Friday, June 27, 2008

News - 06/27/08...

Wall•E expected to open around $55M this weekend

Fantasy Moguls reports that tracking on Pixar’s latest film is “phenomenal,” and it is likely to open a notch higher than last June’s Ratatouille, earning a spot in the all-time Top 10 openings for animated films. Expect a $52 million-$57 million for the three-day and a possible $115 million-$120 million banked in its first 10 days in release, “which would be a spectacular performance” on track with DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda in spite of a smaller opening weekend. Says one industry exec, “I understand why pandas doing kung fu sell tickets, but what is so special about this robot?” However many already predict that Wall•E is a lock for the next Best Animated Feature Film of the Year Oscar.

Satoshi Kon: Beyond Imagination

Big news for New York anime fans: acclaimed Japanese animation director Satoshi Kon (Paprika, Perfect Blue, etc.) is coming to New York City this week to personally host a retrospective of his films for the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Kon will be participating in an onstage interview opening night, Friday June 27th, to kick off the series, and will be introducing all the films for the duration of the screenings (June 27-July 1).

This is an incredible opportunity to meet one of the modern masters of anime. For more information on this series, Satoshi Kon: Beyond Imagination, and to purchase tickets go to the Walter Reade Theatre website.

(thanks cartoonbrew)

Hero Today Gone Tomorrow

"Entertainment Tonight" aired two new clips from The Dark Knight on Wednesday, and, as you can see, after all these years they still love to talk through their exclusive material pretty much ruining it (Hey, at least the footage looks sweet!):

Revenge is Coming... 2009!

Yeah, this is cool...

It's on display at Hasbro Headquarters in Rhode Island.

You've probably seen lots of set photos and videos around the web from the filming for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen at Princeton, but why are they there? Director Michael Bay told New Jersey's The Times:

The university angle to the plot "is all about Sam growing up and going to college ... a teenager growing into a man," Bay said.

Bay, who said the Princeton campus reminds him of his alma mater, Wesleyan University, said he decided to put Princeton in the movie (though it won't be called Princeton) because the campus is so beautiful.

"I just love the look of the university," he said.

Meanwhile, Josh Duhamel gave Empire Online a cryptic clue:

"I guess who he’s working with is probably the biggest change," said Duhamel, before adding once more, presumably for emphasis. "Who he's working with."

Are the rumors about "The Fallen" in the movie's subtitle true? Will the Autobots and Decepticons have to team-up to beat the powerful Fallen, one of the 13 original Transformers?

‘A God Who Cussed’

From Director Kevin Smith remembers George Carlin

Carlinite Fun: The comedian with director Kevin Smith on the set of 'Dogma'

They say you should never meet your heroes. I've found this a good rule to live by, but as with any rule, there's always an exception.

My first exposure to George Carlin was in 1982, when HBO aired his
"Carlin at Carnegie" stand-up special. When I saw the advert—featuring a clip of Carlin talking about the clichéd criminal warning of "Don't try anything funny," and then adding, "When they're not looking, I like to go …," followed by a brief explosion of goofy expressions and pantomime—I immediately asked my parents if I could tape it on our new BetaMax video recorder.

That was a hilarious bit. But when I finally watched the special, Carlin blew my doors off. Whether he was spinning a yarn about Tippy, his farting dog, or analyzing the contents of his fridge, Carlin expressed himself not only humorously, but amazingly eloquently as well. I was, as they say, in stitches.

And that was before he got to the Seven Words You Can't Say on Television.

I was 12 years old, watching a man many years my senior curse a blue streak while exposing the hypocrisy of a medium (and a society) that couldn't deal with the public usage of terms they probably employed regularly in their private lives. And while he seemed to revel in being a rebel, here was a man who also clearly loved the English language, warts and all—even the so-called "bad words" (although, as George would say, there are no such things as "bad words"). I wouldn't say George Carlin taught me obscenities, but I would definitely say he taught me that the casual use of obscenities wasn't reserved just for drunken sailors, as the old chestnut goes; even intelligent people were allowed to incorporate them into their everyday conversations (because George was nothing if not intelligent).

From that moment forward, I was an instant Carlin disciple. I bought every album, watched every HBO special, and even sat through
"The Prince of Tides" just because he played a small role in the film. I spent years turning friends on to the Cult of Carlin, the World According to George, and even made pilgrimages to see him perform live (the first occasion being a gig at Farleigh Dickinson University in 1988). Carlin influenced my speech and my writing. Carlin replaced Catholicism as my religion.

Sixteen years later, I sat across from the star of
"Carlin at Carnegie" in the dining room of the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. It was a meeting I'd dreamed of and dreaded simultaneously. George Carlin was the type of social observer/critic I most wanted to emulate … but he was a celebrity, too. What if he turned out to be a true prick?

What I quickly discovered was that, in real life, George was, well, George. Far from a self-obsessed jerk, he was mild-mannered enough to be my Dad. He was as interested as he was interesting, well-read and polite to a fault—all while casually dropping F-bombs. But most impressive, he didn't treat me like an audience member, eschewing actual conversation, electing instead to simply perform the whole meeting, more "on" than real. He talked to me like one of my friends would talk to me: familiar, unguarded, authentic.

I made three films with George over the course of the next six years, starting with
"Dogma" and his portrayal of Cardinal Glick, the pontiff-publicist responsible for the Catholic Church's recall of the standard crucifix in favor of the more congenial, bubbly "Buddy Christ." A few years later, I wrote him a lead role in "Jersey Girl"—as Bart Trinke (or "Pop"), the father of Ben Affleck's character. It called for a more dramatic performance than George was used to giving, but the man pulled it off happily and beautifully. (Something most folks probably don't know about George: He took acting very seriously. The man was almost a Method actor.) Sadly, I consider that "Jersey Girl" part my one failing on George's behalf, and not for the reasons most would assume (the movie was not reviewed kindly, to say the least). No, I failed because George had asked me to write a different role for him.

In 2001, George did me a solid when he accepted the part of the orally fixated hitchhiker who knew exactly how to get a ride in
"Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back." When he wrapped his scene in that flick, I thanked him for making the time, and he said, "Just do me a favor: Write me my dream role one day." When I inquired what that'd be, he offered, "I wanna play a priest who strangles children."

It was a classic Carlin thing to say: a little naughty and a lot honest. I always figured there'd be time to give George what he asked for. Unfortunately, he left too soon.

He was, and will likely remain, the smartest person I've ever met. But really, he was much more than just a person. Without a hint of hyperbole, I can say he was a god, a god who cussed.

Korea, China Do Host Sequel

The Korean production company Chungeorahm and China's Stone Man Films will co-produce a Chinese sequel to the Korean monster movie The Host, which will be written and directed by China's Ning Hao (Crazy Stone), Variety reported.

The original film, which was seen by more than 12 million people and grossed some $60.6 million, was a monster movie with political undertones.

The new movie will have to tread carefully to avoid criticizing the Chinese government. The story will concern a calamity caused when people ignore a monster because of their desire for money.

Heroes Goes Deep In Season 3

Tim Kring, creator and executive producer of NBC's Heroes, told SCI FI Wire that the upcoming third season will take the show and its characters in entirely new directions--including deep into the backstory.

"One of the things that this volume is going to do that, I think, is really going to be fun for the audience is that there were very initial sort of primal questions that the show asked," Kring said in an interview at the Saturn Awards in Universal City, Calif., on June 24, where he accepted an award for best television DVD. "Who am I? What's happening to me? How am I connected? Where are these powers coming from? All of those questions get reframed and turned on their head in a very interesting way in this volume."

As with the previous two seasons, the third will be divided up into volumes. The first is titled
"Villains" and will focus on the nature of good and evil, Kring said.

"You're going to see a lot of bad guys in this one,"
Kring said. "The idea, also, is we're playing off the idea of our characters as heroes or villains. So it's really the duality of good and evil. ... We're playing off of this duality of good and evil. All of our characters were given these powers and possess these powers, and at some point it becomes sort of free will and human nature as to what you're going to do with that. And all of us are given the choice to make decisions that lead us down very dark paths or towards heroic ends. And so, literally, every one of our characters gets faced with that dilemma."

Kring also said that the popular villain Sylar (Zachary Quinto) will continue to be an integral part of the show in the third season. Quinto had originally been written out of the last half of the second season due to his shooting schedule on the upcoming
Star Trek film. But because of the writers' strike, that part of the story was pushed into the third season, and Sylar was written back in.

"Well, we have no plans of saying goodbye to Sylar right now,"
Kring assured fans. "I mean, that was yet another silver lining for the strike, was Zach Quinto's availability to us in the third volume. I mean, that was a huge thing for us to be able to have him back. As you guys know, he would have disappeared for a large chunk of the second half of season two. And so, for us, it was a big, big deal."

The third-season premiere of Heroes is scheduled to air on Sept. 22 on NBC.

“Enchanted” and “Lost” are the big winners at the 34th Annual Saturn Awards

Walt Disney Studios “Enchanted” proved magical at the 34th Annual Saturn Awards by receiving three Saturn Awards including Best Picture (fantasy), and Best Actress (Amy Adams). Television honors were dominated by the ABC television series, “Lost”, which walked away with 4 awards, including Best Network Television Series and Best Actor (Matthew Fox). “Sweeney Todd”, “Ratatouille”, and “300” each received two Saturn Awards.

Walt Disney Studios film releases received the most Saturn Awards this year with a total of six. Paramount (which includes: Paramount Vantage & DreamWorks/Paramount) saw five Saturn awards this year with Warner Bros. taking four.

The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films honored several prominent producers and directors with special awards. Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro flew in from London to accept the prestigious George Pal Memorial Award for his visionary genius. Highly respected producers Robert Halmi, Sr. and Robert Halmi, Jr. received the Life Career Award for their successful body of work. Director Matt Reeves was recognized with the Filmmakers Showcase Award for his work in directing the successful film, “Cloverfield”.

The Academy was founded in 1972 to honor and recognize genre entertainment. Currently serving as President is Robert Holguin. The Academy has honored in person such legendary icons as Boris Karloff, Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry, Ray Bradbury, Fritz Lang, William Friedkin, Vincent Price, James Cameron, Ray Harryhausen and Steven Spielberg.



Best Science Fiction Film:

Best Fantasy Film:

Best Horror Film:
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet St.

Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film:

Best Actor:
Will Smith (I Am Legend)

Best Actress:
Amy Adams (Enchanted)

Best Supporting Actor:
Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)

Best Supporting Actress:
Marcia Gay Harden (The Mist)

Best Performance by a Younger Actor:
Freddie Highmore (August Rush)

Best Direction:
Zack Snyder (300)

Best Writing:
Brad Bird (Ratatouille)

Best Music:
Alan Menken (Enchanted)

Best Costume:
Colleen Atwood (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet St.)

Best Make-Up:
Ve Neill, Martin Samuel (Pirates of the
Caribbean: At World’s End)

Best Special Effects:
Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl,
John Frazier

Best Animated Film: Ratatouille

Best International Film: Eastern Promises

Best Network Television Series: Lost

Best Syndicated / Cable Television Series:

Best Presentation on Television:
Family Guy: Blue Harvest

Best Actor on Television: Matthew Fox (Lost)

Best Actress on Television:
Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer)

Best Supporting Actor on Television:
Michael Emerson (Lost)

Best Supporting Actress on Television: (TIE):
Summer Glau (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles)
/ Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost)

Best DVD Release: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (remix)

Best DVD Special Edition Release:
Blade Runner (5 Disc Ultimate Edition)

Best DVD Classic Film Release: The Monster Squad

Best DVD Collection: Mario Bava (Box Sets 1 & 2)

Best Television Series Release on DVD:
Heroes (Season 1)

Best Retro Television Series Release on DVD:
Twin Peaks (Definitive Gold Box Ed.)

The Life Career Award: Robert Halmi, Sr.
The Life Career Award: Robert Halmi, Jr.
The George Pal Memorial Award: Guillermo del Toro
The Filmmakers Showcase Award: Matt Reeves
The Special Achievement Award: Tim & Donna Lucas
The Service Award: Fred Barton

YTV July 2008 Programming Highlights

YTV Animation News

Canada's leading kids and young adults entertainment hub YTV has announced some of their key programming highlights for the month of July 2008. Certainly diving into the summer months with the same veracity that many other television networks are doing in North America, YTV is planning a couple of themed days of movies and television programming that viewers are sure to latch onto when stuck inside on a blistering hot, summer day. YTV's broadcast day is divided into several blocks including a preschool block during the day, with 30 hours of commercial-free programming per week that includes varying focus on movies and animation

True to our entry into the dog days of summer, YTV is scheduling a few interesting animated feature film presentations that have canines at their center, some of them cool, others just chilling to the bone. The classic animated movie All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989), directed by Don Bluth is scheduled to air on Saturday, July 19th at 4:00pm (Eastern Time Zone). The following day, the rather forgettable Doogal (2006) will premiere at 6:00pm. Doogal, the story of a mutt on a mission to save the world from an evil sorcerer whose goal is to freeze the sun, is a computer-animated movie.

Also on tap this July is YTV's "Batman Weekend," which kicks off on Friday July 11th at 8:00pm when the first live-action Batman movie,
Batman (1989), hits the airwaves.

The first and by many standards the best live-action adaptation of the famed Gotham knight from nearly two decades ago will be proceeded later that weekend by the animated film
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003) on the 12th at 4:00pm; Batman Forever (1995), on July 13th at 3:00pm; and Batman Returns (1992), later on July 13th at 6:00pm.

One of the more recent animated adventures of
Batman, Mystery of the Batwoman poses an interesting "frenemy" to the great detective as a female crime fighter dawns a similar cape and cowl in the name of vengeance… or something like that. When new-to-the-scene Batwoman gets into the dark alleys of Gotham with hopes of shutting down the Penguin and Rupert Thorn's illegal arms dealings, she quickly finds herself in over her head, as most do when confronted with the hired muscle Gotham's grimiest can find. As Mystery of the Batwoman continues, the young and fearless Batwoman seems to throw caution to the wind, but when she begins to blur the line between a fighter for justice and a far less than favorable vigilante, it's up to Batman to put Batwoman in her place… that is, if he only knew who she was. Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman will air on YTV Saturday, July 12th at 4:00pm.

Additional themed events this coming July 2008 include a special Canada Day presentation, which will include several two-hour back-to-back programming blocks of animation and kids programming. YTV's Canada Day celebration begins bright and early at 6:00am, with
Urban Vermin.

In other special program news, anime fans will find that YTV is looking to provide enthusiasts of Japanese animation with a Saturday evening safe haven. YTV's anime-focused programming block
"Bionix" will now transition over to Saturday nights (from Fri. nights 8p-2a), airing from 8:00pm until 10:00pm beginning July 19th.

The new, compacted
Saturday evenings will include be guided by Nickelodeon original animation Avatar: the Last Airbender, as followed by new episodes of Naruto, Bleach and Zatch Bell

Canada Day Schedule for YTV:

06:00am to 08:00am -- Urban Vermin
08:00am to 10:00am -- Monster Buster Club
10:00am to 12noon -- Captain Flamingo
12noon to 02:00pm -- Ruby Gloom
02:00pm to 04:00pm -- Team Galaxy
04:00pm to 06:00pm -- Prank Patrol
06:00pm to 08:00pm -- The Adrenaline Project
08:00pm to 10:00pm -- Mystery Hunters

Big Bird Costume Creator Dies

Costume designer Kermit Love, who helped puppeteer Jim Henson create Big Bird and other SESAME STREET, has died at age 91, per the Associated Press.

Love died from congestive heart failure Saturday in Poughkeepsie, near his home in Stanfordville, New York, Love's longtime partner, Christopher Lyall, told The New York Times.

In addition to his work with Henson, Love designed for some of ballet's most prominent choreographers, including Twyla Tharp, Agnes de Mille, Jerome Robbins and George Balanchine. He also created costumes and puppets for film and advertising, including the Snuggle bear from the fabric softener commercials.

Before SESAME STREET premiered in 1969, Henson designed the original sketches of Big Bird, and Love built the 8-foot, 2-inch yellow-feathered costume.

It was Love's idea to add a few feathers designed to fall off to create a more realistic look. "The most important thing about puppets is that they must project their imagination, and then the audience must open their eyes and imagine," he told THE NEW YORK TIMES in 1981.

Love also helped design costumes and puppets for Mr. Snuffleupagus, Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster, among others. He appeared on the show as Willy, the neighborhood's resident hot dog vendor.

Love always insisted Henson's famous frog wasn't named for him, according to THE NEW YORK TIMES.

Caroll Spinney, who has played Big Bird since SESAME STREET began, said he knew Love was very ill but did not know he had died until Tuesday.

"Kermit was definitely a totally unique person," 74-year-old Spinney said. "He looked very much like Santa Claus but was a little bit more like the Grinch."

In addition to designing Big Bird, "Kermit really helped me with dramatic coaching, and he was wonderful at that,"
Spinney said.

Love, born in 1916, got his start making puppets for a federal Works Progress Administration theater in 1935. He also designed costumes for Orson Welles' Mercury Theater, from there working with the New York City Ballet's costumer.

In his 2003 book, THE WISDOM OF BIG BIRD (AND THE DARK GENIUS OF OSCAR THE GROUCH): LESSONS FROM A LIFE IN FEATHERS, Spinney recalled that after a year on SESAME STREET, he felt he couldn't live in New York on his salary. Love told him to give it a month; the next week, Big Bird was on the cover of TIME magazine and Spinney couldn't imagine leaving.

Two Studios Team Up For Three Delivery

Animation Collective and Fatkat Studios have teamed up to deliver a new Flash-animated series for Nicktoons Network. The 26-episode order of Three Delivery premieres this Friday at 7:30, and it’s also slated for YTV and the BBC.

The show, which features 3 Kung-Fu teens who deliver fresh food and fists of fury, features a traditionally animated look, which isn’t the common approach for TV series produced in Flash.

Here’s short clip from an episode:

All 3 Iron Man Advervideos in Hi-Res

Check out all three Iron Man Advervideos, exclusively available now on!

See them in Hi-Res here.

Watch Mythos: Captain America #1 Trailer Now

Independence Day arrives a week early! Experience the all-new video trailer for MYTHOS: CAPTAIN AMERICA #1!

Captain America fans: Independence Day has come a week early on!

We're proud to present the story of how the average Steve Rogers became the Sentinel of Liberty with this all-new video trailer for MYTHOS: CAPTAIN AMERICA #1, on-sale now!

Many of you know Captain America as a fearless leader and symbol of liberty, but find out how it all began. Travel back to the very beginning when an ordinary man was transformed into a super soldier who would protect men and women for decades to come. And bringing this all to you is the Mythos dynamic duo of Paul Jenkins and Paolo Rivera as they present the tale of one of America's most beloved heroes.

MYTHOS: CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 Editor Steve Wacker says, "Paolo's epic work sweeps through Captain America's history, from the streets of New York City during the Great Depression to war-torn Europe, all the way to the present day, showcasing not only a man out of time, but a man who has to watch the men and women of his generation die everyday, while he remains young. Along with Mythos partner Paul Jenkins, the two creators have taken a story we all know like the back of our hands and added an incredible amount of depth and insight that will remind us all how much we owe that generation."

Be sure to pick up your copy of MYTHOS: CAPTAIN AMERICA #1, in stores now, and watch the trailer below!

From the Animation Guild Blog:

Animation Scripts and Market Rates

A couple of days ago, it registered on the tired old crystal set I use for a brain that the rate for half-hour scripts that some studios have used for a while is maybe outdated.

A little background: Pay rates for half-hour animation scripts reported in the last few TAG wage surveys have been in the $6,000-$6,500 range. But since August 2 of last year, the minimum TAG contract rate for synopsis, outline and script* has been $6,569.58 ...

Seems that some writers are getting paid less than this. Happily, we have initiated corrective measures to stop underpayments, which we'll continue to do as they're reported to us.

So, consider this post a "heads up" about animation script rates. The $6,569.58 rate has been in effect close to a year. It goes up again on August 3, when the minimum rate for synopsis, outline and script becomes $6,766,67.

* The TAG CBA breaks out separate minimums for "Synopsis and Outline" and "Teleplay or Screenplay," but since almost all writers who do the first also do the second, we combine the two for purposes of comparison.

Also from the Animation Guild Blog

Buffing Animation to a High Sheen

Kevin writes:

How much polish is too much?

That’s the question I was asked by a recently graduated animation student I spoke to at last year’s SIGGRAPH FJORG! event. One of the things I spoke about then was the need to treat the body as a connected whole — when the head moves, for example, the chest and shoulders are going to move, too. Without this nuanced connectedness, almost any movement looks unnatural. This student took that to heart, and since then wrote:

My eye for detail has really improved (still has a long way to go, of course) but now I face another problem: time. Adding in all these subtle details takes time, and sometimes I’ll spend a few hours adding something in and when I playblast, I can barely notice it.

This brings us to polish rule number one: Polish simply takes time. There is no way around it, and lack of polish time is the main reason high-footage animation (like that for TV, direct-to-video, or low-budget features) looks, well, less than special, even when done by fairly skilled animators ...

And I know that exact feeling - polish a scene for a few hours, do a playblast, and wonder if it’s any difference. Here’s what I do in those situations. I take a break from the monitor, get my eyes focused on something else, try to mentally hit ‘reset,’ then go back and look at the playblasts with a fresh eye. Hopefully your hard work is clear, even if not dramatic. Which brings us to ...

Rule number two: polish is subtle. If it made a huge difference, then it wouldn’t be polish, it would be animation. So don’t expect your polish to transform a scene into something it wasn’t already. Polish isn’t what makes a scene work, or be entertaining. It makes an already good scene great. He goes on to write:

In essence I think my question is, “How much polish is too much?” The question may be easier to answer in a production setting, where the project has a defined level of style and detail that the director wants, along with deadlines that force you to give up a shot, but what about for a personal piece on a demo reel? As a recently graduated student, it’s difficult to know when to stop. I can track arcs and spacing for weeks (and have been), but I’m not sure how much it adds to the final product. A certain level of detail is desirable and adds to the performance, but it’s really hard to know when to stop and move on to another shot.

Ultimately, I’m not sure there’s such a thing as too much polish. But you have to understand what good polish is all about, because it’s very easy to waste time here. The key to efficient polish comes BEFORE the polish phase. So first, do good animation*. If your animation is full of redundant keys, tangents pulled all over the place, and problems in your timing, then you won’t end up polishing. You’ll end up reanimating.

I look at polish as being two sides of a coin. On one side, polish involves fixing minor technical mistakes. Here I’m referring to knee pops, body parts going off the arc, spacing errors, bad IK/FK transitions, frozen body parts, posing tangents, and so on. The key here is to NOT do this technical polishing until you’ve done the creative polish.

Creative polish is the other side of the coin, and is mostly layering in nuance. Depending on the style of animation, this may take a lot of work (more naturalistic work) or not so much (cartoony animation). Here we’re looking at the way things start and stop, at the subtle transfers of momentum among body parts, at sculpting poses to be a little more clear and interesting, at the quality of the moving holds, at overlap and follow-though, at avoiding multiple body parts ‘hitting’ on the same frame, at making the arcs organic, and so on. This is the kind of polish that takes a keen observational sense, and practice, and more observation.

If you hold do the technical polish before the creative polish, you’ll be repeating some work. And realize that there is a huge difference between “smoothing” and “polishing.” It’s a good idea to save different iterations of your shot before and during polish, because sometimes you realize you’ve polished the sharpness out of your animation, and you need to revert to an earlier version. If you get stuck and think you might be doing this, try getting a second set of eyes on the scene.

When I was learning clean-up animation, I was taught a trick by Dori Littel-Herrick (currently the head of the animation department at Woodbury University). Her advice was to hold off on making the tiny, picky little corrections to each drawing until you were finished with the scene. Then roll and flip the scene, and see what REALLY needs fixing. Often, many of those little imperfections that you were going to stop, erase, and carefully redraw, would turn out not to need redrawing.

Polishing in animation can be the same. Not everything needs to be perfect, the shot just has to look great. There is a difference. One of my favorite quotes is from Voltaire: “The best is the enemy the good.” Our goal is good, entertaining animation, not perfection.

Damn that mofo could draw!

On the subject of favorite quotes, Edgar Degas once said “Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.“ I think this exactly the dilemma referred to in the email above. The better you get, the more you seen needs to be done. Degas himself had a problem with this, to the point where an art-dealer/friend took to chaining Degas’ paintings to the wall, the better to keep Degas from continually taking them back to his studio for ‘improvements’!

Don’t fall into that pattern. Set yourself a time limit for how long you’ll polish a shot, and then move on. Later, if you see some obvious error, go in and fix it, but don’t get stuck in endless polish cycles, because you’ll never progress.

Polishing takes forever when you’ve animated without really making a commitment to what you’re animating. It takes forever when you’re not completely clear in your mind what you want for that scene. You need to start with good, clear ideas. Polishing will also get faster with practice, so starting and completing scenes on a regular basis will spur your growth far more than making one or two perfect shots.

When your time is limited for your polish pass, think carefully about what the audience will really notice. Usually they’ll always pick up on the overall movement, on anything around the eyes, and on hand gestures. Don’t scrimp on those areas. Then have a friend take a quick look, and see if they notice anything. But just show it for a pass or two. If an animator friend doesn’t notice any problems right away, it’s unlikely the audience will, either.

*Polishing a scene that wasn’t working to begin with is commonly known as buffing a turd. You can spend a lot of time on it, but you only end up with a shiny turd ...

`Dark Knight' credits pay tribute to Ledger

Heath Ledger is getting a fond tribute from his collaborators on "The Dark Knight."

The end credits of the "Batman Begins" sequel include a farewell note to Ledger, who died in January from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs; and to special-effects technician Conway Wickliffe, who was killed last September in a stunt-car accident.

"In memory of our friends Heath Ledger & Conway Wickliffe," reads the tribute included in the credits, which went up Thursday on the Warner Bros. publicity Web site.

Ledger plays the villainous Joker in "The Dark Knight," who begins a reign of terror on Gotham City that pits him against conflicted hero Batman (Christian Bale).

The movie reteams Bale with director Christopher Nolan and returning co-stars Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman. Joining the cast are Aaron Eckhart and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Beginning months before Ledger's death, his frenetic performance and demented-clown makeup have been a cornerstone of the marketing campaign for the film.

"I needed a phenomenal actor, but he also had to be someone unafraid of taking on such an iconic role," Nolan says in the production notes for "The Dark Knight." "Heath created something entirely original. It's stunning, it's captivating. ... It's going to blow people away."

Habbo Hits 100 Million Avatars

Habbo, a popular virtual community for teenagers, today announced the creation of its 100 millionth animated avatar. Owned by Finish Company Sulake, the site launched in 2000 and has steadily grown to attract close to 10 million monthly visitors worldwide. The 100 millionth avatar, also known as a Habbo, was created by a user in the U.K., who will receive special virtual prizes, including a tailor-made Habbo room with some extremely rare items, as well as a wealth of Habbo coins and a brand-new MacBook Air laptop computer.

“This is an important landmark for Habbo,” comments Sulake CEO Timo Soininen. “Attracting 100 million Habbos is a testament to how user-generated content and activities in a fun, cartoony setting creates a compelling service and experience for teens. During the past eight years, Habbo has maintained its vitality by listening to its users’ wishes and by adapting the service to meet Habbos’ needs.”

Originally introduced in Finland, Habbo has now expanded to 32 online communities in countries across six continents. During the last six months, the site has welcomed nearly 20 million new registered users, thanks in part to a various marketing campaigns and celebrity appearances by leading recording artists Natasha Bedingfield, Chris Brown and Jordan Sparks.

Super Anime Day Coming to Florida

Supercon Conventions will present Super Anime Day and Super Comic Day on Sept. 6 and 7 at the Davie P.A.L. in Davie, Florida. Kicking off at 11 a.m., Super Anime Day will be a day-long festival for fans of Japanese animation, manga, cosplay and video games featuring appearances by anime voice actors, guest artists, video games hosted by Gamerz Paradise, photo shoots, music, costume contests, panels, a late night dance party and more. Special guests are being lined up and will be announced in the coming weeks.

Super Comic Day (10 am – 5 p.m.) will celebrate comic books, toys, collectibles, anime and video games. The show will feature comic artists, vendors, panels/Q&A's, games and contests. Currently announced guests include Golden Age comic book legend Allen Bellman, Independent comic creators Terry Cronin and Pat Martin (Students of the Unusual) and artists Manny Aguilera (Snappy Stories), Greg Kirkpatrick (Living in Infamy), Rose Thompson (Fusion Bellydancer) and Brittney Morrow (Fusion Bellydancer).

Both events will take place at the Davie P.A.L. Building located at 4300 SW 57th Terrace in Davie. Admission is free for both days to all attendees who have pre-registered for Anime Supercon, a three-day event set for Halloween weekend. For more information, go to For attendees who have not pre-registered, admission is $8 for Super Anime Day and $5 for Super Comic Day when purchased in advance. Tickets are available at and

New CG Garfield Goes to Cartoon Net

Turner Broadcasting has picked up broadcast rights to the new CG-animated Garfield series from France’s Dargaud Media and plans to begin airing it on Cartoon Network in 2009. Dargaud is producing 52 11-minute instalments in HD to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the orange tabby with a taste for lasagne. The series will also air in territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

“We’re delighted to have acquired this new CG series of Garfield,” says Cecilia Persson, VP of programming, acquisition and presentation for Turner Kids. “30 years on, Garfield is as popular as ever, with a regular comic strip in 63 countries across the world, two blockbuster feature films and heavy weight presence across web, DVD, licensing and publishing. This new show celebrates Garfield’s return to TV.”

Created by Jim Davis, Garfield first appeared as a comic strip in 1978 and was later animated for TV specials and a regular series, Garfield and Friends. A CG Garfield, animated by Rhythm & Hues, starred alongside live actors in the feature film Garfield, which was released in December of 2003 and grossed $198 million worldwide. A sequel titled Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties, hit theaters in June of 2006, taking in more than $147 million.

Animation Magazine Feature Review: WALL●E

What a great week to be an animation journalist. On Monday I got to watch Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Batman: Gotham Knight (stay tuned for the review), and Tuesday night offered a screening of Disney/Pixar’s WALL●E. Director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo) and the rest of the Pixar team have hit another homerun with this funny, charming, heartfelt and poignant love story with a big message about taking care of our planet before it’s too late. The animation is, of course, stunning, but the real accomplishment is giving us characters we really care about and using minimal dialogue to do it.

WALL●E is the story of a small robot designed to compact garbage into small cubes and stack them in a landfill. When the Earth became too polluted to support life, all human beings fled to space to live aboard luxury liners, leaving our hero alone to carry out his prime directive and mine the garbage heaps for things that capture his unusual imagination. With only a cockroach to keep him company, WALL●E leads a relatively lonely life until a spaceship comes down form the sky carrying a sleek and powerful probe robot named Eve. WALL●E falls fast and for the laser-blasting beauty and eventually gets her to drop her guard and get in touch with her emotions.

A series of events leads the star-crossed lovers into space, where the friendly and inquisitive WALL●E finds himself suddenly surrounded by other automatons and human beings who have evolved into fat slugs that float around on high-tech lounge chairs with built-in computer screens that provide their sole source of communication with other people (purely science fiction). The humans have become so reliant on robots that do everything for them that they can’t see what’s really going on. WALL●E holds the key for their return to Earth, but not everyone is keen on a homecoming.

Pixar again reminds us why it’s on top of the toon game. Like DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda, the sci-fi adventure draws inspiration from a number of sources, but manages to be fresh and daring. Stanton has said that he wanted to design a movie around a character that is essentially R2D2, who, if you think about it, is the real hero of the Star Wars saga. That’s why he brought on Oscar-winning Star Wars sound designer Ben Burtt to provide the voice of WALL●E and bring the many other robots in the film to life through electronic sounds that have been carefully crafted to make the machines feel more human than the people in the movie.

Stanton has also said that he was trying to make a film that harkens back to his favorite ’70s movies. There is a certain Kubrickian quality to WALL●E, but it feels more like something that would have been made in the ’80s if computer animation had been up to the task at the time. Comparisons can also be drawn to Steven Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, the Steve Guttenberg robot action-comedy Short Circuit and even the oddball Andy Kaufman comedy Heartbeeps, the film that earned the recently departed Stan Winston his first Oscar nomination for makeup effects. There’s nothing particularly new about WALL●E’s story arc or its underlying environmental theme, but it delivers genuine characters that tug at the heartstrings in a way that few animated computer models have managed to do.

Arguably, the only thing that doesn’t quite work is the inclusion of live-action characters. At one point in the film, WALL●E pops a discarded VHS tape into a salvaged VCR and introduces Eve to the movie Hello Dolly, and we see actual clips from the film. Later, comedic actor Fred Willard shows up as the clueless President of the United States (again, purely science-fiction). In interviews, Stanton has admitted that the choice is a bit odd. I appreciate that he and Pixar were trying to do something different, but the appearance of live actors momentarily pulls the viewer out of the stylized, animated world where the rest of the humans are decidedly more stylized than their fairly photorealistic surroundings.

WALL●E is beautiful to look at and its lead characters will no doubt take their rightful place alongside Woody, Mike and Sully, Nemo, The Incredible family and the other enduring heroes in the Pixar pantheon. It’s hard to imagine a time when this film would feel dated or irrelevant. Even if Disney and Pixar pass on a sequel, WALL●E and Eve are sure to delight viewers for generations to come. This is family entertainment at its finest.

Rodriguez and McGowan Team for Red Sonja?

According to USA Today, real-life couple director Robert Rodriguez and Rose McGowan are teaming up to bring Red Sonja back to the big screen.

Neither of them were officially announced before. The only thing that was revealed previously was that Millennium Films had committed to reviving the Robert E. Howard-created property. David N. White was announced as the screenwriter.

Rodriguez added that the Barbarella remake he is set to direct, also with McGowan in the lead, was delayed because of the writers strike and possible actors strike.

Paramount Says F-U to Comic-Con!!

According to a blog over at The Trades:

Paramount Pictures will not be putting on any panels or bringing any stars to Comic-Con this year. They may do some viral stuff. But their big "geek" titles G.I. Joe, J.J. Abrams' Star Trek, Michael Bay's Transformers 2 and M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender won't be released until 2009. Last year Paramount kicked off Iron Man at the Con, which played big there. "The timing was off this year," said one Paramount spokesman.

Well if this is true then Paramount is either smart or stupid. Let's see which:

Stupid: Buzz is generated off of conventions like this. Getting a bunch of nerds all excited about your upcoming features that won't be released for another year is how the movie world works now. Plus other studios will be there and showing off what they have coming up leaving you out in the cold.

Smart: The cost to go to Comic-Con just to show a trailer and have a celeb answer questions to fanboys. Is it worth it? Think about the madness that was the old Electronic Entertainment Expo. Video game giants finally took a look at the books and said "Wait? Is this convention really worth the headache? The games will sell regardless of this convention." E3 is merely a shell of its former self and rumors are this will be its last year. Did Paramount simply say "Why spend the money?"

While it may suck for fans who want the info, you gotta admit, I'm gonna go with smart on this one. Just because Paramount doesn't show anything on Star Trek or G.I. Joe doesn't mean you still aren't going to see it when it's released.

Shiariffic TRANSFORMERS Sequel Spoilers??

The Movie Blog has some alleged SPOILERS for TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, centering around strange goings-ons with Sam.

These spoilers involve some detail, as well as some (logical) conjecture.

Find them...


Take 10: Deaths

From, the bell tolls for the 10 most decorated demises in Marvel history

Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas.

At the end of the day, you've only got two certainties in life: death and taxes. Since our income filings don't make for particularly compelling reading, for this go-around the Secret Cabal chose to get a bit morbid and focus on the 10 most monumental deaths in the history of Marvel.

One can judge a "good" death many ways, but for their purposes, the Cabal chose to go with a combination of impact and—no pun intended—execution, singling out the demises that made for good stories as well as held important and compelling consequences for the survivors.

For each death, you also get a special spotlight comic courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.

As always, these picks reflect the personal choices of the Secret Cabal, not the official opinion of Marvel or, and can be considered subjective at best. Enjoy!

When It Happened: DAREDEVIL v1 #181 (1982)
The Details: In a duel to determine who will be the Kingpin's No. 1 assassin, Elektra falls before the lethal assault of Bullseye, barely managing to crawl to the doorstep of her lover-turned-foe Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, before dying of a wound inflicted by her own trademark sai.

Why It Makes The List: "Elektra's demise showcases Frank Miller's unparalleled storytelling abilities. Miller recognizes that this is a villain's story, and tells it from Bullseye's perspective. This is not about Daredevil's greatest heroics, but rather, one of his lowest points. After Elektra dies in his arms, Matt is wrecked by his grief. Daredevil loses his perspective, and goes from being attorney to executioner. Acting out of his pain and anger and craving revenge, he decides to drop Bullseye from several stories up—a fall likely to kill."
Spotlight Comic:
DAREDEVIL v1 #181—Elektra faces off with Bullseye—and only one will survive!

When It Happened: MARVEL PREVIEW #2 (1975)
The Details: On a peaceful spring afternoon in Central Park, Frank Castle's life changes forever when he and his family witness a Mafia execution and mobsters subsequently gun down his wife and two children. When the law can't punish the guilty parties, Castle becomes the Punisher to dispense his own brand of justice.
Why It Makes The List: "Even Spider-Man had one carefree night of wrestling before his uncle's iconic murder. But for the Punisher it's been a bloodbath since the very beginning. The brutal assassination of his family at the hands of the mob served as both the death of Frank Castle and the birth of the Punisher, and set the tone for what would become one of the most violent and controversial takes on super 'heroism.'"
Spotlight Comic:
THE PUNISHER: WAR ZONE #1—Frank Castle's war on crime takes a violent new turn!

When It Happened: UNCANNY X-MEN #390 (2001)
The Details: Learning that for the cure to the Legacy Virus that Beast has discovered to take effect, a mutant must sacrifice their own life, Colossus selflessly pays the price against the wishes of his teammates, ending the disease that claimed the lives of so many, including his sister, Illyana.
Why It Makes The List:
"For my money, few sacrifices in Marvel history can give Colossus' a run for their money in terms of the ol' tearjerker factor. The guy had been through hell in the years previous, having lost every member of his family and even joining Magneto's Acolytes for awhile, but nothing stung him like the death of his little sister. When presented with an opportunity to see that no brother should ever have to suffer like he has, over the protests of everybody around him who vow they can find a better way, Peter Rasputin doesn't hesitate. If you can read his solemn, 'I'm coming, Snowflake,' and not get a little choked up, you have no soul."
Spotlight Comic: ASTONISHING X-MEN #5—As the X-Men face the possibility of extinction, Colossus rises from the grave to offer new hope!

When It Happened: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #294 (1987)
The Details: Having defeated Spider-Man, buried him alive and taken his place temporarily, Kraven engages in one final hunt, pursuing the animalistic Vermin, and then commits ritualistic suicide after his foe emerges from his shallow grave rather than face "the Spider" again.

Why It Makes The List: "Few villains achieve the goal of utterly defeating their heroic counterparts, but Kraven did, burying Spider-Man alive and proving he could fill his costume—however, what happened next was a haunting twist. Kraven died smiling, ending his own life not out of pain, but out of a sense of a accomplishment, feeling with his greatest goal in the book he had nothing left to look forward to. 'Kraven's Last Hunt' is a darkly disturbing and powerful tale that really has no peers."
Spotlight Comic:
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN v1 #15—Kraven hunts Spider-Man for the very first time!

When It Happened: RUNAWAYS v2 #18 (2006)
The Details: When the Runaways clash with a new Pride led by a young, time-displaced Geoff Wilder, Gertrude Yorkes makes the ultimate sacrifice, taking a dagger to the gut to save her boyfriend, Chase Stein, and telling him she loves him before bleeding out.
Why It Makes The List:
"Proving that the good can die young, Brian K. Vaughan shocked readers everywhere by following through on the notion that a writer must sometimes 'kill their babies.' Gert's death signified a time of change for the Runaways, closing a chapter in their lives and giving them a more grown-up view of the world. Sure, Alex had died, but he was evil. This was Gert, the mind of the team, an innocent and it was totally unfair. Just like real life."
Spotlight Comic: RUNAWAYS v2 #19—The Runaways must cope with the loss of one of their own.

When It Happened: UNCANNY X-MEN #137 (1980)
The Details: With the X-Men and Shi'ar Imperial Guard battling to decide her fate, Phoenix takes matters into her own hands. Before she loses control and annihilates the galaxy, the entity wearing the form of Jean Grey bids Cyclops goodbye and commits cosmic suicide.
Why It Makes The List: "'The mortal Jean Grey is no more. I am fire made flesh, power incarnate, I am the Dark Phoenix!' She was a sharp departure from the Jean who was part of the X-Men's first class, and rightfully so. This nearly-omnipotent being tore through the cosmos with a hunger unrivaled—except by Galactus…and possibly OneManDynasty—leaving death and destruction in its wake. But when faced with the enormity of what its actions had caused, the spark that was Jean Grey emerged and the Phoenix offered itself up in a sacrifice unmatched in the X-Men mythos since."
Spotlight Comic:
UNCANNY X-MEN #137—To save the X-Men and the universe, Phoenix makes the ultimate sacrifice!

When It Happened: CAPTAIN AMERICA v5 #25 (2007)
The Details: Surrendering following his side's defeat in the Civil War, during transport to prison, Captain America found himself the victim of an assassination plot by archenemy the Red Skull. While hired thug Crossbones took the heat for the kill, Cap's brainwashed lover, Sharon Carter, fired the killing blow in secret.
Why It Makes The List: "It was the assassin's bullet heard round the world. Captivating national media attention, it signified the biggest moment in comics history in over a decade. But more than that, the death of Steve Rogers provided a huge turning point that the Marvel U. has yet to recover from. Just think, where would we be if Steve were still here? It proves that sometimes you just don't know what you've got until it's gone—although the CAPTAIN AMERICA book continues to be at the top of its game, even with the title character dead."
Spotlight Comic:
CAPTAIN AMERICA v5 #26—In the wake of Captain America's assassination, his friends and allies are left to pick up the pieces.

When It Happened: THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL (1982)
The Details: Contracting a form of cancer while battling the radioactive villain Nitro, Mar-Vell of the Kree sought a cure with the help of the finest minds in the universe, but to no avail. He died in bed on the moon Titan, surrounded by his lover, Elysius, and Earth's greatest heroes.
Why It Makes The List: "While I don't have inscrutable evidence to prove it, I believe Captain Marvel was the first true legitimate Marvel 'headliner' to ever go out in a blaze, glorious or otherwise, so that alone merits his passing high placement on this list. Besides its trendsetting nature, however, the death of Captain Marvel was unique in that Mar-Vell, a life-long soldier and warrior, ended up dying not in battle, but in bed, surrounded by loved ones and admirers—and it drove him nuts. His struggle to come to terms with his mortality in the DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL graphic novel provided a powerful and poignant tale of how even powerful men must become humble in the face of death."
Spotlight Comic:
CIVIL WAR: THE RETURN #1—While Civil War rages on, a miraculous rebirth takes place in the Negative Zone as Captain Marvel returns!

When It Happened: AMAZING FANTASY v1 #15 (1962)
The Details: Shortly after gaining his powers, young Peter Parker failed to prevent a burglar from robbing the wrestling promoter who had employed him. The same criminal would make his way to the Parker home and kill Peter's kindly Uncle Ben, teaching the future Spider-Man the timeless lesson that, "With great power comes great responsibility."
Why It Makes The List: "Many heroes have a tragic event that motivates them. That one incident, always in the front of their mind, constantly reminding them why they do what they do. That is exactly what Ben Parker's death is to his nephew, Peter Parker—the Amazing Spider-Man. Without Uncle Ben's death to drive him, where would Peter be? Not swinging by and saving the day, that's for sure. Spider-Man would be all power and no responsibility. Uncle Ben's death shapes and defines Spider-Man into the spectacular super hero we all know and cherish today."
Spotlight Comic:
AMAZING FANTASY #15—Peter Parker learns the lesson of "Great Responsibility" and the legend of Spider-Man is born!

When It Happened: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #121 (1973)
The Details: Striking at Spider-Man via his civilian identity of Peter Parker, the Green Goblin kidnapped the Wall Crawler's girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, and hurled her from atop the George Washington Bridge. Spidey managed to snag his love's leg with a web line, but inadvertently broke her neck in breaking her fall.
Why It Makes The List:
"The death of his Uncle Ben provided the impetus for Peter Parker to become Spider-Man, but the death of Gwen Stacy let the Web Slinger know that just being a hero wasn't enough to keep tragedy out of his life. What happened to his uncle was a horrible coincidence fueled by a terrible oversight on Peter's part, but Gwen's demise made clear the horrific price that being Spider-Man brought with it, particularly when a monster like the Green Goblin discovered the man behind the mask. To really pile on the pain, Spidey thought he had saved Gwen from her fatal fall only to later find his own hasty actions possibly killed his lover. Peter Parker has moved on in the years since the death of Gwen Stacy, but he has never fully recovered. And it was not only Spider-Man's world that was impacted—the idea that a hero's love interest could be at risk from villains willing to cross the line changed the importance of the secret identity forever and provides fuel for stories still running strong today."
Spotlight Comic: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #122—In the fresh aftermath of Gwen Stacy's death, a revenge-fueled Spider-Man goes after the Green Goblin!

Sony Animation pushes its next two films back a year

SPA officially pushed back its next feature film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, originally set for March 27, 2009 (until DreamWorks’ Monsters vs. Aliens claimed that same spot) to the much less trafficked January 15, 2010. The studio’s follow up film, Hotel Transylvania, which had originally been announced for September 25, 2009 has now been postponed to 2010 with an exact release date yet to be determined.

"Waltz with Bashir" has N.A. premiere in Toronto

Ari Folman's searing animated feature film "Waltz with Bashir," which won acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival in May, will have its North American premiere in September at the Toronto International Film Festival.

An Israeli-French-German co-production, Waltz with Bashir is one of 27 international selections announced Thursday to screen as part of the 33rd edition of the festival, which runs from September 4 to 13. It will be shown as part of TIFF's Vanguard program.

Waltz with Bashir describes how, one night in a bar, an old friend tells director Folman about a recurring nightmare. The two men conclude that there's a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the Lebanon War in the early 1980s. An astonishing and powerful animated feature, it journeys into the director's memory in search of some missing pieces.

The Vanguard program is made possible through the sponsorship of Motorola and MTV.

The official Web site for the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival,, will go live Friday, June 27. Ticket packages for TIFF08 will be available for purchase by Visa† cardholders as of 10 a.m. Monday, July 7, and by cash, debit or Visa as of 10 a.m. Monday, July 14.

Purchase online at, by phone at (416) 968-FILM or 1-877-968-FILM, or in person at the TIFFG Box Office at Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor Street West (main floor, north entrance). Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Saturday.

97% of positive reviews so far for Wall•E

Rotten Tomatoes sums it all up: “It’s rare that a picture earns comparisons with Chaplin’s City Lights and Kubrick’s 2001. It’s rarer still that said picture is also praised as intelligent, visually remarkable, darkly funny, and ultimately, heartwarming family fare. However, critics say the good folks at Pixar have done just that with Wall•E, perhaps the studio’s most audacious film yet. Set in a dystopian future, Wall•E is the tale of a garbage-collecting robot navigating an unpopulated Earth. Soon he’s joined by EVE, a female bot searching for vegetation, and falls head-over-treads in love. Critics have been heaping praise on Pixar for years, but there’s a reason for that: The studio re-invents the rules of CG animation each time out. The pundits say Wall•E deftly blends slapstick, political satire, heartbreaking romance, and masterful storytelling into a one-of-a-kind movie experience. At 97 percent on the Tomatometer, Wall•E is not just Certified Fresh. It’s not just one of the best-reviewed films of the year. It’s one of the best-reviewed films in Pixar’s history.”

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