EXCLUSIVE: In terms of awards campaigns for the Best Animated Feature Oscar this year, ParaNorman, a nominee from Focus Features and Laika seems to be the one making the most noise, at least as far as advertising goes. Taking a cue from the Juno campaign a few years ago there is even a ParaNorman coffee truck driving around town serving up goodies. Hey, why not? If an Academy member happens to be strolling by what could be a better way to get their attention than selling them a cappuccino from Norman himself? Focus and Laika are clearly proud of their work and want Oscar voters to know they actually have racked up more critics awards than any other animated film this year, although at Rotten Tomatoes it is an extremely close race for the title of Best Reviewed animated feature among the five Oscar nominees with Frankenweenie at 88% fresh barely ahead of ParaNorman and The Pirates! Band Of Misfits at 87% while Wreck-It Ralph has 85% and Brave 78%, all healthy scores indicating this could turn out to be an extremely tight race in the end even with Ralph scoring big wins at the Annies and PGA over the competition. ParaNorman is aiming to turn the tide. Here’s an exclusive featurette:
Annie Awards: ‘Wreck-It-Ralph’ Wins 5 Including Feature, Robot Chicken ‘DC Comics Special’ TV, ‘Paperman’ Best Short
Wreck-It Ralph heads toward this year’s Academy Awards with newly added momentum. The videogame-themed Walt Disney Animation Studios pic was the bigger winner tonight at the 40th Annual Annie Awards. Ralph took Best Animated Feature plus Best Directing, Music, Voice Acting and Best Writing in an Animated Feature. Last year’s Annies Animated Feature winner Rango went on to win the Oscar for the same category in 2012.
Related: Annie Award Nominations Unveiled
Hosted by film critic Leonard Maltin and voice actors Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen, the ceremony from UCLA’s Royce Hall saw DreamWorks’ Rise Of The Guardians, LAIKA/Focus Features’ ParaNorman, and Pixar’s Brave pick up several awards as well. Robot Chicken’s DC Comic Special won the Best General Audience Animated Television Production award. Marvel’s blockbuster The Avengers took the nod for Best Animated Effects in a Live Action Production and Rhythm & Hues Studio won best Character Animation in a Live Action Production for their work on Life Of Pi. Walt Disney Animation Studio’s Paperman won the Best Animated Short Subject award. South Park’s Trey Parker scooped a best Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production for the long running satire’s South Park: Jewpacabra. Check out the full list below:
Wreck-It Ralph – Walt Disney Animation Studios
Director Rich Moore only thanked Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios CCO John Lasseter, as many people did tonight, but said he was so honored and thankful to be part of the Disney Legacy.
General Audience Television Production
Robot Chicken DC Comics Special – Stoopid Buddy Studios
“Let’s just keep making awesome stuff”, says Seth Green to the crowd on Robot Chicken’s win and the animation industry in general.
Directing in a Feature Production
Rich Moore, Wreck-It Ralph – Walt Disney Animation Studios
The Annies exploded with a roar when Ralph’s Moore name was read aloud for best Feature Directing. The director joked that he’s in trouble because he gave his speech to “the teleprompter guy” (they’ve had issues tonight). Moore then gave a seamless speech thanking a wide variety of people involved “in this fantastic film”.
Craig Modderno is an AwardsLine contributor.
Details are everything in animation, but ParaNorman producer Arianne Sutner knows all too well how difficult it can be to get them right. Her seemingly simple suggestion to add a shower cap in a scene in the 3D stopmotion film quickly became a question of balancing creativity and schedule.
“There’s a scene where Courtney comes to the door looking for Norman and is met by Mitch, who is wearing a towel,” Sutner recounts. “I thought having Mitch wear a shower cap would be funny. The trouble came when I remembered in stopmotion you can only do a minute a week.” Fortunately, Sutner had codirector Sam Fell, codirector and writer Chris Butler, and fellow producer Travis Knight — who’s also the CEO of the financing company Laika — on her side. “We had an unspoken rule that if anyone had a change that could improve the film, we would try it,” Knight says. “We were working from an excellent script, so we looked at ideas like hers as basically tweaking the source material, which we all loved.”
‘The Expendables 2′ Tops Crowded Box Office With $28.7M Weekend, ‘Bourne Legacy’ $17M, ‘ParaNorman’ $14M; ‘The Campaign’ $13.3M, ‘Sparkle’ $12M
August 17-19 Weekend Actuals
1. The Expendables 2 (Millenium/Lionsgate) NEW [3,316 Runs] R Friday $10.5M, Saturday $10.2M, Sunday $7.9M, Weekend $28.6M
2. The Bourne Legacy (Universal) Week 2 [3,753 Runs] PG13 Friday $5.3M, Saturday $7.1M, Sunday $4.7M, Weekend $17.1M (-55%), Cume $69.6M
3. ParaNorman 3D (Focus Features) NEW [3,429 Runs] PG Friday
Focus Features has released a final web trailer for the LAIKA stop-motion animated ParaNorman 3D feature that opens Friday. ParaNorman is directed by Sam Fell (Flushed Away, The Tale of Despereaux) and Chris Butler (who also wrote the screenplay). This trailer takes a different approach from those that preceded …
Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of Comic-Con.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse was on hand today for Focus Feature’s ParaNorman panel in Hall H but broke some news of his own. Making fans happy, he said Kick-Ass 2 should start shooting in September. In his words: “You heard it from me first, and now I’m probably gonna get my butt kicked.” Deadline reported earlier that Universal Pictures was stepping in to finance the film with Jeff Wadlow directing his script. Matthew Vaughn directed the 2010 original.
Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s Comic-Con coverage. This year’s event runs July 12-15.
Jodie Foster at Comic-Con? Absolutely believe it. She and Matt Damon will be part of a panel that day for Elysium, Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up to District 9, which launched its initial ad campaign at Comic-Con (“this restroom is for humans only”) a year before actually showing footage there that really hyped things up. This is the biggest unknown quantity announced so far, the “we didn’t even know to be excited about it yet” item that could end up being the big-buzz item a la 300 (or, ahem, Sucker Punch). This news emerged today as Comic-Con continued its day-by-day rollout of what’s in store this year, releasing its schedule for Friday July 13. Elysium is surrounded on the Sony panel by Total Recall (they gave that a big push last year, and movies about to open seem less interesting to Con-goers) and Looper, which got a great reaction at Wondercon. Screen Gems’ latest Resident Evil sequel, which shared space with Looper and The Amazing Spider-Man at Wondercon, gets a panel all to itself, featuring all the usual regulars from the movies plus Michelle Rodriguez, somehow returning despite being killed in the first film.
Here’s a new trailer for the stop-motion animated ParaNorman from Focus Features and LAIKA. Instead of the song that played with the teaser we showed you before Halloween, this adds dialogue and new scenes. It opens August 17.
Just in time for Halloween, here’s a teaser for the stop-motion animated ParaNorman, from LAIKA and Focus Features, the partners that made and released the deliciously dark Coraline. Directed by Sam Fell (Flushed Away, The Tale of Despereaux) and Chris Butler (who also wrote the screenplay), it’s about a boy …