Walt before Mickey

We’ve been waiting years for a Walt Disney biopic, and we might have to wait a bit longer for a real good one, but Juilliard graduate Khoa Le has made an independent film titled Walt before Mickey which chronicles the early days of the legend’s animation career. The acting is sometimes a bit over the top and the writing is “melodramatic” at best (it feels like a Lifetime television movie event kinda thing), but this film tries to bring the truth to the screen — based on Timothy Susanin’s 2011 book Walt before Mickey: Disney’s Early Years, 1919-1928. The Walt Disney biopic stars American Pie star Thomas Ian Nicholas as older Walt, Napoleon Dynamite star Jon Heder as his brother Roy, Disney alum David Henrie plays an animator and Full House‘s Jodie Sweetin is Charlotte Disney. Watch the Walt Before Mickey trailer embedded after the jump.
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Haylie Duff, Shondrella Avery, Carmen Brady, Diedrich Bader, Jon Heder, Sandy Martin, Jared Hess, Tina Majorino, Efren Ramirez

A decade has passed since the world was introduced to Napoleon Dynamite. Co-written and directed by Jared Hess, the small indie took off after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. It ended up being one of the most profitable films of 2004. It starred a cast of mostly unknowns in a quirky and awkward but hilarious and quotable PG-rated tale of high school struggles. At the center was one of the most unique characters in recent cinematic history. Played by Jon Heder, Napoleon Dynamite was a persona no one had seen before and few would soon forget.

Now the film is celebrating its 10th anniversary. On June 9, a statue dedicated to the film was erected on the 20th Century Fox lot in Los Angeles, CA (seen above), and that day the cast and crew attended a special 10th anniversary screening of the film presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This was no normal screening though. Heder, Hess and host Will Forte were given microphones and did a live commentary during the film, offering up a ton of cool pieces of trivia about the production.

Below, read 20 things we learned about Napoleon Dynamite from the 10th anniversary screening. Read More »

Walt Before Mickey 6

Most of the time we hear about films well before production. Other times, we hear about them when cameras are already rolling. That’s the case with Walt Before Mickey, an independent feature directed by Ari Taub. It’s based on a book by Timothy S. Susanin that chronicles the life of Walt Disney from 1919-1928, which is the year Mickey Mouse debuted.

Here are some of the big names in the cast. Thomas Ian Nicholas, best know for his work in the American Pie movies, is playing Walt. His brother Roy is being played by Napoleon Dynamite‘s Jon Heder. Disney alum David Henrie plays an animator and Full House‘s Jodie Sweetin is Charlotte Disney. Below, read more about the film and see a bunch of images from the shoot, which is currently happening in Deland, Florida. Read More »

I’ve come to really admire director Quentin Dupieux, the man behind the films Rubber and Wrong. I love the way he both respects rules and throws them out the window on a regular basis. He goes where his ideas take him, and I find his movies to be tremendously entertaining as a result. I don’t know if I’ve laughed so consistently at any mainstream comedy this year as I did at Wrong.

So he’s the guy I want to see putting Napoleon Dynamite‘s Jon Heder in a rat suit. The reason — inasmuch as Dupiex needs one, which is to say “there is no reason” — is the film Realite, which Dupiex has just completed. That’s one of two recently finished films, actually, the other being Wrong Cops, which was previewed at Cannes this past spring. Get some more info on both films below. Read More »

Having played struggling writers in Being Flynn and Ruby Sparks, Paul Dano is switching gears to play a struggling musician in For Ellen, his third feature of 2012. Directed by So Yong Kim (Treeless Mountain), the indie drama centers around a wannabe rock star named Joby Taylor who never quite attained the fame and fortune he set out to achieve.

He faces failure in other aspects of his life as well: After years of absentee parenting, he suddenly faces the prospect of losing his kid completely when his lawyer (Jon Heder) hands him divorce papers giving his estranged wife (Margarita Levieva) sole custody. He decides to reach out to his daughter in a last-ditch effort to reconnect. Jena Malone and Dakota Johnson also star, along with newcomer Shaylena Mandigo as the titular six-year-old. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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A few months ago we showed you the first trailer for Napoleon Dynamite: The Animated Series, which offered a brief glimpse at the new show. At this year’s Comic-Con, FOX brought out several clips to give the audience a better taste of what to expect.

Based on 2004′s sleeper hit indie, the new show will see all of the main cast from the movie — Jon Heder, Aaron Ruell, Efren Ramirez, Tina Majorino, Sandy Martin, Jon Gries, and Diedrich Bader — revisiting the now-animated town of Preston, Idaho to lend their voices to their cartoon counterparts. Jared Hess and Jerusha Hess, who created the film, are executive producing along with Mike Scully (The Simpsons). Watch the clips after the jump.

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Gosh! Now it’ll be super easy for Napoleon Dynamite to get extra chap stick, tame a wild stallion or go off some sweet jumps because it’ll be drawn for him. Fox has picked up a six-episode animated TV version of the 2004 cult film which launched the careers of director Jared Hess and star Jon Heder. All the original cast members will be providing voices for the show which will be produced and written by Hess, his wife Jerusha Hess and Simpsons alum Mike Scully. Simultaneously, Fox also green lit another animated show called Allen Gregory which is created by Jonah Hill and Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul, who wrote Yes Man. Hit the jump for more info on both shows and the uncropped hight res version of the Dynamite art. Read More »

Napoleon Dynamite

MediaBistro is reporting that 20th Century Fox is developing an animated television series based on the 2004 Fox Searchlight film Napoleon Dynamite.

According to the report, most of the original cast from the Sundance cult classic has signed on to reprise their roles from the film, including: Jon Heder as the title character Napoleon Dynamite, Efran Ramirez as Pedro, Aaron Ruell as Kip Dynamite and Jon Gries as Uncle Rico. Director Jared Hess and his co-screenwriter wife Jerusha are said to be closely involved with the project.

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