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.