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February 16 2014

“LEGO Movie” Destroys Competition In It Second Weekend

Remember last year when the mainstream media started writing about the glut of animated features and questioning whether the industry was producing too much animation? As usual, they underestimated the animation medium and the connection that audiences have with the art form.

February 09 2014

“The LEGO Movie” Opens with A Record-Setting $69.1 Million

As anticipated, Warner Bros.' The LEGO Movie, directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, destroyed the box office with a $69.1 million opening.

February 02 2014

“Frozen” Jumps to Second Place In Its 10th Weekend

Boosted in part by a sing-along version that was released into theaters, Disney's "Frozen" jumped back into second place this weekend, an amazing feat for a film now in its 10th weekend of wide release.

January 27 2014

“Frozen” Tops “Finding Nemo” To Become All-Time Highest-Grossing Original Animated Pic

Surpassing even the most generous box office predictions, Disney's "Frozen" continues to shatter records.

January 23 2014

“The Nut Job” Is Getting a Sequel

"The Nut Job 2" has been set for release on January 15, 2016,

January 19 2014

Big Openings for “Nut Job” and “Boonie Bears” Prove That Audiences Just Don’t Care

It was a great weekend for subpar family CG films starring animals. Peter Lepeniotis' "The Nut Job," the first animated film released by Open Road Films, a new distribution company launched by AMC Theatres and Regal Entertainment Group, opened in third place with a robust $20.6 million.

December 24 2013

2014 Animated Feature Preview

From mainstream releases to independent foreign productions, we’ve got a guide to the animated feature releases that you can look forward to in 2014.

Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (1/10/14)
Released in 2012 in Japan, in this third chapter in the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy, the adventure continues for pilots Asuka and Mari after they are ambushed while recovering Evangelion Unit-01 from outer space.

Director: Hideaki Anno
Production Company: Studio Khara
Distributor: Funimation
Technique: Hand-drawn
Voice Cast: Spike Spencer, Jerry Jewell, Tiffany Grant
Japanese Website


The Nut Job (1/17/14)
A mischievous squirrel named Surly plans a nut-store heist with his rat friend, Buddy.

Director: Peter Lepeniotis
Production Company: Toonbox Entertainment
Distributor: Open Road Films
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Gabriel Iglesias, Liam Neeson
Official Facebook Page


The Lego Movie (2/7/14)
Ordinary LEGO figure is mistaken as “The Special” and goes on an adventure to save his LEGO mini-world.

Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Production Company: Animal Logic
Distributor: Warner Brothers
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman,
Official Website


The Wind Rises (2/21/14)
A fictionalized biography of fighter jet designer, Jiro Horikoshi, Hayao Miyazaki’s final film was a big hit in Japan last year and aims to repeat that success in the United States.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Production Company: Studio Ghibli
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures
Technique: Hand-drawn
Voice Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinki
Japanese Website


Mr. Peabody & Sherman (3/7/14)
Mr. Peabody & Sherman use their time traveling WABAC machine to keep the space-time continuum from being irreparably destroyed.

Director: Rob Minkoff
Production Company: Dreamworks
Distributor: Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter, Stephen Colbert
Offical Website


Rio 2 (4/11/14)
Blu and his family leave Rio de Janeiro for a journey to the Amazon rainforest where they encounter a menagerie of wild characters.

Director: Carlos Saldanha
Production Company: Blue Sky
Distributor: Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx
Official Website


Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (5/9/14)
Dorothy returns to the Emerald City when The Jester threatens the world of Oz.

Director: Daniel St. Pierre, Will Finn
Production Company: Summertime Entertainment
Distributor: Clarius Entertainment
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Lea Michele, Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd
Official Website


How to Train Your Dragon 2 (6/13/14)
Taking place five years after the first film, Hiccup and his friends find themselves in the center of a larger conflict between humans and dragons.

Director: Dean DeBlois
Production Company: Dreamworks
Distributor: Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson
Official Website


Planes: Fire and Rescue (7/18/14)
Air racer Dusty must shift gears and join a quirky crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting a historic national park.

Director: Klay Hall
Production Company: DisneyToon Studios
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Dane Cook, Julie Bowen
Official Website


The Boxtrolls (9/26/14)
An orphaned boy has to save his adopted family, a group of underground cave-dwelling trash collectors, from an exterminator.

Director: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi
Production Company: Laika
Distributor: Focus
Technique: Stop Motion
Voice Cast: Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg, Elle Fanning, Toni Collette
Official Website


Book of Life (10/17/14)
A young man named Manolo embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds, where he must face his greatest fears.

Director: Jorge Gutierrez
Production Company: Reel FX
Distributor: Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Christina Applegate


Big Hero 6 (11/7/14)
A brilliant robotics prodigy joins forces with a reluctant team of first time crime fighters in the fictional city of San Fransokyo.

Director: Don Hall
Production Company: Walt Disney Animation Studios
Distributor: Fox
Technique: CG
Official film website


Home (11/26/14)
An overly enthusiastic alien race are determined to take over Earth and relocate the human race to their planet – convinced they’re helping them.

Director: Tim Johnson
Production Company: Dreamworks Animation
Distributor: 20 Century Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Rhianna, Jim Parsons


The Congress (release date unannounced)
An aging, out-of-work actress accepts one last job, though the consequences of her decision affect her in ways she didn’t consider.

Director: Ari Folman
Distributor: Drafthouse Films
Technique: Live Action/Hand-drawn
Voice Cast: Robin Wright, Paul Giamatti, Jon Hamm
Official Website

Foreign Films

Tarzan 3D (1/24/14) (UK)
Tarzan and Jane Porter must face an army sent by the CEO of Greystoke Energies, the very man who took over the company after Tarzan’s parents death.

Director: Reinhard Klooss
Production Company: Constantin Films
Distributor: Filmförderunganstalt
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Kellan Lutz, Spencer Locke, Anton Zetterhorn, Jaime Ray Newman
German Website


Minuscule – La vallée des fourmis perdues (1/29/14) (France)
(Minuscule – Valley of the Lost Ants)
Two rival gangs of ants fight over a box of sugar leftover from a picnic.

Director: Thomas Szabo, Hélène Giraud
Production Company: Futurikon Films
Distributor: Le Pacte
Technique: CG
Official Facebook Page


Der 7bte Zwerg (1/30/14) (Germany)
(The 7th Dwarf)
The 7th dwarf Bubi travels into the future with his dwarf companions to stop a curse caused by an evil ice queen.

Director: Boris Aljinovic, Harald Siepermann
Production Company: Zipfelmützen Films, Erfttal Films
Distributor: Universal Pictures Germany
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Norbert Heisterkamp, Otto Waalkes, Nina Hagen
German Website


Jack et la Mécanique du cœur (2/5/14) (France)
(Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart)
Born on the coldest day in history, Jack lives with a clockwork heart that he must never touch, or use for anger or love.

Director: Mathias Malzieu, Stéphane Berla
Production Company: Duran Duboi
Distributor: EuropaCorp
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Mathias Malzieu, Olivia Ruiz, Jean Rochefort
Official Facebook Page


Tanta Hilda! (2/12/2014) (France)
(Aunt Hilda!)
Disaster looms for Aunt Hilda’s plant museum when industrialists develop a new chemical called “Attilem”.

Director: Jacques-Rémy Girerd and Benoît Chieux
Production Company: Folimage
Distributor: SND
Technique: Hand-drawn
Voice Cast: Sabine Azéma, Josiane Balasko, François Morel
Film Website


Asterix: le Domaine des Dieux (11/26/14) (France)
(Asterix: The Mansion of the Gods)
Asterix and Obelix take on Julius Caesar after he attempts to seduce a village of Gauls off of their land by building a luxurious suburb nearby.

Director: Alexandre Astier, Louis Clichy
Production Company: MacGuff Ligne
Distributor: SND Sant-Ouen Films
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Roger Carel, Guillaume Briat, Alexandre Astier


Song of the Sea (Ireland)
The story of the last Seal Child’s journey home.

Director: Tomm Moore
Production Company: Cartoon Saloon
Technique: Hand-drawn
Voice Cast: David Rawle, Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan
Official Facebook Page


Malá z Rybárny (Czech Republic)
(Little from the Fish Shop)
The daughter of a fish shop owner meets a handsome, confident young man.

Director: Jan Balej
Distributor: Miracle Film
Technique: Puppet/Digital
Official Website

September 28 2013

Open Road Releases “The Nut Job” Trailer

The animated trailers won’t stop this week. Today we have The Nut Job, which will open on January 17, 2014. Directed by veteran CG animator Peter Lepeniotis, The Nut Job is based on a short film he made in 2005 called Surly Squirrel. Lepeniotis also co-wrote the screenplay for this new film with Lorne Cameron.

The $45 million 3D CGI film is a South Korean/Canadian co-production between ToonBox Entertainment, Redrover, Ltd and Gulfstream Pictures. It will be distributed by Open Road Films, a joint venture of theater chains AMC and Regal.

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