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WN 10: Sing, Rock Dog, Emoji Movie, Isle of Dogs

Written by Karlamon :


[Universal Pictures]

Merry Christmas, Animation Source! Hope you’re enjoying you day of presents and family. With the 10th Weekly News, I’ll look at the reactions that Sing has been receiving, the new trailers of Rock Dog and The Emoji Movie, the announcement of Wes Anderson’s new stop-motion flick Isle of Dogs, and the first look at the Captain Underpants movie.

Sing delivers a solid show

We close the year off with Sing, Illumination Entertainment’s second 2016 output after highly-successful The Secret Life of Pets. This is the passion project of music video director Garth Jennings, featuring an all-star cast of anthropomorphic animals, and a whopping 85 licensed songs.

[Universal Pictures]

Now that the Golden Globe-nominated movie has been released, the reactions are in, and things are looking quiet positive for the film. Critics have responded rather decently towards Sing, saying that while the premise sounds formulaic, the movie boasts enough groove and charm to stand on it’s own thanks to the musical energy and deep characters.

The Seattle Times critic Moira Macdonald stated that while Sing “takes a bit too long to travel its familiar path”, “it’s also quite impossible to dislike it.” Blake Goble of Consequence of Sound said “The presentation and little tweaks along the way make Sing far less grating than you’d expect. There are dozens of great moments, beats, and tunes.” Jordan Hoffman of The Guardian had conflicting thoughts by saying “God, it’s so obnoxious. And the worst thing is that it works. I was smiling and applauding at the end, then I had to take a long walk alone to wonder what was wrong with me.”

Rock Dog Official Trailer - “Follow Your Dream”

The first of two animated movie trailers released this week is Rock Dog (Chinese: 摇滚藏獒). An animated feature that was produced in a unusual way, where it was financed by Chinese companies, but the animation was provided by Texas-based Reel FX (the makers of Free Birds and The Book of Life).

Directed by Ash Brannon (co-director of Toy Story 2 and Surf’s Up), Rock Dog follows Bodi (Luke Wilson of Battle for Terra), a country-side Tibetan Mastiff who journeys to the big city to pursue his dreams of being a rock musician with his idol Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard of The Wild). 

Lionsgate will give it a theatrical release in North America under their Summit Entertainment banner on February 24, 2017, and have provided a new trailer.

For this movie, it’s like the same old underdog story we’ve see so many times before. Main character pursues his dream against his father’s will, guess what happens. That, and it’s highly likely people are going to see this as a poor-man’s Zootopia or Sing, with cheaper animation and a generic plot. I wouldn’t say it’s ripping off, it’s just an unfortunate case of duelling movies.

The one thing I hope that will save the movie is that if the characters are really charming, and if the humour is good, but I’m not sure. We’ll have to wait and see if the film is satisfactory.

The Emoji Movie - Official Teaser Trailer

Why does this exist?

Thats right. What you have just witnessed is the teaser for Sony Pictures Animation’s The Emoji Movie (formally known as Emojimovie: Express Yourself). And the reactions… my god! I haven’t seen an animated film receive so much hate since Norm of the North, and I can honestly see why. Not only is it such an inane concept with blatant real-life app advertising, but this is such a really dull trailer.

All we get is Steven Wright (The Swan Princess) as a monotone meh emoji who unenthusiastically encourages audiences to see the movie, and a dumb poop joke with Poop Daddy. Thats it. I mean, is this the way Sony really wants to sell this movie? It’s like they’re not even trying to give this good marketing, whether it’s intentional or not.

But what perplexes me and many others more is why SPA would green-light such a stupid idea like this. They pushed aside actually-anticipated projects like Genndy Tartakovsky’s Popeye, and Lauren Faust’s Medusa, just for a cash-grab nobody asked for. What makes this such a top priority other than being a current social trend? In my view, this movie is probably gonna tarnish the SPA brand severely, even with their more-promising 2017 films like Smurfs: The Lost Village, and The Star.

If you’re insane enough to check out The Emoji Movie, set your calendar for August 4, 2017. You can also check out these terrifying character posters in the meantime.

Crazy ladyDevilHi-5GenePoop Daddy

Wes Anderson returns with Isle of Dogs

Moving on from a movie with no promise to one with a lot, acclaimed filmmaker Wes Anderson is returning to animation with Isle of Dogs.

Isle of Dogs
[Fox Searchlight Pictures]

You may know this guy for his retro-style films like The Darjeeling Limited, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. But in 2009, he made it big in the animation scene when he directed and co-wrote the widely-praised stop-motion film Fantastic Mr. Fox, which in my opinion is… well, fantastic, plus a great tribute to Roald Dahl’s story.

So what is Isle of Dogs about? Well, not much is known other than it stars dogs, it’ll be animated with stop-motion in the UK, and it’ll feature a huge cast. Wes Anderson’s announcement vlog will give you more info on the project, a raffle contest on Croudrise, and a short animated clip (with empathises on “short”).

For the Croudrise raffle, a $10 USD minimum pledge you can go in the draw to win awesome Isle of Dog prizes. All proceedings of this will go towards the non-profit Film Foundation, which was founded by Martin Scorsese dedicated to protect and preserve motion picture history.

Fox Searchlight Pictures have picked up the worldwide distribution rights for Isle of Dogs, and is aiming to release the film sometime in 2018.

Bonus story: First look at Captain Underpants

I thought I was finished with the news for this week, but wow! I loved the books as a kid, so this was irresistible to include this as a last-minute addition. I am of course talking about DreamWorks Animation’s adaptation of Captain Underpants!

Entertainment Weekly has given fans the first screenshot of the waistband warrior in his glorious red curtain cape and white tights, which also includes our first look at the CG versions of George Beard and Harold Hutchins.

Captain Underpants
[DreamWorks Animation]

I gotta say I’m quiet amazed by what I’m seeing. The book of my childhood as a big-screen cartoon, the nostalgia! While looking different from other DreamWorks movies, this looks exactly like Dav Pilkey’s illustrations in 3D. Even the screenshot itself, it replicates the drawing in the first book where Mr. Krupp is turned to Captain Underpants. Oh and there’s gonna be “Flip-o-Rama” segments in the movie. It’s like a dream come true! 

Directed by Turbo director David Soren, and written by Storks writer/director Nicolas Stoller, the movie will feature the voices of Ed Helms (The Lorax) as Mr. Krupp/Captain Underpants, Kevin Hart (The Secret Life of Pets) as George Beard, Thomas Middleditch (the 2011 Beavis and Butt-head revival) as Harold Hutchins, and Nick Kroll (Sing) as the evil Professor Poopypants. Captain Underpants will fly into theatres on June 2, 2017.

Well that was an awesome end to the article! So tell me your thoughts of this week’s story in the comments. Did you like Sing? Are you interested in Rock Dog, The Emoji Movie, Isle of Dogs, or Captain Underpants? Have a great holiday, and don’t forget to check back soon as I will be looking back on the animated features we had this year! See you in 2017!


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December 27, 2016
Uk Female Is not currently on the site
the moon of lovers
the thing with the emoji movie is that i can't understand how it could go through all the stages of production without someone realising that this isn't how emojis work lol...sure, emojis mean different things and can express some things better than words do but...actually giving them personalities and names? for who it's trying to appeal to, it's rather out of touch - and it's not even hard to research into these things either. i have never seen a more blatant, rushed, cash grab.

oh my goodness! i remember reading quite a few captain underpants in my good ol' primary years. a bit skeptical about a film, but i love the look of the screenshot! such nice colours and shapes, not too far from the original style as you said. hopefully they'll translate it's humor and writing just as well! :icon299:

December 27, 2016
Canada Is not currently on the site
-- But what perplexes me and many others more is why SPA would green-light such a stupid idea like this. They pushed aside actually-anticipated projects like Genndy Tartakovsky’s Popeye, and Lauren Faust’s Medusa, just for a cash-grab nobody asked for. What makes this such a top priority other than being a current social trend? --

Exactly. It was designed to make money off emoji's. And they think that's all they need to get it over. It's like Matt Morgan being seven feet tall is enough to make it in the wrestling business in 2017, in their own minds.

There better be an amazing story and likable character behind this project (Remember that TaleSpin was seen as one of the worst ideas ever; and yet it became one of the greatest Disney productions in history); or this is going to bomb big time. This should be a reminder to anyone who hated Ghostbusters 2016: At least it had strong source material to back up it's characters and a history of a profit making brand . What does Emoji's have other than a social following that makes no money on it's own?

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