In his spare time, Carlo Vogele, an animator at Pixar, created Tango for Jansjo, kind of a sensual Luxo, Jr. starring Ikea lighting fixtures. Carlo’s student short For Sock’s Sake received a spotlight on the Brew back in 2008 when we noted his unique ability to infuse life and personality into inanimate objects.
Couldn’t let the weekend pass without sharing the latest episode of The Ambiguously Gay Duo from this week’s Saturday Night Live. This episode goes live-action with Steve Carell, Jon Hamm, Jimmy Fallon and Steven Colbert – never has a live action version of a cartoon been so accurate:
(Thanks, Ed Austin)
The New York Times shows how not to make an animation reference in this front page article about the parakeet boom in London:
Individually, any of the rose-ringed parakeets could be the star of a DreamWorks film, electric green with bright pink beaks and the voluble personalities that have long made the tropical species a popular household pet.
Because, you know, DreamWorks has done so many films featuring colorful tropical birds, like How to Train Your Parakeet, Kung Fu Parakeet 2, and MegaParakeet. It’s pretty obvious what film the writer was trying to reference, and for the record, the studio that made the film wasn’t DreamWorks.
Here’s another of my favorites from this year’s Cal Arts Producer’s Show, held last Thursday in North Hollywood: Brian Carter’s sci-fi comedy, Give Me Space.
BulbousBoiler by Julio LeÃ³n (Mexico)
Kasper Rides by Ryan Magnusson(United States)
Tank Girl by Timothy McCourt (UK): “Based on two panels from page 7 of Jamie Hewlett’s the Comic Tank Girl the Odyssey. I animated this using Flash and composited in After Effects.”
The Crocodile and the Deer by Mr. Fogg
The war against terror didn’t end with Osama. Now it’s time to go after the root of Islamic terrorism — Disney’s 1992 feature Aladdin. The Tea Party Youth LA is starting its campaign in Orange County, home of Disneyland and patriotic Americans fighting terror.
The video was created by Sameer Asad Gardezi, a staff writer for TV series like Modern Family, and Outsourced. He created the satirical piece as a response to the fervid anti-Muslim rally (linked above) that took place a few months ago in Yorba Linda, California, which is Gardezi’s hometown.
(via Angry Asian Man)
One of my favorite films from last nights Cal Arts Producers Show was Glenn Williamson’s funny, touching look at parenthood and dentistry, Blueberry:
John Williams, CEO of Vanguard Films and Animation, announced today the company has signed a deal with screenwriter and author Ross Venokur (The Eighth Wonder; Game Over) for three animated comedy/family films.
“Our first collaboration was the live-action project Galaxy High School, in partnership with 1492 Films and DreamWorks,” Williams commented. Â ”Ross was also a fantastic contributor to crucial drafts of Space Chimps, and he wrote a hilarious CGI/live-action hybrid script for us called The Gnome King.
Venokur, who has written three novels for children, including The Autobiography of Meatball Finkelstein (Bantam), began his career in television with Carsey-Werner, then moved into screenwriting with features at New Line (All Boxed Up), Warner Brothers (Piddlesticks), Jim Henson Productions (The Grump) and Universal/Jersey Films (The Manny), among others. Venokur has sold pitches to nearly every major studio and has enjoyed considerable success doing studio re-writes, including an early draft of Night at the Museum. His feature The Inner Child is in development at Walden Media; TV credits include live-action The Tick and Kenan and Kel and he is also author of the highly-praised Kenny Scharf-illustrated Haiku! Gesundheit (Simon & Schuster).
“John and I have a great time working together,” Venokur stated. Â ”We’ve always clicked creatively, and we have an extremely effective short hand that yields terrific results. Â Most importantly, we both believe that our current three films are strong, commercial ideas.”
Venokur has already delivered The Nut Job, his first script under the Vanguard deal. “Just as Kung Fu Panda is a parody of the Samurai/Ninja/Martial Arts movies, and Rango a parody of Westerns,” said Venokur, “The Nut Job is a tongue in cheek parody of heist films with â€¦ critters.”
Though details of the remaining two scripts are being kept under wraps, the scripts are both underway and will be delivered shortly, as Vanguard is in advanced distribution talks for all projects. Â Additional negotiations for Venokur to produce and/or direct the films will be conducted on a project by project basis. Â Venokur is repped by ICM and Jonathan Hung of the Hung Entertainment Group.
[Editor's Note: Disney/PIXAR has released more details on the forthcoming prequel to the 2001 hit film Monsters, Inc. ]
U.S. Release Date: June 21, 2013
Voice Talent: Billy Crystal, John Goodman
Director: Dan Scanlon
Producer: Kori Rae
Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair,Â but that wasn’t always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monstersÂ met they couldn’t stand each other. “Monsters University” unlocks the door to how MikeÂ and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best ofÂ friends.
Screaming with laughter and fun, Monsters University is directedÂ by Dan Scanlon (Cars, Mater and the Ghostlight, Tracy) and produced byÂ Kori RaeÂ (Up, The Incredibles, Monsters, Inc.). The film opens in U.S.Â theaters on June 21, 2013, and will be shown in Disney Digital 3Dâ„¢ in selectÂ theaters.
- Monsters, Inc., originally released on November 2, 2001, was nominated for four OscarsÂ®: Best Animated Feature Film, Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing and Best Original Song–“If I Didn’t Have You,” for which it won.
- Monsters University will hit U.S. theaters nearly 12 years after the Monsters, Inc. theatrical debut.
- Billy Crystal and John Goodman reprise their roles in the prequel as the wise-cracking Mike Wazowski and lovable Sulley.
- Monsters University features a host of new faces and a few returning favorites from Monsters, Inc.
Character animator Vitaliy Strokous didn’t have any films in the CalArts Producer’s Show last night (which was a great program btw, and I’ll be posting some of the films screened here in the near future), but I was told he is an animator to look out for. So I looked him up online and found this fun little film he made last year with classmates Eusong Lee, Christopher and Kyle Baeta-Orick, produced in 48 hours sometime last semester.
Dan Adler is a former v-p of creative development at Walt Disney Imagineering. Now he’s running for Congress in California with kooky and borderline inappropriate ads like the ones above and below. His website features endorsements from people who’ll be familiar to the animation community, including former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, retired Imagineering exec Marty Sklar, and Geraldine Laybourne, who launched Nickelodeon’s original animation programming in the early 1990s. Have any Brew readers ever worked with him?
Responding to my comment about the difficulty of writing anything interesting about Pixar nowadays, Brew reader Matt said:
It’s hard to look at Pixar as anything but perfect but if you don’t want to continually reiterate the same Pixar praise, you can instead start looking into some of the negatives surrounding the studio. Such as the recent antitrust lawsuit seeking class action status by a former LucasFilm Software engineer accusing Pixar, Lucasfilm, Google, Apple, Intuit, Adobe, and Intel of having “no solicitation” agreements with one another to curb competition for skilled labor and cap employee pay. Time will tell if it’s true or not, just hope they continue making entertaining films.
That’s a fascinating story topic, and it got me thinking about what are some other stories about Pixar that I’d like to read. Here are some suggestions:
* Non-union Pixar is notorious for paying lower wages than the other major CG feature studios. They can get away with this because the prestige of working on a Pixar feature trumps a salary. That’s an excellent position for a company to be in, but history reminds us that it’s not a sustainable approach in the long-term. The parallels between Pixar’s current approach and the Disney studio of the late-Thirties are eerily similar, especially in Pixar’s paternalistic approach to offering incentives to its employees. Take this excerpt from the New Yorker piece about Pixar’s cereal bar: “There was once a new arrival at the company, who thought the bowls provided at the bar were too small, and registered his displeasure in an email. He didn’t last. In Lasseter’s words, ‘If you’re that upset about how big the bowl for your free cereal is, leave.’” In other words, Pixar will give you free cereal as long as you eat it exactly the way they want you to eat it.
* Not entirely Pixar-related, but another story I’d love to read more about is Lasseter’s takeover of the creative side of Disney Feature Animation. Lasseter has ruffled plenty of feathers and pushed some of the top talents out of the studio (Chris Sanders, and perhaps Glen Keane next), but he’s also responsible for retooling Tangled into the studio’s biggest earner since The Lion King. Is Disney becoming more like Pixar? And is that a positive development?
* Of course, there’s also the old standby: the lack of female protagonists in Pixar’s oeuvre. The latest take on the topic is this piece in Persephone Magazine. For the record, Anthony Lane in his New Yorker piece argued that Elastigirl is a “single-handed rebuke to the charge–proved elsewhere–that Pixar has failed to place female heroes at the hub of its stories.”
Your suggestions for good Pixar stories?
Here’s our feel-good story of the day: Dante Buford, 22, who recently completed his B.A. in animation at Loyola Marymount University, was selected by Gobelins to participate in the highly selective character animation workshop in Paris this summer.
According to information provided to us by LMU:
Born in the city of Whittier and raised in Pico Rivera, Buford moved to Los Angeles at the age of 13 and then relocated to Inglewood his senior year of high school. A member of the Crenshaw High School class of 2007, Buford’s first exposure to higher education was attending the LMU Summer Creative Workshop. Each year, a group of talented youth from the Los Angeles inner city are mentored by LMU faculty while creating films. After attending the summer program at LMU, he eagerly applied to the School of Film and Television his senior year at Crenshaw. Upon his acceptance to LMU, he was awarded the Cosgrove Family Endowment Scholarship, which covered his tuition and expenses throughout his four-year undergraduate education.
Buford’s senior project, Interview (image above), is a short animated film about a Mom stressing out over a job interview who is sabotaged by a vindictive woman competing for the same position. This trip marks Buford’s first out of the state of California and first time flying on an airplane.
My sincerest congratulations to Dante Buford, and his classmate Christina “Kiki” Manrique who was also selected to attend the Gobelins workshop, on winning this opportunity. We look forward to posting your films here in the future.
Happy Families is a brand new, six-part animated sit-com by brothers Jack and Harry Williams (writers of Honest, The Amazing Dermot & Roman’s Empire) commissioned by Comedy Commissioning Editor Nerys Evans.
A British animation with the ambition to rival the great, long-running American animated series, Happy Families is set in the heart of British suburbia where a family much like any other lives – well sort of.
Edgar, a put upon wage slave, works for his self obsessed, borderline-evil Father-In-Law Ken Lavender. Married to houseproud wife Wendy, they are parents to three very different children, freaky weirdo Dusty, amiable idiot Jason and highly strung ‘Emo’ Eve.
The artwork comes via the talented hand of Alex Scarfe, and is animated by LA-based Rough-Draft, the company behind Family Guy, Futurama and The Simpsons Movie.
Voice Cast includes the Bafta-award-winning Kayvan Novak (Facejacker), Simon Greenall (Alan Partridge), Rosie Cavaliero (Jam and Jerusalem), Lucy Montgomery (Bellamy’s People) and Darren Boyd (Whites).
Comedy Commissioning Editor Nerys Evans said: ‘The combination of slick American animation with quintessentially British humour gives Happy Families a really distinctive feel. Not only is the dialogue laugh-out-loud funny, it’s packed with fantastic celebrity cameos and satirical swipes at every turn.’
Writers Jack and Harry said: ‘Channel 4 commissioning an animation on this scale shows just how committed they are to bringing something new to the comedy schedules. We’re delighted to be working with Shane and Nerys on this fun and ambitious project. They’re a rare breed of comedy commissioner – in that they have a sense of humour.’
Happy Families is produced by Squirrelman Productions.
Shout! Factory and Nelvana Enterprises today announced a new deal to bring the world renowned animated TV classic The Adventures of Tintin to the U.S. home entertainment marketplace. Under its multi-year agreement, Shout! Factory will be the exclusive home entertainment distributor for DVD to 39 memorable episodes of The Adventures of Tintin. This announcement was made by Shout! Factory’s founding partners Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos; and Colin Bohm, Managing Director, Nelvana Enterprises.
“The Adventures of Tintin is one of the most endearing animated series of all time and has been embraced by thousands of fans worldwide,” stated Shout! Factory founding partners. “We’re excited with the alliance and the premiere opportunity to bring this television property to multiple generations of fans.”
”Nelvana is pleased to partner with Shout! Factory to bring Tintin’s classic tales of worldwide adventure and intrigue back into the homes and hearts of American families, especially given the excitement surrounding the soon-to-be released 3D feature film” said Colin Bohm, Managing Director, Nelvana Enterprises.
Adapted from the long-running graphic novels by the late cartoon artist Hergé (a.k.a. Georges Rémi), popular animated TV series The Adventures of Tintin, co-produced by Nelvana and Ellipsanime Productions, chronicles the young and intrepid investigative reporter Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy, along with Captain Haddock, the muddled genius Professor Calculus, the bumbling detectives the Thompson Twins as they embark on incredible globe-trotting adventures full of excitement, mind-boggling mystery and fun.
Originally created as a French comic strip in the late 1920s, The Adventures of Tintin spawned a series of popular graphic novels, translated in 80 languages and published in over 50 countries. Throughout the years, Tintin and a unique cast of characters have evolved into memorable animated TV series (1990s), a BBC radio series (1992), stage plays, as well as the upcoming 3D motion capture feature film The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.
Shout! Factory plans an aggressive rollout of The Adventures of Tintin home entertainment product line later this year. As excitement builds for upcoming releases, Shout! Factory and Nelvana will announce DVD titles and bonus content for fans in forthcoming months.