Thursday, November 29, 2007

Linkage of Toons

There's a new player jumping into the animated feature market:

New Line is venturing into the animation business for the first time in its 40-year history by acquiring Ilion Animation Studios' $60 million feature "Planet 51" from Handmade Films International ... Written by Joe Stillman ("Shrek"), the story is set on a planet whose inhabitants live in fear of an alien invasion. Their paranoia is realized when astronaut Capt. Charles "Chuck" Baker arrives from Earth ...

(My understanding about this flick is: it's being produced in Spain. The overall quality of the film? I guess we'll find out...)

Albert Hecht, formerly of Nickelodeon and Spike T.V., has picked up rights to Tom Swift and plans to make an animated feature and series out of the long-running book series:

...Worldwide Biggies, a digital studio recently opened by longtime Nickelodeon and Spike exec Albie Hecht, has acquired all rights to Simon & Schuster's long-running Tom Swift book series.

The company plans to introduce the franchise with a feature film and vidgame and follow with episodes for TV and the Web ...

Animation World Network has a nice piece on the National Film Board of Canada, which has funded cutting-edge animation for years, and still does:

"The kind of auteur animation that the NFB does is almost impossible to do in the private sector, because there is no financing or business model for such high-end creative work," Tom Perlmutter, government film commissioner and chairperson of the National Film Board, says. "The results have been and continue to be astounding. The form is constantly being challenged and redefined. In that way, it has the same value as a great symphony or sculpture or painting. The NFB is like a Renaissance artist's atelier that produces a stream of work that is consistently fresh, surprising, and breathtaking."

Dancing penguins, SpongeBob, and the Yellow Family triumph at British Academy Awards:

... Nickelodeon took two awards - best international programme for animation SpongeBob SquarePants and the short form award for Nick Big Green Thing. ... Happy Feet won the best feature film category, while The Simpsons Movie came top in a separate category in which under-16s voted for their favourite movie....

Aamir Khan Tarin, computer graphics artist for Blue Sky Animation (Rupert M.'s other animation studio), talks about projects past and present out of the New York Studio:

[Re the upcoming "Horton Hears a Who"] Horton is a very interesting and different project. Besides the story, the whole look has a unique palette of its own. Each and every inch of the movie was designed quite diligently to achieve the exact feel of the original art of Dr. Seuss without having to compromise within the technical boundaries ...

The Los Angeles Times speculates on the challenges faced by Enchanted during its second weekend of release:

... [T]his coming weekend has long been considered a moviegoing abyss ... Disney's challenge is to keep the film's second weekend grosses from plummeting faster than the historical averages.

Disney has started running new television spots heralding "Enchanted's" glowing reviews and No. 1 finish at the box office. Other TV advertisements, some of which started running before the film opened, are narrowly focused on selling the film's romance. "There's a much greater understanding now," Zoradi says, "of what the movie is."

With the film opening strongly not only here but also overseas, Disney is considering an "Enchanted" sequel. A domestic gross of $150 million or more seems possible.

Rupert Grint to play Tintin for Spielberg and Jackson in the upcoming mocap trilogy? That's the rumor out of Bulgaria ...

The first Tintin movie is due to be finished in production by the end of 2009 and rumours abound about who will play the famous Belgian boy detective. There have been many people linked to the film in the past but the latest story is that Rupert Grint of Harry Potter fame will get the nod for the Tintin role...

Me, I tend to wonder. But if you can't trust idle speculation out of eastern Europe, what can you trust?

Have a joyous end of the week.


Anonymous said...

As I mentioned on Cartoon Brew this morning, just to set the record straight, New Line Cinema has previously released the animated features Hooray For Betty Boop (aka Betty Boop For President) in 1976, Nelvana’s Babar The Movie in 1989, and Richard Rich’s The Swan Princess in 1994.

Anonymous said...

Each and every inch of the movie was designed quite diligently to achieve the exact feel of the original art of Dr. Seuss without having to compromise within the technical boundaries

And then they wrote a bunch of whacky jokes for the celebrity voices so none of that diligence really mattered.

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