Friday, December 04, 2009


Another Friday fraught with links.

Disney U.K. is ramping up its TV toons.

LONDON - Disney is to boost its content production presence across Europe, trebling its investment in animation and airing five new series across its portfolio of TV channels ...

Can we say Glo-Bal? ...

Another Arthur hybrid cartoon emerges from France ....

... Animated sequences feel less crowded than in the previous film, and production designer Hugues Tissandier ("Taken") offers some nifty sets that combine small-scale models with CGI backgrounds. But the garishly designed cartoon characters, captured by d.p. Thierry Arbogast's harsh yellow and green lighting, are often hard on the eyes and not nearly as fun to watch as they should be.

Live scenes are mostly by the book, with passable performances and little cinematic inspiration, especially in the nostalgic, small-town Americana settings (actually shot in Normandy) ....

The first installment tanked stateside; we'll see how this one shakes out.

Ricky Gervais, of The Office fame, brings his new cartoon extravaganza stateside early next year:

The Ricky Gervais Show, which is due to premiere on US cable channel HBO on 19 February, is expected to air on Channel 4 [in Britain] in March.

Gervais has made the show with the US film company MRC, with whom he worked on the recent movie The Invention of Lying, and the animation house Wildbrain.

Based on his series of audiobooks of the same name, which originated in an Xfm show and later ran as a podcast for the Guardian website, The Ricky Gervais Show will feature the same banter between the comedian and his sidekicks Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington, with animation accompanying original recordings of the trio.

Wildbrain, now headquartered in Sherman Oaks, is doing the Gervais show as well as "Peanuts"; yet two more good reason for TAG to secure a contract with the company ...

Director-story artist-animator and all around talent Will Finn here provides evidence why Mel Brooks should voice an animated feature:

This was just about the last really long piece of full animation I've done--the project itself was (alas) shelved. Eric's idea was to cast Mel as a certain elf with an unpronouncable name and I got to make up this animation as I went along. Eric designed the character and provided me with a custom made model sheet.

(But the hand-drawn art form is coming back, so maybe there is hope ...)

This is the year for movies with the word "Up" in the title:

... [T]he National Board of Review gave "Up in the Air" multiple awards on Thursday, including best film of the year ...

In a strong year for animated pics, the board named "Up" for animated feature kudos -- and resurrected a special filmmaking achievement award for Wes Anderson's stop-motion pic "Fantastic Mr. Fox."...

And we'll see some of you up at the TAG Christmas party this p.m. The rest of you will get to look at pictures ... when we get our wits together and put them up.

Have a joyous weekend.


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