Saturday, December 30, 2006

'Toon Year in Review -- Part II

As the year (and this blog) rolled on, animation continued to heat up. (It couldn't have been otherwise, with all the animated productions in work and soon to be in release). But we digress. On to the months of April and May...

April '06

The month of many rain showers starts with a bang as Ice Age 2: the Meltdown collects $70.5 million on its opening weekend and stays strong throughout the four-week period.

Production ramps up on The Simpsons feature. Hulett reports on blog that the film is being made in Cinemascope (tm) and is called on the carpet by a production manager for revealing the screen shape.

Cartoon Network continues its winning streak with Ben 10, My Gym Partner's a Monkey, Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Camp Lazlo, Class of 3000, Foster's home for Imaginary Friends. A shorts program is also up and running.

IDT Entertainment (swallowed up by STARZ Media the following month) negotiates a three-year deal with TAG (IDTE is not in the regular animation bargaining unit.) TAG's voting members ratify the new three-year pacts by 94%.

The Screen Actors Guild Board approves a new animation (voice actors) contract.

May '06

Digital storyboards accelerate their expansion through the animation industry.

Over the Hedge opens with $38.5 million, $1.5 million below analysts' estimates. (Picture goes on to a worldwide gross of $330 million and the 130th slot on "Alltime Worldwide Box Office list." Still, those analysts did think it underperformed.)

At WDFA, word circulates that Clements and Musker will direct a new hand-drawn feature...Word also goes around that Personal Service Contracts, initiated by Eisner-Katzenberg in the early '90s, will come to an end under Lasseter-Catmull. And do, in fact, come to a finish by late summer.

Warner Bros. Animation has Scooby and Shaggy, Batman, Loonatic, Legion of Superheros and other direct to video projects in production.

Sixty-fifth anniversary of the Disney strike.


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