Saturday, March 17, 2007

Weekend Animation Links

The usual end-of-week roundup of animation stories is again upon us. News you might not use but get here anyway...

DreamWorks fired off a press release about its upcoming 3-D projects, and various publications ran with it:

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. intends to produce all of its films in stereoscopic 3-D technology starting with MONSTERS VS. ALIENS (working title), which begins production this spring for release in the summer of 2009 in both flat and 3-D versions.

The news follows on the heels of the proposed digital 3-D rollout for exhibitors, which has become a catalyst for digital cinema, beginning with Disney's animated MEET THE ROBINSONS bowing March 30 on 600 3-D screens nationwide.

And our comedy friend Jim Carrey, who was originally cast in DreamWorks' Over the Hedge, will be making his animation debut with Hedge alumnus Steve Carell in Horton Hears a Who:

Several of today’s cutting-edge comedic stars and legendary comedy icon Carol Burnett are joining previously announced headliners Jim Carrey and Steve Carell in the voice cast of Dr. Seuss’ HORTON HEARS A WHO, the new CG animated feature from Twentieth Century Fox Animation.

In what promises to be the most renowned comedic cast ever assembled for an animated movie, Carol Burnett plays the always skeptical Kangaroo, who doesn’t believe Horton’s claims about life – indeed an entire community – existing on a speck of dust...

To be released on March 14, 2008, HORTON HEARS A WHO is from Twentieth Century Fox Animation’s Blue Sky Studios, whose recent Ice Age: The Meltdown grossed $650 million in worldwide theatrical box office. Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino will direct. The script adaptation is written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. The executive producers are Audrey Geisel, Chris Wedge and Chris Meledandri, and the producer is Twentieth Century Fox Animation production executive Bob Gordon.

Fox, of course, has another animated feature slated for 2007: a wide-screen epic about a family of yellow people.

So, where are ambitious young animators going to get training these days? Utah...

DreamWorks Animation SKG called Brigham Young University student Emron Grover on Wednesday morning to set up an interview for one of its three coveted internships....

Grover couldn't take the call for the very reason DreamWorks and Pixar want to interview him — he was at the premiere screening of the short animation film "Las Pinatas," winner of another student Emmy for BYU's decorated animation program.

Each year, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences gives out three student Emmys — for first, second and third place — which means it has awarded 12 Emmys for computer-generated 3-D animation in the past four years.

BYU has won five of the 12.

One state down in Las Vegas, Nevada, ShoWest feted animation DreamWorks/PDI directors Raman Hui and Chris Miller:

Miller and Hui have been with the "Shrek" franchise since the series' first installment. They remember a time when Chris Farley was set to play the green ogre in a motion-capture version of the story.

But things have a way of changing on the Shrek pics.

"I would say we've probably made it 20 times. I don't think this is an exaggeration, just the amount of trial and error that went into it," says Miller, who worked as a story artist on "Shrek," then advanced to head of the story department on "Shrek 2."

Eustace Lycett, one of the parents of Disney's multi-plane camera and a forty-three year Disney veteran, had his 2006 death reported in last week's papers:

For much of his career at Disney, [Lycett] served as director of special visual effects, and created f/x for Disney pics including "Song of the South," "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "The Shaggy Dog," "The Absent-Minded Professor," "Darby O'Gill and the Little People," "Swiss Family Robinson," "The Love Bug" and "The Black Hole." He received four Oscar nominations. He also worked on attractions for Disneyland such as "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln," "Rocket to the Moon" and the Circle-Vision 360 theater.

Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt put together (for the third time!) an eclectic group of global 'toon shorts for your movie-going pleasure:

For their third compilation of short animated films, Mike Judge (“Beavis and Butt-head”) and Don Hertzfeldt have assembled visually stunning material from the United States and Europe.

The 12 entries in “The Animation Show” (opening today) are not all equal in quality, but they all provide a highly entertaining look at what’s happening outside the studios of Pixar and Nickelodeon....

Addendum: Uh oh. Everybody's favorite cleaning lady is suing a bumptious, animated Dad:

US cartoon show Family Guy is being sued by actress Carol Burnett. The 1960s and 1970s US television show host, famous for her own brand of satire and fun-poking, is seeking $2 million (£1.03 million) for copyright infringement on one of her best-known characters. Charwoman, a cleaner in the original Carol Burnett Show, was briefly shown as a maid in a porn shop on a Family Guy episode broadcast last April.

Have a fantabulous weekend. And don't get tied up in expensive litigation.


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