Wednesday, July 22, 2009

News - 07/22/09...

Milt Kahl - Mr. Snoops Pencil Test

Mr. Snoops from "The Rescuers" , animated by Milt Kahl. I've seen a version of this recently that had some of the drawings missing . I don't have the Medusa level, but this one has all the Snoops drawings , except for during the long hold his nose level and his eye blinks are missing. (as Medusa says "You are TOO SOFT" she pokes his nose with her finger) . Lip sync is a little off , but this was as close as I could get it working with sound grabbed from a 30fps video, changing it to 24fps and trying to match to the 24fps pencil test. (for context I added the scene right after this one as he finishes his line "fuss about her teddy bear getting wet".)

Something else missing here is the dynamic way that Kahl moves the character within the layout . There is a subtle pan behind Snoops as he backs away from Medusa at the beginning, and again as he moves away from him after she says "You are TOO SOFT" ... You can't see it as much here with all the drawings centered, but if you watch the actual scene in the movie it has more of an illusion of space to it. Check it out on DVD or see a low-res clip on YouTube for comparison to the pencil test:

(Thanks David Nethery)

Rune Bennicke - Koda's Mom Pencil Test

Rough animation of the character "Koda's Mom" from BROTHER BEAR , animated by Rune Bennicke.
(looped three times for your viewing pleasure) .

(Thanks David Nethery)

Bill Tytla - Stromboli Pencil Test

Animation by Bill Tytla of the character Stromboli from "Pinocchio".

I found good quality scans of this scene on Michael Sporn's excellent blog:

I wanted to try syncing it up with the sound, so am reposting it here. If you compare it to the final color version there are a few drawings missing. On the hold after he says "knock you silly" and is looking menacingly off-screen at Pinocchio the animator had a moving hold on drawing marked "D H-66" . The body is traced back from D H-66, but the beard continues to overlap and settle for 10 frames as Stromboli glowers . I covered this by adding a small interpolation within that 10 frame hold so D H-66 isn't completely held. Later drawing D-132 is missing , so I added another interpolation between D-130 and D- 134 so the timing would be accurate when adding the sound .

Then again from drawing D- 174 to D-178 the inbetween drawing D-176 is missing. This is covered by interpolating D-174 and D- 178. If you look closely you'll notice these little "dissolves" , but it's not too distracting and it keeps the flow of the timing .

Also at the very end when he says "my little wooden gold mine" on the end of the word "gold mine" there should be a blink , but those drawings are missing from the scans. I simply held the last drawing D-224 for the length of time that the blink would take place if it was there. (again, the body was traced-back as a moving hold , with the eye blink. )

(Thanks David Nethery)

Coraline, Watchmen Top Home-Video Releases

Coraline, Henry Selick’s acclaimed feature film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s beloved story, leads an impressive array of pre-Comic-Con DVD and Blu-ray releases.

The stop-motion animated film will be available on 2-disc DVD and Blu-ray formats featuring both 2-D and 3-D copies of the movie and a digital copy for computers. Coraline is available July 21 from Focus in a Collector's Edition DVD ($34.98), 3-D and 2D DVD ($29.98) and a Collector's Edition Blu-ray ($39.98).

Also out this week is Watchmen (Warner Bros., $28.98 DVD, $34.99 Director’s Cut DVD, $35.99 Director's Cut Blu-ray), Zack Snyder’s adaptation of the acclaimed superhero graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. The film is available in both a regular edition and a director’s cut that adds about a half-hour of never-before-seen footage.

Fans of Snyder’s work — and comics artist Frank Miller — also will want to check out 300: The Complete Experience (Warner Bros., $39.99), bringing the film to Blu-ray for the first time with expanded bonus features.

Also out this week is Robot Chicken Star Wars: Episode II (Warner Bros., $19.97), an extended version of the irreverent show’s most recent send-up of the classic movie series; and Wolverine and the X-Men: Deadly Enemies (Lionsgate, $14.98), the second release of episodes from the current hit Marvel series airing on Nicktoons.

Additional animated releases this week include Heathcliff: A Cat & His Boy (NCircle Entertainment, $6.99), Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: Robots Attack (NCircle Entertainment, $6.99), The Secret Saturdays, Vol. 1 (Turner $14.98), SpongeBob SquarePants: To SquarePants or Not ... (Paramount, $16.99), Super Mario Bros. Super Show: Off The Map (NCircle Entertainment, $6.99) and Pushing Daisies: The Complete Second Season (Warner Bros., $39.98 DVD, $49.99 Blu-ray).

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

VIZ Ponies Up Ponyo Book Program

VIZ Media is set to release a series of new books based on Hayao Miyazaki’s new film Ponyo, which is due to be released by Disney in the United States on Aug. 14.

Ponyo is the acclaimed animation master’s retelling of the story of the Little Mermaid, based on the original tale by Hans Christian Andersen.

Among VIZ’s offerings are a four-volume Ponyo film comic book that uses full-color frames from the film, a Ponyo picture book and The Art of Ponyo, which goes behind the scenes on the making of the film.

The first two volumes of the film comic will be released Aug. 4 and cost $9.99 each, with the third and fourth volumes following Aug. 11.

The picture book also uses art from the film, as well as simplified text, to tell the story of the film for younger readers. It will be available Aug. 4 and cost $19.99.

Out Aug. 11 is The Art of Ponyo, a comprehensive softcover edition that includes sketches and layouts from the film, as well as interviews with production principals and the complete screenplay. It will sell for $34.99.

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

WB Announces Wild Things Game

Gamers will now have a chance to go Where the Wild Things Are on their videogame consoles.

The new game, which ties into the release of the upcoming Spike Jonze movie, is being developed for the Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles by Amaze Entertainment and by WayForward for the Nintendo DS platform. It will be published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment in October, around the release of the film.

The game lets people play as Max, the rambunctious young star of the Maurice Sendak book and film, as he explores the island the Wild Things live on and finds a way to work with the Wild Things to save the island from destruction.

Where the Wild Things Are is one the most beloved children’s stories and we are excited to deliver an immersive interactive experience based on and inspired by the feature film from Spike Jonze,” said Samantha Ryan, senior VP production and development, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

The movie version of Where the Wild Things Are is due out in theaters Oct. 16.

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Tooner Satire Bloomberg Developed for Animation

New Core Productions and Silver Lining Film Group are looking to animate Smoking Bloomberg, an off-Broadway spoof of musicals.

The two companies have teamed up and recruited consultant group ThinkTank Emporirum to help develop the 2006 play for multiple platforms.

The play by David Cornue, Sam Holtzapple, Warren Loy and Chris Todd is about a Korean woman who works as a dry cleaner in New York City and tries to seek revenge on Mayor Michael Bloomberg for banning smoking in public places.

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Monsters Emerge From Sticky Monster Lab

Seoul-based design and animation studio Sticky Monster Lab has produced a new CG short, titled The Monsters. The full version is 9:30 minutes long, but here’s a 1:30 minute clip

The RDCCDX Endgame

At last week’s Otakon 2009, the final installment from Matt Burnett and Ben Levin’s online animated series RDCCDX: Digital Pirates of Dark Water Saga was premiered. As promised, they also released it on the web. Here is episode 4, titled End of the Road, in which Mark Barry confront their arch nemesis Seth and settle their differences.

Gobelins 3rd Year Animated Short Films

Gobelins, the world-class animation school in Paris, has released four 3rd-year student films from 2009. Here’s two of my favorites:

Inka Bola - by De Mélody Cisinski, Jacques Jarczyk, Vincent Garcia, Floriane Marchix, Gwénolé Oulc’hen and Patrick Pujalte

And here’s a behind the scenes look at Inka Bola:

Un tour de manège - by De Nicolas Athane, Brice Chevillard, Alexis Liddell, Françoise Losito and Mai Nguyen

SDCC ‘09: More plugs for stuff I like

Click on thumbnails below to see full-size images.

First, this just in from Eric Goldberg:

Hi, guys-

Thought I would pass along a pre-San Diego Comic Con plug for my various attempts to become the world’s most hard-to-avoid animator. First, I will be part of the panel discussion, hosted by the illustrious Don Hahn and sponsored by, celebrating the teachings and years of inspiration to Disney artists by Walt Stanchfield, whose class handout sheets are now lovingly compiled into a two-volume tome,
Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes. Alongside me on the dais: Glen Keane, Tom Sito, and Ruben Procopio.

Thursday, July 23, Room 32 AB, 3:00 – 4:00 PM (Note the time change from previously published posts)

Then, my new collection of sketchbook cartoons,
Enjoy It While You Can, Kid, is debuting at the Con, courtesy of Stuart Ng, who also happens to be the publisher. (What a coincidence!) I will be shamelessly signing and plugging it, as well as copies of Character Animation Crash Course!, at these times and locations, all a hair’s breadth away from Stuart Ng Books at Booth 5012:

Thursday, July 23, 4:30 – 6:30 PM, Booth 5022, hosted by Creative Talent Network

Saturday, July 25, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM, Booth 5022, hosted by Creative Talent Network

Sunday, July 26, 12:00 – 2:00 PM, Booth 5019, hosted by Flesk Publications

Andy Suriano, one of the character designers for Samurai Jack, Clone Wars and the soon-to-be Genndy’s new show, and his partner’s (Ben 10 creator Joe Casey) comic book, Charlatan Ball (from Image), is being collected and released as a trade paperback at SD Comic Con this year. It’s got our mutual friend (and Suriano’s Plastic Man collaborator) Tom Kenny providing a forward. Suriano be at a table under the Image Comics this year (booth #2729) and have an “official” signing @ table 1, Thursday, July 23rd from 2-3pm. Otherwise, he’ll be at his own table selling swag and his sketchbooks.

Mills James Productions, based in Columbus Ohio, has produced a feature length documentary on BONE creator (and former animator) Jeff Smith. The film, titled The Cartoonist: Jeff Smith, BONE and the Changing Face of Comics, will debut at Comic-Con on Friday July 24th. The Comic-Con screening will be 7:30 pm in Room 5AB of the San Diego Convention Center. Writer/director Ken Mills, president of Mills James Productions, and co-producer and editor Mike Meyer will be present to introduce the film and answer questions. For more information on the documentary, visit its Web site.

(Thanks cartoon brew)

Disney's Rapunzel Lets Her Hair Down

Looks like Disney's getting a little randy in its old age. That's the only explanation I can come up with for the recently released storyboard image from the upcoming CGI film, Rapunzel. As you can (scroll down to) see, unlike most fairy tale princesses that wait around for people to rescue them, this Rapunzel is a resourceful lass who prefers tying men up in her tower using her own golden tresses.

Kinky doesn't begin to cover it.

But hey, said tied-up guy is looking kind of cute for an animated character and he's definitely my type. Of course, I don't go tying up guys with my hair but I wouldn't rule out anything yet.

You can click over to Planeta Disney to see some more pictures of the film's storyboard, though the only other image that I can make out is a black-and-white sketch of Rapunzel "letting down her golden hair."

Disney's Rapunzel is expected to hit theaters in 2010.

(Thanks Latino Review)

Menu System For "Green Lantern: First Flight - Two-Disc Special Edition" DVD Release

The World's Finest has an exclusive first look at the menu system for the upcoming Green Lantern: First Flight - Two-Disc Special Edition DVD release.

To view the images, which include the entire menu system from the Green Lantern: First Flight - Two-Disc Special Edition DVD release, please click on the thumbnails below.

Further images from the Green Lantern: First Flight - Two-Disc Special Edition DVD release can be found at The World's Finest here.

Check out the Green Lantern: First Flight subsite here at The World's Finest for further coverage and information on the upcoming Green Lantern: First Flight direct-to-video animated feature. A co-production of Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation, the direct-to-video Green Lantern: First Flight animated feature will debut Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 on DVD and Blu-ray disc.

“The Thirteen Days of Christmas” lets you bring Haunted Mansion Holiday home

Jim Hill reviews this fun new book from Disney Press, which is illustrated with those “Nightmare Before Christmas” –themed tarot cards from Madame Leota’s séance circle

Boys and girls of every age,
Would you like to see something strange?

Copyright 2009 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Okay. I know. It’s July. Which is not exactly when people start thinking about Halloween and/or Christmas.

But a book just hit store shelves that I know that Disneyana fans – whether they’re Halloween fans and/or lovers of Christmas – are going to have to own. And that’s Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Thirteen Days of Christmas (Disney Press, July 2009).

Copyright 2009 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Long story short: If you’ve ever ridden through “Haunted Mansion Holiday” and then Ooohed or Aaahed at those over-sized tarot cards that float above Madam Leota in that attraction’s séance circle room, “The Thirteen Days of Christmas” is a must-have. Because this 32-page hardcover features reproductions of all the images that you see on those cards.

Copyright 2009 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Mind you, the text that you’ll read in this book ( which is credited to Steven Davison and Carolyn Gardner) is somewhat different than what you’ll hear inside of the attraction.

Copyright 2009 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

So instead of Madam Leota intoning “3 lifelines, extending help to those in need …,” you get …

On the third day of Christmas
my ghoul love gave to me
three lifelines extending,
two true-love potions,
and a star for my fortune-card tree.

Copyright 2009 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Which might upset the Haunted Mansion Holiday purists out there. But given that this book is clearly supposed to be riffing on that “Twelve Days of Christmas” song … I think that it’s entirely appropriate that Disney Press tweaked the text a little.

Copyright 2009 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Besides, it isn’t the words that is going to make “The Thirteen Days of Christmas” a must-have for Nightmare Before Christmas fans. It’s Tim Wollweber & Sherri Lundberg’s illustrations.

Copyright 2009 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Which do such a wonderful job of bringing Tim Burton’s truly twisted characters to life.

So if you’d like to get an early start on your holiday shopping (particularly for that Goth guy or gal on your list), might I suggest that you pick a copy of “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Thirteen Days Of Christmas” to place under the tree.

Copyright 2009 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

It’ll look great nestled up against a Santa Claus sack that’s overflowing with red-and-white-striped … tentacle thingys.

Yellow Submarine art director Heinz Edelmann dies

Graphic designer Heinz Edelmann, art director of the psychedelic 1968 Beatles animated film Yellow Submarine, died Tuesday at 75.

The Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design, where Edelmann -- whose surname was sometimes credited as "Edelman" -- taught illustration from 1986 to 1996, confirmed German daily Stuttgarter Nachrichten's report of his death.

With John Cramer and Gordon Harrison, he was also one of the designers of Yellow Submarine. As well, he has been credited for inventing the Blue Meanies to serve as the Beatles' nemesis in the film.

Edelmann was "the one man who, more than anyone else, was responsible for the film's overall look and feel -- and, no doubt, its popularity," wrote Don Markstein, editor of the online Toonopedia.

"He created the backgrounds, designed the characters, and generally set the tone for the whole experience. Even more than the Beatles music that permeates the entire feature, Edelman's graphic design made Yellow Submarine what it is, easily overshadowing the limited budget for actual animation."

Besides animation, he did design, illustration and advertising in Germany, England and the Netherlands since the late 1950s.

The German-speaking artist was born in Ústí nad Labem, Czechoslovakia in 1934. He lived in Amsterdam shortly before his death.

He studied art education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dusseldorf at a time when graphic design was not really being taught.

While an artist for Willy Fleckhaus' German magazine Twen, he was spotted by the filmmakers of Yellow Submarine and hired to work on the movie.

"When [producer John] Coates and [director George] Dunning got the contract to do the feature, they had a difficult time finding the right art director for the production. Eventually, they saw [his] work in Twen and flew him to London for an interview, wrote ASIFA-San Francisco president Karl Cohen.

"He did a few sample drawings and was hired. Coates said, 'We loved his work.'"

Edelmann was also well known for the posters he created for the Westdeutscher Rundfunk German radio station, the book covers he designed for Klett-Cotta publishing house in Stuttgart, and his illustrations for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung magazine.

He taught at various art schools throughout Europe for over 30 years, most recently at the Stuttgart Academy of Fine Arts in Germany.

The graphic designer created Curro, the birdlike mascot for the 1992 Seville World Fair.

The winner of numerous medals and awards, he had several solo exhibitions in Europe, the United States and Japan.

In 2006, New York's School of Visual Arts honored him with its Masters Series Award and retrospective exhibition. The show included over 100 posters, screen prints, magazine spreads, book designs, animations and comic books spanning Edelmann's prolific career.

Most of his designs for books, magazines and posters used his own illustrations. He was always a solo operation with no assistants, and was able to create a new technique or style for each job, depending upon its needs.

"I was always a one-man band," Edelmann said. "I was my own art director, illustrator, designer and paster-upper, and I also swept the floor and made the coffee."

Basement Gary Wins Playboy Prize

Basement Gary, an original animated film by Sean Donnelly and Alessandro Minoli, has won the 2009 Playboy Animation Contest.

The 11-minute short is about an inventor who creates a machine that lets his landlord’s teenage son experience drugs without taking them. The machine, however, doesn’t work out quite the way its inventor intended.

Donnelly, a graduate of the School of Visual Arts, and Minoli, an actor and writer who did several voices and the music, will receive $10,000. The winning entry, plus other contenders, can be seen online at

In announcing the winner of the contest, Playboy also solicited entries for the 2009 Playboy Animation Contest: Round 2, offering up another $10,000 prize.

The deadline for entry is Nov. 1. For details on entering, visit

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Brooklyn’s Animation Block Party Kicks It Up a Notch

While West Coasters are busy with Comic-Con activities this weekend, Brooklynites will be beating the heat with a fantastic program of shorts at the Sixth Annual Animaton Block Party (July 24-26). Thanks to the hard work and dedication of event founder and organizer Casey Safron, this East Coast toon shindig has become one of summer’s best toon events in six short years.

Safron and his talented team have scheduled a wonderful, eclectic three-day program this year, which showcases about 80 of the best commercial, experimental, student and award-winning projects from around the world. Highlights include:

Joan C Gratz’s Puffer Girl
Don Hertzfeldt’s I Am So Proud of You
Peter Ahern’s Down to the Bone
Smith and Foulkes’ This Way Up
Bill Plympton’s Horn Dog
Choom’s Rethink Happiness
Geza M. Toth’s Ergo
Luc Perez’s Shaman
Kirsten Lepore’s Sweet Dreams
Alex Dron’s FOT: The Next Big Thing
Robyn Yannoukos’ Alice’s Attic
The Brothers McLeod’s Cod Swallop
Jake Armstrong’s The Terrible Thing of Alpha 9
Uri Kranot and Michal Pfeffer’s The Heart of Amos Klein
Anders Michael Nielsen’s Catharsis.

The 2009 jury includes animation director JJ Sedelmeier, Perfectland creator Ben Meinhardt, Disney designer, Dan Haskett and NYU Animation’s Elizabeth Morringello.

The event opens on Friday, July 24, at Rooftop Films (Automotive High School, 50 Bedford Ave.) and features live music by Teengirl Fantasy, beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday night’s programs will take place at BAMcinematek (Peter Sharp Buildng, 30 Lafayette Ave.) To learn more about the festival and the featured projects visit

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival Adds "Jewtoons" Animated Shorts Compilation

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival will be adding a 90-minute compilation of 15 animated short films as part of this year's programming. The addition of the "Jewtoons" was inspired by the recent critical success of the animated documentary Waltz with Bashir and the subsequent attention for the stop-motion Jewish/Australian co-production $9.99. According to program coordinator Joshua Moore, the festival's programming "will appeal to both Jewish and non-Jewish moviegoers because, basically, these are film are about the human condition. No matter what race or religion, people can identify with that."

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival is running from July 23, 2009 to August 10, with "Jewtoons" screening on August 6 and August 8. For scheduling and ticketing information, visit the festival's official website.

Animation Expert Ellen Besen Interviewed on Modern Animation's Christian Toto has interviewed Ellen Besen, author of the book Animation Unleashed: 100 Principles Every Animator, Comic Book Writer, Filmmaker, Video Artist and Game Developer Should Know, about her opinions on the state of modern animation. Among other topics, Besen discusses what she thinks of this summer's wave of animated movies, the topic of animation and children, and her favorite modern animated movies.

NY Times on Amar Chitra Katha's Move Into Animation in India

The New York Times examines the venerable Indian publisher Amar Chitra Katha's expansion from comics into animation (free registration required). The new initiatives are the result of new management direction from Samir Patel, who acquired the publisher two years ago and is branching out into animation and video games to reach out to the current generation of Indian children.

Working Toward Goals on the Side

There are other ways to advance (or get into) MovieLand besides doing free shots for a fly-by-night shorts producer on-line. There is, for instance, this route:

A young man, in this case named Gary H. Lee, is working his way up the creative ladder at a major studio, DreamWorks Animation. ... “I’m the head of layout for Kung Fu Panda 2. That’s the equivalent of being a cinematographer on a live action film. It’s actually probably one of the best places to work, to be honest.”

Hector Corp ... [is] Lee’s first professional animated short. The work is so well done that Dreamworks Animation is actually going out of its way to support the independent film, even though the only real connection they have to it is Lee being an employee of theirs. ...

[W]hen it came to Hector the difficult part of it is I’ve worked on four different Dreamworks films while making this,” Lee recalls. ... “There were many times when I would have to put Hector on hold while I worked on a major sequences like Tai-Lin’s escape or the bridge fight in the first Kung Fu Panda. Then again, it’s something that if you are a true artist that you just have to do. You have to have that drive/passion for your own work.” ...

The point of this tale is, if you have the itch to create, then go create. Digital filmmaking equipment gets cheaper and cheaper. And YouTube is there as an instant distributor for the Master Works you turn out. If you want to shoot a film ... or do an oil painting of Aunt Miriam ... or write a novel or create an animated short, then go do it. Nothing is stopping you except your own inertia.

And then, after you've created a few pieces of art that have (hopefully) gotten steadily better as you've mastered the sets of skills necessary to do them, you can, if you so desire, use those pieces as crow-bars to pry your way into MovieLand. (All it takes is talent, tenacity and luck. And if you have an abundance of one of those three things, then you'll need less of the other two. Or so William Goldman tells me.)

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

Robot Chicken: Star Wars - Episode II DVD

Robot Chicken: Star Wars - Episode II, which originally aired on Adult Swim on November 16, 2008, is officially out on DVD today. The cast includes original Star Wars cast members Billy Dee Williams and Carrie Fisher and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. The single-disc release includes several making-ofs and behind-the-scenes segments. Here’s a clip:

Watch The Winged Beast From 9

9 weeks until 9. Shane Acker’s CG feature 9 arrives in theaters on 09/09/09, and on that day popcorn will cost you…. $9 dollars. While you arrange for that loan, enjoy a 4-minute clip from the film, featuring the wicked winged beast. 9 was animated at Starz Animation in Canada.

Powerhouse Illustrates How To Make Flash Animation

The team at Powerhouse Animation have confirmed what we all know… computers have taken all the hard work out of the process. Since the advent of the “animate” button, it’s all a long lunches and short weeks! I wish. This new Flash-animated short How Powerhouse Works takes a tongue in cheek look at the process:

Behind the Scenes of DJ & The Fro

Back in 2004, Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein created Drawn Together, which is currently being turned into a feature-length movie – in Flash no less. Aside from this Comedy Central series, another Viacom network has picked up and begun airing DJ & The Fro, a Flash animated series being produced at Titmouse, Inc. The series follows two cubicle jockeys who pass their workdays trading viral videos. Dave and Matt were given a 20 episode pick-up, and asked to produce it in record time. Subsequently, MTV launched a series of web exclusive videos, and below are a few which take us behind the scenes of the production. Big thanks to Ronald Lanham Jr for the story tip. (apparently these videos are only viewable in specific countries, including the US and Australia)

An animatic:

A studio tour with supervising animator Mark Marek:

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Movie Taps 'Young Guns' & 'The Forbidden Kingdom' Writer

The upcoming "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie finally has a writer -- and it looks like the Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman characters will have no shortage of fight scenes in their next big-screen bow.

According to Variety, "Young Guns" and "The Forbidden Kingdom" scribe John Fusco will pen the screenplay for the new, live-action film based we first brought you news about last year. The article claims that, along with penning several fight-friendly films, Fusco has been "practicing martial arts since he was 12, and continues to study Shaolin kung-fu."

And along with bringing his martial arts savvy to the mix, it appears that Fusco will also be returning to the characters' comic book roots for the film, too.

Variety reports that the new writer will include elements of the comics in the project, which is planned as a complete origin-focused reboot to the property. This confirms much of our previous information from "Turtles" co-creator Laird, who told MTV News that the film was envisioned as "a 'Batman Begins'-style 'reboot,' which would, of necessity, include a retelling of the Turtles' origin story."

"It is always exciting when you can come aboard a project that bridges the worlds of what you do with what you love," said Fusco of the deal.

The "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie is currently scheduled for a 2011 release.

A real Nautilus fit for a tiny Nemo

From SCIFI Wire's sister site DVICE, a radio-controlled replica of the Nautilus submarine from 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.

Bob Martin built the 1/32 scale Disney Nautilus kit from Custom Replicas, a 66.5 inch steampunk monster that's intricately detailed down to the stainless steel grating of its wheelhouse floor.

While he constructs that model with all of its internal lighting and spooky good looks, Bob also makes it seaworthy, creating a watertight cylinder (WTC) complete with lithium-ion battery-powered propulsion, servo control and ballast for buoyancy, making it so the model electric boat can cruise and dive just like real-world submarines.

Jules Verne would be astonished. Click over to DVICE to see a gallery of Bob constructing this first-rate model, built for an undisclosed price for a Nautilus-loving client in Florida.

News briefs: Tron's Flynn Lives; Echo heads to film

Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn

In anticipation of its preview of the new Tron movie sequel/reboot at Comic-Con in San Diego in two days, Disney has posted a viral Web site, "Flynn Lives," which fills in some of the backstory of Jeff Bridges' character from the first film after the events in that movie.

Watchmen producer Lloyd Levin has acquired screen rights to Echo, a comic-book series by Terry Moore, about a photographer who gets doused by liquid metal from a military experiment gone awry and discovers she can now harness the power of a nuclear bomb, Variety reported.

The Toronto Film Festival has snagged the world preem of Jennifer's Body, starring Megan Fox and helmed by Karyn Kusama (Aeon Flux), to open its popular genre program Midnight Madness Sept. 10, Variety reported; the movie, written by Diablo Cody, opens everywhere Sept. 18.

New Alice images, poster banners

Mia Wasikowska as 19-year-old Alice

Disney has posted several banner posters and images from Tim Burton's upcoming Alice in Wonderland, including some that were published in Vanity Fair magazine, which you can view after the jump.

The studio also released a new description of the film, based on Lewis Carroll's classic tale:

Johnny Depp stars as the Mad Hatter and Mia Wasikowska as 19-year-old Alice, who returns to the whimsical world she first encountered as a young girl, reuniting with her childhood friends: the White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Dormouse, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat and, of course, the Mad Hatter. Alice embarks on a fantastical journey to find her true destiny and end the Red Queen's reign of terror. The all-star cast also includes Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Crispin Glover.

Capturing the wonder of Lewis Carroll's beloved Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1871) with stunning, avant-garde visuals and the most charismatic characters in literary history, Alice In Wonderland comes to the big screen in Disney Digital 3D on March 5, 2010.

Disney will preview Alice in Wonderland at Comic-Con in San Diego this week. Click on the images to enlarge.

No comments: