Monthly Archives: February 2012

DreamWorks Animation takes part in Chinese venture

DreamWorks Animation SKG

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion SKG

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion SKG, Inc. announced Fri­day that it has agreed to form a joint ven­ture with China Media Cap­i­tal, with plans to include Shang­hai Media Group and Shang­hai Alliance Invest­ment, Ltd., to estab­lish the lead­ing China-focused fam­ily enter­tain­ment company.

Ori­en­tal Dream­Works will engage in the devel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion of high-quality orig­i­nal Chi­nese ani­mated and live-action con­tent for dis­tri­b­u­tion both within China and to other ter­ri­to­ries around the globe. In addi­tion to con­tent cre­ation, the joint ven­ture will pur­sue busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties in the areas of live enter­tain­ment, theme parks, mobile, online, inter­ac­tive games and con­sumer products.

We are incred­i­bly proud to estab­lish Ori­en­tal Dream­Works along­side CMC, SMG and SAIL in this ground­break­ing and his­toric alliance to cre­ate the lead­ing Chinese-branded fam­ily enter­tain­ment com­pany,” said Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion CEO Jef­frey Katzen­berg. “Together with our part­ners in China, we look for­ward to build­ing a first-of-its-kind enter­prise to locally con­ceive, pro­duce and dis­trib­ute high-quality cre­ative con­tent and fam­ily enter­tain­ment expe­ri­ences — not only for the peo­ple of China, but also for related export markets.”

We share the same vision with Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion to build a world-class fam­ily enter­tain­ment com­pany,” com­mented China Media Cap­i­tal chair­man Ruigang Li. “By com­bin­ing the exper­tise of CMC in invest­ment and oper­a­tion, SMG in media and enter­tain­ment man­age­ment, SAIL in high-tech R&D, as well as Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion in cre­ative processes, inno­v­a­tive tech­nol­ogy and global net­work capa­bil­i­ties, Ori­en­tal Dream­Works will be in a unique posi­tion to cre­ate high-quality con­tent and inter­ac­tive enter­tain­ment prod­ucts for China and inter­na­tional markets.”

The Chi­nese com­pa­nies will hold a major­ity stake of approx­i­mately 55% in Ori­en­tal Dream­Works, and Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion will hold approx­i­mately 45%. The enter­prise will ini­tially be cap­i­tal­ized with cash and intel­lec­tual prop­erty val­ued at $330 mil­lion. The joint ven­ture plans to launch busi­ness oper­a­tions in Shang­hai later this year.

DWA has enjoyed a great track record of suc­cess at the box office in China, led by its block­buster Kung Fu Panda fran­chise. Kung Fu Panda was the #1 ani­mated film upon its release into China in 2008. Last year, Kung Fu Panda 2 became the highest-grossing ani­mated film of all time in the region, gross­ing approx­i­mately $100 million.

The Henpecked Rooster (1933) — Noveltoons Theatrical Cartoon Series

The Henpecked Rooster (1933) - Noveltoons Theatrical Cartoon

The Hen­pecked Rooster (1933) — Nov­el­toons The­atri­cal Cartoon

CotD: Her­man the mouse first appeared in the Nov­el­toon “The Hen­pecked Rooster” before being paired with Kat­nip and get­ting his own series.

The Hen­pecked Rooster (1933) — Nov­el­toons The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

So who’s the boss in this rela­tion­ship? It isn’t hard to tell as the whip is crack­ing and this des­per­ate fel­low is plan­ning a rebel­lion with the help of a lit­tle mouse. Maybe it isn’t such a good idea, but this poor guy is ready to try anything.

Come see “The Hen­pecked Rooster” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

The Smurfs” nominated for 3 Kids’ Choice Awards

The Smurfs

The Smurfs

Colum­bia Pic­tures’ partly ani­mated “The Smurfs” has nabbed three nom­i­na­tions for the Kids’ Choice Awards: Favorite Movie, Sofia Ver­gara for Favorite Movie Actress, and Katy Perry for Favorite Voice in an Ani­mated Movie.

Nick­elodeon announced Thurs­day the nom­i­nees for the mile­stone 25th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards, helmed by inter­na­tional super­star Will Smith and air­ing live from USC’s Galen Cen­ter in Los Ange­les on Sat­ur­day, March 31 at 8 p.m. (ET/tape delayed for West Coast).

The mega-hit Kung Fu Panda fran­chise ate up nom­i­na­tions for Favorite Ani­mated Movie (Kung Fu Panda 2), Favorite Car­toon, and Jack Black for Favorite Voice in an Ani­mated Movie.

This year’s dual nods include the partly ani­mated The Mup­pets for Favorite Movie and Amy Adams for Favorite Movie Actress.

The partly ani­mated Alvin and the Chip­munks: Chip­wrecked is up for Favorite Movie as well. Also nom­i­nated in the cat­e­gory is the live-action Harry Pot­ter and the Deathly Hal­lows, Part 2.

Vying with Kung Fu Panda 2 for Favorite Ani­mated Movie are Cars 2, Puss in Boots and Rio.

Also nom­i­nated for Favorite Voice from an Ani­mated Movie are Anto­nio Ban­deras (Puss in Boots) and Johnny Depp (Rango).

Join­ing Kung Fu Panda as Favorite Car­toon nom­i­nees are Phineas & Ferb, Scooby Doo! Mys­tery Incor­po­rated and Sponge­Bob SquarePants.

In addi­tion to Nick.com, fans can vote for their favorite stars begin­ning March 1 using a Face­book appli­ca­tion that will live on the Nick­elodeon Face­book page. Users will be able to vote from a tab on the page and, for the first time ever, the entire vot­ing expe­ri­ence can be embed­ded directly into Face­book wall posts. Also new this year, fans will be able to vote for their favorite nom­i­nees on Twit­ter through the use of cus­tom hash tags.

This year, kids not only pick the win­ners, but they get to help Smith pull off the great­est slime event in KCA his­tory. Through a brand-new iPad, iPhone and iPod app, and the KCA Web site, kids need to find slime hid­den through­out the photo gal­leries, news and videos. If kids col­lect enough slime, Smith will pull off the biggest slime event ever in this year’s show. Aided by weekly mis­sion videos fea­tur­ing Jen­nette McCurdy, Jerry Trainor and Nathan Kress, kids will have the chance to earn dig­i­tal rewards and move up the slime oper­a­tive ranks.

Lead­ing up to the show, the apps and Web site will also fea­ture daily KCA news, video updates, photo gal­leries and videos from past KCAs, behind the scenes video of this year’s prepa­ra­tions, and ded­i­cated infor­ma­tion pages on the host and nom­i­nees. In addi­tion, the entire Orange Car­pet pre-show will be streamed live through the apps and Web site, fol­lowed by a live back­stage com­pan­ion stream dur­ing the main show.

Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards is more global than ever in 2012, seen in over 300 mil­lion house­holds around the world. Within hours of air­ing live in the United States and Canada, the show will roll out in addi­tional inter­na­tional mar­kets, pro­vid­ing kids around the world the oppor­tu­nity to tune into their local Nick­elodeon chan­nel to enjoy the show faster than ever.

In many inter­na­tional mar­kets, the 2012 KCAs will fea­ture country-specific award cat­e­gories and nom­i­nees, such as Nick­elodeon Italia’s Favorite Star and Nick­elodeon UK’s Favorite Show. Vot­ing for the 2012 KCAs will span over six con­ti­nents across 13 local­ized vot­ing sites in 11 dif­fer­ent lan­guages, giv­ing kids prac­ti­cally every­where the chance to decide who takes home a cov­eted blimp.

Pre­sent­ing spon­sors of Nickelodeon’s 2012 Kids’ Choice Awards are Gen­eral Mills, Has­bro, Honda and Tar­get. Asso­ciate spon­sors are Bounty, Nin­tendo and Skechers.

Nickelodeon’s 25th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards is being pro­duced by Nick­elodeon Pro­duc­tions in asso­ci­a­tion with Bob Bain Pro­duc­tions. Bob Bain, Mar­jorie Cohn and Paula Kaplan are exec­u­tive producers.

Is My Palm Read (1933) — Betty Boop Theatrical Cartoon Series

Is My Palm Read Betty Boop Cartoon

Is My Palm Read Betty Boop Cartoon

CotD: A great exam­ple of how racy a pre-Hayes Code short could be, “Is My Palm Read” fea­tures Betty Boop in her birth­day suit. Don’t believe us– watch it.

Is My Palm Read (1933) — Betty Boop The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

Bimbo the fortune-teller tries to score with Betty Boop. As she enters the house, the lights are changed so as to see Betty’s sil­hou­ette through her dress, upon which Bimbo and Koko remark “Hi-dee-ho!”

In his crys­tal ball, Bimbo shows Betty “the gone-by days of your naked youth,” bring­ing up a scene of a very young (and nude!) Betty tak­ing a bath. Then the crys­tal ball reveals Betty cast adrift on the ocean, and land­ing on a haunted jun­gle island, where she removes her wet clothes, loses them, and finds tree leaves to cover her­self. Bimbo con­jures up a “for­tune” in which he res­cues the ship­wrecked Betty. “My hero!” squeaks Betty… but Bimbo turns out to be a bet­ter prophet than he thought, as an unsa­vory group of ghosts boil out of the crys­tal ball and chase Betty and Bimbo through a jun­gle that appears out of nowhere.

The pair finally evade their pur­suers through one of the ear­li­est uses of the old “hol­low log over the cliff” trick (these appar­ently being the world’s least buoy­ant ghosts).

Come see “Is My Palm Read” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Disney actor and narrator Laurie Main dead at 89

Laurence "Laurie" Main

Lau­rence “Lau­rie” Main

Australian-born actor Lau­rence “Lau­rie” Main, the voice of Dr. Wat­son in the 1986 Dis­ney car­toon movie The Great Mouse Detec­tive, died Feb­ru­ary 8 in Los Ange­les. He was 89.

Long asso­ci­ated with Disney’s “Win­nie the Pooh” char­ac­ter, he was host and nar­ra­tor of the Dis­ney Channel’s Wel­come to Pooh Cor­ner, a 1980s series com­bin­ing live action and puppets.

He also nar­rated the Dis­ney ani­mated shorts Win­nie the Pooh Dis­cov­ers the Sea­sons (1981) and Win­nie the Pooh and a Day for Eey­ore (1983). In the voice cast of the 1999 car­toon video Win­nie the Pooh: Sea­sons of Giv­ing, he also was the story reader on many Dis­ney Read-Along tapes and CDs.

Main voiced Reg­gie on Ruby-Spears Pro­duc­tions’ The Incred­i­ble Detec­tives, a half-hour 1979 pro­gram that aired as an ABC Week­end Special.

He was in the voice casts of the Hanna-Barbera Aus­tralia TV-movies 5 Weeks in a Bal­loon (1977) and Black Beauty (1978), along with the series Monch­hichis and The All-New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show (both 1983) and The Yogi Bear Show (1988).

Born Lau­rence G. Main in Mel­bourne on Novem­ber 29, 1929, he left home at 16. Later, he moved to Eng­land. There, his reper­tory the­ater work included Diary of a Nobody.

After Main arrived in the United Stated in 1960, he stud­ied act­ing with Agnes Moore­head. His Broad­way debut came in First Impres­sions (1959); that year, he played oppo­site Eartha Kitt in Jolly’s Progress. Other Broad­way pro­duc­tions included 1963’s Lord Pengo and 1978’s 13 Rue de l’Amour.

Main appeared in many live-action movies, includ­ing Her­bie Goes to Monte Carlo, Freaky Fri­day and Mom and Dad Save the World.

He appeared in such TV shows as The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Bewitched, Fam­ily Affair, May­berry R.F.D., That Girl and Facts of Life Goes to Paris.

Marvel, DiC Storyboard Artist Judie Martin dies

Marvel Productions

Mar­vel Productions

Judie Mar­tin, a sto­ry­board artist for sev­eral stu­dios from 1986 to 2000, died Jan­u­ary 28. Her age was not imme­di­ately available.

Dur­ing her career, she worked for DiC, Mar­vel, Fil­ma­tion, Graz Enter­tain­ment, Uni­ver­sal, Dis­ney and Warner Bros.

Mar­tin was a sto­ry­board direc­tor for Jem from 1986 to 1987. She was a sto­ry­board revi­sion­ist for the TV series Aladdin (1994–95), Quack Pack (1996), Her­cules (1998) and Sab­rina the Ani­mated Series (1999–2000), as well as the videos Pooh’s Grand Adven­ture: The Search for Christo­pher Robin (1997) and The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride (1998).

She was a sto­ry­board artist on My Lit­tle Pony Tales (1992), and a sto­ry­board assis­tant on My Lit­tle Pony ‘n Friends (1986–87).

Mar­tin did char­ac­ter design on the 1987–88 TV series BraveS­tarr and the 1988 spin-off movie BraveS­tarr: The Leg­end, in addi­tion to the 1985 series The Care Bears. She was a model designer for the TV series Kid ‘n’ Play (1990), Space­cats and Attack of the Killer Toma­toes (both 1991), and Ani­ma­ni­acs (1995).

She did visual effects for the 1995 Saban series Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic.

Dad red-faced as blue movie replaces “The Smurfs”

The Smurfs

The Smurfs

He played some­thing blue on the screen at his kid’s birth­day party, but it wasn’t The Smurfs.

Hav­ing rented a DVD of the partly ani­mated film from a Red­box kiosk to show over the week­end, the Tremon­ton, Utah dad briefly played a porno video for the young­sters instead, Police Chief Dave Nance said Monday.

He loaded The Smurfs into his lap­top, then turned on the device. For a moment, porno­graphic images were shown on a pro­jec­tion screen in view of the young par­ty­go­ers, Nance said.

Infor­ma­tion about how many chil­dren were at the party was unavail­able, and Dad’s name was not released.

The father got in touch with police Mon­day, alleg­ing that some­one had tam­pered with the Smurfs disc. But when police inspected the DVD, they found noth­ing odd about the disc. They believe that the porn prob­a­bly was on the lap­top in the first place.

Dad’s embar­rassed enough already, said Nance, and police don’t plan to seek crim­i­nal charges or inves­ti­gate fur­ther, because the inci­dent appears to have been a boo-boo. “He’s got some explain­ing to do (to the party kids and their par­ents),” he said.

On at least one other occa­sion in north­ern Utah, pornog­ra­phy showed up on a DVD meant for the younger set. In Decem­ber 2006, a 14-year-old Lay­ton boy found hard-core porn on a video game that he was given for Christmas.

Gift Wrapped (1952) — Looney Tunes Theatrical Cartoon Series

Gift Wrapped (1952) - Looney Tunes

Gift Wrapped (1952) — Looney Tunes

CotD: I won­der what Sylvester wants for Christ­mas? Watch “Gift Wrapped” and see what he gets!

Gift Wrapped (1952) — Looney Tunes The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

Sylvester can’t find a stir­ring mouse on Christ­mas Eve, and is over­joyed when Santa brings Tweety to Granny as a present. Sylvester switches Christmas-gift tags so he receives Tweety instead of a toy. Granny is puz­zled when her gift is a rub­ber mouse, but then real­izes what has hap­pened when Sylvester burps up Tweety’s feath­ers. Tweety dis­tracts Sylvester with another gift: a large bull­dog, which devours the cat. Granny promptly beats the dog’s behind until Sylvester is spit out. He resumes his ploys and tor­ments of Tweety until Granny has had enough.

Come see “Gift Wrapped” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Wanda Sykes Top Appear In Bubble Guppies Special

Bubble Guppies

Bub­ble Guppies

Actress/comedian Wanda Sykes makes a splash as the voice of a mean witch in the first-ever hour-long spe­cial of Nickelodeon’s top-rated CG-animated preschool series, Bub­ble Gup­pies, pre­mier­ing Sun­day, Feb. 19, at 8:00 p.m. In “Bub­ble Puppy’s Fin-tastic Fairy­tale Adven­ture,” preschool­ers will join the char­ac­ters on a fairytale-themed adven­ture through an enchanted under­wa­ter world. Along the way, they will be intro­duced to con­cepts related to math, lit­er­acy, the arts, sci­ence and socio-emotional devel­op­ment. Bub­ble Gup­pies closed 2011 as the top preschool series across all TV with kids 2–5. The series airs reg­u­larly week­days at 11:00 and 11:30 a.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.

In “Bub­ble Puppy’s Fin-tastic Fairy­tale Adven­ture,” Molly and Gil go up a hill to fetch a pail of water in the enchanted for­est. There, a mean witch (voiced by Wanda Sykes) turns their dog, Bub­ble Puppy, into a frog. Molly and Gil enlist the help of some famous fairy­tale friends to undo the witch’s spell. They bet­ter work fast or else the witch will use her mean green bub­ble potion to turn every­one in the world into frogs!

Bub­ble Gup­pies is cre­ated and executive-produced by Jonny Belt and Robert Scull and co-executive pro­duced by Jan­ice Burgess, the Emmy Award-winning team behind the hit Nick­elodeon series’ The Back­yardi­gans and Lit­tle Bill. In each episode of Bub­ble Gup­pies, the char­ac­ters lead the learn­ing process, dis­cov­er­ing some­thing of inter­est on their way to school and explor­ing that theme from a vari­ety of angles. Bub­ble Gup­pies focuses on a wide range of top­ics and every­day expe­ri­ences kids can relate to – from dinosaurs to den­tists, rock n’ roll to recy­cling, and col­ors to cow­boys. The half-hour series fea­tures a vari­ety show for­mat with a strong nar­ra­tive that relates to the theme of the episode.

Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph Concept Art

Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph

We now have a peek at Disney’s next ani­mated fea­ture, Wreck-It Ralph. Walt Dis­ney Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios has released three pieces of con­cept art from the upcom­ing fea­ture. The pic­tures are on this page and have been added the images to the Pic­tures Page of Wreck-It Ralph’s page at BCDB.

Wreck-It Ralph tells the story of an arcade game Bad Guy deter­mined to prove that he can be a Good Guy. Ralph sneaks into the game with a sim­ple plan — win a medal — but soon wrecks every­thing, and acci­den­tally unleashes a deadly enemy that threat­ens every game in the arcade. Ralph’s only hope? Vanel­lope von Schweetz, a young trou­ble­mak­ing “glitch” from a candy-coated cart rac­ing game.

Ed Cat­mull, cur­rent pres­i­dent of Walt Dis­ney Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios, has announced a new direc­tion in the stu­dios ani­mated film out­put. He feels the stu­dio has reached the lim­its of princess film genre, and that until “some­one has a fresh take on it … but we don’t have any other musi­cals or fairy­tales lined up.”

Wreck-It Ralph is slated for release on Novem­ber 02, 2012. The film was orig­i­nally sched­uled for release on March 12, 2013. It was then moved to Novem­ber 2, 2012 — the orig­i­nal release date for Pixar-Disney’s “Mon­sters Uni­ver­sity.”

As with most Dis­ney films these days, it is 3D computer-generated film; to be pre­sented in Dis­ney Dig­i­tal 3D in selected theaters.

Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph” takes place in the world of arcade video games and fea­tures the brightly col­ored, decep­tively sweet game of “Sugar Rush,” in which com­peti­tors race candy go-karts around a world make entirely of edi­ble sweets.

Wreck-It Ralph

Video game “Hero’s Duty,” a sci-fi, first-person shooter in which a pla­toon of sol­diers must bat­tle mutant Cy-Bugs that threaten the safety of the universe.

Wreck-It Ralph

Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) spends his lonely evenings gaz­ing at the apart­ment build­ing that it’s his job to destroy.