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The Miscweant


An Evening with Disney: A look at 'Tron Legacy' and 'Tangled'

By Joe Strike | Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 2:10pm

On a rainy October Monday we media types, invited by the Disney folks, gathered at a midtown NYC arts center. The lure: a peek at the studio’s two big holiday events: Tron Legacy and Tangled, their CGI-animated de/reconstruction of the Rapunzel story. I’ll go out on a bit of a limb here and call Tangled Disney’s liveliest animated feature in a long time and their best fairy tale updating ever.


New Road Runner & Coyote Shorts from Warner: The Matt O’Callaghan Interview

By Joe Strike | Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 10:40am

When Warner Bros. asked Matt O’Callaghan to return their yin-and-yang, would-be predator and hoped-for prey pair Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, to the big screen – only in CGI-shape and 3D-depth, O’Callaghan took a deep breath and delivered the goods – and fortunately for all involved with the production, without once resorting to Acme technology…


Movie Review: 'Legend of the Guardians': '300' with Feathers

By Joe Strike | Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 8:51am

You’ve probably heard about the Uncanny Valley: not a geographical location, but the precipitous drop in peoples’ comfort level when they come across something that’s almost human… but not quite (like the replicants in Zemeckis’ mocap movies). Well, in Zack Snyder’s Legend of the Guardians you’ve got owls – dozens and hundreds of owls who look almost like real life owls… but not quite. It’s that quest for the absolutely perfect replication of wind rippling the tiniest hairs in their feathers or the way light glints and reflects off their wide eyes: Guardians achieves it – at the expense of the audience they’ve just tossed into the Valley.


Miyazaki – no, not that one – directs 'Tales from Earthsea'

By Joe Strike | Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 3:57pm

Fathers and sons – both onscreen and off – figure in Studio Ghibli’s Tales from Earthsea. Onscreen, a teenage prince kills his royal dad and makes off with the man’s sword; offscreen, Goro Miyazaki, the son of Japan’s best-known animation director takes over a project his dad initiated but never found the time to direct. Wish fulfillment or mere coincidence? Does a sword equal a man’s career? You be the judge…


Wake Up, Wake Up You Sleepyhead…

Disney artist hi-jinks… nasty caricatures of Eisner, Katzenberg and a host of others… not to mention how Walt’s animation studio was dragged, kicking and screaming from old school storytelling into hip ‘n edgy territory; it’s all in Waking Sleeping Beauty, Disney producer Don Hahn’s warts-and-all documentary of the studio’s 1980’s 2D rebirth.

Kids Blogs

'Brownstones to Red Dirt' eBay auction

By Joe Strike | Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 11:14am

Blue Sky’s David LaMattina and Chad Walker are the creators of Brownstones to Red Dirt, a documentary centering on a pen pal program linking kids an ocean apart who have the odds stacked against them: at-risk Brooklyn sixth graders and African war orphans. Want to do something nice for kids in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn and Sierra Leone Africa at the same time – and come away with a beautiful piece of art for your troubles? It’ll cost you a few well-worth-it bucks,


Tomm Moore Talks 'Secret of the Kells'

It’s a neat trick for a small Irish studio to snag an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature and go head to head with Pixar, Disney, Henry Selick and Wes Anderson, not to mention beat out Hayao Miyazaki for a slot. It’s even more impressive when it’s the first time you’ve directed anything longer than a few commercials or TV segments. But that’s what Tomm Moore has done with Secret of the Kells - and on a budget that’s probably less than what any of the other films spent promoting themselves.

Show Blogs

'Ugly' is Comedy Central’s new Funny

By Joe Strike | Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 7:54pm

Beyond South Park and Dr. Katz, not much has stuck to Comedy Central’s cartoon wall. Drawn Together came close with three seasons. Lil’ Bush vanished with Bush II’s presidency, TV Funhouse came and went awfully fast back in Y2K – and anybody even remember Shorties Watching Shorties or Kid Notorious? Well, next month Comedy Central tries one more time with Ugly Americans, a higher-than high concept show that just might stick around for a bit.


Review: The Princess and the Frog

By Joe Strike | Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 9:24pm

As you probably know, The Princess and the Frog is Disney’s first 2D effort in five years. It took John Lasseter, a Pixar guy who now runs all of Disney animation to get the studio to return to its 2D roots. Lasseter and company knew they had to hit a home run to make people care about hand-drawn animation again. Hey, it’s a Disney movie – there’s gotta be a happy ending, right? Damn straight – a happy ending to both the movie and the studio’s mission to show the world 2D’s still got the goods.


Interview with 'Up' Director Pete Docter

By Joe Strike | Friday, November 20, 2009 at 7:06pm

Pete Docter remembered me – or at least my Route 66 pin. I have a whole collection of them, shiny metal lapel pins I’ve gathered over the years. Pete arrived and our chat began. I started by mentioning I’d last seen him way early in the year at Disney’s New York screening room. “And you were wearing the Route 66 pin,” Pete said without a pause. “A different jacket, but I remember the pin.” When you’re in charge of a $175 million film, you develop an eye for details.