Saturday, February 28, 2009

Warm Animated Links

Late in the week linkage just for Y-O-U.

Zemeckis's IM Digital, part of the Disney empire, has really cranked up production over the last year. IMD has an IATSE contract, we represent a lot of the employees up in San Rafael, and the projects just keep on coming:

Seth Green will star in Walt Disney Pictures' "Mars Needs Moms," an adaptation of the children's novel by Berkeley Breathed.

Simon Wells is directing the performance-capture movie, which follows a boy named Milo who stows away aboard a spaceship to rescue his mom after she's kidnapped by aliens. Green will play Milo.

The project, from Disney and filmmaker Robert Zemeckis' ImageMovers, reunites Green with his "Austin Powers" mom, Mindy Sterling, who will play the alien leader of Mars ...

The New York Times points out that this year's New York International Children's Film Festival isn't really ... uh ... geared at kids.

This year’s programs include the American animated feature “Sita Sings the Blues,” Nina Paley’s interweaving of the Indian epic Ramayana with the autobiographical story of a female filmmaker’s marital collapse ...

Films specifically for children also often explore serious themes. Friday night’s opening gala features the American premiere of the French and Italian animated feature “Mia and the Migoo” (age 7 and older), directed by Jacques-Rémy Girerd. It follows a girl’s quest to save her father, a laborer trapped at a construction site that also threatens the Tree of Life. “Battle for Terra” (7 and older), an American animated feature (sold out), focuses on the peaceful beings of Terra, who are threatened by human survivors fleeing a destroyed Earth ...

But there are a lot of animated features.

The Daily Telegraph gives us yet another list of the best. toons. evah. It should start fights among aficionados ... because everybody will have a different roster of favorites:

Shrek (2001)

The grumpy green giant was the first winner of the Animated Feature Oscar and deservedly so, although another charming Lasseter movie, Monsters Inc, was also a nominee that year ...

Slash Film brings up the question, "Does Pixar Have a Problem Creating Good Female Characters?"

... Caitlin GD Hopkins claims that most of Pixar’s female characters are “helpers, love interests, and moral compasses to the male characters whose problems, feelings, and desires drive the narratives.”

Ms. Hopkoms goes on -- in a separate link -- to dissect the various Pixar films (let the disagreements begin) ...

And while on the subject of Pixar, let's note that everyone is a sequelist now.

Despite what Brad Bird said on stage at WonderCon two years ago, Pixar is now in the sequel business. Cars 2, Toy Story 3, but what about a sequel to Monsters, Inc? At Comic-Con 2008, director Pete Docter responded to an audience question about the prospects of a sequel by admitting that “We’ve thought about it… We’ve got a couple ideas.” MTV later prodded the filmmaker trying to get more information, Docter nervously replied “I can neither confirm nor deny” ...

Cars Deux, Toy Story III, why not another Monsters? In this time of economic turbulence, our corporate masters lurch toward the sure bets.

Lastly, as The Simpsons becomes the longest running series in television history, Mr. Groening reflects on Homer S:

"He doesn't have feelings of guilt. He has some remorse, but he really wants what he wants in the moment. And for the rest of us who do feel guilt, there's something to envy about that. To be able to just do what you want in the moment. I look at YouTube videos all the time of buffoonish Americans, and I see Homer in a lot of them."

Have a soothing weekend.


Anonymous said...

Is Pixar losing its way? Monster's Inc. 2 seems so gimmicky it's not even funny.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big supporter, but I always admired them for always trying to put forth something new. They tried giving opportunities to new up and coming directors with new ideas. Now we're back to Pete Docter and Monster's Inc. world again?

Steve Hulett said...

The way it usually works: as a new company becomes an older company and more corporatized, glass ceilings are installed.

The new versions of Andrew S. and Peter D. will have to look elsewhere for their director slots, because the perches at Pixar are occupied.

Just as, when Frank and Ollie and Ward and Woolie and the rest filled the chairs of the Nine Old Men at the Mouse House, that was pretty much it for Disney Animating Directors for a few decades. New applicants had to look elsewhere for the top jobs.

Humans are territorial. They get into a cushy position they like, they fight to keep it. And keep others OUT.

Anonymous said...

Let's not get too carried away here. Pixar is bringing Pete Sohn up through the ranks to his first directing gig on a short, which is the traditional path to directing a feature at Pixar. In addition, they have brought in new directors from the outside recently, with Brenda Chapman and Gary Rydstrom.

The point here isn't that directors are territorial, it's that sequels at a successful studio are inevitable. They are a virtually guaranteed cash cow, and Pixar is engaging in a number of them right now. My feeling is, if they can come up with a quality sequel that actually enhances and deepens our appreciation of the characters (like Toy Story 2 did), then more power to 'em! Whether they can do this remains to be seen.

Anonymous said...

Humans are territorial. They get into a cushy position they like, they fight to keep it. And keep others OUT.

this is exactly what cg guys at disney did to 2d people when the changeover happened. a lot of qualified (legendary in some cases)2d people were passed over(fired) with phony excuses like "they will disrupt the pipeline,break the rigs,etc. which weren't true at all- just political maneuvers to get rid of 2d people so the cg guys could keep or promote their friends. sadly the work there speaks for itself while dreamworks and pixar run circles around them with kung fu panda and the incredibles.
from dinosuar could promote their friends.

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve,

You linked to a link of a link. The original story was over at Blue Sky Disney about the Monsters 2 thing. They've been pretty reliable before so I think it's a pretty good chance that it's true.

Anonymous said...

with phony excuses like "they will disrupt the pipeline,break the rigs,etc. which weren't true at all- just political maneuvers to get rid of 2d people so the cg guys could keep or promote their friends

I think its more individual than that. Having Disney animation experience myself, I noticed many of the 2D guys who switched to 3D couldnt hack it...but many of them could. The ones who could, are still there. The rest either went to frog or were let go. Thats not posturing and promoting your friends, its weeding out the the people who werent animating well in 3D. Thats it!

Anonymous said...

sadly the work there speaks for itself

You mean Bolt, now approaching $300 million worldwide, nominated for an Oscar, and a really well animated movie? I'd say that what the work is saying is that Disney has a pretty strong cg crew.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

i am tired of this 2d/3d back and forth.

the 2d people are a sad and bitter lot.

the 3d peoiple(at wdfa) sound like a bunch of self congratulatory snobs who believe they are actually woth something.
they seem to act like their luck will never run out, oh well.

to heck with them both, i say.

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