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Check Out a Wreck-It Ralph Character Guide

Check Out a Wreck-It Ralph Character Guide | Animation News |

Walt Disney Pictures has revealed quite a few new images from their upcoming Wreck-It Ralph, including the comprehensive character guide that you can check out below, showcasing each of the film's four main "levels." 

The film, hitting theaters November 2nd follows Ralph (John C. Reilly), a video game villain who is is tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer), the "good guy" star of their game who always gets to save the day. But after decades doing the same thing and seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides he's tired of playing the role of a bad guy. He takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he's got what it takes to be a hero.

On his quest, he meets the tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch) from the first-person action game Hero’s Duty. But it’s the feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, whose world is threatened when Ralph accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens the entire arcade. Will Ralph realize his dream and save the day before it’s too late?


-Wreck-It Ralph: Bad Guys Finish Last:
Ralph is a heavy-handed wrecking' riot with a heart. For 30 years—day in, day out—he's been doing his job as “The Bad Guy” in the arcade game Fix-it Felix Jr. But it's getting harder and harder to love his job when no one seems to like him for doing it. Suffering from a classic case of Bad-Guy fatigue and hungry for a little wreck-ognition, Ralph embarks on a wild adventure across an incredible arcade-game universe to prove that just because he's a Bad Guy, it doesn't mean he's a bad guy.

-Surge Protector: The One with the Clipboard:
With the duties of a high school hall monitor and the officiousness of a mall rent-a-cop, this straight-laced civil servant is more hassle than help. But electrical voltage spikes are no laughing matter.

-Q*Bert: Unplugged:
Q*Bert, whose game was long ago unplugged, spends most of his time in Game Central Station, the travel hub for all arcade-game characters—and the unfortunate “home” to those whose games are over.

-Coily: Bouncing Purple Snake:
Once the bouncing purple villain in the Q*Bert arcade game, Coily finds himself hanging with his former adversary in Game Central Station after their game is unplugged.

-Neff: Purple’s the New Black:
As “Altered Beast’s” resident evil wizard, Neff is a natural for the Bad-Anon meeting roster.

-M. Bison: The Eyes Have It:
A uniformed villain from “Street Fighter,” M. Bison tames his bad-guy habits at Bad-Anon.

-Zangief: Not a Bad Guy:
Zangief, the muscle-bound, hairy-chested, Mohawked wrestler from “Street Fighter,” is a regular at the Bad-Anon meetings.


-Fix-It Felix Jr.: The All-Around Good Guy:

Felix is the popular star of Fix-It Felix Jr. and Niceland’s hammer-wielding maintenance man who’s beloved by all. When he is not busy fixin’ all of Ralph’s wreckin’, this gold-medal-winning good guy is being showered with kisses, praise and pies from his tenants. Hardwired for niceness, anything other than being “The Good Guy” just doesn’t compute.

-Gene: Pint-Sized Party Planner:
Gene is the blocky, pint-sized leader of the Nicelanders—the window-filling victims of Ralph's destruction in the game Fix-It Felix Jr. Like his fellow apartment residents in peril, Gene worships Felix and despises Ralph. In his spare time, Gene plans cocktail parties, but is always sure to leave Ralph off the guest list: To Gene, Ralph's just a bad guy and that's all he'll ever be.

-The Nicelanders: Apartment-Dwelling Residents in Peril:
When they aren’t playing the victims in Fix-It Felix Jr., the Nicelanders live to worship Felix and criticize Ralph. Responsible for baking power-boosting pies to aid the good guy’s in-game mission, the fawning fans of Felix spend their free time planning cocktail parties— but they are always sure to leave Ralph off the guest list. These blocky, pint-size window dwellers, including Gene, Roy and Mary, can’t seem to get past Ralph’s title—and the wreck-less behavior that goes with it. Nothing short of a heroic miracle could convince them to include Ralph in their lives.


-Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun: One Mean Space Marine:
In the sci-fi battle zone of Hero’s Duty, Sergeant Calhoun is more than just a pretty face—she is the tough-as-nails, take-charge leader who fights for humanity’s freedom. When she’s not offering in-game intel, she’s training her troops for the next attack wave. This unrelenting commander is driven by a personal vendetta and will stop at nothing to protect the player and the arcade from a virulent Cy-Bug invasion.

-Cy-Bugs: Insects Gone Bad:
Menacing creatures known as Cy-Bugs are a deadly threat to not only their game, Hero's Duty, but the entire arcade. They know just three things: Eat, destroy and multiply. Players beware! Cy-Bugs can morph into anything they eat—from an attack buggy to an assault rifle. They do have one weakness—an attraction to bright light. (They are bugs, after all.)

-General Hologram: Man with a Medal:
General Hologram is the consummate soldier: He’s bold and distinguished, serious and professional. Tapped to stand sentinel over the ultimate prize in Hero’s Duty—the coveted Medal of Heroes—General Hologram is honored to bestow the Medal to anyone who is skilled enough to make it to the top of the 99-story tower.


-Vanellope von Schweetz: Hard Candy:

Known as “The Glitch,” Vanellope is a pixelating programming mistake in the candy-coated cart-racing game Sugar Rush. With a racer’s spirit embedded in her coding, Vanellope is determined to earn her place in the starting lineup amongst the other racers. Only problem: the other racers don’t want her or her glitching in the game. Years of rejection have left Vanellope with a wicked sense of humor and a razor-sharp tongue. However, somewhere beneath that hard shell is a sweet center just waiting to be revealed.

-King Candy: King of All That’s Sweet:

All hail King Candy—ruler of the race track, captain of confectionary, sovereign of sugar. Not surprisingly, the most powerful figure in the Sugar Rush game is also the best racer on the track. He may look noble enough, but don’t be fooled—this mysterious monarch rules his kingdom with a sugary fist and he is determined to keep his kingdom safe from glitches, rabble-rousers and outsiders. Don’t expect him to go easy on Ralph and Vanellope. The King is ably assisted by his strong-arming security donuts, Wynnchel and Duncan, and his diminutive henchman Sour Bill, a tiny little ball of unsweetness.

-Sour Bill: A Tiny Little Ball of Unsweetness:

As King Candy’s diminutive henchman, Sour Bill is often left to handle the stickier situations—but this long-faced little ball isn’t exactly happy about his depressing duties.

Wynnchel & Duncan: Strong-Arming Security
Wynnchel and Duncan are King Candy’s muscle, ensuring order in the Sugar Rush community. Just don’t make ‘em mad or their frosting might melt.

-Taffyta Muttonfudge: Serious Competition:
The lollipop-lickin' Taffyta Muttonfudge is a top-notch racer in the game Sugar Rush. She is a fierce competitor who keeps her eyes on the prize and isn't afraid to derail anyone who gets in her way. Though King Candy is Sugar Rush’s reigning racing champion, Taffyta always manages to give him a run for his money with her wicked driving skills.

-Snowanna Rainbeau: Cool Chick:
A Sugar Rush racer with some serious style, Snowanna Rainbeau is a vivacious young spirit with a personality as loud and colorful as her hairdo. With a boogying beat in her soul, she's as cool as ice! Watch out racers, she'll lay down a funky track with her chilling charm and you'll never see it coming!

-Rancis Fluggerbutter: Love Thy Self:
This blazer-wearing boy wonder likes looking in the mirror almost as much as he likes racing. Rancis Fluggerbutter may look like a party on the outside, but he's all business on the inside. He has bright eyes and even brighter ideas, which are reflected in his smooth racing techniques.

-Gloyd Orangeboar: Prankster with a Sweet Tooth:
Round-faced little hooligan Gloyd Orangeboar loves nothing more than candy, candy, candy! Fortunately for him, Sugar Rush has plenty to choose from and he enjoys it all. For this fast-racing prankster, every day is Halloween.

-Crumbelina DiCaramello: Likes it Luxe:
With the exterior of a polished piece of peppermint, Crumbelina DiCaramello is the poshest racer in Sugar Rush. But when it comes to racing, extravagance and wealth don’t distract DiCaramello: She considers herself a down-and-dirty racer.

-Candlehead: Happy Hot Head:
Candlehead is a riot who’s able to laugh at herself—even when she’s the butt of the joke. Hynotized by the flame atop her own head, she gets lost in a haze of Happy Birthdays. Sugar Rush and its daily races wouldn't be complete without Candlehead, but she's a few scoops short of a sundae.


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New UK Trailer For Wreck-It Ralph

New UK Trailer For Wreck-It Ralph | Animation News |

I’m still working on a nice little Wreck-It Ralph story for you. Sorry for the delay. In the meantime, here’s a new trailer cut for the UK – which appears to mean the UK like a little more story line, a few less video game cameos in their trailers.

Definitely not cut for the UK is the wait for the film. While it’s out on November 2nd in the US, we’ll be waiting until 15th February next year.


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Nickelodeon Orders Second Pipin' Hot "Ninja Turtles" Season

Nickelodeon Orders Second Pipin' Hot "Ninja Turtles" Season | Animation News |

It looks like this past weekend's debut of the new animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series went about as well as one could hope, because Nickelodeon has ordered a second batch. 26 additional episodes have been picked up for a second season, which will kick off on Nick next year.

The new series premiered on September 29 at 11:00 am ET/PT, and ranked as the week's top telecast with kids 2-11 (6.2/2.1 million) and boys 6-11 (8.2/837,000) across broadcast and cable TV. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ultimately ranked as the #1 basic cable kids program in total viewership for the week (3.9 million). It also hit a Nickelodeon ratings high with boys 2-11 (7.5/1.3 million), and ended up being Nick's top-rated animated series premiere since 2009.

It's kind of interesting that TMNT still strikes a chord among kids, and it's nice to see their radical legacy continue.

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Optimus Prime and Grimlock hoodies transform cold days into robot fashion shows

Optimus Prime and Grimlock hoodies transform cold days into robot fashion shows | Animation News |

Some days, you just feel like being a giant transforming robot, and other days, you feel like being a Dinobot. Fortunately, a cooler days, you can put on your Transformers sweatshirt, pull up the hood, and be the robot dinosaur you were meant to be.
80s Tees has the Grimlock hoodie currently available for sale, but Optimus Prime is listed as "Coming Soon." Between fall weather coming and Halloween around the corner, I hope that means sooner rather than later. Each hoodie is $60.

abercrombiefitchmilano's comment, October 22, 2012 10:05 PM
I think it is interesting.
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Cookie Monster and Grover take on ‘The Avengers,’ ‘The Hunger Games,’ and more…in song!

Cookie Monster and Grover take on ‘The Avengers,’ ‘The Hunger Games,’ and more…in song! | Animation News |

We still may not be able to tell you exactly how to get to Sesame Street, but the neighborhood’s beloved denizens know their way to the EW offices. Last year, Elmo and Cookie Monster dropped in to give us their versions of some popular TV shows, but this time around Elmo was too busy working on Elmo: The Musical—the show’s new singing-and-dancing segment that will replace the popular Elmo’s World—to make another visit. Luckily for us, Grover and Cookie Monster (a.k.a. the Blue Brothers) had enough wiggle room in their schedules to stop by to sing a few musical numbers of their own, parodying the likes of The Avengers, The Hunger Games, Doctor Who, and even The Newsroom. So if you were one of the many viewers who thought Aaron Sorkin’s biggest mistake was not saddling his newsman protagonist with a crippling cookie addiction, then this video is for you!


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New Croods Poster – Personality By Way Of Pelts

New Croods Poster – Personality By Way Of Pelts | Animation News |

Here’s the first mainstream poster for The Croods. I make it the fifth actual poster, but the others were all at trade shows and Cons only and this one has been posted to Yahoo.

Look at the clothing worn by the Crood family in the foreground. Each of them is wearing the skin of a certain animal, and that animal reflects on the character’s personality and role in the story.For a clear example, ook at Gran, who animator Kirk DeMicco has described as:

:a ferocious, almost crocodile-type woman."

You’ll see another side of this in the character Guy, not in this image. Unlike the Croods, he wears trouser-y things, not just these pelts. He’s got some kind of advanced wardrobe, and this reflects his superior intellect.

Nice design: just what you’d expect from a Chris Sanders movie.

The Croods is along in March of next year.

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Laika Have Passed On Henry Selick’s Film The Shadow King

Laika Have Passed On Henry Selick’s Film The Shadow King | Animation News |

Oh dear.

We picked up the thread when Disney pulled the plug on Henry Selick’s stop motion animated project The Shadow King, choosing to write-off $50 million than to finish it, release it and stand a chance of getting that money back. Then, word got around that Selick was speaking to Travis Knight at Laika to see if that studio could figure out a way to take the film on, get it finished and released.

But now, according to a memo Selick has sent to his animation staff at Cinderbiter Studios, Laika have passed on the project too.

The memo was leaked to First Showing, who say:

"Travis Knight, who runs Laika, unfortunately couldn’t figure out budgeting to pull this project in and had to pass. Selick goes on to say that while he hoped it wouldn’t turn out this way, The Shadow King is no more. Though he does say there still might be a chance to pick up the pieces at a future date."

Incidentally, this is the first widespread outing for this title, The Shadow King. It’s certainly an intriguing name – and that only adds another pinch of the bittersweets.

I’m always still surprised when this amount of money is sunk into a film and that film is then canned. Surely far worse films than this have been pushed all the way through the sausage machine, and probably on a monthly basis? And haven’t a great number of them gone on to be box office hits? Don’t the laws of Hollywood averages tell us this? I’m baffled by Disney’s decision.

And saddened by Laika’s inability to help. I fear that they find it hard enough to get their self-initiated projects funded and made.

Well, good night Shadow King. It would have been nice to get to know you. And my comiserations to Mr. Selick and all of the craftspeople working on the film. These people would give days of painstaking work for just a few seconds of animation. It seems absolutely criminal that this kind of dedication, determination and, frankly, artistry should be flushed like this.

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Grace Randolph’s Stacktastic: The Legend of Korra Season 2: Spirits Preview

Grace Randolph’s Stacktastic: The Legend of Korra Season 2: Spirits Preview | Animation News |

The Legend of Korra Season 2 is fast approaching, and host Grace Randolph has a preview for you of Season 2 : Spirits as well as an update on all things Avatar. Find out how Dark Horse is exploring the time between Aang and Korra with The Promise and The Search – two original comic books by Gene Yang and Gurihiru Studios. Will we find out what happened to Zuko’s mom? And Azula? Then before you see a trailer or promo for The Legend of Korra Season 2 Spirits, get a sneak peek of what happens to Korra, Mako, Bolin, Tenzin, Lin Bei Fong, and Asami, as well as Aang, Katara, Sokka, Toph, and Zuko! Enjoy this preview of The Promise, The Search, and The Legend of Korra Season 2.

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Watch Jim Henson's early unfinished stop-motion short Alexander the Grape

Watch Jim Henson's early unfinished stop-motion short Alexander the Grape | Animation News |

In 1965, Jim Henson started a short animated film about a tiny grape who wanted to become a watermelon. Although the film was never finished, the Jim Henson Company Archive rediscovered the footage, and completed it with Henson's original storyboards.
Although we miss out on some of the more magical bits of the paper cutout animation Henson envisioned, we get a clear sense of what he had in mind, thanks in no small part to Billy Mure's jaunty musical score. And there are plenty of recognizable bits of Henson in there, including a silly "moral" to his tale and a fascination with anthropomorphic fruit


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Batman Reminds Us Who He Is in Latest 'The Dark Knight Returns Pt. 1' Clip

Batman Reminds Us Who He Is in Latest 'The Dark Knight Returns Pt. 1' Clip | Animation News |

Worried that the animated adaptation of Frank Miller's classic Batman: The Dark Knight Returns might dampen down the violence and menace of the original? Here's a clip from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Pt. 1 to assuage your concerns, with bone-cracking sound effects to make longtime fans feel right at home. Shame the criminal in question couldn't say the same.

As you'll hear in this clip, Batman's played by RoboCop himself, Peter Weller. The rest of the cast includes Michael McKean, Modern Family's Ariel Winter and a little hint of Lost's Michael Emerson as the Joker.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 is released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 25, and is already available through iTunes.


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Exclusive Wreck-It Ralph Posters Feature Video Game Icons

Exclusive Wreck-It Ralph Posters Feature Video Game Icons | Animation News |

We're stoked to debut four new posters today for Disney's upcoming animated movie Wreck-It Ralph. These new posters feature classic video game characters such as M. Bison, Q*bert, Neff, Clyde, and Sonic the Hedgehog alongside the film's original characters.Check 'em out below.

And after that, go check out the new Wreck-It Ralph game available at the movie's official Facebook page!


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Rob Paulsen Returns To The 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' For New Donatello Role

Rob Paulsen Returns To The 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' For New Donatello Role | Animation News |

The original Raphael is back, only this time, he's voicing Donatello. That's right, Rob Paulsen has returned to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Nickelodeon's all-new CG animated series. Having voiced scores of characters including Snow Job, Steelbeak, The Mask, Bubsy, Yakko Warner, Pinky and (one of my personal favorites) Mighty Max, the longtime actor is poised to make a new impression on a multi-generational TMNT fanbase. CA got in touch with Paulsen to talk his transition from red to purple (and from sai to staff), kicking off a series of conversations with the show's cast running up until its September 29 premiere on Nickelodeon. Click past the cut to learn more about Paulsen's return to the TMNT, his thoughts on new Raphael voice actor Sean Astin, his favorite pizza and more.

ComicsAlliance: Welcome back to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Having voiced hundreds of characters across dozens of series, has returning for the latest TMNT show as Donatello felt nostalgic at all?

Rob Paulsen: Thanks! It's a complete gas being back! Incredibly nostalgic yet completely new. Like seeing an old friend for the first time in almost 20 years who's had a really good face lift. It's occurred to me that I'm in a fairly unique position career-wise. Most actors never have the opportunity to have two cracks at an iconic show. As a different character, no less!

CA: Sean Astin has taken over as Raphael, bringing a new flavor to a role you helped define. While a number of other actors have played Raph over the years, have you felt like you've had to more metaphorically pass the torch this time around?

RP: Yes. I'm sure that's because we work together so closely. He is such a gem. He's doing a terrific job too as are the rest of the cast. Sean brings an edge to Raph that I really dig. He, Greg and Jason have been so deferential with respect to my having been there at the beginning and couldn't be more supportive. I believe the audience will feel the connection between us. It's palpable in the studio. Lovely.

CA: You've worked with scores of actors over the years on different projects. What's stood out to you about the dynamic of this particular cast voicing a group of brothers?

RP: We all "got" each other immediately. I think Ciro Nieli, Sarah Noonan and the decision makers at Viacom did a great job of matching the actors over and above the relative sounds of our voices together. We really do love working as a team and the recent press opportunities have allowed us to "perform" together outside of the studio. It's pure joy. Sharp kids, those three. :-)

CA: Of all of the ninja turtles, which do you most relate to?

RP: Personally? I'd have to say Raph. I can be kind of a smart ass. There are aspects of Leo too, I think. I'm a pretty straight arrow guy and probably follow the rules a bit too much. Might make me a little boring but it keeps me out of traffic school.

CA: Donatello is the brains of the team and traditionally supplies most of their technology. What do you like about getting to voice a brainier type of character?

RP: It's a HUGE stretch for me. I'm by no means an MIT grad. It's cool being a nerd who can kick ass when necessary. I think chicks dig that. Maybe I just hope they do. :-) I've never been a ladies man in real life, so if it takes being a two time Turtle to appeal to the fairer sex, I'm cool with that.

CA: I've read that you're a big hockey fan. I'd never accuse you of high sticking, but does your history with the sport help you relate to Don's use of the bo staff?

RP: Moi? High sticking? Never! Besides, I wrap my hockey stick with a different kind of tape. Donnie wraps his Bo with "duck" tape as in, "Duck! Unless you wanna get clobbered, Shredder!"

CA: Given the turtles' fondness of pizza, I've been asking each TMNT star if they've got favorite toppings. Are you into pizza? What kind do you usually order?

RP: I LOVE pizza! My favorite toppings are Canadian bacon, shrooms, green pepper and tomato. Deep dish, please. "Turtle-wise," I prefer hot fudge, marshmallow, tuna fish and Doritos. Still deep dish.

CA: The original TMNT animated series ran for ten seasons and 193 episodes. Judging from what you've seen of the new CG animated series so far; do you think the new show will see similar longevity?

RP: It's tough to say. The original show was completely new and fresh for its time. It clearly struck a nerve in millions of fans. This new version looks spectacular and is literally being made by fans of TMNT for fans. Executive producers, Ciro Nieli and Peter Hastings totally get the mythology and profound importance the show and characters have to millions of kids and grownups, frankly. There's SO much more competition now for the attention of viewers. But I gotta tell ya, if anyone can pull off another monster hit with this franchise it's Nickelodeon...with a little help from four green teens.



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Frankenweenie Featurette Packs New Footage, Chatter

Frankenweenie Featurette Packs New Footage, Chatter | Animation News |

Tim Burton, his cast and producers have some yammering to do, and some clips from Frankenweenie to show in between. Do be warned that this featurette gives away some plot specifics that have been kept pretty much under wraps until now.

I hope you can see how beautifully well designed the whole thing is from these snippets.


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Win The Full Disney ‘Designer Villains’ Collector’s Item Range

Win The Full Disney ‘Designer Villains’ Collector’s Item Range | Animation News |

Regular readers can’t have failed to notice that I love animation, and certainly have a special place in my heart for the Disney classics.
Disney are very good at keeping that legacy fresh, right down to keeping their characters in the public eye. A role in a Disney animated feature, and you’ll be well-known for decades.
So there are those famous Princesses, of course, but on the other side of the coin, there’s also the villains. My favourites, to be honest.
A new line of collector’s figures have realised the leading Disney baddies in 3D, mint-in-the-box form. The Disney Designer Villains collection is for sale exclusively via the Disney Store.
But if you’re lucky, you might win a set of all six from us here at Bleeding Cool.
It’s a nifty prize, and not just because each of the six villains in the set is worth £50, but also because each was produced in a limited run.
The dolls are being released, one per week, via The UK Disney Store and also in the US. An even more limited amount of full sets, guaranteeing the total collection, has also been made available.
Here are the full geek-out specs to get collectors drooling:

-Set of six detailed character dolls
-Posable figures
-Cruella De Vil, Evil Queen, Maleficent, Mother Gothel, Queen of -Hearts and Ursula
-Luxurious outfits with superb film detailing
-Each comes in a tough plastic display box
-Each includes a certificate of authenticity
-Each doll measures H30 x W12cm approx
-Display box measures H38.5 x W17.5 x D18cm approx
-Suitable for children aged 6 years+
-Exclusive to Disney Store

Well, to the Disney Store and this competition at least.
If you want to enter our draw for the dolls, use the official Bleeding Cool contact page. Select the “Film” option on the drop down, make sure you send us your postal address, e-mail address, full name and the answer to this question:
"Which six Disney feature films did these villains originally appear in?"

Best of luck. Here are the full terms and conditions.

1.) The competition is open only to residents of the UK.
2.) The winner will be drawn at random from all the correct and eligible entries, and only they will be contacted personally. Prize must be taken as stated and cannot be deferred. There will be no cash alternatives.
3.) Disney Pictures UK and Bleeding Cool do not accept any responsibility for late or lost entries due to the Internet or email problems. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt. Entrants must supply full details as required on the competition page, and comply with all rules to be eligible for the prizes.
4.) No responsibility is accepted for ineligible entries or entries made fraudulently.
5.) Unless otherwise stated, the Competition is not open to employees of: (a) the Company; and (b) any third party appointed by the Company to organise and/or manage the Competition; and (c) the Competition sponsor(s).
6.) This competition is a game promoted by Bleeding Cool. Bleeding Cool decision is final in every situation and no correspondence will be entered into.
7.) Bleeding Cool reserves the right to cancel the competition at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion, and if circumstances arise outside of its control.
8.) The closing date for this competition is October 19th 2012.
9.) Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and to agree to be bound by them when entering this competition.


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South Park shows how James Cameron saved us all from Honey Boo Boo

South Park shows how James Cameron saved us all from Honey Boo Boo | Animation News |

Convinced that the aggressive success of Honey Boo Boo and her family has brainwashed America, South Park sends out the "greatest pioneer" James Cameron to dive deep into the abyss and raise the actual taste bar back up, thus saving America from sketti-wrestling.

Personally, the best part isn't the current jabs at Honey Boo Boo and her wacky brood, but the theme song South Park dreamed up for Hollywood director James Cameron. (Remember, "James Cameron does what James Cameron does because James Cameron is James Cameron.")


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What if Indiana Jones continued his adventures in an animated series?

What if Indiana Jones continued his adventures in an animated series? | Animation News |

After Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, we're a little leery of future films with Indy and the crew. But what if we turned back the clock to follow the further adventures of a younger Indiana Jones?
Patrick Schoenmaker has created licensed Indiana Jones illustrations. In fact, he made the image at top for Acme Archives. (It's still available as a limited edition print via his blog.) And he's created banner images (including the shaman-punching one immediately below) for But he's also working on his very own fan project: an Indiana Jones animation. He's begun posting backgrounds and a layout from the animation, and the designs look promising. We can't wait to see the finished product.


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How Dreamworks Are Doing The Hand-Drawn Shadows For Me And My Shadow

How Dreamworks Are Doing The Hand-Drawn Shadows For Me And My Shadow | Animation News |

One of Dreamworks Animation’s upcoming releases will blend CG animation with old-school 2D techniques. The living shadow characters in the film Me and My Shadow are all being hand-drawn.

What will make it pretty tricky is that shadows are two dimensional and they will have to “fall,” mapped onto the 3D surfaces. They’re not the kind of free standing objects that have been hand animated into CG since at least John Lasseter’s Where the Wild Things Are demo reel, almost 30 years ago.

Things will also be made rather more complex on Shadow as this will be a contemporary film with all of the camera movement that implies.

First word of the techniques being used come from a brief report on the blog of The Animation Guild. Here’s a quote from an unnamed Dreamworks staff member on just how the animation is being done, and who is doing it:

"We’re doing the rough hand-drawn animation in-house, with several animators from Disney. The computer program molds their animation around tables and chairs. There’s a ‘POV’ software program that enables them to draw over a blocked area of the CG animation, and it works well."

And is there an implication that this rough-drawn work will then be tidied up at an outside studio? I guess so.

We’re probably a long way off from seeing this film in motion, but I’m excited by the possibilities. There’s a lot that they could play with here.

Me and My Shadow is currently set for release on March 14th 2014.

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Concept art for 1937's Snow White is gorgeous in its own right

Concept art for 1937's Snow White is gorgeous in its own right | Animation News |

We've seen so many iterations of Snow White over the last few years, but it's always lovely to return to Walt Disney's iconic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. These production illustrations, created by Gustaf Tenggren, the film's chief illustrator, go a long way toward highlighting the storybook wonder that made that early animated feature a classic.
Tenggren's work was heavily influenced by Arthur Rackham, a celebrated English book illustrator, who drew pieces for editions of Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Gulliver's Travels, and Aesop's Fables, among others. These concept pieces appear to be from pretty far along in film's development, although the queen would later become more feminine. What's clear is Tenggren's desire to give his film a rich fairy tale feel, filled with darkness, dangerous magic, and a soft, sometimes earthy color palette.

You can see more concept pieces at Not Pulp Covers, via Chris Sims.


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A Sexy, Soapy iPhone Game That Also Teaches You To Make Drinks

A Sexy, Soapy iPhone Game That Also Teaches You To Make Drinks | Animation News |

Bartenders get all the good stories. People often go to bars simply to talk—we need a drink sometimes, to get away from it all, and we hope to find a bartender who will listen long enough to let us get it off our chest.

The Bar Oasis series has long understood that while it's fun to mix drinks, it's even more fun to mix drinks while listening to a story. Bar Oasis 2 continues that tradition in fine form.

The games are ostensibly drink-mixing games, where you combine mixers and liquor, use the iPhone's gyroscope to pour the perfect amount, shake up martinis, spoon in salt, and stir drinks to get them just right. On those merits alone, Bar Oasis 2 would be a fun game—it's highly informative, contains accurate drink recipes, and it's just a lot of fun to mix the drinks.

But it's the story that makes this game special. The silly, soapy, and often saucy narrative concerns the patrons and staff of a watering hole called Bar Oasis (including the female protagonist of the free game that bridged this game and its predecessor) as they fall in and out of love and deal with the repercussions of romance. It's an often crass, adult tale—this one's not really for the kids. I would call it a somewhat more R-rated Melrose Place, if felt like dating myself.

The light Phoenix Wright-ish artwork is charming, and the soundtrack is a real standout—these are the smoothest of smooth jams, loaded with kicky little melodies that will make you smile. Bar Oasis 2 is a winner, flat-out. Not only will it make you bop your head and laugh at the silly one-liners, It'll let you practice mixing a Sex on the Beach... on the bus.

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GIVEAWAY: D.I.B. and the ET in New T-Shirt

GIVEAWAY: D.I.B. and the ET in New T-Shirt | Animation News |


Thanks to the kind folks at FSC TEES, we’ve got another little fanboy tee featuring D.I.B. and the ET to giveaway this week. To register, just click through and fill out and submit the form on the page.

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Henry Selick’s Scrapped Disney Film May Have Found A New Home

Henry Selick’s Scrapped Disney Film May Have Found A New Home | Animation News |

Disney decided to pull the plug on Henry Selick‘s in-the-works stop-motion animated feature film a couple of weeks back, they did so at a cost of $50 million. They weren’t keen on it at all, it seems. Really really weren’t keen on it.

But why? That’s still not something I feel completely clear about. But whatever their reason, it may not matter at all. Selick may have found his white knight.

His white Travis Knight, in fact – the Nike heir, animator and owner of Laika, the animation company that Selick worked with on Coraline.

The studio are apparently looking at ways they might be able to take the project on and have Selick finish it up. They’d get their biggest name director back – though Paranorman has probably done their brand in general a great deal of good, as well as boosted the stock of Chris Butler and Sam Fell significantly.

Details of what Selick’s film, formerly known as Shademaker, will entail are pretty sketchy, but Indiewire say it revolves around a pair of brothers, sits in Selick’s own personal style but will still push the envelope a little, and have fantastic sets – particularly a miniaturised Central Park.

Well, of course it has fantastic sets. That was pretty much a given.

I hope Laika can work this out, somehow. It would certainly win them the status of Stop Motion Patron Saints round here.

Now, next question: what’s going to happen to Selick and Disney’s plans for a film of Neil Gaiman‘s The Graveyard Book?

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Parting Shot: Happy 100th Birthday, Chuck Jones

Parting Shot: Happy 100th Birthday, Chuck Jones | Animation News |

As a child, I idolized Chuck Jones. More than anyone else, he influenced my early love of animation, and is one of the people who contributed the most to shaping both my appreciation for comedy and my sense of humor. His work had a profound effect on me, and continues to be a source of inspiration.

Today would have been his 100th birthday, and I think there's no better way to celebrate his life and legacy than to take a moment to share my favorite of Jones' cartoons. It's almost impossible to choose one: The Hunting Trilogy consists of three masterpieces, his adaptations of How The Grinch Stole Christmas and The Dot and the Line are both amazing, and Jones himself considered What's Opera Doc? to be his finest effort. And while they're all great, I wouldn't call any of them my favorite.

Because my favorite Chuck Jones cartoon, without question, is Duck Amuck.

Duck Amuck is nothing short of brilliant, for far too many reasons to list here. If you aren't familiar with it, it features Daffy Duck, fully aware that he's starring in a cartoon, being tortured by a seemingly sadistic (and unseen) animator who constantly changes his location, clothes, voice, and even completely alters his physical appearance and shape, much to Daffy's chagrin:

Frustrated but undeterred, Daffy does his best to make sure his one man show goes on, until the scenery is literally collapsing on him. At this point he finally snaps, and demands to know the identity of his tormenter (a reveal I won't spoil for you if you've not seen it). Again, the cartoon is nothing short of brilliant, partially because it was Jones showing viewers that animation could produce characters with a recognizable personality, independent of their physical appearance and voice. Said Jones:
"What I want to say is that Daffy can live and struggle on in an empty screen, without setting and without sound, just as well as with a lot of arbitrary props. He remains Daffy."
Duck Amuck is one of the three Chuck Jones cartoons deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress (along with What's Opera Doc? and One Froggy Evening), and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. It's influenced many creators over the years, from Paul Dini to Matt Groening, and is the singular inspiration for The Coyote Gospel, the fifth issue of Grant Morrison's run on Animal Man, a story considered by many fans to be amongst his finest work.

If it's been a while since you've watched it, the full cartoon is below. And if, by chance, you've never seen it, I can't recommend it enough.

Happy Birthday, Chuck Jones. Thanks for everything.


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Why Futurama hasn't jumped the shark

Why Futurama hasn't jumped the shark | Animation News |

In truth, all any show requires to "jump the shark" is two seasons. Futurama is in its second season — and on its second network. Some critics are claiming the show has jumped the shark, but here's why this animated series is actually rallying.

The phrase "jumping the shark" got its origin from Happy Days. After five seasons, it was a show based on nostalgia for the 1950s in a world that was heading into the 1980s. The nostalgic premise mandated that the characters couldn't grow or change, and there were only so many stories writers could think up about a mildly funny family and a guy that can fix jukeboxes with a sharp smack.

This all culminated in a season premiere in which the family goes to Hollywood and The Fonz jumps over a shark on water skis. In other words, the show had declined in quality so much that it was irretrievable, and had resorted to silly gimmicks to get people to watch. (We're not even going to get into that regrettable escapade with Fonz and the time machine.)

This inevitably happens to almost all television shows, but the question is, "When?" Honestly, I thought the show might have jumped last season, when Bender quipped of a giant's face, "It's like Edward James Olmos on IMAX."

There's no reason for Bender to know of either Edward James Olmos or IMAX, and it appeared that the show was relying increasingly on contemporary references and Family Guy-style humor that made no sense, given that the whole point of Futurama is that it's set a thousand years into the unfathomable future. Why were they doing iPhone and Susan Boyle references when they had an entire universe of things to choose from? Although that season had a few really good episodes, I really thought the whole series was going irretrievably downhill.

I don't think this season has been overall as good as the pre-cancellation episodes, but I have noticed a conscious change in the show's direction, a change is the exact opposite of jumping the shark.

They've cut out many of the reference jokes and instead decided to build the show on previously unexplored relationships between characters. How do Amy and Leela interact? How do Amy and Zoidberg interact? What about the Professor's family? Instead of thinking up silly reasons about why the characters need to, say, work with the cast of a futuristic Jersey Shore, the writers are exploiting the situations that come naturally from the characters themselves. No gimmicks, just fun character-driven humor.

In fact, the Amy and Leela episode was pretty much the only episode of the entire show that I thought was outright bad. I think it exemplifies potential pitfalls with taking the character-driven approach. Amy and Leela have all kinds of differences — education, rank, parent issues — and the only thing the show focused on was, "They both fight and make up because...lady things."

Similarly, the episode between Amy and Zoidberg was a little too focused on proving that Amy was wrong about her self-righteousness regarding money, a trait we haven't seen her really display before now. And the show is a little clumsy when it comes to these odd relationships, which is understandable. The first few episodes of Futurama were also a bit off-kilter until the show really got its groove. (Remember the pilot episode's moral lesson about defying in a world where You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do? Have we seen that since?)

Overall, though, it's amazing how little the past few seasons have looked at the different combinations of characters within the group. The fact that show's just barely getting around to it proves that there is still a lot of ground to cover before the premise gives out. And both the use of the time-traveler's paradox in "Indecision 3012" and the relentlessly brutal "Naturama" demonstrate that the program hasn't lost its gleeful viciousness. The show needs to keep applying the inventiveness of its science fiction concepts alongside the interactions between the characters, and it'll keep going strong.

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What if Portal was a 1980s animated movie?

What if Portal was a 1980s animated movie? | Animation News |

I'm getting a strong Don Bluth vibe from this cartoon short by Chelsea GR, whose test animation uses dialogue from Portal 2 and transforms the game's always yapping A.I. into humanoids. Here's the original scene, and for similar Portal-mation, here's the game by way of John K.

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Why Bowser is in Disney's New Movie, But Mario Isn't

Why Bowser is in Disney's New Movie, But Mario Isn't | Animation News |

Disney's upcoming animated movie Wreck-It Ralph features cameos from all sorts of existing video game characters, from M. Bison to Altered Beast's Neff. Yet there's one character conspicuous by his absence.


The biggest video game character on the planet will not be in the flick, and before you go thinking that's just a licensing thing, know that his arch-enemy Bowser will be there.

So why does the bad guy make the cut and not the good guy?

"The hard thing was, we were trying to work out the right way to use a character like Mario", producer Clark Spencer told Total Film. "It had to be organic to the film, we didn't want to just paste him in there. For Bowser, it made perfect sense for him to be a member of the Bad Anon group. For Mario himself we couldn't think of the right way to incorporate him into the film, and so we didn't do it."

That's not to say companies like Nintendo didn't have a say in the film. They had a lot of say.

"The games companies were very specific - there's a scene in which Bowser drinks a cup of coffee, and they were very specific about how Bowser would drink coffee", Spencer says. He later adds "We had a scene where we wanted the rings to come out of Sonic, and SEGA said the only way that happens is if he falls over, and we didn't have him fall over in the scene, so we actually went back and re-animated it."

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