Sunday, September 06, 2009

Sunday Nite Links

What are you so smug about, boys? You're soon to be eated!

More linkage for a holiday weekend.

Waking Sleeping Beauty tells the tale of Disney Features from 1984 to 1994:

Director Don Hahn (a producer during that era) and Peter Schneider (an animation exec during that era) decided not to use talking heads at all and instead only use archival footage in an attempt to take us back to that time (as they explained). It works. I was drawn in to the behind-the-scenes world of Disney Animation in such an immersive, honest, and revealing way. The film does feature audio-only interviews from other powerful individuals like Roy Disney, then-CEO Michael Eisner, and Jeffrey Katzenberg. While it's being released by Disney, the now-CEO Dick Cook let them tell the real story, even if it wasn't always positive ...

Tub-thumping for the next animated feature down the theatrical chute begins with the L.A. Times overview of Shane Acker's 9:

... The ideas in "9" date to when Acker was a graduate student in architecture at UCLA and opted to take some animation classes on the side. He created the small numbered characters for a storyboard class and used two of them, 9 and 5, in his short, which played at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and won the gold medal at the Student Academy Awards that same year. In 2006, it was nominated for an Oscar in the animated short category.

Acker didn't win the prize -- though "Eric Bana did hold the bathroom door open for me," he said -- but the acclaim "9" garnered brought him to the attention of independent producer Jim Lemley. He, in turn, recruited the movie's two big-name producers, Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov ...

Pixar picks up another award, this time in Venice. (It's wonderful when these small studios from Chicken Scratch, Nowhere get some recognition.) ...

They were rewarded for their work creating a new generation of childhood memories populated with Nemo, Woody and Sulley. It is the first time in festival history that the award honors not just one filmmaker but an entire studio. Pixar, founded in 1986 and based in northern California, pioneered digital computer animation and has made 10 feature films to date, four of which have won Oscars since the animation category was introduced in 2001.

Yet, on a sadder note:

... Pixar and owner Walt Disney Co. are infringing Luxo's brand by selling functioning, special-edition lamps bearing the Luxo Jr. name and using a six-foot animatronic version in the Walt Disney World theme park, Luxo said ...

And this has been clear for some little time:

Analysts said Dreamworks remained one of the few fair-sized, attractive acquisition targets left in an industry that has gradually consolidated over the past few years ...

Goldman Sachs raised its six-month price target on DreamWorks to $38 from $36, after Disney announced the $4 billion takeover. The U.S. investment bank also raised the chance of a "take-out" to 35 percent from 20 percent.

"With Marvel out, DreamWorks is really the only logical choice for branded content with well-known, high profile franchises," said Marla Backer, Hudson Square Research analyst.

The entertainment conglomerates are hungry. Have a most glorious Labor Day, comrades!


Anonymous said...

"While it's being released by Disney, the now-CEO Dick Cook let them tell the real story, even if it wasn't always positive ..."

I haven't seen the film yet, but I have to wonder about that statement ... maybe "the real story" as far as what was actually covered, but I doubt the Whole Story.

(but of course almost no documentaries cover the Whole Story, just the part the documentarian wants to emphasize , so conflicting or contrary point of views are often downplayed or eliminated . I'm sure it's an entertaining and up to a point informative film ... but the real story would probably need someone with a little less vested interest in the subject to reveal it all candidly. )

Anonymous said...

"now-CEO" sounds like a hip title.

the Now-CEO. I expect some beads and bell-bottoms.

But I thought Iger was the "now-CEO".

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