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