Tag Archives: Warner Bros.

Warner Brothers Diving into Animation Think Tank

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. Pic­tures has formed a fea­ture ani­ma­tion cre­ative con­sor­tium, mark­ing a new and inno­v­a­tive approach to the estab­lish­ment of a diverse and far-reaching ani­ma­tion slate, Warner Bros. Pic­tures Group pres­i­dent Jeff Robi­nov announced Monday.

The mis­sion of the new think tank is to help develop and pro­duce high-end ani­mated motion pic­tures, with the goal of releas­ing one fea­ture per year under the Warner Bros. Pic­tures ban­ner. The select team of accom­plished film­mak­ers will col­lab­o­rate with the stu­dio to frame and guide a vari­ety of projects from start to finish.

The artists who will be involved in Warner Bros.’ new fea­ture ani­ma­tion ven­ture are John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (Crazy, Stu­pid, Love, Cats & Dogs); Nicholas Stoller (The Mup­pets), Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meat­balls), and Jared Stern (Mr. Popper’s Pen­guins).

The film­mak­ers will work both indi­vid­u­ally and col­lec­tively, sup­port­ing one another artis­ti­cally in the mak­ing of the films. They will not be exclu­sive to the studio’s ani­mated film pro­duc­tions; rather, they will also con­tinue to write and direct live-action movies. “This new endeavor reflects Warner Bros.’ ongo­ing com­mit­ment to being a filmmaker-friendly stu­dio, which invites and fos­ters orig­i­nal projects, con­tin­u­ally expand­ing the enter­tain­ment scope of its slate,” WB said.

Warner Bros. has an extra­or­di­nary legacy in the world of ani­ma­tion, includ­ing some of the most endur­ing char­ac­ters in cin­ema his­tory. Look­ing to the future, we have now gath­ered some of the best and bright­est tal­ents in the indus­try to help us grow and broaden that legacy,” Robi­nov stated. “Draw­ing upon their imag­i­na­tions and inspi­ra­tion, the stu­dio will pro­duce a slate of new and orig­i­nal ani­mated films that are sure to delight audi­ences of all ages.”

The first fea­ture in the pipeline is the upcom­ing 3D ani­mated adven­ture The LEGO Movie, being directed by Lord and Miller from their own screen­play. Bring­ing the glob­ally pop­u­lar LEGO con­struc­tion toys to the big screen for the first time, the film is being pro­duced by Dan Lin and Roy Lee and stars the voices of Chris Pratt, Will Fer­rell, Eliz­a­beth Banks, Liam Nee­son, Will Arnett, Nick Offer­man, Ali­son Brie and Mor­gan Free­man. The ani­ma­tion is largely being accom­plished at Australia’s Ani­mal Logic.

A pre­sen­ta­tion of Warner Bros. Pic­tures in asso­ci­a­tion with Vil­lage Road­show Pic­tures, The LEGO Movie is slated for release on Feb­ru­ary 7, 2014.

Among the other projects being devel­oped are Storks, con­ceived and being writ­ten by Stoller, and to be directed by Oscar nom­i­nee Doug Sweet­land (PIXAR short Presto); and Small­foot, to be writ­ten by Requa and Ficarra, from an orig­i­nal idea by Ser­gio Pab­los (Despi­ca­ble Me), who is also set to direct. The films are being tar­geted for release in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

The devel­op­ment of ani­mated fea­tures will be over­seen at Warner Bros. by Courte­nay Valenti, Chris deFaria and Greg Sil­ver­man. Over­all look, char­ac­ter design and the story reel process will be housed in Bur­bank, Cal­i­for­nia; how­ever, the stu­dio will look to part­ner with estab­lished ani­ma­tion stu­dios for pro­duc­tion of the films.

Cartoon of the Day: Gorilla My Dreams

Cartoon of the Day: Gorilla My Dreams

Car­toon of the Day: Gorilla My Dreams

One of the clas­sic Bugs Bunny car­toons, Gorilla My Dreams was also one of direc­tor Robert McKimson’s finest. Known mainly for cre­at­ing the Tas­man­ian Devil and Foghorn Leghorn, McKim­son made a few clas­sic Bugs films, too, includ­ing this one.

Bugs lands in “Bingzi-Bangzi, Land Of Fero­cious Apes,” where a lady gorilla whose hubby hates kids takes him as her own.

Remade in 1959 as “Apes Of Wrath.

Grue­some Gorilla’s first appearance.

Cartoon of the Day: Dog Pounded

Dog Pounded

Dog Pounded

Isadore Fre­leng directed many great films, and paired two time­less char­ac­ters so close they are now insep­a­ra­ble– Tweety and Sylvester. Dog Pounded is one of the later shorts, pro­duced in 1954. It begins with the very famil­iar image of a starv­ing Sylvester, rum­mag­ing through garbage cans for food…

Hun­gry Sylvester spots Tweety in his nest, which sits on a tree high atop the city dog pound, where numer­ous bull­dogs reside. Sylvester makes dif­fer­ent approaches, like hyp­no­tiz­ing the dogs and dig­ging him­self under the wall, always with the same result– beaten by the dogs.

Sylvester dis­guises him­self as a dog, and the dogs bur­row under the pound, hav­ing accu­rately antic­i­pated that Sylvester will do the same! In the end, he paints a white stripe down his back to make the dogs think that he’s a skunk. This attracts Pepé Le Pew, who desires to make love with the poor ol’ puddy tat!

Pepé Le Pew makes a cameo at the end of this car­toon, the only time he appears in a Fre­leng directed short .

Very sim­i­lar to “Ain’t She Tweet.”

This Looney Tune short was reis­sued as a Blue Rib­bon Mer­rie Melodie cartoon.

Cartoon of the Day: Rabbit Hood

Rabbit Hood

Rab­bit Hood

The day before Christ­mas, and all through BCDB, not a crea­ture was stir­ring because they were all watch­ing Rab­bit Hood. You wouldn’t think a whole lot of good car­toons were released on Decem­ber 24th, but you would be wrong… Rab­bit Hood is just one of them!

Sher­wood For­est is stud­ded with “No Poach­ing” signs– “Not even an egg!” Bunny tries to swipe a car­rot from the king’s car­rot patch, but is caught crimson-fisted by the Sher­iff of Not­ting­ham. Just then, a goofy Lit­tle John announces, “Don’t you worry, never fear, Robin Hood will soon be here!” Robin doesn’t appear (the film’s run­ning gag), so Bugs announces, “Lo, the king approacheth!”

As the sher­iff bows for the king, Bugs bops him and runs. The sher­iff chases Bugs around the king’s Royal Ground, where the rab­bit imi­tates a real estate sales­man and sells the sher­iff the land. The flim-flam works so well that the sher­iff is build­ing the sec­ond story of a house before he finally gets wise. The sher­iff cor­ners Bugs, who com­i­cally intro­duces Lit­tle John to him. Next, Bugs pre­tends that the king is com­ing; this time, he dis­guises him­self as His High­ness and bestows knight­hood on the sheriff.

Bob­bing him with his staff with each word, Bugs declares the sher­iff “Sir Loin of Beef, Earl of Cloves, Baron of Mun­chausen, Milk of Mag­ne­sia, Quar­ter of Ten.” The groggy sher­iff sings “Lon­don Bridge” as he falls into a freshly-baked layer cake. Lit­tle John finally intro­duces Robin Hood: a live-action shot of Errol Flynn, caus­ing an aston­ished Bugs to shrug and say, “Eh, it couldn’t be him!”

Con­tains actual footage of Errol Flynn as Robin Hood from the 1938 film “The Adven­tures of Robin Hood.” Flynn’s price for using his image was report­edly only a copy of this car­toon for his collection.

Released exactly one day before retired WB car­toon pro­ducer Leon Schlesinger died of viral infec­tion at the age of 65.

Songs include: “Lon­don Bridge is Falling Down” (Unknown-arr. Carl Stalling), Per­formed by the Sher­iff of Nottingham.

Cartoon of the Day: Transylvania 6–5000

Transylvania 6-5000

Tran­syl­va­nia 6–5000

Released on this date in 1963, Tran­syl­va­nia 6–5000 was the last Bugs Bunny car­toon directed by Chuck Jones. And this car­toon is thor­oughly Chuck. From the back­grounds to the char­ac­ter design to the tim­ing, this short is a one-stop les­son in Jon­sian car­toon directing.

After tak­ing a wrong left turn, Bugs ends up in the cas­tle of a blood­thirsty Count. Luck­ily, Bugs knows the secret work, and con­founds the Count’s attempts to retrieve Bugs’ blood.

Note that when Bugs rings the cas­tle door­bell, the chimes play the open­ing notes of the TV series “Alfred Hitch­cock Presents.”

A fit­ting cli­max to Jones’ career at Warner Bros, or a card­board epi­taph– what do you think?

Cartoon of the Day: Mexican Joyride

Mexican Joyride

Mex­i­can Joyride

Released sixty-five years ago today, Daffy Duck took a Mex­i­can Joyride down to Tijuana for a lit­tle bit of rest and relax­ation. Directed by Art Davis, we can never resist pick­ing a Davis car­toon for CotD, even up against Arthur And The Invis­i­bles and Jet Fuel For­mula, the very first episode of Rocky and His Friends.

Daffy Duck, singing “Gau­cho Ser­e­nade,” dri­ves down to Mex­ico for a vaca­tion. After a burn­ing expe­ri­ence with Mex­i­can food, Daffy takes in the bullfights.

As if at a base­ball game, Daffy heck­les the bull (“He’s blind as a bat! Throw the phony out!”). The bull chases the duck around the arena. Daffy tries the “Good Neigh­bor Pol­icy,” offer­ing the bull a “Cig­a­rette? Sparkling cham­pagne? A lit­tle gin rummy, per­haps?” Daffy pulls a hat trick, bet­ting the bull to guess what som­brero he’s hid­ing under. When the bull guesses wrong, he cries over los­ing his money. Daffy vol­un­teers weapons to help him com­mit suicide.

The bull chases the duck with a machine gun into town, where the duck packs his bags and dri­ves home, unaware that the bull is in the back seat.

Art once said that this car­toon was inspired by a week­end get­away he and some of the oth­ers had in Mex­ico. Must have been a fun trip! So show the love for Art Davis, and like this car­toon, or rate it on BCDB… where you can also watch it online!

Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson Join Animated “Lego” Voice Cast

Lego: The Piece of Resistance

Lego: The Piece of Resistance

Will Fer­rell, Liam Nee­son, Nick Offer­man and Ali­son Brie are the lat­est stars to sign on for the new fea­ture film adven­ture Lego: The Piece of Resis­tance, Warner Bros. Pic­tures announced.

The four will join Chris Pratt, Eliz­a­beth Banks, Will Arnett and Mor­gan Free­man in voic­ing char­ac­ters for the upcom­ing orig­i­nal 3D ani­mated film, set for a Feb­ru­ary 7, 2014 release from Warner Bros. Pic­tures and Vil­lage Road­show Pic­tures. The movie is cur­rently in production.

The first-ever full-length the­atri­cal Lego movie fol­lows Emmet, an ordi­nary, rules-following, per­fectly aver­age Lego minifig­ure who is mis­tak­enly iden­ti­fied as the most extra­or­di­nary per­son and the key to sav­ing the world. He is drafted into a fel­low­ship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a jour­ney for which Emmet is hope­lessly and hilar­i­ously underprepared.

Fer­rell (The Cam­paign) stars as the voice of Emmet’s pri­mary adver­sary, Pres­i­dent Busi­ness, an eru­dite, anal-retentive CEO who has a hard time bal­anc­ing world dom­i­na­tion with micro-managing his own life. Nee­son (Taken and Taken 2, Oscar nom­i­nee for Schindler’s List) stars as the voice of the president’s pow­er­ful hench­man, known as Bad Cop, who will stop at noth­ing to catch Emmet.

Offer­man (NBC’s Parks and Recre­ation) takes on the role of a craggy, swag­ger­ing pirate obsessed with revenge on Pres­i­dent Busi­ness, and Brie (NBC’s Com­mu­nity) plays a sweet, lov­able mem­ber of Emmet’s team with a pow­er­ful secret. Pratt (Mon­ey­ball) stars as the voice of Emmet.

Oscar win­ner Free­man (Mil­lion Dol­lar Baby) and Banks (The Hunger Games, Emmy nom­i­nee for 30 Rock), will star as two of Emmet’s fel­low trav­el­ers: Vit­ru­vius, an old mys­tic; and tough-as-nails Lucy, who mis­takes Emmet for the sav­ior of the world and guides him on his quest. Lucy also calls upon the mys­te­ri­ous Bat­man, a Lego minifig­ure voiced by Arnett (Emmy nom­i­nee, 30 Rock), with whom she shares a history.

Phil Lord and Christo­pher Miller (21 Jump Street, Golden Globe nom­i­nee for Cloudy with a Chance of Meat­balls) are direct­ing from their orig­i­nal screen­play, story by Dan Hage­man, Kevin Hage­man, Lord and Miller, based on Lego con­struc­tion toys. The film will incor­po­rate some of the most pop­u­lar Lego fig­ures while intro­duc­ing sev­eral new char­ac­ters, invit­ing fans who have enjoyed the brand’s inno­v­a­tive toys and hugely pop­u­lar video games for gen­er­a­tions to expe­ri­ence their visu­ally unique Lego world as never seen before.

The film will be pro­duced by Dan Lin (Sher­lock Holmes, Sher­lock Holmes: A Game of Shad­ows) and Roy Lee (The Departed, How to Train Your Dragon). It will be dis­trib­uted by Warner Bros. Pic­tures, and in select ter­ri­to­ries by Vil­lage Road­show Pictures.

21 Animated Features Submitted For 2012 Oscar Race

Oscar Statuette, Academy Awards

Oscar Stat­uette, Acad­emy Awards

Twenty-one fea­tures have been sub­mit­ted for con­sid­er­a­tion in the Ani­mated Fea­ture Film cat­e­gory for the 85th Acad­emy Awards, the Acad­emy of Motion Pic­ture Arts and Sci­ences announced Friday.

The 21 sub­mit­ted fea­tures, listed in alpha­bet­i­cal order by title, are:

Adven­tures in Zam­bezia
Delhi Safari
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
Kokurikozaka Kara (From Up on Poppy Hill)
Krishna Aur Kans (Hey Krishna)
Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia
Ice Age Con­ti­nen­tal Drift
A Liar’s Auto­bi­og­ra­phy: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Gra­ham Chap­man
Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
The Mys­ti­cal Laws
Le Tableau (The Paint­ing)
The Pirates! Band of Mis­fits
 Le Chat du Rab­bin (The Rabbi’s Cat)
Rise of the Guardians
Secret of the Wings
Le Noël de Wal­ter et Tan­doori (Wal­ter And Tandoori’s Christ­mas)
Wreck-It Ralph

Sev­eral of the films listed have not yet had their required Los Ange­les qual­i­fy­ing runs. Sub­mit­ted fea­tures must ful­fill the the­atri­cal release require­ments and com­ply with all of the category’s other qual­i­fy­ing rules before they can advance in the vot­ing process. At least eight eli­gi­ble ani­mated fea­tures must be the­atri­cally released in Los Ange­les County within the cal­en­dar year for this cat­e­gory to be activated.

Films sub­mit­ted in the Ani­mated Fea­ture Film cat­e­gory may also qual­ify for Acad­emy Awards in other cat­e­gories, includ­ing Best Pic­ture, pro­vided they meet the require­ments for those categories.

The 85th Acad­emy Awards nom­i­na­tions will be announced live Thurs­day, Jan­u­ary 10 at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Gold­wyn Theater.

Acad­emy Awards for out­stand­ing film achieve­ments of 2012 will be pre­sented Sun­day, Feb­ru­ary 24 at the Dolby The­atre at Hol­ly­wood & High­land Cen­ter, and tele­vised live on ABC. The Oscar pre­sen­ta­tion also will be tele­vised live in over 225 coun­tries worldwide.

Looney Tunes Movie Back In Action

Looney Tunes Movie Back In Action

Looney Tunes Movie Back In Action

Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Yosemite Sam look to be back in action, or at least headed back to the big screen. Warner Bros. has announced that they plan to reboot the clas­sic car­toon short char­ac­ters into an as-yet unti­tled new hybrid live-action/CG film.

For­mer Sat­ur­day Night Live cast mem­ber Jenny Slate is already on board as writer for the new flick. Jef­frey Clif­ford, Harry Pot­ter pro­ducer David Hey­man and Dark Shad­ows writ­ers David Katzen­berg and Seth Grahame-Smith are slated to pro­duce the film.

No cast­ing has yet been announced.

The clas­sic Warner Bros. Looney Tunes (and Mer­rie Melodies) char­ac­ters appeared in shorts from the stu­dio from 1930 through 1968. Dur­ing their ini­tial the­atri­cal run, the Looney Tunes and Mer­rie Melodies series became the most pop­u­lar of all the­atri­cal series, exceed­ing even Dis­ney in audi­ence draw. Var­i­ous revivals of the shorts have occurred since, includ­ing some well regarded CGI shorts over the last few years.

The char­ac­ters have also made their way into two pre­vi­ous live-action/CG films, Space Jamwhich fea­tured Michael Jor­dan, and the Bren­dan Fraser/Jenna Elf­man film Looney Tunes: Back In Action.

Space Jam grossed $90 mil­lion domes­ti­cally and $230 mil­lion world­wide, while the sec­ond film only made only $20 mil­lion domes­ti­cally and $68 mil­lion worldwide.

Film festival in Glendale has a Jones for Chuck

Chuck Jones

Chuck Jones

On Fri­day, Sep­tem­ber 21 at the Alex The­atre in Glen­dale, Cal­i­for­nia, the Chuck Jones Cen­ten­nial Cel­e­bra­tion Film Fes­ti­val will be an evening devoted to hon­or­ing the artist who brought to life such famous car­toon char­ac­ters as Wile E. Coy­ote, Road Run­ner, Pepé le Pew, Mar­vin Mar­t­ian and Marc Anthony.

Hosted by the fam­ily of Chuck Jones, the evening — which gets under­way at 8 p.m. — will include rem­i­nis­cences from noted artists whose careers and lives have been impacted by Chuck Jones and the work he cre­ated. The Alex The­atre is located at 216 Brand Boule­vard. The phone num­ber is (818) 243-ALEX (2539).

Tick­ets range in price from $10 to $50, ben­e­fit­ing the pro­grams of the Chuck Jones Cen­ter for Cre­ativ­ity. They’re avail­able at the Alex The­atre box office or online at www.AlexTheatre.org.

Of course, there will be car­toons, many of them from Jones’ per­sonal 35mm collection.

Jones, whose cred­its include four Acad­emy Award-winning short films, directed over 300 films in his life­time, with such mem­o­rable titles as Rab­bit Sea­son­ing, Robin Hood Daffy and Feed the Kitty. In 1992, his What’s Opera, Doc? was the first short ani­mated film to be inducted into the Smithsonian’s National Film Reg­istry. Sub­se­quently, two oth­ers have been added: One Froggy Evening and Duck Amuck.

An hon­orary life­time mem­ber of the Direc­tors Guild of Amer­ica, Jones is con­sid­ered to be one of the pio­neers of the ani­mated film, feted and hon­ored at dozens of Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­vals from Annecy to Zagreb. In 1985, he was the sub­ject of a film ret­ro­spec­tive at the Museum of Mod­ern Art, New York.

In 1999, Jones founded the Chuck Jones Cen­ter for Cre­ativ­ity, a non-profit pub­lic char­ity whose vision is to inspire the innate cre­ative genius within each per­son that leads to a more joy­ous, pas­sion­ate, and har­mo­nious life and world.

Among the pre­sen­ters on Sep­tem­ber 21:

* Carl Bell, ani­ma­tor and clean-up artist, will be one of the pre­sen­ters. A Gov­er­nor of the Acad­emy of Motion Pic­ture Arts and Sci­ences, Bell worked with Jones in the late 1960s and early 1970s at MGM. His career includes work with Clam­pett Pro­duc­tions early in his career and most recently with Dis­ney Studios.

* Eric Gold­berg: Gold­berg joined Dis­ney Stu­dios in 1990 as the super­vis­ing ani­ma­tor respon­si­ble for the move­ments, per­son­al­ity and soul of the Genie in Aladdin. Goldberg’s strong back­ground in ani­ma­tion next earned him his direc­to­r­ial debut on Poc­a­hon­tas, which he fol­lowed up as the super­vis­ing ani­ma­tor on Phil, the salty satyr and trainer of heroes in Her­cules. Gold­berg also directed the “Car­ni­val of the Ani­mals” and “Rhap­sody in Blue” seg­ments of Fan­ta­sia 2000, the con­tin­u­a­tion of Walt Disney’s 1940 masterpiece.

Gold­berg not only served as the direc­tor of ani­ma­tion for Warner Bros.’ 2003 live-action and ani­ma­tion hybrid fea­ture Looney Tunes: Back in Action, but he also pro­vided the voices of the car­toon char­ac­ters Mar­vin Mar­t­ian, Tweety and Speedy Gon­za­lez. Work­ing with Bob Kurtz of Kurtz + Friends, he ani­mated the title sequence of MGM’s 2006 remake of The Pink Pan­ther. His rela­tion­ship with Chuck Jones began in the early 1990s and con­tin­ued until Jones’ pass­ing in 2002.

*Jerry Beck is an ani­ma­tion his­to­rian, author, blog­ger, ani­ma­tion pro­ducer and indus­try con­sul­tant to Warner Bros. Stu­dios, and has been an exec­u­tive with Nick­elodeon and Disney.

Reserved seat­ing is avail­able in Orches­tra 1, 2, 3 and 4. Gen­eral admis­sion seat­ing is in the bal­cony. Photo or video record­ing by patrons is not allowed.