Tuesday, March 31, 2009


A few mid-week piffles for your linky pleasure.

Man, this 3-D thing appears to be catching on. Something to do with the $59 million weekend a certain studio had? Naaah..

Walt Disney is going 3-D on a lot of future films — and some from its past.

The studio says 3-D versions of the computer-animated tales "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" will be released Oct. 2 for a two-week run as a double feature. Disney also is preparing a 3-D version of its hand-drawn animated musical "Beauty and the Beast" for release Feb. 12, 2010.

No doubt this announcement was coming anyway. Still, the time and place for making it is ... ah ... interesting.

[John] Lasseter said, "The 'Toy Story' films and characters will always hold a very special place in our hearts and we're so excited to be bringing these first two films back for audiences to enjoy in a whole new way thanks to the latest in 3D technology ..."

For immediate release, wouldn't you say?

A fine exhibition of Japanese comics and animation is unspooling in New York City:

... [A] couple of teenage girls crouched down to get inside a small tea house-like enclosure lined with hundreds of manga, some the size of telephone books.

Elsewhere, six anime were being simultaneously projected along a long wall in a room with cubicles where visitors could sit comfortably and watch the same excerpts on smaller screens ...

The exhibition, "Krazy! The Delirious World of Anime + Manga + Video Games," has been drawing large and diverse crowds — young, old and in-between — since it opened March 13.

Reese Witherspoon on cartoon voice acting:

... The hardest part of the movie, for me, was to get the voice right for an action hero. They (the filmmakers) kept saying to me ‘say this line like Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger’, that big action movie tag line - ‘I-AM-GINORMICA!’ (laughs) and I just couldn’t do it! They kept saying ‘no, that just sounds like a robot’.’ ...

The Wrap, in an over-heated commentary, examines the business side of Stereo Viewing:

... There are 40 3D features scheduled for the next three years, including 17 from Disney -- which, through Roy Disney's Shamrock Holdings, has invested $50 million in RealD, the company that pioneered the new process -- and every release from DreamWorks Animation. And though the credit crunch has slowed the installation of 3D projection systems in theaters, RealD's revenue nearly doubled in 2008 ...

Theaters that lease the RealD process (for about $5,000-$10,000) have to pay the company 50 cents for every ticket sold. But even allowing for that and, it's fair to guess, allowing for the manufacturing cost of a pair of plastic glasses, the studios are obviously making money off the surcharge.

Katzenberg, John Lassetter at Pixar, and the other studio heads who will release movies in RealD are simply indulging in the carny barker tradition of squeezing whatever money they can out of the public who flocks to their attractions.

(Hey, you don't like the price of the 3-D version, don't go to the 3-D version. It won't be the end of civilization as we know it. And here's a report on the Show West reaction to DWA's 3-D epic.)

British comic thesp Simon Pegg discusses his character in Ice Age 3:

"[He's] a slightly unhinged, swashbuckling weasel ..."

You can never get enough swashbucking weasles.

Lastly, the Animation Archive has a nice sampling of caricatures by Miguel Cavarrubias.

Al Hirschfeld studied under Covarrubias and shared a studio with him in 1924. He spoke of Covarrubias' talent in the same breath as Daumier and Hogarth ...

Clark Gable and Prince Edward ... by Miguel C.

Have a fine, midweek work experience ... if you can.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, what are the odds that Disney would make an announcement about upcoming films DURING Showwest and IN Las Vegas?!!

That's got to not be a coincidence!

Anonymous said...

The irony of Lasseter is almost laughable.

Anonymous said...

When Pixar does 3D it'll be true art!! Not like when Dreamworks does it....

The Pixies will be twisting themselves into pretzels trying to support the re-tooling of these films

Spartacus said...

Lasseter's comments are even more ironic and laughable when you know that he and Ed were big stereo naysayers, regarding it as a "gimmick".

Just like his reneged vow to end direct-to-DVD products at Disney, the boys from Emeryville are learning that Iger and Cook didn't bring them on board to shut off revenue streams, but to embrace them.

Anonymous said...

Just so everyone knows, the Toy Story and Beauty and the Beast stereoscopic plans were in the works starting (to the best of my knowledge) at least over a year ago, but more likely 2 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Yes Spartacus. That's why I made my comment above (as anony #2).

Interview after interview, Lasseter spoke of how he wouldn't embrace stereoscopic until there was a way it would advance a story with it. And simply, all the films up until that point didn't have a reason to use it.

Of course now, he is back pedaling his words by redoing older films in stereo. The same films that didn't need it last time.

We know who wears the pants in this family.

Floyd Norman said...

Why does all this sound familiar?

Initially, CGI movies were suppose to save animation. Now, 3-D movies are suppose to save it.

Think we’ll ever go back to just making good movies?

Anonymous said...

Psst, Floyd, CG did save animation.Disney did their best to kill 2D and succeeded (thank you Atlantis and Treasure Planet)

3D is supposed to save theatrical film in general. It's not just animation going that way (ask Cameron). It's just easier for CG animated films to get there first.

Paul said...

Um.. pretty sure Pixar announce this all last summer..

Anonymous said...

"Lasseter's comments are even more ironic and laughable when you know that he and Ed were big stereo naysayers, regarding it as a "gimmick".'

You'll have to prove either of them said this. Until then, you're lying,

Seems to me they've embraced stereoscopic film since they made their first one...in 1989.

No, I'M Spartacus said...

> You'll have to prove either of them said this. Until then, you're lying,

So, every comment that hasn't been
"proven" to you is a lie? Fascinating logic. :-)

They said it. I heard it. You want to think it's a "lie", that's your business. What do I care?

Anonymous said...


Interview with JL from 2001

Q: You said there is a 3D dimension that attracted you to computer generated animation. Were you ever tempted to go into more traditional animation?

JL: There are dear friends from the early days doing puppet and clay animation. What scared me was the 'straight ahead' notion, starting from the beginning and knowing you only have one shot to do it. Doing hand drawings I was racing a lot. I loved computer animation though, because I could refine and refine and refine and really get the detail and nuances. Looking at the motions, they're all there because we can refine and tweak it. Nick Park is a dear friend of mine down at Aardman, and I'm in awe of what they do. I thought you were going to ask...well I'll answer the question I thought you were going to ask...

I love stereo 3D and Knickknack was produced in 3D with a second-eye view. I always wished that medium could take off and be a viable way to see our work because it is 3D. I insist on producing the ViewMaster little sets of our movies, we produce them ourselves and they are spectacular so you can get an impression of what our stuff looks like in 3D. And I don't make any money off the ViewMaster sets!

phil mcnally

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