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.