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Wednesday - May 30, 2001
- Shrek Now Highest Grossing Non-Disney Animated Film Ever!
- Mickey Mouse Storyboard Up for Auction Again
- Exile Films Approaches DreamWorks About BloodQuest Movie
- News Link of the Day - Big Bad Bugs Wascaly Wabbit a Wacist?

Shrek Now Highest Grossing Non-Disney Animated Film Ever!
(by In just 11 days, Shrek has become the highest grossing non-Disney animated film ever by bringing in $111.7 million at the domestic box office. Shrek easily passed last year's hit Chicken Run, which brought in $106.8 million. PDI / DreamWorks animated production now heads for the Top 10 Highest Grossing Animated Films of all time list, which is made up only of Disney and Pixar movies.

"Shrek has the kind of widespread appeal that has made it a must-see film for not only families but all moviegoers," says DreamWorks head of distribution, Jim Tharp. "We are thrilled that both critics and audiences have embraced Shrek, and expect strong word of mouth to carry it throughout the competitive summer season."

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Mickey Mouse Storyboard Up for Auction Again
(by The International Museum of Cartoon Art's quest to sell a "Plane Crazy" Mickey Mouse storyboard has taken a new twist since Digital Media FX's first and second reports on the subject. Appraised at over $3 million, the storyboard recently auctioned for only $800,000. A problem with the bidder's verification, however, has resulted in the original storyboard (by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney) once again being put on the auction block.

Here's a description of the storyboard:

Page 1 of 6 of the Storyboard"Comprised of thirty- six frames on six pages, the continuity sketches for Plane Crazy are the first known conceptualizations of Mickey Mouse. Measuring approximately 9 inches by 12 inches, each sheet is divided into six rectangular sections, each of which is numbered one through thirty-six in the upper right corner. Various other numbers and production notations are scattered throughout. Apart from working stains and erasures, the recto of each of the drawings is clean, intact, and stable. Some pages have additional poses and sketches in the borders, while one page includes a sketch on the verso. Most experts concur that the use of storyboards was invented at the Disney studio. Although at Disney storyboards didn't come into general use until 1933, the Plane Crazy story sketches of 1928 are a clearly a precursor to the full-fledged storyboards that would become a staple of the cinematic process.

These sketches were typical of the format in which stories would thereafter be presented at Disney. Once the panels were drawn, Disney marked his directions for animation. Checks, double checks, numbers, lined numbers, circled numbers, numbers in different colors--all of these marks held significant meaning as to how the film would be animated. An 'X' or 'Cut' was written to note a deletion, long and close shots were noted by the hand of Disney as well. The drawings are remarkable not only for their astounding historical significance, but for their aesthetic appeal as well. Reflecting both the talents of the artist and the director, they are beautifully drafted and overwhelmingly charming."

The auctioneers are claiming that the storyboard is "quite possibly the Holy Grail of cartoon art." The new auction is set for June 8, 2001.

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Exile Films Approaches DreamWorks over BloodQuest Movie
(by A group of animators and executives at visual effects studio Exile Films have approached DreamWorks for possible funding and distribution of an all-CGI movie it is working on called BloodQuest, which brings the Warhammer 40,000 universe to life.

Exile Films describes BloodQuest as follows:

"In a universe without hope, there are still heroes... Captain Leonatos and his Blood Angels must return to save Sekundar from certain destruction after an absence of ten thousand years. Both more and less than human, these bio-engineered near-immortal warriors must strive to contain the bloodlust that is the legacy of the flawed genetic seed from which they were created. Aloof and proud, they will yet learn to respect the desperate struggles of the local warriors with whom they must ally to defeat the hideous foes set against them."

The first draft of the screenplay has already been completed by Gordon Rennie, who also wrote a novel based on the same name.

Exile Films is aiming for a PG-13 rating with BloodQuest and says that the absolute earliest a film may be released is late 2002.

Results of talks between DreamWorks and Exile Films have not been released.

Click here to see a test clip from the movie (no sound).

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News Link of the Day - Big Bad Bugs Wascaly Wabbit a Wacist?

According to The New York Post:

"Maybe the people who made the Bugs Bunny cartoons were a bunch of racists.
You ever think of that?

How else can you explain all the ethnic stereotypes in the old cartoons?…"

Click here for the full story.

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