Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Space Chimps, Failure during liftoff

Let's all give a big congrats to Space Chimps for that $7 million opening. I hate to kick something when it's down. But, given all the flak I've received via private email for my knocks on this movie, I think it is well deserved. Those in charge at this studio just don't get it.
On every movie they release, they can't resist the urge to advertise "from the makers of Shrek". How long are you going to ride those coat tails? Shrek is as old as dirt in the movie world. With all the flops, people are going to come to the conclusion that either you had nothing to do with Shrek's success or you got lucky. Time to re-evaluate what you're doing. Something is wrong with your formula!

Maybe they're trying to create a new niche. Lower budget movies that require less box office to be considered a success? That ain't happening either. These guys need to strip everything down and start fresh or just give it up entirely. Since they'll probably do neither, we can only expect more of the same.

It seems that most of the start ups trying to get on the CG feature bandwagon are rushing in and not really grasping what it takes to make a good movie. It all starts with story. Yeah, it's cliche. But true. I have a feeling there is just too much input by the monkeys (how fitting) that should be running the business, not the story department. The priority should be hiring very good writers and board artists and someone with a good track record to oversee them. Not some producer that should be sticking to gathering financing, making schedules, and working deals, but an honest to goodness creative.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Hello everyone, welcome to Tuesday. Prepare yourself for another of my posts that hits on several topics with little structure. Let's get to it!

From out of no where, comes a short blurb over at awn.com about CritterPix studios! I was sure that these guys died and fell off the face of the planet. They are showing remarkable tenacity as they continue to keep us entertained. Check my previous posts for more information about these guys. In a nutshell... Northern California studio sets up shop to create a CG movie called "Ollie the Otter". The hub bub was at an astronomical level with articles coming out left and right how they were the next Pixar. The publicist was working overtime on this one! Months go by and they seem to lose all momentum. People left or got laid off, not sure which, then you never heard anything from them. Now, from out of the bowels of bad movie ideas, they re-emerge announcing they received $1.2 million to create a teaser trailer. The idea is that it will be so fantastic that investors will jump in to fund the entire feature.

The Otter and his zany new friend, The Baked Halibut, warm up the big screen for the animated feature about the misadventures of a sea otter who makes courageous choices in the face of adversity, yet swims an overall humorous journey.

Either these investors are completely nuts, or they have too much money lying around. Just my opinion of course, but there are so many better ideas out there. A baked halibut character? That sounds sooo wrong. These investors have balls! I'm still convinced that this film will never get made. If it does, it will turn out something like this.

Seems that Blur is FINALLY getting a CG feature film. A long time coming. This company is one of my dark horse picks to do a film. It is only fitting that they are teaming up with Dark Horse Entertainment. How appropriate! The movie is called "The Goon" and is a comic that was created in 99. It has to do with ghosts, zombies, and various paranormal craziness. Is America ready for an animated movie like this? Not so sure myself, but who knows.

The former Christmas tree manufacturer (Imagi) has secured $40 million for future CG features. These guys are currently working on Astro Boy and Gatchaman. The new money will help develop 4 CG flicks between 2009 and 2011. Despite my hatred for outsourcing, I'm become pretty okay with Imagi because they are creating their own content and not simply an outsourcing whipping boy.

Wall-E released a little while ago and edged out KFP for the opening weekends. I'm now thinking that KFP will do better world wide when everything is said and done. Too bad DWA will run these characters into the ground with 15 sequels.

You know that studio I keep going on and on about that is supposed to be forming in LA? Well actually, I've purposefully kept my mouth shut about it because it seems to be more temperamental than my wife during her special time of the month. (Boy, I hope she doesn't read this blog!) I get an update every few weeks and although the guys running the show are really optimistic, I've become more and more skeptical about it. They've been through the wringer and even though they are so close they just want to scream, it doesn't seem to be making that last step. I guess raising just under a billion dollars is a little more difficult than opening a checking account at Well Fargo. I will say that all the puzzle pieces except the very last seem to be in place. If nothing happens in another month, I'm going to give up on it.

And Lastly...

Hallelujah! Space Chimps opens very soon. Everyone get ready for the best animated experience of your life!