I receive Google alerts on animation to help me keep up with the latest animation news. Lately, I’ve been getting daily reminders that Fox’s Animation Domination block (a.k.a. “The Simpsons and three Seth MacFarlane shows”) is going to be rolling out the celebrity guest stars In the coming season. Some are just press releases, while others contain a little more editorial. To me, Fox’s big push to promote the upcoming celebrity voices in their animated shows is just another reminder of the disturbing number of voice acting jobs going to “face” actors.
Posts Tagged ‘dreamworks’
Another Oscar Night has come and gone and another lucky few animated films have been recognized by the Academy. I just barely managed to stay up for the animation awards this year. (This week’s Monday Movie post explains why.) As usual, I’m not taking the Oscars too seriously, but I do think they’re an interesting look at how Hollywood perceives animation and how that changes as the years go by.
The 2011 Annie Awards were given out on Saturday and there’s been no shortage of coverage from animation sites. This year’s awards were marked by controversy over the voting process that led to one major studio withdrawing from the Annies entirely, and different reporters handled it in different ways. Some merely noted the winners and gave little or no mention of the drama surrounding this year’s event. Some dug deeper into the story and examined the issues that led to the notable absences at the Annies. Other suggested – some calmly, others in near-hysterical tones – that in light of this year’s awards, maybe it was time for the Annies to come to and end.
What I couldn’t find without some searching were the details of why this happened, of what voting issues led to one studio deciding to skip the Annies completely. If you’re similarly confused, or if you’re still wondering what the heck an Annie is, read on.
So the 2011 Oscar nominations are out and I have a confession to make.
I have only seen one of the Best Animated Feature nominees.
I think I can be forgiven for not having seen The Illusionist yet. This latest film from Sylvain Chomet – director of 2004 Best Animated Feature nominee The Triplets of Belleville – is still gradually making its way across the country and won’t be playing near me until this Friday. (To see when and where it’s playing near you, check the official site.) But I have no excuse beyond bad timing for missing How To Train Your Dragon. Despite numerous reports from critics and friends whose opinions I respect that it’s quite good, I just haven’t made the time to see it. It’s a problem I intend to remedy before the Oscars are handed out.
So what can I say about this year’s Best Animated Feature nominees? Sizing up the competitors
I was saddened to hear of the death of animator Pres Romanillos on July 17. An extremely talented artist – some of his work can be seen on his art blog, Romanillos worked on numerous animated films for Disney and Dreamworks. Most recently, he worked on Prince Naveen in The Princess and the Frog. He had been battling leukemia and the cancer ultimately took his life at the unfairly young age of 47.
Cartoon Brew’s obituary for Romanillos includes a number of links to tributes and remembrances by his friends and family. My heart is with them during this sad time.
The trailer for DreamWorks’ fourth Shrek film is up. Shrek Forever After (Get it? Four-ever After?) is said to be the last film in the series. Judging from the trailer, it looks like Shrek’s latest adventure could have been called “It’s An Ogreful Life”:
Prior a week ago, I had never seen Kung Fu Panda.
I know, I know. It’s not something I’m proud of. I could say that previous DreamWorks animated films – particularly Shrek – hadn’t impressed me or that the trailers made it look like little more than “fat guy does martial arts.” But I had the positive reviews of numerous critics and animation fans to go on, plus the fact that the film swept the 2008 Annie Awards. So why did it take me so long to actually watch the movie? I can only chalk it up to my own bad judgment. Because not only was I missing out on a good animated movie, I was missing what DreamWorks Animation really had to offer.