Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Disney animated short real ‘Feast’

 In recent years, the Disney Studios have gone back to an art form that was once very popular – the animated short film. The company had great success with the 2012 short, “Paperman,” that earned an Academy Awards.

The latest animated short, “Feast,” will be shown with the feature film “Big Hero 6.” It’s the story of a dog and his master who share a food bond.

Executive producer, Kristina Reed, says that despite the success Disney has had with short films, they aren’t easy to get made because the company’s focus is making feature films. Often artists are only available for a short time because of their commitment to the feature film productions.

“You’re trying to sort of thread through and make a consistent, consistent progress with random resources becoming available at random moments in time. That’s a challenging way for a director to work on the short, but your job as a producer is to try and make that as smooth for the director as possible,” Reed says.

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Kingsley better interview than Downey

Robert Downey Jr.Later this week, you’ll be able to read my interview with Sir Ben Kingsley as part of my coverage of “Iron Man 3.” I’m often asked why I will do stories on actors in movies other than those who are the main star. In this case, it was a no brainer. Any chance to chat with an Oscar-winning actor should never be missed.

Kingsley could not talk a lot about playing the villainous Mandarin in the movie but we did chat about how he selects roles and his process for bringing a character to life. Kingsley also talked about how being knighted was the greatest honor in his life.

The problem with Robert Downey Jr. — the man behind the Iron Man armor — is that he will either answer a question with a funny remark or won’t answer the question he’s been asked. A simple question about whether this would be the last “Iron Man” movie for him got an odd response.

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The Oscars: Forget the statuettes, show me the pretty dresses

Jennifer Lawrence, Anne HathawayThe dresses are always my favorite part of watching the Oscars. Even if you haven’t seen a single Oscar-nominated film, who doesn’t enjoy looking at all the pretty dresses and picking out your favorite? (Along with picking out the flops.)

I personally think Jennifer Lawrence easily walked away with the best-dressed award for her classically feminine pink and white Dior dress with the voluminous skirt (even if she did fall on her way to accepting the Oscar).

Here’s a few other noteworthy outfits from the night. Who was your favorite? Who didn’t you like? (All photos by AP unless otherwise noted.)

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Several top performances get Oscar snub

Film Review The Help.JPG There were a few surprises among the nominations for the “84th Academy Awards” but none bigger than Melissa McCarthy picking up a Best Supporting Actress nod for her antics in “Bridesmaids.” Couple this with McCarthy’s Emmy win and there’s no doubt she’s sold her soul to the devil. McCarthy is funny but not to the degree she’s getting this kind of attention.

She wasn’t the only surprise. Both “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” and “War Horse” picked up Best Picture nominations based more on sentimentality than quality. Films like “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “Albert Nobbs” and even the animated “Rango” were more deserving of a best picture pick.

I also continue to be amazed by the strength of “Moneyball.” Not only did it get a Best Picture nod but Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill earned nominations. It’s a good film, but really so inside baseball it’s surprising that it had enough general appeal to get such attention.

Academy voters continued to show their hatred for Mel Gibson by completely ignoring “The Beaver.”

It is fantastic that Demian Bichir picked up a Best Actor nomination for “A Better Life” but that meant Michael Fassbender got overlooked for “Shame.” The problem is that this is a tough category and a lot of good actors got overlooked.

The biggest shocker in the animated category was that Steven Spielberg’s “The Adventures of Tintin” got snubbed. It wasn’t worth an Oscar nod but we are talking Spielberg. He must have used up his Hollywood magic getting the “War Horse” nomination.

This year’s Best Original Song category is the weakest ever. It’s staggering to believe that either “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” or “Real in Rio” from “Rio” will be an Oscar winner.

Here are my picks of those overlooked in the Oscar nominations:

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