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Thompson on Hollywood

D23 Expo Adds Two New Pixar Pics on Dinosaurs and the Inner Mind, Promos John Carter, The Avengers

The warmth in the Anaheim Convention Center Hall at D23 for Pixar and Disney animation czar John Lasseter was expressed, loudly, with a standing ovation. Also getting one was Billy Crystal (make him Oscar host already!), who's back with John Goodman in Disney/Pixar sequel Monsters University (2013). Borrowing a few pages from Comic-Con, Disney is using its direct relationship with fans and marketing synergy to promote its characters and products at its huge three-day D23. Not getting as warm a welcome as Lasseter was Disney chairman Rich Ross, who still seemed stiff in front of the teleprompters, even when he cried, "cupcakes for everyone!"
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 21, 2011 1:48 AM
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BAFTA LA's Britannia Awards to Disney/Pixar's John Lasseter, Harry Potter's David Yates

This year's 20th annual British Academy of Film and TV LA Britannia Awards will go to Disney/Pixar's two-time Oscar-winner John Lasseter (Toy Story, Cars) and Harry Potter series director David Yates.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 28, 2011 4:34 AM
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Shocker: Cars 2 Early Reviews Trend Rotten as Pixar's Magic Carpet Ride Touches Down

Shocker: Cars 2 Early Reviews Trend Rotten as Pixar's Magic Carpet Ride Touches Down
Well folks, the worm has turned. Disney Animation and Pixar chief John Lasseter--he who can do no wrong--has finally turned out a Pixar movie (a sequel) that is earning mixed reviews. No! Say it ain't so! Pixar's magic carpet ride has finally come to earth with a thudding 44% Rotten on the Tomatometer thus far. More reviews will change the tallies; Metacritic's rating of its top-grade reviewers is now a respectable 60--still the lowest ever for a Pixar movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 23, 2011 4:59 AM
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  • 10 Comments

Summer Preview: Must-Sees on Big Screen, Skippable, Must-to-Avoid

Summer Preview: Must-Sees on Big Screen, Skippable, Must-to-Avoid
The summer is upon us, with a plethora of viewing choices, many of them utterly avoidable. I lay out the summer movie landscape.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 28, 2011 9:46 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Time 100 for 2011: Colfer, Damon, Hastings, Zuckerberg, Poehler, Oprah, Wahlberg, Rudin, Lively

The Time 100 for 2011 illustrates how powerful media and movies are in turning folks into trending influencers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 21, 2011 7:06 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Back to the Future: The Adventures of Andre and Wally B

Back in 1984--two years after Tron, Lucasfilm backed what we can consider to be the first Pixar short, The Adventures of Andre and Wally B, written and directed by Alvy Ray Smith, animated by John Lasseter, with sound by Ben Burtt and help from the big Cray computer. Delightful. Steve Jobs bought this unit of Lucasfilm and turned it into Pixar two years later.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 21, 2011 1:52 AM
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Oscar Animated Shorts Preview: The Lost Thing, Day & Night Are Best of Five

Oscar Animated Shorts Preview: The Lost Thing, Day & Night Are Best of Five
Depending on where you live, some combination of the Oscar-nominated shorts (animated, live action and documentary) may be playing in a theater near you, thanks to Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures (trailer, clips and detailed release info below). Four out of five of the animated shorts are quite strong.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2011 11:22 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Oscar Video Exclusive: How Pixar Made Day & Night Short

The frontrunner in the Oscars' animated shorts category is a popular one from Pixar, Day & Night which played in theaters in front of Toy Story 3 last year.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 17, 2011 10:35 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Academy Nominees Luncheon: 2011 Class Photo, Meeting the Coens, Keeping It Short

Academy Nominees Luncheon: 2011 Class Photo, Meeting the Coens, Keeping It Short
What becomes a legend most? A diminutive best actress nominee sitting at the center of a group photo on last year's best actor winner's lap. At last year's nominees luncheon, Jeff Bridges was hanging with genuine affection with old pal Sandra Bullock.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 7, 2011 11:52 AM
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Toy Story 3 Tops Quentin Tarantino's Best of 2010

Quentin Tarantino has posted his favorite movies of 2010, all twenty of them. Unlike many critics, Tarantino has no problem with citing movies that are popular hits. And he's seen his share of obscurities as well. Tarantino is an Academy member, though not a typical one. His taste is catholic, ranging from specialty and foreign films to raunchy comedies, animated family fare and big-budget actioners. His most surprising choices are two critical and box office studio failures that are as well-directed as they were commercially misguided: James Mangold's Knight and Day and Ridley Scott's Robin Hood. Wow.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 2, 2011 11:44 AM
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  • 8 Comments

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