Sunday, May 17, 2009

News - 05/18/09...

ASIFA-East Festival Highlights 2009

Justin Simonich and Linda Beck of Camping Trip Productions present to you their first festival highlights reel of the 40th Annual ASIFA-East Animation Festival. It was an amazing night and now here it is, all caught on tape for prosperity! Enjoy!

(Thanks asifaeast)

Controversial cartoon characters come up for bid in this week's S/R Laboratories auction

If you're easily offended, maybe you shouldn't look at today's JHM article. Which features somewhat infamous images from "Fantasia," "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and "Song of the South"

Spring brings many things. April showers. May flowers. As well as the catalog for the Spring S/R Laboratories animation art auction.

This time around, there are some absolutely amazing pieces of animation history up for bid. Take -- for example -- this gag drawing that Disney Legend Carl Barks did for "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Which was for a sequence that was supposed to built around a dwarf that didn't make the final cut in this movie, Deefy.

Copyright 2009 S/R Laboratories, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Okay. I know. The above drawing isn't exactly politically correct. But if you're easily offended by un-PC material, I guess I should warn you that this particular S/R Laboratories auction does feature a number of items that could be considered somewhat controversial. Take -- for example -- these title cards for "The Amos and Andy Show" that Disney artists created back in the early 1950s.

Copyright 2009 S/R Laboratories, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Or how this animation drawing of Sunflower, that handmaiden to the Centaurettes that Disney has been deliberately clipping out of "Fantasia" since the early 1960s?

Copyright 2009 S/R Laboratories, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Yeah, Sunflower got plucked out of that picture four decades ago. Whereas the zebra centaurettes ...

Copyright 2009 S/R Laboratories, Inc. All Rights Reserved

... who tend to Bacchus ...

Copyright 2009 S/R Laboratories, Inc. All Rights Reserved

... have had their presence in this animated classic significantly reduced through judicious reframing of certain sequences in "Fantasia."

Yeah, you never know what pieces of animation history you'll come across when you attend an S/R Laboratories auction. Among the 255 items that are up for bid this time around are storyboard drawings from "Song of the South" ...

Copyright 2009 S/R Laboratories, Inc. All Rights Reserved

... which features another set of characters that The Walt Disney Company isn't entirely comfortable with these days.

Copyright 2009 S/R Laboratories, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Mind you, it's not just the Disney stuff in this particular S/R Laboratories auction that might ruffle a few feathers. There's also a Frito Bandito up for bid this week ...

Copyright 2009 S/R Laboratories, Inc. All Rights Reserved

... that's bound to rattle a few cages.

Me? Maybe I'm old-fashioned. But I don't look at this stuff and think "How offensive." I look at all these pieces of animation history and think about how cool it is that they didn't fall through the cracks over the years. That -- thanks to the efforts of S/R Laboratories, the only animation art conservation center in the world -- these somewhat controversial items have now been preserved. So future generations can then decide if these cartoon characters were actually offensive or -- more likely -- that the people who lived in our overly PC age were just being ... Well, overly sensitive.

The Spring 2009 S/R Laboratories animation art auction will be held May 18th & 19th at 31200 Via Colinas in Westlake Village, CA. For further information on this particular auction and/or to view all of the items that are up for bid this time around, please click on this link.

Judge blames high-school assault on "South Park"

Instead of convicting two teenagers in an assault on their classmate, a Canadian judge has blamed the cartoon sitcom South Park for encouraging "Kick a Ginger Day."

The 15-year-old boys had pleaded guilty in youth court after being charged with one count each of assault. They cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Judge Lynn Cook-Stanhope gave the students from Calgary, Alberta's St. Francis High School absolute discharges last Friday, saying that she was satified they took responsibility for their actions. But she leveled a fiery blast at South Park for inspiring the idea of attacking redheads.

"That South Park is a vulgar, socially irreverent program which contributes nothing of value to anyone or any community goes without saying," the judge said. "That it has the ability to sway young, suggestible minds in subtle ways to the point, as it has in this case, where young persons were encouraged to commit criminal offences is now without doubt.

"That the program's writers, producers or broadcasters will never be called to account for this indirect promotion of negative behaviour is equally without doubt... that all of this is done in the name of humor, that it is somehow funny to target innocent people based upon purely physical characteristics of which they have absolutely no control."

The two boys pleaded guilty last November. One is a redhead himself and had met with similar harassment.

In the November 20, 2008 incident, a Grade 10 boy was attacked in the high school locker room after gym class. A Facebook group had promoted the date as Kick a Ginger Day and called on members to kick redheads, described as ginger kids. Apparently, the group inspired by a 2005 South Park episode showcasing one character's anti-redhead hostility.

That day, at least three Calgary schools reported attacks on red-haired students.

When police were asked to investigate rumors of a locker-room swarming at St. Francis, 13 students were suspended.

Despite Crown prosecutor Bina Border's suggestion, Cook-Stanhope did not order the two accused to participate in an anti-bullying program.

The youth court heard that the pair had written letters of apology to the victim, who, according to the judge, is still dealing with issues after the assault. In addition, one donated $300 to the Calgary Boys and Girls Club, while the other performed 30 hours of community service.

Defence lawyers Harry Van Harten and Diana Mah had asked that their clients be discharged.

A University of Calgary professor specializing in media studies decried the judge's description of South Park, calling it "absurd" and "ridiculous." There's no evidence of a direct link between such TV shows and criminal behavior, Rebecca Sullivan told the Calgary Herald.

An oversimplified view of the media "has been both the scapegoat and the salvation of judicial and legislative officials looking for an easy way out of complex social problems like bullying," she added.

In court, the two teens displayed little reaction after being discharged. However, their parents whispered "Thank You" and appeared relieved. The victim's family left quickly without speaking to the media.

Earlier, Harten had said that last November's attack started as a harmless prank, but soon went out of control. "Generally speaking, these are all good kids," he said outside court.

Signs of Live on Live Action Projects

Neb's Blog reported from the Anime Central convention

During the opening ceremonies when ADV head Matt Greenfield was introduced, someone in the crowd shouted a question about if we'll ever see the long-promised live-action Neon Genesis Evangelion movie. "Soon, & I'm not kidding" was Mr. Greenfield's response. He clarified a bit later that evening during an Evangelion panel, saying the closer he gets to sealing the deal the less he can say anything about it. & the fact that he can't say anything at all anymore should be a clear sign to us how close the deal really is. He seemed pretty confident.

According to Hollywood Reporter, there been progress on the live action adaption of girls in power armor anime Bubblegum Crisis. The $30 million English language picture will take advantage of Singapore-Australia, Australia-Canada, Canada-Singapore, China-Australia and China-Canada co-production treaties. Principal photography will be carried out in Australia, with postproduction in Canada by Mokko Studio.

Director and cast have yet to be decided. The spokesman said that "Crisis" will feature two male leads and a quartet of female leads -- two Caucasian and two Asian.

* reports The Last Airbender producer Frank Marshall has announced that Academy Award-nominated composer James Newton Howard (The Dark Knight, I Am Legend and Peter Jackson’s King Kong) recorded the score for the movie’s teaser trailer.

Event News

Anime Expo, held July 2-5, 2009 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, announced that the event will be hosting Yasuhiro Nightow (creator of the Trigun manga) and Satoshi Nishimura (director of the Trigun TV series and Fighting Spirit, storyboard on Black Lagoon) as guests of honor.

Mr. Nightow and Mr. Nishimura will be joined by two additional members of the highly anticipated 2009 slated TRIGUN movie team, Mr. Shigeru Kitayama and Mr. Noriyuki Jinguji, for a TRIGUN movie panel in which they will talk a bout the various behind-the-scene episodes, from days way back when, and about the experiences they had while in the production stages of the newest TRIGUN movie as well as key points regarding the upcoming film.

Head of Studio Orphee and famed screenplay writer Yosuke Kuroda (Mobile Suit Gundam 00 ) has also been added to Anime Expo's list of guests of honor.

The event also announced tthat it will also an official Robot Chicken panel featuring co-creator, executive producer, writer, director and actor Seth Green (Family Guy, Without a Paddle, Austin Powers, Party Monster), actor and writer Breckin Meyer (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, Herbie Fully Loaded), Robot Chicken director Chris McKay, Robot Chicken co-producers/co-head writers Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root, and writers Mike Fasolo, Kevin Shinick and Erik Weiner.

On another Anime Expo note, parent organization The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) told Anime News Network

"The SPJA is actively searching for a new CEO to lead the organization. The current interim CEO is SPJA Board Chairman Mr. Marc Perez. The search for the CEO does not affect the progress, development, nor planning of Anime Expo 2009. Anime Expo is continuing in its efforts to bring the best in anime and manga to the U.S. and worldwide fan base."

Interested in catching an advanced screening of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children - Complete? New York - Tokyo is giving away 10 invitations to the Location: Sony Wonder Technology Lab, 550 Madison Avenue. @ 56th Street

Date: Tuesday; May 19, 2009

Time: Doors open at 6:30 PM; Film starts at 7:00 PM

See the link above for details.

Anime (and Animation) on North American TV

At Anime Central Media Blasters stated that Moribito, a low fantasy/speculative cultural work about a spear wielding woman acting as the body guard for a young prince, will be returning to Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block. The entire series will run starting this summer.

The FUNimation Channel has been added to Comcast's digial cable offering. Customers can scroll to The Cutting Edge folder for the latest free on demand content as well as the Movies & Events folder fpr DVD previews.
FUNimation Anime under Movies and Events this month includes hit title "D.Gray-man", fan favorites "Devil May Cry", "xxxHOLiC" and "Tsubusa: Reservoir Chronicle" movies and original video animations. Over the summer, planned pre-release pay-per-view access include Viz Media series such as "Honey & Clover" and "NANA" along with "Heroic Age", "Romeo X Juliet", and "Murder Princess" . FUNimation Anime series available under The Cutting Edge include top signature shows including "Ouran High School Host Club", "Aquarion", "Mushi-Shi", and "Black Blood Brothers."

Additional top series recently added to the 24/7 channel also include titles like
"Jyu-Oh-Sei", "Hunter + Hunter"
, and "Buso Renkin"
. The linear channel is available nationwide on Verizon FiOS TV on channel 262 and several independent operators across the country. Select series are also on a pay-per-view basis on Dish Network On Demand Turbo HD.

Worth Checking Out...


Department of Alchemy asks Does the American Anime Fandom Need Bloggers? and Disney, Miyazaki, and Feminism

The Ghibli Blog - Conversations On Ghibli "The Heroine Image in Anime" by Minako Saitou: An 11-Part Epic 13

Otaku USA on Phoenix TV anime adaptation, Legend of Koizumi and Project Blue Earth SOS

Hideki Ohwada re-imagines our world leaders not as feeble old men, but as super-manly badasses who solve world conflicts over a mahjong table. George Bush Senior is no longer a skinny Texan throwing up into the Japanese Prime Minister's lap, but a hulking muscular seven foot monstrosity of a man with the power to make his shirt explode off by force of will.

On Canned Dogs,

English Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete trailer


Ghibli World is on Twitter and giving away the Japanese Ponyo DVD to promote it.

Five animated shows nominated for Daytime Emmys

Three PBS shows -- "Curious George,"
"Sid the Science Kid"
-- are about the five series nominated for this year's Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Animated Program.

Disney Channel's
Little Einsteins and Nickelodeon's The Backyardigans complete the list in the category. Nominees for the Daytime Emmys were announced Thursday.

For Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program, the nominees are
Joan Rivers as Bubbe (
Arthur; PBS);
Jim Ward as Eyemore, the Crusher (
Biker Mike From Mars; 4Kids on Fox);
Jim Cummings as Tigger (Disney
My Friends Tigger and Pooh; Disney Channel);
Vanessa Williams as Mama (
Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies; PBS); and
Amy Poehler as Bessie Higgenbottom (
The Mighty B!; Nickelodeon).

Currently seen on the hit show
Ugly Betty, Williams will host the 36th awards show, to be telecast Sunday, August 30 on CW from the historic Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles.

Nominated for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program are
Back At the Barnyard (Nickelodeon),
Ben 10: Alien Force
(Cartoon Network) and
Handy Manny
(Disney Channel).

Outstanding Special Class Animated Program, the nominees are
Curious George
(Jeff McGrath, supervising director; Scott Heming and Cathy Malkasian, directors; Susan Blu, voice director),
My Friends Tigger and Pooh (Don MacKinnon, director),
El Tigre (Dave Thomas and Gabe Swarr, director; Andrea Romano, voice director),
Discovery Kids'
The Future Is Wild (Mike Fallows, director) and
PBS series
WordGirl (David Sanangelo, director).

Outstanding Writing in Animation nominees are

Back At the Barnyard
(Dan Serafin, Jed Spingarn and Tom Sheppard, writers; Gene Grillo, story editor),
The Backyardigans
(Adam Peltzman, head writer; Janice Burgess and McPaul Smith, writers)
The Future Is Wild
(Steve Sullivan, writer and story editor), Cartoon Network's
The Mr. Men Show
(Eryk Casemiro and Kate Boutilier, head writers) and
(Jacqueline Moody, head writer; Jill Cozza-Turner, Robert Vargas, Martha Atwater, Ken Olshansky and Eric Weil, writers).

"We Like Being Small,"
from the animated Nickelodeon series The Wonder Pets!, is among the tunes up for Outstanding Original Song - Children's and Animation. Salim Merchant and Sulaiman Merchant are the composers; the lyricist is Billy Lopez.

Animated shows up for a Daytime Emmy for
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing - Live Action and Animation are
Ben 10: Alien Force
(Robert Serda, production mixer; Robert Hargreaves and John Hegedes, re-recording mixers),

Legion of Super Heroes (Robert Hargreaves and John Hegedes, re-recording mixers),
My Friends Tigger and Pooh (Mike Beiriger and Carl Leonard, re-recording mixers) and Kids WB's
The Batman
(Douglas Andorka, Eric Freeman and Timothy J. Borquez, CAS, re-recording mixers).

Among the nominees for
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing - Live Action and Animation are
Ben 10: Alien Force
(Robert Hargreaves, sound effects editor),

Tak and the Power of Juju (Jake Allston, supervising sound editor; Michael Petak, dialogue editor),
The Batman
(Tom Syslo and Timothy J. Borquez, supervising sound editors; Mark Keatts, supervising dialogue editor; Mike Garcia, Mark Keefer and Kelly Foley-Downs, dialogue editors; Keith Dickens, Tony Orozco, Erik Foreman and Eric Freeman, sound effects editors),
The Future is Wild
(Ryan Araki, supervising sound editor; Simon Berry, music editor; Julia Dalzell, dialogue editor; Peter Thillaye, sound effects editor) and
The Wonder Pets!
(Jeffrey Lesser, supervising sound editor; Dan Mennella, sound editor; Steven Rebollido, dialogue editor; Dick Maitland and Chris Sassano, sound effects editors).

Best Pre-School Series, the nominees include animated and partly-animated series
Between the Lions,
Mamma Mirabelle's Home Movies

The Wonder Pets!

Partly animated shows up for
Outstanding Children's Series are PBS programs
Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman

Postcards From Buster

Nominees for
Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series include
Between the Lions
(Norman Stiles, head writer; Judith Stoia, Beth Kirsch, Christopher Cerf, Fred Newman, Luis Santeiro, Sarah Durkee, Ray Messecar, Jennifer Hamburg, Brian Meehl, Louise Gikow and Keri Horn, writers)
Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman
(Glen Berger, head writer; Jim Conroy, writer).

Among the nominees for
Outstanding Pre-School Series are
Between the Lions,
Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies
The Wonder Pets!

PBS series
Artopia and
, which both incorporate animation, have been nominated for New Approaches - Daytime Children's.

The title tune from Cartoon Network's
6Teen is up for Outstanding Original Song - Main Title and Promo. Anthony Vanderburgh and Don Breithaupt are its composers and lyricists.

Nominees for
Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition include
The Backyardigans
(Evan Lurie, music director; Douglas Weiselman composer)
The Wonder Pets!
(Jeffrey Lesser, music director; Larry Hochman, lead composer; J. Walter Hawkes and Martin Erskine, composers).

Outstanding Achievement in Main title and Graphic Design, the nominees include
Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman
(Bruce Alcock, title designer; Peter Lyons and Bruce Walker, graphic artists) PBS animated series Sid the Science Kid
(Steve Kirklys, title designer).

As previously announced, this year's Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Sesame Street "for its 40 years of educating and entertaining our children, their children and most of us!"

ADV Films Lines Up 'Appleseed' Anime Film

Anime Firm Back in Stores with Anime Film

Given the fervent instability of the Japanese animation market domestically and abroad, much has been all quiet on the distribution front for once prolific licensing and production group ADV Films. Just this past week however, ADV announced their first new title release in several months: the motion-capture and computer animated action film Appleseed (2005) directed by Shinji Aramaki and produced by Fumihiko Sori. A classic man versus machine versus coexistence story, Appleseed is a classic revival story, injecting a host of flying bullets and hi-tech military weaponry into an already aggressive narrative initially penned by noted manga artist Masamune Shirow.

After a global war that whittled the planet's population down to a select few, a utopian city is all that remains: Olympus. A warrior whose knowledge of the battlefield goes a long way, Deunan Knute is a woman all too familiar with the rush of adrenaline, smell of gunpowder, and all other sorts of misanthropic elements of human warfare that seem to, however ironically, dehumanize people. In the film Appleseed, Deunan returns to civilization after the war to find herself slightly out of touch with the fancy new fa├žade humankind has manufactured for itself. With much of the city's population made of Bioroids, artificial clones, and her life partner Briareos, now a cyborg with more than 75% of his body replaced by metal, Deunan has a lot to adjust to.

Fortunately or unfortunately for Deunan though, the battlefield calls once again. When a politically ambitious group of terrorists threaten the stability of Olympus, and the massive supercomputer that runs just about everything begins to falter, it's up to Deunan and her team of heavily armed ESWAT comrades to settle the score, for peace, once more.

Initially licensed for distribution on western shores by no bygone anime licensor Geneon Entertainment, Appleseed, for a time, held the limelight with a limited theatrical run. Since Geneon Ent. went under in the previous year plus, many of the company's titles have been out of print. Now, ADV Films, via a non-exclusive arrangement with local business component Sentai Filmworks, plans to distribute Appleseed on home video once again. A movie presentation markedly light on character development but plenty heavy on the action and special effects, Appleseed is an ideal film for weapons enthusiasts.

ADV Films is currently aiming to place new copies of Appleseed on retailer shelves in late June, by the 30th. Retail pricing is slated for $19.98, containing English 5.1 and Japanese 5.1 with English subtitles.

on ADV Films: ADV ( is a producer-distributor of Japanese animation outside of Japan and maintains a catalog of English-language anime. ADV Films' extensive catalog assists the popularity of anime around the globe.

ADV Films also provides home video distribution for independent clients, including Switchblade Pictures and Sentai Filmworks. Sentai Filmworks is a licensing agent of anime in North America, for hit series like Clannad and Princess Resurrection.

Studio 37 Forges Animated Alliances

The two-year-old French telecom Orange film subsidiary Studio 37 is making a lot of news at the Cannes Film Festival and market this week. The Paris-based company announced several animation partnership in addition to its rich live-action slate at the film market.

“We’re really focusing on diversity,” Studio 37 president Frederique Dumas told The Hollywood Reporter. “We want to be both artistically and technologically innovative. We’re really looking for new forms of audiovisual writing. We’re not looking to do what the Americans can do better!”

Among the company’s hot animated titles is Marathon’s Totally Spies The Movie, which is slated to open in France in July. The movie is a big-screen prequel of the long-running series about the trio of crime-fighting Beverly Hills High teenagers. Studio 37 is also co-producing the Millimages movie Les Lascars: Round Da Way and Antoine Charreyon’s 2010 3-D motion capture project The Prodigies.

Dumas added, "The U.S. studios are making less films, so those independent films that can no longer be financed by the studios are coming to us," Dumas told the trade. “There's a real globalization taking place. We can all start to work together without borders and create an international network."

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

New One Piece Episodes to Stream Online

Fans of One Piece will be able to watch new English-subtitled episodes of the popular pirate manga series online within an hour of the weekly broadcast in Japan. Funimation, Toei Animation, Shueish and Fuji TV announced that the free streaming of the new segs will begin on May 30 with episode #403 on, followed by Funimation's partner sites, according to Anime News Network.

Funimation is also streaming the first two anime episodes and the Sabaody Archipelago Saga story arc (starting with episode #391).

Based on a long-running Shonen manga written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda and first introduced in 1997, One Piece has been a huge hit for Funimation and Viz Media. Funimation has been dubbing the series since 2007, which aired on Cartoon Network’s Toonami block. Viz Media will publish the 21st volume of the original manga on June 2. Oda is also overseeing the productin of the tenth anime feature film release of the property, titled One Piece Film Strong World, which is slated to open in Japan on Dec. 12. The show follows the adventures of its eccentric hero Monkey D. Luffy, a 17-year-old boy who develops magical abilities by eating a special fruit, and his misfit team of pirates known as the Straw Hats.

Here is the One Piece 10 opening credit:

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Australian actor Charles "Bud" Tingwell dead at 86

Beloved Australian actor Charles "Bud" Tingwell, the star of such films as Breaker Morant and The Desert Rats, died Friday morning at a Melbourne hospital. He was 86.

Diagnosed with prostate cancer, he had become ill just two weeks ago, according to his family.

Tingwell voiced Lieutenant Green on Gerry Anderson Productions' 1967-68 British animated series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.

He also voiced the Angry Young Man, Dr. Tony Grant and the Public Relations Officer in Anderson's 1966 puppet-animated feature film Thunderbirds Are Go, having guested on three episodes of the Thunderbirds TV series, on which the movie was based.

Years later, he was Benni (the narrator) in Media World Features' cartoon series The Silver Brumby, which was aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1998.

Tingwell made over 100 films and TV shows, including the Australian police series Homicide and the soap opera Neighbours.

Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd described Tingwell as an "Australian legend."

"From old generations knowing him through Homicide and newer generations knowing him as the battlers' friend from The Castle, he is so much a part of the Australian character as it's been shaped and as it will evolve in the future," Rudd said.

According to his family, Tingwell had working until recently, and that he had been in good health. "Tributes have begun flooding in from film and television industry giants from around the world eulogizing his illustrious career, his humility, his gentle and caring manner and his enormous talent," the family said.

Born in the Sydney beachside suburb of Coogee on January 3, 1923, he became Australia's youngest radio announcer in Australia when he was worked as a cadet at Sydney radio station 2CH.

In 1941, he joined the Royal Australian Air Force. He was sent to the Middle East and North Africa as a photographic reconnaissance pilot.

Tingwell got his first speaking role in the 1945 film Smithy, about Australian aviator Charles Kingsford Smith.

In the 1950s, he played the lead in the feature film Always Another Dawn. Later Australian films included All The Rivers Run, Puberty Blues, Ned Kelly and The Man from Snowy River.

Drawing attention from Hollywood, he played Lt. Harry Carstairs opposite Richard Burton in the war film The Desert Rats. But although Hollywood, beckoned, he decided to stay in Australia and working in film, radio and theatre.

Tingwell went to Britain in 1956, playing opposite Margaret Rutherford in the Agatha Christie TV series. He did four Miss Marple films with Rutherford. Beyond his voice roles for Anderson, he appeared in live action in Danger Man and The Avengers.

In 1973, he returned to Australia when Hector Crawford offered him the lead as Inspector Reg Lawson in TV's Homicide. Tingwell produced and directed other major Australian TV shows, including The Sullivans, Cop Shop, The Flying Doctors and Prisoner.

Recently, he had small roles in the films The Craic and The Dish, as well as the Australian series Changi and Bed Of Roses.

The actor was always willing to try new things, said Rob Sitch, who directed Tingwell in The Castle and The Dish. "He said that one of the secrets to life was saying 'yes,' because you end up meeting people, you have new experiences -- you know, luck seems to follow you," Sitch said.

Tingwell's last completed role was as Winston Churchill in last year's ABC-TV movie Menzies and Churchill at War.

In 1999, he was named a member of the Order of Australia for lifetime achievement in the performing arts.

Charles Tingwell's wife Audrey died in 1996, shortly after their 45th anniversary. He is survived by his son Christopher and daughter Virginia, who is also an actress.

World Production

Let's not forget there is animation beyond Pixar, Disney, Blue Sky, and DreamWorks. There is also -- among other productions -- multi-nationl European feature animation:

[The Secret of Kells] was animated by a Polish artist working in a Hungarian studio, then cleaned up by a Mongolian who could only communicate with Irish director Tomm Moore via a translator from Transylvania.

[C]o-directed by Moore and Nora Twomey, [it] was made across five countries — Ireland, France, Belgium, Hungary and Brazil — and funded by a patchwork of co-production coin ...

One reason this is important? Because animation production goes to all corners of the globe. (Dirty non-secret: twenty-seven years ago, I penned a Mexican feature while at Disney ... that was animated in Spain. So this has been going on for awhile.)

Face it. If you work in animation you might one day pick up and move to New Zealand, China, India or Taiwan. You might rent an apartment in Berlin or Paris or Sydney and work on 'toons there.

We are a global workforce, and we work globally. Not necessarily because we want to, but because that is the way the business is, and has been for decades.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

Our Schizoid Business

There are two dynamics going on in Animationland just now. And they're pulling in opposite directions.

On the one hand, there's a lot of employment. It isn't centered in the formerly booming area of television, but in c.g. theatrical features, visual effects, and digital games, which explains why I'm getting a cascade of calls from television production board artists and designers complaining about lack of work at the same time TAG receives 2-3 foreign visas per week for jobs in theatrical c.g. animation.

It seems borderline shizophrenic, but here's an example showing why it's not:

Advancements in animation technology and consumers' insatiable appetite for stylized robots, animals and monsters have propelled the industry. The momentum isn't likely to slow down anytime soon, industry watchers say.

"If you look worldwide, there are 45 or 50 fully 3D feature-length, computer-animated films in production today, ready for release over the next couple of years," says Terrence Masson, an industry veteran who has worked at George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic and consulted for Disney and DreamWorks.

See what's going on? At the same time production rockets upward, the fierce competition for production gigs amid a global recession have caused animation salaries to go south.

International competition in the visual effects industry is intensifying and ambitious German companies, exploding onto the scene with upcoming pics like Sony's apocalyptic thriller "2012" and Warner's "Ninja Assassin," are looking for a bigger piece of the action.

... Germans are used to working with
"very low overhead. The money all goes into the work." ...

It's little wonder that, with the money squeeze and eagerness of hungry foreign contractors, the dynamics of the business are what they are.

Over the past three weeks, I've heard complaints about shorter schedules and heavier workloads. I've listened to veteran animators talk ruefully about their shrinking salaries, even as the projects on which they work make big money. Four days ago, a staffer at a well-known studio told me:

"They've let us know that when the current project is done next month, we're out the door. They don't want anybody to think they're going to be held over until the next project gets going. A bunch of us told them, 'Yeah, we know. You don't have to keep rubbing it in.'"

Day before yesterday, an IA representative said to me over lunch: "It's a damn good thing we've got contracts at most studios. Otherwise they'd be paying everyone eight bucks an hour."

The rep was talking about live action, but I knew what he meant. Nobody in the cartoon business gloats to me anymore about their weekly salaries at double and triple contract minimums. Most of those jobs have gone away.

Of course, a chosen few at the top don't have to tighten their belts. This is, after all, America.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

Rob Zombie Explains Delay Of ‘El Superbeasto,’ Fills The Air With F-Bombs

Shortly after his mammoth graphic novel “The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto” was released by Image Comics in 2007, Scream Award-nominated director Rob Zombie told MTV News that the animated version of his “superhero monster sex comedy” was finished as well. The comics-friendly music maestro and White Zombie founder who recently contributed to the “Punisher: War Zone” soundtrack now says that the feature film’s release date is still up in the air and has no problem throwing down some harsh words to express his frustrations behind the scenes.

“The movie is f—ing awesome,” Zombie told SlashFilm. “[T]he f—ing behind-the-scenes stuff on that movie has been so f—ed up. You would not believe the sh– that has been going on.”

Though the horror film — featuring such stars as Paul Giamatti, Rosario Dawson, and Danny Trejo — had been tagged for a 2009 release, the “H2″ and “Devil’s Rejects” director sounded skeptical that his cartoon gore-fest would make it out to theaters by this fall.

“There are rumors about releasing it in the fall,” he said. “But the company that owns ‘El Superbeasto,’ the problem is, that company has changed hands, like, at least five times since I started. So, every time we’re near release, it gets sold, new executives come in, and it derails the project.”

Zombie still sounds as enthusiastic as ever about getting the project out in the public, however, reiterating earlier claims that his Adult Swim style take on classic looking animation meshed with blood-splattering madness will break new ground.

“It’s really unlike any movie,” Zombie described. “It’s very adult. I don’t know. I like to say that it’s Scooby-Doo meets NC-17.”

Director Lauren Montgomery Discusses The Upcoming "Green Lantern: First Flight" Feature

Director Lauren Montgomery addresses the WonderCon audience during the after the West Coast Premiere of Wonder Woman in February. Montgomery’s next film, Green Lantern: First Flight, an all-new DC Universe animated original movie, will be distributed July 28, 2009 by Warner Home Video. (photo courtesy of Gary Miereanu)

Warner Home Video has released an all-new studio-conducted interview with Lauren Montgomery, director of the upcoming direct-to-video Green Lantern: First Flight animated feature.


Fresh off her triumphant solo directorial debut of Wonder Woman, Lauren Montgomery shifts gears from Amazons and mythology to intergalactic intrigue as the director of Green Lantern: First Flight, the fifth in the ongoing series of DC Universe animated original PG-13 movies.

Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation are set to release the all-new Green Lantern: First Flight on July 28, 2009. The Blu-Ray™ Hi-Def edition, the special edition 2-disc DVD, and a single disc DVD will be distributed by Warner Home Video. The action-packed movie will also be available OnDemand and Pay-Per-View as well as available for download day and date, July 28, 2009.

Montgomery has been a central force within the DC Universe animated original movies, directing one-third of the series’ initial film, Superman Doomsday, and wowing critics and fans alike with her solo directorial debut at the helm of Wonder Woman. With Green Lantern: First Flight, Montgomery takes the next step in her burgeoning career, directing the initial full-length story to feature the DC Comics super hero and an entire universe of fascinating characters. She is once again teamed with executive producer Bruce Timm, this time working from an Alan Burnett script that focuses on Hal Jordan’s recruitment to the Green Lantern Corps and his discovery of a secret conspiracy that threatens its philosophies, traditions and hierarchy.

There is no rest for the weary. Though Green Lantern: First Flight has just completed production, Montgomery has already begun directing her next project – another upcoming DCU that you’ll no doubt hear about in the not-too-distant future. Montgomery paused between recording sessions and storyboards to chat about the directorial learning curve, a new universe of astounding characters, a very cool quartet of key voiceover actors, and the tricks to avoiding greens and yellows for an entire background color palette.

Read on … it’s director Lauren Montgomery talking about Green Lantern: First Flight!

QUESTION: Will Green Lantern: First Flight be in the well-known design of Bruce Timm, or be more of the Lauren Montgomery vision from Wonder Woman?

We’re actually having a lot of fun trying different artistic styles on different movies – Bruce felt his style has been done enough, and I just had my turn – plus I knew there were many other character designers who are infinitely better at designing aliens that I am. We were lucky to get Jose Lopez to create the characters for Green Lantern. I think he even took a pay cut from his last job to do Green Lantern, but this project really allows him to let his animation go wild. You’ve never seen anything like some of his designs for this film. His take on the familiar characters is fairly true to form, but he’s designed – literally – an entire universe of completely new characters in the different Green Lanterns, aliens and background characters. There are a lot of awesome, fantastical creatures. Like me, Jose is trained in animation instead of comics, so his style really lends itself to being animated – and everything he's done has looked spectacular. I think it's really looking different from anything we've ever done.

Director Lauren Montgomery said character designer Jose Lopez “ran wild” in creating a galaxy of new creatures for Green Lantern: First Flight, the all-new DC Universe animated original movie set for distribution July 28, 2009 by Warner Home Video.

QUESTION: Did Jose ever over-step any boundaries and need to be reined in?

Actually, his first designs were a little too stylized. For the main characters, the designs were a little too streamlined – we had to make Sinestro more like the comics. But once he got that figured out, he really went crazy. It was exciting to see him come in with these characters. Even his Weaponer designer is far different than what we’ve seen before, but DC was okay with it. So we just let him run wild.

QUESTION: Were there any beyond-the-norm issues strategizing a color scheme for a film with an entire army of characters wearing the same color?

We tried desperately to avoid as much green as we could in backgrounds and supporting characters, so the Green Lanterns and the rings and their effects were the only green portions of the scene. We also tried to stay away from copious amounts of yellow – so that would make an impact later in the film. When you eliminate two of the main colors, it kind of limits you, so we had to utilize a lot of shades of blue, red and orange, and I think we were able to make it work. It was a really wise decision on Bruce's part to keep the green and the yellow to the characters that were defined by that color.

QUESTION: Did you learn anything directing Wonder Woman that you were able to apply and/or improve upon for Green Lantern: First Flight?

Wonder Woman taught me that you can't board the whole movie by yourself (she laughs), so I just let my storyboard artists do their job on Green Lantern. I let them come up with their ideas and I focused on keeping everything cohesive. Ultimately, I think the movie is better for it. I guess I learned to be more relaxed and to not be such a control freak. Which I think is good (laughs again). It certainly made my work load a lot easier.

QUESTION: How much origin story should Green Lantern fans expect to see?

As we had already done the origin story a few movies back in Justice League: The New Frontier, we really didn't want to spend a whole lot of time telling that same story over again. So in Green Lantern: First Flight, the origin story is over and done before the opening credits. That way we get right into Hal Jordan’s first adventure.

QUESTION:What do the four main voice cast members bring to their roles?

Lauren Montgomery focused on the big picture in directing Green Lantern: First Flight, but she take the time to do the character design on Boodikka (voiced by Tricia Helfer) for the all-new DC Universe animated original movie set for distribution July 28, 2009 by Warner Home Video.

Christopher Meloni is a very serious actor and really got into the character to understand all the little nuances of exactly what Hal was thinking at every moment. He would ask very interesting, detailed, unexpected questions so he could totally get the mind set, and in doing so he was able to deliver an incredible performance that that really defines Hal as a confident hero, but not cocky or a jerk. Hal Jordan has a humor to him that isn't quite as big as the Flash, but still not stiff like Batman. Christopher was able to give us that fun side of Hal, too.

Victor Garber has this intimidating presence and power behind his deliveries where you can hear that Sinestro knows what he's doing, he's been through this before and he's pretty sure of himself. He gives Sinestro a very believable sense of suave sophistication. Sinestro is not your typical evil villain, and Victor Garber makes him seem like an incredibly intelligent, worldly guy who believes he is doing the right thing, even though he might not be doing it the correct way.

Kilowog is this big, hulking creature and he needed a voice that was really recognizable and had a strong presence. Michael Madsen was able to give us these line readings that we really didn’t expect – you can’t help laughing at his intonations – and he ends up with some of the funniest lines in the whole script. He even did some fake burps that are just ridiculous – you’ll actually hear a couple of those in the movie. It was just a match made in heaven, really.

Boodikka is not just your doe-eyed, token female – she has strength and believability without losing the feminine qualities of our primary female character. There aren’t a ton of women in the Green Lantern Corps – apparently it’s a male-dominated industry (she laughs). Tricia Helfer has a really sympathetic quality to her voice that captures the quieter side of Boodikka, but Tricia also has this amazing strength in her voice. She was able to make Boodikka this wonderful, relatable, three-dimensional character.

QUESTION: What made Alan Burnett’s script right for this first Green Lantern film?

Alan delivered a Green Lantern script that really explored what being a space cop is all about. He didn't focus purely on the heroic Hal super power approach – it’s more of an overall Green Lantern Corps story and Hal's existence within that group. And it’s not Hal on Earth being a super hero – we’re in space for virtually the entire movie, so Alan gave us multiple backgrounds and scene settings so we could explore the galaxy. That made it even more interesting – seeing and exploring different alien locales and lifestyles. Being away from Earth is incredibly liberating in terms of design possibilities.

QUESTION: Without any spoilers, do you have a favorite scene?

It’s Hal Jordan to the rescue in Green Lantern: First Flight, the all-new DC Universe animated original movie set for distribution July 28, 2009 by Warner Home Video.

We have a scene about 17 minutes into the movie when Hal and Sinestro go into this establishment looking for a killer, and even though you’ve already seen some of the alien Green Lanterns, this is the first time you get an eyeful of the alien characters that Jose Lopez designed. The place is packed with all these really cool aliens, and they’re all so crazy looking. But you know their personalities immediately. It’s a very tense, cool scene and you really get to see how different that world is from Earth. That’s the defining scene from the movie that lets you know you’re not in Kansas anymore.

For more information, images and updates, please visit the film’s official website at

New Images And Video Clips From Upcoming “Batman: The Brave And The Bold” Episode

The World’s Finest has new clips and images from the upcoming Batman: The Brave and The Bold episode "Legends of the Dark Mite!"

Cartoon Network has passed along the episode synopsis, video clips, and over thirty new images for the upcoming Batman: The Brave and The Bold episode "Legends of the Dark Mite!" To get a closer look at the images, click on the thumbnails below.

Click Here For More Images, Videos & Details!

Cartoon Network has also provided three clips from the episode, which are available to view here at their Batman: The Brave and The Bold subsite. The all-new Batman: The Brave and The Bold episode “Legends of the Dark Mite!”, scheduled to air at 8:30pm (ET) on Friday, May 29th, 2009, is described as follows.

In this episode, Batman's biggest fan, BatMite, is also his biggest nightmare when the 5th dimensional imp pops up and in an effort to make Batman a better hero, throws Gotham City into chaos. Kidnapping the Dark Knight and traveling to the surreal 5th dimension, the adventure continues with references to many of the classic villains. Be on the look out for cameos featuring the WBA creative team on a Con panel!

Details on the cast and crew can be found at the link above. Further information on the episode is available at their Batman: The Brave and The Bold subsite.

Partnership announced for 3D "Around the World"

Studiocanal and Universal Music Group announced Saturday a partnership for the upcoming 3D animated feature film Around the World in 50 Years, which will be released worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2010.

As part of this agreement, UMG will handle all North American theatrical, DVD, TV and non-theatrical rights to the family movie. UMG will also handle the soundtrack album on a global basis.

The film, "a buddy movie with turtles for the 21st century," is directed by Ben Stassen (Fly Me to the Moon) and is being produced at nWave's Brussels studio.

The announcement of the deal followed straight after the film's presentation to an exclusive, invitation-only audience at Cannes as part of the international sales rollout. The presentation -- which included almost 15 minutes of "immersion" 3D footage -- was crafted and presented by former Dreamworks marketing executive Peter Dunne, who has signed on as an animation consultant for Studio Canal.

"I am delighted about this partnership. We first approached our sister company, Universal Music Group, about the soundtrack which is so critical for an animated film, but Doug Morris [chairman and CEO] was so enthusiastic that he decided not only to come on board for the music, but also to become our partner for U.S. distribution," Studiocanal CEO Olivier Courson said.

"We never even took the film to the market. This movie is another important step in our international production: 3D animation. We are happy to have partners within the Vivendi group who can bring together such a strong and diverse team of creative and marketing talent which this project deserves."

"When Jolene Cherry [Universal Records' senior vice-president of A&R] first brought the film to my attention, I realized what a true gem it is," Morris commented. "It combines the most innovative technology available today with great storytelling to convey an important environmental message. We are thrilled to be working with Olivier and his team on this important project."

Cherry and Vincent Herbert will create the movie's soundtrack album.

"We are thrilled to have secured such a great home for Around the World in 50 Years. We have long recognized that international success in family entertainment relies on a great U.S. release, and this deal allows us to begin work right away with our partners in putting together a first-class marketing, licensing and promotional campaign for the film," said Rodolphe Buet, Studiocanal's executive vice-president for international distribution.

"With such a strong commitment from our U.S. partner, and our own distribution in the major part of Europe, our sales campaign has got off to a really strong start, and I'm confident that we will secure our other distribution partners very quickly." added Harold Van Lier, Studiocanal's executive vice-president for international sales.

My Sister's Butt

Animated film of an original song with lyrics improvised by a 4 year old at the time and performed by her and her older sister, who was 6 years old at the time. The music was added later.

The animation is by Pilar Newton at, fresh off its ASIFA festival and "Show Us Your Shorts" screening night wins! Congrats Pilar!!

Animation's Gravitational Pull

Reading Newsweek's hymn to the creative glories of Pixar, the thing that struck me wasn't the effusive praise of early Walt features ... or Pixar's present product ... but this quote from the New Republic, circa 1929:

"When it comes to 'pure cinema,' 'visual flow,' 'graphic representation,' 'the freedom of the cinematic medium,' and all the other things foreign cinema enthusiasts talk about, nothing has more than a roll of celluloid's chance in Hell beside Felix the Cat and the other animated cartoons."

Embedded in TNR's observations about animation in the days of silent, back-and-white shorts are the reasons animation has survived and thrived as a story-telling genre: Animation offers a filmmaker total control in ways that (until recently) live-action films could not.

If you wanted flying elephants or pirate ships or talking toys or large blue genies, animation could create those things and make audiences believe they existed. Live-action filmmakers, on the other hand, were shackled with actors in actual places in front of real cameras. For animation artists, the boundaries of time and space were non-existent, the horizons limitless. And audiences, when the story-telling underpinning cartoons' wider worlds was as compelling as the unconstrained visuals, bought into it in a big way.

Snow White, after all, made more money than any feature film* before it. Seventy years further on, Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, and Blue Sky Studios have all created animated product that have earned billions, which is why there are more cartoon features being made today than ever before in animation's hundred-plus year history. Everyone wants to elbow onto the gravy train.

It's also why so many live-action features today resemble their animated cousins. Superman might have been born in the pages of a comic book and nurtured in Fleischer cartoon shorts, but today the Man of Steel and all his super-hero cousins, from Wolverine to Ironman to Spidey, defy the laws of physics in live-action universes morphed into imitation cartoons courtesy of computer generated images.

Because, after a century of film-making, the gravitational pull of animation grows ever stronger. And every film-maker aspires to the 'pure cinema,' 'visual flow,' and 'graphic representation,' that Felix the Cat enjoyed in 1929, and cartoon features own today.

I don't think this cinematic reality will be changing anytime soon.

* "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" earned eight million dollars in 1938, more than any tracked feature film to that time. "Birth of a Nation" probably earned more, but there are no records that document its total gross.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

Angels & Demons is tops; Star Trek stays strong

Angels & Demons took the top spot at the May 15 weekend box office, with an estimated $48 million domestically, far less than its hit predecessor, The Da Vinci Code, which racked up $77.1 million in its first weekend in 2006, the Associated Press reported.

Star Trek, meanwhile, slipped to second place with an estimated $43 million, down a respectable 43 percent from its blockbuster opening weekend (not including Thursday-night preview screenings), raising its domestic take after 10 days to about $147.6 million and cementing its status as a hit with legs.

The Da Vinci Code eventually took in $753 million worldwide.

Star Trek is also the most successful film in the franchise internationally, having rung up about $70 million over two weeks, surpassing the second-most successful Trek movie internationally, First Contact, which grossed a total of $57.4 million overseas, according to Deadline Hollywood.

That's good news for Paramount, which has wanted to boost the franchise's appeal in foreign countries (beyond stalwart Trek nations such as the United Kingdom and Germany).

No movie in the franchise has ever cracked $100 million overseas before, but Abrams' Star Trek is already on track: Paramount is predicting that the film will do around $150 million internationally and around $400 million worldwide, Deadline Hollywood estimated. Star Trek's worldwide total so far is $216 million and counting.

Video: Star Trek vs. Star Wars?

College Humor has posted a video about their favorite movie, which may or may not be J.J. Abrams' Star Trek, which you can view after the jump.

OK, we'll admit there are a few similarities. What do you think?

Star Trek is in theaters and IMAX now.

Star Trek's Chris Hemsworth will play Thor, star in Red Dawn

Chris Hemsworth as George Kirk

Deadline Hollywood reported that Star Trek's Chris Hemsworth has won the title role in Kenneth Branagh's Thor, with the approval of Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige.

Hemsworth—who played James Kirk's father, George, in J.J. Abrams' hit Trek—has also been cast in the lead role of Jed Eckert in director Dan Bradley's Red Dawn remake, taking the role that Patrick Swayze played in the original, a source confirmed for SCI FI Wire. He will do that film before taking on Thor, our source said.
The Australian-born Hemsworth has been having a banner year: in addition to Trek, he is currently filming producer Joss Whedon's Cabin in the Woods horror movie.

Before moving to the States, Hemsworth played Kim Hyde on 171 episodes of Home and Away, the successful Aussie TV series chronicling the lives and loves of the residents of Summer Bay, a small coastal town.

Red Dawn is eyeing a Sept. 24, 2010, release; Thor is slated for a May 20, 2011, release.

Real Live Astronauts are Watching ‘Star Trek’ in Outer Space - Right Now

The bridge of the Enterprise in the new “Star Trek” film

Right about now in outer space, three men are crouched in a node of the International Space Station, watching J.J. Abrams’ reboot of “Star Trek” on a laptop. They chose the node, said NASA spokeswoman Nicole Cloutier, because it was “dark and quiet” and would be “a good spot” for three “Star Trek” fans to hunker down for the ultimate viewing experience.

“They just ended their crew day,” said Ms. Cloutier, “so they’re watching it now, or just finishing it up. They can go all day without seeing each other, so this is a good chance to get together.”

Michael Barratt, the American astronaut, requested the film before boarding a space-bound shuttle in March, said Ms. Cloutier. He told NASA officials that he was a lifelong admirer of the TV series and did not want to miss this latest big-screen installment while off-planet. It was beamed up to them - really - after being reformatted by NASA technicians in a five-hour procedure Thursday night and beamed up Friday morning.

Mr. Barratt, 50, Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, 50, and Koichi Wakata, 46, of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency settled into the node, named “Unity,” after dinner and secured their feet with floor straps to keep from floating during the screening, she said.

They are the 19th crew since 2000 to put in time at the International Space Station, which is a series of large modules connected by smaller nodes. Getting together for a “movie night,” she added, was a tradition on the station.

Mr. Barrat said in a press release that the original series inspired him to become an astronaut and would be a perfect film selection for the space station.

‘Star Trek’ blended adventure, discovery, intelligence and storytelling that assumes a positive future for humanity,” he said. “The International Space Station is a real step in that direction, with many nations sharing in an adventure the world can be proud of.”

(Thanks NY Times)

How McG made that T-800 at the end of Terminator Salvation

One of the big surprises at the end of McG's Terminator Salvation has been well reported, but if you haven't heard and don't want to be spoiled, don't read any further. But if you want to know how McG created the scene, click through.

At the end of the upcoming prequel/sequel film, a T-800 model Terminator appears, looking just like Arnold Schwarzenegger from James Cameron's original 1984 The Terminator, as naked as the first time we see him.

McG told reporters that he used computer graphics to make the T-800 look just like Schwarzenegger from the first movie. But wherever else he could, McG wanted to use practical effects.

For the T-800 scene, in which John Connor (Christian Bale) confronts the old nemesis, Austrian bodybuilder Roland Kickinger played the Terminator so that Bale would have someone to act opposite. Schwarzenegger's face was superimposed on Kickinger's head in post-production.

"Most particularly, you really get the performance you're looking for when you're not stuck telling an actor, 'Oh, the tennis ball is the robot. Be afraid,'" McG said. "That's terrible. I want a 7-foot piece of Soviet tank machinery where if you punch up against that thing, it's going to hurt your hand. And when the red eyes glow, and the puppeteers from Winston Studios do this and smack you, it brings a better performance out of Sam Worthington and out of Christian Bale and everybody else who's interacting in the film. So it was absolutely critical to build as much as was humanly possible, and then when you have to extend in a CG capacity, sure, go for it. But films that take place purely in a CG environment, I find they just feel animated and I detach as a viewer, so I'm less interested in that respect."

McG used as many practical robots and physical effects as possible during the making of the movie, he added. "It's a very militant philosophy when it comes to that," McG said in a group interview last week in Beverly Hills, Calif. "I'm very passionate about that. I think we can all smell the CG component in these films, and you immediately are taken out of the picture. So we wanted to go to great lengths to go to the one and only Stan Winston—who passed in the making of this picture, and we've dedicated it to his memory—to build all the robots and all the machines of Skynet to the best of our ability. We wanted to do as much as possible in camera, so you get that level of physics and that level of response."

If Schwarzenegger had not agreed to allow the use of his face and likeness for the T-800, McG had a backup plan. "You'll notice the door flies off, and Connor goes down on his back, and he shoots the machine gun up the chest of the T-800," McG said. "If we were unsuccessful in getting the likeness of Schwarzenegger, we were just going to have the machine gun having blown his face off. It would have been the endoskeleton, the skull idea, and it wouldn't have been nearly as satisfactory. In the end, I think the governor's very pleased with what we did and the manner in which it was handled. So I think that's a nice moment in the movie, when that shows up."

Terminator Salvation opens May 21.

Battlestar's red 'Six' dress sells for $23K, tops prop auction

Tricia Helfer beside the red dress that sold for $23,000

Tricia Helfer's signature red dress as Number Six generated a winning bid of $23,000 to top the list of items sold at an auction of Battlestar Galactica memorabilia last week. Offered alongside hundreds of props, costumes and set pieces from the acclaimed SCI FI series, the dress netted the auction's highest bid after two buyers drove up the price in a fierce bidding war.

Over the weekend of May 8-10, Battlestar Galactica fans enjoyed the chance to take home memorabilia from the show at a charity auction in Pasadena, Calif. Coordinated after the show's finale by NBC Universal Television, DVD, Music and Consumer Products Group and Propworx, hundreds of iconic items from SCI FI's acclaimed series were sold via live and online auctions.

Second only to Six's dress, Starbuck's flight suit sold for $16,500 to an Internet bidder; meanwhile, the "Battlestar 75" seal from the "Weapons Control" section of CIC sold for $16,000, significantly eclipsing its estimated sale price of $600-$800. Another item estimated to sell for less than $1,000, "Kara's Bizarre Painting on Canvas," went for $15,000.

Other highlighted items include Adama's Duty Blue Uniform ($13,000), Sharon's flight suit ($13,000), Starbuck's Duty Blue Uniform ($12,000), Kara's bloodied dog tag ($8,500) and Helo's flight suit from "Daybreak" ($8,500). Additionally, a fire control board sold on the auction floor for $8,000, Sharon's Raptor helmet went for $7,250, and a Pegasus War Room spotter model sold for $7,250.

Jessica Biel Not Ruling Out Live-Action ‘Wonder Woman’ Role

Since 2004’s “Blade: Trinity,” one of Jessica Biel’s co-stars, Wesley Snipes, has been convicted of tax evasion, while another, Ryan Reynolds, has played a mutant in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and been granted his own “Deadpool” spin-off movie. But where’s Biel headed? Would she ever dive back into the world of comic books — as Wonder Woman, perhaps, as was rumored a few years ago?

The answer is yes.

“If Wonder Woman had the right script and it was really powerful and emotional and interesting, I would be into that kind of thing,” Biel told MTV News while she was promoting her upcoming 1920s comedy of manners, “Easy Virtue.”

Back in 2007, Biel reportedly was in talks to take on the role of the superhuman Amazonian crime-fighter but ultimately passed. Since then the project has languished in development hell, as has a long-planned, big-screen take on superhero all-star team, the Justice League. Last we heard, the “Justice League” adaptation was still on hold, while Warner Bros. had reportedly kick-started a search for a director to helm a Wonder Woman solo adventure.

So, the opportunity is there for Biel to give the role a second shot. The question, she said, is how strong is the script?

“I feel that sometimes the character development gets thrown to the wayside in those movies, and I’m really interested in that kind of thing,” she said. “So if both the elements could be there—the physicality and a real developed character, whether it’s a Wonder Woman thing or a Justice League thing—I’m open to it.”

What about one day returning to the “Blade” universe?

“I would always consider anything,” Biel said. “I had a really good time in that world. That was fun for me. I like that kind of physicality and playing a tough person who has awesome skills—like ninja skills—that’s pretty cool.”

Check Out This Terminator Salvation Hologram Poster

With Terminator Salvation one week away from destroying humankind, the advertising campaign has kicked up a notch and now Warner Brothers has delivered what I think may be the first 3-D hologram poster. If it isn't the first, then who cares, they can just send a terminator back in time to kill whomever made the first one, then they can have all the glory!

The poster is on display at the Arclight in Hollywood. The Arclight is Hollywood's biggest and baddest theater. It's got a cafe, a shop and it's pretty and they sell Kosher dogs. But Kosher dogs taste like s*** and are over priced. put up a YouTube video of the poster that you can see below.

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