‘The Lion King’ (2019) review: Photorealistic Disney remake means no worries

Jon Favreau’s remake of ‘The Lion King’ does not liberate itself from the shackles of the Disney classic but the nostalgia it brings should be enough to make this an easy crowd-pleaser.

On a strict technical level, Disney’s 2019 version of The Lion King counts more as a retelling than a reimagination: the story and dialogues are roughly the same, the well-loved songs are all present, and the iconic scenes are masterfully replicated through cutting edge technology (making the 1994 classic look like a giant storyboard). James Earl Jones even reprises the role of Mufasa, “King of the Pride Rock” (pictured above). Had you seen the original film a day before the screening (yes, I have), the beat per beat similarities will be more evident and you’ll find yourself guessing the next lines.

This sounds good news for those who like to be comforted by the same blanket of emotions, all while revelling in the filmmakers’ technical prowess. Anyway, the classic has already a solid story to begin with, and this remake’s faithful adherence to it does not take away whatever entertainment value The Lion King brings. I can’t blame Disney for not fixing what’s not broken as multi-millions of dollars are at stake here. Jungle Book director Jon Favreau’s first and foremost duty is to not mess it up… even if it’s at the cost of storytelling ambition.

Adventurous souls. Zazu (John Oliver) warns a young Simba (J.D. McCrary) and a young Nala (Shahadi Wright Joseph) not to stray away from the Pride Lands.

That being said, those who couldn’t tolerate watching a practically the same film, will be greatly disappointed. The question of necessity immediately pops into one’s head and terms like “cash-grab” and “blatant rehash” will be thrown around by cynical viewers. Personally, I would rather reserve those terms for films which are lazily done and TLK 2.0 definitely doesn’t look like one. With its photorealistic and painstakingly rendered imagery, the film looks like a high-end feature of Disneynature. For someone who enjoys watching NatGeo documentaries, I am digging this. If anything, audiences will be baffled to know that none of it is actually real—everything is created in digital space. (The term “live action” seems to be a misnomer by now.) The main attraction here is to gawk at the visual wizardry and there’s no shame in that.

Wisdom and tribe loyalty. John Kani plays Rafiki, a wise mandrill who serves as the shaman of the Pride Lands and a close adviser of Mufasa.

Putting realism to the context of animation, however, creates dissonance at some parts and that’s where this remake fails to completely replicate the magic of the original. To be specific, Favreau & Co. sticks to realistic animal expressions: which means that a lion’s sad/angry/confused face won’t be as expressive as their animated counterparts. Hence, even if the vocal performances are all incredible, the emotional range and depth is not fully captured. In a way, 2.0 serves as a reminder why traditional animation is important. The exaggerated facial expressions and the surrealist sequences are used to convey larger than life emotions. The Lion King thrives more in that territory. It can never entirely sell the idea of realism in the first place, as there’s no way in the world that animals talk or sing like people.

But everything else is mostly forgiven when TLK 2.0 starts hitting the nostalgia button via its amusing, sing-along songs, and the sweeping musical score once again provided by the great Hans Zimmer. This remake retains most of the melodies but there are welcome additions too like Beyoncé’s original song “Spirit” which is played during Simba’s eventual return to the Pride Lands. Her character Nala is given more dimension this time and I wish we’re given more time for Donald Glover’s adult Simba to fully grow on us. Nevertheless, the coming-of-age push and pull themes of ‘putting your past behind’ vs. ‘remembering who you are’ are well emphasized in his character building moments. 

The heir of the Pride Lands, Simba (Donald Glover) and his childhood best friend Nala (Beyoncé Knowles-Carter) reunites after several years of separation.

While the opening song “Circle of Life” is a frame by frame recreation of the original, Simba and Nala’s performance of Elton John’s rousing hit “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” is wonderfully set in the warm glow of sunset this time. There’s also a fresh take in Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performance of “Be Prepared” which is delivered as a mix of spoken word/song. Combined with Scar’s scruffy features, the character looks more devious and menacing. 

Usurpers to the throne. Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor), along with his hyena henchmen Shenzi (Florence Kasumba), Kamari (Keegan-Michael Key), and Azizi (Eric Andre), are onto something evil.

But TLK 2.0 starts to earn its big laughs upon the introduction of Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen’s Timon and Pumbaa. The duo steal the thunder with their nihilistic philosophy of living a worry-free lifestyle and the actors’ seemingly improvisational freedom. Their acapella performance of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” really lights up the mood of the film. Also bringing levity is John Oliver’s pompous and diplomatic bird Zazu.

Hakuna Matata. A young Simba (J.D. McCrary), meerkat Timon and warthog Pumbaa sing away their problems in ‘The Lion King.’

The Lion King (2019) does not reinvent nor reimagine the story and it does not have to. There’s a reason why the 1994 film is a timeless classic and it’s because of the relevant themes of responsibility, pride and courage. The main goal here is to reintroduce the story to a younger generation who don’t share the same level of enthusiasm towards the old-school Disney animation. In that note, this film succeeds.

The 2019 remake honors what came before. It may lack the surprise factor—the emotional punches and musical cues come as expected—but there’s great pleasure in seeing this classic brought into life. It won’t overthrow my love for the original anytime soon but think of this as a good old, hand-me-down present that’s beautifully wrapped for every generation to keep.

3.5 out of 5 stars
Directed by Jon Favreau, ‘The Lion King’ features the voices of Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, JD McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Florence Kasumba, Keegan-Michael Key, Eric Andre and James Earl Jones. Based on the 1994 Disney classic by Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts and Linda Woolverton. 118 minutes. Rated G.

WATCH: Meet the animated ‘Addams Family’ in their first trailer

They’re creepy and they’re kooky! Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures’ (MGM) has just unveiled the first trailer for its upcoming animated feature The Addams Family with a voice cast led by Oscar Issac, Charlize Theron and Chloe Grace Moretz.

Check out the trailer below and watch The Addams Family in Philippine cinemas October 23.

The Addams Family is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #MeetTheAddams

About The Addams Family

Get ready to snap your fingers! The Addams Family is back on the big screen in the first animated comedy about this creepy and kooky clan.  You may think your family is weird but the outlandish, bizarre, and completely iconic Addams Family, will have you thinking again.

Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2, Monsters vs. Aliens, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted) and Greg Tiernan (Thomas & Friends, Day of the Diesels) direct a voice cast led by Golden Globe winner Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) as Gomez Addams, Academy Award winner Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) as Morticia Addams, Chloë Grace Moretz  (If I Stay) as Wednesday Addams, Finn Wolfhard (IT, Netflix’sStranger Things) as Pugsley Addams, Nick Kroll (Sing) as Uncle Fester, Bette Midler (Hocus Pocus) as Grandmama and Academy Award winner Allison Janney (I, Tonya) as the family’s arch nemesis Margaux Needler.

‘Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2’ takes arcade friendship to the Web

Are you ready, internet?

On November 21, video game bad guy Ralph and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz will be back on the big screen in Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2. In this follow-up to 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph, the best pals leave the video arcade behind, venturing into the uncharted, expansive, and fast-paced world of the internet—which can be both incredibly exciting and overwhelming, depending on who you ask.

Says director Rich Moore, “They’re like a couple of small-town kids who venture into the big city. One falls in love with the city, while the other one can’t wait to go home.”

“Ralph is in love with the life that he has,” adds director Phil Johnston. “But Vanellope is ready for a change—she wants to spread her wings a little. That creates conflict within their friendship, which becomes the heart of the story.”

When the sequel begins, things are going well in the arcade—Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (voiced by Sarah Silverman) happily complete their duties in their games during the day and hang out together in their neighboring arcade games at night. But Vanellope is starting to get bored with the routine. To help his friend out, Ralph tries to make Sugar Rush more exciting, only to start a chain of events that leads to a crucial part of the game being broken. To save the game, Ralph and Vanellope must go to the unfamiliar world of the internet to look for the part in a place called eBay.

Says Pamela Ribon, who wrote the screenplay with Johnston, “Ralph and Vanellope have never heard of the internet, much less eBay, but Litwak has installed a router, so the arcade is actually online for the first time. They decide to take the leap into this unknown world and travel to the internet in order to find the crucial part and save Vanellope’s game.”

NAVIGATING THE NET – In “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” video-game bad guy Ralph and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz venture to the internet for a replacement part for her game, Sugar Rush. The world wide web is expansive and exciting with an elaborate transportation system Ralph and Vanellope find themselves squeezing into en route to one of their first internet destinations. Featuring the voices of John C. Reilly as the voice of Ralph, and Sarah Silverman as the voice of Vanellope, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 21, 2018. ©Disney. All Rights Reserved.

A whole new world (wide web)

Exploring the world wide web did not just overwhelm Ralph, it intimidated the filmmakers at the start, too! “It never stopped being intimidating,” shares director of story Jim Reardon with a laugh. “We looked at how we could make the internet relatable on a human level—like how Game Central Station, a.k.a the power strip, mirrored a train station in the first movie. In Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, any person who uses the internet has a little avatar version of themselves that does their business for them.”

According to director Moore, the possibilities were both exciting and overwhelming. “We were too naive to realize how overwhelming it would be,” he says. “It was the perfect setting for the story we wanted to tell.”

Producer Clark Spencer agrees. “Nothing else was even pitched,” he says. “Going into the ultra-modern world of the internet was not only a nice contrast to the first film’s nod to the arcade, it offered unlimited possibilities. We could actually personify retail sites, social media, and search engines—we could give people a look inside their computers when they go online.”

A lot of careful planning and ingenious creativity went into building the vast and modern world of the internet into the retro world of Wreck-It Ralph. But despite the scale of the sequel’s setting, the heart of the film remains the same: the friendship between Ralph and Vanellope.

“Ralph and Vanellope are imperfect characters,” says Moore. “But we love them because of their flaws. Their friendship is so genuine—the chemistry between them so engaging—that I think we were all anxious to know more about these characters.”

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 opens in Philippine cinemas November 21. Join the conversation online and use the hashtag #RalphBreaksTheInternet

About Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

In “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” video-game bad guy Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and best friend Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) leave the comforts of Litwak’s arcade in an attempt to save her game, Sugar Rush. Their quest takes them to the vast, uncharted world of the internet where they rely on the citizens of the internet—the Netizens—to help navigate their way. Lending a virtual hand are Yesss (voice of Taraji P. Henson), the head algorithm and the heart and soul of the trend-making site “BuzzzTube,” and Shank (voice of Gal Gadot), a tough-as-nails driver from a gritty online auto-racing game called Slaughter Race, a place Vanellope wholeheartedly embraces—so much so that Ralph worries he may lose the only friend he’s ever had. Directed by Rich Moore (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph”) and Phil Johnston (co-writer “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Zootopia,” writer, “Cedar Rapids”), and produced by Clark Spencer (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Bolt,” “Lilo & Stitch”), “Ralph Breaks the Internet” hits Phiippine theaters on Nov. 21, 2018.

WATCH: Hero dog Max takes trip to the vet in first trailer for ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’

“We love our pets. But how well do we really know them?” Watch the brand new trailer for Pictures and llumination’s new comedy The Secret Life of Pets 2, the eagerly anticipated sequel to the 2016 global hit.

Check out the trailer below and watch The Secret Life of Pets 2 in Philippine cinemas 2019.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

About The Secret Life of Pets 2

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 (Despicable Me series, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax).

WATCH: Hiccup must find the hidden world in new trailer for ‘How to Train Your Dragon 3’

The brand new trailer for Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World finds our hero Hiccup in a quest for the hidden world as dragons and Vikings face their greatest threats ever.

Check out the new trailer below and watch How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World in Philippine cinemas February 20, 2019.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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.

The film is produced by Brad Lewis (Ratatouille, ANTZ) and How to Train Your Dragon series producer Bonnie Arnold (Toy Story, Tarzan).

Ralph, Vanellope enter uncharted world in new trailer for ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2’

Walt Disney Animation Studios has just shared the brand new trailer of “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” the sequel to “Wreck-It Ralph” from directors by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston and featuring the voices of original cast members John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman.

Check out the trailer below and and watch “Ralph Breaks the Internet” in Philippine theaters on Nov. 21, 2018.

About “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2”

“Ralph Breaks the Internet” leaves Litwak’s video arcade behind, venturing into the uncharted, expansive and thrilling world of the internet—which may or may not survive Ralph’s wrecking. Video game bad guy Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) must risk it all by traveling to the world wide web in search of a replacement part to save Vanellope’s video game, Sugar Rush. In way over their heads, Ralph and Vanellope rely on the citizens of the internet—the Netizens—to help navigate their way, including Yesss (voice of Taraji P. Henson), who is the head algorithm and the heart and soul of the trend-making site “BuzzzTube,” and Shank (voice of Gal Gadot), a tough-as-nails driver from a gritty online auto-racing game called Slaughter Race. Directed by Rich Moore (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph”) and Phil Johnston (co-writer “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Zootopia,” writer, “Cedar Rapids”), and produced by Clark Spencer (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Bolt,” “Lilo & Stitch”), “Ralph Breaks the Internet” hits Philippine theaters on Nov. 21, 2018.

Discover ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ when you’re not home

Ever wonder what your pets do when you’re not around?

For their fifth fully animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present “The Secret Life of Pets,” a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day.

Comedy superstars Louis C.K. (TV’s “Louie”), Eric Stonestreet (TV’s “Modern Family”) and Kevin Hart (“Central Intelligence”) make their animated feature-film debuts as Max, Duke and Snowball in “The Secret Life of Pets,” which co-stars Jenny Slate (“Zootopia”) as Gidget, Ellie Kemper (“Bridesmaids”) as Katie, Lake Bell (TV’s “Children’s Hospital”) as Chloe, Dana Carvey (“First Impressions”) as Pops, Hannibal Buress (“Neighbors”) as Buddy, Bobby Moynihan (TV’s “Saturday Night Live”) as Mel, Steve Coogan (“Minions”) as Ozone and Albert Brooks (“Finding Dory”) as Tiberius.

For one bustling Manhattan apartment building, the real day starts after the folks on two legs leave for work and school. That’s when the pets of every stripe, fur and feather begin their own nine-to-five routine: hanging out with each other, trading humiliating stories about their owners, auditioning adorable looks to get better snacks and watching Animal Planet like it is reality TV.

The building’s top dog, Max (C.K.), a quick-witted Terrier rescue who’s convinced he sits at the center of owner Katie’s (Kemper) universe, finds his pampered life turned upside down when she brings home Duke (Stonestreet), a sloppy, massive mess of a mongrel with zero interpersonal skills. When this reluctant canine duo finds themselves out on the mean streets of New York, they have to set aside their differences and unite against a fluffy, yet cunning, bunny named Snowball (Hart), who’s building an army of pets who’ve been abandoned by their owners and are out to turn the tables on humanity…all this and making it home before Katie returns at dinnertime.

Illumination Entertainment founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy—who together have produced the beloved films of the “Despicable Me” franchise, as well as the blockbusters “Minions” and “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax”—produce the comedy that is directed by Chris Renaud, co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio and Brian Lynch.

Opening across the Philippines on August 24, 2016, “The Secret Life of Pets” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Meet the colorful inhabitants of Disney’s ‘Zootopia’

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 55th animated film “Zootopia” features a large and diverse range of characters – “One of our biggest casts ever for a Disney Animation film,” says director Byron Howard.

Director Rich Moore agrees saying, “Everyone in this incredible cast is bringing something special, something unexpected to their characters, which really takes our story to a whole new level.”

Zootopia-1Judy_Nick_Bogo_MrsOtter

Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin), the very first bunny on Zootopia’s police force, jumps at the opportunity to crack her first case as an officer.

Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman) is the scam-artist fox with whom Judy Hopps partnered to solve the mystery.

Joining Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde is an assembly of unique characters that will surely become future fan favorites.

Chief Bogo (Idris Elba), a cape buffalo and the stern (yet goofy) head of the Zootopia Police Department. He is reluctant to add Judy Hopps to his squad of hardened rhinos, elephants and hippos.

Mrs. Otterton (Octavia Spencer), a desperate otter who turns to Officer Judy Hopps for help in solving her husband’s mysterious disappearance.

Zootopia-2Lionheart_Bellwether_Yax_DukeWeaselton

Leodore Lionheart (J.K. Simmons), a lion and the noble mayor of Zootopia who coined the city’s mantra that Judy Hopps lives by: “In Zootopia, anyone can be anything.”

Assistant Mayor Bellwether (Jenny Slate), a sweet sheep with a little voice and a lot of wool, who constantly finds herself under the foot of the larger-than-life Mayor Lionheart.

Duke Weaselton (Alan Tudyk), a small-time weasel crook with a big-time weasel mouth, who tries to give Judy the slip during a police chase.

Yax the Yak (Tommy Chong), the most enlightened, laid-back bovine in Zootopia. When Judy Hopps is on a case, Yax is full of revealing insights.

Zootopia-3Clawhauser_Flash_Finnick_Bonnie&StuHopps

Benjamin Clawhauser (Nate Torrence), Zootopia Police Department’s most charming cheetah who loves two things: pop star Gazelle (Shakira) and donuts. From his reception desk, he greets everyone with a warm smile and a helpful paw—covered in sprinkles.

Flash (Raymond Persi), the fastest sloth who works at the DMV (that’s Department of Mammal Vehicles).

Bonnie Hopps (Bonnie Hunt), Judy’s mom, and Stu (Don Lake), Judy’s carrot farmer dad. They are worried about Judy moving to Zootopia and the untrustworthy big-city mammals who live there—especially foxes!

Finnick (Tommy Lister), a fennec fox with a big chip on his adorable shoulder.

Opening across the Philippines on February 17, 2016, “Zootopia” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

Follow the official social media accounts of Disney in the Philippines, namely, (FB) WaltDisneyStudiosPH, (Twitter) @disneystudiosph and (Instagram) @waltdisneystudiosph and use the hashtag #ZootopiaPH.

Jason Lee gets furry-ous with ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks 4: The Road Chip’

In 2007, “Alvin and The Chipmunks,” a global phenomenon to generations of fans, became a live action/CGI motion picture event with a contemporary comic sensibility. In the holiday season blockbuster, which grossed over $350 million worldwide, songwriter Dave Seville transformed singing chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore into pop sensations — while the out-of-control trio laid waste to Dave’s home, wreaked havoc on his career, and turned Dave’s once-orderly life upside-down.

Right after the hit debut of the franchise’s first film, it became inevitable that a “Squeakquel,” and “Chipwrecked” followed through from one exciting adventure to another. This January 2016, the lovable trio of Chipmunks that includes Alvin, Theodore and Simon, along with their guardian and father figure Dave Seville (played by Jason Lee), are back for a whole new adventure for today’s highly-adventurous generation in “Alvin and The Chipmunks 4: The Road Chip.”

In “Alvin and The Chipmunks 4: The Road Chip,” Dave’s career as a musical artist manager has taken off, thanks to the Chipmunks. He also has an exciting new client – a rising young pop star, named Ashley, played by actress/singer/author/model Bella Thorne (“My Own Worst Enemy,” “Shake It Up”). Despite her popularity, Ashley has remained “sweet and down to earth,” says Thorne. For example, she notes, “When we meet Ashley, she’s being stormed by paparazzi, but she makes sure that the ‘Munks aren’t trampled.” Ashley also provides emotional and musical support to the ‘Munks when they reunite with Dave in Florida.

jason lee in ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS 4 - THE ROAD CHIP

Dave’s life takes an additional turn, thanks to Samantha (she prefers “Sam”), an ER doctor (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) with whom he’s enjoying a blossoming romantic relationship. In fact, Dave and Sam are growing so close that the ‘Munks are beginning to wonder if he’s about to pop the question.

While Dave is busier than ever, he has opted to temporarily sideline the boys, so they can live as “normal” a life as possible. “Dave is bit more comfortable with the idea of everything being as normal as possible,” says Lee. Dave is also becoming more of a parent to the boys, a big step forward from serving as their beleaguered guardian. “The parenting moments are important to the evolution of this franchise,” notes Becker.

Director Walt Becker did ensure that a key presence in all the Alvin films — Jason Lee, as Dave Seville – was back for The Road Chip. “It was important to bring back Jason because not only is he terrific in the “Alvin and The Chipmunks” movies, his presence helps gives this film a strong emotional connection.”

Lee calls this connection to the story’s characters and its myriad fans, the “Dave Factor.” He says, “It’s amazing when I’m with my kids, and their friends will come up to me and ask, ‘Are you Dave?’ And they’re super-smiley. That’s worth so much to me.”

But in the Seville/Chipmunks household, striving for normalcy, and actually achieving it are, well, a continuing challenge. The boys miss their status as pop star icons and aren’t shy about letting Dave know about it. Moreover, Dave’s frustration with his young charges continues to bedevil him, and fans will rejoice that his signature manifestation of said frustration – a full-throttle bellowing of “Alviiiiin!!!” – will again tax Dave, as well as the Dolby-ized sound system of your local theater. “That yell is just kind of second nature, now,” says Jason Lee, “for me and for Dave.”

“Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip” opens January 20, 2016 in cinemas nationwide as released by 20th Century Fox and to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Celebration continues in ‘Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie’

The festive celebration goes on this as “Snoopy and Charlie Brown The Peanuts Movie” continues to run in Philippine cinemas nationwide.

At its core, “Snoopy and Charlie Brown The Peanuts Movie” is about everyday anxieties we encounter while growing up, going to school, and dealing with the perceptions people have about one another. “We took that theme and changed the overall tone of the movie, which resulted in a stronger message, one that both adults and children can relate to,” says Craig Schulz, son of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz.

The universal appeal of all Peanuts characters—encompassing Charlie Brown’s eternal underdog status, Linus’ heart, Franklin’s philosophy, Marcie’s introspection, Lucy’s crabbiness, Sally’s unrequited affection for her Sweet Babboo Linus, and Snoopy’s many personas— is the reason the strip and its characters have remained relevant as Peanuts celebrates its 65th year.

snoopy and charlie brown the peanuts movie 2

The story’s always been in the pen… Charles Schulz drew the most popular and influential comic strip of all time, which was read everyday by 355 million people in 75 countries. On October 2, 1950, Charles M. Schulz introduced the characters of Charlie Brown, Shermy and Patty in just seven newspapers, launching a 50-year journey for the cartoonist that forever changed the landscape of popular culture and humor that would be known as the Peanuts Gang. Schulz’s comic strip was hailed as one of the greatest of the twentieth century, and his characters launched a bona-fide industry, while providing a much-needed voice for the underdog, via Charlie Brown.

As production geared up on adapting Schulz’s Peanuts on the big screen, “Snoopy and Charlie Brown The Peanuts Movie” wherein Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the beloved PEANUTS Gang make their film debut, like they’ve never been seen before, in state of the art 3D animation. Charlie Brown, the world’s most beloved underdog, embarks upon an epic and heroic quest, while his best pal, the lovable beagle Snoopy, takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron.

PEANUTS

From the imagination of Charles M. Schulz and the creators of the “Ice Age” films, “Snoopy and Charlie Brown The Peanuts Movie” will prove that every underdog has his day.

At the helm of “Snoopy and Charlie Brown The Peanuts Movie” is Steve Martino, highly regarded pioneer in the field of computer animation who along with Michael Thurmeier, directed the global blockbuster “Ice Age: Continental Drift.” Martino had a particularly memorable conversation with Craig Schulz (son of Charles): “Charles M. Schulz had a profound impact on me as a child and as an artist,” says Martino, “and in one of our initial meetings, Craig stopped me and said, ‘All of my dad’s friends referred to him as Sparky, so if we’re going to be on this journey together, that is what you should call him.’ That was such a great honor.”

PEANUTS

Additionally, the look of “Snoopy and Charlie Brown The Peanuts Movie” is a testament to the legacy of Charles M. Schulz. “I immediately fell in love with the film’s design,” says producer Paul Feig. “It doesn’t challenge your perception of what PEANUTS should be like, but rather, it adds to it.”

A warm, nostalgic and fun-filled movie for the whole family, “Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie” will open January 8, 2015 in Philippine cinemas nationwide as released by 20th Century Fox and to be distributed by Warner Bros. 

snoopy and charlie brown the peanuts movie poster