Despicable Me is one of Universal’s first attempts at entering the fully CGI animated feature market. They join a long line of other studios jumping on board the CGI train. How does Despicable Me stand up to its competition?Keep reading to find out.
Despicable Me focuses on a super-villain who, due to a series of events, winds up adopting three girls in order to complete his latest evil scheme. The villain, Guru, is your typical villain looking to make a name for himself thus becoming the world’s most famous evil, mastermind. In the process, he has to compete with a not so competent villain whose only claim to fame is stealing other villains ideas.
The animation is your typical CGI fare, with a bright, colorful palette, and very expressive characters. Overall the animation felt right with the type of mood the story was trying to tell. As for the story, while not very complex, does have its moments.
The story line can become predictable at times, and some of the jokes might not come off, but overall it does what it sets out to do, entertain. Like I mentioned above, there are also some very warm hearted moments that, not only fit perfectly into the film, but also adds a bit of humor to it as well. As you can probably already tell the majority of the movie is about humor (as can be seen especially by the minions).
The voice acting is great. Each voice fit their character wonderfully (there are a few voices that are sure to be recognized after listening to them for a bit). While Despicable Me doesn’t set the bar for anything new, it does serve as an enjoyable film, and a great attempt by Universal to enter the CGI animated motion picture scene.
Marvel has launched the official site for The Avenger’s movie, directed and written by Joss Whedon.
They have also confirmed, Jeremy Renner will be taking the role as Hawkeye.
Courtesy of Red Carpet, here’s a quick interview with Joss Whedon confirming the casting as well as his thoughts on the Comic Con and more.
Also in Marvel news, the main villain, the Destroyer, from the Thor Movie was shown on the floor.
In Captain America news, sources revealed to G4 that the main story will have present day bookends with the rest of the story taking place during WWII. As for the Red Skull, no CGI will be used, instead the actor, Hugo Weaving, will be wearing red makeup.
On DC’s side, they’ve revealed the logo for the Green Lantern movie.
They have also released a 6 minute trailer for DC Universe Online reveling more on the story line for the game.
Archie Comics has teamed up with Stan Lee and A2 (A Squared) Entertainment. Together they will produce comics, animated and live action entertainment, all in print and digital format. This includes webisodes and games as well toys, videogames, publishing and apparel. The first project “Stan Lee and the Super Seven” will be released as an original made-for-video animated movie.
In Disney news, Epic Mickey is going to be getting a spinoff comic book prequel, thanks to one of the game’s designers Warren Spector, and comic book writer Peter David. The spinoff, set to have six parts, will be available in paper format as well as digital format for the iPod, PSP and other devices. The spin off prequel will consist of stories revolving around what wasteland was like before the game. Also, Oswald goes on a quest deciding that he’s become more popular, perhaps surpassing Mickey, if he were to become a different creature. A 64 page comic adaption of the game itself is planned as well.
In toy news, Kotaku has obtained photos for DC Direct’s line of Starcraft II and World of Warcraft toys.
In home video news, Family Guy: It’s A Trap! will be released on December 21 on both Bluray and DVD. This will be the third special spoofing of the StarWars saga using the cast from the Family guy universe.
Also in the realm of TV, for the first time in over 10 years the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were brought together thanks to Saban Brands and Nickelodeon. Along with the reunion, a bunch of limited edition DVDs were given away containing the very first episode of the show. The cause of this reunion was a response to a new Power Rangers series airing on Nickelodeon in 2011. Also planned for 2011, older episodes will be re-aired. As some might remember, Power Rangers – until recently, ran on Disney’s XD, or Jetix, and but was canceled. This confirms that the series still lives on.
In other news, trouble brewed at the convention on the last day. In the convention center’s Hall H, an attendee had reportedly stabbed a man in the face with a pen right after a Resident Evil: After Life panel. Entertainment Weekly reported that the San Diego police were able to arrest the man after he was subdued by a group of attendees.
My last article mentioned that Guillermo Del Toro announced after the Tron panel he’d be heading a reboot of The Haunted Mansion for Disney. Now, courtesy of Shocktillyoudrop.com, here’s an image of a limited poster that was handed out celebrating this news.
In other movie news, of Mega Mind was shown for the first time at the Comic Con.
The trailer for the animated adaption of Eric Powell’s The Goon was shown, also. The adaption is being produce by David Ficher featuring the voice talent of Paul Giamatti.
For the upcoming Thor movie, Marvel is showing off the helmets worn by Loki, Odin and Thor.
In comic news, Wes Craven, in partnership with Liquid Comics, will be releasing his first original graphic novel. According to Liquid Comics the work will be spread over four issues and released as early as next year.
Sega, meanwhile, has released the first trailer for the upcoming Thor game being released alongside the movie.
Many thanks to Comic Alliance for posting some concept art from the game here.
In toy news, Square Enix is showcasing their new line of Halo: Reach toys.
Finally, the WB has posted a bunch of videos ranging from panels, to quick interviews, to tours of the booths and more.
Hasbro revealed a new Transformers animated series Transformers Prime which draws influence from Transformers G-1, as well as the live action movie adaptations. Peter Cullen was confirmed to voice Optimus Prime yet again and Frank Welker will be providing his voice to Megatron.
The HBO series True Blood announced it will be making its way to a comic news stand soon. What originally started out as a series of novels was picked up by HBO and is now in its third season.
Disney has released a brand new trailer for Tron Legacy shown in the same location where two years ago they revealed the much anticipated sequel.
Right after the panel discussion, Guillermo del Toro made a surprise announcement that he was going to be co-writing and producing a reboot for The Haunted Mansion in 3D.
During an announcement LucasArts confirmed Boba Fett will be making an appearance in the upcoming StarWars the Force Unleashed II. A short trailer was released with this announcement to confirm the news.
Capcom has also released a new trailer for their Marvel vs. Capcom 3 game, currently available for play on the game floor.
On top of this Jim Rugg, creator of the comic book series Street Angel, has created a Marvel vs Capcom t-shirt specially for the Comic Con as seen on Kotaku.
Kotaku has also acquired a bunch of photos from DC Direct’s booth showcasing their new line of toys, ranging from Mass Effect, God of War, Ratchet and Clankl.
Rounding off this quick Comic Con update is a panel recording of Stan Lee talking about his partnership with BOOM and about writing comics.
Opening the Comic Con with a bang, many studios and publishers presenting their latest creations have made a bunch of announcements already from. Follow along each day as I report on the news, announcements and other tidbits from the show.
Next up Working Title Films has snatched the movie rights for Kurt Busiek’s Astro City.
Created in 1995, Astro City is a fictional US city with character plots set in the 1970s and 80s. The series went on to win numerous awards and has become renowned for a sporadic publishing schedule.
Sony, counting their live adaption of the Resident Evil series from Capcom, has made the official site for Resident Evil After Life 3D live. There, you can see the trailer, visit the photo gallery for stills from the movie, download wallpaper for your desktop, and more.
On the toys side of the convention, from WETA we get a full size replica of an alien assault rifle from the movie District 9. WETA specializes in movie props and items, so it’s not as much a toy as much as a collector’s item. This item was revealed last night and is already available for purchase on their site.
Mattel will be showing off their new collector’s line from some of their most well established franchises. Expect to see a huge presence of Masters of the Universe. The company will also display their line of DC Comics’ 75th Anniversary toy collection celebrating the 75th anniversary of DC with celebrity panels and autograph signings.
Hasbro will also have a presence as they unveil a new line of G.I. Joe toys, as well as other licensed toys. They will have toys based on properties from Marvel, StarWars, Transformers and more on show. Also on display, Hasbro will debut its 30th anniversary Strawberry Shortcake merchandise. For this anniversary, they will not only be showing a new line of dolls but the original doll from 1980 for comparison. Like most of the conventions, participants can also pick up special limited exclusives made just for the show. Among these exclusives are items from G.I. Joe, Marvel, My Little Pony, StarWars and Transformer just to name a few.
For gamers, Kotaku has listed all of the games that are scheduled to appear at the show. Check out the list on their web site. Some other games from major studios include, Activision- Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Capcom- Marvel vs Capcom 3, EA- Rock Band 3, Hudson- Bomberman Live: Battlefest, Konami- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Namco- Splatterhouse, Nintendo- Metroid: Other M, Sony Computer Entertainment- Gran Turismo 5 (3D), Warner Bros- Super Scribblenauts, Microsoft- Halo: Reach, and much more.
On top of these releases, there will be several events and panels. For Konami, Hideo Kojima will be judging a Konami cosplay tournament. Both Microsoft and Sony will be showing off their new technology, Kinect from Microsoft and Move from Sony. Capcom will also be having panels with the producers of the games at the show.
Disney will showcase Tron Legacy where they will unveil new footage, host panels with the cast and crew, and a premier a special interactive exhibit. Like I mentioned in my previous article, expect to see the return of Flynn’s Arcade.
For those not able to attend, fear not as there are many alternatives. Myspace and MTV.com will be streaming events and interviews live.
Their schedule is as follows:
Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm ET/12:00 pm PT
Guests include Seth Rogen from THE GREEN HORNET; the cast from RED; director Robert Rodriguez and Danny Trejo from MACHETE and many more.
Friday, July 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm ET/12:00 pm PT
Guests include Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and director Joseph Kozinski from TRON: LEGACY; Michael Cera, Anna Kendrick, Jason Schwartzman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong and director Edgar Wright from SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD and many more.
Saturday, July 24, 2010 at 6:00 pm ET/3:00 pm PT
Guests include director/writer/producer Joss Whedon and surprise appearances.
On top of all this, Time Warner Cable will be making interviews and coverage available to all their owned news outlets including Time Warner Cable’s Youtube Channel.
This is just the start, expect more to come over the next four days.
The San Diego Comic Con kicks off July 22 this week, so here on Myriad we’ll be scrounging the internet for articles and videos from the Comic Con. First off, we thought it be a good idea to do a preview of what to expect. If any of you have been to a Comic Con before then you know there’s a lot to do and see. The San Diego Comic Con gets more attention than the New York Comic Con.
Originally it was all about comics and the fans getting together, today the Comic Con has come a long way. The entire media industry pretty much in charge with previews, reveals, cameos, special features, and more from upcoming blockbuster movies and video games. That’s not to say comics don’t play an important role,
This year you can expect to see a lot from movies booths with previews and panels on a lot of upcoming features, especially ones blockbuster hits based on comics. For example, as you can see in the image below we have the shield used in the upcoming Captain America movie.
Games are also now a big part of Comic Con with many publishers attending the event showcasing new and upcoming titles from their catalog. The San Diego Comic Con was the place where Tron Legacy was first revealed (originally titled Tron 2.0). Last year Disney recreated Flynn’s Arcade from the original Tron movie complete with Space Paranoids arcade cabinet. This year their doing it again, so look forward to that.
Toys also play an important part at the Comic Con. Each year, the attendees to the Comic Con get to see sneak peaks at new lines of toys coming from renowned companies like Hasbro, Jazwares, Mattel, and more. From StarWars to Masters of the Universe there’s a lot to see from each company.
Here is a shaky cam video recording of last year’s exhibit:
On July 15 Peter Fernandez passed away at age 83. Well known for opening the flow of anime into western culture, he helped bring over and dub such cult hits as Astroboy, Speed Racer (Mach Go Go Go), Marine Boy, and many others. He is best known as the voice of Speed Racer and Racer X.
When asked to dub Speed Racer he was given a budget for three people of 125 dollars for one day. In other words, he could only hire and pay three people 125 dollars each and must complete one full episode per day. Since each episode had to be dubbed, this meant translating the script into English and recoding all voice production in one day.
Recently, Fernandez performed in a cameo as Spritle in the “Speed Racer” movie and voiced the character again in “Speed Racer: Next Generation.”
Over the years, Fernandez also worked as the voice director for “Courage the Cowardly Dog” and cast Billie Lou Watt as the character Ma Bagge. Watt had done many voice acting jobs for Peter Fernandez before voicing Astro Boy and Jimmy Sparks from Gigantor throughout the 60’s.
The animation community sends the family and friends of Mr. Fernandez their condolences.
Manga Studio EX is a manga/comic program for Mac and Windows. The current version, V4, comes in a streamlined version like Manga Studio Debut but with a more advance packaging like Manga Studio EX. Using this program, you can create the size and proportions of the page you want to work on complete with bleed through.
The panels are created using a panel cutting tool. When you start drawing, you can create a sketch layer that allows you to draw with a pencil tool that emulates a non photo blue pencil. Once you have the basic sketch down you can go ahead and draw on top of that the final image.
Even better are the options and features available to you like a selection of zipatones to apply to your images once you draw them. Also, you have a variety of dialogue bubbles to choose from. Another interesting feature is the ability to import 2d images and convert them to grayscale. The same can be done to 3D object with a OBJ extension.
Watch the video for a more in-depth look at how some of these features work focusing on the B&W/grayscale aspect of the program. Keep in mind that color options are available.
Toy Story 3 is the third movie in the Toy Story franchise. The first Toy Story movie in 1995 created a worldwide sensation with its CGI animation, amazing story, and interesting and well thought out characters each with their own unique personalities.
After Toy Story premiered, viewers saw a flow of CGI movies and television shows rolling in. Dreamworks got into the act with the Shrek movies and on the small screen shows like Jimmy Neutron, Donkey Kong Country, and Beast Wars ruled the ratings.
To the dismay of some artists and viewers who prefer a return to 2D hand-drawn animation, CGI has become today’s norm for most animated movies. Still, Pixar’s Toy Story franchise has become the leader in a vast market of CGI features (whether good or bad depends on your own tastes).
The storyline of Toy Story 3 starts with Andy (the toys’ owner) leaving for college. Andy has grown up since the last two films (as the audience is reminded by a quick montage at the beginning of the film). Having grown up his attention to his toys has dwindled. As some of you are aware, going to college involves a lot of planning including what to bring.
Without spoiling anything an unfortunate accident during this planning phase causes the toys to be donated to a daycare. The theme of this movie is basically a story about how the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. The toys eventually learn this lesson, but it’s a lesson learned too late.
The movie hits all the emotional cords just right with a consistent story throughout. The plot might get predictable at times but the laughs and entrainment stays with the movie the entire time. As you would suspect, the voice acting is superb. With so many well known actors/actress lending their pipes, you will be hard press not to recognize at least a few.
The ending is a fantastic send off ending the series with a boom not a whimper as most sequels usual do. In fact, you can even say the ending is probably the most touching moment in the whole movie. I’m sure you have seen the trailers by now with Buzz speaking in Spanish. Well a quick note, stay for the credits, Randy Newman has taken his original “You Got a Friend in Me” song and recomposed it in Spanish (a little incentive to stay for the credits among many other extras).
Overall the movie hits home and represents the rare time when a sequel (or three-quell) outshines the original.
Oh, and did I mention Totoro from the popular anime series “My Neighbor Totoro” has a cameo as a doll. That should be incentive enough by itself o stay for the entire movie credits and all.
Come one; come all to the Marza Story Circus Competition. Marza, the new animation company created by Sega to produce family CGI games is holding a writing contest open to both professional and unpublished writers.
Last year the company created their first CGI short titled Sonic the Hedgehog “Night of the Werehog” and is now looking to expand into a full production company. Their vision is to produce: “Delightful stories for children all over the world!”
MARZA aims to produce feature-length CGI animated films, based on original and entertaining stories for children and families with contemporary themes and positive messages. These stories may be set in any culture or period. And writers may submit as many stories as they want.
The submission period starts June 28 and ends July 30. Visit 100MeterFilms for more information on the contest, rules and guidelines.
Be sure to take a closer look at all three sections, the selection process, submission process and the submission agreement form. Good luck!