Friday, June 22, 2007

One More Weekend Link Fest

DreamWorks Animation invades BURBANK! DWA has been in Glendale since it moved form the Lakeside Building in fabled Universal City. Now, however, it will have a satellite space near Bob Hope Airport...

DreamWorks Animation LLC executed a lease deal for 14,786 square feet of office space at 2842 Ontario St. in Burbank, CA. The deal will have the animation giant occupy this space for the next five years.

Over the past few years, I've heard this question more than once: "Is all our animation going to India?" But apparently Indian animation honchos are asking: "Where are the Indian animators?"

“Barring one or two films, I am not happy with the quality of animated movies being made in the country,” [Indian animation director V.G.] Samanth said. “People are entering into the business just to make quick money. They produce low cost, low quality animation movies.” The Indian animation industry is predicted to reach $869 million by 2010, representing a compounded annual growth rate of 25 percent over 2006-2010, according to the Economic Times article. Currently, 300 small, medium and big animation companies employ approximately 12,000 people in India.

(I've never believed the animation biz will disappear from Los Angeles, mainly because the gravitational pull of top-flight animation talent here is so strong...)

In line with our earlier post about the shake-up at DisneyToon Studios, AP reports that sequels to the old Disney classics are coming to an end:

LOS ANGELES – In a major strategy shift, the Walt Disney Co. said it will stop making lucrative direct-to-DVD sequels of such classic animated films as “Cinderella,” a move that reflects the growing influence of former Pixar Animation executives John Lasseter and Steve Jobs, who once called the films “embarrassing.”

The change comes with a shake-up at the company's DisneyToon Studios, including the removal of longtime president Sharon Morrill, who will continue with the company in another capacity, Disney said Friday.

DisneyToon Studios will become part of Walt Disney Feature Animation and report directly to Animation President Ed Catmull and Lasseter, who assumed roles there after Disney bought Pixar Animation Studio last year for $7.4 billion in stock.

Of course, the story above doesn't point out that prior to Ed Catmull and John Lasseter, DisneyToon Studios did report to Feature animation. (Also note that the AP calls "Disney Animation Studios" by its older handle: "Walt Disney Feature Animation." But we pick nits.)

And as Pixar/Disney scored big in the licensing department with Cars, so DreamWorks aims to cash in with a lucrative deal for its forthcoming martial arts bear:

Mattel will be creating a wide range of products across multiple categories of action figures, games, plush and role play for the forthcoming DreamWorks Animation release Kung Fu Panda. Mattel is the No. 1 toy company in the world and also includes the Fisher-Price and Radica Brands in its Mattel Brands portfolio. DreamWorks Animation's latest release, "Shrek the Third," continues to score in theaters around the world, as one of the biggest hits of the summer.

Hong Kong-based Imagi, the studio that produced TMNT, has got more animated fare in its production pipeline:

Hong Kong-based Imagi Studios, the creative force behind TMNT, will be releasing two manga-based films, Gatchaman and Astro Boy, next year and in 2009 respectively.

Where comic book superheroes and videogame adaptations made the rounds in Hollywood just a few years ago, it’s old cartoon franchises that are calling the shots these days...

TMNT director Kevin Munroe told TODAY...“I’d say it’s because a lot of people who grew up on these cartoons are now getting into decision-making positions within studios.”

And they’re giving these cartoons a computer-generated spit-and-polish which will not only attract fanboys but also a new generation of movie-goers.

“We’re basically making films for eight to 18-year-olds,” commented Imagi’s co-CEO Doug Glen, noting that there are few feature-length cartoons for those in this age group.

And I'll bet you've been waiting for this important news:

American Greetings Properties (AGP), the intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings Corporation, and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC (TCFHE) have agreed to expand and build upon their current, successful partnership with a new long-term deal, it was announced today. This new agreement grants TCFHE the exclusive marketing and distribution rights in North America, to several additional franchises from AGP’s impressive roster that are being developing into animated series and specials.

Leading the way is the highly-buzzed about Sushi Pack which chronicles the adventures of five crime-fighting pieces of sushi, and the all-new Care Bears series. Both animated programs will receive significant national television exposure as they debut this fall as part of CBS’s Saturday morning programming block.

Needless to say, I'll be glued to my set this September, following every exciting move of these crime-fighting pieces of sushi. (Thank God it's pieces of sushi, and not pieces know...something else.)

Finally, we link again to Will Finn's Small Room and his excellent missive from Ward K. This has been linked by lots of other animation sites in the blogosphere, and we do like to follow the crowds. (We'll also link, while we're at it, to Ward Kimball's lengthy TAG blog interview here, here and here. Oh yeah, also here and here.)

Have a most harmonious and prosperous weekend.


Anonymous said...

Great. Another American company exporting jobs from Glendale to a foriegn city like Burbank! Will the outsourcing ever stop???

Anonymous said...

ummmm...HELLO! Burbank is not a foreign country. DUH!

You're so quick to judge.

Anonymous said...

It's doesn't feel like Burbank. It's more like Sun Valley. Cheap real estate with nowhere to walk to at lunch. Also, don't drink the water. I Know I worked in the Starz/IDT building.

Pooper Scooper said...

Ah guys, I think that guy was using sarcasm calling Burbank a foriegn city. You know, with everyone screaming about outsourcing.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Burbank is about as foriegn a country you could find. It's a slice of the hillbilly Ozarks in Los Angeles. Driving down Olive with the top down, one can hear the plucking of banjos in the air from Warners to Castaways.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I work there and I never heard about this addition. Does anyone know who/what will be working out of DW Burbank?

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