Friday, March 13, 2009

Toony Daylight Savings Time Links

Another cluster of linkolicious offerings, starting with Michael Eisner, Teeve Toon producer":

Michael Eisner helped kick off the springtime cable upfront presentation season Thursday morning, as the former Disney CEO took the stage at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom to talk up a series he's developed for rival Nickelodeon.

Supporting his weight on crutches, his left ankle encased in a plaster cast -- he later joked that he had injured himself while "fighting with (Viacom topper) Sumner Redstone over a parking space at Bank of America" -- Eisner pitched the assembled throng of media buyers "Glenn Martin, DDS," his new stop-motion animated series that will bow this summer on Nick-at-Nite.

Eisner told his audience that he was "having fun" with the series, adding that the project has allowed him to focus on something other than the cratering economy. "I'm not worried about the meltdown. ... I'm worried about this show," he said. Eisner went on to note the irony of his association with Nickelodeon, which he characterized as "a once distant rival that is now in (Disney's) face.".

Watch out, Jeffrey Katzenberg. There's a new animation guy in town, and he's tall.

Meanwhile, DreamWorks pays a bit of money for a short book:

DreamWorks Animation has optioned rights to "Dinotrux," an illustrated children's book that will be developed as a CG-animated film. Deal was for mid-six figures.

Written by Chris Gall, the 32-page book takes place in a fictional prehistoric age, when the world was ruled by Dinotrux, creatures that were part trucks, part dinosaurs

And South Park eviscerates the Disney Co. (They do Mickey Mouse to a fare thee well.)

... a brilliant parody of not only the Jonas Brothers but the entire Disney company ethos attacks the absurdity of using a hot boy band wearing "purity rings" to sell sex to young girls ...

Newsarama profiles French animation director Michel Ocelot.

Born in 1943, the son of Catholic missionaries, he spent his childhood in what was then West Guinea, where his parents wound up teaching in a palm-thatched one-room school. While he did attend the California Institute of the Arts, he wasn’t part of their world-renown animation program. Instead, he studied decorative arts. His inspiration for animation came from a do-it-yourself book on stop motion animation. At the same time, anyone who’s seen his films will see he’s taken many of the most familiar traditional techniques of animation and reinterpreted them in a number of startlingly fresh ways ...

A good piece on the Fleischer's place in the cartoon firmament, and the direction Toonland might have spun if they had prevailed over Uncle Walt:

The Fleischer cartoons are now being rediscovered, since most of them have no copyright status, so, unlike early Disney shorts for instance, they can be posted online with impunity. Their influence has waned a bit, but oddly enough they haven’t dated nearly as badly as other cartoons from the same era. And it’s always fun to take a look back at them and think of what could have been if the Fleischers rather than Disney had won their old depression-era rivalry.

Walter Sragow at the Baltimore Sun thinks there's no contest between Watchmen and The Incredibles. It's the cartoon by a couple of laps:

A tempest in an inkpot: That's one way of characterizing the mini-eruption over the relative virtues of the movie Watchmen and Brad Bird's 2004 Pixar smash, The Incredibles. Yet the contrast provides an instructive and entertaining demonstration of the difference between a work of art that inspires timeless love and affection and a cult item that begs for disproportionate devotion because of the impact it had on pop culture ...

The Incredibles can spin like a pop-art pinwheel and still be all of a piece because Bird boasts a coherent and scintillating vision. The members of the Incredible family represent the height of human aspiration; the forces that would pull them down stand for the leveling power of mediocrity ...

The Independent surveys the animation of primetime and wonders aloud if The Simpsons will ever be dethroned. The Hollywood Reporter's Ray Richmond supplies the answer:

"There are no plans to pull the plug for the simple reason that the show remains a massive cash cow in its rerun syndication afterlife," says Richmond. "The show repeats more effectively than possibly any show in history, and it's easy to see why. The characters never age, change little, and learn practically nothing from their pasts. They remain stuck in time." ...

Which will make the Yellow Family's animation crew happy. For they (last time I checked) wish to remain stuck in time also. Collecting a weekly paycheck to create the show.

Have a fulfilling weekend.


Anonymous said...

Hi Steve, I asked this question in another thread –

I know you've been providing general news updates regarding DreamWorks Animation but I don't think you've provided a walkthrough visit updates in quite some time. Any news on what is going re: MvA, How to Train your Dragon and anything else that is going on over there?

Sorry for asking more than once but I figured maybe you don't go back to old threads so I thought to ask here again.


Steve Hulett said...

You're right. Sometimes I don't go back to old threads. Only so many hours in the day.

I go to a studio per day, but don't always post about it. No point in writing: "I wandered through the third floor of the Lakeside building and made small talk with people. DreamWorks appears to still be making the same movies they were making four weeks ago when I posted about the studio ..."

I don't have anything to say, I tend not to say it.

But happily, I will have a brief post about DWA shortly.

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