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Five Awesome Animated Film Scores, from Mermaids to Dragons

Five Awesome Animated Film Scores, from Mermaids to Dragons

There are a number of essential elements that make an animated film come together and lift it from the mundane to the level of awesome. From story structure to character design these important elements dictate the quality of the final product.  One such essential piece of an amazing animated film is the film’s soundtrack, particularly the film’s score.  We’ve seen in the Greatest Themes countdown how powerful music can be.  A film score is an instrumental music track that often lies quietly in the background but at other times can enhance your viewing of the action happening on the screen.  A truly amazing film score knows when to be quiet and when to blast out an audience’s ear drums.  There are hundreds of amazing film scores, from Gladiator to Tron Legacy and everything in between, but what are some of the best films scores written for animated films?

Disney’s D23 Expo 2011 teases The Untitled Pixar Movie About Dinosaurs

Disney's D23 Expo 2011 teases The Untitled Pixar Movie About Dinosaurs

When we’re done with Monsters, we’ll get Dinosaurs; so says Pixar at Disney’s D23 Expo 2011. This weekend, the company unveiled two new films with vague bits of teaser information, both scheduled to hit big screen after the Monsters Inc prequel, Monsters University, which hits on June 21st, 2013. The first of the two, set to be in theaters on November 27th, 2013, will focus on Dinosaurs, and was given the comically pleasing working title of The Untitled Pixar Movie About Dinosaurs. The premise, according to director Bob Peterson (who also voiced Roz from Monster’s, Inc. and UP’s dog, Dug) asks what would happen if dinosaurs never went extinct? Unfortunately for Toy Story’s Rex, the concept seems to spread past his short reach. Unfortunately, not much more is known at this time, other than the glimpses of the sneak peeks, which feature a boy, a large brontosaurus, a pterodactyl, some mosquitoes, and more. What do you think the film will be about?

So long, Snow White; Disney too Tangled in fairy tales

So long, Snow White; Disney too Tangled in fairy tales

In roughly two weeks, Disney will bring Tangled home to Blu-ray and DVD. As the 50th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, Tangled is a retelling of the classic Grimm Brothers fairy tale Rapunzel. Though it generated over $500 million, it’s lofty $260 million budget makes it the second most expensive film of all time – perhaps enough so to have Disney avoid fairy tales, all together. Disney Animation heads Ed Catmull and John Lasseter have already squashed two films in development, “The Snow Queen” and “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Could the days of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, and Jasmine be over in favor of the new wave of Toy Story, Cars, Bolt, and UP? Would you want it that way?

Alice in Wonderland 60th Anniversary Edition DVD and Blu-Ray review

Alice in Wonderland 60th Anniversary Edition DVD and Blu-Ray review

Disney has a large stable of animated tales in it’s long history. There’s the Disney Princess flicks (Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Mulan), the Animal films (the Jungle Book, Tarzan, Lion King, 101 Dalmatians), and even a CG category (Toy Story, The Robinsons, UP). Then, there’s a film like Alice in Wonderland… which fits no category. In Disney’s original, animated retelling of the classic Lewis Carroll novel, The Mad Hatter has more resemblance to Winnie the Pooh’s Rabbit than Johnny Depp, and yet there’s all the magic and wonder captured some 60 years ago that Tim Burton revived in his new take. …right?

Toy Story, Cars, Ratatouille, Up, and Wall-E get Stamped

Toy Story, Cars, Ratatouille, Up, and Wall-E get Stamped

How much does a stamp go for nowadays? Is it still a quarter? Wait, what, 44 cents?! Geez. I guess with email being so common, we’re not writing too many regular letters. However, the latest effort from the United States Postal Service might get us to start writing snail mail letters more and more, as long as we can use those sweet new Pixar stamps! Together with Disney, the USPS is rolling out a line of commemorative stamps via the Send a Hello program. It will include a number star characters in Pixar films, including characters from Cars, Ratatouille, Toy Story, Up, and Wall*E. The Disney crew joins other arts and entertainment stars, like Mark Twain, Gregory Peck, Helen Hayes, Selena, Carlos Gardel, Carmen Miranda, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Owney, and Romare Bearden.

Waking Sleeping Beauty, Disney’s rebound to The Little Mermaid

Waking Sleeping Beauty, Disney's build to The Little Mermaid

Last week, fans were invited to learn one of the greatest Disney stories ever – not Rapunzel’s Tangled (though that was a great film!) – this time, it’s the story-behind-the-story that has us fascinated. Waking Sleeping Beauty notes Disney’s past 20 years, with The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story, UP, The Princess and the Frog, etc. Mickey’s early years had just as much with Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi, etc. But the years between those two eras were often dark and disappointing for the House of Mouse. Waking Sleeping Beauty, available since November 30th, helps bridge that gap, telling the story of Disney’s rebound to a new golden age. Truly an amazing DVD – and certainly something to add to your wish lists this year!

Superman Batman Apocalypse the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie

Superman Batman Apocalypse the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie

It’s difficult to imagine someone, or something, as powerful as Superman. I mean, come on, he’s the Man of Steel, for crying out loud! But, in Superman Batman Apocalypse, that’s exactly what Supes and The Dark Knight encounter when a spaceship splashes down in Gotham City Harbor. THere, a new Kryptonian emerges: Kara, Superman’s cousin, a.k.a Supergirl! With so much power at stake, it’s no wonder Darkseid shows up to weigh in on the situation – and heavily! With the battle between Earth and Apocalypse, it’s up to Superman and Batman, with help from Supergirl, to topple and defeat Darkseid! What happens? Well, you’ll just have to wait and check out the DVD when Warner Premiere brings this latest DC Universe Animated Original Movie to Blu-ray and DVD on September 28th!

Disney’s Day & Night short before Pixar’s Toy Story 3

Disney's Day & Night short before Pixar's Toy Story 3

Pixar is not only world famous for it’s amazing CG feature length films, they’re also well regarded for their powerful animated shorts; brief, several-minute toons that can stand on their own at festivals, or, more recently, quick specials that appear before the longer movies. Through the Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Up, and Wall-E, we’ve seen shorts like Presto, For the Birds, Geri’s Game, and more. Disney’s Toy Story 3 debuted a few weeks ago with a brand new short running just before it; Day & Night. The animation features two characters, Day and Night, that act out what their names refer to. For example, Day has a bright sun within him, where as Night has a cool moon. Day is a rainbow; Night is fireworks. Make sense? …not so much? Well check out this “making of” clip, then go see it in theaters with Toy Story!

Warner Premiere presents Superman Batman: Apocalypse, the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight versus Darkseid

Warner Premiere presents Superman Batman: Apocalypse, the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight versus Darkseid

Warner Premiere has been on a hot streak, releasing some of the greatest super hero films of all time in the span of just a few years. And, luckily for fans like us, they’re all animated creations, expanding the world of toons for us all. Whether its Green Lantern or Wonder Woman or even all of the Justice League, they’re always hitting home runs with top notch work. This time around, we’re getting Superman and Batman in the same film… again! We already had the awesome Superman Batman Public Enemies, now the super hero team is pairing up once more to do battle against Darkseid on behalf of Supergirl in Superman Batman: Apocalypse. The DVD and Blu-ray are set for a September release, with details on their way. Take a look at the full press release and cover art

115 million votes for Nickelodeon’s 23rd Annual Kids’ Choice Awards

115 million votes for Nickelodeon's 23rd Annual Kids' Choice Awards

Kevin James made one point loud and clear this past weekend: this year’s Kids’ Choice Awards was the largest ever. Nickelodeon’s 23rd Annual Awards show pulled in about 115 million votes for the various competitions and categories, all culminating in a single event this past Saturday on the Nick network. Twilight Saga: New Moon and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel were amongst the big winners for the evening, as the Orange Blimps reigned supreme. Fans who tuned in also got a look at previews for Iron Man 2 and The Last Airbender. Take a look at the winners list

Up takes home the Oscars

Up takes home the Oscars

While it didn’t win the award for Best Picture (losing out to “The Hurt Locker”) Disney and Pixar’s summer blockbuster of 2009, UP, did get to take home the night’s most prestigious animated award, Best Animated Feature Film. The flick appeared in a group of some really amazing nominees; Coraline, The Princess and the Frog, The Secret of Kells, and the Fantastic Mr. Fox each represented toons in an amazing fashion. But, at the end of the night, it was Up that took the Oscar – and not just for the animation! Composer Michael Giacchino also grabbed the trophy for providing UP with a phenomenal musical score. Absolutely well deserved awards, we think Oscar was spot-on this time around 🙂 And for kicks, check out this behind-the-scenes clip of the film, starring Ed Asner, aka Carl Fredricksen

Waking Sleeping Beauty

Waking Sleeping Beauty

The history of beautiful animated films is no perfect fairytale. Sure, now we have Finding Nemo, Coraline, Kung Fu Panda, and The Princess and the Frog. And yeah, it all stems from the rich heritage of golden age classics, like early Mickey Mouse reels, Snow White, Looney Tunes, and Sleeping Beauty. But the late 1970s brought a “dark age,” when animation studios were shut down, artists fired, projects canceled, and the medium itself was thought to be dead. That’s where the documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty steps in, telling the true story of how animation, and the love for the art, was brought back to life by a group including Roy Disney (of Disney family fame), John Lasseter (Pixar, Toy Story, The Incredibles, Up, Wall-E, etc.) Tim Burton (Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Alice in Wonderland, etc.), and Don Bluth (An American Tail, The Land Before Time, The Secret of NIMH, etc.) and dozens of others. Together, they brought us the Disney Renaissance, revived the entire industry with new classics like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. On March 26th, in select theaters, you’ll get to see the story for yourself. But for now, check out the trailer!

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