Thursday, April 29, 2010

End-of-Week Linkorium

Dreamworks story top-kick Walt Dohrn explains his voice characterization of Shrek villain Rumplestiltskin:

... [H]is vocal inspirations was the child murderess in the 1956 film "The Bad Seed" because "there was this fake innocence about her but any minute she could turn. We also liked Bette Davis in ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Jane' ..."

Actor Russell Crowe opines on screen Robin Hoods that predate his new effort:

. Of Errol Flynn, Crowe joked, “The practicality of going through an English forest, with all its coarse bushes and bramble and all that, in green tights? Not very practical now, is it?” ...

When the interviewer showed Crowe scenes from Disney’s 1973 animated film, the A-list actor dubbed it, “The best Robin Hood so far.” ...

Not my favorite version of the Sherwood bandit, but who am I to argue with an Academy Award winner?

The L.A. Times questions whether DreamWorks Animation producing a Dragon sequel is a smart move:

... There's a reason the last eight Oscar winners for best animated film have been stand-alone movies, and there's a reason Pixar is so selective about what it keeps going and what it lays to rest.

Yes, it keeps playing with a broader, merchandisey property such as "Toy Story," but wisely stays away from over-milking its elegant character films such as "Wall-E," "Ratatouille" and "Up." A lesser company would make a sequel out of the latter, call it "Down" and have the two main characters explore the ocean floor in a submarine. Pixar, to its great credit, does not.

I'm not as sure of Pixar's motivations as Steven Zeitchik seems to be, but it's good to know there are good pictures to sequelize and bad pictures to sequelize. Makes me tingle.

While we're on the subject of Emeryville, here's USA Today's favorite Pixar shorts:

Pixar is well known for their features (of which The Incredibles is my personal favorite), but their work in shorts can be just as entertaining. These are some of my favorites of the latter group ...

Story artist Ed Gombert puts up some fine Vance Gerry story sketches for a never-produced Disney animated feature. (Anybody guess what the title of the project was?)

Anyone who worked at Disney Feature Animation over the past forty years knew who Vance Gerry was. Very few actually got to see his work before it was shipped off to the archives. ...

The Middle Kingdom knows award-calibre animation:

... Pixar's computer-animated film "Up" bagged another honor Thursday, picking up the best foreign feature category at the Monkey King Awards, China's top animation award event.

"Up" defeated "Madagascar: Escape to Africa" and productions from nine other countries to earn the award at the event in Hangzhou City, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province ....

Have a productive Friday and restful weekend, in that order.


Anonymous said...

Vance and Joe Grant's pet project, "The Abandoned." The book is interesting, and worth a feature. Too bad they'll never make it.

Anonymous said...

The article by Steven Zeitchik is amazingly inept. He doesn't have a clue which films have been the most successful for DreamWorks, doesn't seem to realize how HtTYD is doing compared to those movies, cites made up/inaccurate statistics (such as how well animated sequels perform), and ignores KFP and Shrek 2 as 'critical and commercial' breakthroughs.

His biggest gaffe is suggesting there is a 'taint' to sequels, and that Pixar is above such things. So far the only film Pixar seems to have 'laid to rest' from possible sequels is Bug's Life. He conveniently ignores the that most of their slate in the immediate future is nothing but sequels, and his suggestion that there will never be sequels to Wall-E, Ratatouille, or Up is pure speculation (and doubtful speculation, since that's just what Pixar once claimed about Monsters, Nemo, Cars, and Toy Story).

Anonymous said...

So far the only film Pixar seems to have 'laid to rest' from possible sequels is Bug's Life.

Actually, heard that bit of Circle 7 toxic-cleanup is on Pixar's talking stages at the moment for '13-'14...

Dreamworks story top-kick Walt Dohrn explains his voice characterization of Shrek villain Rumplestiltskin:

Would I be wrong in looking at the character design and wondering whether the character might've originally been DW-stuntcast tailored for Rik Mayall, who would've been the bonehead-obvious choice?
(Rik's looking old these days, but the voice is still buh-loody annoying!) :)

DW doesn't quite go in for the "Director/story takes a stab at VA for fun" thing that Dixar does, so it looks a bit suspicious.

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