Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New 'Lady and the Tramp' song

Briefly: Above find a video featuring a never-before-heard song that was cut from Disney's 1955 classic The Lady and the Tramp. Nice song, but I can see why it was cut.

Still, pretty neat.

Source: WSJ


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ray Bradbury on Disneyland

Holiday was a popular magazine published from 1946-1977. Last week, a blog archiving the articles of the old periodical published a 1956 article from prolific science-fiction author, Ray Bradbury. In his article, The Machine-Tooled Happyland, he summarizes--quite emphatically, poetically, and philosophically--how great and influential Disneyland is.

It is definitely worth the read.

Check it out here.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Academy has spoken . . . (and so have I).

The nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards were announced earlier this morning in Beverly Hills, California.

There are some surprises, but overall they're fairly predictable. Cars 2 has no chance of seeing any Oscar glory, without a nomination in the Animated Feature category. I'm not very surprised by this, since Pixar really broke its streak with that picture. However, Pixar can redeem itself with Enrico Casarosa's short La Luna, which has a nomination in the Animated Shorts category. From what I've heard of this elusive short, it is a stunning shoe-in for the prize.

Surprisingly, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in Boots both got a nomination, but Tintin didn't, perhaps as a result of the impassioned debates surrounding motion capture's place among the world of animation. I was very glad that Tintin won the Golden Globe for Animated Feature--it tells a great story with eye-catching visuals, and really shows what the future of mo-cap holds.

My biggest beef this year is with Hugo. It has the most nominations at 11. It is beautifully nostalgic with stunning visuals, but the story of Selznick's original The Invention of Hugo Cabret is sucked dry by Scorsese's ignorance of character depth. The film is pretty to look at, but it does not tell a compelling story. Scorsese won the Golden Globe for Directing, and I think it is egregious. I did not like the film one bit, if you couldn't tell.

However, I am ecstatic about the attention that The Artist is getting. It is a true film--a crowning achievement of the modern filmmaking world. It is funny, emotional, and musical with great acting and set pieces that you can't help but get lost in...all without a spoken word.

Another thing I'm ecstatic about? The Muppets' "Man or Muppet" not only being nominated for Best Original Song, but also being a surefire winner in the sparse category. It is a bang-up song from the most outstanding film of last year.

Below, find the full list of nominations. My predictions for who will win are in red, but who I want to win is in bold. I didn't make predictions in every category, since I don't even pretend to be qualified to do that. There's also the occasional commentary on my selections. You'll notice a lot of things are bolded and red. This is just because I, perhaps naively, think that the Academy will be just this year. Enjoy . . .

Best Picture
"The Artist" Thomas Langmann, Producer
"The Descendants" Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" Scott Rudin, Producer
"The Help" Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
"Hugo" Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
"Midnight in Paris" Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
"Moneyball" Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
"The Tree of Life" Nominees to be determined
"War Horse" Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Actor in a Leading Role
Demián Bichir in "A Better Life"
George Clooney in "The Descendants"
Jean Dujardin in "The Artist"
Gary Oldman in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Brad Pitt in "Moneyball"

Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Branagh in "My Week with Marilyn"
Jonah Hill in "Moneyball"
Nick Nolte in "Warrior"
Christopher Plummer in "Beginners"
Max von Sydow in "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"
Not a great film, but Plummer was fantastic.

Actress in a Leading Role

Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs"
Viola Davis in "The Help"
Rooney Mara in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady"
Michelle Williams in "My Week with Marilyn"
Same as with Beginners, the film left a lot to be desired. However, Meryl Streep owned the role of Thatcher. She was phenomenal.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Bérénice Bejo in "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain in "The Help"
Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids"
Janet McTeer in "Albert Nobbs"
Octavia Spencer in "The Help"

Animated Feature Film
"A Cat in Paris" Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
"Chico & Rita" Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
"Kung Fu Panda 2" Jennifer Yuh Nelson
"Puss in Boots" Chris Miller
"Rango" Gore Verbinski

Art Direction

"The Artist" Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
"Hugo" Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
"Midnight in Paris" Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil
"War Horse" Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

"The Artist" Guillaume Schiffman
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Jeff Cronenweth
"Hugo" Robert Richardson
"The Tree of Life" Emmanuel Lubezki
"War Horse" Janusz Kaminski

Costume Design
"Anonymous" Lisy Christl
"The Artist" Mark Bridges
"Hugo" Sandy Powell
"Jane Eyre" Michael O'Connor
"W.E." Arianne Phillips

"The Artist" Michel Hazanavicius
"The Descendants" Alexander Payne
"Hugo" Martin Scorsese
"Midnight in Paris" Woody Allen
"The Tree of Life" Terrence Malick

Documentary (Feature)
"Hell and Back Again" Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner
"If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front" Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
"Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
"Pina" Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
"Undefeated" TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas

Documentary (Short Subject)
"The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement" Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
"God Is the Bigger Elvis" Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
"Incident in New Baghdad"James Spione
"Saving Face" Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
"The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom" Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

Film Editing

"The Artist" Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
"The Descendants" Kevin Tent
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
"Hugo" Thelma Schoonmaker
"Moneyball" Christopher Tellefsen

Foreign Language Film
"Bullhead" Belgium
"In Darkness" Poland
"Monsieur Lazhar" Canada
"A Separation" Iran

"Albert Nobbs" Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
"The Iron Lady" Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Music (Original Score)
"The Adventures of Tintin" John Williams
"The Artist" Ludovic Bource
"Hugo" Howard Shore
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" Alberto Iglesias
"War Horse" John Williams

Music (Original Song)
"Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets" Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
"Real in Rio" from "Rio" Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Short Film (Animated)
"Dimanche/Sunday" Patrick Doyon
"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
"La Luna" Enrico Casarosa
"A Morning Stroll" Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
"Wild Life" Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

Short Film (Live Action)
"Pentecost" Peter McDonald and Eimear O'Kane
"Raju" Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
"The Shore" Terry George and Oorlagh George
"Time Freak" Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
"Tuba Atlantic" Hallvar Witzø

Sound Editing
"Drive" Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Ren Klyce
"Hugo" Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
"War Horse" Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Sound Mixing
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
"Hugo" Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
"Moneyball" Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
"War Horse" Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

Visual Effects
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
"Hugo" Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
"Real Steel" Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

"The Descendants" Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
"Hugo" Screenplay by John Logan
"The Ides of March" Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
"Moneyball" Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. Story by Stan Chervin
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" Screenplay by Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan

Writing (Original Screenplay)

"The Artist" Written by Michel Hazanavicius
"Bridesmaids" Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
"Margin Call" Written by J.C. Chandor
"Midnight in Paris" Written by Woody Allen
"A Separation" Written by Asghar Farhadi
(I couldn't pick between these two! I identify so well with Midnight in Paris that I am probably very bias towards it's screenplay, but I think it deserves to win. But so does The Artist. Hmm...)
The 84th annual Academy Awards will air live from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre on February 26.

Stay tuned for more up-to-date, exciting awards season news and opinion! Only at Disney, etc.


Monday, January 9, 2012

'Tangled Ever After' clip

Above you'll find the set-up for Tangled Ever After, a short that will be preceding the highly-anticipated Beauty and the Beast 3D later this month on the 13th.

Here's the official press release:
The Walt Disney Studios proudly announced today that directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, the talented team behind Disney Animation Studio’s global blockbuster Tangled, will premiere a delightful new animated short film spotlighting the royal wedding of Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) and Flynn Rider – a.k.a Eugene – (Zachary Levi) in front of each screening of Beauty and the Beast in 3D, which opens on January 13, 2012.By popular demand, Greno and Howard are bringing back some of Disney’s most beloved characters when Tangled Ever After picks up where Tangled left off. The Kingdom is in a festive mood as everyone gathers for the royal wedding of Rapunzel and Flynn. However, when Pascal and Maximus, as flower chameleon and ring bearer, respectively, lose the gold bands, a frenzied search and recovery mission gets underway. As the desperate duo tries to find the rings before anyone discovers that they’re missing, they leave behind a trail of comical chaos that includes flying lanterns, a flock of doves, a wine barrel barricade and a very sticky finale. Will Maximus and Pascal save the day and make it to the church in time? And will they ever get Flynn’s nose right?
Awesome Tolkien reference with the ring. One of the best animated characters of all time.

I'm excited.