Annie nominations full of Kung Fu

on the Annies site, of course, though Animated News has already done the math for us:

Kung Fu Panda leads all films with 17 nominations. Bolt was second with 9 nods, and WALL-E third with 8. Those three, along with $9.99 and Waltz with Bashir were tapped for Best Feature.

Well, I’ve at least seen the first three films on that list….

The Annie winners will be announced on January 30th, and until then we can all wildly speculate as to who will triumph. And also we can maybe go watch the nominees which haven’t actually come out yet. Ahem.

Disney does it again with Bolt

Bolt to our list of must-see movies. In fact, I even wrote about it. And with anticipation running high about seeing it this weekend, I was relieved to see that it’s apparently living up to the hype.

That’s right: Bolt is currently hovering around 90% Fresh on the Tomatometer. Phew! Too often I’ve told the kids that sure, we’ll go see such-and-such movie when it comes out… and then as it nears, I check the reviews and discover that it’s an utter flop. And then I have to come up with an explanation for the kids as to why we’ve decided not to go. Ugh.

In preparation for hitting the theater this weekend, I went looking for another Bolt trailer, and found this:

Hee. Hey, Hamsters can be High School Musical fans, too!

Pinocchio’s getting a makeover

I’ve been meaning to tell you about this one for a few days—it seems that Pinocchio is getting a modern makeover:

A new version of “Pinocchio” is on its way to the big screen, this one to be co-directed by acclaimed children’s book illustrator Gris Grimly and executive produced by Guillermo del Toro.

The adaptation, being made by the Jim Henson Co., will be done as a stop-motion animated feature. Henson co-CEOs Brian Henson and Lisa Henson and senior vp feature films Jason Lust are producing.

The aim is to make a dark, twisted retelling of the famous Carlo Collodi fairy tale about the wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy. In the retelling, when Pinocchio comes to life, he turns out not to be that nice of a boy, creating mischief and playing mean tricks. He eventually learns a few lessons. The story and the look of the feature will be based on the 2002 children’s book illustrated by Grimly, who is repped by Gotham Group.

And I know I’m dating myself, here, but when I saw the headline (‘Pinocchio’ to feature Gris Grimly as director) I immediately thought it said it would be directed by Ed Grimley. But, ah, no. It’s Gris Grimly. Still very cool, but different.

(Though how cool would it be if it was directed by Ed Grimley…? Okay, shutting up, now.)

More movie news: Oscars and Karate Kid

2008 Oscar nominees for best animated feature:

Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!
Dragon Hunters
Fly Me to the Moon
Kung Fu Panda
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
The Sky Crawlers
Sword of the Stranger
The Tale of Despereaux
Waltz with Bashir

Looking at that list really has me ready for some great films in the next two months. Although if The Tale of Despereaux isn’t amazing I’m going to have to write several stern letters. It’s such a great book—I hope it’ll be a fabulous film.

In other movie news, I’m sure everyone who’s ever used the phrase “Wax on, wax off” will be pleased to know that a Karate Kid remake is in the works (with Will Smith’s kid in the title role). I wonder who they’ll have play Mr. Miyagi. It’d be too much to hope for Jackie Chan, right…?

It’s that special season…

No, not the one where we haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet and the stores are already playing Christmas Carols—though it’s also that season, unfortunately—but the one where it’s time to start thinking about what movies are coming out next year.

What, like you weren’t already thinking about it? C’mon.

The UK’s Times Online has published their predictions for the 50 biggest movies of 2009, and there are a half-dozen family and kiddie notables on the list.

They’ve pegged (amongst others) the following movies, which those of us with little ones may want to keep in mind:

I’m just glad for those last two; before I got to those, I was certain that all 2009 held was a bunch of sequels with colons in them….