Friday, February 08, 2008


Another end-of-week frolic through 'toon news you probably can't use (but might be interested in anyway...)

I've never thought of Argentina as a hotbed of animation. I guess my ignorance demonstrates what a sheltered life I lead.

Argentina is becoming a Latin American hot spot for animation, with producers entering the field with projects that fuse local flair with international standards.

Illusion Studios, behind blockbuster "Patoruzito" with Disney-backed Patagonik Film Group, has refashioned its pencil-based production operation into a digital studio with 2-D Toon Boom and Maya 8.5 3-D software.

Lately there's been a lot of shifting of cartoon execs from one studio to another. Brown Johnson, longtime Nickelodeon exec, has been promoted to the position of President of Animation, for Nick, MTVN Kids and Family Group.

In 2008, animation on Nickelodeon will include more than 225 new episodes of Nicktoons series. Supervising successful titles to the tune of SpongeBob SquarePants, Avatar: the Last Airbender and Back at the Barnyard, as well as overseeing the development of new titles, such as The Mighty B and The Penguins of Madagascar; Brown Johnson will be plenty busy. She will supervise creative executive teams on both the East and West Coasts, managing the creative direction and coordination efforts between series production, on-air promotions and marketing and consumer products.

TAG President Kevin Koch has a piece at Synchrolux on the perils of too much "constructive crticism" lousing up creative juices:

... people can be creatively shut down by those trying the aid them with ‘helpful’ suggestions. ... As a mentor and as someone who believes in actively collaborative environments, I worry that I’m sometimes on the other side of this equation, that I’m the one shutting people down ...

Where I’ve felt this phenomenon most obviously, however, is when I’ve been kicking around an idea for a film or some personal animation, and someone does this number to me:

"If we are honest with ourselves, when we start excessively pontificating and trying to add value, we are often not really focused on the quality of the idea at all. We are just trying to prove to the world how smart we really are.

Ideas are really fragile that way, and sharing them with a pontificating know-it-all is sure death to those ideas. Or at least death to your drive to go forward and develop the ideas ...

The Annie Awards happen tonight at UCLA. It outgrew Glendale and the Alex Theatre and so ... hello Westwood!

For the fourth straight year in a row, everyone's favorite animation host and voice of SpongeBob SquarePants Tom Kenny will host this year's Annie Awards ...

In the feature categories, Pixar Animation Studios' "Ratatouille" leads the field this year with 13 nominations including Best Animated Feature as well as individual nominations for directing, writing, character animation, animated effects (two nominations), production design, storyboarding, character design, character animation, music and voice acting (three nominations). Sony Pictures Animation’s “Surf’s Up” follows with 10 feature nominations for feature, animated effects, animation production artists, character animation (two nominations), character design, and directing.

Rounding out the Best Animated Feature category are DreamWorks Animation’s “Bee Movie,” Sony Pictures Classics’ “Persepolis,” and Twentieth Century Fox’s “The Simpsons Movie.” ...

(Update: The boys and girls at Pixar almost sweep the feature animation category. Who would have guessed it?)

The Motley Fools weigh in that, despite the current financial troubles of the greater market, Disney had itself a fine quarter:

Fiscal first-quarter revenue climbed 9% to nearly $10.5 billion. Earnings -- before asset-sale gains and one-time items from a year ago -- soared 29% to $0.63 a share. Analysts expected a profit of just $0.52 a share on $10 billion in revenue ...

[Disney CEO Robert] Iger referred to what the company is calling "The Disney Difference" during yesterday's conference call. Disney feels that it is in a more recession-resistant position than its competitors. No leisure company may be completely insulated from an economic slowdown, but Disney's various moving parts prove that its unique promotional ecosystem is enough to keep it afloat during lean periods ...

Lastly, Mike Judge will be rolling out new animated projects:

Media Rights Capital is now mounting a strong smallscreen push, starting with a 13-episode order from ABC for a new animated series from Mike Judge.

"The Goode Family," which is also from "King of the Hill" exec producers John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky, reps the first animated project for Judge since "Hill" launched in 1997.

Headlines from the deal also include a 10-episode order for an animated series at HBO ...

Have yourself a safe and sane weekend.


christy said...

i am sorry to post this here but i am trying to find a way to email steve hulett about the pete young blog he did. i have photos that he might like copies of.

Steve Hulett said...

Feel free to e-mail me at

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