Thursday, October 23, 2008

News - 10/23/08...

Los Campeones Feature Hits the Theaters

Los Campeones De La Lucha Libre (”The Champions of Wrestling”) has officially hit the theaters in Mexico. This Flash-animated feature film is an homage to lucha libre wrestling created by Eddie Mort and Lili Chin - the creators of ¡Mucha Lucha!. The voice cast includes two of my pals Eric Bauza and Matt Danner. Check out the brief interview and behind the scenes clips we featured here back in 2007, and then watch the full trailer below:

(Thanks Cold Hard Flash)

The Scream Awards Watchmen Teaser!

The SCREAM 2008 awards aired Tuesday night on Spike TV and the Watchmen teaser shown during the event is now online and can be watched using the player below! It includes an intro by director Zack Snyder, and stars Malin Akerman, Carla Gugino and Jeffrey Dean Morgan:

Wall-E wins best original song

According to HollywoodReporter, “Down to Earth,” from Pixar’s Wall-E, by Thomas Newman and Peter Gabriel, was named best original song written directly for a film, at the World Soundtrack Awards 2008. Other winners include James Newton Howard who was named film composer of the year for his scores to Charlie Wilson’s War, Michael Clayton and I Am Legend.

Ponyo on the Cliff opens Cinekid Festival

GhibliWorld reports that Hayao Miyazaki’s latest animated feature Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea was the opening film at Cinekid Festival which takes place from October 19 - 26 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Ponyo will screen in competition section contending for a Cinekid Lion.

New Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa featurette

AWNtv hosts a behind-the scenes featurette Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa - Jungle 2 Plain wherein the production team from DreamWorks’ upcoming animated feature Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa discuss the environments used in the film. The film hits theaters and IMAX on November 7.

Waltz with Bashir to represent Israel at Oscars

Waltz with Bashir, Ari Folman’s critically acclaimed animated documentary about the 1982 Lebanon War, will be Israel’s official entry in the Foreign Language Film category for the 81st Academy Awards. Based on a true story, the film is a quest into the director’s memory for the missing pieces from the days of the Lebanon War in the mid 80s. Waltz with Bashir has been rated R by MPAA for its limited release in theatres starting December 25. The film has been certified fresh by RottenTomatoes with 85% fresh ratings on their tomatometer. Links to a trailer for the film can be found here.

Peter and the Wolf Stalking to DVD

The winner of the 2007 Academy Award for Best Animated Short is making its way to home video. Magnolia Home Entertainment will release director Suzie Templeton’s stop-motion film Peter and the Wolf on DVD on Dec. 9.

Produced by Hugh Welchman and BreakThru Films, Peter and the Wolf is based on the classic musical composition of the same name by Sergei Prokofiev. This latest interpretation was made using a mix of traditional model animation and state-of-the-art digital technology set to a new orchestra recording by the Philharmonia Orchestra to tell the story of a boy who faces his fears to outwit a menacing wolf.

The short first aired on Channel 4 in the U.K. in 2006, after a successful run on the festival circuit. It won the Cristal and Audience Awards at Annecy last year, and picked up the Rose d'Or award at the 2007 Festival for Entertainment Television Programming, and the 2007 Pulcinella award for the Best European Program of the Year at Cartoons on the Bay.

Peter and the Wolf
DVD will include more than an hour of bonus materials including a behind-the-scenes documentary, director’s commentary and the featurettes The Musical Themes, The Story in Pictures and The Making of Peter & the Wolf

Isao Takahata Book Explores Art of Emotion

Italian writer Mario A. Rumor has informed us of a book he has written on master anime director Isao Takahata. Published by Guaraldi in Italy, the 400-page tome titled The Art of Emotion—Isao Takahata’s Animated Films takes an in-depth look at the works of the animation legend who co-founded Studio Ghibli with Oscar winner Hayao Miyazaki.

Takahata’s credits include the TV classics
Alps no Shojo Heidi (Heidi, Girl of the Alps, 1974), 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (1976) and Akage no An (Anne of Green Gables, 1979), as well as the anime features Horosu no Daiboken (Hols: Prince of the Sun, 1968), Gauche the Cellist (1982), Chie the Brat (1982), Grave of the Fireflies (1988), Omohide Poro Poro (1991) and funny Pom Poko (1994). His final film, the Studio Ghibli-produced Tonari no Yamada-kun (My Neighbors the Yamadas) debuted in 1999.

Rumor says
The Art of Emotion was written over nine years and is designed to complement Takahata’s own 1991 book, Eiga wo Tsukuri Nagara Kangeata Koto (Thoughts While Making Movies), by examining the creation of the filmmaker’s greatest movies. The book’s preface is written by French director Michel Ocelot (Azur et Asmar), a long-time friend of Takahata.

A film critic and freelance writer, Rumor has written the books
Like Dolls: Japanese Girl’s Comics (2005) and The New American Empire of TV Series
(2005). He has also written for such publications as DVD World, eMotion, Fox Men, Widescreen Magazine, Fumo di china, Writers Magazine, Telefilm Magazine and Retro.

Shearer to Host BAFTA/LA Awards

Comedian, radio host and long-time Simpsons voice cast member Harry Shearer will host the 17th annual British Academy of Film and Television/Los Angeles Britannia Awards. The ceremony will be held on Nov. 6 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. Presenters will include Jack Black, Ben Affleck, Annette Bening, Hugh Laurie, Paul Thomas Anderson, Anjelica Huston and Patricia Clarkson.

The BAFTA/Britannia Awards will honor actors Tilda Swinton and Don Cheadle, and director Stephen Frears. Swinton, who won a Supporting Actress BAFTA at the Orange British Academy Film Awards, will be presented with the Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year. Cheadle is this year’s recipient of the BAFTA/LA Humanitarian Award, and Frears will receive the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence in Directing.

Shearer voices a number of characters on FOX’s The Simpsons, including Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Scratchy, Ned Flanders, Lenny Leonard, Principal Seymour Skinner and Otto. He also imitated California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had risen to the office of President of the United States in The Simpsons Movie. Shearer has also appeared in the Christopher Guest mockumentaries This Is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration.

CG Nutty Professor Set for November

The classic Jerry Lewis comedy The Nutty Professor was remade with Eddie Murphy in 1996, and now it has been re-imagined with computer animation by The Weinstein Co. and Rainmaker Ent. Genius Products announced that it will release the feature-length family film on home video on Nov. 25.

When Harold Kelp gets his hands on his grandfather’s elixir, he suddenly develops the cool, confident personality he desired, along with an unwelcomed air of conceited arrogance. Like his grandfather Julius, he must try to find true happiness in himself without relying on magic elixirs to do the trick. Jerry Lewis reprises the role of Julius Kelp, and Harold is voiced by Drake Bell from the hit ’tween show
Drake and Josh.

Written by Evan Spiliotopoulos (Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers), the pic is produced by George Paige, with Lewis and Rainmaker’s Gregory R. Little and Rick Mischel serving as exec producers. Eric Robinson oversaw production for Weinstein Co.

The Nutty Professor
was one of several features Lewis wrote, directed, and starred in for Paramount Pictures during the height of his popularity in the 1960s. Lewis, who owns rights to the material, licensed it to Universal for the hit Eddie Murphy remake, which spawned a less successful sequel in 2000.

The DVD will carry a suggested retail price of $19.97. Bonus features will include
“The Science of Animating The Nutty Professor”
and a character storyboard gallery. The movie has been rated “G” by the MPAA.

Jolly Rabbit Hops to CBBC, ABC Australia

Animation Collective has sewn up broadcast sales for its new animated comedy series, Jolly Rabbit, with BBC kid channel CBBC and ABC TV in Australia. Canal+ Family in France has also recently picked up the 52x11 series aimed at preteen boys.

Jolly Rabbit
follows the madcap adventures of a spunky, early-teen rabbit as he navigates the high seas with his band of punk-rocking buddies in search of his missing leg. Together, the boys have wild adventures made all the more interesting by the relentless Captain Squid, who stole Jolly’s left leg and will stop at nothing to get the right one as well.

The television series will be accompanied by an interactive website featuring games, activities and exclusive content. Jolly Rabbit’s house band will also put out music videos, albums and individual tracks through online retailers and other platforms.

Animation Collective’s other properties include: Three Delivery, a U.S./Canadian co-venture between Animation Collective and FatKat Studios in partnership with YTV, which currently airs in the U.S. on Nicktoons Network; Kappa Mikey, MTVN and Nickelodeon's first global acquisition for Nicktoons Network and Nickelodeon; and Thumb Wrestling Federation: TWF for Cartoon Network in the U.S., Asia, Australia and Spain, YTV and the BBC; work-for-hire productions include Speed Racer: The Next Generation for Nicktoons Network and Lionsgate Ent. Animation Collective is also the largest provider of original content for KOL, America Online’s kids channel, and Red, its teen channel.

"Chop Socky Chooks" wins Gemini for animated show

"Chop Socky Chooks," a Canadian-British co-production about a team of crime-fighting kung-fu chickens, was named best animated program or series Tuesday at the 23rd Gemini Awards.

The show, which airs on Teletoon, was one of many winning prizes in 21 categories. The series is produced by Decode Entertainment Inc., Aardman Animations Limited and CSC Productions Inc. Miles Bullough, Neil Court, Steven DeNure, Pete Lord, Dave Sproxton, Beth Stevenson and Jacqueline White were singled out for the honor.

Tuesday's Gemini Awards -- the Canadian equivalent of the Emmys -- honored the best in lifestyle, children's and youth television programming. The awards were presented at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex in Toronto.

Will & Dewitt, an animated show which airs on the YTV youth network, won in the category of best pre-school program or series. Susie Grondin, Michael Hirsh, Pamela Slavin, Toni Stevens and Toper Taylor were recognized for their participation in the series, produced by Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc.

The Gemini for best direction in an animated program or series went to Pierre-Luc Granjon and Pascal Le Nôtre for Léon in Wintertime, a half-hour film co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada and France's Folimage studio.

For best individual or ensemble performance in an animated program or series, Gordon Tootoosis, Raven Brass, Trevor Cameron, Lorne Cardinal, Taylor Cook, Eric Jackson, Andrea Menard and DerRic Starlight won for their work in the Wapos Bay episode "The Guardians."

In the category of best writing in a children's or youth program or series, Robert Pincombe, Shelley Hoffman and Karen Moonah won for their work on "There's Something about Berries"/"Idle Worship," two episodes of the cartoon series Iggy Arbuckle.

And the Gemini for best original music score for an animated program or series was handed to Tom Szczesniak, Carolyn Hay and Ray Parker for the Ruby Gloom episode "Hairless the Musical - Part 1."

Gemini Awards for news, documentary and sports coverage were given out Monday. Drama, variety and comedy programming is to be recognized today (Wednesday).

The main Gemini show, to be held November 28 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, will be simulcast at 9 p.m. ET/PT on E! Network and Showcase.

Talking moose giving Republicans' Palin a goose

No, he wasn't Bullwinkle, but a talking cartoon moose did come to Ohio TV stations Wednesday to greet Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Produced for the liberal interest group, a seriocomic commercial featuring the moose calling Palin "trigger-happy" was to air on CBS, NBC and ABC stations in Toledo, giving a back-handed welcome to the Alaska governor on her arrival to start a two-day campaign trip in Ohio.

While the ad makes fun of Palin, it has a serious message, a spokesman told the Toledo Blade. The commercial was also to be broadcast in Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Mounted as a hunter's trophy above a fireplace, the toon moose head raps Palin's alleged ignorance of foreign affairs.

"You really gotta question John McCain's judgment pickin' Sarah Palin as his VP," said the moose. The animal adds of the governor, who's a hunter: "She may be a little trigger-happy. I should know."

The ads started airing on one TV station the same day that Democrats in Toledo held a news conference condemning the Republican campaign's allegedly negative tone.

Smurfs go into wild blue yonder for Thanksgiving

In honor of their Smurfday, the Smurfs will be celebrating as they make their first-time-ever appearance in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

As they make the journey from the Smurf village to Broadway this Thanksgiving, the Smurfs will take to the streets and the sky of the Big Apple with a new Smurf giant character helium balloon and float. When the balloon flies down Broadway, followed closely by a smurfariffic float, the Smurfs -- one of only three new giant helium character balloons in the 82nd annual parade -- will be seen by over 3.5 million spectators and over 50 million viewers across the United States.

Sony Pictures Entertainment previously announced that a live-action/animated hybrid Smurfs motion picture is in development, to be produced by Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation with producer Jordan Kerner (Charlotte's Web) and writers David Stem and David Weiss (Shrek 2 and 3).

From three apples tall to 47 feet high, the new Smurf balloon will be sure to put the blue in the sky on Thanksgiving Day. Waving hello to all his friends as he flies through the streets of Manhattan, the Smurf will measure approximately 57.6 feet long, 38.7 feet wide and 47 feet tall when he is filled with 15,050 cubic feet of helium on parade day.

The 82nd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade steps off on Thursday, November 27 and is broadcast nationally on NBC from 9 a.m. to 12 noon in all time zones.

Along for the ride down Broadway and taking a leave from the Smurf village, Papa Smurf and Smurfette will follow the Smurf balloon on a float featuring a replica of one of the Smurfs' legendary mushroom-shaped homes. Not to be left out of the balloon fun, the entire Smurf mushroom home will be an inflatable balloon, too.

"Without a doubt, the sky will be blue this Thanksgiving," said Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade producer Amy Kule. "We are thrilled to help the Smurfs celebrate their 50th Anniversary with a new giant balloon that will be one of the highlights of this year's parade. Following closely behind this flying wonder will be the ubiquitous mushroom village float holding the classic characters everybody remembers so well: Papa Smurf and Smurfette."

Kule continued, "We are pleased that following this inaugural flight, a whole new generation will have a chance to get to know and love the Smurfs for many more decades to come."

"To celebrate their 50th anniversary, the Smurfs have been touring throughout Europe with the 'Smurf Happy Birthday Project,' supporting UNICEF's mission to 'bring education to all the children of the world,'" commented Hendrik Coymsan, CEO of Lafig Belgium s.a.

"At this coming Thanksgiving, the Smurfs will appear for the first time in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. This will be one of the highlights of their 50th anniversary year. The Smurfs are proud to have been invited to make this special appearance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and to greet three generations of fans in America. Smurfs are only three apples high, but in the Big Apple at Thanksgiving, they will be super-sized! It will be a unique experience."

"We are thrilled to be celebrating the Smurfs' 50th Smurfday in America, and the giant character balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is the perfect highlight for this milestone. People all over the world love the Smurfs, and the parade is the perfect time and event to celebrate 50 years of Smurfing," added Juli Boylan, Sony Pictures Entertainment's senior vice-president for worldwide consumer products.

Thursday, October 23 will be positively Smurfy as the world marks the 50th Smurfday of the Smurfs, the blue heroes who first appeared in the comic books by Belgian cartoonist Peyo (a/k/a Pierre Culliford) on October 23, 1958.

The Smurfs were born that day in the pages of the Belgian magazine Spirou. Johan and Peewit, the heroes of a cartoon taking place in the Middle Ages, suddenly hear a small voice: "Can't you look where you smurf? You nearly smurfed me!" -- and a small, blue gnome emerges from behind a rock.

Since then, the Smurfs have moved into legend. The stars of comic books, the big screen and the long-running NBC cartoon series, the Smurfs also inspired record albums, video games, toys, and a steadily increasing collection of figurines. The Smurfs, known by many names in countless languages, are beloved all over the world.

Kim Deitch Hosts Cartoon Movie Night at MoCCA in NYC on October 30, 2008

The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) in New York City will be hosting cartoonist and animator Kim Deitch on October 30, 2008 at 7:00 PM. Deitch will be presenting rarely seen cartoons from the 1920's and 1930's from his own personal collection, which influenced his signature character Waldo the Cat. His work is currently the spotlight of the MoCCA galleries, which are hosting "Kim Deitch: A Retrospective" through December 5, 2008.

The Film of Roman

Interesting times at the studio by the Bob Hope Airport.

People are glad to be working, but morale is not at ... uh ... former highs.

"I don't know if they're going to keep the layout department here on The Simpsons going. They seem to be moving to just doing roughs here and do everything else in Korea." ... "Word's out that Starz Media has Film Roman up for sale, and they've got four bidders." ...

Longtime Film Roman/Simpsons producer Mike Wolf has just departed FR, and some of the employees I talk to are sorry over his departure.

"Mike wasn't perfect, but he always gave me a fair listen to when I had an issue, and he knew the show as well as anybody. It's too bad he's gone ..."

What I mostly pick up around the studio is the uncertainty of where the television series called The Simpsons is going. I hear things like: "We just don't know how much longer Fox is going to keep the show alive," and "They're squeezing the artists because they're paying so much to the voice actors, and they feel like they've got to hold the line somewhere. They figure we're an easier target."

Personally, I don't think News Corp. will be stopping episodes of the Yellow Family anytime soon (there's just too much money in those citizens of Springfield.) I ask one of the show's veterans if he believes that management is going to eliminate layouts in an attempt to cut budgets. He frowns and shakes his head.

"If they get rid of layouts, I think they destroy the character of the show. I don't know if The Simpsons could go on ..."

If the series doesn't continue for at least two more seasons, I'l eat my union card. Beyond that, there are those Simpsons animated features yet to be made. When I tell two anxious artists there is no way Fox is going to walk away from a feature franchise as lucrative as Homer's family, and more sequels are a dead-bang certainty, they don't disagree.

But how can they? If there's one thing that's bed-rock philosophy in Tinseltown, it's the love ... and continuation ... of a money-making franchise. Just ask Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

The Dark Knight Special Edition Soundtrack Coming

Warner Bros. Records will release a Special Edition version of The Dark Knight soundtrack on December 9. Not much is known about the release, but the listing states that it includes two discs.

Stay tuned for more updates on the Special Edition Soundtrack.

Rumored ‘Green Lantern’ Ryan Gosling Discusses Possible Superhero Roles

News and rumors regarding the currently-in-development movie based on “Green Lantern” have been flooding the internet over the past month, and so far, fans of DC’s Emerald Interstellar Enforcer have been hearing nothing but good news about the production — from the fanboy-friendly script to co-writer Marc Guggenheim’s sources of inspiration.

However, one bit of news that has had fans scratching their collective noggins has been rumors of Ryan Gosling being considered for the potential lead role of Hal Jordan (the man who would eventually take on the mantle of Green Lantern). Splash Page looked back to an interview with Gosling from September of last year that could shed some light on his thoughts toward playing a superhero.

While rumors of the actor landing the role of Green Lantern weren’t a fanboy topic of conversation at the time, Gosling did make it clear that the task of playing a superhero would be a daunting one for him — and one he wasn’t sure he’d even be thought of for.

“I never really read comic books actually, so it’s not really a genre I’m familiar with,” said Gosling. “[But] I don’t know if anyone would have me as a comic book hero. It’s never really come across my path.”

But even though Gosling’s a talented actor and certainly has the look for the part (maybe just add some grey streaks to his hair), he still felt that moviegoers would see him play the role of a superhero for reasons other than thrilling action and adventure. “You’d go for the wrong reasons. You’d get high, watch me go play [a superhero] and laugh.”

Lou Ferrigno, Bill Bixby & ‘The Incredible Hulk: The Complete TV Series’ Get 20-Disc DVD Collection

Long before CGI was the norm for live-action adaptations of comics, there was a time when the guy with the biggest muscles got the part. It was a time when legends were born and we all learned why it wasn’t a good idea to make David Banner angry. (Because he’d turn into a green-skinned Lou Ferrigno and start throwing people around, that’s why!)

Yesterday saw the release of a massive, 20-disc collection of the original Hulk TV series starring Bill Bixby as Banner and Ferrigno as, of course, The Hulk. With a suggested price tag of $149.98, “The Incredible Hulk: The Complete Series” includes 6 hours of bonus features, a behind-the-scenes look at the connections between the TV series and “The Incredible Hulk” movie and episode commentaries. Heck, even the box looks pretty impressive.

Doctor Strange To Finally See Live Action - Again*?

Doctor Strange is one of the hardest of the Marvel characters to classify. In fact, he's arguably the most powerful Marvel character. He can't seem to be killed and his powers are almost endless. Even though he's on "hiatus" in the comic books, it looks like he may live on in the movies.

With Marvel having such a successful run with Iron Man, The Hulk, and now The Punisher, Iron Man 2, The Avengers Initiative, Thor, Spider-Man 4 & 5 and Captain America to come to theaters in the close future, Marvel wants to expand on its giant roster of characters. Here's what MTV reported when they spoke with Marvel President Kevin Feige:

“I’d say in the next year, year and a half, as we start putting together our film slate for 2012 and 2013, I would not be shocked if we saw Dr. Strange on those lists. I love the idea of taping into the magical realm of the Marvel Universe, which is fairly significant and hasn’t yet seen life on screen.

“It’s something I’m very, very interested in,”
he emphasized.

Click HERE to read the rest.

But the big question is, who would be a perfect fit to play The Sorcerer Supreme? (Man, this dude has more nicknames than Apollo Creed)

Besides the usual roster of actors, good 'ol Doc has a mustache. And who in Hollywood can pull off a mustache and still be manly enough to handle the role?

Orlando Bloom?


One of The Barbarian Brothers?

Double nope.

Ellen DeGeneres?

No. Too manly.

Hulk Hogan?

"You just fell under my spell, bruther!"

I got it!!!!!!!

(Thanks Latino Review)

*(Ed. note: "Again" was added because Doctor Strange was made as a live-action TV movie in 1978 which aired on CBS.)

Boomerang's "Bedrock 'N' Roll" Flintstones Marathon on October 26, 2008

Boomerang will run a marathon of 15 musical-themed Flintstones episodes on October 26, 2008, starting at 8:00 AM and running to 11:00 PM (Eastern/Pacific). The "Bedrock 'N' Roll" marathon will include the episodes which featured guest stars Hoagy Carmichael, Ann-Margret, and James Darren.

Highlights in the "Bedrock 'N' Roll" Marathon include:

* "The Hit Song Writers," 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (ET/PT): When Fred discovers that Barney is a compulsive poet, he seeks songwriting assistance from famed composer Hoagy Carmichael.

* "Ann Margrock Presents," 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. (ET/PT): While working on the new Bedrock Bowl, Fred and Barney prepare an act for the dedication ceremony starring Ann-Margrock.

* "Surfin' Fred," 1:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. (ET/PT): Fred's quiet seaside weekend is interrupted by a national surfing contest. Fred gets caught up in the activities and must be saved by surf idol Jimmy Darrock.

* "Shinrock-A-Go-Go," 3 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. (ET/PT): Fred and Barney check out the new TV show, "Shinrock," hosted by Jimmy O'Neilstone. When Fred drops a bowling ball on his foot, Jimmy takes it as a new dance and names it "The Frantic."

Fox draws up cast for 'Good Vibes'

Fox has rounded out the cast for its upcoming animated high school project "Good Vibes."

Project, from 20th Century Fox TV and Good Humor TV, will feature the voices of thesps Josh Gad ("Back to You"), Adam Brody ("The O.C."), Debi Mazar ("Entourage"), Olivia Thirlby ("New York I Love You"), Alan Tudyk ("3:10 to Yuma") and Jake Busey ("Broken").

Thesps will table read the script in early November; project, which was picked up last month as a pilot presentation, is being developed for spring consideration.

"Pineapple Express"
helmer David Gordon Green wrote the laffer, which centers on two high school surfer dudes who live near the beach in California. Good Humor's Tom Werner and Mike Clements are exec producing, along with animator Brad Ableson and Green.

"Good Vibes," Gad will play Mondo, an out-of-shape, shaggy-haired teen looking to master surfing and win over Jeena (voiced by Thirlby) -- who thinks of Mondo more like a brother.

Brody is onboard as Woodie, Mondo's best friend, while Busey will play Turk, Mondo's chief rival. Mazar plays Babs, Mondo's mother. Tudyk will voice Lonnie, an old surf bum who doubles as the show's narrator.

Gad's other credits include
"21" and "Mardi Gras," while Brody recently shot "Jennifer's Body." Busey's TV credits include "Shasta McNasty" and "Comanche Moon," while Mazar was recently in "The Women."

Free Animation Screenings in Canada for World Animation Day from Oct 22-Nov 9, 2008

To commemorate this year's World Animation Day on October 28, the National Film Board of Canada is presenting free public screenings of animated films across Canada, running from October 22 - November 9, 2008. There are also two free streaming videos available now at the National Film Board "Get Animated" website: "Flutter" by Howie Shia and "At Home with Mrs. Hen" by Tali.

Watchmen Teaser Poster Revealed

On top of the new SCREAM 2008 Awards teaser, Warner Bros. Pictures has debuted the new teaser poster for Watchmen, opening in conventional theaters and IMAX on March 6. Directed by Zack Snyder, the big screen adaptation Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley, Matthew Goode, Billy Crudup, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Malin Akerman, Carla Gugino, Stephen McHattie and Matt Frewer.
The teaser poster also reveals the film's MPAA rating. It's been rated R for graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and language.

A complex, multi-layered mystery adventure, Watchmen is set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday society, and the "Doomsday Clock" - which charts the USA's tension with the Soviet Union - is permanently set at five minutes to midnight. When one of his former colleagues is murdered, the washed-up but no less determined masked vigilante Rorschach sets out to uncover a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes. As he reconnects with his former crime-fighting legion - a ragtag group of retired superheroes, only one of whom has true powers - Rorschach glimpses a wide-ranging and disturbing conspiracy with links to their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the future. Their mission is to watch over humanity...but who is watching the watchmen?

Iron Man Concept Art Revealed

Phil Saunders has been in the conceptual design game for over ten years and one of his projects was suit design for Iron Man.

In the comics, Tony Stark had numerous suits for various purposes, one of them an underwater suit that had an inflatable life preserver, flashing beacon and fish food dispenser. While it's not a shock that these suits didn't make it into the first film, there's always the chance they can be used in the sequel. Especially the War Machine armor that's so heavily talked about.

Here's Phil himself talking about his work:
A bunch of stuff got posted to Yahoo Movies, including these three images I did at the very end of production as alternate suit designs that would have been in a "Hall of Armor" coda at the end of the film.

This first one is a concept for War Machine. I spent a lot of time on developing this suit, which was of course cut from the script about half way through pre-production. Originally it was going to be called the MK IV armor and would have been weaponized swap-out parts that would be worn over the original MK III armor. Earlier versions were red and gold, and would have been worn by Tony Stark in the final battle sequence.

And for those of you speculating, sorry folks, as far as I know, if there is a War Machine in IM 2, it's unlikely to be this one. You'll just have to wait and see!

This next one is an attempt at suggesting "stealth" technology in the surface treatment of the suit. This was an idea that was played with early on in the MK 3 development, but was ultimately abandoned as not being classic enough. I revived and updated it for this special purpose suit.

This last one has a funny history. Throughout pre-production, every time we would present our designs for the suit, Avi Arad, the film's producer, would ask us for an underwater suit. Now I should mention that there was never an underwater scene in the script, but as the toy licencing is such a large part of the revenue from these films, there was a lot of pressure to use as many variations on the suit as possible in the film, all budgetary condsiderations notwithstanding. Needless to say, the underwater suit never saw the light of day, but in homage to Avi, I drew this one up as a possible addition to the hall of armor.

Lucas Arts, BioWare Prep New Star Wars MMOG

Gamers can look forward to picking up their virtual lightsabers and blasters to battle the evil Sith forces once again. LucasArts and BioWare, a division of Electronic Arts, have announced the development of Star Wars: The Old Republic, a story-driven, massively multiplayer online PC game that picks up where the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic franchise left off. The new title promises immersive storytelling, dynamic combat and intelligent companion characters.

In Star Wars: The Old Republic, players will explore an age thousands of years before the rise of Darth Vader, a time that finds the galaxy divided by war between the Old Republic and the Sith Empire. Players can choose to play as Jedi, Sith or various other characters from the Star Wars universe. Along the way, gamers will befriend courageous companions who will fight at their side or possibly betray them, based on the players’ actions.

Traditionally, massively multiplayer online games have been about three basic gameplay pillars—combat, exploration and character progression, explains Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder and general manager/CEO of BioWare and general manager/VP of Electronic Arts Inc. “In Star Wars: The Old Republic, we’re fusing BioWare’s heritage of critically-acclaimed storytelling with the amazing pedigree of Lucasfilm and LucasArts, and adding a brand-new, fourth pillar to the equation—story.”

A release date for Star Wars: The Old Republic will be announced at a later time. For more information on the title and to sign up for future product updates, go to

No comments: