributed to this beast’s near extinction. Its greatest strength—two heads—is also its greatest weakness, as the two separate and limited minds often disagree, leaving it stalled and vulnerable. Likewise, multiple Vikings can confuse and defeat it. Male Zipplebacks often egg themselves on until they blow themselves up—females are more reasonable and live longer.

Of all known dragons, the TERRIBLE TERROR is both the smallest in stature and the most numerous in population. Even though it travels in packs, it loses the advantage of its large numbers by constant infighting, rather than focusing on creating a cooperative plan of attack. This renders them ineffective in battle, so they scavenge for food instead of hunting for it. Because the Terrible Terror cannot fly great distances, it attaches itself to larger dragons for free rides. This dragon’s high rate of reproduction and its non-confrontational attitude towards humans have allowed it to thrive, despite its disadvantages. Although there are reportedly thousands of Terrors, it is rarely sighted—some Vikings go their entire lives without seeing one.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cruella de Vil Interviews Dug (and Bob Peterson Too)

Over at The Huffington Post actress Glenn Close, who played villainess Cruella de Vil in two live action Disney films, interviews UP co-director Bob Peterson and also gets to interview Dug, the dog from UP who can speak with the aid of his high tech collar. This is an interview for anyone who loves animation or dogs or animation with dogs.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ponyo Review

Over at the reinvigorated o-meon Chuck Oberleitner reviews the Ponyo Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack, staing, "Ponyo transports audiences into an enchanting dreamscape where anything seems possible," and heartily recommending it as a "Buy."

I have to say that I like these Blu-ray/DVD Combo packs because I do have a Blu-ray player but I also have several other machines I can play regular DVDs on, but not Blu-Rays. So, "Thanks, Disney."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fantasia 2000 at the El Cap

Just took a random look at the website for The El Capitan Theatre and saw that they are bringing Fantasia 2000 back for an eleven-day run beginning February 18th. Each screening will be opened with a showing of the Walt Disney-Salvador Dali-Roy E. Disney impressionistic short, Destino. On February 17th they will be holding a Special Filmmaker Panel before the initial screening.

Destino fits right in with the Fantasia theme because it was going to either be used in the original Fantasia or a planned update to it that never actually went through, then its completion was brought about as a byproduct of the production of Fantasia 2000, then was planned to be part of Fantasia 2006, but that never happened either.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Toy Story 3 Diorama

Stopped by Disney's California Adventure earlier today and went to the Animation building. In the area where they have the Toy Story Zoetrope they have a new diorama showing Andy's teenaged bedroom:


At least I figured it was the teenaged Andy's bedroom. There was no Toy Story logo to be seen but then I had my suspicion confirmed when I got closer and could see several characters from the movies peeking out from a toy chest:


Friday, January 22, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Super Mario 3 in Old-Fashioned Paper

Another goofy videogame-related YouTube video:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Once Upon a Wintertime

Here's a segment from Disney's 1948 ensemble piece Melody Time that I never paid much attention to but now that I watch it I see that it has some tight character design and a nice little rescue scene near the end that reminded me of a scene from Superman II:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Secret of NIMH

The entire movie on Hulu: