90 Best Computer-Animated Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

Ever since the 1995 release of Toy Story, when feature animation bounded from paper reams and into the domain of the digital, it’s been to infinity and beyond in creative storytelling. We’ve traveled the sky by house and balloon (Up), crossed dimensions with Spider-Man (Into the Spider-Verse), swam the deepest oceans (Finding Nemo) while learning the value of family along with super glue (The Lego Movie).

In these feats of imagination, Cars rule the world, superheroes and villains can turn their lives around (The Incredibles, Despicable Me), and a squirrel chasing an acorn becomes a Sisyphean myth. It’s where we can believe in fairy tales again (Frozen, Brave)…while having a good laugh at their expense (Shrek). We’ve also witnessed processed meats do some things in Sausage Party we’d rather not speak of again.

A whole industry of is supported by this medium, including the previously mentioned Pixar, Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age), Illumination (The Secret Life of Pets), and Sony Pictures Animation (Hotel Transylvania). And let’s not forget DreamWorks Animation (How to Train Your Dragon), whose latest film Trolls World Tour, which broke streaming records when it went straight to on-demand, skipping theatrical.

Wherever the story takes us from , we’ve ranked the most critically approved films  of the genre in our list of the best-reviewed computer-animated movies. Each entry had to reach at least 20 reviews before we put them up for consideration, where we then ranked them by Tomatometer. So, enjoy our guide to the 90 best computer-animated movies ever made.

#90
Adjusted Score: 68646%
Critics Consensus: Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation delivers exactly what fans will expect - which means another 97 agreeably lightweight minutes of fast-paced gags and colorful animation.
Synopsis: Your favorite monster family boards a luxury cruise ship so Dracula can take a summer vacation from the hotel. It's... [More]
Directed By: Genndy Tartakovsky

#89

Dinosaur (2000)
64%

#89
Adjusted Score: 68795%
Critics Consensus: While Dinosaur's plot is generic and dull, its stunning computer animation and detailed backgrounds are enough to make it worth a look.
Synopsis: This is the story of Aladar (D.B. Sweeney), an iguanodon dinosaur raised by a family of lemurs. Their world is... [More]

#88
Adjusted Score: 69039%
Critics Consensus: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is an improvement on the original, with more fleshed-out characters, crisper animation and more consistent humor.
Synopsis: Alex (Ben Stiller), Morty (Chris Rock) and other zoo animals find a way to escape from Madagascar when the penguins... [More]
Directed By: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath

#87

Robots (2005)
64%

#87
Adjusted Score: 70241%
Critics Consensus: Robots delights on a visual level, but the story feels like it came off an assembly line.
Synopsis: In a world of sentient robots, striving young inventor Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor) wants to work for the avuncular Bigweld... [More]

#86

Epic (2013)
65%

#86
Adjusted Score: 68686%
Critics Consensus: Though its narrative themes are all too familiar, Epic is beautifully animated and crafted with just enough flair to make for solid family entertainment.
Synopsis: Mary Katherine (Amanda Seyfried), or M.K., is a headstrong, spirited teenager who has a strained relationship with her father (Jason... [More]
Directed By: Chris Wedge

#85

Storks (2016)
65%

#85
Adjusted Score: 73311%
Critics Consensus: Colorful animation and a charming cast help Storks achieve a limited liftoff, but scattershot gags and a confused, hyperactively unspooled plot keep it from truly soaring.
Synopsis: Storks deliver babies -- or at least they used to. Now, they deliver packages for a global internet retail giant.... [More]

#84

Turbo (2013)
67%

#84
Adjusted Score: 70149%
Critics Consensus: It's nowhere near as inventive as its off-the-wall premise might suggest, but Turbo boasts just enough colorful visual thrills and sharp voice acting to recommend as undemanding family-friendly fare.
Synopsis: Turbo (Ryan Reynolds) is a speed-obsessed snail with an unusual dream: to become the world's greatest racer. This odd snail... [More]
Directed By: David Soren

#83
#83
Adjusted Score: 72853%
Critics Consensus: Meet the Robinsons is a visually impressive children's animated film marked by a story of considerable depth.
Synopsis: Boy genius Lewis gives up hope of retrieving his latest invention, which was stolen by Bowler Hat Guy, then a... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Anderson

#82

Cars 3 (2017)
69%

#82
Adjusted Score: 85154%
Critics Consensus: Cars 3 has an unexpectedly poignant story to go with its dazzling animation, suggesting Pixar's most middle-of-the-road franchise may have a surprising amount of tread left.
Synopsis: Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast cars, the legendary Lighting McQueen finds himself pushed out of the sport that... [More]
Directed By: Brian Fee

#81
Adjusted Score: 74668%
Critics Consensus: While not as clever or inventive as its predecessor, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 compensates with enough dazzling visuals to keep younger viewers entertained.
Synopsis: His genius finally recognized by his idol Chester V, inventor Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) gets to join Chester's company, where... [More]
Directed By: Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn

#80
#80
Adjusted Score: 81842%
Critics Consensus: A fun follow-up for fans of the original, Trolls World Tour offers a second helping of colorful animation, infectious energy, and sing-along songs.
Synopsis: Poppy and Branch discover that there are six different troll tribes scattered over six different lands. Each tribe is also... [More]
Directed By: Walt Dohrn

#79

The Croods (2013)
72%

#79
Adjusted Score: 76516%
Critics Consensus: While it may not be as (ahem) evolved as the best modern animated fare, The Croods will prove solidly entertaining for families seeking a fast-paced, funny cartoon adventure.
Synopsis: Prehistoric family the Croods live in a particularly dangerous moment in time. Patriarch Grug (Nicolas Cage), his mate, Ugga (Catherine... [More]

#78

Rio (2011)
72%

#78
Adjusted Score: 78914%
Critics Consensus: This straightforward movie reaches great heights thanks to its colorful visual palette, catchy music, and funny vocal performances.
Synopsis: Captured by smugglers when he was just a hatchling, a macaw named Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) never learned to fly and... [More]
Directed By: Carlos Saldanha

#77

Sing (2016)
71%

#77
Adjusted Score: 82502%
Critics Consensus: Sing delivers colorfully animated, cheerfully undemanding entertainment with a solid voice cast and a warm-hearted -- albeit familiar -- storyline that lives up to its title.
Synopsis: Dapper Koala Buster Moon presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. An eternal optimist, and a... [More]
Directed By: Garth Jennings

#76
#76
Adjusted Score: 86695%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, funny, and blessed with a talented voice cast, The Secret Life of Pets offers a beautifully animated, cheerfully undemanding family-friendly diversion.
Synopsis: Max (Louis C.K.) is a spoiled terrier who enjoys a comfortable life in a New York building until his owner... [More]
Directed By: Chris Renaud

#75
#75
Adjusted Score: 78221%
Critics Consensus: Like its non-aerodynamic title characters, The Angry Birds Movie 2 takes improbable yet delightfully entertaining flight, landing humorous hits along the way.
Synopsis: Red, Chuck, Bomb and the rest of their feathered friends are surprised when a green pig suggests that they put... [More]
Directed By: Thurop Van Orman

#74
#74
Adjusted Score: 77452%
Critics Consensus: Penguins of Madagascar is fast and brightly colored enough to entertain small children, but too frantically silly to offer real filmgoing fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: Plucky penguins Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (Conrad Vernon) and Private (Christopher Knights) -- the most elite spies... [More]

#73

Flushed Away (2006)
73%

#73
Adjusted Score: 79142%
Critics Consensus: Clever and appealing for both children and adults, Flushed Away marks a successful entry into digital animated features for Aardman Animations.
Synopsis: After an ignoble landing in Ratropolis, a pampered rodent (Hugh Jackman) enlists the help of a sewer scavenger (Kate Winslet)... [More]
Directed By: David Bowers, Sam Fell

#72
#72
Adjusted Score: 83818%
Critics Consensus: Though it doesn't approach the depth of the best animated films, Monsters Vs. Aliens has enough humor and special effects to entertain moviegoers of all ages.
Synopsis: When a meteor full of space gunk transforms Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) into a giant, the government renames her Ginormica... [More]

#71

Megamind (2010)
72%

#71
Adjusted Score: 78768%
Critics Consensus: It regurgitates plot points from earlier animated efforts, and isn't quite as funny as it should be, but a top-shelf voice cast and strong visuals help make Megamind a pleasant, if unspectacular, diversion.
Synopsis: Though he is the most-brilliant supervillain the world has known, Megamind (Will Ferrell) is the least-successful. Thwarted time and again... [More]
Directed By: Tom McGrath

#70

Cars (2006)
74%

#70
Adjusted Score: 82673%
Critics Consensus: Cars offers visual treats that more than compensate for its somewhat thinly written story, adding up to a satisfying diversion for younger viewers.
Synopsis: While traveling to California to race against The King (Richard Petty) and Chick Hicks (Michael Keaton) for the Piston Cup... [More]
Directed By: John Lasseter

#69
#69
Adjusted Score: 84346%
Critics Consensus: Drawing deep from the classic Raiders of the Lost Ark playbook, Steven Spielberg has crafted another spirited, thrilling adventure in the form of Tintin.
Synopsis: While shopping at an outdoor market, young reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell), accompanied by his faithful dog, Snowy, buys a model... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#68

Monster House (2006)
75%

#68
Adjusted Score: 81860%
Critics Consensus: Monster House welcoms kids and adults alike into a household full of smart, monstrous fun.
Synopsis: No adults believe three youths' (Mitchel Musso, Spencer Locke, Sam Lerner) assertion that a neighboring residence is a living creature... [More]
Directed By: Gil Kenan

#67

Over the Hedge (2006)
75%

#67
Adjusted Score: 82244%
Critics Consensus: Even if it's not an animation classic, Over the Hedge is clever and fun, and the jokes cater to family members of all ages.
Synopsis: When Verne (Garry Shandling) and fellow woodland friends awake from winter's hibernation, they find they have some new neighbors: humans,... [More]

#66
#66
Adjusted Score: 80995%
Critics Consensus: A sort of Avengers for the elementary school set, Rise of the Guardians is wonderfully animated and briskly paced, but it's only so-so in the storytelling department.
Synopsis: Generation after generation, immortal Guardians like Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) and the Tooth Fairy (Isla... [More]
Directed By: Peter Ramsey

#65

Trolls (2016)
75%

#65
Adjusted Score: 84986%
Critics Consensus: Trolls brings its instantly recognizable characters to the big screen in a colorful adventure that, while geared toward the younger set, isn't without rewards for parents.
Synopsis: After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy (Anna Kendrick), the happiest Troll ever born, and the overly-cautious, curmudgeonly Branch (Justin... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn

#64

Despicable Me 2 (2013)
75%

#64
Adjusted Score: 82357%
Critics Consensus: Despicable Me 2 offers plenty of eye-popping visual inventiveness and a number of big laughs.
Synopsis: Now that Gru (Steve Carell) has forsaken a life of crime to raise Margo, Agnes and Edith, he's trying to... [More]

#63

Smallfoot (2018)
76%

#63
Adjusted Score: 82225%
Critics Consensus: Smallfoot offers a colorful distraction that should keep younger viewers entertained - and a story whose message might even resonate with older audiences.
Synopsis: Migo is a friendly Yeti whose world gets turned upside down when he discovers something that he didn't know existed... [More]
Directed By: Karey Kirkpatrick

#62

Happy Feet (2006)
76%

#62
Adjusted Score: 82383%
Critics Consensus: Visually dazzling, with a thoughtful storyline and catchy musical numbers, Happy Feet marks a successful animated debut from the makers of Babe.
Synopsis: Mumble (Elijah Wood), a young emperor penguin, lives in Antarctica. Like others of his kind, he needs to be able... [More]
Directed By: George Miller

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 83770%
Critics Consensus: The Good Dinosaur delivers thrillingly beautiful animation in service of a worthy story that, even if it doesn't quite live up to the lofty standards set by Pixar, still adds up to charming, family-friendly entertainment.
Synopsis: Luckily for young Arlo, his parents (Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand) and his two siblings, the mighty dinosaurs were not wiped... [More]
Directed By: Peter Sohn

#60
#60
Adjusted Score: 86140%
Critics Consensus: Another agreeable outing for the titular prehistoric clan, The Croods: A New Age may be the missing link for parents between more elevated family-friendly fare.
Synopsis: Searching for a safer habitat, the prehistoric Crood family discovers an idyllic, walled-in paradise that meets all of its needs.... [More]
Directed By: Joel Crawford

#59

Ice Age (2002)
77%

#59
Adjusted Score: 82727%
Critics Consensus: Even though Ice Age is treading over the same grounds as Monsters, Inc. and Shrek, it has enough wit and laughs to stand on its own.
Synopsis: Twenty-thousand years ago, Earth is a wondrous, prehistoric world filled with great danger, not the least of which is the... [More]
Directed By: Chris Wedge

#58
Adjusted Score: 83312%
Critics Consensus: Dazzlingly colorful and frenetic, Madagascar 3 is silly enough for young kids, but boasts enough surprising smarts to engage parents along the way.
Synopsis: Animal pals Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer) and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) are still trying to... [More]

#57

Brave (2012)
78%

#57
Adjusted Score: 87899%
Critics Consensus: Brave offers young audiences and fairy tale fans a rousing, funny fantasy adventure with a distaff twist and surprising depth.
Synopsis: Merida (Kelly Macdonald), the impetuous but courageous daughter of Scottish King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), is... [More]

#56

Surf's Up (2007)
79%

#56
Adjusted Score: 84045%
Critics Consensus: Surf's Up is a laid back, visually stunning animated movie that brings a fresh twist to some familiar conventions. Its witty mockumentary format is fun and inventive, and the CGI is breathtakingly realistic.
Synopsis: Surfing means everything to teenage penguin Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf). Followed by a documentary film crew, he leaves his home... [More]
Directed By: Ash Brannon, Chris Buck

#55
Adjusted Score: 84699%
Critics Consensus: Horton Hears A Who! is both whimsical and heartwarming, and is the rare Dr. Seuss adaptation that stays true to the spirit of the source material.
Synopsis: Animated elephant Horton (Jim Carrey) finds a speck of dust floating in the Jungle of Nool. Upon investigation of the... [More]

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 87278%
Critics Consensus: Offering Monsters, Inc. fans a return visit with beloved characters, Monsters University delivers funny and thoughtful family entertainment for viewers of any age.
Synopsis: Ever since he was a kid monster, Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) has dreamed of becoming a Scarer. To make his... [More]
Directed By: Dan Scanlon

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 86569%
Critics Consensus: Mr. Peabody & Sherman offers a surprisingly entertaining burst of colorful all-ages fun, despite its dated source material and rather convoluted plot.
Synopsis: Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell), the most accomplished canine in the world, and his boy, Sherman (Max Charles), use a time... [More]
Directed By: Rob Minkoff

#52

Abominable (2019)
82%

#52
Adjusted Score: 91094%
Critics Consensus: Working with admittedly familiar ingredients, Abominable offers audiences a beautifully animated and overall engaging adventure that the whole family can enjoy.
Synopsis: After discovering a Yeti on the roof of her apartment building, teenage Yi and her two friends embark on an... [More]
Directed By: Jill Culton

#51

Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
81%

#51
Adjusted Score: 86841%
Critics Consensus: The storyline arc may seem a tad familiar to fans of the original, but Kung Fu Panda 2 offers enough action, comedy, and visual sparkle to compensate.
Synopsis: Now known as the Dragon Warrior, Po (Jack Black) protects the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung... [More]
Directed By: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

#50

Despicable Me (2010)
81%

#50
Adjusted Score: 87574%
Critics Consensus: Borrowing heavily (and intelligently) from Pixar and Looney Tunes, Despicable Me is a surprisingly thoughtful, family-friendly treat with a few surprises of its own.
Synopsis: A man who delights in all things wicked, supervillain Gru (Steve Carell) hatches a plan to steal the moon. Surrounded... [More]

#49

Sausage Party (2016)
82%

#49
Adjusted Score: 95817%
Critics Consensus: Sausage Party is definitely offensive, but backs up its enthusiastic profanity with an impressively high laugh-to-gag ratio -- and a surprisingly thought-provoking storyline.
Synopsis: Life is good for all the food items that occupy the shelves at the local supermarket. Frank (Seth Rogen) the... [More]

#48

The Book of Life (2014)
83%

#48
Adjusted Score: 86954%
Critics Consensus: The Book of Life's gorgeous animation is a treat, but it's a pity that its story lacks the same level of craft and detail that its thrilling visuals provide.
Synopsis: In the Mexican town of San Angel, Manolo (Diego Luna), Maria (Zoë Saldana) and Joaquin (Channing Tatum) have been friends... [More]
Directed By: Jorge R. Gutierrez

#47
Adjusted Score: 102696%
Critics Consensus: While it isn't quite as much fun as its predecessor, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part fits neatly into an animated all-ages franchise with heart and humor to spare.
Synopsis: The citizens of Bricksburg face a dangerous new threat when LEGO DUPLO invaders from outer space start to wreck everything... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell

#46
Adjusted Score: 91546%
Critics Consensus: Quirky humor, plucky characters and solid slapstick make this family comedy a frenetically tasty time at the movies.
Synopsis: When hard times hit Swallow Falls, its townspeople can only afford to eat sardines. Flint Lockwood, a failed inventor, thinks... [More]

#45

Puss in Boots (2011)
86%

#45
Adjusted Score: 92177%
Critics Consensus: It isn't deep or groundbreaking, but what it lacks in profundity, Puss in Boots more than makes up for with an abundance of wit, visual sparkle, and effervescent charm.
Synopsis: Long before meeting Shrek, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) -- just named a hero for saving a woman from a... [More]
Directed By: Chris Miller

#44
#44
Adjusted Score: 86083%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Raoul and Emile accidentally release a monster from an eccentric scientist's greenhouse and vow to track it down. They soon... [More]
Directed By: Bibo Bergeron

#43
Adjusted Score: 95753%
Critics Consensus: With a tidy plot, clean animation, and humor that fits its source material snugly, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is entertainment that won't drive a wedge between family members.
Synopsis: George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two overly imaginative pranksters who spend hours in a treehouse creating comic books. When... [More]
Directed By: David Soren

#42

Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
87%

#42
Adjusted Score: 96901%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Panda 3 boasts the requisite visual splendor, but like its rotund protagonist, this sequel's narrative is also surprisingly nimble, adding up to animated fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: Living large and loving life, Po (Jack Black) realizes that he has a lot to learn if he's going to... [More]

#41

Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
87%

#41
Adjusted Score: 94085%
Critics Consensus: Equally entertaining for both kids and parents old enough to catch the references, Wreck-It Ralph is a clever, colorful adventure built on familiar themes and joyful nostalgia.
Synopsis: Arcade-game character Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) is tired of always being the "bad guy" and losing to his "good... [More]
Directed By: Rich Moore

#40

Kung Fu Panda (2008)
87%

#40
Adjusted Score: 94513%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Panda has a familiar message, but the pleasing mix of humor, swift martial arts action, and colorful animation makes for winning Summer entertainment.
Synopsis: Po the panda (Jack Black) works in his family's noodle shop and dreams of becoming a kung-fu master. His dream... [More]

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 94835%
Critics Consensus: The Peanuts Movie offers a colorful gateway into the world of its classic characters and a sweetly nostalgic -- if relatively unambitious -- treat for the adults who grew up with them.
Synopsis: Life always seems complicated for good ol' Charlie Brown (Noah Schnapp), the boy who always tries his best against seemingly... [More]
Directed By: Steve Martino

#38

Shrek (2001)
88%

#38
Adjusted Score: 97736%
Critics Consensus: While simultaneously embracing and subverting fairy tales, the irreverent Shrek also manages to tweak Disney's nose, provide a moral message to children, and offer viewers a funny, fast-paced ride.
Synopsis: Once upon a time, in a far away swamp, there lived an ogre named Shrek (Mike Myers) whose precious solitude... [More]

#37

Rango (2011)
88%

#37
Adjusted Score: 95689%
Critics Consensus: Rango is a smart, giddily creative burst of beautifully animated entertainment, and Johnny Depp gives a colorful vocal performance as a household pet in an unfamiliar world.
Synopsis: A chameleon (Johnny Depp) who has lived as a sheltered family pet finds himself in the grip of an identity... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 103604%
Critics Consensus: Ralph Breaks the Internet levels up on its predecessor with a funny, heartwarming sequel that expands its colorful universe while focusing on core characters and relationships.
Synopsis: Video game bad guy Ralph and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz must risk it all by traveling to the World... [More]
Directed By: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore

#35

Onward (2020)
88%

#35
Adjusted Score: 111986%
Critics Consensus: It may suffer in comparison to Pixar's classics, but Onward makes effective use of the studio's formula -- and stands on its own merits as a funny, heartwarming, dazzlingly animated adventure.
Synopsis: Teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley embark on a magical quest to spend one more day with their late father.... [More]
Directed By: Dan Scanlon

#34

Bolt (2008)
89%

#34
Adjusted Score: 96468%
Critics Consensus: Bolt is a pleasant animated comedy that overcomes the story's familiarity with strong visuals and likable characters.
Synopsis: The days of canine superstar Bolt (John Travolta) are filled with danger and intrigue ... until the cameras stop rolling.... [More]

#33

Tangled (2010)
89%

#33
Adjusted Score: 97636%
Critics Consensus: While far from Disney's greatest film, Tangled is a visually stunning, thoroughly entertaining addition to the studio's classic animated canon.
Synopsis: When the kingdom's most-wanted bandit, Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi), hides in a convenient tower, he immediately becomes a captive of... [More]
Directed By: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

#32

Shrek 2 (2004)
89%

#32
Adjusted Score: 96797%
Critics Consensus: It may not be as fresh as the original, but topical humor and colorful secondary characters make Shrek 2 a winner in its own right.
Synopsis: After returning from their honeymoon and showing home movies to their friends, Shrek and Fiona learn that her parents have... [More]

#31

Big Hero 6 (2014)
90%

#31
Adjusted Score: 98662%
Critics Consensus: Agreeably entertaining and brilliantly animated, Big Hero 6 is briskly-paced, action-packed, and often touching.
Synopsis: Robotics prodigy Hiro (Ryan Potter) lives in the city of San Fransokyo. Next to his older brother, Tadashi, Hiro's closest... [More]
Directed By: Don Hall, Chris Williams

#30

Frozen (2013)
90%

#30
Adjusted Score: 100194%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully animated, smartly written, and stocked with singalong songs, Frozen adds another worthy entry to the Disney canon.
Synopsis: When their kingdom becomes trapped in perpetual winter, fearless Anna (Kristen Bell) joins forces with mountaineer Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and... [More]
Directed By: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

#29
Adjusted Score: 105855%
Critics Consensus: The rare trilogy capper that really works, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World brings its saga to a visually dazzling and emotionally affecting conclusion.
Synopsis: When the sudden appearance of a female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup... [More]
Directed By: Dean DeBlois

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 112643%
Critics Consensus: The Lego Batman Movie continues its block-buster franchise's winning streak with another round of dizzyingly funny -- and beautifully animated -- family-friendly mayhem.
Synopsis: There are big changes brewing in Gotham, but if Batman (Will Arnett) wants to save the city from the Joker's... [More]
Directed By: Chris McKay

#27
Adjusted Score: 98822%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, emotionally resonant, and beautifully animated, How to Train Your Dragon 2 builds on its predecessor's successes just the way a sequel should.
Synopsis: Five years have passed since Hiccup and Toothless united the dragons and Vikings of Berk. Now, they spend their time... [More]
Directed By: Dean DeBlois, Tom Owens

#26

A Bug's Life (1998)
92%

#26
Adjusted Score: 96755%
Critics Consensus: A Bug's Life is a rousing adventure that blends animated thrills with witty dialogue and memorable characters - and another smashing early success for Pixar.
Synopsis: Flik (Dave Foley) is an inventive ant who's always messing things up for his colony. His latest mishap was destroying... [More]

#25

Antz (1998)
92%

#25
Adjusted Score: 97014%
Critics Consensus: Featuring a stellar voice cast, technically dazzling animation, and loads of good humor, Antz should delight both children and adults.
Synopsis: Z the worker ant (Woody Allen) strives to reconcile his own individuality with the communal work-ethic of the ant colony.... [More]
Directed By: Eric Darnell, Tim Johnson

#24

Arthur Christmas (2011)
92%

#24
Adjusted Score: 99916%
Critics Consensus: Aardman Animations broadens their humor a bit for Arthur Christmas, a clever and earnest holiday film with surprising emotional strength.
Synopsis: Everyone knows that, each Christmas, Santa Claus delivers presents to every last child on Earth. What everyone doesn't know is... [More]
Directed By: Sarah Smith

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 97522%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully animated and faithful to the spirit of its classic source material, The Little Prince is a family-friendly treat that anchors thrilling visuals with a satisfying story.
Synopsis: The Aviator introduces a girl to a world where she rediscovers her childhood and learns that it's human connections that... [More]
Directed By: Mark Osborne

#22

Incredibles 2 (2018)
93%

#22
Adjusted Score: 116866%
Critics Consensus: Incredibles 2 reunites Pixar's family crimefighting team for a long-awaited follow-up that may not quite live up to the original, but comes close enough to earn its name.
Synopsis: Telecommunications guru Winston Deavor enlists Elastigirl to fight crime and make the public fall in love with superheroes once again.... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 108633%
Critics Consensus: Another gorgeously animated, skillfully voiced entry in the Disney canon, Raya and the Last Dragon continues the studio's increased representation while reaffirming that its classic formula is just as reliable as ever.
Synopsis: Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known... [More]

#20

Finding Dory (2016)
94%

#20
Adjusted Score: 115556%
Critics Consensus: Funny, poignant, and thought-provoking, Finding Dory delivers a beautifully animated adventure that adds another entertaining chapter to its predecessor's classic story.
Synopsis: Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) is a wide-eyed, blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so. The... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton

#19

WALL-E (2008)
95%

#19
Adjusted Score: 107418%
Critics Consensus: Wall-E's stellar visuals testify once again to Pixar's ingenuity, while its charming star will captivate younger viewers -- and its timely story offers thought-provoking subtext.
Synopsis: WALL-E, short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class, is the last robot left on Earth. He spends his days tidying... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton

#18

Moana (2016)
95%

#18
Adjusted Score: 112963%
Critics Consensus: With a title character as three-dimensional as its lush animation and a story that adds fresh depth to Disney's time-tested formula, Moana is truly a family-friendly adventure for the ages.
Synopsis: An adventurous teenager sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty... [More]
Directed By: John Musker, Ron Clements

#17

Soul (2020)
95%

#17
Adjusted Score: 119461%
Critics Consensus: A film as beautiful to contemplate as it is to behold, Soul proves Pixar's power to deliver outstanding all-ages entertainment remains undimmed.
Synopsis: Joe is a middle-school band teacher whose life hasn't quite gone the way he expected. His true passion is jazz... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter

#16

Monsters, Inc. (2001)
96%

#16
Adjusted Score: 102927%
Critics Consensus: Clever, funny, and delightful to look at, Monsters, Inc. delivers another resounding example of how Pixar elevated the bar for modern all-ages animation.
Synopsis: Monsters Incorporated is the largest scare factory in the monster world, and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) is one of... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter

#15

The LEGO Movie (2014)
96%

#15
Adjusted Score: 105956%
Critics Consensus: Boasting beautiful animation, a charming voice cast, laugh-a-minute gags, and a surprisingly thoughtful story, The Lego Movie is colorful fun for all ages.
Synopsis: Emmet (Chris Pratt), an ordinary LEGO figurine who always follows the rules, is mistakenly identified as the Special -- an... [More]

#14

Ratatouille (2007)
96%

#14
Adjusted Score: 107378%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced and stunningly animated, Ratatouille adds another delightfully entertaining entry -- and a rather unlikely hero -- to the Pixar canon.
Synopsis: Remy (Patton Oswalt), a resident of Paris, appreciates good food and has quite a sophisticated palate. He would love to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#13
Adjusted Score: 107290%
Critics Consensus: Eye-catching and energetic, The Mitchells vs. the Machines delivers a funny, feel-good story that the whole family can enjoy.
Synopsis: Young Katie Mitchell embarks on a road trip with her proud parents, younger brother and beloved dog to start her... [More]
Directed By: Mike Rianda

#12

The Incredibles (2004)
97%

#12
Adjusted Score: 108259%
Critics Consensus: Bringing loads of wit and tons of fun to the animated superhero genre, The Incredibles easily lives up to its name.
Synopsis: In this lauded Pixar animated film, married superheroes Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) are forced to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#11

Coco (2017)
97%

#11
Adjusted Score: 123792%
Critics Consensus: Coco's rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly -- and deeply affecting -- approach to questions of culture, family, life, and death.
Synopsis: Despite his family's generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de... [More]
Directed By: Lee Unkrich

#10
Adjusted Score: 121235%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse matches bold storytelling with striking animation for a purely enjoyable adventure with heart, humor, and plenty of superhero action.
Synopsis: Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into... [More]

#9

Toy Story 4 (2019)
97%

#9
Adjusted Score: 124704%
Critics Consensus: Heartwarming, funny, and beautifully animated, Toy Story 4 manages the unlikely feat of extending -- and perhaps concluding -- a practically perfect animated saga.
Synopsis: Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip with Bonnie and a new toy... [More]
Directed By: Josh Cooley

#8

Zootopia (2016)
98%

#8
Adjusted Score: 115777%
Critics Consensus: The brilliantly well-rounded Zootopia offers a thoughtful, inclusive message that's as rich and timely as its sumptuously state-of-the-art animation -- all while remaining fast and funny enough to keep younger viewers entertained.
Synopsis: From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live... [More]
Directed By: Byron Howard, Rich Moore

#7

Up (2009)
98%

#7
Adjusted Score: 109563%
Critics Consensus: An exciting, funny, and poignant adventure, Up offers an impeccably crafted story told with wit and arranged with depth, as well as yet another visual Pixar treat.
Synopsis: Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner), a 78-year-old balloon salesman, is about to fulfill a lifelong dream. Tying thousands of balloons to... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson

#6

Toy Story 3 (2010)
98%

#6
Adjusted Score: 112785%
Critics Consensus: Deftly blending comedy, adventure, and honest emotion, Toy Story 3 is a rare second sequel that really works.
Synopsis: With their beloved Andy preparing to leave for college, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), and... [More]
Directed By: Lee Unkrich

#5

Inside Out (2015)
98%

#5
Adjusted Score: 113968%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, gorgeously animated, and powerfully moving, Inside Out is another outstanding addition to the Pixar library of modern animated classics.
Synopsis: Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is a happy, hockey-loving 11-year-old Midwestern girl, but her world turns upside-down when she and her parents... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 107803%
Critics Consensus: Boasting dazzling animation, a script with surprising dramatic depth, and thrilling 3-D sequences, How to Train Your Dragon soars.
Synopsis: Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is a Norse teenager from the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life.... [More]

#3

Finding Nemo (2003)
99%

#3
Adjusted Score: 110331%
Critics Consensus: Breathtakingly lovely and grounded by the stellar efforts of a well-chosen cast, Finding Nemo adds another beautifully crafted gem to Pixar's crown.
Synopsis: Marlin (Albert Brooks), a clown fish, is overly cautious with his son, Nemo (Alexander Gould), who has a foreshortened fin.... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton

#2

Toy Story (1995)
100%

#2
Adjusted Score: 106145%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining as it is innovative, Toy Story reinvigorated animation while heralding the arrival of Pixar as a family-friendly force to be reckoned with.
Synopsis: Woody (Tom Hanks), a good-hearted cowboy doll who belongs to a young boy named Andy (John Morris), sees his position... [More]
Directed By: John Lasseter

#1

Toy Story 2 (1999)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 108442%
Critics Consensus: The rare sequel that arguably improves on its predecessor, Toy Story 2 uses inventive storytelling, gorgeous animation, and a talented cast to deliver another rich moviegoing experience for all ages.
Synopsis: Woody (Tom Hanks) is stolen from his home by toy dealer Al McWhiggin (Wayne Knight), leaving Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen)... [More]

This week at the movies, we’ll pay a visit to the final frontier (Star Trek Beyond, starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto), prehistoric times (Ice Age: Collision Course, with voice performances by Ray Romano and Queen Latifah), and some dimly-lit rooms (Lights Out, starring Teresa Palmer and Maria Bello). What do the critics have to say?


Star Trek Beyond (2016) 86%

The Star Trek faithful have weathered their fair share of ups and downs with the franchise over the years, and when reboot helmer J.J. Abrams departed the bridge after 2013’s Into Darkness, he left an air of uncertainty in his wake. Fortunately for fans, it appears that incoming director Justin Lin has done the series a solid with this weekend’s Star Trek Beyond: reviews describe an installment that continues the amped-up action Abrams introduced while still leaving room for the thoughtful sci-fi that’s always been a Trek hallmark. In fact, critics say the story — which finds our heroes shipwrecked on a distant planet while doing battle with the fearsome Krall (Idris Elba) — serves as a worthy celebration of the saga’s 50th anniversary that also works pretty well as a standalone adventure. Star Trek locked down the “live long” part of Spock’s oft-quoted credo years ago; with Beyond, it seems a safe bet to prosper.


Ice Age: Collision Course (2016) 18%

For parents of young children, cinematic standards tend to be applied on a sliding scale — if a movie holds up reasonably well as a shared diversion, it doesn’t have to be a classic. But even by those relaxed standards, not all kid-friendly cartoons are created equal, and critics say Ice Age: Collision Course offers particularly painful proof. Five installments in, it can’t be getting any easier to dream up new adventures for Manny the mammoth (Ray Romano), Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo), and their pals; unfortunately, reviews point to a tired outing that shows every bit of that creative strain, with a rote story that falls back on a barrage of noisy action and stale jokes. For parents of little ones who love Ice Age, this weekend may represent a Collision Course with misery — but for everyone else, there are plenty of superior animated alternatives.


Lights Out (2016) 76%

It wasn’t all that long ago that summer was a reliable dumping ground for cheapo horror flicks offering little more than 90 minutes of air conditioning and a few mildly effective jump scares, but in recent years, genre filmmakers have really started upping their game. According to most critics, Lights Out is the latest example of this welcome trend: a terrifically effective chiller about a shadowy horror preying on multiple generations of a family, and the panicked but determined efforts of a young woman (Teresa Palmer) to vanquish that evil. A feature-length version of director David F. Sandberg‘s acclaimed short film, Lights Out may not necessarily go anywhere new, but his confident work, talented cast, and scary premise add up to a summertime horror movie that should leave fans screaming for all the right reasons.


What’s New on TV

 

Difficult People: Season 2 (2016) 100%

Difficult People picks up even more momentum in its sophomore season, upping the addictive yet somehow relatable nastiness of its leads with fast-paced — and possibly therapeutic — hilarity.


The A Word: Season 1 (2016) 75%

The A Word overcomes an uneven start to offer a thoughtful, warm-hearted look at the engagingly messy lives of its protagonists — and a glimpse of challenges too rarely seen or discussed on television.


Vice Principals: Season 1 (2016) 66%

Vice Principals is sporadically amusing and benefits from its talented stars, but its mean-spirited humor sometimes misses the mark.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Don't Think Twice (2016) , starring Keegan-Michael Key and Gillian Jacobs in Mike Birbiglia‘s comedy about an improv troupe’s collective reaction to the success of one of its members, is at 100 percent.
  • Train to Busan (2016) , a horror film about a group of passengers on a commuter train fighting to survive a zombie outbreak, is at 100 percent.
  • The Seventh Fire (2015) , a documentary about a Native American facing prison time who attempts to come to terms with his role in bringing drug culture into his community, is at 93 percent.
  • Hooligan Sparrow (2016) , a documentary about a group of Chinese women protesting the light sentence of a school principal convicted of rape, is at 92 percent.
  • Summertime (2015) , a drama about the love affair between two women amidst the rise of feminism in 1970s France, is at 91 percent.
  • The Childhood of a Leader (2015) , starring Robert Pattinson and Bérénice Bejo in a period drama about the fussy, manipulative son of an international diplomat, is at 84 percent.
  • Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (2016) , in which Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders reprise their roles as the oft-intoxicated social climbers of the popular 1990s British comedy, is at 67 percent.
  • For the Plasma (2014) , a drama about two young women nominally tasked with looking out for forrest fires in the Maine woods, is at 67 percent.
  • Quitters (2015) , a dark comedy about a young man who grows exhausted with his substance abusing parents, is at 50 percent.
  • The Blackout Experiments (2016) , a documentary following a group of friends addicted to an immersive horror experience, is at 40 percent.

The fifth installment in Fox’s popular Ice Age franchise arrives in theaters this week, but this time around, there’s more to the adventure than the prehistoric antics of Manny, Sid, and Diego. In Ice Age: Collision Course, Manny’s daughter Peaches is set to wed her love Julian — despite an impending apocalypse — and to celebrate, we’ve got a gallery of the whole affair, from the engagement announcement to the wedding party. Oh, and lest we forget, you can also check out their official wedding pages on The Knot and Pinterest.


Fox’s got a new Ice Age and it’s set on collision course for theaters this Friday. Animation at the studio has weaved a winding line through Saturday morning cartoons, adult fare, and studio closures before lifting Fox as one of Hollywood’s major animated players decades later, alongside Disney/Pixar and Dreamworks. In this week’s gallery, we look at 24 films and TV shows highlighting the history of Fox Animation.

To celebrate the success of WALL-E, RT brings together eight key collaborators on the project to share the world of the film, and the journey it’s taken since that infamous lunch in 1994, with readers.

Andrew Stanton has been with Pixar since the early days, co-directing A Bug’s Life and directing Finding Nemo and WALL-E. He’s also contributed to the writing of Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo and WALL-E. He’ll next be involved in an adaptation of John Carter of Mars which will mix live action with animation.

Andrew Stanton:

I had to trick the guys here to get the project going. After we finished Finding Nemo and I came back from vacation – you’re basically under-the-radar and no-one’s paying attention to you here at that point – with three storyboard artists I secretly boarded the first act of WALL-E, because I felt that if I even tried to talk about it with people here, or how it should work, I wouldn’t be able to do get it across. I felt I had to prove it to them and they’ll either say, “Yes you can do it,” or “No you can’t,” and we won’t waste any time. And that’s how this movie got the green light.

WALL-E

Derek Thompson joined Pixar in January 2005 to work on WALL-E. Prior to his involvement with the company he spent 14 years working in comic books, illustration, video games and live action features.

Derek Thompson:

For WALL-E we faced a number of distinct challenges separate from other projects here. One of the biggest ones was the fact that most of the movie had no dialogue. As storyboarding artists a lot of the burden fell on us to try and convey a lot of character and emotion and nuts-and-bolts storytelling without the benefit of lots of dialogue.

David DeVan is an animator at Pixar and has been with the company since A Bug’s Life, working on Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Ratatouille before WALL-E.

David DeVan:

We looked a lot at Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin – old silent film. It was treated more like we were making a semi-silent film for much of the movie. We all watched The General one day at lunch, they screened it for us. It’s really amazingly affective – piece by piece it works, but when you see it all together you really feel those references.

Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane

Andrew Stanton:

We also looked at lots of movies that did that so well – 2001, The Black Stallion, Never Cry Wolf – and those are movies where a large portion of them are dialogue-free or not dialogue-dependent. But we found that most great movies have elements like that so it’s not that foreign a moviemaking technique, it’s just one of those things that if you talk about it, people can convince themselves that it won’t work, or they won’t go and see something like that.


David DeVan:

Talking is so prevalent in all animated movies, as it is in ours as well, and it was a big challenge to complete abandon that device. WALL-E has to be so charming that you fall in love with him without dialogue.

Lindsay Collins is a co-producer on WALL-E and has worked at Pixar, in various capacities, since 1997. Prior to joining the company she worked on Disney features including Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hercules.

Lindsay Collins:

So much of the emotion and the feeling and the connection from the audience is going to be individual to a degree – and that was the point. How do you get the audience to be emotionally invested in the journey? Maybe some of it is by not being told what’s happening all the time.


Andrew Stanton:

To me the best movies and the best movie moments draw you in. People want to work for the meal, they just don’t want to know that they’re doing it. So your job as a filmmaker is to seduce them and entertain them so much that they don’t realise that they’re working so hard with their brains saying, “Well, this plus this equals this.”

Lindsay Collins and Andrew Stanton

Rodrigo Blaas has been animating for Pixar since 2002, having previously worked with Blue Sky Studios on their hit Ice Age. He started with Finding Nemo and has since worked on The Incredibles, Cars and Ratatouille.

Rodrigo Blaas:

The other challenge with WALL-E and EVE is that they don’t have faces that you can move around a bunch. Their design is so simplified – with EVE you have two blue dots that you need to use to explore the full range of emotions that a human face can give you. But that’s why detail is really important, because all of it works together. It’s also about trying to keep the integral part of the character and not taking the easy way out of trying to mimic human expressions and all that. You build from that but you try to keep it in character for WALL-E and EVE. WALL-E is a robot who’s been on the planet for a long time and he’s rusty and all that. EVE is this new machine. You have to be true to those characters in the animation.

Angus MacLane has been working at Pixar since 1997. A directing animator on WALL-E, MacLane won an Annie for his work on The Incredibles and supervised the animation on Oscar-nominated short One Man Band.

Angus MacLane:

The design sensibilities are that everything about WALL-E is on the outside and he’s kind-of like this old bulldozer or something. He has this kind-of steel with yellow enamel paint that’s been chipped away. There’s a very relatable, tactile, construction machinery sense about him. EVE, by contrast, has all of her moving parts on the inside, and you see indications of that in the shoulders and the armpits. When you see the arm unfold you get a glimpse of the mechanism, of how she works, and that gives relatability to her. She could easily look too computery-soft. We tried to make that aspect work.

WALL-E

Derek Thompson:

WALL-E was doubly interesting because it was probably closest to a bridge between live action film and animated film that Pixar has ever attempted. Live action footage has been integrated into the film and that had ripple effects throughout the production. Those choices created a texture for the world that had to be much more anchored in reality because when the live action came it in had to make sense with world. Hopefully that stuff works OK and doesn’t feel too jarring. But it was definitely exciting to involve in that.

Jim Morris moved over from ILM in 2005 to help make WALL-E. In the past he’s worked on films such as Men in Black, Schindler’s List and Terminator 2 at ILM.

Jim Morris:

One thing that was exciting for me and was a nice fit for me was that Andrew had such a photographic idea in mind for approaching this. He wanted to, as he put it, get out of Andy’s back yard and bring a photographic convention so that it had a feeling it was filmed rather than recorded on a computer. That was a nice connectivity for me since I’d obviously spent a lot of time trying to fit computer graphics into live action movies. It was nice to be able to be involved in that.


Rodrigo Blaas:

WALL-E is the character who’s going to take you through the journey of the story and that world so you really need to relate to that character for him to take you over and get you hooked into seeing what’s happening next. That’s what Andrew really wanted to achieve – seeing how far he could go with one character and trying to discover a world through his eyes without reverting to the normal devices of delivering exposition or talking to another character. His friendship with the cockroach too, all of those are little details that makes that first part of the movie a special one.


Derek Thompson:

To give you an idea of the way the film evolved during the process, the gel guys in Lifted – the short that opened with Ratatouille – I think there was a little cross-purpose there with WALL-E, because originally the humans in the film were actually aliens that spoke an alien language and there were all these other things happening. It wasn’t until midway through that we realised that things needed to change and it needed to be us in the future. The notion of us being stranded on a cruise ship and everything else snapped into place and it felt that it had to be that way. In drawing terms, every six or seven months we would have a new version of the boards for evaluation. A tremendous amount of drawing went into making that revision. It actually began as more of a Spartacus movie, with WALL-E helping the robots stage an uprising against alien enslavement. It’s changed quite a bit since then!

WALL-E

Andrew Stanton:

We arrived at the romance much later than the original concept. The sad, lonely robot was there from the conception. The character sat around for ten years and then, as I was writing on Nemo, especially during rewrites, I would beg for time at my office, throw pencils at the ceiling and procrastinate and I suddenly thought of this character.


Angus MacLane:

They’re designed to be opposites – she’s a circle and he’s a square. They are very much of the worlds that they’re from. She’s from this streamlined future and he’s from this dirty past. Everything is encapsulated between those two worlds. They spent some time in each world and eventually they meet and their worlds meet at the same time, and that’s broad enough that it could be read to be a symbol of their union or that those worlds collide.

Andrew Stanton

Andrew Stanton:

I listen to a lot of soundtrack music and I remember I had Goldsmith’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture score going. It just made sense to me – what’s the opposite of loneliness? It’s love. It’s the point of living. Suddenly the only way to tell the story was to make it a love story.

Ben Burtt is an award winning Sound Designer whose iconic work on the likes of Star Wars, Indiana Jones and ET has been celebrated by audiences for years. WALL-E marks his first collaboration with Pixar.

Ben Burtt:

For me the challenges with WALL-E go back to R2-D2 and problems I faced a long time ago – How do you get the human element into it without making it too human? How do you get the machine element into it without being too cold and impersonal? It’s a sort-of 50/50 blend.


Andrew Stanton:

I knew I needed Ben Burtt immediately, as soon as I got serious about it. I knew I needed to get a sound guy in right at the beginning of the production and I kept saying, “Like Ben Burtt, like Ben Burtt, like Ben Burtt, like R2, like R2, like R2.” Fortunately Jim Morris, my producer, had just come over from ILM and he’s got the golden rolodex and he just said, “Why don’t we just get Ben Burtt to come over?” I’d never thought of it! He’s sort-of like that about anyone I talk about…


Ben Burtt:

The fun of being a sound designer is always to create a world of sound and, especially if it’s a science-fiction movie, you get the challenge of really creating a whole world because most of the sounds you hear in the movie – from the ambiences, to the motors of the robots, to, in this film, the characters themselves – have to be created. You get to invent something that hasn’t been heard before to some extent, it seems original, yet it has to be familiar enough that people know what it means. There’s almost that contradiction in the challenge for sound.

Ben Burtt

Andrew Stanton:

When Ben came over I pitched him what was probably a half-assed version of the movie at that point, and I said to him, “I really need you to be 80% of the cast.” I wouldn’t blame him if he’d said, “I’ve spent twenty years of my life making robots, I’m not into it anymore.” Fortunately I think he was seduced by the idea and the challenge of coming up with so many R2s and how to differentiate them. It really was a long process of discovery.


Ben Burtt:

Andrew, in the very beginning, wanted to convince the audience that the characters of EVE and WALL-E were machines, so they had to sound like machines. It’s not so difficult to, say, create a talking machine, but usually they’re lifeless – there’s no soul to it. It’s a matter of coming up with a way of doing voices and collecting an array of sounds – of motors and other things – such that you give a character a sense of being alive; a soul, so to speak.

Derek Thompson and Andrew Stanton

Rodrigo Blaas:

The clarity of ideas is the most important thing. When you have the challenge of animating a character that doesn’t talk and is just expressing through sound effects, every move he does you really hammer into it and try to make the audience understand exactly what he’s trying to do. All those little gestures and the moves with the head and the arms was so important because everything had to be really clear.


Andrew Stanton:

The end result is that it’s exactly the film I wanted to make. I just closed my eyes and took a gamble and hoped that the rest of the world would want to see it as well, because I was just getting sick of everything and I just wanted something different. I think there’s something underestimated about wonder. It’s a hard thing to quantify, but to me that’s the ingredient. If I look back at all of these movies that run an incredible gamut of genres and ratings, the ones that stick with me are the ones that tap into the wondrous response that I had either as a kid or a young adult. I think a lot of us here at Pixar are junkies for that – we want to recapture it for ourselves as much as our audience.




WALL-E Week on RT and IGN

RT – Pixar’s and Stars’ Favourite WALL-E Moments

Sigourney Weaver, Angus MacLane, Ben Burtt, Jim Morris and Andrew Stanton share their most memorable moments from the film.

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IGN – WALL-E Explained

Get an insight into the animation process as WALL-E Directing Animator Angus MacLane.

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RT – Inside Pixar – A Photo Tour

Rotten Tomatoes’ cameras are given a look inside animation mecca as Pixar opens the doors of its Emeryville, CA campus to us.

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IGN – The Pixar Philosophy

Key WALL-E staff including Andrew Stanton, David DeVan and Derek Thompson tell IGN what it’s like to work at Pixar.

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RT – The World of WALL-E

To celebrate RT’s freshest film of the year, we bring together eight WALL-E crew to talk about the film’s journey from concept to completion.

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IGN – At the Heart of WALL-E

Director Andrew Stanton explains, in his own words, why the WALL-E experience has been a special one and how he crafted the film.

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RT – The Storyboards of WALL-E

Story Artist Derek Thompson gives RT readers an exclusive look at the storyboarding process on the film and shares some boards.

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IGN – WALL-E UK Review

Critic Anna Smith delivers her verdict on Pixar’s latest and adds to the film’s fresh Tomatometer…

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RT – Ben Burtt’s WALL-E Sound Masterclass

The world’s most renowned Sound Designer exclusively teaches RT readers the basics of building WALL-E‘s world of sound.


March Madness hits the North American box office as three new releases hit the multiplexes hoping to take down the reigning Dr. Suess toon. Tyler Perry returns with his latest comedic drama Meet the Browns, Owen Wilson makes a return of his own in the comedy Drillbit Taylor, and Joshua Jackson jets off to Japan for his horror flick Shutter. The Good Friday holiday will help boost weekend numbers since the majority of students and many adults have the day off. But the start of the NCAA college basketball tournament will keep many male moviegoers and sports fans glued to their flat-screens watching the endless string of games all day everyday over the weekend. Fox meanwhile will try to repeat at number one with its animated hit Horton Hears A Who which could become the top-grossing film of 2008 after only ten days.

Shooting for his fourth $20M+ opener, filmmaker Tyler Perry goes hunting for elephants at the box office with his latest work Meet the Browns. The PG-13 pic stars Angela Bassett as a Chicago single mother down on her luck who travels down to Georgia after the death of her father to meet the family she never knew. Starpower will come primarily from Bassett and from Perry himself who in addition to writing and directing brings the wildly popular Madea character back to the big screen after a two-year absence. The role is small but the marketing has made it known that the outlandish law-breaking matriarch is back for some laughs. Former basketball star Rick Fox also has a major role and could be useful in drawing hoops fans.

Perry has been a dependable box office sensation for over three years now drawing in sizable African American moviegoers with stories that skew a bit female. There’s no reason to believe that Browns will fail to reach the heights of his last film Why Did I Get Married? which opened to $21.4M in October. Good Friday and Easter should help boost the numbers too. Hollywood routinely underestimates Perry’s power so expect a sizzling average here. Hitting his top debut, $30M for Madea’s Family Reunion, may not be in the works, but a strong second place showing is a virtual guarantee. Lionsgate will open Meet the Browns in 2,006 theaters and may find itself with around $23M this weekend.


Rick Fox and Angela Bassett in Meet the Browns

Owen Wilson takes up the title role of Paramount’s new high school comedy Drillbit Taylor playing a homeless soldier of fortune who takes an assignment to protect a trio of teenage nerds. The actor’s biggest commercial hits have come from pairings with other big-name actors like Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller. Here he flies solo as the only star and historically that that has led to small grosses. Younger teens will make up the primary crowd so the PG-13 rating may give pause to parents of kids in the high single digits. A slight male skew is also likely. There’s ample competition so a large debut is not likely, plus Wilson’s main draw comes with adults not twelve-year-olds. The Friday holiday will get things started well, but word-of-mouth will have to take it the rest of the way. Reviews have not been too bright and March Madness will take many boys out of the picture this weekend. Debuting in about 2,700 theaters, Drillbit Taylor could punch up about $12M this weekend.


Owen Wilson in Drillbit Taylor

Another spooky Asian fright film gets the photocopy treatment by the idea-starved American horror industry in Fox’s Shutter. The PG-13 chiller stars Joshua Jackson as a photographer who discovers creepy images of a dead woman in his snapshots. The insatiable horror audience is the target here and the rating will make sure that younger teens up for a scare will be able to buy a ticket. Jackson is far removed from his Dawson’s Creek days and lacks the drawing power he once had. Plus the studio’s marketing push has not been very forceful so awareness is low. Don’t look for this one to open like The Eye or One Missed Call which both bowed in the $12-13M range. The only factors working for it are the 85 minute running time and the fact that there have been no horror films released since the Jessica Alba‘s thriller from the first weekend of February. Snapping into around 2,700 locations, Shutter could gross about $8M this weekend.


Shutter

Fox has no intentions of giving up its hold on the number one spot. The studio’s Seuss hit Horton Hears A Who looks unlikely to be defeated by the newcomers and should take advantage of the Good Friday school holiday to post a better-than-usual sophomore hold. Ice Age dropped by 35% in its second frame in 2002 while its Fox sibling Robots fell by 42% in 2005. Both were March openers but neither had the Easter holiday helping the sophomore session. The well-liked Horton might drop by 30% to about $31M and boost its ten-day total to a robust $91M.

10,000 BC should stabilize after its 53% plunge last weekend. A fall of 45% seems likely giving Warner Bros. $9M for the weekend and $76M after 17 days. A similar decline could await Never Back Down putting it at $4.5M for a ten-day sum of $16M for Summit. Martin Lawrence hasn’t exactly been setting the box office on fire with his latest comedy College Road Trip. The Disney title might drop by 30% to roughly $5.5M and lift its cume to $33M.

LAST YEAR: A six-pack of new releases cleaned house in the top ten led by the animated actioner TMNT which still had turtle power with a $24.3M debut. Warner Bros. went on to bank $54.1M with the toon which had weak legs. The studio followed in second with its Spartan blockbuster 300 which collected $19.9M in its third fight. Modern-day action was at the center of Mark Wahlberg‘s Shooter which opened in third with $14.5M on its way to a solid $47M for Paramount. Disney’s Wild Hogs followed with $13.9M. New Line’s The Last Mimzy bowed in fifth with $10M while the horror sequel The Hills Have Eyes 2 debuted close behind with $9.7M. Final grosses reached $21.5M and $20.8M, respectively. Adam Sandler‘s dramatic turn in Reign Over Me led to a $7.5M launch before a $19.7M finish. Lionsgate suffered the worst opening among the new titles with just $3.5M for the swimming drama Pride which ended with a $7.1M take.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

The Art of Horton Hears a Who!

From visually realising the microscopic inhabitants of Whoville through bringing to life Dr. Seuss’ loveable talking elephant Horton, the creative team at Blue Sky have spent years painstakingly designing and animating the world of the Dr. Seuss classic, Horton Hears a Who!. As the film gets ready to open in cinemas around the world, Blue Sky’s VP of Creative Development, Chris Wedge – best known as the voice of Scrat in their Ice Age movies – and Mike Thurmeier, Senior Supervising Animator on the film, sat down with RT and talked through the film’s visual style.

The Art of Horton Hears a Who!


Chris Wedge, VP of Creative Development, Blue Sky:

I don’t know about anyone else but I was pretty terrified about taking on the world of Dr. Seuss. We knew at the beginning that we had to do it right and co-director Jimmy Hayward dove in and started working on the story. Steve Martino, the second director, dove in and started working out how to interpret Seuss’ simple, funny drawings into colour and a multi-dimensional world.

The Art of Horton Hears a Who!


Chris Wedge:

Taking the whimsical tone that exists in the story and having the actors pick that up was very important. Jim Carrey did a fantastic job of making Horton a much more entertaining character than he is on the page. Steve Carell, doing his job as the mayor of Whoville, a role that exists as one little drawing in the book, is a role that’s fleshed out into a character with big problems.

The Art of Horton Hears a Who!


Mike Thurmeier, Senior Supervising Animator on Horton:

I was nervous because of the Chuck Jones animation – the only time we’ve seen Whoville animated was in The Grinch, which is a classic – but I knew we could do it. We were all hungry for the challenge. It seemed like a good match for Jimmy and Steve too, because Steve is so strong artistically, he’s got a great design sense, and Jimmy’s so funny, he’s got a great sense of humour.

The Art of Horton Hears a Who!


Chris Wedge:

In animation you want to start with a world. You want to go to places you couldn’t go otherwise. Seuss has certainly created a whimsical world in all of his stories and a world that has a common feeling. Horton, in particular, is a story that has a beginning, middle and end and it’s full of compelling characters and with a great problem to deal with. It felt like it could be fleshed out and made into something fun, funny and colourful.

The Art of Horton Hears a Who!


Mike Thurmeier:

Maybe it’s not the smartest way to start a movie, because in my opinion the story is more important than the world you go to, but because we make animation, storytelling in animation is done with the picture, it seems. It just feels natural to get excited about a world first, whether it’s imagining a prehistoric world in Ice Age or whether it’s imagining a world full of mechanical people in Robots. Seuss is the natural next place to go.

The Art of Horton Hears a Who!


Chris Wedge:

When we get excited about a movie we picture something in our heads that sometimes takes years to get to. Along the way it’s like looking at the plans, the scaffolding or the paintwork. It’s like, “This is going to get covered in plaster… This is going to get painted…” When you get to the end you get to a moment where you get to check with your imagination if it fits and there always comes a time where you think, “I can’t come up with anything new…” But then comes a moment where it’s like, “Holy crap, this is more than I ever thought we’d get in the movie!” It’s a fun process to watch.

The Art of Horton Hears a Who!


Mike Thurmeier:

We have a tool where you can see what’s just been lit and rendered and I’ll check all the frames and I’m like, “Oh my God, look at this,” and I’ll send a little email to the rest of the animation department. After it leaves our department we forget about it until we see the lighters getting their hands on it and then you see everyone drooling! It makes their work look great. Departments before us build the models and then we animate them so they get excited by what we do, I guess, so it works at every stage of the process.

The Art of Horton Hears a Who!


Chris Wedge:

We started the company because we had ideas about how we wanted images to look. We thought about technology that would make it possible. We didn’t have ideas about how it would work ultimately, but there’s a toolset that people at Blue Sky have access to now that allows them to do incredible things. Things like working with light but with all the control you could possibly want.

The Art of Horton Hears a Who!


Mike Thurmeier:

Blue Sky’s renderer is unique in the business. Nobody else does it quite the same way from a technical aspect. I think it gives a slightly different flavour to the films we make than other animated films.

The Art of Horton Hears a Who!


Chris Wedge:

Once the designs have been done and the fantastic animation has been done, really it’s the frosting on the cake, the colour and the way the light is done and all that sort of stuff, which is actually done last, that blows everybody away. It’s really your little reward because it all just comes together perfectly.

The Art of Horton Hears a Who!


Chris Wedge:

People ask, “How can you work on the same movie for three years?” The reason is that every day there’s something new. There’s always something to look forward to, there’s always something to get excited about. We get to go places no-one’s ever been before.

The Art of Horton Hears a Who!

Horton Hears a Who arrives in cinemas in the US on 14th March, Australia on 20th March and the UK on 21st March.

Three new releases roll into multiplexes across North America – one the size of an elephant, the others like specks of dust. Fox aims to deliver the largest opening weekend of the year so far with its animated family event film Horton Hears A Who which could very well triple the gross of its nearest competitor. Summit counters with its action title Never Back Down while Universal also targets young men with its horror flick Doomsday. Overall, the marketplace looks to bounce back and even stands a chance of beating year-ago figures for the first time in a month.

Almighty pals Jim Carrey and Steve Carell play nice this time in the first-ever animated feature version of a Dr. Seuss tale in Horton Hears A Who which goes into
saturation release on Friday. The G-rated pic tells of a playful elephant that discovers an entire city living on a tiny speck on a flower, but can’t convince others of its
existence. Fox has a mighty big hit on its hands for a number of reasons. The property is from an author that all generations are familiar with so parents and kids
alike can relate. The marketplace has very few viable options for children at the moment. Plus starpower from the two leads makes this a comedy juggernaut that
will allow the film to go beyond its core family audience and tap into business from teens and young adults too.

With one of the sharpest marketing departments around, Fox has the means to mine riches from this surefire spring blockbuster. Who else could propel lame
kidpics like Night at the Museum and Alvin and the Chipmunks to $200M+ megahit status over consecutive holiday seasons? The studio has used March as a
launching pad for its animated offerings from Blue Sky Studios allowing the films to steer clear of summer and holiday hits from Pixar and DreamWorks. In 2002,
Ice Age surprised everyone with its $46.3M debut. Three years later its Robots opened to $36M while the 2006 sequel Ice Age: The Meltdown bowed to a
mammoth $68M. Forgotten are the days of Titan A.E. Horton Hears A Who is destined to join its March brothers on the hit list.

The key to grosses skyrocketing lies in the interest of teens. Will they look at this as a Carrey-Carell dream team laugh-a-thon and line up? Chances are many will,
especially with no other major comedies doing substantial business. Appeal is broad with males and females of all ages opening their wallets. Sure it’s not as funny
as you’d hope given the two big C’s involved, but moviegoers will eat it up nonetheless. Plus with Good Friday and Easter helping the second weekend, long-term
prospects seem rosy too. Debuting ultrawide in over 3,900 theaters, Horton Hears A Who could collect about $50M over the Friday-to-Sunday period.


Seth Rogen and Jim Carrey (voices, that is) in Horton Hears a Who

Rookie distrib Summit Entertainment kicks into high gear with its fighting extravaganza Never Back Down which hopes to connect with the Mountain Dew crowd
looking for extreme action. The PG-13 flick stars relative unknowns Sean Faris and Amber Heard with Djimon Hounsou cast as the only star name. Action comes
from a high schooler’s discovery of the world of Mixed Martial Arts with the film playing as a hybrid of Fight Club and The Karate Kid. With little starpower and
a generic premise, Never will struggle to post strong box office numbers on opening weekend. Plus Doomsday will be stealing away some of the target audience
of young males. The two films really should not be opening head to head since neither is strong enough to stand on its own two feet in the first place. Summit gets
credit for at least trying with a marketing push that goes beyond what a pic with such little star wattage deserves. Never Back Down punches its way into 2,729
locations on Friday and could bag around $6M over three days.


Sean Faris in Never Back Down

Another killer virus film attacks the multiplexes, this time the British thriller Doomsday from Universal. The R-rated fright flick marks one of the studio’s few films to
not be screened for the press ahead of time and instead will rely on marketing to find its audience. Young men and genre aficionados should make up the primary
crowd here and they won’t be easy to reach. Besides the debut of Never Back Down, 10,000 BC is also in the marketplace playing to a good chunk of this
audience. Overall, the promotional push has not been too strong and awareness levels are not high, especially outside of the target demo. Infecting 1,935 theaters,
Doomsday looks to debut with about $5M this weekend before making a swift jump to that shiny disc.


The riotous revelry of Doomsday

After a sturdy debut, the prehistoric adventure 10,000 BC should suffer a sizable drop thanks to negative word-of-mouth. Direct competition from new releases
won’t be too much of a factor, but bad buzz will scare away prospective second weekend patrons. Look for a 55% decline which would give Warner Bros. about
$16M for the frame and $61M in ten days. The caveman pic will continue to dominate the overseas box office thanks to debuts this weekend in lucrative markets
like France, Italy, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

Disney’s College Road Trip will take a direct hit from Horton this weekend as the family crowd will have a much bigger film to rally behind. A 40% drop would
put the Martin LawrenceRaven-Symone comedy at $8M for a ten-day cume of $25M.

Audiences have been receptive to the presidential assassination storyline of Vantage Point which could drop another 40% to $4.5M this weekend for a cume of
$58M for Sony. Lionsgate’s The Bank Job probably saw the bulk of Jason Statham fans rush out on opening weekend so a 45% fall would give the heist thriller
$3M and $11M in ten days.

LAST YEAR: New releases were no match for the top two films in North America which remained on top of the charts. The mammoth Spartan smash 300 tumbled 54% in its second weekend but still posted a hefty $32.9M sophomore tally. The Disney comedy Wild Hogs showed good legs dipping 31% and ranked second with $19.1M in its third lap. Faring best among the freshmen, Sandra Bullock‘s supernatural thriller Premonition opened in third with $17.6M for Sony on its way to a solid $47.9M. Rounding out the top five were fellow newcomers Dead Silence with a moderate $7.8M and Chris Rock‘s I Think I Love My Wife with a disappointing $5.7M. Final grosses reached $16.8M for the Universal pic and $12.6M for the Fox Searchlight laugher.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Now that studio executives don’t have to worry about all those pesky new scripts coming in all the time, they can concentrate on the fun stuff — like playing with the 2009 release schedule.

The biggest changes are taking place at 20th Century Fox, where James Cameron‘s Avatar has been pushed back from May to December 18, 2009. Taking its place? Night at the Museum 2: Escape from the Smithsonian, which will be released May 22, 2009.

The Avatar shift, according to Variety, was made in order to allow Cameron more time in post-production, as well as giving theater chains more time to install additional 3-D screens. Meanwhile, the Museum 2 news is the first official sign that Fox is moving forward with a sequel to the first Night at the Museum. The second installment was written by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, with a rewrite by Scott Frank, and will be the first major film to be shot at the Smithsonian. The filmmakers are pursuing Reese Witherspoon to play Amelia Earhart.

Fox Animation’s Ice Age 3 — which will reunite the voice talents of Ray Romano, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, and John Leguizamo — is staying put at July 1, 2009, but the studio has announced that the sequel will be produced in digital 3-D.

Fox Film Group chair Hutch Parker, unsurprisingly, called the moves “a win-win for us.”

Source: Variety

Moviegoers rallied behind the star-driven comedy "Wild Hogs," which raced to number one at the North American box office, zooming past all expectations from Disney. Meanwhile, Viacom saw less-than-stellar debuts from its serial killer drama "Zodiac" from Paramount Pictures and the southern fried saga "Black Snake Moan" from arthouse unit Paramount Vantage. Overall, the box office remained healthy and surged well ahead of last year’s performance.

Buena Vista powered its way to an estimated $38M in opening weekend sales for its road comedy "Wild Hogs," delivering the largest March debut in history for a live-action film. The PG-13 pic starring Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy as four middle-aged men on a motorcycle adventure averaged a stellar $11,561 from 3,287 theaters. It was the year’s second biggest opening after "Ghost Rider‘s" $45.4M bow two weeks ago. According to studio research, 54% of the audience was actually female. Travolta’s everlasting sex appeal, Allen’s pull with moms thanks to his many Disney flicks, and the cast’s appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" last week probably contributed to the solid turnout by women. The stars also allowed the film to tap into different audience segments.

"Wild Hogs" posted the best opening ever in March for a non-animated film and the third biggest overall. The only movies to debut better in this month were the "Ice Age" flicks of 2002 and 2006. It also gave Travolta the biggest opening by far of his career, beating the $23.5M of 2005’s "Be Cool," and the second best bow for Allen after the $57.4M bow of 1999’s "Toy Story 2." As expected, "Hogs" was slammed by critics but reviews are practically irrelevant for a star-driven comedy like this. This is a crowdpleaser, not a criticpleaser. Audiences make their decisions based on if they think they will get a good laugh or not and Buena Vista’s marketing push was indeed solid. Though the overall weekend gross was strong, what was even more encouraging was the significant Friday-to-Saturday boost of 49% which is rare for any new release. A journey into nine-digit territory seems likely.

Debuting far back in second place was the serial killer pic "Zodiac," with an estimated $13.1M from 2,362 sites. Averaging a respectable $5,546 per theater, the R-rated film from director David Fincher played to an older audience as two-thirds of the crowd was over the age of 25, according to studio research from Paramount. Males and females were evenly represented. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo, "Zodiac" follows the investigation behind one of California’s most notorious murderers from the 1960s and 70s. The $65M film fared better than last fall’s murder mysteries set in the Golden State, "The Black Dahlia" and "Hollywoodland," which debuted to $10M and $5.9M respectively.

Reviews were overwhelmingly positive for "Zodiac," but its 160-minute length may have cut into its grossing potential. Plus when factoring in ticket prices increases over the years, it can be estimated that "Zodiac" sold the fewest opening weekend tickets of any of Fincher’s films. Admissions were roughly the same as for "Fight Club," which bowed to $11M in 1999. The studio is hoping that good word-of-mouth can carry the film in the weeks ahead.

After leading the pack for two full weeks, the Johnny Blaze flick "Ghost Rider" fell to third but only dropped 43% for an estimated $11.5M gross. Sony’s Nicolas Cage starrer has taken in $94.8M in 17 days and should become the first new release of 2007 to break the $100M barrier. Disney’s "Bridge to Terabithia" also held up well dipping 39% in its third adventure to an estimated $8.6M. Cume stands at $57.9M.

Jim Carrey‘s thriller "The Number 23" fell from second to fifth place in its sophomore scare and collected an estimated $7.1M. Down an understandable 52%, the New Line title has taken in a semi-decent $24.7M in ten days and looks headed for a $35-38M finish.

Eddie Murphy‘s latest comedy "Norbit" enjoyed the smallest decline in the top ten and dipped 34% to an estimated $6.4M for a $83M sum. Fellow laugher "Music and Lyrics" dropped just 36% to an estimated $4.9M giving the Hugh GrantDrew Barrymore pic $38.7M to date.

Paramount Vantage bowed its Samuel L. JacksonChristina Ricci drama "Black Snake Moan" and collected an estimated $4M from 1,252 theaters. Averaging a mild $3,208, the debut was half the size of writer/director Craig Brewer‘s last film "Hustle & Flow," which opened in July 2005 to $8M from 1,013 theaters on its way to $22.2M and an Oscar. Jackson has witnessed many of his headlining vehicles struggle at the box office including "Freedomland," "The Man," and even "Snakes on a Plane," which despite hitting the top spot, grossed much less than expected given its media hype last summer.

The Fox comedy "Reno 911!: Miami" tumbled 64% in its second weekend to an estimated $3.8M for a ninth place finish. The R-rated pic has grossed $16.4M in ten days and should conclude with roughly $20M. Rounding out the top ten was the FBI thriller "Breach" with an estimated $3.5M, off 42%, for a $25.4M total.

Three smaller films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. The slave trade drama "Amazing Grace" dipped only 26% in its second weekend to an estimated $3M. With $8.2M in ten days, the Samuel Goldwyn/Roadside Attractions period pic may find its way to $15-18M. The Billy Bob Thornton flop "The Astronaut Farmer" grossed an estimated $2.2M, down 52%, and put its sum at an embarrassing $7.7M. Look for a $11M final.

Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry comedy "Daddy’s Little Girls" fell 53% to an estimated $2.3M in its third frame and upped its cume to $28.4M. By comparison, the distributor saw stronger 17-day grosses of $44M and $55.7M respectively for the director’s last two films, "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" and "Madea’s Family Reunion." "Daddy’s" should end its run with $30-33M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $100.8M which was up a stunning 30% from last year when "Madea" stayed at number one with just $12.6M; but off 4% from 2005 when "The Pacifier" debuted on top with $30.6M.

Source: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Sometimes there’s some interesting, colorful or plain old geeky movie news that’s also kinda … skimpy. That’s why I’ve come up with a very clever heading called "NewsBits." When you see that word, you know you’ll be getting your regular daily allowance of RT Newsday goodness, only in smaller and somewhat skimpier form.

To test this new experiment out, we have two pieces of small-yet-interesting news:

According to Moviehole.net and CommanderBond.com, Italian actor Giancarlo Giannini will be returning for the 22nd Bond adventure. His character, Rene Mathis, will continue to be an ally to 007 … although the actor sure didn’t spill many more beans than that.

In completely unrelated news, Fox is almost certainly about to go ahead with a movie called "Ice Age 3." Or maybe they’ll call it "Ice Age: Not Extinct Just Yet." Don’t believe me? Check Moviehole again.

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