Friday, July 04, 2008

July Fourth Linktacular

Happy fireworks day. Chow down some carcinogenic nourishment and explore the various July links.

The Wall Street Journal profiles animated features that hope to push into our collective conscience through the balance of the year:

Is there life after “Wall-E”? It will be difficult for animated films hitting theaters in the coming months to measure up to the glowing reviews bestowed upon the film. But there are other titles lined up. Here’s a Buzzwatch guide to the year ahead in animation ...

Space travel will be a running theme this summer ...

Speaking of Wall Street, investors show Wall-E little love.

The animated, futuristic adventure ... opened to rave reviews and topped the weekend box office with $63.1 million in domestic ticket sales -- the ninth straight No. 1 launch for Walt Disney Co.'s Pixar studio.

But stock market investors gave Disney shares the cold shoulder Monday, bidding them down 37 cents to $31.20.

Part of the problem is that "Wall-E," which 97% of critics endorsed, according to, "was successful but wasn't 'Nemo'-like" in its opening, said Richard Greenfield, an analyst at Pali Research ...

No doubt Mr. Hill will have something to say about this sad turn of events.

We wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't add another Andrew S. interview to the link mix:

When WALLE encounters the spaceship humans, they are big blobs from a combination of laziness, overeating and zero-gravity. "I made that the dividing line," Stanton says. "They've changed 700 years later to look like big babies so I can make them CG."

(And an Ed Catmull interview about the business side of Pixar is here.)

The Animation Show rolls out, and the San Francisco Chronicle is favorably impressed:

With titles like "Angry Unpaid Hooker," "Psychotown" and "Yompi the Crotch-biting Sloup," you'd expect "The Animation Show 4" to be as sick and twisted as Spike and Mike's annual shows. But you'd be wrong ...

What's interesting about the series is the varied animation styles, from the seemingly hand-drawn "Hot Dog" by indie animation legend Bill Plympton and the traditional 2-D style of "John and Karen" (charmingly, about a humongous polar bear who tries to apologize to a tiny penguin over a cup of tea) to elaborate computer-manic shorts such as the Swiss shape-shifting "Jeu" and the strange, hilarious French short "Raymond," in which a swimming instructor becomes the subject of lab tests ...

ASIFA Hollywood Archives offers a look at early book illustrations of Gustaf Tenggren, and they are well worth taking a peek at.

Jenny Lerew has a fine piece on the closing of studio archives, how Disney maintains a good one as other congloms shutter theirs:

... The Disney studio famously maintains an Archives and Animation Research Library, one that isn't going anywhere thanks to the wisdom of the studio management over the years. While it would seem that their existence would be unique to an animation studio's need for storing reams of valuable production art and materials, at the time Walt instituted the morgue such repositories were already common in live action; in fact they were started during the silent era.

[One surprising fact I had no idea of: apparently the Samuel Goldwyn Research Library is housed on the Dreamworks Animation campus. Say what? Heaven only knows where they've stashed that--DW is fast running out of space these days and frantically building out. You can bet if I'd known the Goldwyn collection was there I'd have made it a point to have a peek. Or two.]

And Seth McFarlane, the Steve Jobs of small-screen cartoons, will be launching shows on the Google in the near future:

Google is entering into the entertainment business this autumn, has apparently entered signed a deal with “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, the hit cartoon series, to launch a new animated show exclusively on the internet in a further sign that advertising dollars are marching from traditional media to the internet.

According to The New York Times, Google intends to help finance and distribute Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy through the search engine’s AdSense advertising program.

Rather than providing traditional ads, Google will group the cartoon show using AdSense to thousands of specific websites that would present Web surfers cartoon shorts that, once clicked, play an advertiser’s message along with the content for MacFarlane’s ‘target audience’ of mainly young men.

Warner Bros. Animation, tying in to the live-action biggie that soon rolls into your AMC, releases its latest DVD offering of Batman for the July 4th holiday:

“Gotham Knight” isn’t just another reinterpretation of the man in the mask — it’s several of them, all packed onto one disc. Writers from comic books, movies and animation each take a crack at Batman in short animated segments that loosely link to each other.

The scribes put Batman through his paces, pitting him against the cops, gangsters (Italian and Russian), selected supervillains (The Scarecrow, Killer Croc and Deadshot) and, of course, his own inner demons.

Have yourself a glorious fourth.


Anonymous said...

""was successful but wasn't 'Nemo'-like" in its opening"

Made LOT$ of money , but not enough. Geez, "Lion King-syndrome" all over again. Greed, greed, greed .

Maybe would be better to have the Buy N' Large Corp. market that Wall-E movie. Gotta have more, more , MORE .

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