Mork Returns: Robin Williams is returning to the small screen (maybe). The actor's David E. Kelley-written workplace comedy, Crazy Ones, has officially received a pilot order from CBS, and is currently in full-fledged casting mode. The series will star Williams (of course) as an ad exec who works alongside his daughter. Our guess? Things'll get zany! [Deadline]
Nick And Jess? Not So Fast: New Girl fans, don't erase last week's episode from your DVR just yet. The Fox comedy might've given us a super-hot kiss between Nick and Jess, but they're not going to be getting together any time soon — especially now that the show has just cast Nick's newest love interest. Former House doctor Odette Annable will play Shane, an upbeat management school grad and Nick's new boss at the bar. Apparently underachieving bartenders are her type, because she immediately sparks up a fling with Nick. [TVLine]
RELATED: Robin Williams Nabs Drama 'Boulevard'
Ricki Lake Will Talk No More: At least not on television. After one year, Lake's syndicated talk show The Ricki Lake show has been axed by Twentieth Television following struggling ratings. [Deadline]
From Oz to Pawnee: Looks like Ben (Adam Scott) will finally find piece after the Ice Town fiasco that plagued his youth. J.K. Simmons will guest star in an upcoming episode of Parks and Recreation as the Governor of Partridge, Minn., the town that Ben briefly mayor-ed as a teen. Leslie (Amy Poehler) will accompany her beau to a ceremony held in Ben's honor, that will let him know that all has been forgiven. Let's say it all together now — "awwwww." [EW]
Spinoff's Spinoff Starts Casting:Ladies and gentlemen, give a warm welcome to the newest member of the NCIS universe, Edwin Hodge. The actor is the first person cast in CBS' spinoff of NCIS: LA, which is itself a spinoff of the original Mark Harmon-starring series. The backdoor pilot will air as an episode of NCIS: LA later this season and follow a team of agents who crisscross the country solving crimes. Hodge's Kai Ashe is a "bright, witty, and likable technical assistant." [Deadline]
Human Bloggers, Your Days Are Numbered: Dog With A Blog is an actual show on television, and there's going to be more. Apparently Disney Channel has ordered a second season of the family sitcom, told from the dog's point of view. You can actually read the dog's blog online, if that's a thing you wanted to spend your time doing. [Deadline]
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[PHOTO CREDIT: Wenn]
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At some point in the early years of the 21st century a bunch of Hollywood executives must have gotten together and decided that animated films should be made for all audiences. The goal was perhaps to make movies that are simultaneously accessible to the older and younger sets with colorful imagery that one expects from children’s films and two levels of humor: one that’s quite literal and harmless and another that’s somewhat subversive. The criteria has resulted in cross-generational hits like Wall-E and Madagascar and though it’s nice to be able to take my nephew to the movies and be as entertained by cartoon characters as he is I can’t help but wonder what happened to unabashedly innocent animated classics like A Goofy Movie and The Land Before Time?
Disney’s Winnie The Pooh is the answer to the Shrek’s and Hoodwinked!’s of the world: a short sweet simple and lighthearted tale of friendship that doesn’t need pop-culture references or snarky dialogue to put a smile on your face. Directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall found some fresh ways to deliver adorable animation while keeping the carefree spirit of A.A. Milne’s source material in tact. Their story isn’t the most original; the first part of the film finds Pooh Piglet Tigger and Owl searching for Eeyore’s tail (a common plot point in the books and past Pooh films) and hits all the predictable notes but the second half mixes things up a bit as the crew searches for a missing Christopher Robin whom they believe has been kidnapped by a forest creature known as the “Backson” (it’s really just the result of the illiterate Owl or is it?).
The beauty of hand-drawn animation all but forgotten until recently is what makes Winnie the Pooh so incredibly magnetic. There’s an inexplicable crispness to the colors and characters that CG just can’t duplicate. It’s a more personal practice for the filmmakers and should provide a refreshing experience for audiences who have become jaded with the pristine presentation of computerized imagery. The film is bookended by brief live-action shots from inside Robin’s room an interesting dynamic that plays up the simplicity of youth ties it to these beloved characters and brings you right back to memories of your own childhood.
With a just-over-an-hour run time Winnie the Pooh is short enough to hold the attention of children but won’t bore the parents who will love the film mainly for nostalgic musings. Still it’s the young’uns who will most enjoy this breezy bright and enchanting film that proves old-school characters can appeal to new moviegoers.