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Saturday - March 10, 2001
- LA Times: "Scale Down Animated Bad Guys"
- Katzenberg - "Shrek is State of the Art"
- Warner Bros. Stands Behind Pokemon Franchise
- News Link of the Day - Not So Hip Chick Spoils CyberWorld

LA Times: "Scale Down Animated Bad Guys!"
(by The Friday edition of the Los Angeles Times contains an article by Charles Solomon titled "Scale Down the Bad Guy in Kids' Animated Films". In the article, Solomon speculates that animation studios need to stop creating oversized unrealistic threats like the avalanche that threatens the characters in The Tigger Movie, the virus threatening to destroy the Web if the characters of The Digimon Movie can't stop it, etc.

The article asserts, "By pumping up the threats, the filmmakers' concepts violate the worlds of the original programs."

The article states that overstating the threats also weakened both Pokemon movies where the team has to fight to save the world from major threats, versus the TV series, which is more true to the characters.

The only movie series the article could name that has not "caved in" to this syndrome is both Rugrats movies.

The conclusion of the article is that TV animated series present characters more true to daily form (i.e. Disney's Recess kids have ordinary school problems solved in creative ways) versus their movie counterparts (i.e. Disney's Recess movie has the same kids facing a gang of Ninjas).

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Katzenberg - "Shrek is State of the Art"
(by In introducing Shrek at the ShoWest screening of the animated film, Jeffrey Katzenberg stated the following: "Shrek represents a benchmark in computer animation and it will be state-of-the-art for about a minute and a half--that's how quickly things are changing." In addition, Katzenberg called Shrek the "first animated fairy tale".

Shrek was animated by DreamWorks subsidiary PDI. Prior to the acquisition of PDI a year ago, DreamWorks had a co-production deal with the animation FX company, much like Disney's deal with Pixar. The studio is now officially referred to as PDI/DreamWorks. In addition to an animation feature division, PDI also has a commercial division and an FX division.

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Warner Bros. Stands Behind Pokemon Franchise
(by Acknowledging that it isn't as hot as it was a few years ago, Warner Bros. has announced that it will continue to stand behind the Pokemon franchise, which is still bringing it a lot of viewers. This includes new TV projects and the continued importing of Pokemon movies from Japan to the U.S. Pokemon 3 (click here for the trailer) hits theaters on April 6, 2001. With the film less than a month away, promotions have been very light. There is not an official site dedicated to the film and the only officially released trailer is actually just a teaser.

On the TV end, WB is showing its continued faith in the series by ordering 52 episodes of a Pokemon spinoff series titled "Pokemon: Johto League Champions." This isn't to be confused with "Pokemon: The Johto Journeys" currently airing strong on Saturday mornings, particular with kids up to age 11.

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News Link of the Day - Not So Hip Chick Spoils CyberWorld

According to The Sacramento Bee:

"OK, let's get this out of the way right now: Cyber chicks are no longer hip, edgy or futuristic. They are, like you know, sooo 1999. Heck, they're really sooo 1997 -- 1996 even.

That said, the computer-generated 'star' of the new IMAX film CyberWorld is our only real quibble with an otherwise outstanding visual panoply. Voiced by Jenna Elfman (from TV's 'Dharma & Greg'), the film's 'saucy and synthetic' hostess, Phig, is one of those kick-butt kinds of cyber heroines that's designed with Barbie doll proportions and charged with loads of attitude. She's super sexy, she's super tough... she's super annoying..."

[editor's note: CyberWorld just started playing in Sacramento, which is why the reviewer refers to it as "new" even though it has been out for nearly a year.]

Click here for the full story.

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These news articles and all content are ©copyright 2001 by Joe Tracy and may not be reused for any purpose without expressed written consent of the author and Digital Media FX. All rights reserved.

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