Monday, January 12, 2009

The Links of January

A well-known animation person from an undisclosed location. (Barrier via Blackwing.)

More toonage links, beginning with a gushy account of an animated Golden Globe winner:

Perhaps helping Pixar steal the award away [with WALL-E] from competing heavyweight film Kung Fu Panda, by Dreamworks, is their impeccable track record which is pretty mind-blowing: Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Toy Story, Ratatouille, Cars, Monsters Inc., A Bug’s Life and most recently WALL•E.

WALL-E being a critical darling this year also helped. All KFP did was make more money. I don't think, in this case, that "more money" will carry the day at the '09 Oscars.

And I can never get enough of comsumer electronics, can you? Here's a CNN/Barron live blog of John Lasseter in 'Vegas ... at the Consumer Electornics show:

9:33 [Sony Chairman and CEO Sir Howard] Stringer brings out John Lasseter from Disney (DIS) Pixar to talk about Blu-Ray. He's saying how cool Blu-Ray is. He's showing a clip from Wall-E to demonstrate the wonders of Blu-Ray. (I love Wall-E, actually. Best Picture, 2008.)

9:37 Lasseter is talking about Blu-Ray Live for taking advantage of connections to the Internet. There is a Blu-Ray version of Sleeping Beauty. The castle in the menu pulls weather info from the Web and the menu which display's Sleeping Beauty's castle is consistent with the actual weather outside. Cool stuff.

9:41 Ooh, Lasseter is going to show a clip from Up, the next Pixar movie. Cool. He notes that 3D versions of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 are coming later this year ...

(The blogging was live back on January 8th when it happened ...)

BlackWing Diaries has some fine artwork by Devin Crane:

...[T]he very talented Devin Crane will have an opening of his show "Love and Tears" at the Helford Gallery in Culver City. Devin is a development artist at Dreamworks by day, and he's just as busy painting like a madman in his private time as well.

And BWD also has some mystery photos -- via Mike Barrier -- of Walt Disney, circa 1946.

DreamWorks Animation's Jeffrey Katzenberg got stung by B. Madoff, Ponzi schemer extrodanaire, and isn't happy about it:

“What it has done to other people is terrible,” Katzenberg told CNBC. “It’s destroyed many people’s lives. People that I know.”

... “That this man is actually walking free today I think is a disgrace ... And this guy is living in a $7 million apartment today walking free. There is something very, very wrong.”

I guess we can put Jeffrey in the "Not a Friend of Bernie" column.

The live action remake of The Sorcerer's Apprentice has been percolating for some time. Now, obviously, they're getting close to production:

"Bedtime Stories" star Teresa Palmer is back in the Disney fold, having landed the female lead opposite Nicolas Cage and "Knocked Up's" Jay Baruchel, in the live action version of The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Okay, they've got themselves a story beat. (Like one: "Apprentice activates brooms, fails to deactivate them.") But if Cage is going to be the honcho Sorcerer, he's going to bookend the movie like in the cartoon? Mr. Cage going to be happy with that? And is SA going to be a period piece? Modern day? They're going to have to come up with lots of plot for this c.g.i. festival, wouldn't you think?

The New York Times informs us that all those nifty 3-D animated features may have hit a snag:

... [A]nalysts are starting to warn that all of that [stereoscopic] product could find itself sitting on a loading dock with no place to go. Studios, thrilled by 3-D’s dual promises of higher profits and artistic advancement, have aggressively embraced the technology without waiting for movie theaters to get on board. And without those expensive upgrades to projection equipment at the multiplex, mass market 3-D releases are not tenable.

Funny, but this 3-D stuff is sort of paralleling the intro of sound eighty years ago. Back in '29, there were still lots of silent movie theaters, and then this little thing called "The Depression" hit, and gummed up the works. Plenty of silent movie palaces existed into the 1930s. Sort of the same thing going on now.

Have yourself a festive workweek.


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