It’s not often that I get invited down to Industrial Light & Magic in San Francisco, CA, but when the invite is thrown my way it’s usually to see something cool. Earlier this month I traveled up north to see how filmmaker Duncan Jones used ILM to create the orcs in his big screen adaptation Warcraft, based on the popular Blizzard video game series.
I’ll be completely honest with you: the marketing for this movie had done little to convince me that it was a film I wanted to see. I’m not a video gamer and have never played World of Warcraft, and to be completely honest, I’m not a big fantasy (orcs, wizards, dungeons and dragons) type of guy. But I’m a big fan of Duncan Jones and that alone had me continuously searching for reasons.
So I hopped on a plane and visited the visual effects house that George Lucas built, hoping I would be wowed. The filmmakers behind the movie pulled the curtain back to show us how the magic was created, and that in itself was not only very interesting but very impressive. So hit the jump and learn why ILM considers the Warcraft facial capture advancements to be groundbreaking.
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While Pixar Animation is nearly 30 years old, it’s only been 20 years since the company ventured into feature length, computer animated filmmaking with Toy Story. The film was an instant classic in 1996 and it spawned two successful, acclaimed sequels with a fourth installment on the way in 2017, and it was just the beginning of what the animation house had to offer.
In celebration of Pixar’s milestone anniversary this year, editor Kees van Dijkhuizen has paid tribute to Pixar with a supercut of the films they’ve made over the years, from their early shorts to this year’s feature films. You might find yourself getting some tears in your eyes since it’s accompanied by Michael Giacchino‘s score from Up. Read More »
This summer, Pixar Animation made tears come out of our face all over again with their touching story Inside Out. As one clever chart pointed out, all the Pixar movies have been about giving non-human things feelings, right up through Inside Out where even the feelings had feelings.
And in honor of this summer’s emotional adventure inside the mind, Pixar fan Lindsay McCutcheon put together a wonderful montage of some of the most emotionally powerful moments from the history of the animation house’s feature films. Watch the fantastic Pixar emotions montage after the jump! Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 by Angie Han
Inside Out stands out among the Pixar stable for a number of reasons, and one of those is its emphasis on female characters. The two main characters, Joy and Sadness, are both female. So is Riley, the 12-year-old kid in whose mind the whole film takes place. That’s quite a welcome change of pace from Pixar, which didn’t get its first female lead until 2012’s Brave — its 13th film.
But that’s not to say Pixar didn’t have great female characters before that. Though they’re typically relegated to supporting roles, sharp women and interesting girls have always been part of the Pixar canon. To celebrate the studio’s new girl-driven film, here’s a look back at some of their most memorable ladies. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, March 6th, 2014 by Angie Han
A dozen years passed between Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University, but Disney/Pixar isn’t waiting nearly that long to bring the dynamic duo of Mike and Sulley back again. The Monsters University short Party Central is due to be released in theaters with Muppets Most Wanted later this month, and today we have a new clip featuring the Oozma Kappa brothers getting a bit devious. Watch it after the jump.
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As the new year begins, it’s nice to have films to look forward to. Which is why we write lists of our own, personal, most anticipated films. Even more so than a top 10 list, anticipated lists showcase a writer’s personality. In an ideal world, these 10 movies would be 10 of our favorites when the year is over. More often than not though, the films we’re excited about are not the best we see. Most of the time, there are some really bad calls. Occasionally there are some really good calls. Which is why I like to own up to my list from the previous year and critique myself.
How right, or wrong, was I about my most anticipated films of 2013? Find out below. Read More »
Looking back on 2013, it’s hard to spot one overriding trend other than “great.” Like any other year, the superhero movies, sequels, adaptations and remakes were present, but most of them were disposable and forgettable. The greatness in 2013, not surprisingly, was from the original and unexpected movies. Films born out of the mind of talented, creative people which were executed to delightful and sometimes heartbreaking perfection. Those unique wonders of cinema make up the majority of my top films of the year, but don’t fret. There are some adaptations and sequels on there too. It’s a list that hopefully represents 2013 as one of the best in recent memory.
Over the course of the year, I saw almost 150 films that had theatrical releases. Below you can read about my ten favorites. Read More »
Posted on Monday, December 23rd, 2013 by Angie Han
If you’re both 1) desperate for some distraction from the holiday hubbub and 2) eager to get a leg up on the rest of your office for the annual Oscar pool, here’s a way to kill two birds with one stone.
Over thirty screenplays for some of 2013’s top films have just been made available, legally and for free, through the studios. Highlights include John Ridley‘s 12 Years a Slave, Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy‘s Before Midnight, Terence Winter‘s The Wolf of Wall Street, and many more.
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Award season is ready to get into full swing, and one of the early stages of the runup to the Academy Awards is the submission of Best Animated Feature options.
This year there are nineteen submitted features, including big studio fare (Cloudy 2, The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Monsters University), one from Studio Ghibli (The Wind Rises), a European effort we’ve covered a good bit (Ernest and Celestine) and a good few films that US audiences haven’t had much chance to see yet. One pleasant side effect of the animated Oscar list is that it draws attention to films that are new to many viewers.
That said, of the studio fare there are only a couple of compelling submissions, and enough of the rest are going to be new enough to Oscar voters that this might not be much of a race. The 86th Annual Academy Award nominations will be announced on January 16, 2014, and we’ll be curious to see how many films actually make the nomination cut. The awards will be held on March 2, 2014.
Read the submission list below.
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One of the things Pixar is legendary for is the company’s story meeting. Each is a gathering of creative minds (John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich and Brad Bird are frequent attendees) at which they go over the scripts for upcoming movies and riff on concepts. Ideas are thrown out, discussed, and evolved. It’s this collaborative process that helps Pixar make such timeless movies.
Unfortunately, the normal fan is never allowed into these meetings. Instead, we have to settle for a minute long tease of one where director Dan Scanlon and others discuss Monsters University. It’s still pretty great and you can see it below. Read More »