Black Dynamite Premieres on Adult Swim – Sunday 7/15!

New Animated Series Debuts Sunday, July 15th at 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Adult Swim

Bust out your best polyester pants suit, because Black Dynamite is about to explode on the scene in 1970s Los Angeles. Black Dynamite, the new 30-minute animated series, will premiere on Sunday, July 15th, 2012 at 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Adult Swim.

Based on 2009’s critically-acclaimed feature film, the Black Dynamite animated series further chronicles the exploits of the central character, Black Dynamite, and his crew. Under the direction of Carl Jones (The Boondocks), the series features the voice talent of Michael Jai White (For Better or Worse, The Dark Knight, Why Did I Get Married?), Tommy Davidson (In Living Color, Bamboozled), Kym Whitley (The Cleveland Show, Brian McKnight Show), and Byron Minns (Mongo Wrestling Alliance), all of whom starred in the feature film.

Black Dynamite is a 1970s renaissance man with a kung-fu grip. A lover and a fighter who is not afraid to leap before he looks. His sidekick extraordinaire is Bullhorn, the brains and cunning that complements Black Dynamite’s hard-hittin’, bone-crushin’ style. Providing comic relief on the mean streets is Cream Corn and classing up the place is the gorgeous Honey Bee.

Black Dynamite, the animated series, is being produced by Ars Nova. Jon Steingart, Carl Jones, and Jillian Apfelbaum are executive producers. Brian Ash is co-executive producer. Scott Sanders, Michael Jai White and Byron Minns are producers. Monica Jones is associate producer. Lesean Thomas is creative producer/supervising director. Original music by Adrian Younge. Black Dynamite is being animated by Titmouse, Inc.

TELETOON Canada Inc. Announces Cartoon Network And Adult Swim Launch Schedules

Toronto, ON, June 21, 2012 — TELETOON Canada Inc. brings home the bacon as it reveals the inaugural schedules for Cartoon Network and its late-night counterpart Adult Swim. Set to launch in Canada on Wednesday, July 4, 2012, Cartoon Network provides a unique and diverse slate of entertainment experiences to kids and families through hilarious animated and live-action content from 6 a.m. ET/PT to 9 p.m. ET/PT. Adult Swim works the late shift, bringing irreverent, funny programming to young adults from 9 p.m. ET/PT onwards.

“TELETOON Canada has been bringing Canadian audiences the best in animated and animation-related entertainment for 15 years and we’re just about to make that offering for youth, families and young adults in Canada even bigger with Cartoon Network and Adult Swim,” said Carole Bonneau, Vice-President, Programming, TELETOON Canada Inc. “Our Cartoon Network and Adult Swim schedules are jam-packed with signature shows that will win the respect of animation and comedy aficionados north of the border.”

Among other new and exciting shows, the channel will feature Cartoon Network hits Amazing World of Gumball, Regular Show and Level Up as well as Adult Swim favourites Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, The Venture Bros. and Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Highlights of the daytime, primetime and late night launch schedule include:

Cartoon Network

Regular Show

Premieres Wednesday, July 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Airs Monday to Thursday at 8 p.m. ET/PT and Sundays at 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m.

Best friends Mordecai (a six-foot-tall blue jay) and Rigby (a hyperactive raccoon) try to avoid any actual labour during their workdays at a park owned by Pops, a humanoid-looking lollipop.

Level Up

Premieres Saturday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT

Airs Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT and Sundays at 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

This half-hour comedy series turns the game on the player when four unlikely friends — Wyatt, Dante, Lyle and Angie — accidentally open a portal from the virtual world to the real world, wreaking havoc on their entire neighbourhood.

The Amazing World of Gumball

Premieres Sunday, July 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET/PT

Airs Mondays at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT and Sundays at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. ET/PT

Gumball, a blue cat with a giant head, faces the trials and tribulations of any 12-year-old: like being chased by a rampaging T-Rex, having a robot steal his identity or dressing as a cheerleader to impress the girl of his dreams.

Dude, What Would Happen?

Premieres Friday, July 6 at 7 p.m. ET/PT

Airs Fridays at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET/PT and Saturdays at 12 p.m., 12:30 p.m. ET/PT

Three Dudes, one question: Dude, What Would Happen? In this live-action reality series, three dudes test out all kinds of crazy stunts and experiments to answer questions nobody else would ask.

Destroy Build Destroy

Premieres Friday, July 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Airs Fridays at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. ET/PT and Saturdays at 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m. ET/PT

Hosted by musician and master of destruction Andrew W.K., this live-action game show sees teenaged contestants building and destroying elaborate structures for cash prizes.

Dexter’s Laboratory

Premieres Wednesday, July 4 at 5 p.m. ET/PT

Airs Monday to Friday at 5 p.m. ET/PT, Monday to Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT

Dexter, a bespectacled boy genius, creates strange concoctions, weird experiments and zany inventions in his huge laboratory located underneath his bedroom, despite the pesky interference of his ditsy big sister, Dee Dee.

Powerpuff Girls

Premieres Wednesday, July 4 at 5:30 p.m. ET/PT

Airs Monday to Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET/PT

Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup, also known as the Powerpuff Girls, are three delightfully sweet sisters who have dedicated their lives to saving the world from crime and fighting the forces of evil.

Adult Swim

Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

Premieres Saturday, July 7 at 11 p.m. ET/PT

Airs Saturday and Sunday at 11 p.m. ET/PT

This fast paced, absurd collection of short films, parodies, animations, pranks and musical numbers features the talents of Bob Odenkirk, John C Reilly, Weird Al Yankovic, Zach Galifianakis, Brian Posehn, Todd Barry and a host of comedians, celebrities, bad actors and pets. Great Job!

The Venture Bros.

Premieres Wednesday July 4 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT

Airs Monday to Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT

In this spoof of 1960s cartoons such as Jonny Quest and boys’ adventure novels like the Tom Swift and Hardy Boys series, the Venture brothers — Hank and Dean — travel around the world with their renowned scientist father, Doctor Venture. Fraternal twins Hank and Dean are total idiots who think, act and talk like they’re in the ’60s, even though they’re 21st-century teenagers.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force

Premieres Wednesday, July 4 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT

Airs Monday to Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT and Sundays at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT

Three unique detectives, the Aqua Teen Hunger Force, share a rental house in New Jersey. This mystery-solving trio is comprised of human-sized food products: Master Shake, the big-mouthed, self-appointed team leader with a short attention span and no work ethic; Frylock, the only reasonable member of the group, who happens to be a box of French-fried potatoes; and Meatwad, a talented round mound of meat who can take the shape of a hot dog or an igloo. Together, this triple threat tackles unusual cases from the luxury of a neighbor’s swimming pool — unless they’re confronted by danger. Then, of course, the three run as fast as they can.


Premieres Saturday, July 7 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT

Airs Saturdays and Sundays at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT

A family of inbred squids tears up the North Georgia Mountains. It’s not all drinking, brawling and reckless gunplay. Occasionally they use crossbows. There’s also hate, love, sex, a multinational drywall conglomerate, the penal system and a deep-seated mistrust of authority and all things different.

Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law

Premieres Wednesday, July 4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

Airs Monday to Friday at 10 p.m. ET/PT and Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT

Harvey Birdman, winged crimefighter-turned

“Bottom of the Ninth”, A Unique Animated Graphic Novel App for iPad, Now Available on the App Store

Latest story from professional animator and storyboard artist, Ryan Woodward, features the world of New Baseball, set 200 years in the future

Mapleton, Utah — June 21, 2012 – Veteran animator and storyboard artist Ryan Woodward goes indie again with Bottom of the Ninth, a unique animated graphic novel app designed specifically for iPad. The app is a reflection of Ryan’s industry experience, keeping with the integrity of a traditional comic layout, but enhanced with fully animated 2D and 3D animations, an original score, and professional voice actors.

The Story

Bottom of the Ninth takes place 200 years from now where the game of baseball has evolved into a rough gladiator-type event which sports a vertical infield and artificial gravity to enhance the danger of the game. The epic story starts with the first chapter, “Prologue”, which sets up the characters and the world of Tao City. Subsequent chapters will further develop the story and introduce readers to the 18-year-old female protagonist, Candy Cunningham.

Candy Cunningham was born with a phenomenal athletic ability. Her father, Gordy Cunningham is an aged major league New Baseball player who’s athletic abilities have atrophied into a crowd pleasing clown act. Candy’s incredible ability to pitch the fastest pitch in history lands her in the celebrity seat among a New Baseball crazed culture of sports endorsements, advertising and strategic manipulation. The story follows the two characters through the exciting and dangerous world of New Baseball.

About Ryan Woodward
Ryan Woodward has been a professional animator and storyboard artist since 1995. His screen credits include The Avengers, Snow White and the Huntsman, Iron Man 2, Cowboys and Aliens, Spiderman 2 &3, The Iron Giant(’98), Space Jam(’96), etc. His recent independent productions are aimed at creating new genres of storytelling. His last short animated film, Thought of You, won several prestigious awards and is currently rated in the top 10 highest animation plays on Ryan created, designed, wrote, penciled, animated, composed, directed and produced this production. His small, yet elite team of dedicated artists assisted in areas of design, 3D animation, and app development.

Baseball legend Dale Murphy of the Atlanta Braves lends his voice as “The Murph” a retired legend turned sports announcer. Dale was a 2 time MVP (‘82, ‘83) sporting 398 career home runs.

The Bottom of the Ninth
App is available for $3.99 from the App Store on iPad or at New chapters of the graphic novel will be available via In-App Purchase as they are released.

“Hamar” by Sara Gunnarsdottir

It’s Experimental Animation time on Cartoon Brew!

Sara Gunnarsdottir just graduated from CalArts with a masters degree in experimental animation. This spring Gunnarsdottir has been working with Icelandic musician Kira Kira on her new album, Feathermagnetic, making concert visuals and music videos based on her sound. This stunning video, taken from her work, was edited to the song Hamar. Turn the volume up.

I asked Gunnarsdottir to explain how this film came to be – and how she created it. She said:

“Originally I created the loops as visuals for Kira Kira’s concerts, and she has already performed using them in Moscow and Tokyo; next up, her concert in Berlin July 8th. For that concert the visual piece lasts for 47 minutes – the total length of the album. I decided to use the bulk of the visuals for a shorter piece, a more music video-type version, Hamar. The loops are hand drawn on paper and then colored in photoshop. I used the same loops more then once, in most cases, to make different cycles or various movements within After Effects. It was both fun and surprising experimenting with the effects and blending modes in AE.”

Trailer: Genndy Tartakovsky’s “Hotel Transylvania”

One week after the Adam Sandler/Andy Samberg-starring That’s My Boy bombed, we get the trailer for Hotel Transylvania starring Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg. But the real star of the film is director Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Star Wars: Clone Wars, Sym-bionic Titan) who is making his feature directing debut. Hotel Transylvania will rise or sink on the merits of his direction, and it looks like we could have a fun and campy popcorn-movie on our hands. The Sony Pictures Animation film will be released on September 28.

Mickey Mouse Original Titles

I’ll bet you’ve never seen the actual opening of an early 1930s Mickey Mouse cartoon. Oh, you may think you have – but only animation historian David Gerstein really has – and thanks to him, now we can too. Gerstein’s spent years researching and accumulating rare prints and original film elements to these early 30s Disney cartoons – and has compiled all that research into his latest post on his blog.

Gerstein, editor of Fantagraphics’ Floyd Gottfredson Library, is displaying images from more than a dozen of these rare title frames – like this lost one above from Giantland (1933) – he found in various private collections. The newly recovered title cards include several styles previously unseen by modern-day Disney buffs and serious researchers. Calling all Disney Nerds: look closely at some of this material and you’ll note even some copyright lines and sound system credits differ from versions we’ve seen for years. This is some heavy stuff – and I love it! Thanks, David… Mickey mavens, check this out!

Walt Disney’s Favorite Foods

In his latest “Wonderful World of Walt” column, animation historian Jeff Kurtti explores Walt Disney’s favorite foods. Suffice it to say, Walt was not a foodie:

“[Walt] had eaten in hash houses and lunch wagons for so many years (in order to save money) that he’d developed a hash house/lunch wagon appetite. He liked fried potatoes, hamburgers, western sandwiches, hotcakes, canned peas, hash, stew, roast beef sandwiches. He wasn’t keen for steak — or any expensive cuts of meat. He didn’t go for vegetables, but he loved chicken livers or macaroni and cheese. He liked to eat at Biff’s [a little coffee house on a nearby corner]. He felt they did their potatoes “right” by pan-frying them.” – Diane Disney Miller

“Two-Headed Cop,” An Animated Film Noir, Begins Production

Santa Monica, CA — Monday June 18th, 2012 – Production has begun on Two-Headed Cop, an animated short film co-created by animation industry vets Derek Friesenborg and Brian Ormiston. The independently financed project, written and directed by Friesenborg, is being produced through a partnership with online animation studio

“He’s the toughest cop in Fat City”, says Friesenborg. “He’s also got two heads. One head’s Asian, one’s Caucasian, both answer to Ray. They share a talent for hard-boiled justice and a middle leg. Other than that, they’ve got zip in common!”

Two-Headed Cop follows the gritty story of Ray and Ray as they battle crime and occasionally each other to upend Fat City’s criminal element. Framed for an assault on the town’s most beloved entertainer, Two-Headed Cop becomes a fugitive from the law. To clear their name, they must descend into the seedy underbelly of Fat City on a journey into the dark, tilted world of carnies, goons, grifters, pet markets, fine haberdashery… and a mysterious figure from out of their past.

“Our film is inspired by the styles and palettes of ‘40s-era animation, as well as the dark tones of film noir”, says Friesenborg.  “Thematically, it’s hard-boiled pulp fiction, taking its cues from classics like Touch of Evil, Raw Deal and Out of the Past, as well as the crime fiction of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane.

“But it’s not just an homage to old films,” continues Friesenborg.  “It’s a surreal world where the chief of police walks on his knuckles like an ape. Where the biggest thug in town smashes through buildings like a wrecking-ball on legs. Where a dancing naked fat guy is the hottest show in town. It’s a world where there is no “normal”, but the closest you can get to it is Two-Headed Cop.”

About Derek Friesenborg

Derek Friesenborg is an animation industry veteran with over fifteen years experience as a character animator and supervising animator. Friesenborg has created animation for studios including Walt Disney Feature Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, and Digital Domain.

A partial list of Friesenborg’s credits includes Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, the Annie Award Winning Surf’s Up, the Academy Award® Winning Spider-Man 2, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions as well as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Friesenborg holds a B.F.A in Illustration with an emphasis in Animation from the Rhode Island School of Design.

For more information, visit:, or interact with him on Twitter @TwoHeadedCop and Facebook at

About Brian Orimston

Brian Ormiston is a story artist at Laika Inc., an animation studio specializing in feature puppet and computer animated films. Prior to being a story artist Ormiston worked as a stop motion animator, and computer animator for feature films, commercials, television programs and video games.

Orimston holds a B.F.A in Illustration with an emphasis in Animation from the Rhode Island School of Design.

For more information, visit:, follow his blog at, or interact with him on Twitter @Roostergator.

About provides training, tools, and characters for through their online web platform, for commercial and non-commercial animation production.

For more information, visit:, or interact with them on Facebook at

Hammer Creates Promo Campaign for “Darksiders II”

Hollywood, CA — Hammer Creative recently completed a new campaign promoting THQ’s highly-anticipated Darksiders II video game, slated for U.S. release on August 14.

Spearheaded by creative director/producer Brett Hocker, the campaign was conceived and produced entirely by Hammer Creative, and comprises three fully CG-animated trailers, a live-action trailer bookended by CG content, and additional behind-the-scenes content. Hammer Creative also provided post production services at its Hollywood facility, including editorial, motion graphics, original music, sound design and audio post.

Sydney, Australia-based Plastic Wax Animation was tapped to produce CG elements for the campaign, and director Abdel Abonamous of The Ebeling Group was hired to shoot the highly cinematic live-action trailer filmed on location in Prague.

“Brett Hocker wrote and produced this dramatic piece for Darksiders II, and truly was the creative visionary behind this unique trailer,” commented Hammer’s executive creative director Scott Hayman. “Our goal with this campaign was to build up the mystique of the ‘Death’ game character. Gamers aren’t sure if Death is a hero or a villain — whether he’s good or evil. We don’t really know what his intentions are, so we wanted to convey a bit of intrigue about this unique character. For the ‘Last Sermon’ trailer, we wanted to add a human element to the story of Darksiders, which takes place mostly in Heaven or Hell–there’s very little game activity on Earth. The scene of a Minister in a decimated church delivering his literal ‘last sermon’ was our way of presenting what would likely happen here on Earth, before the actual apocalypse were to take place.”

“The live-action trailer was conceived as a companion piece of fiction inspired by the Darksiders story, bringing real-life humans into the game’s world,” adds Hocker. “We shot the piece for a week inside a 200-year old church near Prague, with no heat, during winter. The cold smoke you see coming out of James Cosmo’s mouth during his speech was real!  James was the perfect actor for this part, since he has such a larger than life presence and a wonderful, commanding voice. We felt if anyone would stand up to Death during Mankind’s final hour in real life, it would be him.”

“What attracted me to the ‘Last Sermon’ script was its deliberate focus on the collateral damage in the Darksiders universe,” said director Abdel Abonamous. “Outside the church, Hell, in a very literal sense, is breaking loose, but in our film, we decided to focus on the reactions of a huddled congregation who barely even understand what’s happening to them, let alone the bigger picture that the game’s plot paints. This storytelling method takes a huge event and transforms it into a low-level personal experience, making us, as viewers, feel like helpless bystanders. The location in Prague we found was great, both visually and in terms of the emotions it elicited. We shot in the very deep winter, and my goal was to make sure that James Cosmo and the extras felt a deep desolation. James was the perfect choice for the role of Priest, both for his physicality and for the deeply human element that shimmers from behind his eyes.”\

“What Hammer Creative did so effectively in producing ‘The Last Sermon’ was to deliver something directly targeted to the Darksiders audience,” adds Jim Huntley, THQ’s vice president of marketing. “After viewing this trailer, fans will be acutely aware of the massive scope of the apocalypse that humankind is experiencing in the world of the game.”

Irene Weibel Appointed as Vice President, Head of Nelvana Studio

Toronto, Canada — Corus Entertainment‘s Nelvana announced today the appointment of esteemed production and development executive Irene Weibel to the role of Vice President, Head of Nelvana Studio, effective immediately.

Weibel will have overall responsibility for the development and production for all original productions from Nelvana. She will oversee the Studio’s creative direction, and will lead coordination of the development, series production, distribution and consumer products groups to launch new brands in the marketplace.

“We are delighted that Irene has taken on this new role at the helm of the Studio,” said Colin Bohm, Managing Director, Nelvana. “Irene is recognized internationally for her creative and production talent in the industry. This appointment enables us to build on Nelvana’s track record of programming excellence and positions us optimally for even greater success in the international marketplace.”

Weibel formerly held the position of Vice President, International Production and Development for Nelvana. She will be based in Los Angeles and Toronto.

Rushes Soho Shorts Announces 2012 Lineup

LONDON — Celebrating its 14th year, the Rushes Soho Shorts Festival announced the Official Festival Program for 2012. The non-profit event, which will take place from July 11 — July 20, 2012, is recognized as one of UK’s leading international short film festivals, showcasing commercially produced and independent work with an equal focus on emerging and established talent.

223 new films from 22 countries will be competing across live action, animation and factual categories with screenings every evening at The Institute of Contemporary Arts. The Awards Ceremony will be held at the Curzon Soho on Thursday, July 19, 2012.

The animation category offers a program full of unique graphic inspiration, taking audiences from inner worlds of the mind and imagination (La Détente, Psychic Land, A Long Descent) to far off planets (Phone Home, Botanical Nightmare), to a local north London pub (The Pub).

No matter where or when the action is set, it’s the narrative that drives through. The telling of both old and new stories, spanning from the dawn of the age of man with Pythagasaurus (starring Bill Bailey, Martin Trenaman and Simon Greenall), through the tales of the Brothers Grimm (The Golden Bird) to current affairs in Bradley Manning Had Secrets, unveiling the truth behind the Wikileaks, and into a dystopian future in Robots of Brixton.

Expectations are challenged and characters are not always as they seem, whether they’re wolves learning to love sheep (Friendsheep), a magnificent beast, worshipped and exploited (The Holy Chicken of Life Music), Cadaver’s resurrected by love (starring Back to the Future’s Christopher Lloyd, Fashion Icon Tavi Gevinson and Academy Award winner Kathy Bates), or lovely Disney-like princesses that quickly turn to become more like Scarface (Whistler).

Visit the Rushes Soho Shorts Festival website to see the full list of films in competition, including live action and music video categories. Tickets for the Rushes Soho Shorts Festival are now on sale at .


This year’s festival runs over 10 days with a wide range of events for everyone interested in filmmaking. Most events are free to attend as is signing up as a Festival Delegate to make sure you are kept up to date with the latest news and activities from the festival.  Events include Brunch Sessions at The Hospital Club focusing on film production case studies social media, casting and guides on how to break into animation, commercials and music videos as a director. The lunch sessions at De lane Lea cover overviews on festival strategy, transmedia projects, the role of documentary in the modern news era, balancing independent film passion against making commercial work and a look at the latest software available to help you create great productions. The afternoon panels at the Applestore cover the ‘Future of’ key sectors within the filmmaking community and will provide insights into what to expect in the coming years. BAFTA will once again host the BAFTA/ RUSHES New Filmmakers Market with 16 events (Sunday 15th July) on wide variety of subjects for those looking to get in to and make contact with filmmakers and organisations.

All events can be found here:


Joining the events and official screenings are nine guest programs of short film from Zubroffka International Film Festival (Poland), Hollyshorts (USA), DC Shorts (USA), Kerry Film Festival (Ireland), Renderyard (Spain), Bornshorts (Denmark), Shorts Film Festival (Australia) and Aesthetica Film Festival & the acclaimed straight 8 (UK) programs.

All events and full booking details can be found on the festival website:

Call For Entries: SIGGRAPH Asia 2012

Although summer is almost upon us, there’s still time to submit your work to the SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 Computer Animation Festival.

The Computer Animation Festival invites presenters from around the world to showcase their most innovative and stimulating computer-generated animation and visual effects.

Following the tradition of previous editions of SIGGRAPH Asia, the 2012 Computer Animation Festival will be presented in both the Electronic Theater and the Animation Theater.

The aim is to allow attendees to immerse themselves with a comprehensive and compelling distillation of the best work in the world that advances animation, visualization, real-time rendering, and entertainment via computer animation.

The Computer Animation Festival contains two main components:

  • Screenings — It includes Electronic Theater and Animation Theater screenings where the full breadth of this year’s work in computer animation can be enjoyed at length.
  • Panels & Talks — It includes presentations by experts on a variety of topics related to the creation of computer animation and visual effects, as well as behind-the-scenes presentations by the creators whose works are screened at the festival.

The submission deadline is July 3, 23:59 UTC/GMT, and the jury’s decisions will be announced in August. Submit your best work to the SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 Computer Animation Festival and contribute to the wide spectrum of animations and creative innovations that lead the way to the future of computer graphics.

Visit for submission requirements and entry forms.

Red Kite Animations Unveils Rebrand

EDINBURGH, Scotland — Award-winning production company Red Kite Animations, part of global media agency August Media Holdings, has unveiled a new company logo.

The new logo, which combines a hand-cut letterform with the image of a child and kite, will officially launch during the Children’s Media Conference in Sheffield next month. The new look is part of a brand refresh that includes the redevelopment of the Red Kite Animations website, to be launched later in July.

“Now is a great time to refresh our corporate identity,” said Ken Anderson, Founder of Red Kite Animations, Executive Director & Chief Creative Officer of August Media Holdings. “We have a full and fresh development slate and are seeing exceptional growth, yet our aim to produce content of world class quality with global appeal remains constant. The hand-cut typeface was chosen to express the originality and creative attention Red Kite applies to each of its projects; and while the kite has obvious connection to our company name, as a symbol it is a universal expression of invention, imagination and fun — qualities that correspond to children, the business we are in and the Red Kite team.”

The new logo design was developed with the services of Manchester based Refinery Group.

Emmy® And Golden Globe® Winner Jim Parsons And International Superstar Rihanna To Star In DreamWorks Animation’s “Happy Smekday!” In 2014

GLENDALE, Calif., June 20, 2012 — DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) today announced that Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Jim Parsons (Harvey on Broadway and The Big Bang Theory) and international superstar Rihanna (Battleship) will star in the leading roles in Happy Smekday!, a feature film based on the critically acclaimed book “The True Meaning of Smekday” by Adam Rex. The studio plans to release Happy Smekday! during the fourth quarter of 2014.

Tim Johnson (Over the Hedge, Antz) will serve as the film’s director. Chris Jenkins (Rio, Surf’s Up) and Suzanne Buirgy (Kung Fu Panda 2) are serving as producers and DreamWorks Animation’s Head of Development Gregg Taylor is overseeing the project. Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember (Get Smart) are currently writing the screenplay.

“Adam’s hilarious book is the perfect recipe for a compelling animated feature and we are ecstatic that Jim Parsons and Rihanna will contribute their immense talents to the production,” said Bill Damaschke, DreamWorks Animation’s Chief Creative Officer. “We’re also thrilled that Tim Johnson is back to direct another DreamWorks Animation feature film and show the world just how fun an alien invasion can be!”

“When I read Adam Rex’s remarkable book, I knew it would make an amazing film. I can’t wait to introduce audiences to the unique world and characters of Happy Smekday!” added Tim Johnson.

In Happy Smekday! an alien race invades Earth and uses it as a hideout from their mortal enemy. When one lowly alien accidentally notifies the enemies of his whereabouts, he is forced to go on the run with a teenage girl. The two become unlikely buddies and embark on a comical globe-trotting adventure to right his wrongs, in which our alien hero learns what it really means to be human.

DreamWorks Animation To Announce Second Quarter 2012 Results And Host Earnings Conference Call

GLENDALE, Calif., June 20, 2012 — DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) today announced that the Company’s second quarter results will be released on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, after the market close.

DreamWorks Animation will host a conference call and webcast to discuss the results on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at 4:30 p.m. (ET). Investors can access the call by dialing (800) 230-1059 in the U.S. and (612) 234-9959 internationally and identifying “DreamWorks Animation Earnings” to the operator. The call will also be available via live webcast at

A replay of the conference call will be available shortly after the call ends on Tuesday, July 31, 2012. To access the replay, dial (800) 475-6701 in the U.S. and (320) 365-3844 internationally and enter 251569 as the conference ID number. Both the earnings release and archived webcast will be available on the Company’s website at

GLENDALE, Calif., June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) today announced that the Company’s second quarter results will be released on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, after the market close.

DreamWorks Animation will host a conference call and webcast to discuss the results on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at 4:30 p.m. (ET). Investors can access the call by dialing (800) 230-1059 in the U.S. and (612) 234-9959 internationally and identifying “DreamWorks Animation Earnings” to the operator. The call will also be available via live webcast at

A replay of the conference call will be available shortly after the call ends on Tuesday, July 31, 2012. To access the replay, dial (800) 475-6701 in the U.S. and (320) 365-3844 internationally and enter 251569 as the conference ID number. Both the earnings release and archived webcast will be available on the Company’s website at

Call For Entries: Pitch-A-Palooza at TAAFI 2012



Toronto, ON (June 18, 2012) ­ Today, the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) announces an animation-focused pitch event, Pitch-a-Palooza, and two supporting events, Pitch Lab and The Monkeyworks. TAAFI, widely supported by Canada¹s animation community, is the inaugural three-day festival celebrating the best of animation arts from around the world from July 6 to ­ 8 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

For complete programming information, go to:

To prepare for the golden opportunity of five-minutes with a studio executive, Pitch Lab and The Monkeyworks are not-to-be-missed.
Pitch-a-Palooza is where the animation projects of the future will start their life.

Pitch Lab ­ Wednesday, July 4th, 6 — 9 p.m., NFB Mediatheque , 150 John St., Toronto
Pitch Lab teaches the Pitcher what it takes to really sell an idea. Industry veterans and development executives will share what they want and don’t want to see and hear in a pitch. They’ll also reveal what types of projects their studios are investing in this year. Following Pitch Lab, Pitchers will chose which three of the 15+ animation industry executives they want to meet one-on-one at Pitch-a-Palooza at the Lottery Registration (9 — 10 p.m.).

The Monkeyworks ­ Thursday, July 5th, 7 — 9 p.m., Arc Productions, 230 Richmond St. E. Toronto
The Monkeyworks introduces storytellers to the most powerful storytelling tool there is: the braintrust. This workshop is an innovative open-forum for creatives to put into practice what they learned at Pitch Lab, hone their ideas, and gain invaluable feedback from their peers in advance of the big

TAAFI Pitch-a-Palooza — Saturday, July 7th, 11 a.m. — 5 p.m., Metro Hall, 55 John St., Toronto
At Pitch-a-Palooza, Pitchers will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with some of Canada’s top animation and development executives working in the field today. Each Pitcher will have at least three meetings set-up with the executives they’d like most to meet from among 15+ participating studios.  Confirmed today are Brenda Nietupski, President, Little Tugboat Productions; Michelle Melanson, VP Production and Development, Radical Sheep Productions Inc.; J.J. Johnson, Executive Producer, Sinking Ship Entertainment;  and John May, Executive Producer, Heroic TV. More names will be announced at and on Facebook and Twitter over the coming weeks.

Online registration for TAAFI Pitch-a-Palooza is now open. The $90 admission fee includes Pitch Lab, The Monkeyworks and the main event, Pitch-a-Palooza. Once registered through the TIFF Box Office, Pitchers will be contacted directly by a member of the Pitch-a-Palooza team with further event details.

All TAAFI tickets are available for purchase by phone or online through the TAAFI website

Discover Kids Launches Animated Series For Its Mascot, Doki

(Miami, FL) — Discovery Kids, Latin America’s 24-hour pre-school channel dedicated to the youngest members of the household, and Canada’s Portfolio Entertainment are pleased to announce the production of a new animated series based on the adventures of Discovery Kids’ popular spokescharacter Doki. Comprised of 26 half-hour episodes, Doki will be produced by the award winning production and international distribution company Portfolio Entertainment Inc. on behalf of Discovery Kids, JBMW Media will serve as one of the executive producers on their first original series.

Doki, has a lot of questions… and he’ll go as far as it takes, to get the answers! He’s a born explorer, just like his best friends Oto, Mundi, Fico, Anabella and Gabi. Together, they are “Team Doki” and they’ll travel the globe and beyond, to find answers to their questions about science, nature and the world we live in.

Anything can spark an expedition. One moment, the Team, is just hanging around their clubhouse, and the next — Doki is struck with a great question. What were castles really like? Where do rubber bands come from? Why won’t my balloon float? Suddenly — it’s expedition time! They sling on their expedition packs, hop aboard Oto’s vintage float plane, and they’re off on a far flung adventure. Will they find their answer in China, or Brazil? At the bottom of the sea, or in the International Space Station? Where ever they go, it’s sure to be a funny and fascinating expedition.

“There is no one more suited to exemplify the great educational and healthy lifestyle values that Discovery Kids instills in children better than Doki,” said Angela Recio Sondon, Vice President and Channel Director of Discovery Kids Latin America. “With this new original production, Doki and his friends Gabi, Fico, Anabella, Oto and Mundi become fully developed Discovery Kid’s characters in an animated series that children and parents alike will love.”

In mid-2011, Discovery Kids brought in Jennifer Monier-Williams, founder and president of JBMW Media, to spearhead a search for a production company to develop and produce the series with Doki as the main character. Portfolio Entertainment Inc. was selected as to help transform Doki into an international success.

Doki has been a huge hit in Latin America and we are delighted that children around the world will have the opportunity to embrace the series,” states Lisa Olfman, Co-President and Founder of Portfolio Entertainment Inc. “We strive to deliver the highest quality of entertainment and we have a tremendous team of creative talent to ensure that we meet the expectations of children and their parents. Creating a series where every child can have fun exploring and discovering the world is the best work ever.” Added Lisa Olfman.

SIGGRAPH 2012 Announces Computer Animation Festival Winners

Chicago, IL — SIGGRAPH 2012, 5-9 August at the Los Angeles Convention Center, announces the Computer Animation Festival’s Best in Show, Jury Award, Best Student Project, and Well Told Fable Prize recipients. A total of 94 films will be shown during the Computer Animation Festival. Nominees were chosen by an expert panel of jury members from 601 submissions representing 43 countries.

The Computer Animation Festival is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival. Since 1999, several works originally presented in the Computer Animation Festival have been nominated for or have received a “Best Animated Short” Academy Award. This year’s selections will be featured during the Computer Animation Festival through a series of daily Festival Screenings and the iconic Electronic Theater, allowing attendees to get a glimpse behind the making of computer-generated effects, visualizations, and animations.


Directed by Yoshimichi Tamura, PlanKtoon; France

In a boutique in Paris, Louise looks at her reflection in the surrounding mirrors. Tonight, she has a rendezvous with Jules, her fiancé. Suddenly she notices that she’s late, and goes off in great haste to her flat to get ready. Réflexion is a description of women’s concerns about the way they look.
How To Eat Your Apple

Directed by Erick Oh, Independent; USA

Here is a delicious apple. How would you eat it?

Directed by Jeff Call, Brigham Young University; USA

Estefan, the world’s greatest hairdresser, must design a hairstyle for Clara, a woman with no hair, in order to preserve his reputation.

Directed by Sascha Geddert, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg; Germany

In the vastness of space, a small speck of rock is inhabited by the most peculiar lifeforms: Dark little dots that start to replicate fast and begin to show signs of intelligence. Globosome tells the story of the rise and fall of these little creatures.
Herr Hoppe und der Atommüll

Directed by Jan Lachauer and Thorsten Löffler, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg; Germany

A barrel of nuclear waste drops into the living room of Herr Hoppe, an average suburban German. He has to get rid of it and does it in his own wacky way.


Directed by: Romain Borrel, Gaël Falzowski, Benjamin Rabaste, and Vincent Tonelli, Supinfocom Arles; France

In a cured meats deli, a customer starts fantasizing about the butcher. She takes us into a clichéd vision of couple-hood, transcribed, for better or for worse, within a universe of pork products.

Bron Animation Launches with “Mighty Mighty Monsters”

Vancouver, BC —Film production and finance group Bron Studios announced the launch of Bron Animation to develop and produce original kid’s animated properties for television and film. The first project in production is Mighty Mighty Monsters, based on the book series written and created by Sean Patrick O’Reilly.

Mighty Mighty Monsters revolves around a group of classic movie monster kids — Frankenstein, Dracula and Wolfman — who are expelled from monster school and sent to a human immersion program at a human middle school where they come face-to-face with terrifying tween culture. The property is being produced in HD in the form of two 44-minute specials entitled Halloween Havoc and New Fears Eve.

Leading the company as Creative Directors are Gil Rimmer, who was most recently with Electronic Arts as Production Designer, and Ben Burden Smith who joined the company from Goldtooth Creative where he was Associate Creative Director.

“Rimmer’s background as a production designer and visual development artist, coupled with Burden Smith’s production, writing and directing experience, create the perfect storm for the story-driven company I want Bron Animation to be,” said Bron’s Managing Director Aaron L. Gilbert.

Said Rimmer, “it is a rare pleasure to build a CG animation company where we place story and visual development in the forefront. We have assembled an amazing mix of creative, production and technical team members allowing us to be independently creative and lead the charge with our first developed property, Mighty Mighty Monsters.”

Mighty Mighty Monsters was developed by Rimmer and Burden Smith with a teleplay written by Scott Olezskowicz (Wingin’ It, Overruled, and Baxter). The property is being brought to life with motion capture and a unique look and cinematic experience unseen in kid’s television.

Burden Smith expands, “… our unique creative process allows us to shoot more like a live-action comedy show. We took inspiration from shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and created a process that allows for ad-libbing, writing on-the-fly, and great comedic chemistry between the actors as a foundation for the show.

Toronto based Shaftesbury Sales Company and its Los Angeles based subsidiary Shaftsbury U.S., will lead the worldwide sales on Mighty Mighty Monsters. Industry veteran Michael Taylor is serving as a Co-Executive Producer, consulting on the Canadian broadcast/distribution strategy.

“Lil’ Red” by Cale Atkinson

Lil’ Red is a beautifully designed minimalist animated short by Canadian animator Cale Atkinson. Atkinson simply made it to practice his artistic skills. He writes, “My intention from the beginning was to create a very simple and graphic style, while playing with colour and atmosphere.” I’d say he succeeded brilliantly. A Making Of Lil’ Red is posted here.

Trunk Animation Create Animated Projects For Madness’ Queens Diamond Jubilee Concert

The team at Trunk Animation, commissioned by Sam Pattinson at Treatment Studio, have just finished work on creating two of the 13 projections for the Queens Diamond Jubilee Concert. The two projections which accompanied Madness as they were playing aloft Buckingham Palace, shone out over the 20,000 strong crowd, and were seen by a 17 million viewers.

The ‘Our House’ projection, Directed by Rok Predin and Layla Atkinson, showed Buckingham Palace falling to the floor as though on a stage curtain, revealing rows of terrace houses and council flats which opened up like dolls houses to reveal big jubilee parties inside. Layla created the architecture for the collaged streets which were taken from a multitude of different locations to build the terraces, whilst Sara Savelj worked alongside designing characters. Rok Predin built all the 3D rooms and projected Layla’s terraces onto geometry before creating the dropping motion in C4D. Rok then went on to composite everything together adding detailed effects and grading the overall piece to look fantastic.

‘It Must Be Love’ Directed and designed by Alasdair Brotherston and Jock Mooney, turned the Palace into a colourful romantic setting, adorned with heart shaped hot air balloons, swans, cherubs and even palm trees all forming love hearts, as they emanated from the palace. Their animation started as line drawings scanned and coloured using Photoshop. These were then traced and animated using Flash before being taken into after effects and heavily composited.

Both videos were set at a huge resolution at double HD (4096X1046). The videos were projected by d3 control system and crew, using an array of 36 projectors set just inside the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Geoff Posner, the BBC show director and Sam Pattinson, Treatment Studio’s Producer and Art Director came up with the initial “Our House” and “It Must Be Love” concepts and we produced each piece in just under 4 weeks.

For Trunk this was a momentous occasion for all of us involved. It was also a great thrill have been a small part of this huge team effort along with many other technicians, animators and directors in this momentous BBC production.

Disney TV Animation Begins Production on “The 7D” for Disney Jr.



Accessing a classic fairytale and finding new ways to bring it to audiences, Disney Television Animation has begun production on the new animated series The 7D, a comedic take on the world of Seven Dwarfs, this time in a contemporary storybook world designed for viewers age 2-7 and their families. The series is slated to debut in 2014 on Disney Junior channels and programming blocks around the world. The announcement was made today by Nancy Kanter, Senior Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide.

The executive producer is Emmy Award-winning Tom Ruegger (Animaniacs). Alfred Gimeno (Tiny Toon Adventures) is the director and Sherri Stoner (Pinky and the Brain) is the story editor. The characters are designed by Noah Z. Jones (Fish Hooks).

Kanter said, “Our goal for Disney Junior is to engage kids with stories and characters that represent the very best of Disney storytelling. With The 7D, we look to continue Walt Disney’s legacy of reinterpreting classic folk and fairy tales in ways that delight new audiences. We’re excited to re-imagine these familiar characters and put them in a new humorous setting that we think will entertain kids and parents alike.”

The series takes place in the whimsical world of Jollywood, where Queen Delightful relies on the 7D — Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy and Doc — to keep the kingdom in order. Standing in their way are two laughably evil villains, Grim and Hildy Gloom, who plot to take over the kingdom by stealing the magical jewels in the 7D’s mine. With seven very distinct personalities, the 7D always manage to save the day and send Grim and Hildy running back to their evil lair to try another day.

DQE Announces “Jungle Book” Feature

Hyderabad, India and Los Angeles, CA —DQ Entertainment Ireland Limited (DQE) is expanding its production pipeline with the creation of a dedicated feature film division which plans a steady slate of motion pictures in the coming years based on iconic, universally beloved characters and stories.

The first movie green lit from this new division is a $45 million stereoscopic 3D animated feature film based on Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale The Jungle Book.

Already in pre-production, The Jungle Book producers have tapped an experienced team of top echelon talent from the world of feature animation, including screenwriter Billy Frolick (Madagascar, Holy Cow), co-directors Jun Falkenstein (The Tigger Movie, The Smurfs, Despicable Me,) and Kevin Johnson (Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone, Astro Boy, Stuart Little), and production designer James Hegedus (Shrek).

The film is being produced by Tapaas Chakravarti, Chairman and Founder of DQE, while Eric S. Rollman, CEO of Rollman Entertainment, Inc., former President of both Marvel Animation and Saban/Fox Family Productions, with DQE’S VP of Intellectual Property, Rouhini Jaswal, will serve as Executive Producers.

The Jungle Book is targeting a theatrical release date in 2014. Pre- and post-production will be based in Los Angeles with animation production at DQE’s headquarters in Hyderabad, India. Two additional classic titles are already in development for the company’s next two theatrical film projects.

“Our commitment to animated features marks another major milestone for DQ Entertainment,” said Chakravarti. “By leading off our slate with a 3D Stereoscopic version of The Jungle Book, a classic and universally beloved story based in India, our home country, we’re making a bold statement to the industry — that DQE is committed to put the creative, technical and financial resources together to produce compelling, high quality animation for all distribution channels.”

“We have assembled a truly world class team with a remarkable résumé of animation accomplishments,” added Rollman. “The net result will be a distinctive and captivating presentation for families the world over to enjoy, and one more illustration of the unique acumen of DQ Entertainment, an unstoppable creative force in our industry.”

“A pulsating journey through the deepest jungles of India with Mowgli the man-cub will entertain and enthrall. The legacy of Kipling will be revived with the magic and mystique of The Jungle Book in breathtaking 3D,” added Jaswal.

2011 marked the studio’s first foray into theatrical features with The Prodigies for Warner Bros., Onyx Films and Fidélité Films, France.

DQE’s dynamic business model of developing iconic intellectual properties and expanding its distribution network worldwide has positioned the studio as a fully integrated global entertainment production and distribution company.

First-Ever Anime Pop-Up Museum Lands in San Francisco For 2012 J-Pop Summit


Two-Day Only Special Exhibit At NEW PEOPLE Will Display Original Production Art, Concept Drawings, And More From The Popular Anime Sci-Fi Film Series As Part Of Annual Weekend-Long Festival Celebrating Japanese Pop Culture

San Francisco, CA, June 20, 2012 New People, a dynamic entertainment destination bringing the latest examples of Japanese popular culture to North American shores, is proud to present the U.S. premiere of the Evangelion Pop-Up Museum as part of the 2012 J-POP Summit Festival. This special time-limited special exhibit, to be staged inside the venue’s 3rd Floor SUPERFROG Gallery, launches on Saturday, August 25th and is co-produced by Nippon Television and New People.

The 2012 J-POP Summit Festival commences with the theme of “Cyberpop Overload!,” and will be held across San Francisco’s Japantown, in association with the Japantown Merchant Association, on Saturday, August 25th and Sunday, August 26th. General admission to The Evangelion Pop-Up  Museum is $5 with re-entry stamp, but will only run for the duration of the J-POP Summit Festival. Tickets will be available at New People’s 3rd Floor Superfrog Gallery on the day of the event. More information about the Festival is available at

The Evangelion Pop-Up Museum at New People will offer an extensive collection of original concept and production art, character drawings and other key artifacts from the famed Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone and Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance film series. Anime/Manga and sci-fi fans are invited to enjoy this unique exhibit and catch a rare inside glimpse at how original drawings, computer graphics and animation for these films were created. A variety of rare and valuable Evangelion books, toys and collectables, and other items will also be on display.

Evangelion is one of the most successful anime properties ever produced and its massive international popularity approaches an almost religious following among fans,” says Seiji Horibuchi, the President/CEO of New People, Inc. and Chairman of the J-Pop Summit Festival Committee. “We are extremely honored to offer J-POP Summit attendees this special opportunity to enjoy a wide range of captivating artwork and other rare artifacts from the show that have never been exhibited before outside Japan.”

In the Evangelion: 1.0 and 2.0 films, fourteen year old Shinji Ikari is called to Tokyo-3 by his father who he hasn’t seen in more than eight years. His father reveals to him a gigantic humanoid weapons system that the special governmental agency has secretly developed to fight alien invaders called Angels. He enlists Shinji to pilot the giant artificial human Evangelion Unit One. In an explosive new storyline full of brutal action and primal emotion, a group of young pilots maneuver their towering, cyborg Eva Units into combat against a deadly and disturbing enemy. The third film of the series, Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, is set for release in Japan this fall.

A variety of other pop-inspired attractions including fashion shows, theatrical film premieres, live art performances, celebrity appearances, and mini-concerts by some of Japan’s hottest bands are planned for the 2012 J-POP Summit both inside the New People complex, and outdoors at the adjacent Peace Plaza. Innovative artists from Japan will join a variety of product merchants and food vendors from the Bay Area to offer an array of pop-inspired products and delicacies for sale in open air displays on both sides of Post Street, the main Japantown thoroughfare.

Charles Thorson’s “Captain and The Kids” model sheets

Once upon a time, way back in 1937… MGM decided to produce its own cartoons and set up a studio on the lot. They ended their arrangement with Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising (and their Happy Harmonies series), bought the rights to popular comic strip The Captain and The Kids, and hired Friz Freleng away from Leon Schlesinger to direct the shorts. A funny thing happened on the way to the big screen – the cartoons were not popular. Here’s an example:

A year later Freleng went back to making Looney Tunes, the studio brought back Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising — and Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera had an opportunity to emerge…

Cut to 75 years later… Mike Van Eaton has come into a cache of Captain and The Kids model sheets and has graciously agreed to let me post them here. As best I can tell, these were all drawn by Charles Thorson. Thorson really got around, designing significant characters for Disney, MGM, Screen Gems, Warner Bros., Fleischer, Terrytoons – even George Pal – in the 30s and 40s before settling into a career in advertising and illustrating children’s books. Now everything you need to know about drawing the Captain and the Kids is here for you to enjoy (click on images below, and thumbnails below that, to enlarge).

Here’s a few more (below). The first two – probably not designed by Thorson – are from the short Old Smokey (1938).

And that’s not all, folks. Van Eaton has obtained a whole bunch MGM model sheets from later productions (Tom & Jerry, Avery, etc.). I’ll be posting them later this week…