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Animation Scoop

Immersed in Movies: Talking 'Planes: Fire & Rescue' with DisneyToon

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 18, 2014 3:00 PM
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Planes: Fire & Rescue, which is about second chances with Dusty (Dane Cook) struggling with a new career as a fire fighter, is a lot more ambitious than its predecessor. Along with a larger variety of vehicles and the creation of the vast Piston Peak National Park, there were a lot of technical challenges, too. But the details about fire fighting had to be spot-on, so that's where research and consultation with Cal Fire were vital.

Immersed in Movies: DreamWorks Demos New Apollo Platform

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 16, 2014 7:05 PM
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  • 4 Comments
DreamWorks Animation unveiled its new Apollo software platform with How to Train Your Dragon 2, and I got an in-depth presentation last month at the Redwood City campus. Taking advantage of Intel’s multi-core technology and its own hybrid cloud computing resources, DreamWorks has come up with a next-gen platform for visual computing from data center to chip set. Harnessing more power out of the CPU, it is intuitive, interactive, artist-friendly, fully scalable, and makes computing a powerful animation and enterprise tool.

Immersed in Movies: Gutierrez and del Toro Preview 'The Book of Life' Footage

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 15, 2014 1:50 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Director Jorge Gutierrez and producer Guillermo del Toro showed off some gorgeous-looking footage from The Book of Life (Oct. 17) at Fox on Monday. It boasts a distinctive design and a wonderfully tactile quality, revealing that Reel FX (Free Birds) has come of age as an animated indie. And it looks like fun, family entertainment that certainly breaks the CG norm, which del Toro emphasized.

Immersed in Movies: 'The Boxtrolls' Set Visit: Laika Embraces Victorian Steampunk

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 9, 2014 2:00 PM
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With The Boxtrolls (Sept. 26), Laika tackles its first period piece -- Victorian Steampunk -- as well as its first creature-oriented tale about an orphan boy, Eggs, raised underground by cave-dwelling trash collectors. The result is a more stylized, theatrical look along with more ambitious storytelling. And judging by my set visit last year in Portland and footage screened last month, The Boxtrolls is sure to be one of the year's best animated features and a prime Oscar contender.

Immersed in Movies: Alfred Gimeno Talks Directing Disney's New '7D' Series

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 1, 2014 3:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
It's about time the Seven Dwarfs got their own wacky animated TV series, and if The 7D has an Animaniacs-like vibe that's because Tom Ruegger, Alfred Gimeno, and Sherri Stoner are involved as exec producer, director, and writer. I spoke with Gimeno about the show, premiering July 7th at 10:00 am on Disney XD.

Immersed in Movies: Pixar Provides Early Look at 'Inside Out' and Sneaks 'Lava' Short

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • June 20, 2014 12:10 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Pixar's Inside Out is a year away, but on Thursday at the DGA Pete Docter gave a sneak peek and we were also treated to the premier of the next short, Lava, a lovely Hawaiian-themed musical directed by animator James Murphy. They're a good match and will screen together on June 19, 2015, but I believe Inside Out has the potential to be Pixar's most profound movie in its exploration of how the mind works metaphorically.

Immersed in Movies: Going Deeper Into 'How to Train Your Dragon 2'

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • June 13, 2014 1:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The first thing you notice about How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a lot more detail in the characters as well as in the more expansive environments, which reflect a real world sensibility and the beauty of Norway. And a lot of credit goes to the new Premo software package, which empowered the artists to go further creatively than ever before at DreamWorks.

Immersed in Movies: Patrick Osborne Talks Disney 'Feast' Short

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • June 11, 2014 9:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Disney's latest animated short, Feast, which highlights the importance of food and is uniquely told from a dog's POV, premiered Tuesday at Annecy, but Animation Scoop got an early sneak peek and an exclusive interview with director Patrick Osborne (head of animation on the Oscar-winning Paperman and co-head on the upcoming Big Hero 6 feature). In fact, Feast will fittingly open in front of the Marvel superhero adaptation on Nov. 7.

Immersed in Movies: Dean DeBlois Talks Directing 'How to Train Your Dragon 2'

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • June 4, 2014 1:10 AM
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  • 1 Comment
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is quite simply the best animated feature yet from DreamWorks, and the obvious frontrunner for the Oscar race. Dean DeBlois has therefore exceeded all expectations with an ambitious vision for Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless and the world they inhabit in Berk and beyond. It's an important rite of passage as humans and dragons struggle to co-exist amid the forces of hatred and destruction. And DeBlois and I recently discussed his stunning achievement as first-time solo director.

Immersed in Movies: Tomm Moore Talks 'Song of the Sea' and First Look at New Teaser

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • May 30, 2014 12:32 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Tomm Moore follows up his Oscar-nominated The Secret of Kells with another hand-drawn Irish folktale from Cartoon Saloon: Song of the Sea (opening this autumn through Gkids), and we have the first interview and teaser trailer. It's about the Selkies, mythological creatures that are part seal, part human, and it's set in 1987, a transitional period for both Ireland and its youthful protagonists.