Monthly Archives: October 2011

Bardin’s “The Ugly Duckling” wins at Anim’est fest

"The Ugly Duckling" ("Gadkiy utyonok," or "Гадкий утенок)

"The Ugly Duckling" ("Gadkiy utyonok," or "Гадкий утенок)

The Ugly Duckling” (“Gadkiy utyonok,” or “Гадкий утенок” directed by Garri Bardin of Russia, received the Best Feature Film Award late Saturday at the sixth annual Anim’est Animation Film Festival in Bucharest

The Anim’est Trophy, presented to a film in the Short Film competition, went to Body Memory (Keha mälu), directed by Ülo Pikkov of Estonia. The Best Short Film Award was presented to David O’Reilly’s The External World, made in Germany.

Special Mention of the Jury for a Short Film was presented to Millhaven, by Bartek Kulas of Poland.

White no White (Weiß kein weiß), directed by Germany’s Samo and Anna Bergmann, received the Best Student Film Award. Special Mention of the Jury for a Student Film was presented to Ishihara, by Yoav Brill of Israel.

The Scream (Tipatul), directed by Sebastian Cosor, won the Best Romanian Film Award. It also was named Best Film in the Balkanimation competition.

“I Say Fever – Ramona Falls,” directed by Stefan Nadelmann, of the United States, won the Best Music Video Award. The Best Advertising Award was presented to the commercial “Vitra – Kuubo,” directed by Switzerland’s Adrian Flückiger.

The Audience Award, presented to a short film in the Mozaic section, was handed out to Flamingo Pride, by Tomer Eshed of Germany.

The Gruffalo, by Jakob Schuh and Max Lang of the United Kingdom, received the Award for Best Short Film in the Minimest lineup.

Isabela Petrasincu won the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to an outstanding Romanian animator.

Mater And The Ghostlight (2006) – PIXAR Theatrical Cartoon

Mater And The Ghostlight (2006) - PIXAR Theatrical Cartoon

Mater And The Ghostlight (2006) - PIXAR Theatrical Cartoon

CotD: Spun off from PIXAR’s Cars film, “Mater And The Ghostlight” brought secondary character Tow Mater into the (lime) light

Mater And The Ghostlight (2006) – PIXAR Theatrical Cartoon

The whole town is sick of practical jokes from Mater the tow truck. Having heard of the ghostlight legend, Lightning McQueeen gets playback on Mater.

Watch “Mater And The Ghostlight” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Rainmaker brings 2 family features to big screen

Rainmaker Entertainment

Rainmaker Entertainment

Vancouver-based Rainmaker Entertainment is joining forces with family entertainment producer Jane Startz on the development and production of two family-oriented animated feature films.

Utilizing Rainmaker’s extensive CGI talents, the two films — Tiger’s Apprentice, based on Newbury Honor winner Laurence Yep’s best-selling young adult novel of the same title, and Far Flung Adventures: Fergus Crane, based on the children’s fantasy tale written by Paul Stewart and illustrated by Chris Riddell (which was also the winner of the Nestle Children’s Book Prize) — will be produced by Startz and Rainmaker Entertainment president and executive producer Catherine Winder, who announced the two film projects Wednesday.

“Jane is by far one of the most talented producers of family entertainment in both film and television, as evidenced by her work as the producer of Ella Enchanted, The Indian In The Cupboard, Tuck Everlasting and the multi-award winning The Magic School Bus,” said Winder. “She has also earned a reputation as one of the most respected producers of children’s book adaptations, and we are very pleased to be partnered with her on these two exciting literary properties, which both lend themselves to big-screen adventures and storytelling.”

Startz added: “I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to bring Tiger’s Apprentice to the big screen. The book’s mythology is so rich and one that has not been seen before. The rich storylines are further enhanced by visually exciting and complex characters. Fergus Crane is fresh and funny, and has all the elements to become a classic evergreen family film. I look forward to working with Catherine and the talented, creative forces at Rainmaker to adapt both these properties into exceptional movie going experiences.”

Oscar-nominated screenwriter David Magee (Finding Neverland, The Life of Pi) has written the feature adaptation to Tiger’s Apprentice, the first book in a trilogy that follows the adventures of Asian-American teenager Tom Lee, whose beloved grandmother is killed trying to protect a rare and precious ageless object, which is then stolen by a mythical creature upon her death. Orphaned, Tom is put under the protection of Mr. Hu, a mystical tiger and three other creatures from the Chinese Zodiac — a monkey, a dragon and a rat — all of whom can also take human form. Together, Mr. Hu and his unlikely comrades have to train Tom to become a warrior capable of retreating the stolen treasure.

David Berenbaum (Elf, The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Haunted Mansion) wrote the screenplay for Fergus Crane. The story is a rollicking comedic adventure that focuses on Fergus, a poor 10-year-old boy whose explorer father has mysteriously disappeared on his “last fateful voyage.” When pirates, passing themselves off as teachers offering Fergus and the other underprivileged children of his seaside town a free education, come searching for him, a mystery of epic proportions begins to unravel, and Fergus must leave the safety of his home on a fantastical voyage to save those he cares about.

In 1997, Startz formed her own independent production company, Jane Startz Productions, Inc., which specializes in developing and producing high-quality family-based properties across all media.

Prior to starting her own company, Startz was the co-founder and executive vice-president of Scholastic Productions, the film and television division of Scholastic Inc., the largest publisher of materials for young people in the English-speaking world. During Startz’s creative aegis, the company grew to be one of the preeminent producers of family entertainment.

Startz launched Scholastic Productions in the television series arena with the long running comedy series Charles in Charge, as well as the hugely popular children’s series The Magic School Bus. Startz has received over 50 major awards in the category of children’s and family programming. These include two Golden Globe Nominations, six Emmys, 10 Emmy Nominations, two Ace Awards, Parents Choice Awards, and an Action for Children’s Television Award.

The Incredibles (2004) – PIXAR Theatrical Feature Film

The Incredibles (2004) - PIXAR Theatrical Feature Film

The Incredibles (2004) - PIXAR Theatrical Feature Film

CotD: The first PIXAR film with human characters, “The Incredibles” was a wonderful mix of James Bond and PIXAR

The Incredibles (2004) – PIXAR Theatrical Feature Film

Mr. Incredible is a former super-hero-turned-insurance agent, who comes out of forced retirement to confront a mysterious and deadly menace. But Mr. Incredible (or “Bob” to his friends and co-workers) isn’t going into battle alone this time.

To save the world from this deadly threat, Mr. Incredible is joined by his wife, the fantastically flexible Elastigirl; their insecure-and occasionally invisible-daughter, Violet; and super-fast son, Dash. The whole clan is outfitted in newly-designed, matching super suits (but no capes, please!).

Despite their dysfunction and their differences, the Incredibles now stand united as a fearless team of super-powered heroes-and as a family.

Watch “The Incredibles” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Dumbo (1941) – Disney Theatrical Feature Film

Dumbo (1941) - Disney Theatrical Feature Film

Dumbo (1941) - Disney Theatrical Feature Film

CotD: The shortest of all the Disney features, “Dumbo” packs a lot of emotion into its 64 minutes

Dumbo (1941) – Disney Theatrical Feature Film

Circus elephant Mrs. Jumbo’s little baby has huge ears, earning him the derision of the circus population and the nickname “Dumbo.” Befriended by Timothy the circus mouse, the dejected little elephant tries to find his niche with circus clowns- an attempt which ends in disaster. Finally, Dumbo soars to acceptance when he discovers that his ears are aerodynamic- Dumbo is a flying elephant!

Watch “Dumbo” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Paperback Writer (1966) – The Beatles Cartoon

Paperback Writer (1966) - The Beatles Cartoon

Paperback Writer (1966) - The Beatles Cartoon

CotD: Don’t think we have ever done a Beatles cartoon, so here we go! “Paperback Writer” first aired on this date in 1966!

Paperback Writer (1966) – The Beatles Cartoon Episode Guide

Publishers Dot, Blot and Clot want the Beatles to write a book on how they met each other, with each writing a story about how the band started. The tales are wild, and each one is completely different. Ringo claims to have been a theater “Starr,” Paul a scientist, George a James Bond-type spy, and John a World War I fighter pilot.

Watch “Paperback Writer” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Bye, Bye Bluebeard (1949) – Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

Bye, Bye Bluebeard (1949) - Merrie Melodies

Bye, Bye Bluebeard (1949) - Merrie Melodies

CotD: I do not like always posting old WB cartoons, but “Bye, Bye Bluebeard” is an Art Davis cartoon, and I will always post an Arty Cartoon!

Bye, Bye Bluebeard (1949) – Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

A mouse imitates escaped killer Bluebeard to scare Porky. The mouse even has rockets to the Moon.

Watch “Bye, Bye Bluebeard” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

An Ounce Of Pink (1965) – Pink Panther Theatrical Cartoon Series

An Ounce Of Pink (1965) - Pink Panther

An Ounce Of Pink (1965) - Pink Panther


CotD: Fresh off the closing of the WB studios, Freleng and many other veterans got right to work on a new series starring a pink cat, like “An Ounce Of Pink“.

An Ounce Of Pink (1965) – Pink Panther Theatrical Cartoon Series

The Pink Panther encounters a coin-operated talking weight and fortune…

Watch “An Ounce Of Pink” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Mad As A Mars Hare (1963) – Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

Mad As A Mars Hare (1963) - Merrie Melodies

Mad As A Mars Hare (1963) - Merrie Melodies

CotD: Bugs takes off into space in “Mad As A Mars Hare“, Marvin the Martian’s last classic WB short.

Mad As A Mars Hare (1963) – Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

Bugs is sent to Mars on a mission to claim the planet in the name of Earth, and meets up with opposition from Commander X-2.

Watch “Mad As A Mars Hare” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Home firebombed during anti-”Persepolis” protest

Persepolis

Persepolis

Tunisian extremists firebombed the home of a TV station’s chief late Friday to protest a broadcast of the Oscar-nominated 2007 animated film Persepolis.

About a hundred men besieged the home of Nabil Karoui, the head of private television channel Nessma, the station reported in its evening news bulletin. Some tossed Molotov cocktails at the home, located in the national capital of Tunis.

Karoui’s family had just managed to escape, the station added.

Critics accuse the French film — which is about Iran’s 1979 revolution — of being blasphemous for including an image of God.

One of the station’s major reporters, Sofiane Ben Hmida, told Agence France-Presse that the station chief was away from home when his house was attacked at about 7 p.m. local time. However, his wife and children were there, and about 20 of the protesters managed to get inside.

“The family managed to get out the back and are safe. The attackers wrecked the house and set it on fire,” he said.

About 100 people showed up outside the house, forced their way in, broke the windows and tore out two gas pipes, Tunisian interior ministry spokesman Hichem Meddeb told AFP. He added that five people had been arrested.

Hours earlier, police in Tunis fired tear gas at hundreds of Islamists demonstrating against a broadcast of the film.

Demonstrators in the capital rallied against the private Nessma TV channel, which angered Islamists by screening Persepolis. They were irate about fantasy scenes in the film in which God is depicted talking to a young girl.

Conservative Muslim Salafists made up the bulk of the protesters.

Karoui apologized Tuesday for airing the film.

However, many preachers at local mosques devoted their Friday sermons on the controversy.

The protest began peacefully following Friday prayers at a central Tunis mosque. Hundreds of people shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”) and demanded that Islamic law be imposed in Tunisia.

The crowd then approached the Casbah district of central Tunis, where caretaker Prime Minister Beji Caid Sebsi has his office. According to a Reuters reporter on the scene, some groups tried to break through police lines.

In an effort to disperse the crowd, riot police fired tear gas and moved in with their batons. In turn, the protesters threw stones at police.

Police pursued several demonstrators who took refuge in a local mosque, said an AFP journalist.

Most crowd members dispersed after about half an hour. A few hundred young men were left and were still throwing objects at police.

Islamists held separate protests in several locations around the capital, witnesses told Reuters.

“Here in Tunisia, you can insult Allah, but you cannot insult Sebsi or the government… and if you do, you pay dearly. That’s not right,” said one protester.

Tunisians vote next week for a constitutional assembly.