Animation Scoop

Immersed in Movies: Sergio Mendes Talks Music In "Rio 2"

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • April 11, 2014 2:30 PM
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In Rio 2, musical legend Sergio Mendes helps expand the Brazilian flavor as the adventure continues in the Amazon. For director Carlos Saldanha, musically it's richer and more multi-layered, and, as the story progresses, the jungle offers its own vibe, and, by the end, it's a mixture of the two. Mendes tells what the musical journey has been like for him.

Immersed in Movies: BOOK REVIEW: 'Creativity, Inc.'

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • April 8, 2014 9:04 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Ed Catmull explores the secret of Pixar's success in Creativity, Inc. (Random House) with a managerial insight that's applicable to everyone. Reminiscent of John Wooden's "Pyramid of Success," the Yoda of Pixar has presided over the industry's animation leader with a winning philosophy that delicately balances individual talent and chemistry with team leadership and a dynamic vision.

Immersed in Movies: Pixar's Kelsey Mann Talks 'Party Central' Short

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • March 21, 2014 11:21 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Despite Pixar not having a feature this year, it worked out perfectly for the MU short, Party Central, to play in front of Muppets Most Wanted since Jim Henson was such an important influence on director Kelsey Mann. "They always had that manic energy when you got a group of the Muppets together. I wanted to get that over the top feeling in this short."

Immersed in Movies: Carlos Saldanha Talks 'Rio 2'

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • March 14, 2014 12:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
In Rio 2 (opening April 11th), we go from Rio to the Amazon for a richer and more musical comedy/adventure with newcomers Janelle Monae and Bruno Mars joining Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), Jewel (Anne Hathaway), and their three kids in the rainforest. Director Carlos Saldanha discusses raising the bar at Blue Sky.

Immersed in Movies: Talking 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' with Minkoff & Schleifer

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • March 7, 2014 12:15 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Mr. Peabody & Sherman has been given the DreamWorks treatment on the big screen in CG and 3-D yet it still retains the charm and appeal of the original Jay Ward cartoons created by Ted Key. The wacky WABAC is back but there's more at stake in terms of single parenting, rites of passage and the tricky time-space continuum. I spoke with director Rob Minkoff and Jason Schleifer, the head of character animation, about re-inventing the iconic property.

Immersed in Movies: Anatomy of a Scene for the Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 17, 2014 3:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
What were the most challenging scenes to animate in the Oscar-Nominated shorts? I posed this to all five directors: Lauren MacMullan (Get A Horse!), Daniel Sousa (Feral), Shuhei Morita (Possessions), Laurent Witz (Mr. Hublot), and Max Lang (Room on the Broom).

Immersed in Movies: Talking 'The LEGO Movie' with Chris McKay

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 15, 2014 12:01 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Now that The LEGO Movie´╗┐ is already a hit going into its second weekend and "Everything Is Awesome" (with a likely sequel in the works), let's chat with Chris McKay, the animation supervisor. He worked with Animal Logic on a particularly fitting stop-motion vibe in CG (what they called seven points of articulation).

Immersed in Movies: Anatomy of a Scene: 'Let It Go' and 'Family Maze'

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 10, 2014 3:22 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Both Frozen and The Croods contain transcendent moments that summarize the visual and thematic essence of these two Oscar-nominated movies: the powerful "Let It Go" song and the beautiful "Family Maze." I dig deeper with the directors and filmmakers to better understand and appreciate their context and significance.

Immersed in Movies: Master Building 'The LEGO Movie' with Phil Lord and Chris Miller

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 7, 2014 3:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There's more than meets the eye in The LEGO Movie´╗┐. It's not only smart and witty but it also explores the essence of LEGO and Master Building and, finally, storytelling in a Pirandello-like way. I spoke with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (at LEGOLAND, of course) about making a subversive movie at Warner Bros. that pokes fun of studios, franchises, and safe storytelling.

Immersed in Movies: Laughing it Up at the 'LEGO Movie' Press Conference

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 4, 2014 5:56 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Maybe it was the wacky LEGOLAND backdrop (with the marvelous miniature set behind them), or the funny nature of the movie itself, or the fact that Morgan Freeman was such a hoot, but the LEGO Movie press conference was even more fun than expected. Among the participants were directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller; voice talent Chris Pratt, Freeman, Will Arnett, and Elizabeth Banks; producer Dan Lin; and animation supervisor Chris McKay. Here are a few of the highlights:

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