Last Week in the News: 14 December 2014

Last Week’s Headlines in Animation

  • Nominations for the Golden Globes have been announced! The nominees in the Best Animated Feature Category are How To Train Your Dragon 2, Big Hero 6, The LEGO Movie, The Boxtrolls, and The Book of Life. Interestingly, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya lost out on a nomination in this division. The Golden Globes are a good indicator of who will win at the OSCARS, so watch this space!
  • The original song ‘For the Dancing and the Dreaming’ from How To Train Your Dragon 2 will compete for a nomination in the Best Original Song category at the 87th OSCARS. This category is hotly contended, with 79 contenders including ‘Everything is AWESOME!’ from The LEGO Movie and ‘Immortals’ from Big Hero 6.
  • DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 3 has been pushed back from a December 2015 release to a March 2016 release, in order to avoid competition with Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. This will cause a reshuffle of future DreamWorks releases, including Boss Baby, which previously occupied the March 2016 slot.
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya looks like it could be a more major contender for the Best Animated Feature Win at the 87th OSCARS. It won the Best Animated Feature categories at the Asia-Pacific Screen Awards, and awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Society and The Boston Society of Film Critics. The LEGO Movie has won Best Animated Feature awards from the Boston Online Film Critics Association, Chicago Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Circle, New York Film Critics Online, and Washington DC Area Film Critics Association, while How To Train Your Dragon 2 has won the Hollywood Animation Award and National Board of Review Best Animated Feature category.
  • Disney’s Big Hero 6 has now earned $253.5 million at the box office worldwide, with $185.3 million coming from the domestic US market alone.
  • DreamWorks Animation’s Penguins of Madagascar has now earned $174.8 million at the box office worldwide. So far it has only made $58.8 million in the US.
  • The Boxtrolls has earned $105.8 million at the box office worldwide, making it the 7th highest grossing stop-motion animated feature.
  • The Book of Life has reeled in a modest $90 million at the box office worldwide, and $48.6 million domestically.

Last Week in the News: 7 December 2014

Last Week’s Headlines in Animation

  • Award Season has started, with the New York Film Critics Circle and National Board of Review voting for the Best Animated Film of 2014. The NYFCC voted for The LEGO Movie as Best Animated Feature, while the National Board of Review voted for How To Train Your Dragon 2. Unexpectedly, The LEGO Movie won Best Screenplay at the National Board of Review, and got into the Top 10 films of 2014.
  • The nominees for the 42nd Annie Awards have been announced! The Boxtrolls received the largest number of nominations, 13, with How To Train Your Dragon 2 not far behind with 11. The ceremony for the Awards will occur on January 31 2015! Check the nominees out at the Annie Awards official website here.
  • The 19th Satellite Awards has released its list of nominees for Best Animated or Mixed Media Film. They include Big Hero 6, The LEGO Movie, How To Train Your Dragon 2, The Boxtrolls, The Book of Life, Song of the Sea, and the re-released 2011 Spanish animated feature Wrinkles.   
  • At the British Academy Children’s Awards, Frozen has won as Best Film in 2014, which is odd considering it is a 2013 release. The LEGO Movie won as Best Feature Film in 2014. British-Academy-Childrens-Awards-post
  • DreamWorks Animation’s Penguins of Madagascar has not had great success at the box office. While it has earned $110.3 million worldwide, it only took in $28.5 million domestically in it’s opening weekend, below predictions for a $40 million opening. This has caused another drop in company shares, and brought criticism upon the company executive Jeffrey Katzenberg for his strategy. Penguins of Madagascar currently holds a 7.3/10 rating on IMDB, a Rotten Tomatoes score of 73%, and a Metacritic score of 53.
  • On the other hand, Disney’s Big Hero 6 is continuing its success. It has now earned $228.1 million worldwide, with $171.2 million of that earned in the USA alone. It has also garnered 7 Annie Award nominations. Its ratings stay steady with 8.3/10 on IMDB, 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 75 on Metacritic.

Last Week in the News: 30 November 2014

Last Week’s Headlines in Animation

    • Disney’s Big Hero 6 has now earned $205.7 million worldwide. Of that, $156.2 million has been made in the United States alone. The low overseas earnings can probably be attributed to spread-out release dates – countries such as Australia and South Africa won’t screen the movie until after Christmas, and the UK will have to wait until 30 January 2015. It’s IMDB rating has fallen slightly to 8.3, while its Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores remain steady at 89% and 75 respectively.
    • DreamWorks Animation released Penguins of Madagascar in the US on 26 November. Starring the voices of Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, and Benedict Cumberbatch, it is a spinoff of the Madagascar film series featuring the four famous penguins – Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private – on a worldwide mission to stop a maniacal octopus from destroying penguin-kind. So far it has earned $44 million worldwide, and gained ratings of 7.5 on IMDB, 68% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 53 on Metacritic.
    • A new trailer for DreamWorks Animation’s Home was released on 26 November. Home will be released on March 27 2015, and stars the voices of Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, and Jennifer Lopez. A young human girl named Tip meets a banished alien called Oh, part of an optimistic yet clumsy race looking for a new planet to call home. Watch it here.
    • Blue Sky Studios has released their first full-length trailer for The Peanuts Movie, scheduled for release in December 2015. It brings the famous cartoon characters of Charles Schulz to life. Watch it here.

Last Week in the News: 23 November 2014

Last Week’s Headlines in Animation

  • Disney’s Big Hero 6 has now earned US$172.4 million dollars worldwide, and has recouped its estimated $165 million production costs. Over $111 million have been generated from the US domestic market alone. It holds a 89% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 8.4 score on IMDB, and a Metascore of 75.
  • DreamWorks How To Train Your Dragon 2 is at No. 1 on the US national Blu-Ray and DVD sale charts, displacing Disney’s Maleficent from the top disk release spot.
  • Pixar has released character posters and clips for its next film, Inside Out. The film takes a look at the emotions that live inside us: Joy, Fear, Anger, Sadness, and Disgust, and how they affect a young girl as she moves house to San Fransisco. Check out the trailers on Pixar’s Youtube Channel here.

Award Predictions – 2015 OSCARS Part 2 (Best Animated Feature Win)


Previously: Award Predictions – 2015 OSCARS Part 1 (Best Animated Feature Nominations)

Now we have the 5 most likely OSCAR nominees for the Best Animated Feature: Disney’s Big Hero 6, DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon 2, Warner Bros’ The LEGO Movie, Laika’s The Boxtrolls, and Studio Ghibli’s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, with ReelFX Studio’s The Book of Life and Cartoon Saloon’s Song of the Sea as potential dark horses for the last two spots. All in all, a healthy range of films including 4 big-studio CGI blockbusters, a classic stop-go motion feature, and 2 traditional 2D animations.

But the big question is who will win the OSCAR? Continue reading

Award Predictions – 2015 OSCARS Part 1 (Best Animated Feature Nominations)

Well, it’s already November 2014 and the OSCAR race is well and truly heating up in the Best Animated Feature category. After a promising year full of big-hit and high-quality animated movies, the 20 candidates submitted for nomination have been announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The candidates are:

Disney’s Big Hero 6

bh6 Poster

ReelFX Studio’s The Book Of Life
Laika’s The Boxtrolls
the boxtrolls poster
Bill Plympton Studios’ Cheatin
Production IG’s  Giovanni’s Island
Henry and Me Productions Henry and Me
Magnolia Picture’s The Hero of Colour City
hero of colour city poster
DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon 2
httyd 2 main poster 2
EuropaCorp’s Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
Summertime Entertainment Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return
Warner Bros Animation’s The LEGO Movie
lego movie poster
Futurikon Miniscule -Valley of the Lost Ants
DreamWorks Mr Peabody And Sherman
DreamWorks Penguins of Madagascar
DisneyToon Studio’s The Pirate Fairy
DisneyToon Studio’s Planes: Fire and Rescue
Blue Sky Studios Rio 2
Locomotive Productions  Rocks in My Pockets
Cartoon Saloon’s Song of the Sea
Studio Ghibli’s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

It is interesting to note that there is a notable absence of any Pixar films in the selection this year.

But who will get nominated? Since there are more than 16 submissions, it’s practically certain there’ll be 5 (or maybe more) nominees on the other side. The Academy usually reserves 1 of the nominations for a foreign animated film.

  • Big Hero 6. Practically guaranteed to be nominated. After all, it’s Disney, it’s got great reviews, and the lasting popularity of Frozen gives it plenty of leverage.
  • The Book of Life. This is an exciting, unique movie that could just be Reel FX Studio’s big breakout film. The only downside – it just might not beat The Boxtrolls.
  • The Boxtrolls. This film is a classic British piece of animation art; funny and original. It’s a safe bet that the Academy will honour the traditional stop motion format in Boxtrolls.
  • Cheatin. An obscure French animation that seems quite erotic and violent from the trailers. I don’t really think it will be quite to the Academy’s taste.
  • Giovanni’s Island. It looks like a fine piece of Japanese manga, full of emotion and historical relevance, but it might not be noticed by voters.
  • Henry and Me. Touching, mature moments about a boy with cancer mingled with clichéd lines and cartoony magic. Plus it’s not well known, so sadly its OSCAR chances are low.
  • The Hero of Colour City. It’s a very child-focused film, which is nice, but that means it probably won’t be up for OSCAR nomination.
  • How To Train Your Dragon 2. Another almost certain nomination. Dragons 2 is mature, well-made, and emotional, and I think the Academy will find it hard to pass this one up.
  • Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart. A fine film from the French company that made A Monster in Paris, but the chances of it getting noticed are quite small.
  • Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return. Although it has an all-star cast, Dorothy’s Return has been panned by critics and bombed at the box office, which reduces it’s chances of nomination.
  • The LEGO Movie. Another guaranteed OSCAR nominee, The LEGO Movie has been acclaimed by critics, earned a healthy domestic box office gross, and features an all-star cast.
  • Miniscule – Valley of the Lost Ants. Pretty animation and a unique idea, mixed with some frankly ridiculous moments. It’s nice, but it most likely won’t make the final cut.
  • Mr Peabody and Sherman. This charming mainstream family film was a bit of a box office flop for DreamWorks, so it probably won’t get a nomination.
  • Penguins of Madagascar. It hasn’t been released yet, but this movie will definitely be all about the humour, and the Academy isn’t the keenest on flat-out comedy.
  • The Pirate Fairy. A film aimed at little girls that continues the tales of the fairy Tinkerbell. None of its predecessors have been nominated yet, so it’s chances are slim.
  • Planes: Fire and Rescue. Not a heavy hitter at the box office, and not the most positively-reviewed film ever, Planes: Fire and Rescue is fun but probably not enough to get nominated.
  • Rio 2. It may have earned almost half a billion dollars worldwide, but it’s mediocre reviews and sequel status will probably leave it out of the running.
  • Rocks in My Pockets. A witty, culturally relevant film about 5 women searching for sanity in a crazy world. It looks good enough for a nomination, but it’s quite obscure and might just miss out.
  • Song of the Sea. Looks beautiful in the trailers and promo screenshots. But will it be noticed by the Academy?
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. A nomination for Studio Ghibli’s latest film is a safe bet, thanks to a high reputation and very positive reviews.

So, Big Hero 6, Dragons 2, and The LEGO Movie are all practically certain to get nominated. The Boxtrolls is the most likely bet for the 4th spot (although The Book Of Life is still in with a chance here) while The Tale of Princess Kaguya will probably take the 5th nomination (although Song of the Sea could swoop in here). All in all, it looks like a diverse selection of potential nominees this year, but who will (or who should) take away the prize?

Next time: AWARD PREDICTIONS: 2015 OSCARS Part 2 (Best Animated Feature Win)

Last Week in the News: 16 November 2014

Last Week’s Headlines in Animation

  • DreamWorks Animation’s critically acclaimed How To Train Your Dragon 2 was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on November 11. It has garnered highly positive reviews from critics and audiences alike, with a 8.1 rating on IMDB, a 92% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and a Metascore of 76. It has also earned over US$619 million at the box office worldwide. And while we’re on the subject, Dragons 2 has won the Best Original Score in an Animated Film award at the 5th Hollywood Music in Media ceremony, and the Hollywood Animation Award in the Hollywood Film Awards 2014 on November 14. Jennifer Lopez mispronounced the title as ‘How To Drain Your Dragon’ multiple times, starting a whirlwind of Twitter posts tagged #HowToDrainYourDragon.
  • Disney’s Big Hero 6 has already been a hit at the box office, earning US$106 million so far. It beat Christopher Nolan’s much-anticipated sci-fi blockbuster Interstellar in the domestic US box office ($56.2 million vs $47.5 million) It currently holds a 8.4 rating on IMDB, a 88% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and a Metascore of 75. It has also been spotted by Yahoo that Big Hero 6 has many hidden Easter Eggs alluding to other Disney and Pixar hits. Check it out here.
  • DreamWorks Animation and the toy giant Hasbro, which were recently discussing a merger, have ended talks, causing DreamWorks and Hasbro shares to plummet.