Fox was kind enough to show the HTFers in LA the promo clip for Robots and it looked unbelievable. The animation is as stunning as Finding Nemo. The storyline is pretty basic but it looks like good fun. This will be a big movie.
The cast is pretty strong too. The pitch clip (Jason mentioned) was pretty strong I thought. The cool thing about such a pitch clip is that it tells the entire story and then uses whatever animation/storyboards are available to give the gist of each scene/set of scenes (to sell the film to producers or distributors), so you aren't just going by a possibly skewed trailer. This was the story as it was going to be presented.
The world they have invented seems pretty clever and fun for the whole family, in line with something like Monsters Inc IMO. I like how robots "grow" by getting new parts for their birthdays.
Yep, I was working at Fox with an officie associated with Blue Sky (the animation studio behind it)- so I caught a glimpse of quite a bit of production art, story snippets, etc-- looks like it should be a good film if all the concepts can pull together into a story.
Ice Age was visually interesting, but the story was weak, and it had been done before (and since). However for Fox's first foray into CGI features, it did very well. Hopefully Blue Sky has learned a bit more in the years since. With Robin Williams again giving an animated feature marquee value, I hope this doesn't become another bitter Disney-esque battle. The trailer gives him the most air time.
I'll give Vince the benefit of the doubt, and wait to see the rest.
I doubt it; his arguments with Disney over Aladdin basically stemmed from him feeling Disney broke an unwritten agreement: He voices the Genie for scale (or, at least, well below his usual rate), they're low-key about his involvement during promotion - basically, if you're going to try and sell this movie based on Robin Williams, compensate him accordingly.
Based on his prominent placement on the banner I saw in the theater the other day, I'm assuming that Fox has shelled out something much closer to the full movie-star rate.
Ice Age is the strongest point going for Robots because it did do well despite having only a mediocre story. Robots LOOKS just as good (better actually) and the story appears to be at least as interesting.
With no promises that it will tell the story any better than Ice Age did, you have to figure that between the CGI and talent that the film will make quite a bit of money.
Of course when you see flops (at least in critical reception) like Shark's Tale you have to wonder how much longer the CGI wave can run before audiences start to demand the same level of quality that is expected of traditional animation (or other films).
I think most of us said it in various Disney threads that Disney was viewing the CGI/traditional thing the wrong way and was setting themselves up for failure by thinking it was just a matter of doing everything CGI. Storytelling still has to come first, even if you are telling it to kids.
Right now that remains the huge gap between Pixar and everyone else (ignoring great foreign animated films like Spirited Away or Triplets of Bellville - both traditional of course).
I haven't seen Shark's Tale so I can't comment on the film myself. But, I was at a party this weekend for my friend's 4 year old, and with the exception of one person, all the parents there who had seen Shark's Tale loved it. And seeing how well its doing at the BO, there is a definite disconnect between what the critics and what audience members think of the film.
We went to Shark's Tale and were bored to death from about ten minutes into the movie. I looked around a bit and noticed a lot of adults whose attention was wandering like mine. The kids in the audience loved it. I mean at least as much as they loved Finding Nemo. Obviously, this movie is much more squarely targeted at kids than the usual Pixar approach.
Well, you can say that this combination has been in use for years. Certainly, cels have been colored by computers for years, and computers have been used to animate certain scenes. (The ballroom scene from "Beauty And The Beast" comes to mind.)
So, mostly we are talking about about stylistic differences. While CGI is used to assist in traditional animation, they still try to blend things together to keep that cel animation look. (Hell, they programmed jidder into "The Iron Giant" to do just that.)
I've got mixed feelings about Robots. The trailer looks cool, but Ice Age was kinda underwhelming.