Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fall Linkage

... which reaches its peak in ... oh ... mid-October, but we'll try this bunch on now.

At the Emmys, Peter Griffin is edged out by citizens of Colorado:

Fox's "Family Guy" went home empty-handed in the animation category, as Comedy Central's "South Park" collected the prize for hourlong animated series, and Fox's "The Simpsons" won in the absence of "Family Guy" in the half-hour animated category.

But Seth McFarlane has other aces up his sleeve, launches the Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy:

Coming soon to your online ads: interstitial cartoons. And from none other than Seth McFarlane, the brain and 90% of the voices behind Family Guy. His new Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy launched today with the first two shorts out of 50 planned.

Andrew Millstein and Jim Morris, executives with Disney Animation Studios and Pixar, have gotten promoted by the House of Mouse:

The newly created positions represent promotions for the two execs who have overseen the digital direction of Disney Animation and Pixar -- an important role considering the extent to which technology has affected how animated films have been produced over the years.

Millstein and Morris report to Ed Catmull, prexy of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios ...

Then, of course, there is the question that has been on everyone's mind: So like, what happened to that Conan animated direct to video feature?

When it was announced as a direct-to-DVD animated feature, “Conan: Red Nails” sure had a lot going for it. Based on one of the most celebrated original stories by Conan creator Robert E. Howard and featuring design work from legendary fantasy artists Mark Schultz and Mike Kaluta, “Red Nails” staked claim on fanboy perfection when it announced that “Hellboy” actor Ron Perlman would be providing the voice for the headlining barbarian along with backup from stars like Mark Hamill and James Marsden.

Apparently, completion ... which was to combine traditional cell animation with CGI elements, [was harder] to wrap up than originally expected as the film slid past its initial summer 2006 plan of release. Soon after, the Swordplay Entertainment homepage was taken down, and although a site for “Red Nails” itself still stands, the last update was December of last year ....

I've wept tears of longing over this, but I'm hopeful of the flick being rolled out by its new release date.

Our Neighbor to the North dips its big toe into the bracing pool of stop motion:

With a running time of 79 minutes, Edison & Leo is Canada's first stop-motion animated feature-length film. It took director Burns, ten animators, and the rest of the cast and crew 10 months to shoot it, a huge undertaking he admits.

"It was the first one anyone had tried to do," the Canadian director tells in an interview during the Toronto International Film Festival, where Edison & Leo was premiering.

"From an artistic point of view animation is such an un-dynamic process. You have to record the voices months before you shoot the action, and you're trying to avoid doing any re-shoots because it just takes so long. So it's a big challenge to take this un-dynamic process and end up with a film that feels like it flows and isn't stilted."

Undynamic? Well, he's entitled to his opinion. Maybe.

The Times of London notes an upcoming festival of Japanese artist Osamu Tezeka's wide body of work:

... Tezuka, who studied medicine and became a licensed physician before turning all his energy to art, had an extraordinary breadth of interest. His comics include an adaptation of Crime and Punishment and a Life of Buddha in eight large volumes ...

This week, a festival of Tezuka’s films, coupled with an exhibition of his artwork, will set the record straight. The week-long season at the Barbican in London cannot hope to be comprehensive – throughout his all-too-short life, Tezuka slept only four hours a night, the better to create more than 700 stories, 170,000 pages of manga, dozens of TV series and 17 feature films ...

Variety profiles HBO's first animated since Spawn:

Debuting on Sept. 28, [The Life and Times of Tim] plotlines are rife with one-in-a-million misunderstandings and snafus that leave its eponymous nice-guy protagonist menaced by a disgruntled prostitute and her pimp; pressured into fronting as his employer's new Hispanic VP (he's as white as Wonder Bread); and snookered into lodging a phony rape claim against a homeless "bum."

But the show's very history is a tale of profound unlikelihood. For one thing, "Tim" marks HBO's first foray into animation since "Spawn" shuffled off its quasi-mortal coil in 1999.

Second, how odd that after nearly a decade away from the cartoon biz, the premium cabler with a rep for being the gold standard of the smallscreen settled on a property that is so crudely drawn, deadpan, and static as to almost defy the term "animated."

And I have no idea where the show is being made.

Have a fine and glorious Sunday.


Anonymous said...

...throughout his all-too-short life, Tezuka slept only four hours a night, the better to create more than 700 stories, 170,000 pages of manga, dozens of TV series and 17 feature films...

Tezuka slept only four hours a night? Cripes.

This reminds me of a story I recently heard about a prolific American comics artist, the great Jack Kirby. He spent sixteen hours a day drawing Marvel comics in the 60's.

I love Tezuka's Black Jack and Kirby's The Mighty Thor, but I never fully appreciated how hard both artists worked to produce as much work as they did.

Mark Mayerson said...

Jack Kirby's income came from what he was paid for each page he produced. In the 1960s, he got no royalties for past work or for creating characters. He also got no health insurance or paid vacation.

Kirby was the sole support of his 5 person family and since he took pride in providing them with a middle class lifestyle, his only means of doing so was sitting at his drawing board for many hours a day.

Anonymous said...
makes beavis & butt-head look like tom & jerry

Anonymous said...

And I have no idea where the show is being made.

The show is being made in the Union Bank building on Glenoaks Blvd in Burbank.

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