August 21, 2000
of Notre Dame Sequel Coming in 2001
Disney is working on a direct to video sequel to The Hunchback of
Notre Dame for release in the second half of 2001. The video and
DVD will star Quasimodo, who will face new adventures, including
some romance with a new love interest. Quasimodo will also face
a new villain, the circus master Sarousch.
Hunchback of Notre Dame II features a vocal cast of returning actors
from Disney's original Hunchback and a fresh new group of voice
talent. Tom Hulce once more plays Quasimodo, Demi Moore returns
as Esmeralda the Gypsy and Kevin Kline reprises his role as Phoebus,
the Captain of the Guard.
Love Hewitt stars as Quasimodo's love interest, the circus performer
Madellaine, and Hewitt also co-wrote and sings the film's end-title
song. Haley Joel Osment, the sensational Oscar-nominated star of
The Sixth Sense, voices the role of Zephyr, the son of Esmeralda
and Phoebus. The wicked circus master Sarousch, Quasimodo's nemesis,
is played by Michael McKean.
Gargoyle friends are voiced by returning cast members Jason Alexander
as Hugo and Charles Kimbrough as Victor. The role of Laverne, the
third gargoyle, portrayed in Disney's original Hunchback by the
late Mary Wickes, is taken over by veteran stage and screen actress
Jane Withers. Wickes passed away in October 1995, after she had
finished the voice work for Laverne, but before The Hunchback of
Notre Dame hit theaters. It was the last movie to feature some of
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II, the people of Paris excitedly anticipate
the traditional Jour D'Amour festival -- a celebration of love centered
on a beautiful, legendary bell known as La Fidele. When this jeweled
bell is rung, couples step forth to shout their true love's name.
But whose name will Quasi proclaim?
festival is officially underway with the arrival of Cirque du Sarousch,
a traveling circus. But Sarousch -- the vain magician who leads
the carnival -- intends to get rich by making off with La Fidele.
To distract Quasimodo, Sarousch sends in his beautiful assistant,
Madellaine, to win the bell ringer's heart. Although Madellaine
comes to care for Quasimodo and wants no part of stealing the bell,
Sarousch uses her and takes the bell.
return the stolen bell, Quasimodo must learn to trust Madellaine,
and in doing so, Quasimodo discovers true love. With Madellaine
at his side, and with the help of his friends Phoebus, Esmeralda,
their son Zephyr, and Quasimodo's gargoyle pals, soon Quasimodo
is proclaiming a love for himself at the Jour D'Amour festival.
August 22, 2000
Here are the Box Office results for last weekend's animated films:
Run $902,870 ($901 per screen average - 31% drop)
18th at the Box Office (down from #14 last weekend)
Total to Date: $101.8 Million
2000 $520,889 ($816 per screen average - 50% drop)
20th at the Box Office (down from #16 last weekend)
Total to Date: $41.9 Million
A.E. $25,537 ($311 per screen average - 45% drop)
65th at the Box Office (down from #56 last weekend)
Total to Date: $22.7 Million.
$25,012 ($347 per screen average - huge 58% decrease)
66th at the Box Office (down from #51 last weekend)
Total to Date: $133.8 Million
Animation Careers Forum Opens
Animation Artist Magazine has opened up a new forum titled Animation
Careers in its Voices in Animation area. The new forum is dedicated
to helping people who have questions about animation education and
careers in the animation field.
are currently 345 registered forum users, including several who
have been posting to Voices in Animation since it opened on September
6, 1999 (almost a year ago).
Run Sets Milestone!
This past weekend, Chicken Run reached a new milestone by becoming
the highest grossing non-Disney animated film ever. Chicken Run
passed both The Prince of Egypt and The Rugrats Movie to claim the
honor. The film has brought in $101.8 million to date at the U.S.
August 23, 2000
Star Wars Spoof Airs Tonight
Film Roman's `Tripping the Rift,' an edgy `Star Wars' spoof, will
have its broadcast premiere on a special episode of the Sci-Fi Network
series `Exposure: A Tribute to Star Wars' airing Wednesday, August
23 at 10 pm ET, announced John Hyde, Film Roman's President and
the independent filmmaker behind Chasing Amy, Dogma and Clerks,
will host this special episode of SCI FI's Exposure short film series
focusing on the impact director George Lucas and his film Star Wars
has had on a generation of filmmakers. The program will re-air four
times over the following six days and after that will never be seen
Rift," a computer generated Star Wars/Star Trek parody, was a project
spearheaded by Charles O. Austen and Chris Moeller for Film Roman's
Level13 subsidiary. The animated sci-fi epic features Stephen Root,
of "News Radio," as the voice of the lead character, Chode; and
Terry Farrell of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" as the voice of "Six
of One," the story's sexy First Officer. Austen worked on the computer
game, "Star Trek: The Next Generation," and spent two seasons as
storyboard artist for "King of the Hill." Moeller started out in
clay-mation films and progressed to work on "The Simpsons" and "King
of the Hill."
* * *
Steve Jobs is still juggling between Apple and Pixar, apparently
doing a good job for both companies. The San Francisco Examiner
recently published an article taking a deeper look at Jobs trying
to run two huge companies with Pixar getting less attention.
here for full story.
August 24, 2000
Founders Fight Back
Micheline Charest and Ronald Weinberg are the two founders of Cinar
who were fired from the company last week (see our August 18, 2000
update) by the Board of Directors after Cinar was accused of tax
fraud and financial misconduct.
This week, however,
the couple is fighting back claiming there was no wrongdoing on
their part. The fight could turn ugly since the couple own nearly
63% of the company and have no intention of leaving quietly.
A special committee
to the Board of Directors of Cinar last week released the following
Committee of the Board of Directors of CINAR Corporation announced
today that the employment of Mrs. Micheline Charest and Mr. Ronald
A. Weinberg, who have been on administrative leave since March 14,
2000, have been terminated. The independent directors of the Board
have also requested that Micheline Charest and Ronald A. Weinberg
resign as directors of the Company forthwith."
however, say they won't leave unless the entire Board of Directors
resigns with them.
Here is the
official statement from Micheline Charest and Ronald A. Weinberg
that was released yesterday:
disagree with the Special Committee's decision," said Mr. Weinberg.
"We also intend to vigorously defend any suggestion of wrongdoing
on our part. We believe that we have always tried to act in the
best interest of CINAR and its shareholders...CINAR is a world recognized
industry leader with tremendous people and assets. Our goal has
always been to improve the business that we founded over 20 years
ago. Our whole working lives and hearts are invested in CINAR. We
will do whatever we can to co-operate with the company and our fellow
said: "We have no intention of responding to the Special Committee's
invitation that we resign as directors until we are satisfied that
CINAR is safely in the hands of a new Board of Directors, one who
will begin to work on a variety of strategic initiatives to improve
shareholder value. We firmly believe that CINAR shareholders share
the view that there is an urgent need for dramatic change at the
Company and at the Board. We are working with our advisors and other
CINAR shareholders to bring about that change. We will resign when
the remaining board members agree to join us and clear the way for
a new slate of directors."
* * *
Collector's Edition Coming Soon
Walt Disney Home Video has announced that Fantasia 2000 will be
released to VHS
on November 14, 2000.
2000 features seven all-new sequences and one returning favorite,
brought to life with music from such composers as Beethoven, Gershwin
and Stravinsky, and the talents of Roy E. Disney and the Disney
artists behind animated films as Aladdin and The Lion King.
Fantasia celebrates its 60th anniversary (of its original theatrical
release) almost to the day, with a first-time-ever release on DVD
in a special 60th anniversary edition on Nov. 14. Fantasia has been
restored and remastered, and now includes the original intermission
and narration, not seen since 1940. The animated segment "Clair
de Lune," created 60 years ago as part of the film, is finally being
released on Fantasia (DVD), as originally conceived.
Also being released
is a special "Fantasia
Anthology" 3-disc collector's DVD set featuring Fantasia, Fantasia
2000 and "The Fantasia Legacy" supplemental features disc.
The DVD of Fantasia
2000 features a digital transfer created directly from the digital
source, insuring an optimal presentation that Disney claims surpasses
the theatrical experience. Both Fantasia 2000 and the 60th anniversary
of Fantasia are presented in DTS and Dolby Digital Surround Sound.
August 25, 2000
Tunes Film in the Works
According to Variety, Warner Bros. Animation is about to start work
on a new Looney Tunes film that will be produced by Quincy Jonees
Media Group and Gerber Pictures. The article states that the "Exact
nature of the Looney Tunes project is being kept under wraps." What
is know, however, is that it will also feature live action like
* * *
Film Premieres on Sunday
MTV has a lot of faith in its crudely drawn "Daria" TV series. The
network funded a feature length made-for-TV "Daria" film that will
premiere this Sunday night at 7PM (EST) on MTV. The film is titled
"Daria: Is it Fall Yet?" In the film, Daria volunteers to spend
her summer working at summer camp and thus the adventure begins.
* * *
Gear Up for Saturday Mornings
The fall Saturday morning lineups are finalized and violence is
being tossed out the door by two networks (ABC and CBS) in favor
of cartoons with more educational value.
Current, "With the growth of upstart broadcast networks in recent
years, and the FCC's higher standards for educational children's
TV, kids and their parents have gained a wider choice of shows to
watch on Saturday..."
here to read the Current article.
August 26, 2000
Movie Coming to U.S. Theaters
Warner Brothers has purchased the rights to bring Pokemon 3 to U.S.
theaters next year, despite the fad showing signs of fading on U.S.
shores. Pokemon 2000 brought in only half of what the first release
made and sales of Pokemon merchandise is decreasing. However, the
costs to Warner Brothers to purchase the rights to air it in the
U.S. and translate it are very low with the film showing profitability
after just several million dollars.
* * *
Boys Become Animated
Stan Lee Media Inc. will unveil its latest global animated music
franchise, an unprecedented partnership with the international singing
sensations the Backstreet Boys, tomorrow, Aug. 27, at Hard Rock
Live at Universal Studios City Walk in Orlando, Florida.
Backstreet Project," the animated series portrays the Boys as Cyber
Crusaders, each with unique powers to protect the Earth.
Burger King Corporation will launch an exclusive five-week video
and CD promotion featuring the Backstreet Boys.
Project began when Backstreet Boy (and serious comic book fan) Nick
Carter met with pop-culture icon and Stan Lee Media co-founder,
Stan Lee, to discuss his idea for a comicbook, based on the musical
group as Cyber Crusaders. On Feb. 19, 2000, The Backstreet Project
Special Edition Collector's Comicbook was introduced to 75,000 live
fans at the Atlanta Georgiadome with three minutes of Backstreet
Project animation. The animation generated tremendous fan response
and was subsequently used by the Backstreet Boys to open their most
recent concert tour. This led to a broader agreement to create a
global animated music franchise.
Boys -- presently recognized as one of the biggest pop groups in
the world -- have sold more than 50 million albums. The group's
latest release, "Millennium," is already certified twelve times
platinum in the U.S. and has spent more than 65 weeks on Billboard's
"Top 200 albums" chart.
August 27, 2000
Rupp Passes Away
Former Disney artist and animator Jacques Wellington Rupp has passed
away at the age of 79. Rupp is best known for creating the opening
and closing Tinkerbell titles for "The Wonderful World of Disney"
and for creating the settings for the movie Lady and the Tramp.
Rupp also worked for other animation studios, mostly in TV, where
he helped with animated productions of "Magoo," "Batman," and "Superman."
The cause of Rupp's August 22 death was cancer.
* * *
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Moon." "Dragonball Z." "Card Captor Sakura." "Gundam Wing." "Hello
Kitty." "Tenchi Muyo."
What do all
these popular cartoons have in common? They were made in Japan.
or anime (a-NUH-may), has grown very popular in the past few years.
It has invaded our TVs, video stores and even the big screen.
more animation than any other country.
the creative director at Cartoon Network and executive producer
of Toonami, a popular group of anime programs, says about 150 new
episodes of anime are produced every three months in Japan.
So how did it
for the full story (Lind Has Expired)
August 28, 2000
Emmy Award Winners from Saturday
Saturday night a number of Emmy Awards were handed out as part of
the Emmy's "Creative Arts Awards." The special effects filled introduction
to "The 10th Kingdom" mini-series won an emmy for "Outstanding Main
Title Design." Winners in animation categories include:
Animated Program (less than one hour)
"The Simpsons" -- Episode: "Behind the Laughter"
Animated Program (more than one hour)
"Walking with Dinosaurs"
Special Visual Effects for a Series
"The X-Files" -- Episode: "First Person Shooter"
Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries
"Walking with Dinosaurs"
"Walking with Dinosaurs"
* * *
City Tribune: "Animation Troubles"
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Salt Lake City Tribune claimed that animation was the big loser
at the Box Office this summer. Here's the quote on animation from
the article titled, "For Studios, Stars, and Moviegoers it was a
Long, Hot Summer":
Chicken Run notwithstanding, cartoons took it hard this summer.
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle couldn't pull the rabbit
out of its hat, Pokemon the Movie 2000 showed the fad is fading,
and Titan A.E. bombed so badly Fox shut down its animation studio
and gave exec Bill Mechanic the boot. Even Disney, the master of
animation, was off its game; the computer-animated Dinosaur did
respectable business but didn't break any records, and the non-IMAX
release of Fantasia 2000 was met mostly with yawns."
To see a breakdown
of Box Office results and to comment on this quote, click
August 29, 2000
to Carl Barks
Carl Barks, the master animator of Disney's cartoon duck characters
passed away last week at the age of 99. Barks passed away after
a fight with leukemia. However, close friends of Barks say that
he kept his humorous personality to the end.
Barks is famous
for being the main artist and animator for Donald Duck from 1935-1942.
He was also the creative personality behind the duck, giving Donaly
some of his unique fiesty character traits that made him stand out
from other Disney characters. Carl was also responsible for the
personalities of Uncle Scrooge McDuck, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
Barks was born
in Southern Oregon on March 27, 1901 and returned to Oregon after
his work with Disney. He had a studio in Grants Pass, Oregon. One
of his last major projects for Disney the working on the characters
for Ducktales The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp.
skills were many in the animation industry where he served as a
writer, artist, storyboard developer, animator, character developer,
and numerous other animation tasks.
Barks once said: "I always felt myself to be an unlucky person like
Donald, who is a victim of so many circumstances. But there isn't
a person in the United States who couldn't identify with him. He
is everything, he is everybody; he makes the same mistakes that
we all make."
here for a Washington Post article on Carl Barks.
August 30, 2000
Animation Seminar on September 23, 2000
The LA chapter of Women in Animation will be holding an all day
seminar on Saturday, September 23, featuring animation writers,
directors, and story editors. The cost of the seminar is $40. If
you are a member of Women in Animation, the cost is $20. For more
information, call (626) 798-1523.
* * *
Last night, Jackie Chan starred in an episode of "The PJs" where
the stop motion character showed off many of his unique martial
art moves. In just over a week, Jackie Chan will have his own animated
series that begins airing on the Warner Brothers network on Saturday
mornings, beginning September 9, 2000.
the WB: "Jackie Chan Adventures brings the international superstar
to the small screen in a new animated adventure series that will
feature all of Jackie's physical feats and acrobatic style of action,
combined with his unique underdog hero humor that kids enjoy from
their favorite Jackie Chan movies.
The series celebrates
Chinese culture as Jackie, an ancient artifact expert and a special
agent for the government's secret Section 13, shares ancient Chinese
wisdom with Jade, his 11-year-old tomboy niece, who quickly becomes
his apprentice and partner in adventure.
and Jade stumble onto an ancient conspiracy, led by an evil crime
family known as The Dark Hand, they embark on a global quest to
recover 12 magical talismans, powerful artifacts representing signs
of the Chinese zodiac which have been scattered around the world.
Each talisman holds a unique magical power and, if combined, will
unleash a hidden massive power.
may also appear in live-action segments in each episode, demonstrating
his incredible athletic techniques and wit, while lending his voice
to the lead character."
The show is
produced by Sony Pictures Family Entertainment."
August 31, 2000
Carl Barks Press Release
Walt Disney Studios has issued a press release on the life and death
of Disney animator Carl Barks that appears directly below:
the most famous of all Disney comic book artists and the creator
of Scrooge McDuck, passed away at his home in Grants Pass, Oregon
on Friday (8/25) after a long illness. The legendary Barks wrote
and illustrated almost 500 Donald Duck comic books between 1942
and 1966. At its peak in the 1950s, Barks' Donald Duck stories as
featured in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories sold over three million
copies a month in the U.S. Another 20 million copies a month were
sold in foreign editions.
Barks' passing, Roy E. Disney, vice chairman of The Walt Disney
Company, noted, "Carl Barks was one of the most gifted artists and
inventive storytellers ever to work for Disney and the undisputed
'Comic Book King.' When it came to creating imaginative tales for
Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge and the other classic Disney characters,
no one ever did it better. He challenged our imaginations and took
us on some of the greatest adventures we have ever known. His prolific
comic book creations entertained many generations of devoted fans
and influenced countless artists over the years. Carl's joyful humor
and stylish storytelling will certainly be missed but his timeless
tales will stand as a legacy to his originality and brilliant artistic
Born on March
27, 1901 and raised on an Oregon farm, Barks worked at various vocations
before becoming a freelance artist in the late 1920s. In 1935, he
started at The Walt Disney Studios as an in-betweener, drawing frames
between action in animated cartoons. Within a few months, he was
transferred to the story department, where he helped create stories
for the animated shorts. His favorite character was Donald Duck
and he went to work providing animation for some of "the duck's"
earliest films. In all, Barks collaborated on three dozen Donald
Duck shorts -- including "Modern Inventions," "Good Scouts" and
"Timber" -- and helped the temperamental duck skyrocket to superstardom.
extended to comic books. In 1942, Western Publishing, producer of
the Disney comic books, hired Barks to draw the first original Disney
comic book, "Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold." The following year,
Barks illustrated the lead story for Western's monthly Walt Disney's
Comics and Stories. For the next 24 years, he wrote and drew almost
every Donald Duck story in that publication. He focused on the everyday
adventures of Donald and his nephews -- Huey, Dewey and Louie --
and added a colorful cast of supporting characters that included
Gladstone Gander, Gyro Gearloose and the unforgettable Scrooge McDuck.
the eccentric globetrotting "jillionaire" first appeared as a bit
player in the 1947 story, "Christmas on Bear Mountain." Barks recalled,
"Scrooge's wealth generated so many gag situations he was soon upstaging
In 1966, Barks
retired from full-time comic book work but continued his association
with Disney's ducks. Five years later, in 1971, The Walt Disney
Company granted him unprecedented permission to paint Donald Duck
in oils, bringing the Duckburg clan to the world of fine art. At
age 70, the artist attempted his first oil painting and went on
to paint nearly 150 works.
has been collected in several hardbound coffee-table books -- "The
Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck" (1981), "The Fine Art of Walt
Disney's Donald Duck" and the 30 volume "Carl Barks' Library."
His comic book
creations took on a whole new life when they became the basis for
the popular Disney animated television series, "DuckTales," which
premiered in 1987 and ran for many years in syndication and on network
TV. A feature film starring Scrooge McDuck, called "DuckTales: The
Movie, Treasure of the Lost Lamp" was released in 1990.
Barks was honored
by the Studio in 1991, when he became part of select group to receive
the "Disney Legends Award."
Barks is survived
by his daughter, Dorothy, from Bremerton, Washington; as well as
a granddaughter, a grandson, a niece and several great, great grandchildren.
A memorial service is planned for next week in the artist's hometown.
* * *
Films Coming From Phil Roman
Three classic RKO films, "Sinbad the Sailor," "Blackbeard the Pirate"
and "The Fourth Musketeer," as well as three other films to be selected
from RKO's vast library, will be jointly developed and produced
as feature-length animated films in an agreement completed between
Ted Hartley, RKO chairman and CEO, and Phil Roman, the award-winning
president of Phil Roman Entertainment.
RKO and Phil
Roman Entertainment intend to adapt these well-known RKO movies
for release as family entertainment titles.
films will be executive produced by Hartley and Roman with Roman
serving as animation producer and director and RKO handling their
version of "Sinbad the Sailor" was produced in 1946 with Douglas
Fairbanks Jr., Anthony Quinn and Maureen O'Hara starring; "Blackbeard
the Pirate," originally produced in 1952, starred Linda Darnell,
Robert Newton and William Bendix; "The Fourth Musketeer," the 1952
version of the "Three Musketeers," starred Maureen O'Hara, Cornell
Wilde and Lewis Allen.
Roman, a six-time
Emmy winner, formed his new animation company last year, after departing
Film Roman, a company he founded 14 years earlier. He began his
career in 1955 at the Walt Disney Studios.
he worked for Warner Bros. cartoons, and this was followed by stints
with a string of other major animation companies including MGM Animation,
UPA Film, Bill Melendez's production company, and Ralph Bakshi's
He has served
as executive producer of "The Simpsons," "King of the Hill," and
the "Garfield" series and Specials, and has directed numerous "Charlie
Brown" features and TV Specials. Roman also produced and directed
the full-length animation feature, "Tom and Jerry: The Movie" for
Miramax and Turner.
Phil Roman Entertainment's
upcoming slate of films includes "The Gaudins: A Christmas Special"
and "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," slated for release Christmas
season 2000; the animated segments of the live action/animation
feature, "Cyber Quest"; "Soap on the Range," a new prime time 26
episode animation series; and "The Gaudins," a 26-episode animated
aegis, 100 year old RKO Pictures, once one of the most renowned
motion picture studios in the world, has been revived from a moribund
state to that of an active producer of television and motion pictures.
The company finances, produces and distributes film and television
projects and has a full slate of projects scheduled for production.
"Mighty Joe Young," and recently completed filming a remake of its
classic thriller "I Walked With a Zombie" on location in Jamaica
for its Radio Pictures division. RKO Television will begin production
in Ireland next month on the prestigious four-hour miniseries, "The
Magnificent Ambersons," based on Orson Welles' original screenplay,
and headlined by an all-star cast.
between RKO and Phil Roman Entertainment was negotiated by Roman
VP Rick Ramirez and RKO Executive VP Art Horan and VP David Marko.
* * *
A new edition of the free Animation Artist Newsletter will be distributed
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