Watch: Animation Roundtable with BRAVE, PARANORMAN, WRECK-IT RALPH, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, and RISE OF THE GUARDIANS Directors

by     Posted 1 year, 317 days ago

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A staple of every awards season is the multitude of roundtable interviews and discussions that pop up featuring said season’s top contenders.  We’ve already shared an hourlong interview with some of the Best Director contenders like Quentin Tarantino, Ang Lee, and Tom Hooper, but today a roundtable of a different sort popped online.  The LA Times put together their first ever animation roundtable as they gathered the following directors for a 60-minute discussion: Mark Andrews (Brave), Peter Ramsey (Rise of the Guardians), Chris Butler (ParaNorman), Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph), and Genndy Tartakovsky (Hotel Transylvania).

The resulting video is an absolutely fascinating and candid discussion between the filmmakers about the evolution of animated films, a possible renaissance of 2D animation and who’s to blame for 3D animation dominating the marketplace, breaking down social barriers and the stigma of animated movies being exclusively for kids, and more.  It’s a wonderful discussion and is well worth your time.  Hit the jump to watch.

Director Peter Ramsey Talks RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, Roger Deakins, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, Working with David Fincher on FIGHT CLUB, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 331 days ago

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With Rise of the Guardians opening this week, I recently got to see the finished film at DreamWorks Animation and it’s really well done.  Not only is the animation great to look at, it’s got a strong story that’s character driven and it doesn’t rely on stupid jokes.  In addition, unlike most superhero films that spend half the time introducing characters by explaining their origin and showing off their powers, what’s fantastic about Rise of the Guardians is we join almost everyone in the middle of the story.  If you’re not familiar with the story, it  revolves around the rebellious Jack Frost (Chris Pine) teaming up with other mythical figures North aka Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), E. Aster Bunnyman aka Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Tooth aka The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), and the Sandman to battle the evil Pitch (Jude Law).  Here’s my video blog review and all our previous coverage.

To help promote the film, last week I got on the phone with Rise of the Guardians director Peter Ramsey.  We talked about how they didn’t tell a typical origin story, the tone, how many times he re-storyboard the film and whether there were any dramatic changes along the way, the test screening process, collaborating with Roger Deakins, other DreamWorks Animation projects like How to Train Your Dragon 2Kung Fu Panda 3, Trolls (which he said is “kind of partially based on a Terry Pratchett novel”) and more.  In addition, Ramsey got his start as a storyboard artist working for David Fincher on Fight Club and Steven Spielberg on A.I., so we talked about those projects and a few others.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

New RISE OF THE GUARDIANS Featurette (Making Dreamsand) Plus Images and Reaction to the Film

by     Posted 1 year, 350 days ago

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With DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians opening November 21, we’ve been provided with a new featurette called “Making Dreamsand.”  In the video, you can see how the filmmakers were able to bring Sandman’s powers to life.  If you’re not familiar with the story, it  revolves around the rebellious Jack Frost (Chris Pine) teaming up with other mythical figures North aka Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), E. Aster Bunnyman aka Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Tooth aka The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), and the Sandman to battle the evil Pitch (Jude Law).

I got to see the finished film the other day at DreamWorks in Glendale and it’s really well done.  Not only is the animation great to look at, it’s got a strong story that’s character driven and it doesn’t rely on stupid jokes.  In addition, unlike most films that spend half the time introducing characters by explaining their origin and showing off their powers, what’s fantastic about Rise of the Guardians is we join almost everyone in the middle of the story.  I wish more “origin” stories would do this.  Hit the jump for more.

RISE OF THE GUARDIANS Featurette Highlights Hugh Jackman’s Character, Bunnymund

by     Posted 1 year, 352 days ago

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A new character featurette has gone online for director Peter Ramsey’s Rise of the Guardians.  This one centers on the movie’s version of the Easter Bunny, an Australian anthropomorph named Bunnymund and voiced by Hugh Jackman.  The featurette is narrated by Alec Baldwin, who also lends his voice to North, the film’s version of Santa Claus.  If you missed it yesterday, there’s also a character featurette on Chris Pine’s Jack Frost.

Rise of the Guardians also features the voices of Isla Fisher, Jude Law and Dakota Goyo.  It opens on November 21st.  Hit the jump to see the new featurette for Rise of the Guardians. 

New Images and Character Details from DreamWorks Animation’s RISE OF THE GUARDIANS

by     Posted 2 years, 202 days ago

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Yesterday, the first trailer for DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians plopped down out of nowhere. I was nearly floored by how much I loved the clip, and the film looks to tell a fantastical story with the same tone and sense of wonderment that came from the magnificent How to Train Your Dragon. The adventure story centers on a group of heroes who must join forces to protect “the hopes, beliefs and imagination of the children all over the world.” The twist is that the heroes are Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy and Jack Frost.

The film is actually based off an upcoming series of children’s books by author William Joyce (who also co-wrote and co-directed the film), and recently Joyce took some time to talk about what to expect from the film’s characters. Additionally, some new images of the titular heroes have been released. Hit the jump to see what Joyce had to say and to check out the images.

Fantastic First Trailer for DreamWorks Animation’s RISE OF THE GUARDIANS

by     Posted 2 years, 203 days ago

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The first trailer for DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians has gone online, and I’m kind of in love with it. Executive produced by Guillermo del Toro, the adventure story centers on a group of heroes who must join forces to protect “the hopes, beliefs and imagination of the children all over the world.” The twist is that the heroes are Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, etc. This trailer is kind of incredible, as it has the same sweeping tone and sense of wonderment that was prevalent in How to Train Your Dragon. The animation is gorgeous and DreamWorks thankfully eschews hokey jokes and gags in favor of awe and tone. The story comes from author William Joyce, who also created the very touching Oscar-winning short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, and if the final film is anything like this trailer I’ll be over the moon.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Directed by Joyce and Peter Ramsey, the film features the voices of Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher and Jude Law. Rise of the Guardians opens on November 21st.

New Posters for CHRONICLE, COSMOPOLIS and RISE OF THE GUARDIANS

by     Posted 2 years, 304 days ago

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With less than two weeks left in 2011, it’s time to set our sights on movies that will be opening in 2012. Since the coming year is releasing a ton of big budget movies that will dominate media coverage, we thought we’d take a moment to highlight some of the lesser known fare that will be gracing the screens over the  next twelve months. We’ve got some new posters that will be a first look at these projects for some of you and a gentle reminder for others. First up is the superhero “found footage” thriller Chronicle by director Josh Trank (The Kill Point). Trank’s cinematic directorial debut features three teenagers who become imbued with superpowers and how those abilities darken their lives. Next, from David Cronenberg (A Dangerous Method) comes Cosmopolis, starring Robert Pattinson (Twilight). The adaptation of the Don DeLillo’s novel by the same name follows a young billionaire (Pattinson) as his limo traverses Manhattan in search of a haircut (not making this up). Finally, the animated Rise of the Guardians, which has the most charming poster in my opinion, is based off of the “Guardians of Childhood” book series by William Joyce and features childhood legends teaming up to take on the Boogeyman. Hit the jump to check out the posters.

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