Monthly Archives: February 2012

Ryan Reynolds leads race for DreamWorks’ “Turbo”

Turbo: Go For It!

Turbo: Go For It!

Ryan Reynolds will lead an all-star cast includ­ing Paul Gia­matti, Michael Pena, Luis Guz­man, Bill Hader, Richard Jenk­ins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Kurt­wood Smith, Snoop Dogg and Samuel L. Jack­son in Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion SKG’s upcom­ing orig­i­nal film Turbo, the com­pany announced Friday.

Turbo tells the story of an ordi­nary gar­den snail with dreams of rac­ing great­ness. The film is sched­uled to come to the big screen on July 19, 2013.

Ryan Reynolds’ infec­tious enthu­si­asm and humor will bring life to the lead role of Turbo and set the tone for this amaz­ing ros­ter of all-star voice tal­ent,” said Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion chief cre­ative offi­cer Bill Dam­aschke. “This high-octane jour­ney will take audi­ences on the race of their lives and com­pletely re-define the tra­di­tional notion of mov­ing at a snail’s pace!”

David Soren (Merry Mada­gas­car), a DWA vet­eran as a story artist, voice actor and direc­tor, is set to direct the film based on his own orig­i­nal con­cept. Soren is co-writing the script with Robert Siegel (The Wrestler) and Dar­ren Lemke (Shrek For­ever After). Lisa Stew­art (Mon­sters vs. Aliens, Almost Famous) is pro­duc­ing with Susan Rogers serv­ing as co-producer.

Turbo is a snail who dreams of being the great­est racer in the world, just like his hero, five-time Indi­anapo­lis 500 champ Guy Gagne. His obses­sion with speed and all things fast has made him an odd­ity and out­sider in the slow and cau­tious snail com­mu­nity, and a con­stant embar­rass­ment to his care­ful older brother Chet.

Turbo des­per­ately wishes he could escape the slow-paced life he’s liv­ing. As luck would have it, he gets that chance one fate­ful day after a freak acci­dent when he sud­denly finds him­self vested with the power of incred­i­ble speed. He embarks on an extra­or­di­nary jour­ney to achieve the impos­si­ble: rac­ing against the best that Indy­Car has to offer. Turbo is the ulti­mate under­dog who achieves the impos­si­ble by refus­ing to let his lim­i­ta­tions get in the way of his dreams.

Dream­Works Animation’s Turbo is a snail who dreams of being the great­est racer in the world.

DC Nation producers head to Anaheim for WonderCon

DC Nation

DC Nation

Fans can super­charge their Sat­ur­day with a spe­cial video pre­sen­ta­tion and panel ses­sion for DC Nation — the new one-hour pro­gram­ming block from Car­toon Net­work, Warner Bros. Ani­ma­tion and DC Enter­tain­ment — on March 17 at Won­der­Con, held at the Ana­heim Con­ven­tion Cen­ter in Ana­heim, California,

Atten­dees will be treated to exclu­sive video con­tent filled with plenty of sneak peeks from the DC Nation block. In addi­tion, an all-star panel fea­tur­ing Young Jus­tice pro­duc­ers Bran­don Vietti (Bat­man Under the Red Hood) and Greg Weis­man (Gar­goyles), Green Lantern: The Ani­mated Series pro­duc­ers Jim Krieg (Ben 10: Alien Swarm) and Gian­carlo Volpe (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), and DC ani­mated shorts pro­duc­ers Lau­ren Faust (The Pow­er­puff Girls, My Lit­tle Pony: Friend­ship Is Magic) and Ben Jones (Bat­man: The Brave and The Bold) will take the stage for a mod­er­ated Q&A.

The spe­cial video pre­sen­ta­tion and Q&A will take place in Room 204ABC. At 4 p.m., a DC Nation sign­ing will take place at DC Enter­tain­ment Booth #501.

Make Mine Freedom (1948) — Extension Department of Harding College

Make Mine Freedom (1948) - Extension Department of Harding College

Make Mine Free­dom (1948) — Exten­sion Depart­ment of Hard­ing College

CotD: From John Suther­land Pro­duc­tions, “Make Mine Free­dom“was seen by 20 mil­lion view­ers saw the film in its first year of release.

Make Mine Free­dom (1948) — Exten­sion Depart­ment of Hard­ing College

John Q. Pub­lic gives us a his­tor­i­cal and edu­ca­tional out­look on the cap­i­tal­ism and free­dom of the United States of Amer­ica. Car­toon para­ble pre­sent­ing the Amer­i­can sys­tem of gov­ern­ment as the best in the world. “Dr. Utopia,” a snake-oil sales­man of “for­eign” appear­ance, con­vinces Amer­i­cans to drink his quack­ish “ism” for­mula. Cit­i­zens are plunged into a total­i­tar­ian night­mare in which strikes are banned, pri­vate prop­erty is con­fis­cated, and dis­senters are brain­washed. For­tu­nately, “John Q. Pub­lic” takes charge and expels the bad doc­tor from town. Part of the pub­lic rela­tions offen­sive by busi­ness to loosen gov­ern­ment con­trols after World War II.

Come see “Make Mine Free­dom” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

New Poster for Burton Remake

Frankenweenie (2012)

Franken­wee­nie (2012)

Tim Bur­ton is deep in pro­duc­tion of his stop motion remake to his 1984 fea­turette Franken­wee­nie  titled, strangely enough, Franken­wee­nie. Slated for am Octo­ber 2012 release, we now have the first teaser poster for the new Franken­wee­nie.

An homage to Mary Shelly’s Franken­stein, and the clas­sic 1931 hor­ror film directed by James Whale and star­ring Boris Karloff, the movie tells the story of a boy named Vic­tor whose dog dies. Vic­tor uses the power of sci­ence to bring it back to life…

The orig­i­nal 1984 film by Tim Bur­ton caused quite a rift between the direc­tor and Dis­ney. As orig­i­nally planned, the fea­turette (30 min­utes in length; longer than a short but not a feature-length film) was to pre­sented before the U.S. before a re-release of Pinoc­chio on Dec. 21, 1984. When Dis­ney saw the film, they imme­di­ately pulled it, and then fired Bur­ton. The stu­dio claimed that Bur­ton had wasted com­pany resources and felt the film was too scary for young audiences.

By 1994, see­ing Burton’s suc­cesses with films such as Bat­man and Pee-Wee’s Big Adven­ture, Dis­ney rethought their ban and released the fea­turette to home video.

The mod­ern film has seen a tumul­tuous release sched­ule. Orig­i­nally slated for a Novem­ber 2011 release, the release was pushed to March 9th last Sep­tem­ber. In Octo­ber, Disney’s John Carter was moved into the March release date, and Franken­wee­nie was move to it’s cur­rent Octo­ber release date.

The mod­ern retake on the film will be a stop-motion fea­ture, and pro­duced in Dis­ney 3D. Char­lie Tahan is voic­ing the lead char­ac­ter Vic­tor Franken­stein, while Bur­ton alums Winona Ryder voices Elsa van Hels­ing and Cather­ine O’Hara will speak for Susan Franken­stein. Round­ing out the cast are Mar­tin Short as Victor’s Dad and Mar­tin Lan­dau as Mr. Rzykruski.

Frankenweenie (2012)

Franken­wee­nie (2012)

Hayek, Allers To Animate The Prophet

The Prophet

The Prophet

In an inter­na­tional work of col­lab­o­ra­tion, pro­duc­ers Salma Hayek, Clark Peter­son and Ron Senkowski are being pre-production on an ani­mated screen adap­tion of Khalil Gibran’s “The Prophet.” Eas­ily the poet’s most famous work, each of the chap­ters in the work will be directed by a dif­fer­ent, respected ani­ma­tion direc­tor from around the world.

Among the dis­tin­guished direc­tors com­mit­ted to the project are Mar­jane Satrapi (Perse­po­lis), Chris Lan­dreth (“Ryan”), Tomm Moore (The Secret of Kells), Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues), Mohammed Saeed Harib (“Freej”), Joan Gratz (Oscar win­ner for Mona Lisa Descend­ing a Stair­case), Michal Socha, Francesco Testa and Bill Plymp­ton (How To Kiss and The Cow Who Wanted To Be A Ham­burger). The ani­mated chap­ters will be joined by The Lion King direc­tor Roger Allers, who is respon­si­ble for the over­all nar­ra­tive flow. Doha Film Insi­ti­tute (DFI) is co-financing along with Par­tic­i­pant Media, MyGroup Lebanon, FFA Pri­vate Bank, JRW Enter­tain­ment and Code Red Productions.

The Prophet’ has been an incred­i­ble source of wis­dom and inspi­ra­tion for mil­lions of peo­ple all over the world. Being of Lebanese descent, I’m par­tic­u­larly proud to be part of a project that will present this mas­ter­piece to new gen­er­a­tions, in a way never seen before,” said Hayek.

Sell­ing over 100 mil­lion copies in many lan­guages across the world since its orig­i­nal pub­li­ca­tion in 1923, Gibran’s book is among the top sell­ing books in his­tory. The Prophet is in its 163rd print­ing and has sold over 100 mil­lion copies since its orig­i­nal pub­li­ca­tion in 1923, mak­ing him the third high­est sell­ing poet, just behind Shake­speare and Lao-Tzu.


The Practical Pig (1939) — Silly Symphonies Theatrical Cartoon Series

The Practical Pig (1939) - Silly Symphonies Theatrical Cartoon Series

The Prac­ti­cal Pig (1939) — Silly Sym­phonies The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

CotD: One of the all time most pop­u­lar Silly Sym­phonies car­toons, “The Prac­ti­cal Pig” was not the first in the series, but one of the best.

The Prac­ti­cal Pig (1939) — Silly Sym­phonies The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

Two of the Three Lit­tle Pigs are caught by the Big Bad Wolf while swim­ming. But things back­fire when the wolf tries to get Prac­ti­cal Pig; he is caught instead. Prac­ti­cal Pig uses his new lie detec­tor to get the infor­ma­tion about his two broth­ers from the wolf.

Come see “The Prac­ti­cal Pig” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Guitarist and songwriter Billy Strange dies at 81

Billy Strange

Billy Strange

Grammy-nominated gui­tarist, song­writer and arranger Billy Strange, who helped make hits for Elvis Pres­ley, the Beach Boys, and Frank and Nancy Sina­tra, has died in Nashville, the Nashville Ten­nessean reported Wednes­day. He was 81.

The cause of death was not announced.

My dear friend, the leg­endary guitarist/arranger Billy Strange passed away this morn­ing in Nashville,” Nancy Sina­tra wrote on her Twit­ter page. “My heart is shattered.”

Strange wrote such hits for Pres­ley as “A Lit­tle Less Con­ver­sa­tion” and “Mem­o­ries.” “A Lit­tle Less Con­ver­sa­tion (Junkie XL Remix),” which he wrote with Scott Davis, was on the sound­track of both the Dream­Works ani­mated fea­ture films Shark Tale (2004) and Mega­mind (2010).

He sang his own com­po­si­tion, “The Bal­lad of Bunny and Claude,” in the Mer­rie Melodies Bunny And Claude (We Rob Car­rot Patches) (1968) and The Great Carrot-Train Rob­bery (1969).

Limbo Rock,” which he wrote with Kal Mann, was hummed by Nancy Cartwright in the 1995 Simp­sons episode Lisa The Veg­e­tar­ian. It was orig­i­nally a hit for Chubby Checker.

A mem­ber of the 1960s “Wreck­ing Crew” of Los Angeles-based ses­sion musi­cians, he was in both the Musi­cians and Rock­a­billy Halls of Fame.

William Everett Strange was born on Sep­tem­ber 29, 1930; he was born and raised in Long Beach, Cal­i­for­nia. While still a young boy, he per­formed on local radio with his father and mother. At 14, he started play­ing gui­tar; two years later, he was tour­ing with other musicians.

He worked in the rodeo, as a truck dri­ver and as a stunt­man in his 20s. How­ever, he made music his career, per­form­ing early with the likes of Spade Coo­ley, Roy Rogers, Count Basie, and Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant.

Major pro­duc­ers noticed his gui­tar work. Strange joined The Wreck­ing Crew, play­ing on the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album. He also was on record­ings by The Everly Broth­ers, Randy New­man, Willie Nel­son, Nat King Cole and many others.

Strange arranged Nancy Sinatra’s megahit “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’”; he direct­ing standup bass player George Burghofer to play the famous descend­ing bridge. As well, he helped arrange “Some­thin’ Stu­pid,” her duet with father Frank.

He was the gui­tarist on Sinatra’s “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down),” later part of the sound­track for Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill.

Pres­ley hired Strange as a player and arranger when he came to Los Ange­les for record­ing ses­sions. The two soon became friends, sit­ting and play­ing with baby Lisa Marie Pres­ley and rid­ing motor­cy­cles together.

In the early 1970s, Strange moved to Mid­dle Ten­nessee, where he ran a pub­lish­ing com­pany for Frank and Nancy Sina­tra. He

He released a series of solo works in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Strange was mar­ried to singer and actress Joan O’Brien from 1954 until their 1955 divorce. They had a son, Rus­sell Glen Strange.

His mar­riage to Betty Jo Con­rad lasted from 1960 until their divorce in 1978. They had a daugh­ter together, Kelly Kim­berly Strange, and a step­son, from his wife’s pre­vi­ous marriage.

Billy Strange is sur­vived by his wife since 1999, the for­mer Jeanne Black, who also was a singer.

Memo­r­ial ser­vice infor­ma­tion is not yet available.

Paramount animation chief quits after four months

David Stainton

David Stain­ton

David Stain­ton has sud­denly resigned as head of Para­mount Pic­tures’ fledg­ling ani­ma­tion unit, just four months after he was hired, the stu­dio announced Wednesday.

Stain­ton left his job for “per­sonal rea­sons,” said the stu­dio. It would not give fur­ther details on why he and Para­mount parted ways.

We are grate­ful for the time David spent at the stu­dio and we wish him well in his future endeav­ors,” Para­mount Motion Pic­ture Group pres­i­dent Adam Good­man said in a statement.

The stu­dio said that Good­man will directly super­vise the ani­ma­tion devel­op­ment team from now on.

Stain­ton was hired by Para­mount last Octo­ber. Ear­lier, he was a 17-year vet­eran at Walt Dis­ney Studios.

He rose to pres­i­dent of fea­ture ani­ma­tion at the Mouse House, stay­ing in that job until early 2006, when Dis­ney bought out Pixar Ani­ma­tion Studios.

Stain­ton became chief of Paramount’s ani­ma­tion unit after it was estab­lished last year fol­low­ing the release of Rango, which has been nom­i­nated for an Oscar for best ani­mated film.

Del Toro’s “Day of the Dead” comes to life in 2014

Reel FX

Reel FX

Reel FX has teamed with Acad­emy Award-nominated film­maker Guillermo del Toro (Puss in Boots, Pacific Rim, Pan’s Labyrinth) to pro­duce a ground­break­ing CG-animated film with Day of the Dead as its work­ing title, the com­pany announced Tuesday.

Del Toro will also present the film, directed by Emmy Award win­ner Jorge R. Gutier­rez (El Tigre, The Adven­tures of Manny Rivera). The film is being penned by Gutier­rez and Emmy Award nom­i­nee Doug Lang­dale. Reel FX will pro­duce along­side Aaron Berger and Carina Schulze of Cha­trone, Inc.

Day of the Dead is sched­uled to be released in fall 2014.

The film is an action-packed, fully CG-animated pic­ture, with a Romeo and Juliet-style love story set against a Mex­i­can “Day of the Dead” back­drop. It rep­re­sents the first time in almost 20 years — since 1993’s Cronos — that del Toro has col­lab­o­rated on a fea­ture project set in Mexico.

Music is also inte­gral to the story; the film will fea­ture an inter­na­tional ros­ter of A-list record­ing artists per­form­ing new songs, as well as reimag­ined iconic songs. Reel FX’s Brad Booker brought Day of the Dead to the stu­dio, and is the devel­op­ment exec­u­tive on the project.

We’re thrilled to have Guillermo on board for Day of the Dead,” said Booker. “As indi­vid­u­als, Guillermo and Jorge share a cul­tural back­ground and love for Mex­i­can folk­lore, which brings a pal­pa­ble authen­tic­ity to our project; how­ever, as artists, each brings to the pic­ture a vastly dif­fer­ent aes­thetic sen­si­bil­ity. Work­ing together for the first time, we feel that they bring a truly unique bal­ance to the style and story of the film.”

Notes del Toro: “I have admired Jorge’s work for a long time. He has a unique aes­thetic and sense of humor.

Day of the Dead offers a per­fect oppor­tu­nity for his sen­si­bil­i­ties to shine. This is a col­or­ful, vibrant, vital fable that uti­lizes the ani­ma­tion medium in an incred­i­ble way. The object of the tale is not only to talk about life, but to daz­zle us — jolt us — into liv­ing to the fullest. To join Reel FX, Cary Granat and Jorge in this adven­ture is a priv­i­lege and a joy.”

In addi­tion to Day of the Dead, Reel FX has secured and is actively devel­op­ing mul­ti­ple CG-animated and effects-driven, live-action projects. Projects under­way include an ani­mated fea­ture adap­ta­tion of the Dark Horse graphic novel Beasts of Bur­den, pro­duced by Andrew Adam­son (Shrek) and Aron Warner; and Turkeys, the studio’s CG-animated com­edy directed by Jimmy Hay­ward (Hor­ton Hears a Who!).

The stu­dio also recently col­lab­o­rated on the pro­duc­tion of Cirque du Soleil’s 3D film Worlds Away, writ­ten and directed by Andrew Adam­son, and exec­u­tive pro­duced by Acad­emy Award-winning film­maker James Cameron (Avatar). Cary Granat and Ed Jones served as pro­duc­ers on the project for Reel FX. Worlds Away is cur­rently in post-production and set to debut late this year from Para­mount Pictures.

The Band Concert (1935) — Mickey Mouse Theatrical Cartoon Series

The Band Concert (1935) - Mickey Mouse Theatrical Cartoon Series

The Band Con­cert (1935) — Mickey Mouse The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

CotD: This is a land­mark film “The Band Con­cert” was the first Mickey Mouse car­toon shot and exhib­ited in color.

The Band Con­cert (1935) — Mickey Mouse The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

Mickey leads his band through a ren­di­tion of Rossini’s “The William Tell Over­ture” in the park. It starts off fine until peanut ven­dor Don­ald Duck dis­rupts the con­cert by play­ing “Turkey In The Straw” on his fife, which he pulls out of his sleeve. Unde­terred, Mickey braves on. A cyclone appears and takes Mickey and the band– still play­ing!- for a ride.

Come see “The Band Con­cert” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase