Friday, February 01, 2008


The cartoon links of our lives ... and don't forget there's an ELECTION Tuesday (although not the one above).

The Washington Post touts Jerry Beck's new history of Nickelodeon and the 'toons therein:

... This hefty collection -- five pounds and nearly 300 oversize pages -- is a treasure trove of Nickelodeon's original cartoon series. The history lesson begins on Aug. 11, 1991, with the premiere of the first three Nicktoons: gross-out cat-and-dog pair "Ren & Stimpy"; sensitive and caring "Doug"; and the wise, large-headed baby "Rugrats."

And Disney Television Animation has rustled up some executive talent from a rival:

Disney Channel has poached veteran Nickelodeon animation executive Eric Coleman to lead the channel's aggressive push in the area as senior vp development at Walt Disney Television Animation.

Coleman, who has worked at Nickelodeon for 15 years, overseeing the development and production of such hit shows as "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "Avatar," will start at Disney on Feb. 4. He will report to Disney Channels Worldwide entertainment president Gary Marsh.

"Bringing Eric to Disney is an absolute coup," Marsh said. "There is no executive in the entire television animation space who has the creative vision, the credibility and the track record that Eric does."

Coleman's mandate is to spearhead development of animated short-form and long-form series targeting kids 6-11 for Disney Channel, Toon Disney and Jetix platforms, which reach more than 219 million homes worldwide. He also will oversee Walt Disney TV Animation's casting and music departments.

So there's some changes going on in TV Animation land. We'll see where this leads...

Brad Bird makes a confession:

[Bird] does regret not being part of The Simpsons Movie. “Of course I loved it; they’re my old home team. I wanted to help, but at the time, I had my nostrils just barely out of the water working on Ratatouille ...”

Daily Variety gives Disney TVA's Phineas and Ferb a big thumbs up:

Infused with a refreshing sense of wit and irreverence, "Phineas and Ferb" is that rare modern animated series for kids that even adults without a frontal lobotomy can sit through. The title stepbrothers engage in spectacular adventures in their quest to get the most out of their 104-day summer vacation, thwarting an older sister's attempts to fink on them every step of the way ...

(The show has just rolled out, and the staffers I talked to this afternoon at Disney TVA are hopeful it's a winner ... so they get a pickup. We'll know in a few weeks, I guess.)

Globalization is always with us. In '72, the front page of the April Peg-Board had a story on Hanna-Barbera setting up an Australian 'toon studio. And in 2008, TIME Magazine has a story on Lucasfilms setting up a studio in Asia:

Eighteen months ago, the digital-art powerhouse [Lucasfilm] launched its first overseas studio in Singapore. The 170 employees come from 33 nations, and together they make sure that Luke Skywalker's animated cloak swings naturally in the TV series Clone Wars and that Jackie Chan slides effortlessly down the Eiffel Tower in Rush Hour 3. Like their colleagues back at Lucasfilm's San Francisco headquarters, the Singapore crew members work in jeans and decorate their cubicles with their favorite Star Wars action figures ...

And as we've posted items from our 1972 newsletter, so ASIFA's archive has put up an animation union newsletter from 1946 (with the first page on view up above). And this paragraph caught my eye:

Labor unions are in the headlines!

Unfortunately, due to the anti-labor press monopoly, the headlines have not been very friendly. For this reason, people in general do not know the real facts behind these headlines. They go on thinking that the unions are the villains in the labor-management dilmna of the present day ...

It's sure great that things are way different now. Have a fabulous weekend.


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