Friday, June 25, 2010

Disney and IMAX Deals With 3D Movies

The Walt Disney Co will release three 3D movies to IMAX Corp theaters in 2011, including the next "Pirates of the Caribbean" film, under an agreement between the two companies revealed. Deal includes the Mouse House's Seth Green starrer "Mars Needs Moms," set for release March 11, followed by "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" on May 20 and Disney/Pixar's "Cars 2" on June 24.

Partnership comes after IMAX scored a record-setting performance last weekend, with "Toy Story 3" earning $8.4 million (8%) of the $110.3 million opening. "Toy 3" became the company's highest-grossing toon opener, surpassing the $5.1 million benchmark set last year by Paramount-DreamWorks Animation's "Monsters vs. Aliens." "Cars 2" marks the second Disney/Pixar release for IMAX.

"The incredible performance of our Imax releases in 2009 and 2010 demonstrated that the combination of IMAX and Disney resonates with moviegoers worldwide," said Disney prexy of distribution Chuck Viane.
Disney and IMAX most recently partnered for 3D titles "Alice in Wonderland" and last year's Robert Zemeckis-directed "A Christmas Carol."

The Disney/IMAX pact reps the second multi-picture deals this year for IMAX. The company entered an agreement earlier this year to release up to 20 Warner Bros. titles, including a "Batman 3" project and the two-part "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" installments set to launch in 3D on Nov. 19 and July 15, 2011.

"Mars," which co-stars Joan Cusack as a mom abducted to the Red Planet, is based on the kid tome by Berkeley Breathed and is directed by Simon Wells. Zemeckis serves as exec producer.
Disney's fourth "Pirates" installment reunites stars Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush, with franchise newcomers Penelope Cruz and helmer Rob Marshall.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Disney's Phineas and Ferb Animated Cartoon Series

If you do not have a small child between the ages of 6 and 11, it's likely you have never heard of Phineas and Ferb, an animated series about two stepbrothers that air on the Disney Channel.

Disney is giving its offbeat 'Phineas and Ferb' cartoon the full marketing treatment, with a full line of merchandise and a movie in the works. As Disney Channel prepared to launch the cartoon series "Phineas and Ferb," one top company executive thought the hard, geometric shapes of the characters' heads represented too radical a departure from Disney's round faced animation tradition.

But talk of forcing the creators to soften the edges of Phineas' isosceles dome to make him and the other angular characters less jarring was quelled.

"I said 'no,' " said Disney Channel Entertainment President Gary Marsh.”This is what I love about this show. It is different, and driven by someone's unique vision as opposed to compacted by a committee."

Monday, June 21, 2010

All Time Favorite Cartoon Scooby-Doo is back

The Scooby Gang is Back with More Spooky Mysteries to Solve. Scooby-Doo is back in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Monday, July 12, at 7 p.m. (ET, PT). Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and their talking dog Scooby-Doo are back, solving mysteries in the spooky town of Crystal Cove in the animated Scooby-Doo! Crystal Cove is a sleepy coastal village that boasts a long history of ghostly sightings, werewolves and glowing deep sea divers. Because of all the mystery, Crystal Cove has become a tourist hotspot, taking in major profits and the townspeople don’t appreciate the meddling of the renowned sleuthing team.

From Warner Bros. Animation, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated features the voices of Frank Welker (What’s New, Scooby-Doo?) as Fred/Scooby-Doo, Mindy Cohn (The Facts of Life) as Velma, Grey DeLisle (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) as Daphne and Matthew Lillard (the Scooby-Doo films) as Shaggy. Sam Register (Teen Titans, Ben 10, Batman: The Brave and the Bold) is the executive producer. Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone (both Duck Dodgers, Back at the Barnyard, Space Jam) are the supervising producers.

Cartoon Network (, currently seen in more than 97 million U.S. homes and 166 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service now available in HD offering the best in original, acquired and classic animated entertainment for kids and families. Nightly from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. (ET, PT), Cartoon Network shares its channel space with Adult Swim, a late-night destination showcasing original and acquired animation for young adults 18-34. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Arabic Language Treasure Cartoon to Learn Arabic

The second edition of Arabian Sinbad "Arabic Language Treasure" package is due for UAE exclusive launch during June 2010.

The updated package of Arabian Sinbad: Arabic Language Treasure created by Fine Media Group and Dubai based animation company EmariToons is to be launched exclusively in the UAE, with markets in the rest of the world to follow shortly. Maher Hakim, CEO, limitless Knowledge, the world wide distributer of the product, said: "We are proud to present this second edition, which utilizes proven immersive and engaging language teaching techniques via cartoon animation, clear pronunciation, repetition, music and song”.

The 18 cartoon episodes utilize the renowned “Immersion & Repetition Method” which plunges the viewer into the new language as if he or she were explorers in that country. The 24+ cute and hilarious cartoon characters where joined in superstar Arabian Sinbad; a young sailor boy with a perfect classical Arabic accent and a love for treasures and adventures, are all now ready to teach you Arabic.

The Arabian Sinbad: Arabic Language Treasure DVDs feature a series of pirate themed adventures of a boy and his sister on a treasure island that only uses Arabic no English is spoken whatsoever. By completely immersing the viewer in the Arabic language, children would be able to quickly make direct mental connections between what they see and what they hear without an intermediary, thereby developing an ear for Arabic. The first edition of the package Arabian Sinbad Treasure Chest, launched in March 2006.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rayman Origins is back with classic 2D platform

After years out of the spotlight, a new Rayman is finally on the way. Ubisoft announced Rayman Origins at the company's press conference.

Using a new toolset developed by Rayman and Beyond Good & Evil designer Michel Ancel, a team of just five people are putting together Rayman Origins. The game looks to be a return to the platforming franchise's roots, with extremely detailed, 2D environments and some seriously beautiful animation.

From the looks of the trailer, Rayman also won't be going this one alone. We're not sure of the gameplay implications, but at some point Rayman befriend a large, beast-like thing that appears to join him on his adventure.

The classic 2D platformer is back with an incredible art style and absolutely jaw-dropping visuals. The trailer, which moves into actual gameplay, looks entirely reminiscent of the original Rayman games but with a much sharper, ethereal look.

Ray Man: Origins introduces the character’s origins and expands to tell fans how the running star character was created and unveils the existence of his dark brother. The animation is very stylized and looks like a running cartoon more than a traditional video game or 3D sprite and with examples like Trine and Castle Crashers it’s evident that modern HD games can make cartoon platformers look and play amazingly.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Smith Micro Software Revealed new Anime packages

Smith Micro Software has unveiled Anime Studio Debut 7 as well as Anime Studio Pro 7. With the help of both the programs one can create cartoons, 2D movies, and also cut-out animations. Both feature a new content library, new integrated audio recording capabilities, and other new tools. Anime Studio Pro is targeted to professionals and digital artists, while Anime Studio Debut is targeted to beginners.

In addition to the new audio capability and content library, Anime Studio Pro 7 offers a range of additional new features like 3D shape design, simulated physics, and also advanced animation tools.
The program alleviates the need for tedious frame-by-frame design through its bone-rigging system, which lets users create a character skeleton that moves the figure over time. This provides greater control, flexibility, and efficiency in the design process, the company says.

With the help of the new Simulated Physics toolkit users are able to apply movement parameters to object and characters so that they could rotate, fall as well as react. Users are able to control the gravity, density, springiness of objects, and friction as well as adjust the way they collide.

Anime Studio Debut 7 is integrated with built-in lip-syncing, audio recording, new content library, as well as accessible interface for the creation of 2D movies, cartoons, cut-out animations, and anime.

The software provides a user with a new Beginner’s Mode. It is created in order to guide first-time animators by means of key animation tools as well as techniques. Also it offers quick access to the key feature of the program available with rollover instructions, video tutorials as well as streamlined interface.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

DQ Entertainment Animation Agreement with Indian Companies

DQ Entertainment (DQE), the animation, gaming, live action entertainment production and Distribution Company announced that it has signed a broadcast agreement with Turner International India's children's entertainment channels, Cartoon Network and POGO for the animated feature "Balkand."

“Balkand”, sequel 1 and 2, follow the debut of “Balkand” on POGO in 2009. The series has been created and produced by DQE. The sequels comprise of 70 minute animated features, split into 3 episodes of 22 minutes.

"Promoting and supporting Indian animation is a critical mandate of Turner in India. We have been aggressively executing our 'Desi Toons' strategy," Krishna Desai, director, Programming, Turner International India said.

Tapaas Chakravarti chairman & CEO of DQE Group said: “We are very happy to partner with Turner Entertainment Networks the pioneers for showcasing Indian animation content. This deal will help in adding to our library of Indian content and embarking on a new and exciting venture for producing Indian content.”

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Despicable Me" Animation with Memorable Characters

"Despicable Me" opening July 9, doesn't measure up to Pixar at its best. Nonetheless, it's funny, clever and warmly animated with memorable characters.

Gru animated character is one of the world’s greatest super-villains, as he uses his arsenal of shrink rays, freeze rays and a small army of minions to pull off the biggest heist in the history of the world.

Steve Carell voiced to Gru character is an evil genius whose plan to steal the moon is sidelined by the arrival of three little girls looking for a father figure, in this animated comedy, one of several films coming out in 3-D. The film's comedy lies in a clash of opposites on a supervillain who loves to mess with everyone while committing high-profile crimes versus three little orphan girls whose wills are every bit as strong as his. Mind you, this supervillain, who goes by the name of Gru, is only marginally successful at villainy. As the banker who finances supervillains in their nefarious schemes points out, Gru's sinister plots "don't turn a profit." This hurts Gru’s feelings.

Where "Despicable Me" falls short of Pixar glory is its predictably. From moment to moment, one can never guess where a Pixar cartoon is headed. Here, it's all too clear. But individual sequences and fresh characters dreamed up by writers Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (from a story by executive producer Sergio Pablos) are quite wonderful.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Animated Characters in Royal Caribbean Cruise

Royal Caribbean is to team up with DreamWorks Animation to offer themed cruise experiences, the company announced.

The alliance with DreamWorks, which produced the Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda films, will allow Royal Caribbean to compete with the extensive film based entertainment found onboard Disney Cruise Line ships.

The deal means that consumers will be able to watch separate shows featuring DreamWorks characters in the Aqua Theatre and on the ice rink onboard the Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, which is set to launch later this year. The companies said there will be parades and on-board entertainment featuring the characters as well as 3D movie screenings aboard certain ships.

Royal Caribbean will also install 3D screens on the ships to allow guests to watch a catalogue of DreamWorks films in 3D during their cruise. Characters from How to Train Your Dragon will perform in ice shows on shipboard ice-skating rinks, characters from Madagascar will splash into an aquatics show in the outdoor Aqua Theater, and DreamWorks movies will be screened in 3D in the ships theaters.

The move will pitch Royal Caribbean directly against the Disney Cruise Line, which offers entertainment featuring characters from Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc., as well as traditional Disney characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck.

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas liner, which will be the first of the fleet to welcome DreamWorks characters, will launch in December, only one month before Disney Cruise Line's latest ship the Disney Dream.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bringing back Mr. Magoo with new Colors

Do you remember the nearsighted cartoon character, Mr. Magoo? He is practically blind old man would get into trouble because he couldn’t see reality and yet wouldn’t admit to the short coming and he always walked around with his eyes in a permanent squint, trying to visually decipher things that were right in front of him.

Mr. Magoo is back again. More than three decades after he disappeared into syndication obscurity, cartoon character Mr. Quincy Magoo, the oblivious, nearsighted geezer too stubborn to wear glasses, is back to amuse a new generation of viewers, and to tickle the memories of their Baby Boomer parents and grandparents. Only now, instead of stumbling across black-and-white TV screens, Magoo is out on DVD another instance of old pop culture being recycled for contemporary pop culture.

In a similar move, Warner Bros. is bringing back the Looney Tunes characters in a new series for the Cartoon Network in the fall starring Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. The studio also will send Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner back to theaters in a new 3-D cartoon short.

The old Magoo, voiced by the late Jim Backus (so memorable in Gilligan's Island), can be seen and heard in “Mr. Magoo in Sherwood Forest” ($9.93), a re-release of an old favorite from the 1960s TV show. (Magoo plays Friar Tuck in the Robin Hood tale.)

The new Magoo, voiced by Jim Conroy, is out in “Kung Fu Magoo” ($14.93), in which Mr. Magoo and nephew Justin fight giant robot spiders, ninjas on jet skis, and a clutch of super-villains in a kung-fu-style comic adventure.

Who knew that the first animated Christmas special on American TV involved Magoo? It was 1962's “Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol,” a musical adaption of Dickens' story. It was a huge hit, involved major musical stars of the era, and inspired the TV tradition of holiday specials we have to this day, says Van Citters, author of “Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol: The Making of the First Animated Christmas Special.”

In 2000, Classic Media acquired the successor of the old UPA animation studio (known for its lush style of animation) that created Magoo, along with other Boomer-familiar cartoon characters such as Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cartoon Network’s New Series of "ThunderCats" on 2011

The "Thundercats" movie may be in development hell, but Cartoon Network is moving forward with bringing the adventures of Prince Lion-O and his buddies back to the small screen. In a press release today, the network said the show would return to the air with an "anime" design in 2011.

The new “ThunderCats” will appeal to viewers who have loved the characters all their lives as well as young newcomers to the franchise. A sweeping tale combining swords and science and boasting ferocious battles with the highest of stakes, the grand origin story of Prince Lion-O’s ascension to the throne and of those who would thwart his destiny at any cost takes on epic dimensions in this sharp new telling. As the forces of good and evil battle each other in the quest for the fabled Stones of Power, Lion-O and his champions learn valuable lessons of loyalty, honor and mortality in every episode.

The original "Thundercats" ran for four seasons from 1985-1990 in syndication which also included a TV movie "Thundercats- Ho!" in 1986. Numerous toys and comic books have kept the property alive ever since. A CG feature film was announced by Warner Bros. in 2007 and was expected to be released in 2010, but further development was indefinitely put on hold in 2008.
According to the studio, the new series will appeal to both longtime fans and new comers to the universe of Lion-O and his Thunderan brethren.

Prince Lion-O and friends will be back in an anime style, Warner Bros. Animation’s first series of the type. The series will be a sweeping tale combining swords and science and boasting ferocious battles with the highest of stakes. As the forces of good and evil battle each other in the quest for the fabled Stones of Power, Lion-O and his champions learn valuable lessons of loyalty, honor and mortality in every episode. The studio offered some hints about what the new "Thundercats" series will involve, including the grand origin story of Prince Lion-O’s ascension to the throne and of those who would thwart his destiny at any cost.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pokemon New Animated Series is Coming Back

The new animated series Pokemon: DP Sinnoh League Victors the 13th season of the show will debut in the United States on June 5 at 7 a.m. ET/PT on Cartoon Network. The new series is the final chapter in the long-running series Diamond & Pearl storyline.

"Pokemon is a truly global brand with legions of fans spanning the television, film, trading card game, and video game markets," said J.C. Smith, The Pokemon Company International's director of consumer marketing. "This is an amazing year for the Pokemon franchise and we're excited to work with Cartoon Network to bring Pokemon fans the newest adventures in the animated series."

Pokemon is aired every day of the week on Cartoon Network, with original episodes airing on Saturday mornings and repeat episodes on Sundays. The show also appears Monday through Friday, on Boomerang at 8 a.m. EST/PST.

Pokemon animation appears around the world in more than 30 different languages. In addition to Pokemon's partnership with Cartoon Network in the U.S., other major broadcast partners include YTV in Canada, RedeTV in Brazil, Cartoon Network Latin America, Gulli in France, RTL2 in Germany, K2 in Italy, CITV in the United Kingdom, and Disney XD across much of Europe.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ben 10 Alien Force: The Rise of Hex Download on Nintendo WiiWare

Konami Digital Entertainment and Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE) announced that Ben 10 Alien Force: The Rise of Hex is now available for download on Nintendo WiiWare. Available for the first time as a downloadable title, the latest interactive installment of the popular Cartoon Network series sends Ben and his powerful Omnitrix on an adventure to save the Earth from the threat of destruction.

"The 'Ben 10' franchise has already seen tremendous success through multiple console titles, but we wanted to offer consumers an all-new interactive game in the growing downloadable gaming space," said Careen Yapp, VP Acquisitions and Franchise Development for Konami Digital Entertainment Inc. "By incorporating new content, characters and a rich action adventure storyline from the series into Ben 10 Alien Force: The Rise of Hex, we hope to provide fans and newcomers an unparalleled Ben 10 experience."

Ben 10 Alien Force: The Rise of Hex is an action-puzzle platformer where gamers play as Ben Tennyson with the ability to transform into 10 different aliens. Utilizing the powers of the Omnitrix players will set out to battle a new threat to Earth. Players transform into Swampfire, Brainstorm, Big Chill, Humongousaur, Echo Echo, Chromastone, Jetray, Spider Monkey, Goop and Lodestar to defeat Hex and his minions, with many surprises along the way. Players will have to utilize each alien during pivotal points in the game to take advantage of their special abilities and unique attributes. Players battle through 15 levels of fast-paced action and alien-specific puzzles to reach the final fight to save the Earth from destruction. Ben 10 Alien Force: The Rise of Hex is available now on Nintendo WiiWare for 1000 Wii Points.