Phineas and Ferb meet Marvel Superheroes… LOL WUT?

Production is now underway on “Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel,” an animated adventure that will assemble characters from two hugely popular franchises, Disney’s “Phineas and Ferb” and Marvel’s iconic Super Heroes:  Spider-Man and The Avengers (Iron Man, Thor and Hulk).  The epic television event, premiering in summer 2013 on Disney Channel, will mark the first crossover animated television special for Marvel and Disney properties.  Working closely with Marvel’s creative team, “Phineas and Ferb” creators and executive producers Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh are designing Marvel’s Super Heroes and Super Villains including Red Skull, Whiplash, Venom and M.O.D.O.K. to fit the Danville world of the Emmy Award-winning series.

Spidey Round Up

Remember my previous post on Ultimate Spider-man? I now take all that back. Why? One word: Spider-cyle…

That and this show is just unbelievably annoying! They can’t go 30 seconds without breaking the 4th wall and talking to you! The show is WAY to crowded with characters and villains you just don’t care about. To be fair I can’t find fault in the talent behind the show. They’ve got some great people working on it. But again, I can hear some stupid executive saying, “We gotta give Spidey a cool motorcycle and make Aunt May cooler! And have more cool gadgets he can use!” I’m gonna vomit. And the story is literally going nowhere fast. And yes, you can take both the nowhere and the fast part VERY literally.

I watched it today only because I was stuck at home sick. Afterwards, I had to cleanse my mind by watching Spectacular Spider-man again. And it made me even more upset that there’s no season 3… So I googled it like ya do…

Here’s what Greg Weisman said,

Greg responds…

Marvel DIDN’T cancel it.

It’s all very complicated, and we were certainly the recipients of bad corporate luck, but no single company cancelled the series. We just wound up with a situation where no single company could proceed with it.

I’ll try to break it all down:

1. Sony had originally produced SpecSpidey as part of their overall entertainment license of the Spidey property (which of course included the extremely lucrative live action films).

2. But in order to win some concession on those live action feature films, Sony returned the animation rights to the character back to Marvel.

3. So now only Marvel could produce a Spider-Man cartoon. Sony no longer could, which meant SpecSpidey couldn’t continue at Sony.

4. I have no idea whether Marvel was interested in continuing Spectacular Spider-Man or not. But let’s assume for the sake of argument that they would have liked to.

5. They couldn’t.

6. Why? Because Sony owned all the specific elements (designs, storyline, etc.) to the SpecSpidey VERSION of Spider-Man. So Marvel would have had to license all that BACK from Sony.

7. You can imagine how unlikely THAT scenario was. Marvel finally gets the rights back to do an animated version of their marquee character, and then they have to pay Sony to do it instead of just starting from scratch. That was never going to happen.

8. Of course, all this was complicated by the fact that Disney purchased Marvel, and Disney and Sony are direct competitors.

9. And I’m sure Marvel was excited to put their own stamp on an animated Spider-Man. Who could blame them?

10. So that was it. We were toast through no fault of our own. The folks at Marvel, Sony and even Disney all seemed to like our show, but the corporate mess made it impossible for us to continue.

11. And, yes, it is a bummer. (For me, at least.) But it’s no single person or single company’s fault. It’s just how things shook out.

12. And finally, though I have no involvement with the upcoming Ultimate Spider-Man, you can’t deny that a lot of great people have worked on it. There’s no reason to think it won’t be as good or better than SpecSpidey. To a certain generation, SpecSpidey will always be THEIR Spider-Man cartoon. But to a new batch o’ viewers, I’m sure their Spidey of choice will be the Ultimate.

There may still be hope though. Maybe if enough sign the petitions… Well, it can’t hurt. So sign!
http://www.petitiononline.com/petitions/ss3w3625/signatures?page=1
http://www.change.org/petitions/marvel-bring-back-the-spectacular-spider-man
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-back-the-spectacular-spiderman-for-a-third-season/261337810583530

In other news there is also a major motion picture reboot… ya mighta herd of it…

I’ll keep it brief. I liked it overall better than the previous movies. Mainly because of the intimate realistic take. There were some flaws. I would have taken more cues from the aforementioned animated series in terms of setting up future characters. Peter’s journey as a hero wasn’t quite as moving as Raimi’s take. But it was at least very emotional. I also thought it was too melodramatic at times. It just seemed a bit forced; especially the soundtrack. But at least Garfield pulled some funny quips that were missing from the Raimi films. I’m looking forward to see where the new series takes us. At least this helps makes up for the disaster that is Ultimate Spider-man.

Looney Tunes CGI

This came out a while ago, but I finally found it on YouTube. It’s a Looney Tunes CGI short using a song Mel Blanc recorded before he died. It’s nice to hear his voice again. I’m impressed with the animation. They really did their homework on this one. They even created some new CGI techniques to mimic what the old animators like Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng and Bob Clampett did. You can also find a couple of Roadrunner Shorts they made before this on YouTube as well.

According to this interview on AWN, Jay Redd says “I grew up on the Road Runner cartoons like everyone else and so being able to take Chuck Jones’ work into three dimensions was an honor, and also a huge challenge. To not just make 3-D versions of the characters, but to inhabit the spirit of the way Chuck Jones’ work was done. When you start deconstructing the work that he and his animators did, there are all sorts of things that are happening in-between frames, and in-between cuts. How would you recreate that stuff in three dimensions? Working with the Reel FX team, we developed a bunch of different methods for creating, say, motion blur in 3D, without using “motion blur”. In a Chuck Jones drawing, you might have six versions of a hand going by made out of paint strokes. How could we actually make that happen in stereo?”

Basically, most people would have incorporated real motion blurs for fast movements. But to keep to the spirit of Looney Tunes (and animation IMO) they actually created different models for the motions blurs so the characters have the hand-drawn feel.

Daffy’s Rhapsody is also on YouTube but it’s a recording from a camera in a theater. It’s a really good short, but I hope it comes out on DVD soon.

The Legend of Korra – Season One Recap

No new Korra today… so sad. Time to post my thoughts on its first season.

First of all, Korra probably has the best television animation I’ve ever seen! No joke. It’s movie quality. In fact, it’s better than a lot of movies. It has all attention to detail balanced with cool stylization that anime has, with all the complex movements that American animation has. It’s the best of both worlds.

Unfortunately, I believe the characterizations and character development suffered a lot in comparison to Avatar. While the first season of Avatar had a lot of character development, but little plot, I felt Korra had a lot of plot, but little character development. This is sad because it’s one the the things that made Avatar such a great show. It’s the sam pitfall the movie fell into. Fortunately, Korra was no where near that bad and was still a decent show. And like Avatar in its second season found a better balance, let’s hope Korra does the same. Your thoughts?

Madagascar 3 Review

Be afraid.

So you may have noticed Madagascar 3 got considerably good reviews this weekend. I have to say first, that I was not a fan of the first movie, but I really enjoyed the second. That being said, I think this was my least favorite.

Plot
If it wasn’t already painfully clear, there was no reason for another sequel. Dreamworks has begun to milk its cash cows. So it begins. Even though I already knew this, I was still surprised at the lack of continuity from the previous movie. There is no believable reason for these characters to want to go back to New York. The pacing is also too fast.

Comedy
Obviously the biggest element of this movie. Although many of the gags are very creative and funny, they suffer from being too fast-paced and often to over-the-top compared to the previous movies. A major gag (and plot point) in the movie involves the Russian tiger jumping through a hoop the size of a ring. This would have been a hilarious gag if it hadn’t been drawn out to the beyond-absurd-point. Once you actually have time to think about it becomes increasingly less funny to where you just ask yourself, “Why?”
Another complaint: while there were some mild innuendos in the previous movies, this one had a few over-the-top, off-color gags as well. I could hear most of the audience groaning more than laughing.

Music
Hans Zimmer. Nuff said.

Animation
I’ve always loved the character designs in these movies. The actual animation was my favorite part. As you’d expect Dreamworks Animation is beginning to rival that of Pixar. The circus scenes were my favorite, with beautiful, abstract visuals, creating lighting, music, and choreography.

Acting
The acting is great of course. Dreamworks always has a good cast, and Madagascar has made better use of its celebrity actors than most of their other movies. My complaint though, is that the fake European accents are painfully irritating. I seriously wanted to cover my ears.

The Story
My biggest complaint is with the story. Aside from there being no good reason for this movie to exist, it’s unbearably cliched. It’s nothing you can’t see everyday on Nickelodeon. It really offers nothing new. And  it’s so over-the-top that any take-away is left buried under an unholy plethora of gags. And if there is a take-away, it’s a pretty terrible one. The whole “message” (if you can even call it that) of the movie is that you can do anything and defy all odds and even do the physically impossible. Why? Well, they never really got to that part. You just can. This may sound good on the surface, but think about it for a second. The psychically impossible? Isn’t inherent impossibility something you want to avoid? Now, I know you’re already thinking about things like space travel and such. And yes, you should strive to set your mind on your goal. But I’m reminded of a certain high school commencement speech from this past week.

That’s right. You’re not special. This is a message we don’t, but need to hear often. I believe more that our true strength can only be achieved by first acknowledging our genuine limitations. Sometimes we just need to let go and acknowledge what we can’t do. And that’s okay. Then we can move forward and fulfill our true destiny. When I am weak, I am strong. Conversely, when I am strong, I am weak.
Need more proof? Think about this and go watch another Dreamworks title that I believe gets this profound message across: Kung Fu Panda (one of my favorites).