Think back to the last movie you paid to watch in theaters. What inspired you to shell out your hard-earned cash for two hours’ entertainment when you could’ve easily saved money by exploring your Netflix queue at home? If you said “the story,” Walt Disney Animation Studios chief technical officer Andy Hendrickson has one word for you: “Bullshit.” In Hendrickson’s view, what draws in paying audiences is “spectacle,” not storytelling. And, well, he might not be totally wrong. Read more after the jump.

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First Look: Mia Wasikowska as Tim Burton’s Alice

INF has the first good set photos from the Cornawall England set of Tim Burton‘s Alice in Wonderland. Young Australian actress Mia Wasikowska plays the lead role of Alice. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that this scene takes place early in the film before Alice is transported to Wonderland. I can’t say for sure, but it doesn’t appear like the Panavision camera in the shot below is set up for 3D, which is really odd since the film will be released in Digital Disney 3D. May-be Burton is taking a que from The Wizard of Oz, and won’t begin the 3D effect until Alice gets to Wonderland? Or maybe I’m just missing something. Does anyone see a second lens?

I also read somewhere that Burton was telling people on set that Johnny Depp’s The Madd Hatter will be completely performance-capture/computer animated. Check out more photos on INF.

Disney Announces 2009 Release Schedule


Last week Paramount and Fox announced major post-writers strike schedule shuffles. I speculated that because of ‘the rule of threes’, that one more studio would announce a reshuffled calendar by Friday. And here we are on Wednesday, with a bunch of new dates from Disney. Let’s take a look at the new Disney schedule:

The big screen adaptation of the popular video game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, has been moved forward from mid-June to July 10th 2009. Michael Bay’s Transformers 2 hits theaters two weeks earlier on June 26th. Disney believes they will make more at the box office with the head start.

The sci-fi adventure comedy sequel/remake Race to Witch Mountain starring The Rock will hit theaters on March 13th 2009, up against Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lovely Bones.

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland 3-D will hit theaters a week later on March 19th 2010.

The Jonathan Mostow Sci-fi action adaptation The Surrogates starring Bruce Willis has been given a holiday release: November 20th 2009. The film with counter DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon. Set in a future world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robot avatars, a cop (Willis) is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate a murder mystery.

The Wild Hogs sequel titled Old Dogs starring John Travolta, Robin Williams and Seth Green, has been pushed back from a 2008 TBA to April 10th 2009. The original film was released in March, so it’s likely that Disney didn’t want to deviate from the marketing formula. Dogs will go up against Paramount’s Renée Zellweger horror/thriller Case 39.

The Hannah Montana Movie will now counter Fox’s comic book prequel X-Men Origins: Wolverine on May 1st 2009. This means that Disney’s animated 3D movie G-Force had to be moved to July 24th. Not a great date considering that it will now go head to head with New Line’s animated Planet 51 and The Weinstein Co’s horror remake Piranha 3D.

The big screen adaptation of Confessions of a Shopaholic starring Isla Fisher has been bumped from it’s October 9th 2008 date to a prime 2009 Valentine’s Day release. In effect, the Sandra Bullock/Ryan Reynolds romantic comedy The Proposal will now get a September 25th release.

source: Variety

Tim Burton in a 3D Wonderland

Tim Burton 3D

Last month we reported a rumor that Tim Burton would be making a stop motion animated feature length remake of his infamous short Frankenweenie. Well the news is now official, and it gets even better – it will be in 3D! And there is even better news, before he begins production on Frankenweenie, Burton will directing a re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland which will also be in 3D!

Alice will combine performance-capture technology, which can currently be seen in Beowulf, with live-action footage. Lion King/Beauty and the Beast scribe Linda Woolverton penned the adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic. No word on if the movie will be darker than the original, but with Burton at the helm, I would expect a more unique take. However, this is still Disney, and Alice is a classic franchise for the mouse house, so I wouldn’t expect it to be too dark. Hopefully Disney let’s Burton use his visual talents to add a new depth to this classic story.

FrankenweenieBurton made Frankenweenie as a short black and white film in 1984. It is rumored that Disney decided to shelve the project because the content was too “questionable” for children. However, after the mainstream success of such Burton films as Beetlejuice, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and Batman, the film was given a home video release on the Nightmare Before Christmas DVD.

Frankenweenie is a parody of the 1931 Frankenstein film. When young Victor’s pet dog Sparky is hit by a car, Victor decides to bring him back to life the only way he knows how. But when the bolt-necked “monster” wreaks havoc and terror in the hearts of Victor’s neighbors, he has to convince them and his parents, that despite his appearance, Sparky’s still the good loyal friend he’s always been. The film starred Shelley Duvall, Daniel Stern, Barret Oliver, Sofia Coppola and Jason Hervey.

source: variety