Friday, November 16, 2007

The Latest Linkage

What with the big seventieth anniversary, Disney has a lot of interesting "Snow White" art and newsreels up at the studio, but this looks to be even better:

John Lasseter marveled at handwritten notes next to pencil sketches of the wicked stepmother and watercolor backgrounds used only in the "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." ...

Even Lasseter previously didn't have access to many of the pieces in a Disney's California Adventure exhibit. About 90 percent of the 120 pieces were in a private collection that the Walt Disney Co. bought earlier this year in time for the film's 70th anniversary.

"You have to understand the significance of this," Lasseter said Friday as he looked at drawings. "Nothing like this had been done like this."

Seth McFarlane, he not happy:

Fox appears to be planning to air a new episode of the popular animated series this Sunday, but they’d be doing so without McFarlane signing off on it. The network is perfectly within its legal rights to do so, but it would be, as McFarlane puts it, “a colossal dick move if they did that. [The next three episodes] are relatively close to completion, but they have not had a final pass.”

So, is this feature animated?

On Friday, [Beowulf] arrives in IMAX and regular theaters nationwide, accompanied by 3-D glasses and the stamp of "animation" from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "Beowulf" qualifies under Academy rules — revised several months ago to require "frame by frame" work — to compete for an Animated Feature Oscar against the likes of "Ratatouille" and the black-and-white 2-D Iranian film "Persepolis."

But because of its hybrid nature, few in the animation world expect it'll actually become one of the three nominees.

That possibility distresses traditional animators.

"It's a little bit odd when they're being put in the category competing in the same way for awards," said Kevin Koch, a longtime animator of DreamWorks films like "Into the Hedge" and "Shrek 2." "Some of us are kind of scratching our heads a bit."

Gotham develops a ton of toonaage:

The Gotham Group, the leading management firm in animation, is making a major push into television with an ambitious development slate that includes a three-for-one pilot deal at Fox Broadcasting Co.

Under the pact with Fox, Gotham will develop three half-hour animated projects, one of which will be picked up to pilot ... Gotham, which represents more than 300 animation writers, directors, animators and animation studios, has been in business with the network for almost 20 years ...

Gotham's founder and CEO Ellen Goldsmith-Vein said she had been thinking for some time about "broadening the Gotham Group's footprint in network television" by tapping into the company's pool of animation talent ...

"We've barely scratched the surface in seeing animation flourish on television and we know our clients will continue to be front and center as the art form evolves," Goldsmith-Vein said.

Earlier this year, Gotham inked a $250 million deal with the Weinstein Co. to produce and distribute theatrical animated feature films. Gotham also recently signed a first-look deal with Yahoo! Studios to produce and distribute original animated content on the Internet ...

And it looks like two DreamWorks biggies will shortly be exiting their current business address:

Seeking a way out of an acrimonious relationship at Paramount, the DreamWorks principals — two Hollywood heavyweights, David Geffen and Steven Spielberg — have been negotiating to move their operation to NBC Universal, according to people close to the talks. But negotiations have hit a wall over financing.

Discussions have been going on since late summer, according to these people, who asked not to be identified because of the delicate nature of the negotiations.

Director Colin Brady talks about helming the new Astroboy feature:

AstroBoy is kind of a dark Pinocchio story, but unlike Pinocchio, Astro never can become real flesh and blood. Astro's journey of self discovery and acceptance is directly linked to the hardcore killer robot fights, and to the rejection by his creator, Dr. Tanner ...

Lastly, Tim Burton will be returning to his roots. At the studio of his professional birth:

Disney has signed Burton to direct 3D feature versions of the Lewis Carroll classic, "Alice in Wonderland" and of his own 1984 short film, "Frankenweenie."

"Alice" will combine performance-capture imagery with live-action footage, while "Frankenweenie" will be shot in stop-motion animation,

Party on.


Anonymous said...

Excited about Tim Burton returning to Disney to become their 3D guru.

As for Beowulf being considered as "animated," should it even be nominated given that Persepolis, The Simpsons, Ratatouille, and Surf's Up have better reviews?

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