Ramin Zahed

I am an entertainment journalist/author, specializing in animation, vfx, pop culture and indie films. I worked as a senior editor at Variety, editor-in-chief at Animation Magazine, and senior editor at Insight Editions and PBS/Los Angeles. I've also written for The Hollywood Reporter, L.A. Times, Emmy Magazine, Sight and Sound and The Village Voice.

The Art of Captain Underpants The First Epic Movie: Ramin Zahed:

From DreamWorks Animation comes a movie event based on the best-selling book series by Dav Pilkey. This comedy for the entire family tells the story of 2 pranksters named George and Harold, who hypnotize their principal into thinking he's a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants. The movie stars the voice talents of Ed Helms, Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch, Nick Kroll and many more!
latimes.com

Family films can ease the path when dealing with tough emotions

It’s been many decades since film audiences first witnessed Bambi’s mom being killed by a hunter, Pinocchio being separated from Geppetto, and Dorothy Gale fending for herself in Oz. Movies made for family audiences have had a rich history of dealing with tough topics such as change, loneliness and even death. In 2016, however, moviegoers were treated to family fare that went beyond the gentle presentation of sometimes scary issues and offered deeper, sophisticated examinations of such themes.
latimes.com

Aaron Taylor-Johnson immerses himself in killers and dirty habits for 'Nocturnal Animals'

The handsome 26-year-old who greets a visitor poolside at a West Hollywood hotel looks nothing like the vicious Texan killer he plays in Tom Ford’s well-received “Nocturnal Animals.” But Aaron Taylor-Johnson has always been something of a chameleon throughout his eclectic career. The British actor, who has been performing since he was 9, is perhaps best known for playing the title character in the two “Kick-Ass” movies and Quicksilver in last year’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” He has been alterna

The Art of The Boss Baby By Ramin Zahed, Alec Baldwin:

A beautifully illustrated look at the art, design and making of DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming movie Boss Baby, a family film about a young boy and his fast-talking, corporate-type baby who have to fight the evil plot of the CEO of Puppy Co. to save the world. Go behind the scenes of DreamWorks Animation's smart and hilarious comedy called The Boss Baby. In one of the most anticipated comedies of 2017, a young boy named Tim feels there is something unusual about his baby brother from the day

The Art of the Iron Giant by Ramin Zahed

This beautifully illustrated book revisits the classic film The Iron Giant, with unprecedented access to rarely seen development art and storyboards from the Warner Bros. archives. In director Brad Bird’s beloved and critically acclaimed 1999 movie The Iron Giant, an inquisitive young boy named Hogarth Hughes forms a powerful friendship with a robot visitor from outer space. Set in the days of the Cold War, the film follows the adventures of Hogarth and the Iron Giant as they try to escape a
latimes.com

'Selma' allows Carmen Ejogo to play Coretta Scott King a second time

It's rare for an actor to portray the same historic character in more than one project, but Carmen Ejogo has taken a second shot at getting into the skin of Coretta Scott King. Beginning on Christmas Day, audiences can see her in director Ava DuVernay's civil rights film "Selma," 13 years after portraying Scott King in HBO's miniseries "Boycott." The actress, who comes from a Scottish-Nigerian background, says she knew as soon as she read the "Selma" script that the part was worth fighting for,
latimes.com

Best picture Oscar contenders often break the genre film barrier

There is a long-running misconception that members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences love only underdog biopics, literary adaptations and anything in which Meryl Streep speaks with an accent. But if you look at the list of the 500-plus movies that have received best picture nominations since the earliest awards were handed out in 1927, you'll see a surprising number of titles that stray from the straight dramatic film — comedies and genre stories that encompass fantasies, thrill
Animation Magazine

'Song of the Sea' Director Revisits Charming Irish Folk Tales

With their much-anticipated, beautiful 2D pic, Song of the Sea, director Tomm Moore and the team at Cartoon Saloon find inspiration in Ireland’s charming folktales. Five years ago, director Tomm Moore, producer Paul Young and the team at Cartoon Saloon revived the dream of traditional 2D animation with the charming and highly original The Secret of Kells. The film went on to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Picture and officially put the Kilkenny, Ireland-based studio on the glob
Animation Magazine

The Truth About The Dog, the General and that Pixar Fish at Angoulême

The Sixth Edition of the International Forum for Animation Technologies wrapped on Saturday with a screening of French director Francis Nielsen’s The Dog, The General and the Birds (Le chien, le general et les oiseaux). This lovingly drawn, poetic animated feature marks the continuation of the French animation revival that began last year with Sylvain Chomet’s The Belleville Triplets. Based on a screenplay by Tonino Guerra, who has penned some of the most famous Italian art classics of the past
Animation Magazine

The VFX Secrets of The Hobbit and Smaug!

Joe Letteri, the Oscar-nominated vfx supervisor of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, discusses the fine art of crafting the dragon, those spiders and other visual treats of Peter Jackson’s epic movie. Although fans had to wait a whole year to return to director Peter Jackson’s magnificent adaptation of The Hobbit, the second part of the new Tolkien trilogy is packed with so much breathless energy and visual panache that audiences may feel like they never left Middle-earth. As expected, The D
Animation Magazine

FX Sweetens the Toon Deal

This month, the cable network debuts Chozen, an intriguing new animated series about a white gay rapper—and showcases a diabolically different new season of Archer. The Fox network might be the home of Animation Domination, but it’s sister cable network FX that is serving up some sweet competition this month. Not only do we get to enjoy an exciting new season about everyone’s favorite self-involved spy Archer, there’s also the debut of Chozen, Grant Dekernion’s crazy new series about a white gay rapper adjusting to regular life after being released from prison.
Animation Magazine

'Turbo FAST' Poised to Win the Race on Netflix

Fans of Turbo, DreamWorks’ speedy snail, have an extra reason to celebrate this holiday season as the new spinoff series Turbo FAST will get its global small screen debut on Netflix, on Tuesday, Dec. 24th at 12:01 a.m! The new toon, which is animated by the talented team at L.A.’s Titmouse Studios, will have its first five episodes available for streaming this month. The studio also plans to premiere the show in four or five episode blocks throughout the year, timed with school holidays to reach
Animation Magazine

The Inspired Madness of 'Rick and Morty'

Rick and Morty, Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon’s quirky new sci-fi toon, takes viewers along for a fantastic ride. Time and space continuum-bending heroes are a familiar staple of science fiction books and movies, but what if the galaxy-trotting lead is actually a nutty older man who drags his grandson along for the ride? That’s the premise behind the hilarious new Adult Swim animated series, which is exec produced by actor/producer Justin Roiland (Fish Hooks, Adventure Time) and Dan Harmon, the
Animation Magazine

A Chat with the Creative Team Behind Disney's 'Frozen'

The haunting tale of Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen has been kicking around Disney since the 1940s, when Walt Disney himself was considering a full-fledged animated feature based on the story. The problematic fairy tale, which was first published in 1845, has lots of great imagery and is really about the healing power of love against a cold-hearted villainess who separates the story’s hero and heroine. But the story’s characters are not really fully developed and the plot doesn’t exactly l
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