2016 Rio Olympic Mascots

The 2016 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place in Rio. The new mascots for the Rio 2016 Olympics were designed by animated studio, Birdo. Birdo is an independent studio based in São Paulo, Brazil. Luciana Eguti and Paulo Muppet are producer and director of the studio and have had works selected for prestigious publications such as Stash, Vimeo Staff Picks and Youtube. They’ve worked on more than 80 projects together, six feature films, 17 short films, music videos and commercials for clients such as FIAT, Google and Unilever.

The Mascots were inspired by Brazil’s animal life, flowers and culture. The characters names will be revealed on December 14th and the naming options have included, Oba and Eba, Tiba Tuque and Esquindim, and Vinicius and Tom. The two characters are intended to represent diversity and the natural environment.

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Sock Monkey Animated Feature Film

Tony Millionaire is an American cartoonist, illustrator and author known for his comic strip Maakies and the Sock Monkey series. The Sock Monkey series revolves around a sock that looks like a monkey, named Uncle Gabby, and a plush crow named Mr. Crow. Despite being toys, they are able to move, think, talk, eat and interact with other toys. The books are notable for the artwork, dark humor and vaulted dialogue. Four volumes have been published by Dark Horse Comics and other comics, animation and shorts have been created surrounding the merchandising franchise of t shirts and figurines.

comics-sock-monkey-into-the-deep-woods-01Just recently it has been announced that there is a possible animated feature film in the works for Hollywood. The short animation featuring Uncle Gabby the sock money and his friends who fear their friend has been kidnapped by a monster. Danner, who directed Millionaire’s 2008 adult swim series The Drinky Crow Shows created a live action/CGI proof of concept. He has penned the script and would direct the film if the movie and script is green lit. Growing up reading the comic book series, I’m interested in seeing the final result of the film. I hope the film generates new viewership for a fantastic comic series.

Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)

Hotel Transylvania 2 is an upcoming American 3D computer animated series produced by Sony Pictures Animation. It is the sequel to the 2012 film, Hotel Transylvania. The movie will be directed by creator of the Cartoon Network animated television series Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars,  Genndy Tartakovsky. The movie will also star returning cast Adam Sandler and others such as Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, David Spade and Mel Brooks who will be playing Dracula’s father.  The film is scheduled to be released on September 25, 2015 by Columbia Pictures.

hotel_transylvania_ver21With the first Hotel Transylvania movie being a success and gaining $358 million at the box office I can see the sequel living up to high expectations. Especially with legendary actor, Mel Brooks taking one of the main roles of the film this movie is sure to draw in an audience of different ages. It’s been 40 years since Mel Brooks, Young Frankenstein movie but overall, the  director is excited to be a part of a film and a character that reminds him of himself.  There are also other icons in the film who will be voicing in the films non-English versions. The other actors who will be playing Vlad internationally are legendary actors, Frances Michel Galabru, Japan’s Junji Inagawa, Holland’s Bram Van Der Vlugt and Belgiums Jacques Vermeire.

Mel Brooks is  an American film director, screenwriter, composer, lyricist comedian, actor and producer.  His most notable works include, The producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankestein, History of the World, Part 1, Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.  Michel Galabru is a French actor that has appeared in over 200 movies and has worked with renowned Directors Bertrand Blier, Costa-Gavras Jean-Luc Godard. Junji Inagawa  is  a Japanese actor and director known for his movies,  Kataribe, Iki Ningyo and Shinso kyofu no genba 6.  His voice is instantly recognixed as the “go to” narrator of horror films. Hollands, Bram Van Vlugt has played in many television shows and cartoons and is most notably known for his portrayal of Sinterklass which is the main protagonist of the annual festival on December 5th in the Netherlands. Jacques Vermeire is from Belgium and is known for his Flemish performances with decades of memorable comic television and feature film portrayal.

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Disney and TCM team up

It’s been recently announced that Turner Classic Movies is joining with two divisions of the Walt Disney Company on an agreement to promote change to the Great Movie Ride. The Great Movie Ride has been a long running attraction at the Disney’s Hollywood Studios section of Disney World in Orlando, Florida. This is great news for both companies, Turner Broadcasting and Disney that have been rivals over the years.

Adco-superJumboIn return, TCM will receive “Presented by” credits at the attraction on posters, banners, display windows, and marquees that will help display the TCM logo. In return, Walt Disney Studios will provide TCM with vintage movies, cartoons, documentaries and episodes of TV series like “Disneyland” and “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.” Even though the block will be offered by TCM only four to five times a year this is still great news for both companies to promote each other.  I’m a huge fan of both TCM and Disney and am really looking forward to the changes.

Home (2015)

Home is an upcoming American 3D computer animated film produced by DreamWorks Animation. The film is distributed by 20th Century Fox and is based on the 2007 Adam Rex’s children book, The True Meaning of Smekday. The movie is directed by Tim Johnson and produced by Chris Jenkins and Suzanne Buirgy. Tim Johnson is known for directing many films such as, Antz(1998), Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas(2003) and Over the Hedge(2006). The movie stars many voice acting talents of Rihanna, Jim Parson, Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez. I personally think this movie will do well at the box office considering it’s story line, voice acting and it’s high budget in advertising. The movie is set to be released March 27,2015 and has an overall budget of $132 million.

home_2015_movie-wideThe plot of the story consist of an overly optimistic, yet inept, alien race called the Boov led by Captain Smek. He invades Earth to hide from their mortal enemy and make it a new home.Convinced they are doing a favor, they begin to relocate the human race,but one resourceful teenage girl, Tip, manages to avoid capture.When on the run, she is accompanied by a banished Boov named Oh who has accidentally notified the enemies of his whereabouts.
home-trfm-home_title_rgbIn 2008, DreamWorks Animation obtained the book’s rights to adapt it into an animated feature film. The release of the film was intended to be November 26,2014 but was pushed back switching places with DreamWorks Animation’s other film, Penguins of Madagascar. Jeffrey Katzenberg CEO of DreamWorks Animation believes that with  Penguins of Madagascar coming from the most successful franchise from DreamWorks Animation, Madagascar,  it would be easier to stand out during Thanksgiving. Home will try to take advantage of less competitive release window and repeat successful spring launches like, The Croods and How to Train your dragon. 

Beauty and the Beast (1991) Anniversary

Beauty and the Beast is a 1991 American animated musical romantic fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation. The film is the 30th animated film in the Walt Disney Animated Classic series and based on the traditional French fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont. The movie is the third film in the Disney Renaissance period that consisted of films from 1989 to 1999. The film was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise. The film was produced by Don Hahn and the screenplay was written by Linda Woolverton. Most of the people working on this film had already established high rankings among movies associated with Disney. After the release of this film on November 22, 1991 and the films high success, most people  who worked on this film are widely recognized for their talent. The movie has a high rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.

BeautybeastposterThe film had an overall budget of $25 million and grossed $425 million dollars at the box office. The movie was nominated for several awards, winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical for Comedy. It became the first animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for best picture. The film received 5 additional Academy Award nomination, including Best Original Score, Best Sound, and Best Original Song on three separate nominations. In 2002, Beauty and the Beast was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Production  had to be completed on a compressed timeline of two years rather than four because of the loss of production time spent developing the earlier Purdum version of the film.Most of the production was done at the main Feature Animation studio, housed in the Air Way facility in Glendale, California. A smaller team at the Disney-MGM Studios theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Florida assisted the California team on several scenes, particularly the “Be Our Guest”. The success of the CGI ballroom sequence helped convince studio executives to further invest in computer animation.

The Little Mermaid (1989) 25th Anniversary

November 15th marked the 25th anniversary of American animated Disney movie, The Little Mermaid. The Little Mermaid is the 28th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classic series and was distributed by Buena Vista. The movie is loosely based on the Danish fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. If you’re not well aware of the movie, the story is about a sixteen year old girl named Ariel. Ariel happens to be a  mermaid and the daughter of King Triton. King Triton is the King of the of the sea and Ariel dreams of becoming human. With her best friend Flounder and Scuttle the seagull she meets a young prince named Eric. With multiple songs and dilemmas such as saving the prince and making a trade with Ursula the sea witch, she must face overcoming obstacles to save prince Eric as well as herself.

La-SirenitaThe film was directed and produced by Ron Clements and John Musker. The music was composed by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman who wrote the Academy Award Winning Score. One of the film’s most prominent songs, “Part of Your World”, was nearly cut from the film when it seemingly tested poorly with an audience of school children. The voices of Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Pat Carroll, Samuel E. Wright, Kenneth Mars, Buddy Hackett and Rene Aubjeronios made this film transpire into the masterpiece it is today. The movie had an overall budget of $40 million and a total estimate of $211.3 million at the box office. The Little Mermaid is listed as one of the top Disney films and holds an overall approval rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Interesting Facts:
 Ariel was quite deliberately made a redhead in order to distinguish her from Daryl Hannah‘s character in Splash (1984).
 Ariel’s body type and personality were based on Alyssa Milano. The effect of her hair underwater was based on footage of astronaut Sally Ride in weightless conditions
In Greek mythology, the God of the Sea is Poseidon, or Neptune in Latin. This movie’s sea king has the name Triton, one of Neptune’s sons.
4. There are several shots of Ariel, sitting on a rock, in a pose reminiscent of the “Little Mermaid” statue that sits in Copenhagen harbor.
5. The first Disney fairy tale since Sleeping Beauty
6. This was the first Disney film to receive an Academy Award since Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), though other films had been nominated.
7. The shot of Ariel reaching out through the skylight of her grotto was the last shot to be completed. It took four tries to get the optical effects just right.
8. The printed film format is 35 mm (Eastman 5384) and a 70 mm (blow-up) (Eastman 5384)
9. Ariel’s liplines were created with hand-inking.
10. For this film, the artists received inspiration from the Nielsen story sketches that were brought out of the Archives for them to study, and they gave Kay Nielsen a “visual development” credit on the film. Another first for recent years: Live actors and actresses were filmed for reference material for the animators. Sherri Stoner acted out Ariel’s key scenes. Not all of Disney’s animators approved the use of live-action reference; Glen Keane, the co-supervising animator of Ariel said in an interview with the Orange County Register that one artist quit the project rather than work with live-action reference.