Posts Tagged ‘Disney’
In the 2012 release of Disney’s Brave, incautious princess Merida’s original look features wild red hair, a bow and quiver, and a tomboyish figure. Her appearance is befitting of a Scottish teenager who wants to change her fate by breaking with years of tradition. Her look also defies what it means to be a traditional Disney princess, for instead of being docile and disengaged she is a feisty firecracker who chases after her dreams.
Screenwriters: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell, Irene Mecchi
Length: 1h 33m
Synopsis: Merida (Macdonald) is a Scottish princess, but you wouldn’t know it to look at her. With long, unkempt, fiery red hair and a fondness for tomboyish hobbies she doesn’t often get along with her mother the Queen (Thompson) who, loving though she may be, relentlessly stresses the importance of obedience and propriety. Merida’s crude but kind father, King Fergus (Connolly), plays the peacemaker whose mannerisms and childish immaturity are not the example Queen Elinor wants for their daughter, yet the three get along fairly merrily all the same. One day, however, Elinor schedules a competition for young men seeking Merida’s hand in marriage. The princess impulsively becomes infuriated. A heated argument is had between the two, and in the midst of Merida’s outburst she runs off into the woods and discovers a secluded cabin where a temperamental witch (Walters) dwells. In an effort to change her fate Merida has the witch conjure a spell that would cause Elinor to change – and boy does it ever. The Queen turns into a giant bear, the land’s most feared and hunted creature. Merida is immediately remorseful, but before too many suns have set she and her mother must work together to break the spell before it becomes permanent. Will the rambunctious teenager save her mother’s fate in time, and succeed in mending the bond broken between them?
Director: Andrew Stanton
Length: 2h 12m
Synopsis: John Carter (Kitsch) is a Civil War vet who by accident finds himself transported to Mars where he discovers races of people and intelligent creatures, as well as, just as surprisingly, enhanced physical abilities. Soon John finds himself in the middle of a war between two humanoid peoples, the Red and the Blue, with a beautiful princess named Dejah (Collins) belonging to the former and a corrupt general named Sab Than (West) of the latter leading a war for her hand in marriage. Than is seduced by power given to him by the sage-like Therns; immortals who influence all types of beings to steer historical events all over the galaxy. In order to end the war John must enlist the help of the normally neutral but violent Tharks, led by Tars Tarkas (Dafoe), and find a way to foil the Therns’ plans. If he does, Dejah will show him the way back to Earth. But if he succeeds, will he want to go back?
Allow me to explain to you why Cars 2 might forever be known as your first real “flop.”
Some people thought that it was inevitable – that it was just a matter of time before you did something less than extraordinary. You have had one of the most incredibly successful run of releases going all the way back to your first full-length feature film in 1995’s Toy Story. With each new film it appeared that you could do no wrong, following up each critical and financial success with another. What’s more is you have continued to raise the bar for filmmaking practices in general, not just with computer animated family fare. You have become the yardstick to which all storytelling of your ilk must be measured, but it appears the time come when you have finally failed to measure up to yourself.
Back at the beginning of Summer we gave a preview of three films that were to come out that have something in common. What these films share is a focus on a tight-knit group of ex-military soldiers who work towards a shared goal of some kind. With The Losers it was about getting revenge, with The A-Team it was about living up to one’s duties as a patriot, and with The Expendables it was about serving the human condition. As you may have noticed, the motivations of the groups got progressively nobler, from serving selfish incentives to fulfilling an intangible obligation to heroic morals; namely the moral that the strong have to protect the weak. The three movies, and by extension the three groups in these movies, may share a similar basic premise, and may interact within their respective contexts in a similar way, but their differing motivations distinguish them from each other more so than we may have anticipated. Likewise, they also shared more in common than we previously thought. What exactly, though, can we learn from comparing them further?
The agreement between Disney and Ron Tutor and Colony Capital (now dubbed Filmyard Holdings) to sell Miramax and its library has been made official. The latter will purchase the studio for $660 million, including the rights to its books, developing projects, and other assets. The deal is expected to close sometime between Sept. 10 and the end of the year.
“Although we are very proud of Miramax’s many accomplishments, our current strategy for Walt Disney Studios is to focus on the development of great motion pictures under the Disney, Pixar and Marvel brands,” said Robert Iger, Disney president and CEO. “We are delighted that we have found a home for the Miramax brand and Miramax’s very highly regarded motion picture library.”
Disney agreed to distribute Miramax films that have already been completed under its ownership.
Complications still persist, however, as The Weinstein Co. still owns the rights to a handful of coveted films that reside under the Miramax label. Filmyard Holdings would need Weinstein’s approval before any sequels or remakes of these films could be made.
Quick Opinion: It’s still not a given that Filmyard will be able to pay the entire asking price for Miramax, but even if it did there hasn’t been much consideration for how well the company is going to be able to finance films in the near future. The Weinsteins had a strained relationship with Disney largely due to financing restrictions. It will be interesting to see how strongly Filmyard will be pinching their pennies, though at least they don’t have to worry about funding any smaller branches of Miramax, as The Weinstein Co. took Dimension Films with them in their 2005 exit agreement. The selling of Miramax might be in the books, but its future is still very much uncertain.
In order to play catch-up with the latest news that has happened over the past few days, here are some of the more notable headlines aside from Despicable Me‘s opening weekend box-office numbers (which reportedly exceeded $60 million).
The longstanding Hollywood studios is reportedly almost $4 billion in debt. More than 100 lenders who will assume control of the company soon (due to this debt) are in the process of phasing in new management, but in the meantime the company still owes the lenders a $250 million payment with a $200 million interest tag, which must be paid by July 15th. However, MGM will have more time to come up with these funds if the lenders grant the company a sixth extension, which they have until July 13th to do.
Disney has made an agreement (but not an official deal) with a group headed by construction executive Ronald Tutor and joined by Colony Capital that will sell the latter Miramax studios, along with its 611 film library, for $650 million. Only $300 million is available in equity to Disney at the moment with more to be raised in the near future, and so a $200 million debt is to be expected for Tudor and Colony Capitol if the deal goes through. Disney appears to have confidence that the buyers will be able to raise the money.
The Weinstein Co. still claims to have interest in buying Miramax, but their 2005 exit agreement happened because they felt Disney’s asking price of $650 million was too high. If the Tudor/Capitol talks fall through, Weinstein will reportedly consider making another bid. If the current deal does become official, it will raise questions about the rights to certain films that Weinstein still owns due to their exit agreement. Miramax will not be able to make sequels or remakes for any films Weinstein owns without their approval.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors has released new rules about which animated films can be nominated for the Best Animated Feature category. The original cutoff for animated shorts was a 40 minute maximum, and animated features had to be at least 70 minutes. The gap has been corrected to include animated films over 40 mins in the feature-length category.
Also, the board has decreed that motion-capture animation does not qualify as true animation, which is the traditional “frame-by-frame technique”. So, mo-cap animated films will not be eligible for Best Animated Short or Feature Oscar categories. The new rule regarding animated films is as follows: “An animated feature film is defined as a motion picture with a running time of greater than 40 minutes, in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique. Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75% of the picture’s running time.”
Netflix and Relativity Media have made a deal that will allow the video-rental giant to stream up to 30 of the studio’s films during the “traditional pay-TV distribution window.” Netflix has deals with all major studios that allows them to stream online a certain amount of those studios’ films, however up until now only Disney and Sony were allowing the streaming of their movies during this period.
The deal will begin with only the 10-12 films that Relativity will release over the next year (their typical output) but Netflix will be able to max out at 30 over the next five years. Both companies have stated that they believe this deal will be the beginning of a different age of distribution, away from pay-TV channels.
“Our continued goal is to expand the breadth and timeliness of films and TV shows
available to stream on Netflix,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said.
“We have always been about finding new ways to grow and monetize our business,” Relativity chief Ryan Kavanaugh said. “This clearly is a natural step in the evolution of the movie business and opens up a whole new world of revenue and marketing opportunities.”
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Quick Opinion: That Netflix is now making streaming deals with non-major Hollywood studios should be encouraging for those who are excited about the idea of “big” Hollywood not having as big a monopoly on exposure. With more streaming movies being from smaller (but not small) production and distribution studios the greater leverage they have in making distribution deals with those bigger companies. The more people see your films – and the more evidence you have that they do – gives you more creative authority because there is less reason to bend over backwards to appease a big distributor’s standards. One easy example to cite is how Disney doesn’t tell Pixar how to make their films, they simply get a cut of the profits for distribution. What this all could do is open up an opportunity for production studios like Relativity (Lionsgate, Focus Features, Rogue Pictures, etc.), who prefer to create movies for peripheral audiences.
It’s a question that’s plagued me for a while now: whatever happened to big Hollywood movie musicals? Movie genres typically go through cycles of popularity and I think we’re due for another round of flashy, dance-filled musicals.
Musicals have been a long-enduring genre since the early days of film. In fact, the very first sound film was a musical—1927’s The Jazz Singer. When it became a runaway success, studios rushed to create more musicals, some of which became the beginnings of a series. Warner Brothers’ triumph with The Gold Diggers of Broadway led to The Gold Diggers of 1933, which became one of the most celebrated musicals of all time thanks in large part to Busby Berkeley’s intricate choreography. RKO Radio Pictures first paired dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers—who danced together in nine films—in 1933 in Flying Down to Rio, creating arguably the most famous dancing couple in film history. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released The Broadway Melody in 1929, which not only started a series but also won the Academy Award for Best Picture. As time went on, production companies made more and more musicals until the genre reached its greatest popularity in the 1940’s and ‘50s.
Though many studios made musicals during that time, MGM arguably became the company most associated with producing expensive, opulent and immensely successful musicals. They produced Easter Parade, Summer Stock, An American in Paris, Singin’ in the Rain, The Band Wagon, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Guys and Dolls, as well as numerous others. Those films were a mixture of song and dance and while they weren’t exactly realistic, they were always entertaining. MGM musicals have always been my favorites and when I think of the kind of musicals I’d love to see now, I imagine huge productions with the same glamour and spectacle as MGM’s greatest musicals. I’m talking musicals with big, expensive set pieces and extended dance sequences with dancers wearing costumes of every conceivable color. I’m talking great songs that not only convey exactly what the character feels, but are also catchy and make the audience want to sing along.
ComingSoon.net recently conducted an interview with Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla Anderson. Unkrich has been the co-director for Toy Story 2, Monster’s Inc., and Finding Nemo and has been part of Pixar’s creative team since the company’s beginning, which was why he was given the job of directing the Oscar-winning and highly prestigious studio’s first “threequel.”
In the interview Unkrich and Anderson reveal some interesting tidbits about how Toy Story 3 got off the ground, and how the creative minds behind it were able to make it happen.
For starters, Unkrich and a few others tried getting the film started back when Toy Story 2 was released, ready to continue on to another story involving the characters they grew to love. However, legal troubles with Disney kept the film from being made and so the studio was forced to put the idea of a third movie on the back burner. When Disney eventually bought Pixar, the red tape was finally removed and the studio was free to pursue the project head-on.
Michael Arndt, who wrote the script for the film, was met by Unkrich and the others at Pixar after they looked at a copy of the screenplay for Little Miss Sunshine. They liked his work for that movie so much they immediately wanted to get in touch with him in order to maybe start working together. Later that same year Arndt was awarded an Oscar for Best Screenplay for Little Miss Sunshine, which helped give the studio more confidence that they were working with the right guy.
The interview covers a dozen other issues like these, which help paint Pixar as a company that redefines the word “harmony” when it comes to how its creative teams work together to create such memorable films. Definitely a good read for those of you looking forward to Toy Story 3 opening this weekend.