Thursday, May 13, 2010

Kung Fu II

Kung Fu Panda Deux, which is housed one-floor below The Croods on DWA's Glendale campus, gets buffed to a high gleam ...

Charlie Kaufman, the Oscar-winning writer behind “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and films such as “Adaptation” and “Being John Malkovich,” has headed off into an unexpected direction: animation.

The scribe is coming off of less than two weeks worth of work on DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom,” ... His work on “Kaboom” falls under the polish category, and animated movies tend to be worked on by multiple writers, so it’s not fair to say this will be a Kaufman cartoon.

DreamWorks, Disney and others often use high-end writers on their animated features. The days when the board artists and maybe an in-house scribe did all the heavy lifting are long gone. The stakes (with some exceptions) have grown too large to allow that kind of old-time cartoon making.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, so we end up with cartoons created by people with no real feel for it. Which is why we ended up with "Looney Tunes: Back In Action" (aarrrghhh horrible horrible HORRIBLE).

To quote one of the few good lines from LTBIA's equally unworthy predecessor, Space Jam:

DAFFY: (to Bugs) We need new agents, you and me. We're gettin' screwed.

Floyd Norman said...

On occasion I've worked with live-action scribes, and most are talented, decent people who do good work.

However, my main complaint with them is their lack of understanding of the medium. Yes, they can be good story tellers - but they are not animation story tellers. They simply don't get it, although many think they do.

In any case, their live-action credentials will always trump my animation experience. There's no winning this battle.

Anonymous said...

"Bolt" sucked!

Anonymous said...

Astro Boy sucked!
Obama sucks!

The WORLD sucks!

Anonymous said...

On occasion I've worked with live-action scribes, and most are talented, decent people who do good work.
However, my main complaint with them is their lack of understanding of the medium.


Hear, hear--
I, for one, was not as bowled over as the critics or Academy by Wes Anderson's attempt to "slum" in kiddie animation in "Fantastic Mr. Fox", believing that all he had to do was turn his Quirky Dysfunctional Families(tm) in to Quirky Dysfunctional Animals without any real respect for the Dahl story...

And while I'm sure DW has caught the "Talent transfusion" bug of importing well-known outside writer/director names after Dragon, Kaufman ISN'T exactly the first name I'd associate with either Panda, DW or faux-Pixar prestige...If anything, the only time Kaufman's hip, showy insincerity felt anywhere near the style of animation was when "Being John Malkovich"'s script read like a bad Simpsons episode.

Floyd Norman said...

Great comment.

Yeah, "Being John Malkovich" really did feel like a bad Simpson's episode.

Recently I stood in a coffee line with John Malkovich at the Farmer's Market over on Fairfax. That felt weird.

Steven said...

That's all right, to him you looked like John Malkovich. In my experience with celebrities, an effusive compliment is a reliable ice-breaker.

By the way, which Simpson episode was the "bad" one?

Anonymous said...

I think it's good that animation studios are hiring proffesional screenwriters to help with the story.

They can work together with the storyboard artists and the story people of the studio and bring out the best of both worlds.

Anonymous said...

So long as the "writers" aren't producing, it's fine. But it's true, they don't understand what makes animation tick. It's either over literal, or so fantastical as to not have any connection with an audience. I've not run across one "animated" screenplay by a live action writer worth making into a film in my 35 years in the business.

rufus said...

"Yeah, "Being John Malkovich" really did feel like a bad Simpson's episode."


Pssst!,there are those of us who did enjoy "Being John Malkovich"!

rufus

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