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Archive for the ‘Dreamworks’

Kung Fu Panda kicks butt at the Annies

January 31st, 2009

Kung Fu Panda pictureVariety says it best:

 “Kung Fu Panda” kicked considerable butt at the 36th annual Annie Awards on Friday night, shutting out the competition to win every feature-related category the international animation society ASIFA offers — and then some, earning additional kudos for its videogame and “Secrets of the Furious Five” short film tie-ins.

This is huge for Deamworks! To many, they have been the house of Shrek. Now Kung Fu Panda changes that. The animation industry has seen that they are much more than just the home of the green ogre. Congratulations to the crew! Now, on to the Oscars! -Floyd Bishop 

Superbowl is a super time for animation

January 30th, 2009

Up poster

The Superbowl is going to be on TV this Sunday. While the Superbowl is usually not an event that is considered a “must see” for many artist types, there are many animated reasons to watch this year.

First of all, there are the commercials. Even in such an economically depressed times, there should be many animated commercials. In other years, the Superbowl commercials have been like a mini film festival, with many different styles and techniques on display.

Secondly, we should be seeing a new trailer for the Disney/Pixar film “Up”. I would love to see something along the lines of the Mike & Sully through the closet door type of thing, where the trailer is not made up of content from the film. I think that tends to give away too much.

Another great reason to watch is the 3D trailer for the Dreamworks film “Monsters Vs Aliens”. Before the game, be sure [Read more…]

Monsters Vs. Aliens

December 12th, 2008

So I just came back from a select footage screening of “Monsters Vs. Aliens” hosted by the big man himself, Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Monsters Vs. Aliens

There is something for everyone in this movie, no matter what age you are. Like any other good Dreamworks movie, there are pop references and lovable characters.

Technical speaking, the animation is really tight, the voice casting of the characters in relation to the character acting is spot on. The film has also really made good use of the ” REAL-D” 3D theater experience.  The sense of scale with the Monsters and the Aliens lends itself a perfect fit to the application of the technology. The entire movie is in 3D and I can already tell there will be no scenes in the movie where you’re thinking to yourself, ” oh that shot was put in because we need a crazy theater 3D audience reaction” .

Katzenberg made it clear that [Read more…]

Golden Globe nominees announced

December 11th, 2008

golden globes

The Golden Globe nominees for Best Animated Feature Film are Disney’s Bolt, DreamWorks Animation’s Kung-Fu Panda and Disney/Pixar’s WALL•E. Both Bolt and WALL•E have songs nominated for Best Original Song. “Down to Earth” from WALL•E features music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, with lyrics by Peter Gabriel, and “I thought I Lost You” from Bolt has music and lyrics by Miley Cyrus and Jeffrey Steele.

The animated documentary Waltz with Bashir from Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman is up for Best Foreign Language Film.

-Floyd Bishop

Can Pixar do no wrong?

July 31st, 2008


Ever since the release of “Toy Story” back in 1995, movie audiences seem to have been in love with all things Pixar. This goes for many animation fans as well, sometimes to the point of fanaticism. Is this a healthy thing? In this post, I’ll be asking some questions that challenge that fanaticism, and I hope that Pixar fans will try to provide some answers in the comments section.

When Dreamworks released “Shark Tale”, many people implied that Dreamworks was trying to follow in the footsteps of Pixar’s “Finding Nemo”. They are both films that are primarily based underwater. The similarities end there for me. When Pixar released “WALL-E” this year, no one seemed to remember either Blue Sky’s “Robots” from 2005, nor the design of Johnny 5 from “Short Circuit” (another robot who becomes self aware and gains a personality). Granted, the Pixar films were stronger films in both cases, but the similarities are there [Read more…]

China Mortified By “Kung Fu Panda”

July 30th, 2008

ng Fu

via The Business Sheet

This was an interesting read. It seems that many of the actions and attitudes in the Dreamworks animated film “Kung Fu Panda” are at odds with what are common mainstays in Chinese cinema. While many have to do with the characters’ flaws (which help to sell their believability), some are taking offense to the way Po interacts with his teacher. In China, a student has nothing but deep respect for their instructor.

In such a global community, is it not possible to do an animated film that is based on a culture, yet observes that culture’s beliefs AND entertains a broad audience? I enjoyed the film, but was unaware of some of the cultural gaffs that it included. While I was not offended, I can now see why some may have been. What do you think?

-Floyd Bishop 

“Kung Fu Panda” beats Hollywood projections

June 9th, 2008


The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that “Kung Fu Panda” has grabbed the #1 spot at the box office this weekend with an estimated $60 million domestically.

From the article:

Outpaced by a pair of sequels in the animation studio’s “Shrek” franchise and a four-day bow for 2005’s “Madagascar,” “Panda” had pre-release expectations more comparable to DWA’s family comedy “Over the Hedge.” “Hedge” opened in May 2006 with $38.5 million.

The “Panda” debut included $2.3 million rung up from 89 of Imax’s giant-screen venues.

Did you see “Kung Fu Panda”? If so, what did you think of the film? Write up your take on it in the comments section.

-Floyd Bishop

“Kung Fu Panda” out tomorrow

June 5th, 2008


Tomorrow, June 6th, is the premiere of “Kung Fu Panda”. The film is great, so don’t miss it! I hope to have some interviews with some of the creative crew real soon. Keep watching this space.

-Floyd Bishop

“Kung Fu Panda” Advanced Screening and Review

May 15th, 2008


Today I was lucky enough to attend an advanced screening of the upcoming Dreamworks film “Kung Fu Panda”. I went into the film trying to keep an open mind. Everything I had seen from the film made it look like a fun film, but I’ve been burned before. This film delivered and then some. It kept me involved and entertained from the opening sequence right through to the end credits (and there is a small bit of animation after the credits… stick around for it).

It’s hard to believe this is the same studio that released “Shark Tale” just a few short years ago. If you remember the promotions for that film, they really promoted the heck out of the all star voice cast. Angelina Jolie and Jack Black, two “Shark Tale” alum appear in this film, but this time the voices seem to fit the characters very well.

Don’t judge the film by [Read more…]