Blue Sky And Peanuts: It’s Not the End of the World

Via: Peanutsblog

The news broke earlier on today that FOX subsidiary Blue Sky is tackling Charles Schultz’s classic Peanuts strip in an all-new feature film. The alarm hence raised, many proclaimed the end of a classic property, the smearing of Schultz’s memory and the surety with which the eventual film will suck. The A.V. Club weighed in by pointing out the hilarity of the press release in declaring a feature film possible at this point in time thanks to the current state of technology.

But enough about the armchair commentators, what does the deal really signify?

For starters, Schultz’s estate is not short of cash. Peanuts characters (particularly Snoopy) continue to abound in merchandise and the various books continue to sell. The seasonal specials are a staple of American television and air religiously on an annual basis.

The few features that were made by Bill Melendez back in the day are less well known today (although they’re still readily accessible in my mind, as my 4th of July post exemplifies) so what it comes down to is the Schultz estate’s desire to implant the Peanuts legacy into a new generation of youngsters for whom the beloved characters do no not hold the same level of nostalgia that they do for older folks.

Now the estate has some control over the look and nature of any theatrical project but their choice of Blue Sky is an interesting one. The details remain secret, but FOX may have been willing to pay the highest royalties or percentage of profits. On the other hand, now that FOX has a distribution deal with DreamWorks, it has to find a suitable use for Blue Sky outside of the Ice Age franchise.

I am skeptical that we will see a 3-D CGI version of the Peanuts characters. By all accounts we should have seen them already seeing as plenty of other classic characters have already undergone the transformation (Rocky & Bullwinkle and Scooby Doo spring to mind). Might Blue Sky surprise us with a CGI-assisted 2-D version? Disney’s Paperman short suggests that the technology exists in some form.

So let’s not count the chickens before their hatched. The film is not due for a couple of years yet so we’ll just have to hold our breath until the first glimpses emerge. What is known though, is that the Schultz estate has a proven track record of asserting the necessary control over Peanuts-related projects to ensure they maintain a suitably high standard.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, check out the groovy title sequence from the 1972 feature, Snoopy Come Home:



Michael Sporn Needs To Kickstart An Animated Film on Edgar Allan Poe

Independent animator and widely respected blogger, Michael Sporn announced on Wednesday his plan to use Kickstarter to fund a feature-length film on Edgar Allan Poe. Michael is hoping to raise $21,500 and in the space of only a few days has manged to raise almost a quarter of that!

This project serves as a reminder that animation is much more than just the big boys. Independent projects like this are (in my opinion) the future as traditional channels become obsolete thanks to the internet. The connection of creators and fans is becoming ever stronger and the best way to show your support for a project like this is to fund it, and for as low as $5, for a lot of folks, that’s less than a Starbucks coffee!

Embedded below is the video on the Kickstarter site. Watch it before heading over and pledging to a great project.

Making An Animated Feature Film With Elliot Cowan

All-round nice chap Elliot Cowan, known to his legions of fans around the world as the creator of Boxhead and Roundhead, has embarked on the formidable task of creating a feature film featuring the quirk duo.

Below is the video he recently posted detailing how exactly he manages to squeeze making a film into his already hectic day. Besides making us all appear instantly lazy, it’s all done in Elliot’s very affable Australian way.

Don’t forget to stay up do date with the obligatory Facebook page!

The Four Animated Movies of 2012 That I Can’t Wait To See

I’ve used Cartoon Brew’s list as a guide for this:

  1. The Secret World of Arriety – The latest offering from Studio Ghibli; goes without saying
  2. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax – The future missus wants to see this because Taylor Swift is in it. I’m not going to object.
  3. Brave – Pixar’s latest, how will it’s Scottishness hold up nest to HTTYD
  4. Hotel Transylvania – The concept art is awesome and Genndy Tartakovsky is behind it. This should be good