The 30th Anniversary of 1985's BACK TO THE FUTURE was last year, and while much of the excitement peaked with the October 21st celebration of the actual date (the real one, not the fake ones your friends constantly meme on Facebook) that Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) traveled to the future in 1989's BACK TO THE FUTURE II, there's still a lot coming. Take Toyota's reimagined version of Marty's dream truck - a 2016 Toyota Tacoma that's been decked-out with accessories mirroring the truck that Marty finally gets in BACK TO THE FUTURE III. Or how about the Toyota Mirai Concept - a fuel cell electric vehicle (complete with Delorean mirroring gull-wing doors) that was featured in Toyota’s “Fueled by Everything” video starring Fox and Christopher Lloyd? Both are on display in the Windy City for the very first time at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, where families can check out just what the real future may hold. I checked them out and did a little toyography - with my Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment Toyota and Delorean, along with the Funko ReAction Figure of Marty...
For Walt Disney Animation Studios' ZOOTOPIA, there was an entirely new set of challenges created by the sheer size and scope of the film. In fact, nothing about ZOOTOPIA was "business as usual," because unlike other "talking animal" movies that we've seen in the past, this film was done with great attention to both detail and scale. When I met with the filmmakers, there was a lot of talk about how the city itself had to be able to accommodate different sizes of animals (like a subway that serves mice and elephants), as well as consideration given to how different species would move, should they begin walking upright on two legs. With so many elements at play, Art Director of Characters (and fellow MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE enthusiast) Cory Loftis, and a team of animators had to design over 1,000 unique characters, and during a visit to Disney Animation's temporary campus, he took our press group through a little bit of the process... and gave us a lesson in drawing the Ginnifer Goodwin-voiced Judy Hopps.
In a warehouse in North Hollywood, something interesting has been happening. There, behind the bland and unassuming exterior, Walt Disney Animation Studios has sprung to life in a temporary location that once housed the Disney Imagineering department - the result of a massive renovation taking place at the famed Roy E. Disney Animation Building in Burbank. Within the largely open space, work continued through late January on ZOOTOPIA, the 55th feature from the studio, and one that's been gaining fans well before release - due in large part to a slow-moving sloth with a really big smile. After meeting with Directors Byron Howard (BOLT, TANGLED) and Rich Moore (WRECK-IT RALPH), along with Producer Clark Spencer (WINNIE THE POOH) for a sneak-preview over at the Disney Studios lot, I was invited to take a closer look at the development of the film with some of the key players behind-the-scenes.
On March 18, the long-awaited Netflix Original Film, Pee-wee's Big Holiday will make its debut, putting Paul Reubens back in action as his iconic character, Pee-wee Herman. A first-look teaser arrived this afternoon with the date announcement, and you can see it below.
While there's still not a vast amount of detailed info available about the film, the one-liner says "A fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger inspires Pee-wee Herman to take his first-ever holiday in this epic story of friendship and destiny."
Over the past few years, I've been fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet with the filmmakers behind Walt Disney Animation Studios' back-to-back Academy Award winners, FROZEN and BIG HERO 6. Last month, on a visit to the Walt Disney Studios lot, I settled into a screening room to take an early look behind the curtain at what's next - ZOOTOPIA, the 55th animated feature from the studio, carrying on a legacy that began with SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS back in 1937. As the studios move forward, the creative forces behind each film remain mindful of where their lineage lies, and with that in mind, Directors Byron Howard (BOLT, TANGLED) and Rich Moore (WRECK-IT RALPH), along with Producer Clark Spencer (WINNIE THE POOH), rolled a short look back at some memorable moments from the past history of Disney Animation, just prior to walking us through the genesis of ZOOTOPIA.
Lalaloopsy is always a big deal around these parts, and aside from all the dolls, costumes and toys, I've seen every animated movie and special multiple times. For some of these, like ADVENTURES IN LALALOOPSY LAND, LALALOOPSY PONIES: THE BIG SHOW and A SEW MAGICAL TALE: THE MOVIE, Netflix has been our main source of viewing, but just in-time for the gift-giving season, MGA Entertainment have bundled them together in two separate 2-movie collections, HOLIDAY TREAT and SEW SWEET MOVIES. They're a perfect stocking stuffer, and a pick in my 2015 Holiday Wish Guide. Want to win both of these sets for a total of four movies in all? Here's your chance, right here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine!