Friday, October 26, 2007

The Links of Fall

Let the linkage begin.

Xbox 360. It's not just for Halo 3 anymore:

Starting today [Oct. 23], Warner Bros. for the first time offers more than 50 episodes of the classic Looney Tunes library in high definition for on-demand download to own. Fans of all ages will be able to digitally download Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck episodes and all the other classic characters episodes directly to their TV via Xbox LIVE.

John Lasseter holds forth on Rotten Tomatoes:

(Re Ratatouille): 97%. In the early days of Ratatouille's release we were checking it, every day, on Rotten Tomatoes. We were 100% for a while! I think when people start seeing 100% up there for a while they start coming in and saying, "I'm going to write a bad review to see how much it drops!"

Variety examines animation on the web, and how it often meets with more success than live action:

... [T]oons tend to translate easily across cultural and language barriers. The Web merely speeds its proliferation to the world, as evidenced by Disney's recent purchase of British Columbia-based Club Penguin, a popular children's networking site, as well as the popularity of animated clips on aggregator sites like YouTube, Channel Frederator, Revver, Metacafe and Atom Films.

"Animation is very successful online," says Jay Zaveri, CEO of the indie Indian studio Future Thought. "On Atom, animation attracts over 60% of the views, and as soon as an animated video is featured on YouTube, it gets three times the typical views."

The viral nature of the Web -- where people email animated clips to their friends -- makes online success a tricky thing to control, but also eliminates the hurdles for entry. ... [Fred] Seibert recalls that launching Channel Frederator in 2005 triggered a huge number of pitches from animators worldwide. Until the Web, he observes, "There was no focused outlet for most animation outside of festivals." ...

And look Ma! A web animated feature called BloodSpell!! Neato jet, eh? Until you take a look at the salaries for the artists:

Hancock and his team labored for three years producing BloodSpell as a 15-episode series released every two weeks during 2006, creating the visuals by adapting computer game Neverwinter Nights, supported by the developers.

They worked unpaid ... supported by consultancy work.

And Variety has yet another article on animation -- this one a quick overview of animation along the Pacific rim, that will warm the cockles of your hearts. The title says it all:

Asia Shops Juggle U.S. Animation Jobs

But the Big Trade Paper doesn't stop there. It explains how the Middle East is the next great animation frontier:

"The Middle East is so rich with myths like Aladdin," Mohammed Saeed Hareb [animation graduate of Boston University] says. "We wanted to create and repackage something out of the Arabic traditions which would relate to the 21st-century generation here. To be honest, three years ago I wouldn't have had any hope that we could create an animation industry here, but if you look around at all the things happening now, I think that in the next five years, with all the talent that is now capable of expressing themselves, we might be able to build one."

Disney CEO Robert Iger gave a wide-ranging business presentation on Wednesday where he talked about digital piracy, digital downloads, and how yesterday it is to dwell on moldy-fig things like box office recepits ...

"I know I'm a walking, talking commercial for Apple. Why not? Steve's our largest shareholder..."

Have a fine and relaxing weekend.


Anonymous said...

From the Iger article:

"...he used the example of "The Little Mermaid," a 1989 film that was released on DVD in 2007 and sold 10 million units. In about another decade, it will be rereleased and probably sell another 10 million copies, he predicted, all because of its Disney brand."

I hope he understands that "Mermaid" being a good movie had at least something to do with that.

Anonymous said...

The brand didn't hurt one bit nor did the extensive marketing, but if the film hadn't been as wonderful as it was, it wouldn't still be selling/saleable today.
Yep, it was really the movie, not the sizzle. Adults and young adult guys going to see an animated film called "The Little Mermaid"? That's a good movie.

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