Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Fleischers Ride Again

Okay, not Max and Dave exactly. But you get the idea.

Sony is bringing an all-CGI "Popeye" to the bigscreen, with the iconic sailor man's muscles set to pop in 3D.

Avi Arad, who teamed with Sony to turn Spider-Man into a powerhouse franchise, is producing. Scribe Mike Jones is in negotiations to adapt ....

From comic strips to cartoon shorts and Technicolor featurettes to three-dimensional CGI. (And of course Robin Williams played him in an Altman film that was not ... uh ... rapturously received. A Disney publicity exec told me Williams did a funny bit at an early screening making fun of his own performance, Mr. Williams saying he could see his career flashing before his eyes.)

I expect we'll be seeing other animated icons make the move to dimensional CG as we trundle along. Especially if this one makes some money. (Just because Rocky and Bullwinkle don't make the cut isn't a deal breaker. We still have Daffy and Donald and Pepe Le Pew. And has anyone given thought to making Foghorn Leghorn the star of his own film franchise?)


Howard Beale said...




I don't care if it will "create jobs for our members" . This stuff is garbage. In the long run it brings down our industry . (making animated movies with original stories and characters would also "create jobs for our members", so this junk is no excuse. And come to think of it , the animation will probably be off-shored to a non-union shop so no jobs for 839 animators)

Think up some new stuff and stop strip-mining animation's past. Leave it alone.

So depressing. And what's the most depressing is the knowledge that some people will be responding to this defending it ("well, at least it will create jobs", blah, blah, blah ... etc.)

Let the traditional TAG blog poo flinging commence ...

Crazy Howie said...

Sorry, I stand corrected about the off-shoring comment above. The Variety article does say: "Popeye" will be made by Sony Pictures Animation, with Sony Pictures ImageWorks handling the CG."

Sony Imageworks is still union, right ? (or do they also off-shore stuff to a satellite studio in India or China ?)

It's still a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

With music by a very lazy (and very much dead--or pickled) Harry Nillsson?

Ryan Summers said...

I'm disappointed that Sony didn't lock up the Cloudy directors to multi-picture deals; with that movie they created an art style and voice different from Pixar, Dreamworks, and Blue Sky. Instead they're the resurrectors of 80's nostalgia acts. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Popeye seems to be in that unfortunate gray area with Woody Woodpecker and Mighty Mouse, where more people remember the cartoons being shown on afternoons when they were kids than remember the actual cartoons, and assume they must be beloved pop-cultural icons.
The difference being, Popeye actually IS one, and it was only Robin Williams and Jules Pfeiffer that got that Dave Fleischer/Jack Mercer vibe right, even the audience had no idea what the heck they were doing at the time. And not sure if Avi's in that same camp either.

(And Cloudy was just a little too slacker/attention-deficit for my taste, thanks. I could do without Popeye bouncing off walls and making hip CN-style pop-refs.)

Anonymous said...

The Popeye movie was absolute crap. I saw it at the theater and barely endured it. I'm a huge Elzie Segar fan, and a fan of the early Fleischer Popeye toons, and that movie had none of the humor, spark or character of either. For that reason I'm dreading this new version. If it's anything like that Pfeiffer crap OR like the awful Paramount cartoons there isn't enough money in the WORLD that would tempt me to see it.

Anonymous said...

Give credit to Robin Williams for at least trying to do the Fleischer/Mercer version (love to watch live Robin put the Fleischer "flip" in his walk), and Shelley Duvall for channeling Margie Hines--But it needed a non-Altman director who could keep his camera on one thing at a time.

Steve Hulett said...

I don't care if it will "create jobs for our members" . This stuff is garbage.

Uh. I just reported the new project.

Didn't do any editorializing about work.

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