Another weekend of tasty animation links...
This new version of the story of Moses is a huge step backward for theatrical CG animation, or any animation for that matter.
Each character looks less like a person than an animated marionette, and in one sense that's not a bad thing. With all the violence inherent in this Old Testament story, the fact that everybody looks like a puppet helps lessen the impact of the death and destruction. After all, this is a family film...
Katzenberg went on to say that as a selling-point for movie theaters, they expect there to be "5, 6 or 7 'Super-A’ titles" in full 3D, with 2 to 3 being from DreamWorks, in 2009. And in 2010 that number would increase 2 to 3 times, bumping the total up to around 12 to 18 respectively...
Katzenberg is hoping to have 6,000 3D-equipped screens in movie theaters around the world by March of 2009. In addition to DreamWorks’ upcoming animated 3D movie Monsters vs. Aliens hitting theaters in March 2009, I think the real tipping point is going to be James Cameron's Avatar, also slated for 2009. Not only at this seminar, but also multiple times throughout ShowEast, I've heard from industry professionals that Avatar is going to change this industry forever. It's going to be the final push for 3D and will be the determining factor on 3D and the future of cinema.
By the end of this well-drawn biography, you can't say if Charles Schulz was a good man, but there's no question: He was one who made his mark. As he said, he was the strip and the strip was Schulz. He died on Feb. 12, shortly after the millennium, with his final strip in that Sunday's paper...
The Father of Star Wars will be creating more Wars for home screens:
George Lucas is finally ramping up production on those long-awaited Star Wars TV projects he has been promising.
The head Jedi confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that Lucasfilm has "just begun work" on a new live-action spinoff that will bring the Star Wars mythology to the small screen. Additionally, Lucas Animation is deep in production on a weekly computer-animated 3-D series dubbed Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which the filmmaker expects to shop to various networks when finished.
Over in Boris Putin's stomping grounds, a big Russian Animation festival is being held:
Big Animation Festival, as it has been called by the organizers, brings together works by modern Russian and foreign animators, retrospectives of celebrated film directors and studios, children's cartoons, flesh-animated films, and archive and documentary programmes.
Toon Zone interviews Cartoon Network's new veep of programming, Jennifer Davidson:
We just launched Out of Jimmy's Head, and Chowder is coming this November, so in talking with the development team, we're looking to see what would be the follow-up there. So it will very much be a partnership...For me, it's not about Japanese animation or anime or live-action or animated -- it's about the content and the entertainment that's going to serve our core audience, which is kids 6-11.
(Probably not the best time to be getting into live-action, what with all the talk of strikes and all. But what do I know?)
And let's put our hands together for Blue Cat, soon to be China's own Mickey Mouse...
In the world of cartoons, the cat has been a central figure. In the West, the cat is the evil nemesis of the dog. But here in China, the cat prevails over the mouse.
To Sunchime Cartoon Group, that could be symbolic. Blue Cat, whom it has developed to be the most recognizable cartoon character in China, is eyeing the hallowed status of Mickey Mouse. After solving 3,000 science-related issues, the kitty not only reigns China, but has meowed into a dozen overseas markets. In 2002, the series was dubbed into Cantonese and aired on Hong Kong's ATV; in 2005, it prowled its way into Taiwan's Disney Channel...
Lastly. This is a week old, but worth bringing to your attention. Fox, even as its animation writers are poised to walk out, is still high on teevee cartoons:
Fox is stocking up on dysfunctional animated families for next season.
The network is developing three projects: an animated version of its 2003 short-lived live-action comedy "The Pitts," from "The Simpsons" veteran Mike Scully; "Relative Insanity," exec produced by Jack Black; and "Mothballs," from "Drawn Together" creators Matt Silverstein and Dave Jeser. All three shows hail from 20th Century Fox TV.
Fox has ordered two scripts from "Pitts." The studio is casting the project for a table read. If that goes well, "Pitts" will be ordered straight to series, bypassing the monthslong process of producing a presentation.
It's good to know animation, even in these times of trouble, is still commercially viable in the eyes of Those Who Count. Have an excellent weekend.