Bo Report: ‘Spider-Man’ reboot can’t catch ‘The Grinch’

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Photo: Sony Pictures Animation).

Sony Animation’s Spider-Man reboot swung into Australian cinemas last weekend but trailed Universal/Illumination’s powerhouse The Grinch, which ruled again in its third frame.

Andre Rieu fans turned out for his concert filmed at Sydney Town Hall while Fox’s M-rated Once Upon a Deadpool had a middling start, in line with its Us debut.

Meanwhile Peter Jackson, Universal Pictures and co-financiers Media Rights Capital and Perfect World Pictures are facing a write-off of $100 million or more on Mortal Engines, which bombed in the Us.

Bruce Beresford’s Ladies in Black is winding down after 13 weeks, having generated $11.9 million for Sony.

Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, which chronicles a turbulent year in the lives of a middle-class family in 1970s Mexico City, is having a brief run in a handful of cinemas including the Ritz, Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace Cremorne and
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Oscars: Can Anyone Break Disney & Pixar’s Animated Feature Streak In 2019?

In the competitive world of feature animation, it takes more than an entertaining yarn and a bit of slapstick comedy to cut through the noise. To make an impact at the box office in 2018—and at the Oscars, heading now into its 91st go-round—filmmakers are called upon to pursue a new standard of excellence, going back to the drawing board with each new effort, and finding exciting ways to break the mold.

Leading the charge as regular contenders for Best Animated Feature since the category was created in 2001, Walt Disney Studios, and its Bay area subsidiary Pixar, once again enter the field of 25 films, with two projects that embody the category’s ideals. First, there’s Incredibles 2, Brad Bird’s return to the groundbreaking superhero world he established in 2004. Sending the Parr family off on new adventures, the film easily achieved hard-to-get hit sequel status, setting a record for best debut for an animated film—with a gross of $182.7 million in its opening weekend—on the way to becoming the second highest-grossing animated pic of all time, second only to Disney’s own Frozen, in fact.

Bowing just a few weeks ago, Ralph Breaks the Internet transcended that same sequel challenge. A follow-up to the beloved Wreck-It Ralph, this iteration from Phil Johnston and Rich Moore (the writer and director behind the Oscar-winning Zootopia) capitalizes on the boundless world the original set up, following compelling video game characters (and best friends) Ralph and Vanellope into the Internet. Impeccably designed, the film visualizes the web as it’s never been seen before, offering up thoughtful satire on the culture embedded within the information superhighway, with a timely critique of Disney princess tropes and the ideas about gender that have circulated for as long as stories have been told.

Bearing in mind that Disney-produced offerings have won the Animation Oscar in 10 out of the last 11 years—in an unprecedented stretch—competing studios are working tirelessly to up their game, in hopes of breaking the behemoth’s spell. The top candidate to do so this year would have to be Fox Searchlight, with Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs. The second stop-motion outing from the critically praised auteur, the film follows a Japanese boy living in the retrofuture, on a quest to find his missing dog. Lovingly crafted by hand, the film features an astonishing assortment of environments and gorgeously sculpted characters, pushing the medium of stop-motion and bending towards Anderson’s signature stylings. It opened the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, where its director was awarded the Silver Bear.

Another pillar of stop-motion—behind such classics as Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit—Nick Park has won four Oscars to date, and looks to compete again with Aardman Animations’ Early Man. Set at the dawn of time, the comedy takes an altogether new angle on history, following a group of cavemen as they face off against the powers of the Bronze Age in a football match, with life as they know it at stake.

Four other studios are also making a run at Oscar. A major presence in the animation conversation since its inception in 2007, Illumination Entertainment is back with Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, directed by Yarrow Cheney and first-timer Scott Mosier. The third adaptation of a classic 1957 tale by the beloved children’s author, this version sees Benedict Cumberbatch tap into the withered spirit of the iconic green curmudgeon, setting out to ruin Christmas for those poor Whos of Whoville yet again. Also featuring the voices of Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Cameron Seely and Angela Lansbury—with narration by Pharrell Williams—Illumination’s film sought to pay reverential homage to Seuss’ work, while making it feel fresh, introducing the Grinch to a new generation of viewers.

From Sony Pictures Animation, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse really shakes things up. A postmodern take on Spidey—and the first-ever animated film centering on Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s iconic creation—the immersive, action-and-laugh-packed flick brings the style of vintage comic books to CG animation, playing with form, and employing meta-level self-awareness. From innovative producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, this Spider-Man film is the first to star Miles Morales—an Afro-Latino version of the character existing within a Marvel multiverse. The film introduces the viewer to parallel dimensions and several Spider-people, demonstrating that there’s no single definition of a superhero. Anyone can wear the mask, so long as they’re willing to stand up for what’s right.

Also on the Sony slate is Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, the latest installment in a franchise from Genndy Tartakovsky, which takes Dracula away from the comforts of his hotel, and out onto the sea, where new characters including Van Helsing (voiced by Jim Gaffigan) emerge.

At Paramount, John Stevenson brings his skill to Sherlock Gnomes, a sequel to 2011’s Gnomeo & Juliet. It sends a band of garden gnomes out into a different genre and setting, as Sherlock Gnomes investigates the mysterious disappearance of garden ornaments in contemporary London. Executive produced by Elton John, the film even features some captivating Elton originals.

Rounding out the studio offerings this year is Warner Bros., with Smallfoot—centered on a Yeti who is convinced humans don’t exist—and Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, based on a popular television series, involving the exploits of DC superheroes.

On the international front, it can take even more craft to draw Oscar’s attention—and yet in 2018, the animation shortlist is as diverse as it’s ever been, with submissions from Mexico (Ana y Bruno), China (Have a Nice Day), and Taiwan (On Happiness Road). One of three particular stand-outs is Ruben, Brandt Collector, Sony Pictures Classics’ R-rated art and cinema pastiche from 66-year-old first-time director Milorad Krstić, who weaves a tapestry of all of the works of art that have consumed him over the years. From Gkids, Mfkz is based on a comic series of the same name and follows one of many deadbeats making his way through the violent Dark Meat City. Also on the dystopian front, Shout! Factory’s Tito and the Birds (Brazil) paints a picture of a world where fear manifests as a disease, and a villain (inspired by President Donald Trump) weaponizes mass hysteria for his own malevolent purposes. Notably, this season’s list features a record eight films produced in Japan, many of which strive to take anime to new heights. These include Fireworks, The Laws of the Universe – Part I, two films from Masaaki Yuasa, Mamoru Hosoda’s Mirai, Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms from first-time director Mari Okada, and Liz and the Blue Bird from Naoko Yamada.

Completing the list of contenders this year are Tall Tales, coming out of France, and Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero, from director Richard Lanni. Providing some resolution in a season with an overabundance of solid works, the Oscar nominations will be announced on January 22, 2019.
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Amy Poehler Is Ready for a ‘Parks and Rec’ Reunion

  • Variety
Amy Poehler Is Ready for a ‘Parks and Rec’ Reunion
Is Amy Poehler just getting our hopes up?

We hope not, because the funny lady tells Variety that she’s ready for a “Parks and Recreation” reunion.

“I am technically available,” Poehler said on Monday at Smart Girls’ 10th anniversary celebration dinner. “I have like six of Leslie’s blazers in my closet, so anytime.”

Parks and Recreation” ran from 2009 to 2015 on NBC and starred Poehler as Leslie Knope, an over-achieving and highly competitive parks and recreation deputy director in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. Poehler won a Golden Globe for her work on the series in 2014.

It sounds like timing for a reunion is dependent on co-creator Mike Schur. “Our king is busy doing his highly successful show, ‘The Good Place,’” Poehler said. “We really can’t jump without Mike. So when Mike is good and ready, I’m sure we’ll show up like good soldiers.”

As for Leslie’s storyline,
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Bo Report: ‘Mortal Engines’ bows but ‘The Grinch’ steals top spot

Mortal Engines’. (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)

Following on from middling reviews, Universal’s Mortal Engines, produced and co-written by Peter Jackson, couldn’t match The Grinch, Bohemian Rhapsody or Creed II at the Aussie box office last weekend.

Directed by Christian Rivers and based on the novel by Philip Reeve, the Nz-shot sci-fi starring Hera Hilmar and Hugo Weaving opened on $1.4 million from 327 screens. Due to release in the Us this week, it totalled just $US18 million in 43 international markets over the weekend.

Illumination/Universal’s The Grinch stole the number one spot in Oz its second round, reaping $2.5 million from 323 screens – a fall of only 11 per cent. Co-directed by Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney, the animated Dr. Seuss adaptation features a voice cast that includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely and Rashida Jones. In total, the film has amassed $7.4 million to date in Australia, $US223.5 million in North America and $US322.4 million internationally.
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Rashida Jones, Lili Zanuck Talk Grammy Nominations and the Music-Documentary Gold Rush

  • Variety
Rashida Jones, Lili Zanuck Talk Grammy Nominations and the Music-Documentary Gold Rush
Nothing takes you back to time and a place like the music of a particular era. That’s one big reason why music documentaries are flourishing at a time of enormous demand for high-end docu productions.

This year’s five Grammy Award nominees for best music film reflect the appetite for stories about renowned and beloved musical figures, from Whitney Houston to Itzhak Perlman to Elvis Presley to Quincy Jones. Music docus have a natural commercial appeal and a built-in core target audience, which provides a foundation for marketing efforts to spur word-of-mouth about a title.

“What’s beautiful about doing a music documentary is that it immediately transcends the borders of the docu-loving audience and the community of an artist’s fans,” said Vinnie Malhotra, Showtime’s head of documentary programming. “They’re emotional. There’s a nostalgia factor to them. At their best they give you new perspective
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‘Quincy’: Directors Rashida Jones & Al Hicks Discuss Scouring Through Hours Of Footage & The Bittersweet Ending [Interview]

Quincy Jones has been one of the hardest working people in show business over the past seven decades. Jones is an accomplished musician, film and music production mogul, film and music composer, humanitarian, and loving family man, among other things. The music icon seemingly never stops working. His rags to riches story, facing tremendous adversity growing up and throughout his career, make his career all the more meaningful and impressive.

Read More: Quincy Jones On Embracing Change And Still Giving 150 Percent [Interview]

Jones’ daughter, actor, writer, producer, and director Rashida Jones, and musician and filmmaker Alan Hicks (“Keep on Keepin’ On“) recently teamed up to write and direct the quintessential documentary about the life of the entertainment mogul.

Continue reading ‘Quincy’: Directors Rashida Jones & Al Hicks Discuss Scouring Through Hours Of Footage & The Bittersweet Ending [Interview] at The Playlist.
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Bo Report: Solid starts for ‘Creed’ sequel and ‘The Grinch’

Creed II’ (Photo: Warner Bros).

MGM/Warner Bros’ Creed sequel and Universal/Illumination’s The Grinch understandably didn’t pack the punch of their stellar Us debuts in Australian cinemas last weekend – but the former opened far better than the original and the latter is positioned to trade strongly as school holidays approach.

Mks Retail’s science-fiction thriller 2.0. attracted plenty of Bollywood fans but it will need to make a motza given the reported budget of ₹543 crore ($A106 million).

Among the limited releases, Palace’s Normandy Nude and Transmission’s Lean on Pete struggled and Universal’s zany comedy Sorry to Bother You resonated strongly on just four screens.

Louis Theroux admirers turned up for Sharmill Films’ alternate content release Love Without Limits at upscale venues such as Cinema Nova but in lesser numbers at other locations.

The top 20 titles harvested $14.8 million, virtually flat with the previous weekend, according to Numero.
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Sundance 2019. Lineup

  • MUBI
Native SonThe lineup for the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, taking place from January 24 to February 3, 2019, has been announced.U.S. Dramatic COMPETITIONBefore You Know It (Hannah Pearl Utt, USA): A long-kept family secret thrusts codependent, thirty-something sisters Rachel and Jackie Gurner into a literal soap opera. A journey that proves that you really can come of age, at any age. Cast: Hannah Pearl Utt, Jen Tullock, Judith Light, Mandy Patinkin, Mike Colter, Alec Baldwin. Big Time Adolescence (Jason Orley, USA): A suburban teenager comes of age under the destructive guidance of his best friend, a charismatic college dropout. Cast: Pete Davidson, Griffin Gluck, Jon Cryer, Sydney Sweeney, Emily Arlook, Colson Baker. Brittany Runs A Marathon: A woman living in New York takes control of her life – one city block at a time. Cast: Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Lil Rel Howery, Micah Stock, Alice Lee. Clemency: Years of
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Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong’o and Mindy Kaling Indies Lead Diverse 2019 Sundance Lineup

  • The Wrap
Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong’o and Mindy Kaling Indies Lead Diverse 2019 Sundance Lineup
The 2019 Sundance Film Festival is creeping up on us, and major stars and filmmakers will head to Park City, Utah in January as competitive films and world premieres begin their roll-outs.

Films in the U.S. Dramatic Competition announced on Wednesday include Shia Labeouf’s “Honey Boy,” which stars Lucas Hedges as a young version of Labeouf, Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer’s “Luce,” “The Sound of Silence” starring Peter Sarsgaard and Rashida Jones, “Them That Follow” starring Olivia Colman and Jim Gaffigan and Malin Ackerman and Tony Hale’s “To The Stars.”

Crazy Rich Asians” star Awkwafina will appear in two movies heading to Sundance, including Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell” and “Paradise Hills,” with the latter also featuring Eiza Gonzalez, Milla Jovovich and Emma Roberts. Margaret Qualley and Gaffigan also will be seen in multiple films heading to the festival.

Also Read: Evan Peters Wanted a Special Effects
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Toy Story 4 Poster Sends Woody Walking Into the Sunset

Toy Story 4 Poster Sends Woody Walking Into the Sunset
A brand new poster for Toy Story 4 has arrived online. Disney and Pixar have got the ball rolling on revealing next year's sequel to the world recently, but there is still a lot of mystery surrounding the next adventure with Buzz, Woody and the gang. We've haven't seen the toys come to life on screen since Toy Story 3 hit theaters back in 2010. What's gone on in the years since? Somehow or another, the events set to transpire are going to bring them to the carnival, which is certainly treading on new territory for the franchise.

The poster was shared by Disney Ireland and features Woody standing by the movie's title on a hilltop overlooking a carnival. Clearly, this carnival is going to play an important part in Toy Story 4 but at this point, we just have more questions than answers. Previously, a trailer revealed Keegan Michael-Key and
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New International Poster for ‘Toy Story 4’ Teases a Carnival Setting

A new poster for Toy Story 4 has landed online, and it’s far less somber than the teaser posters that accompanied the trailer release a couple of weeks ago. We still know next to nothing about the story for the sequel, as it appears to have changed significantly since Toy Story 4 was first announced. At that time, John Lasseter was poised to direct and was teasing a “romantic comedy” storyline that involved Woody (Tom Hanks) and Bo Peep (Annie Potts). Since that iteration, the film’s original screenwriters left (Rashida Jones and Will McCormack), Lasseter stepped down as …
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Oprah, Will Smith, John Legend Tapped for Quincy Jones TV Special

Oprah, Will Smith, John Legend Tapped for Quincy Jones TV Special
Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Dave Chapelle, John Legend, Stevie Wonder and more will appear on Q85: A Musical Celebration for Quincy Jones, which is set to air December 9th at 8 p.m. Et on Bet.

Longtime Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich produced the two-hour special, which was taped in September at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Per a statement, the show will examine Jones’ career as a go-to hitmaker, as well as his “contributions to film and television, work as a humanitarian, his contributions to jazz and success as a producer,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

How 9 to 5 Sequel Plans to Bring Back Original Cast

How 9 to 5 Sequel Plans to Bring Back Original Cast
Although the classic comedy 9 to 5 was first released almost four decades ago, an official sequel is reportedly in the works. One of its lead actresses, Dolly Parton, recently revealed some news on the planned follow-up in a recent interview. According to Parton, original writer Pat Resnick is working on the movie with actress and writer Rashida Jones, with the goal of maintaining the spirit of the first blockbuster outing. With the plan for the movie to be a direct sequel rather than a remake, the door is open for Parton and fellow co-stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda to reprise their roles. Better yet, Parton seems pretty optimistic that this is going to be the case.

"This gives us a chance to have three new young [women], whoever they may be, working at Consolidated, the company that we were with, and then they find these three older women --- Lily,
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‘Claws’: Evan Daigle Upped To Regular, Rebecca Creskoff & Michael Horse To Recur On TNT Comedic Drama

  • Deadline
‘Claws’: Evan Daigle Upped To Regular, Rebecca Creskoff & Michael Horse To Recur On TNT Comedic Drama
We’ll be seeing more of Toby on Claws. Evan Daigle, who has recurred since Season 1, has been promoted to series regular for the upcoming third season of TNT’s comedic drama series. In addition, Hung alumna Rebecca Creskoff and Michael Horse (Twin Peaks) have been tapped for recurring roles.

Daiglee’s Toby is Uncle Daddy’s (Dean Norris) right-hand man and favorite boy toy. He has appeared in 15 episodes through Season 2.

Creskoff will recur as Melba Locklear, a Sarasota native who was a child model for catalogs and print campaigns throughout the southeast. This transitioned into beauty pageants and, ultimately a meteorologist gig on the local news, until an on-air, obscenity-strewn meltdown cost Melba her career in journalism. A lengthy rehabilitation followed, during which she met Mac, who was battling a cocaine addiction. They married shortly thereafter. Today, Melba is the picture of a Sarasota mover and shaker.

Horse will play Mac Locklear,
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‘Tag’ DVD Review

Stars: Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Annabelle Wallis, Hannibal Buress, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, Leslie Bibb, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner | Written by Rob McKittrick, Mark Steilen | Directed by Jeff Tomsic

Based, unbelievably, on a true story Tag tells the story of five highly competitive friends who, for one month every year, hit the ground running in a no-holds-barred game of tag they’ve been playing since the first grade—risking their necks, their jobs and their relationships to take each other down with the battle cry: “You’re It!” This year, the game coincides with the wedding of their only undefeated player, which should finally make him an easy target. But he knows they’re coming and he’s ready…

Besides the obvious desire to see how Hollywood could possibly turn an already crazy Real story into a cinematic comedy, one of my main attractions for checking out Tag was that
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Apocalypse Not Yet? First ‘Walking Dead’ Without Andrew Lincoln Sees Steady Ratings

  • The Wrap
Perhaps fears of the post-Rick Grimes ratings apocalypse have been greatly exaggerated. The first episode of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” after the Andrew Lincoln era was pretty much steady in “live” TV ratings compared to the previous Sunday’s episode that ended the star’s long run on the show.

Episode 906 of “Walking Dead” slipped just 1 percent from the prior week’s in terms of total viewers, with 5.4 million. In the key adults 18-49 demographic, it slid 3 percent to 2.6 million (or a 2.0 national rating).

Both this Sunday’s “Dead” and the previous one contended with particularly strong “Sunday Night Football” games on NBC.

Also Read: 'Walking Dead' Sends Andrew Lincoln (and Rick Grimes) Off With Ratings Growth

Post-show “Talking Dead” was the AMC Sunday night series that seriously dropped week-to-week. The Chris Hardwick-hosted show fell 28 percent in the demo and 22 percent overall.

That said, last
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Rashida Jones Reveals What It Was Like to Make ‘Quincy,’ the Netflix Documentary About Her Dad

Rashida Jones Reveals What It Was Like to Make ‘Quincy,’ the Netflix Documentary About Her Dad
Rashida Jones and her “Quincy” co-director Alan Hicks had unprecedented access to their documentary subject (and Rashida’s dad), Quincy Jones, but she said that he’s refreshingly unguarded no matter who you are.

“I think that’s he beauty of him. Whether you’re family or a fan…he gives you access,” Rashida told the audience at a Q&A following a screening of their Netflix film at the International Documentary Association’s annual screening series in Los Angeles.

Hicks and Jones shot 800 hours of footage over a period of nearly four years, but just as valuable as that intimate footage is the discovery of never-before-seen interviews and film from the artist’s own collection.

“We were working in Quincy’s archive in his basement and it took us nearly a year to get through the whole archive,” said Hicks, who met the elder Jones when he produced Hicks
See full article at Indiewire »

Next 3 Major Family Movies: 'A Dog's Way Home,' 'The Kid Who Would Be King,' 'Dumbo'

A cheerful comedy about a grouchy creature who doesn't like Christmas, Dr. Seuss' The Grinch, opened over the weekend to grand success. Benedict Cumberbatch, who portrays the titular character with gruff yet winsome authority, leads the voice cast in the animated holiday adventure, joined by Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Angela Lansbury and Pharrell Williams. Dr. Seuss' The Grinch is ideal for families. More family films are coming soon to theaters, including Ralph Breaks the Internet and Mary Poppins Returns. What about next year? Here are three selections that should please all members of the family. A Dog's Way Home Kids love animals and they will love the story of Bella. Voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard, she is a loyal, adorable dog who is adapted by a...
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Next 3 Major Family Movies: 'A Dog's Way Home,' 'The Kid Who Would Be King,' 'Dumbo'

  • Fandango
A cheerful comedy about a grouchy creature who doesn't like Christmas, Dr. Seuss' The Grinch, opened over the weekend to grand success. Benedict Cumberbatch, who portrays the titular character with gruff yet winsome authority, leads the voice cast in the animated holiday adventure, joined by Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Angela Lansbury and Pharrell Williams. Dr. Seuss' The Grinch is ideal for families. More family films are coming soon to theaters, including Ralph Breaks the...

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Toy Story 4 Introduces New Friend Forky to Bonnie's Bedroom

Toy Story 4 Introduces New Friend Forky to Bonnie's Bedroom
The teaser trailer for Toy Story 4 has been released and it features the new character, Forky. In addition to the character update, Disney and Pixar have revealed the official synopsis for the highly anticipated fourth installment in the franchise. Some fans have been worried about the sequel since the third movie ended the franchise so perfectly. But, both Tim Allen and Tom Hanks have promised that Toy Story 4 is a humorous and emotional journey that will leave an impression on viewers.

The Toy Story 4 teaser trailer begins with Judy Collins' 1967 hit song "Both Sides Now," and then shows the main cast of the franchise holding hands, giving time for each character to be reintroduced. Everything is peaceful and going exactly as it should until we get to the end of Slinky Dog's tail and see a spork with arms, legs, and a face screaming that he doesn't belong here.
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