If Ronald McDonald wasn’t disturbing enough, McDonald’s has unveiled a creepy-looking animated mascot in the United States called Happy. The Happy Meal box-shaped creature has rubber-hose arms, a huge set of realistic chompers, bulging eyballs, and the McDonald’s arches as eyebrows.
Half a year on from the events of the previous episode, it’s a winter of the soul for the various protagonists. We see just how much has changed in the intervening months through the kaleidoscopic lens of one Christmas Eve.
To commemorate the National Film Board of Canada’s 75th anniversary, Canada Post released a set of five stamps this month that celebrate the government-run studio’s films.
“A Dangerous Journey” (part funded by Comic Relief) warns young African women of the dangers of being coerced and tricked into prostitution by traffickers who use scare tactics perpetrated by native doctors and false promises.
Although Greg Centineo, the producer of “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return,” had hoped for a big second weekend, the film plummeted 48% this weekend and ended up with a sophomore frame of $1.9 million. The movie has struggled to find a fan following, except for the film’s Facebook page which is filled with a curiously large number of middle-aged and elderly people who absolutely adore the film.
Yesterday on Cartoon Brew’s Instagram, we offered a small taste of John Canemaker’s new book “The Lost Notebook: Herman Schultheis & the Secrets of Walt Disney’s Movie Magic,” which will be released on May 27.
This evening John Lasseter received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater California Institute of the Arts. He also delivered the commencement address to the graduating class. Five years ago, Lasseter received his first honorary doctorate from Pepperdine University, the school that he dropped out of to attend CalArts. So, does this mean we have to call him Dr.² Lasseter now?
Last weekend, “The Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return” recorded the worst opening ever for an animated film in more than 2,500 theaters. The film’s exec producer, Greg Centineo, a former Florida coffee shop owner who raised over $100 million from investors to produce this film and its followups, thinks he knows what went wrong.
About a bear and his journey on the subway of life.
What’s the best way to encourage young people to vote? The Danish parliament (or Folketinget) decided that the answer was an ultra-violent, sex-filled Adult Swim-style cartoon. To encourage young Danes to vote in the upcoming European elections, the Folketinget commissioned a 90-second piece of animation starring a leather-clad dolphin-riding muscleman named Voteman who gets blowjobs from an army of women when he’s not busy decapitating Danish people who don’t vote. The reported budget for the piece was $30,000.
Tonight, Cartoon Network quietly released two new pilots that were produced in 2013: “AJ’s Infinite Summer” created by Toby Jones and “Long Live the Royals” by Sean Szeles. Both Jones and Szeles work on “Regular Show”—Jones as a writer/storyboard artist and Szeles as a supervising director/writer/storyboard artist.
Reading beforehand what this episode was supposed to be about, my mind completely went somewhere else. Steven’s at that age when boys want alone time for a very specific reason and while I was 99.9% sure Cartoon Network wasn’t going to go that far, I thought they’d at least allude to that idea of adolescence and growing up. Instead we dived into the real reason (sort of) that Steven wanted to be left alone, and dug a little deeper into the idea of his parental units via a room and a weird, very strange world created by said room.
There is just one annual animation award in the United States that is older than the Oscars and that’s the ASIFA-East Animation Festival. This year’s ceremony will mark the 45th year in a row that the festival has been presented. It takes place this Sunday, May 18th, at the New School’s newly built Tishman Auditorium (63 5th Avenue in Manhattan).
A look at the work of Jun Cen, Cartoon Brew’s Artist of the Day.
“The Begun of Tigtone” is a parody of every fantasy convention there is, from movies to games. And the star character of this story is Tigtone, a man whose personality is intentionally modeled after a two-dimnesional, anti-hero cliche. Along his journey, he is challenged by pointless puzzles, preposterously clad goddesses, and generic quest goals. Not even the dialog is safe from skewering, as the fantasy convention of convoluted language is parodied right down to the very title of the story.
Last night Jeff Koons sold a sculpture of Popeye for over $28 million. Today, evidence has emerged that Koons may not have designed the sculpture. In the comments of our previous post about the Popeye sculpture, Brew reader Alex Kirwan pointed out that Koons’s sculpture bears a substantial similarity to a Dark Horse-produced Popeye PVC figur released in 2002.
While Fox’s Sunday night lineup was dubbed Animation Domination in May 2005, it did not officially become all-animated until 2010. Now, the announcement of their fall 2014 schedule reveals that the cartoons will be ceding some of their Sunday night territory to live-action comedies “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Mulaney,” which will be taking over the 8:30 and 9:30 time slots, respectively.
Tonight in New York City, Sotheby’s will auction a stainless steel, 2000-pound, six-and-a-half-foot-tall Popeye sculpture by Jeff Koons that is estimated to sell for between $25-35 million. Koons, who is already among the top three richest living American artists not to mention an avowed lover of “Croods,” made three of these Popeye sculptures, which probably represents the number of people who he thinks are dumb enough to pay between $25-35 million for a Popeye sculpture.
Our post on Andy Serkis’s inflammatory rhetoric about the limited role of animators on his motion capture performances generated a robust, often heated, discussion in the comments. By far, the most informative comment was provided by 3-time Oscar winner Randall William Cook, who was the animation supervisor and designer at WETA on the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy that was released between 2001 and 2003.
It was 9:54 when I decided to leave…
Ryuichi Kazama continues his victorious streak with a singles win at the Youth Olympics, while Sakuma and Peco realize they aren’t cut out for the sport after witnessing Smile’s continued improvement. At the halfway point in the story, we seem to be in a transitional stage in which the relationships of the players to one another and their attitude towards the sport are changing. The episode didn’t have much tension to it partly as a result of that. There was no strong driving narrative force. That made it one of the less memorable episodes so far.
If you didn’t hear about last weekend’s opening of “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return,” don’t worry because no one else in America did either. Opening in 2,575 theaters, the film eked out $3.7 million, which is the worst opening ever for an animated feature in saturated release (over 2,500 theaters). The previous animation record holder in this dubious category was the 2011 Weinstein Company release “Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil,” which grossed $4.1M from 2,505 theaters.
Today is the 100th birthday anniversary of one of the most important women who ever worked in animation: Joy Batchelor. With her husband, she ran the studio Halas & Batchelor, which was the largest English animation outfit for a good part of the 20th century and made that country’s first feature-length animated film, “Animal Farm.”
Hell hath no fury like a fanboy spurned, but that usually doesn’t occur until after the film in question has been released to theaters. Tired of having their expectations dashed by disappointing news of the long anticipated live-action “Akira” adaptation, fans completed their own live version of a trailer for the popular manga-turned-anime, one that attempts to “do ‘Akira’ justice” by following the source material as closely as possible.
Laika does amazing work as an animation studio, no doubt about it, but the studio’s history is somewhat less admirable. The company was built on top of Will Vinton’s eponymous Portland studio in a shrewd corporate takeover by multi-billionaire Nike co-founder Phil Knight. After Knight took control of the company in 2002, he placed a failed rapper named Chilly Tee with slight experience in animation, who also happened to be his son Travis Knight, in charge of the entire company.
“Jellyfish Eyes” marks the feature film directing debut of Japanese superstar artist Takashi Murakami. Described as a post-Fukushima sci-fi fantasy, the $7 million live-action/CGI hybrid film incorporates Murakami’s goofily-styled creatures throughout, as well as an appearance by his fine art character Miss Ko2.