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Pixar works on their films for years; most releases are developed for a good five years. Almost every film they’ve developed has had problems at one point of another. Some, like Ratatouille and Toy Story, were completely reworked when Pixar realized the story wasn’t working. The film newt was announced in 2008 at a Disney presentation, and canceled only two years later, making it the first announced Pixar movie to be canceled. Now we learn how the death of one story gave birth to another.

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Henchmen: Ill Suited

The lives of super-villains have been explored in animated films such as The Incredibles, Despicable Me, and MegaMind. Now Adam McKay, Will Ferrell (who voiced MegaMind), and their company Gary Sanchez are guiding the feature adaptation of a short film set in a city of super-villains. Henchmen will expand and revamp the story from the Bron Studios short Henchmen: Ill Suited, which premieres this week at SIGGRAPH 2014.

In the short, a janitor at a museum of villainy accidentally activates the armor of a noted bad guy, and then nearly lays waste to the entire place. The film will keep some of that concept, but expand it significantly. Watch Henchmen: Ill Suited below! Read More »

Simon Cowell Is Making a Betty Boop Movie

Betty Boop and Simon Cowell

Another classic character is getting her turn on the silver screen. Betty Boop, the Depression-era cartoon siren, is going to be the subject of her own feature film — with a little help from Simon Cowell, of all people.

The American Idol and X Factor producer is teaming with Lego Movie animators Animal Logic for the project, described as “a music-driven hybrid animated comedy.” Hit the jump for more details.

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Elsa Frozen

Two years ago, I was at Disney Animation Studios to learn about Wreck It Ralph. At the same time, there were some photos on the wall from this little movie called Frozen. When I asked about them, everyone was very coy. They mentioned the film would be about two princesses and set in the snow, but that was about it. How could I know that behind those walls, animators were making what would become a multiple Oscar-winner and the biggest animated film of all-time?

Now, you too can step into Disney Animation Studios and learn about Frozen. Disney will air The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic on Tuesday September 2 at 8 p.m. on ABC. It’s all new hour of behind the scenes footage about the film, which will also include a sneak preview of their latest, Big Hero 6, and promises to “include some exciting announcements about the next chapter of Frozen and a never-before-seen preview of “Frozen” characters Anna, Elsa and Kristoff on an upcoming episode of ABC’s smash-hit Once Upon a Time.” Does that just mean the upcoming books? Or could it possibly refer to a movie? Read more about the Frozen TV special below. Read More »

Watch Stop-Motion ‘Usagi Yojimbo’ Short Film

usagi-yojimbo-stop-motion

Stan Sakai‘s katana-wielding rabbit Usagi Yojimbo is an indie comics staple, and a character that goes back decades as an associate of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Perhaps because Sakai and TMNT creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird were all responsible for anthropomorphized comic characters, their respective creations soon ran into one another in an actual comics story. Usagi Yojimbo eventually showed up in the TMNT cartoon series, and even got his own action figures as part of the original TMNT line.

The warrior rabbit doesn’t appear in the new TMNT film, though there is something that could be considered a tip of the hat to the character. But now there’s a Usagi Yojimbo stop-motion animated short film, which acts as the calling card for an upcoming animated DVD feature. Read More »

star-wars-rebels-a-new-hero

Some very interesting Star Wars Rebels news combines with some fun, and potentially revealing Star Wars Episode VII news. In this edition of Star Wars Bits, read about the following:

  • Looper and Brick star Joseph Gordon-Levitt geeks out over Rian Johnson directing Star Wars Episode VIII.
  • Screenwriter Gary Whitta posts a familiar phrase.
  • Toys R Us posted an interesting behind the scenes Star Wars Rebels video.
  • The Star Wars Fan Film Awards are back.
  • Domnhall Gleeson reveals the one thing Star Wars Episode VII stars are allowed to say about the filming.
  • An artist reveals what a Star Wars Episode VII Stormtrooper might look like
  • WWE wrestler Sheamus was on the same island as Star Wars Episode VII.
  • Darth Vader is likely in Star Wars Rebels.
  • An apparently Star Wars braintrust meeting is taking place in London soon.

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Star Wars Rebels short

Here’s a new Star Wars Rebels short, The Machine in the Ghost, to give you a taste of some of the characters from the new show. It’s the first of four Rebels shorts that will premiere over the next few weeks. Originally meant to premiere tonight, the official Star Wars YouTube account is already running the three-minute story. You’ll get to see a classic Star Wars dogfight, and learn about the droid that helps maintain the ship Ghost around which some of the series will be based. Watch the Star Wars Rebels short below. Read More »

‘The Boxtrolls’ Trailer and Poster: Meet the Family

The Boxtrolls trailer

New York City may have Ninja Turtles roaming around beneath its streets, but Cheesebridge has Boxtrolls lingering under theirs. And it’s time we got to know them with Laika’s latest teaser for The Boxtrolls.

While orphaned human Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) is the hero of the tale, the new Boxtrolls trailer focuses more on the quirky creatures who raised him. Ooh and ahh at their adorableness after the jump.

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