Monthly Archives: July 2011

Six shorts in contention for Cartoon d’Or 2011

Cartoon d'Or

Car­toon d’Or

Six films from Ger­many, Ire­land, Nether­lands, Poland and United King­dom will com­pete for the Car­toon d’Or 2011, the award for the best Euro­pean ani­mated short.

The jury, com­posed of direc­tors and pro­duc­ers Stéphane Bernasconi (France), Tony Loeser (Ger­many) and Vic­tor Mal­don­ado (Spain), has selected the final­ists among a short­list of 30 films that were award-winners at major Euro­pean ani­ma­tion festivals.

The nom­i­nees are:

Mobile, by Ver­ena Fels (Ger­many, 2010, 6’25′; Fil­makademie Baden-Württemberg)
Paths Of Hate, by Damian Nenow (Poland, 2010, 10′; Platige Image)
Pivot, by André Bergs (Nether­lands, 2009, 5′; Il Lus­ter Pro­duc­tions)
The Exter­nal World, by David O’Reilly (Ireland/Germany, 2010, 17″; David OReilly Animation/DETAiLFILM)
The Gruffalo, by Jakob Schuh and Max Lang (United King­dom, 2009, 27′; Magic Light Pic­tures in asso­ci­a­tion with Stu­dio Soi)
The Lit­tle Boy and the Beast, by Johannes Wei­land and Uwe Hei­d­schöt­ter (Ger­many, 2009, 6’30″; Stu­dio Soi)

The win­ner will be announced Thurs­day, Sep­tem­ber 15 in Sopot, Poland dur­ing Car­toon Forum Pol­ska, the plat­form aimed to boost the co-production and dis­tri­b­u­tion of Euro­pean ani­ma­tion for tele­vi­sion. The direc­tors of each nom­i­nated short will present his film to an audi­to­rium of key play­ers in Euro­pean ani­ma­tion, pro­vid­ing them an oppor­tu­nity to strengthen their ties with the indus­try. The win­ner will receive a tro­phy together with a finan­cial award of 10,000 euros, thanks to the sup­port of the MEDIA Pro­gramme of the Euro­pean Union.

The Car­toon d’Or was cre­ated in 1991 by CARTOON in order to pro­mote the tal­ents of Euro­pean ani­ma­tion, and to act as a pipeline between mak­ers of short films and the indus­try. Pre­vi­ous win­ners include Nick Park, Syl­vain Chomet, Mark Baker, Michael Dudok de Wit and Jacques-Rémy Girerd.

Cre­ated in 1990 to boost the co-production and dis­tri­b­u­tion of Euro­pean ani­ma­tion for tele­vi­sion and new media plat­forms, Car­toon Forum has helped 450 ani­ma­tion series obtain financ­ing to the tune of over 1.5 bil­lion euros. For three days each year, Euro­pean pro­duc­ers have the oppor­tu­nity to pitch their ani­ma­tion project in front of all decision-makers, buy­ers and investors in order to speed up financ­ing and find cross-border partners.

Car­toon Forum Pol­ska is orga­nized by CARTOON with the sup­port of MEDIA — a Pro­gramme of the Euro­pean Union, the Min­istry of Cul­ture and National Her­itage of Poland, the Pol­ish Film Insti­tute and the City of Sopot in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Stu­dio Miniatur Fil­mowych. Car­toon Forum Pol­ska is one of the events under the patron­age of the Pol­ish Pres­i­dency of the EU Council.

CARTOON is an inter­na­tional non-profit asso­ci­a­tion based in Brus­sels that organ­ises Car­toon Forum, together with Car­toon Movie, a co-production forum for feature-length ani­ma­tion, Car­toon Mas­ter train­ing sem­i­nars and Car­toon Con­nec­tion, a new pro­gram intended to explore ways of rein­forc­ing coop­er­a­tion between EU and non-EU ani­ma­tion professionals.

Cars 2″ toys drive Mattel’s second-quarter income

Cars 2

Cars 2

Mat­tel Inc.‘s second-quarter net income has jumped by 56%, thanks in part to toys based on Cars 2.

The largest United States toy maker said last Fri­day that sales of play sets and cars con­nected with Pixar-Disney’s lat­est film are sell­ing even more than Toy Story 3 play­things did when they came out last year.

Although toys tied into movies are usu­ally good sell­ers, Mat­tel says that this has been espe­cially true sum­mer. Sales of Cars 2 toys helped rev­enue in Mattel’s enter­tain­ment divi­sion rise by 41%.

While the sec­ond quar­ter is typ­i­cally all about the big enter­tain­ment prop­er­ties, and cer­tainly Cars 2 was big for us, our global port­fo­lio of core brands is also fuel­ing momen­tum,” CEO Robert Eck­ert said in a call with analysts.

For the three months end­ing June 30, Mattel’s net income rose to $80.5 mil­lion (23 cents per share). Ana­lysts had pre­dicted adjusted net income of 16 cents per share, accord­ing to Fact Set.

Rev­enue rose 14% to $1.16 bil­lion from the same period last year. Ana­lysts had expected rev­enue of $1.1 billion.

In the United States, rev­enue rose 7%; inter­na­tional sales went up by 23.

Despite the mixed eco­nomic news, I am encour­aged by our strong oper­at­ing results and con­tinue to believe we are well posi­tioned for the all-important sec­ond half of the year,” said Eckert.

Dis­ney Princess toy lines did well, dri­ven by sales of dolls, acces­sories and play sets based on the ani­mated fea­ture film Tan­gled, which came out on DVD in sev­eral coun­tries in the sec­ond quarter.

How­ever, sales of Hot Wheels-themed toys weren’t so hot, drop­ping by 2%. Mat­tel said busi­ness prob­a­bly fell due to sales of Cars 2 toys.

Mat­tel is now work­ing on toys con­nected to the Disney/Pixar fea­ture film Brave, due for release next June. Brave is about a Scot­tish princess and archer. It’s also devel­op­ing toys con­nected with Disney’s ani­mated Planes, to be released on Blu-ray and DVD in the spring of 2013.

Mat­tel share rose 50 cents (1.9%) last Fri­day to close at $27.28.

Renart The Fox (2005) — Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film

Renart The Fox (2005)

Renart The Fox (2005)

CotD: Com­edy based on the widely-known fable Le Roman de Renard, “Renart The Fox” is from Luxembourg

Renart The Fox (2005) — Fea­ture Length The­atri­cal Ani­mated Film

The film tells the hilar­i­ous yet mov­ing adven­ture of cun­ning Renart, an out­law con­stantly at odds with the feu­dal laws of his soci­ety, who is char­ac­ter­ized by a “lib­eral atti­tude” towards the prop­erty of oth­ers. How­ever, the moti­va­tion for his pur­suit of riches is sim­ply to make a decent liv­ing for chil­dren. In his quest for an elu­sive trea­sure, Renart has ample oppor­tu­nity to demon­strate how a quick mind can tri­umph over brute strength, despite the con­gen­i­tal incom­pe­tence of his mot­ley gang of associates.

Watch “Renart The Fox” at Big Car­toon DataBase

Nicktoons Greenlights Rob Dyrdek’s Wild Grinders for 2012

Wild Grinders

Wild Grinders

Pro­fes­sional skate­boarder Rob Dyrdek will bring the fun, fast-paced world of skate­board­ing to Nick­toons with an orig­i­nal, ani­mated series, Wild Grinders, it was announced today by Keith Dawkins, Senior Vice Pres­i­dent, Gen­eral Man­ager, Nick­toons and Teen­Nick. Inspired by Dyrdek’s real-life expe­ri­ences, the half-hour com­edy fol­lows the car­toon adven­tures of a group of friends bonded by their love of skateboarding.

The 26-episode series is pro­duced in part­ner­ship with Home Plate Enter­tain­ment, Moon­scoop and Dyrdek’s Wild Grinders LLC, and will pre­miere on Nick­toons in 2012, pre­ceded by a num­ber of some shorts and other orig­i­nal multi-platform dig­i­tal con­tent launch­ing this fall. Agogo Cor­po­ra­tion, Tel­egael Teo­ranta and Coper­ni­cus Stu­dios are also co-producers on the HD production.

Wild Grinders is a great fit for Nick­toons because it has the com­edy and adren­a­line boys love,” said Dawkins. “Rob Dyrdek brings an authen­tic look at the skate­board cul­ture and a diverse cast of char­ac­ters who reflect our audi­ence. We think they’ll enjoy this dynamic jour­ney of a 12-year-old skater and his friends.”

I wanted to make a car­toon that made me laugh. I have always tried to cre­ate pro­gram­ming that was funny. Skate­board­ing is a back­drop to our main char­ac­ters comedic sit­u­a­tions, but not nec­es­sar­ily our pri­mary focus,” stressed Dyrdek, who also is voic­ing the lead char­ac­ter and Exec Producing.

Rooted in fun, humor and a gen­uine take on the atti­tude and spirit of today’s skate­board­ing, Wild Grinders fol­lows a quick-thinking skater kid, Lil Rob, his right hand dog, Meaty, his nerdy inven­tor buddy, Gog­gles, and his mid­dle school friends, known as the Wild Grinders. Lil Rob and his thrill-seeking crew, who come from all walks of life, find them­selves amid many zany skate­board­ing adven­tures in and around their home­town of Sprawl City, from shrink rays that make “get­ting through the liv­ing room” an imag­i­na­tive adven­ture to a story about cursed pump­kin zom­bies, the show fea­tures the bright appeal­ing look of orig­i­nal artwork.

Dyrdek will be sign­ing exclu­sive Wild Grinders posters at San Diego Comic Con at the Nick­elodeon booth on Fri­day, July 22, at 11 a.m. (PT). Addi­tion­ally, Wild Grinders shorts, behind-the-scenes videos, char­ac­ter descrip­tions and more will be avail­able on Nicktoons.com/wildgrinders begin­ning this September.

Lima named to direct “Monkeys of Mumbai” for DWA

Monkeys of Mumbai Crew

Mon­keys of Mum­bai Crew

Kevin Lima (“Enchanted,” “Tarzan”) will direct Dream­Works Animation’s first-ever Bollywood-style musi­cal adven­ture Mon­keys of Mum­bai (work­ing title), the stu­dio announced Wednesday.

Lisa Stew­art (Turbo, Mon­sters vs. Aliens and Chris Chase (Enchanted, Tarzan) will serve as pro­duc­ers on the project.

As pre­vi­ously announced, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, The Prince Of Egypt, Enchanted) is serv­ing as exec­u­tive pro­ducer and lyri­cist, A.R. Rah­man (127 Hours, Slum­dog Mil­lion­aire, Bom­bay Dreams) is serv­ing as exec­u­tive pro­ducer and com­poser, and Gurinder Chadha and Paul Berges (Bride & Prej­u­dice, Bend It Like Beck­ham) are writ­ing the fea­ture project.

Kevin is a bril­liant direc­tor and some­one we’ve long wanted to work with at Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion,” said the studio’s chief cre­ative offi­cer, Bill Dam­aschke. “We are thrilled to wel­come him, Chris and Lisa on board to round out the excel­lent cre­ative lead­er­ship team on Mon­keys of Mum­bai.”

Ever since Enchanted, I’ve been look­ing for a film musi­cal, and when Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion approached me with the prospect of doing a Bol­ly­wood musi­cal with such renowned col­lab­o­ra­tors, I knew this was the one,” added Lima.

Inspired by the great Indian epic tale of The Ramayana — but retold through the point of view of its mon­keys — Mon­keys of Mum­bai revolves around two com­mon mon­keys who become unlikely heroes in a last-ditch effort to stop an ancient, thought-to-be-mythical demon from con­quer­ing the world. The project is being over­seen at DEA by devel­op­ment exec­u­tive Chris Kuser.

SPA developing “Chickenhare” animated feature film

Chickenhare

Chick­en­hare

Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion and Dark Horse Enter­tain­ment will develop an ani­mated fea­ture film based on the Dark Horse graphic novel series Chick­en­hare by Chris Grine, SPA pres­i­dent Michelle Raimo-Kouyate announced Wednesday.

Chick­en­hare is the story of a unique ani­mal that is half chicken, half hare and all hero. The epony­mous graphic nov­els in which Chick­en­hare was intro­duced, orig­i­nally pub­lished in 2006 and 2008 by Dark Horse, fol­low him and his shelled side­kick, Abe, on their adven­tures in an amaz­ing fan­tasy world filled with mon­strous crea­tures, demonic crit­ters, and dan­ger lurk­ing around every cor­ner. The two pick up a few more friends and a few more prob­lems, all while explor­ing themes of iden­tity, fam­ily and friendship.

Mike Richard­son and Keith Gold­berg will exec­u­tive pro­duce on behalf of Dark Horse Enter­tain­ment. Michael Lachance will over­see the project for SPA with Raimo-Kouyate as pres­i­dent of production.

Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion is always look­ing for orig­i­nal char­ac­ters, and Chick­en­hare is a true orig­i­nal,” says Raimo-Kouyate. “This story has every­thing we want in an ani­mated film — broad com­edy, heart­felt emo­tion, uni­ver­sal themes, and a one-of-a-kind hero that audi­ences will love.”

Chris Grine’s Chick­en­hare is one of the quirki­est char­ac­ters we’ve ever pub­lished,” said Dark Horse pres­i­dent Mike Richard­son. “We’re excited that the good peo­ple at Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion responded so enthu­si­as­ti­cally to what has to be one of our great­est comics-to-film projects yet. The more ani­mated movies I see, the more I want to make them, and in Chick­en­hare, we found a char­ac­ter so col­or­ful and three-dimensional that he could only exist in an ani­mated world.”

Chris Grine is the cre­ator of 165 Bots with­Stuff, which were fea­tured on the Shoe­box blog. He grad­u­ated from Rin­gling School of Art & Design in 2000 after com­plet­ing three years at the Kansas City Art Institute.

South Park heads to Comic-Con, marking 15th season

South Park

South Park

Fans will be trans­ported into the world of “South Park” as they walk into the 15,000-square-foot Ulti­mate Fan Expe­ri­ence located at 450 2nd Avenue (at 1st Avenue & J Street), just out­side the San Diego Con­ven­tion Center.

The South Park Year of the Fan Expe­ri­ence, a free pub­lic event, com­mem­o­rates the series’ 15th season.

The fes­tiv­i­ties kick off with a South Park-themed parade start­ing at 12:30 p.m. Thurs­day, July 21 at 5th Avenue and K Street, with the venue offi­cially open­ing at 1 p.m., and run through Sat­ur­day, July 23. Fans can par­tic­i­pate in a cos­tume con­test which will take place dur­ing the after­noon of Sat­ur­day, July 23. The best char­ac­ter cos­tumes will win a Kid Robot “Mys­te­rion” fig­urine signed by Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

The South Park Year of the Fan Expe­ri­ence includes:

* A life-size replica of South Park Avenue.

* Inter­ac­tive sta­tions with social net­work­ing upload­ing capa­bil­i­ties includ­ing a Cre­ate Your Own Avatar sta­tion and an offi­cial badge by foursquare.

* A South Park photo booth and a face-painting sta­tion fea­tur­ing famous “South Park” char­ac­ters includ­ing Mitch Connor.

* A museum with South Park-inspired art­work by Ron Eng­lish and other curated artists on dis­play, includ­ing fan-submitted art­work cho­sen by Eng­lish as well as South Park staff artwork.

* Famous South Park mem­o­ra­bilia, includ­ing the gown that Matt Stone wore to the Oscars in 2000, and the orig­i­nal cutouts and sto­ry­boards from the early sea­sons of the show.

* A screen­ing of the orig­i­nal, un-aired South Park pilot and the South Park Big­ger, Longer & Uncut movie at 8 p.m. Fri­day, fol­lowed by an infor­mal Q&A ses­sion with mem­bers of the pro­duc­tion staff.

* A cen­ter stage with South Park karaoke, cos­tume com­pe­ti­tion, trivia con­tests and more emceed by come­dian Owen Benjamin.

* A Big Wheel pedal fan prix race track.

* A school cafe­te­ria where spe­cial edi­tion bags of Cheesy Poofs will be given away.

* A Voice of the Fan con­fes­sional booth where South Park will inter­view the fans about their favorite South Park moment, and chal­lenge them to sing the Cheesy Poof song or the South Park theme song. The best record­ings may be used on Com­edy Cen­tral, SouthParkStudios.com or on the upcom­ing Year of the Fan DVD.

Com­edy Cen­tral has teamed up with foursquare to offer the offi­cial badge of San Diego Comic-Con. The badge will be South Park themed and avail­able to every­one who checks into San Diego Comic-Con. In addi­tion, unlock­ing the badge will make fans eli­gi­ble to receive a spe­cial gift from Com­edy Cen­tral and foursquare at the South Park Year of the Fan Experience.

In addi­tion, South Park will be giv­ing away a pair of tick­ets to the Tony Award-winning musi­cal The Book of Mor­mon every day at the Ulti­mate Fan Experience.

To cel­e­brate the 15th sea­son of South Park, Com­edy Cen­tral and South Park Dig­i­tal Stu­dios will honor the fans that have turned the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series into a cul­tural phe­nom­e­non with a year-long cel­e­bra­tion, mark­ing 2011 as “The Year of the Fan.”

The Year of the Fan” brings view­ers closer to South Park than they’ve ever been before, con­nect­ing them to the series in a multi-platform man­ner fit­ting for the her­alded occa­sion, includ­ing an upcom­ing doc­u­men­tary to air on Com­edy Cen­tral that takes fans behind-the-scenes of their favorite show; the intro­duc­tion of Cheesy Poofs to a store near you, plus all-new never-before-seen South Park mer­chan­dise; and, an art exhibit curated by Ron Eng­lish fea­tur­ing inter­pre­ta­tions of the series by the famed street artist and pop sur­re­al­ist painter and 14 other hand-picked artists as well.

South Park will also host ongo­ing con­tests and inter­ac­tive ele­ments at SouthParkStudios.com through­out the Year of the Fan.

Tee For Two (1945) — Tom and Jerry Theatrical Cartoon

CotD: The first Tom and Jerry car­toon with a sports theme was “Tee For Two” from 1945 ~

Tee For Two (1945) - Tom and Jerry

Tee For Two (1945) — Tom and Jerry

Tee For Two (1945) — Tom and Jerry The­atri­cal Cartoon

Jerry will not stay put as Tom plays a round of golf. He can’t get a mouse hole in one because Jerry is his hand­i­cap. Adding to the dis­rup­tion of Tom’s game are a wood­pecker and a swarm of bees.

Watch “Tee For Two” at Big Car­toon DataBase

Deal signed for live-action “Captain Planet” movie

Captain Planet

Cap­tain Planet

Car­toon Net­work has signed a devel­op­ment agree­ment with action-adventure pro­ducer Don Mur­phy and part­ner Susan Mont­ford and their com­pany Angry Film­works to develop a live-action motion pic­ture based on ground­break­ing, environment-saving ani­mated hero Cap­tain Planet And The Plan­e­teers, Stu­art Sny­der, pres­i­dent and COO of Turner Broad­cast­ing Sys­tem Inc.‘s Ani­ma­tion, Young Adults and Kids Media divi­sion, announced Tuesday.

The agree­ment gives Mur­phy and his com­pany the exclu­sive rights to develop and pack­age the prop­erty and advance it towards production.

Mur­phy and Angry Film­works are most notably cred­ited for the highly suc­cess­ful action-adventure fran­chise Trans­form­ers (2007), Trans­form­ers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) and Trans­form­ers: Dark of the Moon (2011). Mur­phy and Mont­ford together pro­duced the upcom­ing Hugh Jack­man film Real Steel with exec­u­tive pro­ducer Steven Spielberg.

The com­pany also is respon­si­ble for such action-oriented films as Shoot ‘Em Up (2007), The League of Extra­or­di­nary Gen­tle­men (2003), Apt Pupil (1998) and Nat­ural Born Killers (1994).

The mes­sages of Cap­tain Planet are even more rel­e­vant today,” said Sny­der. “We feel this team can bring the world’s first eco-hero to life in a pow­er­ful motion pic­ture that is not only per­ti­nent, but entertaining.”

We are extremely excited about bring­ing the good Cap­tain back to life,” said Mur­phy. “His adven­tures are known world­wide, and he is rec­og­nized across gen­er­a­tions. We expect to make a spec­tac­u­lar series of films with the amaz­ing team at Car­toon Network.”

With the earth­quakes, tor­na­does, melt­ing ice­bergs and all the other prob­lems threat­en­ing the world right now, Earth really needs her great­est defender,” said Montford.

In an effort to inform younger view­ers about seri­ous envi­ron­men­tal issues, leg­endary cable entre­pre­neur Ted Turner part­nered with DIC Enter­prises in 1990 to cre­ate the world’s first ani­mated envi­ron­men­tal series, Cap­tain Planet and the Plan­e­teers. The series was about a group of young peo­ple who com­bine their spe­cial pow­ers (The Plan­e­teers) to sum­mon Cap­tain Planet, an envi­ron­men­tal super­hero, to bat­tle the world’s worst eco-villains.

Cap­tain Planet and the Plan­e­teers pre­miered in fall 1990, air­ing domes­ti­cally and inter­na­tion­ally in syn­di­ca­tion and on cable net­works TBS and TNT. Six full sea­sons (includ­ing Hanna-Barbera’s 1993–96 incar­na­tion The New Adven­tures of Cap­tain Planet) were pro­duced in the orig­i­nal run of the series.

The show fea­tured the voice tal­ents of mul­ti­ple guest celebri­ties, includ­ing Whoopi Gold­berg (Gaia), Meg Ryan (Dr. Blight), Mar­tin Sheen (Sly Sludge), Edward Asner (Hog­gish Greedly), James Coburn (Looten Plun­der), Dean Stock­well (Duke Nukem) and Sting (Zarm). Win­ning mul­ti­ple Envi­ron­men­tal Media Awards across its pro­duc­tion, Cap­tain Planet and the Plan­e­teers also scored sev­eral Day­time Emmy nominations.

Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi (Spirited Away) (2001)

Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)

Sen To Chi­hiro No Kamikakushi (Spir­ited Away)

Sen To Chi­hiro No Kamikakushi (Spir­ited Away) (2001) — Fea­ture Length The­atri­cal Ani­mated Film

A young girl who was sadly forced to move to another city with her par­ents finds her­self trapped in a mys­ti­cal world where humans are not quite wel­come and gods are to be seen every­where. To be allowed to stay in that world she has to change her name and work in a God Bathing House ruled by an extremely pow­er­ful sor­cerer Yubaba. There she meets eccen­tric char­ac­ters and has the chance to learn more about her past.

Watch “Sen To Chi­hiro No Kamikakushi” (Spir­ited Away) at Big Car­toon DataBase