Tag Archives: DreamWorks

Guardians Unite On A New Poster

Rise of the Guardians

Rise of the Guardians

After a series of character-centric teaser posters, DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians released a new pre-release poster. Featuring all the major characters from the film, the poster instills a sort of animated Avengers team of super-heroes feel with it’s “Legends Unite” tag line.

The film is directed by Peter Ramsey and co-directed by William Joyce, based on his series of books. The film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore won an Oscar for best animated short was based on another of Joyce’s stories.

The film, which does not release until November 21, 2012, will be honored at the 16th Annual Hollywood Film Awards with the Hollywood Animation Award on Oct. 22 at the Beverly Hilton. The Hollywood Animation Award honors the year’s best animated film; previous winner include Ratatouille (2007), Wall-E (2008), Up (2009), Toy Story 3 (2010) and Rango (2011). While not all winners go on to win the Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, taking the Hollywood Animation Award goes a long way to increasing the chances of a win especially for an unreleased film.

Rise of the Guardians is an epic adventure that tells the story of a group of heroes – each with extraordinary abilities. When an ancient evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world. The world’s five unlikeliest heroes- Jack Frosty, North (aka Santa), Bunnymund (the Easter Bunny), Tooth (the Tooth Fairy) and Sandy (the Sandman)- must band together to stop Pitch (the Boogeyman) from plunging the world into eternal darkness.

Penguins Episode Wins Emmy for Animated Program

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Emmy

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Emmy

The Return of the Revenge of Dr. Blowhole,” an episode of the Nickelodeon series The Penguins of Madagascar, was named Outstanding Animated Program on Saturday afternoon at the 2012 Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

It defeated American Dad!: “Hot Water” (Fox Television Animation; FOX), Bob’s Burgers: “BurgerBoss” (BentoBox Entertainment; FOX), Futurama: “The Tip Of The Zoidberg” (The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century Fox Television; Comedy Central) and The Simpsons: “Holidays Of Future Passed” (Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television; FOX).

Outstanding Short Form Animated Program went to Cartoon Network for the episode of Regular Show titled “Eggscellent.”

Also nominated in the category were Adventure Time: “Too Young” (Cartoon Network Studios; Cartoon Network), Disney Phineas And Ferb: “The Doonkleberry Imperative” (Disney Channel; Disney Channel), MAD: “Kitchen Nightmare Before Christmas“/”How I Met Your Mummy” (Warner Bros. Animation; Cartoon Network) and Robot Chicken: “Fight Club Paradise” (Stoopid Monkey/Shadow Machine/Williams Street; Cartoon Network).

For the second year in a row, actor Maurice LaMarche was honored for Outstanding Voiceover Performance for his work on Comedy Central’s Futurama.

In particular, he was recognized for voicing Clamps, Donbot, Hyperchicken, Calculon, Hedonismbot and Morbo on the Futurama episode “The Silence of the Clamps.”

Others nominated were Dan Povenmire as Doctor Doofenshmirtz in Disney Phineas And Ferb: “Across The 2nd Dimension” (Disney Channel; Disney Channel); Rob Riggle as Noel in Disney Prep & Landing: “Naughty Vs. Nice” (Walt Disney Animation Studios; ABC); Kristen Wiig as Lola in The Looney Tunes Show: “Double Date” (Warner Bros. Animation; Cartoon Network); and Hank Azaria as Moe Szyslak, Duffman, Mexican Duffman, Carl, Comic Book Guy and Chief Wiggum in The Simpsons: “Moe Goes From Rags To Riches” (Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television; FOX).

6 Days To Air: The Making Of South Park had been nominated for Outstanding Nonfiction Special. However, the Comedy Central program lost to HBO’s George Harrison: Living in the Material World; its helmer, Martin Scorcese, won for Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming.

HBO topped the night at the 2012 Creative Arts Emmy Awards with 17 golden statuettes. The premium cable network was followed by CBS, with 13 Emmys, and PBS with 11.

Leading the recipients of multiple awards was the HBO drama Game of Thrones, with six Emmys. Based on A Song of Fire and Ice, a series of medieval-era fantasy novels by author George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones earned a total of 11 Emmy nominations in this, its second season.

Following Game of Thrones, with four Emmys each, were Discovery’s Frozen Planet, PBS’s Great Expectations (Masterpiece) and NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

The ceremony was held at NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles. An edited version of the event will air as a special at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on Saturday, September 22 on ReelzChannel.

The show featured the first In Memoriam segment at a Creative Arts Emmys ceremony, a montage that included dozens of camera operators, picture editors, art directors and many other crafts, as well as performers with Creative Arts provenance.

The latter included the late Kathryn Joosten, who won two Emmys as a guest actress on Desperate Housewives at previous Creative Arts shows. She is nominated posthumously this year for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, also for Desperate Housewives. That award will be given at next Sunday’s Primetime Emmys ceremony.

Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction, Reality or Reality-Competition Program was PBS’s Sesame Street: Growing Hope Against Hunger.

DreamWorks Animation and Technicolor Partner On Distribution Deal

DreamWorks Animation SKG

DreamWorks Animation SKG

In a major strange bedfellows pairing, DreamWorks Animation and Technicolor announce a joint venture in a content distribution deal. Their new company- called M-Go- will be pushing out content digitally. But not just DWA’s content… the agreement announced Tuesday are with NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution.

The new M-Go service will be pre-loaded on consumer electronics from Intel, Samsung and Vizio, and is scheduled to launch later this year. M-Go will also be available as a free service at www.mgo.com. M‐Go will also offer UltraViolet compatibility.

“The deals will enable consumers to rent or purchase day & date new release films, catch-up television and back catalog film and TV shows,” the company said. “M‐Go centralizes viewing in one easy place, bridging the divide between viewing platforms, content sources, delivery technologies and devices.”

John Batter, CEO of M‐Go, said: “Partners choose us because of the value M-­Go brings to the marketplace by providing massive amounts of quality film and TV content on the devices people already use.”

M-Go currently uses the MediaNavi search and discovery platform for cloud-based services for consumers. The app-based service was launched in January. The service won the CSI award in the TV Everywhere / Multi-screen Video category earlier this month. The CSI Awards are one of the most comprehensive and competitive technology awards in the world. They reward technical and product marketing excellence in the cable, satellite, terrestrial broadcasting, IPTV, online/internet video and mobile TV sectors.

Fox Reveals DreamWorks Animation 12-Picture Future

DreamWorks Animation SKG

DreamWorks Animation SKG

20th Century Fox has leaked the next bakers dozen DreamWorks Animation movies-releases through the middle of 2016- marking the most ambitious slate for an animation house in Hollywood history, and an industry first in output.

Newly announced DreamWorks Animation projects inlude B.O.O: Bureau of Otherwordly Operations, set to hit theaters on Nov. 6, 2015, and How to Train Your Dragon 3, dated for June 18, 2016.

The other films set to release through the new DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox partnership: The Croods (March 22, 2013), Turbo (July 19, 2013), Mr. Peabody & Sherman (Nov. 1, 2013), Me and My Shadow (March 14, 2014), Dragons: Riders of Berk (How to Train Your Dragon 2) (June 20, 2014), Happy Smekday! (Nov. 26, 2014), The Penguins of Madagascar (March 27, 2015), Trolls (working title, June 5, 2015), Monkeys Of Mumbai (working title, Dec. 19, 2015) and Kung Fu Panda 3 (March 18, 2016).

The Seth Rogen-voiced B.O.O: Bureau of Otherwordly Operations is based on an original idea by Tony Leondis (Igor), who is directing the ghost pic. It is produced by Maryann Garger (Flushed Away) and the screenplay is being written by Tom Wheeler (Puss in Boots).

“We have had the privilege not only to view many of these films in their various stages but also to meet the incredible leadership teams behind each one, and we are very confident about DreamWorks Animation’s robust future slate,” said Fox Filmed Entertainment CEOs and Chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman. “We are truly excited about our new partnership and bringing these extraordinary films to audiences around the world.”

Many of these films have been in the works for many years, in varying stages of the pipeline. With the uncertainty of a distribution partner, DreamWorks has been hesitant to release much about them.

Last month, DreamWorks Animation announced its distribution deal with 20th Century Fox, clearing up the distribution for the next seven years.

“What we are announcing today is the result of the amazing work and devotion from DreamWorks Animation’s vast roster of directors, producers and artistic talent over many years,” added Bill Damaschke, DreamWorks Animation’s Chief Creative Officer. “Every one of the movies in our lineup – whether it is an original film or a sequel to one of our beloved franchises – comes from the unique and special vision of our filmmakers, and we look forward to joining together with Fox to make them available to family audiences starting next year.”

Releasing three films per year is practically unheard of rate of release for an animation studio, with Disney only shooting for two during it’s “new renaissance” period in the late 1990’s.  Current industry leader Pixar only puts out only one title a year.

What do you think- is the shotgun approach to animated film-making going to work, or do you think that despite the volume, DreamWorks can keep the quality level up and make some films with staying power?

Katzenberg to receive Academy’s Humanitarian Award

Jeffrey Katzenberg

Jeffrey Katzenberg

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has voted to present the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.

The award will be presented at the Academy’s 4th Annual Governors Awards dinner on Saturday, December 1 at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center.

A studio executive, film producer and philanthropist, Katzenberg has been instrumental in raising money for education, art and health-related causes, particularly those benefiting the motion picture industry. During more than two decades as chairman of the board for the Motion Picture and Television Fund, he helped to raise $200 million for the organization, created “The Night Before” event and worked to expand the MPTF campus.

He also serves on the boards of such organizations as the California Institute of the Arts, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, AIDS Project Los Angeles, the Geffen Playhouse, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Katzenberg, who has had a long career as a producer, notably alongside Steven Spielberg, is today the head of DreamWorks Animation, a studio with such hits as “Shrek,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “Madagascar.”

He was nominated for an Oscar in 2003 for the animated film “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” but lost to Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away.”

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an Oscar statuette, is given to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.

The Governors Awards presentation will be produced for the Academy by marketing executive Cheryl Boone Isaacs with the Don Mischer Production team, led by Don Mischer, Charlie Haykel and Juliane Hare.

Animation award going to “Rise of the Guardians”

Rise Of The Guardians

Rise Of The Guardians

DreamWorks Animation’s “Rise of the Guardians” will receive this year’s Hollywood Animation Award at the 16th Annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Film Awards gala ceremony, to be held October 22 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The announcement was made Tuesday by awards founder and executive director Carlos de Abreu.

“It is a great pleasure to recognize Rise of the Guardians as the recipient of our animation award. This piece of avant-garde animation style surely will be another classic for generations to come,” de Abreu said.

Directed by Peter Ramsey and written by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), Rise of the Guardians is based on the highly acclaimed series of children’s books by William Joyce. Joyce, who won an Oscar last year for his animated short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, was named by Newsweek as “one of the top 100 people to watch in the new millennium.”

Rise of the Guardians stars the voice talents of Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher and Jude Law. Produced by Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein and executive produced by Guillermo del Toro, Michael Siegel, and William Joyce, the DreamWorks Animation feature film will be released November 21 by Paramount Pictures.

Said DWA chief creative officer Bill Damaschke: “This award is a testament to the vision and dedication of our director Peter Ramsey and our producers Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein, who saw in William Joyce’s beautifully written books a truly magical world that he was able to bring to life with the help of David Lindsay-Abaire’s wonderful screenplay and, of course, the outstanding work by his entire filmmaking team. We could not be more proud of the movie, or this recognition, and we thank Carlos and the Hollywood Film Awards for this great honor.”

Past recipients of the Hollywood Animation Award include Cars, Rango, Ratatouille, Toy Story 3, UP and Wall-E.

Rise of the Guardians is an epic and magical adventure that tells the story of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, and Jack Frost’s legendary characters with previously unknown extraordinary abilities. When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces to protect the hopes, beliefs, and imagination of children everywhere.

DWA enters into distribution agreement with Fox

DreamWorks Animation SKG

DreamWorks Animation SKG

DreamWorks Animation announced Monday that the Glendale, California-based company has entered into a new five-year distribution agreement with Twentieth Century Fox.

Under the terms of the agreement, Fox will assume certain marketing and distribution responsibilities in both domestic and international markets for all animated feature films produced by DreamWorks Animation for release from 2013 through 2017.

“Fox has long been an industry leader in both theatrical and home video, thanks in large part to its well-integrated approach to distribution across a wide range of platforms around the globe,” said DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. “Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman have built a world-class distribution team, and we are excited to apply their expertise, robust infrastructure and global resources so that DreamWorks Animation’s films can reach their fullest possible potential over the next five years.”

“DreamWorks Animation is a great company that makes terrific films and everyone here feels privileged and honored to have been chosen to distribute their marvelous work throughout the world,” stated Fox Filmed Entertainment CEOs and chairmen Gianopulos and Rothman. “We are particularly excited to add DreamWorks Animation’s films to the strong and growing slate of movies from our outstanding Blue Sky Studios division, which is coming off another global blockbuster with Ice Age: Continental Drift, and has Epic and Rio2 in advanced production. Together we will be a dominant force in animated entertainment for years to come.”

“Starting in 2013, DreamWorks Animation content will be distributed in the more traditional markets under a fee structure that is similar to our existing arrangement with our current distributor,” continued Katzenberg. “However, our new agreement with Fox presents more favorable economics overall for DreamWorks Animation because we are taking advantage of lower costs associated with the emerging digital distribution landscape and managing domestic television distribution in-house.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Fox will receive a distribution fee on worldwide theatrical and home video gross receipts as well as on international television, and on certain digital businesses, including rentals, SVOD and EST. DreamWorks Animation will retain the rights to distribute its product in the domestic television windows without paying a fee to Fox.

Kung Fu Panda 3 to be U.S.-Chinese co-production

King Fu Panda 3

King Fu Panda 3

The third installment of DreamWorks Animation’s Panda series, “Kung Fu Panda 3” will be made in China as a co-production with DWA, a new Chinese joint venture announced Monday.

This is the first time that any major Hollywood animated feature film has been co-produced with a Chinese firm.

Kung Fu Panda 3, set for global release in 2017, will be the first animated feature to be produced by Shanghai-based Oriental DreamWorks. The entertainment firm was launched in February to develop and produce Chinese animated and live-action material for distribution in China and worldwide.

“Without question, China has what is needed to make great animation film…. this is a perfect fit for us at DreamWorks,” DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told a news conference.

Oriental DreamWorks is a joint venture between Glendale, California-based DWA and China’s three largest media companies, China Media Capital, Shanghai Media Group and Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd.

Major Hollywood co-productions with China include the live-action The Expendables 2 and the upcoming Iron Man 3 from Disney/Marvel Studios.

Oriental DreamWorks announced the co-production during a ceremony marking the opening of its Shanghai headquarters.

The joint venture added that it will invest $3.14 billion (20 billion yuan) to open “Dream Center,” a shopping, dining and entertainment hub, in the Xuhui district of Shanghai. It’s scheduled to launch by 2016. China Media Capital chairman Li Ruigang said he hoped that it would become the Chinese equivalent of New York’s Broadway or London’s West End.

Last year, the Walt Disney Company broke ground on its planned Shanghai Disneyland. The Shanghai theme park is estimated to cost 24.5 billion yuan, with hotels and other facilities costing an additional 4.5 billion yuan.

Nightmare at DreamWorks: quarterly profit down 63%

DreamWorks Animation SKG

DreamWorks Animation SKG

Second-quarter net income at DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. fell by a whopping 63 percent, the Glendale, California-based company announced Tuesday.

The studio blamed in part the delayed release of Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted in several overseas countries, as well as higher distribution costs.

Net income fell to a level below analysts’ expectations. Meanwhile, shares dropped over 8 percent in after-hours trading Tuesday.

Results for the studio were aided by box office revenues from Madagascar 3, which has grossed over $500 million in theaters around the world since it was released June 8. By comparison, Kung Fu Panda 2grossed $600 million a year earlier, although that movie’s revenues were helped by a release two weeks earlier in the quarter.

DWA’s net income in the three months ended June 30 was $12.8 million (15 cents per share), compared with $34.1 million (40 cents per share) last year. Revenue in the second quarter was $162.8 million, down 25 percent from the same period in 2011.

Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, had predicted income of 25 cents per share on revenue of $185 million.

Some of the revenue for Madagascar 3 was recorded after the quarter ended. As well, distributors took a greater cut of ticket sales to pay for film prints and advertising than expected, said studio chief financial officer Lew Coleman.

He also noted that the London Olympics caused the film’s delayed release in such major overseas markets as the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria and New Zealand. Coleman added that markets that had released Madagascar 3, such as Russia and China, have been paying DWA a smaller share of ticket sales than average, which hurt revenue.

Though he blamed timing problems for negatively affecting second-quarter revenue, Coleman predicted that Madagascar 3 would be a “very profitable film.”

DreamWorks Animation shares closed up 2 cents to $19.20 in regular trading. But they fell $1.60 (8.3 percent) to $17.60 after the quarterly report’s release.

Fox and Blue Sky Studios announce “Epic” casting

Blue Sky Studios

Blue Sky Studios

Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios announced Thursday the voice cast for Epic, a 3D CG action-adventure comedy that reveals a hidden world unlike any other.

From the creators of Ice Ageand Rio, Epic tells the story of an ongoing battle deep in the forest between the forces of good and the forces of evil. When a teenage girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she must band together with a rag-tag team of fun and whimsical characters in order to save their world… and ours.

Beyonce Knowles, one of the most widely recognized and highly respected women in pop culture and star of the upcoming A Star Is Born, voices Queen Tara; Colin Farrell (Total Recall) is Ronin; Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) is Nod; Amanda Seyfried (Dear John) portrays Mary Katherine; and Johnny Knoxville (Jackass) voices Mandrake.

Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation) portrays Mub, and rapper Pitbull voices Bufo. Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses and the upcoming The Campaign) portrays Bomba, and rock legend and American Idol judge Steven Tyler is Nim Galuu.

Co-starring are Blake Anderson (Workaholics) as Dagda, and Judah Friedlander (30 Rock) as Larry.

Epic charges into theaters everywhere May 24, 2013. The film is directed by Academy Award-winner Chris Wedge, and produced by Lori Forte (Ice Age: Continental Drift) and Jerry Davis (Robots).