Friday, February 8, 2008

News 2 - 02/08/08...

In Strike News: Eisner Says Strike is Over; WGA Says It Isn't

February 8, 2008 - On an appearance on CNBC last night, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner stated that a deal has been struck to end the writer's strike. Eisner stated that the deal will be presented to the striking writers on Saturday, and stated his opinion that the deal's acceptance was "inevitable." A representative from the Writer's Guild stated in response that, "The strike is NOT over -- as you know, we are under a press blackout, but I can tell you that the strike is NOT over."

Rupert Bear Devours Germany

U.K. global media group Entertainment Rights Plc has announced that RUPERT BEAR FOLLOW THE MAGIC, one of its most popular preschool brands, has become an overnight hit in Germany. The 52x10 series, which started airing in early Jan., is already ranked as one of the highest-rated preschool shows on Super RTL, averaging a 41.4% share in its regular slot. There are also plans in development to launch publishing, DVD, toy and apparel programs in 2009. RUPERT BEAR will brand Super RTL's Toggo Live nationwide tour throughout 2008 and the property will become a central attraction on from April 2008.

The series had is first broadcast on Five's Milkshake! in Nov. 2006 and has since become an international success with sales in 107 countries. Produced by the award-winning Cosgrove Hall Animation Studio, RUPERT BEAR FOLLOW THE MAGIC features a unique mix of stop-frame animation and cutting-edge CGI to produce a magical and innovative show.

Jibber Jabber Wraps First Season

Jibber Jabber Toons Ltd., Northwest Imaging & FX Ltd., and Producer/Lead Creator/Director David Bowes announced the completion of the first season of JIBBER JABBER, a 26x11 CG animated series targeted at kids 6-12.

Broadcaster YTV of Canada ordered 13 episodes of the series, which takes its audience into the imaginations of mischievous 7-year-old fraternal twin brothers Jibber and Jabber. Also joining in on the action are the boys' ever-exasperated 14-year-old sister Jessica and their unwitting dog Jelly Roll. The YTV Original Production is set to air in Canada in 2008. Distributor BEJUBA! Ent. Inc. sold the series to Canal J of France, which aired the first episode Dec. 24, 2007. BEJUBA! is currently in discussions with interested international broadcasters.

Each half-hour episode is comprised of two separate stories in which Jibber and Jabber take everyday chores, objects and events and turn them into wild adventures. Each show is separated visually using two separate points of view as the action cuts back and forth from reality to the boys' imaginations, which take them into outer space, monster movie themes, pirates, super heroes, martial art heroes and beyond. Older sister Jessica and Jelly Roll the dog give the viewer the perspective of what is really going on.

"We had a couple of skeptics in the industry tell us that it couldn't be done," Bowes commented. "They said we could not cut back and forth showing two points of view without confusing the viewers." In the end, this is what made the show so engaging. As Bowes says, "This is not a show you simply watch, it's a show which invites the viewers to participate."

JIBBER JABBER was produced using the latest off-the-shelf 3D Animation Software, combined with 3D-enhanced illustrated backgrounds. All aspects of production, excluding audio post, was done through Northwest Imaging & FX, with the Jibber Jabber Toons Ltd. team supervising.

JIBBER JABBER is a production of Jibber Jabber Toons Ltd. and Northwest Imaging & FX Ltd., in association with YTV of Canada.

Rhapsody Of Steel

ASIFA-Hollywood’s Animation Archive has post a complete Quicktime movie of John Sutherland’s industrial film Rhapsody of Steel (1959) on their site. At the time it was released, it was the most expensive animated industrial film ever made.

It’s a pretty spectacular film, with incredible design by Eyvind Earle, Maurice Noble and Victor Haboush, music by Dimitri Tiomkin, and animation by Irv Spence and Emery Hawkins. It was directed by Carl Urbano.

Brad Bird Interviews

Brad Bird has done a couple radio interviews in the past week which are worth a listen. The first interview refers to him as “Big Bird” and “one of Pixar’s chief polishers,” but beyond that unnecessary cuteness, it’s a decent chat in which Bird discusses what’s wrong with Hollywood filmmaking and expresses reservations about how animation is treated at the Oscars. The second interview gets off an to equally bad start when the host refers to animation as a “genre” and Bird has to correct him. It eventually picks up, especially when he discusses how he came onto Ratatouille midway through the film’s development. The latter interview also features unintentional moments of comic relief by historian Charles Solomon who makes heroic efforts to correctly pronounce the name Ratatouille.

ABC Draws Mike Judge’s First New Cartoon Series Since 1997!!

Mike Judge, creator of MTV’s “Beavis and Butt-Head” and Fox’s “King of the Hill,” has signed up to crank out 13 animated episodes of “The Goode Family” for ABC.

Variety describes the premise:

Show centers on a do-gooder family that tries to do the right thing in all facets of life.

“Goode” is produced by Media Rights Capital, which recently signed an interim deal with the striking Writers Guild of America.

Read all of Variety’s story on the matter here.

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