Reactions from Comic Con and Tr!ckster

The doors just opened at Comic Con, and I’m not exactly in a position to “live blog” the event – but perhaps you are. If you are reading this while on line or waiting for a panel to begin, send us your thoughts on how its going, what you’ve seen or any or if you found anything cool in the exhibit hall (like this limited “Con exclusive” Comic Book Guy ornament (above) being sold at the Hallmark booth).

If you are you an animation artist artist who is exhibiting your wares at Comic Con or Tr!ckster, please post that info on our Open Thread. And don’t miss Tr!ckster, across the street in the San Diego Wine and Culinary Gallery. It’s a must see – and I’ll be screening Cartoon Brew’s Student Film Festival Thursday and Friday mornings at 10am!

SATURDAY: Jim Korkis at Disney Family Museum

If you are in San Francisco this weekend, I’d recommend a visit to the Disney Family Museum to see my pal, Disney historian extraordinaire Jim Korkis, speak about Walt Disney’s fascination with outer space. Jim examines Walt’s contributions to the U.S. space program, including his collaboration with Dr. Werhner Von Braun on a design for a working space shuttle, 25 years before one was actually built. Jim will be talking about the Tomorrowland Space Trilogy of shows from the Fifties, merchandise that was spawned from those shows, the film Moon Pilot, Disney space shows that were never made – and much more. Korkis will be speaking at 3 pm on Saturday July 23 at the Disney Family Museum.

Graphic Novel “Chickenhare” Set for Feature at Sony Pictures Animation

CULVER CITY, CA — July 20, 2011 — Sony Pictures Animation and Dark Horse Entertainment will develop an animated feature film based on the Dark Horse graphic novelseries Chickenhare by Chris Grine, it was announced by Michelle Raimo-Kouyate, president of Sony Pictures Animation.

Chickenhare is the story of a unique animal that is half chicken, half hare and all hero. The eponymous graphic novels in which Chickenhare was introduced, originally published in 2006 and 2008 by Dark Horse, follow him and his shelled sidekick, Abe, on their adventures in an amazing fantasy world filled with monstrous creatures, demonic critters, and danger lurking around every corner. The two pick up a few more friends and a few more problems, all while exploring themes of identity, family, and friendship.

Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg will executive produce on behalf of Dark Horse Entertainment. Michael Lachance will oversee the project for Sony Pictures Animation with president of production Michelle Raimo-Kouyate.

“Sony Pictures Animation is always looking for original characters, and Chickenhare is a true original,” says Michelle Raimo-Kouyate. “This story has everything we want in an animated film – broad comedy, heartfelt emotion, universal themes, and a one-of-a-kind hero that audiences will love.”

“Chris Grine’s Chickenhare is one of thequirkiest characters we’ve ever published,” said Dark Horse president Mike Richardson. “We’re excited that the good people at Sony Pictures Animation responded so enthusiastically to what has to be one of our greatest comics-to-film projects yet. The more animated movies I see, the more I want to make them, and in Chickenhare we found a character so colorful and three-dimensional that he could only exist in an animated world.”

Dark Horse Entertainment is represented by WME and Gotham Group, with legal representation by attorney Keith Fleer.

In addition to Chickenhare, Chris Grine is the creator of 165 Bots withStuff, which were featured on the Shoebox blog. He graduated from Ringling School of Art & Design in 2000 after completing 3 years at theKansas City Art Institute.

DreamWorks’ “Monkeys of Mumbai” Ropes In “Enchanted” Director Kevin Lima

DREAMWORKS ANIMATION SKG, INC. KEVIN LIMA WITH FILMMAKERS FROM MONKEYS OF MUMBAI Left to Right: Lisa Stewart (producer), Paul Berges (writer), Gurinder Chadha (writer), Kevin Lima (director), AR Rahman (EP/composer), Stephen Schwartz (EP/lyricist), Chris Chase (producer)

GLENDALE, Calif., July 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) today announced that Kevin Lima (Enchanted, Tarzan) will direct the upcoming feature film Monkeys of Mumbai (working title), the studio’s first-ever Bollywood-style animated musical adventure. Lisa Stewart (Turbo, Monsters vs. Aliens) and Chris Chase (Enchanted, Tarzan) will serve as producers on the project. As previously announced, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Prince of Egypt, Enchanted) is serving as executive producer and lyricist, A.R. Rahman (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire, Bombay Dreams) is serving as executive producer and composer, and Gurinder Chadha & Paul Berges (Bride & Prejudice, Bend It Like Beckham) are writing the feature project.

“Kevin is a brilliant director and someone we’ve long wanted to work with at DreamWorks Animation,” said the studio’s Chief Creative Officer, Bill Damaschke. “We are thrilled to welcome him, Chris and Lisa on board to round out the excellent creative leadership team on Monkeys of Mumbai.”

“Ever since Enchanted, I’ve been looking for a film musical and when DreamWorks Animation approached me with the prospect of doing a Bollywood musical with such renowned collaborators, I knew this was the one,” added Kevin Lima.

Inspired by the great Indian epic tale of The Ramayana — but retold through the point of view of its monkeys — Monkeys of Mumbai revolves around two common monkeys who become unlikely heroes in a last ditch effort to stop an ancient, thought-to-be-mythical demon from conquering the world. The project is being overseen at DreamWorks Animation by development executive Chris Kuser.

Nickelodeon Picks Up New Boys Action Series “Monsuno”

MALIBU, Calif., Jul 20, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — JAKKS Pacific, Inc., Dentsu Entertainment USA and FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) announced today a global content distribution deal with leading children’s entertainment network Nickelodeon for worldwide broadcast rights to the new original animated entertainment franchise Monsuno.

The Monsuno series (52 x 30 min) is an epic boys action adventure where kids discover, command and battle creatures with destructive potential. A race to harness the power of Monsuno ensues between a group of heroic kids and the evil forces focused on destroying the Earth. Built around powerful, action-driven animation, dynamic characters and a deeply woven original story mythology, Monsuno is anticipated to develop into a powerful force in the boys action arena for years to come. Targeting boys 6 — 11, the Monsuno series will be supported by a JAKKS Pacific toy line featuring innovative, kid-controlled action figures, accessories, playsets, collectables, electronics and integrated role play.

Nickelodeon will launch the series to audiences on owned channels in the United States, Latin America, the United Kingdom, key European and Eastern European territories, Australia and New Zealand, India, Southeast Asia, Russia and Africa. The Monsuno series will first launch in the U.S. on Nicktoons, the fast-growing kids’ network, and select English speaking countries.

“The Monsuno broadcast deal with Nickelodeon represents a critical milestone in our strategic plan to bring the Monsuno entertainment property to a global audience,” said Stephen Berman, President and CEO of JAKKS Pacific, Inc. “We greatly look forward to working with Nickelodeon and all of our partners to bring Monsuno to life and spark the vivid imaginations of boys around the world.”

FME’s Sander Schwartz, Head of Children’s & Family Entertainment, commented, “Monsuno is a truly epic entertainment project. With Nickelodeon on board as the international broadcaster, this will complete an already stellar line up of partners including JAKKS Pacific, Dentsu Entertainment USA and Topps. We believe that Monsuno has all of the ingredients to become a hugely successful multi-platform boys’ action adventure property.”

“The show’s action-adventure elements are an especially great fit for Nicktoons in the U.S. where the viewership skews towards boys,” said Keith Dawkins, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Nicktoons and TeenNick.

“With Nickelodeon driving content distribution and a network of merchants promoting the Monsuno franchise around the world, we have had a very receptive retail landscape,” said Jeremy Padawer, Executive Vice President of Marketing at JAKKS Pacific, Inc. “Monsuno is poised to be the next phenomenon for boys.”

The Monsuno series is being co-produced by Pacific Animation Partners LLC, a joint venture between JAKKS Pacific, Inc. & Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc., with FremantleMedia Enterprises and The Topps Company, Inc. FME will be responsible for the exclusive worldwide distribution of Monsuno TV programming except for Asia and act as the Master Licensing agent for the Monsuno brand outside of Asia. JAKKS Pacific is the creator of the underlying Monsuno property and master toymaker for the Monsuno toy line, which is expected to hit U.S. retail shelves to coincide with the U.S. TV series premiere anticipated for Spring 2012. The Topps Company has signed on to produce Monsuno trading card games, confectioneries and related products.

Buy Snow White’s House

Another animation landmark is up for grabs – for $1.1 million. The late Adriana Caselotti, the voice of Disney’s Snow White lived in a house near Larchmont Village (in Hollywood) done up as Snow White’s cottage. If you are in the area this month, they are holding several open house showings of the property – the ultimate collectible for the Disney fanatic who has everything!

(Thanks, James Gibson)

Max Fleischer predicts the Future!

Popeye authority Fred Grandinetti found this clipping in The Miami News (published on December 25th, 1936) in which Max Fleischer predicts a day when audiences will flock to theatres to see 3-dimensional cartoon feature films! Of course, Uncle Max was thinking more along the lines of his Stereo-Optical process, using three-dimensional sets and not computer graphics. Nor motion capture (despite his invention of the rotoscope). Still, Max was a visionary…

The Nominees for CARTOON’s 2011 Cartoon d’Or Award

Six short films from Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland and United Kingdom will compete for the Cartoon d’Or 2011, the award for the best European animation short film.

The jury composed of directors and producers Stéphane Bernasconi (France), Tony Loeser (Germany) and Victor Maldonado (Spain) have selected the finalists among a shortlist of 30 films award-winners at the major European animation festivals.
The nominees are:

- Mobile by Verena Fels (Germany, 2010, 6’25”. Prod: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg)
- Paths of Hate by Damian Nenow (Poland, 2010, 10′. Prod: Platige Image)
- Pivot by André Bergs (Netherlands, 2009, 5′. Prod: Il Luster Productions)
- The External World by David O’Reilly (Ireland / Germany, 2010, 17′. Prod: David OReilly Animation / DETAiLFILM)
- The Gruffalo by Jakob Schuh & Max Lang (UK, 2009, 27′. Prod: Magic Light Pictures in association with Studio Soi)
- The Little Boy and the Beast by Johannes Weiland & Uwe Heidschötter (Germany, 2009, 6’30”. Prod: Studio Soi)

The winner will be announced on Thursday 15 September 2011 in Sopot (Poland) during Cartoon Forum Polska, the platform aimed to boost the co-production and distribution of European animation for television. The directors of each nominated short will present his film to an auditorium of key players in European animation, providing them an opportunity to strengthen their ties with the industry. The winner will receive a trophy together with a financial aid of 10,000 EUR, thanks to the support of the MEDIA Programme of the European Union.

The Cartoon d’Or was created in 1991 by CARTOON in order to promote the talents of European animation and to act as a pipeline between short film makers and the industry. Previous winners include Nick Park, Sylvain Chomet, Mark Baker, Michael Dudok de Wit and Jacques-Rémy Girerd.

The Hub Network Events at San Diego Comic Con 2011

“45th Anniversary of the Original Batman Series”
When: Friday, July 22
Panel: 6:00 p.m. — Room 23ABC

Holy Comic-Con panel, Batman! Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin) and Julie Newmar (CatWoman) – the three stars of the iconic 1960’s TV series Batman – are coming to the San Diego Comic-Con for the very first time. The cast will share memories from the show that made camp cool as well as introduce and discuss their favorite scenes. An audience Q & A follows, moderated by KROQ radio personality and actor Ralph Garman.

The series airs Monday-Thursday at 8:30 p.m. PT on The Hub TV network.

“The Making of Transformers Prime
When: Thursday, July 21
Panel: 3:30 p.m. — Room 24ABC

Executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci whose credits include Cowboys & Aliens, Star Trek, Fringe and Hawaii Five-O join Executive Producer Jeff Kline and the show’s Dave Hartman, Duane Capizzi, Jose Lopez, Therese Trujillo, Vinton Heuck and Mike Vogel to discuss the creative process behind the show nominated for six Daytime Emmy ® Awards (including two Daytime Emmy® Award wins).

Featuring a first season highlights clip and a sneak peek at a scene from a pivotal upcoming episode; the panel will discuss all aspects of the show, including character and set development and design, the writing of this epic series and the musical elements that have made this show a fan-favorite. Following the discussion, fans will engage in a Q&A with the panelists.

Produced by Hasbro Studios, Transformers Prime (Saturdays at 4 p.m. PT) continues the legendary battle between archrivals Optimus Prime and Megatron who once again face-off in their epic rivalry for control of the Earth.

The Aquabats Super Show!
When: Friday, July 22
Panel: 8:30 p.m. — room 5AB
Concert: Saturday, July 23 — House of Blues; 7:00 p.m.

The Aquabats continue on their never-ending quest to right wrongs, destroy boredom and seek justice for all as they invade their first-ever Comic-con panel! The greatest crime-fighting force ever assembled- MC Bat Commander, Crash McLarson, Jimmy the Robot, Ricky Fitness and Eagle Bones Falconhawk – will address their legions of fans with insights on their long awaited new series coming this fall to The Hub TV network. Following an audience driven Q&A, panel attendees will have a chance to win tickets to the Aquabats concert at the House of Blues on Saturday night!

The popular rock band will reveal a first look into the new series from the creators of Yo Gabba Gabba. Produced by FremantleMedia Enterprises as well as The Magic Store, The Aquabats Super Show! will feature a hybrid of concert footage, live-action skits and animation as the team battles evil with music and superhero powers unlike any seen before.

Arc Productions (Formerly Starz Animation) Hires Stephanie Denton As Senior VP

Arc Productions, recently acquired by a Canadian ownership group from Starz Media US, continues to build its senior management team with the hiring of Stephanie Denton to head its Los Angles office as Senior VP of Sales & Business Development.

“We are thrilled to have Stephanie join our team. Her knowledge of the feature film business is exceptional. Her background in domestic and international distribution, independent film financing, and creative development will be a tremendous asset to the company. Stephanie’s appointment in conjunction with the company’s recent decision to engage Paradigm to represent the company again demonstrates our aggressive growth strategy”, said Jeff Young, President and COO.

“This is a great opportunity to join the Arc Productions team. The studio has an amazing artistic talent base that has established itself as a world class service studio for both animation and VFX. In addition to growing the service business I am excited to be a part of Arc’s initiative to enter the intellectual property business.” Denton said.

Prior to joining Arc Productions, Denton accrued 24 years of experience many of them as prexy of international sales and distribution for leading independents such as Bold Films, Lionsgate, Initial Entertainment Group, and Lakeshore International.

New Animation School Opens Across the Street from Pixar

Animation Collaborative

The Animation Collaborative is a new series of animation workshops that take place in Emeryville directly across the street from the Pixar campus. While not affiliated with the studio, all of the school’s teachers work at Pixar. In my opinion, the class prices, which range from $1,400 (8-week summer sessions) to $1,900 (13-week fall sessions) are too steeply priced for a school that has no official accreditation, so you’re essentially paying a celebrity surcharge for learning at a school run by Pixar artists. On the plus side, class sizes are intimate (8 people) and if you stand outside of the school long enough, perhaps John Lasseter will wave to you as his chauffeur drives him home.

Turner Broadcasting Reveals Digital Plans For “The Amazing World of Gumball”

Turner Broadcasting has today launched an ambitious digital project to support the upcoming debut of its anticipated kids’ comedy series The Amazing World of Gumball on Cartoon Network.

The technologically groundbreaking UK-produced series is made in 2D and 3D animation within a live-action setting, and charts the adventures of a blue cat called Gumball and his best buddy Darwin. It is the first series from Turner’s in-house development team, and it has already been commissioned for a second season in advance of series debut this September.

Turner Broadcasting has commissioned bespoke content from the show’s creative team which it will release on social media platforms in the run up to series launch. The broadcaster has ordered a total of 28 videos which will be distributed on Youtube via a page called “Elmore Stream”, named after the show’s fictional setting.

Also forming a part of the social media campaign will be a Facebook page with content such as clips, quizzes, questions, quotes and a host of show information. Both the Youtube and Facebook activity will feature in eight territories across EMEA and in 15 languages, and will be managed by creative agency Holler.

In addition, Gumball’s dad Richard Watterson will be given his own Twitter account, and his sister Anais her own Flickr account, both of which will be English language only. The digital media campaign aims to bring the world of Elmore and its inhabitants to life, via an immersive and sharable brand experience.

Michael Carrington, Chief Content Officer, Turner Broadcasting said: “A multiplatform commission on this scale is particularly important for a series like The Amazing World of Gumball which uses such advanced digital techniques in its composition. It adds another layer to the TV series, and enables fans to have the same high quality engagement and interaction with the show irrespective of platform.”

Ashley Clouder, Head of Marketing at Holler said ‘In terms of social community management this is such an exciting project for us to be involved with as we’ll be able to monitor engagements across such a wide range of territories and see how each audience responds to specific content.”

Cartoon Network Confirms Plans For “Captain Planet” Movie

Cartoon Network has signed a development agreement with action-adventure producer Don Murphy and partner Susan Montford and their company Angry Filmworks to develop a live-action motion picture based on the groundbreaking, environment-saving animated hero, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, it was announced today by Stuart Snyder, president and COO of Turner Broadcasting System Inc.’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media division (AYAKM). The agreement gives Murphy and his company the exclusive rights to develop and package the property and advance it towards production.

Murphy and Angry Filmworks are most notably credited for the highly successful action-adventure franchise, Transformers (2007), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011). Murphy and Montford together produced the upcoming Hugh Jackman blockbuster Real Steel with Executive Producer Steven Spielberg. The company also is responsible for such action-oriented films as Shoot ‘Em Up (2007), The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), Apt Pupil (1998) and Natural Born Killers (1994). Angry Filmworks formed in 1998.

“The messages of Captain Planet are even more relevant today,” said Snyder. “We feel this team can bring the world’s first eco-hero to life in a powerful motion picture that is not only pertinent but entertaining.”

“We are extremely excited about bringing the good Captain back to life,” said Murphy. “His adventures are known worldwide and he is recognized across generations. We expect to make a spectacular series of films with the amazing team at Cartoon Network.”

“With the earthquakes, tornadoes, melting icebergs and all the other problems threatening the world right now, Earth really needs her greatest defender,” said Montford.

Nickelodeon Releases “Olivia: Princess For A Day”

NEW YORK — July 19, 2011 — Olivia gets the chance of a lifetime in her all-new DVD, Olivia: Princess for a Day. Find out what happens when Olivia trades places with a visiting Princess and gets to live in a real castle, ride in a royal carriage and so much more. Created by Nickelodeon Home Entertainment and distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment, Olivia: Princess for a Day will be available on Sept. 6, 2011 for the suggested retail price of $16.99.

Based on acclaimed author/illustrator Ian Falconer’s award-winning titles, Olivia follows a 6¾-year-old dynamo who believes she can do anything and sees every day as an opportunity to try new things. Her vivid imagination takes her on grand adventures, both real and fantasy, and like all children, her antics occasionally result in endearing misadventures. Olivia’s confidence and positive nature inspires kids everywhere to think boldly and follow their dreams.

Although Olivia’s adventures in her imagination are larger than life, the challenges in her day-to-day life are preschool size. Olivia’s unique ways of dealing with these challenges provide moments of fun and drama. She demonstrates how kids can use their imagination to work out what’s happening in their own world. Kids can relate to Olivia because she experiences the same daily trials and triumphs as they do. Every day is a “Big Day” for Olivia; her exuberance is contagious as she takes viewers along for the ride!

Olivia: Princess for a Day Episode Synopses:

Olivia: Princess for a Day (Double Length Episode): Olivia trades places with a princess for a day when she meets a visiting Princess and they realize that they look almost exactly alike.

Olivia’s Tip Top Tapper: Olivia hurts her leg on the eve of her big tap dance recital.

Olivia’s Old West Treasure Hunt: While on a field trip to an Old West town, Olivia leads a treasure hunt to find the missing key to the school bus.

Olivia Becomes a Chef: Olivia has to keep mom out of the kitchen while she prepares her a surprise birthday meal – a dinner with all red food!

Olivia Plays Hotel: There seems to be a strange guest at Olivia’s make-believe hotel — could it really be a ghost, or is it her brother Ian just playing tricks on Olivia and her friends?

Olivia’s Fashion Show: Olivia is determined to put on her own fabulous fashion show, but her models (her brother Ian and her friends Francine and Julian) are difficult.

Olivia Goes International: Olivia has trouble deciding on a country to represent for her class’s International Day so she invents her own.

Olivia Paints a Mural: A trip to the museum inspires Olivia’s artistic talents, if only she can find a big enough space.

Olivia: Princess for a Day Fast Facts:

Street Date: September 6, 2011

Catalogue: 832304

DVD SRP: $16.99

DVD Running Time: 107 Minutes

Rating: Not Rated

Special Features:

· “Olivia Plans a Tea Party” bonus episode

FACT CHECK: Weta Did Not Invent Motion Capture

No one turns to the Wall Street Journal for insightful animation coverage, but that’s still no excuse for this egregious error in an article about the use of motion capture on Rise of the Planet of the Apes:

The film, which follows the development of the chimp Caesar from baby to adult, takes advantage of “motion capture,” a technology the visual-effects company Weta Digital Ltd. first developed for the 2009 blockbuster “Avatar” and has evolved one step further.

The sentence is written in such a way as to imply that Weta developed motion capture, which it clearly did not. Motion capture is a major filmmaking technology that has been used in dozens of films and has been utilized for decades. A newspaper claiming that it was invented in 2009 by Weta defies comprehension.

“Gorge” by Thomas Knowler

When an all-consuming city overwhelms you, remember music can set you free… Thomas Knowler’s post-grad thesis project for the School of Visual Arts, NYC has a Gahan Wilson meets Mobieus vibe. And I like it.

Since Gorge, Knowler has been working on a series of animated-illustrations for JG Ballard’s The Drowned World. Knowler says, “I think it’s evident that as technology provides more areas for animation to be displayed; illustrated books could well take advantage of using short animations as a form of illustration. You can find two I have completed (in serious detail) here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).”

“The Sleischers” by Tim Razumovsky & Eyal Oren (NSFW)

Tim Razumovsky & Eyal Oren’s third year student film at the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design/Israel, is an R-rated tribute to 70s trash films “a la Rodriguez & Tarantino”. Says Razumovsky:

“The film is a kind of short pilot episode which will hopefully become a series in the future. The main characters are a pair of twisted married assassins and the title “The Sleischers” is actually their family name. “The Sleischers” is a sort of a pun for the word “slashers” and a hint that both characters speak with heavy foreign accent and their origin remains unclear. The film is a marriage of various kinky B-Movies that we like. As for the plot, I’ve heard a couple of interesting theories about it – such as hidden religious or feminist messages in it.”

It’s Not Safe For Work, nor for the sweamish. Submitted for your approval, The Sleischers:

“The Smurf” Comics Back In Print & On Apple Devices In Time For Movie

New York, NY / July 18th, 2011 – In celebration of the all-new Smurfs movie, Papercutz, The Smurfs graphic novel publisher since September 2010, has partnered with comiXology, the leading distributor of digital comics, to launch a dedicated Smurfs App for the iOS. The Smurfs App will initially contain seven volumes and over 450 pages of Smurftastic adventures and fun for all ages!

Papercutz proudly brings these acclaimed comics to digital format for the very first time. “I grew up with these comics, they truly are classics. It’s a shame that these books, which have been in print forever everywhere else on Earth, have been out-of-print for so long in America, which is why we decided to publish them in print and digitally,” says Terry Nantier, Papercutz’s Publisher.

“Not many people realize that the Smurfs originally appeared in comics before they were adapted to animation,” continued Mr. Nantier. “Which is why we partnered with comiXology to bring the Smurfs original graphic novel adventures to our fan base in digital form with its own iOS app.”

The Smurfs, created by Pierre Culliford, known as Peyo, became so popular when they first appeared in the series Johan et Pirlouit that soon they were awarded their own graphic novel series. After an animated movie in 1976, the Smurfs starred in their own blockbuster Saturday morning TV series on NBC starting in 1981. The hit series was responsible for creating Smurf-mania, and the Smurfs were suddenly everywhere — toys, bed sheets, breakfast cereals, and more. The Smurfs aired nine seasons, and still runs on Cartoon Network’s Boomerang channel and is now available on DVD.

The Smurfs are such an iconic brand that Papercutz has done a great job revitalizing and this app is a testament to that,” said David Steinberger, CEO of comiXology. “Having been out of print for so long, this app will ensure that anyone who wants to enjoy Smurf comics will be able to at their convenience.”

Each Smurfs volume is full-color and in comiXology’s Guided ViewTM Technology that allows you to seamlessly transition from panel to panel for only $3.99. Any Smurf comics purchased will also sync with the Comics and Comics4kids iOS apps, the Comics Android app and

A list of all the volumes and the single issue are listed below:

The Smurfs Vol. 1: The Purple Smurf
The Smurfs Vol. 2: The Magic Flute
The Smurfs Vol. 3: The Smurf King
The Smurfs Vol. 4: Smurfette
The Smurfs Vol. 5: The Smurfs and the Egg
The Smurfs Vol. 6: The Smurfs and the Howlibird
The Smurfs Vol. 7: The Astro Smurf
The Smurfs: The Smurfnapper #1

San Diego Comic-Con and Tr!ckster Open Thread


Are you an animation artist artist who will be exhibiting your wares at San Diego Comic-Con or TR!CKSTER this week? If so, use the comments section to tell everybody where you’ll be and what you’re selling.

(Note: If you know how to use an HTML image tag, feel free to add images as well. Just keep them below 420px so the site layout doesn’t break.)

“Cars 2″ Outgrosses “Winnie the Pooh” Debut

Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh, Disney’s first hand-drawn animated feature since 2009′s The Princess and the Frog, opened in 6th place with $7.85 million dollars. Cars 2, another Disney release, pocketed $8.4M in its fourth weekend, good enough for a 5th place finish and an overall gross of $165.4M. Below are the openings for the other recent films in the Pooh franchise:

The Tigger Movie (2000): $9.4M
Piglet’s Big Movie (2003): $6M
Pooh’s Heffalump Movie (2005): $5.8M

The film’s reason for existence has nothing to do with box office, however. Like Cars 2, it appears to be a corporate obligation first and foremost. Winnie the Pooh is the second-largest character franchise in the world, earning $5.7 billion in revenue last year. To put that into perspective, Pooh earned more in 2010 than the combined Toy Story and Cars franchises, which are the fifth and sixth highest-earning character franchises.

The world’s most valuable franchise is Disney’s Mickey Mouse, which took in $9 billion last year. If the company’s approach to its other top-earning franchises like Pooh, Cars and Toy Story is any indication, could a Mickey Mouse feature be that far off?

Irish Film & Television Academy To Host Q&A with John Lasseter

The Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA), with thanks to Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Ireland, is delighted to announce details of our latest event - In Conversation With… John Lasseter.

The two-time Academy Award®-winning writer/director/producer John Lasseter (Toy Story, A Bugs Life, Cars) will be the subject of IFTA’s next In Conversation With… event on Monday 25th of July 2011.

Also featured at this Animation in Focus will be a special screening of John Lasseter’s latest animated film Cars 2, which he directed and wrote – a follow up to his 2006 Golden Globe winning feature Cars.

Denise Ream, producer of Cars 2 and associate producer of Disney/Pixar’s Oscar winning feature animation Up, will also take part in the Q&A.

It is with great pleasure that we welcome John Lasseter to Ireland for this exclusive evening with IFTA Members. John is one of the world’s leading talents in animated storytelling and, since his debut feature film Toy Story in 1995, John’s influence and inspiration on the world of animation has been immeasurable.

IFTA Academy Members will share a rare opportunity to listen to and engage in a discussion with John about his incredible career experiences working in animation.

Call For Entries: Blackrock ANimation Festival (Dubin, Ireland)

Organised by the Blackrock Business Network and supported by the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Design and Technology (IADT), the Festival will include screenings and award presentations for winning entries. Blackrock Animation Festival events will take place on Saturday 27th August.
Competition details including eligibility rules and application forms can be found at:

Entries are called for the following six categories:

Best Animated Short for Children
Best Animated Short for Adults
Best Irish Student/Graduate Film
Best International Student/Graduate Film
Best Feature Film
Best Under 18’s Film

Submissions in all languages are welcome.

The 6 winning entries will each win a prize of €500 and a commemorative trophy be Annika Berglund.
Please contact Zoe Healy on 086 806 8821 or email [email protected] or Fionnghuala Ni Neill at [email protected]. Tel: 012394750