Monthly Archives: February 2012

Kids’ finalists for British Animation Awards named

British Animation Awards

British Animation Awards

British Animation Awards finalists were announced Tuesday for both the juried categories and the Children’s Choice awards, as determined by kid voters in the United Kingdom.

The awards will be held March 15 at the British Film Institute in London.

Here is the full list of the children’s categories and finalists:

Best Long Form
The Itch of the Golden Nit (dir. Sarah Cox; Aardman Animations for Tate and CBBC)
Maska (dirs. Quay Brothers; Polish Cultural Institute in London/Se-Ma-For Studios Poland)
The Gruffalo’s Child (dirs. Johannes Weiland, Uwe Heidsh√∂tter; Magic Light Pictures in association with Studio Soi)

Best Preschool Series
Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom: “Acorn Day” (dirs. Neville Astley, Mark Baker; Astley Baker Davies Ltd for Channel 5, Nick Jr and eone Entertainment)
Octonauts: “The Blobfish Brothers” (dir. Darragh O’Connell; Silvergate Media and Brown Bag Films for CBeebies)
Peppa Pig: “The New House” (dirs. Joris van Hulzen, Philip Hall; Astley Baker Davies Ltd for Channel 5, Nick Jr and eone Entertainment)

Children’s Choice
Bookaboo: “Johnny Vegas” (dirs. Lucy Goodman, Ian Emes; Happy Films for CITV)
The Amazing World of Gumball: “The Quest” (dirs. Mic Graves, Ben Bocquelet; Cartoon Network, in association with Dandelion Studios, Boulder Media and Studio Soi for Cartoon Network)
Peppa Pig: “The New House” (dirs. Joris van Hulzen, Philip Hall; Astley Baker Davies Ltd for Channel 5, Nick Jr and eone Entertainment)

Best Children’s Series
The Amazing World of Gumball: “The Quest” (dirs. Mic Graves, Ben Bocquelet; Cartoon Network, in association with Dandelion Studios, Boulder Media and Studio Soi for Cartoon Network)
Rastamouse: “Da Missin’ Masterpiece” (dir. Derek Mogford; The Rastamouse Company for CBeebies)
Ask Lara: “Oh No! B.O.!” (dir. Mercedes Marro; Red Kite Productions for BBC Scotland)

Best Mixed Media Children’s Series
Get Squiggling!: “Cat Episode” (dirs. Mike Wyatt, Damian Hook, Adrian Hedley; Dot to Dot Productions Ltd for CBeebies)
Baby Jake: “Loves Tummy Sliding” (dirs. Alan Shannon, Maddy Darrall; Darrall Macqueen Ltd for CBeebies)
Bookaboo: “Johnny Vegas” (dirs. Lucy Goodman, Ian Emes; Happy Films for CITV)

Name that toon: UK poll on for favorite character

Wallace and Gromit

Wallace and Gromit

Who’s Britain’s greatest animated character?

Are there two faves: Wallace and Gromit? Maybe TV’s Mr Benn, Bagpuss, Peppa Pig or Aleksandr Orlov the meerkat (from Britain’s Compare The Market online site)?

All are on a shortlist for an online vote being conducted by the British Animation Awards. The winner will be announced at BAA’s annual ceremony March 15.

Over the next three weeks, the public can have a chance to choose their favorite. Leading figures in the world of animation drew up the shortlist of names from TV, ads and online.

Other contenders include Wallace and Gromit, TV’s Danger Mouse and the Cresta bear, the 1970s TV commercial star known for the catchphrase “It’s frothy, man.”

Also on the shortlist are Roobarb and Custard, Penfold (Danger Mouse), Timmy (from Timmy Time), The Snowman, Paddington, Count Duckula, Morph, Super Ted, Postman Pat, Tiny Clanger (The Clangers), Soup Dragon (also of The Clangers), Noggin the Nog, Uncle Nogbad (also of Noggin The Nog), Lola (Charlie And Lola) and Simon’s Cat.

The poll was created as part of a campaign by Animation UK to increase awareness of the industry’s economic benefits and the need for tax breaks comparing with those gained by foreign competitors.

“The UK is famed for its animation the world over,” said BAA director Jayne Pilling. “This vote celebrates the illustrious heritage of cherished characters that have been created in the UK over the last few decades and highlights the wealth of creative talent that could disappear if the industry continues to decline.”

Votes can be cast until March 9 through the British Animation Awards’ Facebook page.

Charlotte’s Web (1973) – Hanna-Barbera Feature Length Theatrical Cartoon

Charlotte's Web (1973) - Hanna-Barbera Feature Length Theatrical

Charlotte's Web (1973) - Hanna-Barbera Feature Length Theatrical

CotD: Hanna-Barbera’s third movie “Charlotte’s Web “, and the first to be a Paramount Pictures release.

Charlotte’s Web (1973) – Hanna-Barbera Feature Length Theatrical Cartoon

Wilbur the pig is scared of the end of the season, because he knows that come that time, he will end up on the dinner table. He hatches a plan with Charlotte, a spider that lives in his pen, to ensure that this will never happen. And with the help of Templeton the rat, Wilbur protects Charlotte’s offspring.

Come see “Charlotte’s Web ” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

“Homer The Father” winner of Writers Guild Awards

One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish (1991) - The Simpsons

One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish (1991) - The Simpsons

Homer The Father,” written by Joel H. Cohen, won a Writers Guild Award in the Animation category Sunday, defeating — among others — three other episodes of Fox’s The Simpsons.

Homer The Father triumphed over “Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts,” written by Tim Long; The Blue and the Gray, written by Rob LaZebnik; and Donnie Fatso, written by Chris Cluess.

Also nominated in the Animation category were the Ben 10: Ultimate Alien episode “Moonstruck,” written by Len Uhley, and the Futurama episode The Silence Of The Clamps, written by Eric Rogers.

In the category of Television Graphic Animation, the winner — and sole nominee — was “CBS News Animations” (CBS News), Graphic Animation by David Rosen.

For Original Screenplay, the winner was Midnight in Paris, written by Woody Allen. The Descendants, with screenplay by Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, won for Adapted Screenplay; it was based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings.

Better This World, written by Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega, won for Documentary Screenplay.

Presented by the Writers Guild of America, the Writers Guild Awards were held at simultaneous ceremonies at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles and at B.B. King Blues Club in New York City.

Two For The Zoo (1941) – Gabby Theatrical Cartoon Series

Two For The Zoo (1941) - Gabby Theatrical Cartoon Series

Two For The Zoo (1941) - Gabby Theatrical Cartoon Series

CotD: Today we visit Gabby in “Two For The Zoo“. Gabby was the first animated character to make the jump from a feature film to his own series.

Two For The Zoo (1941) – Gabby Theatrical Cartoon Series

Gabby and the head zookeeper at the Lilliput Zoo bring in a new kangaroo to the zoo. A delivery man pushes a crate down the street containing a Rubber Necked Kango. Gabby bumps into the crate, and in his usual know-it-all fashion, offers to personally deliver the animal, a baby. Gabby doesn’t know that the mother is also in the crate, and she catches up with them, dropping the baby into her pouch, causing Gabby to think that the baby suddenly grew. They end up getting trapped in the kangaroo’s cage and the Kangaroo runs free.

Come see “Two For The Zoo” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Miyazaki’s “Arrietty” takes ninth at $6.4 million

Karigurashi No Arietti (The Secret World of Arrietty")

Karigurashi No Arietti (The Secret World of Arrietty")

Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Secret World of Arrietty,” based on Mary Norton’s famous children’s novel The Borrowers, opened in ninth place in limited North American release, taking $6.6 million this past weekend.

It’s estimated that Arrietty will earn $8 million over the four-day President’s Day weekend, which ends Monday.

Playing on fewer screens than bigger-earning films this weekend, it made an average of $4,189 at 1,522 venues.

For over a decade, Disney has been distributing Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli films in North America. Arrietty had a much better opening than any previous anime film distributed by Disney. Ponyo, Disney’s last wide-release anime film, opened at $3.6 million and eventually garnered $15.1 million in 2009.

The Secret World of Arrietty had the fifth-best anime opening in United States box office history, behind three Pokémon flicks and a Yu-Gi-Oh! movie.

The biggest hit in its native country in 2010, Arrietty grossed over $110 million in Japan alone. It’s received an “A-” CinemaScore grade from North American moviegoers.

About tiny people living under the floorboards of a country home, the film features a voice cast including Carol Burnett, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett.

Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds’ Safe House led narrowly with $24 million between Friday to Sunday, according to Sunday’s studio estimates. Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum’s The Vow was a close second with $23.6 million.

Studios will report final numbers for the long holiday weekend on Tuesday

“Rango” wins editing award for animated feature

Rango

Rango

The American Cinema Editors named “Rango” as 2011′s Best Edited Animated Feature Film on Saturday night, giving it one of this year’s ACE Eddie Awards.

Edited by Craig Wood, A.C.E., Rango defeated challengers The Adventures Of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn (Michael Kahn, A.C.E.) and Puss In Boots (Eric Dapkewicz). Gore Verbinski’s movie has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film.

The 62nd annual ACE Eddie Awards were presented at the Beverly Hilton.

The Descendants, edited by Kevin Tent, A.C.E., was named Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic). The Artist (Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius) won the Eddie for Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy or Musical).

“The Great Rabbit” hops to a win at Berlin fest

The Great Rabbit

The Great Rabbit

Atsushi Wada’s “The Great Rabbit,” or “Gurehto Rabitto,” won the Berlinale Shorts International Jury’s Jury Prize (Silver Bear) at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.

Produced in France, the wordless film uses a delicate hand-drawn style and runs for seven minutes.

“This dreamlike film uses a unique, surreal language to tickle our unconscious while showing us the confusion of the modern world in animated form,” said jurors. “Using a delicate hand-drawn style, Atsushi Wada decodes reality with absurd sequences of characters caught in time.”

“If you believe in the Rabbit, you’ll believe in anything. If you don’t believe in the Rabbit, it means that you wouldn’t believe anything,” said Wada, 31.

The film is about people who worship a rabbit. It alludes to an aspect of modern society in which people unconsciously submit themselves to something mysterious.

“I am proud to win this award,” said Wada, now a London resident. “I feel relieved because I used to think my works were rather hard to understand. In the work, the rabbit (admired by people) doesn’t have any particular significance at all, but I depicted it because I liked it.”

Meanwhile, members of the Generation 14plus Youth Jury gave a Special Mention to Japanese director Isamu Hirabayashi’s animated eight-minute film 663114.

Every 66 years, a cicada makes its way out of the earth and climbs up a tree to shed its skin. This is the way it’s been since time immemorial. But this time, it’s different. In this film, an ostensibly resistant insect’s monologue draws a parallel between the catastrophes of Hiroshima and Fukushima. The insect poses a fundamental question about the future of our planet. Short but hard-hitting, 663114 takes different points of view.

“Visuals and sound melded together flawlessly to create a philosophical and layered masterpiece. The director conveys his message beyond all conventions. Through a simple metaphor, he portrays the survival of a culture, even in the face of catastrophe,” the jury said.

The film build on the theme of last March’s devastating quake, tsunami and nuclear disasters. After spending 66 years underground since the end of World War II, the cicada emerges only to survive the natural disasters and meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station.

The title 663114 is a reference to 66 years, 3/11 (March 11, the date of the earthquake and tsunami) and four (the number of nuclear reactors crippled at the Fukushima plant).

“Children are being exposed to dangerous radioactivity a year after the earthquake. It is our responsibility as Japanese adults to protect the children,” Hirabayashi, who was in Japan, said in a message that was read out at the awards ceremony.

The Berlin International Film Festival began February 9 and ends Sunday.

Puss Gets The Boot (1940) – Tom and Jerry Theatrical Cartoon Series

Puss Gets The Boot (1940) - Tom and Jerry Theatrical Cartoon Series

Puss Gets The Boot (1940) - Tom and Jerry Theatrical Cartoon Series

CotD: One of the most stories pairs in animation began their careers 72 years ago today in “Puss Gets The Boot” watch it today and see how it all started!

Puss Gets The Boot (1940) – Tom and Jerry Theatrical Cartoon Series

In close-up, Jerry the mouse runs from his opponent. The camera cuts back, and we see that Tom the cat (called Jasper in this film only) has already caught the mouse, who is running on the spot, his tail held by the cat’s claw.

While Tom toys with his prey, Jerry gets away, leading to a number of gags which result in the breaking of a vase. Mammy-Two-Shoes warns Tom that if he breaks one more thing, she’ll throw him out of the house. Jerry hears this; naturally, this is an opportunity that the mouse cannot pass up.

To keep Tom at bay, Jerry menaces every breakable object in the house. Tom (whom Mammy calls “you good-for-nothin’ cheap fur coat”) does his best to save them, but ultimately fails and gets the boot.

Come see “Puss Gets The Boot” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Hello Aloha (1952) – Goofy Theatrical Cartoon Series

Hello Aloha (1952) - Goofy Theatrical Cartoon

Hello Aloha (1952) - Goofy Theatrical Cartoon

CotD: Goofy takes a vacation in “Hello Aloha” and finds out that maybe the islands are not all that they are cracked up to be.

Hello Aloha (1952) – Goofy Theatrical Cartoon Series

Goofy lives out the working-man’s dream of walking away from his job and moving to a tropical island paradise.

Come see “Hello Aloha” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase