Animated Films

Jennifer Lee

Seeing as Wreck-It Ralph was Disney Animation’s most well-received movie in quite a while, the studio has wasted no time in getting one of its main creative talents to work on a new project. Today they announced in a press release [via ComingSoon] that Ralph co-writer Jennifer Lee is not only going to be handling some writing duties on their upcoming animated feature, Frozen, but that she will also be serving as co-director alongside studio vet Chris Buck (Tarzan, Surf’s Up). Frozen is an adventure tale about a magical kingdom that’s suffering under a spell that keeps it trapped in a perpetual winter. Its main characters are a brave young girl named Anna, a burly mountain man named Kristoff, and a reindeer sidekick named Sven. The main thrust of the film’s narrative is said to be this trio’s journey to find the Snow Queen and find a way to reverse her spell, which of course leads to them encountering treacherous mountain passes, all sorts of magical whatsits, mystical trolls, comical snowmen, and who knows how many other examples of weirdness along the way. Forgetting Sarah Marshall’s Kristen Bell and Enchanted’s Idina Menzel are already on board to supply voices.

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WWE Studios has had an interesting history. First set up in the hopes that it would be able to develop theatrically released starring vehicles for WWE wrestlers in the action and horror genres, this fledgling wing of Vince McMahon Jr.’s empire has since gone through myriad strategy changes. It’s gone from making R rated films to making PG and PG-13 rated films exclusively, from giving its movies wide releases to giving them straight to video releases, it’s moved away from action and tried its hand at family films and comedies, and most recently it’s even teamed up with Lionsgate to re-boot the Leprechaun franchise. And today the studio announced that they’re going to be adding yet another type of film to their repertoire, by creating an animated feature. Which is an historic announcement indeed, as this new project will be the first time wrestlers have appeared in animated form since Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling hit the television airwaves in the early ’80s.

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Ever since Pixar’s Toy Story brought CG animation to the mainstream and dropped everyone’s jaws with the amazing visuals that the process makes possible, traditional, hand-drawn animation has taken a serious backseat. Which makes sense, because the last couple decades of animated movies have used computers to push the artistry of these films to places that never seemed possible before. But hand-drawn animation has its charms, and is still very versatile in how it can be used, so it would be a shame if it went completely extinct in the wake of all the new computer whatsits. Disney has recently tried to keep the art form alive with releases like The Princess and the Frog and Winnie the Pooh, but those films largely failed to find the commercial success of most of the modern CG releases. Could it be possible that today’s children just don’t want to go see a movie that looks hand-crafted and old-fashioned? Or have moviemakers just not found the right vehicle with which to have old-school animation make its triumphant return? DreamWorks Animation seems to be willing to bet that the old way of doing things isn’t dead, and they may have found the best possible way to reintroduce hand-drawn work to a new generation of film fans. The studio’s next project, Me and My Shadow, will blend traditional animation with the more modern stuff. Over on the film’s Facebook page (found via ComingSoon) they’ve posted its first bit of concept art, as well as an […]

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Somehow Mr. Mom and Batman will be playing the voice of the Ken Doll for the upcoming Pixar project. How will the actor cope with not having any junk?

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I’ll get excited every time Hayao Miyazaki makes a new film. But apparently Disney has some difficulty figuring out how to make a trailer that accurately portrays anything about a film’s plot.

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toy-story

Two Reject heavyweights go head to head on whether or not Pixar’s first is really worth all the hype it gets. Actually, they just argue like an old married couple about whether Toy Story is amazing or not and lob ad hominem attacks against that sweet, innocent, devilishly handsome Cole Abaius character.

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It’s tough to tell why there hasn’t been much buzz for the latest offering from Team Lucas. Whatever the case, that lack of excitement actually matches the tone of the film near-perfectly.

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