Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sony Picture Animation's lineup

You know I'm not overly familiar with Sony Pictures Animation. They're a relatively new division of Sony, which was formed after the very funny short film The ChubbChubbs! won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Animated Short. It's a great little 5 minute film that you should definitely watch. Here, check it out.

There was also a sequel made called The ChubbChubbs Save Xmas, which you can watch clips of at the Sony Pictures website. Or you can see as a bonus feature on the Surf's Up dvd. The only actual feature films they've made are Open Season, and Surf's Up, neither of which I've seen yet. But I wanted to mention two films that are in development at SPA, both of which sound really fun.

The first is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which is based on a children's book I definitely remember reading back in the day. According to Zap2it the films story is "about a fictional town called Chewandswallow where the sky provides all meals, whether it's a soup rain, mashed potatoes snow or hot dogs blowing in at five miles per hour. Unlike the book, the film will give the origins of the phenomena: a scientist who seeks to end world hunger by creating the unusual weather. Unfortunately, the weather, like sour milk, takes a turn for the worse." As a kid I always found the idea of food raining from the sky both amazing sounding and totally gross; kind of a magic combination really. I think this should be a story kids will love. I mean I love cheeseburgers as much as the next guy, but do I love a tornado of them??? How could kids not be fascinated by that.

And the second project that was newly announced is Hotel Transylvania, according to Variety the "story centers on Simon Van Helsing, the youngest in a long line of monster hunters. The last thing Van Helsing wants to do is fall in love with Dracula's Daughter, Mavis. Upon discovering that they are natural enemies, the doomed couple attempts to bring peace between monsters and humans. In the end, each family will have some new blood." While Open Season's director Jill Culton has been hired to direct there are no writers attached yet. It sounds really fun to me. I mean talk about your star-crossed lovers. This could be a really sweet film too, and you know there'll be some action.

As an animation house Sony Pictures Animation has said that they don't want to have a set 'style' they want each of their projects to find their own voice and distinction. I like that attitude. I think this is definitely a group to watch. Sure they're not quite at Pixar's level, but already they've proven themselves to be smart at picking their projects and I like to know that there are other studios making animated films that Disney and the often overrated Dreamworks. Hopefully they'll keep it up and we'll get more quality stories in the years to come.

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