Sunday, July 05, 2009

Then Is the Animation Going To ... Hawaii?

Well, a little of it is.   Amazingly enough, there's a small slice of toonage being produced in the Island State.

... [A] production studio in Hawaii will launch a series of animated shows on the national scene. Hawaii Film Partners has produced 38 two-minute episodes of "Ape Escape" for Nickelodeon's NickToons network. The series premieres at 9 a.m. today.

"This was a way for us to do our first animation project on something that was bite-sized," said Rann Watumull, co-founder of Hawaii Film Partners and an executive producer of "Ape Escape." "It's a wonderful way to introduce a show without having to take over a time slot."

... Creating the infrastructure for animation has already led to the next step. Watumull's company is working on 26 half-hour episodes of "Guardians of the Power Masks," an animated series that represents a multinational partnership with South Korea and China, where it will air in prime time ...

The last animation produced in Hawaii was Final Fantasy, also the product of a multi-national effort.  A consortium of Japanese and American artists created the elaborate mo-cap feature in Honolulu at the turn of the millenium. High hopes and big bucks were poured into Fantasy, but only tiny box office resulted, so the big Honolulu studio in the oceanfront high rise went away.

Animation, to a far greater extent than live action, is market driven.  If the projects tank, then the jobs and studios disappear.  Sadly, this is the way it's always worked.

If Hawaii's latest animation house hopes to endure, it will have to deliver the goods, quality wise.  It shouldn't take long to tell if that comes to pass.


Anonymous said...

When I hear Animation being created, images of new original content comes to mind especially if it is from an area not known for putting out something "new". So is Ape Escape new?
Hopefully someday original content will come out from Hawaii as I am sure there are artist with new ideas waiting to be discovered. Much like the diamond in the rough. But for now, a production of Ape Escape saddens me its more of a business model, buy/license someones elses intellectual property + hire talent to do the grunt work.

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