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Aladdin, the beloved animated feature from ’92, makes its Blu-ray bow this week from Disney Home Ent. (also available on Digital HD and DMA). Aside from its demo-quality picture and sound, the Diamond Edition boasts never-before-seen tributes to the late Robin Williams, the “Genius behind the Genie.” Read more
The new trailer for Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur (Nov. 25) encapsulates the danger and intimacy of the journey. Read more
Brad Bird finally got his wish: The Iron Giant returned to the big screen this week and you can see it on Sunday in a remastered “Signature Edition” featuring more footage. The result is that it looks better than ever and further proof that it’s the last great hand-drawn American feature. Kudos to Warner Bros. for making this happen and to Duncan Studio for doing such outstanding work (maybe now Duncan can get a hand-drawn feature made, but that’s another hurdle). Visit Fathom Events for theater locations and ticket information. Read more
After great success with Robot Chicken, ShadowMachine takes the feature plunge with Hell & Back, leveraging its outrageous adult humor in a more ambitious way. While it’s taken a few years to complete and release Hell & Back (through Freestyle), ShadowMachine has expanded its stop-mo TV slate with TripTank and Bojack Horseman, among others, strengthening its brand. From carnival doldrums to the lower depths of danger, Hell & Back offers a slew of misfit demons, an angel hottie, a slacker Orpheus and a horny Devil. Plus a voice cast headlined by Nick Swardson, Mila Kunis, Danny McBride, Bob Odenkirk, T.J. Miller, Rob Riggle and Susan Sarandon. Read more
Genndy Tartakovsky couldn’t make the Popeye he wanted at Sony but he continues his cartoony sensibility in Hotel Transylvania 2 and hopes to make the very ambitious Can You Imagine? The gang’s all back as Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Johnny (Andy Samberg) get married and have a son and Drac (Adam Sandler) adjusts to being a grandpa and a world where monster and human co-exist. There’s even a cameo by Mel Brooks as his dad, Vlad. Read more
Director Steve Martino (Horton Hears a Who!) discussed upholding the look, styling and spirit of “Sparky” Schulz’s beloved Peanuts gang (in the coming months, I will dig deeper into the making of this unique hybrid).
Richard Williams discusses his hand-drawn, six-minute short, Prologue, which just completed its Oscar qualifying run. Its a brutal and balletic peek at the Spartan-Athenian wars through the eyes of a young girl. It’s gory yet mesmerizing in its composition, movement, and cutting. And its a simple series of drawings. The 82-year-old Williams is now at work on an ambitious feature-length version. Read more