Monthly Archives: August 2012

Russell Hicks named Nick’s president of content

Russell Hicks

Rus­sell Hicks

Rus­sell Hicks, a 14-year Nick­elodeon vet­eran and its chief cre­ative offi­cer since 2008, has been named to the new posi­tion of pres­i­dent of con­tent devel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion for the Nick­elodeon Group.

Hicks will be based at Nickelodeon’s Bur­bank and Santa Mon­ica, Cal­i­for­nia offices, where he will lead the company’s ani­ma­tion and live-action devel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion teams for all of Nickelodeon’s con­tent platforms.

The announce­ment was made Wednes­day by Nick­elodeon Group pres­i­dent Cyma Zarghami, to whom Hicks will con­tinue to report.

Prior to work­ing at Nick­elodeon, Hicks was vice-president of mar­ket­ing of Car­toon Network/Turner brands for Warner Broth­ers, where he was respon­si­ble for the mar­ket­ing and cre­ative that turned Scooby Doo and the Power Puff Girls into cul­tural icons. Hicks started his career as an ani­ma­tor that led him to work on Teddy Rux­pin, the first talk­ing teddy bear, for Worlds of Won­der toys. It is this com­bi­na­tion of both ani­ma­tion and con­sumer prod­ucts that has given Hicks his exten­sive knowl­edge of the children’s enter­tain­ment world.

The newly cre­ated posi­tion estab­lishes cen­tral­ized, West Coast lead­er­ship of all Nickelodeon’s con­tent teams, and pro­vides direct, on-the-ground over­sight of the largest and most diverse devel­op­ment slate in the network’s his­tory. Report­ing to Hicks will be Rich Mag­a­l­lanes, senior vice-president of ani­ma­tion for cur­rent series; Margie Cohn, who will serve in the new role of pres­i­dent of con­tent devel­op­ment, work­ing across ani­ma­tion, live-action and dig­i­tal; Paula Kaplan, who will now serve as exec­u­tive vice-president of cur­rent series; Teri Weiss, exec­u­tive vice-president of Nick­elodeon preschool devel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion; Ali­son Dex­ter, exec­u­tive vice-president of Nick­elodeon Pro­duc­tions; and Keith Dawkins, senior vice-president and gen­eral man­ager for Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr., Nick­toons and Teen­Nick channels.

Rus­sell has been one of the dri­ving forces behind the Nick­elodeon brand,” said Zarghami. “As we con­tinue our ambi­tious evo­lu­tion of Nick­elodeon, Rus­sell will ensure that our rich and diver­si­fied devel­op­ment slate, as well as our new and estab­lished pro­duc­ing part­ners, will all serve our cre­ative vision for the net­work and deliver for our audi­ences. As the new devel­op­ment sea­son begins, this is the per­fect moment for Rus­sell to take the helm.”

Nickelodeon’s recently announced devel­op­ment slate includes more than a dozen new ani­ma­tion, live-action and TV-movie projects as part of the network’s deep com­mit­ment to new con­tent. The slate fea­tures top cre­ative tal­ent in front of and behind the cam­era and iconic char­ac­ters from the network’s most pop­u­lar series that will begin rolling out this fall and into 2013.

These projects include the CG-animated series Mon­sters vs. Aliens and the 2D San­jay & Craig, as well as the highly antic­i­pated return of Teenage Mutant Ninja Tur­tles in Sep­tem­ber. For preschool, the net­work is adding the curriculum-based ani­mated series Monty and Norville, and a pilot for Blaze and the Mon­ster Machines.

Brown John­son, who has served as the pres­i­dent of ani­ma­tion since 2008, will be leav­ing her role to pur­sue her own cre­ative endeav­ors. John­son over­saw the network’s suc­cess­ful part­ner­ships with Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion SKG, as well as the brand-new, CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Tur­tles. She also was respon­si­ble for lead­ing Nickelodeon’s ground­break­ing preschool pro­gram­ming, includ­ing Blue’s Clues and Dora the Explorer, for more than two decades.

Brown’s con­tri­bu­tions to Nick­elodeon are many, includ­ing being the key archi­tect behind our preschool lead­er­ship,” added Zarghami. “She leaves an indeli­ble impact on gen­er­a­tions of kids for which we will always be incred­i­bly grateful.”

Hicks, as Nickelodeon’s chief cre­ative offi­cer, over­saw all of Nick­elodeon cre­ative, on-air pro­mo­tions, con­sumer prod­ucts, brand and adver­tis­ing divi­sions, and led the prod­uct devel­op­ment and cre­ative posi­tion­ing of Nickelodeon’s brands and prop­er­ties and ensured that it rep­re­sented Nickelodeon’s “Kids’ First” phi­los­o­phy and sup­ported the com­pany mis­sion to pro­vide sur­pris­ing and play­ful expe­ri­ences for its audi­ences. In 2009, he led an unprece­dented cre­ative review of the Nick­elodeon brand and reimag­ined its logo to rep­re­sent the growth the com­pany had attained after 30 years, while also main­tain­ing and reflect­ing the company’s core attributes.

Hicks attended Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­sity Fuller­ton, where he stud­ied illus­tra­tion and design.

Dobie Gillis actor Steve Franken dies at 80

Steve Franken

Steve Franken

Comedic char­ac­ter actor Steve Franken, who por­trayed brag­gart rich kid Chatsworth Osborne, Jr. in the 1959–63 TV series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, died Fri­day in Los Ange­les. He was 80.

The cause was can­cer, his wife Jean said.

The sec­ond cousin of Min­nesota Sen­a­tor and humorist Al Franken, he por­trayed Bud in the 2001 the­atri­cal car­toon movie The Trum­pet of the Swan.

Franken voiced Pro­fes­sor Eugene Atwa­ter in the short-lived 1996 Warner Bros. ani­mated series Road Rovers.

He guested as the voice of Run­dle in the 1993 Bat­man episode “The Mechanic,” and was Mr. Beal in the 1999 Deten­tion episodes “Lit­tle Miss Pop­u­lar” and “Com­edy of Ter­rors.” In 2000, he guested as Mr. Janus in the Sta­tic Shock episode “Grounded.”

Franken pro­vided addi­tional voices in Smurfs (1981), The Adven­tures of Don Coy­ote and San­cho Panda (1990) and Todd McFarlane’s Spawn (1997).

He was born Stephen Robert Franken in Queens, New York on May 27, 1932. A Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity grad­u­ate, he began act­ing in New York City in such plays as Inherit the Wind, the fic­tion­al­ized drama about the Scopes “Mon­key Trial.”

He appeared six times in dif­fer­ent roles on the sit­com Bewitched.

Franken guested in 1963’s “The Case of the Deadly Ver­dict,” the only Perry Mason episode in which the famed fic­tional lawyer had a client who was convicted.

In 2004, his role in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis won him a TV Land Award nom­i­na­tion for Favorite Fash­ion Plate — Male.

His first mar­riage, to Julia Carter, ended in divorce.

Besides his wife, Steve Franken is sur­vived by their daugh­ter, Anne; two daugh­ters from his first mar­riage, Emily Franken and Abi­gail Glass; and two grandchildren.

GKids plans to distribute 4 Oscar-qualifying films

Oscar Statuette, Academy Awards

Oscar Stat­uette, Acad­emy Awards

New York-based ani­ma­tion dis­trib­u­tor GKids announced Tues­day that it plans to give runs to four films in order to qual­ify them for this year’s Oscars.

Three of the four are French fea­tures: Zarafa (Pathe), Le Chat du Rab­bin (The Rabbi’s Cat) (TF1) and Le Tableau (The Paint­ing) (Rezo). The fourth is Kokurikozaka Kara (From Up on Poppy Hill), from Japan’s Stu­dio Ghibli.

Last year, GKids dis­trib­uted two Oscar-nominated fea­tures: Chico & Rita, from Spain’s Fer­nando Trueba and set in the milieau of Cuban jazz, and French spy tale Une Vie De Chat (A Cat In Paris).

The four new releases will raise the num­ber of Oscar-qualifying films to 15, which means that the num­ber of nom­i­nees for Best Ani­mated Fea­ture will auto­mat­i­cally increase from three to four. If just one qual­i­fy­ing ani­mated film is released, the num­ber of Oscar nom­i­nees in the cat­e­gory will reach five.

Already, six stu­dio films have received Oscar-qualifying runs: Universal’s Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Sony/Aardman’s The Pirates: Band of Mis­fits, Dream­Works Animation’s Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, Disney/Pixar’s Brave, Blue Sky/20th Cen­tury Fox’s Ice Age: Con­ti­nen­tal Drift and Laika/Focus’ Para­Nor­man.

Sched­uled for release later this year are Sony Pic­tures Animation’s Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia, Tim Burton’s stop-motion Franken­wee­nie and Rich Moore’s Wreck-It Ralph from Dis­ney, and DWA’s William Joyce adap­ta­tion Rise of the Guardians.

A Liar’s Auto­bi­og­ra­phy: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Gra­ham Chap­man, with con­tri­bu­tions by over a dozen dif­fer­ent ani­ma­tion stu­dios, is also sched­uled to receive a qual­i­fy­ing run.

The Oscars have had a Best Ani­mated Fea­ture cat­e­gory for 11 years. There has been a field of five nom­i­nees three times — twice in the last three years.

With this look­ing like the Oscar pack, do you have any favorites, or guesses as to which film will take it all this year at the Oscars???

Annie Awards Call for Entries set for Sept. 3



The Inter­na­tional Ani­mated Film Soci­ety, ASIFA-Hollywood, announced Mon­day its “Call for Entries” for the 40th Annual Annie Awards.

Sub­mis­sions will be accepted begin­ning Sep­tem­ber 3.

The Annie Award is rec­og­nized by the enter­tain­ment indus­try as the high­est and most pres­ti­gious honor given in ani­ma­tion by the ani­ma­tion indus­try. The 40th Annual Annie Awards cer­e­mony is set next Feb­ru­ary 2 at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles.

The 2012 Annie Awards will be pre­sented in 30 cat­e­gories, includ­ing two new cat­e­gories — Best Stu­dent Pro­duc­tion and Win­sor McCay Member’s Choice Award. The new Win­sor McCay Member’s Choice Award will be on a sep­a­rate bal­lot located on the Annies’ Web site ( While Annie vot­ing is lim­ited to ASIFA-Hollywood’s pro­fes­sional mem­ber­ship, all mem­bers, both pro­fes­sional and asso­ciate of ASIFA’s world­wide chap­ters, will be able to vote on this award.

Entries sub­mit­ted for con­sid­er­a­tion will be from pro­duc­tions that were released in the United States between Jan­u­ary 1 and Decem­ber 31, 2012. Details on how to enter may be found at The dead­line to receive sub­mis­sions and mate­ri­als is 5 p.m. Sun­day, Octo­ber 14.

The dead­line to join ASIFA-Hollywood or to renew mem­ber­ship in order to par­tic­i­pate in the Annie Award vot­ing is Sun­day, Novem­ber 4. Mem­ber­ship infor­ma­tion is located at

ASIFA-Hollywood is the world’s first and fore­most pro­fes­sional orga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to pro­mot­ing the art of ani­ma­tion and cel­e­brat­ing the peo­ple who cre­ate it. Today, ASIFA-Hollywood, the largest chap­ter of the inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tion ASIFA, sup­ports a range of ani­ma­tion activ­i­ties and preser­va­tion efforts through its mem­ber­ship. Cur­rent ini­tia­tives include the Ani­ma­tion Archive, Ani­ma­tion Aid Foun­da­tion, ani­mated film preser­va­tion, spe­cial events, classes and screenings.

Cre­ated in 1972 by vet­eran voice tal­ent June Foray, the Annie Awards have grown in scope and stature for the past three decades.

For infor­ma­tion on ASIFA-Hollywood, visit For infor­ma­tion on the Annie Awards, visit

SPA celebrates its 10th with special screenings

Sony Pictures Animation

Sony Pic­tures Animation

The 10th anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion con­tin­ues with a five-week series of spe­cial screen­ings fea­tur­ing SPA’s tech­ni­cally com­pe­tent but pro­saic col­lec­tion of ani­mated and hybrid films, as well as reunions with film­mak­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing in Q & As fol­low­ing each screen­ing, rare footage/materials from the SPA archives, and giveaways.

The series, which will cul­mi­nate with an exclu­sive screen­ing of the highly-anticipated com­edy Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia, in the­aters Sep­tem­ber 28, was announced Mon­day by Bob Osher, pres­i­dent of Sony Pic­tures Dig­i­tal Pro­duc­tions, and SPA pres­i­dent of pro­duc­tion Michelle Raimo-Kouyate.

Held in con­junc­tion with ASIFA-Hollywood and Ani­ma­tion Mag­a­zine, the screen­ings will com­mence Wednes­day, Sep­tem­ber 5 with the spot­light on SPA’s 2006 inau­gural film, Open Sea­son. Ensu­ing weekly Thurs­day pre­sen­ta­tions on the Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion cam­pus will fea­ture the Acad­emy Award-nominated Surf’s Up, the block­buster hit Cloudy With A Chance Of Meat­balls, and last summer’s inter­na­tional smash The Smurfs. The series will con­clude with a screen­ing of Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia dur­ing the Sat­ur­day of the film’s open­ing week­end of release.

Enhanc­ing each film exhi­bi­tion will be unique offer­ings of rarely– or never-before-seen footage and mate­ri­als from SPA’s first decade, and pre­sented in coor­di­na­tion with panel dis­cus­sions led by direc­tors, pro­duc­ers and key crew mem­bers from each indi­vid­ual film. The exclu­sive weekly events will be mod­er­ated by respected ani­ma­tion experts, and the pro­ceed­ings will be filmed and doc­u­mented for shar­ing across the social media chan­nels of Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion, ASIFA-Hollywood and Ani­ma­tion Mag­a­zine.

Mile­stones are an essen­tial step for every insti­tu­tion to both cel­e­brate and inspire, and I’m very proud of all that Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion has accom­plished in 10 short years,” Osher said. “I think these screen­ings and pan­els will give won­der­ful per­spec­tive as an appre­ci­a­tion of how far we’ve come, what we’ve achieved, and where we can go next.”

This is an excit­ing time at Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion with so much on the hori­zon, both near and far, but we stand here today because of the won­der­ful movies and film­mak­ers who came before us,” said Raimo-Kouyate. “These screen­ings will prop­erly honor our sem­i­nal slate of films, while also giv­ing fans a glimpse toward our bright future.”

It is truly impres­sive to see the strides that Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion has made in its first decade.” said ASIFA-Hollywood pres­i­dent Frank Glad­stone. “And it is an honor for ASIFA-Hollywood, work­ing with Ani­ma­tion Mag­a­zine, to help com­mem­o­rate that jour­ney with this ter­rific ret­ro­spec­tive film series.”

Adds Jean Thoren, pres­i­dent and pub­lisher of Ani­ma­tion Mag­a­zine: “Through­out this past decade, we have been lucky to wit­ness and chron­i­cle the rise and artis­tic growth of Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion in the pages of our mag­a­zine. Now we are hon­ored to help cel­e­brate the achieve­ments of this inno­v­a­tive stu­dio along with ASIFA-Hollywood and mil­lions of fans world­wide lead­ing to the open­ing of Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia.”

The series’ ini­tial four screen­ings will be hosted in Sony Pic­tures Animation’s revered Ray Har­ry­hausen The­ater, which will fea­ture inti­mate exhi­bi­tions of SPA art­work in and around its facil­i­ties. Tick­ets for these one-time events will be pri­mar­ily made avail­able to mem­bers of ASIFA-Hollywood and through give­aways via Ani­ma­tion Mag­a­zine.

The cur­rent slate of films, and film­mak­ing panel par­tic­i­pants (pend­ing pro­fes­sional avail­abil­ity) for the Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion Spe­cial Screen­ing Series, goes as follows:

On Sep­tem­ber 5, SPA will present Open Sea­son, the first film in the stu­dios’ decade-long his­tory. Among the rar­i­ties of the evening will be a pre­sen­ta­tion of the Oscar-winning short, The Chub­bchubbs, along with a panel dis­cus­sion among pro­ducer Michelle Mur­docca, exec­u­tive pro­ducer Steve Moore and char­ac­ter ani­ma­tor William Haller.

The Acad­emy Award-nominated fea­ture film Surf’s Up will screen on Sep­tem­ber 13, fol­lowed by a panel dis­cus­sion by Oscar-nominated direc­tors Ash Bran­non and Chris Buck, pro­ducer Chris Jenk­ins and VFX super­vi­sor Rob Bredow.

Break­out direc­tors Christo­pher Miller and Phil Lord (21 Jump Street) return to their ani­ma­tion roots to present Cloudy With A Chance Of Meat­balls on Sep­tem­ber 20. The direc­tors will be joined by pro­ducer Pam Mars­den and VFX super­vi­sor Rob Bre­dow for a panel dis­cus­sion of the film.

SPA’s inter­na­tional ani­ma­tion hybrid sen­sa­tion, The Smurfs, will screen on Sep­tem­ber 27. A panel dis­cus­sion will fea­ture film­mak­ers and key artists.

The screen­ing series will close its sum­mer run with a Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 29 offer­ing of Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia — dur­ing its open­ing week­end in the­aters — at a pub­lic venue in order to accom­mo­date ASIFA fam­ily mem­bers. Three-time Emmy-winning direc­tor Gen­ndy Tar­takovsky and pro­ducer Michelle Mur­docca will lead the festivities.\

Fol­low­ing Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia on Sep­tem­ber 28, SPA will wel­come the July 2013 release of The Smurfs 2, the follow-up to the 2012 global sen­sa­tion. Cloudy 2: Revenge Of The Left­overs, a sequel to Sony Pic­tures Animation’s pop­u­lar ani­mated block­buster, will reach the­aters world­wide in Feb­ru­ary 2014.

Also now in devel­op­ment is Pop­eye, based on the King Fea­tures comic strip of that name, being directed by Tar­takovsky, with the screen­play by Jay Sch­er­ick and David Ronn (The Smurfs), and Avi Arad (The Amaz­ing Spider-Man) and Ari Arad (Iron Man) exec­u­tive producing.

Kazorn and the Uni­corn has Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2, Gnomeo & Juliet) at the helm, with co-director Troy Quane. Lloyd Tay­lor is writ­ing the screen­play. Sam Raimi and Joshua Donen are exec­u­tive producing.

The hybrid live-action/CG fea­ture Secret His­to­ries, writ­ten by John Fran­cis Daley and Jonathan Gold­stein, is being pro­duced by Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Eric Robin­son of the Gotham Group with Greg Little.

The Legend of Mor’du Short Announced For Brave Blu-Ray

The Legend of Mor'du

The Leg­end of Mor’du

With Disney’s announce­ment for a Novem­ber 13, 2012 Blu-ray release of the Pixar hit Brave, also comes the news of a new short based in the new Brave world. Extras on the release will include a new short called, The Leg­end of Mor’du as well as 2001’s the­atri­cally released La Luna (which was shown before Brave in it’s the­atri­cal release).

Based in the mag­i­cal Scot­land of Brave, The Leg­end of Mor’du will give fans the chance to delve deeper into the leg­end behind Mordu, as told by the eccen­tric witch who trans­formed him. Mor’du, as you may remem­ber, was a prince who was trans­formed into a bear. Mor’du appeared in the film as a mon­strous, 15 feet tall black bear with huge claws, a mis­aligned jaw, and long, sharp teeth, his body cov­ered in scars and bro­ken weapons and arrows. King Fer­gus lost his leg in a bat­tle against this bear while pro­tect­ing his wife and daughter.

Other extras on the newly announced Blu-ray pack­age include:

  • La Luna” The­atri­cal Short – Fans will love this charm­ing short that accom­pa­nied the film in the­aters. It fol­lows a young boy on his first night work­ing the fam­ily busi­ness along­side his father and grandfather.
  • The Leg­end of Mor’du” Short – This rous­ing new bonus short film will give fans the chance to delve deeper into the leg­end behind Mordu, as told by the eccen­tric witch who trans­formed him.
  • Brave Old World – Fans will watch as mem­bers of the “Brave” pro­duc­tion team inves­ti­gate Scot­land, explor­ing its land, cul­ture, peo­ple and dialects. The research they gath­ered was brought thrillingly to life in the­film. Also, fans will hear what actress Emma Thomp­son (voice of Queen Eli­nor) thinks of Pixar’s take on her homeland.
  • Merida & Eli­nor – With the cre­ation of Merida and Eli­nor, the Pixar film­mak­ers delved deep into the rela­tion­ship between mother and daugh­ter. High­light­ing con­trasts in char­ac­ter design, cloth­ing, ani­ma­tion, voic­ing, even hair­style, watch how the film­mak­ers explored this most impor­tant of relationships.
  • Bears – Take a look inside the art and design behind the bears in “Brave.” Each of the bears, gen­tle Mum-Bear and ter­ri­fy­ing Mor’du, demanded a dif­fer­ent approach to cre­at­ing their phys­i­cal appear­ance and personality.
  • Brawl in the Hall – A fas­ci­nat­ing and hilar­i­ous inside look at the process of cre­at­ing “Brave’s” fight­ing Scots, through ani­ma­tion, crowd sim­u­la­tion and fight chore­og­ra­phy – not to men­tion a room full of grunt­ing men whose vocal chor­tles added authen­tic­ity to the rau­cous scene.
  • Won­der Moss – Fans will explore how “Brave’s” tech­ni­cal artists exam­ined the real Scot­tish coun­try­side and stud­ied the laws of nature, then turned the­sefind­ings into com­puter codes that would blan­ket Merida’s Scot­land in lush moss, lichen and bracken.
  • Magic –The magic and mys­tery of Scot­land is revealed to fans in this charm­ing fea­ture about the leg­ends – from mys­ti­cal potions to the will-o’-the-wisps – seen in “Brave.”
  • Clan Pixar – At Pixar, get­ting into char­ac­ter is a team effort. From mak­ing Hag­gis to Kilt Fri­days to cel­e­brat­ing the Scot­tish poet Robert Burns, fans will see how the “Brave” pro­duc­tion crew truly embraced Scot­tish themes and cus­toms fueled the Pixar crew through­out the cre­ation of “Brave.”
  • Once Upon A Scene – A closer look at the evo­lu­tion of the sto­ry­lines through­out the pro­duc­tion of the film, includ­ing alter­na­tive open­ings to the film and many deleted scenes.
  • Extended Scenes – Three sep­a­rate scenes are high­lighted in their extended form. Direc­tor Mark Andrews dis­cusses the deci­sion mak­ing process that led to the short­ened ver­sions of these scenes.
  • Fer­gus & Mor’du” An Alter­nate Open­ing – Once upon a time, “Brave” had a dif­fer­ent open­ing scene. Even­tu­ally cut from the film, fans can see it in its entirety in this bonus fea­ture nar­rated by the film’s direc­tor Mark Andrews.
  • Fallen War­riors Mon­tage – A selec­tion of deleted shots that were cut from the film late in pro­duc­tion are pre­sented to fans in var­i­ous stages ofcom­ple­tion through a video mon­tage nar­rated by direc­tor Mark Andrews.
  • Dirty Hairy Peo­ple – Fans will enjoy this uproar­i­ous bonus fea­ture dis­cussing the devel­op­ment of “Brave’s” Scots – includ­ing the design of their hair, attire, and dirt-crusted physiques.
  • It is English…Sort Of – This bonus fea­ture helps fans inter­pret some of the more Scot­tish lines in the film, thanks to the real Scot­tish actors who play the key char­ac­ters and con­tributed their own dialects and sayings.
  • Angus – A look at Merida’s most trusted com­pan­ion, Angus, a mighty Clydesdale.
  • The Tapes­try – Fans will learn the story behind this embroi­dered emblem of fam­ily unity, which was lov­ingly crafted by “Brave’s” team of artists.
  • Pro­mo­tional Pieces – This bonus includes pro­mo­tional clips for “Brave,” includ­ing: “Feast Yer Eyes,” “Relics,” “Clan Dun­Broch,” “Launch,” and more.
  • Art Gallery – A selec­tion of breath­tak­ing art from the cre­ation of the film, show­cas­ing char­ac­ters, sets, scenes and stun­ning landscapes.
  • Wee Gaffes – A video mon­tage of sim­u­la­tion, ani­ma­tion and shot bloopers.
  • Renais­sance Ani­ma­tion Man – Get a look at Direc­tor Mark Andrews’ love of Scot­land, sword-fighting, music and more!
  • Direc­tor Commentary
  • Teasers and Sneak Peeks

The Brave disks will release on Novem­ber 13, 2012. There are actu­ally two Blu-ray ver­sions– a 5-disc Ulti­mate Collector’s Edi­tion (includes 1 Blu-ray 3D disc, 2 Blu-Ray Discs, 1 DVD, and 1 dig­i­tal copy), 3-disc Collector’s Edi­tion Blu-ray Combo Pack (includes 2 Blu-ray discs and 1 DVD), and a 1-disc DVD edi­tion.

Brave takes top position at British box office



Pixar’s “Brave” col­lected an esti­mated $4.3 mil­lion from about 565 screens in the United King­dom, lead­ing that country’s box office in its fourth weekend.

Over­seas, Brave proved a money-maker in gen­eral. Dis­trib­uted by Dis­ney, it was No. 3 at the for­eign box office, mak­ing $14.6 mil­lion in 48 coun­tries dur­ing its 10th week­end abroad. The cumu­la­tive off­shore take is now $212.3 mil­lion, while global rev­enues have reached $442.4 million.

Dream­Works Animation’s Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted opened in Italy for a first-place show­ing, gar­ner­ing $7.7 mil­lion over five days. The three­quel made $11.7 mil­lion at 2,933 screens in 39 coun­tries, rank­ing No. 5 over­seas. In total, Mada­gas­car 3 has made $369 mil­lion abroad.

Laika Entertainment’s 3D stop-motion ani­ma­tion Para­Nor­man, dis­trib­uted by Focus Features/Universal, brought in $3.9 mil­lion abroad this week­end from 2,230 the­aters in 17 coun­tries. So far, it’s had for­eign grosses of $12.5 million.

Mean­while, Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Fox announced that it’s the first of Hollywood’s six major stu­dios to make over $2 bil­lion this year over­seas. That point was reached Saturday.

Fox thus “becomes the only dis­trib­u­tor to have achieved this mile­stone six times and in four con­sec­u­tive cal­en­dar years” (2009 through 2012), the stu­dio said.

Help­ing Fox’s suc­cess were such films as Ice Age: Con­ti­nen­tal Drift (total­ing $665.1 mil­lion) and Alvin and the Chip­munks: Chip­wrecked ($136 million).

This past week­end, Ice Age: Con­ti­nen­tal Drift made $7.6 mil­lion at 5,988 loca­tions in 48 over­seas countries.

Ken Walker, 91, was animator for Disney and H-B

Ken Walker

Ken Walker

Ani­ma­tor and direc­tor Ken­neth David “Ken” Walker, whose work for Dis­ney included such mem­o­rable films as Alice in Won­der­land and Fan­ta­sia, died August 18 in Laguna Hills, Cal­i­for­nia. He was 91.

A mem­ber of the Direc­tors Guild of Amer­ica, he worked for Dis­ney from 1940–42 and 1945–52. He was filmed as one of Disney’s lead­ing ani­ma­tors on the “Dis­ney Car­toons” episode of You Asked For It, which can cur­rently be seen on YouTube.

Walker also worked for many other notable com­pa­nies, such as Colum­bia Pic­tures and Hanna-Barbera. He was the founder and sole owner of N.Y.C. Totem Pro­duc­tions from 1965 to 1971. In 1981, he founded Fun­ny­bone Films in Hol­ly­wood, Cal­i­for­nia, where he remained owner for 20 years.

In TV, he ani­mated Mil­ton the Mon­ster (1965), Bailey’s Comets (1973) and The Great Grape Ape Show (1977). He ani­mated the ABC After­school Spe­cials The Incred­i­ble, Indeli­ble, Mag­i­cal Phys­i­cal, Mys­tery Trip (1973) and The Mag­i­cal Mys­tery Trip Through Lit­tle Red’s Head (1974).

Walker ani­mated the TV spe­cials The Bear Who Slept Through Christ­mas (1973) and The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat (1982), as well as the TV-movie Clerow Wilson’s Great Escape and The Mad Mag­a­zine TV Spe­cial, both made in 1974. He was a pro­duc­tion designer for the 2000 spe­cial It’s the Pied Piper, Char­lie Brown and a tim­ing direc­tor for the 1994–94 series Skele­ton War­riors.

He was a char­ac­ter ani­ma­tor for the 1982 H-B fea­ture film Heidi’s Song and an ani­ma­tor for the 1992 hybrid movie Cool World. As well, he ani­mated the the­atri­cal 1974 short Trail of the Lone­some Pink and was ani­ma­tion direc­tor of the inde­pen­dent 1966 short Seeds of Discovery.

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 4, 1921, Walker grad­u­ated from North Hol­ly­wood High School in the win­ter of 1940. He served in the United States Navy in the Pacific The­atre from 1942 to 1945.

Ken Walker was pre­de­ceased by his first wife, Sally Har­riet (Shep­pard) Walker, and sec­ond wife, Helen (Jacob) Walker.

He is sur­vived by his wife, Car­olyn Vera (Phillips) Walker; son Ken­neth Alfred Walker of Mur­ri­eta, Cal­i­for­nia; daugh­ters Sue (Walker) Bing­ham of Ver­adale, Wash­ing­ton and Lynne Sperry (Walker) Blader­groen of Savan­nah, Geor­gia; brother George August Gewehr of Tuc­son, Ari­zona; grand­chil­dren Glenn Michael Walker, Tiffany Cole Moss, Lind­sey Suzanne (Bing­ham) Skin­fill, Ian and Kyle Blader­groen; and great-grandchildren, Brooke and Tyler Walker, Gabriella Rae Skin­fill and Aubrey Bladergroen.

A ser­vice will be held at 12:45 p.m. Mon­day August 27 at River­side National Cemetery.

Four juried Emmy winners in animation announced

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Emmy

Acad­emy of Tele­vi­sion Arts & Sci­ences Emmy

The Acad­emy of Tele­vi­sion Arts & Sci­ences announced Wednes­day the juried win­ners for the 64th Prime­time Emmy Awards in the cat­e­gory of Indi­vid­ual Achieve­ment in Animation.

The 2012 juried win­ners are Disney’s Phineas And Ferb: “Doof Dynasty” (Dis­ney Tele­vi­sion Ani­ma­tion, Dis­ney Chan­nel), Jill Daniels, Back­ground Paint; Disney’s Prep & Land­ing: Naughty Vs. Nice (Walt Dis­ney Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios, ABC), Bill Schwab, Char­ac­ter Design; Secret Moun­tain Fort Awe­some: “Night­mare Sauce” (Car­toon Net­work Stu­dios, Car­toon Net­work), Robertryan Cory, Char­ac­ter Design; and Secret Moun­tain Fort Awe­some: “Night­mare Sauce” (Car­toon Net­work Stu­dios, Car­toon Net­work), Chris Tsir­gi­o­tis, Back­ground Design.

The Prime­time Emmy rules state that in a juried award, all entrants are screened by a jury of pro­fes­sion­als in the peer group, with the pos­si­bil­ity of one, more than one or no entry being awarded an Emmy. There are no nominations.

The win­ners, if any, are announced prior to the awards pre­sen­ta­tion. Delib­er­a­tions are an open dis­cus­sion of the work of each entrant, with a thor­ough review of the mer­its of award­ing the Emmy. At the con­clu­sion of the delib­er­a­tion on each entry, the jury votes on the ques­tion, “Is this entry wor­thy of an Emmy award — yea or nay?” Only those in unan­i­mous approval win.

These awards will be handed out dur­ing the Cre­ative Arts Emmy Awards on Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 15 at the Nokia The­atre L.A. LIVE in Los Ange­les. They will be taped for a two-hour, edited ver­sion which will air Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 22 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on REELZCHANNEL.

For a com­plete list of nom­i­na­tions and more infor­ma­tion, visit

Release date set for Untitled Minions Project

The Minions

The Min­ions

Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures’ “Unti­tled Min­ions Project,” a spin-off from the block­buster movie Despi­ca­ble Me, will be released Decem­ber 19, 2014, the stu­dio announced Tues­day night.

Pro­duced by Illu­mi­na­tion Enter­tain­ment and released by Uni­ver­sal, the orig­i­nal Despi­ca­ble Me had a $543 mil­lion world­wide gross dur­ing its 2010 release. The sequel Despi­ca­ble Me 2 is sched­uled to reach the­aters July 3, 2013.

The pop­u­lar lit­tle yel­low crea­tures will be fea­tured in the spin-off. How­ever, the com­edy adventure’s plot hasn’t been announced.

To be released in 3D-CG, the film will be pro­duced by Illumination’s Chris Meledan­dri and Janet Healy, with Chris Renaud as exec­u­tive pro­ducer. Pierre Cof­fin will direct.

Brian Lynch has writ­ten the screen­play. Kyle Balda will co-direct.