Animation Scoop

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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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:

Immersed in Movies: Talking with the Shorts Oscar Nominees

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 3, 2014 2:30 PM
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I recently chatted with the Oscar nominees for Feral (Daniel Sousa), Get a Horse! (Lauren MacMullan), Mr. Hublot (Laurent Witz), Possessions (Shuhei Morita), and Room on the Broom (Max Lang). We discussed personal connections and challenges. Interestingly, all five of the films explore the theme of adjusting to change in our lives.

Immersed in Movies: Talking with the Best Animated Feature Oscar Nominees

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 27, 2014 3:19 PM
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I recently chatted with the Oscar nominees for The Croods (directors Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco), Despicable Me 2 (Chris Renaud), Ernest & Celestine (Benjamin Renner), Frozen (Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee), and The Wind Rises (producer Toshio Suzuki). We discussed what makes their work personal, challenging, and relatable.

Immersed in Movies: Adam Green Talks Oscar-Nominated 'Get A Horse!'

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 20, 2014 1:30 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Quite simply, if the CG Mickey couldn't match the hand-drawn model refashioned to look like the 1928 original, the Oscar-nominated Get A Horse! short wouldn't have worked. And that was the responsibility of CG supervisor Adam Green (Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled), who worked side-by-side with 2D supervisor Eric Goldberg. Indeed, Green was mentored by Goldberg during this unique production that brilliantly encapsulates the history of Mickey and Disney.

Immersed in Movies: Getting Animated About the Oscar Nominations

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 13, 2014 2:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Will the studios totally dominate the best animated feature category or will there be room for one or two indies? And how many surprises will there be for animated short? Let's look at my predictions for Thursday's Oscar nominations.

Immersed in Movies: Director Bolognesi Talks "Rio 2096"

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 6, 2014 2:00 PM
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Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury, winner of Annecy's top prize, is among the more adult and arty Oscar contenders for best animated feature. Mixing ideology with fantasy, Rio traces the history of Brazil through six centuries of colonization, slavery, and war through the love story between an immortal warrior and his reincarnated soul mate. First-time director Luiz Bolognesi discusses the making of his $2.5 million Brazilian feature in the following email exchange.

Immersed in Movies: Director Renner Talks the Very Hot 'Ernest & Celestine'

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 30, 2013 1:45 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Ernest & Celestine from Gkids is certainly gaining momentum on its way to a possible Oscar nomination: it was voted best animated feature by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and has garnered a slew of Annie and Golden Globe noms. I spoke with co-director Benjamin Renner about his debut feature.

Immersed in Movies: Going Deeper into 'Epic' with Chris Wedge

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 23, 2013 2:00 PM
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I caught up with Chris Wedge again when he was in town recently to revisit the underrated Epic, his most personal film and one of my favorites of the year. The lush swashbuckler has a heartfelt father/daughter story and looks beneath the surface in discovering hidden truths about life and nature. We also looked forward to his first live-action feature, Monster Trucks (May 29, 2015).

Immersed in Movies: Going Deeper into 'Monsters University'

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 16, 2013 12:31 PM
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  • 2 Comments
With Monsters University failing to snag a Golden Globes nomination (a first for Pixar), many are wondering how it will impact the Oscar race. But there's more than meets the eye in the Monsters, Inc. prequel. Director Dan Scanlon and global tech/research TD Christophe Hery explain how storytelling and aesthetics unite more closely.

Immersed in Movies: Going Deeper into 'Despicable Me 2' with Chris Meledandri

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 9, 2013 1:03 PM
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  • 2 Comments
With tomorrow's Blu-ray/DVD release of the blockbuster and Oscar-contending Despicable Me 2 from Universal, it's a great time to catch up once again with Illumination's Chris Meledandri, who made the Vanity Fair list of top media disruptors for the second consecutive year.

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