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.