A number of animation books have recently been released just in time for the holiday season. Great Plains Publications has published Gene Walz's "Cartoon Charlie: The Life and Art of Animation Pioneer Charles Thorson," a detailed biography of the Golden Age animation artist filled with many never-before-seen illustrations.
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* Saturday, November 14. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Keyframe '98 is a screening of computer-generated films by USC animation students and a number of guest artists. "Plug," a computer animated/live-action film about a futuristic society where people live their entire lives plugged into virtual reality machines will also screen. The event takes place at the University of Southern California (USC) in the Norris Theater at 7:00 PM and is free to the public. For more information, call (213) 740-3986.
* Saturday, November 21. New York City, New York, U.S.A.
The Animazing Gallery is hosting a book signing with four animation authors - John Canemaker ("Tex Avery," "Before the Animation Begins"), John Culhane ("Fantasia"), John Grant ("The Encyclopedia of Walt Disney Characters"), and Stefan Kanfer ("Serious Business"). The authors will also share anecdotes and their experiences about the history of animation during the event which takes place from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. To RSVP or find out more about the event, contact Louis Albert Steidl or Nick Leone at (212) 226-7374.
Toronto-based TOPIX/MAD DOG produced a 30-second spot for Ford of Canada which added a twist on the classic 'Three Little Pigs' story utilizing live-action integrated with cel animation. While the CGI work was done at TOPIX/Mad Dog, Chuck Gammage of Chuck Gammage Animation directed the 2D animation. In the ad, the pigs find refuge from the wolf in a 1999 Ford Windstar.
RENEGADE ANIMATION animated "Fly the Friendly Skies," a 30-second commercial for General Mills Trix Yogurt featuring the Trix Rabbit introducing the snack to a couple of bored kids on a plane flight. The cel animated spot was directed by Renegade's Darrell Van Citters and produced through the Saatchi and Saatchi Agency in New York. The commercial's contemporary style incorporates sharp, angular features and quick fluid motion while combining black & white and color animation with live-action elements.
Here is a look at some of the various marketing items related to Disney/Pixars massive advertising campaign for A Bugs Life. The movie web site, www.abugslife.com, launched last week complete with Shockwave and QTVR games, behind-the-scenes information on the making of the film, sweepstakes, and the ability to purchase tickets for theaters nationwide.
(COLOSSAL) PICTURES animated the Super Chunk package for Cartoon Network consisting of a 25-second show open and close and seven 10-second bumpers. The new material started airing on October 17, 1998 during the Super Chunk programming block which airs on Saturdays from 4:00 - 7:00 PM. Cartoon Networks design director Bee Murphy came up with the concept art for the spots which were directed at (Colossal) by Charlie Canfield. The CG animation for the package was done in 3D Studio Max.
New York-based J.J. SEDELMAIER PRODUCTIONS created two 15-second spots, Liberty and Airport, for Rothmans retail stores. The spots feature the powerful, heroic, Constructivist-leaning WPA mural style imagery of the Rothmans Man. The traditional ink-and-paint cel animated spots were based on the designs of illustrator Doug Fraser and were directed by J.J. Sedelmaier.
The life of Walt Disney has been the subject of many unofficial biographies and articles with allegations accusing him of being everything from a fascist to a bigot. Now for the first time the record can be set straight with a new interactive CD-ROM narrated by Disneys first child, Diane Disney-Miller. Walt Disney: An Intimate History of the Man and His Magic, was produced to present an accurate account of his life and celebrate his accomplishments.
On Saturday, November 14, the Los Angeles-based art gallery and book store, Storyopolis, presents a special book signing celebrating the publication of Batman Animated, a book with rare artwork, a detailed episode guide, and interviews with the creators and voice actors behind Batman: The Animated Series. Batman artists/writers Paul Dini, Chip Kidd, Eric Radomski, and Bruce Timm will be on hand to greet fans and sign copies of the book. This free event begins at 4:00 PM. To RSVP call (310) 358 - 2500 or to pre-order a signed edition, call (310) 358-2512.
Kids programming syndicator Bohbot Kids Network (BKN), the fourth US broadcast kids network scheduled to launch August 29, 1999, has acquired Los Angeles-based Epoch Ink Animation (founded by Joe Pearson) to establish BKN Studios. Epoch was founded in 1995 and has since completed original and for-hire animated projects for television, home video, interactive and theatrical distribution.
Last Tuesday was a dark day for the comic book world when legendary writer/artist Bob Kane, best known for creating DC Comics Batman, passed away as a result of natural causes at his California home. Kane, 83, created the dark hero along with many other famous supporting characters including Robin, the Boy Wonder, the Joker, Catwoman and the Riddler. His creations have resulted in a continuously published comic book for fifty years, a live-action TV series, four feature films, at least five animated Batman series, and merchandising beyond words.
After six weeks of US release, Dreamworks/PDIs computer-animated bug pic Antz saw a rare 20% boost in box office business this weekend placing fifth. Despite losing 300 screens and new competition for the family crowd from the re-release of The Wizard of Oz, the film grossed an estimated $5.4 million in 2,604 theaters bringing the films cume to $74.8 million.
The first annual New York Animation Festival, slated to take place in New York City during April 1999, is now accepting entries in all categories. This comprehensive festival will encompass all types of animation including film, video, and digital animation of any genre. Student and international entries are also encouraged. For entry forms or information, call (212) 982-7781 or NYAFest@yahoo.com
* Friday, November 20, - Sunday, November 22. Perugia, Italy.Although there will be no competition section this year at the Cartoombria4th International Animation Film Festival, the artistic committee ofCartoombria '98 has put together a number of retrospectives, exhibits,workshops, screenings, premieres and artist tributes. To find out moreabout the festival visit http://www.awn.com/cartoombria/.
* Tuesday, November 24, - Saturday, November 28. Mendrisio, Switzerland.
The Mendrisio Swiss International Animated Film Festival includes a short,feature and animated "pilot" competition, as well as student films, 3Dcomputer animation, retrospectives, exhibitions, conferences and more. Forinformation call (41) 91 646 16 54.
For the first time in the 26-year history of the Annie Awards, the show will be nationally televised. FoxFamily Channel will air the presentation honoring the best of the animationindustry at a yet-to-be-announced date in December. Confirmed presentersfor this year's show include voice artists Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson)and the legendary June Foray, as well as actress T'keyah Krystal Keymaa("Cosby," "In Living Color," "Waynehead"). Submissions of animated TVshows, feature films, short subjects and commercials will be awarded in
Five thousand spectators attended theanimation programs during the five day 41st annual Leipzig InternationalFestival for Documentary and Animated Film which wrapped up on October 31in Leipzig Germany. The prize for Outstanding Film went to "Underground" byMatti Kütt (Estonia), and the Audience Prize went to "Hoelenangst" byBenjamin Quabeck (Germany). For more information about next year'sfestival, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The longest-running prime-time animated family in television history, The Simpsons, will be getting their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in September 1999. Among the celebrities that will be inducted next year include Alex Trebek, Freddy Fender, Wesley Snipes, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dennis Franz, Samuel Jackson, James Woods, Bob Newhart, Jane Seymour and Reba McEntire. Animation World Magazine will be there to cover the ceremony.
San Francisco-based WILD BRAIN, INC. has launched its first of a multi-spot animated campaign for Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurants. The Young & Rubicam campaign, which combines 2D and 3D animation with live-action, introduces The Colonel, KFCs new animated spokesperson, new KFC products and a new overall look for the fast food company.
CURIOUS PICTURES East and West coast offices teamed up with Cartoon Network to create Sound Hound, a two-minute animated interstitial featuring the classic Hanna-Barbara character, Huckleberry Hound.
PASSION PICTURES finished eight 3-second inserts for a new Adidas campaign featuring British World featherweight boxing champion Prince (Naz) Naseem and an overweight animated ex-boxer, the Cornerman. The spots were directed by Chris Hauge and animated by Chris Hauge, Chuck Gammage, Marco Piersma and Kevin Spruce through the Leagas Delaney agency.
* Thursday, November 5 - Friday, November 13. New York City, New York, U.S.A.
The Anthology Film Archives is presenting selected screenings from the First Light series. Films from Jordan Belson, James Whitney, Norman McLaren, and Oskar Fischinger, among others, will be shown. There will also be discussions from scholars and filmmakers following a number of the programs. For screening times and ticket info, contact the Anthology Film Archives at (212) 505-5181.