Wednesday, November 5, 2008

News - 11/05/08...


NickToons has provided Comics2Film at with a preview reel for the upcoming 'Wolverine and the X-Men' TV series. The show is set to debut in January 2009 on the Nicktoons Network in the U.S. Fans in Canada are apparently already enjoying the series on YTV.

Check it out below ...

ABC to pick up King Of The Hill?

Following the announcement of FOX’s cancellation of it’s animated sitcom King Of The Hill, at least one other network has expressed interest in picking up the long-running show, reports Variety. While the network is currently unknown, it is suspected to be ABC, as King would serve as a “strong companion” to it’s upcoming animated series The Goode Family, a comedy helmed by the same creators of King Of The Hill.

New President Visits South Park

As the United States elects a new President today, Comedy Central is already set to air a new episode of its hit animated show in which the citizens of South Park are celebrating the result. Titled, “About Last Night...,” the latest South Park installment premieres on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT).

While the country celebrates, the President-elect catches everyone off guard when he arrives at the White House prematurely. From the Oval Office, the new Commander-In-Chief assembles his team and prepares for the job ahead. Series producers aren’t saying which candidate they predict will win, but fans will find out if they got it right on Wednesday, assuming the election will be decided by then. The episode repeats Wednesday at 12 a.m., Thursday at 10 p.m. and 12 a.m., and Sunday at 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.

If the installment is a hit with viewers, we may see the new President become a recurring character on the show.
South Park launched in 1997 and should be around long enough to see yet another politician appointed to the highest elected office. Now in its 12th season, the show remains the highest-rated series on Comedy Central. The official website,, this week added new features for its “Avatar Creator,” allowing visitors to make South Park
alter-egos for themselves, their friends and their families.

Simpsons Rides High on “Horror”

It was all treats and no tricks for FOX on Sunday night as the annual “Treehouse of Horror” episode of The Simpsons generated the show’s best ratings among key demographics in nearly five years, according to Daily Variety. The Halloween-themed installment drew in 12.5 million viewers according to Nielsen data. “Treehouse” was the evening’s best performer in the coveted adults 18-49 demographic, snagging a 15 percent share with the advertiser-friendly group.

The Simpsons is now in its 20th season and shows no signs of slowing down. King of the Hill, however, is on its way out at FOX, though it posted its best ratings in about a year with roughly 8.6 million viewers tuning in on Sunday. Fellow toons Family Guy and American Dad also performed well for the network, attracting a total of 10 million and 7.2 million viewers respectively to rack up their highest ratings in nearly a year.

The “Treehouse of Horror” installment has become an annual tradition that Simpsons fans can’t miss. The anything-goes episode features an assortment of Halloween-themed tales and is often previewed for rabid devotees at Comic-Con. This year’s trip to the Treehouse spoofed the Peanuts favorite It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, among other pop-culture staples.

FUNimation Posts Test Episode of Sgt. Frog

FUNimation Ent. has begun production on an English-language version of the Japanese anime comedy series Sgt. Frog, and wants to get some feedback on a test episode. The company has posted the installment on the FUNimation YouTube channel ( and is inviting fans to leave comments and share their opinions before production progresses any further.

Sgt. Frog follows the attempts of frog-like alien invaders to conquer Earth. Sergeant Keroro is the leader of the platoon, which botches its attempt at world domination and is left behind on our hostile world. He then falls into the hands of a human family of three that force him do meaningless chores and errands.

The show is based on a manga series created by Mine Yoshizaki. The comic is published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten, serialized in the magazine Sh┼Źnen Ace, and published in English by TOKYOPOP. Produced by Sunrise, the half-hour anime series has aired on Animax, TV Tokyo and TXN since 2004, and has spawned three movies that were released theatrically in Japan.

Bender’s Game, Shrek the Halls Hit Disc

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment today released the new animated feature Futurama: Bender’s Game on DVD and Blu-ray Disc. The third of four new Futurama adventures, the movie comes loaded with bonus materials including Dungeons & Dragons & Futurama, in which co-creator David X. Cohen explores the influence of the classic role-playing fantasy game on the animated franchise. Fans of the Shrek franchise can also pick up the half-hour television special Shrek the Halls, which aired on ABC last Christmas.

With fuel prices skyrocketing, the Planet Express crew sets off on a dangerous mission to infiltrate the world's only dark-matter mine, source of all spaceship fuel. But deep beneath the surface, they discover a far stranger place—a medieval land of dragons, sorcery and intoxicated knights who look suspiciously like Bender. Joining the cast are guest stars George Takei from Star Trek and Heroes, and comic impressionist Rich Little.

Other special features include outtakes, cast commentary, a featurette titled How To Draw Futurama In 83 Easy Steps, a 3D models featurette with animator discussion, a storyboard animatic, an anti-piracy message from Bender, an interactive Futurama Genetics Laboratory and a sneak peek at the next Futurama epic, Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder. The DVD is available for the suggested retail price of $29.98. The Blu-ray version lists for $39.98 and includes the wide screen version of the film, plus picture-in-picture capabilities.

Directed by Gary Trousdale (Beauty and the Beast), Shrek the Halls has Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas all reprising their roles from the movies as Christmas Eve finds the green ogre lacking in holiday cheer. For the sake of Fiona and the kids, he tries to get into the spirit, but finds his plans for a cozy family celebration spiraling out of control when Donkey, Puss In Boots, Gingerbread Man and the whole gang try to join in on the fun.

The disc comes with sing-alongs of “12 Days of Christmas” and “Deck the Halls” featuring clips from the holiday short starring the penguins from Madagascar. Other extras include Gingy’s Dunking Game, a DVD-ROM demo of the video game Shrek Carnival Craze and DreamWorks Animation Jukebox, which features songs and video from Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Bee Movie, Flushed Away, Over the Hedge, Madagascar and Shark Tale. The release lists at $24.99.

Also debuting today is Alvin and the Chipmunks Special Edition. In addition to the hit 2007 movie, the two-disc set features a mocumentary titled Behind the Nuts, dance instructional featurette hosted by Chipmunk choreographer Rosero McCoy and the featurettes Chipmunks Live on Tour! and The Dudes Behind The Munks. There’s also a “Chipmunk Funk Mixer” interactive feature, deleted scenes and music videos. The release is also available as a limited-edition gift set in which the special edition DVD is packaged with an exclusive Alvin Ty Beanie Baby Plush toy.


What's that? Many things, actually. But here in the east San Fernando Valley it's

The name of the Toluca Lake golf course adjacent to Warners Bros. ... from which Jack L. Warner was at one time excluded ...

The name of the building at Universal Studios that housed the beginnings of DreamWorks Animation ...

And one of the big yellow structures at the DreamWorks Animation campus in Glendale. The place has been reconfigured, refurbished and now contains many DreamWorks animators, riggers, effx artists and other folks tasked with the job of creating DWA's animated features ...

I wandered through it for part of the afternoon, marveling at how the carpeted hallways and most of the offices on the upper floors were now gone, replaced by wide open spaces, hardwood floors and roomy cubicles. (The bottom half of the building is still under construction.)

The crew members are decorating their cubes -- Jeffrey K. provided a stipend for everyone to spiff them up -- and working on Monsters Vs. Aliens (slated for a Spring 2009 release). I caught a short silent sequence on a monitor, and it looked damn good. One of the artists remarked:

"We're a month away from finishing the animation. I've seen most of the whole feature a little while ago and it's got a nice, epic seep to it, even before you see it in stereo."

(He meant the 3-D 3-D animation.)

The next thing that happened was another artist came up to me and said he couldn't get TAG blog on the DWA internets, said some of his friends had the same complaint. I sat down at his desk and tapped in the TAGblog address and ...

Sure enough, you couldn't get The Animation Guild blog (this place) on the corporate intertubes.

I'm sure it's just a campus glitch, a technological malfunction, nothing at all serious. (Right?)

The poor guy will just have to click us up at home.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

"Batman: The Complete Animated Series" Collection Now Available To Own On DVD

The Batman: The Complete Animated Series box set, collecting the entire animated series, is now available to own.

Click on the link here for a look at the box set package.

Synopsis: When two shots rang out, Bruce Wayne's life changed forever. He pledged himself to justice, and he held that oath for years. Wearing many names - the Dark Knight, the World's Greatest Detectives, the Caped Crusader and Gotham's Greatest Hero - he battled tragic foes like The Joker, Penguin, Mr. Freeze and so many more. But deep inside, he knew that he shared something with them that most of humanity wouldn't understand - a commitment to the fight. The acclaimed, Emmy-winning TV series redefined this complex man as an edgy hero struggling for revenge and redemption each time he donned the cape and cowl, and this Comprehensive 17-Disc DVD Batman: The Complete Animated Series collection contains every episode, with all the allies, criminals and showdowns in Batman's history. This set features all the bonus material and episodes from the previous Batman: The Animated Series DVD releases included with new extras!

Video: How Trek Trips Itself Up

Fans of Star Trek are watching and waiting eagerly to see whether director J.J. Abrams' upcoming reboot movie measures up--and, especially, how much havoc Abrams and screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alexander Kurtzman wreak on their beloved canon.

Well, judging from recent videos posted on, the fans should lighten up and Abrams/Orci/Kurtzman should breathe a sigh of relief.

As most true Trek fans know, Trek "canon" is--like the U.S.S. Voyager's bio-neural gel packs--fluid.

Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) on the new bridge of the Starship Enterprise.

A quick review these videos reveals the extent to which the various Star Trek TV shows and movies have contradicted themselves and the facts and events of the Trek universe over and over and over again. And this from the people who were supposedly the faithful keepers of the Trek canon.

All of which should give Abrams & co. license to do what they will to breathe new life--and new civilizations--into the careworn if beloved franchise. (Thanks to YouTube user GeneralGrin!)

Anton Yelchin (from left) is Chekov, Chris Pine is Kirk, Simon Pegg is Scotty, Karl Urban is McCoy, John Cho is Sulu and Zoe Saldana is Uhura.

Kid's Animation 'Handy Manny' Up for Third Season

Manny Preps for Third Season

Announced recently was the extension of key multi-cultural children's series, Handy Manny. Airing on the Playhouse Disney programming block locally and on Disney-owned networks worldwide, Handy Manny hopes to blend the importance of daily reflections on teamwork and personal responsibility with various social interactions. Manny, his tools, and his neighborhood friends always seem to pitch in when the time is right, one of a variety of lessons the early education animated television series has been working toward for several months now.

Having earned a reliable position on Playhouse Disney as perhaps a more functional, work-with-your-hands type of program, Handy Manny sports one young man, his talking tools, and a multi-lingual work environment. Recently ordered for a third season from Disney Channel, the kid's cartoon will now be working double-time come the new year, with returning voice actors meant to tackle new adventures for Manny and his crew.

The third season of Handy Manny will include 35 new episodes. With fellow Playhouse Disney program Mickey Mouse Clubhouse still an enduring partner on the block, even if after the cancellation of adventure-mystery series My Friends Tigger & Pooh, Disney's Handy Manny's audience remains in tact.

Returning voice-over artists for the television animation include: Wilmer Valderrama ("Manny Garcia"), Lance Bass ("Elliot"), Shelley Morrison ("Mrs. Portillo"), and Jim Belushi ("Sal"). Rick Gitelson is executive producer and story editor. Susan Blu is the voice director and Charles E. Bastien is the director.

Whether teaching its young viewers the value of recycling in an environmentally conscious society or simply learning how to get along with a diverse array of friends with an equally diverse array of contributing skills, Handy Manny is a preschool animated television series whose main goal is getting people to work together.

Handy Manny
airs on the weekdays at 9:00am (ET) and during weekends at 10:30am (ET) on Disney Channel's Playhouse Disney programming block for early education audiences and their parents and/or caretakers. The third season of Handy Manny
, a production of Nelvana Limited in association with Disney Channel, will feature Manny's family reunion, Manny and the tools helping a marine biologist, and even an earthquake hitting Sheet Rock Hills.

DC Heroes Adapt To Kombat

Paulo Garcia, senior designer on Midway's upcoming Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe video game, told SCI FI Wire that the DC heroes' superpowers lend themselves to MK-style fighting moves. In the game, a cosmic event brings the two worlds together and renders the Kombat fighters equal in power to even the most super of heroes so that the fights are even.

"Superman was a lot of fun [to adapt]," Garcia said in an e-mail interview on Oct. 30. "We were able to take the abilities he's used in the past and come up with creative ways to use these to be effective in a fight. For example, using his cold breath to encase your opponent in a block of ice allow[s] Superman to get a free hit on them. Using his heat vision as a full-screen-projectile type attack can be extended for more damage."

The Flash's super speed also offered opportunities for Kombat-style stun attacks. "He has a move where he runs by you really fast," Garcia said. "If he hits you with it, he keeps going and runs around the screen three times leaving you spinning dizzy, allowing Flash to get a free hit. We were also able to give the Flash some teleport type of attacks, since with his speed he can run to other side of the screen in the same instant."

Batman's array of gadgets, meanwhile, were easily adapted to Kombat-style projectiles. But not every Kombat tactic suited every superhero. The designers tweaked each character's move set through trial and error.

"Joker's initial magic-trick move was a simple smoke cloud, then he would drop from the air with a drop kick," Garcia said. "Drop-kicking from that high wouldn't be something you would expect the Joker to do. This later evolved into the current magic-trick move that is the smoke cloud where you can perform several actions out of it, like the pistol whip, bomb popup, drop kick, slide, run out or simply just do nothing."

Garcia's personal pick for the best Mortal Kombat vs. DC matchup is Batman vs. Sub-Zero. "They are both ... dark mysterious fighters who are skilled in various ninjitsus and martial arts," he said.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe drops Nov. 16 in stores for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles.

Chicks On Anime - A Look at Key Animation

At Anime News Network, they talk with AniPage's Benjamin Ettinger about key animators, and how they've shaped the look and feel of anime.

"Madagascar" sequel opening in 130 IMAX theatres

"Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" will open domestically Friday in a record 130 IMAX theatres, including 35 new locations equipped with IMAX's digital projection system, in conjunction with the film's nationwide release, IMAX Corporation and DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. announced Friday.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is the second of five DreamWorks Animation films slated for release in IMAX theatres through May 2010.
The film will also open in 30 IMAX theatres internationally during the days and weeks following the domestic launch.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa has been digitally remastered into The IMAX Experience with IMAX DMR technology.

"This movie looks and sounds incredible in IMAX, and we're very excited to offer fans a premium way to embark on this next big adventure with all the lovable characters from Madagascar," said DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. "We always strive to deliver a premium entertainment experience to our audience, and that's what IMAX is all about."

"Our fantastic relationship with DreamWorks Animation has given moviegoers a whole new way to experience top notch animated movies and we're very excited to share this next highly anticipated Madagascar adventure with IMAX fans worldwide,"
said Greg Foster, chairman and president of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. "With crystal clear images, powerful digital surround sound and IMAX's immersive theatre geometry, audiences watching Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa: The IMAX Experience will be transported to the vast planes of Africa alongside the film's star characters, Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria."

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa joins four other DreamWorks Animation movies previously announced and slated for release in IMAX's format, including Kung Fu Panda, as well as the studio's first three 3D titles, Monsters vs. Aliens (March 2009), How To Train Your Dragon (March 2010) and Shrek Goes Fourth (May 2010).

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa: The IMAX Experience
is scheduled to play day-and-date at the following IMAX Theatres:


Mesa - Gateway 12 IMAX Theatre
Phoenix - AMC Deer Valley 30 with IMAX

Little Rock - Chenal 9 IMAX Theatre

Anaheim - The Movie Experience 14 at Anaheim Gardenwalk
Arcadia - AMC Santa Anita 16 & IMAX(x)
Burbank - AMC Burbank 16 & IMAX
Cathedral City - Desert IMAX Theatre
Dublin - Regal Hacienda Crossings IMAX
Emeryville - AMC Bay Street 16 & IMAX
Fresno - Edwards Fresno Stadium 22 & IMAX
Irvine - Edwards Irvine Spectrum IMAX
Los Angeles - AMC Century City 15 & IMAX, AMC CityWalk Stadium 19 with IMAX, IMAX Theatre at The Bridge: cinema de lux
Ontario - Edwards Ontario Palace IMAX
Sacramento - Edwards Fairfield Stadium & IMAX, Regal Cinemas El Dorado Hills & IMAX
San Diego - San Diego IMAX at Mira Mesa 18
San Jose - AMC Eastridge Mall 15 & IMAX
San Francisco - AMC Loews Metreon 16 with IMAX
Simi Valley - Civic Center Stadium 16
Stockton - Regal City Centre Stadium 16 & IMAX
Torrance - AMC Del Amo 18

Colorado Springs - Cinemark IMAX Theatre at Cinemark Carefree Circle
Denver - AMC Orchard 12, UA Colorado Center IMAX

Manchester - IMAX Theatre at Showcase Cinemas Buckland Hills

Altamonte Springs - AMC Altamonte Mall 18 & IMAX
Aventura - AMC Aventura Mall 24 & IMAX
Fort Myers - AMC Gulf Coast Town Center Stadium 16 & IMAX
Fort Lauderdale - AutoNation IMAX Theater at Museum of Discovery and Science
Jacksonville - AMC Regency 24 & IMAX
Orange Park - AMC Orange Park 24 & IMAX
Orlando - AMC Pointe Orlando 20 & IMAX
St. Augustine - World Golf Hall of Fame IMAX Theatre
St. Petersburg - Muvico Baywalk 20 & IMAX
Tampa - Channelside Cinemas IMAX, AMC Veterans 24 & IMAX
West Palm Beach - Muvico Parisian 20 & IMAX

Augusta - AMC Augusta Exchange Stadium 20 & IMAX
Buford - Regal Mall of Georgia IMAX

Boise - Edwards Boise Stadium IMAX

Batavia - Randall 15 IMAX
Chicago - Navy Pier IMAX Theatre
Lincolnshire - Regal Lincolnshire IMAX
Woodridge - Cinemark IMAX Theatre at Seven Bridges

Evansville - IMAX Theatre at Showplace Cinemas East
Indianapolis - IMAX Theatre ShowPlace 16
Noblesville - Hamilton Towne Center 16 + IMAX
Portage - Portage 16 IMAX

Council Bluffs - Star Cinemas Council Bluffs
Des Moines - Science Center of Iowa Blank IMAX Dome Theater

Olathe - IMAX Theatre at AMC Studio 30

Louisville - Stonybrook IMAX

Baltimore - Maryland Science Center IMAX Theatre, AMC White Marsh 16 & IMAX
Columbia - AMC Columbia 14 & IMAX

Natick - Verizon IMAX 3D Theater at Jordan's Furniture - Natick
Reading - Verizon IMAX 3D Theater at Jordan's Furniture - Reading
Dearborn - The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre
Grand Blanc - NGC Trillium IMAX Theatre
Grand Rapids - IMAX Theatre at Celebration! Cinema
Lansing - IMAX Theatre at Celebration! Cinema
Sterling Heights - IMAX Theatre at AMC Forum 30
Ypsilanti - Showcase Cinemas Ann Arbor

Apple Valley - Great Clips IMAX Theatre

Kansas City - AMC BarryWoods 24 & IMAX
St. Louis - Ronnies 20 Cine IMAX

Henderson - Regal Sunset Station 13 & IMAX(x)
Las Vegas - Brenden Theatres and IMAX at the Palms Casino Resort, Red Rock Stadium 16 & IMAX, Regal Aliante Stadium 16 & IMAX(x)

New Hampshire
Hooksett - Cinemagic IMAX Theatre

New Jersey
Atlantic City - IMAX Theatre at Tropicana Casino and Resort
Cherry Hill - AMC Cherry Hill 24 & IMAX
Hamilton - AMC Hamilton 24 & IMAX

New York
Albany - Crossgates Mall 18 & IMAX
Brooklyn - UA Sheepshead Bay Stadium 14 & IMAX
Deer Park - Regal Deer Park Stadium 16 & IMAX
Garden City - Grumman IMAX at Cradle of Aviation
New Rochelle - Regal New Roc City IMAX
New York City - AMC Loews IMAX Theatre Lincoln Square, AMC Empire 25 & IMAX
West Nyack - IMAX Theatre at Palisades Center
White Plains - IMAX Theatre at City Center: Cinema de lux
Williamsville - Regal Transit Center & IMAX

North Carolina
Charlotte - Charlotte Observer IMAX Dome Theatre, Discovery Place
Raleigh - Wachovia IMAX Theatre at Marbles Kids Museum

Cincinnati - Cinema De Lux 18: Springdale IMAX Theatre
Columbus - IMAX Theatre at AMC Easton Town Center 30

Tulsa - Cinemark IMAX Theatre at The Tulsa

Tigard - Portland IMAX at Bridgeport Village Stadium 18

Bensalem - AMC Neshaminy 24 & IMAX
Harrisburg - Select Medical IMAX Theater at The Whitaker Center
King of Prussia - UA King of Prussia IMAX
Philadelphia - Tuttleman IMAX Theatre, Franklin Institute
Reading - RC Reading 11 & IMAX
Tarentum - Cinemark IMAX Theatre at the Galleria Pittsburgh Mills

Rhode Island
Providence - Providence Place Cinemas 16 & IMAX

Knoxville - Regal Pinnacle Stadium 18 & IMAX
Nashville - Regal Opry Mills 20 & IMAX

Colleyville - Colleyville Cinema & Grille IMAX Theatre
Dallas - Cinemark IMAX Theatre at Cinemark 17
Houston - AMC Gulf Pointe 30 & IMAX, Edwards Marq(x)E IMAX, Wortham IMAX Theatre at Houston Museum of Natural Science
San Antonio - Palladium IMAX Theatre
Sugar Land - AMC First Colony 24 & IMAX
Tomball - Santikos Silverado Station 18 IMAX

Sandy - Megaplex 17 IMAX at Jordan Commons

Alexandria - AMC Hoffman 22 & IMAX
Chantilly - Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center IMAX Theater
Hampton - Riverside 3D IMAX Theater at the Virginia Air & Space Center
Richmond - Science Museum of Virginia Ethyl IMAX Dome
Virginia Beach - AMC Lynnhaven 18, Virginia Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater
Woodbridge - AMC Potomac Mills 18 & IMAX

Lacey - Martin Village Stadium 16 & IMAX
Seattle - Pacific Science Center Boeing IMAX Theatre
Spokane - Riverfront Park IMAX
Tukwila - AMC Southcenter 16 & IMAX

Fitchburg - Star 18 & IMAX


Calgary - Scotiabank Theatre Chinook
Edmonton - Scotiabank Theatre West Edmonton Mall

British Columbia
Langley - Colossus Langley IMAX Theatre
Richmond - Cineplex IMAX Theatre, SilverCity Riverport

Nova Scotia
Halifax - Empire IMAX, Bayer's Lake

Mississauga - Cineplex IMAX Theatre, Coliseum Mississauga
Ottawa - Cineplex SilverCity Gloucester IMAX Theatre
Toronto - Cineplex Scotiabank Theatre Toronto IMAX Theatre
Woodbridge - Cineplex Colossus Woodbridge IMAX Theatre

Montreal - Cineplex Entertainment IMAX Theatre, Scotiabank Theatre Montreal
Quebec City - IMAX des Galeries de la Capitale


Buenos Aires - IMAX Center Norte(x)

Guayaquil - Fundacion Malecon 2000(x)

Guatemala City - Pradera Concepcion

Amsterdam - Pathe Arena(x)

Manila - San Miguel Coca-Cola IMAX Theatre(x)

Dubai - Grand Megaplex 21 + IMAX(x)

Birmingham - IMAX Theatre at Millennium Point(x)
Bradford - IMAX National Media Museum(x)
Greenwich - Odeon Greenwich(x)
Glasgow - Glasgow Science Center IMAX Cinema(x)
London - BFI London IMAX Cinema(x)
Manchester - ODEON IMAX Cinema Manchester at The Printworks(x)
Wimbledon - Odeon Wimbledon(x)

Kiev - Utel IMAX Theatre

(x) denotes later launch

Additional theatres will be confirmed. Please check local listings or for final theatre listings, launch dates and showtimes.

Tezuka's 700 Manga, 100 Anime to Be Posted for Free

English, Korean sites are also in the works for three-year effort

Tezuka Productions, the studio created by legendary manga and anime pioneer Osamu Tezuka, will be posting 700 manga titles and 100 anime titles from its late founder on the Internet for free starting this week. For the next three years, all works produced before 2000 will be available for viewing. That includes Mighty Atom (Tetsuwan Atom or Astro Boy), Jungle Emperor (Jungle Taitei or Kimba the White Lion), Princess Knight (Ribbon no Kishi), Black Jack, Phoenix, and many more stories. Tezuka Productions is also planning to set up paid video distribution sites, DVD retail sites, and sister sites in English and Korean. The manga browsing requires a software plugin for Microsoft Windows.

The effort marks the 80th anniversary of Osamu Tezuka's birth on Monday. Tezuka Productions has been digitizing and colorizing all of Tezuka's manga since September 2007. Tezuka's former elementary school also celebrated his anniversary by unveiling a statue of
Astro Boy on its doorsteps. Vertical posted an entire chapter from Black Jack in English to celebrate Halloween. IMAGI's computer-animated film adaptation of the Astro Boy
manga is slated to open in North America on October 23, 2009.

DVD Talk Visits Pixar Animation Studios for "WALL-E"

DVD Talk's John Sinnott has posted a report of his visit to Pixar Animation Studios to get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of WALL-E. Sinnott's visit included discussions with director Andrew Stanton, producers Jim Morris and Lindsey Collins, sound designer Ben Burtt, and storyboard artist Derek Thompson.

WALL-E will be released on DVD and Blu-ray disc on November 18, 2008.

Pooh's dip into honey fetches pounds at auction

AP – In this undated image made available from Bonhams auction house in London, a sketch showing Winnie-The-Pooh …

LONDON – Tiggers might not like honey but collectors apparently do.

A sketch by Winnie the Pooh illustrator E.H. Shepard titled "Tiggers Don't Like Honey" fetched 31,200 pounds ($49,770) at auction Tuesday, well above the pre-sale estimate of 15,000 to 20,000 pounds ($24,000 to $32,000).

Bonhams auction house said the drawing, of Pooh dipping his paw into a honey pot while Tigger and Piglet look on, was bought by a private collector in Germany for his wife who had loved the characters as a child.

The large oval pencil drawing is an enlarged version of an illustration that appeared in A.A. Milne's children's classic "The House at Pooh Corner."

A sketch drawn for another of Shepard children's books, the Wind in the Willows, sold for 7,440 pounds ($11,842). The drawing outlines Rat and Mole having a picnic on the riverbank.

The sale also included items from the collection of Peter Rabbit creator Beatrix Potter, including a letter in which the author expressed her dislike of the merchandising of her character.

"There is nothing to be made of 'Peter' commercially," she wrote. "There have been dolls, china slippers, etc. for years — they bring in royalties; but somehow I never care for any of them."

The 1936 letter is addressed to dollmakers Elizabeth and Edith Todhunter, two sisters Potter entrusted to make Mr. McGregor and Peter Rabbit figures.

The Potter collection also included a signed first edition of "The Tailor of Gloucester," which tells the story of a poor tailor, his cat, and the mice that live in his shop. The lot sold for 3,840 pounds ($6,124).

The sale prices include a buyer's premium.

In another auction on Nov. 11, Bonhams will sell an unpublished watercolor illustration by Potter of a female rabbit who wore a pink ribbon around her neck but who did not appear in any of Potter's tales. Also going up for sale then, will be a Christmas card featuring guinea pigs designed by the author and illustrator, the auction house said.

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