Friday, September 25, 2009

100 Degree Links

Now with toasty Add On.

100 degrees where I live. How toasty. How refreshing. And then there was:

"Ice Age" helmer Chris Wedge will next direct "Leaf Men," a feature toon that Fox has committed to finance through its Fox Animation label, with Blue Sky Studios producing.

The development comes after a fascinating tug-of-war over the project between Fox, Blue Sky Studios co-founder Wedge and Disney-based animation rival Pixar ...

It's always fun when two cartoon titans duke it out for the rights to a hot property. I say we let Rupert M. and Bob Iger mud-wrestle for the production privileges, and we'll put the bout on pay-per-view ... revenues split equally between ESPN and Fox Sports.


Variety surveys woman power at DreamWorks Animation.

[Ann] Daly's cultivation of creative latitude has given first-time directors like Andrew Adamson ("Shrek") and Jennifer Yuh Nelson, who will helm one of DWA's most anticipated sequels, "Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom," their start ...

During her tenure at DWA, [Anne] Globe has been responsible for helping forge partnerships with McDonald's, AOL and Kellogg's as well as extending the studio's videogame licensing pact with Activision. ...

Marvel execs make out like bandits because of Disney's recent acquisition.

... In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission today outlining Disney's $50-per-share deal for Marvel, the companies revealed that Marvel leaders including chief executive Isaac Perlmutter, movies chief and former Endeavor agent David Maisel, and board member and Hollywood veteran Sid Ganis will all receive millions of dollars for stock options they hold because of the acquisition deal ...

When the going gets rich, the rich do rather well.

Get your bids in soon for this:

Up for auction is the original Art for the popular Disneyland Map given to attendees in the 1950s and 1960s, and marked with "Walt Disney Productions" paper label. Oil and pastel on a 22" x 40" art board with fine detailing, by artist Sam McKim known as "the Cartographer of Disneyland."

Meanwhile, across the pond ...

The new category of best animated feature film has been added to this year's roster of European Film Awards, organizers said Wednesday.

The European Film Academy and Europe's animated film association CARTOON announced the creation of the new category. It will honor excellence in European animation.

And more television animation is percolating on the Iberian peninsula:

..."Spain is a massive fan of mature animation, such as 'The Simpsons' and 'South Park,' but our TV channels have traditionally viewed Spanish animation as just for kids," explains Raul Escolano, co-founder of pathbreaking Nikodemo, which capitalized on this market gap by launching "Calico electronico," a Flash-based Web toon about a plump, mustachioed, street-wise antihero, in 2005. The series' following has mushroomed from 5,000 to 5 million viewers per episode ...

Family Guy' new season sees Stewie and Brian ricocheting through different cartoon universes ... as previewed here.

Lastly, Media Daily reports that Diz Co. is looking to make big changes:

Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger is likely to couple the appointment of a new studio chief with new initiatives and changes aimed at reinventing the film business for the digital age.

Iger has openly discussed launching a subscription-based Web site and other payment services, including electronic sell-through that could continue to alter traditional film exhibition windows ...

The need for such enterprising maneuvers is evident in the dismal performance of Disney's studio entertainment unit:

*Disney's studio operating income is projected to decline 25% over five years to $353 million in 2012 on a 7% in decline in revenues that bottom at $5.5 billion in 2012, according to Bernstein. Operating income is off two-thirds from 2008, when it topped $1 billion, which Iger partly blames on poor film choices and execution. Revised estimates for fiscal 2009 call for filmed entertainment earnings to decline more than 80% from the prior year.

*Pixar animated masterpieces like "Up" are profit tent poles too infrequently produced to offset ongoing losses from Disney's core businesses. "Up" was flat with last year's "Wall-E" in global box office (about $538 million) and profitability, according to Credit Suisse. Pixar's competitive edge has been dulled by the widespread industry adoption of computer-generated animation.

*Before the summer film cycle and the release of "Up, " Disney's share of the U.S. box office this year was at a multi-year low of 8.7%, according to Credit Suisse. Disney's 2008 U.S. box office per film was a three-year low of $48 million ....

Which might explain (in part) why Dick Cook has joined the growing army of retirees.

Add On: Simpsons topkick Al Jean looks back at two decades of the Yellow Family:

When I started on the show in 1989, I thought it would be a good show because it was Matt, Sam Simon and Jim Brooks. I never would have dreamed if it would have lasted this long, nor have a feature film, a ride or all those other things it has. The guest stars who have been on it have been unbelievable. ...

Have a restful but zestful weekend.


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