News Briefs for February 4, 2009

» Ed Hall lost four clients in December during the newspaper turmoil. He reports he’s picked up a new paper.

» Animated News reports that Kung Fu Panda swept the Annie Awards in 10 categories. The Annie is the animation industry equivalent of an Oscar. Charles Brubaker wonders if Dreamworks rigged the voting (Dreamworks is the studio behind Kung Fu Panda and a primary sponsor of the Annie).

» Animated News also reports that Dan Fogler has been cast for a Mars Needs Moms movie based on the children’s book by Berkeley Breathed. No date for when the movie might appear, but it is being directed by Robert Zemeckis.

» Graeme MacKay, writing on the The Association of Canadian Editorial Cartoonists blog, notes that British editorial cartoonist Christian Adams likes to critique American editorial cartoonists work.

» Todd Clark, creator of Lola, lives in Boise and often throws in local personalities into his strip. The latest cameo is Rick, the local weather guy.

14 thoughts on “News Briefs for February 4, 2009

  1. “I haven?t seen Kung Fu Panda, was it really that good? I thought Wall-E was easily one of the best animated films of the past 50 years.”

    Oh yeah, Kung-Fu Panda is a must see. It may not be as good as Wall-E, but you should deffinetly see it.

  2. I was really surprised by Kung-Fu Panda. I’d heard such dismissive stuff about it (on another well-known cartoon blog) and didn’t hold out much hope that I’d enjoy it. I thought it was a gas and laughed out loud several times. It’s really not in the same realm of Wall-E, in my opinion… KFP is more like really tasty apple sauce where Wall-E is a really good caramel-apple.

  3. Stacy-
    Watch Wall-E again. This is one of those movies that gets better the more times you watch it.

  4. I personally think Wall-E was a better movie, but I found Kung Fu Panda to be surprisingly good and think it deserves the recognition it got.

  5. Wall-E was cute and kinda funny with great animation and was innovative.
    Kung Fu Panda was just funnier with personality viewers are familiar with.

    I bought Wall-E without seeing it first because I usually trust my gut on animations (huge fan…The Incredibles is my hands down fav), and I thought Wall-E was over-rated. It really had some good moments and maybe It’ll grow on me and will change my opinion, but the first time watching it bored me in several spots and I found it too preachy, especially near the end.

    Panda made me laugh over and over in addition to making me really want a plate of noodles.

  6. I know what you mean, Clay. I had sort of the same reaction the first time I viewed Wall-E. But I watched it again the next day, and had a different response. Again, I really think the more you see it, the more you appreciate the storytelling in addition to the animation.

    And I haven’t seen Kung Fu Panda yet. I have it in my queue on Netflix.

  7. I, too, thought Wall-E was overrated. Kung Fu Panda was definitely the underdog in the animated summer movie sweepstakes, but I think it was a far better movie. While it, too, had a message, it was far less preachy than Wall-E, and just plain funnier, too.

  8. Having a nine year old I’m forced to see many of these animated features. After awhile the look and feel of digital animation gets pretty redundant. Visually I felt that way about “Kung Fu Panda” but the comedy totally won me over. Artistically, what did impress me was the opening–it was done in a different style from the body of the movie–it was actually DIFFERENT and visually stunning. I thought “Wow, maybe the movie will be like this.” Alas, it wasn’t, but like I said, it won me over. And then the closing credits had absolutely gorgeous and brilliant renderings, all still-lifes, in an oriental style (I think, I’m going on memory from the summer)–I didn’t want it to end. I thought if they could animate a movie with those designs it would’ve been hailed as a daring creative masterpiece. But I guess Hollywood won’t go that far.

  9. KFP was just what is was supposed to be, fun and entertaining with a minimal message.

    Wall-E was technically superior. It was better animated for sure, but there were long periods of tedium periodically interrupted by eruptions of boredom and monotony, intemixed with dramactic pauses of banality.

    It also must have been written by Al Gore and Leo Decaprio. The last three fourths was so freaking thick with whacko enviromental soapboxing that my gag reflex sprained.

    Remember when movies were meant to entertain, not endoctrinate children into a psuedo-scientific religion of political psychobabble?

    I miss Bugs Bunny feeding grenade rigged ice cream bars to Japanese soldiers…

  10. “I miss Bugs Bunny feeding grenade rigged ice cream bars to Japanese soldiers?”

    Yes, absolutely! And who could forget the days when cartoons depicted black people with ridiculously large lips? And their love of playing craps?

    Good times, huh?

    (Look, I’m a huge, HUGE fan of old cartoons as much as anybody, but…)

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