Saturday, January 09, 2010

El Linkage

Your end-of-week animation linkfest ...

This is one of the more bizarre bits of news I've seen this week:

Charlie Chaplin is to be revived as a cartoon character – with a series of 104 silent animated shorts.

The £7million project – which has the blessing of the Chaplin estate – will feature 3D-style computer animation aimed at children as young as six. ...

Silent animated films? That sounds like a commercial grand slam. (They going to do it in black and white?) Since silent films were kind of cartoons to begin with, I don't see the point of doing an animated version of a character mostly long-forgotten. I must not be cutting edge enough.

The Hollywood Reporter dips into the story-making process for animated features:

... "We started writing six years go -- and we finished writing during the mix," says Phil Lord, who co-wrote and co-directed "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" with Chris Miller. "We always joke that you make an animated film backward: You start with editing the film, with the animatic (mock-ups); and then proceed to shoot it. That's the beauty of the animation process: It takes so long, you have so many chances to improve it." ...

Fox is banging the publicity drum for its Golden Oldie:

Fox on Sunday night ... attempts to rekindle that "Simpsons" love (not to mention faded ratings glory) with a 90-minute celebration of the show's 20th anniversary. Yes, the animated sitcom that taught a nation -- nay, the world -- to say "Cowabunga, dude," is now the longest-running prime-time series in the history of television. Just one more year, and "The Simpsons" can finally, legally drink its own bottle of Duff Beer...

I'm not sure what the "faded ratings" thing is. Last Sunday Simpsons was fractionally higher than Family Guy.

Peter Rainier looks at an animated feature from Belgium.

With all the high-profile animated movies out there now, it would be a loss if "A Town Called Panic" was stampeded in the shuffle. This marvelous little Belgian gem is making the rounds, and it's as funny, and often as inventive, as, for starters, "Up" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox." A spinoff of a popular Belgian TV series, it was the only stop-motion animated film ever chosen as an official selection at the Cannes film festival ...

The Los Angeles Times predicts the viability of the next Pixar feature.

Disney and Pixar's "Toy Story 3" versus Paramount's "Footloose."

Horn: Underestimate Pixar at your own peril. "Toy Story 2" ($245.9 million domestically) outgrossed the first "Toy Story" ($191.8 million) and there's no reason why the third Buzz and Woody film won't do better than both.

Fritz: Gee, that's almost as tough a call as "Avatar" versus "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" the weekend before Christmas. Given the track record of Pixar and this franchise in particular, I'd bet "Toy Story 3" won't only beat its weekend competition but will be the biggest movie of the summer ...

And we end with sad news. Gumby's papa has passed away:

Art Clokey, the creator of the whimsical clay figure Gumby, died in his sleep Friday at his home in Los Osos, Calif., after battling repeated bladder infections, his son Joseph said. He was 88.

Clokey and his wife, Ruth, invented Gumby in the early 1950s at their Covina home shortly after Art had finished film school at USC. After a successful debut on "The Howdy Doody Show," Gumby soon became the star of its own hit television show, "The Adventures of Gumby," the first to use clay animation on television ...

Have a salubrious weekend. Remember to pace yourself.


Anonymous said...

The silent Chaplin toons could be awful -- or they could be charming and wonderful.

I'm not making any bets either way, except to say that just because the technology is retro doesn't make the idea a bad one.

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