Friday, November 28, 2008

News - 11/28/08...

Cartoons Hate Families

Did you know that CARTOONS HATE FAMILIES? It’s true, I guess. Otherwise they wouldn’t say in in all caps at At first I thought it was a crazy over-the-top parody, but it seems to be the real thing. I, for one, would never have guessed that Monsters Inc. is an attempt by the Godless Disney organization to introduce Satanism to innocent children. But sure enough, it is!

This site apparently has not been updated in a year, so I’d hate to push up their numbers and encourage them to post more. Still, it’s an interesting find — in the same way that the life forms one discovers hiding under a rock make for “an interesting find”. It’s too late for me, but you may still be able to save yourself from these filthy, vile cartoons!

(Thanks Joe Dante and special thanks to Dewey McGuire)

(Thanks cartoonbrew)

Henry Selick talks Coraline

In an exclusive video interview with Collider, Henry Selick, the director of upcoming stop-motion feature Coraline, talks about the story behind the film, use of 3-D, and more. Selick also explains what fans can expect from the movie and why everyone should stay through the end credits of Coraline. The film, which tells the tale of a young girl named Coraline and her descent into a fantastical alternate reality will be out in theatres on February 6, 2009.

Peg Bar Helps Irish Animators Network

Sensing a need for networking opportunities for the animation industry in Ireland, the collective behind Peg Bar organized “It's a Peg Bar Affair,” an event that brought together animation artists, illustrators and vfx artists. The first edition, held in August, was such a success that a second is scheduled for January of 2009. The group is currently seeking artist’s show reels for the event.

“It's a Peg Bar Affair Vol.2" will take place on Friday, Jan. 23 at Murrays Bar on O'Connell St. in Dublin. The show will be opened by Eamonn Butler of Double Negative (HellBoy II: The Golden Army, 10,000 BC, Harry Potter and the Order of Pheonix). Those who would like their work showcased can submit a disc containing two movie files (one uncompressed show reel and one compressed avi or .mov under 50 MB) and a word document or pdf with a short artist bio and photo. All entries must be received by Monday, Dec. 22. For more details, email

The Peg Bar collective is made up of Daniel Spencer, Anna O'Sullivan, Ben Hennessy, Lisa Scannell and Ben Harper. Since the first networking event, the group has started a blog with interviews, podcasts and Irish animation news at

Pinky Dinky Doo Site Launched

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind the hit animated preschool series Pinky Dinky Doo, has launched an innovative and interactive website at The show recently kicked off its second season and remains one of the top ten daytime programs on Noggin in the U.S.

The new site gives Pinky the opportunity to present her latest stories and “great big fancy words” on a medium beyond television, and allows children to present theirs as well. Fans of the pink haired 7-year-old can access interactive games, videos, podcasts and printable activities featuring storylines from the series’ second season. Kids and their caregivers can also create their own Pinky stories that may be featured as user-generated podcasts on the site.

Viewers now have the opportunity to take a hands-on approach to the program’s lessons. Highlights include printable activities including coloring pages, stationery, story book templates and newspapers; The Great Big Fancy Word Game; and 12 new video clips from this season’s episodes. In addition, a special section for grownups includes meet-the-characters videos, story synopses, and suggestions of offline activities.

Pinky Dinky Doo blossomed from a collection of bedtime stories made up by Cartoon Pizza principals Jim Jinkins (president and co-founder) and David Campbell (CEO). The show was previously produced with Flash animation over photo collage backgrounds, but a 3D element has been added for the second season. Sesame Workshop and Cartoon Pizza have partnered with Abrams/Gentile Ent. and Canadian animation company Keyframe to facilitate the shift to three-dimensional sets and props. The series currently boasts more than 35 broadcast partners worldwide, including CBeebies in the U.K. and Discovery Kids Latin America.

Susie Essman on Voicing Mittens in "Bolt"

Actor Susie Essman has spoken to the Fresno Bee about her role as the voice of the cynical cat Mittens in Disney's new movie Bolt. Essman discusses the leeway she was given to improvise line readings during the recording sessions and the reasons why she loves her character.

"Arkham Asylum" Teaser, Site Launched

Superhero Hype reports the teaser trailer for the new video game, Batman: Arkham Asylum is already out. You can watch the trailer here.

The new video game will be out early next year for the Playstation 3, XBox 360 & PC, and features the voices of Mark Hamill as The Joker and Kevin Conroy as Batman. The game is written by Batman: The Animated Series writer Paul Dini.

You can see the website here.

Size matters: NZ art gallery refuses nude dwarfs

New Zealand sculptor Michele Beevors is more grumpy than happy these days, thanks to her nude version of Disney's Seven Dwarfs being banned by the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

Actually, Beevors, of Dunedin, fashioned only six dwarfs. But the creatures -- bearing a remarkable resemblance to the diminutive miners of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs -- were banished from her "Debbie Does Disney" exhibition, which opened Saturday.

"I've never been censored before in my life. It's just bizarre," Beevors, head of sculpture at Otago Polytechnic School of Art, told the Otago Daily Times on Friday.

"Debbie Does Disney" includes over a dozen fibreglass figures. Beevors acknowledged that her Disney-derived dwarfs were engaged in some un-Disneylike behavior.

"They're doing some rude things. There's some masturbation going on and there's sodomy. But you can't tell," she said.

"They're not supposed to be realistic. They're cartoon characters with appendages."

Meanwhile, the museum is also showing a "Life and Vision" exhibition by Rita Angus which includes several nude self-portraits of the artist.

"I've stood up at art school in the past against censorship of students' works," Beevors said.

"They told me that the Rita Angus curator didn't like the dwarfs. He objected to the graphic content. He thought too many little old ladies going to the Rita Angus exhibition would be offended."

Aaron Kreisler, the gallery's curator of contemporary art, belittled Beevors' claims of anti-dwarf discrimination.

"It was always a curated show, and when we're asked to curate things we've got to make a judgement call on what we consider are the strongest works," he said.

Kreisler said that there just wasn't room for all of Beevors' work, so her best work was chosen. "It's simply we wanted to produce a show which we thought celebrated the strong aspects of Michele's work," he said.

"I don't think the ruder works have been excluded. There are a lot of works that I think people will be challenged by," he added.

"The dwarfs are funny. They're not supposed to be a serious take on male sexuality or anything like that," Beevors declared.

Beevors said that she planned to protest the ban outside the gallery with what the Otago Daily Times described as "a group of seven dwarf supporters."

Dwarf sculptor Michele Beevors can't wait to turn over a new leaf.

Trek Trailer With Surprise End

The new Internet Star Trek trailer--with a surprise appearance by a veteran Trek actor at the end--is now available on and viewable here. The trailer is otherwise the same as the one that debuted widely last week.

J.J. Abrams' Star Trek opens May 8, 2009.

New Buffy Movie On The Way?

On page 51 of today’s Herald-Sun Newspaper – in the “ExtraHit” Entertainment lift-out - is a news item suggesting a script for a new “Buffy” movie is doing the rounds.

This is what it says :

The monster success of girly vampire pic Twilight at the US Box office last weekend could kick open the door for a big-screen return of Joss Whedon’s much-loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Rumours are circulating in Hollywood that Whedon has a feature-film script based on his hit TV series ready to roll as soon as a studio is prepared to commit. The Buffy concept was first unveiled as a movie in 1992 with long-forgotten Kristy Swanson in the title role.

Hmmm, as much as I want to believe it, I just don’t. Joss had a hard enough time convincing all the applicable parties that some spin-off ‘telemovies’ were worth doing – and even then, nobody seemed to be on the same page. One minute they were on, the next minute they were off – and that’s how the proposed small-screen telefilms (one was rumoured to fix on Spike, from memory) have stayed. They’ll never happen – even Joss will tell you that. That doesn’t mean I don’t think a 'film' a great idea, in fact, I think it’s a terrific idea, and it could make money – especially, as the article states, if they strike now whilst the “Twilight” iron is hot. Whedon probably wouldn’t have any trouble convincing stars Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz – it wouldn’t be a “Buffy” movie without an Angel appearance after all! – back to fold, considering they’ve always said they wouldn’t care so much to do any more small-screen Buffy/Angel but would jump at the chance to bring the characters to theaters. Fingers crossed, but not too tight – you’ll probably be closing off the circulation for nothing. Lets wait for a response from Joss – keep your eyes peeled for one at, the best dang Whedon-verse site out there.

Jackman May Walk From Wolverine

Hugh Jackman will leave the "Wolverine" franchise alone - if you guys hate it.

That's what he told Moviehole today - that if audiences don't go for next year's "X-Men" prequel he'll gladly walk away from the series and forget all about the sequel he's already developing in his noggin.

''If it’s clear to us on May second or third that that’s gone, then I’ll walk away happily", Jackman says of the audience appeal in the character. ''I’m not going to flog something – or flog a dead horse, or try and make movies that people don’t really want to go and see. I have no interest in that. Even no matter how much I love the character. So there are many prerequisites".

And although he'd personally like to do a sequel, he's not going to do it just for the hell of it.

"There’s a few story lines that are running my head which I think would be really cool, but unless the script is right, then I just don’t see the point in doing it. I’m probably at the point in my career where I don’t need it. And the last thing I want to do is just to push it on people, if it doesn’t warrant a full feature movie.''

And why did Jackman decide to tell Wolverine's story?

''Well, after X-Men, there was not, like, a fete accompli that I would do it. We basically got a great script. And I had the script and director. David Benioff, one of the great writers in Hollywood, came knocking at our door. And I went and had a meeting with him, and he told me his idea. And I just went, “That is so brilliant.” Now, I know this character by now, and he is a mad, mad fan of the comic books. He’s not cheap. But he came to us with this idea, which was smart and interesting. And it was also steeped in a deep love of the character, and the comic book history. So I just went, “Okay. There’s a reason to make this film.” I mean, I’d always felt there was a reason, storytelling-wise. Because as good a go as I’d had in X-Men I, II, and III, there was a lot of mystery left. I don’t think – we touched on it in X-Men II. But there were certainly a lot of mystery still left about his origins. I was always a mad fan, in reading the comics, of the Wolverine in Japan saga, which is one of the most famous. But ultimately, we all decided – I think rightly, after seeing the film – that you need to understand the character’s origins, to understand who he is. And to really get it. So that’s what the movie does. It goes right back to him as a kid, basically.''

Trailers For Upcoming "Hulk Versus" Direct-To-Video Animated Feature

Lionsgate Home Entertainment has provided Marvel Animation Age with trailers for the upcoming Hulk Versus direct-to-video animated feature.

Click here for separate trailers for both the Hulk Versus Wolverine and Hulk Versus Thor segments of the upcoming animated feature.

The direct-to-video Hulk Versus animated feature, which comprises of the two short films Hulk Versus Thor and Hulk Versus Wolverine, will hit DVD and Blu-ray on January 27th, 2009. Click here to check out the press release for the upcoming title.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

News - 11/27/08...

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Shorter Week's Flotsam and Jetsam

Though there were only three days in the workweek, I hopped around to a number of studios. Herewith -- before I totter off into overeating land -- a few snippets from the days recently gone by:

A lead Disney Feature artist:

"Some of us told marketing that opening Bolt against Twilight was a bad idea. They said they knew best ..."

Which reminds me of a letter writer-producer-director Nunnally Johnson wrote to a friend regarding the marketing department at 20th Century-Fox:

"The marketing people here on the lot said the failure of the picture was a 100% the fault of production ..."

This was fifty-five years ago. Funny how most things never change. If the film underperforms, it's the creators responsibility. If the picture succeeds, the credit should be given to the folks who put together the terrific advertising campaign.

And at another studio across town, management sent out the following memo to the artists:

There is a real possibility that SAG will decide to go on strike as early as January ...

Hopefully this contract dispute will be resolved without a strike but everyone should be prpeared that there is a possiblity that this may happen. We're not sure how this would impact productions at this time.

Enough to set teeth on edge, yes? No wonder people are asking me what I know about the voice actors going out.

Lastly, at Film Roman, artists still aren't sure of future production plans for The Simpsons. Is the Yellow Family good for one more season? Two? Five? If Fox and Gracie Films know the answer, they aren't revealing it.

It's yet another workplace wrinkle that has made things tense. When I was up there yesterday and gave my usual cheery "Hi how's things going?", the artist I posed the question to growled: "Don't ask."

If you can, have a good four-day holiday anyway.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers. Here’s a little turkey day treat - Tex Avery’s Jerky Turkey. For model sheets and animation drawings from the film, head on over to Kevin Langley’s blog.

(Thanks cartoonbrew)

English voice cast for Ponyo on the Cliff

GhibliWorld shares an exclusive word on the English voice cast for Miyazaki latest feature Ponyo on the Cliff. According to the report, the English version of Ponyo will feature an all star voice talent cast including Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Cate Blanchett, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin, Betty White, Fankie Jonas, Noah Cyrys and Cloris Leachman. Produced by Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy, Ponyo will see a North American release in 2009.

Five favorite films with John Lasseter

Pixar co-founder and director John Lasseter picks his five favorite movies of all time, speaking with RottenTomatoes. Lasseter lists his favorites along with a bonus Chuck Jones short in front of each of them.

NASA robots give WALL-E a touch of realism

Wired Blog Network reports that Pixar Animation Studios turned to real NASA robots for inspiration to give WALL-E a more realistic feel. To get some insights into how robots move, think and learn, director Andrew Stanton and his team visited the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and talked with the folks who designed the machines such as, Phoenix Mars Lander and red planet rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which survived long past their life expectancies. This real-world NASA connection is also featured in the extensive collection of special features that appear on the WALL-E dvd and Blu-ray discs, released last week.

New Toy Story 3 character

IMDB lists a new character, “Chuckles the Clown”, in the Pixar’s upcoming sequel Toy Story 3 to be voiced by the actor James Anthony Cotton. The sequel is set for a 2010 release.

Live Action Bubblegum Crisis in Development

Anime News Network reports that the 1987-1991 sci-fi action OVA Bubblegum Crisis is being developed into a live action film by Singapore's Cubix International PTE Ltd.

Cubix has stated the film, planned with a budget of several billion yen (several tens of millions of dollars), is intended for an international release in 2011. The studios plan to work with former ARTMIC staffers Shinji Aramaki (screenplay and mechanical design) and Kenichi Sonoda (character design) to maintain a connection with the world concepts of the original series.

Pre-production images can be seen on Singaporean media company Axxis' site (In the linked page, select "Axxis Lineup," then select "Upcoming Titles," and finally select ">>next.")

In May that Axxis announced "four live-action/computer-generated feature films valued at over US$135 million" at the Cannes Film Festival.

. The May 20 press release itself described Bubblegum Crisis as "a film based on the same-name original anime series from Japan about 4 young female mercenaries fighting for justice."

The original creators/licensor Anime International Company (AIC) also plans to produce a new animated Bubblegum Crisis.

Ponyo Spring Release?

ICV2 notes that there is evident that Disney may release Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo on a Cliff By the Sea theatrically in North America in first quarter 2008. The article sites that is listing Viz Media’s The Art of Ponyo on a Cliff By the Sea for release on March 3rd, and AAA Anime has the release of the first volume of the Ponyo on a Cliff By the Sea Film Comic set for early April.

2005 when Miyazaki’s previous movie,
Howl’s Moving Castle, debuted in theaters on June 10th, Viz Media released The Art of Howl’s Moving Castle on the 5th of July and The Howl’s Moving Castle Film Comic in August. In 2002 when Miyazaki’s Spirited Away premiered in theaters on September 20th, Viz Media released The Art of Spirited Away
in October.

 reports has a listing for Ponyo with a release date of July 19, 2009 (a Sunday).

Hollywood Adaptation Updates

The official site for the Imagi Astro Boy movie is online at

DragonBall concept art has hit the net on IESB

Event News

Giant Robot's San Francisco location is running a Black Friday sale


Super7 will also be running a sale

This Thanksgiving weekend, we at Super7 want to show how thankful we are for the enthusiasm and support of our fans and customers, and are having a Black Friday Sale just for you! Look for amazing deals on all your favorite monsters, fighters, neo-kaiju, and more! Domestic shipping is free Wednesday night through Sunday, so now is the time to have your monsters hitch a ride!


Washington DC's DC Anime Club will host a Marathon of Anime Films based upon the Manga (Japanese Comics) works by Dr.Osamu Tezuka on December 6, 2008 from 2pm-5pm at the Martin Luthur King, Jr Memorial Library in 901 G St NW Washington, DC 20001in Room A10. During the Marathon such anime as Phoenix , Kimba the White Lion and Black Jack and of course, Tetsuwan Atom, best known to American audience as Astro Boy will be shown.


Giant Robot is will host the third annual Uglydoll convention at GRNY, starting with opening at 12:00 noon on Saturday, December 6.

In 2001, Sun-Min Kim turned a drawing on the bottom of letters from David Horvath into a hand-sewn doll. It was Wage, the first Uglydoll ever. After David brought the piece to the newly opened Giant Robot store, it evolved into a toy with a rabid following - selling out at shops around the world, appearing in movies, creating spin-offs, spawning bootlegs, and inspiring a new wave of stuffed plushes.

This year's art show offerings will include original paintings by Sun-Min, black-and-white drawings by David, and print-and-drawing sets from Uglycon Tokyo. Also available for purchase will be rare toys such as test samples from past lines, signed prototypes, and "test shots" of kaiju figures.

In the tradition of the first two Uglycons, there will be costume contest in which fans are asked to dress up as their favorite Uglydoll. Winners chosen by David and Sun-Min will receive a bounty of prizes.

And there will be even more, including a sneak peek at a never-before-seen Uglydoll for 2009.

The first two Uglycons caused an online buzz and attracted fans from around the country and overseas. We expect the New York occasion to be even bigger. To facilitate demand and eliminate uncomfortable lineups, raffle tickets for making purchases will be handed out beginning at 12:00 noon. Starting at 3:00, these tickets will be drawn to determine the order of sales.

Vintage Japanese Anime will be running January 3rd at Indianapolis Museum of Art

In the early 1960s, American television was flooded with Japanese pop manga (comics) and animation. Characters like Astro Boy and Gigantor captured the imagination of American audiences and dramatically impacted graphic design and visual arts in the U.S. The influence of this early manga / anime is visible in today's visual culture, from the films of the Wachowski Brothers to Pokemon. View rare clips from post-war manga from the collection of collector Fred Ladd, who helped introduce Japanese animation to the U.S.

Anime (and animation) on TV

Gundam OO has begin running on Sci-fi's Ani-Monday, with two episodes running at 11:00PM


Gurren Lagann will run on Canada's Super Channel 2 w starting December 8th. The anime programming block will also feature Now and Then, Here and There and Descendants of Darkness


Newsarama reports that with the exit of the 4Kids block in January, Fox will be ending its Saturday morning cartoons programming. The space will be filled with two-hours of network controlled infomercials, and two hours of local affiliate programming.

Fox has said that it will find space for its mandated 2 and 1/2 hours of Educational/Instructional programming during the week.

According to the number of Fox affiliates signed up to carry this new programming block, tentatively titled “Weekend Marketplace”, is over 95%, whereas the number that had been carrying the 4Kids programming block had dropped below 85%.

4Kids programming will continue to run on The CW network.

The creators of Batman: The Brave and the Bold spoke to MediaBlvd. There's a mention of how the new super-hero animated series is design to appeal to anime fans among other audiences.

Worth Checking Out...


Twitch presents a translation of Hayao Miyazaki's press conference at Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo

Ninja Consultants presents NYAF 2008 OtakuUSA Magazine Panel

Episode 80 of Right Stuf's Anime Today speaks to the team responsible for Bandai Entertainment’s release of the Toward the Terra television series

In this new, two-segment interview, Richard Kekahuna (series producer), Brian Cutts (series assistant producer), Robert Napton (director of marketing) and Anthony Foronda (marketing coordinator) share details about the series’ production, including how they decided upon its release format. They also discuss their exclusive video interview with the creator of the To Terra... manga, Keiko Takemiya, as well as why they feel Toward the Terra is a classic sci-fi story. And finally, they offer hints about future projects.

Ed Chavez on Riding the Rails with Shogakukan's IKKI at Otaku USA

If anything has significant meaning in Japanese culture it is bound to be immortalized in a manga. Trains have been a part of the Japanese comics scene since its beginning. You can see them play a pivotal role in Tatsumi's gekiga classic the Pushman. Every high school set romance-comedy from Maison Ikkoku to Orange Road and Love Hina to School Rumble have featured trains in some capacity - field trip, beach trip. And let’s not forget the significance trains had on the internet and mass media sensation Densha Otoko a few years back.

AniPages Daily on recent anime episodes of note

Colony Drop on Masaaki Yuasa's (Cat Soup, Mind Game) Kaiba, Root Search and Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend

Jog on anime to manga and Gankutsuou and the implicit message of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

A look at the relationship between anime and games

Awesome Engine has been running down Lupin III movies/specials

A brief history of mecha anime

Bandai on the quality control process

Production I.G's Q and A with the The Sky Crawler's Chihiro Ito

Mecha Mecha Media on Monster Men Bureiko Lullaby


Fifteen Pound Pink Productions, the producers of Mr. Reaper's Really Bad Morning (covered here) have launched a 15lbpink channel on You Tube!

The studio's Intergalactic Who's Who will be featured in the fiftieth issue of Stash

IWW: The Pork 'n' Being and IWW: The Praepredatorprae are included in the bonus DVD. These short are part of a special selection of 6 works that screened at the 2008 Ottawa International Animation Festival.

STASH is a monthly DVD showcase of animation, visual effects and motion graphics that includes a 40-page companion book of productive notes, color stills, credits and links

Takadanobaba Tezuka murals

Orson Welles Japanese Whiskey Ads

Grandizer fan film

C4DTeam ::: Grendizer Returns ::: Short Movie ::: from C4DTeam on Vimeo.

C4DTeam ::: Grendizer Returns ::: Short Movie ::: from C4DTeam on Vimeo.

Go Nagai Overload! Part 3

Shin Getter Kirby


Cleaning manga for translation

Daisuke Enomoto, the millionaire Gundam cosplayer and would-be space tourist is suing for a refund after being grounded for health issues.

The animated site for the Tokyo 2016 Olympics proposal

60% off the Speed Racer manga

Alt Japan on Kaiju Autopsy

"Anime Hair" for your Xbox avatar.

Hello Kitty x MAC cosmetics

La-La Land Records To Release Soundtrack Collecting “Batman: The Animated Series” Score

The World’s Finest has confirmed that La-La Land Records will be releasing soundtrack CDs collecting the acclaimed score to Batman: The Animated Series next month.

La-La Land Records is slated to ship the first in a possible series of Batman: The Animated Series soundtrack releases on December 16th, 2008, with pre-orders for the release starting next week, on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008. This is a limited edition collector's release of 3000 units and will be available only through the La-La Land Records website and other online soundtrack specialty stores. Roughly 100 autographed copies of the Batman: The Animated Series soundtrack release will only be available through the La-La Land Records site and are first-come, first-serve while supplies last, though not guaranteed. Orders will begin December 2nd at 12:00pm (PST). The release will also include a detailed 20-page booklet.

La-La Land Records will be supplying more information later this week on this highly anticipated release. The first official Batman: The Animated Series soundtrack release will ship on December 16th, 2008.

So, stay tuned for further details, but, to tide you over, La-La Land Records has supplied the track listing for the scheduled Batman: The Animated Series soundtrack release.

01. Gotham City Overture 14:01
02. Batman™: The Animated Series - Main Title (Danny Elfman) 1:02
“On Leather Wings” – Shirley Walker
03. Sub-Main Title / Batwing / Bat Attack 1:51
04. Batman Drives To Gotham 1:00
05. Batman Investigates / Batman Uses Infrared /
Police Rush Building 1:48
06. Batman Escapes / Batman Flies 1:48
07. Bats / Evidence Goes Up In Smoke/ The Formula /
Dr Jekyll And Mr. Bat 3:01
08. Gotham From the Air / Ride’Em Batman / Epilogue 2:16
“The Last Laugh” – Shirley Walker
09. Sub-Main Title 1:35
10. The Submarine / Joker Loots Gotham 2:35
11. Alfred Loses It 0:58
12. Bat Boat / Batman Catches The Big Fish /
Batman Fights The Bad Guys 2:18
13. Cliff-Hanger Under Water / Batman A.K.A Houdini 1:56
14. Batman The Terminator 2:01
15. Batman Vs. Joker / Batman Vs Joker Part 2 3:47
“It’s Never Too Late” – Lolita Ritmanis
16. Sub-Main Title / Stromwell’s Flashback 2:01
17. Batman on Top of Church / Stromwell Arrives At Pete’s / Thugs Exit 1:20
18. Stromwell Confronts Thorn 1:15
19. It’s Party Time / Batman Carries Stromwell 0:48
20. Stromwell Sees Joey 1:41
21. Stromwell Tricks Batman / Thorn’s Men Move In /
Thorn Chases Stromwell 3:22
22. Stromwell’s Flashback #2 1:45
23. Batman Cracks Heads / Thorn Removed 1:20
“Pretty Poison” – Shirley Walker / Lolita Ritmanis / Michael McCuiston
24. Ground Breaking Ceremony / Penitentiary Time Lapses 1:11
25. Batman Catches A Chopper / The Chopper Crashes / Rooftop Chase 1:58
26. Batman Sneaks Around 1:09
27. A Little Plant Muzak / The Carnivorous Plant 0:59
28. Batman Vs. Poison Ivy / Poison Ivy In Prison 3:52
“Christmas with the Joker” - Shirley Walker / Lolita Ritmanis / Michael McCuiston
29. 14 Seconds Opening / Jingle Bells / The Joker Blasts Off 1:03
30. Down the Mountain / Sidewalk Red Herring 0:51
31. Pukey Christmas Music / Christmas With The Joker / Game Show Music 2:18
32. The Train Crashes 1:19
33. Observatory Cannon / Cannon Out Of Control / Robin Blows Up Cannon 1:11
34. More Game Show Music / Drive To The Toy Company 1:39
35. Nutcracker Suite Medley 1:24
36. Pie In Batman’s Face / Dangling Hostages Saved / Deck The Halls 1:40

CD One Total Time: 76:05

01. Batman™: The Animated Series - Alternate Main Title (S. Walker) 1:09
“Two-Face, Part I” – Shirley Walker
02. Harvey’s Nightmare / Dent’s Soap Box 2:24
03. Batman Tracks Dent 2:07
04. Split Personality / Harvey / Harv 4:21
“Two-Face, Part II” – Shirley Walker
05. Part One Recap 0:33
06. Sub-Main Title / The Heist 1:49
07. Bruce Wayne’s Nightmare / Two-Face Remembers 2:47
8. Batcycle / What About Grace 1:58
9. My Name Is Two-Face 1:52
10. The Great Equalizer / Where There’s Love 4:03
“Joker’s Favor” – Shirley Walker
11. Sub-Main Title / Cussing Out The Joker / I Had A Bad Day 3:18
12. Joker’s Hide-Out 1:19
13. Charlie’s Neighborhood / Joker Finds Charlie 1:18
14. Charlie Arrives In Gotham / Joker Collects His Favor 0:42
15. Harley’s Party Source 0:44
16. Crashing The Party 1:33
17. Batman Saves The Commissioner / Batman’s After The Joker /
Charlie Gets the Joker 3:38
“Vendetta” – Michael McCuiston
18. Sub-Main Title / Conway Is Abducted 0:43
19. A Clue / The Crocodile’s Lair 1:27
20. Another Clue 1:19
21. Croc’s Cave / Killer Croc 2:52
22. Batman Chases Croc / Sewer Fight 2:54
23. Bullock Gets The Croc 1:09
“Perchance To Dream” – Shirley Walker
24. Sub-Main Title / The Dream Begins 0:52
25. It’s Impossible / Bruce Sees Batman / Bruce Watches Batman At Work 2:14
26. My Life Is A Dream 2:48
27. Climbing The Church Tower / Belltower Fight 2:45
28. Your Own Private Wonderland / Back to Reality 2:48
“Birds of a Feather” – Shirley Walker
29. Birds Of A Feather 1:54
30. That Fine Roman Nose / Penguin vs. Muggers 2:32
31. Penguin Takes Veronica 0:40
32. The Drop / Rubber Duckie Ride 1:50
33. The Penguin’s Opera / High Society 2:19
34. Batman™: The Animated Series - End Credit (Danny Elfman) 0:34
35. Music Of The Bat 101 6:45

CD Two Total Time: 74:02

Future Batman: The Animated Series soundtrack releases are possible, depending on the reaction to this release.

See The Animated Terminator Poster!

The makers of director McG's upcoming prequel film Terminator Salvation have released an unusual Flash-animated poster HERE for the film.

Set in post-apocalyptic 2018, the film stars Christian Bale as John Connor, the man fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators.

But the future Connor was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future or rescued from the past. As Skynet prepares its final onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynet’s operations, where they uncover the terrible secret behind the possible annihilation of mankind. Terminator Salvation opens May 22, 2009.

‘The Dark Knight’ DVD Special Features Leaked To The Web

For those of us out there who simply can not wait for the December 9 release of “The Dark Knight” on DVD and Blu-ray, Italian website were invited to a special screening of the DVD and given exclusive permission to post six clips of the special features on their site.

As we’ve previously mentioned,
“The Dark Knight” will be available on DVD and Blu-ray, and for you hardcore Bat-fans out there, you’ll definitely want to grab the special edition sets which boasts over three hours of special features, six episodes of “Gotham Tonight” (Gotham City’s premiere news program, natch), Joker cards, concept and poster art, production stills and Best Buy is offering two store exclusive sets which include either a Batman mask, a Joker mask and will also make available two limited edition statuettes of Batman and the Joker.

Adding to this news, it will be interesting to see if summer ‘08 will replay itself as
"Iron Man” and The Dark Knight” once again go toe-to-toe — this time on the DVD shelves. Given the reports that “Iron Man” has been setting Blu-ray sales records, will “The Dark Knight”
manage to further its dominance in the 2008 superhero film battle, or will ol’ Shellhead come out on top in this round? We’ll find out soon enough.

Hugh Jackman On Bringing ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ Back For A Sequel… In Japan

Fresh off being named “Sexiest Man Alive” by People Magazine, Hugh Jackman has a lot to be thankful for these days. His epic Baz Luhrmann film “Australia” hits theaters today, and he’s returning to the big screen as one of comics’ most popular superheroes, Wolverine, in next year’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

In the following video, Jackman explains to MTV that there are plenty of surprises left for the “Wolverine” audience, and not only tells us that he’d like to do another film, but teases the story he’d like to tell.

“The most intriguing thing to me was the Japan story. I love the Japan story,” said Jackman. “I wanted to do the Japan story from around ‘X-Men 2.’ Can you just picture Wolverine in Japan with the triads and the samurai? It’s just genius.”

Why wasn’t that story told? Jackman had an answer for that, too — one that sounded quite a bit like the answer former Fox exec Jeff Katz gave us when asked about a potential “Wolverine” sequel.

“How can you do that before you explain his origins?” said Jackman. “If we tried to mix the origin and Japan together, it wouldn’t do justice to either. So you can tell by the answer where I’d like it to go.”

For more of their interview with Hugh Jackman about “X-Men Origins” and other topics, check out

Thanksgiving Linkomatic

As you digest your turkey, peruse the 'toony links that have gathered here at TAG blog, all for your enjoyment and edification.

First, the edification. Time Magazine has a piece on a very non-Disney animated feature:

Waltz with Bashir, which ... opens in the U.S. in December, has already found fans well beyond Israel's borders: it earned a Palme d'Or nomination at Cannes and will be in the running for Oscars next year. The film's images may seem simply drawn, and move at a sleepwalker's dreamy pace, but Folman uses them to capture war's surreal brutality. The title refers to a scene when an Israeli soldier, pinned down by sniper fire from the surrounding Beirut apartment blocks, leaps up and starts firing his heavy machine gun as he waltzes across a rooftop past posters of murdered Lebanese President-elect Bashir Gemayel ...

A long way from Cinderella ...

Bolt might not be flying super high at the box office, but Disney artist's Mark Walton acting career appears to be taking off like a rocket:

... Walton is the unlikely voice of Rhino, an overweight, television-obsessed hamster who is shaping up to be the film's breakout character. (Sorry, Bolt.) Described in the script as "rolling thunder" because he is both excitable and confined to a plastic exercise ball, Rhino gets most of the laughs. Test audiences loved the character so much that Disney is playing him up in the marketing campaign.

Walton is so thrilled that he can barely contain himself, but it's not because an average guy like him is getting more attention than John Travolta, who provides the voice of Bolt.

"Who cares about fame and fortune?" he said, clenching his fists in excitement and waiving them in the air. "I'm going to be a plush animal."

Click your way over to the ASIFA Animation Archives where you'll find a plethora of Disney caricatures (also signatures) from 1952, created for artist Clair Weeks as he prepared to journey to India.

A missionary's son, Clair Weeks was born in 1912 in India. He lived there until the early 1930s, when he relocated to America. In 1936, he joined the staff of the Walt Disney Studio and set to work as an assistant on Snow White. He went on to assist Marc Davis on Bambi, Cinderella and Peter Pan, taking a brief break from animation to serve in the military during WW2.

In the early 50s, Weeks left the studio travel the world. He eventually settled in Bombay, India, where he headed up a government owned studio that produced animated shorts. Weeks' impact on Indian animation was immense.

Oh, and Professor Layton? From fabled Level 5? He'll now be coming to anime.

It was inevitable. Professor Layton, the DS title from developer Level 5, is getting an anime feature film.

Professor Layton: The First Movie (there will be others?), the flick is slated for January 2010 in Japan and will follow the adventures of Professor Layton and his young assistant, Luke. This isn't the series first foray into features. Last year, Level 5 announced a live action Professor Layton film.

... It will be produced by Japanese studio TOHO and will get an entirely new story drafted by Level 5 president Akihiro Hino.

John K. explains the shortcomings of "The Illusion of Life," also the good things. Also what's wrong with Disney (and high time he got around to it):

Most of the book was just propaganda for the Disney studio. It was a written history of the studio that claimed everything that was ever done with any quality or worth came from Disney, and no one else ever did anything good, or invented anything important ...

But there was one chapter that I thought was great
"The Principles Of Animation". This spelled out technically, the basic tools of how to make smooth animation. I wish the whole book would have been about this and had expanded each principle into actual methods and details.

... The funny part is that while I agree totally in theory what the importance of each principle is, I am also surprised that the Disney animators didn't actually practice all of them ...

Have a fantabulous Thursday and Friday. Go for several long walks.

(Thabks Animation Guild Blog)

Hi-Res Cover Art For Upcoming "Batman: The Animated Series" Soundtrack Release

The World's Finest has your first look at the cover art to the upcoming Batman: The Animated Series soundtrack release.

Click on the thumbnail below for a closer look.

La-La Land Records is slated to ship the first in a possible series of Batman: The Animated Series soundtrack releases on December 16th, 2008, with pre-orders for the release starting next week, on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008. This is a limited edition collector's release of 3000 units and will be available only through the La-La Land Records website and other online soundtrack specialty stores. Roughly 100 autographed copies of the Batman: The Animated Series soundtrack release will only be available through the La-La Land Records site and are first-come, first-serve while supplies last, though not guaranteed. Orders will begin December 2nd at 12:00pm (PST). The release will also include a detailed 20-page booklet.

Click here for a complete rundown of the tracklist for the 2-disc CD release.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

News - 11/26/08...

A New L.A. 'Toon Studio

The L.A. Times reports on a new animation studio plunking down in the city of the Angels:

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, whose giant Buddha, bug-eyed monsters and magical mushrooms packed in huge crowds last year at the Museum of Contemporary Art, is putting down roots in Los Angeles. A multifaceted artist who embraces painting and sculpture, film and mass-produced goods as part of a single enterprise, he is planning to open an animation studio here next summer ...

The company has leased a building on North Highland Avenue, to be adapted to the studio's needs. With 6,220 square feet of space on the first floor and 2,760 square feet on the second level, the facility is expected to accommodate about 30 employees, said Daniel Rappaport of Management 360, Kaikai Kiki's talent management firm in Los Angeles.

The studio's first project will be a feature-length animated film based on "Planting the Seeds," the shorts that premiered at Murakami's mid-career retrospective at MOCA ...

Interesting, is it not, that with all the talk of outsourcing and downsizing (and yes, that stuff does go on), other animation companies relocate here from overseas.

Why? Because we have a talent base that is second to none, and foreign producers want to tap into it. (Nobody is coming here for the low labor costs and rock-bottom costs of living.)

TAG's task, as always, is to get Murakami signed to an agreement, so if you end up working there on Highland in the near future, do take action and let us know. The future you protect will be your own.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

Way To GO!

Here's a surprise:

... The prospect of SAG going on strike by mid-January, just as primetime's pilot season starts in earnest, is ensuring that more broadcast network pilots will be produced under AFTRA contracts rather than SAG next year, top studio brass confirm ...

"If they're about to go on strike in mid-January, why would we not do deals with AFTRA wherever possible?" said a senior business exec at a top TV shop. "The short-term mentality of (SAG's) leadership is just staggering to us." ...

Nine months ago in Florida, a highly-placed IA rep said to me:

"If these SAG idiots get real wild and crazy, then guess what? They won't have a lot of actors under their jurisdiction. AFTRA can sign up digital productions and SAG's going to be out of freaking luck" ...

This looks to be happening right soon, if Variety is halfway correct.

... [L]ong-standing agreement has been that SAG reps all projects shot on film, while SAG and AFTRA have an equal shot at projects shot electronically, which used to translate to shows shot on video (multi-camera sitcoms, soaps, daytime and latenight yakkers, etc.).

But with most primetime skeins now shot in high-definition digital formats, AFTRA's electronic purview has greatly expanded. And in the past year, with the biz on SAG strike watch, a number of upcoming skeins have opted to go with AFTRA deals ...

The resistance among producers to shooting on digital vid rather than film has abated in recent years as the quality of high-def digital vid has improved. And in cost-conscious times, studios are unlikely to bend to the will of film purists, especially on new projects, studio execs say.

So let's go over the high points, shall we?

Point One: SAG has exclusive jurisdiction of television shows and theatrical features shot on film. And film is slowly, steadily going away.

Point Two: SAG and AFTRA share jurisdiction of shows in the digital format.

Point Three: AFTRA has no possibility of going on strike, as it's ratified it's new three-year deal. But SAG could pull the strike trigger at any time.

Which labor organization you think might be signing up more work? Which labor organization might be signing up more work into the distant future, since it is less apt to hit the streets with picket signs at an inopportune moment?

SAG throws around words like "fair" and "just" as it complains that the producers' last contract offer wasn't (isn't) good enough.
To an extent, I sympathize with the guild, but I learned years ago that whining about what's fair, or "what we deserve" doesn't get you far in corporatist America. What gets you much further down the Road of Economic Justice is having the leverage to attain your stated goals.

Because every other labor group is on board with the current deal, I honestly don't think SAG has the muscle to reach its self-described Promised Land. But if it keeps threatening job actions, it could find itself in a small, hot hell of its own creation.

And what's that hell, exactly? A world where AFTRA has more working members and more contracts than the Screen Actors Guild, and SAG -- no longer the Alpha labor organization for actors -- ends up the smaller, weaker union.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

Scotsman jailed for singing "Spiderpig" to cops

"Spiderpig," the satiric Spider-Man theme from "The Simpsons Movie," was definitely the wrong tune to sing to police officers in Scotland.

David Mullen, 22, was sentenced to three months, partly in connection with the incident, which was ruled to be breaching the peace. The other offense was calling an officer "ginger" in a police van.

Mullen, of Blairgowrie, claimed that he was singing "Spiderpig" because that was the ringtone on his mobile phone, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported Monday.

In The Simpsons Movie, Homer sings "Spiderpig" to the tune of "Spider-Man" while walking a pig across the ceiling. Mullen's rendition took place July 25 while he was seated in the back of a police van after getting in a fight in Blairgowrie, Perthshire.

"He started the song and that was the origin of the joke, but things went further. He felt he had not done anything to be apprehended for," said defense lawyer Paul Ralph.

Mullen was handed another eight months in prison for assaulting a police officer and breaching a curfew while on bail. He Mullen breached his curfew October 30, assaulting a police officer on three days later.

Mullen, of Harriet Row, had been abusing alcohol since the age of 12, Ralph told Perth Sheriff Court.

"It is tragic that you have taken alcohol for almost half of your life. You have a dreadful record for a man of 22," said Sheriff Robert McCreadie. "It is now your decision if you want to continue down the tragic and appalling road you have chosen for yourself. "

Futurama Blasts Off into Wild Green Yonder

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced that the fourth, and perhaps final, feature-length Futurama movie will hit retail on DVD and Blu-ray on Feb. 24. Titled Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder, the release boasts guest spots by illusionist Penn Jillette, hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg, talk radio star Phil Hendrie and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, as well as a host of bonus features.

Mankind stands on the brink of a wondrous new Green Age, but ancient forces of darkness, three years older than time itself, have returned to wreak destruction. Meanwhile, Bender is in love with a married fembot, and Leela's on the run from the law—Zapp Brannigan's law. Fry is the last hope for the universe and fans will finally learn the truth about “Number 9 Man,” a mysterious character from the earliest days of the series.

Bonus materials will include audio commentary from Matt Groening, David X. Cohen, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche and various writers and animators. There will also be a making-of mockumentary, deleted scenes, a storyboard animatic, 3D models with animator discussion, a
“How to Draw Futurama In 10 Very Difficult Steps” tutorial, an examination of the acting technique of Penn Jillette and the featurettes Matt Groening and David X. Cohen in Space!, Bender’s Movie Theater Etiquette and Zapp Brannigan’s Guide to Making Love at a Woman
. The Blu-ray version will also offer video picture-in-picture commentary by Matt Groening, David X. Cohen, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, Michael Rowe, Lee Supercinski, Patric M. Verrone and Peter Avanzino. The movie will carry a suggested retail price of $29.98 on DVD and $39.98 on Blu-ray.

4Kids Expands Dinosaur King Reign

Leading broadcasters in Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, Ireland and Central European markets have picked up 4Kids Ent.’s animated action series Dinosaur King. Blending traditional and CG animation, the show is set to launch on YTV in Canada, Animax in Central and Eastern Europe, MNET in South Africa, Televisa in Mexico and RTE in Ireland. In addition, 4Kids has sold home video rights to Universal in France and Contender in the U.K.

Based on the internationally successful arcade and collectable card game from Sega, Dinosaur King chronicles the adventures of Max, Rex and Zoe (a.k.a. the “D Team”) as they race around the world to uncover secrets that bring dinosaurs back to life. They are able to transport themselves anywhere in the world in their quest to find all the dinosaur cards that have been lost by the time-traveling Dr. Z and his bumbling team of bad guys.

In the U.S., Dinosaur King airs Saturday mornings on 4Kids TV. The new licensors join a growing list of global broadcast partners that includes Mediaset in Italy, RTL2 in Germany and France 3 and Canal J in France. The second season of the series has been renewed by Jetix in Latin America, the U.K. and Scandinavia.

SpongeBob Musical Hits U.K. Stage

SpongeBob SquarePants is the latest cartoon charater to get a live theatrical show. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Sponge Who Could Fly – A New Musical! will premiere at London’s Hackney Empire on Feb. 3, kicking off a U.K. tour that will hit major cities from Brighton to Glasgow.

Based on the “The Lost Episode/The Sponge Who Could Fly” episode of the hit Nickelodeon televison series, the musical tell a story of courage and coming of age as SpongeBob’s sets out to ‘achieve his dream of “flying” with the jellyfish of Jellyfish Fields.

The adventure has been recreated for U.K. audiences by Fiery Angel, the artistic team behind the current hit children’s touring musical,
LazyTown Live! It is written by Steven Banks, head writer and story editor of SpongeBob SquarePants, co-producer of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius and the author of more than 20 children’s books. The musical also features original songs and adaptations from composer/lyricist Eban Schletter, who has written music for SpongeBob
and other television shows. For tour details, go to

Disney’s Zoradi to Keynote 3D Summit

As Walt Disney Feature Animation’s 3-D comedy-adventure Bolt gets set to have a lucrative holiday weekend, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group president Mark Zoradi has been added to the list of keynote speakers for the upcoming 3D Entertainment Summit. The event will take place Dec. 1-2 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, Calif.

Zoradi will bring the opening day of the summit to a close by showcasing several new pieces of 3D footage from Disney's slate of 17 digital 3-D motion pictures due to be released over the next several years. He joins a growing list of speakers that includes DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, director/producer James Cameron (Avatar) and Fox Sports Television Group chairman and CEO David Hill. Other recent additions to that list include DreamWorks Animation exec producer Greg Foster, IMAX Filmed Entertainment chairman and president Jason Clark and actor/director/producer David Arquette.

Co-produced by Unicomm LCC and Bob Dowling, former editor in chief and publisher of The Hollywood Reporter, the Summit will assemble around 300 to 400 execs from film, television, video games and other areas of content creation and distribution. The conference aims to educate these industry leaders on various aspects of 3-D technology with live demonstrations of never-before-seen content screened on both cinema and 3-D television systems. Attendees will learn how 3-D relates to business practices and will hear from a dynamic group of leading experts in the field. For more information, go to

"Delgo," Anne Bancroft's last work, out Dec. 12

an animated film featuring Oscar-winning actress Anne Bancroft's final screen role, debuts in theatres across the United States on December 12, Atlanta-based Fathom Studios announced Monday.

Bancroft, who died in 2005 at 73, voiced Sedessa in the film. She won an Academy Award for her role in
The Miracle Worker
, and appeared in such other live-action films as Great Expectations, The Turning Point, The Elephant Man and The Graduate.

The action-adventure is the first animated feature-length film for Fathom Studios, which has produced award-winning computer animation since 1991.

In the movie
Delgo, when a carefree teenager forms a forbidden friendship with a spunky princess, hostilities between their two peoples escalate, setting the stage for an exiled empress to exact her revenge and reclaim her rule.

Freddie Prinze Jr.
(Scooby Doo) and award-winning actress Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer) star in this family film with messages of tolerance and cultural unity.

The film also features voice performances from Val Kilmer
(Batman Forever), Chris Kattan (Saturday Night Live), Kelly Ripa (Live with Regis and Kelly), Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile), Eric Idle (Monty Python and the Holy Grail), Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), Burt Reynolds (Smokey and the Bandit) and Lou Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman).

Delgo takes place in the magical land of Jhamora, which is divided between two cultures: the Nohrin, winged masters of the skies, and the Lockni, who harness the mystical powers of the land. The epic scope of the film is brought to life with lush, rich environments, otherworldly creatures and a unique color palette.

garnered "Best Feature Film" at Anima Mundi 2008, and is rated PG with a running time of 90 minutes.

"Shaun the Sheep" wins International Emmy Award

Aardman Animations' "Shaun the Sheep," which airs on CBBC in the United Kingdom, joined the British sweep of this year's International Emmy Awards on Monday night.

Winning in the Children and Young People category, the kids' series was one of seven British shows to win International Emmys. Awards were presented in 10 categories at a black-tie ceremony at the Hilton New York Hotel.

Other nominees in the Children and Young People category were the live-action
I Feel the Words, produced by NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation); Patito Feo, la historia más linda (Ugly Duckling), produced by Argentina's Ideas Del Sur S.A. and airing on Televisa; and Ping-Pong, a Norwegian production airing on NRK, SVT, DR, YLE and KRO in Scandinavia.

Meanwhile, Britain's time-traveling detective show
Life on Mars received its second International Emmy for best drama series.

Winning the Emmy for best actor was David Suchet, for portraying British media mogul Robert Maxwell in the biography series
Maxwell. Lucy Cohu won best actress for her role in the true-life drama Forgiven, about a suburban housewife who decides to rebuild her and her husband's lives together after reporting him to authorities for sexually abusing their daughter.

Other British Emmy winners included
The I.T. Crowd (comedy), Life on Mars (best drama series), Strictly Bolshoi (arts programming) and The Beckoning Silence (documentary).

The Emmy for the non-scripted entertainment category was handed out for controversial Dutch hoax-reality show
The Big Donor Show.

Jordan and Argentina won their first-ever International Emmys. Jordan won the new telenovela category with
Al-Igtiyah (The Invasion), while Argentina's Television por la identidad, won in the TV movie/mini-series category.

U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao presented the Directorate Award to Liu Changle, founding chairman and CEO of Hong Kong-based broadcaster Phoenix Satellite Television.

The ceremony also honored
Law & Order
creator Dick Wolf. Sam Waterston, who has appeared as prosecutor Jack McCoy in over 325 episodes since 1994, presented the special International Emmy Founders Award to Wolf, whose shows are seen worldwide in their original or locally produced versions.

The Black Dog’s Progress

Count me in as a fan of Stephen Irwin’s eccentric little animated shorts (check them out here). The Black Dog’s Progress may be his most ambitious one yet. It tells the sad story of the Black Dog, created by animating dozens of small flipbooks:

watch more at aniBoom

(Thanks cartoonbrew)

"Afro Samurai: Resurrection" Coming to DVD & Blu-Ray reports that the upcoming Spike TV movie Afro Samurai: Resurrection will be coming to DVD and Blu-Ray from FUNimation on February 3, 2009.

The DVD features the voices of Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Mace Windu from Star Wars Episodes I-III), Lucy Liu (Charlie's Angels, Kill Bill), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker from Star Wars, The Joker from Batman: The Animated Series), and Yuri Lowenthal (Superman from Legion of Super Heroes, and Ben Tennyson from Ben 10: Alien Force).

The movie will be available in the Spike TV broadcast version, the 2-disc director's cut DVD, and the high-definition director's cut Blu-ray disc. See the trailer here.

The #1 Topic of Conversation

Everywhere I've gone the last few days, the Big Question is:

"So ... Is SAG going on strike?"

I'm asked this because I'm a union rep, and therefore (supposedly) knowledgable on the subject. But what I know about the internal workings and political dynamics of the Screen Actors Guild is next to nothing.

What I do know is that a second strike will do serious damage to everybody else who works in the entertainment business. Grips, cinematographers, editors, makeup artists and costume designers, animators, sound technicians, and all the rest.

Now, I get that SAG President Alan Rosenberg ... and no doubt a lot of other SAG members ... don't like the deal that other labor organizations hav made with the AMPTP. It's understandable that SAG isn't crazy about various aspects of the deal now on its plate, because truth to tell, there are sections in the freshly negotiated IATSE deal with the Alliance that the IA reps in the room were less than totally enthusiastic about.

But hey. Nobody ever negotiates the ideal, but merely the possible. The template for New Media was in place before the International and its guilds and unions sat down in the big meeting room, forged by the DGA, WGA, and AFTRA over the previous ten months. Some of it was good, some not good, but all of us knew we had to hammer out something that lived inside that model ... and live with it. And live to come back and negotiate a new template another day.

SAG, however, seems hell-bent on moving down a more militant road. Mr. Rosenberg says that a strike vote doesn't necessarily mean a strike, but we heard this refrain twelve months ago from the President of the WGA, and the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan now has four million fewer contribution hours in it than without the writers' job action. And trust me, it impacted where our November 2008 deal ended up, because everything, and I mean everything, is interconnected.

Which brings us to now. There's a strong chance that the Screen Actors Guild will go out in a couple of months time. The trades say it will mainly impact prime-time television, but that's nonsense. A SAG strike will stop television, theatrical films, and voice recording for animation. If it last long enough, like three or more months, it will destroy livelihoods, trigger bankruptcies, cause idustry workers to lose their homes.

If SAG was the first labor union out of the negotiation box, a strike -- however bad the ultimate result might be -- would at least make some sort of sense. But SAG is the now the last guild up to bat, and so is saddled by the contract points already negotiated. Worse, it's saddled with the deal made by the actors union with which it refused to merge (and thereby control) not once but twice.

And now SAG is on the brink of piling more stupidity on its earlier idiocies. The Directors Guild spent two million dollars to learn that New Media is still embryonic, and the money to be made there is still paltry. This might be different in three years, which is why most unions' New Media agreements sunset in three years and almost everyone starts over.

None of thise, however, is good enough for SAG. The guild will continue its brinkmanship strategy and go after strike authorization. Despite Rosenberg's softer cooing noises, I think the odds are good the Screen Actors Guild will hit the bricks. Once it does, several things will happen:

1) IATSE member won't be joining SAG picketers in solidarity. They will most likely be hurling tomatoes from passing cars.

2) Producers will accelerate the shift from film to digital tape. And AFTRA, which has jurisdiction of digital tape, will get a surge of new signators.

3) The entertainment conglomerates will endure whatever small flesh wounds they receive and ultimately laugh all the way to the bank.

4) Lots of film workers will cry all the way to bankruptcy court.

Let us pray that this sad script doesn't play out the way I've described it. Because the last thing the movie industry needs as the economy melts down is a long, debilitating job action.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

Battlestar Galactica Season 4 Promo!

This'll be the most you'll see of the spacely sprockets until January 16, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT, so enjoy...