Friday, June 27, 2008

The Surprises that unfold...




The trailer for Walt Disney Animation's "Bolt" is out...

See it on the Big Screen in front of "Wall-E" tonight. I like it much better than all the bits and pieces we've seen before.

I HAVE faith in John Lasseter. I do, I do, I do...

53 comments:

abramdf said...

"Let it begin! Let it begin!"

Looks great!

CJ said...

Were those the Goodfeathers from Animaniacs?

Honor Hunter said...

They do remind you of them, don't they? Actually, those birds were one of the few things I liked about that series...

Mr Matt said...

I've been looking forward to this film since way back in the 'American Dog' period, and I loved every second of that trailer! Those pigeons were hilarious!

Anonymous said...

I hated all the art I've seen so far. This gives me hope that it may turn out to be a good film after all.

Anonymous said...

Disney.com has it in better quality.

drew said...

The quirkiness of the characters of American Dog is something that was right up my alley. I think I may always wonder, "What if...?", but I am looking forward to Bolt.

Known Bandit said...

I'm not still sold on the character designs, but I like the premise now. It looks like Lasseter may have Disney's animation back on track.

keystroke kopper said...

Looks like a canine version of the Truman Show done by Disney.

Anonymous said...

I think Warner Brothers might have something on Disney when it comes to character copyright infringement.

Those pigeons are a direct lift. Even the colors were the same!

Justin said...

You mean, they have the same color as real pigeons?

martini833 said...

This trailer gives me hope too! Go Bolt!

Corruption said...

This looks absolutely terrible, full of the same sort of lame pop-culture references of Shrek. I try not to judge things by their trailers, but yikes...

Justin said...

HD version available:
http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1809812763/video/8543735

Corruption, please point me to one pop-culture reference in the entire trailer. I didn't see a single one.

Corruption said...

@justin

1. Six Million Dollar Man/Bionic Woman-style TV show, replaced with a dog.
2. The "A Little Less Conversation" playing throughout.
3. The tabloid-style magazine.
4. The ad on the bus.

Look, I'm all for satire, etc. This just looks absolutely ridiculous. And I'm a defender of Emperor's New Groove, though, granted it probably would have been an amazing epic, had they done that.

The voice casting is terrible, though I rightfully admit that I can't stand John Travolta. I think Miley Cyrus is adorable, but she's typecast as Hannah Montana to me right now, seeing as she's done NOTHING ELSE ;)

Even if you don't want to count what I listed as "pop culture" references, I'm gathering that this movie relies far too much on modern sensibilities. If the whole movie is full of "clever" quips and one-liners, it's not going to stand the test of time.

I still will withhold judgment, but that trailer makes it look no better than the typical CGI junk that lesser studios release, feeling overly "now" and resorting to New York accents, etc.

Anonymous said...

uh, corruption. I think you've far from withheld judgement already.

Spokker said...

It looks like the same trash as the Tinkerbell movie and Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

And they are making a direct-to-DVD little Mermaid movie? What the hell? I thought they stopped doing those.

Anonymous said...

Spokker, this is animation. It takes a long time to make. The Little Mermaid is something that was already in production when Lasseter got there. They aren't making anymore. This is one of the last cheapquel projects that they were working on. You act like you know nothing about animation, sheesh. Quit gripping.

KINGCRAB said...

Spokker, this is animation. It takes a long time to make. The Little Mermaid is something that was already in production when Lasseter got there. They aren't making anymore. This is one of the last cheapquel projects that they were working on. You act like you know nothing about animation, sheesh. Quit gripping.

You took the words right out of my mouth, Anonymous.

It's unfortunate that folks like Spokker will never get it through their thick skulls that the presence of anti-Disney people such as himself are not welcome here.

jrriddle said...

Well if Lasseter was affraid that American Dog was "too quirky", he doesn't have to worry about Bolt(YAWN). Nothing quirky (or original) here.

Anonymous said...

yeah jrriddle,

not like a dog getting lost and going across the country hasn't been done before.

That Chris Sanders, what an original guy.

Spokker said...

"You act like you know nothing about animation, sheesh."

Nothing is stopping them from canceling a bad project, or in this case, a REALLY bad project.

It's not unheard of to cancel something in the middle of production. Companies that care more about their brand and the art they create do make that decision.

TLC said...

Dear spokker, it's fine to be critical and even anti-disney, but at least explain your stance with some logic instead of sounding like a grumpy, emotional mess that you are.

I thought it looked infinitely better than the last two 3D animations Disney put out.

Spokker said...

"Dear spokker, it's fine to be critical and even anti-disney, but at least explain your stance with some logic instead of sounding like a grumpy, emotional mess that you are."

When someone criticizes Disney, you feel criticized, because you have nothing else in your life that excites you except for mediocre Disney crap.

You are so mentally deranged that it's disgusting.

The trailer for Bolt made me cringe. There's nary an original idea to be seen. It's the Truman Show but with a dog. A cute little rodent whose attitude is larger than his physical size. Miley Cyrus. Enough said.

While they continue to raise the bar at Pixar, there has been very little improvement at Walt Disney Feature Animation thus far. I hope The Princess and the Frog changes that, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Corruption said...

@anonymous

How can I be judgmental about a movie that I haven't seen? Yes, I'm judging the trailer. It looks terrible.

That being said, I hold out hope for the movie, even if the trailer gives me the impression that I shouldn't.

@the Spokker haters

Spokker is right. Cancel a bad project. No need to keep something going that's going to be terrible. You don't keep building a structure that's unsound, even if you're going to lose millions. Why keep animating a steaming pile of poop? Just because it's been in production? Uh, no.

And I think Meet the Robinsons (while 110% silly) is a charming and wonderful movie. The only "pop-culture" reference is the quirky Tom Selleck gag, which works, since it's a meme throughout. It's kinda like Elvis in Lilo and Stitch or Hello, Dolly in WALL-E.

Oh, and by the way -- WALL-E is perfect. It is sublime and amazing. It's what I wish everything coming out of every studio aspired to, not just animation, and not just Disney and/or Pixar.

Spokker said...

"It's what I wish everything coming out of every studio aspired to, not just animation, and not just Disney and/or Pixar."

Not me. If not for the Madagascars and Little Mermaid II: THE REVENGE we wouldn't understand how truly special the Pixar movies are.

Corruption said...

@Spokker

Haha. I guess you just want the yin and the yang ;)

I hope that people might become smart enough to not need bad to appreciate good.

Call me overly optimistic...

Anonymous said...

Why American Dog might become the best animated movie in years


With all those different animated movies coming out nowadays, it's getting to be increasingly difficult keeping them apart. Most of them are either of the 'cute animals fight human evil' type, or try to spoof fairy tales for the umpteenth time, so you'd almost say it shouldn't be too difficult to come up with a movie that stands out. Disney will unleash a movie like that in 2008. Yes, it features animals, but they're not singing with high pitched voices or trying to get rid of hunters. No, this is American Dog, created and directed by Chris Sanders, the man behind the most original animated movie of the last ten years, Lilo and Stitch, and here you will read why it's going to be the animated movie to watch.

I can give you various reasons why American Dog had me excited from practically the first second I heard about it.

1. Chris Sanders. Together with Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders created Lilo and Stitch. The movie was based on an original idea by Sanders, and it was an utter joy to watch. What made it stand out from so many of the other animated movies was the fact that it was entirely original: a little girl finds a homicidal alien, and against the odds, they become great friends. It was very subversive and un-Disney, with the cute little girl in the lead having weird hobbies like making pictures of fat people on the beach, and with the other lead being a maniacal creature with only one thing on his mind: destruction. However, somehow, Sanders and DeBlois were able to turn their story into something funny and heartwarming. In my opinion, Stitch is one of the few classic Disney characters to emerge from a non Pixar-movie in the last ten years, and it was thanks to the creators that his look was also stunningly original. Besides that, the whole movie looked wonderful. In an age when animators were already trying to make their movies look more realistic, Sanders and DeBlois went back to the old days of Disney, painting the backgrounds in beautiful watercolours, and opting for a fun, none too realistic look for all the characters. And now Sanders is ready to unleash his unique vision on us again, as American Dog is bound to be just as pleasant a surprise, as long as the new heads of Disney Animation try not to Disneyize or Pixarize it too much (look, I love the Pixar movies, but their last one was way too predictable).

2. The story. Henry is a popular dog. He stars in his own television series, in which he is a James Bond style secret agent who manages to survive the most wonderful adventures. Henry is the toast of the town, but then one day one of the stunts in his show goes terribly wrong, Henry loses concsiousness, and when he wakes up he finds himself on a train, thousands of miles away from his home. Henry has been a celebrity all his life and does not know how to handle himself in this new situation, but luckily he is able to make some new friends that he convinces to get him back home. What ensues is a road trip fraught with perilous situations. What? No fairy princesses? No song and dance? Great!

3. The style. Will you just look at these wonderful pieces of art that have been released for the movie? Of course, this is all very preliminary, but it looks absolutely gorgeous. The characters look original, the movie has a wonderfully original look and I love the way colours have been used in this.

There is one bad thing about this movie though: we have to wait until 2008!
December, 2006.

Honor Hunter said...

The cheapquells have ended Spokker and Corruption...

What you're ragging is the tail-end of something, not the beginning or continuation. These were in development literally years before Lasseter got there and there were commitments already made. Be thankful he put an end to them or you'd be seeing production ramp up on Little Mermaid 23 and Aladdin 5.78 or half a dozen other bad ideas. Anything that comes from this division from now on will not be another cheap knockoff of a fabled classic... so lighten up.

Go see "Wall-E" and then go see "Bolt" and make a judgement then. It will be John's first test, but not his last... my sources say that "Princes and the Frog" and "Rapunzel" are the beginning of the new era and "Bolt" is the warm up...

I know you say you don't want something to fail, but based on your comments that's exactly what you're expecting... or is it wanting?

jrriddle said...

To anonymous #1: "yeah jrriddle,
not like a dog getting lost and going across the country hasn't been done before.That Chris Sanders, what an original guy."
Characters, not story. Even the look of these characters look......
boring (sorry nodded off thinking about it).
To anonymous #2:"Why American Dog might become the best animated movie in years..."
YES!With you 100%!!! I hope Sanders gets to make this movie some day,in some form.
Lasseter put the wrong dog to sleep.
Oh Wall*E was excellent, on par with the Brad Bird stuff.

Corruption said...

Honor,

I'm a bit more connected/in the know than I'm at liberty to let you know and perhaps this is why I'm oftentimes more than frustrated with some of the things you write.

If Bolt is a terrible movie, then yes, I would want it to fail. I don't like bad movies.

Again, if Bolt is a good movie, I would like for it to succeed. When Disney makes quality products, such as Tokyo DisneySea, Disneyland's Space Mountain, WALL-E, Enchanted, etc., I want success, critically and financially.

When Disney turns out crud like Home on the Range, Brother Bear, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Stitch's Great Escape (based on one of my favorite films, btw), etc., I want it to fail commercially and critically, because I want Disney to learn a lesson and make something better.

Mistakes will be made. They just shouldn't be kept around or in production because it's easier than shutting it down/removing it/stopping production.

I was under the impression that Disney's previous direct-to-video sequel was it's last, but here comes LM3, which I've known about for a few month. Before that, however, I thought that we were done with them, that's all. I certainly don't want another bombshell down the road that Cinderella IV or Sleeping Beauty II is coming out :(

Disney is something I care about deeply. Would commenters get on my case for having concern about (some commenters would call it "criticizing) a friend or family member for not living up to their potential? I hope not. We should all aspire to greatness, and if we're not capable of greatness, then our best. The message of aspiring to be something beyond our current selves what makes WALL-E a sublime and amazing film -- it shows that even people who've lived their whole lives in a literal bubble can overcome that "programming" and be great again.

Honor, I often have the impression you may be trying to lump me in with Disney "haters" at times, simply because I don't agree with what you have to say about Disney's products. Sure, things are much better than they were a few years back, but things have a long way to go.

Do you truly see a Typhoon Lagoon level water park in the future? Do you see immersive, non-linear story-based E-Ticket audio-animatronics attractions not based on popular films in the future? Do you see parks of the level of detail and originality of DisneySea/Port Disney or WestCot in the future. For that matter, do you see more films like WALL-E?

Do you see a dedication to forward-thinking, progressive, individual thought? Do you see unique merchandise, food, recreation in the future, the way things were when Eisner first stepped in in 1984, before Disney became a BuyNLarge-type monolith, with hands in everything from the internet to networks and more?

I don't. And that makes me sad. Maybe I'm the one who needs to "keep moving forward," but I think Disney needs to stop going that direction it's going in and look back to the past to see truly visionary and great thinking.

I hope that you could agree. And I hope that we truly share the same passion and motivation for why we use this forum. I hope that you and your other readers realize that my "ire" comes from a genuine dedication to the belief that Disney can be great by looking to the past only for the purpose of moving toward the future, not stagnating and relying on the past to keep the balance sheet happy or because creative risks aren't worth it.

jrriddle said...

^^^
Well said Corruption. Well said.

Corruption said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corruption said...

@jrriddle

Thanks :)

Honor Hunter said...

No one, and I mean no one regrets the fact that Port Disney wasn't created here in southern California. It was the one park that I was looking forward to Disney building. WestCOT was a very detailed, lavish park that I would have loved to have happened, but I had much less passion for it...

As I've stated before, the ocean and Disney were always things I've had a great passion for. Both of those things are why Tokyo DisneySEA is my second favorite park after Disneyland... who knows, if they had built Port Disney with it's DisneySea park it might have been my favorite over Disneyland...

I like it for the same reasons you talk about your love for Disney. It was something different. Something that WestCOT was not. I value original attractions at the parks and they haven't gone away... I'll grant you that Disney(much like way too many companies) has focused on characters and branding, but rides that have nothing to do with characters are not dead. I don't expect DCA to get one of those until the second phase of the expansion. A phase which I hope will give Lasseter more power because if that happens we'll see some of WDI's concept. I don't believe that Lasseter wants everything to be based on films or classic characters... if anyone understand what Walt intended when he built DL it would be he.

I also realize that the Walt Disney Company is a very big company and I'm not going to like everything they do. I am not a big "High School Musical" fan and I could care less about American Idol going into the parks. But I tend to find the direction the company is headed much better than it was just, literally a few years ago. There comes a point when we all should just sit back and quit complaining. Have some patience to see what unfolds and not condemn everything from the moment we first hear about it. There comes a time when you realize that nothing is perfect or ever will be. A time that you learn to enjoy the good you get from something while knowing that there is still bad. I focused on this in my "Finding Perfect" post a while back.

I also don't and won't rag "Bolt" because I haven't seen it yet and I trust Lasseter. He's the guy that runs Pixar which has produced all these films everyone loves. He's the guy that had the sense to let Stanton direct "Nemo" and "Wall-E" and now "John Carter". He's the guy that also has taken at least three directors off of Pixar films because he knew the direction they were going wasn't right and based on the nine films I've seen, I'd have to agree with the outcome he wanted. So I'm going to trust him...

If "Bolt" turns out to be bad, I won't pretend to like it... I didn't color coat my review of "Prince Caspian" or "Crystal Skull". I will however give him the benefit of doubt, with Lasseter's track record, he deserves it.

Spokker said...

"I also don't and won't rag "Bolt" because I haven't seen it yet and I trust Lasseter."

When he appeared in front of that Tinkerbell movie clip pleading with us to like it, he lost all credibility with me.

I'm sorry, but Tinkerbell does not talk, and she does not look like Bratz.

Anonymous said...

You lost credibility a long time ago Spokker.

blank stare said...

She talks. She just speaks fairy, which we can't hear or understand. In the films we'll get to hear what the fairies hear.

"Hear what the fairies hear"?

I can't believe I just said that.

Corruption said...

"There comes a point when we all should just sit back and quit complaining."

Did you just watch WALL-E? For real? Because this movie addresses this head-on. And I don't think its message meshes with your statement.

Honor, there is never a moment when we should just "sit back."

From the American Adventure at Epcot:

"We now face the danger, which in the past has been the most destructive to the humans: Success, plenty, comfort and ever-increasing leisure. No dynamic people has ever survived these dangers."

Disney (and society) at large have been at this point for quite a while. We have disengaged from debate, have just "sat back" and stopped "complaining." And that mentality is all the justification our government (for the USA readers) and corporations have to take and take and take, whether it's our liberties or money.

I'd love to see some of the people today go back to the 1770's and hear them say garbage along the lines of, "Well, British rule isn't that bad, let's just sit back, stop complaing, and see what unfolds."

Right...

I'm going to keep taking you to task, because you have misplaced faith in Lasseter as some sort of Messiah. I can't imagine he'd like that. Lasseter's successes at Pixar are because of long-standing relationships with Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Brad Bird, and Ed Catmull. He doesn't have that with Disney's animation team, and it's part of why I don't have a good feeling about Bolt. He doesn't "know" Chris Williams, just like he didn't "know" Chris Sanders. I've always felt this concept was a little too modern for a Disney film, based on what I know about it, but guess what? I'll be there opening night, just like I am for every Disney film. And I hope that it's good. And I hope that I like it.

While I realize that this blog is a labor of love, you need to be a bit more introspective and realize that people have different feelings on these matters, and you have to accept that people will occasionally say something that you disagree with that might just be right.

jrriddle said...

^^^
And Joe Ranft. Let's not forget him. Pixar's success is owed to more people then just Lasseter and Jobs.
In my humble opinion I think Brad Bird's films have always been superior to Lasseter's films.

Honor Hunter said...

I'm going to agree with you jrriddle...

When it comes to a director, but I was referring to Lasseter as a producer. And as such he knows how to get the best out of writers and directors.

Also I never said it was his alone that created Pixar, but he is the man at the top and he is the one responsible for all those decision. Lasseter himself wouldn't like all that praise heaped upon him. If you've ever seen him talk about Joe you'd know how much they loved, respected and admired him. He was the symbol of everything good about Pixar...

Corruption said...

@Honor and jrriddle

Agreed. Ranft is sorely missed...

Sorry I forgot to mention him.

t said...

As some have said before, Princess and The Frog and Rapunzel are probably going to be the start of the next renaissance for Disney...Bolt will be the warm up.

I don't think all the drama in here from a short trailer is even necessary. Trailers are sometimes not even very good in the first place, and don't always represent the true nature/value of a film.
Take Meet the Robinsons for example...horrible trailers, yet actually a beautiful little film.

I think some need to realize that John, Ed, and company are not going to be able to turn the ship around at the drop of a dime. We all knew it was going to take time, including the films Disney already had in production before they came on board. I think if anyone is the one to make improvements, it's the Pixar brain trust and company. I trust their work and judgment. I think Bolt, while maybe not being the most genius concept like WALL-E or what looks like a big profit maker like Nemo was, is going to be at least another step in the right direction.

I think some folks are going to be pleasantly surprised.

It's time to calm down, look at these things from a broader more logical perspective, and simply wait. There's nothing more you can do. Let these people do their work. They have a lot to go up against (their own failures, their own legacy, that of Pixar's now, etc.)
In the end, there is NO need for the drama or disrespect here.

Spokker said...

Trailers can misrepresent a movie. Wall-E is a perfect example. Fat people were barely shown before release.

However, the true nature of the film usually gets out in other ways. We knew that Wall-E had fat blobs hovering around before the movie's release, despite Disney's best efforts to conceal it.

Anonymous said...

Bolt looks like a fun, light comedy and the dog's apparent delusion about his powers and his devotion to the girl are both endearing traits IMO. I can't wait to see this now. ESPECIALLY after sitting through the charming, heart-string-tugging, occasionally funny, overblown overlong monster that is Wall*E. Yeah, it has much to commend it. But the stuff on the spaceship with all the fat blobs and "save the earth" messaging just wore me out. I loved Presto and the first 40 minutes of Wall*E. But the last part of the film has made me decide to not view it again. Hooray for Bolt. It looks like a way for Disney to redeem itself after the dark tediousness that made up the charmless Prince Caspian film (I'm a big Narnia fan and I was soooooooo disappointed with the direction that film took and the fact that so much of C.S. Lewis' clever writing and ideas were left out of it to make room for more battles. (And no I'm not talking about religion here - I'm agnostic). Honestly, the only movies this summer I thoroughly enjoyed and saw more than once were Kung Fu Panda and Indiana Jones. Disney has disappointed me so far. Hope it'll make me happy again in November...

Spokker said...

I'm sure Pixar will apologize for making an intelligent, thoughtful Disney movie and perhaps Cars 2 will be more up your alley.

Wall-E is blowing the stereotypical Disney Defenders' minds and showing how powerful animation really can be.

t said...

This preview got an incredible response in the theatre I was in...as it supposedly is in what many others are saying from their WALL-E movie experiences.

Spokker said...

"This preview got an incredible response in the theatre I was in..."

I was in a theater full of adults at an 11:40PM showing of Wall-E, and most people groaned and talked about how stupid the trailer for Bolt looked.

t said...

^Yes Spokker, I'm sure they did.

Spokker said...

They did. Though Beverly Hills Chihuahua received the most groans.

Corruption said...

Lord, I certainly hope whoever is responsible for green-lighting BHC loses their JOB.

KINGCRAB said...

I was in a theater full of adults at an 11:40PM showing of Wall-E, and most people groaned and talked about how stupid the trailer for Bolt looked.

Liar, liar. Thou pants are ablaze.

Justin said...

Honor, what did you think of the trailer? You did say that you like it better than the bits and pieces you've seen before, but I can't tell if the "I have faith in John Lasseter" statement is conviction, or you are trying to convince yourself because this trailer didn't convince you.