Sunday, February 25, 2007

Weekend Animation News Roundup

And here's a compilation of still more animation news stories...

Three weeks back, longtime Disney/DreamWorks/Warner Bros. Feature Animation exec Max Howard was in the news with a new animated feature and new eecutive post:

Max Howard has been named president of Exodus Film Group, Exodus CEO John Eraklis said Wednesday.

Howard has held posts as president of Warner Bros. Feature Animation and senior vp at Disney Feature Animation.

"Max is one of the most talented and experienced animation executives in the business today," Eraklis said. "His track record of building outstanding animation teams worldwide is unparalleled."

Exodus is working on the CG-animated feature "Igor," set for fall 2008 release by the Weinstein Co.

Complementing its Pixar story (see below), Variety gives a sweeping overview of all the changes that Robert Iger has brought to Disney since he ascended to the CEO position two years ago:

[Says} Dennis McAlpine, an independent analyst: "Iger continues to win points simply for not being Eisner..."

ABC News profiles Pixar director Brad Bird:

While animation is [Brad Bird's passion, Bird's next project will be to direct a live action film....

Finally, the Australian press speculates on native son George Miller's prospects for picking up an Oscar for Happy Feet:

The affable physician turned trail-blazing Australian film-maker, George Miller, can cap a brilliant 30-year career today by claiming Hollywood's highest honour.

The bespectacled 61-year-old has walked the Academy Awards' red carpet twice before as a nominee, but missed out on an Oscar each time.

Singing and dancing penguins may finally lead him to film-making's Holy Grail.

Miller, nominated in the best animated feature category for his blockbuster Happy Feet, is Australia's best chance for an Oscar at the 79th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre....

Happy Feet was Miller's most ambitious project.

It took four years to make, he oversaw a crew of more than 500 and Animal Logic, the Sydney special effects house he charged to make the musical comedy, had never made a feature-length animated film before.

Miller's rival for the Oscar is the world's top animation company, San Francisco-based Pixar.

Pixar's film, Cars, also a blockbuster, is the front-runner.


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