FEAR(S) OF THE DARK came out Monday, with MADAGASCAR 2 hitting DVD/Blu-ray shelves on Friday. Tuesday releases include a MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER volume, AFRO SAMURAI: RESURRECTION, the 20th anniversary edition of OLIVER & COMPANY, direct-to-DVD SPACE BUDDIES and more.
TABCO Inc. and Digital Video have released TAB Kids 3.1, the new version of a software tool that smoothly introduces kids to the animation world in a funny and intuitive way.
The TAB Kids is a friendly and colorful software for kids to create animations and cartoons. It is so easy that any kid can use it with spectacular results, and yet it is powerful, as it relies on the Toonz technology developed for the industry to produce feature films and television series.
Kevin James comedy PAUL BLART: MALL COP won the box office with $39.2M for Sony in its opening holiday weekend. The box office as a whole was up 31 percent over last year's Martin Luther King, Jr. four-day weekend (per VARIETY).
GRAN TORINO (Warner Bros.) moved down one spot to second with $25.6M and in six weeks has a cume of $76.6M. Third went to opener MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D, the widest 3-D opening yet in 2,534 screens, making $24.1M for Lionsgate.
Atomic Cartoons have announced a partnership with Punktuition LLC on the new animated comedy series, PUNKTUITION. Atomic will debut the project to buyers and broadcasters at the 2009 Kidscreen Summit in New York in February.
MARLEY & ME (Fox, vfx by At The Post, LOOK! Effects and Lola Visual Effects) won the weekend box office, earning $24.26M between Jan. 2-4, 2009 and earning a total two-week holiday gross of $106.66M.
Disney's Adam Sandler family comedy BEDTIME STORIES earned $20.5M, staying in second place. With vfx by RotoFactory, Cinesite, Gentle Giant Studios, LOOK! Effects, Lola Visual Effects, Mark Rappaport Creature Effects, Proof and Tinsley Transfers, the film has earned $85.54M since debuting Christmas Day.
Fox's MARLEY & ME won the weekend box office (Dec. 26-28) with $36.4 million, earning a total of $50.7M since its Christmas Day release. The comedy starring Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson and 22 dogs had vfx by At The Post, LOOK! Effects and Lola Visual Effects.
The film's $14.75M first day was the largest Christmas Day opening in motion picture history.
Animacam, the Spain-based online international animation festival, closed its first edition on December 21 and announced the 11 winners for 2008.
Winning its opening weekend, Jim Carrey's comedy YES MAN (Warner Bros., vfx by LOOK! Effects) earned $18.26M, lower than expected because of bad, snowy weather covering much of the U.S.
Will Smith's mysterious drama SEVEN POUNDS (Sony, vfx by CafeFX) opened in second place with $14.85M. Animated feature THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX (Universal, animation from Framestore Feature Animation) placed third in its opening weekend with $10.1M.
This week in AWN's Forums, animators working through Christmas are wishing holiday greetings to each other. A member has written two scripts for any interested producers or studios to take a look at. Know what Los Angeles-based studios are hiring interns? A recent grad is looking for entry-level work. The discussion on transitioning After Effects to Final Cut Pro continues, as does the discussion on how to effectively create thick outlines in Flash.
This week in AWN's Forums, a member wants to know where it's possible to find copies of animation series pitch bibles, either for free or for a fee. Moderator Larry Lauria has created an online Animated Christmas Festival on his blog. What's the best way to go about selling a concept to your employer? And there is cry for help with Flash PNG files. What codec should a person save to when streaming 2D Quicktime files. A discussion continues on how to quickly and efficiently add thick outlines in Flash.
Thanks in part to several new creatively challenging assignments -- including a comprehensive campaign for General Mills that includes both on-air and online components -- Calabash Animation, the animation studio led by Creative Director Wayne Brejcha and Executive Producer Sean Henry, has made several significant investments in new animation talent and technology.
THE DARK KNIGHT, DR. SEUSS' HORTON HEARS A WHO! and the fourth season of LOST arrive on DVD and Blu-ray, plus Oscar-winning Best Animated Short PETER & THE WOLF makes its U.S. DVD debut, and more.
THE DARK KNIGHT On DVD And Blu-ray
This week in AWN's Forums, a newbie to animation wants to know the best 2D animation programs. Discussion continues on the aspect ratio on animation software. A member wants to know the best way to set up a Flash movie for eventual broadcast or screening. Have some advice on becoming a voiceover actor? A member is looking for advice. Help out a member choosing which 3D software to use for a feature film. A junior at the Savannah College of Art and Design is looking for a summer internship. Got some cool links to Christmas animation? Post them now!
Bitfilm has released the first issue of its new BITFILM COLLECTION. It contains 12 groundbreaking digital animations, voted on the first ranks by the international audience of the Bitfilm Festival -- including all six winners of the Bitfilm Awards. Once a month, the digital film experts will select 12 films that they consider state of the art of digital animation.
Animation is not just kids' stuff anymore, and Nexus Productions Ltd. is in the thick of the changing creative and business market for animated films of all kinds. The London-based company, founded 10 years ago to create creative, family animation for commercials, music videos and shorts, has recently doubled its size, secured new avenues of funding, and positioned itself to take advantage of a revolution in the field. In addition, two recent short films produced by Nexus, THIS WAY UP and DAMAGED GOODS, have qualified for the 2008 Academy Award for animated short.
Nathania Seales has been promoted to VP of production for Cartoon Network On-Air. Formerly senior director of on-air production, Seales will oversee production of on-air promotions, program production, ad-supported/sponsored promotions and branding material for Cartoon Network and Boomerang. She will continue to manage the assignment of projects and budget allocations to partnering production companies, writers, animation and live-action producers and on-air talent.
PEANUTS has become the first fully animated series in the Warner Premiere Motion Comics digital content category.
HP has introduced a high-performance thin client and blade workstation that provide virtualization customers a true workstation experience combined with the security, ease of management and lowered total cost of ownership of thin client computing.
Offering significantly more processing and graphics performance, the new HP gt7725 Thin Client and HP ProLiant xw2x220c Blade Workstation deliver a leading remote experience for 3D mechanical computer-aided (MCAD) applications, rich media, flexibility and performance.
This week in AWN's Forums, members are discussing how the upcoming presidential election will affect the economy as it relates to the animation industry. A member wants input on whether to include comic pages in an animation portfolio, and the discussion continues over whether one can be too old for cartoons. A user would like some help on animating in Flash CS4. Members are still updating each other on their current projects. A thread has been started for tips and advice on buying and selling outside animated feature scripts.
The Fremantle Corporation has acquired the new and quirky CG animated series LIMO GUY from Comet Ent. and Kaleidoscope Productions. LIMO GUY is akin to the antics of SOUTH PARK with a twist of a modern day TAXI.
Super U Animation ContestDeadline: October 30, 2008
Stop-motion, 3D, claymation, Flash or flip book. If it's animated, you could win $2,500.
Beginning in September 2008, Super U and TAC.tv (a.k.a Tetes a claques) will be presenting quarterly animation contests. A jury, including TAC.tv creator Michel Beaudet will be awarding a prize for the best of the best at the end of August 2009.
Expanding upon their existing relationship, NCircle Ent. signed a new multi-year DVD brick-and-mortar and online retail distribution agreement with The MoonScoop Group's Taffy Ent. NCircle will assume responsibility for the DVD roll-out of the new children's series CHLOE'S CLOSET in North America. NCircle, a division of Source Interlink Companies, has already begun elevating the North American presence of Taffy's preschool DIVE OLLY DIVE! series since June.
BIOSHOCK for the PlayStation 3 needed a promotional site that did justice to its intense graphics and compelling storyline. The team of designers, motion/3D artists, and developers at ROKKAN, a bicoastal, full-service interactive agency, created an online experience as gripping and immersive as the critically acclaimed game itself.
This week in AWN's Forums, discussion of freelance contracts continues, but the consensus is to consult a lawyer. IGOR's less than stellar opening weekend is dissected. A heated discussion is underway regarding fan creations of copyright-protected characters. What 2D animation software would you use for Web animation if Flash were unavailable? Some new animations were posted for member critique. A character designer is hoping to get into animation and is looking for advice.
Nicktoons Network will air RANDOM! CARTOONS episodes on Saturdays and Sundays this December, starting December 6, according to CARTOONBREW.com.
RANDOM! CARTOONS is 39 shorts for kids, all with different characters and stories and all seven minutes long. A mix of traditional, CG and Flash animation and created by Fred Seibert, the series has been delayed by Nickelodeon several times.
Shorts include ADVENTURE TIME (Pendleton Ward), GARLIC BOY (John R. Dilworth), GARY GUITAR (Bill Plympton), HORNSWIGGLE (Jerry Beck) and SOLOMON FIX (Doug TenNapel).