Tag Archives: New Release

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.

“Daffy’s Rhapsody” debuts in theaters February 10

Daffy's Rhapsody still

Daffy's Rhapsody still

Moviegoers seeing the 3D family adventure “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” are in for a bonus reel of laughs and action with Daffy’s Rhapsody.

The original Looney Tunes cartoon short makes its theatrical debut in tandem with the feature film release from New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures, opening across the United States on Friday, February 10.

Three new images from this picture have been released, and are nopw on the BCDB site. Click through the Cartoon Pictures From Daffy’s Rhapsody link to see the newest images.

In Daffy’s Rhapsody, a brand-new escapade starring Elmer Fudd and Daffy Duck, a relaxing evening at the theater turns into hunting season when Fudd is surprised by the unexpected appearance of his perpetual and ever-elusive target, Daffy. As Elmer gives chase, Daffy cleverly evades him while regaling the audience with a song that illustrates his plight — how hunters never leave him alone.

Featuring an original story and all-new animation, the short stars the voice of the late, legendary Mel Blanc in Daffy’s song, recorded in the 1950s, alongside acclaimed voice actor Billy West’s current characterization of Elmer Fudd. Directed by Matthew O’Callaghan, it is the second in a new series of three original 3D cartoon shorts created for theatrical release, in keeping with Warner Bros. Animation’s commitment to present the Looney Tunes on the big screen as they were first enjoyed and embraced by audiences around the world.

Sam Register, executive vice-president for creative affairs of Warner Bros. Animation, served as executive producer on Daffy’s Rhapsody, as well as the first short of the series, last year’s I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat. He says, “Everyone grew up loving the Looney Tunes characters, and it has been both a great honor and an enormous challenge to continue the legacy of these animation icons and introduce them to a new generation of fans. To hear the incomparable Mel Blanc voicing these characters once more is nothing short of a dream come true.”

As with Journey 2: The Mysterious IslandDaffy’s Rhapsody will screen in both 2D and 3D, and in IMAX where available, in theaters across the U.S.

Oscar-nominated “Rango” set for limited re-release



The now Academy Award-nominated “Rango,” from director Gore Verbinski and starring the voice of Johnny Depp, saddles up for a one-week limited engagement at the ArcLight Hollywood beginning this Friday, January 27.

The original animated comedy-adventure from Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies, which takes moviegoers for a walk in the Wild West, was nominated Tuesday morning for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film.

Rango is the winner of the National Board of Review and Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Animated Feature, while top critics’ groups around the United States — including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. — have declared it the best animated film of 2011.

A chameleon living as an ordinary family pet, Rango dreams of being a fearless hero and is challenged to become just that when he inadvertently becomes the sheriff of a lawless desert town called Dirt.

Written by John Logan and directed by Gore Verbinski, Rango earned more than $230 million worldwide. The film also features the voices of Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Ned Beatty, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone and Timothy Olyphant.

Feature “Back to the Sea” opens Friday in Canada

Back to the Sea

Back to the Sea

The animated feature film “Back to the Sea” will open in theaters across Canada in both 2D and 3D on Friday, January 27, IndustryWorks Pictures announced.

Back to the Sea is a tale of adventure that follows Kevin, a young flying fish, who lives in New York Harbor. He dreams of leading his family back to Barbados — the mythical kingdom of the flying fish.

One fateful day, his adventurous nature finds him captured by a fishing ship and delivered to the fish tank of a Chinese restaurant in New York City’s Chinatown, where he meets a quiet young boy who also longs for excitement and adventure. The two become friends and begin a daring quest to get Kevin back to the sea. Battling furious chefs, evil thieves and hungry diners, the two heroes discover the true meaning of friendship, family, and the importance of following your dreams.

Directed by Thom Lu, the film is voiced by, among others, Christian Slater (Breaking In, Interview with the Vampire, Pump Up the Volume, Robot Chicken) as Jack, the bad guy and robber. Tim Curry (Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Wild Thornberrys) lends his voice to play Eric, Kevin’s father. Mark Hamill, best known for his leading role as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, plays Bunker the wise old octopus, while Tom Kenny (Spongebob SquarePants) provides the hilarious voice of Ben the Life Coach.

This is IndustryWorks Pictures’ first theatrical animation film, as well as its first co-production with China.

“This is an important step for Canada, and a huge feat for the Vancouver-based independent film company to enter into a partnership with a studio like Glory & Dream Digital Animation. They are one of the top companies in animated films in China, as is The Jiangsu Broadcast Company, the second-largest broadcast company in China. The experience has been something quite incredible,” the company said.

The 96-minute film is produced by Calvin Yao; Ming Sun, Kathryn Griffiths, Evan Tylor and Tom Raycove are the executuve producers. Music is by Gordon McGhie.

LA film critics give kudos to Verbinski’s “Rango”



Echoing its Washington-area counterpart, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association has given Gore Verbinski’s Rangoits award for Best Animation.

The Adventures Of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn, directed by Steven Spielberg, was named runner-up in the category for the 37th annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

The Descendants was named Best Picture, with The Tree of Life the runner-up. For their work on The Descendants, Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash were named runners-up for Best Screenplay.

Terrence Malick won Best Director honors for The Tree of Life. The picture also won Emmanuel Lubezki a Best Cinematography award.

Martin Scorsese was runner-up in the Best Director category for Hugo. Dante Ferretti won Best Production Design for the picture.

Michael Fassbender won Best Actor honors for his roles in A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre, Shame and X-Men: First Class. Michael Shannon was runner-up for Take Shelter.

Best Actress honors went to Yin Jung-hee for Poetry, while Kirsten Dunst was declared runner-up for Melancholia.

Christopher Plummer was named Best Supporting Actor for his role in Beginners. Patton Oswalt was runner-up for Young Adult.

Jessica Chastain was named Best Supporting Actress for her work in Coriolanus, The Debt, The Help, Take Shelter, Texas Killing Fields and Tree of Life. The runner-up was Janet McTeer for Albert Nobbs.

Best Screenplay went to director Asghar Farhadi for A Separation, which was declared runner-up for Best Foreign-Language Film.

City of Life and Death, directed by Chuan Lu, was named Best Foreign-Language Film. Cao Yu was runner-up in Best Cinematography for the movie.

Best Production Design runner-up went to Maria Djurkovic for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

The Chemical Brothers were honored for Best Music Score for Hanna; Cliff Martinez was the runner-up for Drive.

For Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film, Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams was the winner; Clio Barnard’s The Arbor was the runner-up.

Founded in 1975, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association is comprised of Los Angeles-based professional film critics working in the Los Angeles print and electronic media.