Thursday, January 28, 2010

News - 01/28/10...

Harryhausen returns to Clash again

As a tie-in to the upcoming mega-budget Warner Bros. remake of Ray Harryhausen's Clash Of The Titans coming to theaters on March 26, a motion comic-animated sequel story to the original film is about to be unleashed by Eagle One Media. A press release and artwork for Wrath Of The Titans, which was created from an original synopsis by Harryhausen and will be released on March 2, can be seen here:

Titans Return And Clash In All New Wrath Of The Titans DVD!
A Sequel Story Inspired by Special FX Legend Ray Harryhausen’s Clash of the Titans!

Eagle One Media is proud to announce the upcoming release of Wrath Of The Titans on DVD March 2, 2010. With a story developed under the guidance of Ray Harryhausen and presented as a unique motion comic film, fans of the beloved original motion picture can immerse themselves again in the further adventures of hero Perseus and his winged horse Pegasus in anticipation of the upcoming theatrical big budget remake of Clash of the Titans on March 26, 2010. The DVD will also include a special bonus 28 page comic book with a tie-in story.

Five years have passed since the legendary Perseus defeated the evil Gorgon Medusa, killed the Kraken and assumed the crown of the kingdom of Argos. Things seemed idyllic throughout the land for its citizens and recent news of an apparent heir has put everyone in a celebratory mood. Yet lurking in the shadows is the one being in Argos simmering with hate and discontent. Calibus, once though dead, was let out of the Underworld by Hades and looks to take his revenge. Perseus stole his bride, stole his position, stole Zeus’ favor, and now Calibus looks to take it all back. And with the news that a baby boy was born to Perseus and Andromeda, he is chilling that dish of revenge…

The Wrath Of The Titans DVD is a revolutionary convergence of animation and comics. It utilizes the storyline, art, and dialog from Washington-based Bluewater Productions’ just released comic book series and, with the addition of animation, voice-over and music, creates a fast paced video adaptation that takes viewers back to Greek mythological times where the Gods battled amongst themselves and heroes fought unimaginable creatures. This motion comic production joins Eagle One Media’s other available motion comics such as Street Fighter, based on the worldwide popular Capcom video game, and Voltron: Defender of the Universe, based on the popular anime television series. All of which are available on DVD or for download through iTunes, Playstation Network, and other media distribution platforms.

Eagle One Media, Inc. is a multi-media company, producing animated motion comics based on globally recognized, licensed properties for the retail market. The company has recently released animated motion comics on DVD and through digital download, based on Street Fighter, Voltron: Defender of the Universe, and The Terminator. Eagle One Media’s Street Fighter and Voltron motion comics were recently broadcast over several weeks on the popular Syfy Channel. Eagle One Media also offers hundreds of comics from numerous publishers that are available for download from its website and releases feature length films on DVD such as Dragon Blade: The Beginning – the world’s first 3D computer animated martial arts feature film – and Dragon Hill, the GOYA Award winning and European hit animation film from Milimetros Studios, along with the upcoming horror film Zombie Apocalypse.

DreamWorks sells stake in animated studio Paprikaas

According to Variety, Technicolor has purchased the stake previously owned by Dreamworks in the India-based animation house, Paprikaas. The move has given Technicolor complete ownership of the studio responsible for Merry Madagascar and The Penguins of Madagascar, with the company planning on expanding Paprikaas’ specialty beyond animation into visual effects, compression and authoring.

Sticky Pictures Merges with Buster Dandy

Australian animation studio Sticky Pictures announced its merger with live action production company Buster Dandy.

The new company will operate under the Sticky Pictures name, with Donna Andrews as CEO, Stu Connolly as head of animation and Justine Flynn as head of live action. The company described the merger as creating a “one-stop shop” for both live action and animation production.

Both companies bring strong development slates to the table, along with completed projects including Pearlie, Five Minutes More, Dennis & Gnasher and Monster Auditions. Buster Dandy also brings a greenlit co-production sitcom series to the newly formed company that will be formally announced shortly.

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Warner Pops for 3-D in Potter Finale

The final, two-part installment in the Harry Potter movie series will be released in 3-D, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Warner Bros. has yet to make official its decision to release Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I and Part II in 3-D, but an announcement is expected soon.

The studio also is planning a 3-D release for its upcoming remake of Clash of the Titans.

According to the trade, the improved technology and reduced cost in converting 2D films to 3-D presentations were key to the decision.

Titans is set to roll out April 2, with Deathly Hallows Part I due out Nov. 19 and followed by Part II on July 15, 2011.

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Chorion Licenses Octonauts to Fisher-Price

Chorion has awarded to preschool toymaker Fisher-Price the master toy license to its new animated series The Octonauts.

The deal, announced just prior to the opening of the Toy Fair trade show, covers a number of categories including plush, musical talking toys, vehicles, playsets, accessories, bath and role play toys and electronic learning aids.

The animated series, aimed at the 3 to 5 age range, follows a group of underwater adventure heroes and is set to launch this year. CBeebies in the United Kingdom, TF1 in France and ABC Australia have all pre-bought the series.

The toys are set to follow the debut of the show, hitting shelves in 2011.

“From the first time Fisher-Price saw The Octonauts, they had a clear vision for the toy line,” says Waheed Alli, chairman of Chorion. “We are delighted to once again be partnering with a world-class category leader who has brilliant plans for our newest property.”

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Higgins to Manage Family Division at FremantleMedia

Bob Higgins, former chief creative officer at Wildbrain, has been named senior VP of children’s and family entertainment for FremantleMedia Enterprises.

The company launched its children’s and family division in the fall, with former WB/Cartoon Network exec Sander Schwartz at the helm as executive VP.

Higgins will report to Schwartz and oversee the creative direction of the division and handle acquisitions, development and sales.

Higgins’ career includes stints at Cartoon Network, Classic Media, Sony Pictures Family Entertainment and Nelvana.

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Walt Peregoy Exhibit in Encino

The Chocolate Bar in Encino is hosting an exhibit of personal artwork by Walt Peregoy. The exhibition runs February 1-27. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, February 6, between 7-10pm, with Peregoy in attendance. Peregoy is perhaps best known for his work as a color stylist on 101 Dalmatians and how he brought a strong modern art sensibility to the Disney features. He’s had an extensive animation career beyond that film, and alongside his industry work, he’s been painting and drawing non-stop. Most of his personal work has never been exhibited which is why this upcoming show sounds like such a treat. The Chocolate Bar is located at 17312-A Ventura Boulevard.

(Thanks cartoon brew)

Swiss Animators Recycle Star Wars Sequence

Check out this stop-motion recycling PSA that recasts a few familiar characters from Star Wars. The PET Recycling spot was produced by Swamp-Trickfilmstudios, an animation studio based in Lucerne, Switzerland. It’s titled PET Vader vs Luke Sneaker, and the premise is that sneakers are made from (or fathered by) recylced plastic bottles.

The U.S. Census Counts On Shilo

With offices in the rapidly growing cities of New York and San Diego, the team at Shilo should have a good grasp at the swelling population here in the US. With this knowledge in hand, the Shilo team recently helped the U.S. Census Bureau on their latest data gathering effort, which aims to increase participation from the Latin American population. The spot is a composite of live-action footage married with CG animation. The agency leading the charge was GlobalHue Latino.

E-mails from people with a vague concept of whom they’re writing to

I get lots of e-mails as a result of this blog, and I wanted to share with you some of my recent correspondence. Names and details are changed to protect the guilty ...

To: Steve Hulett
From: Bruce Barefaced

Dear Steve,

Hans von Taschendieb is giving away $15,000 a month to the top animators on his website! He recently moved to the United States from Stammheim to start a website,, that turns animation into a competition. Each day two teams create animations that compete “head to head” to try and gain the most votes from viewers of the site. Each month, the teams with the best records compete in the championship and the winning team receives $15,000.

I thought I would make an introduction as your blog readership is in line with Hans's efforts. If you think it makes sense, let's set some time aside to hook up with a phone introduction. Thanks!

Bruce Barefaced
The Honest Company

To: Bruce Barefaced
From: Steve Hulett

Uh, and what does the losing team get?


To: Steve Hulett
From: Bruce Barefaced

They get sent back to Stammheim.
Just kidding. Any good suggestions?
Hans was considering someone going on a hunger strike until they get a million hits so anything is up for consideration.


To: Bruce Barefaced
From: Steve Hulett

Bruce. Old pal.

We're a labor union. You know, one of those quaint organizations that has as its core mission the idea that people who work on things actually
get paid for working on them?

There are any number of web sites and on-line studios which think it's cool to have people donate labor for the greater glory and profit of the on-line studio, with the enticement that a few lucky duckies might see a little scratch at the end of their efforts. Hans's appears to be yet another.

I'm on record as being opposed to people working for free in the hope of some future payoff. I think that it's exploitation. I think that it's wrong. But I understand how it's a (semi) free world and artists and animators are going to do what they do.

So I hope you can understand why we have to turn down your offer of using a labor blog to aid in the exploitation of animators. It's just something to which we're completely against, so the answer from us is No. We won't be helping Hans get the word out regarding his "head to head" competition. We won't be touting it on the Animation Guild Blog or Website. We have enough trouble helping members make a living without adding to our woes.

Steve Hulett

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

Andrea Romano Discusses Animated "Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths" Feature

Warner Home Video has released a new studio-conducted interview with Andrea Romano, voice director fro the upcoming direct-to-video Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths animated feature.

The World's Finest presents the latest in a series of studio-conducted interview, provided by Warner Home Video, for the upcoming Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths direct-to-video animated feature. Continue reading below for the latest installment featuring voice director Andrea Romano.


Casting/Dialogue Director Andrea Romano poses for a post-recording session photo with William Baldwin, the voice of Batman in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the next DC Universe animated original movie. The film will be distributed February 23, 2010 by Warner Home Video. (Photo courtesy of Gary Miereanu)

The stars come out for Andrea Romano.

You need a voice echoing the All-American trust of Superman? Romano gets Mark Harmon for his maiden voyage in animation. You’re seeking a subtly evil performance as the intelligent-bordering-on-insane Owlman? James Woods is willing to do it from a little booth in Rhode Island. Whatever the role, no matter the production, actors pushaside their Oscars, Emmys and Tonys to step behind the microphone and “play” with Romano.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is the seventh entry in the ongoing series of DC Universe animated original PG-13 movies, and each has featured all-star casts with Romano at the reigns. From Neil Patrick Harris, Brooke Shields and Alfred Molina to Virginia Madsen, Nathan Fillion and Kyra Sedgwick (to name but a few), Romano’s casts are packed with the faces normally reserved for lead roles in feature films and primetime television series.

In addition to Harmon (
NCIS) as Superman and Woods (Mississippi Burning) as Owlman, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths features the voices of Chris Noth (Law & Order, Sex and the City) as Lex Luthor, William Baldwin (Dirty Sexy Money) as Batman, Gina Torres (Firefly/Serenity) as Superwoman and Bruce Davison (X-Men) as President Wilson.

Romano has been one of the driving forces in animation voiceovers for more than a quarter century, amassing a list of credits that range from dramatic (
Batman: The Animated Series) to silly (Animaniacs) to hip (The Boondocks) and timeless (The Smurfs). The six-time Emmy Award winner (and 20-time nominee) has not only set the standard by which industry veterans measure the art, but she has become a household name to animation fans across the globe, regularly drawing standing ovations and endless applause during her annual Con appearances.

Warner Home Video will distribute the full-length animated
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths on February 23 as a Special Edition 2-disc version on DVD and Blu-Ray Hi-Def, as well as single-disc DVD, and On Demand and Download.

Romano found time in her busier-than-you’d-ever-believe schedule to discuss the cast of
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. The questions are simple, but the answers are pure Andrea Romano. Take a read …

QUESTION: James Woods has quite the resume, including plenty of animation experience. How is it that you had not worked with him until now?

I’ve been a huge fan of James Woods and wanted to work with him for years. We actually had a Justice League production about five years ago that we had him booked for, and then the plug got pulled on the project. I’ve been waiting for something else for him ever since – and then Owlman came along, a perfect role for him.

We had to record him long distance, and his performance was very, very subtle – so much so that I was worried that it wasn’t going to play when it came back with animation. But it was perfect. It was subtle and nuanced and scary without being broad in any way, and it was wonderful to see such a subtle performance work in a big action piece. I can’t wait to meet him in person.

QUESTION: On the flipside, the star of one of primetime’s top rated series – Mark Harmon of NCIS – had never previously done animation. How did he do?

I fell in love with Mark Harmon. I have admired his work for many years, but he hadnot done this kind of work before, and so you always run the risk of several different situations occurring when you bring in someone who is new to animation. But Mark Harmon completely put himself in my hands, and totally let me show him how this work is done. I certainly didn’t have to teach him acting, but he was completely agreeable to trying options, had ideas of his own, and had complete trust in my process. So it was a terrific experience for both of us. I think he’s a wonderful Superman. Although he’s older in years than how we typically portray Superman, his voice with the model was right on.

QUESTION: Gina Torres is another Joss Whedon alum making an appearance in the Timmverse. What made her right for Superwoman?

Despite recording on opposing coasts on different days, James Woods (Owlman) and Gina Torres (Superwoman) created a diabolically romantic chemistry thanks to the guidance of casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the next DC Universe animated original movie, will be distributed February 23, 2010 by Warner Home Video.

I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Gina over the years, and she is as beautiful to work with as she is visually. What makes this particular performance so great is that she plays a truly evil character and, if you didn’t know her personally, you’d think that was what she was like in real-life. She wore this role like a glove.

We recorded Gina separately from James Woods, and their characters are love interests. Without the benefit of being in the same room, let alone the same coast, Gina brought an energy that matched his perfectly. She’s such an instinctual actress. And especially for Superwoman, Gina really put herself into the role. She is sexy. She doesn’t have to play sexy – she IS sexy.

One of the interesting things about Gina’s performance is that when she first recorded, she had a cold and it manifested itself as kind of deeper and textured. But when she came in for ADR, she was perfectly healthy, and much more pure and clear – so we had to make a little bit of an adjustment to make sure she didn’t sound too sweet.

QUESTION: Did William Baldwin have any trouble mastering Batman?

I thought he did great – I love the texture of his voice. The performance is spot-on. The only issue was that William hasn’t done a lot of voiceover work in this genre. We do a lot of impact sounds that come with this kind of an action piece, and being the method actor he is, he insisted on actually striking his own body physically when he had to do “umphs” and “ohs” and impacts. By the time he was done, he must’ve been bruised. We were a little worried for him. When we brought him back in for ADR, we asked him to please not hit himself, and we showed him how to do those grunts and ughs In this film, Batman wasn’t a big role, but it’s an important role, and I think William really filled it well. Someday I’m going to get all the Baldwins in the same room.

QUESTION: Chris Noth is another animation novice. Did he enjoy his time as a “good” Lex Luthor?

Chris Noth thought he was going to be playing the evil Lex, and I think he was disappointed he didn’t get to play a villain. Still, he came through and gave a really good performance. What was funny was that at the end of the entire recording process, Chris was our absolute last session of ADR – on a late Friday afternoon. To celebrate, they brought in a tray of Cosmos, and our own Susan Chieco had a very “Sex in the City” moment of walking a Cosmo in to Chris Noth. He cheered up considerably at that point.

QUESTION: How did you end up promoting Bruce Davison to President?

I met Bruce at a wedding about 20 years ago and have admired his acting for so long anyway. It was another one of those perfect matches of voice and character. We had this nice role of the President that needed some gravitas to it and, at the same time, this particular President was a bit of a coward. Bruce was able to give us both of those aspects in just the right doses.

QUESTION: In your opinion, what will win the Academy Award for Best Animated Film?

was my favorite movie of the year. Think about it: I’m a voice director, and I was captivated by the first 10 minutes of the film – which has no voice, and yet it’s some of the best storytelling I’ve ever seen in a live-action or animated film. You really run through the gamut of emotions. I also thought the kid was charming, and Ed Asner was so wonderful. Plus, who doesn’t like looking at a huge collection of balloons, and a house that can fly?

Under the direction of Andrea Romano, the voices of Superman, Lex Luthor and Batman – Mark Harmon, Chris Noth and William Baldwin, respectively – meshed perfectly with their characters in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the next DC Universe animated original movie. The film will be distributed February 23, 2010 by Warner Home Video.

A co-production of Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation, the direct-to-video Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths animated feature debuts February 23rd, 2010 on DVD and Blu-ray disc.

Images From Upcoming "Wolverine And The X-Men: Fate Of The Future" DVD Release

Lionsgate Home Entertainment has supplied new images from the upcoming Wolverine and The X-Men: Fate of the Future DVD release, hitting shelves February 2nd, 2010.

Click on the thumbnails below for a closer look at the images, supplied by Lionsgate Home Entertainment, from the upcoming DVD release Wolverine and The X-Men: Fate of the Future, a single-disc volume release collecting five episodes from the acclaimed Marvel Animation series.

The Wolverine And The X-Men: Fate of the Future DVD release from Lionsgate Home Entertainment is scheduled to hit shelves on February 2nd, 2010. Click here for further details on this release, including episode and bonus content information. Stay tuned for further details, including exclusive coverage of the Wolverine and The X-Men: Fate of the Future DVD home video release.

In related news, Lionsgate Home Entertainment and Marvel Animation is also releasing the direct-to-video Planet Hulk animated feature to Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010. The Wolverine and The X-Men episode "Wolverine Versus the Hulk" is included as bonus content on this home video release. Complete press details and artwork can be found here. Additionally, click here to view the high-definition trailer along with nearly thirty exclusive images from the upcoming Planet Hulk animated feature.


Are you ready for 'Planet Hulk' to drop on DVD and Blu-Ray February 2nd? Here's another clip from the film to whet your appetite.

'Incredible Hulk' Director Explains What It Would Take For Edward Norton To Return As Bruce Banner

When MTV News previously spoke with "Incredible Hulk" director Louis Leterrier, he expressed some concerns about rumors that Bruce Banner's brutish alter ego could be the villain in Marvel's superhero team-up film, "The Avengers." However, the biggest question mark involving the green goliath could be the return of the film's star, Edward Norton.

While Norton has said he likes the idea of Hulk being the threat that unites Iron Man, Thor and Captain America, he's been far less vocal about the likelihood that he'll reprise his role as Bruce Banner.

That's why, when we had the chance to chat with Leterrier about Hulk's big-screen future, we had to ask his opinion on what it would take to bring Norton back for another adventure as Bruce Banner.

That's why, when we had the chance to chat with Leterrier about Hulk's big-screen future, we had to ask his opinion on what it would take to bring Norton back for another adventure as Bruce Banner.

"It depends," Leterrier told MTV News. "It's not a Marvel/Edward thing, it would be really be about, well... We told the story of the fugitive, what's the next step in the story?"

"It can't just be 'Don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry,'" he explained. "That would be a problem if you do the same thing over and over again. Edward's never done the same movie twice, so I don't think he would do that."

So now that we know what won't bring Norton back, what about the sort of movie that will see Norton returning to the Marvel movie-verse?

"If you find something interesting — yeah, I'm sure he would [be back]," said Leterrier. "He's a fanboy. He's as big a fanboy as you and me, maybe even more."

However, Leterrier said he wasn't exactly optimistic about getting the chance to make another "Hulk" movie — so a return in "Avengers" could be the next time we'll see the character.

"The box office [for 'Incredible Hulk'] was great, but it wasn't so big that you had to make a sequel," he said.

Awesome Green Lantern concept art psychs us up!

Abin Sur (left), Tomar-Re (center and right)

As production gears up on the live-action Green Lantern movie, we're getting a cool look at what looks like concept art for the film, which stars Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, below.


The art, acquired and authenticated by Cosmic Book News, shows what appear to be alien members of the Green Lantern Corps, including Kilowog, the alien trainer of new recruits; Tomar-Re, another trainer; and Abin Sur, the Lantern in charge of the space sector that includes Earth, who recruits Hal Jordan into the corps.

Nice to see they're going ahead with what appears to be the real story of the Lantern Corps and Jordan's origins as Sur's replacement, based on the DC Comics.

The film also reportedly stars Blake Lively as Carol Ferris and Mark Strong as Sinestro.

It's set for debut in 2011.

What do you think?

Michael Bay on where Transformers 3 will rampage

Michael Bay—who last said that Transformers 3 would be a character piece—is now saying the upcoming sci-fi sequel will be different from the first two installments in other ways and gave us a glimpse of where the movie will take place.

Writing on his personal blog, the director says:

Busy scouting - Chicago, Detroit, and Washington D.C. for Transformers last week. Things are going well. The script is feeling very different from the other two. I ended my scout down in Miami this weekend to load my plane with 14 Florida Surgeons, specialists in various fields and flew them down to Haiti.

Bay also posted a few snaps of his mission of mercy to Haiti to aid earthquake victims. Much as we slag on Bay (all in good fun, honest), we applaud his humanitarian gestures.

'Green Lantern' Fan Trailer Creator Is Back

Jaron Pitts, who made the "amazing" fan trailer for Green Lantern is back again, this time creating a fake trailer for a live action remake of anime film Technotise. Pitts writes on his YouTube page that he made the trailer at the behest of some Hollywood producers. Funny, how both trailers are for Warner Bros movies... Just another viral video campaign from the marketing plan:

And here's his Green Lantern video, too:

No comments: