Tagged: Walt Disney

Hollywood Doesn’t Care About ‘Fanboy’ Approval
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Hollywood Doesn’t Care About ‘Fanboy’ Approval

Dennis O’Neil: Disney, Woody and Me

Dennis O’Neil: Disney, Woody and Me

A week or two back, our own media goddess, Martha Thomases, observed that in real life Walt Disney was not the debonair and avuncular presence he wanted us to think he was. I’d heard rumblings over years, now and then, that Walt was guilty of anti-Semitism and racism and maybe sexism and that he was chummy with Nazis. I noted these rumors and then, no outrage, no anger – I pretty much forgot them.

But why didn’t I get upset? It might have been because I wasn’t a Disney fan. What he was selling was not high on my shopping list. In fact, I’m only a casual consumer of animation, which may seem odd, given how I’ve earned my living for the past half-century or so: all those comic books…

But at least the cartoons in comic books have the decency to stand still.

Understand, I don’t hate animation. I remember thinking highly of Mighty Mouse when I was in elementary school, and when Bugs Bunny appeared on my neighborhood movie screen, I enjoyed a few funny minutes. And today, I consider The Simpsons and Family Guy pop culture treasures, though I probably respond more to the writing and voice acting in those shows than to the (bouncing/hopping/jiggly) images. I could even enjoy Donald Duck and his pals. But if the Disney empire had never existed, my life would not be impoverished.

So Uncle Walt was a stinker? Well, that’s regrettable, but many things are, and I have no emotional investment in Mr. D.

That’s not true of every entertainer.

When the Woody Allen’s shenanigans with his step-daughter, Soon Yi Previn, became public knowledge, I had a twitch of distaste, because, no doubt about it, I liked Woody as a comedian, a writer, an actor, and most all, as a film maker. I’ve liked him ever since I first saw his young self do standup, probably on a black-and-white television screen, and I’ve liked and admired him ever since. The Soon Yi business? Yeah, that was regrettable. But since Woody and Soon Yi did not share DNA, no real, biological, incest was involved, and Woody did do the honorable thing and marry the lady. To quote my favorite line from Shakespeare: “Use every man after his desert and who shall ‘scape whipping?”

But now, on the occasion of Woody’s receiving a lifetime achievement award, his son, Ronin, and Ronin’s mother, Mia Farrow, claim that he once molested a seven-year-old. Sexual exploitation of children is hard to forgive, especially when it’s done by someone with whom you identify – one of your heroes. The Soon Yi affair was ugly; molesting children is monstrous.

I try not to judge anyone. But don’t expect to see me at the next Woody Allen movie.

REVISED COLUMN SCHEDULE FOR THIS WEEK:

FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Martha Thomases

LATER FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis

SATURDAY: Back to our normal schedule with Marc Alan Fishman

 

Martha Thomases: Saving Mr. Disney

Thomases Art 140103Like so many kids of my generation, Walt Disney was my baby-sitter when I was a kid. “Uncle” Walt sometimes showed up on The Mickey Mouse Club. He was the genial host of The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights. He was the bestower of Mickey and Minnie, Donald and Daisy, Goofy and all those amazing cartoons.

Alas, I grew up, as kids tend to do. I learned more about Disney, the man and the business. The business was well-known for its penny-pinching, and Walt, personally, was a right-wing, union-busting anti-Semite. These are not the kind of institutions I tend to support.

And yet ….

The reason for these musings is that I just saw Saving Mr. Banks, a lovely movie about the making of Mary Poppins.  And it is a lovely movie, even though it is almost surely inaccurate. It stars Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks as P. L. Travers, the writer of the Poppins books, and Uncle Walt. The biggest problem most people seem to have with the movie is that it whitewashes Disney.

The story the movie tells concerns the tensions between Travers and Disney over the kind of movie to make, based on the books. I didn’t read the books as a child, but I did read them aloud to my son when he was a boy, and they are both lovely and quite different from the film. I don’t care, I enjoy them both. Similarly, I like both the Disney Peter Pan and the book, which, again, is quite different. In both cases, one is entertained and uplifted by the various stories in the various media.

My favorite part about the movie (besides B.J. Novak is that it is about a relationship between a man and a woman that is not even slightly romantic nor sexual, but still emotional and involving and affecting. Hanks is not the least bit like the Walt Disney I remember, and I don’t really care. The character works in the story, which is what I want from my cinematic experience.

It made me think about my feelings for Disney. On the one hand, his politics were, reportedly, terrible, and his business policies hurtful to a lot of hardworking creative people. On the other hand, he made some of my favorite films. On the third hand, he was a human being with a family he loved who loved him, and the same kinds of human insecurities and failings as the rest of us. These contradictions are what make each of us interesting, each of us a worthy star of our own life story.

None of this is to say that, Constant Reader, will necessarily like this movie. I’m not even sure I can say it’s great art. It made me think about art and commerce and families and the love and respect we owe each other despite (sometimes because of) our sins.

Together with my senior discount, it was well worth the afternoon.

SATURDAY MORNING: Marc Alan Fishman

SUNDAY MORNING: John Ostrander

MONDAY MORNING: Mindy Newell

 

Martha Thomases: The Twelve Flicks of Christmas

Thomases Art 131220When I had to go to work in an office everyday, I would try to save up my vacation days so I could take off the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Ostensibly, I did this because my kid had no school and needed daytime attention.

But, really, I did it because I wanted to go to the movies.

The holiday season usually sees a flood of new releases, either to amuse those home-bound kids or to qualify for the Academy Awards. A lot of the Oscar-bait is scheduled for nation-wide release when the awards will actually be presented, and they just open in a few theaters to get by the rules. Since a lot of Academy members live in New York, we luck out.

There are altogether too many Jews in my borough for me to indulge the traditional Reform observance of Christmas (Chinese food and a movie), but I hope to celebrate the end of the year with my people (by which I mean, movie geeks).

Here’s what I’m anticipating most.

Inside Llewyn Davis Not since Bruce Springsteen teamed up with Pete Seeger has a project seemed so much like it was designed specifically for me. The Coen Brothers explore the Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 1960s. I expect it to be my neighborhood, my music, my sense of humor and my reasons for moving here. And then I expect to be sad because none of this is cool anymore.

American Hustle I’m not a huge David O. Russell fan, but I like a movie with a lot of cute guys in it, even when they have bad hair, bad clothes and bodies fattened for art. However …

Out of the Furnace, which isn’t supposed to be as good, is also on my list because it’s Christian Bale being his cute self, along with a set of very very masculine, serious co-stars. Come to Mama, boys.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire I’m late to this. It’s been out for a month, and I still haven’t gone. Loved the books (although I thought the last one had a weak ending), loved the previous movies, love the clothes and love Jennifer Lawrence and Elizabeth Banks. I wish the two would remake Thelma & Louise.

Saving Mr. Banks My husband and I were both huge fans of Walt Disney (politics aside) and Mary Poppins. John liked to opine that without Mary Poppins there would be no Star Wars. I read the Travers books to my son, and they are big fun, so I see no reason not to sob like a baby through this entire film.

Frozen See above about Disney. We would often observe that, unlike so many filmmakers who went for a kids’ audience, Disney (as a studio) tended to have much better scripts. This looks like it follows in the path of what I think of as the Broadway musical animated movies (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin) and that’s a good thing.The Wolf of Wall Street Martin Scorsese is one of my all-time favorites. In this film, he seems to be treating Wall Street traders as if they are gangsters involved in organized crime. Sounds right to me.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues How much did you love the first one? Not as much as I did. When I go to SDCC, I try to walk around the park near the water, looking for roving bands of news teams.

Kill Your Darlings The first famous author I ever met was Allen Ginsberg. He had given a poetry reading at a nearby university, and came to our commune for dinner. Since I was just a girl, he ignored me just about completely. Still, I’m eager to see him portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe, because it’s about as far from Harry Potter as one can get.

Her  I really like Spike Jonze movies. Because of him, sometimes I wander around muttering, “Malkovich Malkovich Malcovich.” So I’m curious to see what his future is like.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Sadly, this will now seem like an elegy. A friend of mine who has to go to film festivals as part of her job saw this a few times back in the spring and said it was always fantastic. And it has Idris Elba. Yowza.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty I have no intellectual defense for wanting to see this. I like Ben Stiller. Sue me.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

 

Take a Look at Saving Mr. Banks

Take a Look at Saving Mr. Banks

Walt Disney, the studio not the epoymous founder or Tom Hanks, has released several featurettes spotlighting Saving Mr. Banks, which opens today.

Genre:                   Drama
Rating:                  PG-13
Release Date:     December 13, 2013, limited; December 20, 2013, wide
Running Time:   120 min

Cast:                      Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker and Colin Farrell

Director:             John Lee Hancock
Producers:         Alison Owen, Ian Collie, Philip Steuer
Executive Producers:  Paul Trijbits, Christine Langan, Andrew Mason, Troy Lum
Written by:                       Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith

Two-time Academy Award®–winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks topline Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, inspired by the extraordinary, untold backstory of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen.

When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins, he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation.

For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp.

It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.

Inspired by true events, Saving Mr. Banks is the extraordinary, untold story of how Disney’s classic Mary Poppins made it to the screen—and the testy relationship that the legendary Walt Disney had with author P.L. Travers that almost derailed it.

Notes:

  • Saving Mr. Banks is the first feature-length, theatrical drama to depict the iconic entrepreneur Walt Disney.
  • Richard and Robert Sherman’s original score and song (“Chim Chim Cher-ee”) would go on to win Oscars® at the 1965 ceremonies.
  • Mary Poppins won five awards of its 13 Academy Award® nominations: Best Actress (Julie Andrews), Best Effects, Best Film Editing, Original Score and Original Song. Among the nominations were Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
  • P.L. Travers’ father was a banker and is the basis for the Mary Poppins story’s patriarch, Mr. Banks—the character in the book whom the famous fictional nanny comes to aid.

 

Dennis O’Neil: The Mustache and the Movies

O'Neil Art 131121I’ve gone into hundreds, maybe thousands of theaters, but entering the Regal Cinema last week was a bit unique. This Regal had only been in business a few days – to all intents and purposes it was brand new – and so everything about it was clean and pleasant and orderly, the rugs unspotted, the air untainted, the seats deep and sumptuously padded. And I think I felt a slight tingle of anticipation as I crossed the lobby.

I wonder if I felt a similar tingle the first time someone, almost certainly my mother, took me to the picture show. I would have been just past toddlerhood and so my world would have still be surprising and numinous and I’d be into a strange place, my hand in another, familiar hand, stepping into a semidarkness full of strangers, looking up at a big white thing that suddenly brightened and was full of motion and I was in the presence of something new and wonderful. Remember – this was in the early 1940s. In that era, a boy barely past infancy would never have seen even a television, nor would anyone else he knew because the video invasion was not happening until after the war, so pictures that moved? And talked? Magic!

What did I see? Maybe a newsreel – they still showed newsreels, back then – and maybe a Three Stooges or a Pete Smith Specialty. And a cartoon? Woody Woodpecker or Bugs Bunny or Mighty Mouse or Donald Duck? (If it was a Donald Duck, I would have also seen, the first of many such sightings, the name “Walt Disney,” though, of course, the letters would have been only incomprehensible shapes, reading being as yet an unsolved mystery.) Then, the feature, probably a double feature, long pictures about… cowboys? Or people who did funny things, like the Three Stooges? Or both? Might have been both! Why not both?

Marvel superheroes didn’t yet exist when I toddled into the land of cinema, though they sure as shooting exist now and it was a Marvel movie that I saw last week at the Regal: Thor: The Dark World. Enjoyed it, the wife and I, and since I never worked on the Thor character during my employment at Mighty Marvel, I brought no particular baggage to the event. I left my (sumptuously padded) seat thinking that Thor was Marvel’s answer to the Tolkein adaptations – those Hobbits and their quest and their adventures – and that the filmmakers were doing something some science fiction writers were doing about about 50 years ago, conflating mythology with sf, and doing it pretty well, too. And they’re doing it under the aegis of the company started by Donald Duck’s boss.

I saw Walt himself when he appeared on the Disneyland television show in 1954, when I would have been about 15 and, well… something about him bothered me, just a tiny bit. What? Could it be his mustache? It was like the lip hair sported by a recent presidential candidate, Thomas Dewey, who my parents didn’t vote for, possibly because he was a Republican and his opponent, Harry S. Truman, came from our home state of Missouri. Something else, though? Hey… the bad guys in the cowboy movies – not the bad guys out on the trail who got shot or punched by the good guys, but the sneaky bad guys who lurked in back rooms and schemed – they often had those kinds of mustaches.

And all those years past, sitting in the darkness next to a parent – did I see a mustached bad guy on the screen and is that why I didn’t instantly like Walt Disney? You tell me.

THURSDAY AFTERNOON: The Tweaks!

FRIDAY MORNING: Martha Thomases

 

Mike Gold: Will There Always Be Superman Comics?

Gold Art 131120Over a decade ago the head of what was then called Tribune Media Services told me that as far as the producer of the Little Orphan Annie musicals was concerned, he did not need the comic strip around in order to keep his Annie franchise successful. I responded, “Well, somebody’s figured out what Disney’s been up to.”

Walt Disney used to say that he always reminded people that the whole thing started out with a mouse. And to this very day – the 85th anniversary of the first Mickey Mouse cartoon was last Monday – Mickey has remained the (usually silent) Disney spokesmouse. So… riddle me this, Mousemen. Outside of a few direct-to-DVDs and a couple teevee shots, how many Mickey Mouse cartoons were made in the past 60 years?

There was not a single Mickey Mouse cartoon produced between 1953 and 1983. There’s been maybe four true Mickey cartoons produced since then, plus the short-lived House of Mouse show, some video games and a few cameos.

And tons of merchandising which, obviously, was not dependent upon the character’s presence on the large or the small screen.

Two of the biggest superhero characters of the 1930s through 1950s were The Shadow and The Lone Ranger. Both remain icons, but neither are vital forces in our cultural marketplace – despite what seems to have been a contest to see who could produce the worst Lone Ranger feature film. If this were, say, 1940, I suspect most people would say these guys would remain strong in one form or another for a long, long time. In The Shadow’s case, that would be until his radio show was cancelled on December 26, 1954. The Lone Ranger lasted on teevee until September 12, 1957; there was an animated series that ran for 28 episodes in the mid-60s.

So, I ask you: as a comic book, how long will Superman last? Or Spider-Man, or Batman, or the X-Men… you get the idea. In the 1940s, Superman was successful in comic books but even more successful as a radio series and a newspaper comic strip. The comic books were kept alive by the success of the Superman television series in the 1950s. National Periodical Publications, predecessor to DC Comics, didn’t need comic books to make a profit. In fact, if they didn’t own their own distribution network they might have canned the print operation when sales plummeted during the mid-50s.

Warner Bros. (DC comics) and Disney (Marvel comics) do not need the comic books in order to sell merchandising and produce movies and television shows, although producing good movies and teevee shows is always challenging.

The good folks at DC’s New York City office – including the vast majority of their editorial departments – have but a few more weeks to decide if they are going to move to Los Angeles in the spring of 2015. It’s a tough decision.

As a member of DC’s historical family, indulge me as I offer this piece of advise. If you want to move to Los Angeles, do so. But as soon as you get there, keep an eye out for other jobs. Warner Bros. and Disney do not need to publish comic books in order to keep their stockholders happy.

Just don’t tell them so.

THURSDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil

THURSDAY AFTERNOONL The Tweeks!

 

Interview With Steampunk Octopus Artist Brian Kesinger

LA-based illustrator, animator, and artist Brian Kesinger has just released his first book, Walking Your Octopus: A Guide to the Domesticated Cephalopod. I first came across Brian a few years ago when I was the judge for the WeLoveFine steampunk tee shirt art contest, where he submitted “Walkies for Otto”. He won that contest and thus started the Internet’s love affair with his adorable characters Otto and Victoria. Since then, Otto and Victoria have grown to encompass books, prints, shirts, and more. Brian was good enough to sit down with me for an interview on his new book, upcoming projects, and the very important question of “why the octopus?”

ComicMix: How did you get started in the arts?

Brian Kesinger: I was fortunate enough to born into a family of artists. The thing is they were all musicians! In fact I’m the only one in my family who couldn’t play an instrument. I was much more fond of drawing than practicing piano. My parents recognized this and were able to support my artistic endeavors all through school and that support has certainly helped make me the artist I am today.

ComicMix: How did all this Steampunk style art you started doing in 2010 come about?

Brian Kesinger: I had been drawing steampunk art before I knew of that term. Back in 2000 I was doing layout and background design for Walt Disney animation studios on the film, Atlantis. It was on that film that a grew fond of drawing submarines, gears and gadgets. After that I moved on to the film treasure planet where I continued my alternate history aesthetics that time with the mixture of tall ships and sci-fi. It wasn’t until recently that I started doing my own steampunk art and I think my passion for the subject matter stems from the education I had on those films.”

Brian-Kesinger-осьминог-Otto-and-Victoria-deviantartcom-524333

 

ComicMix: Can you tell us a little about the new book you have coming out?

Brian Kesinger: My book, walking your octopus: a guidebook to the domesticated cephalopod is based on two of my more popular original characters, Otto and Victoria. It’s not your typical storybook. It reads more like an owner’s guide to pet octopuses. (Think of a Victorian era “puppies for dummies”)
It’s sort of a satirical look at how we all can get a little carried away with how we raise our pets. It’s certainly inspired by my own dog Scout but also inspired by the ups and downs of raising two young children with my wife. My hope is that the book speaks to not only steampunk fans but pet owners and parents as well.

ottoandvictoria

ComicMix: Why the Octopus?

Brian Kesinger:  I find octopuses extremely fun to draw. It is a real challenge inventing eight different things for them to do in every image. They are nature’s original multi-tasker and they certainly have captured the imagination of a lot of people. Along with the squid and other Cephalopods, octopuses seem to be a sort of theme animal for steampunk so when I set forth trying to render an image of a high class Victorian lady and her boutique pet the choice was obvious. What was not obvious was how popular Otto has become since I first drew him a year ago. He has inspired fan art, tattoos and I’ve even seen girls cosplay Victoria and conventions around the country! And for that I am so grateful and it keeps me drawing octopus.

Brian Kesinger's Tea Girls

ComicMix: What other things do you have coming up that we all should look forward to?

Brian Kesinger: Well my first love is movies. It’s why I have wanted to work in animation. So I have been developing several short film ideas and in addition to that I am in the very early stages of developing a full length feature of Otto and Victoria’s adventures. I would love to see a beautifully rendered steampunk animated film and I can’t think of any characters better suited for that than Otto and Victoria. Stay tuned for more details!

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Annie Award-winning artist Brian Kesinger has loved to draw ever since he could remember. During his senior year of high school, Brian was accepted to the Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, California as the second youngest animation hire in the history of the company. At just 18 years old, Brian became a layout artist and in his 16+ years at Disney Animation, he has worn many artistic hats from visual development to story artist. In 2011, he was honored with a prestigious Annie award for his story work on the hit Disney TV holiday movie “Prep and Landing.” Brian’s most recent film at Disney is the Academy Award-nominated film “Wreck It Ralph” – and if you listen closely, you’ll hear him lend his voice talents to comic bad guy, “Cy-borg.” Inspired by his love of gadgets and fantasy, his delightful steampunk characters celebrate Victorian sensibility and timeless beauty with a dash of geekiness thrown in for good measure. His original “Tea Girls” art is created with different kinds of actual tea – resulting in an innovative visual affect.
Brian
New Lone Ranger Trailer Unveiled

New Lone Ranger Trailer Unveiled

So, in case you missed it, there’s a new Lone Ranger movie coming out in a few weeks. Walt Disney has released the final trailer to entice you into the theater. Just seeing Johnny Depp in that makeup should be enough, unless you prefer Armie Hammer in a mask.

From producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the filmmaking team behind the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, comes Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ The Lone Ranger, a thrilling adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes.  Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice—taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.

The Lone Ranger also stars Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, Ruth Wilson and Helena Bonham Carter.

A Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films presentation, The Lone Ranger is directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski, with screen story by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and Justin Haythe and screenplay by Justin Haythe and Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio. The Lone Ranger releases in U.S. theaters on July 3, 2013.

A Walt Disney Roundup

©2013 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.The news from Walt Disney has been a mixed bag this week. We saw them shutter LucasArts and today the next wave of reductions and layoffs are coming in the name of efficiency. If Chairman Bob Iger is right, and this repositions the company for the world of tomorrow, then it was a wise move, better done now to remain competitive.

Creatively, this week we were given three other pieces of news. First, there was the announcement of the anticipated sequel to Finding Nemo, Finding Dory¸ which will arrive in 2015.

Here’s the official announcement:

BURBANK, Calif. (April 2, 2013) – When Dory said “just keep swimming” in 2003’s Oscar-winning film Finding Nemo, she could not have imagined what was in store for her (not that she could remember). Ellen DeGeneres, voice of the friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish, revealed details today about Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory—an all-new big-screen adventure diving into theaters on Nov. 25, 2015.

“I have waited for this day for a long, long, long, long, long, long time,” said DeGeneres. “I’m not mad it took this long. I know the people at Pixar were busy creating ‘Toy Story 16.’ But the time they took was worth it. The script is fantastic. And it has everything I loved about the first one: It’s got a lot of heart, it’s really funny, and the best part is—it’s got a lot more Dory.”

Dory (2)Director and Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton takes audiences back to the extraordinary underwater world created in the original film. “There is no Dory without Ellen,” said Stanton. “She won the hearts of moviegoers all over the world—not to mention our team here at Pixar. One thing we couldn’t stop thinking about was why she was all alone in the ocean on the day she met Marlin. In ‘Finding Dory,’ she will be reunited with her loved ones, learning a few things about the meaning of family along the way.”

According to Stanton, Finding Dory takes place about a year after the first film, and features returning favorites Marlin, Nemo and the Tank Gang, among others. Set in part along the California coastline, the story also welcomes a host of new characters, including a few who will prove to be a very important part of Dory’s life.

Finding Nemo won the 2003 Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature; the film was nominated for three additional Oscars® (Best Writing, Original Screenplay; Best Music, Original Score; Best Sound Editing). It was also nominated for a Golden Globe® Award for Best Motion Picture–Comedy or Musical. In 2008, the American Film Institute named Finding Nemo among the top 10 greatest animated films ever made. At the time of its release, Finding Nemo was the highest grossing G-rated movie of all time. It’s currently the fourth highest grossing animated film worldwide. The film has more than 16 million Likes on Facebook, and Dory—with more than 24 million—is the most Liked individual character from a Disney or Disney•Pixar film.

DeGeneres’ distinctive comic voice has resonated with audiences from her first stand-up comedy appearances through her work today on television, in film and in the literary world. Her syndicated talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, is in its 10th season and has earned 38 Daytime Emmy Awards. DeGeneres has won 12 People’s Choice Awards and the Teen Choice Award for Choice Comedian for three consecutive years. Additionally, her show won two Genesis Awards and a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Talk Show Episode. For her unforgettable turn as Dory, DeGeneres was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance.

Coming far sooner is Disney’s Planes and they sent us a Sneak Peek clip as seen below.

From above the world of Cars comes Disney’s Planes, an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar. Disney’s Planes takes off in theaters on Aug. 9, 2013.

We also received a featurette from Disneynature’s Bears which we share with you.

In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure Bears showcases a year in the life of two mother bears as they impart life lessons to their impressionable young cubs. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting—but risky—as the cubs’ playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bear families must work together to find food—ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run—while staying safe from predators, including an ever-present wolf pack. “Bears” captures the fast-moving action and suspense of life in one of the planet’s last great wildernesses—where mothers definitely know best and their cubs’ survival hinges on family togetherness.

Directed by Alastair Fothergill (Earth, African Cats and Chimpanzee) and Keith Scholey (African Cats), “Bears” is in theaters April 18, 2014, to celebrate Earth Day.