One more linkfest, with Dear Leader showing the way (DL , by the by, is not the kid in the coonskin cap ...)
... [B]eneath Kim Jong-il’s sinister regime of Mafiosos, the Dear Leader has a heartier side: he sells comic books and animation to raise government funds—and to brainwash the masses.
Every year, a state-owned publishing house releases several cartoons (called geurim-chaek in North Korea), many of which are smuggled across the Chinese border and, sometimes, mysteriously end up in university libraries in the United States ...
‘These books are mostly geared toward children, unlike South Korean comic books [manhwa], which are often aimed at adults,’ says Park Jae-dong, one of South Korea’s most famous cartoonists who once drew for the Hankoryeh, a left-leaning newspaper in Seoul.
In almost every cartoon, those who stay faithful to Juche have happy endings; the others aren’t so lucky. The villains fit outlandish stereotypes. Americans are usually depicted with big noses, German Nazis as wearing swastikas and Japanese with glasses and buck teeth ...
Stereotypes?! Who could stoop to such things? What depraved animals! ...
For Mr. Burton, it's back to his roots.
... [D]irector Tim Burton has found a new 3D project. He will direct a stop-motion animated film based on Charles Addams' original ghoulish cartoon drawings of The Addams Family. Illumination Entertainment, the Universal-based family film unit headed by Chris Meledandri, has acquired the underlying rights of the Addams drawings, once a staple of The New Yorker magazine.
(This is a feature I want to see.)
There's a bit of casting news on Sony's Smurf hybrid feature.
... Hank Azaria — best known for ... numerous characters he voices on The Simpsons ... will lend his voice to the character of Gargamel, the evil sorcerer and arch-nemesis of the Smurfs.... Furthermore, pop star Katy Perry will voice Smurfette, while George Lopez and Alan Cumming will play two of the other little blue guys. ...
DreamWorks is leaving nothing to chance for its new dragon epic.
... Wal-Mart will be the exclusive U.S. retailer of nearly all licensed Dragon products, excluding the later DVD release, among other items. The two sides didn't disclose an estimate of the financial value of their arrangement, which they described as broader in scope than past efforts. Wal-Mart will carry more than 100 licensed "Dragon" products, more than twice as many as it has ever sold at the launch of a DreamWorks picture at the time of its theatre debut. ...
Variety takes note of the shutdown of different cartoon studios.
In the wake of Friday's closing of ImageMovers Digital, the animation business has been hit by a double-whammy of bad news.
Monday night Toronto-based animation/vfx studio C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures closed its doors, effective immediately, then Tuesday animation studio Cookie Jar Entertainment, which has a three-hour Saturday morning animation block on CBS, laid off 35 staffers, mostly in its animation department in Toronto.
The closings in California and Toronto expose a paradox: While California's animation and visual effects studios lament the lack of tax incentives to keep their work from fleeing the Golden State for Canada, there's buzz north of the border that Canada's tax incentives aren't entirely working for companies there, either.
C.O.R.E. gathered its staffers Monday evening and told them the company was closing immediately, and there is some doubt about if and when staffers will be paid their last two weeks' salary. ...
Cookie Jar gobbled up DIC Entertainment a year and a half ago.
Last and saddest of all: Davy Crockett passes away; boomers mourn.
Fess Parker, ... who launched a craze for coonskin caps as television's Davy Crockett, died Thursday of natural causes. He was 85.
Family spokeswoman Sao Anash said Parker, who was also TV's Daniel Boone and later a major California winemaker and developer, died at his Santa Ynez Valley home. His death came on the 84th birthday of his wife of 50 years, Marcella ...
(The L.A. Times provides a lengthy obituary here.)
Have a productive Friday.