5 must-see movies to check out at L.A.’s Animation Is Film festival this weekend. The most anticipated is the third in this series: “Kung Fu Panda 3,” which features the returning voices of Steve Irwin as a panda (with the same voice actress voicing him in each entry in the franchise) and the new voice of the panda. The movie will also make a special appearance during Saturday’s panel on the history of American animation at the Animation Museum. But if you’re just looking for a few good comedies, you might want to head down to the L.A. Film Festival on Friday in the heart of downtown. That’s where you’ll find the 10th annual Slam Dunk (12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.). The festival, which has been drawing big crowds since it debuted in 2012, will have the most robust lineup in years for independent animation. The lineup includes the works of “Little Miss Sunshine” director Steven Soderbergh, “The Wolf of Wall Street” helmer Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee and the feature film team of “Hooperman” helmer Spike Lee and Chris Rock. Also on hand will be animation stars like Nicki Minaj, Ice Cube, “The Lego Movie” director Adam Wingard and more.
Hip-hop is often associated with the hipster white dude, but it was hip-hop that made “urban” a real and true descriptor when it was originally coined. From rappers like Eric B. & Rakim and MC Hammer to artists like the Beastie Boys and Ice Cube, hip-hop provided a platform for young black males that were previously confined to the fringes of society. And for the first time ever, hip-hop will make its annual visit to the Los Angeles International Film Festival this weekend. The festival, which has been drawing big crowds since it debuted in 2012, will feature screenings of the last three films in Spike Lee’s documentary trilogy about Tupac Shakur: “Tupac: Resurrection,” “2Pacalypse Now” and “2Pacalypse Now 2: After the Bomb.” The films are part of an award-winning series that covers the tragic life of the iconic rapper.