Friday, June 28, 2013

A Change In Misdirection...

I've seen a lot of articles by people about the Lamp changing its strategy... But I don't think they're looking close enough at the very evidence that they're quoting. Some sites are reporting that Pixar is going to curb the output of sequels over the next few years. I can tell you that this is absolutely not so. But on the same note, they aren't increasing them either. How can this be? Simple. It's business as normal and for some reason a few reporters/writers/bloggers had misinferred a statement by Ed Catmull as a change in direction. It isn't. This is simply a statement of a business strategy that's been in place for some while now. Here's the statement from an interview at Buzzfeed:

For artistic reasons … it’s really important that we do an original film a year. Every once in a while, we get a film where we want or people want to see something continuing in that world — which is the rationale behind the sequel. They want those characters, which means we were successful with them. But if you keep doing that, then you aren’t doing original films.
We’re going to have an original film every year, then every other year have a sequel to something. That’s the rough idea.
Have you looked at the fourteen films that the Emeryville branch of Disney North has made?  How many original films?  How many sequels/prequels were there?  A lot of people want to think of John Lasseter's fertile garden as pure and pristine, without any hint of corporatism or desire for profits.  Wrong.  Only four years after their first film, "Toy Story" did a sequel come out.  "Toy Story 2" was the first sequel, but it was only their third film.  In other words, they had already planned a sequel by the beginning of production of their second film.  The difference between Pixar and other film studios is that they actually wanted to do films that had a story to them.  Lasseter and Catmull didn't want to churn out films for the sake of dollars, but wanted to have films worthy of those dollars the public spent.

Now, everyone is saying that they're going to slow down with the production of sequels.  There have been 14 Pixar films and four of them are sequels.  Now if you do the math it turns out that the number you come up with roughly is a little less than a third of films are sequels.  Now, look at where Catmull is talking about a new film once a year and a sequel every other year.  That would add up to ten new films in a decade, and five sequels in the same decade.  Out of fifteen films, that would mean a third would be sequels.  Does that seem like they're going to pull back on making sequels?  No, it looks like almost the same amount of new versus sequel films as what has been made over the past two decades.  It's simply a continuation of what has gone on for a while explained by one of the men responsible for it.  The only difference is that the production has ramped up to a film a year.

Now, I don't think this means we'll get an announcement of "The Incredibles 2" anytime in the near future.  When Brad Bird comes up with a story that he feels is worthy of making, he'll call up John and say let's make it.  And there is no way that Pixar wouldn't make the film if he had a story he wanted to film.  But we can look forward to seeing more adventures in the worlds Pixar created in the future.  See how simple that was?  A lot of smoke, no fire.  Pay no attention to these droids.  Nothing new to report here.

Move along, move along...

Hat Tip to /Film.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Legendary Impressions...

Looks like Jeff Robinov isn't the only one leaving the Bunny...

For almost a decade Warner Bros. has had a production deal with Legendary Entertainment, the production company/mini-studio that makes massive pop-culture films that geeks/nerds love and the rest of the movie going public warm up to.

But as we reported last year, that agreement is about to end.  And it looks like they're either playing a massive bluff, or they are going to pack their bags and go elsewhere.  Thomas Tull had gradiose plans for his company from the beginning and they've only gotten bigger.  From just wanting to make cool, fun entertainment, to television to now, digital media and comic books, Tull wants to turn the company into a true entertainment company.  Almost a studio of its own.  I think his ultimate goal is to eventually turn Legendary into its own studio.  While partnering with one of the big six studios might be his stated plan, his ultimate desire is to become one of the big boys.

Currently, Legendary Entertainment is currently in negotiations with four different studios about securing a much more financially attractive deal than what Warner currently is offering.  It looks like the studio under its new suit, CEO Kevin Tsujihara. is much less willing to share the profits as it's shared the financial burden over the past decade.  It seems to see all the profits coming in from its films, particularly superhero films, and wants a larger, if not all of the profits.  Perfectly fine from a business standpoint.  But from a creative perspective, Legendary has provided a lot of the studios top draw when it comes to development.  Warner Bros. is going to have to show they can step up and fill the shoes of the creatives at Legendary.  Over the past decade, they've been more than willing to just handle the bean counting part of that job.  We'll have to see if they hold their own once Legend goes, if they do go.

The four companies Tull is in negotiations with are Sony Pictures, Fox, Lionsgate and Universal.  From what is heard through the grapevine, Universal is the studio with the inside advantage as it likes the content that Legendary has been coming up with and looks to exploit it with a deal that includes attractions in its global theme parks.  But don't count out the smalls studio Lionsgate as it wants to be a bigger player.  So far, the Mouse has expressed no interest in a deal with Legendary, which I believe would be ideal for content, along with their previous relationship with Walt Disney Studios chairman, Alan Horn.  He knows how to deal with them and has a good working relationship with them.  They could be making films across the spectrum of Disney entertainment, from the live-action Walt Disney Studios moniker to the live-action adult fare of Touchstone.  Since Touchstone has been set aside for the distribution of Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios slate of six films a year, it could use the shuttered moniker of Hollywood Pictures as a shingle for the films Legendary has planned.
But that's just me sprinkling pixie dust on dreams.  Dreams do come true, but not always.  Sometimes these things turn out to be wishes.  And right now Thomas Tull has some pretty big wishes.

I'm just hoping he rubs on a certain Lamp for those wishes...

Monday, June 24, 2013

University Lessons...

The Lamp's latest film was number one at the box office this week...

"Monsters University" beat out a horde of zombies and an Alien from a dead world to be on top in theaters over the weekend.  And if you've seen the film then you know that it didn't blaze the trail with a new concept, just an old fashion story that's been told many times before.  But this time it was told by Pixar.

If you've seen films like "Revenge of the Nerds" or "Real Genius," then you've watched the premise of the film.  But that doesn't mean it's not worth watching.  The way the crew up in Emeryville take the beloved characters from the original film and transfer then into the setting of a college party film is an entertaining little jewel.  It was wonderful fun and a textbook example of why any film from Pixar is better than ninety percent of most live-action films.

John Lasseter and his crew know how to tell a story.  They can take a simple tale and fill it with emotion and narrative that brings characters to life.  They truly live up to the word animate.  The stories that they invite us to watch are compelling examples of life that audiences connect with.  And even though some might decry the fact that this is an unnecessary film, it's not.  So long as it's enjoyable, there is no reason it shouldn't have been made.  Going back to the world of "Monsters Inc." to see the characters we all fell in love with is only part of the beauty of rediscovering this unique world.

If you want original, then the next couple of years will be a feast.  From what I've heard from the Bothans, "Inside Out" is shaping up to be a very original animated film.  And then of course, next year we have the Lamp's take on dinosaurs which I can't wait to see.

And you'll get a glimpse of it this fall...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Beware, Batfans...

Cartoon Network is bringing out yet another animated version of the Caped Crusader...

"Beware the Batman" is a computer generated attempt to both pay homage to, and yet, walk away from the epicness of Batman: The Animated Series.  They've released a new trailer that shows off the action with appearances by minor/obscure villains in an effort to show the series is different.  While the animation looks fine, the modeling and texture of scenes leaves something to be desired.

Here's to crossing our fingers that the writing is good...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Frozen Assets...

I'm sure you've all seen the teaser that's been released for the Mouse's next animated film...

Many have complained about the fact that the humor reminded them of something like "Ice Age" more than it did a Disney animated film.  Well, remember that this is just a scene showing off the secondary characters and it doesn't show you the full scope of the magical world that the animators have brought to life.

The characters are really quite classic, but with a bit of a modern edge, the way "Tangled" was.  But the Bothans seem to like the way the story is moving and they're proud of the work they've done.  If you've enjoyed what has come over the past few years then you won't likely be disappointed in this one.  Plus you have that the first Mickey Mouse cartoon in a long time placed right in front of it. 

But that's a horse of a different color...

Monday, June 17, 2013

Timelines & Deadlines...

Well, it looks like Sony is trying to stake a claim on the gold they've been mining...

The Studio has just announced two more sequels to the current film that is shooting.  Here's the press release with commentary to follow:

CULVER CITY, Calif., June 17, 2013 – With Sony Pictures Entertainment now in production in New York on The Amazing Spider-Man™ 2, slated for release on May 2, 2014, the studio is planting its flag on two future release dates for one of the most successful franchises in studio history, it was announced today by Jeff Blake, Chairman, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution for Sony Pictures. The next two films in the story of Peter Parker will be released on June 10, 2016, and on May 4, 2018, respectively.

Commenting on the announcement, Blake said, “Spider-Man is our most important, most successful, and most beloved franchise, so we’re thrilled that we are in a position to lock in these prime release dates over the next five years.”

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner, with a previous draft by James Vanderbilt, and based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are the producers. The executive producers are E. Bennett Walsh, Stan Lee, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci.
The Amazing Spider-Man took in over $750 million at the worldwide box office last year.

You think this is a huge finger in the eye to Kevin Feige and the Suits of Marvel/Disney?  Yes.  Yes it is.  It's knowing the cash cow they have has an expiration date and trying to keep it as far away as possible.  Marvel has been of late been keeping an eye on all the productions that are not under its own in-house production.  The lawyers for the Mouse are making sure each contract is kept to the letter of the agreement.  There will be no deviation.  Any such chance to get out of the deal will result in a swarm of legal activity.

It's less likely that we'll see director Marc Webb finish out these films as the production schedule is going to be insane.   He'd have to spend the better part of the next decade doing nothing but comic book films, which I'm sure he enjoys, but doesn't want to be known for it for the rest of the next decade.  I'm sure he has other stories to tell.  So expect other directors to be lined up for the fourth film, maybe even the third.  And those productions will be hard pressed to meet their dates.  Disney will be counting down the minutes until the agreement expires.  And there won't be a renewal. 

Sony knows this and that's why they planted the flag so early...

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Hey Guys,

Sorry, but the real world is delaying posting right now, and it comes first, sadly.  Articles over the next few weeks will be sporatic, and hopefully will pick up again near the end of the month.  But we've got some great things to talk about, so stay tuned.

Thank you for understanding...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Galaxy Far, Far E3...

Very soon we'll know what the direction of the Star Wars universe...

I mean the gaming part of it, of course.  EA will be at E3 next week and the announcement of their plans for the next few Star Wars games are supposed to be announced.  I don't think we'll see any game play as plans they have are still in the early stages.  The only way we'd see something like "Battlefront 3" would be if they had made a deal to acquire the already almost completed game: highly unlikely but not totally out of probability.  But at least we'll have a road map of what is to come.

Expecting artwork and titles isn't entirely out of the question, but the type of game and story that players will be involved in is what EA's head suit, Labels president Frank Gibeau will likely give us the 411 about.  Since it'll be a press briefing for their entire line up, the focus won't be on Lucas Arts/ EA Star Wars as the entire line of games they have coming out.

Still, having that Star Wars license will be something to brag about...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Numbers Game...

Popularity is a fleeting thing...

The attendance of theme parks shows the popularity of the destination, and from time to time parks rankings will move up or down.  For long periods of history certain spots have been held by the same park.  For instance, the Magic Kingdom in Florida has maintained the top position in theme parks.

Years ago, before Tokyo Disneyland added a second gate, the stunning Tokyo DisneySEA, there was a horse race between the two parks for the top position.  Now, WDW's first park wins outright with the original here on the west coast getting the silver prize.

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and AECOM have just released the figures of theme parks for 2012.  How did Disney do this year?  Where did Disney California Adventure get to after the Extreme Makeover?  Where is the rest of the world in themed entertainment?

You can find the answers to all these and many more here.  It's an exhaustive analyses of where, what and why of theme parks.  It's also quite readable with graphs, charts and lists that put in perspective the theme parks of the world, not just Disney's world.  But here is a list of the top 25 theme parks for the Cliffs Notes version:

1. Magic Kingdom 17,536,000  +2.3%
2. Disneyland 15,963,000 -1.1%
3. Tokyo Disneyland 14,847,000 +8.5%
4. Tokyo Disney Sea 12,656,000 +8.5%
5. Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris 11,200,000 +1.9%
6. Epcot 11,063,000 +2.2%
7. Disney's Animal Kingdom 9,998,999 +2.2%
Disney's Hollywood Studios 9,912,000 +2.2%
9. Universal Studios Japan 9,700,000 +14.1%
10. Islands of Adventure 7,981,000 +4%
11. Disney California Adventure 7,775,000 +22.6%
14. Hong Kong Disneyland 6,700,000 +13.6%
15. Universal Studios Orlando 6,195,000 +2.5%
19. Sea World Florida 5,358,000 +3.0%
20. Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris 4,800,000 +1.9%
23. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay 4,348,000 +1.5%
24. DeeFTeLING  Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands 4,200,000 +1.8%
25. OcT eAST Shenzhen, China 4,196,000 +7.9%

Now, if this intrigues you then head over to the actual report for a detailed look...

Fairy Taled...

The Bunny has been trying to get this one made for a millennium...

Or it might just seem that long.  While Warner is taking their time getting the primary DC Comics characters to the silver screen, they are moving forward with some of their other DC properties.  Their Vertigo properties to be precise.

"Fables" which tells the tale of a group of fairy tale characters that get throw out of their own world and into ours.  No, I'm not talking about "Once Upon A Time" or even "Grimm" really.  This is, or was around well before those series were created.  In fact, it might be the reason that the studio decided to go the film route since there are already series with similar themes on network television.

Originally they were going to try and film it with the Jim Henson Company involved and that fell through.  A few years ago there was an attempt to make it as a television series for ABC and that went nowhere.  You have to love development hell, right?

Now Warner Bros. is going the feature route again and has attached Nikolaj Arcel to helm the film based on a script by Jeremy Slater (latest draft of the current "Fantastic Four" reboot).  David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford of Harry Pottor fame will be producing the film.  No one is currently attached as stars, but with the writer/director/producers all lined up expect casting to announced shortly.

I wonder if DC Entertainment has anything to do with this since it's an imprint of theirs...

Spirit Of The West...

The Man of Steel isn't the only hero coming out soon...

A Masked Man with silver bullets will be out soon as well.  The film looks to have crazy action and Gore Verbinski's twisted take on the Wild West also.  If you've seen the trailers then you've seen the scene where the Lone Ranger wakes up after being dead to find himself on a spirit tower and almost falling off.

Walt Disney Pictures has released a new featurette of the filming of that scene.  It shows you the prep that it takes to film even a shot that last only a few seconds.  But it's unique shots that make films stand out in this crowded summer of films.  Or maybe it's story that make films stand out?  Yeah, that's it: a great script.

I've been hanging around development suits too long...

Monday, June 3, 2013


And here we have another game cancellation from the Mouse...

Only it's a game that never was intended to exist.  If you saw "Wreck-It Ralph" last year then you remember the gaming environments that Ralph got to experience.  From the Donkey Kong-like world of Fix-It Felix Jr. that he inhabited, to the Mario Cart feel of the sickeningly sweet world of Sugar Rush, to the Halo inspired world of Hero's Duty.  But there was another gaming world that didn't make the cut.

Extreme Easy Living 2, a fictional game that appears in a scene that audiences never actually saw, it was never actually rendered because it was cut well before that process could begin.  Here you can watch an animatic of the exclusive scene courtesy of Total Film (their exclusive, not ours).  It has a unique charm to it, but I agree with the cut.  It didn't add anything else to the story and would likely have slowed down the story.  Something that really wouldn't work for the ADD minds of the film going audience.

You know, the ones that would actually be the audience to play these games...

Writing 101...

The Writers Guild of America has released an interesting list...

Television is filled with an unmeasurable amount of shows and some are good, many are bad and a few are great.  The WGA has released a list of what they consider the top 101 television shows of all time.  Will yours be on it?  Do you agree with the top ten?  The number one of all time?  Take a look and judge for yourself.

1. The Sopranos
2. Seinfeld
3. The Twilight Zone
4. All in the Family
5. M*A*S*H
6. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
7. Mad Men
8. Cheers
9. The Wire
10. The West Wing
11. The Simpsons
12. I Love Lucy
13. Breaking Bad
14. The Dick Van Dyke Show
15. Hill Street Blues
16. Arrested Development
17. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
18. Six Feet Under
19. Taxi
20. The Larry Sanders Show
21. 30 Rock
22. Friday Night Lights
23. Frasier

24. Friends
25. Saturday Night Live
26. The X-Files
27. Lost
28. ER
29. The Cosby Show
30. Curb Your Enthusiasm
31. The Honeymooners
32. Deadwood
33. Star Trek
34. Modern Family
35. Twin Peaks
36. NYPD Blue
37. The Carol Burnett Show
38. Battlestar Galactica (2005)
39. Sex & The City
40. Game of Thrones
41. The Bob Newhart Show and Your Show of Shows (tie)
43. Downton Abbey, Law & Order and Thirtysomething (tie)
46. Homicide: Life on the Street and St. Elsewhere (tie)

48. Homeland
49. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
50. The Colbert ReportThe Good Wife and the UK Office (tie)
53. Northern Exposure
54. The Wonder Years
55. L.A. Law
56. Sesame Street
57. Columbo
58. Fawlty Towers and The Rockford Files (tie)
60. Freaks and Geeks and Moonlighting (tie)
62. Roots
63. Everybody Loves Raymond and South Park (tie)
65. Playhouse 90
66. Dexter and the US Office (tie)
68. My So-Called Life
69. Golden Girls
70. The Andy Griffith Show
71. 24, Roseanne and The Shield 
74. House and Murphy Brown (tie)
76. Barney Miller and I, Claudius (tie)
78. The Odd Couple
79. Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Upstairs, Downstairs (tie)
83. Get Smart
84. The Defenders and Gunsmoke (tie)
86. Justified, Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show (tie)
88. Band of Brothers
89. Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In
90. The Prisoner
91. Absolutely Fabulous and The Muppet Show (tie)
93. Boardwalk Empire
94. Will & Grace

95. Family Ties
96. Lonesome Dove and Soap
98. The FugitiveLate Night with David Letterman and Louie
101. Oz

A very good list although I don't know if SNL should be on that list since I've watched some pretty bad seasons of that show.  No "Supernatural"?  Blasphemy.  Taste is subjective and sometimes quality is as well, overall I like what I see.

"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." has a tall mountain to climb...

Oversized For Underlings...

A new featurette is out for "Pacific Rim" with a lot of cool footage...

Guillermo del Toro gives a lot of narration explaining about the Jaegers's heads and how the pilots operate them.  This film seems like an eleven year old's dream come to life before their eyes.  What young male wouldn't want to imagine himself in a giant robot kicking the butt of a giant monster?

The director will now move on to "Crimson Peak", but after that what?  I wonder which project that Del Toro is connected to he'll decide to direct next?  "Justice League Dark" (I prefer the "Dark Universe" title), "Hellboy 3", his opus, "At The Mountains of Madness" or maybe, just maybe that "Haunted Mansion" reboot?

Alan Horn, please pick up the phone...

Parisian Dream...

It's hard to believe it's been two decades since Euro Disneyland opened...

Disneyland Paris, which is what the park became is celebrating it's Twentieth year celebration throughout the year and has many things planned, but one of the most surprising is the water show that takes place in front of Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant at night time.

It's called Disney Dreams and it's very much like if you were to see an elaborate World of Color show on the castle.  It's a lovely show, combined with those interactive mouse ears it makes for a magical display.  If you'd like to learn more about it check out this NewsParcs article on the creation of the show.  It's filled with a lot of information about the preparation and detail that go into the development of a show like this.  This is part of the Mouse's celebrating it's growing presence in Europe.  Don't worry, they'll be some more special magic over the next few years.

There are a lot of interesting things happening in the Parisian parks over the next decade...

Pulp Stars...

If you love sci-fi and pulp then Timothy Anderson should be on your dial...

We've posted some of his amazing work before when he did this to "Blade Runner" and other classic science fiction.  Now, he's taken the Star Wars trilogy and made prints of it that look like old pulp covers as well.  Take a look at his site where he has prints for sale.  I can't wait to see what he does next.

Maybe something on a long, lost Ark...

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Fall will be here before you know it...

And a new Joss Whedon television show is lying in wait, ready to pounce on your expectations.  And thankfully with his newly earned clout he won't have to worry about network suits breathing down his neck.  Success seems to have a way about it, right?

If you're a big Marvel fan, or just a Joss fan then you might want to check out the latest podcast of Entertainment Weekly.  It's got a really great interview with the Whederkund talking about various projects he's working on/promoting, including that little television show coming in the fall.  It's a fairly long interview as well, probably twice the length of his Jimmy Fallon interview.  Check it out, or if you have iTunes, you can download it here.

The only negative is he didn't mention that Warren Ellis internet collaboration thing...

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Blue Sky Buzz: The Coming Magic From The Hat...

What a difference a few years make...

Remember how DreamWorks Animation was firing on all cylinder and hiring people left and right?  It was the place to be with a long production schedule that meant a long tenure and job security.  And then the economic hardship that happened last year?  There have been a few layoffs at Disney over the past year or so, but not that many.  It's actually a fairly lean machine right now.

The Walt Disney Animation Studios has had a good bit of success over the past few years.  The dry spell that was a decade worth of films that topped off the Eisner years was over with the arrival of "Bolt"  It was a bit of a hybrid, coming from a story that Chris Sanders had conceived called "American Dog", up until he was sadly let go.  Lasseter brought in a fresh crew and they reworked the story more to his taste and what he felt audiences would like.  Then came "The Princess and the Frog" which hearkened back to the glory of the early 90's musicals in form, and glorious hand drawn, but with limited box office results.

Then came the first fully formed film of the Lasseter generation at Disney: "Tangled", which went on to become a huge success both critically, and financially.  This was the success that animators working in the Hat Building had been waiting for.  Many were tired of their younger sister up north getting all the credit for the great animated films coming out of the company.  They knew they could make them if just given the chance and this was their moment to shine.  But don't think that the new films of Disney Animation would just be fairy tales.  When you wish upon a star can mean more than just a tiara and a carriage made from a pumpkin.

The thoroughly modern, totally hip, and culturally relevant "Wreck-It Ralph" came out last year and showed that the films of the Mouse don't all have to be classic in approach as well.  But the times since Eisner left have resulted in Disney working on creating a better branding of itself.  Pixar has an identity that is clear when you see Luxo Jr. hopping across the screen.  You know what you're going to get.  With Disney, it used to be that way, but from the later 90's on it became less clear.  Some people had trouble defining what is and what should be a Disney animated feature.  Glen Keane has said it best I think (paraphrased):  Pixar's motto is "Wouldn't it be cool if" and Disney's motto is "Once Upon A Time".

This year we go back to the classic appeal of a fairy tale with WDAS's "Frozen", a story inspired by "The Snow Queen", but not a literal adaptation.  As Tangled wasn't exactly "Rapunzel", neither will this film be to the Hans Christian Andersen story.  That being said, it will be entertaining, lovely, funny and absolutely Disney.  The Disney that was started when John Lasseter was brought in.  It's taken a while to get the entire place moving as an organization that has a unique culture.  Especially since the 90's fractured that culture, and it takes time to rebuild it.  And you have to want to construct it back in the right way: the Disney way.

After this year's film, the studios next one is the most unusual story for a Disney film.  "Big Hero 6" has been in development for some time and if you've read our updates then you know that we've given you hints (marvelous new film) about it over the last couple of years.  But we couldn't reveal too much for the safety of our Bothans.  If you've seen the test shot that was released then you realize that this film is going to be headed in a different direction that what you're used to when you think of the name Disney.

And that is what you can expect over the next slate of Disney animated films.

They won't be from the same mold everyone is used to.  They will be absolutely Disney though.  Just remember that what we talk about here is "blue sky", which means it's what is planned and not what you will finally or necessarily get.  Things change during the development and certain films, or their ideas will have been changed by the time they make it to the big screen.  And the release dates are simply guide post, they're not written in stone and a few may change, but the list we gave you last week is the map ahead.  Barring any obstacles, it should remain mainly a consistent clue to the direction Disney Animation is headed for the foreseeable future.  Now you know that BH6 is the 2014 release and the list that was announced the other day started in 2016.  Did they forget to include the 2015 release?  No, they didn't.

There is no WDAS film for 2015.

This could change, but as of right now, the next film after 2014, is the new film from Byron Howard in 2016. This is the film you've heard the rumors about Jason Bateman starring in.  While I can't say much about it, lets just say that the story is evolving into a very funny, sweet take on wildlife from a different point of view.  After that the schedule isn't set, but several projects will be in a race to get that next slot at the end of 2016.

Right now Dean Wellins has a genre-hybrid film that he's working on that is lined up with Bob Iger's strategy of getting more of the young male demographic to seeing Disney films (Marvel and Star Wars were bought for this purpose).  But if it makes it in 2016 is entirely up to how the story is developing by then, and any trouble by Lasseter and his Story Trust (WDAS version of Pixar's Brain Trust) would mean that another film would get called up to the slot.  What other film could be next?  Or if not then, which one would be the next one released for 2018?

Another prime candidate would be Ron & John's new film.  If it's ready, it could be the later 2016 film, but as of now it's more likely to be the first 2018 release.  Their new film is of the Polynesian persuasion shall we say.  And it could turn out to be the duos first computer animated film.  It's not in concrete now, so don't everyone get upset.  They're currently working on the story for the most part, but test are being done to see how the characters act and look in computer form as well as a hybrid solution (think: Paperman).  A while ago, Ron and John pitched two different ideas to John and the Story Trust and this particular story they're working on was the one the Creatives gave the green light.  It's gone through several versions and will likely go through a few more before given the approval to move forward into actual production.

And before anyone asks, there is/was no movement on "King of the Elves" at this time.  It doesn't mean there won't be any, but as of right now, Chris Williams is busy helping on other projects right now and John and everyone feels that they'll just let this story sit for a while.  It doesn't mean that it's dead, I mean, look how long it took for "The Snow Queen" to actually make it into production.  And what it became is miles from where it started out, so who knows what it'll look like when/if it makes it to the silver screen.  Animated film take a long time to come together.  It doesn't mean that you won't see it be one of these films, but it's not one as of right now.

There are a couple other projects that are in very, very early stages that Lasseter has signed off on to develop, but not much will be known about these until they've been run through several story sessions.  So no news to report on these films since they're more of an idea at this point.

So that, in as brief an update as I can give you is what's happening with the current state of the current slate at the Hat Building.

Now, if they'll just approve a few more shorts to make for in front of those films...

Steel Relevant...

Another featurette is out for the "Man of Steel" has been released...

This one is much longer than many of those two or four minute presentations that focus on a specific part of the film.  This one clocks in at almost fourteen minutes.  And there's plenty of new footage to drool over till you get the chance to see the film.  Take a look and prepare for Warner's DC plan to compete with Disney's Marvel strategy.

If Bunny Suits are smart then they're preparing more adaptations instead of just waiting to see if this Superman reboot is a success.  There are plenty of characters to be getting ready for film, and "Green Lantern" shouldn't keep them from moving forward.  The problem is they've got to have the right strategy and the right person to guide it.  Maybe it's time they put David Goyer in the advisory role on the DC Cinematic Universe the way Joss Whedon is on the MCU?

And hire someone to start adapting a film about a guy that gets a lot of chemicals spilled on him that make him move incredibly fast.  I'm mean, really, we all know that another Batman reboot is coming, but there are other great characters besides the Alien and the Vigilante.

Just a thought...

Hat Tip to Comic Book Movie.