Visiting a museum on a weekend is a great thing to do. And thanks to brothers Mark Osborne (More and Kung Fu Panda) and Kent Osborne (Adventure Time, Spongebob Squarepants) you can do so in less than five minutes. Created in an improvisational fashion during three days at the museum, this pixilated short takes a journey through Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), through its current exhibition Art in the Streets with works by Banksy, Rammellzee and Kenny Scharf.
Burbank, Calif., July 29, 2011 — Nickelodeon, the number-one kids’ brand and largest producer of television animation in the world, has picked up a third season of T.U.F.F. Puppy, the newest hit animated series from Nicktoon hit-maker Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents), it was announced today by Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group. The network is adding 20 episodes to the series, bringing the total number to 60. T.U.F.F. Puppy, starring iCarly’s Jerry Trainor as Dudley, currently ranks as the number-two animated program with kids 2-11, only behind SpongeBob SquarePants.
“Currently our second highest rated animated series, T.U.F.F. Puppy has been a huge success on Saturday mornings right out of the gate, which is no surprise coming from the incredibly talented Butch Hartman, the only creator at Nick with three shows under his belt — The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom and now T.U.F.F. Puppy,” said Johnson. “The show is laugh-out-loud funny in no small part due to iCarly’s Jerry Trainor, who brings his incredible comedic sensibility to the role.”
“I am truly thrilled to be able to make a brand-new litter of T.U.F.F. Puppy episodes,” said Butch Hartman. “I love working on the show and I’m looking forward to expanding the world of Dudley Puppy with more villains, more gadgets, and even some surprises from Dudley and Kitty’s past.”
A hit since its October 2010 premiere, T.U.F.F. Puppy ranks as the number-two animated program on television with kids 2-11 (behind only SpongeBob SquarePants) year to date. The series currently averages 3.6 million total viewers (source: Nielsen Media Research, Live + 7 Day data 12/27/10-6/19/11, Live + Same Day data thru 7/3/11).
T.U.F.F. Puppy will be launching internationally on Nickelodeon Australia later this month with all other international channels premiering the series in August.
Cartoon Brew readers might have seen this coming a mile away, but not Wall Street. The business world is finally realizing that 3-D may not be the revolution that Hollywood’s snake oil salesmen promised it would be. Yesterday, shares in 3-D technology licensor provider RealD sank nearly 16% to $15.48. It’s significant because this is the first time the stock is trading below its 2010 IPO price of $16 a share. The stock was trading at over $35 just two months ago.
The stock plunged following the company’s first quarter report which topped analysts’ expectations but fell short of estimates on Wall Street. Analysts have already begun asking whether it’s game over for 3-D.
Another big loser in the film technology arena this week was IMAX. Its shares slipped 6% yesterday to under $19. IMAX’s stock is down a whopping 41% in the month of July, though some analysts are still bullish on the company’s future.
The problem with RealD’s approach (as well as IMAX’s to some extent) is that it up-sells movies without adding significant value to the experience. I’ve seen 3-D films only a handful of times and I’d be hard-pressed to recall which films they were, much less point out a moment where the 3-D made the film richer or more fulfilling.
NEW YORK, July 18, 2011 — Duopoly announces the U.S. launch of the delightful animated family comedy series The Very Good Adventures of Yam Roll in Happy Kingdom, now streaming on the free, ad-supported Hulu.com and the Hulu Plus subscription service at www.hulu.com/yam-roll.
Produced by March Entertainment for Canada’s CBC and the Cartoon Network in the US, the series premiered in 2006 and continues to air on the CBC’s Saturday morning kids’ block as well as Australia’s ABC2 and HBO Asia, garnering a large and enthusiastic following through a combination of broadcast play, film festivals, and its dynamic fan website www.yamroll.com.
Yam Roll (39 x 11 min episodes and 39 x 3 min shorts) takes audiences to an exotic land of anthropomorphic sushi and tells the story of how one of its inhabitants, a super-powered taxi driver named Yam Roll, braves monsters, bad guys, and barking dogs all in the name of unrequited love. Despite being well liked in Happy Kingdom due to his good nature and sweet, root-vegetable flavoring, Yam Roll is still a frustrated guy. Why? Because he is hopelessly in love with the town sweetheart, a spicy tuna roll named Minamiko. With the help of his wise Zen master, Katcho Miso (an old lump of salty bean paste), his sidekick and best friend Ebi-san (a severely hyperactive shrimp,) and the rest of his motley maritime crew, Yam Roll’s life is always an exciting ride.
Yam Roll is co-created and penned by the ingenious Jono Howard (of Ed, Edd, ‘n’ Eddy fame) and the talented artist and animator Jon Izen (Pet Squad) who also serves as Yam Roll’s director.
“Yam Roll is an irresistible character and his unrequited love for a tuna roll named Minamiko is one of the great cartoon romances,” said Catherine Tait, President of Duopoly. “The unique designs by Jon Izen and the offbeat yet charming characters who occupy Yam Roll’s Happy Kingdom make this series a truly undiscovered gem.”
Actor Patrick Stewart expresses his appreciation for animation in this CNN interview and says that, “I think in film the most exciting work currently is being done in animation.”
(Thanks, Tres Swygert)
BURBANK, CA, July 28, 2011 — A new soundtrack and DVD inspired by Disney Junior‘s #1 series Jake and the Never Land Pirates, are planned to set sail this September with Walt Disney Records’ album release of eighteen hook-filled songs from the series on September 20 and The Walt Disney Studios Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Yo Ho, Mateys Away! DVD release featuring seven episodes from the series on September 27.
Jake and the Never Land Piratesis cable’s #1 series among Boys 2-5 and is on track to be Disney Channel’s #1 preschool series ever. It is the most co-viewed series among all Disney Junior and Nickelodeon series, with 47% of Moms watching with their preschooler. A music-filled interactive treasure hunt, the series introduces a crew of kid pirates — leader Jake and pals Izzy and Cubby — and follows their Never Land adventures as they work to outwit two infamous characters, the one and only Captain Hook and Smee, from Disney’s classic Peter Pan. Every episode features the animated Sharky and Bones characters as they pop up throughout to perform original pirate ditties, and each episode concludes with a live action music video featuring The Never Land Pirate Band.
About the Album Release:
Written and performed by Loren Hoskins and Kevin Hendrickson, a.k.a. Sharky and Bones of The Never Land Pirate Band, the album features 18 swashbuckling tracks sure to thrill any young pirate. Also included are downloadable activities and games to plan the perfect pirate party, a Sing-Along version of the show’s theme song and a bonus track from a future episode. The deluxe edition includes a pirate bandana. The album arrives at stores and online retailers September 20.
The album features a variety of songs that kids and parents can enjoy together. Songs include the kooky, comical “Hot Lava,” “Aw Coconuts,” “Pirate Password,” and the arrrghhh-rated “Talk Like a Pirate.” Some songs refer to popular characters in the show, such as “What’s Cookin’ Smee,” “Captain Hook (Is A Cranky Crook),” “Tick Tock Croc” and “Bucky’s Shanty.” Others capture the island spirit of Never Land, such as “Castaway on Pirate Island,” “Shipwreck Shuffle” and “Never Sky,” as well as the Jake and the Never Land Pirates theme song. All songs can be heard in episodes of the show.
Portland, Oregon-based Hoskins and Hendrickson have been creating pirate rock music for kids of all ages for more than a decade. The duo produced four previous children’s albums and even led their own pirate band. The pirate rockers also provide the musical score for Jake and the Never Land Pirates.
Get ready to experience one of Thor’s most popular stories in comic history through cutting edge animation and captivating storylines when Marvel Knights Animation’s Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers debuts for the first time on DVD shelves nationwide on September 13, 2011 from Shout! Factory, in association with Marvel Knights Animation.
Inspired by the acclaimed graphic novel from Robert Rodi and Esad Ribic, Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers takes a powerful look inside the minds of Thor and Loki, two adversarial brothers in the mystical land of Asgard and seemingly forever enemies. But just why does Loki hate his brother Thor? And could it be that this master of mischief isn’t really the villain he’s been branded? Loki’s insatiable lust for power and his feud with Thor take on new meaning in this resonant epic.
A must have for loyal fans, comic book enthusiasts and collectors, Marvel Knights Animation presentation of Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers DVD is packed with insightful bonus content and graphic rich cover, plus a unique replica of comic book-style plastic sleeve that bridges the comic book to DVD concept. Marvel Knights Animation Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers is priced to own at $14.97. You’ll never see the world of Thor the same way again!
Marvel Knights Animation Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers is produced by Ruwan Jayatilleke, written by Robert Rodi, art by Esad Ribic.
Marvel Knights Animation remains true to the heritage of panel-by-panel graphic storytelling, boasting groundbreaking illustrations, sensational soundscapes, and of course, the explosiveness of the Mighty Marvel Universe.Behind every image and every word lies the genius of Marvel’s celebrated creators like Robert Rodi, Esad Ribic, Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, Joss Whedon, Reginald Hudlin, John Romita Jr, Warren Ellis, Adi Granov, John Cassaday, and more.
Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers
The great halls of Asgard have fallen silent since a new king has overtaken the throne. His name is Loki, son of almighty Odin, brother to the Thunder God, Thor. Once a powerful trickster – the God of Mischief – Loki now rules a grand kingdom with little regard for its subjects. His only thoughts are focused inward, toward the origins of his own pain and suffering. To quell his torment and to gain the respect he feels he so rightfully deserves, Loki must now execute the prisoner chained deep within the dungeons of Asgard, the one man who has ever shown him love. His own brother.
DVD Special Features Include:
An exclusive look back with writer Robert Rodi and Artist Esad Ribic
Behind the scenes of Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers
Total Feature Running Time: +/- 72 Minutes
In the tradition of TV’s best-loved animated Christmas classics, Hallmark Channel announces the World Premiere of Jingle All the Way, a Hallmark Channel Original Animated Special, starring one of Hallmark’s most lovable characters, Jingle the Husky Pupâ„¢, which premieres exclusively on the network, Friday, November 25 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C). This is the first time that Hallmark Channel has ever brought a Hallmark product to life in a full-length entertainment production and it is the first cable TV experience of its kind.Â The Interactive Storybook & Story Buddy,â„¢ available in Hallmark Gold Crown Stores, is part of a significant partnership from retail to on-air, digital and social media to promote the special.Â Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas, one of the most anticipated seasonal events in entertainment, features more hours of holiday-themed programming than any other network.
In “Jingle All the Way, a spirited Husky puppy looking for a home at a Christmas tree farm instantly bonds with a young boy visiting with his parents. Â As the boy rides away, unable to keep him, the pup escapes and embarks on a snowy journey to find his friend again. Guided by a wise cardinal and the sound of jingling bells, he eventually receives the help he needs from a big man in a red suit just in time for Christmas morning.
The animated special offers the first-ever opportunity for viewers to activate the Jingle Interactive Storybook and Story Buddyâ„¢ while watching original program content based on the book.
Jingle All the Way is a Bent Image Lab Production.Â Chad Harris, Jodi Schade, Diana Stuart, Shawn McClaren and Ray Di Carlo are Executive Producers.Â Tsui Ling Toomer is Producer.Â Chel White directs from a teleplay by Allan Neuwirth.
Guess what opens today? They are small and blue and The Los Angeles Times says their film is “…grating and cloying. This misguided attempt at a 3-D family comedy is a project even Neil Patrick Harris can’t save.”
The New York Times says “the movie frequently reminds us that the gimmick of little creatures scurrying about in the human world (Toy Story, Gnomeo and Juliet) is pretty worn out. But on a hot summer day, The Smurfs is a decent enough excuse to haul the little ones into an air-conditioned theater.”
Comments below are open only to our readers who have seen the film and wish to offer their reactions and reviews.
Animation Block Party, the most significant US animation festival on the East Coast, returns tonight for its eighth year in a row. The festival will take place over the next three days in Brooklyn with six programs of animated shorts and three after-parties. The festival is also exploring some new directions this year, in the form of a trade show and gallery exhibition:
On Saturday, July 30, 2011 – ABP will hold its first ever animation trade show and art gallery exhibition at BAMcinématek from 12pm-8pm. Trade show attendees will include Animation Mentor, NY Bike Jumble, L-Magazine, DaVinci Artist Supply, Green Mountain Energy, The Community Bookstore and many more.
The ABP gallery exhibition will feature content from animation talents such as Doug Crane, Howard Beckerman, Deborah Ross, Maori Stanton, Jeff Scher, Mike Lapinski, Caroline Foley, Michael Langan and London Squared alongside festival photos from Jazzmine Beaulieu. The Saturday ABP trade show and art gallery is free and open to the public.
For a list of all the films in competition, screening times and ticket info, visit the Animation Block website.
Golly, I never thought I’d see that thing on the internet. I really wish I could re-do those drawings right about now.
I read some of the comments earlier, and I think I can provide some perspective as to what I was up to, and what was happening at the time I wrote this.
It was created for a Disney offsite. I wasn’t invited to the retreat, but anyone could write their thoughts down and submit them, and they would be copied and bound into a folder that would accompany the attendees. The hope being that all this stuff would be read carefully and thoughtfully and then discussed by the attendees at the retreat.
I wanted to submit some thoughts of my own, but from the size of some of the notes being submitted by my fellow artists, I thought it was unlikely anyone would really read all that material. We’re talking dozens if not hundreds of pages of thoughts/complaints/suggestions in that folder.
So I decided to submit mine in the form of this little picture book — so it might stand out. I’m not sure if it worked, but if someone found a copy of it twenty years later, at least one person must have read it.
Anyone who read the story would see that I wasn’t a proponent of the removal of writers from the development process. But I was focusing on the quantity of writers, the quality of the writers, and the unwillingness of writers to partner with the artists they worked so near. And, I would say, the artists they needed to make their material work. In feature animation a great deal of the finished film, if not the bulk of it, is written by the story crew. And I mean entire scenes, not the occasional gag that is transcribed back into a script. As head of story on Mulan, I received a writing credit for that very reason.
The other thing I was concerned about was the ever-growing complexity of our films, and what I saw as an emerging pattern they were all cut from. A lot of our films fell into a well-worn groove. Different characters, but similar roles. It didn’t seem like we could get away with that forever. I felt we could be more inventive. I felt that a film with a smaller crew and lower budget could be successful.
While the story crew was debating how we would kill the villain at the end of Mulan, we began reflecting on how strange it was that we spent so much time trying to find fresh ways to kill characters in Disney films. In Mulan we (the story crew) came up with the idea that the villain could be blown to bits by fireworks, rather than falling to his death as was written in the script. A lot of those villains fall at the end of Disney films. Some get stabbed first, but a whole lot of them fall. There was almost always a death at the end of our movies. It was one of those patterns I worried about.
That’s where Lilo and Stitch came from. At its base, Lilo and Stitch is a story about a villain who becomes a hero. A redemption story. A story that diverged from the pattern.
At the time I wrote that document, the suggestion that Disney could be surpassed by another studio seemed outrageous. Impossible. But a studio or company that feels secure, is slow to innovate and has trouble with self-examination can certainly be surpassed by something fresh, small, and fast.
Anyway, that’s where the little story book came from. To my surprise, it made the rounds. In the years that followed I got the occasional call from people at other companies that asked if they could use it for a presentation. I guess it was vague enough that it could apply in other places. Including Lockheed, to my surprise.
UPDATE: Chris has followed up with a second comment about the role of writers in animation:
I’m glad this forum has generated such passion – it’s so nice to hear so many perspectives. The only thing I’d add at this point, is that I don’t assume anything about writers. All my experience with the writers I was referring to was first-hand.
Again, I like writers. The good ones. The ones that aren’t just good at structure or inventive dialogue or the rhythm of a scene – but the ones that are also good in a room. The ones that are friendly, energetic and collaborative. The ones that can adapt quickly to a change and don’t have a problem editing their own pages. The ones that think visually, and understand when to let the characters shut up and let the score do the talking. And the ones that do their job without arrogance or ego. One thing I’ve learned – if someone tells you they are a great writer, they probably aren’t a great writer. At the very least they are a writer who’s better off mailing their pages in because you probably don’t want them around.
When I talk about writers I’m talking about the ones I actually worked with. In development my room was right next to theirs. A whole slew of different writers passed through that room – none of them stuck around very long. Some were silly, some were lazy, some were arrogant, and some were just plain mean. One group yelled at our PA because their phone cord wasn’t long enough. Another set spent the entire day wadding up fresh pieces of typing paper and throwing them at a wastebasket till it was buried, then took a three hour lunch. They came back for an hour before they left for the day. One came into my room, complained about my drawings, then took a piece of paper from me and scribbled the most terrible little drawing. He gave it to me and said, “There, that’s how the villain should look.”
Boy, I wish I kept that drawing. Once, while in a very tense meeting, our writer banged their head on a table, burst into tears, and ran out of the room.
And I listened to them all day long. That’s why I wrote what I did about them. I actually heard the stories they were hatching. It was pure insanity. The Sound Of Music set underwater with Nazi sharks. I saw them watch a Goofy cartoon and one of them asked why Goofy was acting so dumb. They thought they could probably fix that, because, well, I guess they thought the way Goofy was acting must have been some sort of mistake.
The ones I worked with, especially in development, didn’t belong there. They had no love for animation. In fact there was usually contempt for it. They wasted our time, money, and seriously stressed everyone out because we fretted that one of them might actually be assigned to one of our films and we’d have to carry them all the way through.
We wondered where they all came from. When you bought a typewriter did a certificate fall out that said, “Congratulations! You are now a writer. Take this certificate to your nearest studio where you can redeem it for a job.”
To the fellow who joked that I should have hired a writer for my story, I would say it already had one – me. I thought it up. I wrote it. And I drew it. It may not be perfect, but it exists solely because I made it. And it still seems to have some ability to start conversation, which is what I wanted it to do when it was written twenty years ago.
The implication of course that a “real” writer could have done it better. But as usual, when I was making it, there weren’t any around. All the “real” ones had gone home at 4:00. So I did it. And it got done.
One final note – I’ve written scripts and I’ve drawn story boards. I’ve even boarded my own pages. And when I board my own pages I change about the same amount of stuff I do when working from other writers pages. Even I can’t foresee all the adaptation a scene will need until I actually start drawing it. So if you’re writing for feature animation, don’t be too quick to feel upset if things get changed in boards. As soon as I sit down to board my own pages, I’ll think, “Well this doesn’t work.” Or, “I can dump half of this, what the hell was I thinking?”
Boarding is physically more demanding than writing. It just is. Write a battle scene, then try boarding it. A single paragraph of a script can stretch into hundreds of drawings. Feature animation is ultimately written on the boards. Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, are all massive collaborations. Scenes are written, boarded, pitched… and then the real work begins. Those meetings can last days, and the story artists, directors, and writers are all in that room together. Writers return to their computers alone, but they are carrying all the material generated in those story meetings. So be careful not to imagine a pristine process where a writer sends pages along, and they simply get made into a movie.
Buckle Up, a team of 3rd year students led by Abe Taraky, created this charming little film at Sheridan College’s BA Animation program.
London’s grey landscape has never looked so alluring as in Daniela Negrin Ochoa‘s trailer for the upcoming London International Animation Festival. Ochoa is a recent grad of the National Film & Television School.
She provided these notes about the trailer:
The London International Animation Festival wanted a trailer to celebrate their upcoming animation festival and their new home, the Barbican. This year’s festival theme is cut-out animation, which inspired the look of this trailer. I directed, designed, and animated it myself using ink on acetate and tracing paper under camera on a 3 layer multiplane set-up. The music is by composer Jon Wygens.
Los Angeles, CA, July 28, 2011 –(PR.com)– Bella Fe Films and LightRow Pictures have teamed-up to complete production of Magnum Farce, a computer-animated parody of the iconic Dirty Harry films which starred Clint Eastwood. Based on the feature film script that has won multiple film festival awards, Magnum Farce’s production is a follow up of the successful animated short film of the same name by writer, director, producer, Ken Mora.
Executive Producer and CEO at LightRow Pictures is Zak Lee Guarnaccia, Italian-born actor, stuntman and filmmaker has just released the incredible No-Budget action feature Rules to the US market with distribution that includes Blockbuster, Barnes & Noble, Sears, and Best Buy. LightRow engaged the writing talents of Ken Mora for their developing project The Cook and the Thief a fast pace slapstick family action comedy written by Ken Mora, which will showcase Zak Lee Guarnaccia as an Italian Jackie Chan. Progress on that film lead to collaboration on Magnum Farce to establish “The Pixar of Rated R.”
Bella Fe Films is Ken Mora’s production company, and the goal of the joint venture with LightRow is to make an explicitly unique contribution to animation by producing mature-audience film for the underserved late-teen-and-older market which only occasionally experiences films like Trey Parker and Matt Stone‘s South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut or Takeshi Koike‘s Redline. Release for Magnum Farce is scheduled September, 2013.
(Toronto, ON, July 28, 2011) — TELETOON Canada inc. announced today the five finalists in each of its English and French contests for the TELETOON at Night Pilot Project. The contest concept was taken from the original TELETOON Pilot Project and turned into an online, user-generated contest. The initiative called on aspiring and professional animators to put their creative skills to use for a chance to win $10,000 CDN and the opportunity to attend North America’s largest animation conference and festival, the Television Animation Conference and Ottawa International Animation Festival.
Finalists, for both English and French contests, will have their short films featured at a late night screening during the Ottawa International Film Festival on Saturday, September 23, 11 p.m. at the Arts Court Theatre.
The top five finalists for both contests are:
TELETOON at Night Pilot Project
Gotcha – Sandra Loke, Stoney Creek, Ontario
Samurai Terrorist – Matthew Viveen, Cambridge, Ontario
Great Minds Taste Alike – Sheryl Vedamani, Vancouver, British Columbia
The Kitten Factory – Henry Budd, Burnaby, British Columbia
Off the Wall – Robert Nisperos, Richmond, British Columbia
TELETOON la Nuit Projet Pilote
Les Imbroglios – Jonathan Savoie, Montréal, Quebec
Jean-Paul – Fred Pitteloud, Montréal, Quebec
La justiciÃ¨re rose - Philippe Ramsay Gaudreau, Lemoyne, Quebec
Cobaye en fuite – Steve Ouellette, Montréal, Quebec
Swing Carl - Beauchemin, Montréal, Quebec
“We are thrilled with all of the amazing, creative, funny, weird and sometimes disturbing submissions received for the TELETOON at Night Pilot Project,” said Russell Ward, Vice-President, Marketing, TELETOON Canada. “It proves just how much incredible talent is out there within the Canadian animation world and we are honoured to open a door and give exposure to these budding and professional animators.”
Fans can vote for their favourite English-language finalists on teletoonatnight.com and teletoonlanuit.com for the French-language contest. The video that receives the most votes by Sunday, August 28 will be crowned the winner and revealed on-air and online on Sunday, September 18.
The grand prize winner of each English and French contest will be awarded:
Â· $10,000 CDN
Â· Two roundtrip airline tickets from the closest Canadian commercial airport to the winner’s residence to Ottawa
Â· Four nights accommodation in Ottawa
Â· Two delegate passes to the Television Animation Conference and Ottawa International Animation Festival
The original TELETOON Pilot Project launched in fall 2007, exclusively inviting Canadian producers to submit proposals to produce a pilot in either English or French to be broadcast on TELETOON. Ten projects were selected as finalists from over 200 submissions, straddling a wide range of topics, animation styles and comedy sensibilities. TELETOON recently announced that the first TELETOON Pilot Project winner, Fugget About It, has been officially greenlit for production into a 13-part series in English and French.
TELETOON at Night is a special programming block on TELETOON for older teens and adult audiences who have an appetite for smart and culturally topical comedy shows. Available in both English and French, TELETOON Canada inc. brings kids, youth and adults the best in animated and animation-related entertainment with four nationwide specialty television channels — TELETOON, TÃ‰LÃ‰TOON, TELETOON Retro and TÃ‰LÃ‰TOON Rétro — and select programming is also available On Demand, Mobile TV, iTunes and teletoon.com. Founded in 1997, TELETOON Canada inc. is owned by Astral (50%) and Corus Entertainment (50%). For more information, please visit www.teletoon.com.