All posts by Mr. Clevland

About Mr. Clevland

MrClevland has been a cartoon fan since, well, infancy. He has been writing nearly that long. Opinionated, yes, but backed with a wealth of personal knowledge on the subject. You can give r. C a piece of your mind here.

Producers Guild Announces its Animated Nominations

Producers Guild

Pro­duc­ers Guild

The Pro­duc­ers Guild of Amer­ica announced Wednes­day five nom­i­na­tions for the Award for Out­stand­ing Pro­ducer of Ani­mated The­atri­cal Motion Pictures.

Three of the nom­i­nees are prod­ucts of Dis­ney: Brave (Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios Motion Pic­tures), pro­duced by Kather­ine Sarafian; Franken­wee­nie (Walt Dis­ney Pic­tures), pro­duced by Alli­son Abbate and Tim Bur­ton; and Wreck-It Ralph (Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios Motion Pic­tures), pro­duced by Clark Spencer.

Round­ing out the list are Para­Nor­man (Focus Fea­tures), pro­duced by Travis Knight and Ari­anne Sut­ner, and Rise of the Guardians (Para­mount Pic­tures), pro­duced by Nancy Bern­stein and Christina Steinberg.

One of the five nom­i­nees for the Award for Out­stand­ing Children’s Pro­gram, Dis­ney Channel’s Phineas and Ferb, is a car­toon series. It’s vying in the cat­e­gory with the live-action Good Luck Char­lie (Dis­ney Chan­nel), iCarly (Nick­elodeon), Sesame Street (PBS) and The Weight of the Nation for Kids: The Great Cafe­te­ria Takeover (HBO).

All 2013 Pro­duc­ers Guild Award win­ners will be announced Jan­u­ary 26 at the Bev­erly Hilton Hotel. This year, the Pro­duc­ers Guild will also present spe­cial hon­ors to Bob and Har­vey Wein­stein (Mile­stone Award).

In 1990, the Pro­duc­ers Guild held the first-ever Golden Lau­rel Awards, which were renamed the Pro­duc­ers Guild Awards in 2002. Richard Zanuck and Lili Fini Zanuck took home the award for Best Pro­duced Motion Pic­ture for Dri­ving Miss Daisy, estab­lish­ing the Guild’s awards as a bell­wether for the Oscars. Last year, the PGA awarded The Artist with its Dar­ryl F. Zanuck Pro­ducer of the Year Award in The­atri­cal Motion Pic­tures, mark­ing the fifth con­sec­u­tive year that the Pro­duc­ers Guild has pre­saged the Motion Pic­ture Academy’s choice.

Angry Birds Bigger Than Disney?

Angry Birds

Angry Birds

Mikael Hed, chief exec­u­tive of Finnish gam­ing com­pany Rovio, says the com­pany is going ahead with a 2016 fea­ture film based on his company’s famous avians, the Angry Birds. But Hed is not happy just mak­ing a fea­ture film, he plans on tak­ing the giant of children’s ani­ma­tion, Disney.

The Rovio chief exec­u­tive told AFP that the ani­mated 3D film– which will not be released until the sum­mer of 2016– could lead to the com­pany set­ting up an ani­mated movie stu­dio that would com­pete with California-based Walt Dis­ney Ani­ma­tion Studios.

If this goes very well, that is what is going to hap­pen. Cer­tainly we are struc­tur­ing this in a way so that it’s pos­si­ble for us to con­tinue to pro­duce more movies after this one,” he said.

Rovio seems to be start­ing out right… they have brought in John Cohen, pro­ducer of computer-animated com­edy “Despi­ca­ble Me” to pro­duce it, and David Maisel, for­mer chair­man of Mar­vel Stu­dios, as an exec­u­tive producer.

And ani­mated films are not the only front Rovio is tak­ing on the ani­ma­tion giant. The com­pany already has two theme parks, on in Fin­land and one in Great Britain. They are build­ing a third Angry Birds Land in Asia next year at a site near Shanghai.

Rovio has also part­nered with children’s cable net­work Nick­elodeon for a series of Angry Birds spe­cials, includ­ing Angry Birds – Wreck The Halls and  Angry Birds Space.

Is that enough to take on Dis­ney? Only time will tell… but it does seem that Rovio is aim­ing high for a one-trick pony.

 

L.A. Critics Name “Frankenweenie” Best Animation

Frankenweenie

Franken­wee­nie

Franken­wee­nie,” directed by Tim Bur­ton, has been named the Best Ani­ma­tion of 2012 by the Los Ange­les Film Crit­ics Association.

Don Hertzfeldt’s It’s Such a Beau­ti­ful Day was declared runner-up in the category.

The 38th Annual LAFCA Awards were announced Sunday.

Amour was named Best Pic­ture of the year. Its star, Emmanuelle Riva, tied for Best Actress for Jen­nifer Lawrence (Sil­ver Lin­ings Play­book).

Runner-up for Best Pic­ture was The Mas­ter. Paul Thomas Ander­son was named Best Direc­tor, while Best Actor went to Joaquin Phoenix and Best Sup­port­ing Actress went to Amy Adams.

The Mas­ter also earned Mihai Malaimare Jr. a runner-up nod for Best Cin­e­matog­ra­phy. The movie’s Jack Fisk and David Crank won for Best Pro­duc­tion Design. Jonny Green­wood was named runner-up for Best Music Score.

Doc­u­men­tar­ian Fred­er­ick Wise­man received the Career Achieve­ment award.

Founded in 1975, the Los Ange­les Film Crit­ics Asso­ci­a­tion is com­prised of Los Angeles-based pro­fes­sional film crit­ics work­ing in the Los Ange­les print and elec­tronic media.

Plaques of recog­ni­tion are pre­sented to win­ners dur­ing LAFCA’s annual cer­e­mony, held in mid-January.

N.Y. Film Critics Honor Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie

Frankenweenie

Franken­wee­nie

Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios’ “Franken­wee­nie,” directed by Tim Bur­ton, was named Mon­day by the New York Film Crit­ics Cir­cle as Best Ani­mated Film of 2012.

Kathryn Bigelow’s war drama Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, was named Best Pic­ture from this year’s vote. The film also won two other awards for Best Direc­tor (Bigelow) and Best Cin­e­matog­ra­pher (Greig Fraser).

Steven Spielberg’s his­tor­i­cal drama Lin­coln picked up three awards, includ­ing Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Sup­port­ing Actress (Sally Field), and Best Screen­play (Tony Kushner).

Rachel Weisz was named Best Actress for her per­for­mance in The Deep Blue Sea. Matthew McConaughey won Best Sup­port­ing Actor for his roles in Bernie and Magic Mike.

The Cen­tral Park Five was named Best Non-Fiction Film (Doc­u­men­tary), while the award for Best For­eign Film was given to Amour. David France’s How to Sur­vive a Plague was declared the year’s Best First Film.

The NYFCC, which has 35 mem­bers, will present its 77th annual awards Jan­u­ary 7.

Princess Mononoke Actress Mitsuko Mori Dead at 92

Mitsuko Mori

Mit­suko Mori

Actress Mit­suko Mori, the voice of Hii-sama in the orig­i­nal Japan­ese ver­sion of Hayao Miyazaki’s 1997 film Princess Mononoke, died Sat­ur­day at a Tokyo hos­pi­tal. She was 92.

She died due to heart fail­ure caused by pneumonia.

Mori was nom­i­nated for the Award of the Japan­ese Acad­emy for Best Actress in con­nec­tion with her lead­ing role as Yuriko Hiro­sawa (The Authoress) in 2000’s Kawa no nagare no you ni. She received the Order of Cul­ture and the People’s Honor Award.

Mori por­trayed the main char­ac­ter in Horoki over 2,000 times. In addi­iton, she played the main role in the pop­u­lar TV drama Jikan desu yo (It’s time).

She was born Mitsu Murakami in Kyoto on May 9, 1923.

Lucille Bliss, 96, Was Cartoon Voice of Crusader Rabbit, Smurfette

Lucille Bliss

Lucille Bliss

Voice actress Lucille Bliss, who por­trayed the title char­ac­ter of the first made-for-TV car­toon series, Cru­sader Rab­bit (1949–51), died Thurs­day night, ani­ma­tor Dave Nimitz said. She was 96.

She had been liv­ing in Mesa Verde Res­i­den­tial Care Cen­ter in Costa Mesa, California.

Bliss voiced Smur­fette, the only female Smurf, from 1981 to 1989 in the Hanna-Barbera series Smurfs, as well as the 1987 TV spe­cial ‘Tis the Sea­son to Be Smurfy. Other Smur­fette appear­ances were in the TV-movies The Smurfs Christ­mas Spe­cial and The Smurfs Spring­time Spe­cial (both 1982), My Smurfy Valen­tine (1983), and The Smurfic Games (1984).

For Dis­ney, she por­trayed step­sis­ter Anas­ta­sia in Cin­derella (1950), Sun­flower and Turnip in Alice in Won­der­land (1951), and the Kanine Krunchie Com­mer­cial Singer in 101 Dal­ma­tians (1961). Other roles in car­toon films were Mrs. Fitzgib­bons in Don Bluth Pro­duc­tions’ The Secret of NIMH (1982) and the Pigeon Lady in Blue Sky’s Robots (2005).

Also at Dis­ney, she nar­rated “Story of Thumper,” “Story of the White Rab­bit” and “Story of Grandpa Bunny,” three sto­ries on the Dis­ney album Peter Cot­ton­tail and Other Funny Bun­nies.

Her other reg­u­lar TV series roles included Snoopy in H-B’s The Space Kidettes (1966), Queen Slugga in Ewoks (1986–87), and Ms. Bit­ters in Invader ZIM (2001).

Over the 1950s, Bliss was heard in sev­eral the­atri­cal Warner Bros. and MGM the­atri­cal car­toon shorts. Though uncred­ited, she was Suzanne in Friz Freleng’s A Kid­dies Kitty (1955), the Lit­tle Girl and Mama in A Wag­gily Tale (1958), Jerry’s lit­tle mouse friend Tuffy in 1958’s MGM car­toon Robin Hood­winked, and the Lep­rechaun in another 1958 MGM release, Droopy Lep­rechaun.

On TV, she guested as Hugo and Scout in the 1961 The Flint­stones episode “The Good Scout,” The Librar­ian in the 2005 Duck Dodgers episode “All in the Crime Fam­ily,” and Yagoda (aka Yugoda) in the 2005 Avatar: The Last Air­ben­der episodes “The Water­bend­ing Mas­ter” and “The Siege of the North Pt. 1.”

Bliss por­trayed Bamm Bamm Rub­ble in the 1977 TV-movie A Flint­stone Christ­mas and Dusty in the 1978 TV-movie The Flint­stones Lit­tle Big League. Other TV-movie and TV spe­cial roles included Miss Witch in The Great Bear Scare (1983); and Lick­ety Page and other char­ac­ters in the ABC Week­end Spe­cials Cap’n O.G. Readmore’s Jack and the Beanstalk (1985), Cap’n O.G. Read­more Meets Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Cap’n O.G. Readmore’s Puss in Boots and Cap’n O.G. Read­more Meets Red Rid­ing Hood (both 1988).

She was in the voice casts of the two-part 1972 spe­cial Oliver and the Art­ful Dodger, released as an install­ment of The ABC Sat­ur­day Super­star Movie; the 1975 TV-movie The Tiny Tree. Bliss was also in the 1979 TV-movie Casper the Friendly Ghost: He Ain’t Scary, He’s Our Brother (aka Casper Saves Hal­loween).

Bliss por­trayed Quinby in the 2007 the­atri­cal car­toon short Up-In-Down Town, and also was heard in the the­atri­cal shorts Hug Me (1981) and Betty Boop’s Hol­ly­wood Mys­tery (1989)

In the 2005 video short Blue Har­vest Days (reti­tled Who Saves the Vil­lage?), she voiced Bear Brat.

Born in New York City on March 31, 1916, Bliss moved to San Fran­cisco in the 1950s. There, she hosted ABC affil­i­ate KRON-TV’s The Happy Birth­day To You Show, a live local kids’ pro­gram, from 1950 to 1957.

For her work in Cin­derella, Bliss received the For­mer Child Star Life­time Achieve­ment Award at the 1999 Young Artist Awards. At the Annie Awards, she won the Win­sor McCay award for life­time achieve­ment in 2000.

Hotel Transylvania to Open Again With 2015 Sequel

Hotel Transylvania 2

Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia 2

Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion will release a sequel to sleeper Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia, said an unnamed spokesman for the stu­dio. Set for release in 2015, the movie is ten­ta­tively titled Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia 2.

No direc­tor is cur­rently attached to the sequel. Gen­ndy Tar­takovsky, direc­tor of the orig­i­nal film, will be in charge of SPA’s Pop­eye.

Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia has grossed more than $250 mil­lion world­wide so far. It opened to $42.5 mil­lion in North Amer­ica and $50.6 over­seas, set­ting a new record for a Sep­tem­ber opening.

In the orig­i­nal film, Adam San­dler voiced Drac­ula, owner of the five-star resort of the movie’s title. Other mon­sters included Mur­ray the Mummy (Cee Lo Green), Frankenstein’s Mon­ster (Kevin James) and Grif­fin the Invis­i­ble Man (David Spade). Dracula’s daugh­ter Mavis was voiced by Selena Gomez.

Vancouver Hosts Major Studio Ghibli Animation Retrospective

Studio Ghibli

Stu­dio Ghibli

The Cin­e­math­eque and the Vancity The­atre, both located in down­town Van­cou­ver, are co-hosting a major ret­ro­spec­tive of the films of Stu­dio Ghi­bli, the world-renowned anime stu­dio founded in Tokyo in 1985 by ani­ma­tion direc­tors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Taka­hata and pro­ducer Toshio Suzuki.

The Cin­e­math­eque pre­sen­ta­tion includes two rare titles –  Omo­hide Poro Poro (Only Yes­ter­day) and Umi Ga Kikoeru (Ocean Waves) never released in North Amer­ica before. All Ghi­bli films (with the excep­tion of The Ocean Waves) will be pre­sented in new 35mm prints.

Cas­tles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Taka­hata, and the Mas­ters of Stu­dio Ghi­bli runs from Decem­ber 7 to 9, 12 to 17, 22 to 23 and 26 to 30, as well as Jan­u­ary 2 to 3.

Fre­quently referred to as the Dis­ney of Japan, Stu­dio Ghi­bli (pro­nounced “jib-lee” or “gee-buh-lee”) is known for star­tlingly orig­i­nal ani­mated fea­ture films that com­bine daz­zling visual vir­tu­os­ity, vivid char­ac­ter­i­za­tions and epic sto­ry­telling. These include some of the most mag­i­cal, most beloved ani­mated movies ever made, includ­ing Cas­tle in the Sky, My Neigh­bour Totoro, Kiki’s Deliv­ery Ser­vice, Princess Mononoke, Spir­ited Away and Howl’s Mov­ing Cas­tle.

Ghibli’s warm, intel­li­gent, poetic films, often full of great flights of fancy that bor­row from fairy­tale, folk­lore and sci­ence fic­tion, are always grounded in a deeply-felt human­ism that embraces fam­ily and com­mu­nity and believes in essen­tial human good­ness (despite con­sid­er­able evi­dence of human folly), and in a deep con­cern for the envi­ron­ment and our rela­tion­ship with nature. They typ­i­cally fea­ture strong female pro­tag­o­nists. Ghi­bli films, it is also worth not­ing, are still pri­mar­ily (and lov­ingly) crafted the tra­di­tional way, through the labor-intensive, hand-drawn, frame-by-frame tech­nique of cel animation.

Here’s what’s scheduled:

Kaze No Tani No Naushika (Nau­si­caä of the Val­ley of Wind)
Miyazaki’s debut is con­sid­ered by many to be his mas­ter­work. There are few films, ani­mated or oth­er­wise, of such sweep­ing scope and grandeur.

Tenkû No Shiro Rapyuta (Cas­tle in the Sky)
Miyazaki’s first Stu­dio Ghi­bli fea­ture is this beau­ti­ful, exhil­a­rat­ing eco-fantasy adven­ture of a young boy and girl search­ing for a long-lost float­ing island in the sky.

Majo No Takkyûbin (Kiki’s Deliv­ery Ser­vice)
Kiki is a young witch-in-training; her best friend is Jiji, a chatty, wise­crack­ing black cat in this beau­ti­ful, time­less and beloved story of a young girl find­ing her way in the world.

Umi Ga Kikoeru (Ocean Waves)
RARE GHIBLI! Rarely seen out­side of Japan — never released in North Amer­ica in any for­mat — this sub­tle, poignant story of ado­les­cence and teenage iso­la­tion is a true discovery.

Tonari No Totoro (My Neigh­bor Totoro)
Miyazaki’s most endear­ing, most beloved and most iconic film tells the touch­ing tale of two sis­ters who dis­cover a for­est full of spir­its and mag­i­cal crea­tures next to their new home.

Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke)
Miyazaki’s epic story of con­flict between humans, gods and nature is a land­mark of ani­ma­tion and a film of unsur­passed power and beauty with an envi­ron­men­tal message.

Hauru No Ugoku Shiro (Howl’s Mov­ing Cas­tle)
When a shy teenager is cursed by the jeal­ous Witch of the Waste, she seeks refuge with a hand­some wiz­ard named Howl in his mag­i­cal mov­ing cas­tle while they fight to lift the spell.

Sen To Chi­hiro No Kamikakushi (Spir­ited Away)
This Acad­emy Award-winning film was Japan’s biggest box-office hit of all time, and cemented Miyazaki’s rep­u­ta­tion as an icon of inspired ani­ma­tion and won­drous, lyri­cal storytelling.

Mimi O Sumaseba (Whis­per of the Heart)
A visu­ally stun­ning won­der about the awak­en­ing of cre­ative tal­ent, this is the sole fea­ture directed by Miyazaki’s pro­tégé Yoshi­fumi Kondô before his sud­den death at the age of 47.

Neko No Ongaeshi (The Cat Returns)
Walk­ing home after a dreary day at school, Haru saves a cat from being hit by a speed­ing truck. Lit­tle does she know that she is about to be plunged into into a fan­tas­ti­cal feline world…

Hei­sei Tanuki Gassen Pom­poko (The Rac­coon War)
The for­est home of the decep­tively cud­dly tanuki — a group of mag­i­cal raccoon-like crea­tures — is threat­ened by the con­struc­tion of a new sub­urb. Now, they must fight to save it.

Kure­nai No Buta (Porco Rosso)
This trib­ute to early avi­a­tion is set between the World Wars in Fas­cist Italy, where fly­ing ace Marco — cursed with the head of a pig — and beau­ti­ful Fio are cat­a­pulted into high-flying conflict.

Omo­hide Poro Poro (Only Yes­ter­day)
RARE GHIBLI! Never released in North Amer­ica, this tale of self-discovery may delve deeper into the real emo­tional expe­ri­ences of women than any ani­mated film before or since.

Hôhokekyo Tonari No Yamadâkun (My Neigh­bors the Yamadas)
This delight­fully off­beat, rarely-seen gem was the first Ghi­bli film to be cre­ated entirely on com­put­ers in order to achieve its soft water­color look.

All Ghi­bli films pre­sented at The Cin­e­math­eque will screen in the orig­i­nal Japanese-language ver­sions with Eng­lish subtitles.

All Ghi­bli films pre­sented at the Vancity The­atre will screen in the English-dubbed versions.

All ages are wel­come! The Cin­e­math­eque wel­comes all ages to this family-friendly pre­sen­ta­tion of the films of Stu­dio Ghi­bli. All films in the series are rated G or PG (with the excep­tion of Princess Mononoke and The Ocean Waves, which are 14A — under 14 requires adult accompaniment).

Remem­ber that all The Cinematheque’s Ghi­bli screen­ings are in Japan­ese with Eng­lish sub­ti­tles! Mem­ber­ship is required for those 18 or over.

Pacific Ciné­math­èque is grate­ful to Dave Jesteadt and GKIDS (New York) and Tom Char­ity of Vancity The­atre (Van­cou­ver) for their great assis­tance in mak­ing this pre­sen­ta­tion pos­si­ble. Pro­gram notes are by (or adapted from) GKIDS, except where oth­er­wise noted.

For links to the indi­vid­ual films and their show­times, visit www.thecinematheque.ca/castles-in-the-sky-miyazaki-takahata-and-the-masters-of-studio-ghibli.

Scene from Umi Ga Kikoeru (Ocean Waves), never released in North Amer­ica the­atri­cally or on any home view­ing format.

Disney Purchasing Lucasfilm Ltd. For $4.05 Billion

Lucasfilm

Lucas­film

The Walt Dis­ney Com­pany has agreed to acquire Lucas­film Ltd. in a stock and cash trans­ac­tion val­ued at $4.05 bil­lion, the firms announced Tuesday.

Lucas­film is 100% owned by its chair­man and founder, George Lucas.

Lucas­film has been involved as a pro­ducer of the ani­mated series The Clone Wars and Droids: The Adven­tures of R2-D2 and C3P0, as well as the ani­mated movies Twice Upon A Time (1983) and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008). The firm also sup­ported Williams Street’s Robot Chicken: Star Wars specials.

Char­ac­ters from Star Wars led to the cre­ation of the 1985 Nel­vana Lim­ited series Ewoks.

Lucas­film co-produced the 1992 DiC Enter­tain­ment spe­cial Defend­ers Of Dyna­tron City, not to men­tion the 1984 Pixar short The Adven­tures of Andre and Wally B.

Under the terms of the agree­ment and based on last Friday’s clos­ing price of Dis­ney stock, Dis­ney will pay approx­i­mately half of the con­sid­er­a­tion in cash and issu­ing about 40 mil­lion shares at clos­ing. The final con­sid­er­a­tion will be sub­ject to cus­tom­ary post-closing bal­ance sheet adjustments.

Under the deal, Dis­ney will acquire own­er­ship of Lucas­film, includ­ing its Star Wars fran­chise and its oper­at­ing busi­nesses in ani­ma­tion, live-action film pro­duc­tion, con­sumer prod­ucts, visual effects and audio post-production. Dis­ney will also acquire firm’s sub­stan­tial port­fo­lio of cutting-edge enter­tain­ment tech­nolo­gies. Lucas­film, head­quar­tered in San Fran­cisco, oper­ates under the names Lucas­film Ltd., LucasArts, Indus­trial Light & Magic and Sky­walker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucas­film employ­ees to remain in their cur­rent locations.

Lucas­film reflects the extra­or­di­nary pas­sion, vision and sto­ry­telling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Walt Dis­ney Com­pany chair­man and CEO Robert Iger. “This trans­ac­tion com­bines a world-class port­fo­lio of con­tent, includ­ing Star Wars, one of the great­est fam­ily enter­tain­ment fran­chises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unpar­al­leled cre­ativ­ity across mul­ti­ple plat­forms, busi­nesses, and mar­kets to gen­er­ate sus­tained growth and drive sig­nif­i­cant long-term value.”

For the past 35 years, one of my great­est plea­sures has been to see Star Wars passed from one gen­er­a­tion to the next,” said Lucas. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new gen­er­a­tion of filmmakers.

I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was impor­tant to set up the tran­si­tion dur­ing my life­time. I’m con­fi­dent that with Lucas­film under the lead­er­ship of Kath­leen Kennedy, and hav­ing a new home within the Dis­ney orga­ni­za­tion, Star Wars will cer­tainly live on and flour­ish for many gen­er­a­tions to come. Disney’s reach and expe­ri­ence give Lucas­film the oppor­tu­nity to blaze new trails in film, tele­vi­sion, inter­ac­tive media, theme parks, live enter­tain­ment and con­sumer products.”

Kennedy, cur­rent co-chairman of Lucas­film, will become pres­i­dent of Lucas­film, report­ing to Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios chair­man Alan Horn. Addi­tion­ally, she will serve as the brand man­ager for Star Wars, work­ing directly with Disney’s global lines of busi­ness to build, fur­ther inte­grate and max­i­mize the value of this global franchise.

Kennedy will serve as exec­u­tive pro­ducer on new Star Wars fea­ture films, with Lucas serv­ing as cre­ative con­sul­tant. Star Wars Episode 7 is tar­geted for release in 2015, with more fea­ture films expected to con­tinue the Star Wars saga and grow the fran­chise well into the future.

The boards of direc­tors of Dis­ney and Lucas­film have approved the trans­ac­tion, which is sub­ject to clear­ance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improve­ments Act, cer­tain non-United States merger con­trol reg­u­la­tions, and other cus­tom­ary clos­ing con­di­tions. The agree­ment has been approved by the sole share­holder of Lucasfilm.

Gumball Up For Two British Academy Kids’ Awards

British Academy Kids

British Acad­emy Kids

The TV series “The Amaz­ing World of Gum­ball” has received two nom­i­na­tions for the British Acad­emy Children’s Awards, orga­niz­ers announced Monday.

Pro­duced by Car­toon Net­work Europe in asso­ci­a­tion with Dan­de­lion Stu­dios, Boul­der Media and Stu­dio Soi, the Car­toon Net­work UK show was nom­i­nated for Writer and Ani­ma­tion — the same two cat­e­gories in which it won last year. In addi­tion, the series is short­listed for the Kids’ Vote in the Tele­vi­sion category.

Ben Boc­quelet, Mic Graves, Joanna Beres­ford form the pro­duc­ing team behind The Amaz­ing World of Gum­ball. Boc­quelet, James Lam­ont and Jon Fos­ter are the nom­i­nated writers.

Vying with Gum­ball in the Ani­ma­tion cat­e­gory are The Amaz­ing Adren­a­lini Broth­ers (Pesky Productions/POP), The Gruffalo’s Child (Magic Light Pic­tures in asso­ci­a­tion with Stu­dio Soi/BBC One) and The Mechan­i­cal Musi­cal Mar­vel (Chris Ran­dall and Julie Boden; Sec­ond Home Studios/THSH Birmingham).

In the Pre-School Ani­ma­tion cat­e­gory, the nom­i­nees are Peppa Pig (Philip Hall, Joris van Hulzen and Phil Davies; Ast­ley Baker Davies/Five), Ras­ta­mouse (Greg Board­man, Euge­nio Perez and Derek Mog­ford; The Ras­ta­mouse Company/CBeebies), Timmy Time (Jackie Cockle, Liz Whitaker and David Scan­lon; Aard­man Animations/CBeebies) and Tree Fu Tom (CBeebies/Fremantle Media/Blue Zoo/CBeebies).

Fea­ture Film nom­i­nees include Arthur Christ­mas (Peter Lord, Sarah Smith and Peter Bayn­ham; Colum­bia Pictures/Sony Pic­tures Animation/Aardman/Sony Pic­tures Releas­ing) and Disney’s partly ani­mated The Mup­pets (Walt Dis­ney Studios/Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios Motion Pic­tures UK). Arthur Christ­mas also appears in the BAFTA Kids’ Vote shortlist.

Three of the four hope­fuls in the Inter­na­tional cat­e­gory are ani­mated series: Kung Fu Panda: Leg­ends Of Awe­some­ness (Dream­Works Animation/Nickelodeon UK), Phineas and Ferb (Walt Dis­ney Tele­vi­sion Animation/Disney XD UK) and Sponge­Bob SquarePants (MTV Net­works International/United Plank­ton Pictures/Nickelodeon UK).

Ani­mated pro­grams up for the Short Form awards are Com­post Cor­ner (West­ley Wood, Tim Dann and Tim Collings; CiTV/CiTV), Ooglies (BBC Scotland/CBBC) and Share A Story 2011 (Dave Hick­man, Carl Hadley and David Hes­lop; CiTV Creative/CiTV).

Besides Arthur Christ­mas, fea­ture films short­listed for the Kids’ Vote include Ice Age 4: Con­ti­nen­tal Drift and the partly ani­mated The Smurfs.

Join­ing The Amaz­ing World of Gum­ball in the short­list for the Kids’ Vote in the Tele­vi­sion cat­e­gory are the ani­mated series Almost Naked Ani­mals and Phineas and Ferb.

The British Acad­emy Children’s Awards cer­e­mony will take place Novem­ber 25 at the Lon­don Hilton on Park Lane. Children’s BAFTA win­ner and Blue Peter pre­sen­ter Bar­ney Har­wood will return to host the awards, which cel­e­brate the very best in children’s media, includ­ing tele­vi­sion, film, video games and online.

The awards are pre­sented by the British Acad­emy of Film and Tele­vi­sion Arts, 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.