The International Animated Film Society ASIFA-Hollywood has announced the nominees for the 38th Annual Annie Awards, and the DreamWorks feature How to Train Your Dragon leads the pack with more than ten nods. But there’s a caveat; that and the full list of nominations after the break. Read More »

THR’s 2010 Awards Watch Animators Roundtable

It’s award season, and The Hollywood Reporter has begun posting their series of roundtable discussions with the contenders. Earlier this month they posted an one-hour discussion between screenwriters Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network), Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours), Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3), John Wells (The Company Men), Todd Phillips (Due Date) and David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole).

Today we get to watch/listen to the Animators roundtable, which includes Bonnie Arnold (producer, How to Train Your Dragon), Roy Conli (producer, Tangled), Bob Last (producer, The Illusionist), Tom McGrath (director, Megamind), Chris Meledandri (producer, Despicable Me) and Lee Unkrich (director, Toy Story 3).

Unfortunately, unlike the screenwriters roundtable, THR has decided not to put the entire video online. Instead they have given us three clips and have a full transcript of the roundtable online only for subscribers. You can still watch over ten minutes of the roundtable in selected clips embedded after the jump.
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Let the battle for second and third Best Animated Feature of the year begin. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has just announced their short list of 15 features that are eligible to be nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards and right out of the gate, competition is fierce. Due to Academy rules, if up to 15 films qualify for the nomination, there will be only three nominees. If there are 16 or more films eligible, five films get nominated. So this year only three films, out of a very strong group, will get to call themselves Oscar nominees. But, really, we know there’s already a clear cut favorite.

Of the nine years this award has existed, Pixar films have won five Oscars (Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall-E and Up) against only two losses (Monsters Inc., Cars). And with the unprecedented critical and financial success of Toy Story 3, chances are everyone else is just vying for a nomination. Check out the full list, which includes several films that have yet to be released, as well as our detailed analysis/predictions, after the jump. Read More »

U.S. Movie Trailer: The Illusionist

In June, we posted the international movie trailer for Sylvain Chomet‘s The Illusionist, which looked amazing. I got a chance to screen the film at the Telluride film festival, and it is a visually stunning testament to the art of 2D animation. The film is set to be released in the states (in limited theaters) beginning on December 25th 2010 (the only real Christmas release this year), and Sony Pictures Classics have finally released a proper U.S. movie trailer. Watch the trailer now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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We’ve shown you quite a good bit of material from Sylvain Chomet‘s The Illusionist, including a Russian trailer. But this UK trailer for the film is the best look yet; it has a lot of new footage, and the quality is much higher than anything we’ve seen so far. We knew from stills that the film would be quite beautiful, but from the footage in this trailer, it looks stunning. Read More »

I didn’t have much doubt that a distributor would quickly move on Sylvain Chomet‘s The Illusionist. (Refer back to our previous articles detailing the film, which has origins in an unproduced screenplay by the great Jacques Tati and features a character very much designed after Tati.) In fact, I didn’t have much doubt that it would be anyone other than Sony Pictures Classics, which also released Chomet’s film The Triplets of Belleville. Hopefully SPC can find an audience for this picture; it looks simply beautiful. Check some previously posted footage below. [Variety]

After the break, a distro deal and some new casting for the promising film The Lincoln Lawyer, starring Matthew McConaughey and Marisa Tomei. Read More »


I’m about as interested as it is possible to be in Sylvain Chomet‘s upcoming The Illusionist. My interest is based on the fact that the film is the intersection of Chomet’s visual sense, somehow both a quaint and fantastic evocation of the everyday as seen in The Triplets of Belleville, and the storytelling impulse of the late Jacques Tati, which not coincidentally could be described in very similar terms.

We’ve seen a brief bit of footage from The Illusionist in the recent past, but now there is a Russian clip that acts as a great little trailer. And it is quite lovely. Read More »

A new YouTube video gives us the first online look at moving footage from Sylvain Chomet‘s The Illusionist, and what we see is simply stunning. The film has premiered this week at the Berlin Film Festival to some wonderfully positive reviews, the most encouraging of which come from those who had doubts about Chomet’s previous feature, Belleville Rendezvous. You can see the video after the break.

This Illusionist is a hand drawn animation, not to be mistaken for Neil Burger’s live action film from a few years back. Chomet was working from an unproduced screenplay by Jacques Tati, intended to be a live action film. Making conjuring magical in a toon – where there doesn’t need to be a trick, anything can be drawn – is no mean feat.

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Creating a ‘traditionally animated’ feature, which is to say a film created by drawing 2D images rather than tweaking 3D models, either physically or virtually, is most definitely a very time consuming exercise (I take issue with the term ‘traditionally animated’ as I’m not sure what’s untraditional about the art of stop-motion). Unsurprising, then, that the last time I saw a new image from Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist was literally years ago. Finally, a batch of gorgeous new images have surfaced, and you can see them all below the break.

Chomet, if you don’t know the name, was the director of The Triplets of Belleville, aka Belleville Rendezvous, a French toon that made something of a splash back in 2003, not least by garnering effusive praise from some big cheeses at Pixar.

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