But how do I explain what the bunny and doggy are doing in this clip from a recent episode of Franklin?
(Thanks, Jay Melville)
But how do I explain what the bunny and doggy are doing in this clip from a recent episode of Franklin?
(Thanks, Jay Melville)
BURBANK, Calif. — May 31, 2012 — Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, announced today that Alan Horn has been named Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios effective June 11. Horn will oversee worldwide operations for The Walt Disney Studios including production, distribution and marketing for live-action and animated films from Disney, Pixar and Marvel, as well as marketing and distribution for DreamWorks Studios films released under the Touchstone Pictures banner. Disney’s music and theatrical divisions will also report to Horn.
Horn has been a prominent figure in the film and television industry overseeing creative executive teams responsible for some of the world’s most successful entertainment properties including the Harry Potter film franchise and the hit television series Seinfeld among others.
“Alan not only has an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience in the business, he has a true appreciation of movie making as both an art and a business,” said Iger. “He’s earned the respect of the industry for driving tremendous, sustained creative and financial success, and is also known and admired for his impeccable taste and integrity. He brings all of this to his new role leading our studio group, and I truly look forward to working with him.”
“I’m incredibly excited about joining The Walt Disney Company, one of the most iconic and beloved entertainment companies in the world,” said Horn. “I love the motion picture business and look forward to making a contribution as part of Bob Iger’s team working closely with the dedicated and talented group at the studio.”
Horn was most recently President and COO of Warner Bros. Entertainment where he had oversight of the Studios’ theatrical and home entertainment operations, including the Warner Bros. Pictures Group, Warner Premiere (direct-to-platform production), Warner Bros. Theatrical Ventures (live stage) and Warner Home Video. During his 12 year tenure, Warner Bros. Studios was the global box office leader seven times.
Among the numerous critically acclaimed films and box office hits released during his tenure are all eight films in the Harry Potter series, The Dark Knight, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Happy Feet, Sherlock Holmes, The Departed, Batman Begins, Million Dollar Baby, the second and third Matrix films and the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy. Horn is also an executive producer of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Before joining Warner Bros., Horn co-founded Castle Rock Entertainment where he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He oversaw the creation of many critically acclaimed and beloved films including Best Picture Oscar nominees A Few Good Men, The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile as well as When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers, In the Line of Fire and the most successful show in television history, Seinfeld. Horn has also served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and was Chairman and CEO of Embassy Communications.
He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the American Film Institute and the Museum of Broadcasting. He serves on the Board of Directors of the American Film Institute; as a Vice Chairman of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); is a co-founder of the Environmental Media Association (EMA); on the Board of Trustees for the Autry National Center in Los Angeles; and on the board of Harvard-Westlake School.
Horn received his MBA from Harvard Business School and served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force.
The complete output of animation produced by UPA may never be definitively collected, as they produced a large quantity of material for the Army and the Navy; commercial, educational and industrial films for various clients; and interstitial bits and pieces – many of which are unaccounted for and some still undocumented.
I’m happy to report that we can cross this one off the “endangered species” list. Earlier this year The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) painstakingly cleaned and digitally restored this rarely seen UPA Navy re-enlistment film from 1949. The restored film made its debut last month at the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) conference in Beijing, China.
The Sailor and the Seagull is a fascinating little film. The lead character, “McGinty”, is a cross between the Navy’s Mr. Hook and UPA’s future character Pete Hothead. He is voiced by John T. Smith. Daws Butler is the Seagull, an classic old-school wise guy. It’s a pretty traditional looking picture until about 3:20 when an Arabian Nights fantasy sequence (predating the Magoo feature by ten years) turns it briefly into a stylized feast of scantily clad ladies and drunken debauchery!
There are no production credits, but I think its safe to assume that the direction is by John Hubley, the girl animation is by Pat Matthews and the music composed by Del Castillo. I welcome educated guesses as to who might have animated what – or any corrections to the above.
(Thanks, Florian Schmidlechner)
SANTA MONICA, CA — Faceware Technologies, a leading provider of 3D facial animation software for the video game, film, television and commercial industries, announced that it has launched its Faceware Professional Product Line, a low-cost, start-to-finish facial animation tool suite built to capture, analyze and create realistic facial performances 3-10x faster than hand keying that same performance. The Faceware Professional Product Line, which until now has only been in production testing at select studios, includes completely updated versions of the Faceware Head-Mounted Camera System (HMCS) and Faceware Retargeter, and a brand new product called Faceware Analyzer. This marks the first time Faceware has offered all of its internal technologies for use in studios.
“With shrinking budgets and shorter production timelines, studios are trying to create better quality animations earlier in the production process to save both time and money,” said Ron Ryder, CEO of Faceware Technologies. “By offering all of our technologies as a turnkey suite of hardware and software that can be operated internally, we’re giving studios greater control of their animation timeline and their valuable IP, and enabling them to create better facial performances at the beginning of the production process.”
“This is our first time working with Faceware and we have been very impressed by their products and team,” said a spokesperson from the animation studio, Marza Animation Planet. “Faceware is a boon for our studio through its ability to reduce costs by speeding up the animation process. Integrating both Faceware Retargeter and Faceware Head Mounted Cameras into our production has required little effort and has been a smooth transition for our animation team.”
The Faceware Professional Product Line has its roots in the Company’s extensive knowledge and research in computer vision techniques in facial and gesture recognition, and from the Company’s vast experience in providing facial animation services on groundbreaking projects such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Wolfman, the Grand Theft Auto series, Red Dead Redemption, Halo: Reach and many others.
The Faceware Professional Product Line consists of technologies to handle every step in the facial animation process: video capture, performance analysis, and facial animation creation:
CAPTURE: The Faceware Head-Mounted Camera System (HMCS) consists of a durable helmet, bracing, camera mount and camera, and works in tandem with MoCap suits to capture data-rich facial video complete with time code. Now in its 5th generation, the HMCS is capable of capturing up to 7 million pixels per second for incredible performance fidelity. It is available for rent or purchase.
ANALYZE: Faceware Analyzer is a new product offering from Faceware Technologies. It allows customers to analyze facial performances captured with the HMCS or other video capturing technology for a small processing fee only. The animator “trains” Faceware Analyzer to learn about the actor’s specific appearance and performance, and the software uses that information to analyze every frame of the video. All tracking is handled on site, so no assets or IP leave the studio. Once the shot is tracked, computer vision algorithms parameterize the data to examine every pixel of facial data in the performance and to create an IMPD file that can then be used in Faceware Retargeter.
CREATE: The updated Faceware Retargeter is a free tool that takes the IMPD file created in Analyzer and transfers the data onto the 3D model. With a newly designed front end and a handful of new features, Faceware Retargeter creates a more complete blocking of the animation and gives animators more time to polish theÂ performance with realistic facial movements. The Retargeter can be used on any type of facial rig, and plugs into many different software packages (Maya, 3ds Max, Softimage, MotionBuilder), letting the animator work in a familiar environment and workflow.
Faceware Analyzer and Retargeter are free to evaluate and can be downloaded directly from Faceware’s website, www.facewaretech.com. Both come with a free IMPD Performance Library and Rig Library, to help users get up to speed faster. The Faceware HMCS is available for rent or purchase. For more information, please contact [email protected].
We don’t cover pre-school here as much as we should, but I’m particularly proud to post today’s announcement by Nickelodeon concerning the pick-up of 52 episodes of Quick Quack Duck. Co-created by my girlfriend Yvette Kaplan (Beavis and Butt-head Do America) and Gili Dolev (The Happy Duckling), the show has been several years in development and is about to commence production in Israel. As you can see by the pilot clip above, the series is set in a ‘pop-up book’ world and has a unique paper sculpture look, courtesy of art director Erez Gavish. The show won’t debut for over a year, but I already know it’s going to be a winner. Congratulations Yvette, Gili, Erez and producer Ronen Shani! You did it!
The assigned topic was: “The Kitchen”. This one made me smile – and may make you hungry. One Small Dish For Man (Un Petit plat pour l’Homme) by Corentin Charron, a third year student at Supinfocom Arles.
New York, NY (May 30, 2012) — Wolf Dog Tales, an animated short film based on ancient beliefs of animal wisdoms, will be having its world premiere on June 4th at this year’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Wolf Dog Tales is director Bernadine Santistevan’s first animated film.
The film’s story borrows from Bernadine’s own experience as part of a community of Spaniards living among the Pueblo and Navajo Indians of New Mexico for hundreds of years–a community that continues to practice traditions dating back to the time of Cervantes.
To create Wolf Dog Tales, Bernadine teamed up with Igor, an Emmy winning animator/designer based in New York City and classically trained at Zagreg Film school of animation. A recent example of Igor’s cutting edge animation projects is Stickman, which he developed for the internationally acclaimed techno-illusionist, Marco Tempest. Stickman has been presented at numerous venues across the world, including TED Global and the World Economic Forum at Davos.
Not only are the messages in Wolf Dog Tales based on ancient beliefs, so is the animation. An original technique called ‘Faux Sand Painting Animationâ„¢’ was created for this film inspired by Navajo sand paintings–an ancient religious art form. Details of this technique can be found on the film’s website, www.wolfdogtales.com. In addition, the film’s design features indigenous symbols believed to date back thousands of years.
Asked what’s next, Bernadine said, “Igor and I just completed a series of children’s books based on Wolf Dog Tales, and I’m in the middle of finishing a live-action feature film called Wolf Dog.”
Bernadine added, “Making this film, I learned what it means to create art. I’m hoping that everyone who watches Wolf Dog Tales will feel this magic.”
Wolf Dog Tales will be having its U.S. premiere at the Brooklyn Film Festival on June 5th. You can follow the film on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/wolfdogtales or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WolfDogTales.
For more of Marlo’s comics and observations, visit Marlo Meekins.com
Curtis Lelash has been promoted to vice president of comedy animation for Cartoon Network, it was announced today by Rob Sorcher, chief content officer for Cartoon Network. In his expanded role, Lelash will oversee the development of Cartoon Network’s animated comedy series, which have helped drive the network to its current standing as the #1 network among boys 6-11 and 9-14. Creatively responsible for projects from pilot development through series production, he also will continue to oversee the studio’s shorts development program as a means to discover new series and to cultivate new talent. Lelash is based in Burbank, CA, and reports directly to Sorcher.
“Curtis has played a key and growing role inside our comedy animation group,” said Sorcher. “His promotion comes on the heels of record ratings success and popular culture relevance for our comedies, and we look forward to a new wave of animation under his leadership.”
Lelash currently is an executive producer of Cartoon Network’s #1-ranking and Prime Time Emmy Award-nominated animated comedies Adventure Time and Regular Show, both of which are produced at Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, CA. He also supervises additional hit original comedies produced at outside studios for Cartoon Network, including Warner Bros. Animation’s MAD and The Looney Tunes Show.
Previously, as director of comedy animation, Lelash served as executive in charge of production of series such as The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack and Class of 3000. Lelash joined Cartoon Network’s original series department as manager, comedy animation in 2005. Three years later, he relocated from Atlanta to Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank as director of new and current series. Prior to this, Lelash worked in development at DreamWorks Animation on theatrical projects including How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda.
Lelash graduated from the New York University with a bachelor of arts in English — Dramatic Literature.
Toronto, ON — Tickets for the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI), celebrating the best of animation arts from around the world, go on sale June 1, 2012. Widely supported by the Toronto animation industry, the three-day festival features screenings of shorts and full-length features, plus intimate and exclusive workshops and master classes. The exciting new festival that showcases the local and international animation industry comes to the TIFF Bell Lightbox, July 6-8, 2012.
For complete programming information, go to: http://taafi.com/events/taafi2012/schedule/
Festival highlights include talks and lessons from trailblazing cartoonist John Kricfalusi, creator of The Ren and Stimpy Show, on July 7, at 9:00 a.m. Festival goers will also get the exciting opportunity to sit in on a live cartoon script read featuring Sean Cullen.
Other highlights include a showcase and presentation from the world’s largest online archive of animation and visual effects, Stash Magazine, a special screening and workshop for kids at the National Film Board of Canada’s Mediatheque, plus over a 100 local and international short films.
TAAFI offers a collection of some of the finest work in animation, for audiences of all ages. With over 50 successful studios, 10 schools of animation arts and a passionate community of enthusiasts, independent artists and professionals, Toronto is the picture-perfect location to play host to what is sure to become one of North America’s leading animation festivals.
TICKET DETAILS: All advance tickets are available for purchase by phone or online through the TAAFI website starting June 1st: taafi.com
Festival Pass: $99
Includes Admission to all gala and regular screenings and The Nelvana Bouncing Ball TAAFI Party at Corus Quay
Screenings: $15 (Kids screening prices are $5 for children ages 3-13; free for children under 3)
Workshops: Range from $15-90
Includes admission to Pitch Lab and Monkeyworks
The Nelvana Bouncing Ball TAAFI Party at Corus Quay: $15 in advance/$20 at the door
Gala Screenings: $20
Other TAAFI highlights include:
Shorts 1 — Straight Up Toons — Top notch animation and classic cartoons
Shorts 2 — The Reflecting Pool — Artistic masterpieces set to an introspective frequency
Shorts 3 — Stylin’ — Innovative ideas and original techniques
Shorts 4 — Good N’ Weirdy — Pure, chaotic enjoyment
Student Shorts — S’cool — A collection of Canadian and international student works
North American Premier of Ronal the Barbarian in 3D (Denmark, 2011) — Produced by Einstein Film
Rosto: So Far, So Evil — A program compiling the best of Dutch artist and filmmaker Rosto’s work
Kaj Pindal: A collection of his most popular films, including I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, followed by a Q&A with the living legend
POCOYO episodes will be available for download in the LeapFrog App Center in English and Spanish
EMERYVILLE, Calif., May 30, 2012 — LeapFrog Enterprises Inc., the leader in educational entertainment, and Zinkia Entertainment (Zinkia), brand creator and producer of the hit global multiplatform brand POCOYO, today announced a partnership to bring content from the award-winning animated children’s series POCOYO to the LeapPad(TM) — the #1 learning tablet for kids.* The agreement was negotiated by Evolution, the North American licensing agent for POCOYO. The content will be available this summer through the LeapFrog App Center.
The LeapFrog and Zinkia brands are popular among both kids and parents. The beloved POCOYO character brings curiosity to children around the world and inspires them to explore, discover and learn. LeapFrog’s award-winning multimedia platforms paired with familiar characters and popular television episodes will bring engaging entertainment to children. LeapFrog will make episodes from the first two seasons of the POCOYO television series and the special, POCOYO and the Space Circus, available in English and for the first time Spanish, through the LeapFrog App Center.
“We are excited to partner with the endearing children’s property POCOYO to provide more fun and engaging learning experiences, furthering our mission to help children reach their potential,” said Jill Waller, vice president of multimedia learning at LeapFrog. “POCOYO is a wonderful complement to our existing educational entertainment offerings and we think our consumers will be delighted to find his exciting adventures in our growing App Center.”
“LeapFrog and POCOYO are an ideal match,” said Maria Doolan, managing director of brand and business development for Zinkia Entertainment, POCOYO creator. “Evolution is seeking out the types of products and services that feel like organic extensions of the POCOYO brand and LeapFrog is definitely a grand slam.”
“LeapFrog’s multimedia learning platforms are an ideal vehicle for delivering POCOYO episodes to young fans on the go,” said Travis J. Rutherford, president licensing & retail, Evolution. “Utilizing the LeapFrog App Center, parents can be assured that their children are safe while also learning through laughter with POCOYO.”
Availability: POCOYO episodes will be available for purchase in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and France (MSRP $5 – $10, for children 18 months and up starting summer 2012 in both English and Spanish language. The LeapFrog App Center can be accessed through the LeapFrog Connect Application for LeapPad and Leapster Explorer(TM) platforms. LeapPad (MSRP $99.99, for children ages 4-9) and Leapster Explorer (MSRP $59.99, for children ages 4-9) are currently available at major retail locations and at www.leapfrog.com .
The advertising elite meet Hollywood’s entertainment crowd on June 13th when winners of the year’s best in branded entertainment are revealed
Supersize Me and The Greatest Movie Ever Sold filmmaker Morgan Spurlock to host awards ceremony at Santa Monica’s new Museum of Flying
NEW YORK (May 30, 2012) – After weeks of intense judging by some of the best creative minds in advertising and entertainment–lead by Jury Chair Chris Bruss, vice president of branded entertainment at Funny or Die–The One Club has announced the finalists of its 4th annual One Show Entertainment. The prestigious Gold, Silver and Bronze Pencil awards will be revealed June 13, 2012, when the advertising and the Hollywood entertainment communities gather for the awards presentation hosted by Supersize Me and The Greatest Movie Ever Sold filmmaker Morgan Spurlock at the new Museum of Flying in Santa Monica, CA.
Conceived and produced by The One Club, One Show Entertainment is the first and only awards competition dedicated to honoring the agencies, production companies, network/cable TV channels, film studios and clients creating and producing branded entertainment. Since its launch in 2008, the awards competition has grown in industry popularity, this year more than doubling submissions, with entries received from 35 countries across the globe.
Top One Show Entertainment finalists by country ranking are:
USA – 112
Australia – 15
Canada – 8
UK – 8
Germany – 6
“Today’s consumers are actively seeking out compelling and engaging branded entertainment,” said Kevin Swanepoel, president and interim CEO at The One Club. “It makes perfect business sense that advertising agencies have adopted this new strategy and expanded their offerings, joining forces with media and entertainment companies to create and distribute more branded entertainment across devices, from TV and motion picture screens to mobile phones.”
A complete list of all One Show Entertainment finalists can be found at www.oneclub.org, along with jury member bios and headshots.
The One Show Entertainment competition features a broad range of categories including television, film, motion graphics, music, gaming, branded applications, online branded entertainment, events and installations, and innovation in branded content. Three exciting new categories were added to this year’s competition: best brand channel, promos and title sequences.
This is one show you don’t want to miss. Join hundreds of advertising and entertainment professionals for an evening of cocktails, dinner and awards. Purchase your tickets today at http://www.oneclub.org/store/-2012-one-show-entertainment-ticket.
The One Show Entertainment awards ceremony is sponsored by Variety.
The leader in streaming Anime and Asian content opens Windows Phone App to all viewers
San Francisco, Calif. (May 30, 2012) — Crunchyroll, Inc., the leading Anime streaming service, has released a major update of the Crunchyroll application on the Windows Phone Marketplace. Previously only available to premium users, the latest version of the application adds free ad-supported streaming of all shows to the already existing features for premium users. More information can be found at http://www.crunchyroll.com.
Now, all Crunchyroll viewers throughout most of the world can stream the latest Anime titles on their mobile devices running Windows Phone 7.5 such as the HTC 7 series, the HTC Titan, the Nokia Lumia Series, and the Samsung Omnia W. Spanish viewers can also use the application in Spanish and watch titles with Spanish subtitles.
The updated application can be downloaded from the Windows Phone Marketplace (http://got.cr/app-on-wp7) worldwide except in China and the Middle East. Like on the site itself, viewers can enjoy Crunchyroll’s library of anime for free, supported by ads. Viewers can also upgrade to a premium membership and enjoy over 30 simulcast titles with subtitles including Naruto Shippuden, Hunter X Hunter, Kids On The Slope, Medaka Box, and Space Brothers immediately following Japanese broadcast, as well as their favorite catalog shows with no ads.
Episodes can also be accessed from Crunchyroll.com, the free iPad and iPhone application, the Android application, Google TV, Roku, Boxee, Vizio VIA, WD TV Live and additional set-top channels, and affiliate partners.
Crunchyroll premium members will have access to the largest anime selection, same-day access for simulcasted titles, no advertisements and can be viewed in 480p-to-1080p quality on selected titles. More information about the Crunchyroll membership plan can be found at: http://www.crunchyroll.com/freetrial/
Animation voice actor Richard Beals (aka Dick Beals) passed away this week at age 85. Nobody has a better obit online than Mark Evanier, but I couldn’t let him pass without a remembrance here on the Brew. Beals had essentially one voice – that of a cheerfully optimistic little boy – but it was used often and well by just about everyone in Hollywood. Most famously, Beals voiced Ralph Phillips in Chuck Jones’ theatrical cartoons (above) and was Speedy Alka-Seltzer in numerous TV commercials (below).
In addition, Beals was Davey in Davey and Goliath, Buzz Conroy on Frankenstein Jr. and Birdboy on the Birdman series. Hanna Barbera used him to re-dub live action boy actors in (or more likely, they pre-recorded the tracks for) Gene Kelly’s Jack And The Banstalk and in commercials like this:
Beals had a long career on radio and on early live television before settling into voice-over roles. Perhaps my favorite was this one – in support of Gary Owens as two members of the American Eagle Squadron, as both Dan and Yank on Roger Ramjet (below). There is no better way to pay tribute to Beals today than to rewatch and listen to his work – and to thank him for all the memories. Rest in peace.
(Thanks, Derek Tague)