“Home” by Luiz Stockler (NSFW)

Animator Luiz Stockler is a talent I’m keeping my eye on. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Stockler moved to Wales in 1994. In 2007 he attended the University of Wales, Newport, where he made his graduation film Vovô. Home is his first year film from the Royal College of Art in London, where he is going for his MA in Animation. It’s short and simple, subversive and sweet.

“LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out” Blasts Onto Cartoon Network

30-minute LEGO Special Premieres Wednesday, September 26 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT

Get your lightsabers ready because a brand new LEGO Star Wars special is coming to Cartoon Network. Your favorites are back and even though it’s just moments after the Death Star has exploded, Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca and the rest of the Rebel Alliance’s heroes have no time to rest on their laurels.

In LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out, premiering Wednesday, September 26 at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT), a new Imperial threat has been detected and the good guys have to nip it in the bud. But Jedi-in-training Luke discovers that instant fame as a “Death-Star-Blower-Upper” can be a double-edged lightsaber, as his secret mission to Naboo is thwarted by those most unstoppable of foes –crazed fans!! Meanwhile, Darth Vader sees his day go from bad to worse when his relationship with the Emperor is imperiled by the unexpected arrival of Darth Maul. Luke and Vader’s quests to prove themselves lead them on a collision course with each other (literally) and their destiny. Tune in for the action, suspense and comedy on September 26 at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Cartoon Network.

The first 30-minute LEGO Star Wars special, LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace which aired on Cartoon Network last summer, was a major fan favorite ranking as the #1 telecast of the week on all TV with boys 6-11, in addition to #1 for the day with all key boy demos.

Fist Pump! Cartoon Network’s Emmy®-Winning “Regular Show” Returns for Fourth Season

Network Also Announces Halloween and Christmas Specials

Regular Show, Cartoon Network’s Emmy®-winning animated comedy featuring best friends Mordecai, a six-foot-tall blue jay and Rigby, a hyperactive raccoon, returns for a fourth season on Monday, Oct. 1, at 8 p.m. (ET, PT) with an epic 30-minute premiere full of surprises. Season four of this hit series will answer all of those burning questions about Margaret and Mordecai’s budding relationship while taking the good times to another level.

Regular Show is slated for a double dose of holiday spirit with “Terror Tales from the Park II,” an annual 30-minute Halloween anthology and the aptly titled “Christmas Special,” featuring multiple Emmy Award®-winner Ed Asner as Santa Claus and Academy Award®-nominee Thomas Haden Church as a rogue elf out to destroy Christmas.

In other goings on, the eccentric collection of characters Mordecai and Rigby interact with at “work,” will be back in force with some new faces joining the regular cast. Though Mordecai and Rigby barely-attempt to fulfill their job requirements as groundskeepers at the local park, the guys get an intern, a goat named Thomas (Roger Craig Smith). Nineties sitcom star Jaleel White (Dancing with the Stars, Family Matters) guest stars as the ghost of an ‘80s dancer. The playlist from Season 4 will introduce younger viewers to the enduring melodies from the likes of Eddie Murphy, Billy Idol and Mötley Crüe, among others.

Rounding out the fall is a new DVD compilation, Regular Show: the Best DVD in the World. * At This Moment in Time, available in stores on November 6 and featuring 16 episodes from the series’ second and third seasons.

Happy 95th Birthday, June Foray

Why is this night different from other nights? No, wait… that’s not exactly what I meant to ask. But on this day and night every year we celebrate the life and career of Miss June Foray, the First Lady of Cartoon Voices. September 18th is June’s birthday and today she is 95 years young.

This past Sunday, Jeanine Kasun and Stu Shostack organized a private party for June in a local restaurant and it was filled with friends like actors Rose Marie, Marvin Kaplan, Margaret O’Brien, animators Bob Kurtz, Tom Sito, Art Leonardi, Bob Balzer, Jane Baer, Carl Bell; pals Will Ryan, Mark Evanier, Linda Jones (Chuck’s daughter), and even my new Facebook friend Jill Howard Marcus (the grand daughter of Shemp!). I took the photo above of June at the party, David Nimitz snapped these below (click thumbnails to enlarge): Left to Right – June reunites with her Phantom Toolbooth co-star Butch Patrick; June’s incredible birthday cake; June about to blow out the candles, surrounded by Fred Frees (Paul’s son) and Cima Balzer (Bob’s wife).

Congratulations, June. We love you.

“Real Artists” by Tim Bierbaum

Here’s the pilot for animator Tim Bierbaum’s new mixed-media web series about young artsy types living in New York City: Real Artists. Bizarre looking characters, live action backdrops, hand-held shakey cam, teen angst… it has an MTV Animation vibe written all over it. And yet I find it oddly appealing – and worth a look.

The show is part of Ashton Kutcher’s Dream Bigger program, produced for the Thrash Lab You Tube network.

John Coates (1927-2012)

I’ve just heard that John Coates, best known for being the “production supervisor” on Yellow Submarine, a co-producer of Heavy Metal, and producer of several notable shorts (The Snowman), series (The World Of Peter Rabbit) and features (When The Wind Blows) has passed away at age 84.

Coates co-founded TVC London (aka TV Cartoons Ltd.) with George Dunning in 1957 and was known as the business partner of the duo. In the 1960s, TVC produced the original Beatles TV cartoons and the Cool McCool series for King Features – and that led to them being the studio behind Yellow Submarine (1968). Coates continued to align himself with quality work throughout the years, and was most recently nominated for an Academy Award for Joanna Quinn’s short Famous Fred in 1997. A legend of the British animation industry, John Libbey published a biography of Coates last year.

A Talk About Ward Kimball in Ottawa

The Ottawa International Animation Festival will take place this week. At the festival, I will be speaking about the life, art and animation of Disney legend Ward Kimball. The talk is packed with artwork and film clips, and I guarantee you’ll learn new things about Ward, and perhaps even discover some creative inspiration. You have two chances to check it out:

Friday, September 21, 9:15—10:45PM – Arts Court (Theater)
Saturday, September 22, 1—2:30PM – Arts Court (Theater)

Cartoon Network to Launch On-Air Stunts to Celebrate 20th Birthday Oct. 1


Viewers Invited to CARTOON NETWORK’S BIRTHDAY PARTY in October Celebrating 20 Years of Renowned Kids Entertainment
Weekend Tributes Encourage Fans to Vote Online for All-Time Favorite Characters, Catch-Phrases, Villains & More
World Television Premiere of Original Music Video Celebrating Beloved Cartoon Characters
October 1 Kicks Off with Full Day of Birthday-themed Episodes from Contemporary & Classic Shows;
Concludes with 100th Episode of Hit Series Adventure Time and Season 4 Premiere of Regular Show

This October, the world’s first 24-hour, all-animation cable network will celebrate its first 20 years by hosting Cartoon Network‘s Birthday Party, an on-air and online birthday tribute created especially for kids and kids-at-heart who’ve grown up with the wildly fun and outrageous network since its launch in 1992. Launching on Oct. 1, 1992 within just two million U.S. homes, Cartoon Network has since grown to become the #1 television network among boys 6-11, and is currently seen in over 175 countries and in more than 360 million households worldwide.

Saluting both its vast library of classic animation as well as its current crop of top-rated hits, on October 1, Cartoon Network will launch its milestone birthday celebration by replacing its regular programming line-up with a full day of birthday-themed episodes from such beloved classics as The Looney Tunes, The Powerpuff Girls and Dexter’s Laboratory alongside more contemporary hit series including Adventure Time, Regular Show and The Amazing World of Gumball. The day-long event will also include a world television premiere of an original music video presented at 6:58 p.m. (ET/PT) as a tribute to Cartoon Network’s creative achievement over its first 20 years; and then viewers will be treated in prime time to the milestone 100th episode of Adventure Time (7:30 p.m.) and the much-anticipated Season 4 premiere of Regular Show (8 p.m.).

Cartoon Network’s Birthday Party will continue each weekend in October as well, presenting select classic theatrical shorts and network series episodes spotlighting the top six finalists among creatively-themed categories that viewers can enjoy and review before logging on to CartoonNetwork.com to vote for their all-time favorite picks. This 20th Birthday celebration will culminate on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3 & 4, with an afternoon on-air tribute announcing the fan-selected winners of each category, bringing a fitting crescendo to the birthday festivities.

“Across our 20 year history, Cartoon Network has always surprised and entertained its audiences with funny and unique content that can only happen on Cartoon Network,” said Cartoon Network President and Chief Operating Officer Stuart Snyder. “We started with the foundation of a programming library of classic animated shows and characters, but have since grown to produce dozens of innovative, original new characters and award-winning series, movies and specials. We’ve quite a lot to celebrate and we wouldn’t want to do it without actively involving the fans that got us to where we are today!”

Birthday Party Episodes All Day on Oct. 1

The Oct. 1 birthday tribute will kick off at 6 a.m. ET/PT with a selection of birthday-themed theatrical shorts and series episodes starring many of the immortal Looney Tunes characters: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Sylvester & Tweety and others. Immediately following, Cartoon Network’s latest cast of original characters—Mordecai & Rigby from Regular Show, Finn & Jake from Adventure Time, Gumball & Darwin from The Amazing World of Gumball—take the stage with an equally hilarious, if more modern look at “birthdays gone awry.” Later in the day, contemporary classics from Cartoon Network’s rich history of originals—The Powerpuff Girls, Kids Next Door, Dexter’s Laboratory, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Chowder, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Flapjack and My Gym Partner’s a Monkey—join the 20th Birthday on-air revelry.

Highlights of the Oct. 1 all-birthday-themed line-up include the following:

· Adventure Time: “Belly of the Beast” & “Mystery Train” – 8:30 a.m.: In order to cure the stomach ache of a giant, Finn & Jake must break up a big party happening in his belly. Following that, Jake takes Finn on a train ride for his birthday, but things take a turn when they find themselves in a high speed whodunit!

· Chowder: “The Birthday Suits” & “Apprentice Appreciation” – 10 a.m.: Chowder and the gang must make a special delivery to a food suit-themed party. However, when the dish spills over, shrinking their fruit costumes, they must find new costumes before making it to the party. Then, It’s Apprentice Appreciation Day, and Chowder is looking forward to his annual Slawberry Cake. But when Mung hears that Endive is throwing a huge party for Panini, he decides to throw Chowder a bigger party with ice sculptures, a food animal circus, and no slawberry cake!

· Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends: “I Only Have Surprise for You” – 12 p.m.: Bloo, Wilt & Coco convince the rest of the Imaginary Friends and Frankie to plan a big surprise birthday party for Mac. However Mac wants no part of it for fear that Bloo will somehow humiliate him. Are Mac’s fears justified in the end?

· The Powerpuff Girls: “Birthday Bash” & – 3 p.m.: Blossom, Buttercup and Bubbles are excited to celebrate their birthday, but are unaware that especially dangerous and destructive “gifts” await them from Townsville’s arch enemies Mojo Jojo, Princess, Him and The Amoeba Boys. Afterward, the Powerpuff Girls invite their friends from Pokey Oaks Kindergarten to their house for a slumber party, but do not realize that Mojo Jojo plans to sneak into the house as Mojesha, so he can destroy their plans.

· Codename: Kids Next Door: “Operation C.A.K.E.D” & “Operation P.A.R.T.Y.” – 4 p.m.: The Kids Next Door attempt to stop a birthday party for their arch-enemies, the Delightful Children From Down The Lane. But a big surprise and a monstrous guest stands between them and the greatest birthday cake ever. Later on, it’s Kuki’s birthday, and girls including Numbuh 4 are invited! But what happens if a certain girl tries to sneak out the prized Rainbow Monkey cake?

· Regular Show: “Free Cake” & “Party Pete” – 5:30 p.m.: Mordecai and Rigby want some cake, but lack the money to buy it. They find out its Skip’s birthday and try to throw him a surprise party, but as usual, things go terribly awry. Next, Mordecai and Rigby look for help when their awesome house party turns lame.

Original Music Video Pays Tribute to Cartoon Network’s First 20 Years

At 6:58 p.m. ET/PT, Cartoon Network will conclude its birthday-themed programming with the world television premiere of an original music video produced especially to celebrate the network’s 20 years of animated entertainment. Featuring original music by Mad Decent and original animation created by London-based ILOVEDUST, this two-minute music video spotlights nearly 100 cartoon character all-stars who’ve contributed to Cartoon Network’s remarkable legacy. Shortly following its premiere, the music video will be made available for free download at iTunes, Xbox and Amazon.com, as well as subsequent viewing at CartoonNetwork.com, Cartoon Network’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/cartoonnetwork and Cartoon Network’s Facebook page.

At 7 p.m., Cartoon Network’s top-rated Monday night line-up of original animated comedies will then present special servings of its current hit series, including two important programming highlights—the 100th episode of the award-winning Adventure Time (7:30 p.m.), and the fourth season premiere of the #1 show among boys 2012-to-date, Regular Show (8:00pm). To whet viewer appetites, Finn and Jake help the frog people deal with Price Huge for the 100th episode of Adventure Time and Mordecai and Rigby are the only ones who can save their park from the grips of destruction in the season four premiere of Regular Show. Both shows represent the ongoing legacy of signature original programming that Cartoon Network has achieved across its first 20 years.

Viewers Invited to Pick Their Favorites from Cartoon Network’s 20-Year History of Characters and Shows

Across the first weekend in October (Oct. 6 & 7), Cartoon Network’s Birthday Party (11 a.m. – 7 p.m. ET/PT) will extend a special invitation to all viewers to participate month-long in a fun online voting opportunity at CartoonNetwork.com where fans can pick their all-time favorite cartoon characters and shows from Cartoon Network’s first 20 years of family entertainment. As one might expect, voting categories will be appropriately creative for a cartoon world where anything can happen: “Bestest Best Friends,” “Catchiest Catchphrase,” “Favorite Blue Character,” “What Show Would You Join?”, “The Baddest,” “Sweet Ride” and “Favorite Four Legged Friend.” Of course, fans also will be able to vote in more traditional categories, including “Favorite Character,” the “Best Action Team,” “Best Gadget” and the “Best Cartoon Place to Live.”

Over the following three weekends, Oct. 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28, Cartoon Network will carve out a seven-hour, mid-day programming birthday tribute (Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sundays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.) to remind viewers of the ongoing viewer-voting promotion at CartoonNetwork.com, spotlighting animated finalists with favorite episodic samples of why they especially qualified for each category. Ultimately, on Saturday, Nov. 3, and Sunday, Nov. 4, viewers will be treated to a “Winners Weekend” to learn who America voted for as their favorites among key categories, with on-air tributes to winning characters and shows running from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Further details surrounding Cartoon Network’s Birthday Party programming highlights may be found in October television schedule listings.

Stan Lee’s New Original Comic Book Series To Be Developed Into an Animated Feature Film

A SQUARED ENTERTAINMENT (A2) AND POW! ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCE MULTIMEDIA EXPANSION AND LICENSING PARTNERSHIPS FOR STAN LEE’S MIGHTY 7

Stan Lee’s New Original Comic Book Series To Be Developed Into an Animated Feature Film and Licensed Products

LOS ANGELES – September 16, 2012 – A2 Entertainment, a full-service brand entertainment company, and Stan Lee’s POW Entertainment announced a number of licensing and branded content deals for Stan Lee’s Mighty 7 (SLAM7), a new comic book series created by Stan Lee, the legendary comic book great. Andy Heyward, CEO of A2 Entertainment, and Lee were together at the second annual Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles, CA to finalize the details of their expanded partnership.

Among the announcements made at Comikaze Expo is an agreement for the original feature film, Stan Lee’s Mighty 7, to have its world television premiere next year on The Hub TV Network, a destination for kids and their families. The feature film will serve as a springboard for a potential future television series. Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment will handle home video distribution.

Also part of the announcement is an exclusive licensing partnership between Hot Topic and GreenSource to introduce an exclusive SLAM7 apparel program at the retailer in 2013.

Archie Comics, publisher of the Stan Lee’s Mighty 7 comic book, also announced another series of original SLAM7 comic books which will continue to be released every other month through 2013, starring the legendary superhero creator as he teaches a crew of alien prisoners and their jailers, who have crash-landed on Earth, how to work together and use their powers to be superheroes. The series features brand new characters Strong Arm, Laser Lord, High Rise, Vanisher, Hip Hop, Lady Lightning and Silver Sparrow, whose super powers range from super strength and bio-blasts to telekinesis and shrinking ability. Lee is known as the co-creator of Spider-Man,™ The Incredible Hulk, ™ X-Men, ™ and Iron Man, ™ among many others.

“We are honored to be associated with the legend, Stan Lee,” said A2 Entertainment’s Heyward. “This new comic book property has all of the elements to be a worldwide phenomenon and we’re excited to be a true partner to Stan.”

Stan Lee said: “In doing a new superhero project, the most important problem is– how to make it new and different? Our Mighty 7 is the world’s first original and exciting “reality” superhero thriller! And best of all, I couldn’t have better partners than Andy Heyward, Jon Goldwater and POW’s own Gill Champion!”

“Working with A2 and Archie has been a most exciting partnership, and we are looking forward to building a worldwide franchise around Stan Lee’s Mighty 7, said Gill Champion, POW! Entertainment’s CEO.

Stan Lee’s Mighty 7 is currently in production with three issues currently available and new issues being released every other month both in print and digital editions.

Cinema Audio Society Gets Animated

Los Angeles – The Cinema Audio Society (CAS) has announced the addition of a new category for Outstanding Sound Mixing for an Animated Motion Picture, as well as changes to eligibility rules for sound mixers.

“We are thrilled to announce that we are adding a new category for Outstanding Sound Mixing for an Animated Motion Picture. Animation is a vibrant and vital genre that spans stories for all ages and lives on for generations. The sound mixing being done in animation deserves to be recognized and honored,” said CAS President David E. Fluhr in making the announcement.

The CAS will also separate the Television Series category into two categories: Outstanding Sound Mixing for Television Series – Half Hour and Outstanding Sound Mixing for Television Series – One Hour. There will no longer be a DVD Original Programming category.

The CAS also announced that in addition to the Production Mixer, Re-Recording Mixers and Scoring Mixer the ADR and Foley mixers in both Motion Picture categories and in both the Television Movies and Mini-Series and Television Series – One Hour categories will now be included in the nominations and awards. Fluhr commented, “ADR and Foley is an integral part of the overall sound mix of a project and we are proud that these mixers will now get the recognition they so richly deserve.”

Awards for Outstanding Sound Mixing in these six categories will be presented in a sealed envelope ceremony at the 49th CAS Awards Dinner on Saturday, February 16th in the Crystal Ballroom of the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

As previously announced the CAS Career Achievement Award will be presented to Production Sound Mixer Chris Newman.

Complete Rules and Regulations as well as the Promotional Regulations for the CAS are attached and can also be found on the CAS website at: http://cinemaaudiosociety.org/

“Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Season 2 Part 1: Danger in the Deep” Available on DVD November 13, 2012

THOSE MEDDLING KIDS AND THEIR LOVABLE DOG ARE BACK!

SCOOBY-DOO! MYSTERY INCORPORATED SEASON 2 PART 1: DANGER IN THE DEEP IS AVAILABLE ON DVD NOVEMBER 13, 2012 FROM WARNER HOME VIDEO

Release Features 13 Episodes from the Hit Cartoon Network TV Series

BURBANK, CA (September 17, 2012) – Captivating new mysteries and intriguing new villains will delight viewers on Warner Home Video’s DVD release of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Season 2 Part 1: Danger in the Deep, available November 13, 2012. The latest incarnation of the popular Scooby-Doo! franchise, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated follows teenage pals Daphne, Fred, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo as they investigate strange happenings in their hometown of Crystal Cove. The release will feature 13 episodes from the second season of the hit animated series and will retail for $19.97 SRP.

In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Season 2 Part 1: Danger in the Deep, the gang returns to their hometown, Crystal Cove, to solve a series of baffling mysteries. First on the agenda is the elusive Crybaby Clown, who tortures the Cove’s inhabitants and evades Scooby-Doo and the gang’s every attempt to capture him. Velma travels to Russia and comes face-to-face with legendary witch, Baba Yaga. A creature named Dreamweaver begins to haunt people’s dreams. Crystal Cove is attacked by a menacing beast known as the Hodag of Horror. It’s a season filled with engaging mysteries and dramatic developments that’s not to be missed!

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Season 2 Part 1: Danger in the Deep presents fans with a fresh and fun version of the classic cartoon we all know and love. The stories are richer and more complex. The characters show greater depth and personality,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Vice President Family & Animation Marketing and Partner Brands. She added, “While it’s aimed at kids, adults will find themselves easily wrapped up in both the personal storylines and the unfolding mysteries. If you’re a fan of Scooby-Doo!, this is a must-have for your home entertainment collection.”

The first season finale of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated was Cartoon Network’s most watched program of the day and ranked #1 with Kids and Girls ages 2-11 and 6-11, while also ranking in the top 3 with all Boys.* Additionally, the animated series’ first season finale delivered over 2.5 million total viewers.*

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated centers on Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo, who solve mysteries in the spooky town of Crystal Cove, a sleepy coastal village that boasts a long history of ghostly sightings, werewolves and glowing deep sea divers. Because of all the paranormal activity, Crystal Cove has become a tourist hotspot that capitalizes on its haunted reputation — and the gang’s meddling is therefore not appreciated by the people of Crystal Cove. Executive produced by Sam Register, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated draws on the iconic look and feel of the original Scooby-Doo! series and is presented in a modernized visual style created by some of today’s leading animation artists.

FEATURED EPISODES:

  1. The Night the Clown Cried
  2. House of the Nightmare Witch
  3. The Night the Clown Cried II: Tears of Doom!
  4. Web of the Dreamweaver!
  5. The Hodag of Horror
  6. Art of Darkness
  7. The Gathering Gloom
  8. The Night of the Haunted Mountain
  9. Grim Judgement
  10. Night Terrors
  11. The Midnight Zone
  12. Scarebear
  13. Wrath of the Krampus

Rainmaker Entertainment Announces Termination of Agreement Proposing to Sell Animation Studio

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA– – Sep 17, 2012- Rainmaker Entertainment Inc. (“Rainmaker”) announced today that it has terminated the asset purchase agreement dated June 27, 2012 pursuant to which Rainmaker Studios Inc. (“RSI”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Xing Xing Digital Corporation, had proposed to acquire certain assets comprising substantially all of Rainmaker”s animation studio assets (the “Transaction”).

Rainmaker delivered its notice of termination because the parties were unable to close the Transaction on or prior to September 14, 2012 as had been agreed. The board of directors of Rainmaker felt that due to the delay in closing the Transaction, it was in the best interests of Rainmaker and its shareholders that the company focus on its existing business operations and on exploring alternative transactions.

“Evolution” by Dirty Puppet

Australia’s coolest boutique design/animation studio Dirty Puppet recently created this unusual rectangle-shaped piece, commissioned by Arts Centre Melbourne, under a super tight deadline. Animation director Cameron Gough told me, “It’s designed for the odd format of the new 6 x 1 metre LED screen. Evolution is a tapestry of poetic scenes inspired by the history of the Centre’s new Hamer Hall site”.

Copenhagen Bombay Secures Financing For Esben Toft Jacobsen’s “Beyond Beyond”


Copenhagen Bombay and its team, which produced Esben Toft Jacobsen’s internationally acclaimed animated feature film, The Great Bear, has recently closed financing on a new animated adventure by the same director.

The film (working title: Beyond Beyond) is the story about a little rabbit, Johan, who sets out on an amazing journey to find his mother and reunite her with her family. The film was first presented at Cartoon Movie in Lyon in March and – following the closing of the financing – production began this August. It is the first stereoscopic feature film ever produced in Sweden.

Beyond Beyond will be produced by CB Sverige AB and Copenhagen Bombay Rights 1 ApS in co-production with Film i V“st AB and Noble Entertainment AB, and with support from the Swedish Film Institute, the Danish Film Institute and the Nordisk Film & TV Fund. The movie will be produced in stereoscopic 3D and animated at Copenhagen Bombay’s studios in Stockholm and Copenhagen.

It will be distributed in Sweden by Noble Entertainment AB, who has also acquired the rights for Norway and Finland. In Denmark the film will be distributed by Copenhagen Bombay Sales ApS. The film has been pre-sold to Nordic TV channels TV4 (SE), TV2 (DK) and C More Entertainment (Canal+).

BEYOND BEYOND SYNOPSIS

Johan and his father have lived alone on an old ship for as long as Johan can remember. They have a good life together, but something is missing. One day, when Johan’s father has gone ashore to get supplies, Johan is alone on the ship and receives a mysterious call over the radio. His mother is in the Kingdom of the Feather King. Johan travels there to bring her back, but discovers that the kingdom is about to sink into the ocean. The Feather King needs Johan’s help.

BACKGROUND

The Great Bear (2011) was Esben Toft Jacobsen’s debut film. It was in the Official Competition Generation Kplus in the Berlinale in 2011, as well as approximately 45 other festivals, and has been released in over 25 countries, including France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Copenhagen Bombay was founded in 2006, and is today owned by film producer and CEO Sarita Christensen. The organization’s ambition is to create a production company and animation studio with a special focus on entertainment for children and young people. By giving special attention to new talents, original stories and unique design, the profile of the company has already emerged. It is a company that develops original stories for multiple platforms: feature films, television series, animated short films, web documentaries, games and books. And it is a company that dares to put story telling back in the spotlight.

Tayrona Films Inc. and Arc Productions Unite For A Multi-Picture Animated Feature Film Co-Production Partnership

September 14, 2012 (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)—Toronto based companies, Tayrona Films Inc. and Arc Productions have aligned for a multi-picture co-production partnership to produce four animated feature films, it was announced today by James Ordonez, President, Tayrona Films Inc. and Jeff Young, President & COO, Arc Productions at the Toronto International Film Festival.   The Paradigm Motion Picture Finance Group brokered the deal.

Tayrona Films Inc. simultaneously announced that it will create Tayrona Animation which will finance and produce four films with Arc Productions, who will additionally produce and serve as the animation studio for the feature films.  The plan calls for Tayrona and Arc to each contribute two films to the slate deal.

The first film is intended to be The Legends Of The Underzoo, an Arc Productions property, based on a screenplay by Kevin Almeida and Jeff Treppel.  The action adventure story follows a group of animal cubs, who — when their zoo is threatened — set out to find the treasure buried in the legendary and mysterious Underzoo.

Tayrona Animation is developing its properties Darwin: A Galapagos Story and Aurora The Spirit Bear Of The North, both written by best-selling author Erik Daniel Shein, as part of the co-production deal.  The fourth co-production film is yet to be determined.   Tayrona Animation will also release the 3D animated feature Legend of Secret Pass in Latin America and Spain.

Arc Productions has served as the animation studio on five animated feature films including Gnomeo And Juliet and 9.  The announcement furthers Arc’s transition into developing and producing original content.  Arc is additionally co-producing its original property ORMIE with Alcon Entertainment.

Treason Media Partners with Style 5 for “Rumble Cat”

Toronto, Canada – Aron Dunn’s indie prodco Treason Media has partnered with Sam Chou’s production studio Style 5 to create and produce the original primetime (14+) animated comedy series Rumble Cat.

Aron Dunn, head of Treason Media says, “I’ve been a huge fan of Sam’s work for years and the opportunity to create an original series with him is both a thrill and an honor.  He’s got bucket loads of style, excellent story sense and a comprehensive understanding of character.   We feel that Rumble Cat’s unique mix of heart, audacity and laughs will quickly connect with youth audiences.  The world of Rumble Cat reflects the audiences’ through the fun house mirror of fame, fortune and fighting!”

Sam Chou, of Style 5 says, “Aron has a great sense of story, brings a unique voice to the characters and his expertise in shepherding shows to broadcast is invaluable.  We’ve been looking for the right project to collaborate on and the timing for this idea seemed perfect as MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) has exploded into the mainstream, Rumble Cat is ready to take on all comers.  The show takes what people know about the MMA world, and knocks it for a loop.  Yeah, we’re ready to RUMBLE!”

Dre Brookins and Nate Jones, two best friends who drive each other crazy, try to survive and thrive in the dog-eat-dog world of professional fighting. After being caught on camera beating a couple of thugs robbing an old granny, Dre is recruited to the ZooFC, the world’s biggest MMA (Mixed Martial Animals) league, based in the sin-circus that is Claws Vegas. Week in week out the pressures of fame, the demands of the octagon, and temptations of flesh and fast cash push Dre and Nate’s friendship to the limits.

Adults In The Dark: Avant-Garde Animation at MAD

It all kicks off on September 27th at New York’s Museum of Art and Design (aka MAD) with a screening of the works of James and John Whitney. This is followed in mid-October every Friday and Saturday with a curated series of screenings dedicated to Ralph Bakshi, The Hubleys, Sally Cruikshank, Martha Colburn, Jim Trainor and Robert Breer. The restrospective is called Adults in the Dark: Avant-Garde Animation at MAD and it runs through mid-November. It’s an important compilation of landmark animated works by some of the true artists in the field. New Yorkers, check this out!

(Thanks, Aaron Anderson)

GIVEAWAY: Ottawa International Animation Festival Pass

Ottawa

Still don’t have tickets to the largest animation festival in North America — the Ottawa International Animation Festival? You’re in luck! We’re giving away full passes to next week’s event. Two lucky readers will each win a full festival pass (valued at $220).

Contest closed! Winners will be notified on Saturday. RULES: Please enter this contest only if you plan on attending. To enter into a random drawing, simply comment on this post. Contest closes at 11:59PM Eastern Time tonight (Sept. 14). Do not comment multiple times or you will be disqualified. Make sure to leave a real contact in the e-mail field (it is hidden from view and will not be used for any purpose other than to contact if you win).

Harveytoons Fall Fashions

Good Lord, no…

Here we go again… trendy New York hip-hop clothing maker Mishka is tying its new fall fashion line to Harvey Comics characters. I’m going to assume this deal was put in place before Dreamworks bought the characters…

From their press release:

“We were elated to pay tribute those characters by using them as the basis for the entire Mishka x Harvey Comics Collection. Here’s the Harvey Comics for Mishka Fall 2012 Lookbook starring none other than Casper The Friendly Ghost, Richie Rich, Spooky, The Ghostly Trio, Hot Stuff The Little Devil, Baby Huey, and Wendy The Good Little Witch. These beloved icons can be seen sporting the very best of our Fall Collection, decked out in everything from Richie’s khaki’s + button-up country club ready outfit, to The Ghostly Trio’s imposing camo uniforms.”

The Ghostly Trio’s “Camo uniforms”? I won’t even begin to dissect the schizo-illogic of invisible characters needing camouflage uniforms… But I’m also going to assume the characters are in better hands now and crap like this won’t be happening again.


(Thanks, Mark Bieraugel)

All-New Episodes and Shorts Bolt to “DC Nation” on Cartoon Network

Full Hour of Premieres Kick Off Saturday, September 29 at 10 a.m. (ET, PT)

DC Nation, a collaboration between Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, will continue the adventures of Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice: Invasion with new episodes throughout the fall. Also returning are the comedic animated shorts and exclusive behind-the-scenes views of the DC Universe. The full hour of new content begins Saturday, September 29, at 10 a.m. (ET, PT).

The critically acclaimed Green Lantern: The Animated Series uses stunning, stylized CG animation to take viewers on a journey of cosmic proportions as Hal Jordan and his band of heroes fight to save the universe. After thwarting the Red Lantern invasion into Guardian space, Hal, Kilowog, Razer and Aya must unravel the mystery of the Manhunters while battling the powerful Anti-Monitor. Young Justice: Invasion continues as the team (Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian and Artemis), now led by Nightwing, and its new members (Robin, Blue Beetle, Beast Boy, Lagoon Boy, Wonder Girl, Bumblebee, Batgirl) go deeper and more covert than ever before. As team rivalry and personal conflicts arise, the team must band together to fight the real threat that faces Earth.

Rounding out the hour will be brand-new DC animated shorts such as JL Animals, a hilarious take on Justice League where animal versions of classic DC heroes show off their wild sides while facing trouble on the farm and Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld, which follows the adventures of nerdy and introverted Amy Winston as she does battle with the evil Dark Opal as Amethyst, the powerful princess and protector of Gem World. Favorites like New Teen Titans, S.B.F.F. and DC’s World’s Funnest from Aardman Studios will also make their return. DC Nation will continue to showcase event programming, interstitials, exclusive behind-the-scenes looks at theatrical motion pictures and an insider look into the world of all things DC Entertainment.

Pixeldust Studios Makes Waves for National Geographic Channel

Bethesda, MD – Pixeldust Studios, an Emmy Award-winning digital animation, visual design, and production company with studios in Washington, D.C. and New York City, has produced 200 animated sequences that will be featured throughout the new five-part mini-series, Alien Deep with Bob Ballard, premiering September 16-17 on the National Geographic Channel.

For Alien Deep with Bob Ballard, Pixeldust Studios was charged with conceiving and producing dramatic animations depicting everything from the depths of the Earth’s deepest seas, to landscapes on Mars. Rogue waves, ancient shipwrecks, dwellings for human beings built atop oil rigs and the Hawaiian Islands emerging from the Pacific Ocean are just a few examples of these compelling animated sequences.

“Ricardo and his team at Pixeldust Studios certainly had their work cut out for them with the large number of highly complex graphics required for this series,” comments Stephen Hunter, Executive Producer of the series for National Geographic Channel. “Water replication is one of the most difficult things to accomplish with computer animation, so a great deal of work was involved to get everything right. The end result enhances the viewer experience of this ambitious documentary.”

Ricardo Andrade, Founder & Executive Creative Director of Pixeldust Studios, said, “The producers of this extraordinary mini-series presented us with an enormous wealth of data. We were challenged with translating some of this data into amazing, underwater landscapes. For example, we created a fly over of Hawaii with the islands emerging from the water, we recreated a number of historic shipwrecks from ancient Greek and Roman times, and we imagined futuristic dwellings on Mars in which human beings might live.”

Andrade points out that especially demanding were the super complex fluid simulations they devised, which ranged from massive rogue waves in the oceans to tiny waves that appear in a teacup held by Dr. Ballard.  “Our other animations presented geologically-correct underwater mountains, debris that appears to ‘rain’ down into the water from shipwrecks above, and a variety of Earth views looking down through clouds from outer space. All in all, this project was truly a wonderfully creative challenge,” remarks Andrade.

Isa Alsup, a renowned 3D Stereographer and visual effects artist whose credits include the 3D versions of the feature films Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Green Lantern, Conan, and Dolphin Tale, worked with Pixeldust Studios on the Alien Deep episode entitled Fires of Creation. “Pixeldust wanted their already beautiful work to give the audience an impact-filled 3D experience in the stereographic version for this episode,” states Alsup. “In particular, we worked to ensure that our submarine scenes had a genuine ‘being there’ feel.’ We worked on our landscape and underwater flyovers to make them appear magical, with a hyper-real feel that can best be experienced using 3D animation and 3D stereo presentation.  Also, having our audience ‘flying’ through the clouds in 3D stereo brings a real ‘Superman’ moment to the show.”

The biggest challenge facing Pixeldust was rebuilding the 2D shots as 3D stereo, throwing away all the depth of illusion tricks used by traditional VFX artists in their work. “On a really short schedule, we were able to deliver all the shots re-mastered in 3D stereo, without using 2D to 3D conversion and with few differences,” adds Alsup. “Then we made sure the 3D stereo version was better than the original. The shots we delivered were uniformly magnificent.”

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Wreck-It Ralph” Scores Big with Composer Henry Jackman, Plus Original Music from Skrillex, AKB48, Owl City and Buckner & Garcia

BURBANK, Calif. (Sept. 13, 2012) – The story of an arcade-game bad guy who embarks on a quest to prove he’s really a good guy, Wreck-It Ralph journeys through wildly diverse arcade-game worlds, including the ‘80s-era, 8-bit video-game world of Fix-It Felix, Jr., the ultra-modern first-person shooter game Hero’s Duty and the candy-coated cart-racing game Sugar Rush. Helping to differentiate these worlds from one another are unique cinematography, animation, effects and music. “Music is another way to set the stage and make these worlds completely different,” said producer Clark Spencer.

But not just any music. Filmmakers tapped diverse and unexpected artists to help tell the story. Composer Henry Jackman created the film’s score, which is complemented by original songs and music from Skrillex, AKB48, Owl City and Buckner & Garcia. Directed by Rich Moore, produced by Spencer and featuring the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch, Wreck-It Ralph crashes into theatres on Nov. 2, 2012. The film’s soundtrack from Walt Disney Records will be available Oct. 30, 2012.

“When it came to the music of Wreck-It Ralph,’ said Moore, “we wanted to work with some really talented artists and I love that they aren’t necessarily the people audiences expect to hear in a Disney animated movie. But when they hear the music and how it supports the story and drives the emotion, they’ll say, ‘This is perfect.’”

Moore said he took his lead from the original director of animated movies. “Walt Disney was a pioneer when it came to music. What sounds like classics to us now—Ukulele Ike in Pinocchio, Peggy Lee in Lady and the Tramp—were very unexpected choices.”

THE SCORE

Classically trained composer Henry Jackman (Winnie the Pooh, X-Men: First Class) was called on to write the score for Wreck-It Ralph, helping to shape the diverse worlds with music. Jackman researched arcade games and incorporated their classic sounds into the score, bringing the arcade and its individual games to life. “The music transports you,” said Moore. “It channels each era perfectly. [Henry Jackman] is fantastic.”

According to Jackman, the score was driven by the story, which allowed him to tap his classical roots, too. “When something emotional is developing, it actually opens the door to the orchestral score without it feeling imposed,” he said.

ORIGINAL SONGS

Ralph’s quest leads him to the intense, cy-bug-infested world of Hero’s Duty, where he hopes to land a medal. Underscoring the chaos and excitement of the first-person shooter game, GRAMMY®-winning artist Skrillex wrote the game-play music, “Bug Hunt,” hand-picking Netherlands’ producers/DJs/videogame soundtrack composers Noisia to remix the track for the album. “The mood of that game world is high-energy and futuristic. I make music with many different colors of the emotional spectrum—this reflects a more aggressive side of my music.”

Japan’s pop phenomenon AKB48 accompanies Ralph to the land of sweets with the aptly named theme song “Sugar Rush.” “We’ve always thought of Sugar Rush—with its nod to anime—as a game that may have originated in Japan,” said Spencer. “So we went to Japan and got the hottest J-pop group to perform the song that really sets the tone for this ’90s-era cart-racing game: young and hip.”

Owl City (Fireflies, Good Time) provides an upbeat and story-driven cap to the film with “When Can I See You Again?” According to singer/songwriter/instrumentalist Adam Young, the song offers a bit of an emotional tug-of-war. “It’s a very bouncy, happy, uplifting song, but there’s a bittersweet part of it, leaving a key relationship in the film open-ended.”

Also contributing to the end credits are Buckner & Garcia, the team behind the 1982 Top-10 hit “Pac-Man Fever.” Jerry Buckner of Buckner & Garcia co-produced the song “Wreck-It, Wreck-It Ralph” with hit songwriter/producer Jamie Houston (Steven Tyler, Macy Gray). “It was great to be invited to contribute a song to the movie and soundtrack,” said Buckner. “The song has an ‘80s pop flavor with a contemporary twist—we’re really happy with how it turned out.”

Frank Saperstein Launches Surprise Bag

Los Angeles, CA — Frank Saperstein has emerged from his post as Senior Vice President of Family Television with global media conglomerate Entertainment One Group to launch Surprise Bag, Inc. Saperstein is going rogue under the Surprise Bag, Inc. banner as he expands into a more diverse slate of programming and pursues other business opportunities.

“The strategy at Surprise Bag is content discovery, creation, nurturing and building for traditional and evolving platforms in partnerships that provide distribution, infrastructure, financing and areas of expertise that compliment Surprise Bag. I am energized to be cementing strategic alliances with great collaborators on a diverse slate of projects, says Saperstein. “Areas of content emphasis will include but not be limited to kids and family fare”.

During his tenure at eOne, Saperstein was Executive Producer of the animated comedy, The Dating Guy in partnership with marblemedia and tween comedy, Majority Rules, both commissioned by Teletoon. Saperstein also produced pilots for Nickelodeon, Teletoon and CBC while overseeing a significant slate of development projects with multiple networks. He tended his post at eOne during a period of major expansion by way of corporate acquisitions, including Blueprint Entertainment where Frank had earlier served as SVP Kids and Animated Programming.

Previously, Saperstein was Co-CEO/Creative Director of PASI (Philippine Animation Studio, Inc.) and Development Executive at VH1/MTV Networks. Frank’s credits include a Primetime EMMY nomination for gender bending classic Ren & Stimpy (Nick/MTV), Pee-wee’s Playhouse (CBS) , Best Television Series at The Annecy Film Festival for Kampung Boy.

Stop & Go 3-D Comes to the Bay Area


Stop & Go 3-D presents a broad range of emerging works in the field of stop-motion animation and pushes the boundaries of cinematic possibility by showcasing a diversity of techniques.  The short films, culled from all over the world, include works that play with perceptual illusions and 3-D experimentation.

The screening will make it’s first full-length Bay Area premiere at Studio Quercus on October 13, 2012 at 7 p.m.

The screening program is curated by Bay Area animator Sarah Klein and as work from 27 artists. All audience members will receive a pair of complimentary red/cyan-colored glasses to be able to view the four featured animations that are in 3-D.

Animations are by Santiago Caicedo de Roux, David Daniels, Iemke van Dijk, Joey Fauerso, José Heerkens, Gilbert Hsiao, Kalle Johansson & Bendik Kaltenborn, Sarah Klein & David Kwan, Abbey Luck & Sean Donnelly, Jodie Mack, Brian McClave, Claudia Molitor & Gavin Peacock, Kate Nartker, Mel Prest & Andrew Kleindolph, Johan Rijpma, Albert Roskam, Tal Rosner, Jennifer Schmidt, Molly Schwartz, Wade Shotter & Yukfoo Animation, Jeanne Stern and Mark de Weijer.

Further information can be found at http://www.stopandgoshow.com/latest.html

Studio Quercus
385 26th Street
Oakland, CA 94610

Tickets: $10

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/271634