Pixar announces new short film

“Sanjay’s Super Team” will be released along with “The Good Dinosaur” on Nov. 25. The short film looks into Sanjay’s (based on the director) understanding of his father’s Hinduism growing up.

A new Pixar short with Hindu-based characters was announced, titled “Sanjay’s Super Team.” The short will be shown before The Good Dinosaur, to be released on Nov. 25.

Many sources, such as Collider, emphasized and welcomed the diversity in the short film, which is not common in animation. Pixar animator Sanjay Patel is directing the short film, which is based on his own childhood experiences.

Learn more about Patel’s inspirations and experiences from this LA Times piece, which goes into great detail on the director and the short film.



The Red Turtle: French animation backed by Ghibli

red turtle
A image from the upcoming French animated film, “The Red Turtle,” co-produced by Studio Ghibli.

Japan’s Studio Ghilbi is back in action–to produce films, at least. The studio is co-producing French animator Michael Dudok de Wit’s first feature film, The Red Turtle, set to premier at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

According to sources such as Twitch Film, Ghibli legend Hayao Miyazaki is a fan of de Wit’s work, and he requested Ghibli to contact him. To learn more about The Red Turtle, read this piece from the Animation Scoop

If you are one of the lucky few to attend it the 2015 Cannes Film Festival this year (May 13-24), make this film a must watch.

Mamoru Hosoda’s newest film teased

An image from Mamoru Hosada’s newest film, “The Boy and the Beast,” set for Japanese release on July 11. This is Hosada’s fourth film.

Mamoru Hosoda has been one of the most reliable directors in the anime film industry the past decade. In an increasingly rare craft helmed by a selected few in Japan, Hosoda usually delivers. His newest film, The Boy and the Beast, released an English subtitled trailer today. It will hit theaters in Japan on July 11. There is no release date for the English  yet. To learn more about the film, refer to this piece on the film from Variety.

Hosoda is one of anime’s most important directors today, along with Makoto Shinkai (director of 5 Centimeters Per Second) and Yasuhiro Yoshiura (Patema Inverted). With the retirement of Hayao Miyazaki last year, very few Japanese anime filmmakers remain.

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Ghibli release “Marnie” English trailer

A still from Studio Ghibli’s “When Marnie Was There,” possibly the acclaimed studio’s last feature film.

Legendary animation company Studio Ghibli recently released the English dub of their newest film, When Marnie Was There. The main buzz is the fact that it might be the last Studio Ghibli film released–or at least for a long time.

Marnie was originally released in Japan on July 19, 2014. It will be released in America on May 22.

Studio Ghibli was founded in 1985. The first film they released was Hayao Miyazaki’s Laputa: Castle in the Skya Jules Verne-esque adventure fantasy made to delight all audiences. With the release of Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, they achieved international recognition.

I think it’s safe to say that all animation fans hope Marnie will not be Ghibli’s last. Sometimes studios go through ebbs and flows. Maybe Ghibli and its executives need a little bit of time to sort things out and take a break. And after producing over a dozen critically-acclaimed animated movies over the years, they deserve it.


Inside Out: Pixar’s return to greatness?

Nearly two years have passed since Pixar’s last film, Monsters University, was released on June 21, 2013. That seems like a lifetime ago. The highly anticipated Inside Out is due for release on June 19, 2015. Rotoscopers stated that “Perri Nemiroff (of Collider) was one of the lucky ones to be invited to Pixar, where they screened the first 56 minutes…” 

According to Nemiforr’s report, what he saw of the film was great. Only two more months and the wait will be over.

The Incredibles 2: a script has begun

When Pixar’s The Incredibles was released in November of 2004, it received rave reviews, an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, and eventually totaled a world-wide box office gross of $631,4The-Incredibles42,092. According to various sources, The Incredibles director Brad Bird has begun writing the The Incrdibles 2 script.

According to the Pixar Times, it has been over a year since Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that Pixar was working on The Incredibles 2. The waits and delays can be attributed to one factor: Brad Bird’s love for the original film and his assurance that the next one will be of greater or equal quality. “If I can come up with a story that is as good or better than that first film, then I’d love to return to that world, but it would have to be story first,” Bird stated in a 2007 interview.

There is no release date and there is not expected to be one for a while.

In other Brad Bird related news, his live-action sci-fi film, Tomorrowland, will hit theaters on May 22.

Boxhead: The mind behind the horror

A few weeks ago, looking for great stories across the web about the animation industry, I stumbled across a project on Kickstarter called: Boxhead- An Animated Horror Film (funding page). I was fascinated by the premise of the film, which I discussed in a previous post. Project funding closes on April 22 and less than $2000 remain to reach the intended $26,000 goal.

Randall Kaplan, creator of “Boxhead.” “I think a drawing or painting can express things that a photograph can’t. So, the logical next step beyond a still image is a moving one… it really has no limits,” he said. Photo courtesy of Randall Kaplan.

Randall Kaplan (originally from Brooklyn and now living in Los Angeles), the mind behind the darkly engrossing film, was kind enough to provide The Animation Curation further insights into the film, his inspirations and the flush of ideas yet to be explored in the industry.

Why did you choose to make Boxhead animated?

I’ve been drawing my entire life, and I always wanted to tell stories. I think this is the key to eventually doing animation.

The creature, Boxhead, came to me at around 11 years old. Back then I’d draw my own comic books, photocopy them, and sell them on the street in front of my house for $1. I tried doing this with Boxhead, but never finished the comic. The image of Boxhead never went away. Over the years I drew the creature again and again, and slowly a distinct storyline began to emerge.

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Harvey Beaks: Nickelodeon’s new direction

Harvey in middle, with friends Foo on left, Fee on right

Nickelodeon’s new animated series, Harvey Beaks, which aired last weekis a fresh comedy that is beautiful to look at. The story concerns Harvey, a curious blue little bird who always does the right thing, and his exploits with his friends in a dreamlike forest. This is a different type of show for Nickelodeon and the change is much welcomed.

New York Times writer Neil Genzlinger praises its non-polished depiction of everyday life and its quirks. The LA Times writer Patrick Kevin Day welcomes the innocent feel of its lighthearted, youthful tales. Both reviewers agree that Harvey Beaks has started off very well and seems to be a promising series.

Watching the first two episodes, I could not help but feel happy and comforted, returning to my younger days of exploring the wonders of the forest.

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Disney Live-Action Remakes (Update)

In a previous post, I explored the trend of Disney animated films getting green-lit for live-action remakes. This trend can no longer be ignored. In the past few weeks, it was announced that both Winnie-the-Pooh and Mulan are getting the live-action treatment.

Gary Wright, writer for Rotoscopers, presents his case for so many Disney live-action adaptions, highlighting the pros and cons of each side of the argument. The general consensus seems to be that if the films are done correctly, everything will be okay. If the films are done with little regard to the original source and are created haphazardly, people will not happy.

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Anne Frank’s diary to become animated film

anne frank
A completed still from the film

Acclaimed animation director Ari Folman has released the first images of his animated take of Anne Frank’s diary. He previously directed the Oscar-nominated Waltz with Bashir and the experimental live-action/ animated hybrid, The Congress.

The adaptation is set to be traditionally animated and stop-motion animated, a rare film combination.The UK publication The Guardian states that the film will focus on the events of the diary through Kitty, Frank’s imaginary friend. There is no set release date for the film and it is still being funded.

For someone not familiar with Folman’s work, his films concern dark and intense adult subject matters, such as Waltz with Bashir, which details a soldier’s viewpoint of the 1982 Lebanon conflictThe Congress has an even more atypical (for an animated film) premise, which is about an actress allowing her image to be used in feature films by a studio.

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