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.

Pixar’s WALL-E Finds Place in Robot Hall of Fame



The Robot Hall of Fame inducted WALL•E, the fic­tional robot of the name­sake Pixar movie, dur­ing a cer­e­mony Tues­day evening at Carnegie Sci­ence Cen­ter in Pittsburgh.

WALL•E was one of four robots cho­sen for the first time by a pop­u­lar vote.

In the Enter­tain­ment cat­e­gory, vot­ers chose WALL•E (Waste Allo­ca­tion Load Lifter Earth Class), the lov­able star of the 2008 Disney/Pixar block­buster by the same name. In the movie, WALL•E inad­ver­tently embarks on a space jour­ney that ulti­mately decides the fate of mankind. Other nom­i­nees in this cat­e­gory included Rosie the maid from the car­toon series The Jet­sons.

More than any pre­vi­ous class of inductees, this group of robots selected by pop­u­lar vote rep­re­sents con­tem­po­rary robot­ics — robots at the cut­ting edge of tech­nol­ogy — rather than older robots of strictly his­tor­i­cal impor­tance,” said Shirley Sal­damarco, Robot Hall of Fame direc­tor and a fac­ulty mem­ber at Carnegie Mellon’s Enter­tain­ment Tech­nol­ogy Cen­ter. “Even our fic­tional hon­oree, WALL-E, is from a movie that’s just four years old.”

More than 17,000 peo­ple across every con­ti­nent except Antarc­tica par­tic­i­pated in the online vote in August and Sep­tem­ber. The 12 nom­i­nees on this year’s bal­lot were cho­sen by a group of 107 robot­ics experts, indus­try lead­ers and afi­ciona­dos selected by the Robot Hall of Fame.

The RHOF, cre­ated in 2003 by Carnegie Mel­lon Uni­ver­sity, rec­og­nizes excel­lence in robot­ics tech­nol­ogy. It hon­ors both the fic­tional robots that inspire inno­va­tion and the real robots that embody it. In 2009, it was inte­grated into Carnegie Sci­ence Center’s roboworld exhibit.

Pre­sen­ters at the cer­e­mony included Jared L. Cohon, pres­i­dent of Carnegie Mel­lon; John Dulchi­nos, pres­i­dent and CEO of Adept Tech­nol­ogy; Henry Thorne, chief tech­nol­ogy offi­cer of 4Moms; and Quasi, the robot char­ac­ter cre­ated by Inter­bots, a spin­off of CMU’s Enter­tain­ment Tech­nol­ogy Cen­ter. Heather Knight, a Ph.D. stu­dent in CMU’s Robot­ics Insti­tute, and her stand-up come­dian robot, Data, per­formed dur­ing the event.

This year’s induc­tion cer­e­mony was cel­e­brated in con­junc­tion with the RoboBusi­ness Lead­er­ship Sum­mit, a con­fer­ence of hun­dreds of robot­ics indus­try lead­ers that is in Pitts­burgh this week.

The Robot Hall of Fame induc­tion is spon­sored by Carnegie Mel­lon and its Enter­tain­ment Tech­nol­ogy Cen­ter, Carnegie Sci­ence Cen­ter, the Pitts­burgh Tech­nol­ogy Coun­cil and RoboBusi­ness. The Robot­ics Insti­tute, the world’s largest robot­ics research and edu­ca­tion orga­ni­za­tion, is part of Carnegie Mellon’s School of Com­puter Sci­ence. Infor­ma­tion about the RHOF and pre­vi­ous win­ners is avail­able at

PLATFORM Animation Festival Opens Friday in L.A.

PLATFORM, the inter­na­tion­ally acclaimed ani­ma­tion fes­ti­val, is host­ing a three-day event in Los Ange­les from Fri­day to Sun­day, Octo­ber 26 to 28.

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with CalArts and the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts The­ater (REDCAT), PLATFORM will show­case excit­ing and inno­v­a­tive new ani­mated films and tal­ent while also cel­e­brat­ing animation’s her­itage through spe­cial screen­ings and infor­ma­tive panel discussions.

Draw­ing upon some of the fresh­est per­spec­tives on the world of ani­ma­tion, fes­ti­val direc­tor Irene Kot­larz has dis­cov­ered a new gen­er­a­tion of cura­tors for this year’s fes­ti­val. Says Kot­larz, “It has been a spe­cial plea­sure this year to work with a tal­ented group of CalArts ani­ma­tion stu­dents who have helped select the pro­gram. Their cre­ative think­ing per­fectly com­ple­ments the festival’s mis­sion to be a plat­form for artists, to break bound­aries, and to reflect devel­op­ments in new media. Together we are really excited to bring PLATFORM to Los Ange­les with an out­stand­ing range of pre­mieres, exclu­sive screen­ings, and spe­cial guests.”

CalArts dean of the School of Film/Video Steve Anker is thrilled to have his stu­dents part­ner in craft­ing the event for Los Ange­les. “The PLATFORM Ani­ma­tion Fes­ti­val makes a great case for the con­tin­ued vital­ity of ani­ma­tion as an inde­pen­dent, per­sonal art form. In just one week­end, an aston­ish­ing array of pro­grams has been orga­nized that will give L.A. view­ers a chance to see dozens of films, rang­ing from the begin­ning of cin­ema to the lat­est Inter­net sen­sa­tions, that together present a won­der­ful kalei­do­scope of ani­ma­tion as a visual art,” says Anker.

Intro­duc­ing films that have won world­wide acclaim to ani­ma­tion fans in Los Ange­les, PLATFORM will screen high­lights from the Annecy Inter­na­tional Ani­ma­tion Fes­ti­val. One pro­gram will focus on stu­dent films, and a sec­ond will present films from estab­lished artists, offer­ing view­ers a wide vari­ety of story-telling and styl­is­tic entertainment.

Embrac­ing the lat­est plat­forms for ani­ma­tion, the fes­ti­val will fea­ture both screen­ings and pan­els that focus on how the inter­net has changed the indus­try. Show­cas­ing another realm of ground­break­ing ani­ma­tion, PLATFORM is hon­ored to present a spe­cial pre­view screen­ing of Walt Dis­ney Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios’ Paper­man, fol­lowed by a panel dis­cus­sion with the key film­mak­ers of this short film.

To honor the his­tory of ani­ma­tion and those who have bro­ken bound­aries through the years, PLATFORM will share spe­cial ret­ro­spec­tive screen­ings of some of the stu­dent films from CalArts’ most famous alumni, such as John Las­seter and Craig McCracken. Reach­ing even fur­ther back into ani­ma­tion his­tory, PLATFORM will present an archival screen­ing of the short films by Ladis­las Stare­witch, the sur­re­al­is­tic stop-motion pio­neer. His work in the 1910s to 1950s ini­ti­ated the genre of fan­tas­ti­cal, gothic stop-motion ani­ma­tion whose line of influ­ence can be traced directly to con­tem­po­rary film­mak­ers like Tim Bur­ton and Henry Selick.

Funded in part with gen­er­ous sup­port from the Acad­emy of Motion Pic­ture Arts and Sci­ences, PLATFORM is hon­ored to have addi­tional sup­port from its found­ing spon­sor Car­toon Net­work, as well as Walt Dis­ney Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios, Dis­ney Tele­vi­sion Ani­ma­tion and ASIFA Hollywood.

The sched­ule for the fes­ti­val is as follows:

Fri­day, Octo­ber 26

7:30 p.m.: Ladis­las Stare­witch. A rare screen­ing of 35mm archival prints of short films by the influ­en­tial sur­re­al­is­tic stop-motion pio­neer played to live music. Polish-born Stare­witch lived most of his life in Paris, cre­at­ing fan­tas­ti­cal, sophis­ti­cated and enter­tain­ing nar­ra­tive films fea­tur­ing strange insect and ani­mal char­ac­ters. The com­pi­la­tion screen­ing will include such titles as L’Epouvantail (The Scare­crow), Amour Noir et Blanc (Love in Black and White), La Reine des Papil­lons (Queen of the But­ter­flies) and Les Yeux du Dragon (Eyes of the Dragon).

10 p.m.: Best of World Stu­dent Ani­ma­tion. Screen­ing of selec­tions from Annecy 2012 rep­re­sent­ing a broad spec­trum of schools from all over the world. The pro­gram will include such award-winning stu­dent films as I’m Fine Thanks, directed by Eamonn O’Neill, and The Mak­ing of Long­bird, directed by Will Anderson.

Sat­ur­day, Octo­ber 27

12 noon: Stream­ing: A Con­ver­sa­tion About Ani­ma­tors on the Web. Panel dis­cus­sion to help answer the ques­tions that today’s ani­ma­tors today face, con­sid­er­ing the bewil­der­ing array of options and plat­forms for get­ting their work out to an audi­ence: Should they put it out on the Web, and if so, which site? Should they give it away for free, or can they make money? Should they invite com­ments? Should they hold off and try to get into fes­ti­vals? Will they miss the boat? Pan­elists include Jason Sondhi (Vimeo), among oth­ers. Mod­er­ated by Aaron Simp­son (Mondo Media).

2 p.m.: Pre­view of Disney’s Paper­man. Spe­cial screen­ing fol­lowed by a panel dis­cus­sion with direc­tor John Kahrs, art direc­tor Jeff Tur­ley and ani­ma­tion super­vi­sor Patrick Osborne. Apply­ing a tech­nique that seam­lessly merges computer-generated and hand-drawn ani­ma­tion tech­niques, first-time direc­tor John Kahrs takes the art of ani­ma­tion in a bold new direc­tion in this short film.

4:30 p.m.: Best of World Ani­ma­tion. Screen­ing of selec­tions from Annecy 2012. Films include Michaela Pavlátová’s Grand Prix win­ner Tram (2012) and exper­i­men­tal artist Stephen Irwin’s Ottawa Grand Prix-winner Moxie (2011). Other award-winning films include Hisko Helsing’s Junk­yard (2012), which just won the Nel­vana Grand Prize for Best Inde­pen­dent Short Ani­ma­tion at the 2012 Ottawa Inter­na­tional Ani­ma­tion Fes­ti­val, and Oh, Willy (2011) by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels, which has won Best Euro­pean Ani­ma­tion Short Film at Car­toon D’or and Grand Prix for Shorts at the Hol­land Ani­ma­tion Film Fes­ti­val this year.

7: p.m.: PES: A Ret­ro­spec­tive. Spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tion. The direc­tor and ani­ma­tor of numer­ous witty short stop-motion films and com­mer­cials, PES has a huge fol­low­ing at fes­ti­vals and on the Inter­net. PES will screen and dis­cuss a selec­tion of his work. includ­ing his renowned The Deep (2011).

Sun­day, Octo­ber 28

12 noon: “Awe­some” Car­toon Net­work. Screen­ing and panel. A selec­tion of shows and cre­ative inter­sti­tials that exem­plify an influ­en­tial trend in TV and Inter­net ani­ma­tion, appear­ing first in the network’s Pow­er­puff Girls. Reach­ing its height with the pio­neer­ing Adven­ture Time, the cul­ture of “awe­some” empha­sizes a clean and bub­bly esthetic, pos­i­tiv­ity, and dis­tinc­tive, ran­dom humor. The screen­ing will be fol­lowed by a panel of Car­toon Net­work artists, includ­ing Pendle­ton Ward (Adven­ture Time) and JG Quin­tel (Reg­u­lar Show). Intro­duced by Rob Sor­cher, chief con­tent offi­cer at Car­toon Net­work, and mod­er­ated by Ani­ma­tion Mag­a­zine editor-in-chief Ramin Zahed.

2:30 p.m.: CalArts: A 40-Year Evo­lu­tion, Pro­gram 1. Screen­ing. A ret­ro­spec­tive of CalArts ani­ma­tion, first pre­sented at Annecy 2012. Two screen­ings of exam­ples from four decades of CalArts’ pro­grams in char­ac­ter and exper­i­men­tal ani­ma­tion, fea­tur­ing stu­dent films by John Las­seter, Henry Selick, Craig McCracken and Steve Hil­len­burg, as well as more recent grad­u­ates, includ­ing Miwa Matreyek and Kirsten Lepore.

5 p.m.: Life After Col­lege. A dis­tin­guished panel that spans sev­eral gen­er­a­tions of CalArts grad­u­ates who have been suc­cess­ful in var­i­ous fields of the indus­try as cre­ators of suc­cess­ful TV series, as stand­out ani­ma­tors on the Web, or as prac­tic­ing inde­pen­dent artists. As they dis­cuss their paths from grad­u­a­tion to artis­tic and pro­fes­sional suc­cess, the pan­elists will offer a range of options as role mod­els for aspir­ing young artists. Pan­elists include Alex Hirsch, cre­ator of Grav­ity Falls; Craig McCracken, cre­ator of Pow­er­puff Girls and Won­der Over Yon­der; Mike Moon, vice-president of cre­ative at Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion; Michael Pat­ter­son, exper­i­men­tal film artist, teacher and com­mer­cial film­maker; and Miwa Matreyek, ani­ma­tor, designer and multi-media artist. Mod­er­a­tor: Jerry Beck. With thanks for gen­er­ous sup­port from Dis­ney Tele­vi­sion Animation.

8 p.m.: CalArts: A 40-Year Evo­lu­tion, Pro­gram 2. Screen­ing. A ret­ro­spec­tive of CalArts ani­ma­tion, first pre­sented at Annecy 2012.

The 2012 Plat­form Inter­na­tional Fes­ti­val takes place at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts The­ater (REDCAT). REDCAT is located at 631 West Sec­ond Street in down­town Los Ange­les at the cor­ner of Hope Street, inside the Walt Dis­ney Con­cert Hall com­plex. Park­ing is avail­able in the Walt Dis­ney Con­cert Hall park­ing struc­ture and in adja­cent lots.

Tick­ets are $10 for the gen­eral pub­lic, $8 for mem­bers. Dis­counts are avail­able for multi-program pur­chases. Tick­ets may be pur­chased by call­ing (213) 237.2800, at, or in per­son at the REDCAT Box Office on the cor­ner of West Sec­ond and Hope Streets (30 min­utes free park­ing with val­i­da­tion). Box office hours are noon to 6 p.m. through Sat­ur­day and two hours prior to curtain.

PLATFORM is part of the ongo­ing Jack H. Skir­ball “Film at REDCAT” series of screen­ings and pre­sen­ta­tions by inde­pen­dent film and video mak­ers from around the world. For more infor­ma­tion, visit

Dementia Tale Wins for Animated Short in San Pedro

The Reality Clock

The Real­ity Clock

Amanda Tasse’s “The Real­ity Clock,” in which a watch­maker search­ing for his lost clock loses him­self in mem­ory, was named Best Ani­mated Short at this year’s San Pedro Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val (SPIFFest).

The Real­ity Clock” is an exper­i­men­tal ani­mated por­trait of an elderly watch­maker as he strug­gles to accept the influ­ence of early-stage demen­tia on his iden­tity and sense of time. Shot in full stereo­scopic 3D, using time-lapse pho­tog­ra­phy, pix­e­la­tion, live action and stop-motion ani­ma­tion, the film immerses the viewer in the inter­nal expe­ri­ence of the char­ac­ter, expressed through metaphors of a clock, house, and mor­ph­ing landscapes.

After con­fus­ing a sim­ple mem­ory eval­u­a­tion, The Real­ity Com­pre­hen­sion Clock Test, the char­ac­ter mis­places his favorite pocket watch. As he embarks on a jour­ney for the miss­ing watch, mem­o­ries over­lap with present real­ity, dis­tort­ing his sense of time and place. As he grasps for his iden­tity, “Real­ity Clock” ques­tions who and what the raw essence of a per­son is when stripped bare of new mem­o­ries and ratio­nal lucidity.

The inspi­ra­tion for “The Real­ity Clock” grew out of Tasse’s con­ver­sa­tions with elderly patients with demen­tia when she vol­un­teered for a hos­pice orga­ni­za­tion from 2005 to 2007. Real­iz­ing that most films por­tray demen­tia from the point-of-view of the care­giver, Tasse intended to explore what the expe­ri­ence might feel like for the patient.

She used vary­ing cin­e­matic tech­niques to empha­size the character’s sub­jec­tive real­ity and play with metaphors inher­ent in the mate­ri­als — a sub­tly ani­mated pup­pet in a doll­house jux­ta­posed with stut­ter­ing pho­to­graphic and live-action mem­o­ries. She decided to cre­ate the film in 3D after hav­ing read an auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal account by an author with early-stage demen­tia who described some of his hal­lu­ci­na­tions and mem­o­ries as hav­ing the qual­ity of depth asso­ci­ated with 3D pic­tures. Tasse intended to exper­i­ment with how stereo­scopic 3D could be used as an addi­tional art-design ele­ment to sup­port immer­sive exper­i­men­tal and emo­tional storytelling.

The inau­gural San Pedro Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val screened 34 films from around the world, includ­ing Switzer­land, Croa­tia, Canada, Mex­ico, Colom­bia, Czech Repub­lic, Hun­gary, Poland and the United States — the last being the source for “Real­ity Clock.”

The inau­gural fes­ti­val ran at the Warner Grand The­atre, Ter­race Cin­e­mas and Cal­i­for­nia Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

The com­mu­nity sup­port and turnout for SPIFFest exceeded our expec­ta­tions,” said exec­u­tive direc­tor Ziggy Mrkich. “We were extremely proud of the extent and diver­sity of the pro­gram, and are look­ing for­ward to an even big­ger and bet­ter SPIFFest 2013.”

San Pedro has served as a back­drop for many major film and TV projects, and the com­mu­nity has always been a great part­ner when it comes to wel­com­ing pro­duc­tion to its neigh­bor­hoods,” said Amy Lemisch, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Cal­i­for­nia Film Com­mis­sion. “It’s only fit­ting that San Pedro now has a film fes­ti­val to call its own.”

Frankenweenie Collects $4.9 Million Overseas



Tim Burton’s comedy-horror ani­mated movie “Franken­wee­nie” opened in nine over­seas coun­tries over the week­end to take in $4.9 million.

Directed, co-produced and co-written by Bur­ton, Disney’s Franken­wee­nie has made $5.3 mil­lion abroad so far. It’s grossed $22 mil­lion in the United States and Canada over two weekends.

Mean­while, Sony Animation’s 3D Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia opened in sec­ond place in the United King­dom, gath­er­ing $2.8 mil­lion at 704 loca­tions. This past week­end, it drew $13.7 mil­lion at 3,669 screens in 24 coun­tries. So far, Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia has grossed $49.3 mil­lion abroad.

Dream­Works Animation/Paramount’s Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted remains No. 1 in Aus­tria and Ger­many. In its sec­ond week­end in Ger­many, it took in $4.9 mil­lion at 742 locations.

Over­all, Mada­gas­car 3 made $10.1 mil­lion from 2,530 screens in 32 coun­tries this week­end for a cumu­la­tive for­eign gross total of $465 mil­lion. The movie opens this week in Britain.

The Fox block­buster Ice Age: Con­ti­nen­tal Drift grossed $3.3 mil­lion at 721 the­aters in four coun­tries this week­end, rais­ing the cumu­lu­a­tive for­eign gross to $707.4 million.

This week, Universal’s Para­Nor­man opens in four coun­tries, includ­ing Turkey and Uruguay.

[Via The Hol­ly­wood Reporter]

Leipzig’s DOK Festival to Show 114 Animated Shorts

DOK Leipzig

DOK Leipzig

This year’s DOK Leipzig, a Ger­man fes­ti­val of doc­u­men­taries and ani­ma­tion, will have 114 short ani­mated films in its offi­cial pro­gram, orga­niz­ers announced Friday.

The selected films were cho­sen from 2,847 entries sub­mit­ted from 113 countries.

The num­ber of coun­tries also marks a new high. The 55th Inter­na­tional Leipzig Fes­ti­val for Doc­u­men­tary and Ani­mated Film will also fea­ture numer­ous spe­cial pro­grams, so that a total of 360 films from 62 coun­tries will be shown dur­ing the fes­ti­val from Octo­ber 29 to Novem­ber 4.

Fes­ti­val direc­tor Claas Danielsen praised the depth and scope of the festival’s offi­cial program.

This year’s films paint a very excit­ing and var­ied pic­ture of a world in tran­si­tion. In that way, the fes­ti­val serves as a barom­e­ter of fun­da­men­tal polit­i­cal, social and cul­tural change,” he said.

The themes of protest, resis­tance and glob­al­iza­tion recur through­out the pro­gram. “Told through the sto­ries of
indi­vid­ual human beings, the work of the film­mak­ers pro­vides an emo­tional win­dow on how the world is chang­ing,” said Danielsen.

This year, DOK Leipzig will be show­ing films from five continents.

Among the five com­pe­ti­tion cat­e­gories in which the Golden and Sil­ver Doves and many other prizes will be awarded are the Inter­na­tional Com­pe­ti­tion Ani­mated Film and the Young Cin­ema Com­pe­ti­tion (for­merly Gen­er­a­tion DOK).

New this year is an exten­sive children’s and youth pro­gram with con­tem­po­rary ani­mated and doc­u­men­tary films.

For more infor­ma­tion, visit

Sony Pictures Animation becoming a “Manimal” house



Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion is turn­ing the short-lived Man­i­mal into a live-action/CG hybrid film, hav­ing acquired movie rights to the 1983 NBC series.

Hugely pro­lific 1980s TV pro­ducer Glen A. Lar­son cre­ated the show about a man who could become an ani­mal. Now Larson’s attached as a pro­ducer, think­ing that a flop TV series can become a hit movie. Sony is look­ing for writ­ers to develop a script.

In the Man­i­mal series, wealthy Dr. Jonathan Chase, who had a mys­te­ri­ous past, became a black pan­ther to help the police fight crime. Also star­ring were British actor Simon Mac­Corkin­dale and Melody Ander­son, who por­trayed Dale Arden in the 1980 movie Flash Gor­don.

The series was can­celed after just eight episodes, hav­ing been sav­aged by crit­ics and ignored by TV view­ers when it first aired — oppo­site the block­buster Dal­las.

Last sum­mer, Sony struck pay­dirt with another live-action/CG film, The Smurfs, which went on to gross $500 mil­lion. A sequel to Smurfs is sched­uled for release next summer.

And last month, it was reported the stu­dio is devel­op­ing a live-action/CG ver­sion of yet another ‘80s TV series, ALF, with cre­ator Paul Fusco, who also voices the title character.

[Via The Hol­ly­wood Reporter]

Oh Willy… Wins Award for European Animated Short

Cartoon d'or

Car­toon d’or

The win­ner of this year’s Car­toon d’Or for best Euro­pean ani­ma­tion short film is Oh Willy, by Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels.

The award was handed out Thurs­day at the Car­toon Forum at the Théâtre National de Toulouse in France.

A stop-motion with pup­pets and sets made of wool, felt and other fab­rics, Oh Willy was co-produced by Beast Ani­ma­tion (Bel­gium), Polaris Film & Finance, Vive­ment Lundi! (France) and Il Lus­ter Pro­duc­tions (Netherlands).

In the short, Chubby Willy returns to the natur­ist com­mu­nity where he has spent his youth to visit his dying mother. When she dies shortly after he arrives, Willy is con­fronted with the choices that he made in his life…

The other nom­i­nees were Zing, Edmond Was a Don­key, Tram and Flamingo Pride.

The Car­toon d’Or 2012 jury was com­posed by direc­tors Alain Gag­nol (France), Esben Toft Jacob­sen (Den­mark) and Giuseppe Lagana (Italy). The award was pre­sented by French direc­tor Michel Ocelot (Kirikou).

Car­toon Forum par­tic­i­pants also voted for the pro­ducer, investor/distributor and broad­caster of the year to honor out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to the Euro­pean ani­ma­tion sector.

Jam Media of Ire­land was named pro­ducer of the year, while another Irish com­pany, Mon­ster Enter­tain­ment, was named investor/distributor of the year. France’s Gulli was voted broad­caster of the year.

The Car­toon Forum is pre­sented by CARTOON, an inter­na­tional non-profit asso­ci­a­tion based in Brus­sels. CARTOON’s pur­pose is to sup­port the Euro­pean ani­ma­tion indus­try. For more than 20 years, it has received finan­cial sup­port from the MEDIA Pro­gramme of the Euro­pean Union to run its activities.

NFB showcases animated shorts at Vancouver fest

National Film Board of Canada

National Film Board of Canada

The National Film Board of Canada will show­case four ani­mated shorts at the 31st annual Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, to be held from Sep­tem­ber 27 to Octo­ber 12.

The NFB’s Stu­dio D and its founder, Kath­leen Shan­non (1935–1998) are cel­e­brated in the hand-painted Assem­bly by Van­cou­ver film­maker and mixed-media artist Jenn Strom. The now defunct Stu­dio D, which has won more Oscars than any other NFB stu­dio to date, enabled female film­mak­ers to tackle specif­i­cally female sub­ject mat­ter in an envi­ron­ment that had pre­vi­ously not always wel­comed such efforts.

Writ­ten, directed and edited by Strom, Assem­bly (4 min. 25 sec.) was pro­duced by Tracey Friesen.

A flatbed edit­ing table is snapped on. A woman’s hands reach in and out of the frame, cut­ting and edit­ing a reel of film. She splices, scrubs, rewinds and rolls the sound and images. Frag­ments of ani­mated archival footage flash across the screen: women walk­ing in chains, protest­ing with plac­ards, speak­ing at podi­ums. We hear bursts of words and the per­cus­sive whir and click of the Steen­beck — until a “mes­sage” is finally revealed. Inspired by Stu­dio D film­mak­ers and ded­i­cated to Shannon’s mem­ory, Assem­bly is an exper­i­men­tal short fea­tur­ing a rhyth­mic sound­scape and paint-on-glass animation.

Three ani­mated gems explor­ing themes of self-discovery round out the NFB short films screen­ing at VIFF.

Edmond Was a Don­key (15 min. 3 sec.), writ­ten, directed and edited by France’s Franck Dion, was pro­duced by Dion and Richard Van Den Boom (Papy3D Pro­duc­tions) and Julie Roy (NFB). This year, it won the Bravo!Fact Award for Best Cana­dian Short at the World­wide Short Film Fes­ti­val and the Spe­cial Jury Award at the Annecy Inter­na­tional Ani­ma­tion Film Festival.

Edmond is not like every­body else. When his co-workers jok­ingly crown him with a pair of don­key ears, he sud­denly dis­cov­ers his true nature. And while Edmond rev­els in his new iden­tity, it cre­ates an ever-widening gap between him and oth­ers. With great empa­thy, direc­tor Dion tells the touch­ing story of an out­sider, illus­trat­ing the chal­lenges of being true to your­self in a world filled with con­formists. Since he can’t bring him­self to be what oth­ers expect, Edmond makes the only pos­si­ble choice.

Hal­i­fax, Nova Scotia-based writer-director Andrea Dorf­man has a way with words. In Big Mouth (8 min. 16 sec.), she explores the expe­ri­ences of a bright-minded, quick-witted child, ques­tion­ing what it means to speak the truth, and com­ing to under­stand how our dif­fer­ences make us unique. Dorfman’s whim­si­cal sto­ry­telling is all heart.

Hand-drawn pup­pets dance, skip and cart­wheel across the screen as one lit­tle girl dis­cov­ers the com­plex­ity of words and that what we say may not be what we mean. Trudy, equal parts truth­ful and rude, has an unfil­tered and deeply curi­ous way of look­ing at the world. She hon­estly points out what she sees — be it a big mole or a big belly! The result is an impres­sive accu­mu­la­tion of dis­ci­pli­nary notes from her teacher. Like Trudy, even­tu­ally we all learn how to read, make friends and develop a healthy rela­tion­ship with the truth. A film for any­one, young or old, who has got­ten in trou­ble for say­ing too much, Big Mouth is about one of life’s big lessons. It was pro­duced by Annette Clarke.

DWA enters into distribution agreement with Fox

DreamWorks Animation SKG

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion SKG

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion announced Mon­day that the Glen­dale, California-based com­pany has entered into a new five-year dis­tri­b­u­tion agree­ment with Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Fox.

Under the terms of the agree­ment, Fox will assume cer­tain mar­ket­ing and dis­tri­b­u­tion respon­si­bil­i­ties in both domes­tic and inter­na­tional mar­kets for all ani­mated fea­ture films pro­duced by Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion for release from 2013 through 2017.

Fox has long been an indus­try leader in both the­atri­cal and home video, thanks in large part to its well-integrated approach to dis­tri­b­u­tion across a wide range of plat­forms around the globe,” said Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion CEO Jef­frey Katzen­berg. “Jim Gianop­u­los and Tom Roth­man have built a world-class dis­tri­b­u­tion team, and we are excited to apply their exper­tise, robust infra­struc­ture and global resources so that Dream­Works Animation’s films can reach their fullest pos­si­ble poten­tial over the next five years.”

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion is a great com­pany that makes ter­rific films and every­one here feels priv­i­leged and hon­ored to have been cho­sen to dis­trib­ute their mar­velous work through­out the world,” stated Fox Filmed Enter­tain­ment CEOs and chair­men Gianop­u­los and Roth­man. “We are par­tic­u­larly excited to add Dream­Works Animation’s films to the strong and grow­ing slate of movies from our out­stand­ing Blue Sky Stu­dios divi­sion, which is com­ing off another global block­buster with Ice Age: Con­ti­nen­tal Drift, and has Epic and Rio2 in advanced pro­duc­tion. Together we will be a dom­i­nant force in ani­mated enter­tain­ment for years to come.”

Start­ing in 2013, Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion con­tent will be dis­trib­uted in the more tra­di­tional mar­kets under a fee struc­ture that is sim­i­lar to our exist­ing arrange­ment with our cur­rent dis­trib­u­tor,” con­tin­ued Katzen­berg. “How­ever, our new agree­ment with Fox presents more favor­able eco­nom­ics over­all for Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion because we are tak­ing advan­tage of lower costs asso­ci­ated with the emerg­ing dig­i­tal dis­tri­b­u­tion land­scape and man­ag­ing domes­tic tele­vi­sion dis­tri­b­u­tion in-house.”

Under the terms of the agree­ment, Fox will receive a dis­tri­b­u­tion fee on world­wide the­atri­cal and home video gross receipts as well as on inter­na­tional tele­vi­sion, and on cer­tain dig­i­tal busi­nesses, includ­ing rentals, SVOD and EST. Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion will retain the rights to dis­trib­ute its prod­uct in the domes­tic tele­vi­sion win­dows with­out pay­ing a fee to Fox.

Sid the Science Kid” episode wins Genesis Award

Sid The Science Kid

Sid The Sci­ence Kid

Save the Stump!”, an episode of The Jim Hen­son Company’s partly ani­mated PBS Kids series Sid The Sci­ence Kid, won in the Children’s Pro­gram­ming cat­e­gory Sat­ur­day at the 26th Gen­e­sis Awards, pre­sented by the Humane Soci­ety of the United States.

In the episode, Sid and his dad are clear­ing a space for a bas­ket­ball court. While sur­vey­ing the land, Sid sees a stump teem­ing with lit­tle crea­tures. Dur­ing a field trip to the Sci­ence Cen­ter, Sid and his friends learn that there are ani­mal habi­tats all around us, even in old stumps, and that if one habi­tat is destroyed, then all of the oth­ers (includ­ing ani­mals) are affected.

Save the Stump” was filmed in the desert habi­tat exhibit and the kelp for­est habi­tat exhibit in Ecosys­tems Desert and Kelp For­est Zone at the Cal­i­for­nia Sci­ence Cen­ter in Los Angeles.

In the Fea­ture Film cat­e­gory, Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Fox’s ani­mated Rio lost to the same studio’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The Gen­e­sis Awards rec­og­nized Rise as the Out­stand­ing Fea­ture Film of the year for its exam­i­na­tion of the ethics of using chim­panzees in med­ical research.

Ain’t Nothin’ But Mut­ton Bustin’,” an episode of The Cleve­land Show, had been nom­i­nated for the Sid Cae­sar Com­edy Award. How­ever, it lost to The Col­bert Report — the win­ner for the sec­ond year in a row — for offer­ing a satir­i­cal twist on the whal­ing issue and a Utah legislator’s pro­posal to kill feral dogs and cats.

The Gen­e­sis Awards were pre­sented at a gala cer­e­mony at the Bev­erly Hilton in Bev­erly Hills, Cal­i­for­nia. The event will be shown as a one-hour spe­cial May 5 on Ani­mal Planet.

We paid trib­ute to an amaz­ing array of works that address ani­mal pro­tec­tion con­cerns, but the real win­ners of the HSUS’s 26th Gen­e­sis Awards are the ani­mals them­selves, who rely on these invalu­able voices to speak for them,” said Bev­erly Kaskey, senior direc­tor of the HSUS’s Hol­ly­wood Out­reach pro­gram and exec­u­tive pro­ducer of the annual Gen­e­sis Awards.

Host­ing the show was Car­rie Ann Inaba of Danc­ing with the Stars, who opened the cer­e­mony along­side Uggie, the show-stealing ter­rier from The Artist.