Friday, April 17, 2009

News - 04/17/09...

Classic Gigantor Series Roars onto DVD

With a name that strikes terror in the hearts of criminals and joy from animation fans, Gigantor comes to DVD May 5 in a new four-disc collection.

Gigantor: The Collection Vol. 1
features 26 episodes digitally transferred from the original 16 mm film in their original airdate order on four discs.

Bonus features include in-depth interviews and commentaries on selected episodes with producer, director and writer Fred Ladd, who adapted the series for U.S. audiences from the original Japanese anime series. Also included is a DVD-ROM version of the six-issues
comic book series published in 2000 and a 16-page collectible booklet.

The set will be released by E1 Entertainment on May 5 with a suggested retail price of $39.98.

Two trailers for independent Japanese animated film ‘Cencoroll’. The OVA done by one guy!

Gots me an e-mail in my inbox this morning titled ‘homework’. Someone had loaded up a couple trailers onto the Twitch Video Player and Todd and I were so impressed by what we saw that he sent me on the task to find out what we were looking at. Here’s the story near as I have found out. Japanese artist Atsuya Uki originally published a one-shot manga called Amon Game in 2005 for a really prestige manga competition called the Shiki Grand Prize and won. He brought his idea to Anime Innovation Tokyo in 2007, where they funded him and his independent project, Cencoroll, until Aniplex picked it up. It is now 2009 and a new trailer came up the other week.

A huge monster suddenly appears on the top of a building in an ordinary provincial town. The local Defense Forces go into action, and the people of the town are in uproar. A young girl Yuki, happens to know the secret is that Tetsu keeps a strange creature called Cenco. Yuki, being brave-hearted and naturally inquisitive, becomes fascinated by Tetsu and his unusual pet, Cenco.

A mysterious boy – who has control over the huge monster threatening the town – then appears and an unexpected battle begins. Who do they fight for? Who are they? By getting involved with a battle, how is Yuki’s fate going to be?

Not only do the trailers hugely impress with amazing character design and amazing detail but according to sources, Uki wrote, designed, directed, and animated the project singlehandedly. Okay. I call the animation bar officially raised. Both trailers are after the break. Prepare to be amazed!

(Thanks Twitch)

John Carter of Mars gets a new screenwriter

IO9 reports that Michael Chabon, author of books such as The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, has signed on to rewrite the script for Disney’s big-screen adaption of A Princess of Mars, the first of eleven books in the John Carter saga. According to Chabon, “I’ve been hired to do some revisions to an already strong script by Andrew Stanton and Mark Andrews,” Chabon said. “I wrote my original screenplay The Martian Agent back in 1995 because I wished I could do Burroughs’s Barsoom. So this is pretty much a dream come true for me.” The article however suggests that it is unclear whether Chabon will be revising the first draft which was completed by Stanton and Mark Andrews in 2008 or completely rewriting the script. The movie is currently set for a 2012 release.

Johnny Depp Guests on New SpongeBob Special

Movie star Johnny Depp is helping wish SpongeBob SquarePants a happy 10th anniversary by appearing in SpongeBob vs. The Big One, an all-new special premiering April 17 at 8 p.m. on Nickelodeon.

The half-hour special, the first of several celebrating the anniversary, follows SpongeBob as he and his friends seek out surf legend Jack Kahuna Laguna to learn the latest moves and hit the elusive wave known only as The Big One. Depp plays Jack Kahuna Laguna, joining regular cast members Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass and Clancy Brown.

The premiere of the special will be simulcast on Nickelodeon Mobile, while TurboNick
(, the channel’s online broadband player, will feature a sneak peek of SpongeBob vs. The Big One, short form video content, episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants
and an Instant Replay following its on-air premiere.

TBS Welcomes Neighbors from Hell

Close the doors and draw the shades, the Neighbors from Hell are moving in at TBS.

Variety reports the cable channel has given the green light to 10 episodes of the new animated series, a production of 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation.

South Park writing alumna Pam Brady is writing the pilot and producing the show along with DreamWorks’ toon chief Jeffrey Katzenberg. The show originated at DWA as a potential vehicle for Brady.

The show is about a family that moves from hell into a typical suburban neighborhood. The hellish brood is headed by Balthazor and Tina, and includes kids Mandy and Josh and a pooch named Pazuzu. Their mission is to keep humans from ending up in hell, but it all goes awry when Balthazor finds humans’ quirky behavior to be quite endearing.

TBS plans to pair the series with its off-net repeats of Family Guy.

DECODE Sells 100 Hours of Programming in Israel

DECODE Entertainment has sold more than 100 hours of children’s and family programming into the Israeli market.

Broadcaster IETV has acquired all episodes of both the animated series Bo on the Go!, while IBA acquired GirlStuff BoyStuff, and Noga signed on for Clang Invasion and Martha Speaks.

DECODE also sold rights to the live action series Naturally Sadie, The Latest Buzz and Radio Free Roscoe.

“The volume of sales to different broadcasters across both animation and live action properties underscores the wide appeal of our slate,” said Lara Ilie, territory manager at DECODE.

Takamoto Remembrance, Book Signing Set

The life of legendary animation artist Iwao Takamoto will be the topic of a discussion and book signing set for Tuesday, April 21.

The event, to be held at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore at The Grove in Los Angeles, will be presented by animation expert Michael Mallory —co-author with Takamoto of his memoir, Iwao Takamoto: My Life With a Thousand Characters — and Barbara Takamoto, wife of the late animator.

Takamoto, who died in 2007, worked at the Walt Disney Studios for many years as an assistant to Milt Kahl. He later worked for Hanna-Barbera designing characters such as Muttley, Atom Ant, Astro of Jetsons fame and Scooby-Doo.

The event is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. at the bookstore, which is located at 189 Grove Drive.

Michel Gondry Will Draw You For $19.95

Director Michel Gondry, who occasionally employs animation in his music videos, has launched a new website at The most interesting feature on the site is that he’s offering to draw a portrait of anybody for $19.95. The samples on the site are pretty crude, but that’s besides the point. I’m impressed by the savviness of Gondry in choosing to interact with his fans in this manner, and considering his popularity, it’ll probably bring in a nice chunk of change too. The idea seems like such a no-brainer that I’m surprised well-known animation artists (people who actually draw for a living) haven’t tried doing this before. The Internet has broken down the barriers between creators and their fans, and the most successful artists in this day and age will ultimately be those who understand how to build an audience and connect with them in a meaningful way.

(Thanks cartoonbrew)

The Bakers

I’m a big fan of Kyle Baker’s comic art. In addition to his prolific work in illustration, comic books and print cartooning, he’s been self producing a series of animated sequences based on his cartoon books, The Bakers.

His previous animation translates his hand drawn style perfectly. His latest clip now combines his drawings with CGI. Check out the new look to The Bakers.

(Thanks cartoonbrew)

New York Anime Festival 2009 Launches Official Mascot Competition

The New York Anime Festival 2009 has announced that its 2009 mascot contest has gone live on its partner website Anime fans throughout the country are invited to submit original characters that combine "anime" and "New York City" by April 29, 2009. 10 finalists will be selected and put on display at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens on May 2-3, with visitors voting on their favorite. All finalists will receive 1 weekend pass to the festival and a series starter pack of manga from Del Rey; the winner will have their character on signage and other materials throughout the event along with all of NYAF's 2009 merchandise, 10 weekend passes, and 50 volumes of manga from Del Rey.

Tickets to NYAF are available now, and the con will be announcing guests, VIP packages, additional contests, and programming throughout the spring and summer. For more information about the 2009 New York Anime Festival, please visit the show's official website ( and blog (

"Snake'N'Bacon" Pilot Coming to Adult Swim on May 10, 2009

Indie comic book creator Michael Kupperman is reporting that a pilot for his show Snake'N'Bacon will be broadcast on Adult Swim on May 10, 2009, at 12:45 AM (Eastern). The live-action/animated hybrid pilot will feature Kristin Schaal, Dan Bakkedahl, Bill Hader, Peter Serafinowicz, James Urbaniak, Brian Stack, and David Rakoff. The weblog entry where Kupperman makes his announcement also includes several images from the show.

Got Wolverine? Hugh Jackman joins milk moustache campaign

Wolverine just became the latest superhero to join the Body By Milk campaign and wear the milk moustache. Other superheroes who have previously modeled the iconic 'stache include Batman, the Fantastic Four, Superman and the Incredible Hulk.

According to the campaign, the secret to Logan's powers of regeneration isn't the fact that he's a mutant. Instead, it's milk, because "milk contains protein that helps build muscle and a unique mix of nutrients that helps refuel tired bodies after a workout."

The ad will debut in print tomorrow in Rolling Stone.

The Body By Milk campaign was created to encourage teens to drink three glasses of lowfat or fat-free milk every day, eat right and be active to stay lean and healthy.

Digital Domain Names Beier Head of CG

Veteran VFX supervisor Thad Beier has been hired as Head of CG at Digital Domain.

Beier will oversee production technology and long-term facility planning, ensuring maximum efficiency for visual effects artists as they work on feature films.

He has worked in the VFX industry for more than 25 years and has been a VFX supervisor on more than a dozen films, most recently overseeing more than 1,150 shots for Fast & Furious.

Before coming to Digital Domain, he co-founded in 1995 Hammerhead Productions, where he spent 14 years developing its production pipeline and supervising VFX. Prior to that, he was an animator and research and development manager at Pacific Data Images.

He has won a Scientific and Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

CN Develops Live-Action Camelot Pic

Cartoon Network continues to push into live-action territory, setting up with Lionsgate a movie in which King Arthur comes to the 21st century.

Currently titled Reborn, the project is written by Travis Wright and was developed by Lionsgate production executive Alli Shearmur prior to coming to the studio in August, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Wright and Shearmur will oversee the project with Cartoon Network VP Ramsey Naito.

Terra Nabs Truly Moving Picture Award

Roadside Pictures’ Battle for Terra has won one of Heartland Film Festival’s four Truly Moving Pictures Awards.

The 3D, CG-animated feature film joins American Violet, Earth and The Soloist in being honored by the festival. All four films are coming to theaters in the next few weeks.

“These four films are at turns touching, heart-warming, awe-inspiring and potentially provocative. But they all share a common thread - the potential to inspire, engage and move audiences to look at the world in ways perhaps they haven’t considered,” said Jeffrey L. Sparks, president and CEO of Heartland Truly Moving Pictures.

The group organizes the awards and the Heartland Film Festival, which is held in October each year and began in 1991.

EXCLUSIVE: First Look At ‘Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen’ Promo Standee

We’re still two months from the June 24 release of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” but it’s never too soon to get the fans excited. We’ve had posters, Super Bowl spots, and trailers, and now we have another piece of the promotional puzzle…the movie theater standee. Or in other words, the large cardboard displays you see at your local cineplex.

Click here to check out the standee from “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” and then be sure to check back next Tuesday when we roll out more exclusive content from Michael Bay’s upcoming robot brawl.

No comments: