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Tag: Animation (91-100 of 281)

Who are the funniest animated movie characters of all time?

animated-charactersI’ve had Friday, Nov. 5 circled, starred, and highlighted on my calendar for a while, PopWatchers (and not because it’s Guy Fawkes Night…). No, because Will Ferrell plays a deliciously evil supervillain in Megamind (along with Tina Fey, Brad Pitt, and Jonah Hill), which hits theaters tomorrow. And since Ferrell knows all-too-well how to transform himself into an evil villain (see: Zoolander‘s Mugatu), there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be as, if not more, hilarious as an animated one, right? We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out, but could Megamind be the funniest animated movie character of all time?

Of course, the blue evil-doer does have some stiff competition. Tons of great actors have lent their voices and comedic timing to animated films, creating some of the most lovable and laugh-inducing characters: Ellen DeGeneres’ was a forgetful, whale-speaking fish Dory (“Maybe a different dialect?”) in Finding Nemo, and Eddie Murphy played an actual smart-ass in not one, but four Shrek installments. But did these recent characters tickle your funny bone as much as characters in some of Disney’s classics? Going back to the studio’s heyday, Aladdin’s loyal servant Genie had an endless supply of impressions at the ready, thanks to Robin Williams, and the singing duo/lifestyle gurus Timon and Pumbaa (Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella) in The Lion King never failed to deliver a memorable phrase… for the rest of your days.

So tell me, what’s a motto with you, PopWatchers? Who do you think is the funniest animated movie character of all time?

PopWatch Rewind Week 11: 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'

God might be dead, but the Great Pumpkin will live forever. That’s one of many important life-lessons you learn from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, the iconic Peanuts Halloween special in which Linus preaches his suspicious belief system to a community of big-headed skeptics. There is a lot to love about this special — the jazzy score, the gorgeously minimal animation, the lengthy tangent in which Snoopy play-acts a World War I melodrama (complete with an extended piano sequence that can only be described as Lynchian). But there’s one thing thing that sets Great Pumpkin apart from all other Halloween specials: It never tries to be scary. There are no spooky monsters, no shocks, nothing to make you afraid of the dark. There’s just a little boy, alone in a pumpkin patch, trying to fight away the creeping suspicion that humanity is actually alone in the universe. Actually, now that we think about it, that’s really scary. Join us as we read entirely too much into the story of a boy and his best friend: a pumpkin who doesn’t exist.

Darren Franich: This was the third Peanuts special. Personally, I think this blows all the other ones out of the water. (Looking at you, A Charlie Brown Christmas!) It’s fast. It’s funny. And for about seven straight minutes, it suddenly turns into The Adventures of Snoopy in Occupied France.

Keith Staskiewicz: The more I think about it, the less I think the Snoopy storyline is that divergent. Snoopy pretending to fight the Red Baron and Linus’ squash-based god-cult are both about the fine line between imagination and delusion. But while Snoopy’s pretend-time is fun, there’s something about Linus’ utter faith in the Great Pumpkin that is upsetting to the other kids. READ FULL STORY

Danny DeVito leads 'The Lorax' (with Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Rob Riggle, and Betty White)

lorax-movieImage Credit: Illumination Entertainment/UniversalIt could be the most environmentally-conscious movie since Avatar. USA Today has the first look at The Lorax, the 3-D adaptation of the 1971 Dr. Seuss book in which the gruff title character (voiced by Danny DeVito), pictured, speaks for the trees that are being chopped down by the Once-ler (voiced by Ed Helms), a naive businessman who turns disastrously greedy. Zac Efron will voice the young boy who wants to find the Lorax because even though the Once-ler destroyed the forest, there is still hope for Mother Nature. Betty White will voice the boy’s grandmother, who remembers the world when it was still green. (“They live in an outrageously artificial world where all things natural have been replaced by plastic and steel. It’s like living in Las Vegas,” producer Chris Meledandri, head of Illumination Animation, joked to USA Today.) Rob Riggle will voice another new character, described as “another industrialist who sells cans of fresh air to the polluted world the Once-ler creates and wants to keep it that way.” (Anyone else just think of Spaceballs?)

Thoughts? Sounds like perfect casting by Universal and Illumination. I remember chatting with DeVito about his 2006 holiday movie Deck the Halls for one of EW’s movie preview issues, and he spent 10 minutes convincing me to see An Inconvenient Truth, which had just hit theaters, immediately. (It worked, too: I went that night after we hung up.) DeVito’s passion — and his penchant for giving memorable interviews — should definitely garner the film some headlines when he does the media tour. Watch a clip from the 1972 TV version of The Lorax below.  READ FULL STORY

'South Park' apologizes for stealing 'Inception' parody dialogue

south-park-inceptionDid the Inception parody that South Park aired last week seem eerily familiar as you watched? Don’t worry, you (probably) weren’t being incepted. The South Park episode lifted significant chunks of dialogue from a video posted on CollegeHumor.com back in August, to such an extent that South Park has had to apologize publicly. “It’s just because we do the show in six days, and we’re stupid and we just threw it together,” South Park creator Matt Stone told The New York Times. “But in the end, there are some lines that we had to call and apologize for.”

According to the Times, it was all a big mix-up: “When [Stone and Trey Parker] could not find a movie theater showing Inception, and were unable to get a DVD of the film (or find a watchable version on BitTorrent), they turned to other parodies of the film on the Web, and found the CollegeHumor video.” Stone adds that taking CollegeHumor’s jokes “was a mistake, and it was an honest mistake.”

Check out CollegeHumor’s “Inception Characters Don’t Understand Inception” after the jump, then visit South Park‘s site to see that show’s “Insheeption” episode. The Inception parody starts around 6:30. Some key shared lines to look out for include “Sometimes my thoughts of my dead wife manifest themselves as trains” and “We need to move to the next dream level before these projections kill us”/”We need to move them all to the next dream level before the projections kill them.”

Do you buy Stone’s explanation for all this? Does this seem like just “an honest mistake” or something worse? Sound off in comments. READ FULL STORY

'Star Wars: The Clone Wars': Always in motion is the future

Star-Wars-Clone-WarsImage Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd. & TMNo disturbance in the Force here! After a couple of mildly disappointing episodes set on Mandalore, Star Wars: The Clone Wars got back on track with a brooding, mysterious installment last night. “Assassin” is the first ep this season to dive deeply into Star Wars’ underlying mythology, and, most impressively, it didn’t have to be a Skywalker-centric episode to have some Joseph Campbell-worthy heft.

Like Anakin in Revenge of the Sith, though, Ahsoka found herself having unsettling Force-fueled visions. And just like the future Darth Vader, visions of Padmé’s death, no less! READ FULL STORY

'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' Recap: Mandalore rots from the head down

star-wars-clone-warsImage Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd. & TMYou have to hand it to Star Wars: The Clone Wars for taking some major risks in its third season. First, the series hasn’t lately put the spotlight on icons from the movies like Anakin and Obi-Wan. Instead it’s devoted episodes to lesser known characters like Baron Papanoida, Senator Chuchi, Bail Organa, Shaak Ti, and Duchess Satine. The objective of the series now is clear: to show that the Star Wars galaxy encompasses many more stories beyond those related to the Skywalker clan. Second, with the exception of the season premiere episode, The Clone Wars hasn’t featured…well, much of the Clone Wars.

Last night’s episode, “The Academy,” followed up on “Corruption” with another story set on Mandalore. READ FULL STORY

'Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue' and other anti-drug PSAs from childhood: Which was the best?

I remember the first and only time I was sat down and lectured about drugs, mostly because I think my reaction was something along the lines of “Can I go now?” My attention span lasted far longer when my parents decided to let Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue do the lecturing, but I gather that the improved attentiveness was a direct result of the special’s gross overuse of the ever-hypnotic sparkle sound.

There are no sparkle sounds in any of the advertisements highlighted in this piece about anti-drug PSAs, but there are some memorable ones. I am, however, surprised I don’t remember more of them. (Especially the one featuring the Ninja Turtles. I would have liked to sling the insult “You’re a turkey” back when it was cool — um, assuming it ever was.)

I’m going to go befriend a magician now. Meanwhile, tell me: Do remember any/all of these advertisements? Did any of these specials/commercials actually have an effect on you back in the day? Which was the best?

My vote for the best still goes to Cartoon All-Stars. My biggest fear, of course, being that I would get high and cartoons would start talking to me.

@EWSandraG on Twitter READ FULL STORY

New Henson project: Could puppets get any cooler?

A dark comedy thriller directed by Jim Henson’s son, set in a puppet dystopia, is in the works at Lionsgate, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This, on top of the upcoming Muppets movie (written by and starring Jason Segel) and Sesame Street‘s sudden return to the zeitgeist, and I think we can officially declare that Muppets are back. Brian Henson’s Happytime Murders – which is not directly related to the Muppets and not, it seems, meant for kids — sounds like it’ll really give the Henson name some new cool cred, too. The script tells of a world where humans and puppets co-exist, though the puppets are second-class citizens. The puppet cast of a 1980s kids’ show called The Happytime Gang starts getting murdered one by one, prompting an alcoholic former-cop puppet to take the case with his ex-partner, a human. A little bit Roger Rabbit, a little bit Avenue Q, a lot awesome if they get it just right.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Are you psyched for Happytime Murders?

Read more:
Elmo and Grover on GMA
Jim Henson explains and makes puppets

'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' recap: Greedo shot first!

chairman-Star-Clone-WarsImage Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd. & TMIn my recap of the last episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, I said that watching it felt like 1999 all over again. Mostly because of Jar Jar, of course. Tonight, the series went all the way back to 1977, revisiting some of the locales (The Mos Eisley Cantina! Jabba’s Palace!) that first made us all fall in love with that Galaxy Far, Far Away (GFFA) 33 years ago. Not to mention that “Sphere of Influence” saw the return of a certain Rodian bounty hunter, who, since his first appearance in A New Hope, has become the subject of a “Who Shot First?” debate the Warren Commission wouldn’t have dared touch. And you thought only Star Trek did time travel.

“Sphere of Influence” bridged the stylistic gap between the prequels and the Original Trilogy more effectively than any previous episode of The Clone Wars. Sure, there was a lot of Episode I in there. That famously derided line from the opening crawl of The Phantom Menace about the “taxation of trade routes,” took on a new meaning as the greedy Trade Federation blockaded the planet Pantora, much like they did more than ten years earlier (in GFFA history) to Padmé Amidala’s homeworld of Naboo. This time, though, the Trade Federation was trying to get the Pantorans to join the Separatists. The message was clear: READ FULL STORY

Disney's 'Tron: Legacy' and 'Tangled' event makes for some rather enjoyable whiplash

TRON-TANGLEDImage Credit: Douglas Curran; Disney EnterprisesWhen I say the words “a Disney movie,” I think we can agree that we all have a pretty clear vision of what I’m talking about: Family friendly, bright, adventurous, bold themes, big characters, obvious marketing tie-ins, etc. Well, last night I attended a special event showcasing two big Disney movies slated for the holiday season: Tangled (Nov. 24) and Tron: Legacy (Dec. 17). And while both films live up to all those aforementioned Disney movie traits, I am hard pressed to think of a more jarring double-feature I’ve experienced outside of a major film festival. The whiplash of going from a dark-and-glossy futuristic action adventure epic scored by Daft Punk to a storybook musical about a teenage girl with a lustrously magical mane of blonde hair is something I will not soon forget.

The evening started with footage from Tron: Legacy — first its 3-D trailer, and then about 20-or-so minutes of completed scenes in 2-D, all from what appear to be the film’s first and second acts. Many of these scenes fill in the missing bits already glimpsed in the movie’s gonzo trailers: READ FULL STORY

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