Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Mid-Week Festival of Links

Animated news that may or may not interest you (but interested me) ....

The New York Times recounts comic book icon Jack Kirby's time in AnimationLand:

... Mr. Kirby started working for California’s animation studios in the late 1970s after becoming disillusioned with comic-book companies in New York that he said he felt did not give him fair payment or credit for his creations. After a stint with Hanna-Barbera, he was hired by Ruby-Spears in 1980, first to design characters and backgrounds for its Saturday morning action series “Thundarr the Barbarian,” then to draw presentation boards for new projects.

“Many times, he didn’t have enough to do, or there weren’t enough assignments,” Mr. Spears said. “He was such a prolific guy that he would, on his own, just start sketching out some thoughts.” ...

And while we're on the subject of super heroes, DisneyMarvel (like the way that bounces off your eye-balls?) rolled out this:


... Marvel Entertainment announced that an "Ultimate Spider-Man" animated series will debut on The Disney XD Channel in the Fall of 2011. The series focuses on Peter Parker as he grows from a reckless teenager into the hero he was meant to become, all while contending with super-villains and typical teenage curve balls. ...

Singapore -- if you hadn't heard -- is making a major push to rope in more international cartoon biz:

Singapore's Media Development Authority (MDA) has announced a major fund of up to S$5 million for every new animation programme made with foreign companies.

It is part of efforts to extend Singapore's reach in the global content market.

MIPTV is one of the world's most important trade markets for the television industry.

Held in the French city of Cannes, it is also where Singapore showcases the programmes it produces, and convinces international partners why they should do business with the country ...

James Barrie's Neverland characters aren't the wholly-owned property of the Mouse. Other corporate entities are working up product featuring Mr. Pan and Co.:

India's DQ Entertainment has signed a deal with France Television for a $12.5 million 3D CGI animation series, "The New Adventures of Peter Pan," to be developed by French production companies Method Animation and Story Board Animation, it was announced Tuesday.

DQ Entertainment, the Mumbai-based animation, live action and gaming, producer/distributor said the 26x30 fantasy adventure series would remain faithful to the original series but would bring the story to a new generation of children.

Seth McFarlane circles his first animated feature (well, animated hybrid feature).

... The Family Guy creator is working out a deal with Universal Pictures and financiers Media Rights Capital about ... a movie, titled "Ted." MacFarlane, who pulls triple duty on American Dad, Family Guy and The Cleveland Show, would direct the film, his first feature, by year’s end if the deal can be sealed. He would also provide the voice for the CG-animated teddy bear, who comes between the guy and his girlfriend ...

Disney withholds Song of the South. Time-Warner withholds eleven questionable shorts:

[The Censored Eleven] ... [A]s Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts often reflected the era at the time of it being inked, they sometimes touched upon sensitive issues with an arguably insensitive approach. Although a sparked stick of dynamite and a giant mallet over the head could easily be laughed off by most, shorts centered around harsh African American stereotypes will do more than just raise an eyebrow.

In 1968, United Artists selected 11 Warner Bros. cartoons that the studio determined to be overtly insensitive to African Americans. As owners to Associated Artists Productions and the cartoon library therein, United Artists pulled the cartoons -- dubbed the "Censored 11" -- from distribution and withheld them from being officially aired on television or released on video. According to GoldenAgeCartoons.com, Ted Turner upheld this policy after retaining rights to the pre-1948 cartoons and it's been maintained under their current ownership.

Well, the 'toons are pretty insensitive. Whether they should be completely swept under the rug or not, I donno. Like it or not, they are a part of cartoon history.

We wish you a successful hike over the mid-week hump.


Floyd Norman said...

Regarding Disney's "Song of the South" decision, I find it odd that the company that stops at nothing to make a buck would be so squeamish. It's 2010, guys. Get over it.


Steve Hulett said...

I don't get the policy myself, since it's a relatively inoffensive film. But maybe I'm just looking at it wrong.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Floyd, Disney is being ridiculous about Song of the South. It has so many great moments, and many of them belong to James Baskett, who played Uncle Remus. Were he alive today, would he be called upon to be embarrassed or ashamed of his work? I wonder how Uncle Walt would deal with this. Probably he'd get called a racist by a certain faction of the media and political spectrum. All because he took a classic story and brought it to vivid, exuberant life on-screen. I really can't stand the current Disney regime. To them, everything is about marketing, not about good ideas or respect for the Disney legacy.

Jerry Beck said...

The article on Warner Bros. "Censored 11" cartoons is a bit out of date... The studio is showing these "banned" cartoons publicly, in new 35mm prints, at the Egyptian Theater on Saturday April 24th as part of its TCM Festival. Unless this screening causes a race riot, Warners is considering releasing them on DVD.

Steve Hulett said...

High time, Jerry.

The shorts might be considered edgy, but there a part of our cultural history.

If we watch "Gone With the Wind" and "Birth of a Nation", we can watch these.

Anonymous said...

Iger didn't help the SotS issue much by tossing it off with a stonewalling snub to the stockholder-meeting fans--The public still sees Iger as having the wrong end of the stick about perceptions of the movie, and the stick's not going to be doing anyone any good in the location where it is now.

But let's not make the mistake of confusing SotS with Warner's 11--
Warner earned its ban with some pretty hair-curling stereotypes, that wouldn't wide-appeal to anyone except core animation-geek fans...Funny ones, yes (at least in the case of the Bob Clampett titles), but not exactly the framed misunderstood martyrs that Baskett and Remus were.

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