Monthly Archives: April 2011

“Bridge” takes top college TV award for animation

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Emmy

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Emmy

Bridge,” by Ting Chian Tey of Academy of Art University, took first place in animation last Saturday when the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation hosted its 32nd College Television Awards.

The awards ceremony in Los Angeles honored the nation’s best student-produced work in video, digital and film production. Mary Lynn Rajskub of 24 hosted the gala, sponsored by the organization which hands out the Emmys.

The three-minute, computer-animated Bridge is a story about four animal characters trying to cross a bridge, but ending up as obstacles to one another in the process. The moral behind this story revolves around how there are often disagreements or competing paths in life, and the possible results of pride, obstinance and compromise.

Second place in animation went to The Girl and the Fox, by Nicholas William Allred and Tyler Kupferer of Savannah College of Art and Design.

The film also received the first-ever Focus on Diversity and Gender Equality in Children’s Media award. The $5,000 award presentation was made by actress Geena Davis of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

DreamGiver, by Tyler Carter of Brigham Young University’s Center for Animation, took third place in animation. It was also honored for best composition (R. Lance Montgomery, II of BYU’s School of Music).

About a boy who’s saved from a horrifying nightmare, DreamGiver is the 11th recipient of a College Television Award by BYU’s animation in eight years. Carter got the idea for the six-minute film over two years ago while eating at an Orem Arctic Circle with his wife more.

“I had this idea come into my head of where do dreams come from and where do nightmares come from and how do you stop a nightmare,” said Carter, who is graduating in animation after serving internships at Disney and Pixar. “I wrote the ideas on the back of whatever I had — a napkin and the back of a business card,” added Carter, 25.

DreamGiver was first planned as a side project while students were making another film that would have been their main thesis. However, that film wasn’t completed in time.

“It never felt like a side film for us who worked on it,” said Carter. “There was more passion and love for this film than any film we’ve had in awhile. There was so much dedication. We wanted to make a very good film, and we wanted people to see it.”

It took 18 months for 46 BYU students to produce DreamGiver. The film uses 3-D computer animation, along with 2-D artwork during the dream sequences.

According to Montgomery, this is the second straight year that BYU has won the College Television Award for music composition. In addition, Montgomery received an honorable mention for his music for a feature-length live-action film from the university.

“It was an amazing experience. It’s exciting because it’ll open a lot of opportunities,” said Montgomery, who credits such film composers as Danny Elfman (The Nightmare Before Christmas) and John Williams (Star Wars) as his inspiration. “It will definitely speed up my career.”

Previous winners of College Television Awards including Jorge Gutierrez, the Emmy-winning creator of El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera.

[Via Salt Lake Tribune http://www.sltrib.com/…ation-award.html.csp]

Make Mine Music (1946) – Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film

CotD: One of Disney’s ‘Wartime Anthology’ films, “Make Mine Music” was also Disney’s first film aimed primarily for adults ~

Make Mine Music (1946)

Make Mine Music (1946)

Make Mine Music (1946) – Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film

An anthology film made from 10 sections: The Martins And The Coys, Casey at the Bat, Peter and the Wolf, Johnnie Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet, Without You, All The Cats Join In, After You’ve Gone, Blue Bayou, Two Silhouettes and The Whale Who Wanted To Sing At The Met.

Watch Make Mine Music at Big Cartoon DataBase

Bugs and Daffy return in “The Looney Tunes Show”

The Looney Tunes Show

The Looney Tunes Show

Animation’s most beloved characters are back in an all-new series, The Looney Tunes Show, premiering at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on Tuesday, May 3 on Cartoon Network.

Bugs and Daffy haven’t changed — but their living situation has. Bugs is as brazen, sarcastic and ahead-of-the-game as ever, and Daffy, despite his narcissistic, sociopathic and paranoid tendencies, is Bugs’ best friend and seemingly permanent houseguest. No longer confined to seven-minute shorts, their larger-than-life personalities (and egos) offer an irreverent, comical take on our modern world and introduce a whole new realm of possibilities. Now Bugs and Daffy can wreak as much havoc at the grocery store or the DMV as they once did in the forest.

The premiere episode, “Best Friends,” sets the scene for this unlikely pair’s dynamic. Daffy decides the duo can make a quick buck by going on the game show Besties, where best friends answer questions about one another.

The Looney Tunes Show will join fellow cartoon icons from the hit animated series Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated on Tuesday nights. Scooby and the gang are back solving mysteries in the spooky town of Crystal Cove — including the overarching mystery of Mister E. and their Mystery Incorporated predecessors — when season two of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated premieres at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Tuesday, May 3.

The Looney Tunes Show and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated are produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Sam Register (Teen Titans, Ben 10, Batman: The Brave and the Bold) is the executive producer of both, and Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone (Duck Dodgers, Back at the Barnyard, Space Jam, Tom and Jerry Tales) are supervising producers.

Read more at The Big Cartoon Forum

“Almost Naked Animals” ready for exposure on CN

Almost Naked Animals

Almost Naked Animals

Multi-award-winning production and distribution company 9 Story Entertainment has signed an agreement with Cartoon Network for the United States broadcast of its proprietary animated comedy series Almost Naked Animals, 9 Story president and CEO Vince Commisso announced Monday.

The animated series, to run for 40 22-minute episodes, is schedule to debut this year on Cartoon Network.

“We are thrilled to be bringing Almost Naked Animals to U.S. audiences with Cartoon Network, and anticipate out-of-the-box success for this hilarious new series as part of the incredible Cartoon Network brand,” said Commisso.

Almost Naked Animals is an irreverent, fast-paced series featuring free-spirited animals in their underwear that run a beachfront hotel like kids at a summer camp — and do their best to make each day more fun than the last. Lead dog and hotel manager Howie, who has the attention span of an 11-year old in a video arcade, heads the dysfunctional but extremely humorous ensemble cast.

Longtime anime director Osamu Dezaki dead at 67

Osamu Dezaki

Osamu Dezaki

Osamu Dezaki, director of many popular Japanese animations and the co-founder of the Madhouse anime studio, died at 12:35 a.m. Sunday of lung cancer. He was 67.

Also known as Makura Saki, he was born in Tokyo’s Shinagawa neighborhood on November 18, 1943.

Dezaki made use of split screens and stark lighting as part of his recognizable visual style, which later became popular and specific to Japanese animation. He also incorporated what he called “Postcard Memories,” a process involving pastel freeze frames, in which the screen fades into a more involved “painting” of the simpler original animation.

His many works as a director included Ace wo Nerae!, the Air film, Ashi-ta no Joe, Bionic Six, Black Jack The Movie, the Clannad film, Ganba no Boken, Genji Monogatari Sennenki, Golgo 13: The Professional, Hajime Ningen Gyatoruz, Mighty Orbots, Nobody’s Boy – Remi, The Rose of Versailles, The Snow Queen, Space Adventure Cobra and Takarajima (Treasure Island).

In addition, he directed early episodes of Mighty Atom/Astro Boy, along with several Lupin III TV episodes and specials.

While still in high school, Dezaki started out as a manga artist. In 1963, he joined studio Mushi Productions, which was founded by manga and anime pioneer Osamu Tezuka. The year 1970 marked his directorial debut with Ashi-ta no Joe.

In 1972, he and and Masao Maruyama co-founded Madhouse. Later, he and frequent character design collaborator Akio Sugino co-founded Studio Annapuru.

Osamu Dezaki is survived by older brother Satoshi Dezaki, who is also an anime director.

A wake will be held Thursday, April 20. A service will be held Friday, April 21 in Tokyo.

Sinkin’ In The Bathtub (1930) – Looney Tunes Cartoon

CotD: 81 Years ago today, Warner released the first Looney Tunes cartoon, in fact, the first Warner cartoon “Sinkin’ In The Bathtub”

Sinkin' In The Bathtub (1930) - Looney Tunes

Sinkin' In The Bathtub (1930) - Looney Tunes

Sinkin’ In The Bathtub (1930) – Looney Tunes Theatrical Cartoon Series

Bosko is taking a bath while humming “Singing in the Bathtub,” playing everything around him like a musical instrument. Even the bathtub gets up and dances. Bosko rides a stream of water out his window, and calls for his car.

While driving, Bosko plays “Tip-Toe Through the Tulips” on his harmonica, and picks up some flowers. He arrives at Honey’s house while she is bathing upstairs. Honey sees Bosko out of her bathroom window and quickly gets dressed.

Waiting outside, Bosko hides the flowers behind his back, but a goat eats them. Bosko begins to cry, but Honey calls out from her balcony: “Don’t cry Bosko! I still loves you!” Bosko feels better, and then kicks the goat in the behind. He takes some parts from his car and makes a saxophone out of them. Honey pours a tub of soapy water from her balcony into the sax, causing it to blow bubbles up into the air. Honey jumps off her balcony and dances on the bubbles, eventually making her way down to the ground, where she and Bosko play her front path like a xylophone.

The happy couple drives off in the car and smooch. Along the way a lazy cow that won’t budge blocks their path. After being spat on by the cow, Bosko decides to run it over. The car then hits a bump that sends Bosko flying out of the car, splitting him into eight miniature Bosko’s. He pulls himself together, and then helps push the car up a hill.

After reaching the top the car starts to speed downhill, with Bosko chasing after it. Bosko grabs a rope attached to the car, but he’s dragged over rocks and trees and ends up in front of the runaway automobile. The car goes off a cliff and lands in a pond. Bosko and Honey end up floating in their car-turned-bathtub, while Bosko cheerfully plays “Singing in the Bathtub” with reeds on the lily pads.

Watch Sinkin’ In The Bathtub at Big Cartoon DataBase

Some heroes are born to fly…. Rio Review

Rio

Rio

Rio opened here last night and it was with a great deal of pleasure and relief to watch after the awfulness of Hop. Rio is a genuine animated feature unlike Hop, and it has one thing over the bunny disaster….namely quality!!

I wouldn’t go as far to say that Rio is great because it doesn’t quite lift itself into that league. It is made by the same people who brought us the Ice Age trilogy. I’m not overly fond of Ice Age as the animation isn’t quite to my taste, but I do admire the skill involved in its making, and hence, they are still worth watching. I found the animation in Rio a step ahead of Ice Age and is of a very high caliber. It isn’t Rango territory, or Pixar even, but it is well above that of the recent Gnomeo and Juliet.

Overall though Rio offers nothing new animation or plot wise. But this doesn’t mean Rio is a failure, because it isn’t. It is standard fare and I have found over the years that an animated feature like this is still of a consistently high standard. And unlike Hop Rio is a movie that all ages will enjoy. It is aimed at the younger generations to be sure, but any adult will get enough out of it and not be horrified to have to sit through 90 minutes of awfulness for the kiddies sake. I think most adults will actually like Rio but not rave about it. There is certainly enough ‘grown up ‘humor to be involved in with references to other movies and the likes if you are attentive enough to catch them. In one scene a bunch of monkeys is beaten up by a bunch of birds, with one bird saying, ‘ yippy i a, monkey fella’…. Die Hard anyone??!!!

The movie moves along very quickly and I think the young ones will be hard pressed to fidget and squirm as there won’t be time! The animation as stated is good and I think the kiddies will love it. Rio de Janiero is colored beautifully whether day or night, and the ‘carnival’ atmosphere adds a palpable and colorful backdrop. Rio as a movie based in South America has captured the sight and sounds wonderfully even though everyone speaks English. But hey, it is more for the kids so what does it matter?!

The characters, especially the two main protagonists, a pair of Blue Macaws are likable. Blu is well voiced by Jesse Eisenberg who perfectly captures his doubts and sheltered upbringing ( he is a bird who can’t fly and has to learn in order to save his friends at the end of the movie ). The nasties are nasty and get their just desserts in the end. There is not one dud or out of place character which helps the movie move along well. All standard stuff from an animated feature and of course sublimiley aimed at the young ones, which I don’t have a problem with. Surprisingly there are two songs in Rio which I wasn’t expecting and very Disney like. I’m not overly fond of singing in animation but in Rio they are fitting and still humorous enough to not stop the flow of the movie.

So in Rio it is all there. The humor, the plot of looking out for your family and friends, any number of sight gags that all ages will love, and some very good animation. Rio is a very colorful movie and I think the kids will be very engaged by that alone. It is a fast pace humorous color fest, with the usual array of good and bad characters. Blu’s fellow, and very female, Macaw, voiced by Anne Hathaway, reminded me a girl I knew years ago who had the most beautiful blue, and heartbreaking, doe eyes. I really enjoyed her character as the makers really made her very female to look at! Her eyes are lovely and she is a real charmer as a character, very independent and full of life. Blu’s owner too is the very typical animated female with a gorgeously cliqued, perfect figure!! But hey, again, it is animation and it is escapism, so why can’t there be an animated babe!!

If I was to grade Rio I would give it 7/10. It is all there as I have stated and is a very competent feature. It is not in the great realm, but is well above average and is for all ages to enjoy. I think the kiddies won’t be engaged so much dialogue wise as they will be color wise. It is quite something and even the oldies will admire what the makers have achieved. It may have a child like slant but any adult or parent who takes the kids to Rio will also enjoy it enough to make it a pleasant time out for all.

Another good quality animated feature that is for all. While it isn’t in the great league it is certainly among the plethora of very good above average movies making the rounds. Rio can be watched over and over by the kids when released on DVD and not annoy the parents who will more than likely partake! Above average, enjoyable, fun for all.

There’s no place like “Gnome” for Robert Zemeckis

ImageMovers

ImageMovers

Robert Zemeckis will help produce a partly CG-animated adaptation of the humor book How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack for Sony Pictures Animation.

Zemeckis’ ImageMovers studio will produce the R-rated film with the Gotham Group. Budgeted at between $20 million and $30 million, the movie will also include live action. No screenwriter has been hired as yet.

Zemeckis has not committed to direct his latest film. Reportedly, he’s considering his options after Mars Needs Moms — which he helped direct — tanked at the box office and Disney decided to halt his planned remake of Yellow Submarine. He remains a producer on DreamWorks’ upcoming movie Real Steel, starring Hugh Jackman.

More at the Big Cartoon Forum

Chitty Chitty Death Bang (1990) – Family Guy Cartoon Episode Guide

CotD: Since Family Guy just got a new season added, it is time to feature one from the first season to celebrate “Chitty Chitty Death Bang”

Chitty Chitty Death Bang (1990) - Family Guy Cartoon

Chitty Chitty Death Bang (1990) - Family Guy Cartoon

Chitty Chitty Death Bang (1990) – Family Guy Cartoon Episode Guide

It’s Stewie’s first birthday, and Lois has a big party arranged for him until Peter messes up her plans. Lois is furious with Peter when he allows Meg to attend a party the same day as Stewie’s birthday. Meanwhile, Meg makes a strange new friend at school. Unbeknownst to Meg, she’s actually attending a cult meeting, and when Peter brings her back home, the cult leader follows. Stewie recognizes the leader as the man who wants to return him to the “ovarian Bastille.”

Watch Chitty Chitty Death Bang at Big Cartoon DataBase

“Rio” much louder than “Scream,” opens at $40M

Rio

Rio

20th Century Fox’s animated family film “Rio” made much more noise than Scream 4 could, opening in North America in first place with $40 million this weekend.

Featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg, Rio had the best debut of any film so far this year. It beat another animated comedy, Rango, by about $2 million.

In its second weekend overseas, the 3D computer-animated Rio stayed in first place, making $53.9 million in 13,705 venues in 62 countries.

The movie, from Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios, has grossed $129.1 million overseas and $169.1 million worldwide.

More at the Big Cartoon Forum