The Playlist

Review: 'Finding Nemo 3D' Is A Freshly Dimensionalized Take On A Certifiable Pixar Classic

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 12, 2012 11:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Last fall's surprise smash rerelease of Disney's "The Lion King," a gimmicky two-week promotional stunt designed sell the movie's Blu-ray release that turned into an extended, nearly $100-million-grossing juggernaut, opened the floodgates for 3D animated rereleases. There are two planned for the back end of this year alone: in December, Disney and Pixar will release "Monsters Inc." back into theaters in stereoscopic 3D, in part to promote the sequel due in theaters next summer. And this month sees the rerelease of "Finding Nemo," Andrew Stanton's maritime marvel, now with fish that really float in front of you. Just like in the case with "The Lion King" last year, the storytelling strength of the actual movie surpasses any amount of added technological wizardry.

Andrew Stanton Reflects On Box Office Failure Of 'John Carter,' Discusses 'Finding Nemo 2'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 10, 2012 1:25 PM
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  • 4 Comments
We're now six months out from "John Carter," Disney's hugely expensive flop based on the beloved novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs about a Civil War vet magically transported to Mars, a land of warring tribes, princesses, and adorable, multi-legged dog thingees (we love you Woola!) Since then, Disney has admitted to losing $200 million on the movie and two of its top executives –Walt Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross and marketing chief MT Carney – were fired in its wake. But director Andrew Stanton, who had made the hugely profitable "WALL-E" and "Finding Nemo" for Pixar and who before the release had maintained an air of bulletproof unflappability, has kept mum. Until now. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the director opens up about the making and marketing of the movie and what's up next.

So Long Barsoom: Andrew Stanton To Direct 'Finding Nemo 2'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 17, 2012 1:53 PM
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  • 25 Comments
Let's see how the small market of fans eager for a "John Carter" sequel are going to take this. Following a tumultuous production, a botched marketing campaign in what turned out to be one of the biggest flops of the year, costing Disney $200 million, we figured it would be interesting to see where Andrew Stanton landed next. Well, the open arms of his longtime home Pixar are welcoming him back to direct a sequel to one of their biggest movies.

Director Mark Andrews Talks Replacing Brenda Chapman On 'Brave,' The Future Of 'John Carter' & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • June 21, 2012 11:06 AM
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  • 45 Comments
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – Mark Andrews, who makes his feature directorial debut this weekend on Pixar's heavily hyped, medieval girl-power romp "Brave" (taking duties over for Brenda Chapman, who parted ways with the film – more on that in a minute) was also an assistant director and co-writer on "John Carter," Disney's massively budgeted sci-fi spectacle that crashed and burned like an out-of-control Martian spaceship. Few filmmakers have been in the unenviable position of being involved in huge (and occasionally troubled) productions this close together.

Anatomy Of A Flop: 10 Things That Went Wrong With Disney & Andrew Stanton's 'John Carter'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 12, 2012 1:48 PM
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  • 38 Comments
The first mega-tentpole of the year arrived on Friday, with the release of Disney's "John Carter," the adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic sci-fi pulp hero. The film was the live-action debut of the Oscar-winning director Andrew Stanton, the Pixar veteran who brought the world "Finding Nemo" and "Wall-E," which are among the top rank of Pixar's accomplishments both creatively and financially. But in the weeks and months leading up to release, the talks wasn't of a sure-fire hit, it was of a hugely expensive film that wasn't connecting with prospective audiences. The vultures circled, and as expected, "John Carter" opened to hugely disappointing numbers at the North American box office this weekend -- $30 million in three days, less than the $1 million budgeted "The Devil Inside" managed back in January. Overseas, the numbers were a bit sunnier with $70 million coming in, but all told, the studio is far cry from the $600 million they need to for this to start making a profit.

Taylor Kitsch Talks Reshoots On 'John Carter'; Andrew Stanton Discusses Live Action Vs. Animated Filmmaking & More

  • By Jeff Otto
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  • March 8, 2012 10:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There are many intriguing elements to this week’s release of “John Carter” beyond the discussed-to-death $250 million dollar (or so) budget. For one, it’s the live action directorial debut of Andrew Stanton, esteemed member of Pixar responsible for penning the “Toy Story” films and directing the beloved “Finding Nemo” and “Wall-E.” Then there’s the fact that it stars Taylor Kitsch, best known for his role as Riggins on TV’s “Friday Night Lights,” who will follow this release with another not-so-cheap little movie in Peter Berg’s “Battleship.” Finally, we’ve got the fact that it’s based on material nearly a century old that influenced everything from “Star Wars” to “Flash Gordon” to just about every science fiction movie of the past 50 years in between.

Discuss: With A New Trailer Arriving, Does 'Brave' Mark The Start Of A New Act For Pixar?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 23, 2012 9:01 AM
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  • 5 Comments
For a company unaccustomed to anything but bountiful praise and spectacular box office, 2011 must have been a little tough for Pixar. This is a relative term: while "Cars 2" might have had the company's lowest ever admissions domestically (and second lowest gross), it performed well overseas, coming in as their sixth most successful film worldwide. But it's not the financial takings that must have been breaking hearts over at the animation giant's Emeryville headquarters.

Andrew Stanton Says Rumors That 'John Carter' Cost $300 Million Is A "Complete And Utter Lie"

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 17, 2012 5:43 PM
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  • 3 Comments
To say that the development of Disney's "John Carter" has been scrutinzed would be an understatement. The project itself has been in the works for years with a handful of directors (Jon Favreau and Robert Rodriguez among them) working on it, but never quite cracking the sci-fi space epic. However, it was Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton ("Wall-E," "Finding Nemo") who finally got the ball rolling and for his live action debut, he couldn't have asked for a bigger challenge. And indeed he's been closely watched every step of the way, with rumors growing loud as the film shifted release dates, dropped "Of Mars" from its initial title and slowly started earning concerned buzz, with reports showing up in the trades suggesting that his inexperience led to reshoots that pushed the budget to a staggering $300 million (a figure most recently tossed around in The Hollywood Reporter), but Stanton is now fighting back.

'John Carter' Producer Jim Morris Confirms Sequel 'John Carter: The Gods Of Mars' Already In The Works

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 16, 2012 2:30 PM
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  • 12 Comments
Well, this is not really all that much of a surprise considering it's now a standard practice. For anyone who has been paying attention in 2011, major projects like "Real Steel" and "Green Lantern" were already talking about sequels long before they hit theaters. Studios are all about franchises right now, and they don't want to be waiting around for years for a sequel should a movie turn out to be a big hit. Thus, with press assembled right now in Arizona for a massive "John Carter" pow wow with everyone involved with the movie, talk of a followup is already in the air.

Watch: Brief New 'John Carter' Featurette Continues Us Down The Road Of Cautious Optimism

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 3, 2012 12:17 PM
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  • 5 Comments
"John Carter" is now about a month away from hitting screens and it remains, largely, a mystery. The first live-action feature directed by Pixar wizard Andrew Stanton (who previously helmed "Finding Nemo" and "WALL-E") has been plagued by bad buzz and rumors of massive budgetary overruns. While there's still a lot riding on "John Carter," we do have to remember that the script was co-written by Michael Chabon, that the film was largely developed at Pixar, and that Stanton could very easily make just as seamless a transition from animation to live action as his Pixar cohort Brad Bird did on "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol." While the trailers haven't inspired much awe, a new micro-featurette (via Bleeding Cool) does lift our spirits, showing new footage and an actual sense of the tone and scale of the project.

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