WATCH: First ‘Connected’ trailer shows family roadtrip, robot uprising

Saving the world can be a trip. Watch the official trailer for Connected, from the minds behind Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.  

Sony Pictures Animation’s Connected is an original animated comedy from director Mike Rianda (Gravity Falls) and producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Lego Movie) about an everyday family’s struggle to relate while technology rises up around the world!

When Katie Mitchell (voiced by Abbi Jacobson), a creative outsider, is accepted into the film school of her dreams, her plans to fly to college are upended when her nature-loving dad Rick (voiced by Danny McBride) determines the whole family should drive Katie to school together and bond as a family one last time. Katie and Rick are joined by the rest of the family, including Katie’s wildly positive mom Linda (voiced by Maya Rudolph), her quirky little brother Aaron (voiced by Mike Rianda), and the family’s delightfully chubby pug Monchi for the ultimate family road trip. Suddenly, the Mitchells’ plans are interrupted by a tech uprising: all around the world, the electronic devices people love – from phones, to appliances, to an innovative new line of personal robots – decide it’s time to take over. With the help of two friendly malfunctioning robots, the Mitchells will have to get past their problems and work together to save each other and the world!

The Mitchell Family: Aaron (Michael Rianda), Rick (Danny McBride), Katie (Abbi Jacobson) and Linda (Maya Rudolph) with their dog Monchi in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s CONNECTED.

Connected is directed by Mike Rianda, co-directed by Jeff Rowe and written by Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe.

The film is produced by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Kurt Albrecht; the executive producers are Will Allegra, Louis Koo.

The cast is led by Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Mike Rianda, Eric Andre and Olivia Colman.

In Philippine cinemas this September, Connected is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.  #ConnectedMovie

Katie (Abbi Jacobson) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s CONNECTED.

LOOK: New animated comedy ‘Connected’ reveals first-look photos

It’s time to plug in as Sony Pictures Animation reveals the first-look images of its upcoming comedy Connected.

Check out the images below and watch Connected in Philippine cinemas soon.

Sony Pictures Animation’s Connected is an original animated comedy from director Mike Rianda (Gravity Falls) and producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Lego Movie).

When Katie Mitchell (voiced by Abbi Jacobson), a creative outsider, is accepted into the film school of her dreams, her plans to fly to college are upended when her nature-loving dad Rick (voiced by Danny McBride) determines the whole family should drive Katie to school together and bond as a family one last time. Katie and Rick are joined by the rest of the family, including Katie’s wildly positive mom Linda (voiced by Maya Rudolph), her quirky little brother Aaron (voiced by Mike Rianda), and the family’s delightfully chubby pug Monchi for the ultimate family road trip. Suddenly, the Mitchells’ plans are interrupted by a tech uprising: all around the world, the electronic devices people love – from phones, to appliances, to an innovative new line of personal robots – decide it’s time to take over. With the help of two friendly malfunctioning robots, the Mitchells will have to get past their problems and work together to save each other and the world!

Connected is directed by Mike Rianda, co-directed by Jeff Rowe and written by Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe.

The film is produced by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Kurt Albrecht; the executive producers are Will Allegra, Louis Koo.

The cast is led by Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Mike Rianda, Eric Andre and Olivia Colman.

Connected is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. #ConnectedMovie

Katie (Abbi Jacobson) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s CONNECTED.

Disney-Pixar’s ‘Onward’ opens Mar 4 in PH with early screening on Leap Day, Feb 29

The studios of Disney and Pixar have taken moviegoers in many locations—from under the sea, into space, back in time, and into the toy box. Now, as both studios expand their wings, they open their doors to a brand-new, thrilling world where fantasy meets familiar.

This March, Disney and Pixar continue their long legacy of storytelling with a heart in the original animated feature “Onward”. Set in a suburban fantasy world, “Onward” introduces two teenage elf brothers who embark on an extraordinary quest. They venture to discover if there is still a little magic left out there, in the hopes of spending one final day with their dearly departed father who passed away before they had vivid memories of him.

The all-new fantasy feature film is directed by American animator Dan Scanlon, joined by Pixar film producer Kori Rae, both of whom previously worked together in creating 2013’s Monsters University.

“The story is inspired by my own relationship with my brother and our connection with our dad who passed away when I was about a year old,” shares director Dan Scanlon. “He has always been a mystery to us. A family member sent us a tape recording of him saying just two words: ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’. Two words—but to my brother and I, it was magic,” he added.

To the filmmakers behind Pixar, the urge to enkindle a world filled with magic was taken to heart. From here sprung the idea of creating a modern suburban fantasy film, introducing a completely a new genre for Pixar. As elves, cyclops, centaurs, and trolls reside in the world of whimsical suburbia, it’s a mystery how the magic has been disappearing for years. “Only certain people could do it,” says producer Kori Rae. “It was difficult, and you had to really practice. As technology was introduced, everyone found easier ways to do things. Magic is possible, it’s just that nobody really does it anymore,” she continued.

OH BROTHERS – In Disney and Pixar’s “Onward,” two teenage elf brothers embark on an extraordinary quest in a van named Guinevere to discover if there is still a little magic left in the world. Featuring Tom Holland as the voice of Ian Lightfoot, and Chris Pratt as the voice of Ian’s older brother, Barley, “Onward” opens in U.S. theaters on March 6, 2020. ©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” brings together a stellar roster of voice actors to give life to its original characters with Tom Holland as Ian Lightfoot, Chris Pratt as Barley Lightfoot, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as their mother Laurel Lightfoot.

Also joining the cast are Octavia Spencer as the Manticore, Mel Rodriguez as Officer Colt Bronco, Lena Waithe as Officer Specter, Ali Wong as Officer Gore, Grey Griffin as Dewdrop, Tracey Ullman as Grecklin, and Wilmer Valderrama as Gaxton.

Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” also features a dynamic musical score from acclaimed composers Mychael Danna, an Oscar® winner for “Life of Pi”, and Jeff Danna—while five-time GRAMMY® Award winner Brandi Carlile performs an original heartrending song, “Carried Me With You”, for the end credits.

Disney and Pixar’s all-new animated film “Onward” journeys to Philippine theaters on March 4, 2020, and will have an early release happening at selected cinemas on Leap Day, February 29, 2020. Join the conversations online at #OnwardPH.

BAD DRAGON – In Disney and Pixar’s “Onward,” Ian Lightfoot’s mom has his back—even when his hyperactive pet dragon, Blazey, is misbehaving. Featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the voice of Mom, and Tom Holland as the voice of Ian, “Onward” opens in U.S. theaters on March 6, 2020. ©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

About Onward

When teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot (voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) get an unexpected opportunity to spend one more day with their late dad, they embark on an extraordinary quest aboard Barley’s epic van Guinevere. Like any good quest, their journey is filled with magic spells, cryptic maps, impossible obstacles and unimaginable discoveries. But when the boys’ fearless mom Laurel (voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus) realizes her sons are missing, she teams up with a part-lion, part-bat, part-scorpion, former warrior – aka The Manticore (voice of Octavia Spencer) – and heads off to find them. Perilous curses aside, this one magical day could mean more than any of them ever dreamed. 

Directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae, Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” opens in Philippine theaters on March 4, 2020 (Wednesday). Join the conversations online at #OnwardPH.

WATCH: First trailer for ‘Minions 2’ traces ‘The Rise of Gru’

This July, from the biggest animated franchise in history and global cultural phenomenon, comes the untold story of one 12-year-old’s dream to become the world’s greatest supervillain, in Minions 2: The Rise of Gru.

Check out the film’s newly-launched trailer and watch the film in Philippine cinemas July 1st.

In the heart of the 1970s, amid a flurry of feathered hair and flared jeans, Gru (Oscar® nominee Steve Carell) is growing up in the suburbs. A fanboy of a supervillain supergroup known as the Vicious 6, Gru hatches a plan to become evil enough to join them. Luckily, he gets some mayhem-making backup from his loyal followers, the Minions. Together, Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto—a new Minion sporting braces and a desperate need to please—deploy their skills as they and Gru build their first lair, experiment with their first weapons and pull off their first missions.

When the Vicious 6 oust their leader, legendary fighter Wild Knuckles (Oscar® winner Alan Arkin), Gru interviews to become their newest member. It doesn’t go well (to say the least), and only gets worse after Gru outsmarts them and suddenly finds himself the mortal enemy of the apex of evil. On the run, Gru will turn to an unlikely source for guidance, Wild Knuckles himself, and discover that even bad guys need a little help from their friends.

Teeming with Illumination’s signature subversive humor, pop-culture sophistication, full-hearted emotion, bold music sensibility, and over-the-top action, Minions 2: The Rise of Gru features a thrilling new cast of stars, including, as members of the Vicious 6, Taraji P. Henson as cool and confident leader Belle Bottom, Jean-Claude Van Damme as Jean Clawed, Lucy Lawless as Nunchuck, Dolph Lundgren as Svengeance and Danny Trejo as Stronghold. The film also features Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario, an aspiring mad scientist, Michelle Yeoh as Master Chow, an acupuncturist with mad Kung Fu skills, and Oscar® winner Julie Andrews as Gru’s maddeningly self-absorbed mom.

Steered by the franchise’s original creators, Minions 2: The Rise of Gru is produced by visionary Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborators Janet Healy and Chris Renaud. The film is directed by returning franchise filmmaker Kyle Balda (Despicable Me 3, Minions), co-directed by Brad Ableson (The Simpsons) and Jonathan del Val (The Secret Life of Pets films), and features the iconic voice of Pierre Coffin as the Minions and a killer ʼ70s soundtrack courtesy of legendary Grammy-winning music producer Jack Antonoff.

Minions 2: The Rise of Gru is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. Connect with #Minions2 and tag uipmoviesph.

‘Abominable’ review: Adorably sweet and adventurous

Abominable is a visual spectacle that makes every impossible thing possible—with a touch of family values that could win everyone’s hearts.

Abominabe is all about teenage Yi (Chloe Bennet) who encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building in Shanghai, she and her mischievous friends, Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (Albert Tsai), name him “Everest” and embark on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth. But they will have to stay one-step ahead of Burnish (Eddie Izzard), a wealthy man intent on capturing a Yeti, and zoologist Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) to help Everest get home.

Abominable will definitely win the hearts of younger audiences with such cute character like Everest, a massive Yeti who is the age-equivalent of a 9-year-old human boy. The film shows he relies on Yi and her friends to get him back to the Himalayas. He is curious and playful but can be a beast at times. Like all kids, he plays hard, doesn’t know his own strength and moody. His relationship with Yi is deep and forms the emotional core of the film. It’s for younger audience to enjoy — and if you are old enough to enjoy an animation, ultimately your enjoyment of Abominable will depend on your ability to embrace its childish silliness and adorable story of a girl and her yeti. Yes, it’s still good for everyone because the film is bound to win hearts all around.

Abominable is such an adventurous film to watch. Beautiful enough to make you ignore little predictable moments. It is simple and sweet, making every impossible thing possible – because that’s what you see in an animated world. It may not reach the Himalayan heights it’s aiming for yet it is infused with enough fantastical elements to keep viewers in good cheer. The best thing that this film offers is its spectacular visuals and family values that we can learn after. The film has strong positive messages for everyone with regards to family, friendship, and nature. There’s fun and entertainment as audiences can learn through seeing the characters grow into better versions of themselves.

This new aminated film from the makers of How to Train Your Dragon works beneficially when it focuses on the choice of voiceover, story, visuals, and music. This film brings diversity with having Asian leads. All cast members of the film — from Chloe Bennet to Sarah Paulson — are incredible and make each character unique. The main characters are no doubt relatable, likeable, fun and full of life. The sidekicks are heroic and funny. Even the villain is pretty interesting. They do a fantastic job with the storyline putting up twist, magical moments to ponder, and a chilling heartfelt soundtrack. It’s a great experience to see this one on the big screen.

Abominable puffs out as funny, adorable, and visually spectacular while making every impossible thing possible. Its outstanding theme about family will definitely touch everyone’s hearts. This is one beautiful adventure film recommended for all ages.


Dreamworks Animation and Pearl Studio Presents Abominable voiced by Chloe Bennet, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Joseph Izzo, Albert Tsai, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, Tsai Chin, and Michelle Wong.

Stop-motion animated film ‘Missing Link’ shows fun-filled adventure for all ages

From the studio that released the dark fantasy comedy horror film Coraline and the epic samurai action-adventure Kubo and the Two Strings, comes another spectacular animated movie, Missing Link, that will take Filipino viewers on a globetrotting heartwarming quest

This 2019, stop-motion animation studio, LAIKA, returns with its fifth and biggest feature film to date which showcases its expertise in art, cutting-edge technology, and powerful storytelling with a heart. Written and directed by Oscar® nominated Chris Butler (Paranorman), Missing Link follows the cross-country expedition of Mr. Link, Sir Lionel Frost, and Adelina Fortnight in search of Link’s long-lost relatives in the valley of Shangri-La. 

This original story marks LAIKA’s first-ever full-on comedy enveloped in a grand adventure, complete with exotic locations, vicious villains, and relatable themes of belonging, fellowship, and identity. 

Butler describes Missing Link, “it’s a film about connectivity. It has a really potent emotional story at the core, and yet on the top of it we put this beautiful veneer of an incredibly exciting adventure and comedy. I thought that was a really exciting story to tell in animation.”

On top of directing, Butler also took charge of writing the script, designing characters, and creating the storyboard. Inspired by his love for Indiana Jones’ archaeologist, he set out to create his own ‘cryptozoologist’, a searcher not of mysterious artifacts but of mysterious creatures.

To give life to the characters of his imagination, Butler and LAIKA worked with a team of over 400 artists and technologists and explored new areas and techniques in stop motion. As the film takes inspiration from Victorian Era, art director Rob DeSue shares it is the most colorful movie the studio has ever made. 

“With Missing Link, he (Chris) wanted a vibrancy and a saturation of color that we hadn’t done before. We also steered away from neutral color and black and white. Finding alternatives proved to be an exciting challenge,” says DeSue. 

In terms of storytelling, voice actors Hugh Jackman (voice of Sir Lionel Frost), Zach Galifianakis (Mr. Link), and Zoe Saldana (Adelina Fortnight) share how much they loved doing the film for its profound message of acceptance and finding one’s place in the world. 

“I signed on to do the film because of LAIKA’s love for storytelling. The movies they make all have a great message; they leave you with something inspiring and heartwarming. With Missing Link, it’s about finding your family, finding your true friendships, and finding the things that really matter in life,” says Jackman. 

An Annapurna Pictures presentation of a LAIKA production, Missing Link opened in Philippine cinemas on April 10, 2019. Use #MissingLink to join the conversations online.

Toothless finds love in the final ‘How to Train Your Dragon’

When director-writer Dean DeBlois considered the engine of change for DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, he began to wonder what coming-of-age would look like for the Night Fury aka Toothless…as the dragon grows to yearn for a life beyond humans.

“For so long, he has been Hiccup’s constant companion,” says the director. “But he has begun to stray from that bond as he is drawn by the call of the wild—and by instinct and maturity.” To stay true to the narrative, the storytellers had to contemplate the unthinkable. “We asked ourselves if we could have their relationship completely fall apart, but still bring them back together, stronger than ever,” DeBlois says.

Once Toothless first encounters the Light Fury (so named by Astrid)—a stunning and shimmering all-white dragon who exists on pure instinct—our alpha male finds himself pulled to the wild world from which she comes and will assuredly return.  “Toothless is conflicted by loyalty, but he’s drawn to what is so natural,” says DeBlois. “For him, that’s embodied by the Light Fury; she offers an innocent existence untainted by humans.”

That said, DeBlois admits that any stranger breaking up our star couple had to be both likable and spectacular. “The Light Fury promises a family and the propagation of Toothless’ species,” he says. “She’s essentially there to lure Toothless back into the wild and to his rightful home. To make sure the audience is not resentful of Light Fury, we had to give her such a charming and distinct personality that she’d win us over. These are wordless transitions in animation, and imbuing her with these characteristics required our hitting familiar marks for humans.”

One of the more iconic moments in The Hidden World was one of the first sequences to be led into production: Toothless and Light Fury’s first date on the beach. Set to playful, romantic chords from series composer John Powell, the scene is primarily music-driven and largely a dance. While Toothless fumbles through his amateurish knowledge of the opposite sex, he must rely upon the creature in his life who loves him more than any other: Hiccup.  

Toothless first captures the attention of his feral love by adopting a behavior he learned from humans, specifically Berk’s new chieftain. “We based this on the story of Cyrano de Bergerac and gave it a lot of love and care,” DeBlois says. “Hiccup encourages Toothless to replicate dragon courtship behaviors he’s observed. Still, this is a stunning female of the wild who expects Toothless to know what he’s doing. Of course, he’s a bumbling amateur…with Hiccup cringing on the sidelines.”  

So what’s a dragon to do when he’s head-over-heels in love? “Toothless has no references; he’s the last of his kind, and there’s underlying sadness to that,” DeBlois says. “Ironically, the one thing he learns from a human—drawing in the sand—is what wins her over.”

In Philippine cinemas February 20, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #HowToTrainYourDragon #HTTYD3

About How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

From DreamWorks Animation comes a surprising tale about growing up, finding the courage to face the unknown…and how nothing can ever train you to let go.  What began as an unlikely friendship between an adolescent Viking and a fearsome Night Fury dragon has become an epic adventure spanning their lives.  Welcome to the most astonishing chapter of one of the most beloved animated franchises in film history: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.  

Now chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, Hiccup has created a gloriously chaotic dragon utopia.  When the sudden appearance of female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup and Toothless must leave the only home they’ve known and journey to a hidden world thought only to exist in myth.  As their true destines are revealed, dragon and rider will fight together—to the very ends of the Earth—to protect everything they’ve grown to treasure.

For How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, series director Dean DeBlois returns alongside the all-star cast led by Jay Baruchel (This Is the End), America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Cate Blanchett (The House with a Clock in Its Walls, Thor: Ragnarok), Gerard Butler (Den of Thieves, Geostorm), Kristen Wiig (Ghostbusters), Craig Ferguson (Doc Martin), and F. Murray Abraham (Homeland) as the villain Grimmel.

Illumination brings Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Grinch’ to the big screen

No one, it’s fair to say, was better equipped to adapt The Grinch into a 3D animated film than Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri. Not only had he successfully adapted two other Seuss books into feature films – 2008’s Horton Hears a Who! and 2012’s The Lorax – but his company, Illumination, has dominated the world of animation for more than a decade with sweet and subversive characters and unexpected stories, including The Secret Life of Pets, Sing, and most notably Gru and his Minions in the Despicable Me franchise, which has grossed more than $3.7 billion worldwide.

Meledandri can trace his attraction to delightfully flawed characters back to the Grinch. “From a very early age I found myself attracted to characters that had a wicked side to them, especially characters that you enjoyed watching be wicked, but I also like seeing their redemption,” Meledandri says. “In a lot of Illumination films, there’s definitely a recurring theme of characters who have a real edge or a bite to them. So How The Grinch Stole Christmas! was formative for me. I grew up in a household where Dr. Seuss books were plentiful.”

The decision to make The Grinch into a feature film seemed an organic one for Meledandri. At the emotional center of that intention was a question they decided to explore: How did the Grinch become the way he his? “That became very organic, to our minds,” Meledandri says. “At the core of this story is a character who was emotionally wounded as a child. He has placed himself on a quest to eliminate the joy of others because he himself has been left out of feeling that joy. The manifestation of that emotional pain is a character who has gone into seclusion, who has given up on the society around him. And it takes the most innocent and optimistic character imaginable – in this case, Cindy-Lou Who – to reengage him to life, to an openness to connecting with other characters, to believing in good.”

The result, Meledandri says, is a film with a message that touches the heart and resonates long after people leave the theater. “As I’ve watched the film as we’ve been making it, I really love this hopeful feeling that the movie leaves you with. And getting to this place means that the character has transcended many of the things that have held him back: this desire to protect himself from feeling hurt, from being rejected. He actually wrecks this wall of meanness that he’s erected.”

In Philippine cinemas November 28, The Grinch is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

About The Grinch

For their eighth fully animated feature, Illumination and Universal Pictures present The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss’ beloved holiday classic.

The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl’s generous holiday spirit. Funny, heartwarming and visually stunning, it’s a universal story about the spirit of Christmas and the indomitable power of optimism.

Academy Award® nominee Benedict Cumberbatch lends his voice to the infamous Grinch, who lives a solitary life inside a cave on Mt. Crumpet with only his loyal dog, Max, for company. With a cave rigged with inventions and contraptions for his day-to-day needs, the Grinch only sees his neighbors in Who-ville when he runs out of food.

Each year at Christmas they disrupt his tranquil solitude with their increasingly bigger, brighter and louder celebrations. When the Whos declare they are going to make Christmas three times bigger this year, the Grinch realizes there is only one way for him to gain some peace and quiet: he must steal Christmas. To do so, he decides he will pose as Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, even going so far as to trap a lackadaisical misfit reindeer to pull his sleigh.

Meanwhile, down in Who-ville, Cindy-Lou Who – a young girl overflowing with holiday cheer – plots with her gang of friends to trap Santa Claus as he makes his Christmas Eve rounds so that she can thank him for help for her overworked single mother. As Christmas approaches, however, her good-natured scheming threatens to collide with the Grinch’s more nefarious one. Will Cindy-Lou achieve her goal of finally meeting Santa Claus? Will the Grinch succeed in silencing the Whos’ holiday cheer once and for all?

Find out, Christmas season 2018.