Saturday, July 03, 2010

Weekend Festival of Links

Don't spend too much time at the computer. There are hot dogs to grill and fireworks to watch.

The DreamWorkers have released a new visual image for their third animated feature of 2010:

Cinderella succumbs at a ripe old age.

Ilene Woods, who provided the speaking and singing voice for the title character in Walt Disney's classic 1950 animated feature " Cinderella," has died. She was 81.

Woods, a Calabasas resident, died of causes related to Alzheimer's disease Thursday at a nursing and rehabilitation center in Canoga Park ...

Hayao Miyazaki Presents: The Borrower Arrietty:

Hayao Miyazaki wrote the script for the film based on Norton’s novel. Directing is 36-year old Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who served as a key animator on Miyazaki’s classics Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away. He’s the youngest feature director in Studio Ghibli history.

The Mouse is on a buying spree.

Walt Disney Co said on Thursday it has acquired startup iPhone app developer Tapulous, as the company continues its push into mobile games. ...

Tapulous struck gold with the music game "Tap Tap Revenue," which was one of the early hits on Apple's iPhone.

Tapulous says it has more than 35 million users, and "Tap Tap Revenge" has been played more than 1 billion times. The company also makes games for the iPad ....

Some Southern California art/animation schools go belly up, and lawsuits follow.

LOS ANGELES - The owners of Southern California art and design schools were sued for fraud Tuesday by dozens of immigrant families who claim they were lured into paying tuition for courses that were never completed because the company folded. ...

The suit alleges that from 2005 to 2009, the couple took some $1.5 million in tuition from 77 families for admission to their Montecito Fine Arts Inc. schools in suburban Monrovia, Arcadia and Brea. ...

The lawsuit alleges fraud, negligent misrepresentation and violation of state laws. It seeks unspecified damages and asks the court to rescind the school contracts and permanently bar the couple from unfair business practices.

The suit claims the couple took prepaid tuition even though they knew the campuses were in financial trouble. The schools went bankrupt last year ...

(There is, unfortunately, too much of this kind of stuff going on.)

Mark Kennedy continues his discussion on visual composition with The New School Marm - Part Deux.

... Without [the dog] there my eye gets "stuck" in that area where the dog used to be, it can't quite make the transition over to the stagecoach, and my eye starts to slide out the bottom of the painting. And without the dog the picture becomes too symmetrical to the top of the picture is an empty blank area and so is the bottom ....

Despicable Me is the next animated feature out of the gate, and leading voice Steve Carrell talks about it.

Q: In most of the characters you play, we see you as this great deadpan comedian who’s so good at playing it straight and making it funny. Is this a different side of your sense of humor we get to see where you do a crazy voice and go wild?

Steve Carell: It’s fun to go wild and it’s interesting when you’re trying to create a character in animation. It’s really a communal effort. It’s not like I would just come in with a singular idea and start doing it. I saw the artwork. I talked to the directors and the writers and got a sense for what they wanted. And then, what’s great about it is that you do have the license to just go for it and you trust that the editors and the directors will put in what’s necessary. I felt like my job description on this was to just give as wide a range as possible – do things small or smallish and then sort of blow the doors off on other takes because you never know what they’re going to need in any given moment in terms of the narrative of the movie ....

The new-look Wonder Woman appears to be a hit:

DC Comics is already doing a second print run after more than 60,000 copies were snapped up. There will be 100,000 in all for the issue. Downloads of the free issue preview for Wonder Woman #600 though DC Comic's one-week-old digital publishing app have been "phenomenal"

We'll end as we began, with a DreamWorker. Jeffrey Katzenberg recalls for Business Week the non-joy of getting canned:

Sixteen years ago, Michael Eisner called me into his office and fired me. ...

Disney (DIS) put out a press release. When I got back to my office an hour later, I got three calls. The first was from Bill Gates. The second was from Tom Murphy, CEO of CapCities/ABC. The third was from Steven Spielberg and Bob Zemeckis, who were vacationing together in Jamaica. They called to congratulate me on getting fired. They thought it was hilarious. ...

Which only goes to show that

A) It's good to have friends in high places, and

B) Always look on the bright side of life.

Happy patriotic holidays.


Anonymous said...

Everywhere Katzenberg goes, success follows. Coincidence? No way.

Im not the hugest fan of Dreamworks, but you cant deny their success. Good for him.

Locall said...

nice expression...

I'm still not convinced about this movie, I like the story but the visual style to me is very unapealing, like Monsters vs. Aliens and Madagascar, which I in the end also didn't like.

Anonymous said...

Happy Independance Day!




Anonymous said...

I should pass along this tidbit, juxtaposing the new Dreamworks poster against a cartoon that has been circulating on the web for quite a while:

Anonymous said...

LOL...More seriously, considering what reportedly happens to one of the two characters in the poster (no spoilers, but some of us have seen "Mystery Men"), DW's latest marketing and full-trailers seem to taking a lot of equal billing away from the character they THOUGHT would be the sellable lead.
As in, a last-ditch "Well, that early teaser campaign didn't go off as well as we thought it would, did it?" ;) Expect to see a lot more of the faux-MvA heroine in the ads, as well.

The new-look Wonder Woman appears to be a hit:

"Inspired by Asian martial arts"?...Uh, some of us have long memories for the LAST time WW tried changing her look and taking karate lessons. It didn't work out so well.

Cinderella succumbs at a ripe old age.

Maybe a little help from Walt (who was trying to make Cindy more "contemporary" than Snow White), but Ilene Woods really redeemed the story character of Cinderella:
Woods' performance created a smart and realistic Cindy, who wasn't a doormat and was aware of her situation, but had enough conscience not to let hate rule her life...Gotta confess, I fly off the handle at fight-picking feminists who decide to tilt pop-icon windmills and choose Walt's Cindy as their first target for "evil role models", when there's a few lessons they could learn themselves.

Anonymous said...

I think DW did that poster on purpose.

Which, if true, is hilarious

Anonymous said...

Well, yes, but not for THAT reason.
(If so, it would suggest that DW is aware of its own cliche's and fading popularity with the mainstream, which as we know, is never likely to happen in our lifetimes...And even if they were, rebellious bravado never won a fight with the audiences. ;) )

They're pushing the superhero in our faces, trying bravely to make the trailer look as if the entire story will be about BOTH characters for the whole 90 minutes, and adding that new money-tag that they're spoofing "Superhero movies"--
In other words, y'see, DW's not cannibalizing the Incredibles and their own MvA groove like you might think, but they're really doing a timely, contemporary, up-to-date spoof of all those Marvel movies!
(No, Jeff, you're cannibalizing the Incredibles and MvA, and stop trying to convince us you're not running five years behind all the other studios.) :)

Anonymous said...

Who is commenting here? Please gtfo.

"They" "they"--hey fool, this project belonged to Ben Stiller, who wanted to make it somewhere and has had a longstanding relationship with Dreamworks. So it's being made there.
NO, "they" are NOT "cannibalizing the Incredibles". But hey, you know ALL ABOUT it, because you've seen it finished, the whole thing, right? WRONG. And you're so dead on with your desperate insistence about Dreamworks' "Fading popularity in the mainstream". Yeah, Dragon proved that, didn't it? And Shrek Forever After totally tanked.

You don't like DW? Great. Peachy. SO edgy of you fanwise.. You hate the place and its films, released ones and unreleased alike? Wunderbar. Go to a fan board. Stay off my union site. Just don't comment.

BTW, no one has ever calls Jeffrey Katzenberg "Jeff" any more than anyone calls Iger "Bobby" or Lasseter "Johnnie". But you're such an INSIDER I guess you know better.

Floyd Norman said...

All I know is, the audience really loved the trailer at the theater I attended. Most laughed their heads off at the stupid gags. Somehow, DreamWorks appears to be doing something right.

Disney's "Tangled" came up next. (crickets)

Anonymous said...

Cmon Floyd. Why do you gotta hate?

Fun fact: My word verification is



J said...

Jeff has had a lot of success where he has gone. I honestly haven't liked most of Dreamworks Animated films, but he's doing something right.

Bobby is struggling but he still has managed to turn more around after what Mikey E. did to the Mouse house. I've enjoyed most of Disney's recent animated films.

Johnnie seems to be stretching himself super thin these days. I don't think he needed to attach himself to Cars 2, someone else could have been co-director. I wish he would focus on running the two studios he's in charge of. Pixar is always an enjoyable experience at the theatre.

Anonymous said...

What Katzenberg is doing right these days is a more hands-off approach of the directors and artists instead of the micromanaging of projects in his earlier days.

It's the entire reason Dragon and American Beauty came out as the masterpieces they were. Unless you have a strong director who is willing to stand up to JK's meddling as on the first Shrek. Otherwise his many fingers are too busy ruining several puddings at once.

Another fun fact:
Word Verification for this post is "dablesse"

where does google get these nonsensical words

Anonymous said...

American Beauty?

Anonymous said...

lol....hahhahahha....that is so funny the post abouty all the uses of the 'standard' DW expression...I can't stop laughing..

...Except for the fact that only half of the examples actually use 'the expression' and that expression is also easily found in quite a few Disney characters in the films since Mermaid on - not to mention it can also be found in Iron Giant and any other film that was animated by Disney and ex-Disney animators.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm telling you, just seeing the names "Ferrell" and "Pitt" makes me wanna see this movie. Seriously. I'm all a-twitter. Ferrell! Pitt! Makes me completely overlook the hideous characters and derivative story.

I'm not a DW hater by any means - but this poster makes me wanna be. Feh.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting the trailer for THE BORROWER ARRIETTY. I had not heard of this film adaptation of Mary Norton's book before now, but it looks beautiful!

Floyd Norman said...

"why do I gotta hate?" I'm just relating what happened in the theater.

How's this? The audience totally loved the trailer.

Everybody feel better now?

Anonymous said...

*rolls eyes*

Anonymous said...

No one at my theater laughed much at the trailer for Megamind OR Tangled. It was actually pretty awkward.

Anonymous said...

It wouldn't have been nearly as awkward if you'd kept your pants on like we asked you to.

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