Friday, May 01, 2009

Weekend Linkage (And a Brief History of Avery)

Tex, Chuck and Bob ... 73 years ago.

The new animated film in the marketplace is Battle for Terra, which rolls into a thousand theaters starting today. Naturally, there is tub-thumping, and the L.A. Times interviews Aristomenis Tsirbas:

... “Battle for Terra” was originally conceived as a live-action sci-fi epic, but Tsirbas and his team quickly realized they could not afford a big budget and instead decided to create unique character designs that accentuated the aliens’ otherness and, most important, kept the cost down. The Terrians are hairless, buoyant and wear tight-fitting clothes. They engage in impressive aerial battles that were significantly cheaper to create than hand-to-hand or ground combat. In the end, these shortcuts seamlessly gel: Undulating aliens fly through euphoric sky-scapes all in 3-D ...

And there's yet another challenger to the Pixar -Blue Sky - DreamWorks - Disney animation throne:

British comedian Ricky Gervais is venturing into the world of animation with the announcement that his children's book series, Flanimals, will be adapted to the big screen in 3D.

Ilumination Entertainment, an arm of Universal, is backing a feature with Gervais voicing the lead character and a script co-written by Matt Selman of The Simpsons ...

Greg Ford at Bright Lights Film Journal presents us with a nuanced review of Tex Avery's cartoon career:

... Warners artists, Avery first among them, were willing to wed [the] Disney-fashioned mode of animation to a freer, more expressively distortive type of tempo, filled with yank-forwards and jolt-stops — a wildly fractured, herky-jerky character movement that Disney's own people, with their leanings toward a natural fluidity in animation, wherein the seriated drawings fall more uniformly, trippingly and continuously upon each other, seldom would apply.

... Avery's pics confirm an always-lingering suspicion that the many radical plays with movie syntax and the numerous distancing techniques employed in '60s live-action films, of "New Wave Cinema" extraction, were, in fact, first invented, and used for purely comic effect, in animated cartoons ...

Newsarama posts a tribute to the end of the long-running teevee series Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends:

... “It’s kind of bittersweet,” [creator Craig] McCracken acknowledges. “It’s sad that it’s over but nice that I can slow down a bit and breathe. I still love the show and the characters but during that last season we were really struggling to keep the show fresh and not repeat ourselves. Though I am incredibly proud of all the work we did, even up to the very end I feel we had some really solid and funny shows.” ...

Add On: Fred Siebert informs TAG (via e-mail) of newer happenings in Wubbz World:

... Beyoncé ... as the voice of Shine, the lead singer of The Wubb Girlz -- in Wubbzy's first original movie ... debuts Friday, May 1 ... on Nick Jr.

Nickelodeon/Noggin kicked the series' second season to a ratings boost of 50% from last year, and ended the last quarter of 2008 as the number two pre-school show on all of television. And, at the same time, the debut DVDs hit the shelves and was in the Top 3 of kids video sales ...

(And yeah, it's an item that kind of screams "For Immediate Release!" at you, but it's got some news embedded inside the boosterism ...)

You're in the home stretch of the workweek. Take a deep breath and sprint to the finish ... or something.


Anonymous said...

Really you can't complete with Disney-Pixar/DreamWorks "duopoly." Blue Sky sometimes cracks in, but without Ice Age they ain't nothing that great. To become big now is tough, and invest in smaller or independent animated films is stupid (too many examples). A studio needs a bankable franchise to keep it alive, like DWA's Shrek and Madagascar, Pixar's Toy Story, BSA's Ice Age. The Simpsons would have been bombed had it not for its ten-year show. Even Wallace and Gromit isn't enough in the US. Good luck to those who try.

Anonymous said...

Those comments about Wubbzy's numbers are way off base. Dora and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse consistently beat it. Sometimes boosterism=bogus.

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