Up to open Cannes

Disney/Pixar’s Up will open the Cannes Film Festival on May 13.

The movie is the story of a 78- year old man Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Ed Asner) who rigs helium balloons to his house and flies to South America.

Up is the first animated film to open the festival. It is a definite change of pace from Blindness, which opened the 2008 festival. It opens in the United States on May 29.

WALL-E for Best Picture?

Upon its release in June, audiences and critics fell in love with WALL-E, the story an adorable post-apocalyptic robot who saves the world. It has quickly become a box office hit and been celebrated as one of the best reviews movies of the year. So, the question now is: Is WALL-E good enough to be the 2009 Best Picture?

This Time Magazine article attempts to answer this very question:

WALL-E, Pixar’s lonely little post-apocalyptic robot, is quickly collecting a lot of friends. Critics have applauded the animated film all the way to a 97% Fresh rating on the movie-review website Rotten Tomatoes — the year’s best so far. Audiences have spent $128 million at the box office in WALL-E‘s first 10 days of release, placing the film seventh so far in 2008, and it is likely to climb closer to the heroes of May — Indiana Jones and Iron Man — as glowing word-of-mouth continues to drive ticket sales. Even though most of Hollywood’s Oscar contenders have yet to hit theaters, all that critical and commercial affection is leading awards watchers to ponder: Could WALL-E finally be The One?

No animated feature has done it; the only film nominated in the category was Beauty and the Beast in 1994. But then again no other animated film is quite like WALL-E. It it a poignant examination of American culture and a reminder of how one day what we know to be real will be history to someone else. WALL-E is a great movie. But as long as the animated feature category exists, no animated film will ever win best picture. Then again, anything is possible.

Disney’s Got a New Attitude

Disney previews 10 new animated movies, most 3-D
Tuesday April 8 7:46 PM ET

The Walt Disney  Studios previewed 10 animated movies on Monday that it will release during the next four years, including further installments in the Toy Story” and Cars series and two new fairy tales.

With the exception of Wall.E, a robot love story opening on June 28, and The Princess and the Frog, a hand-drawn animated fairy tale set in New Orleans and due to open Christmas 2009, the remaining eight movies will be made in digital 3-D.

“We’re excited to be pushing the boundaries of 3-D and computer technology to tell our stories in the best possible way,” said John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.


Disney’s upcoming 3D movies are:

1. Bolt – the story of a dog of the same name who thinks he has superhero powers. John Travolta gives voice to Bolt while hit teen singer/actress Miley Cyrus is voicing Bolt’s owner Penny in the movie, due to open on November 26.

2. Up – the story of an unlikely 78-year-old adventurer and his 8-year-old sidekick, is due to be released on May 29, 2009.

3. The Toy Story Franchise – Toy Story and Toy Story 2 are due to be re-released in digital 3-D on October 2, 2009 and February 12, 2010 respectively, while Toy Story 3 is due to hit screens on June 18, 2010.

4. Rapunzel – The classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a girl trapped in a tower whose long golden hair is the only way for anyone to climb up to her, will be released at Christmas 2010.

5. Newt – A story of the last two blue-footed newts on the planet that aims to show that love is not a science, which is due to hit screens in summer 2011.

6. The Bear and the Bow – an action-adventure about a royal family in rugged and mythic Scotland — is slated to open Christmas 2011 starring the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson.

7. Cars 2 – Lightning McQueen and his best friend Mater bid to take on the world’s fastest cars, is due for release in summer 2012.

8. King of Elves – based on a 1953 short story by Phillip K. Dick, will hit screens at Christmas 2012.

Of course, you’ll have to wear those dorky glasses, but it just might be worth it

Then again, the hand drawn animation films are always wonderful, which is why I’m wicked excited about The Princess and the Frog.

A Comeback of S(h)orts

Walt Disney Studios is returning to it’s old ways with the production of a new cartoon short series starring Goofy.


For Disney, Something Old (and Short) Is New Again
By Charles Solomon
Published: December 3, 2006

MOVIEGOERS who have become inured to pre-show car ads and trivia quizzes may soon get something old enough to seem new: cartoon shorts.

After a hiatus of nearly 50 years, Walt Disney Studios is getting back into the business of producing short cartoons, starting with a Goofy vehicle next year. The studio has released a few shorts in recent years — Destino, Lorenzo and The Little Match Girl — but those were more artistic exercise than commercial endeavor. The new cartoons, by contrast, are an effort by a new leadership team from Pixar Animation Studios, now a Disney unit, to put the Burbank company back at the forefront of animation with a form it once pioneered.

The impetus comes from John Lasseter, who takes the idea from Walt Disney and 100 years of film history,” said Don Hahn, producer of The Lion King and The Little Match Girl, in a recent interview at his studio office. “Shorts have always been a wellspring of techniques, ideas and young talent. It’s exactly what Walt did, because it’s a new studio now, with new talent coming up — as it should. I think the shorts program can really grow this studio as it grew Pixar, as it grew Walt’s studio.”

Although audiences today are more familiar with his feature films, Walt Disney’s reputation was originally built on shorts. In the 1930s A Mickey Mouse Cartoon appeared on theater marquees with the titles of the features, and Disney won 10 Oscars for cartoon shorts between 1932 and 1942. He used the Silly Symphonies to train his artists as they geared up to create Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. But after World War II Disney phased out short cartoons because of rising production costs and the minimal amount theater owners would pay for them.

Mr. Hahn said the new shorts would be screened in theaters along with Disney films. “You pay your 10 bucks to see a movie,” he said, “and you get a surprise you hadn’t counted on.” \

The new shorts will be done in traditional 2-D animation, computer graphics or a combination of the two media, depending on the story and the visual style.

Article continues here.


This is easily the best idea I have a major studio come up with recently. What could be better than when you go to a movie and instead of endless trivia questions and commercials, you get to watch a delightful animated short.

Plus, you’d actually be getting something that is worth 10 dollars.

Disney gets a big thumbs up from me for just making my day.

Opening This Weekend: Everyone’s Hero

Everyone’s Hero, is an animated feature and it is the last film project from Christopher and Dana Reeve. Brian Dennhey, Whoopi Goldberg, William H. Macy, Joe Torre, Raven Symone, Dana Reeve, and Rob Reiner voiced characters in the movie. It opens nationwide this weekend.

Everyone’s Hero : final project from Reeve
Both Christopher and Dana died during the making of their last film
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES – There is an irony to a movie about a little boy who never gives up being made by a couple who themselves worked together to overcome the odds.

The opening this week of the animated baseball film Everyone’s Hero marks the final project — and message — from Christopher and Dana Reeve, who both died during the making of the movie.

The film’s message mirrors the final years of their lives, say those who worked with the couple. Reeve, paralyzed in a horseback riding accident, and his wife worked tirelessly to find a cure for spinal-cord injuries, always believing the actor would walk again.

It has a great message, which is really the philosophy that Chris and Dana Reeve had: Never give up,” said actor and director Rob Reiner, whose role on this film was to voice a talking baseball. “We are getting the chance to realize Chris Reeve’s last vision and dream, which is to get this message out.”

The movie tells the story of Yankee Irving, a boy who grows up during the Depression idolizing Babe Ruth despite always striking out himself. The boy is ready to quit baseball when he finds himself in possession of the legendary player’s bat, and must hit the open road by himself and against all odds return the bat in time for the Babe to use it in the last game of the 1932 World Series. Along the way, Yankee learns that “no matter where life takes you, always keep swinging.”

The fact you know it’s Chris Reeve’s last project, it resonates with the film,” Reiner said.

Read the complete article

Everyone’s Hero seems like a cute, kiddie movie with a lot of heart.

Hopefully it will live up to the legacy of Christopher and Dana Reeve (which I think it will).

Here’s a review from the AP and the trailer is below.