Friday, May 08, 2009

Friday Links

Now with life-affirming Add On.

Now that we're at the end of another slog through a workweek, we offer links for your perusal ... beginning with the power of Seth McFarlane.

In a dazzling, audacious stunt that hasn't been tried on TV since, well, the last time Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was rerun in the wee hours of the morning, an animated character is about to cross over to a live-action show.

Baby Stewie, the foul-tempered, homicidal baby from Family Guy, appears on tonight's episode of the police procedural Bones. Suddenly, Izzie's ghostly hallucinations in Grey's Anatomy and Dr. House's spectral visitations by the dead Amber in House don't look so out-there ...

It must be sweeps, correct? Because they know the producers know a ratings booster when they stumble across one ...

M-G-M, once a behometh and now a shingle, is getting into the theatrical animation game:

'Bunyan and Babe' will go out through MGM in North America. MGM has pacted with Exodus Film Group to release the animated pic "Bunyan and Babe" in North America.

Film, which features the voices of John Goodman and Kelsey Grammer, is a modern take on the folk story of legendary lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his sidekick, Babe the Blue Ox ...

Of course, the Bunyan legend has cropped up in an animated before.

CXO Today reviews the current state of Indian animation:

The Indian animation industry has matured on the technical expertise since last five years (sic). However the industry now needs to focus on creativity and build its own IP content based on indigenous story themes to become more credible in the world market -- say industry experts.

(It gives a fine account of what's going on the sub-continent ... even if some of the article's sentences are ... a little tortured.

Variety profiles Luc Breson and his budding career in animation with Arthur and the Invisibles:

The idea for "Arthur" came out of a meeting Besson had with writer Patrice Garcia, who had shown him a drawing of the character.

"'Arthur' was financed like a studio film and showcased an enormous pool of French talents," says Sparx's former head of production, Thomas Schober. The sequel, "Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard," is set to bow next November in Germany.

The Disney Co. will be setting up a new animation studio in Vancouver ... again:

To accommodate a growing slate of nonfeature projects, Disney and Pixar will launch an animation studio in the fall in Vancouver.

The focus will be on Pixar's legacy characters, including Buzz and Woody from the "Toy Story" films and Lightning McQueen and Mater from "Cars."

"The operation will be small in size and dedicated to producing short-form quality computer animation for theme parks, DVDs, television and theatrical exhibition ... for several different divisions of the Walt Disney Co.," Disney/Pixar president Ed Catmull said.

For those of you keeping a scorecard (and who have been around awhile), you might recall that Disney set up an animation studio in Vancouver during the go-go nineties. At that time, the concentration was on hand-drawn sequels for VHS and DVD. TAG assisted a Canadian union in its efforts to organize the studio. They came close, but ultimately failed. The artists working there were fearful that if they "brought in the union," that Disney would close the studio.

So the studio remained non-union. And Disney closed it a year-and-a-half later. (Ah well ...)

Add On: And as roll-out approaches, the L.A. Times again profiles the late and early stages of Up.

... As soon as the screening ended, Docter, Rivera, composer Michael Giacchino, executive producer John Lasseter and a dozen members of Pixar's brain trust met over lunch in a Skywalker conference room to discuss what they had just seen. By the time the team finished dessert, they had decided "Up" needed a new piece of music, and the choice they made with Giacchino revealed much about the film's creative ambitions ...

Have a glorious Friday and productive weekend.


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