If you didn’t hear about last weekend’s opening of “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return,” don’t worry because no one else in America did either. Opening in 2,575 theaters, the film eked out $3.7 million, which is the worst opening ever for an animated feature in saturated release (over 2,500 theaters). The previous animation record holder in this dubious category was the 2011 Weinstein Company release “Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil,” which grossed $4.1M from 2,505 theaters.
Author: Amid Amidi
Today is the 100th birthday anniversary of one of the most important women who ever worked in animation: Joy Batchelor. With her husband, she ran the studio Halas & Batchelor, which was the largest English animation outfit for a good part of the 20th century and made that country’s first feature-length animated film, “Animal Farm.”
Laika does amazing work as an animation studio, no doubt about it, but the studio’s history is somewhat less admirable. The company was built on top of Will Vinton’s eponymous Portland studio in a shrewd corporate takeover by multi-billionaire Nike co-founder Phil Knight. After Knight took control of the company in 2002, he placed a failed rapper named Chilly Tee with slight experience in animation, who also happened to be his son Travis Knight, in charge of the entire company.
“Jellyfish Eyes” marks the feature film directing debut of Japanese superstar artist Takashi Murakami. Described as a post-Fukushima sci-fi fantasy, the $7 million live-action/CGI hybrid film incorporates Murakami’s goofily-styled creatures throughout, as well as an appearance by his fine art character Miss Ko2.
Cartoon Brew-ED is our new educational initiative that is edited by veteran animator and teacher Colin Giles. This new forum offers helpful animation tips, links to learning resources, and original educational content.
In his never-ending quest to be recognized as a serious thespian, character actor Andy Serkis continues to minimize the role of the animators who make his performances possible. With each interview he gives, Serkis seems to do more and more of the work, and the animators less and less. About the only thing Serkis doesn’t do at this point is build his own motion capture rigs and provide his own craft services.
Will Ferrell and “Anchorman” director/writer Adam McKay are developing a CGI-animated “Flintstones” pic. Chris Henchy will write the script.
Following the success of the “LEGO Movie”—$457 million to date—Warner Bros. is getting back into feature animation in a big way.
For the fifth year in a row, we are pleased to announce our annual Cartoon Brew Student Film Festival. The mission for the festival is simple: to honor student-produced animated shorts and share them with the widest possible community of industry decision-makers, fellow students, and animation enthusiasts from around the world.
Based on a true story, “Cruising” follows a young man through an extrovert’s dream and an introvert’s nightmare—the chaotic and cacophonous world of forced-fun aboard an insular cruise ship. His initial inability to accept his environment drives him to suicidal fantasy, where he learns to cope with his stressors, discomfort and anxieties.
The exhibit “Chuck Jones: Doodles of a Genius” has opened at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California. We’ve previously written about the show, which features random non-production doodles by the great Golden Age theatrical short director, and now we have a preview of some of those doodles on display thanks to the official Chuck Jones Tumblr.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has announced the finalists for the 41st Student Academy Awards. The awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 7, at the DGA Theater in Hollywood. Among the five categories, one of them is dedicated entirely to animation, and another category—Alternative—includes animated films in it, too.
The Walt Disney Family Museum has opened a new exhibit focused on one of the studio’s legendary Nine Old Men: “Leading Ladies and Femmes Fatales: The Art of Marc Davis.” The show will be up through November 3. Unlike the museum’s current Mary Blair exhibition, the Davis show is much smaller, with around 70 pieces on display.
Believe it or not, one of the best online sources for animation history buffs is YouTube. Amazing and rare materials, often digitized from private film collections, is posted regularly on the streaming site. You just have to know where to look.
A look at animation history via Cartoon Brew’s archives.
A boy who seeks only survival is challenged by his dog who seeks only his attention.
During YouTube’s splashy Brandcast upfront event on Wednesday, DreamWorks announced the launch of DreamWorksTV, a new streaming children’s channel that will offer original animated and live-action programming, as well as vintage animation content.
Sony announced today that their all-CGI “Smurfs” pic, directed by animation veteran Kelly Asbury (“Shrek 2,” “Gnomeo & Juliet”), will be pushed back from its original 2015 release date to 2016.
This fall, the city of Hokkaido, Japan will present the first-ever animation festival to take place entirely in an airport. The New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival will make use of the Hokkaido airport’s well-equipped facilities, including its 377-seat theater with 3D capabilities.
Directors who have graduated from CalArts’ character and experimental animation programs have generated over $30 billion in box office grosses since 1985. However you slice it, that’s a remarkable amount.
For the past few days on Cartoon Brew’s Instagram account, we’ve been running a series called 25 Cartoonists You Should Know. The entire series is below, and yes, the list could easily be twice as long and still incomplete.
In 2011, Jeffrey Katzenberg proclaimed that moviegoing audiences would embrace 3-D and would continue to attend theaters despite higher ticket prices. Three years later, it’s obvious that his prediction was a little off.
The soon-to-debut Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, promises to feature some of the most advanced audio-animatronics that the Disney company has ever produced, in large part due to a collaboration between Disney’s Imagineering and feature animation divisions.
Fox’s experiment with late-night animation didn’t go as well as they had anticipated. The network will end its Saturday late-night animation block ADHD (Animation Domination High-Def) in June, less than a year after it began. It was originally created as a replacement for the cancelled sketch comedy show “MADtv.”
A boy goes on a perilous quest through the mountains to rescue his family’s missing goat.
The Oscar-winning Louisiana animation studio Moonbot recently announced that it is developing multiple feature-length film projects. It has acquired the film rights to two YA book series: the “Olivia Kidney” trilogy by Ellen Potter, which it plans to do as a live-action/animation hybrid; and “The Extincts” by Veronica Cossanteli.