Thursday, February 14, 2008

News - 02/14/08...

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Mike Judge Named to Texas Film Hall of Fame

Mike Judge, creator of Fox's "King of the Hill," and MTV's "Beavis and Butt-Head" will be inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame next month.

Judge, who lives in Austin, and Morgan Fairchild, known for her various film and TV roles, will join previously announced inductees Thomas Haden Church (Sandman from "Spider-Man 3"), Jayne Mansfield and the 1980 movie "Urban Cowboy," the Austin Film Society said Wednesday.

The ceremony will be held March 7.

The Texas Film Hall of Fame, located at the Austin Film Society's Austin Studios, recognizes actors, directors, screenwriters, musicians, filmmakers and movies that are from, influenced or inspired by the Lone Star State.

Previous inductees include Dennis Quaid, Marcia Gay Harden, Forest Whitaker, Sissy Spacek and Owen Wilson.

Three Arrested in Denmark in Plot to Kill Cartoonist

An assassination attempt has been thwarted with the arrest of two Tunisians and a Dane in Denmark on Tuesday.

One of 12 cartoonists who created caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005, Kurt Westergaard, 73, was the target, according to THE NEW YORK TIMES.

He depicted Muhammad wearing a turban in the shape of a bomb with a burning fuse.

The arrests were made in raids in the city of Aarhus, where Westergaard's paper, JYLLANDS-POSTEN, is located.

The Danish suspect, 40 and of Moroccan origin, will likely be released after being charged under antiterrorism legislation and the two Tunisians will be expelled from Denmark.

Jakob Scharf, the head of the Security and Intelligence Service in Denmark, told THE NEW YORK TIMES the reason the suspect will be released could be that investigators want evidence to remain confidential.

Islam forbids all depictions of Muhammad, and the caricatures, printed in many Western publications, ignited protests and boycotts.

Gorillaz goes Bananaz

Joblo shares some info on Bananaz, a new documentary that follows the world’s most successful “virtual band”, Gorillaz. Created by film-maker Ceri Levy, the documentary features a behind-the-scenes look over a period of 6 years focusing on Goirllaz’ development from drawings to animation and from music to the musicians . Bananaz had its world-premiere today at the the 58th Berlin Film Festival.

Gorillaz, wich formed in 1998, released their debut album in 2001 to international acclaim and 5 million plus sales. Gorillaz were crowned Best Group at the 2005 MTV Europe Awards and received 5 Grammy nominations and 2 Brit Awards nods. Their second album, Demon Days has to this day sold 6 million albums worldwide.

Cartoon Network To Assist 'Kids in the Kitchen'

Animation tells us that the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. and Cartoon Network are teaming up through various promotional spots and media releases in a new campaign, "Kids In The Kitchen." This latest healthy-based venture aligns well with the network's previous initiatives that focus on exercise and vitality in children, when they're away from the TV set.

Henri Salvador, 90, brought France rock 'n' roll

French crooner Henri Salvador, the first singer to sing rock and roll songs in France (under the name Henry Cording), died Wednesday at his Paris home, his record label said. He was 90.

Salvador died of an aneurysm, said Polydor spokesperson Carine Herve.

Often credited in Brazil with inventing bossa nova, he voiced the lead character Pollux in Pollux - Le manège enchanté, the French dub of the 2005 British cartoon movie Sprung! The Magic Roundabout (released in the United States as Doogal).

In the 1970s, he released a series of children's albums that included the French-language soundtracks of Disney's The Aristocats and Robin Hood.

Born in Cayenne in the South American colony of French Guyana (now Guiana), on July 18, 1917, he worked past his 90th birthday. Polydor said he had intended to record a new album this year.

Known for his velvet voice that stayed until the end, Salvador was equally famed for his booming laughter.

"I don't sing, I whisper," he said in a 2006 Associated Press interview. "When you whisper into the mike, you are able to transmit real feeling."

Besides rock 'n' roll, Salvador sang jazz, blues and chanson francaise (traditional French pop). His first record was an instant hit and included "Clopin-clopant" and "Maladie d'amour" (covered by the Ames Brothers as "Melodie d'Amour").

Salvador was born into a middle-class family; his parents came from the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. His father was a municipal tax collector of Spanish descent, while his mother was a Caribbean Indian. When he was 7, the family moved to Paris.

After a cousin played him Duke Ellington and Louis Armstong records, "I fell in love with their music.... at age 12, I found my calling."

Talking his father into buying him his first guitar, Salvador was a self-taught musician. He practised "17 or 18 hours a day, until my fingers bled."

At 17, he auditioned for his first gig. Recalled Salvador: "The head of the orchestra was blown away. He asked me, 'Where did you come from?' and I told him, 'From my room.'"

After years of cabarets, small jobs and military service, he was hired by famed French orchestra leader Ray Ventura. During the Second World War, Ventura and his band went to play in Brazil, where Salvador became popular as a singer and comic. Returning to France after the war's end, Salvador left Ventura to pursue his own career in 1946.

Salvador played in orchestras over than a decade, and was a star in Latin America as well as France.

He denied inventing bossa nova, saying that late Brazilian jazzman Antonio Carlos Jobim thought of it. However, he did say that Jobim thought of the idea of slowing down samba's tempo -- the concept behind bossa nova -- while listening to Salvador's hit "Dans Mon Isle."

"When I recorded that little tune, holed up in my apartment in Paris, I could never have imagined it would change musical history. For me, it was an extraordinary stroke of luck -- and a great honor," Salvador said.

Salvador collaborated in the early 1950s with songwriter Boris Vian and Jacqueline Garabedian, who became his impresario and second wife.

Vian and Salvador worked together on over 400 songs ranging from French Caribbean beguines to blues. The two developed the hit "Rock and roll mops," thus being credited with bringing rock 'n' roll to France.

Garabedian helped strongly to make Salvador a star, urging her husband to use television to advantage. Some in France called Salvador the father of the music video, as he was one of the first singers to set his songs to images on TV.

Salvador continued touring in recent decades and recorded to many albums that, he said, he lost count.

He claimed that he wasn't concerned about his reputation in musical history.

"I don't care a bit about that. When we disappear, the world still keeps turning. We are nothing."

Garabedian died in 1976. Henri Salvador was the natural father of director Jean-Marie Périer.

Japanese film director Kon Ichikawa dead at 92

Japanese director Kon Ichikawa, whose films such as Harp of Burma and Tokyo Olympiad combined artistry and humanism, died Wednesday at 92.

Ichikawa died in a Tokyo hospital of pneumonia, said Chizuko Wagatsuma, a spokeswoman with Toho Co., the studio that released The Makioka Sisters and many of his other films over a long directing career that started in 1945.

He had been hospitalized since late January, she said.

Born Uji Yamada in Mie, Japan on November 20, 1915, Ichikawa was involved in a wide range of genres. Besides winning fame for his live-action films, he had a long career in animation, starting with the 1936 short Shinsetsu kachikachi yama, for which he was a writer, animator and cinematographer.

He directed the anime film Genji monogatari (The Tale of Genji; 1966) and Hi no tori (Firebird: Daybreak Chapter; 1978), and wrote Ginga tetsudô Three-Nine (Galaxy Express 999; 1979), which won the Japanese Academy's Popularity Award the following year for Most Popular Film.

He produced, directed and wrote the anime film Toppo Jijo no botan senso (Topo Gigio and the Missile War; 1967), and directed and wrote 2000's Shinsengumi.

In 1960, Ichikawa won a jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival for his movie Kagi. He received a lifetime achievement award from the World Film Festival of Montreal in 2001.

"Ichikawa surely stands alongside Akira Kurosawa and Keisuke Miyashi-ta as one of Japan's great directors," Japanese film critic Tadao Sato said.

"He made not just art films, but also melodramas, documentaries, mysteries and others... and he brought to all of them a technique and craft that showed he took the works seriously no matter the subject. Even his light entertainments had class."

Ichikawa first drew international attention outside of Japan with the 1956 drama Harp of Burma, which was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign-language film. Based on a novel, it was set at the end of the Second World War and told of a Japanese soldier who, faced with seeing his dead fellow soldiers, vows to live a life of prayer and bury the dead.

"Humanism was at the core of all of Ichikawa's movies," said Sato. "He thought it was important to show that there was good in everyone, but to show that in a war movie, too, made it unique."

His Tokyo Olympiad, a documentary on the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, was widely noticed. It received an out-of-competition screening at Cannes in 1965.

"The athletes are seen not as national symbols but as people enjoying themselves, and he showed not just the winners but the losers, too. It was the opposite of what viewers expected from a film about the Olympics," Sato said.

Kon Ichikawa's wife, screenwriter Natto Wada, died in 1983. She had worked with him on many of his films. He is survived by two sons, Toho spokesman Atsuhi Minamikawa said.

His elder son, Tatsumi, plans a funeral for family and close friends, with a public memorial service to be held later, Toho said in a statement.

Briefly: New Seasons for "Pinky Dinky Doo," "Milly, Molly"

* Pinky Dinky Doo is getting an upgrade from Flash to 3D animation for its second season. [c21 Media]

* Australia's Pacific & Beyond has greenlit a second season of Milly, Molly. [c21 Media]

* Mexico's Televisa will distribute mobile content based on Crack & Bonky and promote the franchise through its magazines and channels under a deal with producer Adness Entertainment. [World Screen].

Briefly: New Deals for Old Shows

* TV-Loonland has licensed its upcoming Pat & Stan animated series to broadcasters in Europe, Asia, and North America. [c21 Media]

* RTE (Ireland), Animania (US) and RTV (Slovenia) have picked up broadcast rights to Lifeboat Luke. [c21 Media]

* Boomerang Latin America is adding Ellen's Acres to its lineup. [c21 Media]

* NCircle Entertainment has purchased home video distribution rights to Magi-Nation, Will & Dewitt, and Hurray for Huckle! from producer Cookie Jar Entertainment.

Cartoon Nets World of Quest

Cartoon Network has acquired U.K. broadcast rights to a new animated comedy-adventure series titled World of Quest from Cookie Jar Ent. Set to air in 2009, the the 26-episode, half-hour show is based on the Komikwerks graphic novel series by Jason Kruse and edited by Emmy Award winner Stephen Sustarsic, whose credits include Scooby-Doo, New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and The Flintstones Movie.

World of Quest follows the adventures of spoiled young Prince Nestor, his pumped-up and reluctant protector, Quest, and a rag-tag team of cohorts as they set out to save Nestor’s parents and their kingdom. In their travels, they come across an array of weird and wonderful characters and creatures including a scam-artist griffin, man-eating grass and Chomps, hungry creatures with big teeth.

World of Quest joins fellow Cookie Jar animated properties Johnny Test and Caillou on Cartoon Network.

New Eps of "Master Hamsters" Premiering at Kidscreen Summit

New episodes of Master Hamsters will debut at this year's Kidscreen Summit, Indiantelevision reports. Twenty-six half-hour episodes of the Toei Animation series will be available for purchase at the confab.

"Ralph Filmore: Paranormal Investigator" Announced for TV

Amberwood Prods. has signed a co-production agreement with Canadian comic book publisher Arcana Studio to develop and produce a television series based on Arcana’s Ralph Filmore: Paranormal Investigator. The digitally animated 2D show for kids 6-11 will be comprised of 26 half-hours produced entirely in HD.

Ralph Filmore is described as a dripping goo fest of slime, thrills and comedy involving three pre-teens, a ghost dog and a robotic eyeball that protect the town of Hollow Creek from the weirdest paranormal enigmas and the slimiest creatures from beyond.

Arcana Studios is a creative team that develops content for comics, animation and film. Its Arcana Comics is an award-winning comic book publisher with such titles as American Wasteland , Kade , Ezra , 100 Girls, Starkweather and El Arsenal. The company has also developed comics based on Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair video game and the movies Se7en and Final Destination.

Other Amberwood animated productions include The Secret World of Benjamin Bear, Hoze Houndz, Zeroman and Katie & Orbie. The company’s latest property, RollBots, has been commissioned by Canadian broadcaster YTV and 26 half hours are now in production.

Voltron Flies Back on Boomerang

Boomerang, Cartoon Network’s classic animation channel, will begin airing classic episodes of the action hit Voltron on Monday, Feb. 18. Licensed from rights holder World Events Prods., the weekly strip will consist of repackaged 1984 episodes that will run Monday through Friday for one year in the 10:30 p.m. time slot.

Voltron is a Japanese anime series that focuses on a team of young pilots in charge of five robot lions that unite to form the mega robot Voltron, defender of the planet Arus. The show was completely re-mastered and re-mixed for an 8-volume DVD set titled Voltron: Defender of the Universe, which Media Blasters released in 2007. The DVD package includes exclusive documentaries and seldom-seen clips from the original series. The first five volumes were released during 2007, and three remaining volumes, including the Go Lion episodes, are scheduled for release throughout 2008.

20th Century Fox’s New Regency is in negotiations with the Mark Gordon Co. to make a Voltron feature film that will combine live-action and CG animation, much like DreamWorks/Paramount’s blockbuster Transformers. The script is being written by Justin Marks, who is adapting He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and the Green Arrow movie, Supermax, for Warner Bros. World Events says the buzz around the movie is sending merchandising into overdrive. Some of the latest deals include a collectible shoe line by Reebok, several apparel lines, a collectible toy line and a comic deal with Devil's Due Publishing.

"Kid vs. Kat" Coming to Jetix Europe in 2009

Jetix Europe has signed on to distribute Kid vs. Kat, a new series about the conflict between a malevolent cat and a ten-year-old boy, World Screen reports.

The series, which is being produced by Studio B Productions, will begin rolling out over Jetix Europe's channels in 2009.

Big Bad Boo Opens Vancouver Studio

Big Bad Boo Studios has opened a new animation studio in Vancouver from which it can provide outsourced animation services, the company announced yesterday.

Big Bad Boo has hired animation veteran Glen Kennedy to help manage operations. The company is currently working on thirteen new episodes of Mixed Nutz for Norooz Productions.

[Read the full press release here]

New "Magoo" Toon Coming to DVD

Mr. Magoo will return to the cartoon world in Kung Fu Magoo, Variety reports.

The $2.6 million direct-to-DVD feature is being produced by Motion Toons for Classic Studios. Andres Couturier will direct.

"6Teen" Getting Live-Action Spin-off Movie

Animated sitcom 6Teen is being turned into a live-action feature film, producer Corus Entertainment announced yesterday.

Series creators Tom McGillis and Jennifer Pertsch will write the script for the new feature. Casting will begin later this year, and principal photography is slated to start in the fall of 2009.

Nelvana Enterprises, which distributes the animated series about six teens who work in a shopping mall, will distribute the feature film for producer Fresh TV.

Cuppa Coffee Announces "Bruno" Series Sequel

Fans of BRUNO AND THE BANANA BUNCH will soon have a completely new series to enjoy the characters.

Cuppa Coffee Studios announced Tuesday the new series LET'S GO BRUNO!, which combines 2D animation with live action in a simple, yet innovative game show format.

The show originally launched around the world on Nickelodeon with BRUNO, a 50-episode, 1-minute-each series exploring numbers, colors, shapes and sizes.

Immediately after came BRUNO AND THE BANANA BUNCH, which was a longer-format narrative show that expanded the world and focused on early numeracy.

Cuppa Coffee President Adam Shaheen said, "I'm not sure anyone really wants 200 episodes of the same old thing - particularly a 4-year old. It's been clear from working with educational specialists that during the formative educational years, a child needs to have a plethora of experiences."

LET'S GO BRUNO is currently in preproduction with scripts in progress and is set to debut worldwide this fall.

Heroes Renewed for 2008-09 Season

Now that the writers strike is over, says that NBC has renewed "Heroes" for the 2008-09 season, but it looks like you won't see the show again until the fall.

NBC's Co-Chairman Ben Silverman said, "Additionally, we will be saving and re-launching our #1 drama and most successful franchise, 'Heroes,' so that it will run in all original episodes in the fourth quarter."

Purty Pics from STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS animated feature film!

I'm excited about this series.... and the idea that something along the lines of 30 - 30 minute episodes are apparently completed... and that we'll get to see this first set as a feature film experience (only thing better would be if they told us it'd be in 3D) - well I'm ready. I'm just curious... will a mania develop for this film. Will there be... "the line"? I kinda hope so.

Warners sent over these three images - CLICK on them for giant sized versions...

Now This is Wolverine!

USA Today has published this first look at Hugh Jackman as Logan in X-Men Origins: Wolverine! And some quotes...

The film will trace Wolverine's past as he discovers the world of mutants and, ultimately, the ominous Weapon X program, which turns people into living weapons.

Jackman is tight-lipped on plot details, though he says the film will hardly be a one-mutant story.

Wolverine's nemesis Sabretooth "is going to play a big part in it. And there will be a good bit of cameos" of new and familiar mutants, he says. "But you can't give too much away, because fans are pretty hard-core. Their expectations go up a level every time you come out with a new film."

Directed by Gavin Hood and co-starring Liev Schreiber, X-Men Origins: Wolverine hits theaters on May 1, 2009.

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