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Thompson on Hollywood

Annie Awards Nominations Give Early Picture of Animated Oscar Race

Providing a quick advance of where the Animated Feature category of the Oscars is heading, Disney Animation's "Frozen” and Pixar's “Monsters University” led the feature film nominations for the 41st Annie Awards nominations with 10 each, while Universal/Illumination's “Despicable Me 2″ and DreamWorks Animation's “The Croods” followed with nine.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 2, 2013 12:43 PM
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  • 2 Comments

EXCLUSIVE: Behind the Scenes at Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki's Oscar-Contender 'The Wind Rises' (TRAILER)

A contender for the animated feature Oscar, the subtitled "The Wind Rises" (Disney) is now playing a one-week Oscar qualifying run in Los Angeles and New York in its Japanese subtitled version. Possibly the last film from Hayao Miyazaki, the Walt Disney of Japan, who won the animated Oscar for "Spirited Away," "The Wind Rises" is not aimed at young kids. Gorgeously drawn, it's an historical true story of the brilliant designer behind the Zero fighter plane that wrecked havoc in World War II. I interview Geoffrey Wexler, a high-ranking Studio Ghibli executive who was in town to start dubbing the English version that Disney will release on February 21.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2013 11:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Ten Animated Shorts Make Academy Shortlist (TRAILERS)

The Academy has narrowed down its animated shorts category to 10 films. Trailers below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 7, 2013 2:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Animation Oscar Frontrunners--Will Pixar Skip This Round?

Could this be an award season with no Pixar Oscar nominee? In a weak year for top animated features, enough have been officially submitted to the Academy for Oscar consideration to likely make a race with five nominees, even though several of the films have yet to qualify via a required Los Angeles run. In the eventuality that five films don't nab high enough ratings of 7.5 (out of 6--poor--to 10--excellent), though, there could be fewer entries.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 5, 2013 2:27 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Early Review Roundup: Critics Warm to Disney's 'Frozen'

The first reviews have arrived for Disney's "Frozen," the studio's animated spin on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Ice Queen." So far, so good. Variety calls it "always enjoyable," while the Wrap claims the film is Disney's best animated musical since 1991 classic "Beauty and the Beast." More below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 4, 2013 12:05 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Pretty Females vs. the Bold Feminism of 'Frozen'

Now that the "Frozen" "pretty female" controversy has thawed, let's take a look at how Disney shatters the fairy tale model with two strong female heroines.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 1, 2013 2:12 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 12 Comments

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