- Vancouver, British Columbia - It’s hard to go wrong with Pixar, and I was rather delighted to see an advanced screening of their newest gem. I’d seen a teaser trailer, but all that really revealed to me was that there was a fiery red-haired Scots girl who is temperamental and amazing at archery. It left me curious as to what the meat of the movie was.
Film Reviews and Commentary
Entries in Pixar (6)
- Vancouver, British Columbia - With Pixar films regularly blowing audiences away with cutting edge graphics, tight writing, and touching characterizations, it can be really easy to overlook other CG cartoon features. Even Disney’s own CG releases have been pretty forgettable. DreamWorks’s Madagascar series was no exception. Sure, it made oodles of money, but I found the first movie to be okay at best, and the second movie to be mediocre (and that animated series is hardly a gem). So my expectations weren’t high for this, the third installment in the movie franchise.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - When Titanic hit the theatres in 1999 and became the highest grossing film in Hollywood history, it opened the door to a new generation of blockbuster films never seen before. Blockbusters have been around for a considerable amount of time, but huge tent pole releases were not nearly as commonplace as they became in the first decade of this new millennium. In general, most blockbuster films have been very profitable for studios, while some have been utter financial catastrophes, nearly bankrupting some of the biggest film studios in the business. This year's candidate for blockbuster failure early on was viewed to be Disney's John Carter. The film is estimated to have cost nearly $250 million, while the marketing behind it has been rumored to have cost Disney nearly an additional $100 million. Some box office analysts have been on record as stating that for John Carter to be considered a success, it will need to recoup some $700 million in box office revenues internationally. This is big money on the line for Disney, and sadly, after John Carter's first two weekends in the theatres, it looks like it will fall extremely short of that threshold and forever be remembered as one of the greatest box office bombs. But does it deserve that title? Did it get a fair shake?
- Vancouver, British Columbia - Illumination Entertainment, the creative team behind Despicable Me, is waging an animation war against the two leaders of the battle, Pixar and Dreamworks. Indeed Despicable Me was a huge hit, but their follow up film Hop, was a bit of a dud. So, their next strategic move was to adapt a piece of already well known source material, the classic Dr. Seuss book, The Lorax. It worked for Blue Sky Entertainment who made the animated Horton Hears a Who! a few years ago. This is a smart move on Illumination's part for a number of reasons. First, because it has an established fan base, kids are more likely to go see it. Not only that, but the Dr. Seuss books are old enough that the parents will remember them and want to share the story with their kids and see it in a new medium themselves. Second, it has a strong environmental message, which parents will want to share with their kids. After all, going green sure is fashionable these days. And third, it's almost Spring Break and there is hardly any competition this time of year for young movie goers. It's a perfect storm and at this point, The Lorax is killing at the box office, opening the weekend with an incredible $70 million. Impressive.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - Last year we saw the success of a humble little film called Despicable Me, which was released by Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment. This was their attempt at breaking into the animation market which is booming today, but mostly dominated by Dreamworks and Pixar. This film, however, was a very successful attempt making $251 million, easily making a healthy profit over its $69 million budget. It even became the 9th highest grossing movie of 2010 just over Dreamworks' How to Train Your Dragon. In a lot of ways, I am quite happy that some other contenders are entering the battle for animation supremacy. However, after watching it, I have to admit I'm puzzled by its success.