For those die hard fans of the Star Wars film series, May 4th is always a special occasion. It was on May 25th, 1977 that A New Hope, the first ever Star Wars film from writer/director George Lucas made its theatrical debut. The event marked the beginning of a new phenomenon in modern cinema, and changed the way movies were made and even thought of from then on. Drawing from inspiration from early space adventure serials, George Lucas envisioned a modern space epic using classic themes and archetypes that would forever change the movie-going experience. His company, Industrial Lights and Magic, which would go on to create Pixar Animation in the 1990s, created new methods for special effects that gave movie-goers an experience never before seen on film. To celebrate this special fan day, here is the latest trailer for the next installation in the film series, The Last Jedi, which will feature original actors Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher as Luke and Leia Skywalker, along with new vets Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Issac, Adam Driver, and Domhnall Gleeson. Enjoy, and May the Fourth Be With You!
*Update – this article originally stated that A New Hope was released on May 4th, 1977, hence part of the reasoning behind “May-the-Fourth Day.” A New Hope actually hit theaters on May 25th of that year, just in time for Memorial Day Weekend. My apologies for the inaccuracy!
October may have slowed down in terms of big releases as we came closer to Halloween, but with November comes a new month of big releases, and this week will see no shortage of such films this Friday. The first new release on the list is the upcoming modern rework of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and their gang of Peanuts, appropriately titled The Peanuts Movie. Coming Twentieth Century Fox and Blue Sky Animation, and from Horton Hears A Who and Ice Age: Continental Drift director Steve Martino, the new movie finds everyone’s favorite underdog Charlie Brown and his best pal Snoopy in an all new adventure, as Charlie tries to make a good impression on the new girl moving in next door, and Snoopy continues in his quest to shoot the Red Baron out of the sky. All of the timeless Peanuts characters from the mind of author Charles Schulz are back in new 3D fashion, with a touch of the classic anime-style that brought the Peanuts to our home television-screens growing up. An all new cast also provides voice-overs for the animated characters, including Noah Schnapp (Bridge of Spies) as Charlie Brown, Alexander Garfin (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) as Linus, Hadley Belle Miller (Branson the Sitcom) as Lucy, Noah Johnston (Monsters University) as Schroeder, and Peanuts veteran, Bill Melendez (A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, A Charlie Brown Christmas), returning to provide the voice of Snoopy. Given the production studio’s approach in remaining loyal to the classic Peanuts animation style, while simultaneously adapting it for modern filmmaking, I think fans of the Peanuts and those of the new generation will both be pleased by how this one turns out. The trailer is available here on MADE. Be sure to see it in 3D on big screens across the country this Friday, November 6th.
Even though the show was canceled after only 8 episodes, the 1980s cult-hit Manimals, which followed a man who could change into animals to fight crime, is being picked up at Sony Pictures Animation for a live-action-animated film, and comedy duo Adam McKay and Will Ferrell are lending a hand with the production. Although neither will be directly involved in the filming process, the comedy team is already busy promoting the movie, which is expected to be an action-comedy with lots of visual effects and computer animation. McKay and Ferrell most recently reunited for the long-awaited sequel to their 2004 comedy hit, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy, and while Manimal is the latest on their list of projects to complete, the two already have a number of films that will be wrapping up production very soon, including Daddy’s Home and Sleeping With Other People. Stay tuned for more updates.
Jeff Hong is an animation artist out of NYC whom put together the appropriately titled “Unhappily Ever After” series. Jeff, simply takes characters from his favorite disney films and puts them into different real life situations. We see Ariel emerging form an oil spill, Alice’s drug addiction, Pocahontas in a casino, and many, many more. Make sure to check out more of these images from Jeff Hong on his tumblr.