Thursday, April 28, 2011

International animation festival opens in east China

The Seventh International Animation and Cartoon Festival opened Thursday evening in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang region.

The six-day festival for animaters and fans cosponsored by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and Zhejiang's provincial government, aims to allow cooperation, competition and development flanked by cartoon organizations from home and abroad.

A number of activities, such as a peak forum, an animation exhibition, and an animation contest, will take place throughout the event.

As well, an sale of cartoons by famous Chinese cartoonists will occur as part of the festival.

Animation companies and organizations from 54 countries and areas will attend the festival, as will the world's animation giant, Disney.

The International Animation and Cartoon Festival have been held annually in Hangzhou City since 2005.

Between 2005 to 2010, the event has paying attention more than 1,400 companies and organizations from 47 countries and regions, and has recorded a business transaction volume of 33.6 billion yuan (about 5.17 billion U.S. dollars).

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Children's TV Show - The Bosco and Zoe Show

Bosco and Zoe are rapidly moving from the toy fair to the TV: Pacific Dragon Holdings, Inc. has recently acquired the rights to the animated characters, and is raising a children’s show in both English and Spanish.

Pacific Dragon Holdings will enter into a joint undertaking with Brothers Victory Cartoon Animation Fabrication Co., Ltd., the company that shaped the characters, to manage global licensing for the show. There are at present 130 completed episodes of “The Bosco and Zoe Show,” with 40 more in production.

The company plans to air the show for two years, at which time they will begin work on a film. Jeff Myers, president of Pacific Dragon Holdings, said he is already writing an draw round for the script.

The complicated animation has been done by four studios in the Huai’an City area, part of mainland China. Myers is in talks with larger animation houses about working together on the Bosco and Zoe project.

“Bosco and Zoe are intended to become main characters in the preschool market,” Myers said. “The sweet, innocent wisdom that each of these characters possess is amazing that is not very often seen.”

Myers first met the characters while at the International Hong Kong Toy Fair in January 2011, where he found a small booth that was displaying a poster of a character called Alafa. The company representative’s organization the booth explained that Alafa was accepted in one province in China, and they wanted to bring in the show to the Western market.

Myers was conspiracy, and in February began meeting with Brothers Victory Cartoon Animation Fabrication Company. Despite significant language barriers, the two companies agreed on a agreement. Pacific Dragon Holdings obtained the North American, South American and Japanese rights to the character. The company had the rights to re-name the characters, redub the show and produce new western version of the television show.

“It all started with a casual fleeting look, a change meeting in a foreign country and two foreign groups coming together in agreement, creating a new international joint venture,” he said. So get ready to welcome this wonderful new children’s animation, “The Bosco and Zoe Show” as it gains contact worldwide.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sumo Mouse, Today (Apr 21)

This Japanese-flavored rich animation is made by a Victorian production company and this first episode is penned by Melbourne-based comedian Tania Lacy. Yet the characters speak with American accents - except for the baddies, who are upper-class English.

Puzzling ethnic origins aside, it's a colourful, comic-book cartoon with brave little being that appear to be half-mouse/half-raver fighting the good fight against the leading species, smarmy little beings that appear to be half-cat/half-raver. Our unlikely sumo-wrestling hero makes his debut by harnessing the power within an ancient wrestler's top-knot in his quest to save his uncle and beat the evil top cat/raver figure. Nice bloodless violence.ut the genuineness of the ''sex addict'' diagnosis.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bugs and Daffy Go Back in "The Looney Tunes Show"

The Looney Tunes Show openings Tuesday, May 3, at 8 p.m. (ET, PT) on Cartoon Network
Animation's most much-loved characters are back in an all-new series, The Looney Tunes Show, premiering Tuesday, May 3, at 8 p.m. (ET, PT) on Cartoon Network. Bugs and Daffy haven't changed - but their living state of relationships has. Bugs are as brazen, ironic and ahead-of-the-game as ever, and Daffy, despite his vain, sociopathic and suspicious tendencies, is Bugs' best friend and seemingly enduring houseguest. No longer restricted to seven-minute shorts, their larger-than-life character (and egos) offer a rude, comical take on our modern world and introduce a whole new realm of potential. Now Bugs and Daffy can wreak as much havoc at the grocery store or the DMV as they once did in the forest.

The premiere episode, "Best Friends," sets the scene for this improbable pair's lively. Daffy make a decisions the duo can make a quick buck by going on the game show "Besties," where best friends answer questions about one another. However, it becomes fairly clear that self-absorbed Daffy knows absolutely nothing about Bugs. Daffy wants to make it up to him with a wonderful cruise, but cannot even do that right.
Throughout the series, familiar faces from the Looney Tunes cosmos join Bugs and Daffy. Rounding out the cast are the everlastingly hopeful Porky Pig, the quick and quick-witted Speedy Gonzales, the insane but lovable Lola, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, the Tasmanian Devil, Marvin the Martian, Pepe Le Pew, Tweety, Sylvester, Granny, the Witch, Gossamer, Tosh and Mac Gopher, and the newest nature of the bunch, Daffy's no-nonsense girlfriend, Tina.

The series also skin Merrie Melodies - animated music videos of original songs spotlight everyone from Elmer Fudd to Pepe Le Pew, plus all-new adventures with the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote in dramatic CG. All this jointly in one half-hour comedy, The Looney Tunes Show deliver fresh, sophisticated humor, heartwarming instants and something Looney for everyone.

The Looney Tunes Show will join fellow cartoon icons from the hit animated series Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated on Tuesday nights. Scooby and the gang are back solving mysteries in the spooky town of Crystal Cove - including the overarching mystery of Mister E. and their Mystery Incorporated predecessors - when season two of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated premieres on Tuesday, May 3, at 7:30 p.m. (ET, PT).

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.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Punky, a cartoon brave woman for the Saorview age

Punky, a new series shaped by Irish animation company Monster

Meet Punky. She has Down syndrome, and she’s the eponymous star of a new animated series that will be broadcast weekdays on RTÉjr from May 3rd. The producers, Monster Animation & Design, say Punky - on the edge of becoming the latest success story for Irish animation – is the first ever animated TV series where the lead character has Down syndrome.

The nature of Punky, created by the writer Lindsay Jane Sedgwick, is voiced by Aimee Richardson, who herself has Down syndrome and Down Syndrome Ireland reviewed fabric during manufacture of the series. “It’s on the whole a look at everyday life from Punky’s perspective. It’s her daily custom,” says Monster’s Gerard O’Rourke. “She lives in the moment.”

Monster, which has a track record in lively kids’ TV shows through Ballybraddan and Fluffy Gardens, was move toward to produce the series by the Irish Film Board, which had granted development money to Sedgwick. RTÉ was keen on the project and custom-built it, while Monster also secured licence fee funding from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s Sound & Vision Fund.

After several phases of development, it was decided that Punky would be aimed at the discerning preschool audience. The 20 episodes, each seven minutes long, will be broadcast twice a day on the RTÉjr programming block of RTÉ 2, before finding another home later in the summer on the dedicated RTÉjr channel on Saorview, RTÉ’s free-to-air digital terrestrial television (DTT) service.

“To have a dedicated children’s channel is an amazing thing,” says O’Rourke, as RTÉ 2 pushes RTÉjr off the air whenever the Olympics or the European Championships or the World Cup is on – “anything that is more important than children’s programmes basically and the children’s programmes get bumped.”

RTÉ 2 also attempts the tricky task of catering for kids ranging in age from two to 15, which means that during school holidays, the preschool programmes often give way. The RTÉjr Saorview channel will mean there is a home purely for younger kids’ programming, while the older kids’ shows (styled TRTÉ) remain on RTÉ 2.

Much of this optimism depends, however, on the frequency with which RTÉjr chooses to repeat programming blocks. Early reports about the channel suggested it would run the kids’ shows on a tight loop rather than making a major extension to its schedule of new programming. But if the broadcaster does find the resources to avoid a parent-torturing level of repeats, it will find a home animation industry with the talent to produce low-cost original content – content that can become cultural exports via industry sales events like Mipcom Junior at Cannes and New York’s Kidscreen Summit.

Punky is described as a happy girl who loves music, dancing, playing with her big brother, Con, and jumping around with her dog, Rufus. She enjoys helping around the house and trying to make Cranky, her grandmother, a little less cranky.

“We don’t overly emphasise that she has Down syndrome. She tells you at the start of each episode that she has it and as she’s voiced by Aimee, she sounds like she has Down syndrome,” O’Rourke says. Her family sometimes has to stop everything and pull together to help her cope with unanticipated disruptions to her daily routine. “But she gets things done as well,” he explains.

Though the series deals with themes of difference, diversity and the problem-solving issues specific to people with Down syndrome, O’Rourke says he hopes Punky doesn’t “get pigeonholed” as an educational programme. “We hope that it will be as mainstream as Peppa Pig or Dora.”

Monday, April 11, 2011

'Hop' still tops at box office, 'Arthur' staggers

Moviegoers would rather hear Russell Brand than see him.

The hasty English comic claimed the top two spots at the North American box office -- as the voice in the live-action/animated family film "Hop," which led the field for a second weekend, and as the star of the "Arthur" remake, which opened poorly at No. 2, according to studio approximate issued on Sunday.

"Hop" earned USD 21.7 million during the three days beginning Friday, taking its 10-day total to $68.2 million. The Easter-themed family picture was produced by Illumination Entertainment, the animation firm behind last year's hit "Appalling Me."

"Arthur," in whom Brand takes over the title role created by Dudley Moore 30 years ago, earned just USD 12.6 million during its first three days.

The film's distributor, Warner Bros., said it had hoped for an opening in the mid-teen millions. The film cost in the mid-USD 60 million ranges to make.

Three other films enter theaters on Friday. "Hanna," an action movie starring 16-year-old Saoirse Ronan as an killer, was No. 3 with USD 12.3 million; "Soul Surfer," the true-life story of a young girl who lost her arm to a shark, followed with USD 11.1 million; and "Your Highness," a medieval comedy starring newly minted Oscar winner Natalie Portman, bombed at No. 6 with just $9.5 million.

"Hop" and "Your Highness" were released by Universal Pictures, and "Hanna" by Focus Features. Both are units of NBC Universal, which is forbidden by Comcast Corp.

Warner Bros. is a unit of Time Warner Inc.

"Soul Surfer" was released by TriStar Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

‘ThunderCats’ Wondercon Trailer Hits the Web, New Plot Details Exposed

The WB disclose the first footage for its future ThunderCats TV series revival, which is set to air this summer.

The weekend’s WonderCon fan meeting in San Francisco, Calif. brought attendees — among many other things — their first look at the future ThunderCats TV series revitalization, which is coming to Cartoon Network this summer from Warner Bros. Animation. Luckily for those of us who couldn’t make the hike out west, WB has been kind sufficient to post that entrance footage online.

It was first revealed during a weekend panel characteristic producers Michael Jelenic (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) and Ethan Spaulding (Avatar: The Last Airbender), art director Dan Norton and Larry Kenney, the voice of the original Lion-O as well as the same character’s father in the upcoming series. In addition to the recording, the panel also brought some information on the story’s basic layout.

There are 26 episodes of the show ready to go now, but the creators have twice that number intended should it be well-received. The trailer, which you can check out below or on The WB’s website feels like an equivalent mix of old and new. The character designs look mainly faithful, albeit with a Japanese anime taste, but there are mechs and missiles and lasers that give everything more of a sci-fi feel.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Schwarzenegger says owe success to U.S. and people's feel

To hear Arnold Schwarzenegger explain the improbable course of his life as an actor and politician, achievement boils down to two factors: living in the United States and being a man of the people.

The Austrian-born Schwarzenegger, who came to the United States at the age of 21, started his career as a expert bodybuilder before graduating to Hollywood and starring in runaway success like "Terminator 2" and "True Lies."

After winning a vote to the governorship of California and serving a seven-year term -- where he earned the nickname "The Gubernator" -- he is back on the activity circuit promoting an animated series of the same name about the adventures of a comic book alter ego.

Always a showman, he had assured to return to show business, but had kept his next move under wraps.

"That's what I wanted to do: shock people and amuse the world," he told Reuters television in an interview.

"Am I going to be an action guy in front of the camera and making all kinds of action? Or is it going to be something else? No-one knew ... This is going to be a big surprise."

Even so, the transition from politics back to activity would not be difficult for Schwarzenegger, who said the two worlds were close cousins, based on an intelligence of people.

"In both cases you have to form a very good partnership with the people," he said. "In politics you are working for the people... The same is true for activity... You've got to be in touch with what it is your audience wants."

Asked how he had attained so much, Schwarzenegger gave all the credit to his adoptive country. "I call it an American success story because I don't think that anywhere in the world would I have been able to do what I did in my life if it wouldn't have been for America."

Friday, April 1, 2011

Japan disaster flashes Simpsons nuclear disaster ban

Broadcasters in Germany, Australia and Switzerland have strong-willed to ban or censor episodes of The Simpsons that poke fun at nuclear tragedy in light of Japan's atomic crisis.

"We are examination all the episodes and we won't show any suspect ones, but we won't cut any scenes," Stella Rodger, a spokesman for German private broadcaster Pro7, said. "We haven't late any yet."

Austria's ORF network has so far banned a total of eight episodes, counting one that features scientists Marie and Pierre Curie dying of emission fatal. Switzerland's SF network has done the same.

The nuclear plant in the Simpsons' hometown of Springfield is a key element in the long-running satirical cartoon, with the hapless Homer in charge of safety despite a slapdash comes near evident from the opening credits beyond.

Previous episodes have shown nuclear waste deserted in a children's playground, plutonium used as a paperweight, cracked cooling towers, glowing rats and three-eyed mutant fish, as well as near-meltdowns.

"Of course we can't totally change the entire content," Ms Rodger acknowledged.