Monthly Archives: June 2011

“Cars 2″ beats “Kung Fu Panda 2″ in foreign race

Cars 2

Cars 2

In the battle of the sequels at the international box office, Pixar-Disney’s Cars 2 flew past the checkered flag over the weekend, opening at $42.9 million.

Although it played in fewer countries, Cars 2 outgrossed DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2.

Cars 2 was screened in 3,129 locations in 18 overseas countries, making $13,710 per venue. Disney called the results “25% of our potential performance.”

This was also 127% ahead of the amount from the original Cars (2006), which grossed $217.9 million overseas. Disney pointed out that the Cars 2 opening beat by 80% that of Up (2009), which made a total of $438.3 million abroad.

The weekend’s foreign takings overtook by 77% those of Ratatouille (2007), which made a total of $417.3 million, and by 4%)those of last year’s Toy Story 3 ($648.2 million).

According to Disney, the opening three-day gross total worldwide reached $110.9 million. The largest overseas markets for Cars 2 markets were Russia ($9.3 million), Mexico ($8.1 million), Brazil ($7.6 million), Italy ($5.7 million) and Australia ($5.2 million).

Kung Fu Panda 2 was seen in over three times as many countries overseas this past weekend as Cars 2. Although it had led the foreign box office for the previous two weekends, the bruin sequel fell to No. 2, having made $32.9 million at 10,467 venues in 46 countries.

Released by Paramount, the 3D animated movie has made $336 million since it debuted overseas May 26. In Australia this past weekend, it premiered at No. 2 (after Cars 2), collecting $4.87 million from 448 movie houses.

Still in theaters overseas, Universal Pictures’ Hop has made a total of $69.2 million.

“Cars 2″ co-director Brad Lewis switching studios

Brad Lewis

Brad Lewis

Longtime Pixar figure Brad Lewis, co-director with John Lasseter of the just-released Cars 2, is changing garages.

Lewis is moving on to direct animated features at Tradition Studios, based in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The company is owned by Digital Domain Media Group.

Cars 2 topped the North American box office this weekend and grossed over $115 million around the world. During his 10-year tenure at Pixar, Lewis also produced the Oscar-winning Ratatouille, which made $624 million worldwide.

Tradition Studios opened in 2009 to develop and co-produce original, family-oriented CG features. Although no titles have been announced so far. the studio is constructing a 115,000-square-foot facility, set to open in Port St. Lucie in December.

Digital Domain is partly owned by director Michael Bay. Its holdings also include Digital Domain’s flagship VFX facility in Venice, California, which has produced visual effects for such films as the Tron remake and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

“I am excited to join a company with Digital Domain’s talent and expertise and to have an opportunity to be a part of its team in creating family-friendly stories and adventures,” Lewis said in a statement.

Before joining Pixar, Lewis was at PDI/Dreamworks for over 11 years. There, he was a producer on 1998’s Antz and executive produced TV movies. He was also an executive producer/vice-president of production for Pacific Data Images.

Lewis was nominated for an Emmy for the first 3D computer-animated episode of The Simpsons. He won an Emmy for graphic design for ABC’s Monday Night Football.

Sinbad The Sailor (1935) – ComiColor Cartoons Theatrical Cartoon Series

CotD: In his short stint away from Disney, legend Ub Iwerks produced “Sinbad The Sailor” among other shorts ~

Sinbad The Sailor (1935) - ComiColor

Sinbad The Sailor (1935) - ComiColor

Sinbad The Sailor (1935) – ComiColor Cartoons Theatrical Cartoon Series

Sinbad battles a band of pirates (including a hearty, liquor-swilling pirate chief) at sea and on a tropical isle. A giant bird rescues Sinbad and flies off with him, and he ends up back on his ship with the pirates’ treasure. The pirate flag takes on different expressions.

Watch Sinbad The Sailor at Big Cartoon DataBase

Ratatouille (2007) – Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film

CotD: Since everything is coming up PIXAR these days, today we have “Ratatouille” from 2007 ~

Ratatouille (2007) - Feature Length Theatrical Animated

Ratatouille (2007) - Feature Length Theatrical Animated

Ratatouille (2007) – Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film

A rat named Remy dreams of becoming a great chef despite his family’s wishes and the obvious problem of being a rat in a decidedly rodent-phobic profession. When fate places Remy in the city of Paris, he finds himself ideally situated beneath a restaurant made famous by his culinary hero, Auguste Gusteau. Despite the apparent dangers of being an unwanted visitor in the kitchen at one of Paris’ most exclusive restaurants, Remy forms an unlikely partnership with Linguini, the garbage boy, who inadvertently discovers Remy’s amazing talents. They strike a deal, ultimately setting into motion a hilarious and exciting chain of extraordinary events that turns the culinary world of Paris upside down.

Remy finds himself torn between following his dreams or returning forever to his previous existence as a rat. He learns the truth about friendship, family and having no choice but to be who he really is, a rat who wants to be a chef.

Watch Ratatouille at Big Cartoon DataBase

Trailer Up For PIXAR’s “Brave”

Pixar's Brave

Pixar's Brave

PIXAR’s Cars 2 is still fresh (and cleaning up!) in theaters, and PIXAR releases the first video trailer for the next big film, Brave.

Brave, set for release in about a year, on June 22, 2012. Brave is said to be a fairy tale story, a first for a film from PIXAR. It is also the first PIXAR film not directed by the core group of directors at the studio. Brave‘s director is Mark Andrews, who previously directed the short, One Man Band.

Described by Toy Story 3 director lee Unkrick as “Gritty”, PIXAR describes the film thus:

“A rugged and mythic Scotland is the setting for Pixar’s action-adventure Brave. The impetuous, tangle-haired Merida, though a daughter of royalty, would prefer to make her mark as a great archer. A clash of wills with her mother compels Merida to make a reckless choice, which unleashes unintended peril on her father’s kingdom and her mother’s life. Merida struggles with the unpredictable forces of nature, magic and a dark, ancient curse to set things right. The storytelling wizards of Pixar conjure humor, fantasy and excitement in this rich Highland tale.”

The film stars Reese Witherspoon as Princess Merida and Emma Thompson as her mother, Queen Elinor. Additional voices include Billy Connolly as King Fergus, Tom Hulce as Prince Jeffrey, and Julie Walters as a witch.

You can see the trailer on the BCDB “Brave” page now.

“Eagleman Stag” wins at Los Angeles Film Festival

The Eagleman Stag

The Eagleman Stag

Mikey Please’s “The Eagleman Stag,” produced at Britain’s Royal College of Art, won the award for Best Animated Short Film at the Los Angeles Film Festival, the fest announced Sunday.

The Eagleman Stag” featured the voices of David Cann, Tony Guilfoyle, this unique stop-motion animated film depicts a man’s haunting obsession with the passage of time and his unorthodox relationship with a beetle.

The jury presented the award “for mixing innovative three-dimensional paper-cut animation, a stunning white-on-white visual style, and a wryly original sense of storytelling.”

The award for Best Narrative Short Film went to Saba Riazi’s The Wind Is Blowing on My Street. The award for Best Documentary Short Film went to Susan Koenen’s I Am a Girl!.

The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature went to Attack the Block, directed by Joe Cornish, and the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature went to Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, directed by Michael Rapaport. Asif Kapadia’s Senna won the Audience Award for Best International Feature.

The Audience Award for Best Short Film went to Blind Date, directed by Joe Rosen. Can’t Shake This Feeling, directed by The General Assembly’s Adam Littke, Ryan McNeill, Adam Willis won the Audience Award for Best Music Video for Grum.

This year’s Los Angeles Film Festival screened over 200 feature films, shorts and music videos, representing more than 30 countries.

“Lost Town of Switez” wins at Palm Springs fest

The Lost Town of Switez

The Lost Town of Switez

Palm Springs International ShortFest named a Polish-Canadian production by Kamil Polak titled “The Lost Town of Switez” as the Best Animated Short at the festival.

A spectacularly animated story about a traveler whose journey is diverted when his carriage driver falls asleep, The Lost Town of Switez won First Place — along with $2,000. The film is an epic tale across wild lands and towns that glimmer like jewels, about a man who becomes a hero.

As the first-place winner in the category, The Lost Town of Switez is now eligible for Academy Awards consideration.

Winning Second Place and $500 was Interregnum, directed by Nick Fox-Gieg of Canada. In 1944 Vichy France, an unlikely group finds a way to make thousands of people invisible at the same time.

A Jury Special Citation in the animation category went to France’s The Cord-Woman (La Femme Á Cordes) for Best Sound Design. In this gorgeous journey into the dark corners of freak shows and underground burlesque, the protagonist develops an uncontrollable crush on a mistreated performer. Will he save her or destroy himself?

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, was named Audience Favorite Animation Short at the festival. A gorgeously rendered allegory about the curative effects of story, this tale concerns a man who has built his whole life around his love of books.

Runner-up in the Audience Favorite Animation Short category was Danny & Annie, by Dave Isay and Tim Rauch. A documentary offering an unexpected vision of what true love looks like, this intimate and heartbreaking film was based on a tale from National Public Radio’s Storycorps project.

The Birds Upstairs, by Christopher Cinq-Mars Jarvis, won First Place for Best Student Animation. Exquisite animation exposes a couple’s despair when, after years of trying, they at last have a child who, to their dismay, doesn’t look anything like them. The short is a beautifully disturbing examination of familial expectations.

Second Place was assigned to Heavy Heads, by Helena Frank of Denmark. It is an oddly intriguing study on loneliness, despair and alienation… and the unique services of a friendly fly.

The largest short film festival and market in North America, the Palm Springs International ShortFest awarded a total of $128,800 in prizes, including $14,000 in cash awards, in 18 categories.

Throughout the festival, 331 short films were screened, along with over 3,000 filmmaker submissions available in the film market.

The festival saw a large rise in attendance this year on all fronts, including ticket buyers, filmmakers and film industry delegates.

“It’s been a remarkable year for ShortFest, with record attendance and a rapturous response to the programming by audiences, industry and filmmakers alike,” said festival director Darryl Macdonald. “The Film Market and industry programs were particulary active, adding hugely to the Festival’s success. I’m confident a number of major future filmmakers emerged here this year and will go on to enliven the feature film world.”

Scene from Kamil Polak’s The Lost Town of Switez.

Possible Toy Story 4?

Tom Hanks Woody

Tom Hanks Woody

Tom Hanks was asked if anyone at Pixar has talked to him about voicing Woody again on a possible Toy Story 4. Hanks was being interviewed on BBC Breakfast News on Monday while overseas to promote his new movie Larry Crowne. Hanks not only revealed that he feels confident he will be voicing Woody in a fourth Toy Story theatrical, but that the Pixar people are “working on it now.”

It is possible that a sequel is being tossed about as a potential feature film. But plenty of ideas get tossed up in the air; it is the really good ones that do come down as the features PIXAR makes. That is why all twelve of their feature films ruled the box office on release. So at this point, don’t count on it.

“Cars 2″ in pole position, opens with $68 million

Cars 2

Cars 2

For the 12th time running, a Pixar film has opened to win the race at the box office.

The Disney unit’s Cars 2 defeated all challengers this weekend with a $68 million opener, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The original Cars (2006) opened at $60.1 million. However, it sold more tickets than Cars 2, as admission prices are higher nowadays.

Cars 2 debuted considerably below last year’s Toy Story 3, which set a studio record of $110.3 million. However, its initial weekend was almost as successful as that of Up, which opened in 2009 at $68.1 million.

Cameron Diaz’s classroom comedy Bad Teacher opened in second place this weekend with $31 million.

Pixar first won at the box office with its initial feature film, Toy Story (1995).

Easter Yeggs (1947) – Looney Tunes Theatrical Cartoon Series

CotD: Despite its Easter theme, “Easter Yeggs” as released in June! ~

Easter Yeggs (1947) - Looney Tunes

Easter Yeggs (1947) - Looney Tunes

Easter Yeggs (1947) – Looney Tunes Theatrical Cartoon Series

As Bugs Bunny reads a book on “How to Multiply,” he is interrupted by a crying Easter Bunny who complains of sore feet. Bugs volunteers, “I’ll deliver the Technicolor hen fruit for ya!” Reminded to “keep smiling,” Bugs sings a gooney song, “I’m the Easter Rabbit, Hooray.”

His first stop is a mean little kid (so mean that, in one scene, he clicks off a gun in his mouth) who heckles the hare by chanting, “I Wanna Easter Egg, I Wanna Easter Egg.” Returning, Bugs is goaded by the Easter Bunny into one more try.

This time, Bugs is greeted by banners and posters welcoming the Easter Bunny. It’s the home of Elmer Fudd, who is hungry for “Easter wabbit stew.” Elmer is disguised as a baby, but Bugs is suspicious. Bugs smashes an egg in Elmer’s hand and takes off. Elmer ambushes Bugs: “I can’t miss with my Dick Twacy hat!” The trap sends Bugs and Elmer through a Tunnel of Love. Bugs performs a magic trick which destroys Elmer’s pocket watch. Fudd gets his gun and chases Bugs. The Easter Bunny puts up a rope to stop Bugs. In a daze, Bugs returns and manages to paint Elmer’s head like an Easter egg for the mean little kid to pound with his hammer. Bugs takes care of the Easter Bunny by lighting a fuse on an explosive egg. Bugs reminds the Easter Bunny: “Keep smiling.”

Watch Easter Yeggs at Big Cartoon DataBase