Blog Archives

Salute the Short-Form Entrance into ‘Jurassic World’

Dinosaurs — or “dino-sawwwrrrsss” for ‘Jurassic Park’ fans — are amazing, whether discovered in fossil form or starring in cinematic blockbuster fiction.

Speaking of the beloved and entertainingly thoughtful and terrifying movie franchise, the creative folks at DreamWorks and streaming powerhouse Netflix have joined forces to bring the dinosaur-loving world an animated series it didn’t know it needed until right now.

Visually, animation studio DreamWorks has spared no expense in this teaser trailer for ‘Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous.” The executive producers for the animated series coming to Netflix in 2020 are ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Jurassic World’ veterans Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, and Colin Trevorrow.

“Set in the aftermath of 2015’s Jurassic World movie starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, DreamWorks Animation’s Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous follows six teenagers stranded behind at an adventure camp on the other side of the island.”

–Piya Sinha-Roy, Entertainment Weekly, ‘Jurassic World reopens its gates for animated Camp Cretaceous Netflix series in 2020′

This camp with teenagers doesn’t appear to be too reminiscent of Nickelodeon’s ‘Salute Your Shorts’ from the ’90s, but instead something with a little more bite.

The success of a story focused on a group of teenagers stuck in a park with violent dinosaurs will rely heavily on the writing for this animated series. Similar to ‘Star Wars,’ the ‘Jurassic Park/World’ universe is multi-generational, which translates to a fan audience with a wide age range. And given the PG-13 nature of the five ‘Jurassic’ movies — which includes people being killed by dinosaurs — will ‘Camp Cretaceous’ incorporate the same tone just in a shorter animated form?

One of Spielberg’s storytelling rules (and it’s a good one) is that kids don’t get killed in his fictional movies. However, in order for suspense concerning a group of teenagers to be believable and engaging for multiple episodes and potential seasons for an audience expecting some degree of terrifying scares, the jaws of life and death in Jurassic World will need to be sharp and get razor-close to our new animated characters for proper thrills and proper respect to the ‘Jurassic Park/World’ universe built well before they arrived (or were left behind) on the scene.

Recall the pitch-perfect kitchen scene and that moment of pure, pulse-pounding suspense that had Lex (and us) hanging on for dear life from the 1993 masterpiece.

‘Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous’ needs to pay homage yet add onto the suspenseful cinematic ‘Jurassic’ brilliance that all began with the groundbreaking 1990 Michael Crichton novel. The new animated series should be rooted in intelligence that’s unceremoniously ripped out of the ground by a dinosaur hiding in the bushes or turning a door handle.

We’ll see if animated dinosaurs find a way to earn a blockbuster-sized audience inside ‘Jurassic World’ on Netflix in 2020.

That Toy Story For Kids Is Coming Soon

For my nieces and nephews:

The brand new official trailer for ‘Toy Story 4’ has arrived.

I’m thinking there might be an Uncle Jimmy day at the movie theater this summer. I better start preparing now for the chaos fun!

‘Toy Story 4’ starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Joan Cusack, Keanu Reeves, Jordan Peele, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Estelle Harris, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Blake Clark, Bonnie Hunt, Laurie Metcalf, Kristen Schaal, Jeff Garlin, Jodi Benson, Michael Keaton and Timothy Dalton arrives in a theater near you on June 21.

This November, Disney Wants Us at the Movies…’Frozen’ Too

For my ‘Frozen’-loving nieces:

Disney’s brilliant Animation Studio just let its first teaser trailer go for ‘Frozen II’ into the video sphere (ie-YouTube) so the public could get its first glimpse at the much-anticipated sequel to the 2013 smash hit ‘Frozen.’ Like the first film, it looks like lots of wonders for children to enjoy.

Perhaps the most obvious omission from the trailer above is the lack of a new song that will be played on repeat for all eternity–as in “Let It Go”–by Idina Menzel…yet.

We’ll surely hear something new for ‘Frozen II’ sometime between now and November 22, 2019, that will be stuck frozen in all of our heads for the foreseeable future. For now, however, we just get to chill.

Short Film’s Latest (& Mostly) Silent Era

“…on this day in 2006, the company that brought the world the blockbuster hits Toy Story (1995), A Bug’s Life (1998), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003) and The Incredibles (2004) was sold to the Walt Disney Company, their longtime distributor, for a staggering $7.4 billion.”
–Walt Disney announces $7.4 billion purchase of Pixar, History.com

Pixar is an ever-evolving, multi-generational animation game-changer for both in short & feature films. This animation studio, part of Walt Disney, has produced some of the greatest animated movies of all-time. Not all, of course. Let’s not be hyperbolic with no memory of the illustrious past in this industry. However, Pixar’s uniquely subtle style for five to six-minute shorts is something to marvel at with a great deal of satisfaction and happiness.

Bet you didn’t expect that director commentary in the middle of an analysis of Pixar’s animated storytelling techniques. It changes the way you view the whole video, right?

Just call it the eternal magic of movies, real and imagined.