Here’s the very cool full length trailer for Imagi’s CG Gatchaman (G-Force) feature – a film that, thanks to Astro Boy, will probably never be made.
Here’s the very cool full length trailer for Imagi’s CG Gatchaman (G-Force) feature – a film that, thanks to Astro Boy, will probably never be made.
Cartoon Network unveiled their new line-up of content today at its annual Advertising Upfront presentation at New York’s Time Warner Center. The network announced that coming later in the year would be an “all-new re-imagined version of the Warner Bros animated classic shorts, Looney Tunes.” From the press release:
The Looney Tunes Show: A new half-hour animated comedy series starring Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. No longer confined to 7-minute shorts, Bugs and Daffy are out of the woods and living in the suburbs among such colorful neighbors as Yosemite Sam, Granny, Tweety and Sylvester. In addition to each episode’s main story, The Looney Tunes Show also features “cartoons within a cartoon.” The Tasmanian Devil, Speedy Gonzales, Marvin the Martian and other classic characters sing original songs in two-minute music videos called Merrie Melodies and the Road Runner and Coyote are featured in 2-1/2 minute CG shorts. This all new series is produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Sam Register (Teen Titans, Ben 10, Batman: The Brave and the Bold) is the executive producer. Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone (both Duck Dodgers, Back at the Barnyard, Space Jam) are the supervising producers.
In addition to the new Looney Tunes and the MAD show we posted about yesterday, the other good stuff revealed today includes:
Robotomy: The animated Robotomy tells the story of Thrasher and Blastus, two outsider teenage droids who are only slightly less horrific than the ultra-powerful robots that populate their planet, Killglobe. Now they face their greatest challenge yet: high school. Armed with a desire to fit in (and little else), Thrasher and Blastus navigate their lives with varying degrees of success. Created by Michael Buckley (The Sisters Grimm) and Joe Deasy and co-executive produced by Christy Karacas (Superjail), Robotomy, a quarter-hour series, will be produced in New York.
Secret Mountain Fort Awesome: When a portal to the world opened and unleashes underground monsters, so goes the premise for Secret Mountain Fort Awesome. The human world had everything these creatures could ever want. The only problem is, humans hate monsters, and they treat them like second class citizens. How unfair! This is their world too. Created by Chowder writer and artist Pete Browngardt, Secret Mountain Fort Awesome follows this clan in their dim-witted efforts to break free of human oppression. The animated series is being produced at Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank.
Young Justice: In Young Justice, being a teenager means proving yourself over and over–to peers, parents, teachers, mentors and, ultimately, to yourself. But what if you’re not just a normal teenager? What if you’re a teenage super hero? Are you ready to join the ranks of the great heroes and prove you’re worthy of the Justice League? That’s exactly what the members of Young Justice–Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian and Artemis–will found out, whether they have what it takes to be a proven hero. This all-new series is produced by Warner Bros. Animation and based upon characters from DC Comics. Sam Register (Teen Titans, Ben 10, Batman: The Brave and the Bold) is the executive producer. Brandon Vietti (Batman: Under the Red Hood, Superman Doomsday, The Batman) and Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, The Spectacular Spider-Man, W.I.T.C.H.) are the producers.
The network is also going full blast into live action and sports programming. Cartoon Network’s Hall of Game will premiere in early 2011. Partnering with Sports Illustrated, “this high-energy, multi-platform experience will let viewers decide who’s got game from the world of sports. This first-of-its-kind sports award event for kids is created and produced by global sports and will introduce the SI KIDS’ Sports Kid of the Year Award.”
“Last spring we talked about how ‘our voice was changing’ and announced an ambitious slate of diverse and compelling content,” said Stuart Snyder, president and chief operating officer of Turner Broadcasting’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media division. “This year we’re delivering and adding great brands and beloved franchises that represent the breadth and scope of Cartoon Network’s ongoing evolution.”
“We’re expanding beyond the boundaries of traditional kid’s content,” said Rob Sorcher, chief content officer for Cartoon Network. “This new programming lineup brings event-quality entertainment to our prime time.”
You be the judge. Other highlights from today’s presentation:
Run It Back Sunday: Cartoon Network takes The NBA on TNT’s game of the week and remixes it for basketball fans of all ages. Run It Back Sunday is a full NBA game in one power hour, complete with fun facts, amazing highlights and explosive special effects. From jams, passes and steals to fun facts and unique analysis, Run It Back Sunday presents an all new way to catch the game of the week.
KROG: KROG is a half-hour scripted live-action comedy pilot from Cartoon Network Studios. To their fans, KROG is an awesome monster costume band sent from Middle Earth to conquer and enslave the human “surface dwellers.” Their fans love them! In reality, however, the members of KROG are indeed monsters sent to conquer mankind. KROG is created by Mark Rivers (Metalocolypse, TV Funhouse).
Unnatural History: Cartoon Network’s first live-action mystery series delivers a new case of cinematic, action-packed comedic adventure each week.
Tower Prep: A one-hour, live-action scripted series premiering this fall, Tower Prep tells the story of a rebellious teen, Ian (Drew Van Acker), who wakes up one morning to find himself trapped at a mysterious prep school that offers no escape. This series is executive-produced and created by Paul Dini (Lost, Batman Beyond).
Sym-Bionic Titan: From creator Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack) comes an exciting hybrid of giant robot battles and high school comedy. Sym-Bionic Titan follows the lives of three alien teenagers who crash-land on Earth and must protect their new home from alien invaders while navigating the perils of high school life. Sym-Bionic Titan is being produced at Cartoon Network Studios and will premiere on Cartoon Network this summer.
Regular Show: Created by J. G. Quintel, Regular Show was developed as an animated short for Cartoon Network’s Cartoonstitute. A 15-minute animated series, is produced at Cartoon Network Studios.
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. From Warner Bros. Animation, Sam Register is the executive producer. Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone are the supervising producers.
Firebreather: Cartoon Network’s first original all-CG animation movie, directed by Peter Chung, created and co-executive-produced by Phil Hester, and executive-produced by Julia Pistor (Lemony Snicket).
Asifa-Hollywood has post the entire Annie Awards presentation from this past February 6th, from UCLA’s Royce Hall, on You Tube in 15 parts. This is the first time the organization has made the entire presentation available online. William Shatner was the host, and presenters included June Foray, actors Seth Green, John Leguizamo, Sean Astin and industry notables such as Pete Docter, Ed Catmull and Henry Selick.
Below is part 11, a special tribute to the late Roy Disney. To view the all fifteen parts visit annieawards.org.
Pssst… I just found out Cartoon Network will be announcing a new animated MAD show at their upfront presentations tomorrow in New York City.
It’s a Warner Brothers production, helmed by Peter Girardi (Funny Garbage) and head writer Kevin Shinick (Robot Chicken), featuring animated cartoons by classic MAD artists like Don Martin and Sergio Aragones, paired with today’s top cartoon animators like Ben Jones (Paperrad), M. Wartella (Village Voice, Wonder Showzen), and Devin Flynn (Vice, Aqua Teen) who will be doing his own twisted take on the Spy vs. Spy franchise.
The show will be airing on Cartoon Network this Fall, part of channel’s plan to roll out a new lineup of Adult Swim-style shows, but fit for prime time.
We are long overdue in giving a plug to the Suspended Animation Gallery, an online art collection of pieces produced by Disney animation artists, done on their own time, reflecting their own personal inspirations and in created in a medium of their choice.
This unique gallery offers the paintings and sculpture for sale. Among the pieces here is work by Walt Stanchfield, George Scribner and Mike Gabriel. Just added this week are paintings by Walt Peregoy, best known for his work on 101 Dalmatians, but also notable for his contributions to Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp and Sleeping Beauty.
For more information on this gallery, visit suspendedanimationgallery.com.
Mutual friend Bob Cabeen has just informed me of the passing of my former business partner Carl Macek. Carl died of a heart attack on Saturday.
Among his many accomplishments Carl created Robotech, co-founded Spumco with John K. and co-founded Streamline Pictures (Akira, Fist of the North Star, Laputa, etc.) with me.
Carl began his career doing grassroots promotional work on sci-fi films such as Star Wars and Alien, and worked for numerous industry icons including Dino Di Laurentiis and Ivan Reitman. He wrote the book The Art of Heavy Metal (Animation for the Eighties) in 1981. In 1984, Macek began his long association with Japanese animation. He worked with Harmony Gold, U.S.A. to develop the groundbreaking anime series ROBOTECH that has been credited with igniting the anime movement in the US. After his stint at Harmony Gold, Macek moved on to work for D.I.C. and Bill Kroyer’s studio.
In 1988, Macek divided his time between forming Spumco with John K. and partnering with me to create Streamline Pictures. In 1990, after helping sell Ren & Stimpy to Nickelodeon, Macek parted with Spumco to develop Streamline Pictures full time. Streamline imported and dubbed anime features for US movie theaters, for television showings and home video for over a decade. One of his most enduring projects during this period was producing the original English-language dub of the Miyazaki classic My Neighbor Totoro.
In the late 1990’s, Macek returned to original animation production and was instrumental in developing several projects (Heavy Metal 2000 and Lady Death). Most recently, he has adapted, produced and directed English—language versions of Tomino’s classic 49-episode fantasy Aura Battler Dunbine. He also adapted numerous Japanese anime for the North American market including Naruto and Bleach.
Carl had been working on a slate of original projects as well, including War Eagles, a novel and screenplay inspired by Merian C. Cooper’s unproduced film treatment. Some of his recent science fiction short stories can be read at storyleap.com.
Carl had his critics. But one thing is certain: the popularity of anime in the North America would not be where it is today without Macek’s groundbreaking work on Robotech and his efforts on behalf of Streamline Pictures.
The photo above (with Ed Asner) was taken recently on the set of Audrey, where his wife, Svea, was costume supervisor. Below is a video of Carl at a recent anime convention (January 2010) in San Francisco discussing what he’s been up to recently.
Gene Deitch just informed us of the passing of his long-time personal friend Allen Swift. Swift (born Ira Stadlen) was best known for voicing numerous cartoon characters including Simon Bar Sinister (in Underdog), Odie on King Leonardo and most of the voices for the 1960′s underwater puppet show Diver Dan. Swift was also well-known for hosting the Popeye cartoon show (September 10, 1956 to September 23, 1960) on WPIX in New York City. Swift did the majority of the voices in Rankin/Bass’s Mad Monster Party, and supplied character voices for the NBC Howdy Doody Show. He was Tooter Turtle and Clint Clobber. He did voices in Richard Williams’ Raggedy Ann and Andy and John Dilworth’s Courage The Cowardly Dog, as well as in Gene Deitch’s 1960-61 group of Tom and Jerry cartoons (especially memorable in Dickie Moe).
In tribute we re-post the Deitch-Pintoff Terrytoon classic Flebus, with all voices by Allen Swift (above) and one of Swift’s Popeye children’s records (as Captain Allen Swift), below.
Gene Deitch writes:
Maxime Stadlen, Allen Swift’s daughter phoned me the terrible news that Allen has died. Allen Swift, who did the voices of Howdy Doody and the other characters, who did all of the voices on PUMP TROUBLE and DEPTH STUDY, which you will soon be showing, and who has been by best personal friend for 58 years, is gone. He was they last of my American buddies. Even though here for 50 years, hardly a year went by without a visit to his 54th Street apartment, nor a day go by without email and most recently Skype visits. It’s a devastating loss. I felt something awful must be happening, because just as the Howdy Doody film was about to go online, I was unable to reach him or his wife or anyone in his family. This even is something we have been talking about for the past few months and weeks, as the story of the film’s recovery evolved. I’m crushed. We were both born in 1924, thus just a few months difference in age, but Allen has been suffering with a series of health calamities for several years, since he fell and broke his hip while walking his dog. From that moment, one thing led to another…
And now, “the man of a thousand voices” who used many, many of them in my films, is silenced. To further the pain, no planes are flying from Europe, and the airports are jammed with people waiting in vain to go where they need to go. So, I must grieve from here…
We grieve with you Gene. We lost one of the greats today.
We try to avoid political commentary here on the Brew, but the above by Miami Herald’s Jim Morin is a fine example of the new wave of animated editorial cartoons that are fast becoming the norm for online newspapers these days (so much so, last week Mark Fiore of the San Francisco Chronicle won the Pulitzer Prize for his animated editorials).
This gives me an excuse to mention Jim Morin’s son, Spencer, who is the head of animation for the Miami World Cinema Center. A non-profit filmmakers co-op, MWCC is dedicated to returning South Florida to its traditional animation roots. Spencer Morin says:
We are currently raising funds to build an animation studio that’ll be about 80-90% traditional, and 10% compositing/(2d3d motion graphics). Currently, we’re working on several no-budget productions featuring hand-drawn animation (character and rotoscope), stop motion animation, claymation, and “Roger Rabbit” compositing. We also hold regular animation workshops for the students attending animation schools in Miami that don’t practice traditional animation techniques.
We’re also looking for more animation projects that can dig our philosophy. We offer a short film incentive of a 25% budget boost to animators that’ll work completely out of South Florida and have a budget of at least $1000. This’ll also guarantee the animator a production office/work space and any hands we’ve got.
If you live and love animation in the Miami-Dade County area contact Spencer Morin, via their blog, for more information on the local activities of the Miami World Cinema Center – and get involved!
Among the slim pickings this week: Rhymes with Orange (4/17/10) by Hilary Price; Blondie (4/13/10) by Dean Young and John Marshall; and My Cage (4/17/10) by Ed Power and Melissa DeJesus.
(Thanks Jim Lahue, Uncle Wayne and John Hall)
The Times article has no new details other than the fact the film is being fast-tracked and they are seeking a new writer and director.
I initiated development of a Mighty Mouse movie when I worked for Nickelodeon Movies as an animation VP in 1995. I’ve been trying to get Viacom to do something… anything… with its Terrytoon properties for years. I’ve had development deals for Tom Terrific at Nick Jr. and Heckle & Jeckle at MTV. My pilot, Hornswiggle, was one result of these efforts (the cartoon was pitched and developed as a revival of Sick Sick Sidney). The Bakshi Mighty Mouse DVD last January was another by-product of my years of lobbying for these characters.
The grosses for feature cartoon hybrids (particularly pre-sold revivals like Alvin, Scooby Doo, etc.), and perhaps some visibility from the Bakshi-Mighty dvd, may have finally awakened Paramount to this classic studio “asset”. I hope it works this time. I hope they make a good movie. My only goal now is to use this opportunity to unearth the library of classic cartoons – and get them back out for the public to see.
Cartoon Research continues….
Earlier this week we posted about a vintage Leon Schlesinger studio program for a Christmas play starring animator Harold Soldinger. Shortly after that post, I received an email from Soldinger’s son Steven. He’s been trying to communicate with people who knew his father, and I put him in touch with Martha Sigall.
Steven sent Martha a vintage photo (below left, which he obtained from the indispensable Michael Barrier) of his dad with some the Looney Tunes artists at a Christmas party and asked her to identify anyone she could. Steven and Martha have allowed me to share this pic with our cartoon-loving readership. Click thumbnails below to see photos at full size. Martha says:
“The people in the picture with the Christmas tree are left top row: Harold Soldinger, Warren Batchelder. The fellow he has his arms around, I don’t know. And, left of him is Bob Matz. Right of him is Fred Jones. Then, Herman Cohen. Leaning on Herman is Paul Smith. Mike Maltese has the paper hat and beard. Next to him is Lloyd Vaughn and Lee Halpern. I don’t know the fellow who is playing the priest.”
UPDATE: Additional identification has been confirmed. Top row, Harold Soldinger, Les Larson (the priest), Mike Maltese, Paul Smith (bending over), Lloyd Vaughan, Lee Halpern.
Bottom row; Warren Batchelder, Chuck McKimson, Bob Matz, Fred Jones, Herman Cohen. The photo was taken in 1938.
Did you know Chuck Jones drew a daily comic strip in 1976 and 1977? The strip concerned the musings of two children, not unlike Jones’ animated character Ralph Phillips (and his friend, as seen in The Adventures of the Road Runner featurette). I used to clip the Sunday Crawford strips (sometimes titled Crawford and Morgan) each week from the New York Daily News. But my collection is far from complete.
Collector Kurtis Findlay is currently compiling these strips and locating a publisher for them. But he’s asking me if I think there is enough interest in a bound, complete collection. I, for one, am very interested. Though Crawford is part of Chuck’s later psyche, and appeals more to the intellect than the funny bone, its significant for understanding the man and where he was at this time. That’s of interest to me – but is it to you? Is this a comic strip worth collecting in permanent form?