Bob Hoskins, perhaps best known as detective Eddie Valiant in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” has died at age 71. Eddie was the live action comic foil to the animated Roger. He grudgingly helped the bunny clear his name when he was framed for murder. Along the way, he revealed that a toon killed his brother. Eventually, he confronted his adversary, who turned out to be the local judge.
Academy Award nominee “Adam and Dog” is now fully represented online. If you are interested in seeing the full 15 minute short, you now can because director Minkyu Lee has posted the full version to the Internets.
Simpsons short The Longest Daycare is not currently available online.
All videos that are online can be viewed directly from their BCDB page.
“Bydlo,” an animation directed by Patrick Bouchard for the National Film Board of Canada, was named Tuesday evening as one of Canada’s top short films of 2012.
The 12th annual Canada’s Top Ten list was announced at a Toronto gala organized by the Toronto International Film Festival Group. Actors Sarah Gadon and Don McKellar were the hosts.
An allegory of mankind heading for disaster, Bydlo is a tragic vision inspired by the fourth movement of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Drawing on the composer’s brilliant ability to evoke work and labour in his music, Bouchard brings the earth to life through animated clay sculptures, creating a concrete and terrifying world, a tactile nightmare in which man is his own slave driver.
The film has been nominated for next year’s Annie Award for Best Animated Short Subject. It premiered June 7 at the Annecy International Animation Festival.
Others in this year’s list of Top 10 Canadian shorts are (in alphabetical order) Chef de meute (Herd Leader), directed by Chloé Robichaud; Crackin’ Down Hard, directed by Mike Clattenburg; Kaspar, directed by Diane Obomsawin; Ne crâne pas sois modeste (Keep a Modest Head), directed by Deco Dawson; Lingo, directed by Bahar Noorizadeh; Malody, directed by Phillip Barker; Old Growth, directed by Tess Girard; Reflexions, directed by Martin Thibaudeau; and Paparmane (Wintergreen), directed by Joëlle Desjardins Paquette.
A list of Canada’s Top 10 feature films was announced as well.
“From a hilarious sex quest to an apocalyptic satire, this year’s diverse list of documentaries, comedies, dramas and epics serve the country’s savvy moviegoers the eclectic cocktail of films they have grown to count on from Canada’s Top Ten,” TIFF senior programmer Steve Gravestock said in a statement.
Added TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey: “We couldn’t be more impressed by the calibre of films the industry has produced this year,”
TIFF will screen films from both Top 10 lists at its Lightbox headquarters in Toronto from January 4 to 13. The screenings will be accompanied by special introductions and question-and-answer sessions with the filmmakers. Some of the films will come to other Canadian cities in the new year. Screenings are planned for Montreal, Vancouver and Edmonton.
A panel made up of filmmakers, movie industry people and journalists across Canada chose the two lists.
Sony Animation”s “Hotel Transylvania” opened for business in a host of countries this past weekend, helping it make $18.1 million in its fourth week of foreign release.
Debuting in Spain, Germany, the Ukraine, Austria, German-speaking Switzerland and the Middle East, Hotel Transylvania was seen at 5,550 venues in 50 overseas countries over the weekend. In Spain, it earned $3.6 million on 623 screens.
Featuring the voices of Adam Sandler and Kevin James, the movie has made $68.8 million abroad so far.
After 21 weeks overseas, DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted has made $495.9 million. Distributed by Paramount, the movie made $8.5 million at 2,901 locations in 29 countries over the weekend. In its second weekend in Britain, Madagascar 3 fell to $4.5 million from 541 screens to take second place in that country.
Comedic horror film Frankenweenie, directed by Tim Burton, collected $3.5 million in its second weekend overseas. Seen in 27 countries, the Disney film has made a total of $17.7 million abroad.
[Via The Hollywood Reporter – http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/…kyfall-blasts-383848]
The American Federation of Musicians sued 20th Century Fox and NBC Universal last week, objecting to the use of the recorded music soundtrack from The Simpsons in a series-based roller coaster attraction at Universal Studios Theme Park in Hollywood.
The lawsuit, filed in California federal court, charged that Universal obtained the recording without giving notice. The complaint cites Fox and Universal as parties to a 2010 agreement with the union which “include(s) a broad restriction on new uses” of music recorded for TV shows.
These songs, the suit contends, are to be used as “originally prepared” except for advertising, rehearsing, the enlightenment of company executives and certain other restricted purposes. Music that’s dubbed for recordings also provides for payment and credits, the lawsuit adds.
Said the complaint: “Universal’s use of music sound track from The Simpsons at its park does not fall within any of the new use exceptions enumerated in Article 8 of the Agreement and, thus, is not an authorized new use under the Agreement.” Fox claims that it has transferred some of its intellectual property rights in The Simpsons to Universal, according to the lawsuit.
The complaint says Universal claims that use of the soundtrack is for “promotional” purposes.
The AFM is suing Fox and Universal for breaking the labor agreement and wants relief in the form of an injunction. It also wants is asking for financial damages for the musicians who were hired to recording music for The Simpsons.
“Universal Studios Hollywood denies the claims made by the American Federation of Musicians. No other comment on pending litigation will be made,” said a Universal spokesperson.
Fox did not answer requests for comment.
The complaint can be viewed at www.hollywoodreporter.com/sites/default/files/custom/Documents/simpsons.pdf.
[Via The Hollywood Reporter – ca.movies.yahoo.com/news/musicians-union-sues-fox-universal-over-simpsons-music-004332876.html]
Jeanette Armentrout Thomas, the widow of legendary Disney animator Frank Thomas (one of Walt Disney’s renowned “Nine Old Men”), died Saturday at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, California from age-related illnesses. She was 91.
She was prominently featured in several documentaries directed by her son Theodore (“Ted”), including Frank & Ollie and Walt and El Grupo. She was also a longtime docent at Pasadena’s historic Gamble House, and authored an acclaimed 1989 book called Images of the Gamble House: Masterwork of Greene & Greene.
“My mother was beautiful, poised, accomplished, but would become a bit incredulous if we would point out any of these qualities to her,” recalled her son.
“She took a deep, empathetic interest in the lives of her children, relatives, and friends, and our triumphs as well as our stumbles were felt just as much by her. My parents took joy in having found each other, and certainly they helped to make life stimulating and rewarding for all of us in their sphere.”
Jeanette Armentrout was born in 1921 and raised in Greeley, Colorado, where her father was vice-president of the Colorado State College of Education, now the University of Northern Colorado. She attended Stephens College in Columbus, Missouri, and then received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University. She taught in California secondary schools and at the Colorado State College of Education during the Second World War, and in 1946 married veteran Disney animator Frank Thomas.
In his 2001 Disney Editions book Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men & the Art of Animation, Oscar-winning animation director/author John Canemaker recounted Frank’s courtship with Jeanette and the young animator’s impressions of his future bride:
“In 1945, after the war, she took a job teaching high school in Redwood City, California, near Palo Alto,” says Thomas, who was smitten after their initial meeting and had ‘written letters to her all along.’ Now that Ms. Armentrout was suddenly ‘in the back yard’ (that is, in California) their letters became more specific. ‘It took me three and a half years, and a war, and teaching, to realize that he was pretty special,’ says Jeanette.”
“Thomas went on to send Jeanette a musical piece he had written titled ‘Concerto by Me,’ which friends told him sounded like a proposal. ‘Good things happened pretty fast after that,’ recalled Thomas, who stretched a fifty-mile limit three-day pass to travel 200 miles to visit Jeanette. ‘So we proposed to each other and we decided what we were going to do,’ he said.”
Thomas was discharged from the service in January 1946, and the couple was married in Colorado on February 16. They were married for 58 years up until Frank’s death in 2004.
In addition to being the mother of four children, Ann, Gregg, Theodore, and Douglas, Jeanette was extensively involved with the PTA, the American Field Service, taught music in the La Cañada schools, and was an early and active docent at the Gamble House in Pasadena. Her 1989 book Images of the Gamble House showcased an extensive and intimate knowledge of the history and architecture of the Craftsman masterpiece. For her efforts, she received awards from both the Gamble House Docent Council, and the City of Pasadena.
She is survived by her son Gregg, her son Theodore and his wife, Kuniko Okubo, her son Douglas and his husband, Dan Poirier, three grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. Funeral services will be private. Plans for a life celebration will be announced later.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Young Musicians Foundation, 195 South Beverly Drive, Suite 414, Beverly Hills, CA 90212, (310) 859-7668, or www.ymf.org/donate.
DreamWorks Animation has announced they have promoted Lincoln Wallen as their new CTO, replacing current CTO Ed Leonard. DreamWorks Animation has juts released Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, and is releasing the highly anticipated Rise Of The Guardians next month.
Wallen joined DWA in 2008 as head of research and development, and has recently risen to head of animation technology. He has also served as CTO at the game company Electronic Arts Mobile where he was instrumental in shaping EA’s approach to the mobile business. Prior to joining EA, Lincoln was with Criterion Software and MathEngine. His early career involved 20 years of professional IT and mathematics research, including two years as BP Venture Research Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, and latterly as a Reader in Computer Science at the University of Oxford.
Former CTO Ed Leonard is now running a mobile app effort called Ptch which started at at DreamWorks. Leonard was instrumental in transitioning DreamWorks Animation to a LINUX as its core operating system for the production of animated films
In a major strange bedfellows pairing, DreamWorks Animation and Technicolor announce a joint venture in a content distribution deal. Their new company- called M-Go- will be pushing out content digitally. But not just DWA’s content… the agreement announced Tuesday are with NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution.
The new M-Go service will be pre-loaded on consumer electronics from Intel, Samsung and Vizio, and is scheduled to launch later this year. M-Go will also be available as a free service at www.mgo.com. M‐Go will also offer UltraViolet compatibility.
“The deals will enable consumers to rent or purchase day & date new release films, catch-up television and back catalog film and TV shows,” the company said. “M‐Go centralizes viewing in one easy place, bridging the divide between viewing platforms, content sources, delivery technologies and devices.”
John Batter, CEO of M‐Go, said: “Partners choose us because of the value M-Go brings to the marketplace by providing massive amounts of quality film and TV content on the devices people already use.”
M-Go currently uses the MediaNavi search and discovery platform for cloud-based services for consumers. The app-based service was launched in January. The service won the CSI award in the TV Everywhere / Multi-screen Video category earlier this month. The CSI Awards are one of the most comprehensive and competitive technology awards in the world. They reward technical and product marketing excellence in the cable, satellite, terrestrial broadcasting, IPTV, online/internet video and mobile TV sectors.
On Friday, September 21 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California, the Chuck Jones Centennial Celebration Film Festival will be an evening devoted to honoring the artist who brought to life such famous cartoon characters as Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, Pepé le Pew, Marvin Martian and Marc Anthony.
Hosted by the family of Chuck Jones, the evening — which gets underway at 8 p.m. — will include reminiscences from noted artists whose careers and lives have been impacted by Chuck Jones and the work he created. The Alex Theatre is located at 216 Brand Boulevard. The phone number is (818) 243-ALEX (2539).
Tickets range in price from $10 to $50, benefiting the programs of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. They’re available at the Alex Theatre box office or online at www.AlexTheatre.org.
Of course, there will be cartoons, many of them from Jones’ personal 35mm collection.
Jones, whose credits include four Academy Award-winning short films, directed over 300 films in his lifetime, with such memorable titles as Rabbit Seasoning, Robin Hood Daffy and Feed the Kitty. In 1992, his What’s Opera, Doc? was the first short animated film to be inducted into the Smithsonian’s National Film Registry. Subsequently, two others have been added: One Froggy Evening and Duck Amuck.
An honorary lifetime member of the Directors Guild of America, Jones is considered to be one of the pioneers of the animated film, feted and honored at dozens of International Film Festivals from Annecy to Zagreb. In 1985, he was the subject of a film retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
In 1999, Jones founded the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, a non-profit public charity whose vision is to inspire the innate creative genius within each person that leads to a more joyous, passionate, and harmonious life and world.
Among the presenters on September 21:
* Carl Bell, animator and clean-up artist, will be one of the presenters. A Governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Bell worked with Jones in the late 1960s and early 1970s at MGM. His career includes work with Clampett Productions early in his career and most recently with Disney Studios.
* Eric Goldberg: Goldberg joined Disney Studios in 1990 as the supervising animator responsible for the movements, personality and soul of the Genie in Aladdin. Goldberg’s strong background in animation next earned him his directorial debut on Pocahontas, which he followed up as the supervising animator on Phil, the salty satyr and trainer of heroes in Hercules. Goldberg also directed the “Carnival of the Animals” and “Rhapsody in Blue” segments of Fantasia 2000, the continuation of Walt Disney’s 1940 masterpiece.
Goldberg not only served as the director of animation for Warner Bros.’ 2003 live-action and animation hybrid feature Looney Tunes: Back in Action, but he also provided the voices of the cartoon characters Marvin Martian, Tweety and Speedy Gonzalez. Working with Bob Kurtz of Kurtz + Friends, he animated the title sequence of MGM’s 2006 remake of The Pink Panther. His relationship with Chuck Jones began in the early 1990s and continued until Jones’ passing in 2002.
*Jerry Beck is an animation historian, author, blogger, animation producer and industry consultant to Warner Bros. Studios, and has been an executive with Nickelodeon and Disney.
Reserved seating is available in Orchestra 1, 2, 3 and 4. General admission seating is in the balcony. Photo or video recording by patrons is not allowed.
Longtime friends Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie are reuniting for an animated film to be released on Christmas Day 2014.
Fry told Twitter fans that he and the House actor are “cooking up a project together.”
Later, he announced: “M’coll Hugh & I will be working together to voice the new animated feature of Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost.”
Fry is one of the film’s executive producers. Being made by France’s Melmoth Films, Britain’s Sprout Pictures and Canada’s Arc Productions, the feature film is now in pre-production.
He tweeted a poster for The Canterville Ghost, based on Wilde’s classic story. Fry’s and Laurie’s names receive top billing.
Friends in university, the pair gained fame in Britain as comedy duo Fry and Laurie. After meeting at Cambridge, they joined forces on several TV shows, including Jeeves and Wooster. Laurie played Bertie Wooster, while Fry portayed valet Jeeves.
They also received critical plaudits for their BBC sketch show A Bit of Fry & Laurie.