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Animation

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    Rango Early Reviews: "One Spectacular-Looking Movie," "Chaotic," "Wildly Imaginative" (UPDATED)

    Rango is a gorgeous CGI animated homage to the Hollywood western from Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski, ILM, screenwriter John Logan and a great voice cast led by Johnny Depp. The VFX masters at ILM put their genius to work on a piece of CGI animation (blessedly not in 3-D) , and the results are wondrous, from the character animation to the action sequences. But while Logan is an Oscar-nominated studio scribe (The Aviator) who knows his westerns, this is not a Pixar film. On the one hand the pacing lags, and on the other, they don't seem to have a handle on how to make it play for both adults and kids. (Younger viewers in the ...

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    Live at the Oscars: Randy Newman Wins His Second Oscar for Best Song, Toy Story 3

    Nominated 20 times, Randy Newman celebrates his second win, for best song "We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3. His last win was best song for Monsters, Inc., another Pixar film, where he has done six pictures. "I want to be good television so badly," he says. "I've slowed the show down almost ever...

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    Live at Oscars: Strangers No More Wins Doc Short, God of Love Wins Live Short, Inside Job Wins

    "Three years after a horrific financial crisis, not a single financial executive has gone to jail and that is wrong," says Charles Ferguson as he accepts the Oscar for Inside Job. The front-runner won over upstart Exit Through the Gift Shop, depriving Oscar watchers of seeing who would accept the award for Banksy. This is a case of gravitas winning out over a more whimsical film about art. Gift Shop likely benefited from the Brit street artist's graffiti postings in the weeks before the Oscars, which were well-covered by the media, but probably was hurt by Banksy's interview proxy, the wacky subject of his movie, Mr. Brainwash. If anything th...

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    Mark Your Ballots: Anne Thompson Predicts Oscar Winners

    The Oscar polls closed on Tuesday at 5 PM. No more campaigning, lobbying or pitches for attention will make a difference now. It's all in the hands of the PriceWaterhousecooper counters, and will be revealed Sunday. Meanwhile the rest of us want to win our respective Oscar pools. This year, I must w...

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    Back to the Future: The Adventures of Andre and Wally B

    Back in 1984--two years after Tron, Lucasfilm backed what we can consider to be the first Pixar short, The Adventures of Andre and Wally B, written and directed by Alvy Ray Smith, animated by John Lasseter, with sound by Ben Burtt and help from the big Cray computer. Delightful. Steve Jobs bought th...

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    Oscar Animated Shorts Preview: The Lost Thing, Day & Night Are Best of Five

    Depending on where you live, some combination of the Oscar-nominated shorts (animated, live action and documentary) may be playing in a theater near you, thanks to Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures (trailer, clips and detailed release info below). Four out of five of the animated shorts are...

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    Oscar Noms Boost Soundtrack Sales of Inception and The Social Network

    The heyday of the movie soundtrack--once a powerful marketing tool for the studios--has waned. But Oscar nominations can boost a soundtrack into big sales, reports Anthony D'Alessandro: When it comes to recent soundtracks and film scores, consumers have been powering down their stereos.  Over the last four years, SoundScan sales for the genre fell from 27.2 million in 2006 to 16.4 million last year -- a 40% drop.   What was once a dependable ancillary for a film’s theatrical launch is now seen as a business gamble; record companies can no longer depend on the wallets of single males.  Aside from burgeoning digital downloads and piracy, the ma...

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    Oscar Video Exclusive: How Pixar Made Day & Night Short

    The frontrunner in the Oscars' animated shorts category is a popular one from Pixar, Day & Night which played in theaters in front of Toy Story 3 last year.

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    Oscar Watch: The King's Speech's Helena Bonham Carter Could Win Best Supporting Actress

    The King's Speech is an Oscar favorite, and depending on how strong it is, the Brit drama could carry some awards on its coattails. While Inception, The Social Network, True Grit and Alice in Wonderland could steal some wins from The King's Speech in the technical categories, recent BAFTA winner Hel...

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    Oscar Watch: Tim Burton and VFX Master Ken Ralston Talk Alice in Wonderland

    Alice in Wonderland presented a high degree of difficulty for veteran VFX master Ken Ralston and director Tim Burton, who tends to prefer live action FX to digital ones. He clearly wrestled with the huge volume of CG effects—the film used far more green screen than he’s ever dealt with. “It starts f...

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