Tuesday, June 1, 2010

News - 06/01/10...

Sign Up for the John K. School of Animation

Ren & Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi is starting an animation class in the LA area. The six-week course will include two classes a week for a total of twelve lessons. The cost will be $1200. Students must have basic drawing skills. This post on his blog has information on how to apply.

John is a natural when it comes to teaching, and having taught artists at his studio for decades, he knows how to put across concepts with clarity. I’ve suggested to John before that he should consider imparting his knowledge to artists beyond the studio setting, and now that he’s doing it, I’m delighted to recommend him. I don’t think there’s been a private animation class in LA this exciting since Chuck Jones unit animator Ben Washam held animation classes in his home back in the 1970s.

(Thanks Cartoon Brew)

Penelope’s Pitstop Sexual Health Clinic

After you visit Popeye’s sex shop in Tokyo, you might consider checking into Penelope’s Pitstop Sexual Health Clinic in London. It’s just that kind of a weekend, folks.

(Thanks, Jonathan Sloman)

(Thanks Cartoon Brew)

Day and Night clip

Here’s a 15 second clip from Teddy Newton’s Pixar short Day and Night which will be released with Toy Story 3 on June 18th. The short is essentially hand drawn, being Pixar’s second film to be animated in 2D animation (Your Friend the Rat was the first). The insides of the characters are CG. Man, this looks good.

(via /Film)

(Thanks Cartoon Brew)

4Kids Shares Delisted from NYSE

4Kids Entertainment will have its shares delisted from the New York Stock Exchange as of Tuesday, June 1, the company says. 4Kids elected not to challenge an NYSE decision to delist the shares after 4Kids market capitalization fell below $15 million over a 30-day trading period.

Trading in 4Kids stock will move to the OTC Bulletin Board market under the symbol KIDE.

Former ThunderCats writer was murdered, say police

Police in Zephyrhills, Florida announced Thursday that Stephen "Steve" Perry, the 56-year-old writer for the mid-1980s Rankin-Bass series ThunderCats and SilverHawks, was murdered.

He died of an "apparent homicide," the Zephyrhills Police Department said.

Perry had been missing for nearly two weeks. His van was found abandoned May 16 at a Tampa hotel May 16, and deputies found a severed body part nearby.

Lab results still have not been obtained from evidence, including the unnamed body part, sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, said Capt. Robert McKinney of the Zephyrhills Police Department.

Since May 16, the department has described Perry as missing, but also as the possible victim of a homicide.

His rundown home in Zephyrhills -- a community outside Tampa with a population of less than 12,000 -- had been ransacked and his two roommates were declared missing. They were later found and arrested on unrelated charges.

James Davis, 45, was held at the Pasco County jail on drug charges and failing to appear in court. His wife, Roxanne Davis, 49, has been charged with violating her felony probation for burglary and grand theft.

Perry, who had terminal bladder cancer, went missing May 9. Friends and family stopped receiving e-mails and phone calls from the divorced writer.

Born in Maine, Perry moved to Vermont in the early 1970s to attend Johnson State College. He was a Vermont resident when he wrote several Thundercats episodes, as well as several issues for Marvel Comics.

Although Thundercats was a major hit -- leading to such spin-offs as toys and comics -- Perry didn't receive royalties, as his writing was work-for-hire.

According to Stephen R. Bissette, a Windsor, Vermont resident and comics creator, Perry had to buy Thundercats toys from a store for his young son.

"Freelance work is a meager living. You wait for paychecks to come in and try to land as many jobs as you can," said Bissette, a friend and former writing colleague of Perry who now teaches at White River Junction's Center for Cartoon Studies.

Perry's writing work disappeared in the late 1980s, and editors no longer returned his calls. There also were no checks, and Perry never recovered from the letdown, Bissette said.

"When he was let go from Thundercats, the light went out of his eyes. Even when life was good for him, life was still bad."

McKinney, the Zephryhills police captain, admitted that the public has been frustrated with the lack of new information on the case. Before he announced that the case is now considered a homicide, he said that investigators were "dotting our I's and crossing our T's."

"This isn't CSI: Miami," McKinney said. "We're waiting on lab results. The crime can't get solved in the last half hour like they do on TV."

"Batman: The Brave And The Bold" June 2010 Episode Schedule For Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network has released the complete June 2010 schedule for Batman: The Brave and The Bold episodes slated to air on the network.

Made available by the network, Cartoon Network has released schedule details for Batman: The Brave and The Bold episodes slated to air on the network this month, June 2010. The network will air repeats for the month, leading up to the premiere of new Batman: The Brave and The Bold episodes coming July 2010. Schedule details for Batman: The Brave and The Bold installments slated to air in June 2010, provided by the network, are available below.

Friday, June 4th, 2010 at 7:30pm (ET) - "The Last Bat on Earth!"
Gorilla Grodd travels to the future where intelligent animals rule humans -- Batman follows him and teams with Kamandi (the last boy on Earth) to bring him down.

Friday, June 11th, 2010 at 7:30pm (ET) - "Night of the Huntress!"
Blue Beetle develops a crush on the slightly older and far-more-dangerous femme fatale Huntress, but there is little time for love with Baby Face busting his gang out of prison for a major heist! Watch the crowd closely during the jailbreak sequence to see some of your favorite villains including Pharaoh, Skeleton Keyes, Polecat Perkins and more! This week’s teaser features Solomon Grundy and Black Canary.

Friday, June 25th, 2010 at 7:30pm (ET) - "The Super-Batman of Planet X!"
Batman lands on this distant planet Zurr En Arrh and finds a doppelganger Batman, but more surprisingly, on this planet the Caped Crusader has super powers! Together they battle the mad genius Rhotul, who soon learns Batman's super weakness.

Friday, July 2nd, 2010 at 7:30pm (ET) - "The Power of Shazam!"
Batman teams with Captain Marvel, the superhero alter ego of the young Billy Batson, to battle Dr. Sivana and Black Adam, who wish to usurp the magic of Shazam that gives Billy his power.

Please note schedule details are subject to change without notice. Batman: The Brave and The Bold airs every Friday at 7:30pm (ET) on Cartoon Network. Continue to the Batman: The Brave and The Bold here at The World's Finest for details on the animated series.

A Ray of Sunshine

As I've said, I've watched the visuals for Tangled on different computer screens 'round and about the hat building, and been knocked out. So here's an early squib from somebody who claims to have seen a cut of the feature:

... They maintain the Disney classics (Cinderella, Snow White) look and feel but transition it into the computer generated era. The characters look more like human beings, and less like exaggerated cartoon characters. Rapunzel’s facial expressions are always changing and connected to the actions that she is partaking in. Disney is clearly focused on mirroring Snow White, taking the painting like look, and surrounding it with warm, soothing colors. The watercolor style gives the film a storybook like visual that impresses, but does not dominate the film.

Zachary Levi steals the show as the cocky thief Flynn Rider ...

The consensus of the folks I've talked to is: "They're going for a classically-structured Disney feature with songs, and the songs are pretty good." Everybody is working hard to get the film done under a tight schedule, but they always jam everything through the pipeline in time to hit the deadline. I have faith they will hit the deadline yet again.

Tangled has gone through multiple permutations over its years in development: traditional fairy tale, then comedic spoof (a la Shrek), then back to fairy tale.

I'll be there to see it opening weekend.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

Sandro Cleuzo's blog

The brilliant animator Sandro Cleuzo has a great animation blog which you should definitely bookmark and check frequently.

Sandro is generously sharing his collection of Milt Kahl drawings , with a weekly "Milt Kahl Day" on his blog.

Some samples (click images to view larger) -

*as Sandro says about the above drawing:

"This particular drawing is just full of great things to study. Composition, staging, silhouette, design, appeal, you name it, it's there."

(And we could say that about almost any Milt Kahl drawing)

Wow, be sure to click on this Wart pose sheet from 'The Sword in the Stone' to view it larger. This is the stuff to print out and study . Put it on the walls around your drawing board to inspire you.

There is so much great stuff over on Sandro's blog. Check it out.

(Thanks David T. Nethery)

Peter Jackson Will Direct The Hobbit...If He Has to!

Speaking to a New Zealand newspaper, the director of the original LOTR trilogy said that he would step in as director if there was no other option...

Its not a very optimistic stance, but further to yesterdays news(see main story) that Guillermo Del Toro would be stepping down as director of The Hobbit, Peter Jackson had this to say to The Dominion Post...

If [directing the films is] what I have to do to protect Warner Bros’ investment, then obviously that’s one angle which I’ll explore…The other studios may not let me out of the contracts.

Jackson's manager had this to say only yesterday..

[Peter Jackson can't consider directing] at this time because he has and has had other commitments and obligations to other projects. That said, he and Fran will stop at nothing to protect this franchise and the investment made by New Line, Warners and MGM.

So it seems as if Jackson would step ion only as a last resort to save the studio's interests. I'm not sure that makes him the best man for the job! That may sound crazy considering the great job he did with the trilogy, but if he really doesn't want to do it and isn't passionate about it, I fear it would show in the finished film. Said commitments are primarily Tintin, and then in 2011, Tintin 2! He certainly has his work cut out for him. Jackson is confident however that the project will go ahead, he's just not sure when...

“I just don’t know now until we get a new director. The key thing is that we don’t intend to shut the project down…We don’t intend to let this affect the progress. Everybody, including the studio, wants to see things carry on as per normal. The idea is to make it as smooth a transition as we can.”

(Thanks Comic Book Movie)

Original 'King Kong' coming to Blu-ray

"King Kong," the master of all movie beasts and one of the more important movies of the 20th century, will make its Blu-ray debut Sept. 28, 2010.

Warner Home Video is behind the Blu-ray iteration of the 1933 RKO classic, which will have all of the extras from the highly rated two-disc DVD special edition released in 2005 coinciding with the Peter Jackson remake.

The Blu-ray will come with a 32-page booklet featuring rare photographs and trivia and is written by film historian Rudy Behlmer, who apparently personally interviewed "Kong" creator Merian C. Cooper back in the day.

(Thanks Heat Vision)

J.J. Abrams and ABC want to reboot Alias

It looks like one J.J. Abrams spy series—NBC's Undercovers—might not be enough for him on TV this fall. Apparently, ABC is in talks with Abrams about rebooting his earlier TV spy venture, Alias, according to eonline.com's Kristin Dos Santos.

The new series would have some elements of the original that propelled Jennifer Garner to stardom. However, they'd skip the intricate mythology involving the Rambaldi prophecy.

While the discussion is only in its very initial stages, according to Dos Santos's ABC insider source, they believe that ABC is looking to hold onto its Lost audience, especially now that that series ended and FlashForward was cancelled.

Spies are an especially hot genre right now. Beyond NBC's Chuck and USA's Burn Notice, there are two new series, NBC's Undercovers and the CW's Nikita.

Alias premiered on ABC in 2001 and ran for five years, averaging about 8 to 10 million viewers, except in its final year when it captured just under 7 million viewers.

EXCLUSIVE: Official Thor Movie Logo Possibly Revealed

A reliable source has just sent me what appears to be the logo for Marvel Studios' highly anticipated comic adaptation Thor, follow the jump to check it out...

Just like the teaser says, I received this image today from a source who has been consistently reliable in providing valid updates on Marvel Studios projects. It appears to be the logo for the Thor movie, starring Chris Hemsworth and Anthony Hopkins, which is due out in theaters May 6th, 2011:

The design for this logo has a heavy spacial influence, as opposed to the Nordic style lettering usually associated with Thor comics. But what really caught my eye was the resemblance of the lettering's texture to the texture of Thor's Uru-metal hammer, Mjolnir, which was seen at the end of Iron Man 2.

Hopefully someone at Marvel Studios can either confirm or deny the validity of this image, and eager fans won't have to wait until San Diego Comic Con this July for an answer.

(Thanks Comic Book Movie)

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