If you have questions about the Frozen universe, Becky Bresee and Peter del Vecho can answer them. She was a supervising animator on the first film and the head of animation on the second. He is the producer of the entire franchise. Now, she’s the head of animation and he’s a producer and creative consultant for Once Upon a Snowman, a new prequel short film about Olaf the talking snowman’s first day of existence.

I spoke with Bresee and del Vecho ahead of the short’s streaming premiere and learned the key to telling an Olaf story, why they had to entirely recreate familiar scenes from scratch, and how the pandemic has changed the animation process. Once Upon a Snowman is streaming now on Disney+.

Read More »

Once Upon a Snowman Director Interview

What happened to Olaf the talking snowman in the window of time between his creation and his first meeting with Anna during Frozen? The new Disney short Once Upon a Snowman answers that question. It turns out that Josh Gad’s warm hug-loving character had a bit of an adventure, full of hijinks and existence-defining moments. And according to directors Trent Correy and Dan Abraham, it was all inspired by Back to the Future Part II.

Once Upon a Snowman is streaming now on Disney+, so before or after you watch it, you can read our interview with the filmmakers, who shared their inspiration for the short, how they made Olaf work as a central character, and whether there’s a bit of Looney Tunes in their Disney character.

Read More »

Avatar Logo

The /Film staff has a bit of a running joke when it comes to Avatar 2 news: is the publicity team going out their way to release only the most boring images imaginable? But that’s the problem you face when the world of a film is largely digital and won’t be ready for primetime until long after the cameras have finished rolling. The other problem is that director James Cameron will hunt us down and hurt us if we joke too much.

Naturally, this means just about every glimpse of the upcoming sequel has involved puny human characters just standing around, or other actors wearing skintight motion capture suits that will eventually help transform them into alien warriors. Today’s new image is the former: here’s your first look at Edie Falco‘s new character, General Ardmore, who certainly sounds like she’s going to be a villain of some kind.

Read More »

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The ShowGuy’s Grocery Games

Where You Can Stream It: Hulu

The Pitch: Divisive Food Network host and fashion nightmare Guy Fieri invites four chefs into a giant grocery store set, where they must compete in various cooking challenges that involve them rushing through the aisles and literally collecting their ingredients. But since this is a silly game show, those challenges generally involve chaotic limitations (you can only shop in certain aisles) or cruel requirements (your savory dinner must include mustard and a bag of marshmallows). It’s ridiculous. And addicting.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: Look, Guy’s Grocery Games is not essential viewing. And if you can’t stomach Guy Fieri, with his low-brow sense of humor and atrocious haircut, this will be a legitimately painful experience. However, there’s something fundamentally nice about this show, which sidesteps being a cutthroat competition in favor of being an easily digestible showcase of chefs concocting creative and delicious dishes from ingredients available in a standard supermarket. As Pixar’s Ratatouille explored: anyone can cook.

Read More »

The cast of the Dwayne Johnson-led DC comic book movie Black Adam just found its newest addition. Sarah Shahi, a very busy actress with numerous television and film credits to her name, has joined the ensemble. But unlike most of the other newcomers to the cast, it sounds like she won’t be playing a superhero in this superhero movie.

Read More »

The upcoming action comedy Free Guy is built around a wild high-concept premise: what if an ordinary person living in a chaotic world learned that their reality was a video game and they were simply a background character within it? And what if that outrageous concept was really a metaphor about taking control of your existence and learning to connect with others?

That was the key takeaway during an online press conference for the film, where director Shawn Levy, stars Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer, and several others all assembled over Zoom to talk about the movie. Here are the key takeaways.

Read More »

Unmatched, the board game series where characters from myth, legend, literature, and pop culture all clash in the nerdiest battle of all time, is heading to Sunnydale. Unmatched: Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a standalone game that lets players fight it out as Buffy, Willow, Angel, and Spike using detailed miniatures and cards featuring stunning artwork from Heather Vaughan. And naturally, it can be combined with past editions, so the Slayer and her crew can take on Bigfoot, Bruce Lee, and yes, even Dracula.

/Film is pleased to debut an exclusive first look at the game components. We’re even more pleased to reveal that the game is available for pre-order online right now before hitting retail shelves in mid-November.

Read More »

The Series: The Venture Bros.

Where You Can Stream It: Hulu

The Pitch: What if a raunchy parody of Jonny Quest and other old school adventure cartoons grew into one of the richest, funniest, and most human shows on television? What if two pop culture geniuses and their tiny crew spent 17 years and seven seasons crafting a show that quickly grew tired of making fun of its world and instead chose to invest in it with layered mythology, complex characters, and fascinating mysteries? What if the crude animation of the early seasons evolved into quietly beautiful work, showcasing stunning action, brilliant character designs, and a downright cinematic framing? The Venture Bros. was the quiet miracle of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim line-up, an always-evolving magic trick that was never content to sit still. A silly cartoon that learned to let its characters, and stakes, matter.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: They’ve done it. The bastards did it. The Venture Bros. has been canceled before its eighth season, leaving its cast of dozens and their overlapping narratives dangling. And while we wait to see if someone, anyone, will rescue it and give it more a second life, all we can do is look back on one of the greatest achievements in American animation.

Read More »

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Where You Can Stream It: Netflix

The Pitch: You know, it’s only the sequel to one of the greatest Hollywood blockbusters of all time. And you know, it’s only a Steven Spielberg movie, his first after directing Schindler’s List and winning the Academy Award for Best Director. But The Lost World: Jurassic Park is the kind of stunning act of mediocrity that disappointed at the time but fascinates over two decades later. This is what a genius, with all of the resources in the world, produces when he just doesn’t care.

Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: So, why do I recommend revisiting a movie that most people have recognized as just not being very good? A movie that Spielberg himself has described as “inferior”? Because sometimes it’s valuable to examine a failure and see what we can learn from it. And by taking a look at The Lost World, we can better and more fully understand why its predecessor is such a masterpiece.

Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The MovieClass Action Park

Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max

The Pitch: For an entire generation of Americans raised in the New York and New Jersey area, Action Park was the wild and crazy amusement park where the lack of rules and safety regulations forced you to grit your teeth through injuries as you endured water slides designed by maniacs. For another generation, it’s become one of the internet’s most astonishing urban legends. This place wasn’t real, was it? Everyone was exaggerating, right? The new documentary Class Action Park, from directors Chris Charles Scott and Seth Porges, gathers former employees and visitors to tell their stories, alongside tons of astonishing footage from when the park was open. And it turns out Action Park was as nuts, and as dangerous, as you’ve heard.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: The COVID-19 pandemic means most of the world is unable to visit theme parks or water parks right now. And Class Action Park does a fine job of making “staying in your home and not doing anything at all” feel like a great choice. The film’s look back at this monstrous, unregulated amusement park is both hilarious and chilling, a portrait of a terrible park that could have only existed in one time and in one place. Even when the film missteps, it’s impossible to deny that the footage shown and the stories shared will leave your jaw on the floor.

Read More »