Friday, March 06, 2015

Look Who's Hot

More players in animation are getting deals from the majors.

Chris McKay, who supervised animation on “The Lego Movie,” has signed a first-look producing deal at Warner Bros.

McKay is on board to direct Warner’s “Lego Batman” project, set to be released in May 2017, with Will Arnett again voicing the Caped Crusader. Roy Lee and Dan Lin are returning as producers along with “Lego” directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

McKay and Lee recently set up at Warner Bros. a movie version of the Cartoon Network series “Adventure Time.” ...

It wasn't long ago (the 1980s? 2002?) when somebody who was creatively involved with a hit animated movie got ignored.

No, they didn't get ignored. Nobody in the front office knew of their existence. Or cared.

But you get a live-action hotshot, a Wes Anderson say, and he gos and makes a stylish film that gets lots of critical hurrahs on its mad-cap journey to collecting a stupendous $174,600,318, and it's Academy Award time.

But if there are some animation directors who make a feature that collects (to date) $363,037,086, the press could well inform you that they've directed a failure.

And even the success stories in Cartoonland have to be very successful to get noticed. Chris Sanders has gotten some deserved praise. And Ron Clements and John Musker have directed enough blockbusters to get their names in the papers. Yet Ed Gombert, the story director on both Aladdin and The Croods, toils away in relative obscurity.

So it's nice to see Mr. McKay get a write-up in one of our fine trade papers. And nicer still that Warner Bros. is signing him to a multi-pic pact.


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