the laika experience

Comic-Con doesn’t officially kick off until tomorrow (although it unofficially kicks off tonight with all kinds of previews and off-site presentations), but everyone in San Diego can already get a little taste of some cinematic magic. LAIKA, the stop-motion animation studio behind films like Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, and Kubo and the Two Strings has set up shop in the Gaslamp District, offering a walkthrough mini-museum showing off puppets and sets from their movies.

And while you don’t have to be a Comic-Con badge holder to check out The LAIKA Experience, not everyone can be in San Diego. But we’ve got you covered. We checked it out and we returned with photos. Lots and lots of photos.

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DisneyToons Space Movie

Just before the weekend, the D23 Expo brought a slew of announcements and teaser footage shown for the likes of Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 and Frozen 2 (and the short Olaf’s Frozen Adventure) from Walt Disney Animation, as well as Pixar Animation movies like The Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4 on the sequel side of things, this year’s Coco, and an original, untitled suburban fantasy film. But there was one other project that we glossed over, and it’s actually more intriguing than it initially sounded.

DisneyToon Studios is the Walt Disney production banner behind a lot of low quality direct-to-video sequels, but every now and then they have some solid theatrical releases like A Goofy Movie. They’re also the company behind Planes, the movie that’s set in the Cars universe (as is the film Planes: Fire & Rescue), even though it’s not a Pixar Animation production. Now the company has announced a new movie that takes place in the Cars and Planes universe, and it raises a slew of new questions about the strange animated world.

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Dumbo

Disney has found a formula for success with live-action remakes of their beloved animated movies and the upcoming remake of Dumbo looks to continue to trend. Director Tim Burton, who started this whole trend in the first place with Alice in Wonderland, is retelling the story of the iconic flying elephant in live-action and we got a first look at the movie from the D23 Expo.

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Pixar suburban animated film

During D23 today, Pixar Animation announced a new animated project from the team behind Monsters University. The project is slotted for either 2020 0r 2021 – one of the dates Disney has claimed – and takes place in a “suburban fantasy world.” The untitled film is set in a world that doesn’t feel unfamiliar to our own, based on editor-in-chief Peter Sciretta’s description of what he saw and heard, but technology has taken over in a land of fantastical creatures and old magic.

Below, learn more about the Pixar urban fantasy film.

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wreck-it ralph 2

The year before Frozen took the world by storm, Walt Disney Animation released Wreck-It Ralph, one of the best video game movies that isn’t technically an adaptation of a real game. Director Rich Moore announced that he’d be co-directing a sequel with writer Phil Johnston about a year ago that’s titled Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, and the first footage of the sequel premiered at this year’s D23 Expo. Check out the new Wreck-It Ralph 2 footage below. Read More »

the incredibles 2

2004’s The Incredibles ends with a stirring call-to-action, the promise of one more big action scene, and then…a cut to the credits, spurred on Michael Giaccchino’s thrilling musical score. It’s a perfect ending for a near-perfect superhero movie: the promise of more adventure for the super-powered and united Parr family, even if we don’t get to see it.

However, it looks like The Incredibles 2 will finally let us see exactly what goes down between the heroic family and the villainous Underminer. It’ll just take 14 years.

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Steve Whitmire

Earlier this week, we told you that Steve Whitmire, the performer who has been playing Kermit The Frog since Jim Henson’s death in 1990, was leaving The Muppets and that Muppeteer Matt Vogel would be taking on the iconic role. Since the report, we’ve heard a lot of rumors, most of them suggesting that Whitmire was let go by Muppet Studio months ago in quick order. Now for the first time in the nine months since being let go from the prestigious gig, Whitmire is finally ready to talk about the decision. Read Steve’s heartbreaking personal blog about the departure.

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A Wrinkle in Time images

Selma and 13th director Ava DuVernay is making history as the first black woman to make a $100 million movie with Disney’s live-action adaptation of Madeline L’Engle‘s 1962 novel A Wrinkle in Time. Now the Mouse House has unveiled some dazzling first-look images from the movie, and from these photos alone, it’s clear the director put every penny of that budget to good use.
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Fast and Furious 9 director

Earlier this week, we wrote about how there’s a chance The Fate of the Furious director F. Gary Gray might not return for the upcoming Fast 9. But this is one of Universal’s biggest moneymakers, so somebody has to take on the tremendous challenge of leading the massive production as the series barrels toward its planned ending. Who could successfully shoulder the weight of a long-running film franchise yet still deliver an entertaining spectacle in a quick and efficient manner? I’ve come up with 10 filmmakers I think are up to the task, so read on for my list of who could be the Fast and Furious 9 director.
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The Lion King Remake Cast

In Disney’s original animated hit The Lion King, the future king Simba is followed around by a red-billed hornbill named Zazu. The bird serves as his father Mufasa’s majordomo, or the the chief steward of a household staff, so he’s tasked with keeping an eye on the lion cub who will one day inherit everything the light touches. The voice of the bird in Disney’s 1994 animated classic was none other than Rowan Atkinson, best known for not having much of a voice at all in the British comedy series Mr. Bean. But now Zazu will have a new voice in Disney’s live-action remake from director Jon Favreau.

The Lion King remake cast has picked up Last Week Tonight host John Oliver to play the loyal bird who keeps Simba in line, which is pretty much the perfect casting for the British comedian. Read More »