Saturday, October 02, 2010

Weekend Links

DreamWorks Animation is good at publicity.

They came from galaxies as far away as Encino and Santa Monica, and descended upon the Nokia Plaza in downtown Los Angeles for a singular purpose — to make history. Well, Guinness World Records history, at least. This morning, DreamWorks Animation orchestrated a publicity stunt/urban carnival/Comic-Con reunion in anticipation of the release of CG-animated superhero flick, Megamind ...

A total of 1,580 costumed individuals showed up to the event, which was more than enough to break the record of 1,500 set by a New Hampshire children’s hospital way back in… August. ...

Tangled also gets publicized.

[Disney] screened a nearly complete version of its Nov. 24 animated movie ... [Director Nathan] Greno joked that the reason he and [co-director Byron] Howard looked so pale was that, like Rapunzel, they had been sequestered indoors for the last two years, feverishly working on the film. ...

“When people hear we’re making a contemporary version of this classic tale of Rapunzel, they want to know if it would be cynical,” said Howard. “It’s not. It’s got heart. ..."

Tom Hanks finds partners in Mumbai:

... Reliance Big Entertainment has entered a joint venture with Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone. The alliance will create Electric City — a multi-platform digital animated Internet series for online social gaming and mobile applications conceived and written by Hanks.

Disney R & D is moving:

Disney lab relocates at CMU

The Walt Disney Co. will fill office space on Carnegie Mellon's campus that has been vacant since Google announced plans to expand to Bakery Square in Larimer. ...

Disney first took up space on the CMU campus in 2008 when the company opened a research and development lab that worked on computer animation and robotics for Disney and affiliated companies such as ESPN and Pixar Animation Studios. ...

Happy Birthday, Charlie Brown.

'PEANUTS' TURNS 60: Smithsonian pays tribute this weekend with portrait unveiling & Family Day

... "41 years ago," {Lee Mendelsohn said], "there was a day in December when over 100-million people were reading the comic strip; the first 'Peanuts' feature film played to 6,000 people at a sold-out Radio City Music Hall; half the TV sets in the country were tuned to the Charlie Brown Christmas special; and the 'Peanuts' musical was playing off-Broadway to a standing-room-only audience."

... "Forty-one years later," Mendelson continued, "the comic strip is read by over 100-million people; ABC has just signed on to air his holiday shows for five more years ...

I guess everybody remembers Fred and Wilma in their own way.

Chatsworth, CA, United States (AHN) - An adult studio is honoring the 50th anniversary of the Hanna-Barbera animated sitcom "The Flintstones" with a porn parody. New Sensations is releasing "The Flintstones: A XXX Parody" on DVD October 25. ...


Anonymous said...

It's official: DW is trying to smokescreen the general marketing away from the usual "Incredibles knockoff" suspicions, and more toward making it look as if they were trying to parody the recent surplus of comic-book movies in general...As if the idea had just occurred to them after seeing Iron Man 2, and no one else had come up with the idea yet.
Mr. K, it seems, is also good at excuses. :)

Anonymous said...

Megamind has very little in common with the Incredibles. Wait until you see it and then pass judgement.

Anonymous said...

Yes. No one doubts this new dw cartoon pales by far in comparison to the Incredibles.

But dw IS, without doubt, playing on the audiences confusion in the ads.

Anonymous said...

No, they're not.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that DreamWorks managed to smash the previous record with this event. Take that! - New Hampshire childrens' hospital.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity... in what way is Megamind derivative of the Incredibles? It's not about a family of super heroes, nor take place in a society where super heroes have been banned. It doesn't LOOK like The Incredibles. It's six years later (2004 vs 2010), so it's not like they're jumping on the Incredibles' bandwagon.

Anonymous said...

What?!, yes! jumping on the bandwagon incredibly (pun intended) late!

Anonymous said...

So no one can ever do another animated superhero movie without being accused of jumping on the Incredibles bandwagon...?
Pretty ironic since the Incredibles is such a huge rip off of the Fantastic Four to begin with...a well done rip off, but a rip off nonetheless. Oh, wait...because it deals with a completely different storyline than what it's ripping off then it's okay? So wouldn't that make the fact that there are no similiarities between the stories or characters remove the ability of any Pixies from screaming ripoff...? Now if DC/WB wanted to make a stink (like Marvel could have in regards to the Incredibles) then you might have a point.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the last poster, I too thought it was The Incredibles that jumped on the bandwagon. They only made the film after live-action superhero films had shown themselves to be enormously popular, and the film borrowed from dozens of comic book series about the 'real world' interactions and problems of super heros.

Anonymous said...

"and the film borrowed from dozens of comic book series about the 'real world' interactions and problems of super heros."

That's because it's a homage to comic books. Brad Bird grew up reading and loving comics and wanted to create a film that pays tribute while contributing to the genre.

Also, he started writing the screenplay before The Iron Giant.

I understand the rivalry between animators and animation fans, but the ignorance is ridiculous.

The Incredibles is not a "rip off" of the Fantastic Four. That's like something Armond White would say. Armond White said Toy Story 3 was a rip off of Transformers 2.

You sound as stupid him.

Anonymous said...

Another Pixie that fails to see the point of the post.

When Pixar jumps on the bandwagon it's a homage - when Dreamworks jumps on the bandwagon it's a ripoff.

Look at who sounds stupid...

Anonymous said...

Actually, I never said Megamind was a rip off. Nor, in fact, did I even mention Megamind.

All I did was defend The Incredibles.

So before you start bashing "Pixies" and people who "fail to see the point" you should read what they actually wrote.

Anonymous said...

The Pixie made this assertion:

That's because it's a homage to comic books. Brad Bird grew up reading and loving comics and wanted to create a film that pays tribute while contributing to the genre.

Here's what Brad actually said, in an interview with Michael Barrier (and I've heard him say the same elsewhere):

Bird: I was not a big comic-book reader. I read a few, when I was little, but I was really much more into things like "Peanuts" and "B.C."—funny strips. I got my heroes secondhand, from television and movies, to a certain extent. When fans ask if I was influenced by issue 47 of Whoeverman, I have no idea what they're talking about. I'm perfectly willing to believe that I'm not the first to come up with certain ideas involving superheroes; it's probably the most well-trod turf on the planet. If there are similarities, it's simply because the same thoughts that occurred to other people also occurred to me. I'd be astonished if anyone could come up with any truly original powers that were at all interesting any more.

It's also false that Bird started writing The Incredibles before he did The Iron Giant. But hey, never let the truth get in the way of a good story, right?

Anonymous said...

"I had the idea about twelve years ago, long before Iron Giant, which I just kept tinkering on in the back of my brain. At any one time I have five or six ideas that are at various stages of being assembled and that was one that I was always returning to and nailing another board onto and buffing something and I wasn't aware of it at the time but I think it came out of the fact that I was trying to get movies off the ground" -

The Incredibles was one of his earliest intended projects.

As far as him not being into comics, I apparently have wrong information. For that I retract my statement, I couldn't find the interview in which I recall him using the exact phrase "paying tribute while still contributing to the genre". Regardless, without evidence I withdraw.

I would like to refocus my argument.

The Incredibles AND Megamind aren't "rip offs" of anything. They aren't products of their respective studio "jumping on the wagon". Heroes have always lent themselves to animation. If not because all of these superheros originally are hand drawn then because of the possibility animation presents.

I mean, animation is how Super Man was first able to fly, am I right?

Now I may be a "Pixie" because I will defend The Incredibles until I die. But I'm a Pixar fan because I'm an animation fan, and Pixar has made most of my favorite animated movies.

But they didn't make Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. And guess what's hanging behind museum glass in my office?

Nor did they make How to Train Your Dragon. Nor have they ever produced anything in the style of Legend of the Guardians. Which if nothing else has me thrilled with the prospects of special effects technology being applied to animation.

By defending the Incredibles I didn't intend to sign up with the Anti-Megamind Club. I'll reserve my judgment until I see the film. People seriously need to stop pinning "rip off" or "band wagon" to these things.

Anonymous said...

Your quote does not prove your point, that Bird had started on the screenplay for The Incredibles before Iron Giant. It was one of many ideas he was playing with over the years. From talks I've heard him give, he started writing the screenplay itself after it was successfully pitched to Pixar.

Your points about neither Incredibles nor Megamind being ripoffs are valid, and I agree. However, they are both equally derivative (of many, many comic books and a few superhero movies). That doesn't enhance or diminish either, it just is what it is.

What a lot of people in the industry get annoyed at is the idea that anything that comes from Pixar is wholly original, and anything from DreamWorks is a rip-off. That's what I was reacting to. It's as if Pixar were the first to animate talking fish, or do an animated film about bugs, or play with the idea that toys have a life that happens only when they're not watched. Their genius is not in their originality, but in their execution. And they don't have a monopoly on excellent execution.

the false prophet said...

Nathan Greno is the director of Tangled?!? uuugh! I hate the movie already! That guy is an insuferable blowhard!

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