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Thompson on Hollywood

Producers Guild To Give Visionary Award to Illumination Czar Chris Meledandri (TRAILER)

The Producers Guild Visionary Award recognizes Chris Meledandri "as one of the definitive producers of contemporary animation." Why is he getting this now? Illumination's latest Universal blockbuster "Despicable Me 2" is in the running for an animated Oscar, and is the 5th highest-grossing animated film of all time worldwide at the global box office.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 28, 2013 1:48 PM
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Simone Massi Designs Venice Biennale Poster, Inspired by Fellini and Angelopoulos (VIDEO)

Animator/illustrator Simone Massi's poster for the 70th Venice International Film Festival, which is held at the Lido from August 28 to September 7, is inspired by the cinema of Theo Angelopoulos and Federico Fellini. The festival is directed by Alberto Barbera and organized by the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 5, 2013 2:07 PM
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'Despicable Me 2' Retains Original's Charm--and Minions

A half hour into “Despicable Me 2,” I had no idea what the story was. I didn’t care very much – directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud obviously knew that regular doses of Minion magic would mollify even the most nettlesome demand for a storyline– but the prospect of having to write a plot summary was making me crazy. What we get in “DM2” is what we loved about the first film – chiefly, the gibberish-burbling taxi-yellow Minions, who provide so much of the physical comedy, and whose only passing familiarity with any known language makes what might have been routine shtick into something delirious
  • By John Anderson
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  • June 30, 2013 3:30 PM
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TOH! Ranks the Top Ten Studio Ghibli Films, 'My Neighbor Totoro' and 'Howl's Moving Castle' Come to Blu-Ray UPDATE

Hayao Miyazaki's masterpieces "My Neighbor Totoro" and "Howl's Moving Castle" are now available on Blu-ray for the first time. Below, our TOH! ranking of the Top Ten Studio Ghibli films (hint: "Totoro" and "Howl's" make the list).
  • By TOH!
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  • May 31, 2013 2:43 PM
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  • 9 Comments

Trailer Watch: Booty-Shakin' Birdies in 'Rio 2,' Disney's Majestic 'Planes'

Two new trailers have landed in the world of animation: The saucy teaser for Fox's "Rio 2," which features some raucously rump-shaking birdies, and the wordless trailer for Disney's "Planes" (a takeoff from the "Cars" franchise), which highlights the contraptions of the title flying through all manner of exotic locales. Watch below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 16, 2013 1:43 PM
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StudioCanal and Aardman to Sell Animated Feature 'Shaun the Sheep' at Cannes Market

Europe's largest production company StudioCanal is teaming with UK-based Aardman Animations to develop the British animated kids' series "Shaun the Sheep," about an unusually intelligent farm animal, for the big screen. They plan to sell the film to buyers at the Cannes market this year.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • April 25, 2013 1:53 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Exclusive Early Peek at Blue Sky's Star-Studded 'Epic' -- 'Avatar' Meets 'Gladiator'

Blue Sky founder and director Chris Wedge recently gave a sneak peek of his latest animated feature, "Epic" (May 24), at Fox (you can view the new trailer below). It's certainly no "FernGully," and it's a far cry from "Ice Age" and everything else Blue Sky has ever made. It's more like "Avatar" meets "Gladiator," if you had to pin it down.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • March 22, 2013 4:03 PM
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America Gets the Dystopic Treatment in New Animated Indie 'Silver Circle'

It's 2019, and runaway inflation has sunk the American economy into a cesspool of sky-high prices and rampant unemployment. A loaf of bread costs $50; bars advertise bargain deals on $90 beer Tuesdays.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • March 18, 2013 4:07 PM
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Immersed in Movies: DreamWorks Has a 'Crood' Awakening

You couldn't find a more apt movie to sum up DreamWorks Animation at the moment than "The Croods" (March 22), the prehistoric road trip adventure about embracing change as a survival strategy when the world turns terribly hostile. After last year's box office misfire with "Rise of the Guardians," which resulted in a $165 million write-off, layoffs, and schedule reshuffle, DreamWorks is definitely in transition.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • March 15, 2013 3:04 PM
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Watch: Adorable Clips of Cesar-Winning 'Ernest & Celestine,' Possible 2014 Oscar Animation Contender

Check out these adorable clips from the Cesar-winning French animated feature "Ernest & Celestine." The film is co-directed by Belgian team Stephane Aubier and Vincent Patar, who gave us 2009's hilariously nutty "A Town Called Panic," and Benjamin Renner.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 4, 2013 1:03 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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