Monthly Archives: August 2011

Birds Anonymous (1957) – Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

CotD: Tweety & Sylvester won an Oscar for “Birds Anonymous” in 1957 ~

Birds Anonymous  (1957) - Merrie Melodies

Birds Anonymous (1957) - Merrie Melodies

Birds Anonymous (1957) – Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

Sylvester tries to go on the wagon with the help of Birds Anonymous, but the temptation of Tweety is too much. Sylvester pleads: “I gotta have a bird! I’m weak, but I don’t care! I can’t help it! After all, I am a pussy cat.”

Watch Birds Anonymous at Big Cartoon DataBase

“Surviving Life” honored at 15th Fantasia Festival

Surviving Life (Theory and Practice)

Surviving Life (Theory and Practice)

The Animation Jury at the 15th Fantasia International Film Festival named Czech legend Jan Svankmajer’s psychoanalytic comedy “Surviving Life (Theory and Practice)” Best Animated Feature Film Sunday in Montreal.

The jury, made up of president Marcel Jean with Jean-François Lévesque and Heidi Taillefer, praised Surviving Life as “a singular piece of work, both funny and profound, that shows a great spirit of invention for a filmmaker with a 40-years career.”

The film was one of 27 to receive its Quebec premiere at Fantasia.

Bobby Yeah, a 23-minute horror comedy by Britain’s Robert Morgan, was named Best Animated Short Film “for its dense and coherent universe, full of surprises, that confronts our fears in a captivating way, and for its exceptional technical command.” It also won Bronze in the Audience Awards for Best Short Film.

Jurors gave Special Mention to Crepuscule — an erotic sci-fi fantasy by Quebec’s Eric Falardeau — “for its bold address of sexuality in animation.”

In the Audience Awards, Redline, a Japanese sci-fi fantasy by Takeshi Koike, received Gold for Best Animation Feature. Silver went to Legend of the Millennium Dragon, an action adventure by Hirotsugu Kawasaki of Japan. El Sol, a sci-fi comedy by Argentina’s Ayar Blasco, received Bronze.

Although the final numbers are yet to be confirmed, the three-week fest welcomed more than 100,000 audience members.

About 150 international directors, actors and producers came to present their films, while 50 industry members contributed to this year’s edition. Several titles launched at the festival are currently in negotiations for acquisition.

Bully For Bugs (1953) – Looney Tunes Theatrical Cartoon Series

Bully For Bugs  (1953) - Looney Tunes

Bully For Bugs (1953) - Looney Tunes

CotD: Lost on his way to the Coachella Valley and Carrot Festival therein, our favorite bunny goes “Bully For Bugs” in this great cartoon ~

Bully For Bugs (1953) – Looney Tunes Theatrical Cartoon Series

Before we encounter Bugs, we get an eyeful of a magnificent bull in action as he makes short work of a matador. Looking for the “Coachella Valley and Carrot Festival therein” (that left turn at Albuquerque again), Bugs tunnels into the middle of the arena.

Bugs becomes hostile when the bull’s breath steams up his tail, and the bull bops him high into the air. The bunny utters his famous declaration, “Of course you realize this means war!” and steps back into the arena in full toreador costume, directing the bull head-first into an anvil with his red cape, then doing a show-stopping dance (to “La Cucaracha”) with the now slap-happy bull. Another bit of choreography follows, this one set to the Mexican Hat Dance and employing as its theme Bugs walking right up to the behemoth and slapping him repeatedly in the face- in tempo!

Next, Bugs booby-traps his cape with a rifle, which the bull accidentally swallows, enabling him to fire bullets out of his horns. However, he abuses the privilege by trying explosive-headed bullets. Bugs then sends the bull out of the stadium. By the time he returns, Bugs has arranged for his defeat with a Rube Goldberg routine which sets off a powder keg just as the bull flies over it. This heads the bull straight into the side of the arena. Over the bull’s battered backside, Bugs displays a banner reading “The End.”

Watch Bully For Bugs at Big Cartoon DataBase

DWA rejects Paramount offer to extend distribution

DreamWorks Animation SKG

DreamWorks Animation SKG

The board of DreamWorks Animation has turned down an offer by Paramount to extend its current distribution agreement for one more year.

Paramount’s deal with DWA expires at the end of 2012.

The distributor had offered to keep releasing DWA films for an 8% fee. However, Paramount wanted to receive more in the future, and DWA wants to pay a lower commission.

A spokeswoman for DreamWorks Animation declined to comment.

Last month, Paramount head Brad Grey announced that his studio would start its own animation division.

Although DWA is said to be looking at other distribution options, “nobody has been pitched to do distribution” for the studio, The Hollywood Reporter quoted an unnamed insider as saying. The animation firm “is not quaking in its boots going ‘Paramount is the only game in town'” because DreamWorks can deliver fees on films that usually gross in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the source added.

However, Warner Bros. isn’t interested in distributing DWA movies, “knowledgeable people who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter” told the Los Angeles Times.

Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter source belittled Paramount’s announcement of an animation division, deriding it as a plan “to do low-rent movies.”

DWA wins suit over idea for “Kung Fu Panda” movies

"Kung Fu Panda"

"Kung Fu Panda"

A Los Angeles jury has given DreamWorks Animation the benefit of the doubt in a major lawsuit by a man who claimed the studio stole his idea for the successful Kung Fu Pandafranchise.

Self-professed “writer-producer-teacher-philospher” Terence Dunn, who was chief executive officer of Zen-Bear Inc., sued in June 2010 for breach of an implied contract. He charged that in November 2001, he submitted the concept of a “spiritual kung-fu fighting panda bear” to a DreamWorks executive, expecting that any resulting film project would include him.

Dunn claimed at one point that he deserved a percentage of the hundreds of millions of dollars in profits from the films. Starring the voice of Jack Black, the first KFP film grossed over $630 million worldwide in 2008. The successful sequel Kung Fu Panda 2 was released May 26 this year.

According to Dunn’s suit, he spoke with the studio several times before it turned down his pitch. Instead, DWA started working with screenwriters Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris on its “substantially similar” Kung Fu Panda movie in 2002.

Dunn claimed that that his kung-fu fighting bear was “adopted by five animal friends in the forest (a tiger, a leopard, a dragon, a snake and a crane), whose destiny is foretold by an old and wise sage, Turquoise Tortoise, and who comes of age and fulfills his destiny as a martial arts hero and spiritual avatar.”

At DreamWorks’ request, the discussion of damages was restricted from public view.

Eventually, the case was subject to a two-week jury trial, featuring testimony from DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.

In a verdict that took about three days to reach, jurors ruled that DWA didn’t use Dunn’s ideas, so there was no question of damages.

“We intend to appeal this decision. We feel quite confident in the appeal,” said Theresa Macellaro, one of the attorneys for Dunn

“We are pleased with the decision of the jury, which supports our position that this was a baseless lawsuit,” DWA commented in a statement.

Kung Fu Panda is the subject of another lawsuit against DWA. In February, artist Jayme Gordon alleged that the studio and distributor Paramount copied the artwork for the film from “Kung Fu Panda Power,” the collective title for Gordon’s copyrighted works.

“League of Super Evil” nominated for five Geminis

League Of Super Evil

League Of Super Evil

Nerd Corps Entertainment’s “League Of Super Evil” has been nominated for five Gemini Awards, the Canadian equivalent of the Emmys.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television announced nominations Wednesday for the 26th annual Gemini Awards, celebrating the best in Canadian English-language television and digital media.

For the League Of Super Evil episode Voltina, Sebastian Brodin and Steve Sacks were nominated for Best Direction in an Animated Program or Series. That same episode led to Philippe Ivanusic-Vallee and Davila LeBlanc being nominated for Best Writing in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series.

Hal Beckett was nominated for Best Original Music Score for an Animated Program or Series for the LSE episode Ant-Archy. The segment also earned Roberto Capretta, Kevin Bonnici, Melissa Glidden, Edwin Janzen and Tim O’Connell a nomination for Best Sound in a Comedy, Variety or Performing Arts Program or Series.

And for the League of Super Evil episode Force Fighters VI, Colin Murdock is up for Best Performance in an Animated Program or Series.

Kid Vs Kat and Stella And Sam both have been nominated for three Gemini Awards.

DHX Media Ltd.’s Kid vs. Kat has been nominated for Best Animated Program or Series. As well, Rob Boutilier and Josh Mepham are up for Best Direction in an Animated Program or Series for the Kid vs. Kat episode Kat to the Future: Part 1. And Hal Beckett is nominated for Best Original Music Score for an Animated Program or Series for the episode Fangs for the Memories.

Radical Sheep Productions’ Stella and Sam has been nominated for Best Pre-School Program or Series. For Best Performance in an Animated Program or Series, Rachel Marcus and Miles Johnson have received separate nominations for their work in the Stella and Sam episode Night Fairies.

Several series each received two Gemini nominations.

Cuppa Coffee’s Glenn Martin, DDS was nominated for Best Animated Program or Series. For the episode “Date with Destiny,” Ken Cunningham was nominated for Best Direction in an Animated Program or Series.

Nelvana Limited’s Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5 is up for Best Animated Program or Series, while the episode “Sol Survivor” has earned Johnny Darrell, Mike Dowding and Andrew Duncan a nod for Best Direction in an Animated Program or Series.

Breakthrough Entertainment’s Jimmy Two-Shoes was also nominated for Best Animated Program or Series. Sean Cullen is up for Best Performance in an Animated Program or Series for his work in the episode “Bird Brained.”

Rounding up the nominees for Best Animated Program or Series is March of the Dinosaurs, co-produced by Yap Films and Wide Eyed Entertainment. The show’s Matthew Thompson is nominated for Best Direction in an Animated Program or Series.

The Rob the Robot episode “Puzzled” has earned Phillip Stamp a nod for Best Direction in an Animated Program or Series, while Serge Côté is up for Best Original Music Score for an Animated Program or Series for another episode, “Space Race.”

Anash and the Legacy of the Sun-Rock (Panacea Entertainment/The Thing With Feathers Prods.), a miniseries combining live action and animation, has been nominated for Best Children’s or Youth Fiction Program or Series.

Sidekick is up for Best Original Music Score for an Animated Program or Series for its episodes “Identity Crisis”/”Fart of Darkness.” Don Breithaupt and Anthony Vanderburgh are the nominees.

For Best Sound in a Comedy, Variety or Performing Arts Program or Series, the Bolts & Blip episode Robots Don’t Dream, Part 1 has led to a nomination for Roberto Capretta, Kevin Bonnici, Melissa Glidden, Edwin Janzen and Tim O’Connell.

Other nominees for Best Writing in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series include Seán Cullen for the Almost Naked Animals episode Better Safe and Sorry and Richard Elliott and Simon Racioppa for the Spliced episode Pink.

Rounding out the finalists for Best Performance in an Animated Program or Series is veteran Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent for his voice work on “Neighbourly Nice Day 19A,” an episode of Babar And The Adventures Of Badou.

Celebrations for the 26th Annual Gemini Awards will take place over three nights in Toronto, beginning Tuesday, August 30 and continuing Wednesday August 31 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, culminating September 7 at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation with a live broadcast on CBC Television.

Lion King’s James Earl Jones to get honorary Oscar

The Lion King (1994)

The Lion King (1994)

Partly due to his work voicing Mustafa in the 1994 Disney movie The Lion King, the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Tuesday night to present an Honorary Award to actor James Earl Jones.

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award will be given to philanthropist Oprah Winfrey.

Both awards will be presented at the Academy’s Third Annual Governors Awards dinner Saturday, November 12 at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center.

“Jones has voiced some of the most iconic characters in motion pictures, including Darth Vader in the Star Wars trilogy and Mustafa in The Lion King,” AMPAS observed.

In other theatrical animated films, Jones voiced the Emperor of the Night in Pinocchio And The Emperor Of The Night (1987), the Voice Box at the Hardware Store in Robots (2005), and the Professor in Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey (2009).

Born in Arkabutla, Mississippi, Jones made his film debut in 1964 in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. In 1970, he earned an Academy Award nomination for his role as boxer Jack Jefferson in The Great White Hope. Jones has appeared in more than 50 feature films, including Claudine, Conan the Barbarian, Field of Dreams, Coming to America and, as Vice Admiral James Greer, in The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger.

Actress, television host and producer Winfrey voiced Gussy the Goose in Paramount’s Charlotte’s Web (2006), Judge Bumbleton in DreamWorks Animation’s Bee Movie (2007), and Eudora in Disney’s The Princess And The Frog (2009).

Since receiving her Oscar nomination for her debut film performance in The Color Purple, Winfrey has gone on to establish herself as one of the most influential figures in entertainment and philanthropy. She has been especially dedicated to supporting educational initiatives and raising awareness of issues that affect women and children, both in the United States and around the globe. Her philanthropic efforts have included Oprah’s Angel Network, the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, which opened in South Africa in 2007.

The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given to an individual for “extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an Oscar statuette, is given to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.

Daffy Duck’s Movie: Fantastic Island (1983) – Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film

CotD: “Daffy Duck’s Movie: Fantastic Island” had Daffy and Speedy in a parody of Fantasy Island and compilation of classic WB shorts ~

Daffy Duck's Movie: Fantastic Island  (1983)

Daffy Duck's Movie: Fantastic Island (1983)

Daffy Duck’s Movie: Fantastic Island (1983) – Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film

Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales are stranded on a deserted island. They find a treasure map which leads to a magical wishing well.

Watch Daffy Duck’s Movie: Fantastic Island at Big Cartoon DataBase

“Fanboy and Chum Chum” Voicers Don Capes and… Underwear?

Fanboy and Chum Chum

Fanboy and Chum Chum

Fanboy and Chum Chum” voice artists Jamie Kennedy and Josh Duhamel threw on some capes and underwear for an upcoming promo of their Emmy Award-winning Nickelodeon animated series. Josh voices the role of Oz (Fanboy’s uber-geek mentor) and Jamie voices Fanboy’s untrusting wizard friend, Kyle. This is the first time both gentlemen appear together in support of their show.

This promo (as well as other Jamie/Josh promos) will debut on our air this Saturday, August 6 around all-new episodes of their series, but we have a preview for you today. Link here for the video!

UPDATE: Looks like things have changed. The full promos will now air in late August, starting on August 27th. Hopefully the promo video will hold you until then!

Fox planning to release 3D “Leafmen” in May 2013



Leafmen,” Fox’s next major animated film, is being scheduled by the studio for wide release on May 17, 2013.

Chris Wedge, who directed Ice Age (2002) and Robots (2005) for Fox Animation as well, is directing the 3D feature.

The film is being produced by Blue Sky Studios, producers of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! (2008), this spring’s Rio and Ice Age: Continental Drift, planned for release a year from now.

William Joyce’s 1996 picture book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs is the basis of the action-adventure tale, which concerns a colony of doodle bugs who summon the mythical Leaf Men to help them save an old woman’s garden and defeat the evil Spider Queen.

Joyce contributed artwork to Pixar’s Toy Story (1995) and A Bug’s Life (1998). His other books inspired Robots and the 1997 Disney feature film Meet The Robinsons.

Joyce is co-directing the DreamWorks Animation feature film Rise Of The Guardians, based on yet another of his books. It’s set for release in November 2012.

The release date for Leafmen is a strategic move on the part of Fox Animation. DWA’s insect-themed 3D film Turbo reaches theaters three weeks later. Leafmen will also open over a month before Pixar’s long-awaited prequel Monsters University does.