Monthly Archives: July 2011

Steamboat Willie (1928) – Mickey Mouse Theatrical Cartoon Series

CotD: Generally credited to have released November 18,1928, “Steamboat Willie” had a prior limited, silent release on this date in 1928 ~

Steamboat Willie  (1928) - Mickey Mouse

Steamboat Willie (1928) - Mickey Mouse

Steamboat Willie (1928) – Mickey Mouse Theatrical Cartoon Series

A loose parody of Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill, Mickey is a roustabout on Pegleg Pete’s river steamer. After a goat eats the sheet music, Mickey and Minnie use various objects at hand (including a cat on unedited versions!) to create music.

Watch “Steamboat Willie” at Big Cartoon DataBase

Alice In Wonderland (1951) – Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film

CotD: No, not the Tim Burton Re-vision, Walt’s original “Alice In Wonderland” released on this date in 1951 ~

Alice In Wonderland  (1951) - Feature Length Theatrical

Alice In Wonderland (1951) - Feature Length Theatrical

Alice In Wonderland (1951) – Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film

On a lazy, sunny afternoon, young Alice is dreamily ignoring a lesson when she is surprised to see a white rabbit, running briskly and looking at his pocket watch. She pursues him and falls down a rabbit hole, entering a magic land where she encounters a number of crazy characters including Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Caterpillar, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Cheshire Cat and the Queen of Hearts. After a series of escapades in Wonderland, Alice escapes to find that the entire adventure has been a dream.

Watch “Alice In Wonderland” at Big Cartoon DataBase

A Wild Hare (1940) – Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

CotD: He first appeared in 1940’s “A Wild Hare”, so that makes today Bugs Bunny’s Birthday! ~

A Wild Hare  (1940) - Merrie Melodies

A Wild Hare (1940) - Merrie Melodies

A Wild Hare (1940) – Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

Be vewy, vewy qwiet, as Elmer’s hunting rabbits. This short establishes many standards we expect in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, right from the start. Examples: pushing a gun down a rabbit hole, Bugs inquiring, “What’s up, Doc?”

Watch “A Wild Hare” at Big Cartoon DataBase

Live-action “Voltron” being adapted for big screen

Voltron, Defender of the Universe,

Voltron, Defender of the Universe,

Relativity Media has optioned the feature film rights for Voltron from World Event Productions, and will adapt the live-action big screen version from the 1984 cult-classic animated series Voltron: Defender of the Universe, the studio’s president of worldwide production, Tucker Tooley, announced Thursday.

The project was brought to Relativity through its deal with Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, whose company will shepherd the project.

In Voltron, an elite battle force defends the fate of mankind in the spectacular action adventure. Five young warriors are responsible for the future of the galaxy when they become pilots of a battalion of ultra-high-tech Robot Lions, powerful vessels with the ability to join together to form a fearsome mega-weapon known as “Voltron.”

The original series, based on the Japanese anime properties Beast King GoLion and Kikou Kantai Dairugger XV, aired in the United States for two years and has been described as an “international pop-culture hit” that has garnered a large following over the last 25 years. In recent years, the Voltron property has sold over 300,000 DVDs, established numerous apparel and consumer product deals, and has spawned a highly successful TV series, Voltron Force, which became Nicktoon’s highest-rated debut ever on June 16.

Voltron made its first-ever panel debut Thursday at Comic-Con International in San Diego, a presentation of all-new and classic Voltron content was featured.

The live-action film will be produced by Atlas Entertainment’s Roven (The Dark Knight) and Suckle (The International), along with Kickstart Entertainment’s Jason Netter (Wanted). World Events Productions’ Ted Koplar (Voltron Force) will executive produce. The script is being penned by Thomas Dean Donnelly (Conan the Barbarian) and Joshua Oppenheimer (Sahara).

“For nearly three decades, Voltron has captured the minds of a nostalgically loyal and rabid fan base, and has long been considered a hotly-pursued project. We are beyond excited World Event Productions and Atlas Entertainment have placed their trust and faith in Relativity to bring this coveted property to the big screen, and usher in a new generation of devoted fans,” Tooley said. “With Chuck and Richard’s experience producing tentpoles, they are the perfect producers to bring this potential franchise to theaters,” he added.

“It’s incredibly gratifying to officially announce the development of the live-action Voltron movie this week, given its recent resurgence and the start of Comic-Con,” said Roven, co-founder of Atlas Entertainment.

“I know there’s been a lot of rumors and speculation about this movie, so it’s great to finally confirm to all the Voltron fans everywhere that we’re coming for them,” added Suckle, a producer at Atlas Entertainment.

Looking ahead, Relativity will release David Ellis’ Shark Night 3D on September 2, followed by Marc Forster’s Machine Gun Preacher on September 23, then Immortals on November 11, starring Henry Cavill, Stephen Dorff, Isabel Lucas, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans and Kellan Lutz with John Hurt and Mickey Rourke.

The studio is in production on its Untitled Snow White Project (in theatres March 16), starring Lily Collins as Snow White, Oscar-winner Julia Roberts as the evil Queen, Armie Hammer as Prince Andrew Alcott, and Nathan Lane as the hapless and bungling servant to the Queen.

Relativity’s expansive 2012 slate also includes Haywire (in theatres January 20), Act of Valor (in theatres February 17), The Raven (in theatres March 9), Untitled Farrelly/Wessler Project (in theatres April 13), House at the End of the Street (in theatres April 20), Safe Haven (in theatres June 1) and Hunter Killer (in theatres December 21, 2012).

The Bears and the Dragon (1962) – Aesop and Son Cartoon Episode Guide

CotD: Don’t expect you’ll know the name “The Bears and the Dragon” But you probably love the series that it is from ~

The Bears and the Dragon (1962) - Aesop and Son Cartoon Episode Guide

The Bears and the Dragon (1962) - Aesop and Son Cartoon Episode Guide

The Bears and the Dragon (1962) – Aesop and Son Cartoon Episode Guide

Aesop tries to teach his son about life with his tales. His son twists the tales always seems to find an alternate – and comical- meaning.

Watch “The Bears and the Dragon” at Big Cartoon DataBase

Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century (1985) – Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon

CotD: Hide your Aludium Phozdex! Today is the release date for “Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century” Watch it again today! ~

Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century (1985) - Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon

Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century (1985) - Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon

Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century (1985) – Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

Duck Dodgers is sent on a secret mission to Planet X to collect Aludium Phozdex, the shaving cream atom. There, he and co-pilot Porky must battle Commander X-2 (and his Martian Matomic Masher) for the fate of the planet.

Watch “Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century” at Big Cartoon DataBase

The Black Cauldron (1985) – Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film

CotD: Depending on your point of view, Disney’s release of “The Black Cauldron” 26 years ago today was a low spot in the studios history

The Black Cauldron (1985)

The Black Cauldron (1985)

The Black Cauldron (1985) – Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film

Centuries ago, in the land of Prydain, a young man named Taran is given the task of protecting Hen Wen, a magical oracular pig, who knows the location of the mystical black cauldron. This is not an easy task for the Evil Horned King will stop at nothing to get the cauldron.

Watch “The Black Cauldron” at Big Cartoon DataBase

Bad Ol’ Putty Tat (1949) – Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

CotD: Everyone loves a good Tweety and Sylvester, and “Bad Ol’ Putty Tat” is one of the best ~

Bad Ol' Putty Tat (1949) - Merrie Melodies

Bad Ol' Putty Tat (1949) - Merrie Melodies

Bad Ol’ Putty Tat (1949) – Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

Sylvester tries to get Tweety out of his barbed wire-protected house. Sylvester tries a new tactic by taking up trampolining.

Watch “Bad Ol’ Putty Tat” at Big Cartoon DataBase

No Butts about it: South Park wins copyright suit

South Park

South Park

Making “What What (In the Butt)” the butt of a joke is fair play, a Wisconsin federal judge has ruled.

Viacom and Comedy Central were sued in November over the 2008 South Park episode Canada On Strike. Brownmark Films alleged that a scene stole from its copyrighted music video for the viral phenomenon “What What (In the Butt).”

In “Canada on Strike,” the character Butters Stotch reconstructs a silly Internet video by singer Samwell.

Downloaded over 41 million times on YouTube, Samwell’s “What What” video was featured on PerezHilton and VH1’s Best Week Ever.

Re-creating the music video amounted to copyright infringement, Brownmark claimed. But Viacom responded that its own version was a parody, and thus was allowed within “fair use” exceptions to copyright.

In a rare move, the judge affirmed “fair use” at the summary judgment phase of the action.

Anyone seeing the South Park episode will know that the show was trying “to lampoon the recent craze in our society of watching video clips on the Internet that are — to be kind — of rather low artistic sophistication and quality,” the judge added.

The judge ruled that a clip lasting under a minute in a 25-minute episode was not very substantial and would not hurt the success of the original video distributed by Brownmark.

As well, the judge observed, South Park altered “What What (In the Butt)” considerably by accomplishing “the seemingly impossible — making the WWITB video even more absurd by replacing the African-American male singer with a naive and innocent nine-year-old boy dressed in adorable outfits.”

Stephanie Denton hired as SVP of Arc Productions

Arc Productions

Arc Productions

Arc Productions, Canada’s leading CG-animation and visual effects studio, has hired Stephanie Denton to head its Los Angeles office as senior vice-president of sales and business development.

Formerly known as Starz Animation Toronto, Arc Productions was recently acquired by a Canadian ownership group from Starz Media US. Starz remains a minority shareholder in the Toronto-based cartoon maker.

The studio animated Gnomeo & Juliet for Miramax Films and Elton John’s Rocket Pictures.

Denton’s responsibilities will include trying to get more Hollywood studios to bring their projects to Arc so that they can find up-front cost savings from local film and digital tax credits.

“We are thrilled to have Stephanie join our team. Her knowledge of the feature film business is exceptional,” Jeff Young, president and chief operating officer of the 3D animation studio, said Monday.

“Her background in domestic and international distribution, independent film financing, and creative development will be a tremendous asset to the company. Stephanie’s appointment’ in conjunction with the company’s recent decision to engage Paradigm to represent the company’ again demonstrates our aggressive growth strategy,” he added.

“This is a great opportunity to join the Arc Productions team. The studio has an amazing artistic talent base that has established itself as a world-class service studio for both animation and VFX. In addition to growing the service business, I am excited to be a part of Arc’s initiative to enter the intellectual property business,” Denton said.

Before joining Arc Productions, Denton accrued 24 years of experience, many of them as president of international sales and distribution for such leading independents as Bold Films, Lionsgate, Initial Entertainment Group and Lakeshore International.