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Disney Research Showcases Video-Based 3D Motion Capture Through Biped Control

Disney Research Pittsburgh together with Brown University have released a video showcasing their latest project featuring video-based 3D motion capture through biped control. In plain language, that means it’s an easier way to capture and reproduce natural movement in markerless motion capture and then replay… Read More »Disney Research Showcases Video-Based 3D Motion Capture Through Biped Control

Mars Needs Moms – March 11th

While Gnomeo and Juliet are busy filling seats in theaters with a close second place over the weekend, another Disney funded animation project looms near. Mars Needs Mom will launch from a theater near you beginning March 11th. It features the weird cross between animation and motion capture technology that Robert Zemeckis pioneered for Disney.

I just learned that one of my favorite cartoonists Berkeley Breathed, a Pulitzer-Prize winner for his comic strip “Bloom County,” is the author and illustrator of the book “Mars Needs Moms.” The story was inspired by a particular moment of disagreement that took place between his son Milo and his wife.

Disney recently released a new trailer for the film with a new song ‘Stay Cool’. Lyrics are below the jump if you want to sing along:

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.

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Yellow Submarine remake officially announced

As  Beatlemania sweeps the world all over again this week with the issuing of the band’s remastered catalogue on CD and The Beatles: Rock Band video game, The Walt Disney Studios, The Beatles‘ company Apple Corps Ltd., and Robert Zemeckis’ Disney-owned studio ImageMovers Digital officially announced today at the D23 Expo that a deal has been struck to “develop a new 3D performance capture adaptation  of the 1968 hit animated film Yellow Submarine to be written and  directed by Robert Zemeckis”.

Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook made the announcement, confirming Hollywood trade publication Variety‘s report from last month which said a deal was in the works —news that rankled many but made me very happy.

The film will incorporate 16 of the Beatles’ original recordings, including classic songs like “All You Need Is Love”, “Eleanor Rigby”, and “Lucy  in the Sky with Diamonds”. No target release year or date was mentioned, but there seems no reason to doubt Variety‘s claim of Summer 2012, considering the factual accuracy of the rest of their story.

Again, this is simply a dream collaboration: “one of the most exciting and anticipated project’s coming from Disney” in the next few years, as I put it in my earlier post. To have Disney and Robert Zemeckis put breathtaking 3-D images to the lyrics and melodies of the Beatles’ songs should prove to be quite an experience for moviegoers.

Interestingly, in the mini documentary included with remastered version of the Yellow Submarine album released on Wednesday, Paul McCartney conspicuously mentions Disney at least twice as an influence on the Beatles’ decision to create the original Yellow Submarine animated film (poster pictured), released in 1968.

The complete press release, with extended quotes from Cook, Zemeckis, and Apple Corps CEO Jeff Jones, after the jump.

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