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Animation

Golden Books of D

The illustrated hardcover children’s books published by Golden Books are indeed as valuable as gold among collectors — and none more so than the Disney tie-in Golden Books. Now a new hardcover collected edited by animation historian Charles Solomon, The Art of the Disney Golden Books, celebrates these historical treasures — and their lasting value and influence over the past 80 years. “A remarkable lineup of talent, many of whom were Disney Studio artists – including Mary Blair, Alice and Martin Provensen, Gustaf Tenggren, Al Dempster, Retta Scott Worcester, and Bill Peet – created the illustrations for the early Disney Golden Books. The bold and incredibly detailed artwork was painstakingly executed in gouache and watercolor-media that required a steady hand and immense patience and precision. The resulting publications became favorite selections in the libraries of many children, among them, future generations of Disney and Pixar artists who were inspired to draw, dream, and later, create their own films and Golden Books. The Art of the Disney Golden Books celebrates a legacy that has now thrived for more than eighty years and continues to influence new generations of artists and filmmakers. Through interviews with contemporary animators who recall tracing the characters in their childhood Disney Golden Books, paintings by artists who influenced and inspired the Disney Golden Book illustrations, and a generous complement of Golden Book artwork-much of which was thought to have been lost until very recently-the rich tradition of the series is explored in this vibrant volume.” Published by Disney Editions, The Art of the Disney Golden Books is available now from Barnes & Noble.

image c. 2014 Disney Editions

image c. 2014 Disney Editions

Dinosaurs are Walking — Again

Seemingly out of nowhere, Disney/Pixar have announced that the CGI animated feature The Good Dinosaur is back in production — and back on track for release in the winter of 2015, according to an article over at Cartoon Brew. After Disney removed director Bob Petersen from the project (he had co-directed Up and played the voice of Dug the dog) we didn’t hear much about Good Dinosaur for a while, as Disney/Pixar began advertising their next big project Inside Out. Now Disney/Pixar have announced that the new director of The Good Dinosaur will be Peter Sohn. He’s well known behind the scenes at Pixar, having worked in the art and story departments on several projects and directed the short film Partly Cloudy. He’s also known for his voice acting (he was Emile in Ratatouille and Squishy in Monsters University) and for being the body model for the character Russell in Up. Yes, really. With this announcement it now seems that Disney/Pixar will actually have two releases in 2015: Inside Out in June and The Good Dinosaur in November. Which puts the latter film right up against Kung Fu Panda 3, by the way. If you haven’t heard, The Good Dinosaur follows the adventures of a talking dinosaur family in modern times — on an alternate Earth where the great beasts never died out.

image c. 2014 Disney/Pixar

image c. 2014 Disney/Pixar

Ponies on the Big Screen — For Real

Wow, we didn’t even realize we’d passed a milestone recently: 1,000 posts!

According to ComingSoon.net and Variety, Hasbro Studios have given the green light to a My Little Pony animated feature film — set for release in 2017. We know very little about the project at this point, but with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic show-runner Megan McCarthy on board as an executive producer we can probably assume that it will have something to do with MLP:FIM. It’s possible that this will be a more “straight ahead” pony project, as opposed to the two recent Equestria Girls films which re-imagined the ponies in a more human guise. According to execs at Hasbro, they would also be looking to have a much wider distribution of the new film than we’ve seen with Equestria Girls. The new film is being written by Joe Ballarini. Stay tuned and we’ll tell you more when we know it!

image c. 2014 Hasbro Studios

image c. 2014 Hasbro Studios

Chimichunga…!

In anticipation of the upcoming Penguins of Madagascar animated film, we present… a tie-in comic book miniseries! (Bet that shocked ya, huh?) “DreamWorks Animations’ Penguins of Madagascar are getting their own brand new 4-issue comic series! Yep, Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private are jumping from the big screen to the comic page! Written by comedy genius Alex Matthews (Phoenix, Dandy) with eye-popping art from Lucas Fereyra, feathers are set to fly in this unique and exciting – and very funny – new series.” You might recall there was previously a Penguins tie-in comic based on their Nickelodeon TV series, but that was published by Kizoic Comics and featured a completely different creative team. This one is published by Titan Comics, and it’s coming to stores this November.

image c. 2014 Titan Comics

image c. 2014 Titan Comics

 

The Raccoon on TV!

Rather quickly after the release of the Guardians of the Galaxy feature film this summer, Marvel put out word that an animated TV series was in the works — but that was about all we heard for a while. Now, Marvel has gone so far as to release a “splash page” image and even a short animated “teaser” for the new show, which is slated to premier in 2015. The characters (including fan-favorite Rocket Raccoon) all have the appearance they did in the movie, but there’s no word yet if any of the film’s actors will be voicing their characters for the show. Nor do we know if what we see in the teaser reflects the look and animation style of the actual show. But, it’s more than we had even a month ago! Read all about it over at Slash Film.

image c. 2014 Marvel Studios

image c. 2014 Marvel Studios

All the Pretty Corgis

Her summary: “Joie Brown is a visual storyteller, using her talents to help design theme parks, bring characters to life and entertain the masses with her hilarious concepts and whimsical illustrations. She recently graduated with an MFA in Illustration from the Academy of Art University, and currently resides in Los Angeles with her jolly, stump-legged corgi Rylee.” Who seems to be one of her major sources of inspiration — along with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Check out Joie’s web site to purchase prints and find links to her other art sites.

image c. 2014 by Joie Brown

image c. 2014 by Joie Brown

Little Birds to the Big Screen

It had to happen, perhaps: A feature film based on a phone app. Of course, it is one of the biggest phone apps of all time: Angry Birds. According to an article over at Neon Tommy, Rovio and Sony Pictures have teamed up to announce the cast and crew for the upcoming Angry Birds movie. (In case you couldn’t guess, it’s going to be CGI.) “Cast as the lead roles in the animated movie, Saturday Night Live alums Jason Sudeikis (We’re The Millers) and Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids) will play Red and Matilda, alongside Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, who will be playing Mighty Eagle. Some other big names that will be joining the cast include Josh Gad (Frozen), Bill Hader (Skeleton Twins), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), and YouTube stars Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla of Smosh. Behind the scenes, John Cohen (Despicable Me) and former Marvel Studios president David Maisel will be producing the film, while Clay Kaytis (Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph) and Fergal Reilly (Spider-Man 2) have been announced as directors.” The birds will fly in July of 2106.

image c. 2014 Rovio

image c. 2014 Rovio

Man of Design

Walt Disney referred to Marc Davis as his “Renaissance Man” because Marc could seemingly do anything… He could do storyboards, design characters, animate, and he could even help to design new attractions for Walt’s theme parks. And now professionals from each of those departments and more have gathered together to celebrate Marc’s life and legacy in a massive new hardcover book, Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man, coming this October from Disney Editions.  It’s filled with Marc’s original sketches and designs, as well as background information from his friends and co-workers. Need a furry tie-in for all this? Look no further than his character designs for The Country Bears and America Sings attractions at Disneyland. But there’s more.

image c. 2014 Disney Editions

image c. 2014 Disney Editions

The Princess and the Beast

This October Viz Media will release Princess Mononoke: The First Story, “An oversized, lavishly illustrated storybook featuring original watercolor art by legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. This is the original  Princess  Mononoke  story created by Miyazaki in 1980 while he was first conceptualizing the landmark animated film that would later be released to universal acclaim seventeen years later. As an initial version of the tale, it offers a new and different perspective from the final version presented in the film: After a long, exhausting war, a samurai lost in a forest encounters a giant wildcat – a ‘mononoke’The beast saves his life, but at the price of his daughter’s hand in marriage… ” Read more about this new hardcover book over at Crunchyroll.

image c. 2014 Viz Media

image c. 2014 Viz Media