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The Playlist

Review: Disney's New Animated Short 'Feast'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 13, 2014 11:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments
To paraphrase Mark Twain for a moment, the reports of the death of two-dimensional animation have been greatly exaggerated. And nowhere is this more true than in the vaunted halls of Walt Disney Animation Studio. Even though the studio hasn't put out a traditional animated feature film since 2011's underrated "Winnie the Pooh," no one should conclude its turned its back on the format. If anything, Disney has buckled down on how to merge traditional story-telling tropes with audience-friendly, cutting-edge technology. The studio is using its short film program as an incubator for these ideas —the latest of which is the heart-tugging treasure "Feast," which is scheduled to play before "Big Hero 6" in theaters this fall.

Watch: New Trailer For Disney’s Marvel-Inspired Animated Action Adventure Film ‘Big Hero 6’

  • By Edward Davis
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  • July 15, 2014 7:34 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Big Hero 6, skip
Unclear what “Big Hero 6” is other than an upcoming Disney animated film? Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, “Big Hero 6” is an action-packed comedy-adventure with comic-book like visuals and action. So it’s the first real Marvel/Disney collaboration—synergy—but it still sounds very much like a Disney project first and foremost. One can only assume that more corporate collaborations are to come. Imagine a day when Disney redoes the “Iron Man” franchise only in animated form. It could totally happen.

Discuss: Is 23 Super Hero Movies Over The Next 4 Years Too Much?

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • June 13, 2014 1:40 PM
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  • 42 Comments
Marvel Vs. DC
A simple, but terrific (and possibly frightening) observation has been made by our friends over at Rope Of Silicon: over the next four years, if everything goes according to plan for every studio, we're going to see twenty-three (count ‘em) super hero films. Because, as you know, the comic book movie arms race is officially on.

Review: 'Million Dollar Arm' With Jon Hamm, Lake Bell, Alan Arkin & Bill Paxton

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 14, 2014 6:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Million Dollar Arm
In terms of in-house branding, the "Disney sports movie" has almost as much instantly recognizable cachet as something like their animated princess movies or Marvel superhero flicks. Movies like "Cool Runnings" up through "Remember the Titans" and "Miracle" have the same general, crowd-pleasing formula of being based on a true story, set in the past (either immediate or distant) and featuring a truly likable lead who, against all odds, triumphs at the end. These movies are as warm and comforting as your favorite old sweatshirt. And usually they're just as surprising. With "Million Dollar Arm," the awkwardly titled new Disney sports movie, the studio mixes up the formula with mostly winning results; the unpredictability does them some good.

Disney Meets With Marvel About More Potential ‘Avengers’ & ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Spin-Off Solo Films

  • By Edward Davis
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  • April 16, 2014 1:58 PM
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  • 13 Comments
Guardians Of The Galaxy/Avengers
Everyone wants a spin-off. That’s the talk du jour. It’s not enough to just have a franchise, you need solo films to keep that franchise going and going. It’s the new black: release a movie every other year while the main mothership has its flagship super-movie every two or three years, right? Fox hopes to do the same with the “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” series and Mystique (a mooted spin-off while the super-hero team carries on every other few years). And Marvel obviously already has this plan in place: an “Avengers” movie ever few years and in between them they have their solo character movies, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Ant-Man,” “Thor: The Dark World” etc.

'Star Wars: Episode 7' Will Hit IMAX Along With Every Disney & Marvel Action Tentpole Through 2015

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 20, 2014 10:42 AM
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  • 1 Comment
J.J. Abrams,  'Star Wars'
With promises that he'll shoot on the fading 35mm film format, and employ a tasteful amount of CGI rather than bombarding our eyeballs with pixels, J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode 7" has one more trick up its sleeve: you'll be able to see it in IMAX.

5 Favorite Disney Memories From 'Saving Mr. Banks' Star Jason Schwartzman

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 12, 2013 1:08 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Saving Mr. Banks Jason Schwartzman
John Lee Hancock's "Saving Mr. Banks" dramatizes the creative struggle to get "Mary Poppins" adapted for the big screen. And while much of film is devoted to the contentious relationship between Walt Disney (played by Tom Hanks) and 'Poppins' author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), there were people at the periphery who were just as important to the process. Chief amongst these people were the Sherman brothers, the crack songwriting duo behind the movie's unforgettable songs. Jason Schwartzman plays Richard Sherman while B. J. Novak plays Robert Sherman.

Disney Cracks The Whip, Nabs Rights To Future 'Indiana Jones' Films

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 6, 2013 5:49 PM
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  • 7 Comments
"I would do it in a New York minute, yes," Harrison Ford said earlier this year about returning for another "Indiana Jones" sequel. "I don’t think there is any barrier to Indiana Jones being an old fart. I’m old enough that we don’t need (Sean) Connery any more. I’m old enough to play my own father!" And, he might just get his chance to put on the hat and crack the whip one more time.

Review: Animated Fairy Tale 'Frozen' Is A New Disney Classic

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • November 27, 2013 2:51 PM
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  • 31 Comments
For much of the past decade Walt Disney Animation Studios was suffering from something of an identity crisis. The studio's bread and butter—traditional, hand-drawn animation—was falling out of favor with audiences once again. The Disney Renaissance, which began with "The Little Mermaid" and continued through some of the studio's biggest hits, was flagging. The animation was still peerless, but obscene micromanagement from Michael Eisner and a defeated staff, who felt that the studio was paying more attention to Pixar than them, led to increasingly lacklustre material. Audiences preferred the more technologically advanced 3D computer animation that studios like DreamWorks Animation were churning out regularly and the question of what a Disney animated movie was, exactly, remained in the balance. Thankfully, with "Frozen," that riddle seems to have been solved.

'Brave' Director Brenda Chapman Says Animation Is “Run By A Boys Club” & Weighs In On 'Frozen' Controversy

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • October 16, 2013 11:00 AM
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  • 16 Comments
Over the past week, Disney Animation has had a rough go of it. To explain: Jenna Busch, reporting for Fan Voice, picked up on a distressing comment made by Lino DiSalvo, a veteran Disney animator at a long lead press day for "Frozen," the studio's forthcoming animated feature. These comments were somewhat unsettling, especially considering they were delivered completely free of context, but the comments were, of course, quickly picked up around the web, most notably by bastion of journalistic integrity Buzzfeed, who complemented their Tumblr-like piece with funny gifs and images taken from other websites. Now Time has actually gotten someone of note to weigh in on the controversy: Brenda Chapman, the former Pixar director who won an Oscar for "Brave," who claims that animation as a whole is “run by a boys club.”

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