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Moving on from spies and the Cold War, Steven Spielberg is embarking on a more mystical journey filled with larger than life characters. Based on the children’s book written by Roald Dahl of the same name, the first teaser trailer for The BFG finds our young, precocious Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) getting into more trouble than her curiosity expected.
Back when I was a young lad, I couldn’t get enough of Roald Dahl’s literary works, particularly Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. However, I can’t recall ever reading The BFG. Jack and the Beanstalk and other variations of this story have never really fancied my interest. I think it’s because the use of giants in fiction have never really had any strong thematical impact on my life. I can’t really say at this point whether The BFG is going to be a good film based on this short tease, but the effects look far and away better than Jack the Giant Slayer.
If you’re curious, The Big Friendly Giant was adapted as a full-length animated feature in 1989, and you can watch the entire thing on YouTube.
- There’s cats, so that’s a plus.
- Pan was about a young kid from Britain whisked away on an adventure to a far off land, and that movie ended up being terrible.
- Sophie’s pretty dumb for establishing her three rules and then not following them. She deserves to be taken.
- The BFG definitely feels very Spielbergian.
- I didn’t even have to see the credits to guess the score was composed by John Williams. It has that Disney sensibility and also that whimsical Williams flare.
- Spielberg tried family oriented fantasy once before with Hook, let’s hope he does better this time.
Here’s the official plot synopsis for The BFG, courtesy of Walt Disney Studios:
Disney’s “The BFG” tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. The BFG, while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like the other inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler and Fleshlumpeater on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while the BFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle. Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions. The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams. Having both been on their own in the world up until now, their affection for one another quickly grows, but Sophie’s presence in Giant Country has attracted the unwanted attention of the other giants, who have become increasingly more bothersome. Sophie and the BFG soon depart for London to see the Queen and warn her of the precarious giant situation, but they must first convince the Queen and her maid, Mary, that giants do indeed exist. Together, they come up with a plan to get rid of the giants once and for all.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, The BFG stars Ruby Barnhill, Mark Rylance, Bill Hader, Penelope Wilton, Rebecca Hall, and Jemaine Clement. This film hits theaters on July 1, 2016.
Source: Walt Disney Trailers
Since 2008, Walt Disney Animation Studios has been on a roll with such films like Tangled, Frozen, The Princess and the Frog, and Wreck-It Ralph. And with the release of the latest trailer for Zootopia, the house that Walt built looks to continue on its path back to greatness. The first teaser quickly introduced the many animals we’ll see in the film, and now Disney fans will get to see how the world works.
More of a full clip than anything else, the Zootopia sloth trailer features our two furry leads, Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman),at the Department of Mammal Vehicles (DMV) to run a license plate number. As if a visit to the DMV isn’t bad enough in our world, in Zootopia the DMV is run by sloths. (In a world in which there are no humans, only animals, would it be considered PC to say that the something is moving at a sloth’s pace?)
Comedy relies on timing, and this clip is absolutely hysterical when it comes to sloth humor. Who knew sloth jokes outside the meme would be so funny? Between Judy’s frustration and Nick’s playful sensibility to mess with her, the whole clip is magical. It’s everything you would come to expect from a DMV run by sloths and it works on every level. The chemistry Nick and Judy have feels similar to classic Pixar pairings where two opposite characters must work together ala Toy Story, WALL-E, Ratatouille, Up, and Finding Nemo.
Aside from the sloth scene, we get a very quick glimpse of the big city and its inhabits. The details are incredible, with all walks of life filling the city. If Zootopia is as well conceived as this little scene and delivers what has been promised, then I sure everything else will be delightful.
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Here’s the official plot synopsis for Zootopia, courtesy of Walt Disney Animation Studios:
The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together—a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when optimistic Officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery.
Directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore, Zootopia stars the voices of Jason Bateman, Ginnifer Goodwin, Shakira, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, Nate Torrence, Jenny Slate, Tommy Chong, Octavia Spencer, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, and Alan Tudyk. The film is set to release in theaters on March 4, 2016.
Source: Walt Disney Animation Studios
I’ll give you a second to clean yourself off after watching the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer a few dozen times. Thankfully, after it’s premiere during the San Francisco Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles game during Monday Night Football, the trailer arrived online in beautiful HD before any rebel scum could leak a lesser quality version.
Who are you? What are you fighting for? Is following in the footsteps of a Sith Lord whom I’ve never met a solid life plan? Star Wars: The Force Awakens is asking the big existential questions. While the original Star Wars trilogy told a tale of good versus evil, and the prequel trilogy a more politically driven love story, it would appear that our heroes in the start of this new chapter of the most epic space opera are seeking purpose in a galaxy thrown into chaos.
This new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer doesn’t give away many details about the plot, but rather the film sells itself on the direction of its main characters. Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) come across as folks who have lost their way, seeking something greater than themselves. And it seems as though they’ll find what they’re looking for after they meet an aged Han Solo (Harrison Ford).
I’m loving the shades of depth emitted from our protagonists, the aerial battle sequences look phenomenal, and the sweeping score by John Williams is immensely emotional, but somehow I remain cautiously optimistic. I think this trailer does everything right to bring Star Wars back into the good graces of every fanboy and girl who was burned by the prequels, I just can’t put my guard down quite yet.
We’re led to believe that Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is hoping to carry out Darth Vader’s wishes, but something tells me the editing in the trailer is misleading and he may be talking to someone else – not the extra crispy helmet of the once great Sith Lord. We also have no idea where Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is in all of this. And then there’s a ton of cast members who have yet to be revealed, such as Domhnall Gleeson or Andy Serkis.
The pace at which they are rolling out details is fantastic. The less the better, but just enough to appease my interest. I’ve already bought my ticket for a true IMAX 3D experience, which went on sale earlier today. Now all that’s left is the waiting game.
What’s interesting about the promotion of this trailer leading up to its release is that the teasers had footage not shown in the final cut. In the first teaser below there is a stoic shot of Oscar Isaac’s Poe and in the second is Daisy Ridley’s Rey looking up at fighters flying across the sky.
Here’s the official theatrical movie poster that released yesterday with the teasers (click on the image to enlarge):
That’s no moon. Would The First Order really attempt a third time to make a planet killer after two failed goes at it? Perhaps J.J. Abrams is obsessed with spacecrafts that can blow up planets? Maybe The Rebel Alliance built this one and are giving The First Order a taste of their own medicine? Where’s Luke in the poster? What’s that little creature standing in between R2-D2 and BB-8? Is it symbolic that Kylo Ren and Rey’s weapons mirror each other? Are they brother and sister?
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Directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. They will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa [Solo?] Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca, and Kenny Baker as R2-D2. The film is set to release on December 18, 2015.
Source: StarWars YouTube
Following Walt Disney’s trend of turning their most beloved animated classics into epic live-action features, including Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, and this year’s Cinderella, the first trailer for The Jungle Book has arrived. Remember that one Disney animated movie you watched on repeat for the first three years of your life, driving your parents insane? For some it was The Little Mermaid, Cinderella or maybe The Lion King. For me, it was The Jungle Book. And this teaser has me as excited as a little girl on Christmas day.
The visual landscapes seen in The Jungle Book teaser are absolutely lush and incredibly striking, complemented well by an eerie voice over by Scarlett Johansson, who’s cast as the gender-swapped boa constrictor, Kaa. Although we don’t hear him speak, we are introduced to Mowgli, played by Neel Sethi, whose young shoulders won’t just be carrying pots of water, but also the majority of the film. The gentle panther Bagheera (voiced by Ben Kingsley), the villainous tiger Shere Kahn (voiced by Idris Elba), and the boisterous King Louie (voiced by Christopher Walken) are also teased. While the only real dialogue we get is from Kaa’s voice over, I am eagerly awaiting more tidbits from the characters played by this power house cast, which is rounded out by Bill Murray‘s Baloo.
Absent from the teaser is the noteworthy singing and jazzy dancing from the animated film. Instead we are given action-packed shots that give a large sense of danger that one could expect from being the lone man-cub lost in the jungle. While I love rich visuals and the promise of an epic adventure, I hope the soul of the animated film isn’t lost in translation. The sweet relationship between Baloo and Mowgli, along with the songs – that to this day I still can’t get out of my head – are just as, if not more important, to the story and should not be put on the back burners in favor of the action.
While the previous live-action films have seen varying success, the studio continues to plunge into their vault to deliver different styles for each. Alice in Wonderland, a CGI-heavy, cartoonish romp; Maleficent, a fantastical twist from a villain’s perspective; and Cinderella, a family-oriented love story about kindness toward others. The Jungle Book feels very action-oriented, which should be great coming from Iron Man director Jon Favreau, but what other changes can we expect to see from the animated version? Is there more material from the original novel that this feature will expand upon?
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Here’s the official plot synopsis for The Jungle Book courtesy of Walt Disney Studios:
Based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, “The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli, a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan, who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera, and the free-spirited bear Baloo. Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa, a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie, who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.
Directed by Jon Favreau, The Jungle Book stars Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Esposito, Idris Elba, Jon Favreau, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Ineson, Emjay Anthony, and Neel Sethi as Mogli. This film is set to release theaters on April 15, 2016.
To introduce the second feature at D23 Expo during Disney Animation panel, Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter was brought back on stage to announce the development of a new feature-length film, Gigantic. The story is based on the classic tale, Jack and the Beanstalk. “When Disney does a fairy tale, it becomes the definitive version of that story,” said John Lasseter. The studio aims to be the end all be all for this tale.
Production is already underway, with Nathan Greno (Tangled) directing and Dorothy McKim (Get a Horse!) producing. The crack team behind the music of Frozen, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, will be teaming up with Disney once again to write the music for Gigantic. All four were present on stage during the big presentation.
Set in Spain, Gigantic is not aiming to be or will be your traditional Jack and the Beanstalk fare. I can only assume that it wants to distance itself as far away from 2013’s Jack the Giant Killer as possible. It’s the Age of Discovery and upon finding the magic beans, Jack soon uncovers a whole new world of giants. Yes, this sounds very similar to the fairytale we know, but when Jack meets Inma, a “feisty” young giant girl, that’s when the new tale truly begins.
Inma was named after a little girl the filmmakers met in Spain while doing research for Gigantic. In the animated feature, Inma at first believes Jack is a toy. Being at the mercy of her size, Jack is helpless to stop her, but soon the two develop a bond that brings adventure into their lives. Of course it wouldn’t be a Disney movie if they didn’t learn something life changing about themselves as well.
Greno went on to tease the existence of Storm Giants, the big bads in the giant world who cause havoc for all and a force Inma and Jack try to stop. The director describes Gigantic as a “tearjerker,” saying “If we do our jobs right, we hope this will become the definitive version,” he stated. Does Inma fall out of the clouds? They’re really adamant on making audiences forget about Jack killing giants and returning with golden eggs.
A theory I have is that Jack and Inma try to stop the Storm Giants and in the process of doing so Inma falls out of the sky and when Jack arrives back on the ground he is declared a hero. Thus, the fairytale we know is told from the perspective of those who do not know the true story of Jack and Inma. If that’s the case, I’d be really on board for this kind of tragic tale told as an animated story.
A pre-visualized clip of Gigantic was shown at the end of the presentation that depicted the beanstalk sprouting up into the sky. Jack was shown climbing, eventually reaching the land of giants, with what appears to be Inma chasing after him. Skipping ahead, the two are shown enjoying each other’s company.
To cap off the presentation, a clip of the latest song from Anderson-Lopez and Lopez was played with the duo singing it for the D23 Expo crowd. The lyrics go as following:
I love my little man, I love my little man, you can make him do this, you can make him do this.
You can wash him in a dish, be care he gets ticklish, my teeny little man.
In a life that’s kind of lonely, I thought if only, I had a little man.
Here’s the official production notes on Gigantic courtesy of Walt Disney Animation Studios:
“GIGANTIC” TAKES ROOT – Things are looking up at Walt Disney Animation Studios – way up. “Gigantic,” Disney’s unique take on “Jack and the Beanstalk,” will feature music from Oscar®-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who greeted D23 EXPO fans in signature style—in song—alongside director Nathan Greno (“Tangled”) and producer Dorothy McKim (“Get A Horse!”). Set in Spain during the Age of Exploration, Disney’s “Gigantic” follows adventure-seeker Jack as he discovers a world of giants hidden within the clouds. He hatches a grand plan with Inma, a 60-foot-tall, 11-year-old girl, and agrees to help her find her way home. But he doesn’t account for her super-sized personality—and who knew giants were so down to earth?
And here’s the official plot plot synopsis:
DOWN TO EARTH — Adventure-seeker Jack discovers a world of giants hidden within the clouds, hatching a grand plan with Inma, a 60-foot-tall, 11-year-old girl. Directed by Nathan Greno (“Tangled”) and produced by Dorothy McKim (“Get A Horse!”).
Gigantic hits theaters on March 9, 2018.