Classic Cinema

Tour the Disney Animation Research Library

Today on Disney’s YouTube channel, Fox Carney, manager of research at Disney’s super-secret and super-fantastic Animation Research Library (ARL), gave a video tour of the facility and showed off some fantastic artwork from Walt Disney’s second animated motion picture Pinocchio (1940).

It was such a treat to see inside the building, meet some of the ARL team, and see the stunning animation art from one of the finest animated films ever made. Thanks, Disney, for holding such a cool event.

Walt Disney’s Pinocchio is now available on your favorite Digital HD platform (I just snagged my copy on iTunes)  and is coming to Blu-ray on January 31.

Cover art for the new “Pinocchio” Blu-ray (© Disney)

Follow the ARL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Classic Cinema

“Singin’ in the Rain” 65th Anniversary 

Singin’ in the Rain (MGM, 1952), one of my all-time favorite movies, just celebrated its 65th anniversary. Turner Classic Movies (TCM) did a special screening of the film as part of their fantastic Big Screen Classics series. It was such a delight to see this film again on the big screen. 

Check out these great publicity photos (all photos © MGM).

And here’s my little Instagram tribute.

Current Cinema

“Cars 3” Press Event at the 2017 North American International Auto Show

I attended the Pixar Animation StudiosCars 3 press event held at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) last week. John Lasseter was there (in one of his cool custom Reyn Spooner shirts) along with Cars Creative Director Jay Ward and Pixar Production Designer Jay Shuster. They set up the story of the film and talked about the design of two new characters–Jackson Storm and Cruz Ramirez. 

Here are some pics from the event. A full video of the presentation (courtesy of NAIAS) is hereCars 3 is coming to theaters on June 16, 2017.

Arrived at Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan

The stage where the press event took place

John Lasseter in the house!

The “Jays” (Jay Ward is on the left)

Concept art for Jackson Storm by automobile designer J Mays

The Jays talk about designs for Cruz Ramirez

John Lasseter came back on the stage along with a lifesize, driveable Lightning McQueen

A lame attempt at a selfie

One more shot

And, finally, here’s an “extended look” (or “almost a trailer”) with some footage shown during the presentation, along with some other snippets from the upcoming film:

Classic Cinema

“All About Eve”

Raw, ruthless ambition and good, old fashioned karma are front and center in the great film All About Eve (20th Century Fox, 1950) which was shown this week on Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

(© 20th Century Fox)

Bette Davis plays Margot Channing, a 40-plus-year-old Broadway star at the top of her game but also a woman fully aware that she’s not getting any younger (and she has the insecurities to prove it). When the young and seemingly naive Eve Harrington (marvelously played by Anne Bancroft) enters into her life, Margo decides to help Eve by letting her be her understudy. But Eve has other nefarious things on her mind, namely taking Margo’s role from her, along with her boyfriend and her friends.

I was taken with the film’s theme of ambition. Eve is so ruthlessly ambitious–she doesn’t care at all about who she hurts and what she damages along her path. Yet, ultimately the law of the harvest kicks in (i.e., you reap what you sow), which provides extra satisfaction in watching the film unfold.

The film’s wonderful actors, including Celeste Holm, Gary Merrill, Hugh Marlowe, George Sanders, and even Marilyn Monroe in a supporting role, really shine with their fine delivery of the screenplay’s witty, biting dialogue. And Bette Davis is a tour de force in one of her best roles.

Written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, All About Eve took home the Academy Award for Best Picture that year, and deservedly so.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”