Blue Sky Studios

Peanuts Movie 2015

Pushing the cynicism way, way down, there’s a sweet promise in the Peanuts teaser trailer. First of all, the look of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Woodstock isn’t atrocious — evoking a classic feel even with the CGI paintbrush (no Pixarification!). Second of all, director Steve Martino has done honest service by a bygone children’s story with Horton Hears a Who! and a modern tale with the not-terrible Ice Age: Continental Drift. That’s not a rousing endorsement, and it’s unclear how Charles Schulz‘s dynasty will be honored in the hands of Bryan and Craig Shulz, but there’s also producer Paul Feig’s involvement to keep in mind. With any luck, Feig will be more than an In Name Only producer. At the very least, the movie will probably be more like children’s Tylenol then an all-out assault on peoples’ childhoods. That is, if a million MetLife commercials haven’t done the trick already. There’s not a story to be found in the teaser trailer, but it is an excellent first look at the CGI characters in motion:

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Peanuts

At 65 years of age, you would think that lovable loser Charlie Brown and his not-so-loyal pup Snoopy would be looking a bit long in the tooth, but the truth is that these two kids couldn’t possibly look any more spry, so what better way to celebrate their 65th birthday than by having them star in their own big screen feature? It was announced in a press release today [via ComingSoon] that Blue Sky Studios (the studio behind Ice Age and Rio) is going to be making another Peanuts movie. This will be Charlie’s fifth chance to get put down by Lucy on the big screen, as creator Charles Schulz’s characters have previously appeared in films called A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Come Home, Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown, and Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!). Seeing as how Charles Schulz passed in 2000, you might be wondering who would be willing to step into his legendary shoes and make a new Peanuts feature. As it turns out, Schulz’s son, Craig Schulz, his grandson, Bryan Schulz, and a writer named Cornelius Uliano have all collaborated on the script, and Ice Age: Continental Drift director Steve Martino is set to helm. Sounds like as qualified a team to carry on a legacy as any…but there still isn’t any word on who will be providing the melancholy jazz music.

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Stop me if you’ve heard this all before. In the world of big screen animation, there’s Pixar and there’s everybody else. There’s something special about those Toy tale telling animators from Emeryville, something that indicates up front that each of their films has the potential to be a deeply emotional experience for an audience of any age. This review is not about one of those kinds of movies, nor is it about Pixar. It’s about Blue Sky Studios and their new film Rio. But it’s important to note the difference that Pixar films have up front, because the desire to compare and contrast is unavoidable. And it’s that emotional element that could be the only differentiator between this, Blue Sky’s best effort to date, and the industry’s gold standard.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in a fabulous blue feather outfit and takes a trip to Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. There, he runs into a couple blue macaws trying to escape exotic bird smuggles, but he’s too busy getting his freak on to help out. Later, he comes back to the states to visit the quaint town of Woodsboro, only this time he’s traded in his fabulous blue feather outfit for a long, black cloak and a “ghost face” mask. After making some calls to random twentysomething girls who are supposed to be teenagers and asking them what their favorite scary movies are, he spent a night in the hospital from a stab wound to the face. Oh, the humanity!

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The Anubis Tapestry

In a rare occurrence, a rumor has began circulating around the web about a possible new animated feature from the Academy Award winning team of Blue Sky Studios. The rumored project is an adaptation of a Bruce Zick book entitled The Anubis Tapestry.

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