Today was my Universal Cartoon Studio day, high up in the Black Tower on Lankershim.
The main dish cooking at U.C.S. right now is Curious George. The series is now in its fourth season, and bopping right along. As one of the crew said:
"Our ratings are good, we've won some awards, and PBS seems to be happy. Maybe we can be like Sesame Street, and be on for twenty years ..."
In today's glorious economic environment, nobody is looking to jump from studio to studio chasing an extra $26.50 per week. Twenty years working on one series, or even seven years, is more than fine.
And Universal Cartoons is still working on the Curious George direct-to-video feature. This baby has been in work a while, and is now in the retake stage. Although the series is solid, I'm informed that the company isn't looking to greenlight another video George feature until this one rolls out and the suits see how it performs.
And yesterday at Warners Animation, I learned that storyboard work on Public Enemy (a Superman/Batman direct-to-video feature) is wrapping up, and work continues on Batman The Brave and the Bold:
"I've seen the first episode of The Brave and the Bold, and it looks really good. And the script's good. Second one's nice, too. I just wish that somebody at Time-Warner would crack Cartoon Network and Warners Animation on the head and get them to support each other. I walk around and see Warners characters everywhere, and I know T-W should be doing more with them. Makes me crazy that they're not."
The above is a long-time WA employee talking.
Warners, like Universal, doesn't have a lot of product in work just now. Both have items in development, but the low-hanging cupboards are mostly bare.
Warners does have a Scooby Doo direct-to-video feature poised to go into work (for you can never have too much Scooby Doo.)
Warners is now ginning up a raft of new projects; hopefully some of these will make it to series and video features and a new era of booming employment will happen at Warners.
In the meantime, there is Scooby Doo!