Hollywood-based RUGRATS producer Klasky Csupo has promoted Hal Waite to senior vice president of Feature Animation, which now plans to produce one feature film per year, and Cella Duffy to senior vice president of Television Animation. Waite, who has been with the company since '96 and was a co-producer on THE RUGRATS MOVIE, is currently working on the RUGRATS sequel, scheduled for Christmas 2000.
Geographical Region: All
Paramount's THE RUGRATS MOVIE has crossed the $100 million milestone at the North American box office. This makes it the first animated non-Disney film to achieve this mark. As of March 22, the domestic box office total for the film is $100,130,568. . . . Warner Bros. THE KING AND I, produced by Rich Animation, opened in North America this past weekend in 2352 theaters with a lackluster total of $4,007,565 million.
ASTRO BOY, created by Japanese comic legend Dr. Osamu Tezuka, will be made into a sci-fi live-action/CGI/animatronics feature by Columbia Pictures. The pic, slated for Christmas 2000 release, is being produced by Don Murphy, Jane Hamsher and Jim Henson Pictures. Reportedly, Jim Henson's Creature Shop may provide the title character Astro Boy. The film is a 21st century Pinocchio about a grieving scientist who builds a robot in the likeness of his son who was killed. This "robot boy," Tetsuwan Atomu, became the first Japanese TV cartoon when it started airing in 1963.
Atom Corp., a new entertainment company aiming to distribute short animated and live-action films, has opened shop. The start-up firm has already established alliances with cable networks such as HBO and Sundance Channel, online services including Disney's Go Network/Infoseek, Mr. Showbiz, Reel.com, Warner Bros. Online and Film.com, the high-speed broadband service @Home, as well as airlines such as Air New Zealand, Air Canada and Continental Airlines.
When capturing 3D models, 3D digitizers such as the Microscribe 3D (from Immersion Corporation) and ModelMaker 3D (from 3D Scanner Ltd.) have always been better at digitizing clay models than actual human beings (although ModelMaker can be used to digitize humans, its a painfully slow process in which someone has to sit VERY still), which is why when one wanted an accurate 3D model of a human being they had to go to a specialist...well, not any more!
The National Cartoonists Society (NCS) has announced their 1998 Reuben Award nominees, honoring the best in the cartooning industry. The winners will be announced May 8 at the NCS Reuben Weekend in San Antonio, Texas. Among the honors are two categories recognizing individuals in the television and feature animation fields. The '98 animation nominees are:
TV Animation:Danny Antonucci (creator of ED, EDD N EDDY)Barry Caldwell (STEVEN SPIELBERG PRESENTS PINKY & THE BRAIN)Linda Miller (DISNEY'S 101 DALMATIONS: THE SERIES)
Cartoon Network U.S. will air an eight-hour marathon program called CARTOON NETWORK'S GREATEST CARTOON COUNTDOWN on March 20 starting at 2:00 p.m. and a two-hour encore presentation on March 21 at 12:00 p.m. The lineup of this program is a little different from the similar program which ran last year, THE 50 GREATEST CARTOONS OF ALL TIME. The selections come predominantly from the network's Time-Warner library of 8,500 titles, as well as from other studios which contributed cartoons exclusively for the marathon.
New York-based SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION created a 10-second animated logo for design company Number 17 New York, which will be shown at the head of all future SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (SNL) theatrical releases. It will debut later this year with the release of SUPERSTAR which features the neurotic Catholic schoolgirl Mary Catherine Gallagher, who is portrayed by Molly Shannon on NBC's long-running sketch comedy series. The opening is a dreamy and abstract representation of nightime in New York City with lights of different speeds, scales and densities resolving through to the SNL Studios Logo.
In between Whoopi Goldberg's off-color humor and Roberto Benigni's exuberant antics, Blue Sky Studios' BUNNY, directed by Chris Wedge, picked up the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. The award was appropriately presented by the animated insects from Disney/Pixar's A BUG'S LIFE. For the second year in a row, AWN's reader poll predicted the correct Oscar winning film, with 48% of online voters choosing BUNNY. Other animation related Oscars included:
Original Song:THE PRINCE OF EGYPT"When You Believe"Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
PACIFIC DATA IMAGES (PDI) has promoted JANE HARTWELL to associate producer of their second DreamWorks/PDI animated feature co-production SHREK. Previously, Hartwell was Senior Production Manager on SHREK and Production Manager on the first of PDI's animated features, ANTZ. Her expanded responsibilities include involvement in creative, technical and financial aspects of the production. Hartwell is also responsible for the creation of the overall schedule for SHREK and oversees the story, character, lighting, effects and technical director departments.
PDI has hired Arnauld Lamorlette, 34, formerly vice president and director of R&D at the Paris-based studio Buf Compagnie, to join PDI's visual effects team. Lamorlette has been named a Senior Visual Effects Developer on SHREK. Aron Warner, SHREK producer, said, "He has been brought on to PDI's team to oversee the creation of computer-generated human characters and the rich organic world they will inhabit in SHREK.
Art director, designer and effects compositor ANNE WHITE has joined the Hollywood-based broadcast design and creative marketing agency 3 RING CIRCUS as executive producer. White will serve as a go-between for the clients and the creative team, as well as overseeing branding, marketing and promotional campaigns for broadcasting, cable, commercial and multimedia markets. She joins the company from Minneapolis-based HypeHouse, a marketing communications and design agency she co-founded in 1996.
ELIZA MCLATCHY has been named associate producer at Boston-based LOCONTE GOLDMAN DESIGN. In this post, McLatchy will work with senior producers and operations to develop and maintain the structure of projects. She will also serve as the liaison between creative personnel and the operations department. Prior to joining LoConte Goldman, McLatchy, 24, freelanced for the company on a variety of projects including "ESPN Speedworld," Romance Classics Network "Fire & Ice Valentine's Special," and a corporate image video for Lotus Development Corporation.
San Francisco-based (COLOSSAL) PICTURES created a 30-second PSA for Partnership for a Drug-Free America called "Hombeez Bee-Ball Game." The spot, which will begin airing in May, features bee-like characters from, HANGIN' WITH THE HOMBEEZ, a series of books written by Dann Gershon and illustrated by David Robinson. Music and narration for the PSA are provided by the well-known New York hip hop and R&B producers Full Force. The message-driven piece pits a group of Drug Bugs against the clean and sober Hombeez in a game of basketball, and the results are obvious.
Chicago, Illinois-based TRICKY PICTURES has produced a 20-second main title animation sequence for Nickelodeon's I AM POEM series. In addition, Belgian director and animator Dirk van de Vondel, represented by Tricky Pictures, was selected from more than 200 candidates to create a visual adaptation of "I Used To Be," one of the 15 poems in the series. Produced by Nickelodeon's Creative Lab to serve as interstitial programming, I AM POEM is a new series of short-form films based on original kids' poetry.
Burbank, California-based RENEGADE ANIMATION has animated a three-spot McDonald's campaign, "My Hero," "Napkin," and "One," which will air in Singapore. The three commercials introduce Fast Fry and Steam Marinate, two muscle-packed superheros who protect the universe from...dried-out fried chicken. The spots, which combine animation with live-action, were created by Leo Burnett (Chicago) to introduce the new Chicken McCrispy sandwich being tested in the Singapore market.
Spontaneous Combustion, the New York-based digital studio specializing in visual effects, has added desktop artist Bryan Keeling to its graphics team. Keeling, 27, specializes in Adobe After Effects and other desktop paint-and-animation packages. Keeling makes the move following a four-year stint at Pittard Sullivan.
Portland, Oregon-based WILL VINTON STUDIOS (WVS) has completed a CG-spot for Griffin Bacal's client, Just Born, featuring "Marshmallow Peeps." The 15-second spot, "Peeps Choir," which began airing on March 8, is the first-ever television commercial for the 76-year-old company headquartered in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The commercial features marshmallow chicks and bunnies performing in a musical revue to a reworked version of "Rockin' Robin." "The challenge was...to give each Peep its very own, special personality..." commented Jill Bazos, Griffin Bacal group account director.
The Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Market (MIFA), is scheduled to take place May 31-June 4, 1999 in Annecy, France. This year, the festival received 995 films from 47 countries. 248 of them, representing 30 countries, have been selected for official competition.
This week's updates to the Calendar of Events includes twenty-two new animation-related events, from major festivals to smaller symposiums and screenings. Plan your travels and film submissions accordingly!
On March 25, 1999, 7-10 pm, you are invited to join Santa Monica-based DH Institute of Media Arts (DHIMA) in celebrating demo reels of new graduates and current work produced by their students. After a ton of hard work, these DHIMA students are ready to blow off some steam with staff, students, alumni, and industry. See why SIGGRAPH '97 and '98 recognized 11 of DHIMA students with awards. Past graduates have gone on to work at companies such as Digital Domain, Pixel Envy, SEGA, Namco, Square, Alias|Wavefront, etc. DHIMA will provide drinks, snacks and music.
Bill recently illustrated "Monica's Untold Story, An Amorality Tale," published by an anonymous source, with full page watercolor illustrations. . .
Encore Media Group's five-year-old Action Channel has established a new late-night Saturday programming block devoted to adult Japanese animation called Anime. Encore has acquired ten Japanese animation titles, and will launch the show with anime distributor A.D. Vision's TEKKEN: THE MOTION PICTURE on April 3. In addition to TEKKEN, five additional titles are from A.D. Vision: BATTLE ANGEL, BLOOD REIGN: CURSE OF YOMA, GSC GUNSMITH CATS, SOL BIANCA and the cult series BLUE SEED.
PIXAR has announced that its Chief Financial Officer and executive vice president, Lawrence Levy, will leave his post at the end March to take personal time off. No replacement has been announced yet. Levy will continue to be involved with Pixar as a member of the company's Board of Directors. Pixar also announced that it has appointed Chief Technical Officer Ed Catmull to its Board.