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Illumination Exec Amir Nasrabadi to Lead Dhx Media Animation Studio (Exclusive)

Amir Nasrabadi, the former animation exec at Illumination Entertainment, Paramount Pictures and Pixar, has been named executive vp and general manager of Dhx Media's Vancouver animation studio.

Los Angeles-based Nasrabadi, who helped steer Illumination through the release of films including Minions, Despicable Me, The Secret Life of Pets, Sing and The Grinch as executive vp finance and operations, will join Halifax-based Dhx Media on June 10, and report to president Josh Scherba.

Nasrabadi will oversee all animation production at the Dhx studio, which along with its subsidiary Peanuts Worldwide, is set to produce for Apple's upcoming streaming platform original ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Universal Pushes ‘Sing’ Sequel 6 Months to July 2021 Release Date

  • The Wrap
The cast of Universal’s animated feature “Sing 2” will get a bit more time to warm up their vocals, after the studio announced on Friday that it has pushed the film’s release date back six months.

The sequel to the hit 2016 film is now expected to hit theaters on July 2, 2021, moving from its previous Dec. 25, 2020 release date.

Sing 2,” from writer-director Garth Jennings, will welcome back to the cast Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, alongside Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Nick Kroll and Tori Kelly. They will be joined by soon-to-be-announced fellow vocalists lending their talents to characters new to the world of “Sing.”

Their characters will prepare for a bigger stage and a brighter spotlight as they leave the Moon Theater for the big city in “Sing 2.” The film comes from the creative team behind other Illumination films “Despicable Me,” “Minions” and “The Secret Life of Pets.
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Secret Life of Pets 2’ Trailer Shows the Emotional Side of Animals

  • Variety
Universal Pictures is celebrating National Pet Day by dropping a new trailer for “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” highlighting the “emotional” side of our furry friends.

The footage shows the terrier Max, voiced by Patton Oswalt, being taken to the vet by his owner (Ellie Kemper) due to the stress of protecting her toddler son Liam.

Kevin Hart’s rabbit Snowball later tells Max, “The baby is leaving the nest,” as Liam heads off to preschool for the first time. Harrison Ford, making his animated-film debut as the Welsh Sheepdog Rooster, pushes Max to deal with his fears.

“The first step of not being afraid is acting like you’re not afraid,” Rooster declares.

The voice cast includes returnees Chloe the tabby cat (Lake Bell) and Gidget the Pomeranian (Jenny Slate), as well as newcomer Daisy the Shih Tzu (Tiffany Haddish). Oswalt replaces original star Louis C.K. as Max.
See full article at Variety »

‘The Secret Life of Pets 2': Animals Try to Rescue Toddlers From Preschool in New Trailer (Video)

‘The Secret Life of Pets 2': Animals Try to Rescue Toddlers From Preschool in New Trailer (Video)
The first “The Secret Life of Pets” movie saw stay-at-home pets separated from their owners as they went off to work. Next they’re going to double down and separate us from our kids too?

In “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” our canine hero Max’s owner now also has a toddler of her own, and she’s about to head off to preschool. So Max sets off on a journey along with all his other animal buddies, including Kevin Hart donning his alter ego “Captain Snowball,” to find her and bring her home.

“The first step of not being afraid, is acting like you’re not afraid,” a new character voiced by Harrison Ford says to Max in the trailer as Max leaps onto the top of a moving train.

Also Read: 'Secret Life of Pets 2' CinemaCon Sneak Peek Gets Out of Hand for Kevin Hart

Patton Oswalt
See full article at The Wrap »

Celebrate National Pet Day & Watch The New ‘Secret Life Of Pets 2’ Trailer [Watch]

Nine films in and Illumination films has already made $6.2 billion worldwide and counting. Their “Despicable Me” franchise has already grossed $3,7 billion alone, and the company, whose films are distributed by Universal, are on the hunt for their next mega-million-dollar brand. They might have already found it in “The Secret Life Of Pets,” which was Universal’s highest grossing release of 2016 grossing $368 million domestic and a whopping $875 million worldwide.

Continue reading Celebrate National Pet Day & Watch The New ‘Secret Life Of Pets 2’ Trailer [Watch] at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

New Trailer For Animated Sequel ‘The Secret Life Of Pets 2’

A new trailer has just hopped in for the upcoming animated sequel The Secret Life Of Pets 2. The film is on the way from Illumination and Universal Pictures and is the sequel to the 2016 smash which had the biggest opening weekend ever for an original film, animated or otherwise.

Illumination/Universal

The new film is slotted for release in just a couple of weeks’ time – 24th May to be exact – and the new promo looks promising for a repeat performance of the blockbusting original.

Here’s the official synopsis for the sequel.

Terrier Max (Patton Oswalt) is coping with some major life changes. His owner (Ellie Kemper) is now married and has a toddler, Liam. Max is so worried about protecting the boy that he develops a nervous tic. On a family trip to a farm, Max and mutt Duke (Eric Stonestreet) encounter canine-intolerant cows, hostile foxes and a terrifying turkey,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

The Secret Life of Pets Gets New Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood

Adoption day is the ultimate rite of passage for every animal seeking a home, and it's now the inspiration for Universal Studios Hollywood's lively new ride, "The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!," opening in 2020 based on Illumination's 2016 global blockbuster and upcoming sequel, which answers the question, "What do your pets do when you're not at home?"

In this all-new fully immersive experience, guests will assume the roles of stray puppies as they join a familiar cast of leading characters from The Secret Life of Pets - Max, Snowball, Gidget, Chloe and Duke, along with a host of other animal friends - on the ultimate quest of finding forever homes.

"We are thrilled to be able to bring another exciting Illumination movie-based ride to our guests," said Karen Irwin, President and COO, Universal Studios Hollywood. "The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!' will capture the
See full article at MovieWeb »

‘Secret Life of Pets’ Theme Park Ride Coming to Universal Studios Hollywood

  • Variety
Universal Studios Hollywood has announced that it will open a theme park ride based on “The Secret Life of Pets” next year.

The news about the upcoming ride, titled “The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!,” came on Wednesday, two months before the sequel opens on June 7. It will be located adjacent to the “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” attraction.

The ride will take theme park customers in vehicles through recreations of New York City streets toward a pet adoption event. Like the 2016 animated hit, the ride will explore what pets do when their owners aren’t home.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring another exciting Illumination movie-based ride to our guests,” said Karen Irwin, president and chief operating officer of Universal Studios Hollywood, in a statement. “’The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!’ will capture the essence of the popular film and invite our guests to
See full article at Variety »

Universal Studios Hollywood Unleashes ‘Secret Life Of Pets’ Ride For 2020

Universal Studios Hollywood Unleashes ‘Secret Life Of Pets’ Ride For 2020
As Universal nears the June release of its sequel to The Secret Life of Pets, it has announced plans for a ride spawned from the Illumination animated franchise that will open in 2020 at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Pet adoption is the main concept of the ride, whose subtitle is “Off the Leash.” Theme-park guests will take on the role of stray puppies, joining characters from the movies, among them Max, Snowball, Gidget, Chloe and Duke.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring another exciting Illumination movie-based ride to our guests,” said Karen Irwin, President and COO, Universal Studios Hollywood. “’The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!’ will capture the essence of the popular film and invite our guests to live vicariously through some of their favorite characters as they embark on a one-of-a-kind experience only available at Universal Studios Hollywood.”

The ride will blend live, dimensional and animated characters
See full article at Deadline »

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Is King Of Marvel Universe (For Now) – No. 1 In 2018 Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament

  • Deadline
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Is King Of Marvel Universe (For Now) – No. 1 In 2018 Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament
When it comes to evaluating the financial performance of top movies, it isn’t about what a film grosses at the box office. The true tale is told when production budgets, P&A, talent participations and other costs collide with box office grosses and ancillary revenues from VOD to DVD and TV. To get close to that mysterious end of the equation, Deadline is repeating our Most Valuable Blockbuster tournament for 2018, using data culled by seasoned and trusted sources.

Avengers: Infinity War

Disney

The Film

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe celebrated its 10-year anniversary last year, they tapped Anthony and Joe Russo to create the biggest cliffhanger arguably since Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: Avengers: Infinity War, the first of the two-part finale that ends with Avengers: Endgame opening on April 26. Both Infinity War and Endgame are primed to transition Marvel into a new cycle of superheroes. The question is,
See full article at Deadline »

Tiffany Haddish Rules, Disney Dominates and Other Takeaways From CinemaCon 2019

  • The Wrap
Hollywood is trying, but it’s awfully hard to put on a global celebration of the theatrical experience at CinemaCon when the entire entertainment industry is in upheaval.

With Sony saving its pennies by not coming to Las Vegas at all, with Disney thumbing its nose at the world with a presentation that said, “Nah, we aren’t bothering,” and with once-ambitious Fox dutifully tucked into the Disney universe — it was an underwhelming week.

Gone are the massive lunches for 5,000 people in a ballroom with a galaxy of stars lined up on the dais after being herded onto the corporate jet for a three-hour, door-to-door razzle-dazzle. Gone are the days of the enormous giveaway bags that people used to FedEx back to their hometowns because they were so unwieldy.

Also Read: Disney's Alan Horn and Fox's Emma Watts Address Merger: 'We're Living Through a Lot of Change'

It was left to Paramount,
See full article at The Wrap »

How Much Green Did ‘The Grinch’ Steal? No. 9 In Deadline’s 2018 Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament

  • Deadline
When it comes to evaluating the financial performance of top movies, it isn’t about what a film grosses at the box office. The true tale is told when production budgets, P&A, talent participations and other costs collide with box office grosses and ancillary revenues from VOD to DVD and TV. To get close to that mysterious end of the equation, Deadline is repeating our Most Valuable Blockbuster tournament for 2018, using data culled by seasoned and trusted sources.

The Grinch

Universal/Illumination Entertainment

The Film

While Illumination chief Chris Meledandri has made original creations a priority, the exceptions have been his Dr. Seuss feature adaptations, and the Grinch repped his third after Horton Hears a Who and The Lorax (both made at Fox). Unlike Ron Howard’s 2000 live-action take for Universal (that year’s highest-grossing pic at the domestic box office with $260 million), which focused on the commercialization of Christmas,
See full article at Deadline »

Tiffany Haddish Signs With UTA

  • Deadline
Tiffany Haddish Signs With UTA
Comedy star Tiffany Haddish has signed with UTA for theatrical representation.

The Emmy-winning actress-comedian left her long-time agents at Apa about two weeks ago and took meeting with all top agencies before choosing UTA as her new home. She remains with her longtime manager at Artists First and law firm Del Shaw, while Apa will continue to represent her for touring.

Haddish has been on a roll since her big break in 2017 with Girls Trip, co-starring with Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Regina Hall. The film has grossed more than $140 million worldwide. That same year she starred in her first stand-up special, Tiffany Haddish: She Ready! From The Hood to Hollywood on Showtime and became the first black female stand-up comedian to host Saturday Night Live, winning an Emmy for her her stint on the NBC sketch comedy program.

Haddish went on to star opposite Tracey Morgan on the
See full article at Deadline »

Mindy Kaling Comedy 'Late Night' Gets Summer Release

Mindy Kaling Comedy 'Late Night' Gets Summer Release
After making a huge splash at the Sundance Film Festival in January, the Mindy Kaling-Emma Thompson comedy Late Night will get a summer theatrical release. Amazon Studios will release the Nisha Ganatra-helmed film nationwide on June 7.

The film, which Kaling wrote, produced and stars in alongside Thompson, will provide counter-programming as it opens against the superhero pic Dark Phoenix and the sequel to the animated juggernaut The Secret Life of Pets and arrives one week after the Elton John biopic Rocketman.

John Lithgow, Max Casella, Hugh Dancy, Denis O'Hare, Reid Scott, Ike Barinholtz, John Early, Paul Walter Hauser and Amy Ryan round ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Jaime Camil to Star in CBS Comedy Pilot From Alex Herschlag, Jennie Snyder Urman

  • Variety
CBS has made a late pilot pickup, ordering a multi-camera comedy with “Jane the Virgin’s” Jaime Camil attached to star.

The untitled project hails from writer and executive producer Alex Herschlag with “Jane the Virgin” creator Jennie Snyder Urman set to executive produce. In the project, when an outrageously wealthy trust fund baby (Camil) is cut off by his father, he and his wife move into her estranged sister’s Reseda condo, forcing the two siblings to reconnect.

Camil will executive produce in addition to starring. In addition, Joanna Klein of Snyder Urman’s Sutton Street Productions and Ben Silverman of Propagate Content will also executive produce, along with Guillermo Restrepo, Gonzalo Cilley, and Maria Lucia Hernandez Frieri of Rcn TV and Resonant TV. CBS Television Studios will produce along with Sutton Street and Propagate. Sutton Street is currently under an overall deal the studio.

The pilot keeps Camil
See full article at Variety »

Secret Life of Pets 2 Trailer Introduces Harrison Ford as Rooster the Dog

Secret Life of Pets 2 Trailer Introduces Harrison Ford as Rooster the Dog
The Secret Life of Pets 2 latest trailer introduces Harrison Ford in his first ever animated role. The actor is probably best-known for playing Han Solo in the Star Wars franchise or Indiana Jones, but here, Ford is taking on a brand-new character that still takes on some of the actor's best traits. One of those traits that is on full display here is Ford's grumpiness, which he is really good at portraying in either real-life or on the big screen.

Harrison Ford is playing Rooster, who is a tough Welsh Sheepdog, in The Secret Life of Pets 2. In the new trailer, we see the gang heading out on a road trip to a farm, where they are introduced to Rooster and some other farm animals, who are quick to poke fun at the city animals. Patton Oswalt is voicing Max this time around and he has a cone on,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Exclusive Interview – Director Yarrow Cheney talks The Grinch, 3D Animation, and Mummies Alive!

Red Stewart chats with The Grinch co-director Yarrow Cheney

Yarrow Cheney is an American animator who has been working in the film and television industries since the mid-90s. He is best known for his contributions to projects like The Maxx, Treasure Planet, and Despicable Me, as well as co-directing the Illumination movies The Secret Life of Pets and The Grinch.

Mr. Cheney, thank for taking the time to speak with me sir.

Oh, it’s a complete pleasure.

I have to ask, you’ve been working in the animation industry since the 1990s, and you’ve seen, firsthand, the transition from 2D to 3D animation. I’m wondering, to animators like yourself, in retrospect was that change something that was obviously going to happen? That the industry was going to switch to 3D?

You know, it’s interesting. I went through school, majoring in animation at the CalArts, and
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Nat Geo Kids Digs Deeper Into Fiction, Digital to Reach Young Eyeballs

  • Variety
During a time in which competing for children’s attention is tougher than ever, National Geographic Kids is looking to expand its reach with a multi-platform approach that includes a deeper dive into fictional content and digital video offerings.

Brand-new middle-grade book (plus multimedia) series “Zeus the Mighty” launches this fall, National Geographic Kids and Family content VP Jennifer Emmett told Variety. The adventure series is a sophomore effort that follows last year’s debut of “Explorer Academy,” Nat Geo Kids’ initial foray into make-believe.

Publishing fiction might seem like an incongruous turn for the venerable scientific education brand, but it’s being framed as a new and different way to get kids interested in real-world science.

“What we’re trying to do here is not just enter the fictional world for the sake of storytelling alone, because plenty of people are doing that and doing it well,” said Emmett.
See full article at Variety »

The Secret Life of Pets 2 Trailer Takes Gidget to Cat School

The Secret Life of Pets 2 Trailer Takes Gidget to Cat School
A brand new character trailer for The Secret Life of Pets 2 has arrived, highlighting the return of one of the first movie's stand out characters. Gidget, as voiced by Jenny Slate, is a well-groomed, big white ball of doggy fluff who enjoys the finer things in life, but also has quite the temper. Gidget is back once again for the sequel, but this time, she's got to learn how to be something completely different; a cat.

The trailer sees another returning character in the form of the cat Chloe (Lake Bell) teaching Gidget how to be a cat. Why this is necessary isn't clear, but the fancy dog is doing her best to transform into one of her feline friends. This involves sophistication in the form of being able to ignore a game of fetch, grace, which shows itself with the ability to land on one's feet, etiquette, as
See full article at MovieWeb »

‘The Secret Life Of Pets 2’ Has Another New Trailer. Watch It Here

A new trailer has debuted for the upcoming Illumination sequel The Secret Life Of Pets 2. The film lands in cinemas later this year from director Chris Renaud.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 will follow summer 2016’s blockbuster about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day.

Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy will produce the sequel to the comedy that had the best opening ever for an original film, animated or otherwise.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 will see the return of writer Brian Lynch (Minions) and once again be directed by Chris Renaud.

Check out the new trailer (the fourth) below. The film hits cinemas on 24th May.
See full article at The Hollywood News »
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