All posts by Ethan Minovitz

About Ethan Minovitz

A longtime contributor top BCDB, Ethan has become our resident research expert. Turned loose inside a database, there is nothing Ethan cannot find. Resident of the Great Northwest, Ethan is fiercely proud of his native Canada. Ethan is a professional researcher in his real life in Vancouver, BC. Ethan would love to hear from you- send a note here.

Vancouver Shows Oscar-nominated Animated Shorts

Oscar Statuette, Academy Awards

Oscar Stat­uette, Acad­emy Awards

Vancouver’s Vancity The­atre is bring­ing back its pop­u­lar pro­gram of Acad­emy Award-nominated short films in the cat­e­gories of Best Ani­mated Short and Best Live Action Short from Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 8 to Thurs­day, Feb­ru­ary 21.

Here are the Oscar-nominated ani­mated shorts to be shown in an 88-minute program:

Mag­gie Simp­son in The Longest Day­care (David Sil­ver­man, U.S.A., 5 min.)
Mag­gie Simp­son spends a day at the Ayn Rand Day­care Cen­ter, where she is diag­nosed at an aver­age intel­li­gence level. Long­ing to be grouped with the gifted chil­dren, Mag­gie finds her des­tiny by res­cu­ing a lonely cocoon from Baby Ger­ald, who is busy smoosh­ing butterflies.

Adam and Dog (Minkyu Lee, U.S.A., 16 min.)
The story about the dog of Eden. What hap­pened in those first days of Cre­ation that made Man and Dog so insep­a­ra­ble? The dog, as he lives through this curi­ous world, encoun­ters a strange crea­ture; a human being named Adam — and with that dis­cov­ers a new-found con­nec­tion to the world.

Fresh Gua­camole (Adam Pesapane aka PES, U.S.A., 2 min.)
Learn how to trans­form famil­iar objects into Fresh Guacamole!

Head Over Heels (Tim­o­thy Reckart, United King­dom, 10 min.)
After many years of mar­riage, Wal­ter and Madge have grown apart: he lives on the floor and she lives on the ceil­ing. They live sep­a­rate, par­al­lel lives, never talk­ing, barely even look­ing at each other. When Wal­ter tries to reignite their old romance, it brings their equi­lib­rium crash­ing down, and the cou­ple that can’t agree which way is up must find a way to put their mar­riage back together.

Paper­man (John Kahrs, U.S.A., 7 min.)
Paper­man tells the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose des­tiny takes an unex­pected turn after a chance meet­ing with a beau­ti­ful woman on his morn­ing com­mute. Con­vinced that the girl of his dreams is gone for­ever, he gets a sec­ond chance when he spots her in a sky­scraper win­dow across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imag­i­na­tion and a stack of papers to get her atten­tion, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him.

And for your view­ing plea­sure… three short­listed con­tenders that did not make the final cut:

Abio­gen­e­sis (Richard Mars, New Zealand, 5 min.)
In this breath­tak­ing sci­ence fic­tion spec­ta­cle, a strange mechan­i­cal device lands on a des­o­late world and uses the planet to undergo a star­tling trans­for­ma­tion that has pro­found impli­ca­tions for an entire galaxy.

Dripped (Leo Ver­ier, France, 9 min.)
Jack is a strange char­ac­ter. He steals paint­ings from muse­ums to eat them. He feeds him­self with the artis­tic process of the painter. But one day, the muse­ums are closed, and he will have to paint by him­self to survive.

The Gruffalo’s Child (Uwe Hei­d­schöt­ter and Johannes Wei­land, United King­dom, 27 min.)
A lit­tle Gruffalo ignores her father’s warn­ings and tip­toes out into the snow in search of the Big Bad Mouse.

Screen­ing dates and times:

Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 8, 6:30 p.m.
Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 9, 8:45 p.m.
Sun­day, Feb­ru­ary 10, 6:30 p.m.
Tues­day, Feb­ru­ary 12, 8:45 p.m.
Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 15, 6:30 p.m.
Sun­day, Feb­ru­ary 17, 6:30 p.m.
Wednes­day, Feb­ru­ary 20, 8:45 p.m.
Thurs­day, Feb­ru­ary 21, 6:30 p.m.

Vancity The­atre is at 1181 Sey­mour Street. Call the Film Info Line at (604) 683-FILM (3456) or visit for the lat­est info and listings.

Maltin, Paulsen and Lamarche to Host Annie Animation Awards

Annie Awards Statue

Annie Awards Statue

Why have just one when you can have four!

For­mer Annie Awards host and movie reviewer Leonard Maltin and voice actors Rob Paulsen and Mau­rice Lamarche will share host­ing duties, along with a spe­cial appear­ance by long time Annies presenter-favorite, actor and ani­ma­tion indus­try pro­fes­sional Seth Green, at this year’s 40th Annual Annie Awards, set for Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 2.

Cel­e­brat­ing the best in ani­ma­tion, this annual black-tie evening will begin with a pre-reception at 5 p.m., fol­lowed by the Annie Awards cer­e­mony at 7 p.m. and an after-party cel­e­bra­tion imme­di­ately fol­low­ing the cer­e­mony. All events will be held at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

We are very excited to have our hosts share in the 40th cel­e­bra­tion of the Annies and know they will bring great energy and excite­ment to this year’s cer­e­mony,” says ASIFA-Hollywood pres­i­dent Frank Glad­stone. Joined on stage by a lively mix of ani­ma­tion lumi­nar­ies, celebrity pre­sen­ters and comedic tal­ent — includ­ing ani­ma­tion leg­end June Foray — are Jes­sica Wal­ter, James Patrick Stu­art, Kris­ten Schaal, Mae Whit­man, Sean Astin, Greg Cipes, Jason Biggs, Jes­sica DiCi­cco, Lucas Grabeel, Dar­ren Criss and Joey Richter, Kevin Shinick, Jim Cum­mings and Diedrich Bader, Atti­cus Shaf­fer and Tucker Albrizzi, Jamie Bolio, Kevin Michael Richard­son and Loretta Devine, Alan Tudyk, Mo Collins, Max Charles, Jon Olsen and Fred
Tatash­iore, Sam Wit­mer and Matt Lanter, and Tony Anselmo.

This year’s Win­sor McCay recip­i­ents are Terry Gilliam, Oscar Grillo and Mark Henn. The Win­sor McCay Award stands as one of the high­est hon­ors given to an indi­vid­ual in the ani­ma­tion indus­try in recog­ni­tion for career con­tri­bu­tions to the art of ani­ma­tion. The June Foray award will be pre­sented to Howard Green, and the Ub Iwerks Award will be pre­sented to Toon Boom Animation.

Often a pre­dic­tor of the annual Acad­emy Award for Best Ani­mated Fea­ture, the Annie Awards honor over­all excel­lence as well as indi­vid­ual achieve­ment in a total of 30 cat­e­gories rang­ing from best fea­ture, pro­duc­tion design, char­ac­ter ani­ma­tion and effects ani­ma­tion to sto­ry­board­ing, writ­ing, music, edit­ing and voice act­ing. Entries sub­mit­ted for con­sid­er­a­tion were from pro­duc­tions that orig­i­nally aired, were exhib­ited in an ani­ma­tion fes­ti­val or com­mer­cially released between Jan­u­ary 1 and Decem­ber 31, 2012.

ASIFA-Hollywood is the world’s first and fore­most pro­fes­sional orga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to pro­mot­ing the art of Ani­ma­tion and cel­e­brat­ing the peo­ple who cre­ate it. Today, ASIFA-Hollywood, the largest chap­ter of the inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tion ASIFA, sup­ports a range of ani­ma­tion activ­i­ties and preser­va­tion efforts through its mem­ber­ship. Cur­rent ini­tia­tives include the Ani­ma­tion Archive, ani­ma­tion film preser­va­tion, spe­cial events, classes and screenings.

Cre­ated in 1972 by vet­eran voice tal­ent Foray, the Annie Awards have grown in scope and stature for the past three decades.

Animated Films Made Up 6 of Year’s Top 20 Grossers



Six of the 20 highest-grossing North Amer­i­can films of 2012 were com­pletely ani­mated pic­tures, includ­ing Pixar’s Brave, which was sev­enth over­all with $237,262,307.

Oth­ers in the top 20 were Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (#10; $216,391,482), Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (#11; $214,030,500), Wreck-it Ralph (#13; $175,990,019), Ice Age: Con­ti­nen­tal Drift (#14; $161,990,019) and Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia (#16; $145,321,690).

In total, the ani­mated films in the Top 20 deliv­ered grosses of $1,150,135,597.

Although Rise Of The Guardians made much less than pre­dicted, its North Amer­i­can box office gross is expected to exceed the $100 mil­lion mark some­time next week.

Almost all other films in the Top 20 had con­sid­er­able amounts of spe­cial effects CGI, includ­ing the year’s top per­former, The Avengers ($623,357,910). Oth­ers using CGI were The Dark Knight Rises, The Hunger Games, Sky­fall, Twi­light: Break­ing Dawn Part 2, The Amaz­ing Spider-Man, The Hob­bit: The Unex­pected Jour­ney, Ted, Men In Black 3, Snow White and the Hunts­man and Prometheus.

Using lit­tle or no ani­ma­tion were the 17th, 18th and 19th fin­ish­ers, Taken 2, 21 Jump Street and Lin­coln.

Animated Films, TV Up For Canadian Screen Awards

Canadian Screen Awards

Cana­dian Screen Awards

Excel­lence in both film and TV was rec­og­nized Tues­day as the Acad­emy of Cana­dian Cin­ema & Tele­vi­sion announced its nom­i­nees for the inau­gural Cana­dian Screen Awards.

The new hon­ors com­bine the Genies (the Cana­dian ver­sion of the Oscars) and the Gem­inis (sim­i­lar to the Emmys).

For Best Ani­mated Short, the four nom­i­nees are Bydlo (Pro­ducer: Julie Roy; Direc­tor: Patrick Bouchard; Dis­trib­u­tor: National Film Board of Canada), Demoni (Pro­ducer and Direc­tor: Theodore Ushev; Dis­trib­u­tor: Mtd:films), Edmond Was a Don­key (Pro­duc­ers: Richard Van Den Boom, Franck Dion and Julie Roy; Direc­tor: Franck Dion; Dis­trib­u­tor: NFB) and Paula (Pro­ducer: Julie Roy; Direc­tor: Dominic Éti­enne Simard; Dis­trib­u­tor: NFB).

Almost Naked Ani­mals (Vince Com­misso, Tanya Green, Tris­tan Homer, Steven Jarosz and Noah Z. Jones; 9 Story Enter­tain­ment Inc.; YTV) is one of the four nom­i­nees for Best Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series. In addi­tion, the episode “The Green Banana” (Brad Fer­gu­son) was nom­i­nated for Best Direc­tion in an Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series. Another episode, “Horn Swog­gled” (Seán Cullen), is up for Best Per­for­mance in an Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series.

Also nom­i­nated for Best Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series is Pro­duc­ing Parker (Ira Levy, Jun Camerino, Laura Koster­ski and Peter Williamson; Break­through Enter­tain­ment; TVTrop­o­lis). For the episode “How Green is my Parker?”, Robin Budd was nom­i­nated for Best Direc­tion in an Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series, while Kim Cat­trall is up for Best Per­for­mance in an Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series.

Besides its nom­i­na­tion for Best Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series, Rated A for Awe­some (Ace Fipke, Ken Faier and, Chuck John­son; Nerd Corps Enter­tain­ment; YTV) gained a pair of nom­i­na­tions for Best Per­for­mance in an Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series in con­nec­tion with its episode “Scary Go Round.” Two sep­a­rate nom­i­na­tions went to Brian Drum­mond and Chiara Zanni.

Round­ing out the Best Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series nom­i­nees is Jack (Fran­cois Trudel, Wong Kok Cheong, Vin­cent Ler­oux and Vic Pel­letier; PVP Interactif/Productions Vic Pel­leter, Spark Animation-Wong Kok Cheong; TVO).

Other nom­i­nees for Best Direc­tion in an Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series are Mike The Knight: “The Knight Hider”/“Trollee’s Sleep­over” (Neil Affleck; Tree­house) and Side­kick: “House of Helmut/Supermodels) (Joey So; YTV)

Patrick McKenna was nom­i­nated for Best Per­for­mance in an Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series in con­nec­tion with his work in the Crash Canyon episode “Poker Night” (Tele­toon; Astral)

For Best Pre-School Pro­gram or Series, the nom­i­nees include the ani­mated Franklin and Friends (Greg Chew, Joce­lyn Hamil­ton, Pam Lehn, Doug Mur­phy, Derek Reeves and Mike Wiluan; Nel­vana Limited/Infinite Frame­works Pte. Ltd.; Tree­house), My Big Big Friend (Ira Levy, Andre Bre­it­man and Peter Williamson; Break­through Enter­tain­ment; Tree­house) and Stella & Sam (John Leitch, Michelle Melan­son; Rad­i­cal Sheep Pro­duc­tions; Dis­ney Junior Canada).

Brian Roberts has been nom­i­nated for Best Direc­tion in a Children’s or Youth Pro­gram or Series for his work on the ani­mated My Babysitter’s A Vam­pire episode “Three Geeks And A Demon” (Tele­toon; Astral)

The five nom­i­nees for Best Orig­i­nal Music Score for a Series include the car­toon Scaredy Squir­rel: “Per­fect Pickle”/“Goat Police” (Paul Intson; YTV). Terry McGur­rin is nom­i­nated for Best Writ­ing in a Children’s or Youth Pro­gram or Series for another Scaredy Squir­rel episode, “From Rodent with Love.”

Also up for Best Writ­ing in a Children’s or Youth Pro­gram or Series are Den­nis Jack­son, Melanie Jack­son for the ani­mated Wapos Bay episode “Long Good­byes” (APTN).

There are 120 cat­e­gories for the Cana­dian Screen Awards, includ­ing 22 for film and over 85 for television.

The awards will be pre­sented over three nights. Mar­tin Short hosts the final awards gala, to be tele­vised live at 8 p.m. (8:30 in New­found­land) Sun­day, March 3 on CBC.

Disney Sinks Planned 3-D “Little Mermaid” Release

The Little Mermaid

The Lit­tle Mermaid

Due to lack­lus­ter box-office results for 3-D releases of Mon­sters, Inc., Find­ing Nemo and Beauty and the Beast, Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios announced Mon­day that it’s scrub­bing plans for a 3-D ver­sion of The Lit­tle Mer­maid in September.

The Lion King 3-D had been a sleeper hit, gross­ing almost $100 mil­lion in the United States and Canada. In late 2011, Dis­ney announced the 1989 under­sea hit The Lit­tle Mer­maid as its fourth and last planned 3-D re-release.

How­ever, the bloom was off the rose for other follow-ups. Beauty and the Beast col­lected $47.6 mil­lion last Jan­u­ary and Find­ing Nemo brought $40.7 mil­lion in Sep­tem­ber, while Mon­sters, Inc. nabbed just $30.5 mil­lion since its release Decem­ber 19.

Dis­ney had already started work on con­vert­ing The Lit­tle Mer­maid to 3-D in Novem­ber, the studio’s ani­ma­tion chief cre­ative offi­cer, John Las­seter, said in an inter­view then.

Mean­while, Dis­ney announced Mon­day that the partly ani­mated The Mup­pets 2 will be released on March 21, 2014, with Ricky Ger­vais and Ty Bur­rell star­ring oppo­site Ker­mit the Frog and Miss Piggy

James Bobin, direc­tor of the partly ani­mated The Mup­pets (2011), returns as the direc­tor from a script that he co-wrote with Nick Stoller. The ear­lier movie was co-written by Stoller and its star, Jason Segel.

Brave wins Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature

Golden Globe

Golden Globe

The highest-grossing ani­mated film of 2012 won the Golden Globe Award for Best Ani­mated Fea­ture Film on Sun­day night.

Brave, co-produced by Pixar Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios and Walt Dis­ney Pic­tures, made $237.2 mil­lion in North Amer­ica alone to have the seventh-highest gross of any movie — ani­mated or oth­er­wise — released last year.

It won out in the cat­e­gory over fel­low Dis­ney releases Franken­wee­nie (Walt Dis­ney Pic­tures) and Wreck-It Ralph (Walt Dis­ney Pictures/Walt Dis­ney Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios; Walt Dis­ney Pic­tures), as well as nom­i­nees Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia (Colum­bia Pictures/Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion and Rise of the Guardians (Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion LLC).

Brave direc­tor Mark Andrews received the Golden Globe from come­dian Sacha Baron Cohen, who feigned drunk­en­ness onstage.

Holy cow! Being brave is about being true to your­self and allow­ing your loved ones the same free­dom,” said Andrews.

The Golden Globes are pre­sented by the Hol­ly­wood For­eign Press Asso­ci­a­tion. Sunday’s awards cer­e­mony aired live on NBC.

3 Animated Features up For British Academy Awards

British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)

British Acad­emy of Film and Tele­vi­sion Arts (BAFTA)

Brave,” “Franken­wee­nie” and “Para­Nor­man” are the three nom­i­nees announced Wednes­day in the Ani­mated Film cat­e­gory of the EE British Acad­emy Film Awards, also known as the BAFTAs.

Mark Andrews and Brenda Chap­man were sin­gled out for recog­ni­tion for Brave. Direc­tor Tim Bur­ton was named in con­nec­tion with Franken­wee­nie, while Sam Fell and Chris But­ler were cited for Para­Nor­man.

In the cat­e­gory “Out­stand­ing Debut By a British Writer, Direc­tor or Pro­ducer,” direc­tor James Bobin is nom­i­nated for his role in Disney’s partly ani­mated The Mup­pets.

For Short Ani­ma­tion, the nom­i­nees are Here to Fall (Kris Kelly and Eve­lyn McGrath), I’m Fine Thanks (Eamonn O’Neill) and The Mak­ing of Long­bird (Will Ander­son and Ainslie Henderson).

The British Acad­emy Film Awards are sim­i­lar to the Oscars in the United States.

Lin­coln received 10 nom­i­na­tions, the most of any film. Lin­coln is nom­i­nated for Best Film, Adapted Screen­play, Orig­i­nal Music, Cin­e­matog­ra­phy, Pro­duc­tion Design, Cos­tume Design and Make Up & Hair. Daniel Day-Lewis is nom­i­nated for Lead­ing Actor, Tommy Lee Jones is nom­i­nated for Sup­port­ing Actor, and Sally Field is nom­i­nated for Sup­port­ing Actress.

The EE British Acad­emy Film Awards take place Sun­day, Feb­ru­ary 10 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Gar­den, Lon­don. The cer­e­mony will be hosted by Stephen Fry and will be broad­cast exclu­sively on BBC One and BBC One HD, pre­ceded by a red car­pet show on BBC Three. The cer­e­mony is also broad­cast in all major ter­ri­to­ries around the world.

The awards are pre­sented by the British Acad­emy of Film and Tele­vi­sion Arts (BAFTA), an inde­pen­dent char­ity that sup­ports, devel­ops and pro­motes the art forms of the mov­ing image by iden­ti­fy­ing and reward­ing excel­lence, inspir­ing prac­ti­tion­ers and ben­e­fit­ing the public.

Warner Brothers Diving into Animation Think Tank

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. Pic­tures has formed a fea­ture ani­ma­tion cre­ative con­sor­tium, mark­ing a new and inno­v­a­tive approach to the estab­lish­ment of a diverse and far-reaching ani­ma­tion slate, Warner Bros. Pic­tures Group pres­i­dent Jeff Robi­nov announced Monday.

The mis­sion of the new think tank is to help develop and pro­duce high-end ani­mated motion pic­tures, with the goal of releas­ing one fea­ture per year under the Warner Bros. Pic­tures ban­ner. The select team of accom­plished film­mak­ers will col­lab­o­rate with the stu­dio to frame and guide a vari­ety of projects from start to finish.

The artists who will be involved in Warner Bros.’ new fea­ture ani­ma­tion ven­ture are John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (Crazy, Stu­pid, Love, Cats & Dogs); Nicholas Stoller (The Mup­pets), Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meat­balls), and Jared Stern (Mr. Popper’s Pen­guins).

The film­mak­ers will work both indi­vid­u­ally and col­lec­tively, sup­port­ing one another artis­ti­cally in the mak­ing of the films. They will not be exclu­sive to the studio’s ani­mated film pro­duc­tions; rather, they will also con­tinue to write and direct live-action movies. “This new endeavor reflects Warner Bros.’ ongo­ing com­mit­ment to being a filmmaker-friendly stu­dio, which invites and fos­ters orig­i­nal projects, con­tin­u­ally expand­ing the enter­tain­ment scope of its slate,” WB said.

Warner Bros. has an extra­or­di­nary legacy in the world of ani­ma­tion, includ­ing some of the most endur­ing char­ac­ters in cin­ema his­tory. Look­ing to the future, we have now gath­ered some of the best and bright­est tal­ents in the indus­try to help us grow and broaden that legacy,” Robi­nov stated. “Draw­ing upon their imag­i­na­tions and inspi­ra­tion, the stu­dio will pro­duce a slate of new and orig­i­nal ani­mated films that are sure to delight audi­ences of all ages.”

The first fea­ture in the pipeline is the upcom­ing 3D ani­mated adven­ture The LEGO Movie, being directed by Lord and Miller from their own screen­play. Bring­ing the glob­ally pop­u­lar LEGO con­struc­tion toys to the big screen for the first time, the film is being pro­duced by Dan Lin and Roy Lee and stars the voices of Chris Pratt, Will Fer­rell, Eliz­a­beth Banks, Liam Nee­son, Will Arnett, Nick Offer­man, Ali­son Brie and Mor­gan Free­man. The ani­ma­tion is largely being accom­plished at Australia’s Ani­mal Logic.

A pre­sen­ta­tion of Warner Bros. Pic­tures in asso­ci­a­tion with Vil­lage Road­show Pic­tures, The LEGO Movie is slated for release on Feb­ru­ary 7, 2014.

Among the other projects being devel­oped are Storks, con­ceived and being writ­ten by Stoller, and to be directed by Oscar nom­i­nee Doug Sweet­land (PIXAR short Presto); and Small­foot, to be writ­ten by Requa and Ficarra, from an orig­i­nal idea by Ser­gio Pab­los (Despi­ca­ble Me), who is also set to direct. The films are being tar­geted for release in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

The devel­op­ment of ani­mated fea­tures will be over­seen at Warner Bros. by Courte­nay Valenti, Chris deFaria and Greg Sil­ver­man. Over­all look, char­ac­ter design and the story reel process will be housed in Bur­bank, Cal­i­for­nia; how­ever, the stu­dio will look to part­ner with estab­lished ani­ma­tion stu­dios for pro­duc­tion of the films.

Thunderbirds Creator Gerry Anderson Dead at 83

Gerry Anderson

Gerry Ander­son

Gerry Ander­son, the cre­ator of such British marionette-animated hit shows as Thun­der­birds, Stingray and Joe 90, died peace­fully in his sleep at noon Wednes­day, son Jamie announced on his own Web site. He was 83.

Ander­son had Alzheimer’s since 2010. Hav­ing already decided with his fam­ily on a care home for him­self near Oxford­shire, Eng­land ear­lier this year, he moved in there in October.

Gerry was diag­nosed with mixed demen­tia two years ago, and his con­di­tion wors­ened quite dra­mat­i­cally over the past six months,” Jamie Ander­son wrote.

Gerry Anderson’s most famous series — science-fiction series Thun­der­birds, about a space res­cue squad — ran from 1965 to 1966. It had two movie spin-offs, Thun­der­birds are Go (1966) and Thun­der­bird Six (1967).

His other ani­mated series included Cap­tain Scar­let and the Mys­terons (1967–68) and Ter­ra­hawks (1983–84). There were also unre­leased projects, such as the series The Inves­ti­ga­tor (1972) and Space Police Star Laws (1986).

As well, the res­i­dent of Henley-on-Thames, Oxford­shire cre­ated UFO, Space: 1999, Super­car and Fire­ball XL5.

I think a light has gone out in the uni­verse,” said actor Brian Blessed, who worked with Ander­son on such shows as The Day After Tomor­row and Space 1999, told BBC News:

He had a great sense of humor,” he told British Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion News. “He wasn’t child­ish but child­like, and he had a tremen­dous love of the uni­verse and astron­omy and sci­en­tists. He got their lat­est the­o­ries, which he would expand on. He was always gal­va­nized and full of energy.”

Come­dian Eddie Izzard wrote on Twit­ter: “What great cre­ation Thun­der­birds was, as it fuelled the imag­i­na­tion of a gen­er­a­tion.” Added TV host Jonathan Ross wrote: “For men of my age, his work made child­hood an incred­i­ble place to be.”

Ander­son was born Ger­ald Alexan­der Abra­hams in London’s Blooms­bury dis­trict on April 14, 1929. He started study­ing fibrous plas­ter­ing, but it gave him der­mati­tis and he had to stop.

For a while, he did pho­to­graphic por­traits. Ander­son also worked at Gains­bor­ough Films and as an air traf­fic controller.

With friends, he founded AP Films. But with few com­mis­sions, he jumped at the chance of mak­ing the pup­pet series The Adven­tures of Twiz­zle in 1956.

Then came his career high point, Thun­der­birds, which aired on Britain’s ITV.

Filmed on Slough Trad­ing Estate in Berk­shire, the series told of emer­gency ser­vice Inter­na­tional Res­cue, oper­ated by the Tracy fam­ily. It was often aided by Lady Pene­lope (voiced by Gerry Anderson’s wife Sylvia) and Parker, her but­ler. The Ander­sons had used Fire­ball XL5 and Stingray to per­fect their “super­mar­i­on­a­tion” technique.

Thun­der­birds are go!” was the show’s catchphrase.

In June this year, Ander­son talked about get­ting dementia.

I don’t think I real­ized at all,” he said on BBC Berk­shire. “It was my wife Mary who began to notice that I would do some­thing quite daft like putting the ket­tle in the sink and wait­ing for it to boil.”

Until very recently, Ander­son remained inter­ested and involved in the film indus­try, keen to revisit some of his ear­lier suc­cesses using the lat­est tech­nol­ogy avail­able. His last pro­ducer credit came in 2005 on New Cap­tain Scar­let, a CGI-animated reimag­in­ing of his 1967 Super­mar­i­on­a­tion series, which pre­miered on ITV. Most recently, he worked as a con­sul­tant on a Hol­ly­wood remake of his 1969 series UFO, directed by Matthew Gratzner.

He was “a quiet, unas­sum­ing but deter­mined man,” said Nick Williams, chair­man of Fan­der­son, the offi­cial Gerry Ander­son fan club.

His desire to make the best films he could drove him and his tal­ented teams to inno­vate, take risks, and do every­thing nec­es­sary to pro­duce quite inspi­ra­tional works,” he said. “Gerry’s legacy is that he inspired so many peo­ple and con­tin­ues to bring so much joy to so many mil­lions of peo­ple around the world.”

He also worked as a celebrity ambas­sador for The Alzheimer’s Soci­ety, help­ing to raise aware­ness of the dis­ease and much-needed funds for the society.

Harry Oakes, the cin­e­matog­ra­pher for Thun­der­birds and sev­eral other Ander­son series, died Decem­ber 11 this year.

Gerry Ander­son was mar­ried to Betty Wright­man from 1952 until their divorce in 1960. That year, he mar­ried Sylvia Thamm; they divorced in 1980. In 1981, he mar­ried Mary Robins.

Besides his wife and son Jamie, he is sur­vived by three chil­dren from for­mer mar­riages, Joy, Linda and Gerry Junior.

Fan­der­son will pay a full trib­ute to Gerry Ander­son in FAB 74, due next March.

Dona­tions in his mem­ory to the Alzheimer’s Soci­ety were requested via

Haowei Hu’s Seasons Wins at London Film Awards



Sea­sons,” directed by Haowei Hu of the United States, was named Best Ani­mated Film on Sun­day at the Lon­don Film Awards.

Sea­sons is a sur­real motion graph­ics ani­ma­tion based on the chang­ing sea­sons. Begin­ning with spring, the richly hued illus­tra­tions in this work come alive as they trans­form in color and rhyth­mic tempo to reveal the full sea­sonal spectrum.

The Lon­don Film Awards is London’s pre­miere film awards body, which cel­e­brates and awards the work of inde­pen­dent film’s best and bright­est con­tem­po­rary film­mak­ers and screen­writ­ers span­ning the globe. The Offi­cial Jury selected one exclu­sive Gold Lion Award Win­ner for each offi­cial com­pe­ti­tion cat­e­gory, the awards’ high­est and most esteemed honors.

A full list of the 2012 win­ners can be found at the competition’s offi­cial site,

Our 2012 com­pe­ti­tion marks an incred­i­ble year for the Lon­don Film Awards. LFA received sub­mis­sions rep­re­sent­ing some of the world’s most tal­ented film­mak­ers,” said awards exec­u­tive direc­tor Joey Paulos.

After care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion, we have dis­tilled the very best of this year’s entries,” said Joey Pau­los, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Lon­don Film Awards. “We are hon­ored to cel­e­brate the tal­ent and com­mit­ment of each of these accom­plished artists.”

The Grand Jury Prize was pre­sented to Beauty and the Breast, directed by Lil­iana Komorowska of Canada. She also won the award for Best First-Time Direc­tor. A first-time doc­u­men­tary film­maker offers a com­pelling insight into the dev­as­tat­ing real­ity of breast can­cer, as seen through the eyes of sev­eral female patients help­ing demys­tify the deadly dis­ease while paint­ing poignant and often humor­ous intimate.

The Spe­cial Jury Prize was pre­sented to Womble, directed by Robert Pirouet of the United King­dom. Years have passed and what’s changed? Jim Labey sits wait­ing in the cor­ri­dor of his old school wait­ing for a job inter­view. The prob­lem? The other side of the desk is Piers Mourant, an old class­mate of Jim’s… and Pier’s remem­bers everything!

The Best Fea­ture Film was pre­sented to Pechorin, directed by Roman Khrushch of Rus­sia. It’s based on the Russ­ian clas­sic Mikhail Ler­mon­tov novel The Hero of Our Time. All events shown as they are reflected in the mind of the dying hero as a series of irrev­o­ca­ble mis­takes and inter­preted anew: it is either recon­sid­er­a­tion or repentance.