Wednesday, April 08, 2009

April Linkomatic

Links old and new ...

Despite the Market's raspberry, Monsters Vs. Aliens isn't doing half bad at foreign venues:

"Monsters" placed No. 1 at the international box office over the weekend, grossing $33.5 million from 7,467 runs in 47 territories. Foreign cume on the toon from DreamWorks Animation/Paramount is $47 million.

Pic opened March 27 domestically and in a few overseas territories that same week but broadened into new territories last weekend, timed to students' spring breaks.

"We're definitely seeing the same dynamic internationally, in that people prefer to see movies in 3-D when they have the opportunity," Paramount co-chair Rob Moore said.

In the U.K., the film enjoyed a $6.4 million opening weekend, with 3-D runs contributing an amazing 50% of that even though those runs account for a small percentage of the total playdates ...

Toon Zone notes the tempest in the ink well over the not-great Blu-Ray release of Gulliver's Travels:

... Despite its shortcomings as a movie, Gulliver's Travels still has non-trivial historical value, so having a good, remastered transfer to DVD and Blu-ray would be cause for celebration. E1 Entertainment clearly did not have the resources to restore the movie the way Disney could restore Pinocchio, but even so, the final result seems disappointingly washed out and fuzzy, even in the Blu-ray 1080p transfer ...

(Funny. I remember enjoying Gulliver as a kid. It's a shame how the Fleischer oeuvre has been relegated to the big dumpster of history ...)

Speaking of Uncle Walt, The Walt Disney Family Museum has at last opened.

“We are committed to telling the story of Walt Disney’s life, in his own words, and in the words of others who knew him well and worked with him. My father was very open and approachable, and in many conversations and interviews that were captured in audio, you will be able to hear in the galleries as you learn the story of his life. It is a wonderful story. Dad himself loved to tell it. Thanks to the amazing work of many dedicated people, we are fortunate to be able to tell it here using the tools he worked with—art, music, film, and technology—to present an honest yet affectionate portrait of this amazing artist and man.” -- Diane Disney Miller

On the far side of the Pacific, Chinese animators score with Pleasant Goat and Big Bad Wolf (a title you can believe in.)

... Chinese fans have found their own animation icons.

A hit with all ages, the domestic animated film "Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf" achieved a big box office despite the economic downturn. Based on a popular TV series, the film tells the tale of several goats, a snail and the enemy, Big Big Wolf, who covets fresh mutton for his family.

The 6-million-yuan (about 877,000 U.S. dollars) surprise hit made 8 million yuan on opening day and some 80 million yuan within three weeks ...

'Buggering about with Plasticene?" The Australian interviews the creator of the Aussie feature Mary and Max:

... Initially, Elliot and Coombs secured seed money from SBS to make an animated series. The drive towards taking the chance to make a feature, however, soon became overwhelming. And while their animation may be seen by some outside the industry as "buggerising about with Plasticine", embarking on Mary and Max was as big an undertaking as any Australian live action feature.

After a refit converting a former medical factory at the St Kilda end of Melbourne's Chapel Street into a film studio, the movie's production team set to work on a laborious process in which six animators each attempted to film four seconds of footage a day. The production employed 123 people, with the main part of the shoot requiring 55 full-time employees.

"It is too easy to consign Mary and Max to the relative ghetto of animation. That sells Elliot way short," Bana says. "He has this storytelling and writing, not to mention his obvious skills with that form of animation, and just an amazing eye in terms of cinematography. It's a pretty amazing blend and sincerely unique." ...

Have a fine, mid-week work experience. Me, I am off to the enchanted kingdom of Culver City ...


Anonymous said...

They have 1.3 billion people in China and a "hit" movie makes only about $12 million in three weeks. Ticket prices must be microscopic.

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