Cartoon Network & Singapore’s MDA Launch “Snaptoons”

SINGAPORE (June 30, 2011) — Cartoon Network today announced a joint agreement with Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA) to launch SNAPTOONS (Short New Asia Pacific Cartoons), an initiative that calls for creative pitches for original series from professional and budding animators.

The SNAPTOONS project aims to connect Cartoon Network with new creative talent from Singapore, with the end plan of investing in and developing fresh animated ideas appealing to kids, reflecting the Cartoon Network brand’s promise of fun, funny, surprising and fearless.

“It is important to us at Cartoon Network to find and nurture home-grown talent from around the Asia Pacific region,” said Silas Hickey, Creative Director of Animation, Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, Inc. “Singapore has long been known as a hub for creativity, particularly within the arts, and with the support of MDA we hope to showcase this talent on an international platform while animating kids’ lives with the best in homegrown entertainment.”

SNAPTOONS invites animation industry professionals, individual animators and animation studios from Singapore to send in their pitches, with the potential to see their ideas eventually come to life alongside the Channel’s line-up of iconic characters such as Ben 10, Chowder, The Powerpuff Girls, Generator Rex and Johnny Bravo. Up to ten pitches will be shortlisted, based on their development potential, with up to five eventually created into broadcast quality shorts.

Mr Yeo Chun Cheng, Director of Broadcast, Animation, Film and Music, MDA said: “We are pleased to partner with Cartoon Network on SNAPTOONS. Our collaboration provides opportunities for Singapore content creators especially budding animators to create original and creative content for the international market. We look forward to receiving many interesting pitches and have some of the best ideas developed into shorts or even a full series.”

This is Singapore’s second collaboration with Cartoon Network. In March this year, Cartoon Network and Singapore’s home-grown animation studio, Scrawl Studios announced a multi-year agreement to develop, produce and distribute high quality content on the channel across the Asia Pacific Region.

Cartoon Network’s latest partnership with Singapore marks Cartoon Network’s ongoing commitment to nurture creative talent across Asia Pacific and has previously launched SNAPTOONS in India, Malaysia and Australia. As a result, Cartoon Network has produced or is in production on a variety of projects including Kul Veera (India), Johnny Bravo Goes To Bollywood (India), Hi-So Hillbilly (Thailand) and Exchange Student Zero (Australia).

Entry for SNAPTOONS Singapore is open to all inventive and visionary industry professionals. Concepts should appeal to kids, be inspiring, smart and surprising but, above all, they should be funny.

For more information on the program, interested parties can visit the SNAPTOONS site at www.snaptoons.org. Submissions are open from now to 30 September, 2011.

“Loom” by Polynoid

Check out Loom, an amazing piece from German studio Polynoid:

CREDITS
Directors: Jan Bitzer, Ilija Brunck, Csaba Letay
Technical director: Fabian Pross
Production company: Filmakademie BW
Producer: Regina Welker
Sound: Joel Corelitz / waveplant
Artists:Felix Mertikat, Jin-Ho Jeon, Roman Kälin, Tom Weber, Christian Hertwig, Silke Finger, Jacob Frey, Leszek Plichta, Georg Schneider, Anja Wacker, Andreas ‘Felix’ Gebhardt, Falko Paeper, Sarah Eim

(Thanks, Charlie Gore)

MTV International Channels Pick Up “Crash Canyon”

TORONTO/NEW YORK (June 28, 2011) —  The International broadcast rights for Crash Canyon, the all-new original prime time animated series developed by The Simpsons’ co-executive producer Joel Cohen, and produced by Breakthrough Entertainment in association with Shaw Rocket Fund and TELETOON Canada, have been secured by MTV’s international  channels (excluding North America) for debut in 2012.  Deal was announced jointly by Ira Levy and Peter Williamson, principals of Breakthrough Entertainment, and David Booth, Senior Vice President, Programming & Content, Viacom International Media Networks.

In addition to Joel Cohen and Producer-Executive Story Editor Greg Lawrence (Kevin Spencer), other contributing Crash Canyon writers include Tim Long (The Simpsons) and Chuck Tatham (How I Met Your Mother, Arrested Development).

“We fell for Crash Canyon right from the very start.  Joel Cohen and Breakthrough have broken new animated comedy ground with this hilarious series that is certain to entertain MTV audiences,” said Booth.

“It’s been terrific working with Breakthrough and I am delighted to have now forged our international broadcast partnership with MTV.  Having Crash Canyon seen around the world through a brand like MTV is a dream come true, and it’s probably better this dream come true than that other one where Justin Bieber invited me to his prom.” said Cohen.

“MTV is the perfect international broadcast home for Crash Canyon and we could not be more proud and excited to join forces with this iconic global broadcaster that defines ‘hip’ and ‘fresh’ for audiences worldwide.   We also are thrilled to work alongside Joel Cohen and Greg Lawrence, who together have produced what we believe will be one of the most watched and talked-about new prime time animated series in television,” said Nat Abraham, Vice President of Distribution for Breakthrough Entertainment and Joan Lambur, Executive Producer for Breakthrough Entertainment.

Crash Canyon focuses on the Wendell family whose family vacation turns out to be a disaster — in fact, an actual disaster! After accidentally driving off a cliff, the Wendells plummet two miles straight down into a canyon.  When they stumble out of their van, they are alive and, as they also realize, not alone.  The exact same fate has befallen several others before them and the Wendells are now just the newest residents of a community of everyone that has driven, cycled, sky-dived or even crashed their NASA landing capsule into. Their new neighbors include an astronaut and his chimp companion, an old lady that has domesticated a bear, a has-been British punk rocker, a man in a perpetual coma, a ventriloquist and his dummy, and many more.  The Wendells and all these characters hope to escape, but until they do, these are the citizens of the impromptu, gravity-cursed community of “Crash Canyon”.

“Little Wombat” Childrens Books In Development for Animated Series


SEVEN24 Films and marblemedia have announced a partnership to develop Little Wombat, an animated series (26 X 11 minutes) for preschoolers based on the internationally acclaimed Little Wombat books by Charles Fuge. Through the adventures of Little Wombat, preschoolers explore, learn, and discover new things.

Each episode follows the mischievous marsupial Little Wombat and his friends Mouse and Koala as they adventure within the Hollow where they live. Although their adventures don’t always go smoothly, Little Wombat and his friends use teamwork to solve problems and complete their adventures successfully.

The adventures of Little Wombat continue online and on mobile devices. Kids are immersed in the world of Little Wombat through interactive digital books, bonus animated content, age-appropriate games, puzzles, and sing alongs.

“We’re pleased to be developing this series, and look forward to telling Little Wombat’s timeless stories through charming animation,” says Jordy Randall, Executive Producer, SEVEN24 Films. “The show really captures the fun and adventure of being a 4 year-old, where every day is filled with optimism and curiosity.”

“This is a great opportunity to expand the adventures of Little Wombat across multiple platforms,” says Matt Hornburg, Executive Producer/Partner, marblemedia. “Having already gained phenomenal success as a book series, the doors are open to bring these stories to life in other unique and exciting ways, including the TV series we’re currently developing.”

International distribution and format sales will be handled by marblemedia and SEVEN24 Films’ distribution arm, Distribution360.

Cartoon Network Launches Animation Development Studio in Abu Dhabi

TBS Arabia (Turner Broadcasting Systems Arabia) today announced plans to launch a brand new Cartoon Network animation development studio, Cartoon Network Studios Arabia, as part of the agreement signed with twofour54 Abu Dhabi. The studios have opened in order to support local talent from across the Middle East, and from the already established Cartoon Network Animation Academy, aiming to develop new productions and take the finished product across the whole region and to a possible global audience.

The initiative is a further example of TBS Arabia’s commitment to growth in the Middle East. The new studios aim to reflect MENA culture by developing the indigenous creative stemming from the region; exploring the art, colour and story-telling, bringing it to life through original animation.

In 2010 the Cartoon Network Animation Academy was launched in collaboration with twofour54; training talented young individuals in 2D animation. The Cartoon Network development studio promises to continue building on this commitment; nurturing talented graduates from the academy -offering them internships working within the development studio and putting their creative ideas into practice – whilst being guided by established professionals.

Michael Carrington explained why he believed that it was imperative to work with local talent from the region:

“We are very proud to bring the development studio to MENA. Having already touched-base with a variety of content providers in the region since the launch of Cartoon Network Arabic I know that there is a wealth of talent here and lots of great stories that can be brought to life via our channel. It has always been our goal for Cartoon Network Arabic to produce local content in collaboration with local people that can be enjoyed all over the region but that might also have the potential to enthral our various global audiences too.”

The Cartoon Network Studios Arabia is headed by Michael Carrington (General Manager Cartoon Network Studios Arabia) and run by newly appointed Adam Khwaja (Creative Director, Cartoon Network Studios Arabia) who joins TBS Arabia with a wealth of experience working on many different kids formats across multiple platforms, including game shows, interactive content and animation productions.

Both Michael Carrington and Adam Khwaja bring with them solid experience of working within the market and an understanding of the core Cartoon Network values. In the initial phase Khwaja will employ a Production Coordinator, two Studio Artists and a number of interns all sourced from the Middle East and will be based in a brand new studio located at Twofour54, set in the heart of the content creation community in Abu Dhabi.

Talking about the opening of the studios, Wayne Borg, Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer at twofour54 said: “Animation is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing media disciplines in the region and one we are focusing heavily on. Since we signed the agreement with Cartoon Network, we have seen the first class of students enter the world’s first Cartoon Network Animation Academy. The next phase of our agreement is the opening of the development studios and this will contribute significantly to our efforts to build the talent pool by providing career development opportunities for Arab animators, especially graduates from our Academy.”

“Cars 2″ Co-Director Brad Lewis Jumps to Digital Domain

Port St. Lucie, FL – June 29, 2011 – Digital Domain Media Group, Inc. (DDMG) announced today that director Brad Lewis has joined DDMG’s Tradition Studios to direct original animated feature films.

Mr. Lewis joins Tradition Studios fresh from co-directing Cars 2 with John Lasseter, which opened in theatres June 24. A 10-year Pixar veteran, Lewis was the producer on the Academy Award-winning animated feature Ratatouille.

“Brad is truly one of the nicest and most talented people we¹ve met in the film industry,” said DDMG Chairman and CEO, John Textor. “We are honored that he has chosen to join us, having come from an environment that we believe represents the finest traditions of storytelling.”

Prior to Pixar, Lewis was a producer on Antz and executive-produced TV movies for PDI/Dreamworks where he worked for more than 11 years, also serving as executive producer/vice president of production for Pacific Data Images. His feature film character and visual effects credits include The Arrival, The Peacemaker and Broken Arrow. His television credits include Hanna-Barbera’s The Last Halloween, for which he received an Emmy Award and the first 3D episode of The Simpsons, which earned him an Emmy nomination. Lewis received an Emmy for graphic design for ABC’s Monday Night Football and his commercial production work garnered him two Clio awards. Lewis also served as Mayor of the city of San Carlos, California.

Mr. Lewis said, “I am excited to join a company with Digital Domain’s talent and expertise and to have an opportunity to be a part of its team in creating family-friendly stories and adventures. It’s going to be a fun ride.”

Abbott and Costello meets Bugs Bunny, Lucille Ball (1943)

For your listening pleasure today, a classic recording of the Abbott and Costello radio show from November 18th, 1943. This one features guest stars Bugs Bunny (Mel Blanc) and Lucille Ball. In this episode, Lou goes to extremes trying to score a pair of nylon stockings… and if you listen carefully might also hear Elvia Allman, Iris Adrian or maybe Sidney Fields.

(Thanks, Mark Trost)

“A Short Vision” by Joan and Peter Foldes

Today’s must-read/must-view history lesson: Conelrad (which covers the Atomic Bomb era of the 1950s) has posted a thorough history of A Short Vision, the acclaimed 1954 animated short by artists Peter and Joan Foldes.

The Conelrad post, by Bill Geerhart, essentially recounts the surprising U.S. reaction to this short, which was broadcast twice on the top-rated Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. The fact that a mainstream U.S. variety show ran this art-film-with-a-message in primetime is almost as shocking as the film itself.

Hungarian born Peter Foldes was a painter and experimental animator whose work won prizes at the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals. Foldes went on to create several pioneering computer animated films including NFB’s Hunger (the first CG short nominated for an Academy Award, in 1974). He passed away in 1977.

Watch the film (below), read the post. Still packs a strong punch.

(Thanks, Brenden Hyde)

“On The Platform” by Sanghon Kim and Machine Molle

The latest music video for the French pop group, The Betwitched Hands, is a psychedelic a love story; “a metaphor for two people who miss each other”. It’s co-directed by graphic artist Sanghon Kim and Paris studio Machine Molle, in a mix of animation technics including traditional hand drawn and CG animation. And the song is catchy, too:

Boomerang Celebrates Original “Smurfs” in Advance of Movie Premiere

This July, Boomerang will whet fan appetites for all things “smurfy” as the all-classics cartoon network heralds the worldwide premiere of the new 3D live-action/animated film, The Smurfs, opening Friday, July 29. The commercial-free network will clear its regular schedule across the month to devote morning, afternoon and evening air time each day–Monday-Friday 9-10 a.m., 3-4 p.m. and 8-9 p.m. (ET); Saturday-Sunday 9-10 a.m., 2-4 p.m., 8-9 p.m.–to present all-time favorite episodes of the Emmy Award-winning (Outstanding Children’s Entertainment Series) classic animated series, The Smurfs.

“Children who grew up watching The Smurfs in the ‘80s are now having children of their own,” said Stacy Isenhower, senior vice president of programming and scheduling for Boomerang and Cartoon Network. “And with the major motion picture coming out at the end of the month, we decided Boomerang’s July schedule would offer a great opportunity for the whole family to meet the characters and get to know the many special meanings of the word ‘smurfy’.”

In fall 1981, a decidedly new cartoon debuted on NBC’s Saturday morning lineup. Based on a 1957 Belgian comic strip, The Smurfs made television history following its premiere by becoming the highest-rated Saturday morning show in eight years, and the NBC’s highest-rated animated series since 1970. The Smurfs follows the lives of little blue people who live in mushrooms. Led by wise magician Papa Smurf, the eclectic crew includes such characters as Brainy, Vanity, Hefty, Clumsy and Smurfette (the only female Smurf), a happy bunch threatened only by the evil wizard Gargamel and his cat Azrael. For nine years on broadcast television (1981-1990), the series chronicled various adventures in Smurf Village, including Gargamel’s multiple failed attempts to rid the world of the Smurfs altogether.

Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation will release The Smurfs in 3D worldwide on Friday, July 29. The live-action and animation feature film is directed by Raja Gosnell and stars Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara and Hank Azaria as Gargamel.

Highlights of the month-long tribute include the following favorite episodes:

· “Sir Hefty” — Tuesday, July 19, 9 a.m. (ET)— A giant fire-breathing dragon roams the forest, torching the trees as it passes. Hefty must fight the fires and defend Smurf Village. He leads the dragon away and is knighted “Sir Hefty Knight of the Smurf Table” by Papa Smurf.

· “Three Smurfketeers” —Thursday, July 21, 9 a.m. (ET)— The Smurfs put on a play where Hefty, Jokey, and Greedy play the three musketeers, helping Clumsy Smurfingham win Smurfette Smurfington’s hand in marriage.

· “The Haunted Castle” — Friday, July 22, 3:30 p.m. (ET)— Johan and Peewit, a young squire and his sidekick, join the Smurfs to help a ghost of a haunted castle find his rightful heir.

· “The Littlest Giant” — Sunday, July 24, 9:30 a.m. (ET)— Papa Smurf helps a young runaway giant reunite with his own family.

Disney & Threadless Announce Winner of “Phineas and Ferb” T-Shirt Design Challenge

Following a successful Disney design challenge in 2010 for TRON Legacy, Threadless and Disney Consumer Products collaborated again to host a design challenge that brought  the Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning animated series, Phineas and Ferb, to the Threadless design community. With more than 1.5 million artists and designers worldwide, Threadless challenged its community to create, score and ultimately choose the T-shirt design for the Phineas and Ferb Design Challenge.

The winner of the Phineas and Ferb Design Challenge was just announced as a designer working under the moniker Freehand. Freehand received received $2,500 cash, a $250 Threadless gift certificate, and a $500 Phineas and Ferb prize pack.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Puts Production Art Database Online

Beverly Hills, CA (June 28, 2011) — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library today launched its latest online research tool, the Production Art Database. The database contains records for more than 5,300 items from the library’s collection, including motion picture costume and production design drawings, animation art, storyboards and paintings. Nearly half of the records include images, making this an invaluable online resource for researchers interested in motion picture design.

The Production Art Database allows users to search, view and study motion picture design materials from the 1920s to the present. One of the earliest items featured is a costume design drawing by Howard Greer for the 1923 film The Spanish Dancer. Other notable pieces in the collection include a Hans Dreier production design drawing for Wings (1927), animation cels for the Pepe Le Pew cartoon For Scent-Imental Reasons (1949), Albert Whitlock’s matte painting study for The Birds (1963), Steven Spielberg’s rough storyboard sketches for Poltergeist (1982) and Jeannine Oppewall’s drawing of the Victory Motel for L.A. Confidential (1997). The collection also includes materials on very recent films, including drawings by Academy Award® nominee Eve Stewart for The King’s Speech (2010).

“We’re very happy to be able to make this database more widely available to researchers, students and film enthusiasts,” said Library Director Linda Mehr. “Our hope is that it will bring much-deserved attention to the costume and production designers, sketch artists, animators, and other artists who have contributed so much to filmmaking.”

For information on additional materials, or to make an appointment to view an item that does not yet include a reference image, contact Anne Coco, graphic arts librarian, at [email protected]. For more information about the Margaret Herrick Library, visit http://www.oscars.org/library.

The Academy’s website provides access to several other online databases as well, including the Academy Awards Database, the Academy Awards Acceptance Speech Database and the Margaret Herrick Library catalog, which includes bibliographic records for the library’s holdings of books, periodicals, scripts, posters and archival collections. Links can be found at Resources & Databases.

“Mad” Animated Sketch Comedy Series Coming to DVD

BURBANK, CA (June 27, 2011) — The outlandish humor and brilliant pop culture parodies of MAD Magazine are celebrated in MAD, the new animated sketch-comedy series to be released on DVD September 20, 2011, by Warner Home Video (WHV). Titled MAD Season 1 Part 1, this hilarious DVD release will feature 13 outrageous episodes that poke fun at everything from superheroes and popular celebrities to history and classic television shows, and much more. The DVD will retail for $19.97 SRP.

Prepare to laugh and be entertained with MAD, the new animated laugh-out-loud sketch comedy series from Warner Bros. Animation inspired by the iconic MAD Magazine. Executive produced by Sam Register (Teen Titans, Ben 10, The Looney Tunes Show) and produced by Kevin Shinick (Robot Chicken) and Mark Marek (Crank Yankers), the series offers a twisted mix of humor and animation styles that pull back the curtain and expose the sordid truth behind movies, TV shows, games, and – of course – curtains! Each episode features a collection of short animated parodies, crazy commercials, pretend promos and classic gags inspired by the iconic magazine and including classic material created by such legendary MAD Magazine cartoonists as Sergio Aragonés, Al Jafee and Antonio Prohias.

“For several decades, MAD Magazine has been making readers laugh with its mischievous sense of humor and extraordinary parodies, and we’re delighted to bring the essence of this wonderful publication to DVD with the release of MAD Season 1 Part 1,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, WHV Executive Marketing Director of Non-Theatrical Franchise. She added, “MAD reminds us that sometimes it’s okay to laugh at the world around us and to not take things too seriously. It’s a fun, playful title that’s sure to bring out the kid in anyone who watches it.”

MAD premiered on the Cartoon Network in September 2010. The show ranks #1 with boys ages 6-11 and boys ages 12-17 in its time period.

MAD Season 1 Part 1 Featured Episodes:

Avaturd/CSiCarly
TransBoreMores/Groan Wars
2012 Dalmatians/Grey’s In Anime
Star Blecch/Uglee
Pirates of the Neverland: At Wits End/Batman Family Feud
Wall-E-Nator/Extreme Renovation: House Edition-Superman’s Fortress of Solitude
Clifford-field/ Big Time Rushmore
Fantastic Megan Fox/MAD vs. Wild
I Love You, Iron Man/Ben 10 Franklin
Class of the Titans/Zeke and Lex Luthor
S’UP/Mouse M.D.
Da Grinchy Code/DUCK
Snot Pilgrim vs. the Wonderful World of Disney/Malcolm in the Middle Earth

New Zealand’s Huhu Studios Tapped To Make Six Direct-To-Video “VeggieTales” Specials

New Zealand animation company Huhu Studios has signed a multi-million dollar production deal with a leading American studio which produces children’s and family programming.

The US Studio, Big Idea Entertainment’s best-selling animated series VeggieTales is the top home video animated series in the US with mums of pre-schoolers. Since 1993, VeggieTales has sold more than 54 million videos, 13 million books and more than 7 million CDs.

Auckland-based Huhu Studios will produce six all-new, direct-to-video VeggieTales productions over the next two years. They will drive the pre-production, animation and post-production from their New Zealand studio for each title feature.

Founder and CEO of Huhu Trevor Yaxley says the deal is vote of confidence for the company which has been working with Big Idea for the past three years.

“This deal represents a step up in the amount of work we will be doing for Big Idea and cements a good relationship developed in the past.

“It would be an understatement to say our talented team of artists here at Huhu are excited about this opportunity; to work alongside Big Idea is a dream come true,” says Trevor Yaxley. “The other principals at our studios, David Pitts, Bill Boyce and Henry Wong, are also more than delighted to once again be associated with Big Idea Entertainment.”

General Manager for Big Idea Entertainment Leslie Ferrell says the company is pleased to partner with the talented and creative team at Huhu Studios.

“We’re confident the six new direct-to-video productions will continue to bring the timeless and delightful stories, lessons, and songs that fans around the world love, into their homes.”

Disney Channel Hosts First Ever Animation Panel at National Press Club


BURBANK, Calif., June 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Disney Television Animation is slated to present the Emmy Award-winning and BAFTA-nominated series Phineas and Ferb, and hit innovative comedy series Fish Hooks at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, July 13 (7:00 — 9:00 p.m., ET/PT). This presentation marks the National Press Club’s first-ever animation panel.

“It’s an honor to be invited to present our panel at the National Press Club and have the opportunity to showcase our top two animated series, as well as highlight our upcoming programming slate to the Young Members Committee,” said Eric Coleman, senior vice president, original programming, Disney Television Animation.

“This is the inaugural animation panel for the National Press Club and we are proud to have Disney, the world’s leader in animation, as a partner. It is truly an honor to host such a noteworthy event and respected panel, for what will certainly be among the most memorable and entertaining evenings in NPC history,” said Tim Young, chairman, young members committee, National Press Club.

In addition to Phineas and Ferb and Fish Hooks, Disney Television Animation will offer an overview of upcoming programming, including Gravity Falls, Motorcity, and Tron:Uprising.

Panel to include the following attendees:

Phineas and Ferb: creators and executive producers, Emmy Award-winning Dan Povenmire (Family Guy and Rocko’s Modern Life) and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh (The Simpsons and Rocko’s Modern Life), Alyson Stoner (Camp Rock movies), Jack McBrayer (30 Rock), Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock) and Bobby Gaylor (Take Two with Phineas and Ferb).

Fish Hooks: creator/executive producer Noah Z. Jones (Not Norman, The Monster in the Backpack), executive producer Maxwell Atoms (The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy), Chelsea Kane (Dancing with the Stars), Kyle Massey (Dancing with the Stars) and Justin Roiland (The Sarah Silverman Program).

Attendees will include club members, military families and is open to the general public. For more information, please visit http://www.press.org/events/disney-lands-press-club.

“Tom & Jerry” on Blu-Ray

Buzzing about the internet today was news concerning the Tom and Jerry Golden Collection, Volume 1. Whereas I’m working on this set and had been sworn to secrecy about it, I couldn’t mention it before. Since the box art was leaked and a bunch of mis-information is now being spread, I have no choice but to violate my arrangement with the studio and clear up some facts.

First of all, some basic information about this set: It goes on sale October 25th on both Blu-Ray and standard DVD discs. The DVD will go for $26.99 and will present the cartoons in their original 1.33:1 “full frame” video aspect ratio. The Blu-Ray set will cost $34.99 and will feature the shorts also in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, but with video in 1080p high definition. Both will no doubt sell for less on Amazon.

Each set will contain the first 37 Tom & Jerry shorts, in chronologic release order (from Puss Gets The Boot to Professor Tom, for those keeping score at home). There will be audio commentaries and bonus documentaries – but none of these are finalized yet. These sets will contain new, pristine transfers from CRI negative elements. These are not the Turner TV broadcast prints used on previous releases.

Many are asking about Mouse Cleaning. The original nitrate negative has been found on this rare title and it is being restored at great expense. This film is planned for release on T&J Golden Collection volume 2. Don’t even think of asking me about that set yet.

The information leaked about Vol. 1 today was early data made available to solicit sales from the retail trade. It was not intended to be spread publicly. A formal press release about the Tom & Jerry Golden Collection, with updated information, will be released in a few weeks.

P.S. I will be moderating a Warner Home Video Cartoon panel on Thursday July 21st at 3pm at the San Diego Comic Con – with guest panelists including George Feltenstein – to discuss forthcoming Tom & Jerry and Looney Tunes collections on DVD. If you are going to the Comic Con, I advise you (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) to attend this panel for more information.

(Special thanks to David Lambert)

Animated Fragments #8

Rancho Girl by Jorge Ruiz (USA/Venezuela)

Various Fluid Experiments by Vladimir Jankijevic (Switzerland)

Myslivci by Jan Saska (Czech Republic)

SVA Dusty Animation Night Intro by Kaukab Basheer (USA/India)

“Bully” Album Teaser by A3+ (France)

Browse through the Animated Fragments on Cartoon Brew or subscribe to our channel on Vimeo to see most of them.

Rovio Hires Former Marvel Studios Chairman David Maisel As Special Advisor

Rovio has announced that David Maisel is becoming a Special Advisor to Rovio. In his previous role as Chairman of Marvel Studios and EVP, Office of Chief Executive at Marvel Entertainment, David transformed Marvel Entertainment by launching Marvel Studios and its first self-produced and self-financed films including Iron Man. He also most recently led the sale of Marvel Entertainment to Disney.

As a Special Advisor to Rovio, David will help build the company’s entertainment strategy and transition Rovio to new areas in the entertainment business. He also plans to serve as Executive Producer of future Angry Birds films.

“David was instrumental in rebooting Marvel Studios and turning it into a blockbuster-producing powerhouse,” said Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio. “We welcome his experience and vision as we continue broadening our entertainment production scope at Rovio.”

David Maisel joined Marvel Entertainment in 2003. He was the architect of the strategy to launch the film studio, secured the related financing and distribution and set the stage for the studio to produce a string of box office hits. David is the Executive Producer of the films Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.

A graduate of Duke University with an MBA from Harvard Business School, David has previously worked in senior positions with Creative Artists Agency, The Walt Disney Company, and William Morris Endeavor, among others.

“I’m very honored and excited to join Rovio, and my goal is to help unleash its great potential,” said David Maisel. “Rovio has already had amazing success and established a great brand with Angry Birds. The business model, intellectual properties, and the franchise potential of Angry Birds give Rovio the most exciting prospects I have seen in the entertainment business since Marvel in 2003.”

Of note, earlier this month, Rovio announced the acquisition of Kombo, a leading Finnish animation studio, to expand its in-house animation capabilities. Rovio will continue to expand in all areas of entertainment business, and the company is on the lookout for more talent in both animated entertainment and application development.

Angry Birds was launched on in December 2009, Angry Birds Seasons in October 2010 and Angry Birds Rio in February 2011. Since their release, the games have achieved more than 250 million combined downloads across all platforms. Most recently, Rovio launched launched the “Mine & Dine” update for Angry Birds, “Summer Pignic” for Angry Birds Seasons and “Carnival Upheaval” for Angry Birds Rio. The company also recently introduced Angry Birds on the web with Google Chrome, and announced their book publishing plans and the first print publication.

Rovio raised a $42mm Series A investment in March 2011 from leading venture capital firms Accel Partners and Atomico Ventures, with plans to accelerate growth in international expansion and broad scale entertainment franchise development beyond mobile games.

John Lasseter To Receive Award from The British Academy Of Film & Television Arts Los Angeles


BAFTA Los Angeles is pleased to announce that we will honor Academy Award® winning writer/director John Lasseter and BAFTA winning director David Yates at the 2011 BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards.

The Britannia Award is BAFTA Los Angeles’ highest accolade, a celebration of achievements honoring individuals and companies that have dedicated their careers or corporate missions to advancing the entertainment arts. This year, the gala event will be hold on Wednesday, November 30 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

John Lasseter will receive the Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Filmed Entertainment, and David Yates will receive with the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing.

“John Lasseter and David Yates are master creators of joy and imagination,” says Nigel Lythgoe, Chairman of BAFTA Los Angeles. “Their high standard of art, perception and pure entertainment is unparalleled. The worldwide success of Mr. Lasseter for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and Mr. Yates’ contribution to the final four parts of the Harry Potter franchise makes them global wizards in their own right, and are delighted to honor these remarkable filmmakers with this year’s Britannia Award.”

The Britannia Awards are presented annually at a gala dinner, where peers and colleagues celebrate the work and accomplishments of the distinguished honorees. Proceeds from the gala ceremony support BAFTA Los Angeles’ ongoing education, scholarship, community outreach and archival projects.

“Icarus Montgolfier Wright”

The brilliant but rarely seen 1962 Academy Award nominated animated short Icarus Montgolfier Wright has finally been posted on You Tube by animator Mike Kazaleh, who had a 16mm print given to him by exec producer Herb Klynn many years ago.

This is another of those films I saw several times back in my elementary school years, in English class, and never forgot the haunting images by Joe Mugnaini — who had done illustrations for many Ray Bradbury books. Icarus is based on a story by Ray Bradbury with a script co-written by Bradbury and George Clayton Johnson. Jules Engel produced it at Format Films and actors James Whitmore and Ross Martin provide the voices.

The film was released in 1962, but takes place in what was then the near future. In this story, it is the night before the first manned flight to the moon: August 22nd 1970. The date turned out to be off only by a year, a month, and two days.

UPA veteran Osmond Evans directed the picture. Evans was a very astute filmmaker, always careful about using shapes and motion from one scene to the next to give his films a flowing but dynamic feel. Although Icarus Montgolfier Wright has very little animation, it moves at a brisk pace because of the creative use of camera moves and editing.

In 2009 we posted about VFX artist Ryan Leasher’s forthcoming book about illustrator Joseph Mugnaini. His book, Wilderness of the Mind: The Art of Joseph Mugnaini, contains a foreward by Bradbury and is planned for publication in later this year from Art of Fiction.

(Thanks, Mike Kazaleh)

ThunderCats Roar on Cartoon Network Friday Nights


ThunderCats, one of the most beloved cartoons of the 1980s and a continuing cultural force, comes to Cartoon Network in an all-new contemporary reimagining of the iconic animated series. Set as an epic tale, ThunderCats tells the story of a hero’s journey to fulfill his ultimate destiny. The series begins with an hour-long special premiere event on Friday, July 29, at 8 p.m. (ET, PT). Following the premiere, the show will air regularly on Cartoon Network Friday nights at 8:30 p.m. (ET, PT) beginning August 5.

Thunder, Thunder, ThunderCats! Ho!! On Third Earth, the kingdom of Thundera is being threatened by the evil sorcerer Mumm-Ra, and Lion-O, the young heir to the throne, embarks on a great quest to take his rightful place as king. The unlikely champion must work with his faithful comrades Tygra, Cheetara, Panthro, WilyKit, WilyKat, and his loyal pet, Snarf, who join him on his journey to save their world from darkness. From Warner Bros. Animation (WBA), ThunderCats is executive produced by Sam Register (Teen Titans, Ben 10, The Looney Tunes Show), with Michael Jelenic (Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Wonder Woman) and Ethan Spaulding (Avatar: The Last Airbender) producing.

To celebrate the premiere, ThunderCats will have a significant presence at Comic-Con International: San Diego. A panel scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Friday, July 22 in room 6A will include an exclusive screening of the hour-long series premiere. Producers Michael Jelenic, Ethan Spaulding and art director Dan Norton will participate in a subsequent panel discussion and answer questions from fans. Coinciding with Comic-Con, Cartoon Network will also air nine episodes from the classic ThunderCats series over the weekend of July 23. Boomerang will also host a classic ThunderCats marathon on July 16 and 17 and air the series every day at 5 p.m. starting Monday, July 18.

Cartoon Network digital adds to the ThunderCats experience with online content including the free game, “Thundera Run,” launching on CartoonNetwork.com July 18. Additionally, a free “Party Pack” from Warner Bros Animation will be available for download and will include everything a true fan needs to host the ultimate ThunderCats viewing party.

Disney Channel Comes to South Korea

Seoul, Korea — Television Media Korea (TMK), the joint venture formed in May 2010 between Disney Channel International (DCI), and SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM), announced today launch dates for the first local language, Disney-branded channels in South Korea. Disney Channel, a 24 hour channel geared towards kids age 6-14 and families, will become available on July 1, 2011 at 5pm. Disney Junior for kids age 2-7 and parents, will debut July 11 at 8am.

Both Disney Channel and Disney Junior will be available in HD multiplex as well as SD format over cable, direct-to-home and IPTV platforms and related on-demand digital media services in South Korea. Coinciding with the channels’ launch are the Korean language websites www.DisneyChannel.co.kr and www.Disneyjunior.co.kr.

Anchored by Disney’s much-loved characters and stories, both Disney Channel and Disney Junior schedules will feature locally produced Korean-language programming as well as award-winning global hits such as Phineas and Ferb, Stitch! and Fish Hooks animated series, live action including Good Luck Charlie, Shake It Up and Wizards of Waverly Place. In addition, the channels will present Disney branded movies such as the blockbuster franchise titles Toy Story and Cars and a new Disney Movie World block–a Korean-first–showcasing Disney movies including the latest blockbusters and beloved classics to a new generation of viewers.

“With our partners at SK Telecom, we look forward to delivering a breadth of quality programming to Korean kids and families, to entertain them as well as enrich their viewing experience with learning and imaginative stories and characters,” commented Carolina Lightcap, President, Disney Channels Worldwide.

“The launch of Disney Channels now means Korean kids and families can now experience the award winning content and characters that has made Disney Channels the global leader in children’s television,” said Mr. Moon Kim, General Manager, TMK. “Both Disney Channel and Disney Junior feature the hallmarks of the Disney brand: timeless storytelling and engaging characters. Available in Korean-language for the first-time, Disney Channel allows parents and kids to be engaged in content and a channel they can trust to provide age-appropriate entertainment.”

“Together with Disney through TMK, the launch of Disney Channel and Disney Junior is an excellent opportunity to fulfill the needs of the local audience who have high standards for quality content. SK Telecom’s extensive distribution network and our understanding of Korean audiences maximizes opportunities to bring the best family and children’s content when and where they want it,” said Mr. Seo, Jin-Woo, SK Telecom co-CEO.

New Series Programming Descriptions- all available in Korean language.

Phineas and Ferb
Phineas Flynn and his stepbrother, Ferb Fletcher, set out to conquer boredom and make every day of their 104-day summer vacation count, in Disney Channel and Disney XD’s Emmy Award-winning animated comedy series, Phineas and Ferb. The series, created and executive-produced by Emmy Award-winning Dan Povenmire (Family Guy) and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh (The Simpsons and Rocko’s Modern Life), is a production of Disney Television Animation. The animated series features high energy action and imaginative witty humor for kids and 2
families. The series is also honored with a 2010 Emmy® Award for “Outstanding Writing in Animation” and a BAFTA 2009 Children’s Award nomination.

Good Luck Charlie
The family sitcom Good Luck Charlie follows the comedic quandary of teenagers Teddy and PJ Duncan and their 12-year-old brother Gabe in their designated roles as babysitters for their toddler sister Charlie as their mom Amy works as a late shift nurse and dad Bob carries on with his pest-control business. Now, as Charlie turns 2, the entire family buckles up for all-new adventures and mishaps as Amy and Bob juggle their ever growing work schedules with Teddy and PJ’s growing teen angst, and Gabe discovers all the benefits to having a cute and cuddly baby sister.

Fish Hooks
Created by children’s book illustrator and author Noah Z. Jones, this imaginative, eye-catching and funny animated series revolves around three tweens, Bea, Milo and Oscar, as they navigate the choppy waters of high school… and, they happen to be fish. Starring are Chelsea Kane (JONAS L.A.) as Bea, an overly dramatic goldfish whose goal is to become the world’s greatest actress, Kyle Massey (Cory in the House) as Milo, an optimistic guy who loves his friends unconditionally, and Justin Roiland (The Sarah Silverman Program) as Oscar (Milo’s brother), a homebody who loves sci-fi and has a secret crush on Bea.

State of Georgia To Prove “Toon Boom Software Training” For Animation Industry Development


The Georgia Entertainment Media Work Ready Region, the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (Digital Entertainment Office) are pleased to announce and provide Toon Boom Software Training for 2 weeks during the summer. With this industry expected to grow to more than $555 Billion dollars by 2015 in the United States, the leadership of the Georgia Entertainment Media Region are vested in making sure industry can excel in Georgia and will sponsor the three (3) two week courses priced at $2500 each that will be offered FREE to those referred by their employers. The course will be taught on Animate Pro from a Toon Boon instructor flown in from Toronto, Canada.

The training course will target 43 digital content creators drawn from Entertainment and Media industry partners in the Atlanta area. We believe that this training will provide a strategic advantage to train on industry standard software and be able to develop critical skills to advance into a dynamic and fulfilling media arts career.

The Georgia Entertainment Media Work Ready Region which includes Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties, is bringing together industry and regional educational assets to create a regional entertainment talent pool. The growth of emerging industries in interactive entertainment, gaming and animation is accelerating. To support this momentum, GEM is building a pipeline of skilled animated workers to develop tomorrow’s entertainment industry innovations with this two week training program. This also supports Georgia Entertainment Media Region’s long-term goals in providing and supporting a skilled workforce needed for an emerging growth sector in Georgia.

Toon Boom Animation Inc. addresses the needs of the high, middle and low tiers of the animation market as well as expands its presence in new areas, such as gaming, mobile devices, e-learning applications, special effects, stopmotion and integration of 3D animation.

Please contact the Interactive Entertainment & Digital Games Global Commerce Project Manager (or have your employer registerer you) if you are interested in attending. Provide your name, your company, and proposed dates for taking the training course. The (3) 2 week sessions will begin:

July 11 – July 22
July 25 – August 5
August 8 –August 19

A “Beany And Cecil” website!

I love Bob Clampett, and I’m happy to announce that BeanyandCecil.com is now online! This is the official family website of Bob Clampett and for his characters Beany & Cecil.

The site is still a work-in-progress, and you’ll note a hard-sell for Beany and Cecil Vols. 1 & 2 DVDs (and everyone reading this blog should own these – two of the best DVD compilations ever, loaded with great cartoons and important historical bonus material). That said, the site has much to offer as is – and I recommend you visit there today.

A couple of tips: When you check it out, hold your curser over the black and white logo in the top left corner…after a second it animates! The video on the TV will be rotated out regularly. The first video is Beany and Cecil taglines.

There are video interview clips under “Our Creator/The Surreal Side of Bob Clampett.” Much more will be added over time including interviews with people who worked with Clampett. I’ve been told there will also be feature pages added like, “The Night Ronald Reagan Opened for Beany and Cecil“.

A newly digitally remastered Bob Clampett’s Beany and Cecil The Special Edition: Volume 1 is in the final stages of authoring. It will have some ADDED elements including new menus and audio commentaries by Bob’s kids: Cheri, Rob and Ruth Clampett. It will have a rare unproduced storyboard, Cecil’s Scrapebook, with Rob’s commentary. This same storyboard will be added to the website in sections. The first section is up now, you can find it under Creator/My Life As a Sea Serpent. Readers will be notified when the DVD available, if they go to the order page.

The family has also just set up a “BeanyandCecilChannel” on youtube.com and an Official Beany and Cecil FanPage on facebook.com. You should “Like” that too!

Much Clampett goodness to explore and enjoy. My highest recommendation!

“Rooted” by Edwin Schaap

Another student film from The Netherlands’ Utrecht School of Arts (HKU), this one called Rooted. It’s an (unintended?) update of Disney’s Flowers and Trees (1932) that plays like the first five minutes of some bizarre Pixar feature about two characters who can’t go Up, two trees who fall in love with each other:

Credits:
Director: Edwin Schaap
with: Jeroen Hoolmans, Pim Reinders, Floyd Angenent
Music by Vidjay Beerepoot
Behind the Scenes film: Here