New Line’s First Animated Film?

planet51.jpg

UPI is reporting that for “the first time in its 40-year history, New Line will release an animated feature”.

That’s not quite true. New Line Cinema has previously released the animated features Hooray For Betty Boop (aka Betty Boop For President) in 1976, Nelvana’s Babar The Movie in 1989, and Richard Rich’s The Swan Princess in 1994. That’s one per decade. Perhaps they meant to say it’s the first animated film New Line will release in the 21st Century. Or maybe they mean it’s the first CG film the studio’s ever distributed.

However they meant it, it’s a slap in the face to the previous hand drawn cartoon films (admittedly a forgettable lot) that the studio had a hand in. The new film is Planet 51, written by Joe Stillman (Shrek), produced by Ilion Animation Studios in Spain and directed by Jorge Blanco and the team behind the video game Commando. It’ll be released in 2009.


  • http://www.bishopanimation.com Floyd Bishop

    Everything I have seen from this film so far looks great. I am looking forward to this.

  • http://www.awprunes.blogspot.com/ Larry Levine

    Another CG animated film? Oh, dandy!

  • Nancy B

    This looks totally derivative. Not a single original idea here.

  • http://www.electricminstrel.com Brett McCoy

    *yawn*

  • Junior

    man, look at that gesture. They should ban it. I first took notice of that when Aladdin invited the princess to hop on the magic carpet, and it has been used in every animated feature since then. It’s probably way older than that, though. I can’t stand it anymore…

  • http://www.autodaddy.blogspot.com tom

    I’m somewhat bummed at that green alien design. Pretty “blah”. I would see this if the come-ons looked good.

  • Bruce North

    That press release was written by someone not even born when the previous New Line animated features hit the street. Why should these people bother to learn their own business? They’re ready to run the industry further into the ground.

  • Christopher Olson

    Why does every CG movie have to be considered “a slap in the face” to hand drawn animation? It seems now that every animated film done in hand drawn since the dawn of time has suddenly gotten a whole heaping of respect since the dawn of “Computer Geneterated” films.

  • http://www.cartoonresearch.com Jerry Beck

    Christopher Olson – I don’t consider every CG movie a “slap in the face” to hand drawn animation. You’re reading me wrong.

    I’m refering to New Line Cinema’s marketing department’s ignorance of its own history with animation as a “slap in the face”. To promote this new film as its first animated feature is an insult to the previous films and filmmakers.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robert

    To read the article it seems to be UPI making the claim, based on something they read (and didn’t check) in Hollywood Reporter.

    But the movie is coming out in 2009 and they are still looking for celebrities to do voice? That means they have already animated big chunks of it to a scratch voice track, to which the celebrity voices will be made to fit, right? That means the celebrities bring no element of their acting to the film, just their marquee value, right?

  • Christopher Olson

    Well, you’re certainly right that it undermines New Line’s previous animation efforts by pretending they simply never existed. I feel the same way towards people who call CGI the next step in the evolution of animation, rather than the creation of a new field of animation.

    But I’m sort of tired of poeple rolling their eyes at every CGI movie that comes by, as though another adaptation of a video game just got the greenlight.

  • Chuck R.

    Jerry: I get the gist of your posting, but if those films were truly “forgettable”, then maybe the filmmakers should accept the “slap in the face”. At any rate, they should realize that New Line is simply trying to cop a second chance at making a first impression. (Good luck with that.)

  • Christopher Cook

    Wasn’t “Hooray For Betty Boop” a series of scenes from old Boop cartoons redrawn and painted in color with new dialogue? I’d disqualify it from the list on that account alone.

  • Bobby D.

    “Nancy B”
    “Brett McCoy”
    “Junior”
    “tom”

    ‘The Glass Half Empty Club’…come join us!

  • MitchK

    I sure do love how every animated feature has the same character in it. Lame.

    I like adventure, though, so I’m giving this an unbiased shot. That, and the space suit is kind of cool.

    But seriously, can we get some interesting looking characters for once?

  • http://www.cartoonresearch.com Jerry Beck

    Christopher Cook – You respond: “Wasn’t “Hooray For Betty Boopâ€? a series of scenes from old Boop cartoons redrawn and painted in color with new dialogue? I’d disqualify it from the list on that account alone.”

    Yes, the Betty Boop film was a patische of old clips colorized and compiled into a new feature length storyline (with Tommy Smothers as the voice of Pudgy). I’ve always disqualifed it from my list of animated features, here: http://www.cartoonresearch.com/feature.html

    Regardless, it was a full length animated feature given a theatrical release by New Line Cinema. Qualifying it or disqualifying it not the point. The news is reporting Planet 51 is New Line’s first animated feature – and clearly that statement is wrong.

  • http://www.autodaddy.blogspot.com tom

    Bobby D- don’t you have a telly to rock somewhere?

  • http://zekeyspaceylizard.blogspot.com Zekey

    Has anyone else noticed that the green aliens in this movie look exactly like “Widget” from the 80′s cartoon of the same name?

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robert

    the actual press release from Ilion has the correct facts

    http://www.ilion.com/home/index.php?p=press

    “New Line Cinema has marked its first venture into CG animation by acquiring… “

  • http://www.flightoftheintruder.blogspot.com/ Christopher Hatfield

    Why does the alien world have to reflect our contemporary world so closely. What happened to the concept of an “Alien” world. Maybe I’ll just hold my judgments until I see the film

  • red pill junkie

    Weird, looks like the aliens are in something of an american 50′s style culture.

    Still, it’s got aliens, and I’m sure it will be full of geeky jokes reminiscent of UFO-related lore, so it probably will appeal to my taste :-)

  • Chris Sobieniak

    >Christopher Hatfield says:
    >
    > Why does the alien world have to reflect our contemporary world so closely. What happened to the concept of an “Alien� world. Maybe I’ll just hold my judgments until I see the film

    It does seem more like a reverse of what we would’ve seen in a film about an alien on our planet being chased by the feds (like E.T. or the silly Mac & Me), only this time it’s an Earthling on an alien planet being chased by their feds. So it’s a little original, if not something they could’ve done 10 years before.

  • Mike

    The aliens do look rather Shrek-like, but I like the look of the robot. The concept looks like it might be fun. I’m willing to withhold judgement until I see the trailer.

    Hopefully they’ll throw in a good belch or fart joke – apparently no animated film these days is complete without one. :)

  • http://www.comicssherpa.com/site/feature?uc_comic=csjvn Larry Levine

    “Hopefully they’ll throw in a good belch or fart joke – apparently no animated film these days is complete without one”

    When witty writing is unavailable–toss in the ol’ reliable gastric bubble gag.

  • http://www.myspace.com/crumbcrispcoating Jonathan the Bellboy

    I’ll call your nit-picking and raise you! The other three were pick-ups.

    Admittedly, UPI said “release” rather than “produce,” but we must filter what we get from the wire services.

  • Alessandro

    Dreamworks is coming out with Monsters vs. Aliens, Pixar is working on John Carter from Mars, and now this… looks like we’ve found our new theme, boys! Let’s all started making sci-fi films!

  • http://www.spiteyourface.com Tim Drage

    Every animated feature ever is the first the company has ever released

    ‘Quest for Camelot’ anyone?

    Why won’t anyone admit to having released animated films in the past!?!?!?

    When is someone in the USA gonna make an animated feature they’re proud of; that isn’t aimed straight for the bargain bin; that in a few years they will even admit exists at all?

  • http://hitlersbrain.deviantart.com R

    Shrek aside, Joe Stillman is a pretty awesome writer, so I’ll hold judgement til I see more, I think.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    > Larry Levine says:
    >
    > “Hopefully they’ll throw in a good belch or fart joke – apparently no animated film these days is complete without oneâ€?
    >
    > When witty writing is unavailable–toss in the ol’ reliable gastric bubble gag.

    How about throw in a ambiguous shower/bath scene for good measure (of course that’s the 10 year old in my talking, but I haven’t seen a good one in a long time)? ^_-