USA Today has given us our first look at the design for the forthcoming DreamWorks feature Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Based on characters from the early sixties classic Jay Ward series Rocky and His Friends and its segment Peabody’s Improbable History, the movie follows the lives of a bespectacled dog and his pet boy Sherman. The movie is currently scheduled to hit theaters on March 07, 2014.
Triggerfish Studios has released the first trailer for its new South African animated film Khumba. This newest feature from Triggerfish Studios opens in South Africa on October 25, and will arrive in theaters and On Demand on December 6 in the US and worldwide. It had it’s World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September of 2013. The film is distributed by Millennium Entertainment. Khumba is the second feature film from the studio at the tip of Africa– Triggerfish released Zambezia in July of 2012.
Three short years after opening it’s first satellite studio in Vancouver, Pixar announced that the studio is to be shut down. The studio was located in the Gastown area of Vancouver, which has seen a recent boon in animation shops that have recently moved to the Canadian town. “A decision was made to refocus operations and resources under the one roof,” said Disney spokesperson Barb Matheson from Toronto. Disney is the parent company of Pixar. Approximately 100 artists and employees are now unemployed by this unexpected news.
DreamWorks Animation has added two hot names to the voice cast of next year’s Home. Look for comedian Steve Martin to take on Captain Smek, the leader of the alien race known as Boov. Jennifer Lopez is also moving Home, playing the teenage girl Tip’s mother. Lopez and Martin join the existing cast of “The Big Bang Theory” star Jim Parsons as the alien Oh and singer Rihanna as Tip, the teenage girl.
For the first time since 2005, Pixar will not have a feature film release in a calendar year. Disney has just announced that the troubled production The Good Dinosaur has been pushed back to a 2015 release date, leapfrogging over Inside Out. This is the second release date roll back for the film, originally intended for this holiday season. Disney’s Frozen took that slot.
Laika Entertainment, creators of 2009’s Coraline and last year’s Academy Ward nominee ParaNorman has just released their first teaser trailer for their next animated film, The Boxtrolls. Set for release on September 24, 2014, The Boxtrolls will be the first stop-motion animated film directed by Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable.
Disney has released the first trailer for Frozen, their take on the Snow Queen tale made famous by Hans Christian Andersen. Set for release this November, Frozen is a story that Walt himself considered doing, but never actually started on. A version was considered in 2002. By 2010, Disney shelved that project, then changed its status to “on hold.” The film gained new life in late 2011. when Disney announced a new title for the project (Frozen), and committed to a 2013 release date.
Walt Disney Animation has announced their first feature-length animated film based on a Marvel property Big Hero 6. Inspired by a little-known Japan-set Marvel series about a team of state-sanctioned superheroes, the film will center on a boy named Hiro Hamada and his beloved robot companion BayMax who join a team of crime fighters in a mythical mashup high-tech city called San Fransokyo.
Kristina Reed, the producer of the Academy Award Winning animated short Paperman was escorted from her seat at the awards show shortly after her film won the coveted statuette. It seems that in her exuberant mood to celebrate the win, Ms. Reed took to making paper airplanes, applying a lip-stick kiss, and sending the planes into the audience around her.
Born in New South Wales, Australia, in January 27 1921 of British parents, he was brought home to England at the age of 6 months.
The full video of the Student Academy Award winning Animation “The Jockstrap Raiders” is now available to view online. Five years in the making, this was a labor of love for director Mark Nelson. The film became his Masters thesis project at UCLA.
The Jockstrap Raiders is a Student Academy Award winning animated short film about a group of misfits during world war I. It takes place in Leeds, England where our heroes are all excluded from the war due to various abnormalities. Threatened by the invading German Kaiser and his army, they must learn to become a team and overcome their deficiencies in order to save Britain, and the world.
Completed at UCLA, it is Mark Nelson’s MFA thesis project. The short has won many awards, including: Student Academy Award; Best Animation, British Animation Festival; Best Animation Macon Film Festival; Best Narrative Short GI Film Festival; Audience Award Orlando Film Festival.
Netflix announced it has signed a multi-year license agreement with Turner Broadcasting and Warner Brothers, thus opening the door for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim shows to come to instant online streaming. Beginning March 30, Cartoon Network shows like “Adventure Time,” “Johnny Bravo,” “Green Lantern: The Animated Series,” “Regular Show,” and “Ben 10“will have whole seasons available for streaming.
Adult Swim titles will be appearing soon. “Archer,” “The Boondocks,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” “Robot Chicken,” “Children’s Hospital” and more are now available for viewing. Futurama has been on Netflix for some time now.
Don’t expect a whole lot from “Toonami” block– now part of Adult Swim– on Netflix because of licensing issues for the older shows.
LAIKA and Focus Features, whose current animated feature ParaNorman is in the running for an Oscar, announced today that they have begun production on The Boxtrolls. The new movie will be released nationwide by Focus on October 17th, 2014 according to Focus CEO James Schamus and LAIKA President/CEO Travis Knight.
As on the previous animation collaborations ParaNorman and Coraline, Focus will hold worldwide distribution rights to The Boxtrolls., and Universal Pictures International will release the movie overseas (with eOne Distribution handling Canada). Coraline (2009) earned Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, and Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature Film; and was named one of the year’s 10 Best Films by the American Film Institute (AFI). In addition to its Academy Award nomination, ParaNorman (2012) is in the running for the BAFTA Awards’ animated feature prize. ParaNorman has won two Annie Awards (the animation community’s Oscars equivalent) and been cited as best animated feature film by 14 critics’ groups, more than any other 2012 animated feature.
The Boxtrolls is a 3D stop-motion and CG hybrid animated feature based on Alan Snow’s bestselling fantasy adventure novel Here Be Monsters. The Boxtrolls is being directed by Anthony Stacchi (co-director of the hit animated feature Open Season) and Graham Annable (story artist on Coraline and ParaNorman), and produced by David Ichioka and Mr. Knight. The voice cast includes Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley, Academy Award nominee Toni Collette, Elle Fanning (marking her fourth movie with Focus), Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Game of Thrones), Emmy Award nominee Jared Harris (Mad Men), Simon Pegg (Star Trek), Nick Frost (of Focus’ upcoming The World’s End), Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd), and Tracy Morgan (30 Rock).
The Boxtrolls is a comedic fable that unfolds in Cheesebridge, a posh Victorian-era town obsessed with wealth, class, and the stinkiest of fine cheeses. Beneath its charming cobblestone streets dwell the Boxtrolls, foul monsters who crawl out of the sewers at night and steal what the townspeople hold most dear: their children and their cheeses. At least, that’s the legend residents have always believed. In truth, the Boxtrolls are an underground cavern-dwelling community of quirky and lovable oddballs who wear recycled cardboard boxes the way turtles wear their shells. The Boxtrolls have raised an orphaned human boy, Eggs (voiced by Mr. Hempstead-Wright), since infancy as one of their dumpster-diving and mechanical junk-collecting own. When the Boxtrolls are targeted by villainous pest exterminator Archibald Snatcher (Mr. Kingsley), who is bent on eradicating them as his ticket to Cheesebridge society, the kindhearted band of tinkerers must turn to their adopted charge and adventurous rich girl Winnie (Ms. Fanning) to bridge two worlds amidst the winds of change – and cheese.
Mr. Knight said, “The Boxtrolls is a visually dazzling mash-up of gripping detective story, absurdist comedy, and steampunk adventure with a surprisingly wholesome heart. It’s Dickens by way of Monty Python. Tony and Graham have crafted a strange and beautiful world replete with fantastical creatures, good-for-nothing reprobates, madcap antics, and rip-roaring feats of derring-do.
But at its core, like all LAIKA films, The Boxtrolls is a moving and human story with timelessness and powerful emotional resonance. We’re thrilled to partner with Focus Features and Universal to bring this remarkable story to family audiences around the world.”
Mr. Schamus commented, “Following our successful collaborations on ParaNorman and Coraline, we are delighted to be embarking on a third wondrous adventure with the LAIKA artisans who transform everyday materials into living creatures infused with dimension, humor, and soul. With a wonderfully appealing menagerie of fun characters, and a generous, open heart at its center, The Boxtrolls will be a must-see for family audiences.”
DreamWorks Animation’s next animated film, The Croods, today got two new updated posters, one domestic and one International. Both posters feature the whole prehistoric family, and a view of the exotic lands they live in. The domestic poster features the film release date– March 23, while the international version just says coming soon.
DreamWorks has been notable in their goal to ramp up production to two or three animated features a year. The Croods will be the first for the studio for 2013, and will be followed by Turbo this summer and Mr. Peabody & Sherman in November.
A comedy adventure that takes us back to a previously undiscovered era in the history of our planet known as the Croodaceous, when nature was still a work-in-progress… full of never-before-seen creatures and landscapes.
An old-school caveman must lead his family across a volatile prehistoric landscape in search of a new home. The outsized flora and fauna are challenge enough, but the real complication arises when the family is joined by an alarmingly modern caveman whose search for “tomorrow” is at odds with our hero’s reliance on the traditions of yesterday. The imaginative and resourceful newcomer helps the Croods navigate their way through the fantastic world beyond their cave.
Ethan Minovitz, the self-proclaimed animation research guru of the Big Cartoon DataBase, passed away from natural causes at his home in Vancouver, British Columbia on Friday February 1st, 2013. His name should be familiar to anyone who follows this blog and the Big Cartoon Forum, and he was a voracious poster of news and trivia on both. His contributions to the site go much deeper than what the casual observer can notice, though. He was, in many ways, the heart and soul of BCDB.
Ethan was born in 1962 in his native British Columbia. He attend Eric Hamber High School and graduated in 1980. He competed on the school team for Reach For The Top National Finals, and his team won the competition. Mr. Minovitz was very active in his local Jewish Center.
Ethan is survived by his older sister Lise of New York, and his father, also in Vancouver. Ethan Minovitz’s funeral is planned for Wednesday, 2 PM at the Schara Tzedeck Cemetary at 2345 Marine Drive, New Westminster, BC V3M 6R8. Details on shiva services are to be arranged.
In December, 2009, he traveled with a group of volunteers to the Cuba-America Jewish Mission in Havana, where he worked with the group for two weeks. Ethan was also vocal with the Vancouver Jewish Folk Choir, singing in concerts whenever he could. Ethan’s Jewish heritage was very important to him, and his faith was strong.
He joined the BCDB about ten years ago, and it was immediately obvious that Ethan was at home in our group. He was an earnest and competent contributor, and it was not long until I asked him to be a moderator.
Ethan’s love of animation showed– he had tremendous knowledge on the subject. And what he did not know, he would research. That was one thing about Ethan, the man knew how to look something up. He soon became our resident expert on just about anything.
Ethan was always a calming force within BCDB, too. We have always been a fairly calm site, but there were occasions where tempers grew and egos grew larger. Ethan was the peacemaker, Ethan found a way to solve all the problems that came up.
Ethan always had a kind word for everyone. He was the first person to post a welcome message to anyone who joined our forums. I never asked him to, he just did. That is the kind of man Ethan was, and that is something I specifically admired about him.
A few years ago, we decided to start a news section of the forum. It is hard and a lot of work to publish 2 or 3 stories every day there. I know– I have tried. Ethan did it, every day, on his own and with no complaints. I did not even ask him, he just stepped up and did it. It is ironic now to think about, but one of Ethan’s passions was posting obituaries to the news section. We had a contest, he and I– who could get the big ones first. Ethan usually won.
But Ethan’s biggest contribution to BCDB is the one no one here ever saw. And this again gets back to his tag as Research Guru. Any day of the week, Ethan contributed numerous new cartoons for inclusion in the database. None of you ever saw this, because they went direct to me. Hundreds of Excel spread sheets a year. He formatted his finds in such a way it made it easy for me to slip them into the database. He would go on tears… sometimes Japanese, sometimes Russian, sometimes Czech. I would feel over burdened when getting them, and then I would think about all the work to find, sort and enter them into Excel. THAT would be overwhelming.… but that was what Ethan did behind the scenes. Ethan contributed at least 55,000 cartoons this way.
But most importantly, Ethan was my friend. We talked a lot. Sometimes about BCDB and what and where it was going. But often about other things. His trips to Israel were always a point of joy for him, and I loved listening to his stories. While we never met face-to-face, we knew each other very well. And I am proud to call him my friend.
As I sit here and miss my friend, I am also wanting to do something a little more permanent for him at BCDB. He was such an important part of getting us to where we are today, I want to make the BCDB a little more about him. I am not sure how I will accomplish this yet, but if you have any ideas, please let me know.
In the meantime, I can only wish my friend safe travels.