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!


Anonymous said...

Critter Pix have been shopping the project around to various studios for consideration. The $$ for the teaser is so they can secure funding for the feature length version.

Anonymous said...

Just because you can make a "teaser" doesn't mean you can make a feature. As a matter of fact, making a teaser is just a WASTE of money. It's all in the storytelling, something a teaser won't fool anyone with.

Anonymous said...

" The $$ for the teaser is so they can secure funding for the feature length version."

Isn't that exactly what staloren said to begin with? *confused*

SpaceChimpLuvr said...

IMAGI doesn't necessarily create their own content. So far, they've either licensed or acquired properties like TMNT, Astroboy, and Gatchaman. You're right, IMAGI isn't a sweatshop run by some Nike execs. They 'produce' the films in-house but to say they 'create their own content' is a bit misleading. Maybe they will create something original in the future. Maybe even something not inspired by manga, gee whiz, imagine that.

Staloren said...

Your absolutely right Spacechimpluvr. As usual, I poorly articulated what I was thinking.

My thought process was that they simply weren't getting outsourced work like most Chinese animation studios that we hear about in the States. Rather, they were creating it themselves and outsourcing to themselves. Even if the source material is based on something that comes elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I saw Space Chimps this past weekend. My expectations were VERY low and I was actually pleasantly surprised. Of course the animation isn't anywhere close to a Pixar/DW/Blue Sky feature, but the movie did have a few genuine laughs, and Andy Samberg ended up being a good casting choice. Kristen Chenoweth (from Wicked) plays a very memorable and funny character.

I was fully prepared for this movie to suck badly -- and compared to Wall-E or KFP it does. But purely on story and joke value I don't think it's too far afield from Shrek 3 or and Ice Age 2. And considering it only cost like $40 million to make I think there's a good chance it will be profitable.

Just my .02.