Indian Animated Film “Super K” To Debut Online Ahead of Theatrical Release

MUMBAI: Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd., an established integrated media content house in India synonymous with quality entertainment, is opening a new chapter in the fast growing Indian entertainment business by releasing its newest 3D CGI animation film on the Online platform first. Conceptualised, and produced by Smita Maroo, directed by Vijay Bhanushali, the super hero animation film and Shemaroo’s first home production, Super K, will be easily available and accessible anywhere and to anyone who has Internet connection and access. The unique film will be released on online platforms in the month of November in two languages (English and Hindi), which will make it the biggest release ever for any animation film in India.

The 95 minutes full length 3D CGI animated feature film Super K is a superhero film that will entertain the entire family. Unlike most superheroes, who are born, Super K is created and a goof-up causes him to turn out to be a freak unable to control his powers. As Badmess along with the evil Dr. Ozox plans to take over Dreamzone, Super K has to team up with his friends and also learn to control his powers. The story of Super K explores his magical escapades in Dreamzone, with an interesting mix of action, comedy and fantasy. Its website is www.superkloud.com and the film will be promoted extensively and aggressively through the internet and social digital media including Facebook and Twitter amongst others.

Talking about her most ambitious and pioneering venture, the multi-faceted Smita Maroo, Head-Animation Business, Shemaroo Entertainment Limited, says, “The online release of Super K is the first-of-its-kind in the Indian entertainment business and a breakaway concept away from the confines of theatrical releases. Children’s films are rare in themselves but empowering and allowing parents and kids to watch Super K in the comfort of their homes or anywhere anytime at their convenience will bring entertainment to peoples’ doorsteps. Super K will open up new avenues in Indian entertainment and also set up new standards in providing entertainment in online digital media.”

Over the years, Shemaroo Entertainment Limited has successfully adapted to changing content consumption patterns by expanding into content aggregation and distribution for broadcasting on television, mobile and digital platforms. It is continuing the expansion into new media platforms with interesting content. Further, it has produced award winning animation films like Bal Ganesh, Bal Ganesh 2 and Ghatothkach based on Indian mythological characters. Ghatothkach was the first Indian animation film to be released in 7 languages and was screened at Cannes Film Festival 2007.

Shemaroo’s next strategy in animation – since it is a content house and understands the movie business – is to get as many good products out in the market. “We understand animation creation marketing and distribution. As far as India is concerned, there is so much demand for good content. The storytelling ability and international quality production capabilities exist. The challenge is only to bridge the distribution gaps to reach the target animation consuming audience, the kids and families. Once that happens, you will get to see many more good films. As a content house, creation of content is the next step of us. In line with this strategy, we have ventured into creation of live-action and animation among other content. We look to bring unique entertainment genres across the various platforms that audience will love to consume,” says Maroo.

Technicolor Adds 3 To Animation Development & Production Team


Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH) today announces the addition of three key staff to strengthen its animated content development and production team.

Robert Winthrop assumes the role of Vice President of Animation and Games for Technicolor Digital Productions, overseeing a studio of 500+ animation talent.  Having joined the company in June 2011, Robert is responsible for the overall management and production of animated content for television, direct-to-DVD, games, commercials, location-based entertainment projects, and theatrical films. His production background and extensive experience working with overseas animation studios make him a key addition to the Technicolor team.  Robert was most recently a Producer and Head of Production for SD Entertainment.

Alison Warner joins as Vice President of Intellectual Properties, Sales, Acquisitions and Co-Productions for Technicolor Digital Productions based out of London. In this role, Alison develops and implements sales strategies for Technicolor’s in-house animated properties and actively sources new European content to acquire or co-produce. Alison is also developing new and maintaining existing client relationships within Europe for the animation and gaming business at Technicolor. Prior to joining Technicolor, Alison served over five years as Vice President, European Sales for Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc., where she was responsible for the distribution of Cookie Jar content across the U.K. and Northern Europe.

Siju Thomas has been named Creative Director at Technicolor India with more than 15 years experience in the animation industry and more than 12 years as an Animation Director. He has delivered a multitude of 3D and 2D content for clients around the world and has created, written, and collaborated on several original intellectual properties. Siju’s work includes creating concept and character art for several upcoming properties, including Pete & Pickles for Technicolor.  Previously, Siju was Creative Head with DQ Entertainment and served as Creative Head and Animation Director of Millimages France’s then-owned Chennai studio Millitoon Animations Pvt. Ltd. Siju created comic books with Virgin Comics (co-created Dock Walloper with Ed Burns), and has been with Technicolor India since 2009.

“We are very excited to welcome such remarkable talent to Technicolor. Robert, Alison and Siju are extremely talented individuals and each of them bring a very new and unique strength to our Digital Productions group,” said Tim Sarnoff, President, Technicolor Digital Productions.

FUNimation & Niconico Forge U.S. Partnership

Flower Mound, TX (October 14, 2011) – North America’s anime leader, FUNimation® Entertainment and the world’s premier video networking website, niconico.com, announced today that they are forming a partnership that will begin with the simulcast of several of the newest anime series debuting in Japan this fall. All simulcast episodes will be available at www.niconico.com/anime .

The companies are forming a joint effort where both companies will be contributing to the acquisition of new anime titles from Japan.

“Our goal is to simulcast top-notch anime. It’s an ambitious plan but one in which we are investing heavily,” said Gen Fukunaga, President and CEO of FUNimation Entertainment.

Part of that investment includes supporting niconico.com’s growth in the U.S. market and building toward the site becoming the leading online streaming source for subtitled anime in North America.

James Spahn, CEO of Nico Nico, Inc., stated, “By combining the strengths of our two companies, we have created an all-inclusive anime site for both the anime creators and consumers to enjoy new anime content with a great social experience.”

“Nico Nico, Inc. is the ideal partner for us given its strong relationships with content creators in Japan, not to mention its technical know-how and incredible ability to offer that content far and wide,” said Fukunaga.

“This partnership complements the strengths of each company involved,” added Spahn. “We look forward to working with the dedicated FUNimation team.”

The simulcast titles launching this partnership include the following:

C3

From the light novel series written by Minase Hazuki, comes a story of love, action, and comedy. Yachi Haruaki is a high school boy who is naturally resistant to curses. After his father sends him a mysterious black cube, Haruaki awakes to find a nude girl named Fear standing in his kitchen. She’s the human form of the cursed black cube — and an instrument of torture! Utilizing her special abilities, Fear fights alongside Haruaki to defeat other cursed instruments and their owners.

The Future Diary

This psychological thriller, based on the manga written and illustrated by Esuno Sakae, is about Yuki, a loner who’s not very good with people. He prefers to write a diary on his cell phone and talk to his imaginary friend, Deus Ex Machina — The God of Time and Space. However, Yuki soon learns that Deus is more than a figment of his imagination when he makes Yuki participate in a battle royale with eleven others. The contestants are given special diaries that can predict the future, each diary possessing unique features that give it both advantages and disadvantages. Within the next 90 days, the contestants must try to survive until there is only one left standing. The winner will become the new God of Time and Space.

Guilty Crown

In the near future, a meteorite carrying a foreign virus crashes in Japan, leading to a devastating nation-wide infection and total anarchy. Several years later, Shu — a teen with a special ability awakened by the Apocalypse Virus — meets a strange girl who incites him to join the struggle against a government organization’s robotic forces and a secret society whose goal remains shrouded in mystery.

Haganai (Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai)

Kodaka Hasegawa has just transferred to St. Chronica’s Academy and he’s having a hard time making friends. With his naturally blond hair and fierce looking eyes, people constantly mistake him for a delinquent. One day, he runs into his bad-tempered loner of a classmate, Yozora, while she’s talking to her imaginary friend, Tomo. Since neither of them have any friends, they decide to form a club and start recruiting some. Little by little, lonely classmates join their club to learn how to build friendships through cooking together, playing games, and other group activities. But, with so many misfits, will the club members really be able to get along?

LASTEXILE -Fam, The Silver Wing-

Acclaimed director Koichi Chigira helms this highly-anticipated follow up to the anime classic, LASTEXILE. High above the sacred waters of the Grand Lake, a battle rages between the Ades Federation and the Turan Kingdom. Powered by the might of its battle fleet, the federation invades the Turan Kingdom. For the Turan Kingdom and its princesses, all hope lies with a female sky pirate named Fam. The first episode premieres 11:00 am Eastern, October 17th.

Maken-Ki!

Based on the manga series by Takeda Hiromitsu, this romantic comedy is about Ohyama Takeru, a typical perverted teenage boy. His new school doesn’t require entrance exams, and it just turned co-ed! Unfortunately, his dreams of a happy high school life are dashed when he finds out the school is much more than it seems. All of the students wield a special item — a Maken — to unleash their magical abilities in duels! Can Takeru find a Maken that works for him? Even while trying to fit in at a new school and dealing with all kinds of girl problems?

Shakugan no Shana III Final

A continuation of the previous series (Shakugan no Shana II), both Shana and Kazumi wait for Yuji only to discover that he has disappeared without a trace. As everyone searches for answers as to Yuji’s whereabouts, he reappears in front of them as the leader of Bal Masqué. Now Shana must confront her most unlikely adversary on the battlefield.

FUNimation Entertainment Acquires Production I.G. Feature Film “Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror”

Flower Mound, TX (October 14, 2011) — FUNimation Entertainment® today announced that it has acquired the home entertainment, broadcast, digital, and mobile rights to the Production I.G. full length animated film, Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror. This Production I.G. produced film, directed by Shinsuke Sato (Gantz live action films), was nominated for the award for Excellent Animation of the Year at the 33rd Japan Academy Prize.

Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror is the first full length film from Production I.G. done completely in 3D computer generated animation. The character designs have a unique “anime” style to them; while the look and feel of the animation bear a closer resemblance to a video game cut scene.

A blend of fantasy and Japanese tradition, the story revolves around sixteen-year-old Haruka who lost her mother at a young age. Haruka had been given a hand mirror by her dying mother, and told to always have it on her. At some point, it winds up in a closet, and now she can’t find it! One day, she decides to go to a local shrine and pray for the hand mirror to be returned to her. There she encounters a small fox-masked creature which she secretly follows to the land of forgotten items.

Anchor Bay To Release “Redline” and “First Squad: The Moment of Truth” On DVD January 17, 2012

BEVERLY HILLS, CA — In celebration of its 20th Anniversary, Anchor Bay Entertainment’s Manga brand is set to release two of the most highly anticipated animated films. On January 17, 2012, Katsuhito Ishii’s Redline and award-winner First Squad: The Moment of Truth will be released on Blu-rayâ„¢ and DVD. Redline will also be released in theatres prior to January 17th. Ranging in themes from World War II to futuristic surreal car races, Manga continues to release high-end artistic animated films.

Both films tout accolades from critics and the festival circuit worldwide. Redline won the Audience Official Selection Award for Animation at Fantasia and the Outstanding Achievement in Feature Filmmaking — Animation Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival. It has received rave reviews even from those admittedly not anime fans. From its premiere at Fantastic Fest, Harry Knowles said “Redline should not be missed, everyone came out smiling and happy. FANTASTIC!” He called it the “…coolest Speed Racer ever…and that counts the Wachowski film.” AnimeNewsNetwork.com called Redline “… the most insanely exciting, visually exhilarating anime film you’ve seen in decades. Incredible fun!” First Squad: The Moment of Truth has received several awards including the Asteroid Award for Best Feature at the Trieste Science+Fiction Festival and Kommersant Newspaper’s Prize at the Moscow International Film Festival. Additionally, FIRST SQUAD was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film by the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

Written by Katsuhito Ishii (director of The Taste of Tea, Funky Forest, Shark Skin Man & Peach Hip Girl and the anime segment of Kill Bill Vol.1) and directed by the up-and-coming Takeshi Koike, who participated in the “World Record” segment of Animatrix (2003), Redline was seven years in the making and proudly demonstrates the new possibilities of 2D animation, amidst the current prominence of 3D animation.

Redline is a racing film created by studio Madhouse (Paprika, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars). Redline is about the biggest and most deadly racing tournament in the universe. Only held once every five years, everyone wants to stake their claim to fame, including JP, a reckless dare-devil driver oblivious to speed limits with his ultra-customized car – all the while, organized crime and militaristic governments want to leverage the race to their own ends. Amongst the other elite rival drivers in the tournament, JP falls for the alluring Sonoshee – but will she prove his undoing, or can a high speed romance survive a mass destruction race?

Directed by Yoshiharu Ashino, First Squad: The Moment of Truth is set during the opening days of World War II on the Eastern Front. Its main cast of characters is a group of Soviet teenagers, each with extraordinary abilities. The teenagers have been drafted to form a special unit to fight the invading German army. They are opposed by a Schutzstaffel (SS) officer who is attempting to raise from the dead a supernatural army of crusaders from the 12th Century Order of the Sacred Cross and enlist them in the Nazi cause. First Squad: The Moment of Truth was produced by Eiko Tanaka, Misha Shprits and Aljosha Klimov.

“Voor de Show” Opening Titles

Voor de Show

These elegantly styled and animated “cartoon modern” titles were made for the Flemish media news programs Voor de Show by Tom Hautekiet and Mark Borgions. Jazz trumpeter Bert Joris provides the music, and the show’s art director is Luc Lemaitre. I don’t know what follows these titles, but they set a nice mood, and evoke a positive feeling, kind of like the opening and closing titles of Calvin and the Colonel.

“The Baby Peas”

The Baby Peas were created by musician/voice actor will.i.am to immortalize his hip hop group The Black Eyed Peas (featuring younger versions of will.i.am, Fergie, Taboo, and Apl.De.Ap). According to their press release:

“The Baby Peas are a fusion of the “Little Rascals” mixed with the “Peanuts Gang”, with the edge of “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons.” Then add some Black Eyed Peas music vibe with the classical approach of the W.B’s Looney Toons and that’s The Baby Peas!

Well, I’m not sure they can live up to that hype – but the initial videos are certainly well made. They were produced at Dipdive, Inc., will.i.am’s digital creative agency. Key members of the animation team include executive creative director Pasha Shapiro, creative directors Ernst Weber and Huan Ngheim, and executive producer Julia Pistor (Lemony Snicket, Jimmy Neutron, The Rugrats Movie). Here’s the latest music video:

Looney Tunes USB Drives

I don’t get out much, but luckily my readers do. Chris Stulz found these Looney Tunes USB flash drives during a recent trip to OfficeMax. These are quite cute and also come designed as Speedy Gonzales (photo below) and the Tasmanian Devil. They store 4GB – and it’s apparently the first set in a series.

While out shopping, Chris also found these scary Looney Tunes Show Mr. Potato Heads (below center, click to enlarge) at Walmart, as well as these funky Looney Tunes Laplander hats (below, right) at Hot Topic. Looney Tunes merch is back, people! Woo-hoo!

Unofficial Tintin Movie Titles by James Curran

James Curran created this clever unofficial title sequence for the upcoming Tintin feature incorporating elements from each of the 24 Tintin book in just over one minute. I like the clever contrast between the flat-colored circle and the spherical dimensionality created through the animation.

(Thanks Cristiane Fariah via Cartoon Brew’s Facebook page)

MTV Revives “Liquid Television”

NEW YORK, NY — October 13, 2011 — MTVX, MTV’s new cross media group, today announced the return of the Liquid Television brand that will build upon the heritage of the seminal and groundbreaking animation show from the early 1990s and live across every point of engagement from television to online, mobile to social media. The new Liquid Television recently launched a digital hub at LiquidTelevision.com and will extend on-air to MTV’s channels, online at MTV.com, as well as on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook. The animation community and fans alike will enjoy the inside track on the latest news and releases, new animation content and revisit ground-breaking content from the classic brand.

The first content to be commissioned by MTVX for Liquid Television is a new music video for the artist Wallpaper.’s “F*CKING BEST SONG EVERRR.” Created by Christy Karacas (Super Jail, Cartoon Sushi), the animated music video is available on LiquidTelevision.com and will be featured at the end of tonight’s new episode of MTV’s Jersey Shore at 10pm ET/PT. Additionally, the music video will go into rotation across MTV’s channels, including AMTV, AMTV2, MTV2, mtvU and MTV Hits, and be featured on MTV.com and MTV Mobile.

“For today’s audience, it was important that the return of the Liquid Television step outside its original tv-only model and instead live on every screen possible,” said David Gale, Executive Vice President of MTVX. “We think it’s a great way to discover the very best new animation talent and get real time feedback and participation from the entire community — we might even find the next Beavis and Butthead or Aeon Flux.

LiquidTelevision.com will feature the following:

  • The Blog: A one-stop-shop curated with the best and latest animation content and news.
  • Classic Animation Content: A digital home for classic animation content, including series and shorts from episodes of Liquid Television and The Maxx, to Aeon Flux and The Specialists and more.
  • Liquid TV: A digital home for new content licensed and commissioned by MTVX.

The new Liquid Television will be built around an online hub with social media extensions (Twitter: @liquidtelevision / Facebook: LiquidTV / Tumblr: liquidtelevision.tumblr.com). Both licensed and commissioned content will have the potential to populate across MTV’s corresponding channels, shows, digital and mobile properties.

New York’s WQXR To Host Tribute to Steve Jobs with PIXAR Music on Saturday’s “Movies On The Radio” Program

This Saturday, New York’s WQXR’s Movies on the Radio program will feature the music of PIXAR as a tribute to the life and accomplishments of Steve Jobs. Host David Garland presents music for such Pixar films as Toy Story, Up, WALL-E, Ratatouille, Finding Nemo and others, while reflecting on the ability to Pixar’s music to communicate clever motifs and powerful emotions.

Pixar Animation Studio’s computer-animated films provide great story-telling, with memorable characters, playfully astonishing visuals, and compelling music. For their feature films, Pixar has used three talented composers: Randy Newman, Thomas Newman, and Michael Giacchino.
You can stream the entire show at WQXR’s website at this link.

Philadelphia Film & Animation Festival Honors Cogswell College Film “Worlds Apart”

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct 12, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Worlds Apart — a short animated film created in a unique class called Project X at Cogswell College — received the Best Short Animation Award at the October 2, 2011 closing ceremony of the Philadelphia Film & Animation Festival. Film Director Michael Zachary Huber and Cogswell Chancellor Chuck House attended the ceremony at the International House Ibrahim Theater to accept the award.

“One of the reasons for the success of Project X is the fact that it operates on a deep running ideological premise,” said Huber. “That premise is that beauty in craftsmanship transcends time and space. Anyone from anywhere in the world can look at a beautiful piece of art or architecture and be inspired by it. There is an inherent truth in beauty and that fact can be appreciated from generation to generation. Project X strives to uphold these principals through the modern mix of art and technology that is digital animation.”

San Jose area audiences will have the chance to see Worlds Apart at the upcoming San Jose Short Film Festival set for October 20-23, 2011 where the film is an ‘Official Selection.’

As a testament to the quality of the work produced by Project X, Stephanie Yuhas, the Co-Founder of Project Twenty1 and the Philadelphia Film and Animation Festival, said:

“I’m blown away by the level of work coming from Cogswell College and greatly admire the mission of Project X. We’ve been running this festival since 2006, and I’ve never seen a film or animation come through our juries or screening panels of dozens of people with a “perfect 10″ in every category. In other words, in our total library of about 650 films, some of which are features that have now received worldwide theatrical distribution, the student short Worlds Apart has received the highest scores. Whatever you’re doing over there in Sunnyvale, California – keep doing it; our audiences want more!”

Part science fiction and part cautionary fairytale, Worlds Apart explores the universal themes of stewardship of nature and the fate of humanity. Worlds Apart asks the question, “Can humanity change its ways and save itself?” Watch the trailer.

Project X is a one-of-a-kind, project-based class at Cogswell College that is run like a professional animation production studio using teams of skilled artists and sound designers. Students work tirelessly for three semesters to produce a studio-quality, short film. During production they are supported by a massive collaborative effort from faculty, staff, visiting artists, industry professionals and alumni.

The Philadelphia Film and Animation Festival ‘Official Selections’ are determined by a panel of over 35 unbiased community screeners in the Greater Philadelphia Area. A panel of industry judges decides which nominees become award finalists and then which film receives top honors. The Festival is very competitive as only the top 10% of the films submitted are selected for screening.

“Cogswell’s Project X is emblematic of the most effective educational approach now known — immerse the student in a hands-on project,” said Chuck House, Chancellor of Cogswell College. “Learning by doing has proven to be the most stimulating, engaging and creative way to educate. Project X takes these practicum ideas to an additional level of collaboration that is rapidly becoming the hallmark of 21st century work practices. Not only are student skills tested and honed for their respective contributions, but they have the opportunity to work at a professional level on a project much larger than most typical senior projects. The award earned by “Worlds Apart” is just icing on the cake — proof that these students are indeed able to combine digital arts, media, engineering and entrepreneurship to produce a stunning result.”

“Dr. Seuss’s Holidays on the Loose” Bring Iconic Animated Classics to DVD on October 18, 2011

BURBANK, CA (October 12, 2011) — The Grinch, the Cat in the Hat and many other legendary literary characters come to life on Dr. Seuss’s Holidays on the Loose! a new release from Warner Home Video (WHV) available on DVD October 18, 2011 . This set will feature three Dr. Seuss specials plus bonus features and will retail for $26.99 SRP . Also available to consumers from WHV is Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! in a deluxe edition on Blu-rayâ„¢ disc. This title will retail for $24.98 SRP.

Celebrate that special time of year with Dr. Seuss’ magical stories. Just in time for the gift-giving season, Dr. Seuss’s Holidays on the Loose! offers consumers the perfect collection of iconic classics in an all new gift set that is sure to captivate both kids and adults alike.

Dr. Seuss’s Holidays on the Loose! Featured Specials Include:

How the Grinch Stole Christmas —“Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot.” And every family likes How the Grinch Stole Christmas! a lot! Based on Dr. Seuss’ beloved book, this joyous, heart-tickling holiday event which features the voice of legendary actor Boris Karloff, has delighted all ages since its 1966 debut. Can the Grinch steal the town’s holiday spirit by stealing their holiday treats? Or does Christmas…perhaps…mean a little bit more? The answers to those questions unfold charmingly under Chuck Jones’ pitch perfect direction.

The Grinch Grinches The Cat in the Hat — What happens when the mischievous Grinch decides to wreak havoc on the world but the happy and ever-so-delightful Cat in the Hat stands in this way? The result is a triumphant story of an unlikely hero who uses a little caring and compassion to help save the world from an unfriendly and unbeautiful future. Watch and see if the Cat in the Hat can go from peaceful picnic in the shade to helping the frightfully mean Grinch turn a new leaf. This special earned an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Animated Program in 1982.

Halloween is Grinch Night — The sinister Grinch who stole Whoville’s Christmas is back to declare Halloween as Grinch Night! While the Whos are caught in a horrible storm of Sour-Sweet Wind, the Grinch and his trusty pooch Max, take this opportunity to terrorize the little town. Unfortunately for him he is surprised by a young boy whose unexpected courage prevents the Grinch from unleashing his awful horrors onto their tranquil town. Grinch Night will never be the same! This special earned an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Children’s Special in 1978.

Dr. Seuss’s Holidays on the Loose! Bonus Features Include:

ó From Whoville to Hollywood — A rapping, rhyming chronicle of the original book and this beloved animated adaptation.

ó Songs in the Key of Grinch — Interviews with composer Albert Hague and vocalist Thurl Ravenscroft.

ó Who’s Who in Whoville — Biography Gallery.

ó Grinch Song Selections — Go right to your favorite songs. Includes: Opening Song, Trim Up the Tree, Welcome, Christmas and You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.

ó TNT’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas Featurette — With Phil Hartman.

ó Grinch Pencil Test

Now available on Blu-rayâ„¢, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! tells the story of how the Grinch, a bitter, cave-dwelling creature, attempts to sabotage Christmas for all the merry and warm-hearted denizens of Whoville.

As all the Whos in Whoville prepare to celebrate Christmas, the Grinch schemes to halt all noisy holiday celebrations by stealing Christmas trees and presents, presuming this will sadden all the Whos in Whoville. However, when Christmas morning finally arrives, all the Whos in Whoville are glad and sing in spite of not having a tree, presents or holiday feast. This leads the Grinch to think of something he hadn’t before, that perhaps “Christmas doesn’t come from a store — maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!”

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is narrated by Boris Karloff (Frankenstein, The Mummy) and directed by animation legend Chuck Jones (Looney Tunes, What’s Opera, Doc?). The story was originally adapted to television from the 1957 children’s book, as an animated TV special and was highly praised by audiences and film animation fans alike. It has been re-broadcast numerous times since its debut, with annual airings continuing to the present day. The original book was considered among one of Dr. Seuss’ finest works for children.

“Viewers of all ages have enjoyed these beautiful specials on television for decades and now have a chance to own them in these wonderful, collectible editions,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, WHV Executive Marketing Director of Family & Animation Franchise. She added, “Not only do these stories offer good holiday fun, but they also impart valuable lessons. They are perfect for sharing with all members of the family.”

The 2011 Adult Swim Fall Block Party Hits College Towns

Fall is festival season and Adult Swim gets in on the act with the 2011 Adult Swim Fall Block Party. If you’re looking for canning exhibits and 4-H club demonstrations, then you may want to hit the county fair with Grandma. But if games with names like Unicorn Blowout and Babies vs. Old People tickle your fancy, then this is the fair for you. Adult Swim packs up the trailer and leaves the carousel at home for their fourth carnival tour, where students, fans and newcomers alike will be immersed in the ultimate block party experience featuring zany carnival games, live music, balloons (gotta have balloons) and lots of free stuff.

The 2011 Adult Swim Fall Block Party is presented by T-Mobile USA, Inc., America’s Largest 4G Network®, which will be on-site at each stop of the tour. Fans of Adult Swim’s twisted take on medical dramas, Childrens Hospital will have an opportunity to “play doctor” by choosing from a collection of medical-themed props and having their photo taken in front of a custom background from the show. Using a T-Mobile® myTouch® 4G Slide phone available at the booth, they can email themselves the photo or upload it to their social networking platform. Adult Swim will also take a collection of event photos using the T-Mobile® myTouch® 4G Slide and upload them to a branded online gallery after each stop of the tour. The T-Mobile tent will also feature a range of other new T-Mobile devices that will showcase exclusive Adult Swim content.

The tour gets started Oct. 16 and wraps Nov. 13. Carnival goers can customize their own t-shirts, win some dough at the cash grab and take home free swag. Don’t forget to stop by the China, IL enrollment booth to join academia’s finest at the nation’s worst university. The events are free and open to the public, hours vary by location. Pay a visit to Adult Swim Presents for more information.

The Adult Swim Fall Block Party will hit the following stops, each featuring a different musical act:

DATE CITY / BAND

Oct. 16: Tallahassee, Fla. / Freddie Gibbs

Oct. 21: Charlottesville, Va. / Kylesa

Oct. 23: Muncie, Ind. / Dam Funk

Oct. 27: Syracuse, N.Y. / Twin Shadow

Oct. 30: Burlington, Vt. / Black Moth Super Rainbow

Nov. 3: Carbondale, Ill. / Kendrick Lamar

Nov. 5: Manhattan, Kan. / TBD
Nov. 8: Stillwater, Okla. / The Sword

Nov. 10: Ft. Collins, Colo. / Tennis

Nov. 13: Lubbock, Texas / Main Attrakionz

CHECK IT OUT: “Paul Terry Nitratoons”

Calling all animation historians! Today on animator Mark Kausler’s essential It’s The Cat blog, Mark discusses his restoration of two 1930s nitrate Terrytoons. Whatever you think of early Terrytoons (many serious historians consider them practically worthless) they have not been preserved and are essentially being neglected by their present day owner (cough, Viacom, cough). Mark’s descriptions (and frame grabs) of the two shorts he just acquired only increase my appetite for these rare cartoons. Read all about it here.

“Kooky” trailer

I’ve been aware of this 2010 live-action/puppet film from the Czech Republic – and its new English trailer (below) intrigues me. Kooky, by Academy Award-winning (Kolya) live action filmmaker Jan Sverak, isn’t stop-frame animation per se, but since we’ve showcased The Muppets on several occasions, I think this is worthy of notice on the Brew. The story concerns a seven year old boy whose teddy bear has been 
thrown away and how he imagines the doll will find his way home.
 Hope it gets seen in the US at some point:

(Thanks, Ben Ettinger)

Nickelodeon Presents “Dora’s Enchanted Forest Adventures” Trilogy Guest-Starring Jason Alexander

NEW YORK, Oct. 12, 2011 — Dora and Boots invite kids into a magical land of dragons, elves and fairies to help a unicorn king in the epic three-part event, Dora’s Enchanted Forest Adventures, premiering this fall on Nickelodeon. Jason Alexander (Seinfeld) guest stars as the voice of a greedy owl in the trilogy that kicks off with “Tale of the Unicorn King” on Monday, Oct. 17, 9-9:30 a.m. (ET/PT). The adventure continues with “Secret of Atlantis,” on Monday, Nov. 7, 9-9:30 a.m. (ET/PT) and culminates with the hour-long, primetime special, “Dora Saves King Unicornio,” on Sunday, Nov. 20, 8-9 p.m. (ET/PT). Emmy award-winning Dora the Explorer recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and remains one of the top preschool shows on TV.

“I prepared for this role by studying owls for relentless hours,” said Jason Alexander. “I tried to think like an owl and actually hurt myself in the process because I was trying to turn my head 360 degrees! Couldn’t do that, that’s where I fall short.”

The roll out for the Dora’s Enchanted Forest Adventures trilogy is as follows (all times are ET/PT):

  • · Monday, Oct. 17, 9-9:30 a.m. — Dora’s Enchanted Forest Adventures Part I “Tale of the Unicorn King” Unicornio has been chosen to be King of the Enchanted Forest, but he needs help from Dora, Boots, and the viewer at home to discover that he’s kind, smart, brave and strong enough for the job. Along the journey, they face several challenges including a know-it-all owl (voiced by Jason Alexander).
  • · Monday, Nov. 7, 9-9:30 a.m. — Dora’s Enchanted Forest Adventures Part II “Secret of Atlantis”

Dora, Diego, Boots and Unicornio leave the Enchanted Forest to end an ancient feud between the unicorns and dragons and save the lost continent of Atlantis. Meanwhile, a greedy owl (voiced by Jason Alexander) is given the opportunity to act as king and watch over the forest.

  • · Sunday, Nov. 20, 8-9 p.m. — Dora’s Enchanted Forest Adventures Part III “Dora Saves King Unicornio” (hour-long) Dora and Boots return to the Enchanted Forest to save it from Owl (voiced by Jason Alexander) who has taken over as king and set up new rules banning scarecrows, elves and fairies from the forest. But the Enchanted Forest is for everyone! Dora, Boots and their forest friends must help Unicornio reestablish his role as king to restore order to the kingdom.

Nickelodeon’s award-winning website (www.nickjr.com) will feature a brand-new interactive game and activities to complement the Dora’s Enchanted Forest Adventures premieres. Beginning, Oct. 12, kids can travel with Dora through the Enchanted Forest and the lost world of Atlantis in a three-level game, with each level coinciding with one of the three episodes of the trilogy and unlocking prior to the on-air premieres. On Oct. 25, kids can make magical creatures using ‘Dora’s Enchanted Creature-Creator’ — parents can submit their kids’ crafts online for a chance to see them appear on Nickelodeon. In addition, kids and parents can visit the site on Nov. 13 to watch a behind-the-scenes video with guest star Jason Alexander.

Nelvana & Clifford Ross Celebrate Babar’s 80th Anniversary

(BRAND LICENSING EUROPE — London, England) — This year, Babar celebrates his 80th anniversary, and Nelvana Enterprises and The Clifford Ross Company are pleased to announce a number of activities to honour the world-famous elephant in the legendary green suit.

A second season of the CG-animated TV series, Babar and the Adventures of Badou , with a further 26 half-hour episodes (52 x 11 minutes), is being produced with international delivery beginning this month. The first season airs on many international broadcasters, including Disney Junior in the U.S. and TF1 in France where it captures 28%* average market share of Kids aged 4-10 in its morning slot on Tfou .

From December 8, 2011, to September 2, 2012, Babar will be featured in the Toy Gallery at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The history of the Babar books will be presented through a selection of 100 original illustration boards from prestigious institutions including the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and The Morgan Library and Museum in New York City. Along with photo archives, the exhibition will display items such as plush toys, games, action figures and toys on wheels from as early as 1930, along with contemporary licensed products. It will pay tribute to Babar author and illustrator, Jean de Brunhoff and his son, Laurent, who took over from his father in 1941. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France have partnered on the publication of a catalogue for the exhibition. A selection of “classic” Babar items will be available for sale at the Musée’s gift shop.

Other notables for Babar’s anniversary year include:

•  In August, Abrams Books for Young Readers released the latest book from Laurent de Brunhoff, Babar’s Celesteville Games . Throughout 2011 Abrams will reissue Laurent de Brunhoff’s classic Babar books in a new format as the 80th anniversary celebrations continue.

•  In France, a line of books based on the new TV series has been introduced by Hachette Jeunesse and the company plans to publish 50-60 titles over the next 3 years.

•  Licensed products based on the new TV series hit the market this year. TF1 Licences is the agent for the brand in France and Benelux. Major licensees onboard include Lansay, Bayard, Hatier, Sun City, CTI, Dujardin, Vilac and Smoby.

•  Kids will also have the opportunity to share unforgettable moments with Babar during their holidays in 16 Hôtels-Clubs Nouvelles Frontières around the world.

The legacy of Babar began when Cécile de Brunhoff invented a bedtime story for her two sons: a tale of a little elephant living in the jungle whose mother was killed by a hunter. Her husband, Jean de Brunhoff, saw how enraptured their sons were by the story, and decided to create an illustrated book about it and name the elephant “Babar.” The first book was published in 1931 by Editions du Jardin des Modes. Hachette Jeunesse added Babar to its catalogue in 1936, and, to date, over 75 books have been published in 27 different languages with more than 13 million copies sold worldwide.

Note: Babar and the Adventures of Badou is a Canada-France co-production from Nelvana Studio and TeamTO , in association with The Clifford Ross Company and TF1.

Minnie Mouse To Star In Disney Junior Short-FOrm Series “Minnie’s Bow-Toons” Launching November 14

Minnie Mouse showcases her passion for fashion in her own Disney Junior short-form series Minnie’s Bow-Toons, launching with a week of new episodes MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14 — SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 (8:55 a.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel and DisneyJunior.com. Following the linear premiere on Disney Channel, fans can log on to DisneyJunior.com/Minnie to see an exclusive first look at the next day’s full episode.

Based on a popular episode of Disney Junior’s hit Emmy-nominated series Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, the new series finds Minnie and her good friend Daisy Duck running Minnie’s Bow-Tique, a specialty shop which stocks only bows and bowties. No matter what the occasion, Minnie has a bow (or bow-tie) for every situation, whether it’s using a rubber bow to fix some leaky pipes or shredded bows to make pom poms for a cheerleader.

In honor of Minnie’s birthday weekend, Disney Junior will air a block-long marathon featuring the new shorts and Minnie-centric episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on Friday, November 18 (8:55 a.m. — 12:30 p.m., ET/PT) and Saturday, November 19 (6:30 — 9:00 a.m., ET/PT).

One of the most beloved characters in the world, Minnie Mouse was first introduced to the public alongside her leading man, Mickey Mouse, in the 1928 classic animated short Steamboat Willie, where she played a damsel in distress.

Some additional fun facts about Minnie Mouse:

  • Born to farmers Marcus and Margie Mouse, Minnie’s full name is Minerva Mouse.
  • Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse share the same birthday — November 18.
  • Minnie’s Bow-Tique is not the first time Minnie has owned her own business.  In the 1933 animated short Building a Building, Minnie owned a lunch cart where she sold boxed lunches to construction workers.
  • Minnie loves dressing up in bows and ruffles and high-heeled shoes and her signature style has become a staple of classic Hollywood beauty.

FASHION ALERT: Bloomingdale’s trendy overpriced Popeye merch

I love Popeye cartoons as much as the next guy – maybe a little more than the next guy – but even I can’t afford the new clothing line now on sale at Bloomingdale’s. The store is promoting its new King Features Collection featuring designs using Popeye, Beetle Bailey, The Phantom and Hagar the Horrible at its stores this week. Popeye T-Shirts for $40 bucks, a pair of socks (left) is $45 and a Popeye scarf for $145? Blow that down! The department store even took out full page ads in major newspapers yesterday to hype its annual “New York Nights” event, taking place tonight at 6pm in stores in New York (including the Men’s Store on 59th street and Third Avenue in Manhattan) and Los Angeles (in Sherman Oaks, Santa Monica, and at The Beverly Center). “Attendees are invited from 6 to 8 p.m. to see the merchandise, which includes everything from T-shirts and overcoats to sneakers and toys. All of the merch will be available for purchase through the holiday season.” All of it way overpriced! In this economy, I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday (2016) for those Popeye socks at today.

FOX Renews “The Simpsons” For 24th & 25th Seasons

FOX has renewed The Simpsons, the longest-running comedy in television history, for an incredible 24th and 25th season, bringing the series total to an astonishing 559 episodes. The Simpsons airs Sundays (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

In the words of Homer Simpson, “Woo Hoo! I outlasted Andy Rooney!”

The longest-running scripted show in television history, The Simpsons exploded into a cultural phenomenon in 1990 and has remained one of the most groundbreaking and innovative entertainment franchises, recognizable throughout the world. Matt Groening created the iconic family: Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. In February 2012, The Simpsons will celebrate its historic 500th episode. The series has won 27 Emmy Awards, been the subject of a hit feature film, created “Krustyland” and a revolutionary virtual coaster — The Simpsons Ride — at Universal Studios, received a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame, been honored with five U.S. postal stamps personally designed by Matt Groening, and named the “Best Show of the 20th Century” by Time Magazine.

Following the MLB American League Championship Series and World Series games on FOX, The Simpsons returns with all-new episodes beginning with “Treehouse of Horrors XXII,” on Sunday, Oct. 30 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT). In the spooky opener, Homer takes a dangerous dive into an isolated canyon on Candy Peak, but when a crashing boulder traps his arm, he channels Aron Ralston (guest voicing as himself) to save himself. In “The Diving Bell and Butterball,” the first of three hair-raising Halloween tales, a venomous spider bite leaves Homer paralyzed, but when Lisa discovers Homer’s ability to communicate through natural gases, he is able to express his love for Marge. The killer spells continue in “Dial D for Diddly,” when Ned Flanders, devout preacher by day, transforms into a cold-blooded vigilante by night. In the final terrifying tale, “In the Na’Vi,” Bart and Milhouse are assigned on a mission to access a sacred extract on a distant planet. They morph into the land’s indigenous one-eyed avatars, but when Bart finds love and an eternal mate abroad, he is caught in planet warfare.F