Tag Archives: animation

Making the Cut: A Look at The Lorax

Last week I caught the trailer for Illumination Entertainment’s latest contribution to the animation world – The Lorax. When I heard that this film was being done, I wasn’t really happy about it as I love that old Dr. Seuss story and didn’t want to see Hollywood destroy it.  However, this trailer did a lot to assuage my fears and give me hope that this could be something spectacular even!  The only problem is that my apprehensions were lessened because I just saw the whole movie.  Anyway, without further ado, please enjoy this trailer for The Lorax:

First of all, I think the style they chose to pitch it with is fascinating.  It comes off somewhere between the poignant quirkiness and social consciousness of Wall•E and the typical silliness that Illumination Entertainment usually puts out. They seem to be pitching it: as that fun, family film that all can enjoy, as the “ironic” indie film that all Hipsters will like before it becomes mainstream, AND as an environmental justice film that we should all take a lesson from.  All that to say, I see what they are doing (marketing to a diverse audience) and I kinda like it!  It is weird but I like it.

The first 20 seconds are Gold.  Instantly we know that this has to be a Dr. Seuss story because of the characteristic rhyme (which DeVito reads perfectly).  We are introduced to the world and given a good idea of the style of the film very quickly.  This is also where the indie music begins to kick in, again reinforcing the overall style of the flick.

After that we get a great introduction to the two main characters, voiced by heartthrob T.Swift and even BIGGER heartthrob – Zefron!  At first I was weary of casting the romantic leads as such because, to me, Efron is always connected to being a High Schooler and so I thought we had a weird age gap there.  However, to my surprise, Zefron is actually 2 years older than Ms. Swift, so that’s taken care of.

Anyway, we get a clear picture of what the problem is:  The Plot is shown here….I mean the trees aren’t around anymore.  That was basically the biggest problem with the trailer – we saw all three acts and most of the stuff in between.  No, they didn’t show us the ending, but we saw him discover the problem, leave to go find a solution, return and face obstacles, keep trying to overcome, be GIVEN THE LAST SEED, and ultimately I feel like I just watched a wonderful short film.  This is exactly what I preach against on this blog:  I do not want the plot spoiled before I get to the theatre. Why would I pay $11.50 to go see what I just did for free on Youtube?  Honestly, that is why I titled this post as I did.  I wish they would have cut it down a lot more so I didn’t have to see the entire film in 2 minutes.  Now I have no real reason to go see it… Well…actually I do.

What the trailer does to redeem itself is it promotes the great sense of humor the filmmakers have.  The jokes in this trailer are really funny and are well crafted in the editing to sell me on going, if for nothing else then, for the hilarity I know will be there.  The editor did a great job of crafting the action in the trailer to fit the music, particularly in the scene where Ted arrives at the Once-ler’s house.  They really accentuate the great lines from Zefron and Danny DeVito – whom I think they casted perfectly.  Honestly, the reason I am going to see this film is because of gags like the one after the Title slide (“That’s a woman!?”).  It just look really funny and I can’t wait to see what they do to a priceless story.

Two more reasons I am actually excited about this film because of what I see in this trailer:
First, I am looking forward to meeting Edna Mode’s brother, the mayor of town 🙂

Second, THERE ARE NO MINIONS IN THIS MOVIE!!!!!!!!   I love that gambit – it is funny – but Illumination has WAY overplayed that bit.  They were really funny in Despicable Me, but by the time that Hop rolled around and Arthur Christmas jumped on the bandwagon, the joke got real old real fast.  Now, they might try to sneak them in somewhere (those bears certainly might end up in that role) but as of now I anticipate a Minion-free film.

Overall, I thought this was a decent trailer.  It did a great job of showing me that this film would probably be worth my time if I went to see it in theaters, yet it did so by showing me the whole film.  I am excited about it and really looking forward to catching this flick with my family and friends when it comes out next March.

Final Rating:  3//5

Yup!  There you go!  I am really curious to see how this film will turn out in the box office – will fans of the out-of-nowhere animation company flock to see another Seussian tale or will nostalgia for the old handdrawn TV Special cut this films’ profits and ratings?  Not really sure yet but I am curious as to what you think.  Let me know in the comments below!

I thought I knew which trailer I was going to review next week, but then this guy in sunglasses came by and had me look at this little thing that flashed really bright and I can’t really remember what it is now.  There was something about him that struck me…..he was dressed in all Black… I don’t know.  See you guys next week!

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HP 7pt2 and Sequel-itis (w/ emoticons)

To begin, please check out the trailer at this link – Harry Potter 7 pt.2 – then come back for commentary. And if you haven’t already, check out my full review of Part 1 at the Soontobeangel blog.

0:09 –> ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!!!!!!!!  (*-*)
0:12 –>  OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHMYGOSH!!!!!!!!  (^-^)
0:15 –> OHMYMOTHERBLEEPINGGOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!  <(^o^)>
0:19 –> HOLY MOTHER OF GOD IT’S HARRY FREAKIN’ POTTER!!!!!!!!! <(X0X)>

I must say that I had purposefully cut myself off from Harry Potter film news recently because the my experience with the first film was partially spoiled by my full knowledge of it prior to the release.  I had been following Mugglenet and Mugglecast, which gave me every detail of Part 1 – from where the split was to news about the minor changes in the story.  Ultimately my experience was less because it was just fulfilling what I already knew – like playing a video game you have already seen a playthrough of.  But I digress…

The first time I saw this trailer was before Super 8, just three weeks away from the end of a series which has defined a generation. I have been with Jo and all the Potterites since the release of book 4 and have loved watching how it has shaped literature for my and later generations.  Anyway, when the trailer came up I was filled with a sense of awe and wonder that was diluted slightly by the knowledge that this is the end of a big part of my life. But again I digress and will now return to analysis of the trailer.

This trailer is tailor-made for fans like me – people who have followed the series from the beginning. I love that they open with Snape, as he does become a major part of this final installment. Also, the way that the creator of this trailer uses music is magical (pun intended). The times I mentioned above fit in exactly with how I felt as I was watching it the first time. It again plays right into the longtime fans and reminds us that this is going to be big! The sequence of images in the first 20 seconds just gets us in the mood and reminds us of the darker tone of the final part.

Next we get into the meat and taters of it.  I like that the first image after the WB logo matches the final image of Part 1 at Shell Cottage. It is a nice bridge. Also the use of the monologue from the final battle (Voldy’s challenge to Harry) really fits well, setting the tone again and the natural Ramp of it works magnificently for the style of a trailer. By the 37th second, it moves into the “epic portion” showcasing the Gringott’s break-in and the music picks up to goosebump raising levels.

The text on screen again plays well with the epicness of the music and the target audience of fans: “On July 15 only one can live”. Another important point is that if you look carefully, they artistically designed it so that Voldemort and crew are shown in dark blues and greens whereas HP and friends are in a lighter orangy brown.  This visually separates the two and makes the conflict more apparent.

Battle scenes and fighting sets up that final battle – which shows a nice linear flow of the trailer following the story’s plot. Probably my favorite part of the whole trailer comes at 0:57 – when Ron says “We can end this”. Amazing. I felt it. Any Potter fan felt it. WE can end this. WE.

A few final notes on the trailer:

  1. When the music hits its peak…and we see Tonks reaching for Lupin’s hand…. (;_;) Crying.
  2. To all you who have been there through the whole thing, from start to finish, “Let’s finish this the way we started it. TOGETHER!”
  3. THE EPIC CONCLUSION (w/ accompanying EPIC music)
  4. I dont think it shows too much because we know what is coming. It just pumps us up for it.
  5. Complete the Journey 😀

So with that #4, I lead into a short bit about Sequels. This film in particular is not, repeat NOT, targeted at people who haven’t at least seen the films, if not read the books as well. Because this is not just a sequel but one of the first Part 2’s in the history of film (I mean an intentionally split film). Thus, the advertisers know that people who haven’t been following the series will NOT be going to the premiere.  They aren’t going to fight the diehard’s dressed in wizarding garb to see it first. Thus they target us – the weirdo’s…I mean Wizards and Witches!

In the same way, trailers for sequels to movies and video games have to balance between pandering to the longtime fans and trying to entice those who haven’t yet joined the party. Harry Potter 7 part 2 knows exactly who they are targeting and makes a spectacular trailer.  I am pumped and ready for it, despite me anxiety over the end of my childhood series.  Good job guys. Good job.

FINAL SCORE:   ★★★★★

There you go. And now for a surprise bonus trailer!! Here is Disney•Pixar’s BRAVE. Absolutely love it. Has an excellent pace and I love that it feels like it contains its own story. The introduction of the Scottish element was handled well and I loved that they let the monologue lead to the title rather than divulge it. Only drawback here is that the animation doesn’t stand out as much as previous Pixar film did, from Dreamworks particularly. So I think they are going to have to sell this one on story rather than on looks. Just a thought. Really excited about it!`

Thanks for sticking with me and please check out my full review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 at the Soontobeangel blog.  Please let me know what you would like to see me review in the comments below. Next week I will be turning to another sequel, suggested by my brother:

Sherlock Holmes – Game of Shadows

Thanks again to him for actually suggesting a trailer. (HINT*HINT)  Please let me know what trailer you would like me to analyze and I will do it. So with that thanks again and go enjoy the final film in the greatest film franchise of all time. 🙂

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