Wednesday, May 28, 2008

News - 05/28/08...

The 5th Incredible Hulk Clip

MSN has revealed a fifth clip from The Incredible Hulk, coming to theaters on June 13. You can watch the previously-released clips via this link.

In related news, Symantec has launched a tie-in site and NBC has started promoting the "Hulk"-themed "American Gladiator" episode coming in two weeks. You can watch the promo below:

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa rundown

A summary glimpse of the story for Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa can be read at the DreamWorks Animation website by clicking on the penguin image, rolling over “More Info,” and then clicking on “Story.” The followup to the hit 2005 CG-animated film Madagascar escapes to theaters, including IMAX, on November 7, 2008.

Sony Pictures Classics to distribute Waltz With Bashir

The L.A. Times reveals that the much acclaimed animated film will be distributed in North America and select Latin American territories “sometime soon.” In the semi-autobiographical Waltz With Bashir, director Ari Folman loosely recounts his time fighting as an Israeli solider in the 1982 war with Lebanon. Last year, Sony Pictures Classics was the domestic distributor of Persepolis, about the Iranian revolution, which was nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar.

A look at India’s Dashavatar

Bollywood Ungama talked to Dashavatar director Bhavik Thakore about the song featured in the upcoming animated film from India.

Pixar 2-set DVDs now on sale for $13 each

/film alerts Pixar fans that Amazon is currently offering six of the studio’s 2-disc special edition DVDs at a 57% discount!

NY Times on Warner Bros' Hopes for "Watchmen" Animated DTV

The New York Times is reporting how a direct-to-video animated project connected with the Watchmen movie fits in with Warner Brothers' strategies to revive the flagging DVD market (free registration required). The feature film adaptation of Watchmen, based on the DC Comics graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, will be hitting screens in March 2009, but Warner Brothers is hoping to drum up attention for the movie and renew excitement in the DVD market by releasing an animated movie tie-in to the movie. The DVD, tentatively titled Tales of the Black Freighter, will also include a pseudo-documentary titled Under the Hood that will delve into the Watchmen movie backstory.

Watchmen's Minutemen Photographed

Ain't It Cool News has posted a photo of 1940's Minutemen in the Watchmen movie, coming to theaters on March 6, 2009. The photo includes the classic Silk Spectre, Nite Owl, Captain Metropolis, Mothman, Silhouette, The Comedian, Dollar Bill and Hooded Justice. Check it out by clicking the image below .

"Venture Bros" Premieres June 1 Along with T-Shirt Club

The Venture Bros. will be returning to Adult Swim for its third season on June 1, 2008 . The producers of the show at Astro Base Go! have also launched the Venture Bros. T-Shirt of the Week Club, which will offer 13 limited-edition, episode-specific T-shirts for $22 each. Subscribers to the club will also get a bonus "Samson Kodokan Blood Judo" T-shirt for free.

"Simpsons Movie," "Kim Possible" Take Home Reuben Awards

The National Cartoonists Society (NCS) yearly "Reuben" awards were handed out on May 25, 2008, at their annual meeting. David Silverman took home the Reuben for Animation Feature for The Simpsons Movie, while Stephen Silver landed the Reuben for Animation Television for Kim Possible. MAD magazine cartoonist Al Jaffee took the Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year award.

Kadokawa to Try Revenue Sharing with Unauthorized YouTube Videos

Variety is reporting that Kadokawa Group Holdings will be trying a new strategy in June to deal with clips of their programming that are posted on the YouTube video sharing website. Rather than immediately asking for the clip to be removed, Kadokawa will determine whether the person or company who posted the video is "legitimate" and, if so, will run ads on the poster's web page and divide the revenue with YouTube and the poster. The new policy is another step in the collaboration between Kadokawa and YouTube, and is intended to "encourage legit uses of its toons, while spreading the international word about them on YouTube and reaping profits in the bargain."

Time-Life to Issue The Real Ghostbusters to DVD reports that Time-Life is going to distribute a massive 26-disc DVD collection of the 1986 cartoon series The Real Ghostbusters.

Based on the hit 1984 movie, the show follows the continuing adventures of Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston as they rid every paranormal spook in New York City.

The Real Ghostbusters was produced by DiC, in association with Columbia Pictures Television and Coca-Cola, and aired on ABC from 1986-1991, and in syndication a year later. The Show was later renamed Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters in 1988. The show features the voices of Lorenzo Music (Garfield) and Dave Coulier (Out of Control, Full House, and Baby Animal from Muppet Babies) as Peter Venkman, Maurice LaMarche (The Brain of Pinky & the Brain fame) as Egon Spengler, Arsenio Hall (The Arsenio Hall Show) and Buster Jones (Black Vulcan from Challenge of the Superfriends, and Blaster from The Transformers) as Winston Zeddemore, Laura Summer and Kath Soucie (Phil & Lil from Rugrats) as Janine, Roger Bumpass (Squidward from Spongebob Squarepants) as Louis Tully, and Frank Welker (Fred from Scooby-Doo, and Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget) as Ray Stantz and Slimer.

This is the first time that Time-Life is going to place a massive collection for an animated cartoon. The DVDs will be sold by Time-Life this fall.

Film & Video Interviews Nina Paley on "Sita Sings the Blues"

The Film & Video website has posted an interview with independent animator Nina Paley about her film Sita Sings the Blues, which tells the parallel tales of The Ramayana and her own painful breakup with her husband. The interview digs into many technical details on the production of the movie and the many problems that face an independent animator in producing and distributing a film.

Sony Going with a New Spider-Man?

Last week, it was rumored that Sony Pictures is looking to shoot Spider-Man 4 and Spider-Man 5 at the same time using a script by James Vanderbilt that spans the two films. While that hasn't been confirmed, Latino Review added its own rumor... that Peter Parker/Spider-Man may get recast for the films.

Who do they say top the producers' list for the role? Patrick Fugit and Michael Angarano. More details here!

So does that mean Sam Raimi, Tobey and Kirsten Dunst are all out? It's too early to tell, but just remember none of this has been confirmed.

Christian Bale on Batman, Heath Ledger and More

Christian Bale is on the cover of the June/July issue of DETAILS, on stands nationwide June 3rd. He talks about Heath Ledger, panic over the bat suit, and self-destructing. Here's a clip on Heath:

"He was incredibly intense in his performance but incredibly mellow and laid-back. Certainly there was this great anarchistic streak to it-just getting dirtier than anybody's envisioned the Joker before. Naturally it was something I wanted to share with him-and expected to do so. And I can't do anything else but hope that it will be an absolutely appropriate celebration of his work."

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

Briefly: Animation in Australia, in Chinese Opera, in Comics, and on Mars

* The Australian Film Commission reports that Happy Feet was the most popular DVD of 2007 in Australia. [Variety]

* Animated sequences are one of many multi-media elements utilized in a new opera version of the Chinese Monkey King folktale premiering at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. in South Carolina. [The New York Times,]

* NASA's just-landed Phoenix Mars probe includes a disc of Mars imagery in Earth fiction, including in animation and comic books. [Comics Reporter]

Pitch Party ’08 Gets Judges!

Animation Magazine is thrilled to announce the first batch of distinguished industry professionals to sign on as judges for this year’s Pitch Party! Their seventh annual talent competition will spotlight a host of potential projects, providing rising talent with the unique opportunity to get their ideas in front of a diverse group of TV power players.

For the seventh consecutive year, they're opening up an entire section of our publication to 1/6th-page advertisements that pitch new ideas for animated programs. For less than the cost of a workshop on "breaking into the biz," you can get your pitch seen by tens of thousands of readers, including top decision makers in the animation industry. All you have to do is send them an eye-grabbing design/image and a few lines to support your pitch.

You have until June 8 to reserve space for your Pitch Party ad and take advantage of this rare opportunity to get your concepts in front of influential people with the power to greenlight projects! To have your cartoon creations reviewed by the following industry luminaries and the animation community at large, submit your pitches today. Submission information can be found at

2008 Pitch Party Judges

Daniel Wineman
Director of original series and co-productions, Jetix Europe

Daniel Wineman was appointed to the position of director of original series and co-productions in April of 2008. He is responsible for all creative aspects of Jetix Europe’s original series and co-productions, ensuring that the Jetix vision and brand consistency are carried throughout the development and production process. He reports to Marc Buhaj, senior VP of programming for Jetix Europe.

Wineman joined Jetix Europe from Cartoon Network and Boomerang in the U.S., where he spent ten years working across programming, scheduling and acquisitions. He has a B.A. degree from the University of Michigan and started his career working for The New York Times.

Julie Kane-Ritsch
Exec VP, The Gotham Group

Since joining Gotham in 1999, Julie Kane-Ritsch has been instrumental in developing animated and family entertainment projects for television, feature films and publishing, as well as creating strategic and business plans for the company. She was a co-producer on The Spiderwick Chronicles, the feature film based on The New York Times best-selling book series written by Gotham clients Tony Di Terlizzi and Holly Black.

Kane-Ritsch’s diverse list of clients include Jim Benton, author of the Franny K. Stein book series and The New York Times best-selling series Dear Dumb Diary; Annie Award-nominee Bob Boyle, creator of Nickelodeon’s current hit Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! and Disney/Jetix’s Ying! Yang! Yo!; Caldecott Medalist Peter McCarty; Sue Rose, creator of Nickelodeon’s live-action series Unfabulous; Kirk Wise, co-director on Beauty and the Beast; and Family Guy director Pete Michels.

Previously, Kane-Ritsch was director of business and legal affairs for Hanna-Barbera, Inc., VP of business and legal affairs for Turner Feature Animation, and head of business affairs for DreamWorks Television Animation. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Denver and received her J.D. with honors from DePaul University. She is a voting member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Roland Poindexter
VP of current series animation for Nickelodeon

Roland Poindexter has more than 15 years of experience in television programming and creative direction, and has developed several Emmy Award-winning kids’ series. In his current position as VP of current series animation for Nickelodeon, he supervises more than 100 hours of original production for the kids cable network, including such favorites as SpongeBob SquarePants and The Fairly OddParents.

Poindexter previously served as senior VP of action-adventure properties for Warner Bros. Animation, where he spearheaded the studio’s creative development in all-genres of programming for broadcast, cable and made-for-video outlets. He was also responsible for supervising creative direction on Warner Bros. Animation’s award-winning series The Batman, which debuted to high ratings on Kids’ WB! in the fall of 2004. In addition, Poindexter served as creative exec for the top-rated series Justice League Unlimited, Teen Titans and the Emmy-winning Static Shock, as well as the feature-length direct-to-video productions The Batman vs. Dracula and Superman: Brainiac Attacks!.

In 1998, Poindexter was named VP/head of programming for Fox Kids. During his tenure, he served as principal creative executive for Godzilla: The Series, NASCAR Racers and Spider-Man: Unlimited, and principal development and production exec for Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?, C-Bear & Jamal and The Adventures of Batman and Robin. Before joining Fox Kids, he worked as manager of development for Nelvana Ent., having started his career in creative development with ABC. Poindexter holds a bachelor’s degree in communication arts and sciences from University of Southern California.

Rob Renzetti
Supervising producer of The Cartoonstitute at Cartoon Network

Rob Renzetti is supervising producer of The Cartoonstitute, Cartoon Network’s new artist-led pilots initiative. He originally joined the development team at Cartoon Network in 2006 to co-produce the Emmy Award-winning animated series Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.

Prior to joining Cartoon Network, Renzetti created a number of original shorts for both Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, including Mina and the Count and A Cop and his Donut. In 2002, the last of these shorts became the Nickelodeon animated series My Life As a Teenage Robot.

Renzetti moved from Chicago to Los Angeles in 1990 to attend the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). He worked briefly in Madrid as an animator on Batman before returning to L.A. to join Hanna-Barbera and then Cartoon Network Studios as a director, storyboard artist and writer on such hit shows as Dexter’s Laboratory and the Emmy Award-winning series The Powerpuff Girls and Samurai Jack.

Matt Harrigan
Head of program development for Adult Swim

In addition to developing new series, Harrigan also writes and produces for a variety of Adult Swim series including Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Fat Guy Stuck in Internet, The Drinky Crow Show, Perfect Hair Forever, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, 12 oz. Mouse, Squidbillies, Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.

Harrigan grew up in Rye, New York and graduated Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. He began his career in television working in comedy development for HBO in New York. He then went on to write for CBS’ Late Night with David Letterman on, MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch and The Michael Moore Show.

“I Search for new talent, new ideas,” He says. “Did you see There Will Be Blood? I’m like that guy, only instead of oil I search for comedy gold, and my boy can hear pretty well.”

DIC, Vivendi Partner for Digital Distribution

Vivendi Ent. and DIC Ent. have entered into a partnership to make DIC’s children’s programs available to consumers through a variety of online and mobile digital channels. DIC’s vast library of animation programming includes such popular shows as Inspector Gadget, Madeline, Horseland, Dino Squad, Liberty's Kids, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Bros. and The Littles.

“We’re excited to partner with an industry leader like Vivendi Entertainment,” says Frederic Soulie, VP of interactive and new media for DIC Ent. “Vivendi’s digital distribution team excels at evaluating emerging technologies and digital distribution, and we believe our partnership will significantly extend the reach of our catalog.”

DIC’s programming will be made available for download through various digital partners including download providers, mobile carriers and the next generation of in-home device manufactures. Content from DIC’s library has appeared on major broadcast outlets around the world and is currently seen each Saturday morning during CBS’ KEWLopolis block.

He-Man, Super Heroes Arrive from BCI

Navarre Corp.’s BCI Eclipse debuts two heroic new DVD box sets today with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Volume Two and Advantage: Super Heroes Vol. 1. Also hitting retail shelves is a three-disc set of episodes of the anime series GoLion, the original Japanese show that spawned the 1980s hit Voltron.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Volume Two is a three-disc set with episodes 14-26 of the 2002 series reboot produced by Mike Young Prods. Bonus features include the original “Morals” segment for each episode; commentary on three episodes with director Gary Hartle, story editor Dean Sefan and writer Steve Melching (moderated by Ian Richter); He-Man Villains sketch and still galleries; a background gallery; complete animatics for four episodes; scripts; an eight-page booklet; and two Masters of the Universe collectible art cards. The set can lists for $26.98.

Advantage: Super Heroes Vol. 1 offers 30 cartoon episodes on four discs.
Two discs are devoted to 14 episodes of Filmation’s Flash Gordon, which originally aired from 1979 to 1981. Flash and companions Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov face danger and excitement when they crash-land on Mongo, a bizarre planet ruled by the tyrannical Ming the Merciless. To save themselves from doom at the hands of the evil emperor and his ruthless Metal Men, they must find a way to bring together the citizens of Mongo and their leaders, including Thun the Lion Man, winged King Vultan of the Hawkmen and bow-wielding Prince Barin of Arboria.

The other two discs contain 16 episodes of Defenders of the Earth, which has Ming the Merciless working overtime to eliminate the human race. Out to stop him are the Defenders of the Earth, a superhero conglomerate led by legendary crime fighters The Phantom, Flash Gordon and Mandrake. The do-gooders join forces with their uniquely talented teenage children to challenge Ming and his evil followers in a series of battles employing powerful computers and space-age technology. The box set carries a suggested retail price of $12.98.

The newly restored and uncut version GoLion promises to deliver the Voltron universe as North American audiences have never experienced it before. Produced by Toei Animation and Bandai, the show revolves around five brave warriors who pilot mechanical animals that join together to form one unstoppable fighting machine. Plot points and characters were altered when the series was tailored for U.S. audiences, who will now get to see what really happened. The set from Anime Works lists for $34.95.

Spanish Simpsons

There isn’t much to say about this:

(thanks cartoonbrew)

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