Friday, February 15, 2008

Another Linkfest

Star Wars? There's never enough (just ask my teenager) ...

The saga is set to continue with the release of Star Wars: The Clone Wars – a 3-D animated film hitting theaters in August before making its way to television in the fall.

This film won’t be distributed by Fox, but will feature a new partnership with Lucasfilm, Warner Bros. Pictures and Turner Broadcasting.

Variety reports the August 15th release of the film will premiere the new animated series which will make its way to Cartoon Network and airings on TNT. The release dates for international theaters and television series are still being set.

The Animation Archives puts up some excellent artwork by Gustaf Tenggren, one of the top-drawer artists who found a home Disney's Hyperion studio in the thirties:

While at Disney, Tenggren chaffed under the bit of anonymity. It's said that Walt instructed his artists, "If you're going to sign a name to your artwork, spell it 'Walt Disney'." But Tenggren defiantly maintained his individuality, signing many of his key paintings for Pinocchio. He left the studio under unhappy circumstances, and was bitter about the whole episode. But he had learned one thing from Walt... the power of branding one's self.

UPA's icon Mr. Magoo is returning to the big and small screen ... via Mexico:

Toon factory Anima Studios will produce "Kung Fu Magoo" for Classic Media, in a major deal for the budding Mexican shingle ... "Magoo" will go straight to video worldwide, but it's being produced in 35mm and Anima will likely engineer a theatrical release in Mexico via Videocine ...

N.Y. Daily News film reviewer Jack Mathews lists his "Five greatest animated films of all time."

“Aladdin” (1992). Maybe it should be titled “Robin Williams’ Aladdin.” His voice work as the Genie inspired the greatest animated movie of the hand-drawn era.

Personally I think it's silly to have "Best" lists. They just set off arguments and debates (which maybe is the point ...)

DreamWorks Animation got a downgrade from BMO Capital Markets and lost a little ground in the stock derby:

[BMO Capital Markets Analyst] Jeffrey Logsdon cut his rating to "Market Perform," or "Neutral," from "Outperform," or "Buy." He said the company's results vary with the success or failure of its movies, which is hard to predict, rather than showing dependable growth.

I think Jeffrey K. and Co. have done a helluva job at DWA, but it's definitely a high-wire act when your business model is "Make every feature release a hit." (This was also Pixar's model, but Pixar is now a division of a conglomerate with a well-loved name.)

And New Line Cinema (owned by Warner Bros.) is now in the animated feature business ... and they got the voices cast!

...[T]he CG-animated sci-fi film "Planet 51" ... revolves around a group of residents on the eponymous planet who fear an alien invasion. Johnson will play astronaut Capt. Charles "Chuck" Baker, who arrives from Earth and confirms their worst fears. He's forced to avoid capture so he can find his spaceship and return home ...

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Jessica Biel, Seann William Scott and Justin Long will voice lead characters in the [film] ... It marks the studio's first animated feature in its 40-year history.

The sad part is, it's gonna be produced in Spain.

To wrap up, The New York Times reviews the animated shorts up for an Acadamy Award and discovers there isn't a lot of domestic content:

... Academy Award Short Nominees: Among the animated films nothing resembles a traditional Disney cartoon. Sophisticated illustration, puppetry, stop-motion animation and digital wizardry are the order of the day. And what does it mean for American cinema that among the nominated shorts, not one was made in Hollywood or even in the United States?

Especially in the animated category, advancing technology has sparked an astonishing creative revolution ...

Have a fine and lively weekend ...


Anonymous said...

Isn't the Star Wars thing the project completely done in Singapore that George was talking about at his keynote at Siggraph?

Steve Hulett said...

Believe so.

Anonymous said...

If the stories are good it may lower the bar for CG animation quality level. But watching the trailer, a lot of it looks like video game machinima.

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