Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rabbits and Crabs and Dragons . . . OH MY!

Howdy! Welcome back everyone! If you been reading the last couple of posts, you'll realize that there haven't been many (if any) updates to write about due to the fact that the movies I've been giving updates on haven't released much information in the past few weeks. Well, that all changes today! How? Read on to find out!

On the ninth of this month, major information has been revealed from Pixar Animation Studios at D23 Expo concerning their next upcoming films! Let's start with their most recent release: Planes. You may or may not have heard about it, but the Disney film Planes was released last Friday (OK, this movie isn't really a Pixar film, but it is a Disney film and it's a spin-off from the Pixar movie Cars). The reason you may not have heard about it is probably because it wasn't supposed to be released in theaters, but rather “directly-to-video” as they call it (in fact, I didn't hear about it too long ago myself), but a last minute decision was made for a theatrical release on August 9th. I haven't seen it yet, but the film is about a plane who dreams about becoming a racer, but there's a big catch: he's afraid of heights! How this movie all comes together, I have no idea, but I'll probably wait until it comes out on DVD to rent it. I hope it's a good one!

The theatrical poster for Planes
Here's another update on another upcoming film I've been tracking progress on that Pixar is working on: Finding Dory, a sequel to the beloved 2003-film, Finding Nemo. In this upcoming film, it was revealed that Dory (the forgetful Blue Tang fish from the first movie) teams up once again with Marlin and his son Nemo (they're clown fish) but instead of looking for Dory – as the film's title – might suggest, they're on the look out for Dory's family. It is interesting to note that in the first movie, Dory herself says that forgetfulness “runs in my family . . . at least I think it does.” So if Dory's family is as forgetful as she suggests, we could have a very hilarious movie coming up! Also, it was revealed that the Tank Gang are also going to reappear in this film along with a new character: a beluga whale named Bailey. By the way, the film is set to take place a year after the events in Finding Nemo, set off the coast of California and is planned to be released on 2015.

(Sorry, this was the best photo I could find)
While at the D23 Expo this year, the people working at Pixar stated the overall plot of another film they're working on called Inside Out, which is coming out on June 19, 2015. Now this film takes place inside the head of a pre-teen girl named Riley who is thrown into turmoil as she must leave her happy life in Minnesota and is moved to San Francisco. Her emotions during this dramatic time in her life play a big part in this movie . . . actually, I take that back: they star in the movie! Anger, Disgust, Fear and Joy are the emotions that star in this movie as they attempt to keep Riley functioning to her rapidly changing life style. At the 2013 Siggraph convention, director Pete Docter described the story as “one of the most challenging I've ever had to put together” due to the fact that he had to tell what's happening in Riley's life and at the same time has to convey what's going on in her head. “The characters,” he says, “are created with this energy because we are trying to represent what emotions would look like. They are made up of particles that actually move. Instead of being skin and solid, it is a massive collection of energy.” Some might think that a movie staring emotions could be a sleeper, but I'll hold off my opinion until I've actually seen the movie. However, I will say it's going to be interesting how they pull this movie off!

The last two movies I mentioned are being released in 2015, but Pixar plans to release their next film way sooner than that. The Good Dinosaur, which has probably been in the works since 2009, is going to be released on May 30, 2014. As I've mentioned in earlier posts, this film is based on the idea that dinosaurs didn't become extinct and are still living into the present. Here's what the co-director, Pete Sohn has to say about the film's plot: “The modern dinosaurs are farmers. We actually designed them to function as their own farm equipment.” He also went on to describe that dinosaurs such as Triceratops are like bulldozers and that stegosaurs use their spiky tails to mow down acres to crop. The Apatosaurus, he said use their long necks to plant and plow the farm fields. The film stars a juvenile Apatosaurus named Arlo when he and his family finds a human child named Spot and they raise him as the family pet (don't worry, I'm sure the plot goes much deeper than what Pixar has revealed, they like to keep things rather “hush, hush”). A few months earlier, Pixar explained that even though the film's title is The Good Dinosaur, they mainly focused on herbivores and not the carnivores. However, since this is a dinosaur movie, I'm positive some carnivorous dinosaur (probably T. rex) will make an appearance, because honestly, what's a dinosaur movie without predators? But even if there aren't any carnivores in this movie, you can bet I'll still be excited when it's finally released!

The theatrical poster for The Good Dinosaur
That's all the updates I have for today, so let's get moving to Joy's non-fiction article:
I went out and searched for interesting animals on the internet, when I came across a fun and furry critter. It’s called the Angora rabbit.  They are the oldest domestic animals that came from Turkey. They were considered royal pets in France. They eat a lot of hay and their personalities are very energetic. Their playful and enjoy other rabbits. They like toys such as pinecones, stuffed socks, and rubber balls.
The French Angora is the more bunny-like of the Angora rabbits.
 There are five different types of Angora rabbits: American, French, German, giant, and satin. American Angora Rabbit is like a stuffed animal. It is gentle but needs grooming at least twice a week. French Angora rabbits look like a sheep in a way. Its fur is used for sweaters, baby clothes, and millinery. This rabbit can’t shed its fur like the rest so it has to be sheered. Giant Angora rabbits are extremely fluffy; they need to be sheered at least every 180 days to prevent hair clots that would end up causing death if not treated. A satin angora is almost like a normal rabbit, only a bit furrier.

The French Angora rabbit is definitely woolly!
Another interesting animal is a Kiwa hirsuta or the yeti crab. The crab is found in the Pacific Ocean. The yeti crab was discovered in March 2006. It is seems to be blind and a carnivore, although it eats bacteria. Its furry claws are one of the best qualities about the yeti crab. The claws detoxify poisonous minerals in the sea, where it lives. The crab was discovered by Robert Vrijenhoek and his group in the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Monterey, California.

The Yeti crab wasn't discovered until recently because it makes its home in the depths of the ocean near volcanic vents.
One last animal is the Leafy sea dragon. It is mostly found in the coasts of Australia, one of my favorite countries/continents that I’d like to visit. The sea dragon’s skin camouflages and makes it appear like seaweed. It eats amphipods and mysid shrimpplankton, and larval fish. Leafy sea dragons have a major threat when their first born. They are slow swimmers and sea dragons are also used in alternative medicine. Dive into the ocean this summer and see the world beneath the surface.

The leafy sea dragon uses its leaf-like fins for camouflage.
Thanks for reading today's article. Please be sure to stop by next Thursday for some more exciting information about nature and about upcoming movies! Good bye!

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