So finally we get around to some links of animation, starting off with the Weinstein Co.'s latest move in animation land, where the brothers leave no pixel unexploited:
Exodus Film Group has struck a unique vidgame licensing deal for its upcoming toon "Igor" that involves an established publisher and an outside financier. Interactive Game Group ... has acquired interactive rights from Exodus to "Igor," which will be distribbed by Weinstein Co. through MGM next October.
IGG has signed up Legacy Interactive, which previously made games based on "Law & Order" and "The Apprentice," to publish the "Igor" vidgame in North America.
Legacy plans to produce an "Igor" game aimed at family and casual auds for Nintendo's DS and Wii, PC and mobile devices ...
The impish viewpoint of Tim Burton via Helen Bonham Carter:
"Tim decorates the Christmas tree with dead babies and slime balls and things. It looks lovely and glittery from afar, and then as you get closer, you realise it's rather gory..."
We're going to have three-dimensional splendors swarming over our movie-going eyes for years to come:
"Beowulf" B.O. tallies are getting a significant boost from 3-D engagements -- good news for distrib Paramount, but other studios are also happy for the pic's success.
That's because Robert Zemeckis' motion-capture epic is the first modern-day 3-D pic that's not just for kids, and rival studios are cautiously optimistic that this bodes well for their own 3-D plans ...
"Beowulf" was playing on 3,249 domestic screens as of Dec. 5. Of those, 84 are Imax runs, and 640 are digital 3-D screens supplied by Real D systems. Pic also is playing on a handful of 3-D screens supplied by Dolby 3-D Digital.
The L.A. Times profiles the animated penguins migrating from the theatrical feature Madagascar to series television:
... In the kind of synergy other corporations may wish upon a star for, the new series, whose working title is "Penguins," is slated to premiere in early 2009 -- just a few months after the sequel, "Madagascar: The Crate Escape," hits thousands of theaters nationally.
For Nickelodeon, the new series is part of a major ramp-up in production at the already humming animation studio. Next year, the 28-year-old company is poised to crank out some 225 half-hour cartoons, an increase in its animation of nearly 50% -- a total that bulks up the output of the nation's largest producer of TV animation. The expansion also represents a broader network strategy to maintain its enviable winning streak as the No. 1-rated cable company for nearly 14 years -- a feat performed in the face of increasing competition from other entertainment outlets, notably crosstown rival Disney ...
And the Times' Charles Solomon provides a review of some of protean comic strip artist and animator Winsor McCay's vaired work:
Winsor McCay ranks as a giant among 20th century cartoonists and illustrators. As an editorial cartoonist, he rivals even Thomas Nast in his drawings ... He began making films with "Little Nemo" (1911), and his animation was unequaled until the glory days of the Disney Studio ...
Although ["Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend"] was the longest-running of his comic strips, it never matched the brilliance and beauty of "Little Nemo," in part because it was drawn to fit a smaller space and was printed only in black and white. Having tracked down printed pages, microfilm and original artwork from numerous sources, Ulrich Merkl has assembled "The Complete Dream of the Rarebit Fiend (1904-1913)" (www.rarebit-fiend-book.com: 464 pp., $114), the largest "Rarebit Fiend" collection ever published.
An older interview with Ulrich Merkl, author of "Complete Dream..." is here.
Lastly, we catch up on the sad news of Ken Southworth's passing. Ken, a longtime animator and animation artist, died on December 5th. Starting at Disney in the '40s and enjoying a twenty-plus year career at Hanna-Barbera, Ken taught at a variety of schools including TAG's American Animation Institute. He will be missed.
Use the upcoming workweek creatively.