Director Kelly Asbury’s The Untitled Smurfs Movie- planned for a 2015 release- has been pushed back a year. But there is still no official title. The film is believed to be a full 3D CGI animated film, not an animation/live-action hybrid like the first two Smurf films from Sony.
Bob Hoskins, perhaps best known as detective Eddie Valiant in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” has died at age 71. Eddie was the live action comic foil to the animated Roger. He grudgingly helped the bunny clear his name when he was framed for murder. Along the way, he revealed that a toon killed his brother. Eventually, he confronted his adversary, who turned out to be the local judge.
The Annecy International Animated Film Festival has announced 18 films in the feature film competitions for the 2014 festival. Nine films will be in competition and nine out of competition, and these were selected from 68 films submitted this year. Annecy is considered the preeminent animation film festival in the world, and is a festival that many in the industry look to for the best in animation.
The follow-up to Disney’s 2013 Academy Award Winning short Paperman and last year’s Get A Horse! has been announced, and it will premiere at France’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Titled The Feast, the short looks to be based on the same stylized CG techniques used on last years Paperman, a more natural and hand-drawn look to computer animation.
Creator of Batman: The Animated Series Bruce Timm has brought his vision of the Dark Knight back again with a new short celebrating 75 years of the crime fighter. The short, titled Batman: Strange Days, features “a lost tale from Batman’s past, the Dark Knight tracks a strange giant to the mysterious lair of Dr. Hugo Strange.” Produced in a tinted black and white, the short runs under 3 minutes but sets quite a mood of dark and dank bat-reality reminiscent of a ’30s serial.
One of the greats in the animation character pantheon has just hit his golden anniversary. First appearing in the opening title sequence of the 1963 film The Pink Panther, the animated cat had such an influence on audiences he went on top star in a series of animated theatrical films, various television series, and, of course, a slew of other animated title sequences. In fact, the only Pink Panther film the panther was not featured in was the second, A Shot In The Dark.
Cartoon Network is looking ahead to a new year of programing with a variety of new self-produced and syndicated programing including a reboot for Bugs Bunny, and the newest return of Scooby-Doo and the gang. A variety of existing programming has also been green-lit for additional seasons. Cartoon Network has also announced it’s first limited-time short series based on a short from Cartoon Network Studios shorts program.
DreamWorks has promised over 300 hours of new animation for streaming partner Netflix. Three new series have just been announced to help fill that hefty plan for programming. Before the end of the year, NetFlix should be streaming three new series: Puss In Boots, King Julien and Veggie Tales In the House.
Arthur Gardner Rankin, Jr. has passed away at 89. He was an American director, producer and writer, who mostly worked in animation. A founding partner of Rankin/Bass Productions- with Jules Bass- he gained fame with such stop-action animation features as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and the 1977 cartoon animation of The Hobbit.
Last night saw Disney freeze out most of the competition when the best and most creative in animation met at UCLA’s Royce Hall for the 41st Annual Annie Awards. Sponsored by ASIFA Hollywood, the awards recognize great works in television, theatrical film and games. This years awards were hosted by voice actor Tom Warburton.