Animation World Magazine, Issue 3.3, June 1998
Film Roman Gets First Look At Mischel. North Hollywood, California-based animation studio Film Roman, producers of The Simpsons and King of the Hill, are making a push into both animation and live-action feature film development, by signing up for a first-look deal with The Mischel Company, a new producer/distributor formed by former Live Entertainment vice president Rick Mischel. In an unrelated deal, Film Roman is currently developing a hybrid live-action and animation feature with Universal called There Goes the Neighborhood. "As Film Roman looks to expand into feature films, we look to Rick Mischel to help bring us strong independent projects," said Film Roman senior vice president Jon Vein, "Rick's background in acquisitions and development make him ideally suited to find us the kind of quality projects that we want to develop and produce." The Mischel Company also has a deal to represent the U.K. company EVA Entertainment in the U.S., including the launch of their theatrical feature film, A Monkey's Tale.
Elton John's "Just-So" With Disney. According to a report in Daily Variety, Walt Disney Feature Animation has made a deal with pop singer Elton John's London-based company, Rocket Pictures to develop a feature film called Just-So Stories, based on the book of tales by Rudyard Kipling, author of The Jungle Book. The deal reportedly calls for Elton John to write songs for the film, as he did for The Lion King. It also says the film, which will be developed over the course of the next year, is likely to be produced using computer animation. However, Disney officials declined to comment on the project at press time.
MGM, Cosby To Tell "Noah" Tale. MGM Animation has signed a deal with entertainer and comedian Bill Cosby to produce an animated feature film based on Cosby's stand-up routine, "Noah," which first appeared more than 35 years ago on his album, Bill Cosby is a Very Funny Fellow Right! Cosby will write, executive produce and star in the film, which will be MGM Animation's first animated feature intended for the theatrical market. MGM Animation, a division launched in 1993, is currently producing three animated TV series and several direct-to-video titles.
Quest For Camelot, Warner Bros. Feature Animation's first fully-animated feature film, opened in U.S theaters on Friday, May 15. The film, initially planned for a holiday 1997 release, has been in production for over two years at Warner Bros.' animation studios in London, U.K. and Glendale, California. The voice cast includes performances by Pierce Brosnan, John Gielgud, Gary Oldman, Bronson Pinchot, Jane Seymour and Jaleel White. The ballad-heavy soundtrack includes vocals by LeeAnn Rimes, Steve Perry and Celine Dion. In addition to a moderate advertising campaign, Warner Bros. is promoting the film through a partnership with UNICEF which will link the film to UNICEF fundraising through radio PSAs and libraries and bookstores. The 80-minute, G-rated film is based on the book, The King's Damosel by Vera Chapman, and is directed by Frederick Du Chau.
Read Ilene Hoffman's review of Quest for Camelot in this issue of Animation World Magazine.
Read Heather Kenyon's interview with Warner Bros. Feature Animation president Max Howard in the April 1998 issue of Animation World Magazine.
SIGGRAPH Documenting CGI History. The Story of Computer Graphics, SIGGRAPH's anticipated documentary film about the history of computer graphics has begun production through 213TV in Los Angeles. The feature-length film will include interviews with George Lucas, Robert Abel, John Lasseter and Ed Catmull. Filming will also take place at the upcoming 25th annual SIGGRAPH conference in July in Orlando, Florida. The film is scheduled to premiere at the SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles in August 1999. Carl Machover and John Hart are executive producers, Steve Silas is producer with Joan Collins as co-producer, Judson Rosebush is the writer and Frank Foster is directing. Foster said, "We are framing the story around the human story of the graphics and animation pioneers. The stories behind the incredible imagery, are in many ways, just as impressive as the images themselves."
For background information on the development of computer graphics and the SIGGRAPH organization, visit Animation World Magazine's August 1997 issue featuring SIGGRAPH: Past and Present by Joan Collins.
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