The Willoughbys Featurette

Since Netflix isn’t always the best at marketing their new movies and TV shows within their own apps, you might not have realized that their new original animated movie The Willoughbys is already available to watch. But maybe you’re not quite sure if you want to check out the adaptation of the children’s book of the same name by Newberry Award-winning author Lois Lowry, a new featurette and clip show off the quirky family with a great voice cast, including Ricky Gervais as a narrating cat. Read More »

kris pearn interview

There’s something about The Willoughbys, Netflix’s new CG-animated family film based on the Lois Lowry children’s book, that looks a little old-fashioned. But director Kris Pearn doesn’t mind. In fact, that was his intention. Down to the yarn-like bright red hair that covers the heads of the Willoughby children, the intrepid protagonists of the family adventure, to the jittery character movement that mimics stop-motion animation, Pearn wants to use computer animation as a tool to give the film the same feeling as 2D and stop-motion animated films.

“I started off my career as a 2D animator,”Pearn told /Film in a phone interview. “And I think, for me, the craft of the art form of animation is often less is more. The computer does ‘real’ very and so one of the tricks in trying to make it feel handmade is using that as a tool.”

/Film spoke with Pearn to speak about The Willoughbys, how he tackled an “old-fashioned story” that feels like it came right out of a Roald Dahl book, and what a stylish and inventively animated film like his could mean for the future of CG animation.

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The Willoughbys Clip

Last year, Netflix delivered quite the charming and touching animated Christmas movie with Klaus. This year, they’re digging into animation again, this time with the promising quirky comedy The Willoughbys, based on the children’s book of the same name by Newberry Award-winning author Lois Lowry.

If this is your first time hearing about The Willoughbys, whether in the form of a book or an animated feature film, don’t worry. Netflix has released a The Willoughbys clip featuring Ricky Gervais as the voice of a cat who seems to be well-versed on the titular family. In the clip, he explains the long legacy of the family, including their impressive facial hair, before giving us a rundown of the kids the story focuses on. Read More »

Cloudy 2 - Hippotatomus

When Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) created a machine that turned water into food, he never could have predicted the results. In Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2, he’ll be introduced to Foodimals — animals made out of food — that are threatening to take over his beloved hometown and possibly the world. In a new featurette, you’ll get a closer look at the inventive hybrids directors Kris Pearn and Cody Cameron helped create for the sequel, out September 27. Read More »

I put off seeing Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, because I had no associations with the book from which the film took inspiration, and I thought the film would be childish and ridiculous based on the title. I was wrong; the movie is super-charming and well-made.

This year we’ll see the sequel, and the first trailer has just been released. Two guys who worked on the first movie, Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn, were chosen by the original film’s directors to helm this sequel, and they’re taking the chance to make a bigger, weirder movie. This trailer shows off the film’s new food-landscapes, and gives us a chance to hear Terry Crews as the returning character Officer Earl, voiced in the original film by Mr. T.

There are a few places where this trailer suggests that Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 relies on some of the jokes we liked in the first, but it’s still a fun, vivid bit of footage. Check it out below. Read More »

The cheeseburger rainstorms may have ceased for now, but Flint Lockwood’s battles with food are far from over. In this fall’s Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs sequel, Flint (Bill Hader) continues to deal with the consequences of his malfunctioning FLDSMDFR device when he discovers that it’s created a new race of food-animal hybrids — or “food-imals,” in the first of many groanworthy (but secretly hilarious… or not? Just me?) puns.

Initially, Flint and his girlfriend Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) are in awe of the lush, colorful creatures. But then, so were the characters in Jurassic Park with their dinosaurs, and we all know how that ended. Before long, the food-imals are threatening to take over entirely, and it’s up to Flint and Sam to save the town again. See the first images from the film after the jump.

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Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs was a great surprise, a fun and very well-animated film that stands as one of the better kids’ films released in the last few years. (And therefore is also a good watch for adults.) While Cloudy directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are only producing the sequel Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers, they’ve handed off directorial duties to Cody Cameron (story artist on Cloudy) and Kris Pearn (head of story on the first film), who are working from a script by John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein and Erica Rivinoja.

The directorial change isn’t the only big one happening, however, as Mr. T, who voiced the intense, enthusiastic town cop Earl, will not be heard this time. The character does return, however, voiced by Terry Crews. We’ve got some more cast info and a lot of story details below. Read More »

We’ve got a lot of odds and ends to cover in today’s Sequel Bits, so let’s get right to it. After the jump:

  • MIB3 helmer says shooting with an incomplete script was either “genius” or “really stupid”
  • Vehicles from Mad Max: Fury Road revealed
  • Benedict Cumberbatch says lovely things about his Star Trek 2 colleauges
  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 may have a new title
  • Percy Jackson casts stars from Community, Reno 911!, and Dodgeball
  • Chris Tucker is not so excited for Friday 4

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Briefly: It has been quite a while since we heard anything about a sequel to Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Last time we got wind of the film that Sony Animation has been developing, original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were said to be attached, and the source material was said to be the Cloudy sequel book Pickles to Pittsburgh.

Now Variety updates on the project, saying that two animators from Sony Animation, Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn, are set to direct a film that is currently being called Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. Both worked on the original film, so they’re coming to the sequel from a position of great familiarity. The film isn’t yet greenlit, and that’s all the info the trade provides. We’ve got no info on the script at this point, or of a timetable for production.

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