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It’s showtime.

It’s been a while, so I apologize for the silence (unless you follow me on Twitter, where silence isn’t exactly a feature). I took a temporary break from updating jonnegroni.com for a few important reasons. Below are just a few.

First, I’ve been hard at work developing another site: cinemaholics.com. This is the new one-stop shop for the podcast I do with Will Ashton, plus all my newest film reviews. You’ll notice that episodes of the show have migrated to that site for the sake of simplicity, with an exception or two, of course.

Second, I’ve been working on two books, which have been demanding a sizable chunk of my time. The first is Vainguard, which is in the final stages of publication. But there’s also a new and improved edition of The Pixar Theory, which will be bigger and better than ever. A lot of you have reached out to me about not being able to get your hands on a physical copy for some time. I haven’t been able to personally update all of you on this, but the short version is that the book is transitioning to a new publisher and will be drastically different (and improved, of course). Sorry for the wait, but I promise it will be worth it.

Last, I’ve been wondering how to shift this website into something truly useful for lovers of Pixar and fandom in general. You’ll notice that this latest design strips away the clutter of the sidebars and will be more type-focused than ever. I’ve also opted for an easier color scheme on the eyes. This has taken a lot of time, trial, and error to finalize, so I’m hoping the effort pays off and you find this blog to be a joy to read.

Moving forward, this will be a blog in the very traditional sense. Lots of me speaking matter-of-factly about Pixar and animation in general, either reacting to news or doing the occasional editorial. Maybe even videos if time permits. Please send me a comment below if you have suggestions for content you want to see, and I’ll look into it as soon as possible.

For now, I’m excited to be back. It’s been too long, and we have an infinity of things to talk about, and beyond.

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2018 In Film – Do I Make You Sad? (Tribute)

Another year of film is about to pass, so I did something a bit different to mark the occasion. You’ve probably seen a few tributes like the one shown above, but hopefully you’ll find that this one is a bit more thematic than others. Each song choice, scene, and even some edits plays into a larger theme of what 2018 meant to me as a filmgoer. Also, I purposefully chose 162 films to highlight, which obviously includes movies I haven’t even seen yet, as well as films I didn’t even particularly like. But I know many of you watching did, and I want to celebrate the universal appeal of cinema for everyone. Not just me.

Go on…2018 In Film – Do I Make You Sad? (Tribute)

Pixar’s ‘Toy Story 4’ Trailer Strategy is Out of the Box

toy story 4

At last, Pixar has revealed its first big marketing materials for Toy Story 4, which includes a brief teaser trailer, several character posters, and more recently a “teaser trailer reaction” video that pokes self-aware fun at the franchise in almost parody form.

The response so far has had a wide range, much of it to be expected. Of course, a lot of Toy Story fans are extremely worried about an unnecessary Pixar sequel turning out to be an inferior cash grab that diminishes an already perfect trilogy with what many consider the most satisfying ending possible. I’m one of those fans.

Go on…Pixar’s ‘Toy Story 4’ Trailer Strategy is Out of the Box

A Pixar Without Ed Catmull Might Be A Pixar Without Disney

ed catmull

From Angela Watercutter at Wired:

Late Tuesday night, after 32 years, Ed Catmull announced he would be retiring at the end of this year. This is not sad news, though—it’s a chance to give Pixar a new future.

I’m late on this news because I was out of town and thus not blogging when the announcement broke (and somewhat silently from what I can tell). I didn’t even hear about Catmull’s retirement until a day after everyone else, and I’ve been stewing in my thoughts ever since.

In the cited piece above, Watercutter details how Catmull’s retirement is “an opportunity, not a loss.” And of course, Catmull himself claimed in his 2015 book Creativity Inc. that it was always his goal to leave Pixar with a strong legacy of lasting leadership (hence, Catmull is staying on as advisor through next July). It’s very Pixar-esque to look at a problem as an opportunity, and for now, I share in the optimism painting this upcoming era, but for a very different reason than even I expected.

It’s looking like Pixar is reclaiming its independence from Disney, albeit one promotion/departure at a time.

Go on…A Pixar Without Ed Catmull Might Be A Pixar Without Disney

Is Pixar in Decline? Cinemaholics Happy Hour w/ T.J. Wolsos

pixar

It’s finally happened. T.J. Wolsos of PixarPost and I have collaborated on a project. Above, you’ll hear our full conversation on all things Pixar, mostly centering around the feeling that the animation studio’s best days are in the past. T.J. and I have a hearty debate and discussion about whether or not this is really true, and if it is, what caused the change (or “evolution” as T.J. aptly points out).

Is Pixar making too many sequels? Did Disney cause all of this? Has Disney animation surpassed Pixar? And what movies are coming next from the Emeryville campus? We answer these questions and tons more, plus we read your tweets and comments to parse out how everyone else feels about the subject. This is one podcast episode you Pixar fans don’t want to miss.

Go on…Is Pixar in Decline? Cinemaholics Happy Hour w/ T.J. Wolsos

Maniac and Smallfoot Review – Cinemaholics Episode #84

maniac

We had a packed show this week. First we reviewed Maniac, the new Netflix limited series starring Jonah Hill and Emma Stone. We also reviewed the new animated film Smallfoot, and right before that you’ll hear my interview with Karey Kirkpatrick, the director of the film. For mini reviews, we also covered The Hate U GiveHell Fest, Night School, and more.

Next week: We’re planning on doing a double feature of Venom and A Star is Born. Help us decide which review comes first by voicing your opinion in the comments. You can also become a patron and vote in our poll.

Go on…Maniac and Smallfoot Review – Cinemaholics Episode #84

The New Wreck-It Ralph 2 Trailer Finally Gives Us A Plot

wreck-it ralph 2

Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (yes, that is the full title) gives us a lot to chew on with its latest trailer. While the earlier teasers focused on the general conceit of a Disney-fied internet, this second official trailer introduces a fully baked story and some actual…ideas.

Go on…The New Wreck-It Ralph 2 Trailer Finally Gives Us A Plot

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