AnimationFix: Your regular round-up of the latest animation news, from HitFix reporter Emily Rome
Pixar has announced their next short film.
Called Lou, it”s directed by longtime Pixar artist Dave Mullins.
That”s all the details the animation studio has released at this point, along with a little teaser sketch by Mullins on Instagram that reveals the short”s title (and title character?) has something to do with a lost and found bin:
The studio”s tweet about Lou came right after (probably coincidentally but perhaps fittingly) tweeting out a quotation of Ratatouille“s food critic character, Anton Ego: “The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends.” Mullins is certainly not a totally new talent – he”s done animation and animation supervisor work at Pixar since 2003″s Finding Nemo – but this is his chance to prove himself in the director”s chair.
Pixar”s next feature is Cars 3, opening in June. It”s possible Lou will screen in front of that threequel.
• Daisy Ridley gets a part in Peter Rabbit movie: John Boyega isn”t the only Force Awakens star to get an animated movie with rabbits (he has a voice role in the new Watership Down series). Ridley now has a part in Sony”s live-action/animated hybrid take on Beatrix Potter”s classic Peter Rabbit children”s stories, Variety reported earlier this week. It”s not clear from this report whether Ridley and The Night Manager actress Elizabeth Debicki, also joining the film, have voice or live-action roles. As previously announced, Rose Byrne stars in the live-action female lead role of Bea, and James Corden is voicing Peter.
• Body-swapping movie Your Name is a hit in Japan: The film depicts a strange, fantastical gender-swapping of sorts that seems to connect two high schoolers, Mitsuha and Taki. Last week, after 28 days in theaters, Your Name passed the ¥10 billion mark (about $98 million) – it”s the first animated film not made by Hayao Miyazaki or his Studio Ghibli. Your Name director Makoto Shinkai is already being hailed as a successor to the the 75-year-old Miyazaki.
• Phineas and Ferb creators rap about their new show: Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh hired a nerdy guy who raps (“Weird Al” Yankovic) to lead the voice cast of Milo Murphy”s Law, and they”re promoting the upcoming Disney XD show with two nerdy rappers – themselves. See them drop rhymes about their new project and say goodbye to Phineas and Ferb in the video below:
The first episode of Milo Murphy”s Law is available to watch for free via iTunes and YouTube now ahead of its official premiere on Monday, October 3.
• French film Long Way North gets reviews ahead of U.S. release: Amid a crowded field of strong entries in animation categories this awards season, Long Way North is emerging as a potential contender. It”s the directorial debut of Rémi Chayé, the first assistant director and a storyboard artist on The Secret of Kells, which earned an Oscar nomination in 2010. Set in the late 19th century, Long Way North follows a Russian teen on a dangerous journey to the North Pole in search of her explorer grandfather. It”s set to hit U.S. theaters this Friday after a festival circuit that started with Annecy last year. American critics are praising it for the “stunning stylized visuals” of its hand-drawn animation and its celebration of girl power, but it”s getting criticism for “flat characters.”
• ABC trims its order for Imaginary Mary: The live-action/animation hybrid had an order of 13 episodes, but the network has reduced that to nine (including the pilot), according to Deadline. The show, already set for a midseason premiere, stars Jenna Elfman as a woman whose childhood imaginary friend reappears in her life – that imaginary friend, created via CGI, is going through some animation tweaks which reportedly motivated the decision to produce a shorter first season.