2016 annie awards nominations

With December just around the corner, we’re about to plunge face-first into awards season. Before we even get to the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards, we’ll hear from every major critics group across the United States. But before that, we can peruse the 2016 Annie Awards nominees, which look the honor the best in animated films and television. While the Annie’s don’t always agree with the Oscars, the nominees here may provide a preview of what to expect from this category in the months ahead.

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Moana - Kakamora

A record 27 features have been submitted for consideration in the animated feature film category for the 89th Academy Awards. The number of Oscar-qualifying films has risen greatly over the past few years. For instance, last year there were just 16 films submitted. But with so many films submitted to the Academy, I wonder how many of these movies have you seen? Hit the jump to see the list of 2016 Oscar-Qualifying Animated Feature Films.

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sausage party alternate ending

It’s hard to believe that the final twenty minutes of Sausage Party actually exist. Up until that point, Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan‘s R-rated talking food comedy is ambitious and weird and uneven, often hitting scenes of genuine brilliance and occasionally getting bogged down in material that doesn’t quite work. But then the ending happens and your jaw hits the floor and you start to wonder if someone has been pumping noxious fumes into the room for the past hour and you’re just in the midst of a pre-death hallucination because how else could this possibly exist.

And as newly released featurette reveals, that ending originally went on a little longer and went to another, even weirder place.

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Sausage Party Oscars Campaign

Sausage Party (coming to Blu-ray and DVD on November 8) is already a success, having pulled in $135 million worldwide on a budget of just $19 million, not to mentions an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. But that’s not enough for Sony Pictures, writers Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg, and directors Conrad Vernon & Greg Tiernan. No, they’re looking to get some awards love as well.

Find out about the Sausage Party Oscars campaign after the jump. Read More »

2016 summer movie recap

The summer movie season is over and you know what that means – it’s time to hand out pointless imaginary awards to the best, worst, and weirdest films of the past four months!

Welcome to the 2016 Summer Blockbuster Awards, which is like the Oscars if the Oscars only covered a specific release window, were decided by one person, and were also really dumb. Here’s how this works: I have created 24 categories, from “Best Performance” to “Movie Most in Need of a Hug” and have awarded one winner and one runner-up. At the name of these awards imply, the focus here is on wide releases that arrived between May and August of this year. So while you really should go out of your way to see indie gems like Swiss Army Man and Don’t Think Twice, they won’t be the focus here. Got it? Good. Let’s just dive right in.

Be warned there are spoilers ahead for some of this summer’s films.

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Sausage Party animators controversy

In a summer marked by one cinematic disappointment after another, Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon‘s Sausage Party has emerged as a rare success story: a truly original feature that got great reviews and great box office. Even more impressively, Sausage Party managed all that on a reported budget of under $20 million. For comparison, Pixar’s latest release, Finding Dory, cost around $200 million to make.

But alas, that win may have come at an unfair cost to many of the people who worked on it. Anonymous commenters claiming to be animators who worked on the movie have accused the filmmakers and the production company, Nitrogen Studios, of forcing artists to work overtime for free, and then failing to credit many of them onscreen. Dig into the Sausage Party animators controversy below.  Read More »

Sausage Party Featurette

The final numbers for this past weekend’s box office aren’t in yet, but it looks like Sausage Party will have raked in just over $33 million. That’s an impressive debut for an R-rated animated comedy, especially opening up against the second weekend of blockbuster like Suicide Squad. It appears audiences were interested in something that was truly original and went against the grain of what’s been playing on most screens all summer.

Now a new Sausage Party featurette dives into one of the most important elements of the movie, though it’s not a piece you’d immediately recognize as being integral to a movie like this. Since Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg aren’t animators, it should come as no surprise that they brought in experienced animation directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan to helm the feature. But what’s truly surprising is they got Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, best known for his work on The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, to compose the score and the opening musical number in the grocery store. The filmmakers and composer talk about their approach to the score in a new Sausage Party featurette. Read More »

Sausage Party Sequel

This weekend brought the R-rated animated comedy Sausage Party to theaters, and the film will end the weekend having broken the box office record for the largest August opening ever for an animated film. It’s about time an original idea took one of the top spots at the box office, and Sausage Party is one of those insane, ridiculous comedies that you just love to see succeed. If all goes well and Seth Rogen gets his way, not only will we get more Sausage Party, but hopefully more R-rated animated fare.

Find out about the possibility of a Sausage Party sequel and more after the jump, however, beware of spoilers for the end of the movie. You’ve been warned! Read More »

Sausage Party Review

Note: With Sausage Party in theaters this weekend, we’re re-running our review from San Diego Comic-Con.

Seth Rogen has said on a number of occasions that the desire to make his own animated movie came from a love for Pixar movies. Even though he didn’t exactly grow up on them as a child (he was already 14 when the first Toy Story arrived in 1995), he’s still loved them immensely as an adult. However, if Rogen was going to attempt to make his version of a Pixar movie, you know it wasn’t going to be anywhere near family friendly.

Sausage Party had a special screening here at Comic-Con last night, and the final result of years of development, test screenings and hard work is an outrageous comedy that brings the laughs hard, and all the most raunchy and raw hilarity hasn’t even been touched by the movie’s marketing.

Get our full Sausage Party review after the jump. Read More »

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Sausage Party P Diddy Cameo

The cast of Sausage Party has one of the most impressive voice casts of any animated comedy. Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig are the leads, but the rest of the food (as well as a hygienic item and a couple humans) are brought to life by Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton, Salma Hayek, Anders Holm and co-directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan. However, there’s one voice who was once set for a cameo but fell away for a perplexing reason.

Sean Combs (aka P. Diddy, Diddy, Puff Daddy, Puff the Magic Dragon or whatever he’s calling himself this year) was once slated to have a voice role in Sausage Party. But as one certain detail on the project became more clear to him, the rapper/actor ended up falling away from the project. Find out why we didn’t get a Sausage Party P Diddy cameo after the jump. Read More »