"The Latest Fine Tooning"

2006
Feb
8

A lot of people with fond memories of all the Curious George books are dreading the almost-here release of the Curious George Movie, between the not-quite-true-to-the-original animation style, the attention given to voice performers Will Farrell and Drew Barrimore (neither of whom portray George, who does NOT have any spoken lines but a variety of ‘monkey noises’ vocalized by animation veteran Frank Welker – misspelled on the official website as Frank Walker -see?) and the fear of marketing-saturization-overexposure-abuse, which is born out by a story about product placement in the movie.

Apparently, a deal with Dole will have George stickers on their supermarket bananas as well as cases of Dole branded fruit showing up in the backgrounds during the movie. The Man in the Yellow Hat will drive a recognizable Volkswagen Touareg, and when you see a mailman and a mail truck in the movie with the U.S. Postal Service logo, they paid for it.

But most of the news from the Animation Front is positive (can’t call ’em Cartoons anymore now that newspaper caricatures of prophets dominate the Google searches for that word). The long-threatened “Toy Story 3” that Disney was going to produce without Pixar is, now that Pixar is a part of Disney, in the right hands.

And the Wallace and Grommit Movie “Curse of the Were-Rabbit” swept the 33rd Annual ‘Annie’ Awards days before its release on DVD. (Yes, that’s an Amazon Associates link; if you want to buy the DVD and haven’t yet you can use that to save 40%+ AND send Wendell a few referral pennies.) Meanwhile, W&G’s parental units at Aardman Animation have announced that they’ve sold CBS an American version of “Creature Comforts”, the ingenious little concept that won an Oscar(TMAMPAS) for Best Animated Short way back in ’89, and which more recently has been fleshed out into a very funny weekly show in AlmostGreat Britain (in fact, right now it’s one of the best things on the BBC America cable channel, even though it’son a non-Beeb channel in the UK). Also available on DVD in the USA.(yes, another Amazon link, he fully disclosed)

And of course you’ve already heard about the revival of “Futurama” in a batch of 4 -count ’em 4- direct to DVD feature-lengthers (OK, animated ‘feature length’ is usually between 60 and 90 minutes…). You HAVE heard about it, haven’t you? No? Well you can bite my shiny metal ass, or you can buy all the old DVDs. Then I’ll be willing to speak to you again. Harrumph.

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