Tonight at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, President Barack Obama released his birth video, which turned out to be an animation-related joke. He then followed it by saying, “I want to make clear to the Fox News table — that was a joke. That was not my real birth video. That was a children’s cartoon. Call Disney if you don’t believe me. They have the original long-form version.”
Young Song, a surfacer who has worked at DreamWorks Animation since 2003, is being accused of climbing into a neighbor’s yard and shooting a German Shepherd puppy with a pellet gun. Then he returned and hammered the dog into a “bloody, motionless pulp.” The dog is still missing but a surveillance video exists. “It’s one of the worst cases we’ve ever seen,” Hillary Gatlin of the the Pasadena Humane Society told the NY Daily News. Song is being held on bail, and faces up to four years in prison if convicted. Though his actions are unjustifiable, a neighbor has described Song in terms that make one wonder if there’s more to the story: “He’s a very nice and kind person. He has three dogs of his own and chickens in the backyard. It’s a total surprise.”
Here’s a news story about the incident:
“Six years after the original, of Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil, one of the most obnoxious and least necessary animated films of the century thus far; obnoxious because of the relentlessness with which it slams witless gags in the viewer’s face and unnecessary because the 2005 original didn’t exactly demand an encore.”
The New York Times added this:
“The letdown with “Hoodwinked Too!” is the animation. The images don’t remotely approach the nuance of, say, “Ice Age,” let alone anything from the mack daddy, Pixar. And while it seems there’s no getting away from this marketing aesthetic, the resemblance at times to a video game is far, far too acute.”
The L.A. Times had at least one good thing to say about the supporting characters:
“Hansel and Gretel are this movie’s breakout stars, but it’s not enough to make “Hoodwinked Too” feel like anything but a storybook hurled straight at your head.”
Did anyone in our readership check it out? If so, the comments section is open exclusively to you! (That means that if you didn’t see the film your comments will not be posted)
Disney-nerds like me want to see everything the studio ever made, particularly all the animated films done while the nine old men were still active. Here’s an oddball 60s era sponsored educational film featuring Eric Larson’s work; part of Disney’s Triangle of Health series, sponsored by the Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company, Understanding Stresses and Strains:
(Thanks, Ira Gallen)
About a year ago animator Kurtis Findlay asked if Brew readers would be interested in a book collecting Chuck Jones’ short-lived Crawford comic strip. Well, that book is now well under way and will be published by the Library of American Comics!
Kurtis is currently looking for the best available copies of every strip for this complete collection and is about 98% there. He’s gotten the cooperation of the Chuck Jones estate and family blessing to complete his research. Findlay is now reaching out to our community for help:
“Due to the obscurity of the strip, I’m having difficulty tracking down papers that actually carried it. Here’s where I need the help of you Brew readers: Do you know of any paper that carried Crawford dailies, Sundays or both? Please leave a comment! If you have any other information or material that relates to Crawford, please send me an email: kurtis-at-coveringthemouse(dot)com
I strongly second what Findlay is trying to accomplish. If you can help him with any further information on this obscure comic strip, please do. Above, one of the rare daily strips from the run (click to enlarge).
Lookit what I found at the Disney Store at the El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard: The one and only piece of Disney merchandise for Mars Needs Moms, the biggest bomb of the year and the film that saved us from a Zemeckis’ Yellow Submarine.
I had to buy it. It’s an instant collectible; the souvenir of the year as far as I’m concerned. I’m going to wear it proudly to the Annies. The package says “Limited Edition” but let me tell you, they had tons of them. The girl at the counter said they couldn’t give them away. I for one, will always cherish mine.
Here’s a massive plug/checklist for my numerous public activities during the next week. If you live in L.A. come one, come all!
Saturday Afternoon – CineFamily Special screening, The History of the Super Hero Cartoon 1pm – Everything from Fleischer Superman to Super President (above), with Roger Ramjet, Bat Fink and The Mighty Heroes in between!
Sunday Afternoon – Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, I will be there Sunday at 2:30pm signing books at the Insight Editions/Palace Press booth (#912) on the campus of USC. Free admission!
Tuesday Night – Fleischer Cartoons in 35mm 8pm – UCLA Restoration prints including Koko’s Earth Control, Snow White, Somewhere In Dreamland and many others as you haven’t seen them before… At the CineFamily/Silent Movie Theater May 3rd at 8pm.
Wednesday Night – Adobe First Frame will showcase works from students in USC’s John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts on Wednesday May 4th. It begins at 7:00pm and includes a 90-minute screening program of 24 participating student films. For more info: Click Here!
Thursday Night – As usual, the first Thursday of every month, Janet Klein and her Parlor Boys play 20s, 30s jazz and pop tunes, preceeded by me and my 16mm projector with rare musical shorts and cartoons of the 1930s. 8pm at the Steve Allen Theater.
Led by CEO Brendan Burch, Six Point Harness announced today that Executive Producer John Andrews has joined them to form a new venture called 6 Point Media. Andrews, the former EP of ka-chew!, has combined that roster with the talent pool of Six Point Harness and several new signings.
To view the new directorial line-up for 6 Point Media and their recent projects, go here: www.6pointmedia.com/work.php
“Together, in this new venture, we hope to take on projects that allow us to display our understanding of the interconnectivity of content, media and brands on a level beyond a typical production entity,” explains Burch. “As we produce a wider array of media, utilizing an ever-growing range of production techniques, we want to be thought of as the ‘go-to’ studio for anything having to do with leading-edge animation, design and digital content. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be building this new company with John.”
Bosco and Zoe are quickly moving from the toy fair to the TV: Pacific Dragon Holdings, Inc. has recently acquired the rights to the animated characters, and is developing a children’s show in both English and Spanish.
Pacific Dragon Holdings will enter into a joint venture with Brothers Victory Cartoon Animation Fabrication Co., Ltd., the company that created the characters, to manage global licensing for the show. There are currently 130 completed episodes of The Bosco and Zoe Show, with 40 more in production.
The company plans to air the show for two years, at which time they will begin work on a film. Jeff Myers, president of Pacific Dragon Holdings, said he is already writing an outline for the script.
The sophisticated animation has been done by four studios in the Huai’an City area, part of mainland China. Myers is in talks with larger animation houses about collaborating on the Bosco and Zoe project.
“Bosco and Zoe are destined to become major characters in the preschool market,” Myers said. “The sweet, innocent wisdom that each of these characters possess is something that is not very often seen.”
Myers first encountered the characters while at the International Hong Kong Toy Fair in January 2011, where he found a small booth that was displaying a poster of a character called Alafa. The company representatives running the booth explained that Alafa was popular in one province in China, and they wanted to introduce the show to the Western market.
Myers was intrigued, and in February began meeting with Brothers Victory Cartoon Animation Fabrication Company. Despite significant language barriers, the two companies agreed on a contract. Pacific Dragon Holdings obtained the North American, South American and Japanese rights to the character. The company had the rights to re-name the characters, redub the show and produce new western version of the television show.
For Myers, this experience has been one full of pleasant surprises.
“It all started with a casual glance, a change meeting in a foreign country and two foreign groups coming together in unity, creating a new international joint venture,” he said. So get ready to welcome this wonderful new children’s animation, The Bosco and Zoe Show as it gains exposure worldwide.
Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET) and DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) today unveiled a strategic alliance to expand Gaylord Hotels’ family-friendly leisure offerings to feature the DreamWorks Experience, the next generation of family vacation programming and world class entertainment.
As part of this strategic alliance, Gaylord plans to offer unique leisure experiences for its guests featuring DreamWorks Animation’s iconic characters at all Gaylord properties. The live interactive experiences will include character breakfasts, newly themed Christmastime events, poolside activities in the summer, imaginative food-and-beverage offerings, private birthday parties, festive parades, merchandise and various themed entertainment. Gaylord Hotels plans to feature live appearances by characters from current DreamWorks Animation franchises, including Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and Madagascar, as well as other future films and characters from the studio.
This program furthers Gaylord’s focus on growing the leisure side of its business and continuing to drive revenue through its top-notch entertainment attractions throughout the year. DreamWorks Animation characters will be integrated into existing Gaylord Hotels’ holiday and summer offerings, which Gaylord believes will further increase the popularity of these highly successful, award-winning family offerings in addition to augmenting the experience of Gaylord Hotels’ convention guests.
“We are honored to form such an exciting alliance with one of the most visionary entertainment companies in the world to bring the iconic DreamWorks Animation characters to life for our leisure hotel guests,” said Colin V. Reed, chairman and chief executive officer of Gaylord Entertainment. “We have been looking for a significant way to expand our leisure offerings for some time, and this program with DreamWorks Animation will allow us to offer unique experiences that will enthrall our customers. Importantly, today’s announcement should allow us to meaningfully enhance occupancy and revenue on the leisure side of our business, particularly during the summer and holiday periods, when group business is traditionally slower and lower-rated.”
“Gaylord Entertainment has displayed an incredible commitment to creativity and high-quality family entertainment, making each of their world-class U.S. resorts an ideal destination for the DreamWorks Animation brand,” commented Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive officer of DreamWorks Animation. “We look forward to bringing to life the characters, stories and worlds featured in our film franchises in new and innovative ways throughout the Gaylord Hotel guest experience starting this year.”
Vacation packages featuring the “DreamWorks Experience at Gaylord Hotels” go on sale in July 2011. The experiences will go live in all four resorts beginning in November 2011, as part of Gaylord’s award-winning Christmastime programs.
You don’t see animated opening titles on live action TV series these days, much less on a game show. With that in mind we present the title sequence of a new BBC quiz show, Don’t Scare The Hare. The show began airing last week and co-stars a three-foot animatronic robot rabbit. The titles were animated by Rob Findlay at Glasgow’s Once Were Farmers.
Despite my distain for Robert Zemeckis’ mo-cap monstrosities – I believe live action can be effectively used to create great animated films. Here’s a good example. Commissioned by Sky Sports this rotoscoped piece, by Richard Swarbrick of London’s Hotspur and Argyle, beautifully transforms soccer footage (from Barcelona’s 5-0 drubbing of Real Madrid earlier this year) into fine art.
Directed by Richard Swarbrick
Produced by Luke Arthur.
Music: Lady Labyrinth by Ludovico Einaudi
(Thanks, Andy Reingold)
No Longer Human won the Platinum Grand Prize at the 2011 Future Film Festival! The jury made up of the comic and fantasy film expert Alberto Corradi, journalist and writer Stefano Masi and historic illustration and essayist Paola Pallottino chose Morio Asaka Japanese film with this statement: “For the high quality of the review of the traditional themes through a graphical functional poignant. Directed dosing times attigendo dramatic and visual culture by blending the Western and Japan. “ The jury awarded a special mention to Paul, by Greg Mottola (USA 2011), exhilarating trip on the road where the protagonist is an alien with the two demented movie star Simon Pegg and Nick Frost English. The motivation of the special prize: “For the ability to integrate a digital character in the drama of the play. For the balance that keeps the film from the position of independent and mainstream, ripping applause. “
Among the short films in competition for the Future Short Film, the jury composed of journalist Marco Consoli, author and television animator Guido De Maria and author Stefano Disegni gave the prize of the Province of Bologna for the best short to Bottle of Kirsten Lepore (USA 2010) with the following motivation: “For the ability to warm the heart of the viewer with an unusual and original love story, full of poetry, through the use of poor materials and techniques.” The jury has given a mention to Rubik by Claire Baudean, Ludovid Habas, Mickael Krebs, Julien Legay, Chao But Florent Rousseau, Caroline Roux, Vaxelaire Margaux (France 2010) to “the insight to turn a game popular in a narrative trick that creates a gravitational surprising thriller. “
The short of Groupama Future Film Short voted by the public is Le Royaume / The King and the Beaver by Nuno Alves Rodrigues, Oussama Bouacheria, Julien Cheng, Sébastien Hary, Aymeric Kevin Ulysse Malassagne and Franck Monier (France 2010). Mobile by Verena Fels (Germany 2010) and Rubik by Claire Baudean, Ludovid Habas, Mickael Krebs, Julien Legay, Chao But Florent Rousseau, Caroline Roux, Vaxelaire Margaux (France, 2010) shared the second place.
The lucky winner will not only be able to spend the week at the Annecy Festival with an accreditation to see films in the official selection of shorts and features, graduation films and TV and commissioned films, Work in Progress and making of sessions with the film crews, a daily film in the open air, go to signing sessionsâ€¦ but also be treated to a 5-night stay in Los Angeles to include a guided tour of the Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank. Regular partner Autodesk will also be offering a software package to the winner and other 2 finalists.
The winner will be presented with a Cristal trophy on Friday 10th June at a special reception.
Reminder: the animated film of less than 5 minutes on the subject of Animation, land of freedom should be posted no later than midnight 10th May 2011 on the following site: www.youtube.com/annecyfestival.
This original creation should also make references to the “International Animation Film Festival” and “Annecy 2011” using the events as keywords to appear on the film.
From 11th May, users can start voting for the 10 best films. A jury of professionals, including a representative from the Walt Disney Animation Studios, will then select the three most outstanding films and choose the winner.
Cortopotere ShortFilmFestival — a festival entirely dedicated to short films (competition, retrospectives and events) — returns for its 11th edition: a significant achievement, marking the growing importance of a cultural event more and more determined to establish itself as a major film festival, on both the national and the international scene. The competition announcement, addressed to both national and international authors, producers and distribution companies, can now be found on the festival’s official website www.cortopotere.it.
The announcement is divided into two main sections:
- National short film competition
- International short film competition
- 1 – Submission to the festival is open to fiction, experimental, animation short films (max 20 min.) and documentaries (max 30 min.). We accept Italian and international short films completed in 2009 or later, in any screening format.
- 2 – Submissions must be sent to the following address by June 6th, 2011 at the latest:
Cortopotere ShortFilmFestival XI edition
c/o UniversitÃ degli Studi di Bergamo Via Pignolo, 123 – 24121 Bergamo – Italia
- 3 – Films will be selected by the Artistic Direction, whose decision is final. A selected jury, whose members are professionals either in the film or the entertainment industry, will assign the following awards: International Competition: Best international short film, Best Animation, Best Documentary, Best Fiction, Best Experimental; National Competition: Best national short film. For both the national and the international competition, Audience Award and Artistic Direction Award will be assigned.
For any further information, details and regulations, please visit our website: www.cortopotere.it