The beauty of animation is that is a medium where anything can happen. Anything, that is, so long as all the creative and business impulses that make a project happen align in the proper way. Sadly, that translates to “anything can happen, but it often doesn’t.”

Take Redux Riding Hood, a short produced by Disney’s television division in 1997. Steve Moore was offered the chance to create an animated short with no limitations, and he went nuts with it. The film turned out well, and scored an Oscar nomination, but then Disney put it on the shelf in 1998, and it has remained there ever since. Now the film is online, and it is very much worth a look.

Moore used a script by Dan O’Shannon (Modern Family) that told how the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood spent years plagued by self-doubt after he failed to eat Red. The resulting short is truly bizarre: a little bit Disney, a little bit Terry Gilliam, and a little sci-fi. (A time machine is involved) If you think there’s a bit of Seinfeld spirit, that’s because Michael Richards voices the wolf; other characters are voiced by Mia Farrow, June Foray, and Adam West, with Garrison Keillor narrating. Oh, and the woodsman hero who saves the girl, the one who seems like a cross between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Fabio? Well, he’s actually voiced by Fabio. Finally, for those who’ve seen and loved TimeCrimes, this will have a great extra level of appeal.

Check out Redux Riding Hood below. Read More »

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Based on the premise, Dark Horse sounds like it could be another entry from the Judd Apatow comedy collective. Jordan Gelber stars as a schlubby, overgrown man-child who strikes up a relationship with a pretty woman (Selma Blair), and tries to grow up a little bit in the process. But in fact, this is a Todd Solondz film, which means we’re in for a significantly darker, pricklier take on the world. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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Todd Solondz, the provocative, some might say confrontational filmmaker behind such bold, brilliant films as Welcome to the Dollhouse and Happiness, has found his cast for Dark Horse. The indie drama began principal photography earlier this week, with frequent bit player, first-time lead Jordan Gelber taking the center role, Justin Bartha (The Hangover) playing his more successful brother, and Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi (The Last Airbender) playing his love interest’s “not quite” ex-boyfriend.

Now there’s a casting update that sees the film’s actor roster getting a big push. Joining the film are Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow and Selma Blair, who round out a cast that revolves around “a thirtysomething man (Gelber) in arrested development who lives with his parents (Walken and Farrow), reluctantly works for his father and avidly collects toys. He seeks out a thirtysomething woman (Blair) in arrested development in an attempt to shed the “dark horse” status in his family and finally accomplish something.”

(After the break, more on Dark Horse, and Vanessa Hudgens gets cast in the sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth.) Read More »

Be Kind RewindAnother photo from Michel Gondry’s Be Kind, Rewind has found it’s way onto the internets. Last time we showed you a photo of the guys spoofing / reinacting Ghostbusters. This time Jack Black and Mos Def are Driving Miss Daisy.

Be Kind, Rewind follows a junkyard worker (played by Jack Black) who believes that a power plant is melting his brain. His plan to sabotage the plant goes wrong and he instead Be Kind, Rewindcreates a magnetic field that erases all of the videotapes in the local video store where his best friend works. Fearing that the accident will cost his friend his job, the two team up to keep the store’s only loyal customer, a little old lady with a very loose grasp on reality, from realizing what has happened by re-creating and refilming every movie that she decides to rent, including Rush Hour 2, Robocop, Boyz In The Hood and Back to the Future. The movie also stars Danny Glover, Mia Farrow, and Mos Def.

The release of Be Kind, Rewind has been pushed up to December 21st 2007.

Be Kind, RewindOne of the films we’ve been looking forward to for a while now is Michel Gondry’s follow-up to The Science of Sleep and Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind.

Be Kind, Rewind follows a junkyard worker (played by Jack Black) who believes that a power plant is melting his brain. His plan to sabotage the plant goes wrong and he instead creates a magnetic field that erases all of the videotapes in the local video store where his best friend works. Fearing that the accident will cost his friend his job, the two team up to keep the store’s only loyal customer, a little old lady with a very loose grasp on reality, from realizing what has happened by re-creating and refilming every movie that she decides to rent, including Rush Hour 2, Robocop, Boyz In The Hood and Back to the Future. The movie also stars Danny Glover, Mia Farrow, and Mos Def.

And now thanks to TwitchFilm, we have the first production photo from the film, which can be seen above. Click on the photo to see it at a higher resolution. Rewind finished filming late last year, and this is the first we’ve seen of it. Why no movie trailer? We want more. You hear us Gondry?! We want more! Be Kind, Rewind hits theaters on April 4th 2008.

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