Saturday, August 02, 2008

Linkfest of August

Robots! They're all the rage, aren't they? (Especially when the robotian box office is ... ah ... giganto).

* DreamWorks and Paramount are lensing sequel "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," due out in theaters next June, with Bay once again at the helm and more bots set to make their bigscreen appearance.

* Fox and New Regency have "Voltron" in the works, based on the popular animated Japanese TV series. Pic will be a post-apocalyptic tale set in New York City and Mexico that follows five ragtag survivors of an alien attack who band together and end up piloting the five lion-shaped robots that combine and form the massive sword-wielding Voltron that helps battle Earth's invaders.

* Warner Bros. has "Robotech," based on the anime TV series, that Tobey Maguire will produce and likely star in, about giant robots, known as mechas, that humans build based on technology from a downed spaceship and use to thwart alien attackers.

* Disney has "Calling All Robots" that scribe Michael Dougherty ("Superman Returns") is writing and producing at Disney with Robert Zemeckis' ImageMovers described as an animated sci-fi adventure that's a throwback to old Godzilla movies ...

Then, of course, there's the classical robots from an earlier, simpler era ...

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, an interstellar epic winked into life ... Clone Wars was originally planned as a television series only, but when Lucas saw a rough cut he told Filoni: “We need to see this on a big screen.” You can see why. With its shadowy environments lit by shimmering lightsabres, and hyperkinetic duels between angular warriors, Clone Wars has a breathtaking graphical √©lan.

“We knew from early on that it would be stylised, not photo- realistic,” says Filoni, who drew on Japanese anime and the acclaimed Clones Wars cartoon microseries of 2003 for his inspiration ...

DreamWorks Animation's stock price hit a downdraft this past week as some stock analysts got less enthused over the company:

DreamWorks Animation declined $2.72, or 8.7 percent, to $28.57 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the most since July 11, 2005. Additionally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. removed the stock from its ``conviction buy list'' and UBS AG maintained a sell recommendation ...

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter cut his rating to ``hold'' from ``buy,'' saying the stock will remain between $31 and $36 until investors have ``greater earnings visibility.'' The company will have to rely on its film library, ``Kung Fu Panda'' DVD and international box-office sales and extensions of the ``Shrek'' franchise for revenue in the near term, Pachter said in a report.

``These revenue streams could become considerable, of course, but without visibility on their magnitude, we prefer to take and wait-and-see approach to the stock,'' wrote Los Angeles-based Pachter, who kept his $33 share-price target ...

And as DWA's stock price declines, Disney's earnings beat estimates! ... And the Mouse House's stock also heads south!

The Burbank entertainment company on Wednesday reported net income of nearly $1.3 billion, or 66 cents a share, for the fiscal third quarter ended June 28, up 9% from a year earlier. Disney beat analysts' consensus estimates of 60 cents a share, according to Bloomberg ...

Shares of Disney fell 77 cents to $30.90 in late trading Wednesday after the earnings announcement. The stock had risen 75 cents to close at $31.67.

Speaking of which, the Mouse House has done animated sequels, and DreamWorks makes flollowups one of their specialties. So what about Pixar? I mean, besides the Toy Stories ...

... [H]ow come we never hear about “Monsters, Inc. 2”?

“We’ve thought about it,” ... director Pete Doctor told MTV News about the possibility for a sequel. “We’ve got a couple ideas.”

In the moment, those ideas are being filtered into a “Monsters, Inc” roller-coaster at the Walt Disney Resorts, which should open in a couple of years.

But a movie? Doctor’s revelation, of course, is a far cry from an actual announcement. Or is it? When I followed up with Doctor about the nature of the ideas all he would say is “I can neither confirm nor deny.” ...

The standard non-denial denial. Of course, Mr. Docter is busy with something else at the moment.

Docter showed off footage from Up, the scene in which Carl [Fredericksen] actually gets his house airborne. It’s a beautiful moment, as thousands and thousands of helium balloons leap out of his roof, rip his house from the ground, and send him soaring into the clouds. High above everything, Carl settles into his comfy chair as the wind whips by, ready to take a nap… just then there’s a knock at the door.

The clip ends there, but Docter goes on to introduce the person ringing Carl’s doorbell at 1000 feet. It’s a kid named Russell, a 9-year-old wilderness explorer, who has for weeks been pestering Carl to help him get his assisting the elderly badge. He was on the porch when the house took flight, and now he’s stuck with Carl on their adventure ...

Down on the sub-continent, hardware supplier Hewlett-Packard forecasts big things from India's evolving animation industry:

Hewlett-Packard is predicting a ... boom in India's animation industry with companies now willing to move away from outsourcing projects from the US and Europe to their own co-productions ...

Anurag Gupta, H-P's country manager ... said the entry of domestic firms into co-production is luring international giants such as Walt Disney to the country ... He said about 70 non-mythological animation feature films are in the pre-production and production phases in India. They are scheduled to be completed in the next two-four years.

Lastly. Firefox News channels Entertainment Weekly's article about the Yellow Family's twentieth prime-time season:

* September 28th's season premier is another "Homer Gets a New Job" episode - this time, he's a bounty hunter, tracking down Snake and his pregnant girlfriend Gloria. That means Julia Louis-Dreyfus will return for the third time to voice her now-familiar character. Joe Mantegna is also set to appear in this episode, reprising his Fat Tony role, and Robert Forster will also guest.

* The October 5th episode will feature Bart discovering Denis Leary's cell phone and using it to stir up a ton of trouble ...

Etcetera.

Have a nutritious weekend.

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