Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Mid-Week Linkfest

As you read this, I'm in northern California on TAG business, which explains why we're doing a mini-linkfest now rather than the end of the week.

To start the fest rolling, it appears that the Russian animation industry, which pretty much collapsed after the Soviet Union went bye-bye in the early nineties, is struggling back onto its feet:

Last year, producer Melnitsa's Ilya Muromets i Solovey Razboynik set a boxoffice record for Russia's domestic animation industry, grossing nearly $10 million on a budget of just $2 million.

The film, about a hero who has to rescue a treasure -- and his horse -- from a legendary bandit, was part of a mini-wave that has seen five animated features released here during the past six months. But while its success marks a major step forward from the market's darkest days in the early '90s, the local industry isn't ready to call it a trend just yet.

Influenced by Disney and Pixar, a new generation of Russian animators is busy trying to revive a genre that's been in crisis since the collapse of the Soviet economy. But meeting those standards -- both artistically and commercially -- is a work in progress ...

Imagi seems to be in the animation game for the long haul, if this piece is any indication:

[Imagi] is selling new shares worth HK$311 million ($40 million) to Mark Pawley, former Asia Pacific investment banking head of Credit Suisse First Boston ... Imagi, which aims to deliver a movie every eight months, says the proceeds will be used for "the development of four full-length feature computer graphics imagery animation movies scheduled tentatively to be released from 2009 to 2011."

This sounds about right. The company's digs out in Sherman Oaks have grown steadily larger and more crowded in the time that I've been strolling through them. This is a good thing.

Uh oh. The Boston Herald isn't enamored of the new animated Gotham Knight.

It’s a puzzle worthy of Batman’s archfoe the Riddler. How could literally hundreds of artists and some of the best writers in the comics business turn out such lifeless mush?


The Goon will soon wend its way to the Big Screen:

Dark Horse Entertainment, David Fincher and animation house Blur Studios are teaming up to bring cult comic "The Goon" to the movies as a CG-animated film.

Created by Eric Powell in 1999, the comic follows the adventures of a muscle-bound brawler who claims to be the primary enforcer for a feared mobster. The stories have a paranormal and comedic edge to them and concern ghosts, zombies, mad scientists and "skunk apes."

Believe us when we say that any movie with skunk apes in them are dead-bang winners. Skunk apes are like penguins were, oh, three years ago.


Anonymous said...

Awesome! I've read a few issues of The Goon and enjoyed them immensely. Look forward to the movie (provided it actually gets made...)

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that it's taking live-action directors to finally move animation out of the kids market. It was bound to happen eventually.

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