Tomm Moore Son­goftheSea

Animation Magazine - - Awards Preview -

Key mo­ment of in­spi­ra­tion: Hol­i­day­ing in Din­gle in the west of Ire­land. Be­com­ing reac­quainted with the sea life and folk­lore in that area, I re­al­ized both were un­der threat and, in­deed, in­ter­de­pen­dent to some ex­tent — and that is what got me think­ing about the story of Song of the Sea. Tough­est chal­lenge in mak­ing the movie: After the has­sle of fi­nanc­ing was over, the big­gest chal­lenge was co­or­di­nat­ing five co-pro­duc­tion part­ners work­ing to­gether over two years. Piv­otal scene: The scene that sums up the film’s com­bi­na­tion of gen­tle hu­mor and magic is when Saoirse finds her selkie coat and goes for a night­time swim with the seals. It’s also a great ex­am­ple of a di­a­logue-free se­quence that is told purely with color, move­ment and mu­sic. On the state of the an­i­ma­tion business: I would say the in­dus­try and medium are healthy and ex­cit­ing right now in gen­eral.

Fa­vorite movie or an­i­mated character of all time:

To­toro. Ca­reer begin­nings: I was an after-school and week­end film­maker as a teenager. I joined the young Ir­ish film­mak­ers group in my home­town in Kilkenny, mostly to meet girls. Not only did I meet my wife there, I also got a start at film­mak­ing. Best ad­vice: Show up ev­ery day and work on what­ever you are pas­sion­ate about: draw­ing, writ­ing, what­ever. Keep mak­ing stuff and the rest will follow.

Fa­vorite movie or an­i­mated character of all time: It’s not at the top of many peo­ple’s lists, I’m sure, but one of my fa­vorite an­i­mated char­ac­ters of all time is the vil­lian, Mok, from the ill fated Rock ‘n’ Rule movie in the early days of Nel­vana in Canada. Ca­reer begin­nings: My whole ca­reer in an­i­ma­tion is re­ally due to my love of comics. As a kid I drew my own comic books and was ob­sessed with film. The com­bi­na­tion of comics plus film equaled an­i­ma­tion in my mind. And that’s how I ended up at Sheri­dan Col­lege en­rolled in their clas­si­cal an­i­ma­tion pro­gram. Best ad­vice: Don’t panic. As a first-time di­rec­tor on a huge pro­duc­tion, I learned that it’s hugely im­por­tant to keep a level head. You’re sur­rounded by in­cred­i­bly tal­ented folks who will al­ways help you solve the prob­lem if you give them the space and time they need.

Stu­dio: Blue Sky Stu­dios, Fox An­i­ma­tion Distrib­u­tor: Fox Di­rec­tor: Car­los Sal­danha Re­lease Date: April 11 Box Of­fice: $496.7m ($131.5m) Synop­sis: Blu, Jewel and their three nestlings re­turn to the Ama­zon in search of an elu­sive, wild blue ma­caw along with their hu­man pals. But Blu must evade the plot­tings of his old neme­sis, Nigel the cock­a­too, and face per­haps the most terrifying chal­lenge of all: win­ning over his fa­ther-in-law. Pros & Cons: De­spite a strong box-of­fice re­sult, crit­ics gave Blu and Jewel’s re­turn mid­dling reviews. While the film’s col­or­ful, mu­si­cal, fun-filled spirit made for an en­joy­able dis­trac­tion, many felt the story was too by-the-num­bers and fell into the usual se­quel traps. Stu­dio: DreamWorks An­i­ma­tion Distrib­u­tor: Fox Di­rec­tor: Dean De­Blois Re­lease Date: June 13 Box Of­fice: $614.9m ($176.5m) Synop­sis: Five years after the first out­ing, the vik­ings of Berk are ob­sessed with the new sport of dragon rac­ing. But Hic­cup and Tooth­less are busy chart­ing un­known lands, and in their ad­ven­tures dis­cover new dragons and a mys­te­ri­ous rider — and find them­selves in the mid­dle of a strug­gle that will de­ter­mine the fate of hu­mans and dragons alike. Pros & Cons: Re­turn­ing au­di­ences were over­whelm­ing pleased with Dragon 2, as were crit­ics wary of The Curse of the Se­quel. With a third film planned for the fran­chise, the Academy might watch and wait to see where Hic­cup goes from here be­fore be­stow­ing another nom­i­na­tion. Stu­dio: LAIKA Distrib­u­tor: Fo­cus Direc­tors: Gra­ham Annable, An­thony Stac­chi Re­lease Date: Sept. 26 Box Of­fice: $82.3m ($46.2m) Synop­sis: An or­phaned hu­man boy raised by cav­ern-dwelling Boxtrolls must con­front his own dual iden­tity as he works to free his mis­un­der­stood fam­ily from the clutches of a vil­lain­ous, so­cial­climb­ing ex­ter­mi­na­tor with the help of a plucky rich girl who is starved for at­ten­tion from her snooty fa­ther. Pros & Cons: LAIKA suc­ceeds in of­fer­ing a re­fresh­ingly surreal, im­pec­ca­bly hand-crafted third fea­ture from its hard work­ing stop-mo­tion stu­dio. Crit­ics were some­what di­vided on whether the film’s quirky hu­mor and darker turns were a boon or a bust.

Stu­dio: Dis­ney Direc­tors: Don Hall, Chris Wil­liams Re­lease Date: Nov. 7 Synop­sis: Based on the Mar­vel comics cre­ated by Steven T. Sea­gle and Dun­can Rouleau, Hiro — a young ro­bot­ics prodigy liv­ing in San Fran­sokyo — and the soft-body helper ‘bot Bay­max, cre­ated by his late brother, un­cover a crim­i­nal plot and must pull to­gether a team of in­ex­pe­ri­enced crime fight­ers, out­fit­ting them with pow­er­ful cy­ber­netic ar­mor in or­der to solve the mys­tery sur­round­ing the crime. The Odds: Dis­ney is hop­ing Big Hero 6 will be an ac­tion-fo­cused an­swer to last year’s win­ner, Frozen, blend­ing hu­mor, soar­ing sci-fi ef­fects and hope­fully enough of an emo­tional im­pact to win over the Academy. Stu­dio: DreamWorks An­i­ma­tion Distrib­u­tor: Fox Direc­tors: Si­mon J. Smith, Eric Dar­nell Re­lease Date: Nov. 26 Synop­sis: Skip­per, Kowal­ski, Rico and Pri­vate are sent on their most epic es­pi­onage mis­sion yet when they are con­tracted by the North Wind — an in­ter-species task force ded­i­cated to help­ing an­i­mals — to help stop Dr. Oc­tavius Brine’s ma­li­cious world dom­i­na­tion plans. Pros & Cons: The in­trepid Antarc­tic trans­plants who stole the show in smash-hit Mada­gas­car fi­nally get their own fea­ture, build­ing on the suc­cess of di­rect-to-video and TV projects. DWA is con­fi­dent enough in the film to bump it up to the com­pet­i­tive Thanks­giv­ing week­end slot.

ToonBox Ent., Red Di­rec­tor: Bobs Gan­n­away Re­lease Date: July 18 Box Of­fice: $139.2m ($59.1m) Synop­sis: Dusty Crophop­per re­tires from aerial rac­ing and joins up with a team of smoke­jumpers and high-fly­ing fire fight­ers to pro­tect the forests around Pis­ton Peak and truly earn his wings.

Palm Springs Shortfest —

Los An­ge­les Shorts Fest

Alex Grigg (U.K./Aus­tralia) Type of An­i­ma­tion: 2D Story: Cre­ated as a chal­lenge from the on­line in­die an­i­ma­tor group Late Night Work Club, this graph­i­cally im­pact­ful work shows what hap­pens when a young cou­ple nar­rowly sur­vive a motorcycle ac­ci­dent, and one finds him­self haunted by the other’s phan­tom limb pains. Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Syd­ney Film Fes­ti­val — Yo­ram Gross An­i­ma­tion Award Péter Vácz (Hun­gary) Type of An­i­ma­tion: 2D and Stop-mo­tion Story: Rab­bit and Deer live hap­pily as room­mates and best friends un­til Deer’s ob­ses­sion with dis­cov­er­ing the key to the third di­men­sion pulls them apart and tests the strength of their friend­ship. Qual­i­fy­ing Win: At­lanta Film Fes­ti­val — An­i­mated Short Award Erik Sch­mitt (Ger­many) Type of An­i­ma­tion: Live-ac­tion hy­brid Story: Bruno roams the streets of Berlin full of pon­der­ous ques­tions, search­ing for the soul of the city be­hind its many facades — that lit­tle some­thing that oth­ers might not no­tice. Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Seat­tle In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val — Grand Jury Prize for Short An­i­ma­tion Steven Van­der Meer (U.S.) Type of An­i­ma­tion: Hand-drawn Story: Hand inked onto over 5,000 sal­mon-col­ored in­dex card, this flip­book­style film showcases the Deadly Sins, in­trigu­ing ana­grams and the song Aquatic Hitch­hiker by Left­over Sal­mon for a soundly the­matic en­trée. Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Athens In­ter­na­tional Film + Video Fes­ti­val — An­i­ma­tion First Prize Yousif Al-Khal­ifa (U.K.) Type of An­i­ma­tion: 2D Story: Sonja leads an iso­lated life as a lonely fish­mon­ger, more at ease with her fish than her cus­tomers. Un­til one day a de­liv­ery man turns up who looks like a rainbow trout … Qual­i­fy­ing Win: BAFTA - An­i­mated Short Film Chris Lan­dreth (Canada) Type of An­i­ma­tion: CG Story: The common so­cial faux pas of for­get­ting some­one’s name leads to a mind-bend­ing jour­ney through the sub­con­scious, styled after the clas­sic TV game show Pass­word. Qual­i­fy­ing Wins: Cana­dian Screen Award Best An­i­mated Short, CineQuest Best An­i­mated Short

Réka Bucsi (Hun­gary) Type of An­i­ma­tion: 2D Story: A se­ries of hi­lar­i­ously surreal vignettes lam­poon­ing the of­tenan­thro­po­mor­phis­ing na­ture of hu­manan­i­mal re­la­tion­ships build to an ex­panded view of a strange for­est where any­thing is pos­si­ble. Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Mel­bourne In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val — SAE Award for Best An­i­ma­tion Short Film Paul Cabon (France) Type of An­i­ma­tion: 2D Story: An­necy Award-win­ning di­rec­tor Cabon’s lat­est is a de­light­ful hodge-podge of ac­tion and com­edy, in­cor­po­rat­ing nar­ra­tive themes from spy movies, su­per­nat­u­ral thrillers and his own unique imag­i­na­tion. Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Gua­na­ju­ato In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val — Best Short An­i­ma­tion Anna Benner, Pia Borg, Gemma Bur­ditt (U.K.) Type of An­i­ma­tion: 2D Story: Three direc­tors us­ing dis­tinct an­i­ma­tion styles to tell the same story from dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters’ points of view tackle a ses­sion be­tween a psy­chi­a­trist, a schiz­o­phrenic pa­tient and his mother. Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Stuttgart Fes­ti­val of An­i­mated Film — Grand Prix Pa­trick McHale (U.S.) Type of An­i­ma­tion: 2D Story: The in­spi­ra­tion for Car­toon Net­work’s Over the Gar­den Wall fol­lows two brothers lost in a mys­te­ri­ous place called the Un­known, a place where long­for­got­ten sto­ries take shape around them as they search for a way home. Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Santa Bar­bara In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val — Bruce Cor­win Award for Best An­i­ma­tion Short Karolina Gusiec (U.K.) Type of An­i­ma­tion: 2D Story: Hand-drawn pen­cil images scrawl out col­lec­tions of mem­o­ries, toy­ing with the very idea of mem­ory, of loss and of in­ter­nal ver­sus ex­ter­nal re­al­ity. Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Ann Ar­bor Film Fes­ti­val — Chris Frayne Award for Best An­i­mated Film Ro­man Kaelin, Falko Paeper, Flo­rian Wittmann (Ger­many) Type of An­i­ma­tion: Story: This grad­u­ate film from Fil­makademie cel­e­brates the never-end­ing cy­cle of de­te­ri­o­ra­tion and re­birth, tak­ing it in a new di­rec­tion as un­ex­pected forces of na­ture clash with the ex­ist­ing struc­tures of so­ci­ety. Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Los An­ge­les Shorts Fest — Best Ex­per­i­men­tal Bernardo Britto (U.S.) Type of An­i­ma­tion: 2D Story: A seem­ingly in­con­se­quen­tial man is tasked with com­pil­ing the de­fin­i­tive his­tory of hu­man ex­is­tence be­fore the planet blows up. No pres­sure. Qual­i­fy­ing Win: Florida Film Fes­ti­val — Best An­i­mated Short, Sundance Film Fes­ti­val — Short Film Jury Award for An­i­ma­tion

The Sponge­Bob Movie: Sponge Out of Wa­ter

(Nick­elodeon Movies/ Paramount). The ne­far­i­ous pi­rate Burger Beard (An­to­nio Ban­deras) is search­ing for the fi­nal page of a mag­i­cal book that will make his evil plan come true. Un­for­tu­nately, the page is home to the Krabby Patty se­cret for­mula, putting all of Bikini Bot­tom in dan­ger. Di­rected by Paul

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