‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ and ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’ to Play at Annecy Animation Festival

how to train your dragon 2

PARIS — Dean DeBlois’ “How to Train Your Dragon 2” and Studio Ghibli’s “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” are among the high-profile toon pics set to play at the upcoming Annecy Intl. Film Festival. 

Both movies will first world-premiere at Cannes. “Dragon” will play out of competition in the official selection, while “Kaguya,” helmed by Isao Takahata, will play in Directors’ Fortnight. 

Annecy’s competition lineup will mix a few mainstream films — such as Thomas Szabo and Helene Giraud’s French B.O. hit “Minuscule” and Shayne Ehman and Seth Scriver’s road trip comedy “Asphalt Watches” — with many adult-skewed, auteur-driven toonpics, notably Bill Plympton’s “Cheatin’,” Femke Wolting and Tommy Pallotta’s “Last Hijack,” about Somalian pirates, as well as Korean helmer Sang-ho Yeon’s psychological thriller “The Fake” and  Mait Laas’ “Limone and Maroc Orange,” a 3D satire dealing with immigration.

Other animated films set to compete include “L’Arte della felicita,” an apocalyptic tale centering on a Napolitan taxi driver; Brazilian illustrator Ale Abreu’s “A Boy and His World,” about a fatherless boy who ventures into a fantasy world; and Mizuho Nishikubo’s “Giovanni’s Island,” turning on two brothers who live on the island of Shikotan in the aftermath of WWII.  

The out-of-competition roaster boasts Sheila Sofian’s politically engaged “Truth Has Fallen” about the limits of the American legal system and Esben Toft Jacobsen’s “Beyond Beyond.”

Annecy will also be hosting work-in-progress panels for Studio Laika’s fantasy “The Boxtrolls” and Pixar’s “Inside Out,” with its helmer Pete Docter on hand for the presentation.

Other anticipated highlights include the premiere of Disney’s short “Feast,” the directorial debut of Patrick Osborne, who supervised the animation of “Paperman.” 
Takahata’s career will be feted at the fest with Special Cristal Award to pay tribute to his contributions to the world of animation with such films as “Grave of the Fireflies” (1988), “Pom Poko” (1994) and “My Neighbors the Yamadas” (1999).
As part of the tribute, Takahata will give a master class. DreamWorks Animation CEO Bill Damaschke will host another master class to discuss the past 20 years of the powerhouse. 
Marcel Jean, who debuted as Annecy festival’s artistic director last year, selected 230 films from 2,294 titles from 88 countries. 
The festival will run June 9-14 in Annecy, France. 
(Peter Debruge contributed to this report.)



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