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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Brad Bird, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 15 of 15
1. “Triplets of Belleville” Director Sylvain Chomet Has Switched to Live-Action Filmmaking

First it was Brad Bird. Now Sylvain Chomet, the director of The Triplets of Belleville and The Illusionist, has switched over to live-action filmmaking. Chomet’s feature debut, Attila Marcel, will premiere tonight at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is described as follows:

Paul is a sweet man-child, raised — and smothered — by his two eccentric aunts in Paris since the death of his parents when he was a toddler. Now thirty-three, he still does not speak. (He does express himself through colourful suits that would challenge any Wes Anderson character in nerd chic.) Paul’s aunts have only one dream for him: to win piano competitions. Although Paul practices dutifully, he remains unfulfilled until he submits to the interventions of his upstairs neighbor. Suitably named after the novelist, Madame Proust offers Paul a concoction that unlocks repressed memories from his childhood and awakens the most delightful of fantasies.

Chomet, who had earlier dabbled in live-action with a segment in Paris, je t’aime, explained the switch to live-action in an interview with the LA Times:

“I’ve always made animation as if it was a live-action film. I try to make it look almost real, the way it’s edited is not really like an animated film. I try to have continuity in between the shots like live action. I was always thinking of live action but came to live action through animation. That was a way for me to get into live action. Animation is filmmaking, it’s the same thing. And you really train as a director when you do animation. You get the eye, the sense of composition and timing. Live action is very similar to animation apart from animation takes ages and live action goes really fast.”

There’s still some hope for those who appreciate Chomet’s animation films. The Times said that Chomet currently has two features in development—one live-action and one animated—and he plans to make the film that gets funding first.

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2. “LA Times” Writer Stupidly Suggests That Hollywood is Making Too Many Animated Films

Well, it’s that time of year again. A couple animated films perform below-average at the box office and the mainstream media begins asking, “Are Hollywood studios cranking out too many animated films?”

The article is filled with alarmist descriptions of the film animation industry, like “a flood of computer-animated movies” (because five films apparently constitutes a ‘flood’) and eye-roll worthy quotes like this one from DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg:

“We’ve never experienced this level of animation congestion in a period of time.”

and this gem from Illumination chief executive Chris Meledandri:

“[A]s more films are planned, it’s inevitable that there will be more acute cannibalization of each other.”

Cannibalization? Let’s get a grip, here. There are only eleven major animated releases planned for this year. That’s compared to hundreds of live-action releases. How is it that the feature film market can support hundreds of live-action films but less than a dozen animated pics?

The problem isn’t that there are too many animated films; the problem is that every single animated release is targeted at the same family demographic.

Yes, there were five animated releases this summer in the span of a couple months. That’s hardly newsworthy considering that there were dozens of live-action releases in the same period. The issue is that all five of those films were targeted to the exact same audience. I suffered through a couple of them, and if you have an intellectual capacity beyond a seven-year-old’s, chances are you’re going to want to watch something more stimulating.

A far more illuminating article would have been to ask why film executives ghettoize the animation art form and refuse to cater to a broader range of audiences, as animated filmmakers in Europe and Asia routinely do. Hayao Miyazaki’s controversial new animated feature The Wind Rises is geared toward adult audiences, and has not only been the number one film in Japan for the past month, but will likely become Japan’s number one film at the box office for all of 2013.

The writer of the LA Times article, Richard Verrier, who should know better considering that he covers the film industry for a living, erroneously refers to animation as a genre in his piece on multiple occasions. But, as we’ve discussed many times before, animation is NOT a genre. It may be perceived as a genre by Hollywood execs, but animation is as much a genre as live-action is.

To quote the animation industry’s patron saint of common sense, Brad Bird:

I think that there is more misreading of trends in animation than any other of the film community. If Cool World fails, then all adult-themed animation is doomed. And if Disney fails, all of animation is doomed. And it’s not like, “Well, hey, man, you know, maybe people are tired of five songs and a familiar story.” … That’s like if George Lucas hit a rough patch, somebody would suddenly say, “Well, people are tired of science fiction.” It’s ridiculous! It’s the kind of idiotic statement that never seems to go out of style in Hollywood… Animation is not a genre. It is a method of storytelling. People are constantly analyzing it and misanalysing it as if it is a genre. It isn’t a genre. It can do horror films, it can do adult comedies if it wanted to, it could do fairy tales, it could do science fiction, it could do musicals, it could mystery, it can do anything. Because Disney has been the only one that’s lavished any care on it, people [then] think it’s the only kind that can be told successfully.

And even if you want to lump all animation as a genre, the argument is still flimsy and incorrect. How is there a glut when two of the top four films at the American box office are animated this year:

  1. Iron Man 3 / $408,195,474
  2. Despicable Me 2 / $346,642,075
  3. Man of Steel / $289,694,329
  4. Monsters University / $261,134,998
  5. Fast & Furious 6 / $238,464,720

On top of that, Despicable Me 2 is the single most profitable film in the history of Universal. The financials alone would suggest that the success rate in animation is far higher than live-action’s hit rate. Perhaps then, the writers of the LA Times should be exploring whether there’s a glut of live-action films in Hollywood.

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3. Brad Bird’s Next Film Will Be Called “Tomorrowland”

A clearer picture of Brad Bird’s next live-action feature film project is starting to emerge. Described as a Close Encounters Of The Third Kind-esque project about a man who makes contact with aliens on Earth, the film’s official title was revealed today as Tomorrowland, a not-so-subtle tie-in to another part of the Disney empire:

The Walt Disney Studios has announced that its live-action release previously known as 1952 will be titled Tomorrowland. The film will be released domestically on December 19, 2014. George Clooney is set to star. Tomorrowland is written by Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird from a concept by Lindelof and Jeff Jensen. Lindelof (Star Trek, Lost, Prometheus) will produce and Bird (The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) will produce and direct.

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4. How Old Animation Directors Were When They Made Their First Film

“Animation is a young man’s game,” Chuck Jones once said. There’s no question that animation is a labor-intensive art that requires mass quantities of energy and time. While it’s true that the majority of animation directors have directed a film by the age of 30, there are also a number of well known directors who started their careers later.

Directors like Pete Docter, John Kricfalusi and Bill Plympton didn’t begin directing films until they were in their 30s. Don Bluth, Winsor McCay and Frederic Back were late bloomers who embarked on directorial careers while in their 40s. Pioneering animator Emile Cohl didn’t make his first animated film, Fantasmagorie (1908), until he was 51 years old. Of course, that wasn’t just Cohl’s first film, but it is also considered by most historians to be the first true animated cartoon that anyone ever made.

Here is a cross-selection of 30 animation directors, past and present, and the age they were when their first professional film was released to the public.

  1. Don Hertzfeldt (19 years old)
    Ah, L’Amour
  • Lotte Reiniger (20)
    The Ornament of the Lovestruck Heart
  • Bruno Bozzetto (20)
    Tapum! The History of Weapons
  • Frank Tashlin (20)
    Hook & Ladder Hokum
  • Walt Disney (20)
    Little Red Riding Hood
  • Friz Freleng (22)
    Fiery Fireman
  • Seth MacFarlane (23)
    Larry & Steve
  • Genndy Tartakovsky (23)
    2 Stupid Dogs (TV)
  • Bob Clampett (24)
    Porky’s Badtime Story (or 23 if you count When’s Your Birthday)
  • Pen Ward (25)
    Adventure Time (TV)
  • Joanna Quinn (25)
    Girl’s Night Out
  • Ralph Bakshi (25)
    Gadmouse the Apprentice Good Fairy
  • Chuck Jones (26)
    The Night Watchman
  • Richard Williams (26)
    The Little Island
  • Tex Avery (27)
    Gold Diggers of ’49
  • Bill Hanna (27)
    Blue Monday
  • Joe Barbera (28)
    Puss Gets the Boot
  • John Hubley (28)
    Old Blackout Joe
  • John Lasseter (29)
    Luxo Jr.
  • Brad Bird (29)
    Amazing Stories: “Family Dog” (TV)
  • Hayao Miyazaki (30)
    Rupan Sansei (TV)
  • Nick Park (30)
    A Grand Day Out
  • John Kricfalusi (32)
    Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures (TV)
  • Pete Docter (33)
    Monsters Inc.
  • Ward Kimball (39)
    Adventures in Music: Melody
  • Bill Plympton (39)
    Boomtown
  • Winsor McCay (40)
    How a Mosquito Operates
  • Don Bluth (41)
    The Small One
  • Frederic Back (46)
    Abracadabra
  • Emile Cohl (51)
    Fantasmagorie
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    5. Why Does Barack Obama Hate Brad Bird’s “The Incredibles”?

    The We The People petition website is run by the White House and bills itself as a site that gives “all Americans a way to engage their government on the issues that matter to them.” Any citizen of our great nation can create a petition and round up signatures from other constituents. The petitions that achieve over 100,000 signatures will generate a response from the Obama administration. Democracy in action…or so it would seem.

    Last week, a courageous American started a petition that asked President Barack Obama to “re-enact the scene from The Incredibles where Frozone is looking for his supersuit.” The petition was supported by Incredibles director Brad Bird, who retweeted the request on his Twitter account. It made a reasonable request of the leader of the free world:

    However, it turns out that Obama (or his minions who run the We the People site) do not appreciate The Incredibles as much as the rest of America’s freedom-loving, tax-paying, God-fearing citizens do. In an act worthy of the Turkish government, the petition asking Obama to re-enact a simple one-minute scene from a beloved animated film and which had received over 5,000 signatures in two days, was abruptly halted by the the U.S. government. Perhaps, then, Frozone was an appropriate character for Obama to re-enact because he clearly has no qualms about freezing the needs and desires of American citizens.

    The harm that has been caused to the fundamental integrity of our democratic process is unquestionable, but we should never forget that, as Americans, we have the right to demand of our leaders to perform scenes from classic animated movies. In fact, a new petition requesting that Obama dress up as Frozone has already been launched on Change.org. We will make it happen one way or another:

    0 Comments on Why Does Barack Obama Hate Brad Bird’s “The Incredibles”? as of 6/19/2013 1:43:00 PM
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    6. 13 Animation Directors You Might Not Have Known Also Voiced Characters

    Whether it be for lack of budget or a desire to take center stage, series creators lending their own voices to their animated television shows has always been fairly commonplace – Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill), John Kricfalusi (Ren and Stimpy), Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) and Trey Parker and Matt Stone (South Park) immediately spring to mind. However, in recent years, more and more feature directors have started getting in on the trend. From throwaway one-liners to continuous roles throughout entire franchises, here is a list of some animation directors and the characters they brought to life in their own films.

    1. Eric Goldberg

    As the animation director for Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), Goldberg not only supervised the animation of the WB’s classic characters but he voiced some of them as well. Goldberg recorded the dialogue of Marvin the Martian, Tweety Bird and Speedy Gonzalez.

    2. Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud

    The distinctive sputters, spurts and high-speed mutterings of The Minions in Despicable Me (2010) and Despicable Me 2 (2013) belong to the films’ co-directors Pierre Coffin (above left) and Chris Renaud. And as the character’s popularity grows, so does their vocal commitment, as the two will reprise their roles in next year’s prequel Minions.

    3. Ralph Bakshi

    In his debut film Fritz the Cat (1972), director Ralph Bakshi voiced one of the boorish antagonist Pig Cops, who is also referred to as “Ralph” multiple times in his scenes.

    4. Brad Bird

    Agnes Gooch, Edith Head, Patricia Highsmith, Linda Hunt – when it comes to figuring out who inspired the character of Edna Mode, people love to toss out many names, but in the end, the cutthroat designer of superhero fashion was brought to life by The Incredibles (2004) director Brad Bird.

    5. Rich Moore

    Rich Moore, director of Wreck-It Ralph (2012) provided the dreary monotone of acidic jawbreaker Sour Bill, the henchman to the bombastic King Candy.

    6. Richard Williams

    Even to this day, the toon celebrity cameos in Who Framed Roger Rabbit(1988) remain some of the best nods to the golden age of cartoons, especially that of Droopy Dog, who gets his opportunity to best Eddie Valiant with some traditional ‘toon high-jinks as a tricky elevator operator, sluggishly voiced by the film’s animation director Richard Williams.

    7. Chris Wedge

    What began as the high-strung snivels and snarls of Scrat in Ice Age (2002) has become a second career for director Chris Wedge who has gone on to vocally personify the prehistoric rodent in 3 sequels, 6 short films, 2 video games and in a walk-on role in an episode of Family Guy.

    8. Chris Miller

    Royal messengers, tower guards, army commanders, friars and penguins, story artist Chris Miller has lent his voice-over skills to numerous animated films, most notably his returning roles as Geppetto and The Magic Mirror in the Shrek franchise, including Shrek the Third (2007), which he co-directed.

    9. Mark Dindal

    The often ignored and underrated animated film Cats Don’t Dance (1997) features some beautiful hand-drawn work and stellar vocal performances, including that of director Mark Dindal as the tight-lipped bodyguard/butler Max.

    10. Joe Ranft

    Pixar story artist, the late Joe Ranft, brought a handful of memorable animated characters to life, including Heimlich (A Bug’s Life), Wheezy the Penguin (Toy Story 2) and Jacques the Cleaner Shrimp (Finding Nemo). But it was in Cars (2006), which he co-directed, that he voiced three characters including the semi-truck Jerry Recycled Batteries.

    11. Chris Sanders

    In Lilo & Stitch (2002) co-director Chris Sanders takes on the nuanced role of Alien Experiment 626, aka “Stitch,” who escapes from an intergalactic prison only to find himself trapped on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

    12. Nathan Greno and Byron Howard

    Nathan Greno (above right) and Byron Howard not only paired up as co-directors of Tangled (2010) but also doubled as duos of Thugs and Guards in the animated picture.

    13. John Lasseter

    With five features under his belt, John Lasseter has had plenty of opportunity to throw himself behind the microphone, however upon review of his filmography, you’ll find he has chosen his roles very carefully, as the role of John Lassetire in Cars 2 (2011) and the hilariously bug-zapped Harry the Mosquito in A Bug’s Life (1998).

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    7. Brad Bird’s new friend

    Here are some photos from earlier today of Brad Bird scouting locations in Prague for Mission: Impossible IV. But who’s that guy standing besides him wearing the Yankees cap? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen him somewhere before.

    Tom Cruise

    Another photo of them after the jump.

    Tom Cruise

    (Photos via JustJared.com)

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    8. Brad Bird in Dubai

    Brad Bird and Tom Cruise
    Brad with Jeremy Renner (L), Tom Cruise and Paula Patton

    As we continue to stalk cover Brad Bird’s travels around the globe, here are some new shots of him in Dubai at a press conference for Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol. Brad will be shooting parts of the film in Dubai at the Burj Khalifa tower, the world’s tallest building. More photos after the jump. Click on each for a bigger version.

    Brad Bird and Tom Cruise
    (L-R) Producer Jeffrey Chernov, actor Jeremy Renner, director Brad Bird, actor Tom Cruise, actress Paula Patton and producer Bryan Burk

    Brad Bird and Tom Cruise

    (via)

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    9. In case you hadn’t heard, Brad Bird received the Winsor...



    In case you hadn’t heard, Brad Bird received the Winsor McCay Award at this year’s Annie Awards. Here is his acceptance speech. Warning: It is awesome.



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    10. Trailer for Brad Bird’s “Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol”

    Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

    We normally don’t post live-action trailers on Cartoon Brew, but there are exceptions to every rule, and Brad Bird is always an exception. Watch the trailer for his film Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol at MissionImpossible.com.


    Cartoon Brew: Leading the Animation Conversation | Permalink | One comment | Post tags: ,

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    11. Brad Bird at the Walt Disney Family Museum

    On the afternoon of Saturday, May 19, Brad Bird will speak at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. The subject of his talk will be “The Disney Treatment: Walt’s Versions of Classic Stories.” Brad always has thought-provoking things to say, and this is a topic I’ve never heard him discuss at length so it sounds like a can’t-miss event. This is the lecture description:

    Director (The Iron Giant, Mission: Impossible/Ghost Protocol) and two-time Oscar®-winner (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) Brad Bird will discuss how Walt adapted well-known and even previously-filmed stories and created what are widely regarded as “definitive” versions. From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men; Treasure Island to Swiss Family Robinson, Bird will explore the appeal of these tales to Walt-and how his individual and personal viewpoint made them enduring classics.

    Tickets are $12 and available on the Walt Disney Family Museum ticketing site. Their system doesn’t seem to recognize the event, which may indicate that it’s already sold out.


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    12. Brad Bird’s Next Film Is…

    Brad Bird

    First, the bad news: It doesn’t look like Brad Bird will be making an animated feature anytime soon.

    Now, the good news: Brad Bird is making another film.

    Deadline Hollywood reported yesterday that Brad Bird is set to direct a major live-action tentpole for Disney from a script by Damon Lindelof, who co-created and exec produced the TV series Lost. Lindelof is co-writing the script—titled 1952 (work-in-progress)—with Jeff Jensen. No other details have been revealed about the project at this time. The film shouldn’t be confused with Bird’s long-in-development personal live-action project, 1906, which is about the historic San Francisco earthquake.

    Of course, I have to take this opportunity to mention that even though Brad isn’t creating animation, he took the time to write the foreword to an upcoming animation history book.


    Cartoon Brew | Permalink | One comment | Post tags:

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    13. A Summary Of Brad Bird’s Talk About Classic Disney Films

    If you missed Brad Bird’s talk in San Francisco about “The Disney Treatment: Walt’s Versions of Classic Stories,” the Walt Disney Family Museum blog offers this lengthy summary of the talk. Brad sounds sharp as usual:

    Brad pointed out that while Snow White had a very simple opening, it showed what a good storyteller Walt was. When the book of the Snow White fairy tale opens, it has a bit of a “silent movie” approach, with text that audiences have to read. When the Queen’s castle is revealed, Brad noted, “Instead of happy music it begins with mysterious music, which immediately puts you in a different state of mind. The coolest thing is he (Walt) instinctively begins with not only the Queen, but also the mirror. He shows right away she is a slave to her own image.”


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    14. “Incredibles” poster by Robert McGinnis

    Brad Bird has leaked (via Twitter) this poster for The Incredibles.

    It was painted by Robert McGinnis, the veteran artist who created the advertising art for many 60s spy flicks, including the Matt Helm and James Bond movies (Thunderball, You Only Live Twice), poster art for the iconic Breakfast At Tiffanys and Barbarella, and over 1200 paperback novels. McGinnis began his career as an apprentice at the Walt Disney Studio.

    Here’s the poster that might have been, if Brad Bird had his way…

    (Thanks, Ed Austin via BleedingCool.com)

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    15. NY Times unaware that animation is a medium

    The New York Times published an article by Brooks Barnes the other day in which he tried to explain to readers that animation was the number one medium at the box office last summer. Except, he and none of his editors were aware that animation is a medium, so Barnes wrote that, “Animation was the No. 1 genre.”

    It is utterly embarrassing for the “paper of record” to have no one in its employ who is able to distinguish between the terms genre and medium. Next thing you know, they’ll be calling oil painting a genre of art, and referring to hardcover books as a literary genre. Actually, they wont because this gross incompetence and obliviousness is reserved exclusively for the mainstream media’s coverage of animation.

    In such instances, we must call upon director Brad Bird for clarity and reason:

    “People think of animation only doing things where people are dancing around and doing a lot of histrionics, but animation is not a genre. And people keep saying, ‘The animation genre.’ It’s not a genre! A Western is a genre! Animation is an art form, and it can do any genre. You know, it can do a detective film, a cowboy film, a horror film, an R-rated film or a kids’ fairy tale. But it doesn’t do one thing. And, next time I hear, ‘What’s it like working in the animation genre?’ I’m going to punch that person!”

    Mr. Bird, you have our permission to punch Brooks Barnes.

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