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Friday - August 31, 2001
     
  • Dumbo's Official Site opens -soon!

  • Though they're trying hard, I have to admit I never felt strongly about Disney's DVD site. Release calendar way out of date, non-existent customer service, broken links... Here's another example: in their August newsletter, Disney announces the upcoming DVD release of Dumbo and invites us to visit its dedicated site. Well, you can try it but don't get too excited yet -be more patient than I am and check back in a few days!
     
  • Disney not planning a Beijing Theme Park

  • Disney chairman and CEO Michael Eisner officially denied yesterday that there were plans for a new theme park in Beijing, China: "That report is totally erroneous. [But] China is a very large country. I'm sure someday there'll be a possibility to build another Disney theme park that'll be so geographically distant from Hong Kong it'll not compete." 
     
  • But the Hong Kong Disney Park will open in 2005!

  • Hong Kong hopes that the upcoming $14.1 billion theme park will give a strong boost to its tourism industry. The project, split 57:43 between the Hong Kong government and Disney, will cost another HK$13.6 billion for land reclamation and related infrastructure around the park. The project is seen as a boost to Hong Kong's mature economy, creating jobs and development projects while under construction, and providing 36,000 new jobs when the park is up and running. The park is also aimed at drawing more mainland Chinese tourists, who already make up 30 percent of all visitors to Hong Kong. Since the return of this former British colony to Chinese rule in mid-1997, more effort has been made to ease visa restrictions on mainland Chinese visiting Hong Kong. President and chief operating officer Bob Iger, who was in Beijing and met Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji on Tuesday, said the issue of further easing travel to Hong Kong was discussed. Eisner said Beijing's 2008 Olympics would give more visibility to Hong Kong and the park. "We hope people going to the Olympics will take a side trip and visit Disney," he added. 
     
  • Christine Baranski (1952) as the evil goddess ErisDid you know that... Christine Baranski (How The Grinch Stole Christmas) studied with the great English voice expert Patsy Rodenberg, in order to lower her register about an octave for the deep voice of Sinbad's villainess, the evil goddess Eris. Joseph Fiennes is expected to co-star in this traditionally animated Dreamworks feature.
Thursday - August 30, 2001
     
  • Snow Babs!

  • "We have to appeal to the broad audience, not just to the cinephiles who like the behind-the-scenes director commentary alone," says Bob Chapek, president of Disney Home Entertainment, explaining why Barbra Streisand was recruited to sing for the studio's upcoming collector's edition DVD of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, first released in 1937. "So we have to recognize that and market to that."
     
    Snow White, Snow Babs! (October 9, 2001)
    The Dumbo DVD will include a Dumbo II sneak peek (October 23, 2001)
    Looking for a release date!

     
  • What’s up with the Oliver and Company DVD?

  • Though its cover art was released several months ago, this DVD, originally scheduled for a 2001 release, then pushed back a couple of times, is now on hold -likely until additional features can be put together. Disney, who not so long ago were against adopting the DVD format, before clumsily rushing into it next before last, are now pursuing a very aggressive DVD strategy. All the best for us!
     
  • A Monsters, Inc. special!

  • Some Monsters-related news this morning, as Disney kicks off a huge promotional campaign for the film. A lot is at stake: battle Shrek for the very first Toon Academy Award, lure kids to theaters ahead of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and regain some of the animated glory the studio lost with their past two features, Groove and Atlantis.
     
  • Plush toy of Mikey Jr.A never-before-seen M.I. trailer hit American TV this week –keep your "eye" open!

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  • Numerous Monsters, Inc. items, including a 2002 calendar, plush toys, video games and The Art of Monsters, Inc. written by John Lasseter, which takes a sneak peek behind the scenes at the early developmental stages of the film, are now listed for pre-order at Amazon.com. A new character, Little Mikey, available as a plush toy (see picture), is described as "the companion of jumpy scare-professional Mike."

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  • "Monsters come out of kid's closets to scare them, but no one ever knew why," commented John Lasseter, executive producer of Monsters, Inc. and director of the Toy Story movies, for a recent Fall 2001 Preview article. "The reason monsters come out of the closet to scare kids is to capture the screams of kids and refine it to a clean-burning fuel. The screams of kids are the fossil fuel of the monster world, and Monsters Inc. is an energy company."

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  • Did you know that... The working title for Monsters, Inc. was The Hidden City -the name of a restaurant across the street from Pixar's headquarters!
Got a scoop or interesting news? Why not email Animated Movies now!
Wednesday - August 29, 2001
     
  • Billy Crystal said no to Buzz Lightyear –but yes please to Monsters, Inc.!

  • From the 8/24 issue of Entertainment Weekly:

    "The computer-animation pioneers at Pixar had wanted Crystal as the voice of Buzz Lightyear for the original Toy Story back in the mid- '90s. But Crystal's pal Robin Williams had been feuding with Disney over publicity for Aladdin, and Crystal's manager advised him against voicing Buzz. "The biggest mistake I ever made in my life," Crystal calls it. "I voted [Toy Story] for Best Picture that year. Only thing I ever turned down that I felt [bad] about." 

    So Pixar didn't have to push too hard to snag Crystal as the voice of cyclopean beastie Mike, who, with his fluffy pal Sullivan (John Goodman), terrorizes kids via special portals linking their city, Monstropolis, to bedroom closets. While spooking a little girl, the boogey boys inadvertently leave the gateway open--and become unlikely adoptive parents after she follows them back to the scare factory."
     

  • Shrek re-released?

  • According to Dreamworks SKG Fansite, the studio might re-release Shrek to a limited number of theaters on November 2nd, against Pixar’s Monsters, Inc.
     
  • New Disney theme park in Beijing by 2008?

  • The Walt Disney Co. refused to confirm the Beijing Evening News report that it hopes to open a theme park in Beijing in time for the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Chinese newspaper said its information came from the Disney company itself. A Beijing Disney park would be China's second: Hong Kong Disneyland is set to open in 2005. Irene Chan, director of corporate communications for The Walt Disney Co. Asia-Pacific, refused to confirm the report but said: "Two theme parks in China is always a possibility. Our current focus is to concentrate on opening our park in Hong Kong."
     
  • Tintin and SnowyMore rumours about a Tintin CG feature and Dreamworks

  • It has been widely reported that Steven Spielberg was considering turning Tintin, the famous Belgian comic book character, into a CG animated movie. How I wish this rumour was true! What creator Hergé's heirs really stated to the Belgium press is that they loved Dreamworks' Shrek, and thought CGI was the way to animate Tintin. They are currently trying to get this project off the ground, but nothing more was said. On an unrelated note, Steven Spielberg did consider adapting the adventures of the famous Belgian reporter to the big screen in the 80s, which never happened. Let's keep our fingers crossed though!
     
  • U.S. Box-Office

  • Less than 3 weeks after its theatrical release, Osmosis Jones dropped to the 19th spot with less than $0.76 million on 1,262 screens.  Its total now stands at $12.4 million -for a rumoured budget of $75 million!...
     
  • Did you know that...

  • Don Bluth, Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy were all working at Disney in the late 70s when they first read Robert C. O'Brien's novel, "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH." They loved it so much that they urged the Disney Studios to turn it into an animated film. The idea was rejected and all three decided to leave the company, obtain the rights to the Award-winning book and create what would become The Secret of NIMH -and launch their own studio!
Tuesday - August 28, 2001
     
  • Web banner for 'Monsters, Inc.'Beauty and the Beast will celebrate its 3,000th performance tonight, thus becoming the twelth longest-running Broadway show of all time, and the longest-running American musical currently on Broadway! This week alone (during the dog days of August, no less), the hit musical grossed $736,472 and filled nearly 99 percent of its seats. 

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  • A new banner campaign just launched to promote Monsters, Inc.'s official site.

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  • A Special Edition of the Nightmare Before Christmas DVD hits U.S. stores today, and includes a commentary track by director Henry Selick, a making of documentary, deleted footage and two Tim Burton shorts.

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  • In an interview published in the latest French Premiere, Danny Elfman commented on his experience working on The Nightmare Before Christmas, and why he and Tim Burton didn't talk for a whole year after wrapping up the project: "I spent 2.5 years on this picture. I was producing, voicing half the characters, writting the songs and lyrics... I did my best not to sound like Disney and stay away from the standards of that kind of movies which I hate. Right after that project, I started working on Ed Wood. That's when Tim and I had a big argument. Looking back at it now, I realize that it was bound to happen: our relationship was too intense, too intimate, and I invested so much in The Nightmare Before Christmas... It had to explode! We swore we wouldn't talk to each other ever again. Tim and I, we're a bit like "dysfunctional" brothers. I actually fought several times with my own brother, swearing I wouldn't talk to him again. But it didn't last. Eventually, you always come back to your family. That's what happened with Tim. I met him one year later in a coffee shop in Kansas, where he was shooting Mars Attacks! We realized how stupid we had been, and we fell in each other's arms, and that was it!"

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  • Did you know that...   A prequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit, in which Tom Cruise attached to star, has been in development hell since 1992.  According to Variety, Alan Menken completed its score, described as an old-fashioned Busby Berkeley-style song-and-dance flick -which will probably never be released to the public. 
Monday - August 27, 2001
     
  • In a memo recently distributed internally to his marketing/publicity department, Brad Ball, WB Domestic Marketing President, partly blamed the failure of Osmosis Jones on its 2-D animation "in this day of CGI." This is yet another hint that traditional animation is entering a new era –a cyclic, normal pattern-, with studio execs temporary placing more hope in computer-animated features, in the light of Pixar's and Shrek’s success.

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  • The Walt Disney Co launched their Chinese Web portal late on Sunday. "This is just a great vehicle to expand our presence, " commented Mark Handler, executive VP.

  • Woody not too happy about his Antz experience...
  • The theme song for the Danish animated film Help! I'm A Fish, re-recorded for the international release by the teenage trio Little Trees, entered the UK Single Chart at #11!

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  • A special edition DVD of James and the Giant Peach hits U.S. stores tomorrow. Besides containing the stop-motion animated movie in both regular and widescreen mode, the DVD also offers a featurette on the movie and a James and the Giant Peach music video.

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  • "Animated Movies" is mentioned in today's edition of the great "Dark Horizons" site.

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  • Did you know that... Jeffrey Katzenberg talked Woody Allen into voicing Antz's main character by promising the famous director the experience would be a lot of fun and only require a day in the studio.  Woody later admitted he hated the job which dragged over a week and required him to read the same lines over and over again -two things he positively disliked.
Sunday - August 26, 2001
     
  • Dreamworks' animated feature Sinbad is rumoured to be back in development. According to a reliable source, the film's script is being re-written since Jeffrey Katzenberg would like to give it a more serious tone, instead of making it a mere comedy. Part of the team working on Sinbad has been supposedly fired or transferred to PDI following this production halt, and Dreamworks' plan would be to hire later on new animators with lower wages.

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  • ToonShooter Screenshot of 'Spirit'A new picture of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron appeared in an interesting article by Linux Journal.

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  • In other Spirit news, Dreamworks supposedly contacted both Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon to write its music, and Robert Redford to narrate the film. None of these artists' involvement has been officially confirmed yet.

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  • Motivated by the tremendous success of Shrek and commercial failure of The Road to El Dorado, as well as the lack of belief of Dreamworks in the business potential of their risky piece Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Jeffrey Katzenberg would have decided to focus on CG-features for now and slow down production on traditionally animated films -which would make sense, since no other drawn project has been announced after Sinbad, and...

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  • ... since DreamWorks' fourth production pipeline in Glendale, CA will enter production early next year and be devoted strictly to CG projects. The three existing production pipelines, Aardman in Bristol, England (claymation), PDI/DreamWorks in Palo Alto, CA (computer graphics) and DreamWorks traditional animation in Glendale, CA (traditional techniques), already each has the capacity to produce a major animated motion picture every 18 to 24 months. 

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  • Ouch! Disneyland just confirmed officially that the Country Bear Playhouse in California will close on September 9; it will be replaced by a Winnie the Pooh ride.  "We are constantly in the process of refreshing and updating our parks with new shows and attractions," said Cynthia Harriss, president of the Disneyland Resort. "The Country Bears have been a part of Disneyland for nearly 30 years, and we feel it is time we give our cast of bears a well-deserved rest and create a brand new attraction for our guests to enjoy." Word has it the Country Bears may be incorporated into a new restaurant attraction à la Chuck E. Cheese, but their look would be seriously revamped and updated to reflect the movie.

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  • On a sad note, 22-year old "Journey to the Past" performer Aaliyah died in a plane crash yesterday.  Our thoughts go to her family, friends and fans.

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  • Did you know that... Mary Poppins was originally conceived as an animated feature, but Australian author P.L. Travers refused to sell the rights to her books to Disney in these conditions, stating that she "could not conceive of Mary Poppins as a cartoon character."
Saturday - August 25, 2001
     
  • Mike and James, ready to scare you!The Monsters Inc. official site just received a major upgrade -not much there still, but enough to get us excited!!

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  • Even though Spirited Away just became the first non-American film to pass the $100 million mark this year, Disney is very hesitant about releasing more Miyazaki movies in the U.S., judging them too dark for the American audience, after the Princess Mononoke debacle. A real shame, but it would explain why Castle in the Sky, which has been dubbed by major American stars a couple of years ago, has only been shown since in a handful of film festivals... Read the Inside.com article for more info (thanks to Nausicaa.net for the heads up!). 

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  • Did you know that... Disney's animation team considered reusing Cruella, from the 1961 film 101 Dalmatians, in The Rescuers. But, keeping with Walt's traditions they decided to not rehash one of their characters, no matter how popular in a second full-length animated feature. However, you'll notice similarities between Cruella and Medusa -most, notably during the car scenes. 
Friday - August 24, 2001
     
  • Three new promo cards for Ice Age were unveiled at last week's Australian International Film Convention.

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  • Don Bluth and Gary Goldman will hold in-depth animation seminars in Toronto (September 15th and 16th) and San Francisco (on October 27th and 28th).

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  • Fans can get an advance look at the DVD menus for the upcoming Adventures of Wallace and Groomit at DVD Angle, and for the first season of The Simpsons at the Simpsons DVD Preview Page.

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  • Kathleen Freeman, who worked on many animated projects including the Ducktales TV Series (as the voice of Mrs. Crackshell), Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, Hercules and Shrek., died Thursday of lung cancer at the age of 78.

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  • In Kathleen's honor, a new page has been added for Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, in which she voiced one of the key characters.  This 1990 Japanese animated feature was written by Chris Columbus, features songs by the Sherman Brothers, and co-stars Mickey Rooney, June Foray and Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson's alter ego)!

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  • "Animated Movies" is mentioned in the great Dreamworks SKG Fansite today!

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  • Did you know that… As originally conceived, Osmosis Jones was only to have five minutes of live-action to frame the animation. Check out a full new "Behind the Scenes" article!
Thursday - August 23, 2001
 
  • DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenberg has announced that Madagascar and Shrek 2 will go into production simultaneously at PDI/DreamWorks.

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  • Coming Attractions provided more details about the Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron trailer: "It was shown at SIGGRAPH, and featured a panoramic shot of horses running in a western background. The background and the horses were clearly CG with a flat shading to make it look hand-drawn. The panel was about the use of Linux at Dreamworks. They are using Linux exclusively for this production." 

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  • Remembering Vincent Price...Excerpts from an interview of Tim Burton talking about The Nightmare Before Christmas has been added, in which he also talks about working for Disney. 

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  • And for those of you who would like to attend the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Evening at Disneyworld, Florida on October 3rd –rush over to MousePlanet for details!

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  • Did you know that… Shortly before his death, Vincent Price (1991-1993) said that one of his most favorite roles was the voice of Professor Ratigan in the Disney feature The Great Mouse Detective, especially since two original songs had been written for him.
  • Wednesday - August 22, 2001
       
    • Hank Azaria and Ja'Net DuBois have picked up this year's Emmys for voice-over performance for their work on Fox's The Simpsons and the WB Network's The PJs, respectively. The voice-over Emmy category is a juried award in which there are no nominations and a possibility of multiple winners.

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    • Two HUGE high resolution pictures of Monsters, Inc. are now available for download over at FilmForce!

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    • Hoping to repeat the amazing commercial success both Return to the Sea and Scamp’s Adventure received, Disney has announced plans to produce OAV sequels to every Disney classic that ever graced a silver screen.  Scary thought! As a reminder, Disney releases currently officially in the works include:
    • Dreamworks’ decision not to re-release Shrek in theatres this Fall, but instead launch a huge promotional campaign to push its 2-DVD set the day Monsters, Inc. opens is seen by many as a blatant attack against Pixar and Disney.

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    • Did you know that... with 12 million visitors a year, Notre Dame de Paris receives about as many guests as Disneyland Paris?
    Tuesday - August 21, 2001
       
    • Jeff Smith gives details on the demise of the animated Bone movie with Paramount/Nickelodeon, but remains optimistic about making an animated feature based on his comic.

    • Picture from the extended ending featured on the Shrek DVD!
    • Details have emerged for the first trailer of Dreamworks’ Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron!

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    • A Mighty Mouse CG animated feature is apparently in the works at Nickelodeon with action director John Woo rumoured to be involved in a producer capacity.

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    • Check out the Black Cauldron page for new pictures, including abandoned art!

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    • Animation rules this week in the U.K., where Help! I’m A Fish, Shrek and Cats & Dogs are all three in the top 10 grossing movies!

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    • Did you know that... the direct-to-video Little Mermaid 2 was one of 2000's top-10 highest grossing movies, including live-action and theatrical releases?

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    Monday - August 20, 2001
       
    • Please note: due to the growing size of this Animation Database, I had to split files between two servers.  You should be redirected automatically whenever necessary without noticing anything, but if a page doesn't load normally, please try refreshing it or report any broken link to me. Thank you for your patience and support!
    • The first photo of The Country Bears movie was published in Disney Magazine. (thanks to AICN for the scoop).
    • DreamWorks is hoping to build an annex of PDI in Glendale, CA by early next summer. Initially, the studio approached Fox about acquiring Blue Sky (Ice Age) but they turned down the idea. The PDI annex will be located on DreamWorks' Animation Campus where animators are currently wrapping up work on traditionally animated Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron.
    • Paul Dini confirmed at this past weekend's Wizard World that some scripts for a few Batman direct to video/DVDs have been greenlighted by Warner Bros. Also the uncut Return of the Joker disc is still quite likely to get a release.
    • The widow of comic book artist Hergé (the backwards initials for his real name, Georges Rémi) and her current husband Nick Rodwell, who both own the rights to the Tintin character, declared to the Belgium daily De Morgen that they had been very impressed by Shrek and realized that CGI was the way to animate the famous globe-trotting journalist.  They are currently negotiating a development deal with a production company to bring a CG Tintin to the big screen.  Interestingly enough, Steven Spielberg himself considered directing a film adaptation of Tintin a few years ago!
    • Walt Disney would have turned 100 years old next December.  To celebrate, « 100 Years of Magic » will kick in on October 1, 2001 with, for the first time ever, a daily parade spectacle in all four Walt Disney World theme parks –and this is just the beginning!
    Sunday - August 19, 2001
    • According to the Animation Archive, Disney is currently trying to buy the rights of  a children book by Dutch writer Godfried Bomans (1913-1971), very likely The Lady of the Lake. This story supposedly follows the adventures of a girl who tries to rescue the spoiled, rude prince she fell in love with after he gets locked up in a lake by an evil witch. If you are familiar with this book or project, please take a minute to email me more details!
    • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has set a December 19, 2001 deadline for submitting entry forms and prints for the first Oscar for feature-length animated films . It will be awarded on March 24, 2002 at the new Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland.
    • Though it seems unbelievable to say the least (considering that no one has officially signed on to the project yet, a first draft of the screenplay hasn't even been completed, and that a CGI film usually takes an average four years to produce!), the release date of Shrek 2 was reportedly moved up to July 3, 2002 -against Men In Black II, and The Powerpuff Girls. Isn't there a typo here?? Well Pacific Data Images supposedly decided to focus on this project and hold on to Tusker until 2003. I would take this with a grain... make that a full bottle... of salt!
    • Osmosis Jones will likely fail to make the top 10 movies this weekend, in only its second weekend of release. The Warner Bros film is expected to conclude its box office run with around $17 million -well under its production cost.
    • Bored this weekend? Why not rent the newly released Trumpet of the Swan, the story of a mute trumpeter swan, Louie, who is given the gift of a trumpet, and finds his voice with the help of a young boy. Based on one of E. B.White's children books (the other two being Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little), it features the voice talents of Reese Witherspoon, Jason Alexander, Seth Green, Mary Steenburgen, Carol Burnett, and Joe Mantegna. A box-office bomb, but a cute movie!
    Saturday - August 18, 2001
    • The 29th annual Annie Awards, honoring achievement in animation, will take place on November 10, 2001 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA. Nominations will be announced on September 10!
    • Producer Kevin Bannerman, a former Senior VP at 20th Century Fox Animation, said he had to tone scenes down in Ice Age. "We have definitely run into problems with violence in Ice Age and had to rethink a lot of the humor. The studio wants a G rating on the movie, and as a result we had to take some scenes out."
    Friday - August 17, 2001
    • For those interested, TriStar Pictures is set to release Metropolis, directed by Rintaro and written by anime legend Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira), in the U.S. on November 9. Based on the classic comic by Osamu Tezuka, the film is set in the futuristic city populated by humans and robots. Amidst the chaos created by anti-robot factions, detective Shunsaku Ban and his sidekick Ken-ichi are searching for rebel scientist Dr. Laughton, to arrest him and seize his latest creation, Tima, a beautiful young female android created to succeed the leader of Metropolis. The film is a combination of cel and digital animation.
    • Check out an interesting Osmosis Jones video interview with the Farrely Brothers at FilmForce.
    Thursday - August 16, 2001
    • "Stay tooned" by joining the Animated Mailing list using the form above!
    • Hayao Miyazaki's latest movie Spirited Away has already sold 8 million tickets in Japan 25 days after its release, grossing over $83 million at the box-office!
    • Don Bluth talks about the origins of the Dragon's Lair game!
    • Beware Shrek! Spain has just released Europe's very first feature-length 3D-animated movie, a very cool-looking family film called El Bosque Animado (The Living Forest).
    • Hayao Miyazaki will produce the next movie from Studio Ghibli, to be released in Summer 2002.  This 100-minute long feature is being directed by Hosoda Mamoru (DiGiMon), one of the most brilliant Japanese anime directors of the new generation.
    Wednesday - August 15, 2001
    • Don Bluth's next should be a feature-length Dragon's Lair animated film (thanks to AICN for the scoop).
    • Though plans for a TV series were dropped, a direct-to-video sequel to Atlantis is now in production!
    • Snapshot from the first 'Treasure Planet' trailerJohn Turteltaub has put Enchanted on the back burner to focus on another project, shortly after animation supervisor Eric Goldberg left Disney.  Work on this film will consequently likely resume before late 2002.
    • Check out an early review of Treasure Planet as well as comments from animator John Pomeroy on that upcoming Disney movie.
    • Take a tour of the new Disney Park, Tokyo DisneySea Mermaid's Lagoon, at the great MousePlanet site! 
    • Warner has just announced a 10/23 DVD release -a mere three month theatrical to video window- for the July hit Cats & Dogs. The DVD will include a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, English and French 5.1 surround tracks, two audio commentaries, the HBO First Look "The Making Of Cats & Dogs" special, a still gallery with storyboard-to-screen comparisons, a trivia game, filmographies and trailers. 
    • Lorenzo Music, the voice of Garfield the Cat, died of lung cancer last Saturday. He was 64 years old.
    • Check out the new pages for three unconfirmed Disney features, The Snow Queen, In Search of Mickey and Don Quixote.
    August 12 - August 14, 2001
    • Brad Bird's first project at Pixar will be The Invicibles!
    • The Snow White DVD will contain 15 hours of material -"the first truly immersive experience" according to Bob Chapek, president of Buena Vista Home Entertainment.
    • Due to its very disappointing opening at the box-office, plans for an animated series based on the Osmosis Jones movie are likely to be scratched.
    • Ice Age will be distributed exclusively by Fox starting March 22, 2001.
    • Read about the current status of Toy Story 3.
    • DreamWorks will be releasing a deluxe Shrek 2-disc DVD set on the same day that Monsters, Inc. hits theaters (which is not a normal release date for DVDs).  Audience testings for Pixar's Monsters, Inc. have been astronomical, ranking even higher than the audience tests for Toy Story.
    August 4 - August 11, 2001
    • Universal is fast-tracking an adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's book, Where the Wild Things Are,with Tom Hanks likely to voice one of the main characters.
    • Madonna, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and Jason Alexander all formally signed to Dreamworks' Madagascar project.  Madonna, who plays a New York hippo, already recorded at least part (if not all) of her role.
    • Disney is rumoured to be currently hard at work on an animated adaptation of the Rapunzel fairy tale.
    • I am very happy to say that this site was quoted in an AICN article last Monday! 
    • Check out the behind-the-scenes for The Sword in the Stone
    • A new writing team has been hired for the Tortoise vs Hare project
    • Brother Bear has been officially renamed Bears
    July 29 - August 4, 2001
    • Official site opening on 08/03/01!Shrek has now earned over $110 million internationally, and the film's worldwide gross should pass the $400-million mark within the next few weeks.
    • PDI/DreamWorks's next CGI-animated feature should be Shrek 2. Tusker, which was originally set for December 2002, has been postponed according to the Dreamworks SKG Fansite.
    • The official site for Beauty and the Beast's IMAX release opens on August 3rd.
    • The Dreamworks animated film Sinbad is now scheduled for a 2003 release date.
    • Read a review of the dubbed version of Castle in the Sky at the fantastic AICN site!
    July 22 - July 28, 2001
    • Aardman is rumoured to be switching gears to Wallace & Grommit Movie since Tortoise vs. Hare project is being delayed.
    • Check out the official cover for the Shrek DVD at the great Dreamworks Fan Site!
    • Disney is said to be so excited about the way The Country Bears is turning that they've hired scribe Paul Rugg to write the script for the follow-up film.
    • Some additional original Shrek animated content is currently being created just for the DVD format.
    • Spirited Away grossed $15.8 million in its opening weekend in Japan, breaking Princess Mononoke's record for an animated film's opening. Japanese distributor Toho said that the new film is likely to pass Mononoke's $157-million box office gross and even challenge the all-time record of $210.6 million set by Titanic!
    • Shrek 2 is tentatively scheduled for a December 19th, 2003 release while Sinbad should hit theatres in the summer 2004.
    • The Princess Diaries (August 3, 2001), Julie Andrews' first Disney movie since Mary Poppins, was shot, in part, on the same soundstage upon which Poppins was filmed nearly forty years ago. Comments Julie Andrews: "Of course the studio is so different now. Back then it was a little smaller and more charming. Back then you also walked everywhere, now it's so huge."
    • A teaser for Dreamworks' Spirit will premiere on the Shrek DVD.
    • Concept drawing for Aladdin's genie by Richard Vander WendeKD Lang already recorded one of the 3 songs completed by Alan Menken for Sweatin' Bullets
    • New pre-paintings, drawings and early character concepts were added to the pages of  The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Toy Story, Hercules and The Hunchback of Notre Dame , Mulan!
    • Lilo and Stitch will feature 6 Elvis Presley songs, including "Blue Hawaii", "Devil in Disguise" and "Hound Dog."
    July 15 - July 21, 2001
    • Check out a great 5-minute trailer for Spirited Away at Nausicaa.net
    • Read an interview with the screenwriter and producer of Osmosis Jones
    • The Country Bears Jamoree attraction in Disneyland will be moved and replaced by a Winnie the Pooh show later this summer
    • The plug was officially pulled on the Altantis spin-off series "Team Atlantis"
    • Spirited Away might by Hayao Miyazaki's last full-length animated movie: interview, poem and details!
    July 8 - July 14, 2001
    July 1 - July 7, 2001
    Huge thanks to Giangy for pointing out TERRIFIC pictures and logos for the following movies:
    June 24 - June 30, 2001
    • The rules to qualify for an Animation Oscar were unveiled this week
    • Andrew Adamson is in charge for combining all three stories of Terry Pratchett's Bromeliad Trilogy into one feature film
    • Haley Joel Osment and John Goodman (as Baloo) will provide voices for the sequel to The Jungle Book.
    • Check out the very originally formatted new trailer for Fox's Ice Age here!
    • A spin-off TV series for Atlantis is currently in development at Disney
     
    June 17 - June 23, 2001
    • More cast announced for Aardman's The Tortoise and The Hare as well as Disney's Brother Bear
    • The similarities between Atlantis and the Japanese series Nadia are indeed troubling
    • Check out a very exciting 2+-minute long trailer for Return to Neverlandhere!
    • A Jungle Book direct-to-video sequel in the works for a 2003 release
    • Get the details on the 2002 IMAX release of Beauty and the Beast
    • A direct-to-video sequel to Dumbo is currently in the works (sneak peek in the 10/01 DVD of the original)
     
    June 10 - June 16, 2001
    • Check out the official logo for Lilo and Stitch!
    • First poster for Ice Age
    • Atlantis opens this Friday nationwide in the US!
    • The trailer for Monsters, Inc is now available
    • The plot of the Madonna project Madagascar officially revealed by Jeffrey Katzenberg
    • More cast announced for Tusker -a project definitely NOT abandoned!
    • Spirited Away is the official English title for Hayao Miyazaki's new movie
    • The release date for Treasure Planet still unclear: will it be Christmas 2002 or Christmas 2003?

    I apologize for the problems you might have been experiencing lately trying to access this site.  Relying on a free provider to host a 200 Mb database proves tricky -but I should be moving to my own server early next year, so please bear with me! :)
    June 3 - June 9, 2001
     
    May 27-June 2, 2001
    May 20-26, 2001
    Saturday, May 12, 2001

    Due to problems with Xoom, I had to move the entire database -over 150 pages and 2,000 pictures, sounds and videos!- to FortuneCity over the past week.  Since that new server is also free, you might notice broken links -in most cases, all you have to do is reload the page you are viewing.  If it still doesn't work, please email me!

    PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT
     
     
      Andrew Adamson and Joe Stillman (co-directors of Shrek) started working on the CGI adaptation of Truckers, Diggers and Wings, by British author Terry Pratchett. Truckers, the first part of the trilogy to be animated by PDI/Dreamworks, follows the adventures of a group of nomes who live in a department store until it gets demolished. 
     

      The script of another Dreamworks project, based on an idea by Jeffrey Katzenberg himself, is currently being penned by Amy Holden Jones: "the exploits of a hip young bloodhound from the Ozarks while abroad in England. Through a stroke of luck, the quintessential American working dog winds up at an English manor with a family of royals, where he starts a new adventure-filled life."
     

      A cross-over between Disney's animated masterpiece and its German play adaptation, a live-action musical of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is currently in development at ABC.  If greenlit, it should premiere sometimes next year in "The Wonderful World of Disney".
     

      A second sequel to Fantasia is officially in the works at the Mouse House -wanna know more?
     

      Find out which stars are lending their voice to upcoming animated projects: Disney's Sweatin' Bullets and Brother Bear, or Dreamworks' Sinbad!


     

    RELEASES

      A teaserfor Hayao Miyazaki's latest project, A Thousand and Chihiros Spirited Away (working American title), is already available.  The movie gets its Japanese release this July!

      Ever heard of Help! I'm A Fish?  This Danish movie was a big hit in Scandinavia and is definitely worth checking out!  No US date announced yet.

      To celebrate Shrek's release next week, watch this cute behind-the-scenes if you haven't already!
     
     
    Help, I'm A Fish!
    An image from Disney's John Henry

    SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS

      Disney's animated short John Henry didn't get the attention it deserved, but it will on this site!

      Ever wondered how close to reality Don Bluth's movie was to the life of the real Anastasia?

      As Peter Pan 2 is in its final stage of production, learn more about the life of author James Barry.

      Read some fascinating interviews of Chuck Jones and animator Glen Keane!
     
     

    Please email me your updates, comments or suggestions!

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