Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Your Mid-Week Linkage

As we crawl over the crest of hump-day, the question is asked:

"Could Toy Story be the first animated best picture winner?"

And the answer is given.


So the idea appears to be that much more of the Marvel stockpile will, in the fullness of time, be rolled out for public viewing:

... Marvel Studios is planning to include short films alongside upcoming superhero movies. Just as Pixar offers a new animated short with each annual release, Marvel fans should hopefully be able to look forward to short superhero adventures before the main feature begins. According to the rumor, these shorts are specifically intended to highlight Marvel's lesser known characters, providing them a chance at Hollywood glory ...

This is commonly known as "exploiting the product."

Warner Bros. Animation's super-hero top-kick Bruce Timm explains the art of one particular pitch, plus a lot more:

Q: How did Judd Winick convince you that his comic series/graphic novel would translate well to an animated film?

BRUCE TIMM: When we first heard that Judd wanted to pitch ["Batman: Under the Red Hood"] as an adaptation for our DC Universe film line, Alan Burnett and I quickly got copies of the book and read through it.

My first impression was that it was an entertaining comic, but it was quite a long mini-series and it had all these tangents of supporting characters who came and went through the course of the story. Quite frankly, it was confusing to me and I kept thinking to myself that I didn’t see how a lot of those things would work. The big thing about the story is that it’s a sequel to a big event in the history of DC comics – the death of Robin that happened back in the 1980s – and I didn’t see how we could set that up, because it all hinges on being a sequel to that story.

Furthermore, the way the pitch was arranged, we were in a room in Burbank and Judd was in San Francisco and had to pitch over the speakerphone. But amazingly, every single problem I thought we’d have trouble making into a movie, Judd had fixed in the pitch. Judd had already clearly put a lot of thought into the entire film – how to stay focused on the main story, how to clean up the death of Robin thing, and how to eliminate all the extra baggage. He pitched for about 45 minutes and when he was done, Alan and I looked at each other and said, “Yeah, that’s a movie. Let’s do it.” And away we went.

Fox News Corp.'s Blue Sky Animation Studio has a new animated feature baking in the oven, and they display a sample here:

Empire Online shares the scuttlebutt it's collected from Producer/animation executive Don Hahn:

“I’m actually trying to work out a 3D conversion of The Lion King. I’ll be doing that when I go back to the States in a couple of weeks.” ...“It’s going to be spectacular – we will do a good job for ya! The technology is tremendous. We did A Nightmare Before Christmas a few years ago and Tim thought it was better than the original because it allows you to walk onto the set ....”

"[The Snow Queen] is on the low shelf – we can’t reach it! But seriously, we don’t have the story. It’s a bit like Beauty And The Beast, which sat there for years. We cracked Beauty finally by putting in the objects and creating more plot. The Snow Queen we’ve had a lot of trouble with and I’ve spent years on it. I love it and I think it’s one of the last great fairy tales. It’s kind of crappy that it’s just sitting there right now.”

(The information I heard re SQ is that the first story pass was put up on story reels... and a short time later Disney's own Richard Ross shelved it, sight unseen. It's a girl picture, don't you know.)

Regarding overseas animated features: I really, really want to like this more than I do, based on the trailer.

It seems that Nickelodeon is near the top of the heap in basic cable:

Nickelodeon closed the week as basic cable's number-one network in total day with kids 2-11 and total viewers. ... Nick's weekly ratings performance also was highlighted by SpongeBob SquarePants and The Penguins of Madagascar- which, quarter to date, ranks as the number-two animated series on all TV with kids 2-11 and kids 6-11, behind only SpongeBob SquarePants ...

Have a joyous Thursday and Friday.


Anonymous said...

"Could Toy Story be the first animated best picture winner?"
And the answer is given. "No."

Up was "supposed" to win last year, not so much on merit, but on lingering ghosts of "Toy Story 2 shoulda been nominated!" coming to a rebellious head to "avenge" Wall-E's no-show.
At the last minute, the "Ten nomination" stunt backfired, we ended up getting ten recycled Golden Globes and Critics Circle nominees like we did every other year, and the "Why didn't you see Hurt Locker??" supporters took over.

Will TS3 be nominated this year to "avenge" Up? And again the answer: No.
It's good, but too similar to TS2 to be the one that won "instead" of it. This battle is going to go on for YEARS, with the proponents showing no sign of backing down yet.

Anonymous said...

"Up was supposed to win"...? Says who?
Don't kid yourself. Up never stood a chance and only made the nominations because voters were desperate to find 10 films to nominate. Up would never have nmade the list if it had been left to 5 nominees.
Be satisfied it won Best Animated Film and leave it alone.

Anonymous said...

And then there's the argument that the ten-nomination stunt may have been CREATED to railroad Up into a Picture nomination, months before Hurt Locker even opened--
(Friend, never underestimate the similarly "avenging" voter desire to see Beauty&Beast happen again with Pixar this time, and winning.)

The complaint at the time was that "commercial mainstream" films (like, nudge-nudge, hint-hint) weren't getting as much of a chance compared to earlier years, and there was a lot of envy over how the Golden Globes separating ten Pictures into "Best Comedy/Musical" could get more populist favorites recognized.
And there was one Comedy/Musical the voters specifically had in mind...

Anonymous said...

I remember a feature version of Snow Queen made in another country, (USSR, I think), that I saw in the sixties.
Does anyone remember that one? I remember being completely blown away by it.

Anonymous said...

**The information I heard re SQ is that the first story pass was put up on story reels... and a short time later Disney's own Richard Ross shelved it, sight unseen. It's a girl picture, don't you know.)**

And we all know Richard Ross doesn't like girls.

Anonymous said...

anon@12:10...the decision was made before Up hit the theaters (discussions probably started right after the weak numbers for the previous broadcast came in) and was made beause they wanted ratings to go up (as you surmised) more mainstream features to be nominated, but it had nothing to do with Up specifically. But regardless of how many films get nominated the voting patterns won't suddenly change. The same people nominating the best Picture award (every Academy member) are the same ones who vote for it. It's not like Best Animated FIlm where there';s a small nominating committee and then the rest of the membership votes for the winner.

You really need to stop assuming that the world revolves around Pixar. Even you have to admit that if there weren't 10 nominations Up would never have made the list.

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