Animated News 3/24/16

Hi guys!  It’s time for another week in animated news. Here’s the video with all the latest:

Major points I cover-

  1. Zootopia takes 3rd top spot at box office dropping only 25.9% from last week (typical drops are 50%).  It made $38 million in the states and $64.8 internationally creating a combined total of $591.7 million.  I am thrilled to see it do so well because I really loved Zootopia.
    1. If you haven’t checked out my in depth discussion of Zootopia with  my friend AJ click here
  2. Little Prince is picked up by Netflix.  Last week we discussed Paramount’s bizarre drop of The Little Prince a week before its US release.  This week we learned that Netflix has optioned the film and it will be available to stream sometime this year.
  3. Bubbles MJ project- the makers of Anomalisa have announced a new stop motion project that will revolve around Michael Jackson’s pet chimp named Bubbles.  I can’t even imagine this project but it has a script co-written by Dan Harmon, creator of Community and other funny shows, so who knows?
  4.  April and the Extraordinary World Voice Cast- We learned the English voice cast for April and the Extraordinary World.  This includes Paul Giamatti, Tony Hale, Susan Sarandon and JK Simmons. April debuted this weekend in LA and NYC and will come to Utah April 22 (The reviews are great on April so I am getting very excited).
  5. Lego Batman trailer-

      All you lovely Lego Movie fans we got our first peak at the spinoff movie Lego Batman today.  This will feature Will Arnett, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Maria Carey.  I liked the trailer a lot.  I think I am particularly anxious for this film with the superhero overkill I’m currently feeling.  I can’t wait to have some of the same hilarious writing of the Lego Movie skewering comic book movies.  I wish it was out today!

  6. Alex Hirsch show- Last news is Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch is developing a new animated show for Fox for next year.  I can only assume this will be part of their Sunday animation line up and I’m really excited.  I loved Gravity Falls and am curious to see what his sensibilities are like in a more grown up non-Disney platform.

So there you have it.  What do you think of these news items?  Are you excited by the Lego Batman trailer?

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  🙂

Also if you ever hear of news I should include tweet or email me at smilingldsgirl@yahoo.com.  That would be so helpful.

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Animated News 3/17

I just posted this week’s episode of Animated News!  I would love if you guys took a look at it.  I’m still learning but I think it is getting better.

Here’s a run-down of the news

  1. Zootopia grosses 50 million- only dropping 33% from week 1 and that is really good.  The film has made 83 million overseas, 288 foreign total, 431 total.
  2. Storks Trailer- For some reason all of these comedies I’m liking the teasers better than the full trailer but this looks ok. A little generic but ok.
  3. Wild Life Trailer- This was a new film I learned about and I must say not that impressed.  It’s being distributed by Lionsgate who gave us Norm of the North.  Hopefully it will at least be better than that. Robinson Crusoe on an island run by animals- the idea has potential. 
  4. Long Way North Trailer- Another project that was new to me, but this one I’m really excited about.  From animator Remi Chaye who worked on Secret of the Kells.  It looks beautiful and sounds like a good story. I predict this will be in the running come Oscar season.
  5. Sausage Party Trailer- I’m not impressed with the humor or animation in this adult comedy. To me it looks very lazy. Won’t even share the video with you guys but if you want to watch it here is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VoNgLnjzVg
  6. April and the Extraordinary World- I’m very excited for this film that comes to my cinema 4/22.  It has a cool steampunk look to it.  The 2D animation looks great and I think the story sounds interesting.
  7. Little Prince Gets Dumped- In a bizarre action Paramount Animation has dumped the US release of The Little Prince a week before it was to premiere.  Even though I had issues with the film, it certainly deserves to be seen by American audiences.  I can’t fathom why they did this?
  8. Power Puff Girls- The new reboot of Power Puff girls debuted at SXSW film festival to great reviews.  The intro and other clips I’ve seen look promising.

What in this news interests you? What in all those independent trailers looks the best to you?  Why do you think Paramount dumped Little Prince?  Are you a Power Puff Girls fan?  If so, what do you think of this reboot?

Put in the comments section here or on the video and let’s talk!  🙂  And if you like my video please give it a thumbs up!

Little Prince Review

little princeFor a while watching The Little Prince I was ready to come on here and be pretty harsh on it.  Until the first hour mark, the movie was honestly driving me crazy but then it somehow turned itself around and became a decent flick.  Usually the ending of films is where they really tank but not in this case.  I kind of wish it had been a short 45 minute special because really the first hour is just two characters talking a lot and telling you why what they are saying is so important.

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!  (I couldn’t talk about some of my issues without spoiling because it lay within the story).

So let’s talk about that first hour. My big problem was way too much exposition.  At times it felt like a Shyamalan film there was so much talking and not showing!

The plot of the movie is a Little Girl is trained by her mother to keep a tightly planned study schedule.  Truly it seemed a little over-the-top it was so micromanaged.  I mean what kid would want to plan a play date for the next summer?  It strained credulity and made the Mother look really mean.

little prince 4The goal of the Mother is for Little Girl (that’s her name) to make it into a prestigious school called Werth Academy.  They even move just to be in the school boundaries.

little prince8However, Little Girl wants to explore and is drawn to an elderly neighbor known as The Aviator. He tells her about the Little Prince who had a rose that he loves and tries to protect.  As he tells the story we see it played out in beautiful animation that looks like stop motion.

little prince111The problem is not enough happens in the story to be compelling on its own so it becomes a lot of talking about dreams and bold living.  As pretty as it was I grew weary of it.

Then The Prince in the story dies for The Rose at the hour mark.  This causes Little Girl to become angry at The Aviator for the story and it ending so sadly.  She stays away but then he gets sick and she must fly The Aviator’s plane and find the Little Prince on his asteroid.  This is when the story starts going.  We actually see things happen to our lead character!

little prince123When the Little Girl gets to the asteroid, she finds a world where everyone has grown up- kind of an opposite Neverland.  The Little Prince has forgotten his past and has been turned into a workaholic adult.  He is ruled by a man called The Businessman who is hoarding all the stars to steal all the light and happiness from the world. Now this is a story!

little prince14Little Girl then must bring the Little Prince back to his planet and he gets some closure on his lost rose. Little Girl gets a reminder that she cannot grow up too soon.

little prince15When she reunites with her Mother they have a new understanding and she is allowed to be a child a little bit longer while still going to the prestigious school.

Once the action in the story started going I was entertained by the Little Prince, but almost like a fable, the metaphors are very heavy-handed. The Businessman clearly is meant to symbolize the Mother and her routine for Little Girl (they even have a similar chalkboard with tasks listed out), but I didn’t mind it.  I kind of wish the entire movie had started at that point because I really didn’t need the background on the Prince, The Rose, The Girl and The Mother.

Even in the boring sections there is a nice heart to the film, and I did feel attached to Little Girl and her struggles to be understood by her Mother. I just needed something more concrete to happen sooner to get the plot going. The first hour felt a little like reading a greeting card. Sure it looks nice and has a nice message but I needed more story!

The vocal performances are all wonderful, providing a real warmth to the sometimes one-note characters.  Mackenzie Foy (Little Girl), Jeff Bridges (The Aviator), Rachel McAdams (The Mother), Paul Rudd (Mr Prince) are great.  Marion Cotillard is heavily billed and I thought would have a big part but she is The Rose and only has a few lines.

little prince3The animation is stunning throughout The Little Prince and it is worth seeing for that reason alone.  And it does end with real heart that made me tear up a few times.  I just wish I could condense the first hour into 15 minutes! In some ways after that reminded me of Neverending Story in its messaging and tone.  Still, I can’t ignore an hour of tedious exposition.

Overall Grade- C+

Also why this movie took forever and a day to get to a US release is beyond me.  It was written in English originally so it didn’t need dubbing or subtitles.  Why the delay?  That was very annoying.