Friday, June 01, 2007

Hot Links of Animation

Another end-of-week links carnival (moved up slightly since I have to work this weekend for the Mother International...)

Looking for depraved cartoons? Then we've got just the animation festival for you...

EDMONTON - Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Animation Festival has been the midwife (or abortionist, depending on your taste) of such transgressively unique cartoons series as Beavis & Butthead. Craig (Spike) Decker and Mike Gribble theatrically premiered Spirit of Christmas, the original uncensored South Park short by Matt Stone and Trey Parker. The latest compilation of generally sick and twisted animated shorts, as you might expect, is laden with witless, male adolescent sexual and violent fantasies, and a few very clever ideas, painstakingly crafted into funny visual jokes.

Inevitably, breasts are more elastic in these sorts of films than they are in real life, and misogyny of all sorts abounds. Gay sex seems to be a popular theme, especially if it comes as a surprise. Some of the ideas, like John Goras's (great name) grossly ridiculous story of an encounter between a stoned song bird and a randy stallion don't even qualify as taboo-busting.

As Shrek the Third cleans up at early summer's box office, Sony tub thumps for its animated feature Surf's Up, soon to play at an AMC near you. Sony Pictures recently hosted a press junket for the voice cast away from L.A.:

...Given the throngs of surfers on the waves, it was clear Hawaii is the perfect location to chat with the [Surf's Up] cast...

After roaming around was off to the Kahala Resort to speak with Surf's Upstars Shia LeaBeouf, John Heder, Jeff Bridges and Mario Cantone...

New Star Wars animated product is slated to hit world teevee screens in a couple of years. A recent L.A. preview of a short clip of one of the shows met with an enthusiastic response:

HOLLYWOOD – The Jedi are coming to television – and, judging by the thunderous ovation Sunday that greeted a sneak peak of the animated CGI show, the Force remains strong with them.

Even though the show’s scheduled debut remains two years away, fans at a global celebration of “Star Wars” in Los Angeles cheered, hooted, clapped and even shouted “I love you!” after a trailer for “The Clone Wars,” which is the maiden effort of Lucasfilm Animation, the newest addition to the storytelling galaxy of George Lucas.

The two minutes of footage showed intense battle scenes and considerable action by Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, C3-PO, Mace Windu and the other familiar players in the “Star Wars” saga.

At last Our President gets his own animated comedy. And high time, too.

Li'l Bush, a new animated television series currently scheduled to premiere on Comedy Central in mid-June, offers to put the President on the center stage… a cute, little, center stage. The misadventures of Lil' George Bush, whose effort include putting the "dubya" back in Comedy "dubya" central, will range from anything and everything to dealing with nuclear warfare to taking a field trip overseas.

Variety has a long interview piece with the irrepressible Harvey Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein holds forth on any number of subjects regarding live action and animated movies. But we were interested in this item about the dead-on-arrival American release of Arthur and the Invisibles:

Luc Besson claimed at last week that the Weinsteins butchered the release of the animated family film "Arthur and the Invisibles": "Its American distributor was the worst I have worked with in my entire life, in any country, because they changed so much of the film and tried to pretend the film was American."

Harvey responded in the New York Daily News by calling Besson a "has-been" and offering him $1 million if he could prove that he made the film for the $85 million he originally claimed.

That's one way to win friends and influence people.

Voice actor Patton Oswalt recalls his first interview for a job on Ratatouille with director Brad Bird:

"When we first met, we were talking about ... these different characters, and who am I going to be playing?" Oswalt said in an interview at WonderCon in San Francisco last March. "And then I revealed that I'm a big, big foodie. And ... because he had done all this research by going to ... Paris, they had visited all these great restaurants, I was like, 'Oh, my God. Did you go here, here and here?' I was naming off all these [places], because I follow chefs the way people follow rock stars. Like, especially celebrity chefs. He was like, 'Oh, my God. I didn't know any of [them].' ... I knew more about the food world than he did in a way, after all his research. So I think that really helped ... connect the dots for him. Like, 'Oh, this should be the rat.'"

Lastly, a long interview with Shrek the Third director Chris Miller, wherein Mr. Miller expounds on becoming a director in the franchise, also working out story problems:

"...we were coming up with great scenes, great situations but about a year into it, roughly, we realized the Arthur story wasn’t working out at all. We were actually telling the Arthur story and Shrek was becoming a supporting character and not integral to the movie at all. He was becoming a guy behind the scenes.."

Have a peaceful and useful weekend...


Uga Buga said...

Speaking of shorts, Steve. Having been to Disney and seen their new shorts. I was wondering, there are six of them being made. Will any of them star other classic characters besides Goofy? Donald or Pluto perhaps?

Anonymous said...

6 shorts? Are those all supposed to be released in one year or over a longer period? I always liked Mickey Mouse, personally.

s.r. hulett said...

The Goofy short is animated.

There's another hand-drawn short in work. And beyond that, various things in development. Six sounds about right. They don't plan to make them all at once, but over a few years.

I run across various projects on walls and in offices.

Anonymous said...

I thought the one by Chris Williams was done. Isn't that the one that got him the job on American Dog? I heard it was his storytelling abilities on that that got him the directing gig. Or did they turn the project over to someone else?

Sullys Pal said...

Is Donald going to be in one of the six? Hope so.

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