Here’s a link to the SHARK TALE trailer where Jeffrey Katzenberg enthralls audiences with a fish who does an impression of MC Hammer and a story that parodies THE GODFATHER. Will Smith replaces Eddie Murphy as the obligatory fast-talking street smart black character. Katzenberg is slipping though. Where’s the slo-mo MATRIX fight scene parody? That, and any semblance of entertainment, are the only two thing lacking from the trailer.
Brew co-editor Jerry Beck has certainly plugged the San Diego Comic Con enough times already, but it won’t hurt to mention once more that the complete Con programming schedule has been posted HERE. Below is my own personal list of programs that I’d like to check out. You can also find out what MUCHA LUCHA creators Lili Chin and Eddie Mort are planning to see HERE and Jerry’s plans HERE.
5:30-7:00 Spotlight on Bill Plympton Room 8 (also Bill’s new film HAIR HIGH is well worth checking out on Saturday evening)
1:00-2:00 Spotlight on Sid Jacobson Room 3
1:00-2:30 Spotlight on Chuck McCann Room 5AB
2:30-3:30 Disney/Pixar: The Incredibles Room 20
3:00-4:00 TOKYOPOP with Lupin III creator Monkey Punch Room 2
3:00-4:00 Why We Love Peanuts Room 3 (hosted by Gary Groth, with Gilbert Hernandez, Chip Kidd and Jean Schulz)
4:00-5:00 Remembering Bob Clampett Room 8 (hosted by Mark Evanier, with Jerry Beck, Milt Gray, Ruth Clampett, and Leo Sullivan)
5:00-6:00 Pervasive Art: Gary Baseman Room 7B
6:00-7:00 Tom Sito: The Animation Strikes Room 7B (this is a topic that fascinates me and I believe Tom’s currently working on a book about the same subject)
4:30-6:00 Birth of A Nation: Hollywood, Comics and Black Culture Room 9 (with Aaron McGruder, Reginald Hudlin, Kyle Baker, Dwayne McDuffie and Denys Cowan)
6:00-7:00 Developing an Animated Property Room 2 (moderated by Jon Gibson, with a line-up including Gabe Swarr, Dave Wasson, Jorge Gutierrez, Doug TenNapel, Heather Kenyon and Eric Coleman)
Also here’s something of a late development. Nickelodeon recently asked me if I’d moderate the panel previewing their new action-packed animated series AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER (Saturday, 1-2 pm). I saw the pilot a few months ago and enjoyed it quite a bit so I’m pleased to come on board for the panel. I’m looking forward to chatting with the creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, as well as other folks involved with the show. Join us in Room 8 on Saturday for a screening of the pilot and a discussion about this very different type of Nick cartoon.
Two more events of interest have been brought to our attention:DreamWorks Animation will have a booth (#4321) which will screen first-look footage from “Shark Tale,” “Father of the Pride,” “Madagascar,” “The Wallace and Gromit Movie,” and “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.” Representatives from DreamWorks will also be doing mini portfolio reviews and taking reels from 10:00AM to 12:00PM and from 2:00PM to 4:00PM on both Friday, July 23rd and Saturday, July 24th in Comic-Con’s Portfolio Review Area.On Thursday (7/22) at 4:30-5:30 in Room 6AB, a panel and preview of Comedy Central’s Drawn Together an animated “reality” series tells the “true story of eight diverse cartoon characters from all over the animated universe who live together under the same roof and have their lives taped”. Matt Silverstein, Dave Jeser, and Pete Avanzino will be on the panel. It sounds like a fun series, with characters such as “Captain Hero,” a Saturday morning super hero of the 70′s; “Clara,” a naive fairy-tale princess; “Toot,” a black & white heart throb from the 20′s; and “Spanky Ham,” a foul-mouthed Internet download pig.San Diego Comic Con
FOX has just scheduled the all-new half-hour CGI special “Popeye’s Voyage: The Quest for Pappy” for telecast on Sunday, Dec. 19. King Features has placed all it’s bets on this 3-D TV-DVD special to renew the public’s interest in its Popeye franchise.If they only understood that if they allowed the re-release of the original Paramount classic cartoons, the public would re-discover the original charm of the animated characters – a charm that made Popeye a sensation in the 1930s and again in the late 1950s.For those of you want to see how Popeye should be animated, here’s some eye candy for ya: A group of original pencil animation drawings from the Max Fleischer Popeye cartoon SOCK-A-BYE BABY (1934) have been collected and are flashed sequentially at this website.
Not since Orson Welles performed the voice of a planet (in the 1986 animated feature Transformers: The Movie) has an actors final performance been so embarrassing.Shortly before his recent passing, Marlon Brando voiced Mrs. Sour (see image at right) in BIG BUG MAN – an absolutely awful-looking hand drawn animated film about a candy factory worker (Brendan Fraser) who gets superpowers after insects bite him, set for release in 2006. Apparently Brando did it wearing a blond wig and a dress, with full makeup and white gloves, according to writer/co-director Bob Bendetson. “I guess it was part of his Method training or something,” Bendetson said.See a CNN report on this film here (Quicktime required) or read more about it here.
The San Diego Comic Con is so huge (80,000+ people expected this year), so overwhelming, so impossible to meet up with friends that I’m posting the list a panels I will try to attend so you can find me if you want…I will be hanging my hat on the convention floor at the Asifa-Hollywood table which is booth 5374 (across from the TokyoPop display). I cannot guarantee that I’ll stick to this schedule, but based on the advance programming scheduled posted on the comic con website – here’s what I hope to see:THURSDAY
2:30 GOLDEN & SILVER AGE PANEL – Room 8
3:00 COMIC CON’S 35th YEAR – Room 1B or…
3:00 – FREAKS & GEEKS REUNION – Room 6ab
4:40 – CFQ SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW Room 6CDEF
6:00 – HISTORY OF U.S. ANIME – Room 7FRIDAY
11:00 – JACK ADLER – Room 8
1:00 – I’m interviewing SID JACOBSON – Room 3
1:00 – CHUCK McCANN – Room 5ab (I’m pissed I will miss the first hour of this…)
2:30 – THE INCREDIBLES & BRAD BIRD – Room 20
3:00 – CARTOON NETWORK PREVIEW – Room 6ab
4:00 – BOB CLAMPETT TRIBUTE (I’m on the panel) – Room 8
6:00 – TOM SITO on ANIMATION STRIKES – Room 7b
6:00 – THE INKWELL (new fanboy TV show) Room 9
9:00 – LADY DEATH screening (I predict I will skip this)SATURDAY
12:30 – Fred Ladd & GIGANTOR – Room 2
3:00 – SKY CAPTAIN & TEAM AMERICA preview (two movies I’m dying to see) – Hall H
5:30 – CARTOON NETWORK ADULT SWIM PANEL – Room 6ab
6:00 – ANIMATION DEVELOPMENT PANEL Room 2
8:30 – WORST CARTOON EVER (My screening!) – Room 6ab
10:00 – HAIR HIGH (Bill Plympton’s latest film) – Room 6abSUNDAY
Before I leave, I’ll check out the dealers room in the morning and juggle these:
1:00 – JOHNNY DC (DC’s kids comics panel) – Room 3
1:00 – JOSS WHEDON (Buffy creator) – Room 20
1:30 – TEACHER’S PET PANEL (Gary Baseman and co.) – Room 5ab
These panels are just the tip of the iceberg, and I reserve the right to change my mind and just sit in room 8 or 6AB the entire con. I’m already exhausted! Hope to see you there!
Chris F. writes to ask if I ever heard of the book/DVD set, FLIPS 7, which presents the work of some dozen-and-half modern animation studios from around the globe. I haven’t heard of the book, but it looks like something worth picking up. Here is the description of FLIPS from the publisher’s website:
FLIPS Book Seven focus on independent animators and production houses. It caters animators and those who are interested in animations. In this latest publication, some 17 individuals and studios from around the world have presented their latest works, including encompassing animated short films, TV commercials and music videos. The stirring line-up includes Shynola from London, Duck Soup Studios from Los Angeles, Devilrobots and Furi Furi Company from Japan, and many other up and coming design companies.
FLIPS sounds like part of a recent trend of book/DVD combos with a focus on non-mainstream animation which are being released by design publishers like IdN, Taschen and Harper Design International. Another recent title along these lines is ANIMATION NOW! which based from the preview posted on the Taschen site is something I’d really like to get my hands on when the book is released in September. There’s also ANIMATION UNLIMITED: INNOVATIVE SHORT FILMS SINCE 1940 by Liz Faber and Helen Walters which is a book I actually have. This one doesn’t focus on studios but rather fifty individual directors, offering a one-page bio of each filmmaker and then 1-5 pages of stills from one of that director’s films. There’s an impressive range of artists covered from experimental legends like Len Lye, Stan Brakhage and Oskar Fischinger, indie mainstays including Caroline Leaf, Frédéric Back and Paul Dreissen, and digital motion graphics by the likes of the Pleix collective and Dylan Kendle. As is the nature of independent animation, it can hardly be expected that anybody will enjoy the works of all the artists featured in the book, but it’s a nice introduction to many well known and obscure independent animators and serves as a starting point for further exploration of the independent scene.
Animator turned self-publishing magnate, Michel Gagné files a REPORT from Anthrocon 2004, a major “furry” convention in Philadelphia. I’m not planning on attending one of these conventions anytime soon so it’s interesting to hear Michel’s outsider take on the proceedings. They apparently treat their guests of honor none too shabbily, picking them up in limos, housing them in top-floor hotel suites and feeding them nice dinners. The flip side is…well…just look at the pictures on his site. For folks who want to purchase Michel’s fine books and merchandise in a slightly less adventurous environment, they can see him at next week’s San Diego Comic-Con where Gagné International will be located at booth #1907.
Jonathan Groff, exec producer of the forthcoming NBC series FATHER OF THE PRIDE, explains why they’re producing the show in CG animation: “It lets us tell human stories and go further, I think, and do more with them than we could if we were just doing it with live actors.” According to this Zap2it article, the episode that NBC recently screened for critics went further than live-action by depicting the following: “…panda-on-panda loving, several graphic (if euphemistic) discussions of lion intercourse, a healthy dose of man-chimp passion and several jokes about the shame that comes from being an elephant in love with a turkey. Throw in a banjo-playing monkey who calls his wife a bitch and an assortment of language and images that would make an inanimate cartoon cel blush.” Between this and his SHREK franchise, it looks like Jeffrey Katzenberg is vying to become the John Kricfalusi of unappealing computer animation. (article link via Animated-News)
This new Disney blog seems like it could become a promising source of Mouse news. It’s run by John Frost, whose grandfather was early Disney Imagineer Vic Greene. Also we’ve added a new link to the “Brew Recommends” sidebar – Harvey Deneroff’s Deneroff.com, a site which does an admirable job of linking to articles about animation from around the globe.
Leslie Cabarga wrote THE FLESICHER STORY. Leslie Carbarga designs great fonts. (In fact he designed the Cartoon Brew logo above)And now you can buy a button to celebrate Leslie Cabarga – Dennis Kitchen has unearthed his 1975 series of “Famous Cartoonists” pinback buttons and put them back for sale online. Others in the series includes Grim Natwick, R. Crumb, Sergio Aragones, Harvey Kurtzman, Carl Barks, and Hugh Hefner. There is a total of 54 different buttons! Collect them all!
Be afraid. Be very afraid.A Hello Kitty robot is going on sale in November. Equipped with an ultra-sound sensor and camera, the mechanical Kitty can tell if anybody is approaching. It can call a person’s name and start chatting by sorting 20,000 patterns of pre-registered conversations and picking phrases it feels are best suited to the occasion. They hope to sell 2,000 robot cats this year, priced at around 400,000 yen (3,710 dollars), by mainly targeting women in their 30s who are among the cat’s biggest fans. (link via Boing Boing)
In this NY TIMES article about FAMILY GUY’s Seth MacFarlane, he reveals that on September 11, 2001, he was booked on one of the planes that flew into the World Trade Center, but thanks to a dumb travel agent and a hangover, he missed the flight. And here’s a brief bit about SOUTH PARK creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who told Paramount that they’d attend this year’s San Diego Comic Con only if they’re flown to the convention center in a private helicopter, a request to which Paramount has agreed.