Monthly Archives: November 2011

“Gumby” suspect and pal get probation for robbery

Gumby

Gumby

A man accused of attempting to rob a San Diego-area convenience store dressed as Gumby was placed on probation Wednesday for three years.

Jacob Kiss, 19, was sentenced in San Diego Superior Court. Jason Giramma, 20, received the same probation sentence.

Each pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of misdemeanor burglary. The case involved a 7-Eleven in Rancho Peñasquitos, California.

Their pleas were entered by their lawyers. Neither suspect appeared in the courtroom Wednesday.

Both men will be allowed to withdraw their pleas and may have their cases dismissed if they comply with all terms of probation — and show proof in six months that they’ve gotten jobs, done volunteer work or enrolled in school. They’ll have to show “that they’ve gotten their lives on track,” Deputy District Attorney Ramin Tohidi said outside the courtroom.

Police and prosecutors say that Kiss walked into a 7-Eleven at about 12:30 a.m. on September 5 dressed as the famous Claymation boy. He walked to the counter and told the clerk, “This is a robbery.” The clerk thought it was a joke.

Although Kiss then reached into his pocket, his bulky green costume gave him trouble. He fumbled for a few moments, then gave up and walked out of the store — with no new cash, but minus 26 cents that had fallen from his pocket.

While Kiss fumbled, the plainclothes Giramma had already exited and was waiting in a minivan.

The store’s surveillance camera caught the strange incident.

About a week later, the two suspects turned themselves in at San Diego police headquarters. They brought the Gumby suit, which detectives confiscated.

Kiss and Giramma were released that day. Five years later, the District Attorney’s Office filed misdemeanor charges.

Commissioner Robert Rice accepted the courtroom please. He ordered the men to report to county jail December 4 to be booked, then released.

Giramma plans to join the military, defense attorney Matthew Koken said.

[Via San Diego Union-Tribune -- www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/nov/23/gumby-suspect-accomplice-plead-guilty/]

Transylvania 6-5000 (1963) – Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

Transylvania 6-5000 (1963) - Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon

Transylvania 6-5000 (1963) - Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon

CotD: Coming out about a month to late (for Halloween!) “Transylvania 6-5000” was a great foray into horror by Mr. Jones and pal Bugs.

Transylvania 6-5000 (1963) – Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

After taking a wrong left turn, Bugs ends up in the castle of a bloodthirsty Count. Luckily, Bugs knows the secret work, and confounds the Count’s attempts to retrieve Bugs’ blood.

Watch “Transylvania 6-5000” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Irish Film Board funding six animated projects

Irish Film Board

Irish Film Board

Six animation projects are among the productions just approved to share in funding from the Irish Film Board.

Among the studios to benefit is Brown Bag Films, which is up for a children’s BAFTA this weekend for its cartoon series Octonauts. It’s won development support for The Wooden Sword.

Boulder Media has been given money for the animated feature film Astrid Silverlock & the Staff of Virtue, scheduled for release next year.

Another animated feature film to gain support is Igloo FilmsThe Boy in the Bubble. Narrated by actor Alan Rickman, it features a 10-year-old boy who falls in love for the first time.

The money will aid another year of sustained activity for the Irish animation, film and TV industry, said Irish Film Board CEO James Hickey. The announcements demonstrate the strength of the Irish film and TV industry despite the recession, he added.

Mexican Joyride (1947) – Looney Tunes Theatrical Cartoon Series

Mexican Joyride (1947) - Looney Tunes Theatrical Cartoon

Mexican Joyride (1947) - Looney Tunes Theatrical Cartoon


CotD: I can never pass up an Art Davis cartoon. “Mexican Joyride” was spawned by a quick trip to Tijuana the crew took one weekend.

Mexican Joyride (1947) – Looney Tunes Theatrical Cartoon Series

Daffy Duck, singing “Gaucho Serenade,” drives down to Mexico for a vacation. After a burning experience with Mexican food, Daffy takes in the bullfights.

As if at a baseball game, Daffy heckles the bull (“He’s blind as a bat! Throw the phony out!”). The bull chases the duck around the arena. Daffy tries the “Good Neighbor Policy,” offering the bull a “Cigarette? Sparkling champagne? A little gin rummy, perhaps?” Daffy pulls a hat trick, betting the bull to guess what sombrero he’s hiding under. When the bull guesses wrong, he cries over losing his money. Daffy volunteers weapons to help him commit suicide.

The bull chases the duck with a machine gun into town, where the duck packs his bags and drives home, unaware that the bull is in the back seat.

Watch “Mexican Joyride” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

600 “Happy Feet Two” workers given walking papers

Happy Feet Two

Happy Feet Two

Some 600 of the 700 employees at the digital production studio behind the Warner Bros. flop Happy Feet Two have been given layoff notices, according to an Australian film and TV industry site.

Workers at Dr. D Studios, based in Sydney, Australia, have been told they will be laid off in the coming weeks, IF.com.au said. The studio could not be reached for comment.

The original Happy Feet (2006) won an Oscar and grossed $384.3 million from a $100 million budget. But as of Thursday, the sequel had made just an estimated $30.3 million worldwide.

Happy Feet Two opened November 18 in 3,606 theaters. Budgeted at an estimated $140 million, it came in second at the box office on its debut weekend, grossing $21.2 million.

“We obviously came in a little bit under our expectations on Happy Feet,” said Warner Bros. president of distribution Dan Fellman. “The market expands enormously over the holiday. By next Monday, we’ll know whether we’re in good shape.”

Reportedly, some Dr. D. employees have been offered a job at a new company that Kennedy-Miller Mitchell Films, which launched Dr. D as a joint partnership with Omnilab Media, plans to launch early next year. Happy Feet director George Miller co-founded KMM in 1973 with producer Byron Kennedy.

Dr. D Studios’ Web site displays an out-of-date notice that Happy Feet Two is in production. No job openings are listed on the site.

“Muppets” in 2nd place when viewed by “Twilight”

The Muppets

The Muppets

Disney’s family film “The Muppets,” combining puppet animation with live action, raised $42 million over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend to open in second place at the North American box office.

The CG-enhanced The Muppets made $29.5 million over the three-day weekend in its first big-screen appearance in 12 years. Meanwhile, the live-action The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1 stayed at No. 1 in its second weekend, collecting $42 million in three days and $62.3 million from Wednesday to Sunday.

“I don’t know that choice is ever a bad thing, and in terms of a weekend for families, this is one of the best,” said Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Disney. “The challenge is breaking through and being relevant and meaningful and fresh enough to take the more finicky customers and have them choose you.”

According to Disney, The Muppets attracted a mix of families and childless couples who have fond memories of Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest on The Muppet Show. The movie has made an additional $1.6 million internationally.

Wholly animated family films were in third and fourth place.

In its second weekend, Warner Bros.’ Happy Feet Two had a three-day total of $13.4 million and a five-day collection of $18.4 million for five days. Its Oscar-winning predecessor brought in almost $200 million domestically. The sequel has made only $43.8 million since its November 18 opening, barely equal to the opening-weekend gross of the 2006 original.

Previously released in Europe, Sony’s comedy Arthur Christmas opened in North America with $12.7 million over three days and $17 million over five. It was produced by British animation unit Aardman and has enjoyed positive reviews. Internationally, it’s made another $11.9 million.

“To have the one picture that really is kind of carrying the torch as a Christmas picture really bodes well for the future,” said Rory Bruer, Sony’s head of distribution.

In eighth place was DreamWorks’ Shrek spin-off Puss In Boots with $7.5 million ($9 million internationally).

Between Wednesday and Sunday, domestic revenue was $234 million — far below the $273 million record set in 2009, when The Twilight Saga: New Moon led the box office. As well, takings fell below last Thanksgiving, when $264 million was collected, thanks in part to the No. 1 performance of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

Ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at United States and Canadian theaters, were estimated by Hollywood.com. Final domestic figures are set for release Monday.

[Via Associated Press -- news.yahoo.com/twilight-keeps-shining-42m-second-weekend-174915455.html]

The CooCoo Nut Grove (1936) – Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

The CooCoo Nut Grove (1936) - Merrie Melodies

The CooCoo Nut Grove (1936) - Merrie Melodies

CotD: Based on a Hollywood night club “The CooCoo Nut Grove” let WB animators stretch their pencils at satire and caricature.

The CooCoo Nut Grove (1936) – Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

A night at Hollywood’s fab-u-lous CooCoo Nut Grove restaurant. You never know who you will see, or be seen by.

Watch “The CooCoo Nut Grove” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Popeye The Sailor Meets Sindbad The Sailor (1936) – Popeye the Sailor Theatrical Cartoon Series

Popeye The Sailor Meets Sindbad The Sailor (1936) - Popeye the Sailor Theatrical Cartoon Series

Popeye The Sailor Meets Sindbad The Sailor (1936) - Popeye the Sailor Theatrical Cartoon Series

CotD: Popeye’s first color cartoon “Popeye The Sailor Meets Sindbad The Sailor” was a two-reeler; twice as long as a standard short of the time.

Popeye The Sailor Meets Sindbad The Sailor (1936) – Popeye the Sailor Theatrical Cartoon Series

Popeye and Olive Oyl visit the mysterious island of Sindbad and his two-headed giant, lions, dragons and other fabulous creatures of legend. Sindbad boasts that he is the greatest until he hears “Popeye the Sailor” when he asks who’s the best.

He sends his giant bird, Rokh, to wreck Popeye’s boat and capture Olive. Popeye out-growls Sindbad’s lions. Popeye and Sindbad finally fight it out, spinach-style, and Popeye rescues Olive.

Watch “Popeye The Sailor Meets Sindbad The Sailor” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Gone Nutty (2003) – Blue Sky Studios Theatrical Cartoon

Gone Nutty (2003) - Blue Sky Studios Theatrical Cartoon

Gone Nutty (2003) - Blue Sky Studios Theatrical Cartoon

CotD: Nominated for an Academy Award, “Gone Nutty” was spun off from the popular Ice Age film series; some say it is better than the feature films.

Gone Nutty (2003) – Blue Sky Studios Theatrical Cartoon

Scrat crams one final nut into the center of his gigantic stash… and the result is cataclysmic.
Watch “Gone Nutty” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Knock Knock (1940) -Andy Panda Theatrical Cartoon Series

Knock Knock (1940) -Andy Panda Theatrical Cartoon

Knock Knock (1940) -Andy Panda Theatrical Cartoon

CotD: Woody Woodpecker first appeared on this date in 1940 in “Knock Knock“, a cartoon in the Any Panda series.

Knock Knock (1940) -Andy Panda Theatrical Cartoon Series

Andy Panda and his dad are busy in the study reading their respective favorite magazines. They hear a knock-knock, and father opens the door. Nobody’s there.

After this is repeated a number of times, the door is taken off its hinges and set on the floor. The knocks are repeated again and again, and, seeing sawdust on the floor, Andy and his dad realize that the knocks come from the roof.

Father climbs to the roof and sees Woody Woodpecker pecking holes in the roof. Then begins a series of episodes in which Andy Panda and his father try to get rid of Woody (including trying to put salt on his tail). They have no success.

Finally, two keepers from an asylum (also woodpeckers) arrive. Then the keepers themselves begin acting like maniacs as the picture ends.

Watch “Knock Knock” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase