Tag Archives: New Release

Frozen Leaves Us Cold

Frozen_4Frozen is def­i­nitely Dis­ney– per­haps Dis­ney Junior bet­ter describes this ‘tween movie. There are bits and pieces of what we know and expect from Dis­ney here, but when it is all put together, a lit­tle Dis­ney does not a great film make. This film is obvi­ously aimed squarely at girls 12 and under, with very lit­tle for any­one out­side that tar­get audi­ence. The music, and much of the film, is con­fused, unfo­cused and bland. The art­work, while beau­ti­ful, sets no new Dis­ney high-points for ani­ma­tion, and the act­ing does not stand out at all. Frozen has all the ele­ments we expect in a Dis­ney film, but lim­ited in scope; they do not attempt any­thing new in this movie. While it is def­i­nitely no Chicken Lit­tle, it also does not come close to the clas­sics like The Lit­tle Mer­maid or The Lion King; it is more one of the more for­get­table films in the Dis­ney oeu­vre, a young girls ver­sion of The Res­cuers.

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A Tale Of Two Snow Queens

Frozen_4It was the best of ani­ma­tion, it was the worst of ani­ma­tion. Over the next cou­ple months, you will be able to choose for your­self which is the true Queen, and which will be the also ran. One is from Dis­ney, and one is pro­duced in the frozen land of Rus­sia; both are based on the clas­sic tale The Snow Queen By Hans Chris­t­ian Ander­sen… and both, inter­est­ingly enough, have just released new trail­ers in antic­i­pa­tion of their pend­ing releases.

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Vancouver Shows Oscar-nominated Animated Shorts

Oscar Statuette, Academy Awards

Oscar Stat­uette, Acad­emy Awards

Vancouver’s Vancity The­atre is bring­ing back its pop­u­lar pro­gram of Acad­emy Award-nominated short films in the cat­e­gories of Best Ani­mated Short and Best Live Action Short from Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 8 to Thurs­day, Feb­ru­ary 21.

Here are the Oscar-nominated ani­mated shorts to be shown in an 88-minute program:

Mag­gie Simp­son in The Longest Day­care (David Sil­ver­man, U.S.A., 5 min.)
Mag­gie Simp­son spends a day at the Ayn Rand Day­care Cen­ter, where she is diag­nosed at an aver­age intel­li­gence level. Long­ing to be grouped with the gifted chil­dren, Mag­gie finds her des­tiny by res­cu­ing a lonely cocoon from Baby Ger­ald, who is busy smoosh­ing butterflies.

Adam and Dog (Minkyu Lee, U.S.A., 16 min.)
The story about the dog of Eden. What hap­pened in those first days of Cre­ation that made Man and Dog so insep­a­ra­ble? The dog, as he lives through this curi­ous world, encoun­ters a strange crea­ture; a human being named Adam — and with that dis­cov­ers a new-found con­nec­tion to the world.

Fresh Gua­camole (Adam Pesapane aka PES, U.S.A., 2 min.)
Learn how to trans­form famil­iar objects into Fresh Guacamole!

Head Over Heels (Tim­o­thy Reckart, United King­dom, 10 min.)
After many years of mar­riage, Wal­ter and Madge have grown apart: he lives on the floor and she lives on the ceil­ing. They live sep­a­rate, par­al­lel lives, never talk­ing, barely even look­ing at each other. When Wal­ter tries to reignite their old romance, it brings their equi­lib­rium crash­ing down, and the cou­ple that can’t agree which way is up must find a way to put their mar­riage back together.

Paper­man (John Kahrs, U.S.A., 7 min.)
Paper­man tells the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose des­tiny takes an unex­pected turn after a chance meet­ing with a beau­ti­ful woman on his morn­ing com­mute. Con­vinced that the girl of his dreams is gone for­ever, he gets a sec­ond chance when he spots her in a sky­scraper win­dow across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imag­i­na­tion and a stack of papers to get her atten­tion, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him.

And for your view­ing plea­sure… three short­listed con­tenders that did not make the final cut:

Abio­gen­e­sis (Richard Mars, New Zealand, 5 min.)
In this breath­tak­ing sci­ence fic­tion spec­ta­cle, a strange mechan­i­cal device lands on a des­o­late world and uses the planet to undergo a star­tling trans­for­ma­tion that has pro­found impli­ca­tions for an entire galaxy.

Dripped (Leo Ver­ier, France, 9 min.)
Jack is a strange char­ac­ter. He steals paint­ings from muse­ums to eat them. He feeds him­self with the artis­tic process of the painter. But one day, the muse­ums are closed, and he will have to paint by him­self to survive.

The Gruffalo’s Child (Uwe Hei­d­schöt­ter and Johannes Wei­land, United King­dom, 27 min.)
A lit­tle Gruffalo ignores her father’s warn­ings and tip­toes out into the snow in search of the Big Bad Mouse.

Screen­ing dates and times:

Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 8, 6:30 p.m.
Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 9, 8:45 p.m.
Sun­day, Feb­ru­ary 10, 6:30 p.m.
Tues­day, Feb­ru­ary 12, 8:45 p.m.
Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 15, 6:30 p.m.
Sun­day, Feb­ru­ary 17, 6:30 p.m.
Wednes­day, Feb­ru­ary 20, 8:45 p.m.
Thurs­day, Feb­ru­ary 21, 6:30 p.m.

Vancity The­atre is at 1181 Sey­mour Street. Call the Film Info Line at (604) 683-FILM (3456) or visit www.viff.org for the lat­est info and listings.

Kids’ Delhi Safari Hits U.S. Theaters December 7

Delhi Safari

Delhi Safari

Delhi Safari,” directed by Nikhil Advani, will be in the­aters across the United States in the top 20 regional mar­kets fea­tured on over 70 screens start­ing Decem­ber 7, Applied Art Pro­duc­tions announced Wednesday.

The film fea­tures the vocal tal­ents of Hollywood’s favorite stars, includ­ing Jane Lynch (Glee), Cary Elwes (Princess Bride), Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty), Brad Gar­rett (Rata­touille, Every­body Loves Ray­mond), Christo­pher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Jason Alexan­der (Sein­feld), Car­los Alazraqui (Happy Feet) and Tara Strong (Rugrats, Lit­tle Mer­maid). Delhi Safari’s mes­sage is the preser­va­tion of the envi­ron­ment and the cel­e­bra­tion of wildlife.

Delhi Safari is a jour­ney for these ani­mals to stand up for their own rights, the rights to exist in nature and on the planet. They have to go to the humans because they’re in charge. What is really won­der­ful about it is even with such a huge cast, every part is very funny and unique,” said Lynch, the voice of the female flamingo.

We’ve got a strong fam­ily that deals with cri­sis together; we’ve got a group of char­ac­ters that go off on an adven­ture together with a mis­sion, and a happy end­ing with fan­tas­tic music and great per­for­mances,” said Williams. the voice of Begam, Mother Leopard.

In the movie, the tran­quil­ity of jun­gle life is threat­ened when a real estate devel­oper begins con­struc­tion on a new sub­di­vi­sion. The unlikely team of a leop­ard cub named Yuvi; his mother, the leop­ardess Begam; an unruly mon­key, Bajrangi; and a lov­able bear named Bagga real­ize that the only way to stop things before it’s too late is by talk­ing to the humans. This will take a major feat: enlist­ing the sup­port of the only human-speaking ani­mal, Alex, the Parrot.

Long since “off the reser­va­tion,” Alex lives in a high-end neigh­bor­hood with all the con­ve­niences of mod­ern life, from air con­di­tion­ing to a mas­sive flat-screen tele­vi­sion, and a mas­ter. Sur­rounded by his com­forts, he lives in denial that he is someone’s pet. When he reject­ing the pleas of his friends, they resort to kid­nap­ping him and show­ing him what is becom­ing of their pre­cious home.

The clock is tick­ing as the troop set off on a seem­ingly impos­si­ble jour­ney meet­ing an eclec­tic array of char­ac­ters along the way. Arriv­ing in Delhi, they cause absolute com­mo­tion and with it, suc­cess­fully get the atten­tion of the media. Now in the spot­light, they must share their story and get the sup­port of the only ones who can make a dif­fer­ence: humans.

Ani­ma­tion for the 90-minute movie was pro­duced by Krayon Pic­tures, a 3D ani­ma­tion stu­dio in Pune, India. Directed by Nikhil Advani, the film is an orig­i­nal screen­play by the writ­ing team of Nikhil Advani, Girish Dhamija and Suresh Nair, with addi­tional dia­logue by Milap Zaveri. Delhi Safari was pro­duced by Anu­pama Patil and Kishor Patil and exec­u­tive pro­duced by Fred deWysocki, Ni***th Takia, Aditya Nath Jha and Nam­rata Sharma.

A Delhi Safari fea­turette can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8yHngCe9hc&feature=plcp.

For more infor­ma­tion on Delhi Safari, visit www.delhisafarimovie.com/.

NFB Offering Free Animation Films and Workshops

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The National Film Board of Canada is launch­ing the sixth edi­tion of Get Ani­mated!, bring­ing many of the country’s finest and fun­ni­est ani­mated films to com­mu­ni­ties across Canada in cel­e­bra­tion of Inter­na­tional Ani­ma­tion Day (Sun­day, Octo­ber 28).

Tak­ing place this year from Fri­day, Octo­ber 26 to Sat­ur­day, Novem­ber 10, Get Ani­mated! will bring the magic of ani­ma­tion to over 30 cen­tres, in every province and ter­ri­tory, with screen­ing pro­grams for audi­ences of all ages, work­shops and more. And it’s all absolutely free!

Get Ani­mated! is com­ing to a loca­tion near you, in:

Abbots­ford, BC (Octo­ber 27 and 30)
Cal­gary (Novem­ber 2 and 4)
Char­lot­te­town (Novem­ber 2 and 4)
Edmon­ton (Novem­ber 7)
Flin Flon (Octo­ber 28)
Hal­i­fax (Octo­ber 26 and 27)
Iqaluit (Novem­ber 8 )
Miramichi, NB (Octo­ber 28)
Monc­ton (Octo­ber 27 and 30)
Mon­treal (Octo­ber 27)
New West­min­ster (Novem­ber 7 and 8 )
Prince George (Novem­ber 2 and 4)
Regina (Novem­ber 2, 3 and 10)
Rich­mond (Novem­ber 4)
St. John’s (Octo­ber 27, 28 and 31)
Saska­toon (Octo­ber 29, 30 and Novem­ber 1)
Stephenville, NL (Novem­ber 4)
Tata­m­agouche, NS (Octo­ber 28 )
Toronto (Octo­ber 27 and Novem­ber 1)
Van­cou­ver (Octo­ber 27 and 31)
Vic­to­ria (Novem­ber 7)
White­horse (Octo­ber 28)
Wind­sor (Novem­ber 3 and 4)
Win­nipeg (Octo­ber 26 and 27; Novem­ber 2 to 5)
Yel­lowknife (Octo­ber 29)
– and more!

Get Ani­mated! is pre­sented by the NFB in col­lab­o­ra­tion with local part­ners across Canada. For a com­plete and up-to-date sched­ule of screen­ings, visit nfb.ca/getanimated.

Get Ani­mated! pro­grams New Releases

The New Releases pro­gram fea­tures a daz­zling selec­tion of the NFB’s most acclaimed inter­na­tional co-productions, cre­ated by many of the world’s top ani­ma­tion directors.

High­lights include Georges Schwizgebel’s Genie Award-winning Canada-Switzerland co-production Romance; Franck Dion’s Canada-France co-production Edmond Was a Don­key, win­ner of a Spe­cial Jury Award at the Annecy Inter­na­tional Ani­ma­tion Film Fes­ti­val; Régina Pessoa’s Kali the Lit­tle Vam­pire, a France-Canada-Portugal-Switzerland co-production, recip­i­ent of the Hiroshima Prize at the Hiroshima Inter­na­tional Ani­ma­tion Fes­ti­val; Oscar nom­i­nee Paul Driessen’s lat­est NFB short, the Canada-Netherlands co-production Oedi­pus; and Pol­ish film­maker Kamil Polak’s inter­na­tional co-production The Lost Town of Switez, win­ner of 10 awards.

Fam­ily Program

Get Ani­mated! also offers kid-friendly ani­ma­tion fun for all.

The “Not So Scary Sto­ries” pro­gram of ani­mated films fea­tures Lynn Smith’s The Sound Col­lec­tor, the quirky tale of a 6-year-old who col­lects sounds, along with Antoine Lan­ci­aux and Pierre-Luc Granjon’s col­or­ful and charm­ing fairy tale Boni­fa­cio in Sum­mer­time – per­fect films for chil­dren ages 5 and up.

Friends and Mon­sters” is ideal for the 10+ crowd, with Cather­ine Arcand’s Night­mare at School, a humor­ous look at the unset­tling expe­ri­ence of being in a new school; Claude Grosch and Luc Otter’s Rose & Vio­let, about a very unusual set of twins’ and Paula Gillgannon’s vignette The Big Swing, from the NFB’s renowned Hot­house pro­gram for young animators.


Hands-on work­shops will accom­pany the Fam­ily Pro­gram in a num­ber of Cana­dian cities, giv­ing par­tic­i­pants the thrill of being part of an ani­ma­tion film crew while mak­ing their own short film.

Work­shops in Toronto and Mon­treal on Octo­ber 27 will fea­ture pup­pet ani­ma­tion, with par­tic­i­pants invited to bring cos­tumes and story ideas. To reg­is­ter for the Toronto work­shop, or for more infor­ma­tion, call 1–800-267‑7710; for the Mon­treal work­shop, call (514) 283‑9000. Both work­shops include a half-hour pro­gram of ani­mated short films. Work­shops are offered in Eng­lish or French, based on demand. Pre-registration is required for the work­shop; screen­ings are open to every­one. For com­plete info on these and other Get Ani­mated! work­shops, visit nfb.ca/getanimated.

Indus­try Events

Get Ani­mated! will include free events for ani­ma­tion film­mak­ers and stu­dents — how­ever, these indus­try events are open to the pub­lic, too.

High­lights will include a pre­sen­ta­tion about the NFB’s Hot­house pro­gram by pro­ducer Michael Fukushima and indus­try pan­els led by Ani­ma­tion Stu­dio exec­u­tive pro­ducer Roddy McManus.

List of indus­try events:

Panel dis­cus­sion with Roddy McManus: Car­bon Arc cin­ema (Hal­i­fax, Octo­ber 27, 3 p.m.)
Hot­house pre­sen­ta­tion with Michael Fukushima: Emily Carr Uni­ver­sity of Art and Design (Van­cou­ver, Octo­ber 31, 11:30 a.m.)
Panel dis­cus­sion with Roddy McManus: OCAD Uni­ver­sity (Toronto, Nov. 1, 6:00 p.m.)
Panel dis­cus­sion with Roddy McManus: ACAD (Cal­gary, Nov. 2, 1:00 p.m.)
Indus­try pre­sen­ta­tion with Roddy McManus: Université St-Boniface (Win­nipeg, Nov. 5, 10 a.m.)
Indus­try pre­sen­ta­tion with Roddy McManus: Win­nipeg Cin­e­math­eque (Win­nipeg, Nov. 5, 7 p.m.)

Visit nfb.ca/getanimated for details.

Inter­na­tional Ani­ma­tion Day, Octo­ber 28, is an annual cel­e­bra­tion in over 40 coun­tries, ini­ti­ated by the Inter­na­tional Ani­mated Film Asso­ci­a­tion (ASIFA) in 2002. Nor­man McLaren was the first pres­i­dent of ASIFA, and the NFB is proud to be bring­ing this global cel­e­bra­tion to Cana­dian com­mu­ni­ties for the sixth con­sec­u­tive year.

Nick Teams With NFL… Again!



Nick­elodeon and the National Foot­ball League con­tinue their rela­tion­ship with NFL Rush Zone: Sea­son of the Guardians, the sec­ond sea­son of the first-ever orig­i­nal half-hour ani­mated series devel­oped by a major U.S. sports league and a cable net­work, the two enti­ties jointly announced today.

The sec­ond install­ment of the Nick­toons series (24 episodes) – based on NFLRUSH ZONE, the NFL’s online world for kids – is set to pre­miere on Nick­toons this Novem­ber and fol­lows kid pro­tag­o­nist Ish­mael (Ish) and his friends on a jour­ney to pro­tect the league’s 32 teams and the world from a plot­ting mas­ter villain.

Dur­ing each episode, view­ers will hear NFL play­ers and coaches voic­ing their ani­mated per­sonas, includ­ing New Orleans Saints quar­ter­back Drew Brees, who passed for an NFL record 5,476 yards in 2011; Detroit Lions All-Pro wide receiver Calvin John­son; Dal­las Cow­boys Pro Bowl line­backer DeMar­cus Ware; and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan.

We are proud to part­ner with the NFL to bring Nick­toons view­ers a full-length sec­ond sea­son of NFL Rush Zone,” said Keith Dawkins, Senior Vice Pres­i­dent & Gen­eral Man­ager, Nick­toons, Teen­Nick and Nick Jr. “Com­bin­ing rich sto­ry­telling, ani­ma­tion, fan­tasy and kid-relatable con­tent with team­work, com­pe­ti­tion and the world of the NFL, NFL Rush Zone truly reflects the best of our two worlds.”

We are thrilled to con­tinue our rela­tion­ship with Nick­elodeon by expand­ing the NFLRUSH ZONE world that kids love through a first-of-its-kind, ani­mated series,” said NFL Vice Pres­i­dent of Fan Strat­egy and Mar­ket­ing Peter O’Reilly. “Young fans and par­ents will relate to our unlikely heroes while also expe­ri­enc­ing their favorite NFL teams and play­ers in a whole new ani­mated way.”

In addi­tion to the new series, Nick­toons and the NFL will cre­ate exclu­sive video seg­ments with NFL Net­work ana­lyst and Pro Foot­ball Hall of Famer Deion Sanders. Dur­ing the weekly video seg­ments, which pre­miere on Nick­toons fol­low­ing Sunday’s NFL action, Sanders will pro­vide his top three plays from games played that week.
Sea­son two begins with Ish and his fam­ily relo­cat­ing to Can­ton, Ohio, home of the Pro Foot­ball Hall of Fame, where he dis­cov­ers the NFL is fac­ing a new foe, Wild Card, and his wing­man, Drop Kick. The pair schemes to destroy the NFL and the world by tar­get­ing the 32 teams’ Mega­cores – the essence of each team, its fans and its com­mu­nity – and the Core itself. With the esca­la­tion of this con­flict, Ish height­ens his own train­ing, skills and pow­ers and is joined by an unlikely group of heroes, mem­bers of his local Youth Foot­ball Tackle league.

NFL Rush Zone: Sea­son of the Guardians will be acces­si­ble on Nicktoons.com and NFLRUSH.com fol­low­ing each episode’s on-air pre­miere. They will also be re-aired on NFL Net­work and pro­duced in high def­i­n­i­tion for avail­abil­ity on video boards in NFL sta­di­ums across the country.

NFL Rush Zone: Sea­son of the Guardians is pro­duced by Roll­man Enter­tain­ment, Inc. The team is led by Roll­man Enter­tain­ment CEO Eric Roll­man, who pre­vi­ously served as pres­i­dent of Mar­vel Ani­ma­tion and worked on numer­ous ani­mated TV series, includ­ing The Avengers: World’s Great­est Heroes, Mar­vels Super Hero Squad and Iron Man Armored Adventures.

Nick­elodeon and the NFL ini­ti­ated their part­ner­ship in 2010 with Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core, which launched as a short-form series. The 22-chapter micro-series fol­lowed 10-year-old unlikely kid hero Ish on his des­tiny to pro­tect shards of a power source that were for­ti­fied in NFL sta­di­ums across the coun­try. Ish’s pow­er­ful enemy, Sud­den Death, used an army of Blitz Botz in a plan to hunt down the shards and destroy the NFL in an attempt to take over the world. How­ever, with a secret avatar, known as “The Sub,” Ish ulti­mately defeated Sud­den Death in the sea­son finale at Cow­boys Sta­dium dur­ing Super bowl XLV.

The NFLRUSH ZONE, a role play­ing game on NFLRUSH.com, was launched in Decem­ber 2007 and today has more than 2.5 mil­lion reg­is­tered users. The NFLRUSH ZONE is an immer­sive vir­tual world where kids are able to cre­ate avatars, join their favorite team, play games, chat, and com­pete with friends in a safe and fun envi­ron­ment. All 32 teams are rep­re­sented within the NFLRUSH ZONE with dis­tinct team lands and team Rush­erz and Avatars.

NFLRUSH ZONE will be acces­si­ble on mobile devices this sea­son and will fea­ture exclu­sive con­tent asso­ci­ated with the ani­mated TV series, includ­ing achieve­ments and games linked to the show. Users will become NFLRUSH Zone Guardians, immers­ing them­selves in the world as they “Enter the RUSH ZONE” with Ish and his fel­low Guardians.

Hotel Transylvania” opens early at Toronto fest

Hotel Transylvania

Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia

Gen­ndy Tartakovsky’s “Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia” and the 3D ver­sion of “Find­ing Nemo” will both have their world pre­mieres dur­ing the TIFF Kids pro­gram of the 37th Toronto Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, which runs from Sep­tem­ber 6 to 16.

Wel­come to the Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia, Dracula’s lav­ish five-stake resort, where mon­sters and their fam­i­lies can live it up, free to be the mon­sters they are with­out humans to bother them. On one spe­cial week­end, Drac­ula has invited some of the world’s most famous mon­sters — Franken­stein and his wife, the Mummy, the Invis­i­ble Man, a fam­ily of were­wolves, and more — to cel­e­brate his daugh­ter Mavis’ 118th birth­day. For Drac, cater­ing to all of these leg­endary mon­sters is no prob­lem — but his world could come crash­ing down when one ordi­nary guy stum­bles on the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis.

A con­sid­er­able por­tion of ani­ma­tion on Sony Pic­tures Animation’s Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia was com­pleted out of the newly-expanded Sony Pic­tures Image­works offices in Vancouver.

The gen­eral release date for Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia is Sep­tem­ber 28.

Mean­while, also as part of TIFF Kids, Acad­emy Award-winning film Find­ing Nemo returns to the big screen in thrilling Dis­ney Dig­i­tal 3D for the first time ever.

Teem­ing with mem­o­rable comedic char­ac­ters and heart­felt emo­tion, this stun­ning under­wa­ter adven­ture fol­lows the momen­tous jour­ney of an over­pro­tec­tive clown­fish named Mar­lin (Albert Brooks) and his young son Nemo (Alexan­der Gould) –– who become sep­a­rated in the Great Bar­rier Reef when Nemo is unex­pect­edly taken far from his ocean home to a fish tank in a dentist’s office. Buoyed by the com­pan­ion­ship of Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish, Mar­lin embarks on a dan­ger­ous trek and finds him­self the unlikely hero of an epic effort to res­cue his son –– who hatches a few dar­ing plans of his own to return safely home.

All films are rated. Spe­cial child pric­ing applies. Pur­chase Fes­ti­val ticket pack­ages online 24 hours a day at tiff.net/festival, by phone from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET week­days at (416) 599-TIFF or 1–888-599‑8433, or by vis­it­ing the box office in per­son from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

And the partly ani­mated Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story, by Brad Bern­stein, will have its North Amer­i­can pre­miere as part of the TIFF Docs lineup.

Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story depicts one man’s wild, life-long adven­ture of test­ing soci­etal bound­aries through his use of sub­ver­sive art. This film com­bines tra­di­tional doc­u­men­tary sto­ry­telling with orig­i­nal ani­ma­tion from over 70 years worth of art from the rene­gade children’s book author and illus­tra­tor. Fea­tur­ing Tomi Ungerer, Mau­rice Sendak, Jules Feif­fer, Steven Heller and Michael Patrick Hearn.

There is great sat­is­fac­tion in dis­cov­er­ing films from new voices in non-fiction film­mak­ing,” said Thom Pow­ers, lead TIFF pro­gram­mer for doc­u­men­taries. “Some of the most pow­er­ful sto­ries being told are from these bold and orig­i­nal emerg­ing film­mak­ers whose work stands strongly side by side doc­u­men­tary film­mak­ing greats Alex Gib­ney and Ken Burns.”

We can­not wait to present the lineup of Cana­dian and inter­na­tional doc­u­men­taries with Fes­ti­val audi­ences and the indus­try,” said Cameron Bai­ley, the festival’s artis­tic direc­tor. “The diver­sity of sub­ject and cal­i­bre of the films is a tes­ta­ment to the great non-fiction work being done in our coun­try and abroad.”

WB picks up “Bolivar” novel for animated feature



Warner Bros. has picked up Sean Rubin’s upcom­ing graphic novel Boli­var for an intended ani­mated fea­ture film.

Irish film­maker Kealan O’Rourke has been attached to write and direct the project. Akiva Golds­man and Kerry Fos­ter will pro­duce the film through their Weed Road company.

Archaia Enter­tain­ment is the novel’s pub­lisher. Archaia editor-in-chief Stephen Christy will be a pro­dud­cer as well.

The novel, writ­ten and illus­trated by Sean Rubin, is set for release in May 2013.

Boli­var is about Sybil, a young girl who moves to New York and learns that her neigh­bor is the novel’s title char­ac­ter, the last liv­ing dinosaur. Boli­var refuses to befriend Sybil’s in spite of her per­sis­tent efforts.

Sybil so des­per­ately wants Boli­var to explore the world with her, but the dinosaur is rather reclu­sive. Soon, Boli­var real­izes how impor­tant she if for him and that he would risk every­thing for her.

Last year, O’Rourke won a best ani­ma­tion prize at the Irish Film and Tele­vi­sion Awards for The Boy in the Bubble.

Los Angeles-based Archaia Enter­tain­ment is an Eis­ner Award-winning pub­lish­ing firm. Adap­ta­tions of other Archaia works are planned.

Ghibli’s Arrietty has record-breaking U.S. release

Karigurashi No Arietti (The Secret World of Arrietty")

Karig­urashi No Ari­etti (The Secret World of Arrietty”)

The Secret World of Arri­etty” will open on at least 1,200 screens in the United States, more than any pre­vi­ous Stu­dio Ghi­bli film.

Dis­ney, which dis­trib­utes Ghi­bli pic­tures in North Amer­ica, had Ponyo (2008) open on about 900 screens. Also in com­par­i­son, Sen To Chi­hiro No Kamikakushi (Spir­ited Away) opened on 750 screens.

I just want to do every­thing I can to help make sure peo­ple can go see them because they’re just mag­nif­i­cent films that are very dif­fer­ent than any other ani­mated films these days,” Pixar’s John Las­seter said in an interview.

Japan’s Stu­dio Ghi­bli has released ani­mated films that have met with huge suc­cess in for­eign mar­kets. But in spite of crit­i­cal plau­dits and strong mar­ket­ing assis­tance from the Walt Dis­ney Com­pany and Las­seter, these have met with only mod­est receipts at the Amer­i­can box office.

Released in 2010, Karig­urashi No Ari­etti (The Secret World of Arri­etty, The Bor­rower Arri­etty) is based on The Bor­row­ers, Mary Norton’s beloved children’s book about tiny peo­ple who live under the floor­boards of a house. The movie already has grossed over $126 mil­lion abroad.

Nick Brings In “Mike The Knight”

Mike the Knight

Mike the Knight

Nick­elodeon unveils Mike the Knight, a brand new CG-animated preschool series that invites view­ers into a fan­tas­ti­cal world of cas­tles, mis­sions, drag­ons and trolls, on Fri­day, Feb. 3, at 10:30 a.m. ET/PT). The half-hour, adven­ture series teaches kids about friend­ship, loy­alty, and deter­mi­na­tion as they join Mike, a young knight-in-training, on his mis­sions to pro­tect his king­dom, serve his Queen and become a full-fledged knight.

Fol­low­ing the series launch, Nick­elodeon will air new episodes, Mon­day, Feb. 6 – Thurs­day, Feb. 9, at 12:00 p.m. (ET/PT). Mike the Knight, cre­ated by Alexan­der Bar (Lunar Jim) and penned by Marc Seal (Head Writer, Bob the Builder), is pro­duced by HIT Enter­tain­ment and Nel­vana Stu­dio. The series (26 episodes) will reg­u­larly air week­days at 12:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.

Mike the Knight will take preschool­ers on a jour­ney of dis­cov­ery through a medieval world filled with dynamic char­ac­ters and imag­i­na­tive sto­ries,” said Teri Weiss, SVP, Nick­elodeon Preschool. “The series will inspire and empower preschool­ers to always try their best, con­tin­u­ously grow, and work hard to accom­plish their goals.”

Along with our co-production part­ner HIT Enter­tain­ment, we are thrilled that Nick­elodeon will be the new home for Mike the Knight in the U.S,” said Colin Bohm, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Nel­vana Enter­prises. “With its truly unique and excit­ing sto­ry­lines, along with rich visu­als, we are con­fi­dent the series will be a big hit with preschool­ers and their fam­i­lies in the U.S. and around the world.”

Mike the Knight cen­ters on Mike, a young boy with a bright future ahead of him. The son of the King and Queen of Glen­dragon, he is deter­mined to fol­low in his father’s foot­steps to become a brave and noble knight. With the tri­umphant motto, “Be a knight, do it right,” the would-be hero is joined in his adven­tures by a host of medieval char­ac­ters, includ­ing his trusty steed Gala­had, two friendly drag­ons, Squirt and Sparkie, and his sis­ter, Evie, a wizard-in-training. In every episode, a mis­sion is set and Mike rises to the chal­lenge with the help of his clos­est friends. Mike the Knight taps into children’s fas­ci­na­tion with fantasy/medieval ele­ments with­out remov­ing them from the famil­iar­ity of their every­day lives.

In the series pre­miere episode, “Mike the Knight and Gala­had the Great/Mike the Knight and the Scary Drag­ons,” Mike is so keen on mak­ing Gala­had look good, he doesn’t real­ize what he’s dress­ing him in is stop­ping him from get­ting around the horse rid­ing course! In the sec­ond half of the episode, Mike’s drag­ons Sparkie and Squirt try to act scary. Sparkie is bet­ter at it and Mike doesn’t notice how upset this makes Squirt. When a for­got­ten Squirt gets stuck in the tower, Mike learns to be sen­si­tive to his friends’ feelings.