Monthly Archives: April 2012

Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue (1990) — Animated TV Special

Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue

Car­toon All-Stars To The Rescue

CotD: Over a dozen stu­dio pooled their biggest stars in “Goldilocks And The Three Bears”, the Bear Fam­ily faces “Car­toon All-Stars To The Res­cue” to help show kids the evils of tak­ing drugs.

Car­toon All-Stars To The Res­cue (1990) — Ani­mated TV Special

Nine-year-old Corey is very wor­ried about her older brother Michael. He’s using drugs, and he just stole her piggy bank to buy some more. Luck­ily, Corey has help. TV’s most pop­u­lar car­toon char­ac­ters leap into action to help free her brother from the clutches of Smoke, a decep­tive and cor­rupt­ing char­ac­ter who’s lead­ing Michael down the road to a drug-abuse dead end. What fol­lows is a roller coaster ride through the per­ils, pit­falls and real­i­ties of drug abuse in which the Car­toon All-Stars prove that there’s a smarter way to go.

Come see “Car­toon All-Stars To The Res­cue” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Trailer To Hotel Transylvania

Hotel Transylvania

Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia

Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion trou­bled pro­duc­tion of the 3D ani­mated Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia has some­thing to show for the nearly 10 years in pro­duc­tion it has seen. A first trailer. A first look at Adam Sandler’s Drac­ula as he parades around his styl­ish resort for over­worked monsters.

Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia is the story of Dracula’s lav­ish five-stake resort, where mon­sters and their fam­i­lies can live it up, free from med­dling from the human world. But here’s a little-known fact about Drac­ula: he is not only the Prince of Dark­ness; he is also a dad.

Cur­rently helmed by Gen­ndy Tar­takovsky of Samu­rai Jack fame, the film has been directed at var­i­ous times by Anthony Stac­chi, David Feiss and Jill Cul­ton. The film has also seen the com­ings and goings of Miley Cyrus as the voice of Mavis.

The film is pro­duced by Michelle Mur­docca, Amy Jupiter, Albie Hecht, and Robert Simonds for Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion. The film will be released in 3D in selected the­aters on Sep­tem­ber 21, 2012.

Disney Drives Mr. Toad on wild ride to Movies

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

The House of Mouse plans to adapt “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride,” a theme park ride that started when Dis­ney­land opened in 1955, into a live-action/CGI hybrid fea­ture film.

The ride itself is based on Disney’s adap­ta­tion of Ken­neth Grahame’s book The Wind In The Wil­lows.

Noted com­mer­cials and video direc­tor Pete Can­de­land has been hired by the Mouse House to develop the film. Best known for his work with ani­ma­tion, Can­de­land also cre­ated and directed car­toon music videos for The Goril­laz. As well, he worked with Paul McCart­ney to cre­ate a cin­e­matic open­ing to The Bea­t­les Rock Band for Har­monix.

Tron: Legacy pro­ducer Justin Springer will pro­duce the Dis­ney adap­ta­tion. Mean­while, the stu­dio is search­ing for a writer to con­vert the story into a film.

A twist­ing, turn­ing adven­ture, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride once was enjoyed at Walt Dis­ney World in Florida as well. How­ever, the ride was closed in 1998, replaced by The Many Adven­tures Of Win­nie The Pooh.

Dis­ney has sev­eral theme park attraction-inspired movie projects in the works, includ­ing a ver­sion of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea with David Fincher. Its Pirates Of The Caribbean attrac­tion became a billion-dollar fea­ture film franchise.

A Rainy Day (1940) — MGM Theatrical Cartoon

A Rainy Day

A Rainy Day

CotD: Repris­ing their first appear­ance in “Goldilocks And The Three Bears”, the Bear Fam­ily faces “A Rainy Day” and some incred­i­ble ani­ma­tion of the roof shin­gles turn­ing into big waves.

A Rainy Day (1940) — MGM The­atri­cal Cartoon

Mama Bear per­suades her reluc­tant hus­band Papa Bear to fix the shin­gles on the roof, a job that he put off doing. But the job proves larger than it first appeared, and he ends up try­ing to do the job in a vio­lent rain­storm that esca­lates into a tor­nado, mak­ing things worse with each fit of tem­per. The task becomes far more highly per­ilous as well, between the attack­ing light­ning, the slip­pery roof and the high winds.

Come see “A Rainy Day” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Laika Takes On Reeve’s Goblins



Stop-motion ani­ma­tion stu­dio Laika Enter­tain­ment has put the grabs on Philip Reeve’s book Gob­lins for a pos­si­ble new film. The British novel has yet to be released in the United States. Reeve also wrote the award-winning book Mor­tal Engine.

Laika Enter­tain­ment released the highly regarded Cora­line in 2009, and has a sum­mer release of a new stop-motion film Para­Nor­man. Laika grew out of the Port­land stu­dios of stop-motion pio­neer Will Vinton.

Laika Enter­tain­ment has attached Mark Gustafson, the ani­ma­tion direc­tor of 2009’s Fan­tas­tic Mr. Fox, to helm the adaptation.

The 3D, stop-motion ani­ma­tion pic will tell the story of a Skarper, a clever young gob­lin who lives among his ill-mannered bretheren in an ancient cas­tle. Only he under­stands that an ancient evil is ris­ing that will bring all man­ner of mon­sters and myth­i­cal crea­tures into an epic mag­i­cal conflict.

No firm date has been set for release.

DreamWorks & Wal-Mart Disc-to-Digital Launch


DreamWorks Animation SKG

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion SKG

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion is part­ner­ing with Wal-Mart in rolling out a new disc-to-digital cloud movie ser­vice for consumers.

Dream­works is now the sixth Hol­ly­wood stu­dio to join with Wal-Mart, which will charge $2 to make a copy of a movie in the “cloud” that can be accessed from any com­pat­i­ble dig­i­tal device ($5 to con­vert the movie to high-definition). The Glen­dale stu­dio will make all of its pre­vi­ously released DVDs, includ­ing the “Shrek” and “Mada­gas­car” series and “How to Train Your Dragon,” avail­able for con­sumers to con­vert into dig­i­tal copies stored on Wal-Mart’s Vudu ser­vice. The ser­vice launched Mon­day in about 3,500 Wal-Mart stores across the U.S.

The lone hold­out among the major film com­pa­nies is Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios. How­ever Dream­Works is the first inde­pen­dent to take part — Lion­s­gate and The Wein­stein Co. are also not yet participating.

Get­ting as many stu­dios to par­tic­i­pate — and to offer as many of their movies as pos­si­ble — is crit­i­cal for Wal-Mart in grow­ing the ser­vice, which it hopes will help stem declin­ing rev­enue from DVD sales. The more movies from their shelves that they find they aren’t able to con­vert to dig­i­tal, the more dis­cour­aged poten­tial cus­tomers are likely to be.

Men at Work’s Greg Ham, 58, found dead at home

Greg Ham

Greg Ham

The body of Men at Work flautist Greg Ham was found shortly after mid­day Thurs­day (local time) at a house in Mel­bourne, Australia’s inner north. Ham was 58.

Police were told of the body after a friend showed up at the house to see how he was doing. They are try­ing to deter­mine the cause of Ham’s death.

With direc­tor John Fran­cis, he pro­vided orig­i­nal music for the four-minute car­toon short Tug Wil­son (1997), pro­duced by Australia’s Sur­real World studio.

Ham was born in Aus­tralia on Sep­tem­ber 27, 1953. Police would not con­firm the iden­tity of the man pend­ing noti­fi­ca­tion of rel­a­tives. How­ever, they said that he was a 58-year-old who lived at the house alone.

There were sev­eral unex­plained cir­cum­stances about the man’s death, said Detec­tive Senior Sergeant Shane O’Connell, who would not go into detail. “There are a num­ber of issues we are try­ing to resolve as to how the male died,” said O’Connell, of the homi­cide squad.

A post-mortem will be held to ascer­tain the cause of death.

A friend went to Ham’s house, but there was no answer at the door. He came back with another friend and found the body in front of the house.

Linda Phy­pers, a close neigh­bor, said that he had just moved into the house a few months ago. Though some­what reclu­sive, he was recently at a bar­be­cue, she added.

He looked like he’d done it hard. He had lived just a bit fur­ther around the cor­ner, and I think Men at Work had their first record­ing there,” she said.

Ham was always pleas­ant to every­one on the street, although he had obvi­ous health prob­lems, said Phyphers.

He talked about that riff, and he was still pretty upset about that. But he was a good guy. He used to walk the streets a bit and looked a bit daggy [scruffy].”

Ham had been ren­o­vat­ing the cor­ner house, she added, a con­verted storefront.

A sec­tion of the street near the house has been fenced off with police tape, and many police were at the scene Thursday.

Foren­sic detec­tives weree at the scene. Pathol­o­gists were expected to attend later in the day.

Sinkin’ In The Bathtub (1930) — Looney Tunes Cartoon Series

Sinkin' In The Bathtub

Sinkin’ In The Bathtub

CotD: The very first Warner Broth­ers the­atri­cal car­toon, “Sinkin’ In The Bath­tub” also saw the screen appear­ance of Bosko and Honey.

Sinkin’ In The Bath­tub (1930) — Looney Tunes Car­toon Series

Bosko is tak­ing a bath while hum­ming “Singing in the Bath­tub,” play­ing every­thing around him like a musi­cal instru­ment. Even the bath­tub gets up and dances. Bosko rides a stream of water out his win­dow, and calls for his car.

While dri­ving, Bosko plays “Tip-Toe Through the Tulips” on his har­mon­ica, and picks up some flow­ers. He arrives at Honey’s house while she is bathing upstairs. Honey sees Bosko out of her bath­room win­dow and quickly gets dressed.

Wait­ing out­side, Bosko hides the flow­ers behind his back, but a goat eats them. Bosko begins to cry, but Honey calls out from her bal­cony: “Don’t cry Bosko! I still loves you!” Bosko feels bet­ter, and then kicks the goat in the behind. He takes some parts from his car and makes a sax­o­phone out of them. Honey pours a tub of soapy water from her bal­cony into the sax, caus­ing it to blow bub­bles up into the air. Honey jumps off her bal­cony and dances on the bub­bles, even­tu­ally mak­ing her way down to the ground, where she and Bosko play her front path like a xylophone.

The happy cou­ple dri­ves off in the car and smooch. Along the way a lazy cow that won’t budge blocks their path. After being spat on by the cow, Bosko decides to run it over. The car then hits a bump that sends Bosko fly­ing out of the car, split­ting him into eight minia­ture Bosko’s. He pulls him­self together, and then helps push the car up a hill.

After reach­ing the top the car starts to speed down­hill, with Bosko chas­ing after it. Bosko grabs a rope attached to the car, but he’s dragged over rocks and trees and ends up in front of the run­away auto­mo­bile. The car goes off a cliff and lands in a pond. Bosko and Honey end up float­ing in their car-turned-bathtub, while Bosko cheer­fully plays “Singing in the Bath­tub” with reeds on the lily pads.

Come see “Sinkin’ In The Bath­tub” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Nickelodeon storyboard artist Jose Silverio dies



Sto­ry­board artist Jose “Zaldy” Sil­ve­rio, who worked for Nick­elodeon since 2002, died March 13.

His age was not imme­di­ately available.

Sil­ve­rio was a sto­ry­board artist for the TV series Duckman/Family Man (1996) and the hour-long 2008 spe­cial Diego’s Moon­light Rescue.

Both a sto­ry­board artist and sto­ry­board revi­sion­ist for Dora the Explorer from 2002 to 2004, he did check­ing and scene plan­ning for The Ren & Stimpy Show (1994–95). In 1998, he was an ani­ma­tion checker and tech­ni­cal lay­out artist for the direct-to-video Her­cules And Xena — The Ani­mated Movie: The Bat­tle For Mount Olympus.

Sil­ve­rio ani­mated the video games The Lion King: Timon and Pumbaa’s Jun­gle Games (1995) and Monty Python’s The Mean­ing of Life (1997).

Lion in Winter” producer Martin Poll dead at 89

Martin Poll

Mar­tin Poll

Mar­tin Poll, nom­i­nated for the Oscar for Best Pic­ture for pro­duc­ing 1968’s The Lion in Win­ter, died Sat­ur­day in New York. He was 89.

He had pneu­mo­nia and kid­ney fail­ure, his son Jon said.

Star­ring Katharine Hep­burn and Peter O’Toole, The Lion in Win­ter was nom­i­nated for nine Acad­emy Awards and won three. The movie won the Golden Globe for Best Pic­ture, the New York Film Crit­ics Award for Best Pic­ture, two British Acad­emy Awards and the David di Donatello Award in Italy for Best Picture.

Poll was exec­u­tive pro­ducer of the cartoon-rich 1957 com­pi­la­tion The Big Fun Car­ni­val, a Sat­ur­day mati­nee fea­ture for chil­dren. Most of the car­toon shorts were released by Para­mount. The col­lec­tion included the 1932 Talka­r­toon Crazy Town(fea­tur­ing Betty Boop); The 500 Hats Of Bart­hole­mew Cub­bins(1943), from George Pal’s Mad­cap Mod­els series; Hans Fischerkoesen’s 1945 Ger­man car­toon Der Dumme Ganslein (The Silly Goose); and the 1949 Famous Stu­dios Screen Song Toys Will Be Toys.

Sev­eral of his movies intro­duced now-famous actors to the screen for the first time. Besides The Lion in Win­ter (with Anthony Hop­kins and Tim­o­thy Dal­ton), they included his first fea­ture film, Love Is a Ball, in which stars Glenn Ford and Hope Lange were joined by new­comer Telly Savalas. Other movies with screen debuts were The Magic Gar­den of Stan­ley Sweet­heart (1970, with Don John­son) and the made-for-TV Arthur the King (1985, with Liam Neeson).

His later works as a movie pro­ducer included 1975’s Love and Death, Woody Allen’s pas­tiche of Russ­ian nov­els, and The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea (1976), based on a Yukio Mishima novel, and star­ring Sarah Miles and Kris Kristofferson.

In addi­tion, Poll worked in TV, and was nom­i­nated for an Emmy as one of the exec­u­tive pro­duc­ers on the 2003 Show­time remake of The Lion in Win­ter, star­ring Glenn Close. He pro­duced CBS minis­eries The Dain Curse (1978), star­ring James Coburn and based on Dashiell Hammett’s novel; CBS TV-movie The Fan­tas­tic Seven (1979); and NBC’s Diana: Her True Story (1993).

Born in New York City on Novem­ber 24, 1922, Poll started in movies in 1954, pro­duc­ing 39 half-hour episodes of the Flash Gor­don TV series in Ger­many and France over two years for inter­na­tional release.

Restor­ing the ven­er­a­ble and his­toric Bio­graph Stu­dio, he reopened it in 1956 as the Gold Medal Stu­dios, the United States’ biggest film stu­dio out­side Los Ange­les. There, he pro­duced But­ter­field 8, for which Eliz­a­beth Tay­lor won an Oscar for Best Actress; Elia Kazan’s A Face in the Crowd, star­ring a young Andy Grif­fith; The Mid­dle of the Night and The God­dess, both writ­ten by Paddy Chayef­sky; and “The Fugi­tive Kind,” directed by Sid­ney Lumet and star­ring Mar­lon Brando.

In 1959, he was appointed Com­mis­sioner of Motion Pic­ture Arts of the City of New York — and was the only per­son ever to hold that title. Later, the city set up a film commission.

Mar­tin Poll is sur­vived by his wife Gladys; sons Mark Poll, a set designer, Tony Jaffe and Jon Poll, a film edi­tor, pro­ducer and direc­tor; and three grandchildren.