Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Press Release: Sony Pictures Animation Unveils Updated Production Slate

Culver City, CA, March 11, 2014 – Sony Pictures Animation today gave an update on their lineup of upcoming projects—which includes the animated motion picture debut of a classic comic strip figure, an original tale from one of the form’s most multi-faceted filmmakers, as well as the continued expansion of two of the studio’s most popular worlds.

Bob Osher, President of Sony Pictures Digital Productions, states, “I am really excited by the variety of our upcoming projects as well as the amazing talent working on them.”

·            Sony Pictures Animation has hired animation industry veteran Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2, Gnomeo & Juliet) to direct an all new, fully computer-animated film featuring the world’s most popular blue creatures. The family adventure, currently going by the working title The Untitled Smurfs Movie, is anticipated in theaters August 2015. Jordan Kerner (The Smurfs) is producing, with Mary Ellen Bauder (Hotel Transylvania) co-producing.  The original two live action/CG hybrid Smurfs movies from Sony Pictures Animation grossed a combined $910 million worldwide.

·            Genndy Tartakovsky will return to the director’s chair for Hotel Transylvania 2, , scheduled for September 2015, which will bring back Adam Sandler’s Dracula.  Sandler and Robert Smigel are taking on writing duties for the comedy.

·            The ├╝ber prolific Genndy Tartakovsky is also busy working an all-new CG take on the comic strip hero, Popeye, all the while developing an original idea for Sony Pictures Animation titled Genndy Tartakovsky’s Can You Imagine?, described as a fantastic journey through one boy’s imagination.  Producer Michelle Murdocca will once again work closely with Tartakovsky.

Kelly Asbury, who was nominated for the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or for Shrek 2, offers, “I'm really excited about taking the Smurfs in a completely new fresh direction. We're not making a Smurfs 3 film. Our character designs and environments will be stylistically closer to the original artwork created by Peyo. Our story will explore the beginnings of the beloved little blue creatures in a fun full CG animated comedy-adventure for every generation to enjoy.

13-time Emmy Award nominee Tartakovsky himself says, “It’s good to be back at the Hotel Transylvania, and I’m very excited to work on Popeye, a character that I’ve loved since I was a kid. I'm also looking forward to developing an entirely new and original animated feature here at Sony Pictures Animation.  This is an exciting time for me and for the studio.”

Michelle Raimo Kouyate, the President of Production for Sony Pictures Animation, is working closely with filmmakers on those projects while overseeing an extensive development slate for the animation studio.  Imagery and animation on all Sony Pictures Animation films will be provided by Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Sony Pictures Animation (SPA) produces a variety of animated entertainment for audiences around the world.  Last year’s hybrid live action/animated family blockbuster The Smurfs 2 and mouth-watering adventure Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2—the follow-ups to its two global comedy hits—together grossed more than $600 million worldwide; both titles are now available on Blu-ray/DVD.  In 2013, Sony Pictures Animation also released a brand new mini-movie on DVD and television, The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow.  The studio’s 2012 monster release, Hotel Transylvania, went on to earn more than $350 million in box office worldwide. The division, whose first feature film Open Season led to a very successful movie franchise, received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature Film for its 2007 release, Surf's Up.  SPA, in conjunction with Aardman Animations, has produced two critically acclaimed feature films:  the CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas; and the Academy Award® nominated stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, The Pirates! Band of Misfits.  Sony Pictures Animation is an operating unit of Sony Pictures Digital.

·         Website:
·         Facebook:
·         Twitter:!/sonyanimation
·         Tumblr:
·         YouTube:

Click for larger image

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Brain Divided

From Gentle to Mental

It's been a whole month and a half since my last post so it's time for a random animated short. I'm always interested in seeing shorts reach their full potential audience, and back in the Animated News days I was working privately on a spinoff project called Animated Shorts, to help give a showcase to the many deserving short animated films out there. A Facebook friend just posted this and it has pretty good production values for a student project, a well-paced and well-constructed storyline, a stinger of an ending, a female lead somewhat reminiscent of Vanessa Bloome from Dreamworks Animation's Bee Movie, and a male lead reminiscent of Remy from Pixar's Ratatouille. It even has a Facebook page with links to more related material, such as a Directors Interview. Cartoon Brew already knew about it but every once in a while I miss a post there. Watch it and help it make it to the 5 million views milestone (or watch it at Vimeo if you're the egalitarian type that knows YouTube is not the only way to watch online video):