November 13, 2010


Walt Disney Studios has released new images from a few of their upcoming movies:

  • Mars Needs Moms, the sci-fi animated comedy which features the voices of Seth Green, Dan Fogler, Elisabeth Harnois, Mindy Sterling, Kevin Cahoon, and Joan Cusack
  • Gnomeo and Juliet, the Shakespeare retelling which features the music of Elton John and the voices of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, Jason Statham, Patrick Stewart, Julie Walters, and Ozzy Osbourne.
  • African Cats, a documentary from the Disneynature line about two cat families in East Africa, directed by Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill

Hit the jump to check out the images and official synopses for each. 

I’m not sure how this compares to the illustrations from Berkeley Breathed’s picture book, which serves as the basis of the film.  But I really like the creature design.  That kind of tactile detail still amazes me, in terms of what we can do with CGI. 

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Mars Needs Moms hits theaters March 11, 2011.

Take out the trash, eat your broccoli—who needs moms, anyway?  Nine-year-old Milo (Seth Green) finds out just how much he needs his mom (Joan Cusack) when she’s nabbed by Martians who plan to steal her mom-ness for their own young. Produced by the team behind “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” and “The Polar Express,” “Mars Needs Moms” showcases Milo’s quest to save his mom—a wild adventure in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D that involves stowing away on a spaceship, navigating an elaborate, multi-level planet and taking on the alien nation and their leader (Mindy Sterling). With the help of a tech-savvy, underground earthman named Gribble (Dan Fogler) and a rebel Martian girl called Ki (Elisabeth Harnois), Milo just might find his way back to his mom—in more ways than one.

Gnomeo and Juliet is clearly designed under a different style than Mars Needs Moms.  Makes sense.  Gnomeo is the first G-rated movie that Disney will release under the Touchstone Pictures label, typically reserved for more adult fare.

I’m curious to see how the film will incorporate this promise of “both classic and original songs by Elton John.”  The Lion King soundtrack earned a lot of play in my house as a kid. 

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Gnomeo and Juliet hits theaters February 11, 2011.

The greatest love story ever told, starring…garden gnomes? In “Gnomeo & Juliet,” Shakespeare’s revered tale gets a comical, off-the-wall makeover. Directed by Kelly Asbury (co-director of “Shrek 2″) and showcasing both classic and original songs by Elton John, the film features the voices of James McAvoy and Emily Blunt as Gnomeo and Juliet, who have as many obstacles to overcome as their quasi namesakes when they are caught up in a feud between neighbors. But with plastic pink flamingos and thrilling lawnmower races in the mix, can this young couple find a happy ending?

I admire Disney’s commitment to these wide release nature documentaries.  The past two Earth Day releases Earth (2007) and Oceans (2010) appear to have reaped a nice profit.  This image is appropriately striking and adorable, so I see no reason why African Cats won’t follow suit.

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African Cats opens on April 22, 2011 (Earth Day).

Two cat families in East Africa teach survive on their power and their cunning, while they protect and teach their cubs the ways of the wild.

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