Chuck Jones is to me, first and foremost, two things for which he rarely gets much popular credit: a great film director and an astute, warm and stylish writer. He sometimes doesn't even get credit as an animated cartoonist - the ubiquity and volume of his creations eclipses the work he personally put into them. But while his name is familiar in the cartoon world, and will at least occasionally pop up in the positive opinions of someone who considers him a proper director, there is a decided, unfortunate lack of attention paid to his legacy of written wit.
Pixar has finally seemed to answer the question of when we're going to see a Pixar film with a female main character with the announcement of their upcoming slate of movies and the planned 2011 release of The Bear and the Bow, an action/adventure retelling of a Scottish tale of a rebellious heroine. It also boasts a female director and producer. I have high hopes for this one, but since it sounds like a different route for Pixar to take, we'll have to see. The rest of the forthcoming Disney/Pixar films (barring the unfortunate "Fairies" DVD series, which looks like sparkly little girl bait and nothing more) also look pretty great.
After the trailer for the upcoming 3-D movie version of Neil Gaiman's Coraline, one of my favorite books, was leaked to the internet, the studio went ahead and released their own, higher-quality one. I have some trepidation about seeing a book I love through another's perspective, which I generally have with all movies adapted from books - but, beyond that, I'm excited to see this.
This week's IFC News podcast is an especially good one - discussing the increasing use of motion capture technology in film versus traditional animation. Of course, it's inspired by the premiere of Beowulf, which, despite Neil Gaiman's writerly involvement, I have next to no desire to see. I'm all for employing new technologies, and computer animation can be wonderful (proved by Pixar) - but I think there's a line where it stops being creative and ends up being only convenient. Matt and Alison talk about all the pros and cons in the podcast.