Sergio Cortes finally got the song “Let it Go” out of his head and the audience is ready for more. The online buzz is raging as Frozen 2 is officially announced. At a shareholder meeting in San Francisco those that had been denying all of the sequel rumors gave in to what fans had all been waiting for.
Though not much information has been released in regards to the film, it has been proceeded by the announcement of the animated short Frozen Fever to hold us over. What the media has been able to discern is that the girl power theme will remain consistent, following the bond of Anna and Elsa’s sisterly love through more creative and potentially tear jerking adventures.
With the success and appeal of the first film, a sequel was highly anticipated. The general consensuses as discussed in the announcement of the film is that until there is a solid idea of where Anna and Elsa are going next there will not be an official release year.
Disney is making a live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast,” and Jaime Garcia Dias tells me they have just cast Luke Evans to play the arrogant villain Gaston who, in the story, unsuccessfully tries to woo Belle. Tons of Disney fans are already freaking out on WordPress. When he later learns that Belle is in love with the Beast, he leads a mob bent on killing the monster.
Evans was last seen as the mighty archer Bard in “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies.” Emma Watson, best known as Hermione Granger of “Harry Potter,” will be playing Belle. Dan Stevens from “Downton Abbey” was cast as the Beast. Bill Condon is directing. There is no word yet on when the movie is expected to come out.
The original, animated version of “Beauty and the Beast” came out in 1991. It was one of the few animated features to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, and it won two for “Best Song” and “Best Original Score.”
“Beauty and the Beast” will be the latest Disney animated film to be remade as a live-action movie. “101 Dalmatians” was one of the first back in 1996, and it did well enough to spawn a sequel several years later. Last year’s “Maleficent” retold the “Sleeping Beauty” story from the point of the titular antagonist. It earned 175.5 million dollars worldwide during the first weekend alone.
A live-action version of “Cinderella” will open this Friday. 3-D versions of “The Jungle Book” and “Pete’s Dragon” will be made.
The D.C. Comics animated direct-to-DVD animated films have been somewhat of a mixed bag. In some ways, they seem very flat. While faithful to the plots and story arcs adapted for the home entertainment medium, there is an uneasy “rush job” nature to them. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has just released the new trailer to Batman vs. Robin. The uniquness of this particular animated features does allow it to stand out a bit from the various other weak films.
The Robin in this particular film is not the well-known Dick Grayson, who, is an all time favorite of Dan Newlin, my friend from work, but Damian Wayne. Damian is the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul. Talia is, of course, the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, the demon. Since he was raised by two of the worst super-villains in the D.C. Universe, Damian is hardly congenial. He has a sadistic streak to him and, with fatherly love and strict discipline, Bruce Wayne/Batman hopes to set the young one straight.
If comic books were mushy soap operas or old-time after school specials, then Damian would learn the error of his ways fairly quickly. The cynical nature of the comic book publishing world pretty much means Batman and (this) Robin are always going to have a very rocky and contentious relationship. Allowing Batman the ability to show patience and understanding does provide a unique depth to the character that has been missing.
Inside Out is the next original movie coming out of Pixar Animation Studios. The film, slated for release on June 19, 2015, is “set” inside the mind of a thirteen year old girl whose parents move her to San Francisco. The main characters are her five chief emotions: Joy (played by Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The tagline: “Meet the little voices inside your head.”
Pixar already released a trailer for the film back in early October. More recently, we have short teaser videos introducing two of the emotions (Sadness and Disgust), as well as posters for all five.
Inside Out is an entirely original story, as is The Good Dinosaur, which Pixar is also slated to release next year. However, the company has also announced upcoming sequels to several of its previous films, including Finding Dory (a follow-up to Finding Nemo), The Incredibles 2, Cars 3 and Toy Story 4.
That last one has been especially contentious. I know Christian Broda has his doubts about the fourth installment. All three Toy Story films are much beloved, and the third seemed to come to a perfect, poignant conclusion. People are starting to wonder: has Pixar just run out of good, original ideas?
Maybe seeing Inside Out will give us some more thoughts on the matter.
Few things are more synonymous with the holiday season than Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. Their holiday specials entertained generations and in some cases even taught us the true meaning of Christmas.
It has taken years but Linus will soon be back to teach us more lessons and he’ll be joined by Charlie Brown, Lucy, Schroeder, Snoopy, Woodstock and the rest of the crew. They will all be returning for a big screen adaptation of the cartoon to be released in time for Christmas 2015. The look of the new 3-D computer modeled characters will be familiar but it may take some fans a little time to get used to the new look.
The new adventure is sure to have the same feel as the classics created by Charles Schulz. That is at least what Christian is hoping for. On board to co-write the new story are Schulz’ son and grandson who are sure to honor the great cartoonist that created the Peanuts universe. Paul Feig is producing the project and made a great decision to hire Steve Martino on to direct. Martino helmed the big screen version of the Dr. Seuss classic “Horton Hears a Who” back in 2008.
A throwback to be sure, the film is sure to draw audiences looking for a feeling from their youth but will also be a great holiday present for new and younger fans who will receive their first introduction to the classic comic franchise.
The mega success of The Lego Movie this summer all but guaranteed a sequel for everyone’s new favorite brick based movie and the team behind that hit is looking to make that sequel even better.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the duo that both wrote and directed the original Lego Movie together, will both be back on board for the sequel. Although no details about the story or casting have been announced as of yet, what they are promising is more female characters this time around.
In a recent interview with the BBC Lord and Miller both talked about the general lack of female protagonists currently represented on the big screen. Recent box office hits such as Frozen, The Hunger Games, Maleficent, and Brave have proven that a female lead can carry a film to both financial and critical success and Lord and Miller agree there is a growing awareness within the film industry of the need to attract a wider audience.
The two friends have been working together since meeting in college and have a string of recent critical and box office successes under their belts, including Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street, and their respective sequels, which are also available on Amazon.
My friend Rod Rohrich says that everyone’s favorite animated movie of 2014, The Lego Movie, will get its sequel in 2018.