Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Spider-Man Cartoon Will astonish As Much As ’90s Batman

There’s been a lot of expectation surrounding Marvel TV’s upcoming Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, with comics and animation vets Paul Dini and Man of Action running the show. According to Dini, that excitement will pay off with the show itself.

As an aside during an interview with Newsarama, Dini said, Having a great time on Ultimate Spider-Man and I’m working with a few old friends from the Batman days on that. Coming up with a look for the Spider-Man show, I think it’s really going to take people by shock. It’s going to take people by surprise as much as the Batman show in the early ‘90s took comic fans by astonish. And yet at the same time it feels very right and it looks very right.

With a tease like that, I’m even more inquisitive about the series now. The visuals of the ’90s Batman revolutionized superhero cartoons and had a huge effect on television animation in general, and I can’t even picture what kind of thing would have as big an impact today, especially in a world filled with such visually-impressive, stylistically-led shows as Symbiotic Titan, Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends or even Batman: The Brave and The Bold. What could this show end up looking like…?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

'Toy Story 3' highest grosser of 2010

London, Dec 30 (IANS) Filmmaker Lee Unkrich's animated film 'Toy Story 3' has been named the highest coarse film of 2010, after making $1.1 billion at the international box office.

Director Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland' came second in this year's list by raking in $1 billion worldwide, in spite of being panned by critics.

Christopher Nolan's 'Inception' starring Leonardo DiCaprio came third after earning $825.4 million followed by 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One' at $824.1 million.

'Shrek Forever After' wrapped up the top five with an earnings of $739.8 million.

2010's highest grossing films at the international box office:

1. 'Toy Story 3', $1.1 billion
2. 'Alice in Wonderland', $1 billion
3. 'Inception', $825.4
4. 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows', Part 1. $824.1
5. 'Shrek Forever After': $739.8 million
6. 'Twilight Saga: Eclipse', $693.5 million
7. 'Iron Man 2', $582.2 million
8. 'Despicable Me', $539.9 million
9. 'How to Train Your Dragon', $494.9 worldwide
10. 'Clash of the Titans', $493.2 million worldwide

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top 5 cartoons animation of the year 2010

Before Brad Bird became one of the brain trust deities at Pixar, he made a little movie called The Iron Giant that served as his request for Most Crazy Talented Storywriter in the animated realm.

Hogarth befriends an alien robot during a time when Sputnik sounded the first rounds of the Cold War, and Iron Giant tells their story with that political scenery in mind, padding it with tropes from 1950s Sci-Fi fare.

 Woody and Buzz returned four years after the original Toy Story and actually managed to top that work of art with their continued adventures. Here the gang has some time to themselves when their owner Andy heads off to summer camp, but they must soon contend with the final fanboy, a man-child voiced by Wayne Knight who wants Woody for his collection of rare toys.

One of Pixar's very finest labors to date is The Incredibles. By 2004, superhero movies had become big business, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars at a time.

Unlike most, The Incredibles wasn't based on a preexisting comic book series. Even so, it captured everything that made those classic Silver Age superhero stories great. Like the unbelievable Four, the Incredibles are less a superhero team and more a slightly dysfunctional family of super-powered do-gooders.

At the heart of most Pixar films is the theme of isolation. WALL-E, the animation studio's crowning achievement, is a breathtaking meditation on loneliness and the re-enforcement that every sentient being contains an unbeatable desire to connect with someone else.

Watch the video below to see the number one cartoon

Monday, December 27, 2010

Wacky viral video maker forced to charge for services

Animation website Xtranormal whose cartoon-making tools have spawned viral videos of cuddly puppies debating such topics as quantitative reduction and the iPhone in stilted monotones is no longer offering free, unlimited use of its tools.

The change reflects the higher costs of running Xtranormal as the site's commonly grew.

More than 2 million people now use its easy moviemaking tools, up from about 500,000 in June. According to Xtranormal, those users have in print about 9.3 million videos so far. Some of the videos have received thousands or even millions of views, further boosting Xtranormal's fame and usage.

Then, as now, the videos don't comprise ads beyond an "Xtranormal" logo in the bottom left corner, and any characters and sets you buy are yours to use in other movies.

Users who signed up for the site before Thursday and already paid for characters or sets will be able to publish videos using those items for free until Feb. 1.

Bruno Langlais, Xtranormal's vice president of marketing, said the company had to inflict the new charges so it can become profitable quickly. Xtranormal expects to turn a profit for the first time in the first half of 2011.

The latest change could backfire, though, if current users those who boosted the site's fame through their videos become incensed by the change and stop using it.

Langlais doesn't believe this will happen: He said Xtranormal polled users before making the change and found them helpful.

He also pointed out that Xtranormal has revamped its online video-making tool to showcase more of the options users have when creating cartoons and, perhaps, entice them to buy more characters and sets.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

(Mr) Bean counters

The excruciating attention to detail needed to create even the broadest slapstick comedy has been revealed in a court case involving Mr Bean.

Legal wranglings between the animators who worked on the cartoon version of the character and production company Tiger Aspect disclose that more than 16,000 emails were exchanged over what might appear to be relatively minor changes in the shows.

It had been claimed that the requests from Tiger Aspect, which was set up by Mr Bean’s creator Rowan Atkinson, caused the budget for the 52 episodes to overrun by £4million.

According to today’s Sunday Times, areas for debate included whether:

    * Mr Bean’s chair at the hairdresser should be lower than the mirror
    * His ‘shushing’ one of the Queen’s corgis should be more forceful
    * A stray leaf fell on the right part of his nose
    * His spaceship’s legs should fold up or retract.
    * Enough light was coming from an open fridge door
    * The angle of a chair leg created the right comic effect.

Andras Erkel, the head of animation studio Varga, said: ‘I still regard Rowan as a comic genius. but animation is better suited to simplification than complexity.

Peter Bennett-Jones, chairman of Tiger Aspect, and Atkinson’s agent, said: ‘have known Rowan Atkinson for 25 years. He is a stickler like all people who are really brilliant at their job.’ But he insisted: ‘I have never met anyone more reasonable in understanding processes.’

Atkinson – who no longer owns a stake in Tiger Aspect – once said of comedy: ‘You know instinctively that a certain length of pause is funny, whereas a longer or shorter pause isn’t. You can’t script, “He looks puzzled for seven seconds”, so there was a lot of work.’

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Disney's Tron Animated Series

BoxOfficeMagazine has recently spoken with Adam Horowitz a writer and producer of the TV show Lost. He has also scripted Tron Legacy and is one of the developer’s of the new Tron Uprising cartoon that will show up on Disney XD. The voice cast includes Elijah Wood, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Mandy Moore, Paul Reubens, Nate Corddry and Lance Henriksen, with Bruce Boxleitner reprising his Tron character. Also Variety's previous report that Wood's character would be called "Beck" and will lead a revolution inside the Grid's computer world. It will be a 10 episode's and that the show will not then be released till the summer of 2012.

Horowitz Furher said:

"that the events of the show will take place in between the events of Tron and Tron: Legacy.”This animated show will take place from when Flynn is in a safe house. It's from when Clu takes over the grid to before when Sam comes in. So if you were wondering what was the grid like before that, and then watch the show."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Contempo Technologies PVT Ltd - Cartoon Day Celebration

Contempo Technologies PVT LTD a leading SEO company with fullest of professional as well as amusing aspects has started its celebration to end off the year 2010 and to welcome 2011 with great cheers.

Contempo Technologies PVT LTD celebrates every occasion in a distinctive manner.  As the celebration for Chris Mom-Chris Child game is going to end and the celebration for New Year are on process they have begun the Cartoon Day Celebration for the year 2011.

Though it is a celebration they always take everything as competition, they’ve been split into ten teams. The employees have been given liberty to use the resources to make their best of everything. So they are preparing for their cartoons and cartoon sketching.

The celebration is going to be held on January 9th Sunday in Contempo Technologies PVT LTD from 5pm to 9pm. They have also planned for many cultural performances. The local TV channels are forecasting the Cartoon Day celebration in Contempo Technologies PVT LTD. Three Chief guests have been invited. Best three cartoons are going to be established in top magazines.

The employees of Contempo Technologies PVT LTD are fervently waiting for the cartoon day celebration.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Animation Auteur to Speak in Birmingham

Birmingham welcomes designer of Bob the Builder and creator of popular children’s cartoon Frankenstein's Cat, Curtis Jobling this coming January to share tips on how animators and designers can stay alive in the daunting world of freelancing.

Curtis Jobling: Breaking into Animation, Armed with a Crayon! Is free to attend, includes drinks and takes place at 7pm, 13th January 2011 at The Studio, Birmingham.

The talk is organised by animator networking group Animation Forum West Midlands and BSeen, an entrepreneurship programme for Birmingham-based, final year students and alumnae.

The Animation Designer will also be on hand to give insights into some of the best-loved animated children's characters.

“The event is open to animators and designers of all levels, along with anyone else who’s interested,” says Animation Forum WM project manager David Allen. “We’ll provide free drinks and refreshments, a Q&A with the Warrington-based, Animation Designer and a chance to meet and chat with fellow animators.”

Monday, December 20, 2010

New ‘Smurfs’ Poster Debuts

Where the smurf are we? Right here on Oh, The Scandal! feasting your eyes on the just-released poster for the 3D CGI/live-action hybrid The Smurfs.

Directed by Raja Gosnell, the flick features the dulcet tones of Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara, Hank Azaria, Anton Yelchin, Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry and Alan Cumming.

The Smurfs is scheduled to hit theatres on August 21, 2011.
Also check out the teaser trailer below.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

'Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol'

"Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol," the first animated yuletide special, premiered on NBC in 1962 and introduced a lot of youngsters to Charles Dickens' beloved "A Christmas Carol." Featuring a musical score by Broadway composers Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, and a masterful turn as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge by the nearsighted cartoon character Quincy Magoo, the hourlong special quickly became a perennial on NBC during the 1960s and has lived on in syndication and DVD.

But the special encountered a few challenges that could have turned this "Christmas Carol" into a humbug instead of a delicious serving of "razzleberry dressing" and "Woofle jelly cake."

"Lee wanted Robert Goulet to sing all of Jim Backus' parts," Van Citters says. "Somehow Jim must have persuaded him he could pull it off. I don't think it would have worked with Goulet. There would be a real audience disconnect."

Mr. Magoo was created by UPA animation studio and made his debut in "Ragtime Bear" in 1949. Two of the shorts starring the little, wealthy retiree who refused to admit he needed glasses won Academy Awards: 1955's "When Magoo Flew" and 1956's "Magoo's Puddle Jumper." He even starred in a feature-length film, 1959's "1001 Arabian Nights."

But in 1960, UPA changed hands. Because the theatrical market for animated shorts had run dry, they began making cartoons for television.

It was Orgel's idea to put Magoo and UPA's other famous character, Gerald McBoing-Boing — as Tiny Tim — into a musical version of the Dickens classic, Van Citters explains. "It seemed like an odd thing, but he probably saw Lionel Bart's "Oliver!' on stage, and that was the first time they put music and lyrics together to Dickens."

Van Citters says that it is the score that really makes the special soar. And so do the performers, including such Broadway vets as Jack Cassidy and Jane Kean. Among the gems are the lively "The Lord's Bright Blessing," the poignant "Alone in the World" and the haunting tune of lost love, "Winter Was Warm."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

‘Yogi Bear’: Unbearable | 1 star

Parents wearied by malls and crowds and hopeless of the adult fare at the multiplex will take their children to see “Yogi Bear.”

“I loved Yogi when I was a kid,” they’ll think. And when it’s over, having left their popcorn bags and a few IQ points in the theater, they’ll marvel at how quickly a beloved childhood memory can be shattered.

Which brings up the question: For what audience was this pessimistic, crushingly witless film made, exactly?

Not for parents who grew up with “Yogi” on TV, because as “Scooby-Doo” showed us, turning a cartoon into a live-action film is intrinsically wrong. You can’t make cartoons work in the real world. They have their own rules and environments. A movie like “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” knew this and played with the self-importance. “Yogi Bear” is far, far too stupid to care.

There’s a plot, but so what? Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake voice Yogi and his young sidekick, Boo Boo. Anna Faris is the romantic interest, proving that it’s time for her to shoot her agent once again. Seeing her wasted is yet another reason to hate this steaming heap.

Want a great gift idea for the kids? Here’s a surefire hit: Don’t take them to “Yogi Bear.”

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sintel DVDs have shipped with film, commentaries, and Blender tutorials

Well, even though it’s much longer than initially planned, the film is still very short just under 15 minutes. I don’t want to give away spoilers, though you may have heard them by now. But the film is moving to a far greater degree than the artsy and solid Elephants Dream or the cartoon humor of Big Buck Bunny. Not yet “high art”, perhaps, but entertaining and connecting. The characters are much more attractive than in the previous films. It seems to me that the Blender Institute is successfully learning how to produce better films.

I really enjoyed it, and I had to right away watch it several times to be grateful for the detail. Of course, the technical know-how of the modeling and animation is the real value of the show, and there is some amazing stuff here. Perhaps most on display is the particle-based hair modeling, which looks really good. I understand that it’s still not fairly where the developers want it to be, but as a viewer, I found it fairly impressive even as it is.

If I noticed anything that was unsatisfactory, it was probably the water effects. At a couple of points in the film, there is water in a urn, and the shape is wrong, as if the thickness and the optical properties of the water were wrong. But it’s a very minor subject, considering the number of things they got right.

There’s also just a lot in this film. Due to the use of mosaics with lots of different 3D environments, this short film has an awful lot of distinct settings, which must have required a lot of modeling.
The first two disks contain the movie and special features in NTSC and PAL formats, in that order; the third disk is a DVD-ROM with “Extras,” especially tutorials; and the fourth contains the actual Blender file data used to create the film

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Scorching animation more than just kid's play

Highlighting the creativity and possible of original Web programming, Miss Puff's Goldfish Bowl is an animated work that breaks new ground with its adult-themed content.

It has created a buzz on the Internet and generated 4.5 million views since it was on the loose three months ago.

Like Old Boys, the show is part of the 11 Degrees New Media Project series co-produced by and China Film Group Corp (CFGC).

Centering on a love affair between the eponymous heroines, Miss Puff, a Beijing girl with a sleek figure, the show is "gelivable (awesome) because of its sexy scenes", says Pi San, the director of Miss Puff, and a lead the way of online cartoons.

"I don't think animation is a child-specific product," Pi says. "The cartoon art form can swathe many subjects, it doesn't always have to deal with innocent relationships between kids.

"Like Miss Puff, animations can also depict grown-up lifestyles, love and fantasy."

"As long as my works hold no unlawful content, I can dig up more adult subjects - and the Web is a perfect platform to do this," he says.

Jin Lu, distribution manager for the 11 Degrees New Media Project series, says the reason why Youku invested money in such an animated work is to enrich the genre and broaden the plea of Web-original shows.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Few things disrupt a homecoming dance like the influx of two ill-tempered, 120-foot fire-breathing dragons.

On the other hand, it's kind of fun to watch the responses of the attendees, as long as you're not on the hook for a couple of hundred bucks on that rental tux or shiny gown.

"Firebreather," a new animated movie, tells the tale of Duncan, who would be a normal high school student, your basic new hot guy on campus, if it weren't for the fact his mother once saved the world from an attack of these dragons - Kaiju - and his father is one of them.

Don't ask how that happened. Please, don't ask.

Duncan just wants to be a normal kid and he looks normal enough so he could pull it off, except for a few genetic markers he inherited from his father. At lunch, for example, instead of pizza and an energy drink, he eats a plate of coal.

That's to feed his inner firebreather. It still tends to draw gazes in the cafeteria.

Duncan soon runs into bigger evils, though, like an epic showdown between humans and Kaiju, who it turns out have been living in caves under the Earth's crust for millions of years and see humans as intruders who are ruining the planet's quality of life.

Humans, naturally, feel the same way about Kaiju, what with the firebreathing and the aptitude to crush several humans at a time just by stepping on them.

Duncan, with a foot in both worlds, unavoidably gets drawn into this dispute, and at the most inconvenient moment.

In the bigger picture, "Firebreather" seems to be aimed at approximately the same age group, though not all the same individuals, who enjoyed the somewhat less violent "High School Musical" series.

There's no explicit performance or language, and while the Kaiju create a high sense of danger, there's nothing graphic in the results.

The dialogue includes a few puberty-level jokes and a few pure budding-romance exchanges, seemingly inserted just to make things interesting for someone other than 10-year-old boys.

In general, it succeeds. Unless you're stuck with a badly singed corsage.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stop, Diego, Stop: Cartoon doll gets man carpool path ticket

diegoTo be clear, State Patrol troopers say, kids do count for the carpool lane tally. Just not fake one.
On Thursday, the State Patrol detailed a stop in which a man late for work put his daughter's doll in the front passenger seat and tried to glide by in the carpool lane.

The doll was Diego, cousin of Dora the Explorer.

Diego got his own show, a spinoff of the Nickelodeon pre-school-age series, in 2005: "Go Diego, Go."

Luckily for him, fake kids don't get tickets from troopers.

dora-diegoThe incident happened Nov. 29 on the northbound state Route 167 ramp to northbound Interstate 405. The driver was one of 21 people stopped for carpool lane violations that dawn.

"As cars moved past in the HOV lane the trooper observed a vehicle whose passenger had enormous unblinking eyes," Trooper Julie Startup said in a statement. "Realizing it was a doll in the front seat the vehicle was stopped."

But at least the driver was careful with his daughter's doll. Diego was wearing his seatbelt.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Katzenberg Planning 6 ‘Kung Fu Panda’ Movies

This past summer, DreamWorks Animation closed the book on Shrek, putting the once lovable green ogre out of his unhappiness with Shrek Forever After, the fourth fairy tale adventure in the studio’s highest-grossing franchise. The widely popular series, which grossed $1.27 billion theatrically in the U.S. alone, seeded two holiday DVDs, a Broadway musical, and an upcoming Puss in Boots spin-off, but the big, bad Shrek only lasted for four features.

Which is why it’s a shock that Jeffrey Katzenberg, co-founder of DreamWorks and CEO of DreamWorks Animation, believes Kung Fu Panda, easily the next big thing at the cartoon production house, will make bigger into six individual chapters?

Speaking with Empire about Madagascar 3, Katzenberg said, “Kung Fu Panda actually has 6 chapters to it, and we’ve charted that out over the years. How To Train Your Dragon is at least three: maybe more, but we know there are a least three chapters to that story. There are in fact 8 books.”
I love KFP and I’m all for planning ahead (make a list before you go to the store!), but plotting out six sequels before a second is even in theaters is absurd and underscores the “dollar first” model of DreamWorks Animation versus the “story first” mentality of its closest competitor, Pixar though they have curved some to the pressure of sequels recently.

DreamWorks Animation defenders will cry out, “But it’s a business! It has to turn a profit and answer to shareholders!” Of course it does, and sequels are a proven way to take advantage of on a brand audiences have responded to before. But that argument/cop out doesn’t hold water when DWA’s “How to Train Your Kung Fu Shrek” is compared to the regular output of original, successful content at Pixar, or Disney Animation in its heyday.

The studio isn’t putting all its eggs in Po’s proverbial bowl of noodles, although. Maybe in response to raised eyebrows over Katzenberg’s master plan, DWA formally proclaimed it will bring Me and My Shadow to the screen in 2013. According to the press release (via ComingSoon), the original concept will unite hand-drawn and CGI animation into a 3D feature about “Shadow Stan, an extremely frustrated shadow who yearns for a dynamic life but happens to be stuck with Stanley Grubb, the world’s most boring human.” Until Shadow Stan breaks the one rule (”they lead, we follow”) and takes control of Stanley.

It sounds talented. Maybe even seven sequels promising. But is it original? Aside from the obvious Peter Pan reference, “Me and My Shadow” is a song written in 1927 by Al Jolson, Billy Rose, and Dave Dreyer (then later famously performed by Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.) about a man and his shadow. I wish them the best on this non-sequel.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

BFI receives ‘largest ever’ British animation donation

bfi-animationMore than 2,800 cans of animation plus film prints, stills, scripts, papers, and thousands of original cells from the Halas & Batchelor Cartoon Company – which includes classic titles such as Animal Farm & The Owl and the Pussycat – have been donated to the BFI National Archive.

The Collection has been donated by Vivien Halas, daughter of husband and wife team, John Halas and Joy Batchelor who set up their studio in 1940 and is the largest single donation of British animation in the BFI’s history.

Hailed as “a British counterpart to Disney”, Halas & Batchelor’s work included not just children’s films and series, but also theatrical shorts, wartime information, commercials and industrial training films.

Explaining her reason for donating the collection, Vivien Halas said: “A portrait bust of my father has been in the board room of the BFI for many years and the BFI National Archive has already preserved most of Halas & Batchelor’s early war films in the COI collection. So it seems very apt that this great institution should become a permanent home for the fruits of my parents’ labours.

“I gave up my career as a graphic designer in Paris to care for the collection after my father’s death in 1995 but now need the security of a large organisation who can offer the specialist knowledge to preserve the materials for future generations and to make them accessible”

BFI Director Amanda Nevill said the organisation was “very grateful” to have been entrusted without he collection which she said: “demands to be seen and we have the curatorial skills and resources to present it in new and exciting ways, whether online as an educational resource, in our expanding chain of BFI mediatheques, on DVD or in cinemas.”

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

NBC's 'Community' characters get animated

The cast of NBC's sitcom "Community" will be more animated than ever in Thursday's episode because, well, they all were turned into marionettes.

That's right, the entire cast was re-created as changeable creatures for a stop-motion Christmas episode that recalls the Rankin/ Bass specials of yesteryear.

"My compass tells me it's a great little piece of television," says show creator Dan Harmon.
NBC honcho Jeff Gaspin first suggested to Harmon that "Community" should try an animated episode over the summer.

However, traditional animation takes a long time to produce. So consultant, writer and recurring character Dino Stamatopoulos suggested stop-motion, which he uses on the Cartoon Network.
"We started asking is it possible to squeeze something out before Christmas if you start right now?" Harmon says.

There was enough time, he found out, but they needed to start immediately. Soon, craftsmen in the art of stop-motion began the process of creating models of the cast. Harmon and his team began sketching out a Christmas story.

The result, airing Thursday at 8 p.m. on NBC, revolves around Abed (Danny Pudi), who wakes up seeing the world in a stopmotion scene.

He takes this as a sign that everyone needs to learn the meaning of Christmas. His fellow Greendale Community College students begin to think he's wacky. But soon they're all undergoing hypnosis to explore Abed's winter scene.

"I think we should commit to the format, starting with a song," Abed encourages, before breaking into a melody.

"These people practice a sadly dying craft - because of [computer-generated animation], but it's a completely different kind of art form," Harmon says. "You can't practice it without answering to a higher calling. You have to have a true love of human behavior. You really have to respect the people doing it in the Rankin/Bass days."

Rankin/Bass, of course, were the producers behind the stop-motion classics "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "The Year Without a Santa Claus."

Those specials, like the "Community" effort, were created by artists who carefully move each model, shoot a frame, move the models, shoot a frame. Or, as Abed says in the show, "We're silicone dolls, with foam bodies over ball-and-socket armatures."

Harmon says it took about a month and a half to shoot the episode, which came in at about the cost of an episode and a half of "Community."

Harmon says calling him a fan of classic stop-motion specials doesn't fully cover his feelings.
"Back when we were kids, there were three networks, and that stuff was going to be dispensed like communion wafers," he says, citing "Rudolph" as a favorite. "Rudolph walking through the snow, with his red nose and that sound effect that came with it.

"A lot of kids were comforted by these myths of misfits," says Harmon, "finding out all these things that make them stand out are going to be the things that make them great."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Independent’s Dave Brown wins Political Cartoon of Year

A cartoon by The Independent's Dave Brown has been named Political Cartoon of the Year 2010.

Published in this newspaper the day after the Coalition government was formed in May, the cartoon shows David Cameron and Nick Clegg in a coal mine with the Liberal Democrat leader as the canary. Speaking at an awards ceremony organised by The Political Cartoon Society in London on Monday night, Dave Brown said the work reflected his belief "that Clegg was there as nothing more than personal protection for Cameron, an early warning of poisonous air ahead, and, of course, ultimately expendable."

Dave Brown previously won Cartoon of the Year awards in 2003 and 2006.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Animation Domination Contest Narrows

The Oscars for the world of animation, the Annies, announced the nominees for this year’s top prize on Monday, and there were no surprises to be had. “Toy Story 3,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Tangled,” “The Illusionist,” and “Despicable Me” received nods for best animated characteristic.

The list of finalists, from the International Animated Film Society, is sure to have some partly cover with the little gold man race, especially this year, when the Academy can nominate only three films (out of 15 submitted for eligibility). “Toy Story 3″ is a lock, of course, but may also wind up in the best picture category, as “Up” did last year. “Tangled” performed well at the box office against stiff competition, which could help its chances.

“How to Train Your Dragon” might be a good bet for the final spot, but don’t double-down yet. Last year, Annie voters gave their top prize to the little-seen Irish film “The Secret of Kells,” and it went on to secure an Oscar slot. Can the same happen for the “Despicable Me” or “The Illusionist” this year? The Bagger will pay close attention to the cartoon winnings to find out.

Also, the Annie list for short animation has several titles in common with the Academy’s short list. Oscar pool fanatics, keep an eye on this to game your chances against your friends and colleagues.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New HARVEY COMICS maquettes!

Electric Tiki is offering cool new model cartoon maquettes based on Harvey Comics/Famous Studios cartoon characters.

The latest releases are CASPER and WENDY. Both were designed by Tracy Mark Lee and sculpted by Bruce Lau. Casper is appox. 5" tall, made of cold cast resin and severely limited to 750 pieces. Casper will also boast 2 variants, the first being a Diamond Comics elite clear edition of 250. Electric Tiki will also have a phasing account that will be half clear/half painted. The phasing Casper will limited to only 100 pieces.

Baby Huey is their first "Not So Teeny Weeny" small maquette standing app. 7" tall. Designed to be in scale with the preceding figures, Huey is almost twice the size of his Harvey buddies.

Designed by Tracy Mark Lee and sculpted by James Lopez, Baby Huey is sternly limited to 500 pieces. And it comes individually numbered, in a decorated box with certificate of Authenticity.
Meanwhile, Terrytoons' Mighty Mouse Teeny Weeny mini maquette (below) is based on typical 1940's Connie Rasinski model sheet images.

Mighty Mouse comes fully painted, ready to show and stands on a specially designed logo base. Designed by Tracy Mark Lee and sculpted by famous animation sculptor Ruben Procopio.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jesse McCartney: Young Justice's Robin!

Are you ready to have more Jesse McCartney in your life? We are!

The 23-year-old musician has been working on adding his voice to the Young Justice reboot from Cartoon Network. Jesse, who will voice Robin, wedged up with JJJ to chat about the project and working with voice veterans. Check it out:

On Young Justice: “It’s so overwhelming so far. I’ve been working for about six months on the first season and almost finished with it. I play Robin, who is one of the legendary superheroes in the Young Justice league. I’m in a room full of other voice over artists who have been doing this for decades. It’s actually something I grew up wanting to do, being a huge comic book, cartoon and action hero fan. Now, I’m doing it and I get to recreate all these episodes for a new generation who get to watch cartoons on Saturday morning.”

On picking and choosing his superheroes: “I didn’t really care either way which superhero I was, I was just about to be ’super’ so it was great whichever way. The director called me up and I had worked with him before this. He just said that he had this Young Justice project with an amazing group of writers and wanted me to come in and read for Grayson. I usually play the younger guy who has to up his voice a lot. It’s such an easy-going process. I go in once a week and I’m in a room with about ten other artists. It’s been wild.”

On working alongside voice veterans: “These guys are such pros. This one guy, Kevin, I believe he voiced Scooby Doo. Some of these guys have been doing this since I was a kid. I think they were the voices in the stuff that I used to watch. Now getting to work next to them is great and they’re all so cool to me. I’m definitely the youngest in the room and the newest at it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

'Tangled' a smash: will Disney still retreat from fairy tales?

The talk before the exuberant cartoon "Tangled" opened was that Disney's 50th animated featured would also be its final full-length fairy tale. Now that this funny, beguiling expansion of the Grimms' "Rapunzel" has given the new Harry Potter movie a run for the box-office crown this Thanksgiving weekend with the long-locked heroine losing to the boy wizard by, well, a hair will Disney animation chief John Lasseter rethink his reported ban on storybook fantasy? Doesn't the success of this movie prove that with the right blend of tradition and invention animated fairy tales can still click, artistically and at the box office?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vampire Animation Released in Russia

Full-length animation film Nosferatu. The Horror of Night created by Russian animators goes on universal release in Russia.

Its author is Vladimir Marinichev, a former officer of the Petersburg Criminal Investigation Department. He decided to try his wings as a film director after watching the animated cartoon film History of Toys. Animation seemed to him quite reasonably priced: one just needed a computer and some imagination.

The famous vampire named Nosferatu became the protagonist of The Horror of Night. After all, the former militiaman has firsthand experience in the naywards of human soul. Nevertheless, the animation film characters make one smile rather than fear. Dracula, for example, is very elegant and ironical, and a musician into the bargain.

Cartoon Network's CGI movie Firebreather Has Daddy Issues

High school, for any kid, is tough enough. But if you're half-human, half-Kaiju it’s a mess. Cartoon Network's first unique CGI movie, Firebreather, follows 16-year-old Duncan Rosenblatt as he deals with his unique appearance superhuman abilities, typical girl troubles and an estranged father the size of a skyscraper who now wants a relationship with his son.

And while the movie based on the Image Comics series of the same name is packed with exciting and complicated action sequences, it was the character of Belloc, a 120-foot giant who somehow sired a son with Duncan's mother, Margaret, which created the project's greatest challenge.

"Belloc had to be attractive and charming enough as a character would believe that there could have been that relationship between him and Duncan's mother that could result in Duncan," says director Peter Chung. "Their relationship is such a vital part of what's driving Duncan and his inner conflict." And you thought your parents were uncomfortable.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Peter Chung Takes ‘the Big Risk’ With CGI-Animated Firebreather

Infamously risky but rewarding animator Peter Chung has finally made a film for everybody in Firebreather. If his new all-CGI movie is a hit on Cartoon Network, the Aeon Flux creator hopes it will assure Hollywood that the time is right to pull the trigger on other adult-oriented animated movies.

Margaret and Belloc's carnal knowledge is something Duncan doesn't want particulars on, as one hilarious scene illustrates, but the cross-species sexual union fits perfectly with Chung's previous adult-oriented explorations in daring animated series like Aeon Flux and Reign: The Conqueror, as well as Ralph Bakshi's cult fantasy film Fire and Ice, one of Chung's earliest animation gigs.

Similarly, Firebreather, which first appearances Wednesday on Cartoon Network, finds Chung striking a confident balance between breathtaking action sequences, ranging from parkour chases to full-scale military and supernatural warfare, and the subtle shot-blocking that infuses the film's quieter moments with relatable psychodrama.

Not bad, considering Firebreather is Chung's first CGI feature film, and that he had zero contact to the comic prior to starting the project. From designing the main humanoid and demonic characters to naturally directing Firebreather's incendiary action and tender relationship sequences, Chung has proven he can do it all, for any target audience.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kids' DVDs a symbol Christmas is heading our way

Charlie Brown Christmas Tales" (Warner, 2002, $14.97). This cute and funny animated TV special is included of five holiday vignettes featuring Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the gang from Charles Schultz's "Peanuts" comic strip.

Lucy wants Schroeder as an ice-skating partner, Snoopy becomes a bell-ringer and presents an olive branch to the cat next door, Linus writes a letter to Santa, Sally aggressively goes after a Christmas tree, and she and Charlie Brown wait up for Old Saint Nick's visit.
Not quite up to the first and best of the "Peanuts" cartoons, "A Charlie Brown Christmas," but still attractive and enjoyable.

"Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection" (Warner/Blu-ray, 1965-73, $69.97). This Blu-ray upgrade of the set that came out two years ago looks great, headlined by the best of the "Peanuts" cartoons, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965) and "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" (1966). Also here is "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" (1973), which is good, if not quite up to the first two.

This box set comprises a "Peanuts" snowglobe lenticular with scenes of Charlie Brown and friends in snowy activities, and three window clings. "The Boy Who Cried Wolf and More Children's Fables" (Scholastic, 2010, $14.95). The title story, along with "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," "Stone Soup" and others, animated and narrated for youngsters ages 3-8.

"Click, Clack, Moo Cows that Type … and More Fun on the Farm!" (Scholastic, 2010, $24.95). This set collects the title disc, "Giggle, Giggle, Quack" and "Diary of a Spider," with animal stories animated for ages 3-8.

"Thomas & Friends Adventure Pack" (Lionsgate, 2009-10, $24.98). This is a full set of the latest episodes as Thomas and friends learn life lessons. For children ages 2-5.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mickey Mouse's birthday has Walt Disney's most famous cartoon rodent turning 82

Oh boy! Mickey Mouse is one old rodent! Walt Disney's most famous cartoon creatiobn turned 82 on Thursday. Mickey’s first appearance with sound and the first of his films to be distributed was in "Steamboat Willie" on Nov. 18, 1928.

The falsetto-speaking mouse appeared in "Plane Crazy" six months prior, alongside Minnie, but in that feature he was as quiet as a, well, mouse. Ub Iwerks was the main animator for both shorts as well as co-director with Walt Disney, who also provided the vocals for the star of the show .

The popular mouse first spoke actual words in "The Karnival Kid" in 1929. In 1978, Mickey became the first cartoon to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In an effort to bring the famous mouse back into the spotlight, last year the Walt Disney Company announced they would be rebranding Mickey Mouse as a more mischievous rodent, starting with the upcoming video game "Epic Mickey."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Clone Wars: Ahsoka in New Look

When Ahsoka Tano shows up in this week's episode of The Clone Wars Friday night, you'll notice some differences. The episode "Heroes on Both Sides" will bring in all-new character models for several characters on the show, including Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka.

For Anakin and Obi-Wan, their form is much more styled after their outfits in Revenge of the Sith, with both discarding the pieces of Clone Trooper armor they've been wearing up until now
"Over the course of the series so far, our characters have been affected by the clash, so the changes we are seeing are a reflection of what they've gone through and how they've changed," says Supervising Director Dave Filoni. "We're getting closer to the events of Episode III, and the look of the series is moving toward that look and those plans." Anakin's hair is also a bit longer, heading towards the look he had in reprisal of the Sith

As for Ahsoka, her form is a bit more drastically overhauled. Not only does she look a bit older, but her new costume covers her up more than her previous tube top look did. Says Filoni, "We don't have a live-action point of comparison for Ahsoka, but her development is definitely as pronounced as anyone's. When the war began, she was just a kid; she was strong and capable, but she had a lot to learn – and she's been through a lot. She's been changed by the things she's seen and done, and now we're seeing that reflected in her look. She's older, more mature. In this episode, we see a significant step for her emotional development, in addition to her aesthetic development. Coming face to face with the enemy is going to be an eye-opening experience for her."

Filoni notes that the new character models are part of the ever-evolving animation on the series. "Our production keeps getting better; as we move forward, we're able to incorporate new techniques and improved animation. As a weekly series, we've been pushing ourselves to do things that haven't been done in TV animation, and it's always a struggle just to get it done at all. But we are learning tricks that help to streamline the process, and we continue to build our asset library. We're at a place where we can explore and develop new and improved character assets for some of our primary players. In addition to the look change, these new models are so much more expressive."

Cheburashka is Back on Russian panel

Cheburashka has returned on the Russian panel, now as a character of the Japanese animated cartoon. 3 new series about adventures of Cheburashka and Gena the Crocodile have been recently established in Moscow, at the opening of the Japanese Film Festival.

The animation about Cheburashka recreated and continued in Japan was accepted by the character’s literary father Eduard Uspenskiy, and co-creators of the original animation Leonid Shvartsman and Yuriy Norshteyn. "Cheburashka" was first time exposed in Japan almost ten years ago. All the sequences in Soviet Cheburashka animation were model shots shaped manually, without any computer aid.

The most famous Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki was personally busy in the digital processing of the four Soviet cartoon films directed by Roman Kachanov. The Japanese resorted for consultations to one of the most respected Russian animators - Yuriy Norshteyn. Yuriy Norshteyn: “It is an event that will probably go beyond the kingdom of animation and will perhaps somehow influence the attitude to animation in this country, if this entire story has stepped as far as the Japanese islands and created such a furore there”.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Animated Cartoon ‘Unstoppable’ fails to end ‘Megamind’ from first place

Animated films are huge and they are going to play for a long time. ’Unstoppable’ estimates in the second place .The animated cartoon Megamind stays at No-1 which stated the top spot for the second week. According to Hollywood box office the anthology for this animated cartoon is $30.1 million.Unstoppable made $23.5 million.

The film with the voices of Will Ferrell and Tina Fey, has done $89.8 million in 10 days. Tony Scott still didn’t beat the box office traffic in theaters.

Livingston says studio executives would not expect to upend Megamind, which likes most recent, big-studio animation, enjoyed replicate business from kids and parents. The movie dropped a negligible 35% from last week’s No. 1 debut.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The first and the last book of Magoo

To the very end Millard Kaufman was telling jokes, which was some sort of hobby to him. In that job he was gently helped by his wife. They had a phone trick; both of them would be online and just at one instant in the middle of the conversation one would say a joke. In a happy environment, Millard Kaufman lasted to live for 92 years: he died in his apartment in Los Angeles on March the 17th, this year.

He is well known, first of all by giving us a nature of an old, near-sighted Quincy Magoo, the famous cartoon character. Then, he had enough guts to write and publish his first book when he was at the age of 90. It was the book “Bowl of cherries”, translated to many languages. When the novel was conventional by riders, Millard got inspirited. One year later he started with writing a new novel “Misadventure”, which will unfortunately be published posthumously this drop.

The thing which applauded up Kaufman was the fact that the publishers to whom he had offered his writing couldn’t think that the book was written by a 90 years old man. “Bowl of cherries” is a story of an American soldier who went to Iraq where he found out the secrets of an ancient architecture. Novel is filled with curses, but as well with jokes of ex American president Bush.

Born in 1917, “father” of Quincy Magoo was a journalist. He stopped his career as a journalist for attending the II World War, to fight beside Hitler. He hasn’t continued to his returning his job as a journalist. Coming back to Los Angeles he started functioning in the film industry. First job was a beat to him. He wrote a script play for a cartoon. He made up a quality of a bold, rich, short-sighted and short gentleman who is getting into troubles because of his seeing problem. The character of Quincy Magoo came lively by John Humbly and Robert Canon. Then the life of this charming gentleman found his way directly to the Oscar. After that Kaufman got a job in MGM where he worked as a writer for 15 years. One of his best movies is for sure is “Bad day at Black Rock” with Spenser Tracy.

And so that was his job until he got withdraw. That is when Millard got to his senses and comprehend that all he wanted to be for all those years was to be a writer. The last script he wrote in 1986.

“It was a magnificent experience for me”, said Millard Kaufman in one of the latest interviews. “At the commencement I believed that writing a book is not more differences from writing a script play for a movie. I was wrong. It was a real confront for me.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Primary Look: Disney going old school with new Pooh

"Winnie the Pooh" will be back to his old nature again next year.

Walt Disney Animation Studios is returning the honey-loving teddy bear and his pals to their hand-drawn animated roots for a feature film plunging into theaters July 15, 2011. The new "Winnie the Pooh," the first big-screen "Pooh" quest from Disney animators in more than 30 years, will more closely look like the classic short films from the 1960s and '70s.

"We wanted to create a movie for the big screen that had the appeal and wit of those innovative shorts," said Peter Del Vecho, the film's producer. "What originally endeared all of us adults and children to these characters was that they were distended animals that came to life in the imagination of a child. We wanted to renew that imagination in a big way."

Pooh and company will relinquish recent puppet-powered, computer-generated Disney Channel makeovers in favor of the old-fashioned illustrative style that places the silly bear and his friends among the pages of a storybook. Jim Cummings ("The Tigger Movie") returns as the voice of Pooh and Tigger, with John Cleese ("Monty Python") serving as the storyteller.

While this version of "Pooh" won't be produced by a computer or projected in 3-D, Del Vecho cautioned it wouldn't simply be a redux of past "Pooh" projects. He said the film, spearheaded by Disney and Pixar animation Chief John Lasseter, will trait five new original songs and a faster pace punctuated with humor that's fitting for modern audiences.

"We're definitely resyetting the franchise and using this film as the instance to set for the studio," said Del Vecho. "Many versions have been done, and it's been a way for the property to live on in children's minds, but we're eager this is a new phase for 'Winnie the Pooh.' It's a return to quality storytelling that's been missing in more recent projects."

Monday, November 8, 2010

World's longest cartoon revealed at Xiamen Int'l Animation Festival

The 3rd Xiamen International Animation Festival released yesterday and is hosted by the Xiamen Municipal Government. The festival drew over 100 animation companies from 12 regions of China came to partake in it.

According to the organizing group, invited by the COSPLAY organizing group, the largest cartoon in the world - Pili will be shown at the 3rd Xiamen International Animation Festival.

Pili is a marionette show from Taiwan. The TV series started in 1985, and it still persists today. The Pili marionette show is performed by many kinds of puppets, and uses state-of-the-art animation to help there its fighting art. The fragile design of the appearance and characteristics of each puppet has made Pili puppet show a well-known entertainment in Taiwan.

Apart from that, well-known animation artists will be partaking and give performances at the 3rd Xiamen International Animation Festival, including Taiwanese cartoonist Xiao Yanzhong, COSER and Xiao Xiao Bai.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

North Korea emerges as animation producer

North Korea’s information technology (IT) industry, in particular in the field of computer-based animation production, is well on its way to achieve success, according to a Dutch outsourcing specialist currently conducting IT business with North Korean companies.

The ceremony was planned by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, a German organization. “Pororo the Little Penguin,” an animated cartoon series, was an inter-Korean project finished in 2002. Also the same year, Akom, a South Korean company, also outsourced the production of “Empress Chung” to North Korea. The animation was released in 2005.

Tjia stated that some of the American Walt Disney animations were created by North Koreans, merely by accident. Politically North Korea and America have a barbed relationship and the American government prohibits the private sector from doing business with North Korean companies.

“There was a time when Walt Disney outsourced their animation production to countries in Asia like Vietnam or the Philippines. But the company didn’t have whole control over exactly which country the work was shaped, and found out later that some was produced in North Korea,” he said, adding that this was discovered after the animations had aired on TV.

An official at the Seoul Animation Center confirmed some of what the Dutchman said, confirming that Walt Disney’s outsourcing to Asia was true, and that’s accurately how South Korea’s animation industry took off. The news of a burgeoning animation industry in North Korea comes as a revelation to many who are used to hearing mainly about food shortage, human rights violations and the regime’s nuclear ambitions.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tina Fey realizes her inner cartoon

Things are coating up for Tina Fey.

She's the acclaimed, Emmy-winning creator, writer and co-star of 30 Rock; earned rave reviews from fans and critics alike as the hugely popular Sarah Palin twin on Saturday Night Live; and this past spring, co-starred with Steve Carell in the romantic comedy, Date Night. Fey, 40, is trying something different, mostly designed to please her five-year-old daughter Alice. Mom is one of the star voices in the 3-D animated movie, Megamind, which releases Nov. 5.

In the spoofing superhero cartoon, Fey offers the voice for Roxanne Ritchi, a TV reporter and the quasi-love interest in the Lois Lane tradition of the Superman yarn. But unlike Lois Lane, Ritchi doesn't necessarily swoon for just one superhero. After all, in Megamind, there are two aliens from one more planet living in Metro City: Megamind (Will Ferrell) and Metro Man (Brad Pitt).

As luck and the plot would have it, Ferrell's Megamind is the nemesis to Pitt's Metro Man, since Metro Man ends up being a well-liked celebrity offense fighter in sharp contrast to the genius outcast, Megamind. Fed up with being rejected, Megamind uses his intellect for evil, and most probably defeats Metro Man, leaving Megamind lonely, and Metro City vulnerable, after the emergence of the Megamind's dastardly creation, Titan (Jonah Hill).

Ironic heroes and villains are everywhere. That's another reason Fey determined to make room for the project. "And I found the recording conference freeing, because you can really try different things," says Fey. She could also relate to the reporter role in Megamind, having played the droll newscaster on the popular Weekend Update sections of Saturday Night Live. "I am one of America's best known fake reporters," she says. "I'm going to have a fake show on CNN."

Joking aside, Fey did have a hand in making over the passive Lois Lane archetype, giving Roxanne Ritchi a more skeptical outlook. She was also pleased with her cartoon character's look, though the short haircut, she be firm, makes her character come across like a younger version of TV personality Sharon Osbourne.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

China's 'Pleasant Goat' on Disney channels

A well-known Chinese cartoon series will be aired on Disney channels in 52 countries and regions, in a milestone for China's homegrown animation industry. Creative Power Entertaining Corporation (CPE), a Guangdong Province-based animation company, said Monday, October 18, 2010 that it had reached a television license broadcast agreement with Disney affiliate Buena Vista to air its products.

"In the coming three years, audiences in countries such as India, Australia and Singapore will be able to enjoy the latest 100 episodes of the hit cartoon series 'Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf - Joys of Seasons'," said CPE General Manager Liu Manyi. The cartoon series will be broadcast in more than 10 languages.

"Disney's wide range of channels will help Chinese cartoons enter the international market," said Liu. The cartoon is China's most popular in decades. It stars a quick-witted goat named "Pleasant" and a wolf couple - "Grey Wolf" and "Red Wolf". The cartoon became enormously popular with Chinese school children after its debut in 2005.

Cashing in on the cartoon's success, the producer made an animated feature in 2009. It generated box office revenue of 130 million yuan (US$19.6 million) during the Chinese New Year this year.

Monday, October 18, 2010

'Dragon' series takes flight at Cartoon Network

An animated series based on the DreamWorks film hit "How to Train Your Dragon" will start on domestically on Cartoon Network, and internationally as well, with what is expected to be an initial order of more than 20 episodes. We felt that the story and the characters would make a great television show said Cartoon Network topper Stuart Snyder, who is animation, young adults and kids’ business prexy-chief operating officer for Turner.

Now the work really begins, developing and fleshing out the show. I responded most to the blend of comedy and the action, he said. I think it's a great story, a great basis for our audience, which loves comedy and action in combination. If you look at our lineup, we have instances of shows like 'Clone Wars' and others that I call blends of action and comedy. Announcement comes three days before the DVD release of the film, which is approaching the $500 million mark in worldwide grosses. There is also a film sequel of the property skedded for release in 2013, the year after the TV series debuts.

"It is extremely exciting to be able to bring viewers deeper into the world of dragons and tell new stories each week inspired by our characters from the film," DreamWorks Animation COO Ann Daly said. DWA has had success with Nickelodeon's "The Penguins of Madagascar," adapted from its "Madagascar" franchise. Cartoon Network also said that it will premiere "The Legend of the BoneKnapper Dragon," an animated short that is part of the "How to Train Your Dragon" DVD bonus package, at 8 p.m. Thursday.