Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fruits VS Bugs - Agent Pineapple Steals (3D animation)

Here's a new bit from the world of Fruits VS Bugs. Agent Paul Pineapple and Agent Carl Coconut teach you about stealing. =^)

Special thanks to our logo animator, James from HowardCarterOfficial.
Go sub him here:

If you're new to Fruits VS Bugs, you can catch up:

Fruits VS Bugs Episode 1:

Fruits VS Bugs Episode 2:

Agents Always Win:

Extra Fruity:

Writer/Director/Animator - Ed 'word' Price
Animators - Chris Chin, Aric Norine, Scott Warren
Intro Animation - James from HowardCarterOfficial:

Agent Paul Pineapple - Ken Boynton
Agent Carl Coconut - Wes Mitchell
Agent Brett Banana - Mike Madeoy

Software: 3DS Max and Photoshop

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Movie Review - How to Train Your Dragon

by Alex Popp

In "How to Train your Dragon," a teenager from an island in viking times is dying to be a dragon killer like the other island residents. But he shoots down an attacking dragon known as the Night Fury that everyone hardly knows anything about. But as he sets out to kill the dragon he shot and impress his father, he gets a change in heart, but is still forced to be trained to kill dragons. In his spare time he tames the black dragon and learns to ride it.

This animated film really doesn't deserve the ratings its been getting on the internet. Although there are parts that are cute and funny, it's still a bit hard to enjoy as it's painfully predictable. Although there isn't anything particularly wrong with it, the plot is basically where "The Little Mermaid" meets "Ratatouille" in the viking world.

Rated PG for sequences of intense action that may scare young kids.

Two stars (out of four) for "How to Train your Dragon."

Review by Alex Popp for The Animation Empire blog.


I have to watch the film in order to counter this review. But from what I've heard, a lot of people like it (and it did very well in theaters, having "legs" where it kept going where other films would lose steam). I think the reason is because it's simply fun and enjoyable, although I should see for myself.

This film is also notable because the director Chris Sanders, is a Disney animation veteran in the 90s, and he wrote and directed Lilo & Stitch (playing the voice of Stitch). He followed it up with American Dog (renamed to Bolt), but Lassetter cut up the movie so much (Lassetter called it too quirky for its own good) that Chris bolted from Disney.

Chris Sanders then went to DreamWorks, and this was his first film (I think he actually started working on a caveman film, Crood, but he switched over to this one as soon as they got the rights to the book and were probably looking internally for the right director. The other film, Crood, will probably be out next year. I think Chris just pressed pause on that one and is finishing it up now.

In a year of Shrek 4, Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon, Megamind, Despicable Me, Legend of the Guardians (Owls), and Tangled, I think it's anyone's game for the Academy Award. The Academy doesn't really like sequels, and I see Megamind as too much of a sellout and not endearing enough (and it didn't fair nearly as well as the similar but better Despicable Me), which means it's down to How to Train Your Dragon, Despicable Me, Legend of the Guardians, and Tangled. Guardians has the fact that Happy Feet (from the same studio) won the award previously, but it wasn't nearly as successful as Happy Feet. Likewise, Tangled was a step in the right direction for Disney, but the lack of character development (other than Rapunzel) and the lack of Disney magic and spectacular songs/numbers, means it might not win. So my money is on either How to Train Your Dragon or Despicable Me. I can't decide right now. We'll see.

- The Emperor

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Movie Review - The Polar Express

by Alex Popp

Don't miss the holiday film of the season, "The Polar Express," directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Tom Hanks voices five characters in this brilliantly animated movie, based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg. I always loved trains when I was a little kid and I got the book when I was 6. You can bet I was really excited to see the movie in theaters.

An pre-teenager who is losing belief in Santa Claus gets a ticket to ride on the magical steam train, The Polar Express. The boy steps on to the train on its way to the North Pole and meets up with several other non-believers. On the way, the boy goes through a lot of intense action, riding up and down roller coaster-like mountains, sliding over the ice cap and getting off the top of the train before it hits a low-clearance tunnel.

I saw it when I was 10 and I am still very impressed with this piece of art. They stuck very well with the book (beside the things they added in to make it a movie). The animation is incredible, even better than the animation of other movies like the Pixar films. The sound is so well designed and the action is so supenseful, it is impossible not to enjoy the movie, even if you aren't still a believer in fantasy. Though the movie isn't in theaters anymore, the 3D effects are almost overwhelming, too. I loved the movie so much, I saw it two more times in theaters.

Rated G, but probably should be PG for sequences of intense action.

Four stars (out of four) for the dazzling Holiday flick, "The Polar Express."

Review by Alex Popp for The Animation Empire blog.


Whenever I read "Don't miss the holiday film of the season" I can't help but think "the 2004 holiday season," because just "season" isn't accurate enough for me. It sounds recent. =^)

- The Emperor

Monday, December 20, 2010

Weakly EDitorial: Cartoons about real people

12/20/10 Update: Added ProStars and The Beatles, and we updated some images. Originally posted 7/18/10.

I was talking to my uncle about all those cartoons that have been about actual celebrities. It made us wonder who voiced themselves and who didn't. That brings us to the latest Weakly EDitorial.

A lot of the celebs voiced their cartoon selves. Here are a few...

3 Stooges:

Gary Coleman Show:

New Kids on the Block (they started voicing themselves and later stopped):

MC Hammer:

Chuck Norris:

Mr. T (lasted 3 years, which is quite impressive):

And the ones who didn't voice themselves...

ProStars (Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and Bo Jackson fought evil for about a month and a half):

The Beatles (lasted two years from 1965-1967; the producer and director of this series also did the very-different Yellow Submarine animated Beatles film):

Jackson 5ive:

Hulk Hogan's Rock N Wrestling (Hulk was played by Raymond's brother):

Harlem Globetrotters:

Super Globetrotters (they brought it back for more):

Jackie Chan Adventures (Jackie did the live action bits, but not the voice; lasted 5 years, which is probably the most successful):

And honorary mentions go to Bill Cosby's Fat Albert and Little Bill, characters loosely based on himself and his stand-up comedy.

Maybe we'll add more to this later. Leave a comment if you can think of any more. Thanks!



Movie Review - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

by Alex Popp

Return to magic.  Return to hope.  Return to Narnia.

Your wait has ended.  Based on the novel by C.S. Lewis finally comes "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," the third installment of the Chronicles of Narnia, which are now being directed by Michael Apted, who previously directed "The World is not Enough" and "Amazing Grace."

Lucy and Edmund return to Narnia with their snobby cousin Eustace (brilliantly played by Will Poulter) and climb aboard the Dawn Treader where they are reunited with King Caspian to find seven lost Narnian lords.  They sail quickly over the Eastern Ocean toward the end of the world.  Along the way, they are given the task of breaking the spell of the green mist and the Dark Island, the island where dreams come true.

If you loved the first two movies, as I did, this one will blow you away, particularly if you see it in 3D.

This is without a doubt the funniest of the three, and like the first two, the special effects are so well done.  In addition, it has majestic 3D aspects, that seem to give your more than your money's worth, and the art direction of the ship are deserving of an Oscar nomination.  There aren't as many fight scenes as its predecessor, "Prince Caspian," but still with some very entertaining action sequences, especially the battle with the Sea Serpent. 

It is a bit different from the book, but it's difficult to mind, though my family are fans the novels.  There is a new subplot involving the Narnian lords' swords, but no movie is ever the exact same as the book.  You must understand, I am very visual and I love great cinematic experiences.  Normally, I would say that a movie is better than its book, though most seem to diagree.  With the Narnia series, I don't bother comparing.  The books and the movies are both great in different ways and I love them both.

So are there still the Biblical messages that were in the book?  Even more.  Lucy, Edmund and Eustace all learn morals about self-worth, loyalty and living by faith and not by sight.  None of these were in the book.  The final scene when Aslan appears is even tear-jerking and you really feel for the characters.  In my opinion, the movie stirs more emotion than the novel.  I was glad that my dad wasn't too disappointed; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is his favorite book of the series.  He was pleasantly surprised that they did include the most important line in the series: Aslan's words, "In your world, I have another name."  If the movie was a bit more like the book, I bet even C.S. Lewis would have loved it.

Rated PG for sequences of fantasy violence and some fairly scary images, but didn't scare my ten-year-old sister too much.

Four stars (out of four) for the entertaining and deeply touching "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader."  It makes the first two movies look like "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."

Review by Alex Popp for The Animation Empire blog.


I'm confused by that last sentence. I thought Return of the King was the best of the LOTR films. =^)


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Movie Review - The Nativity Story

by Alex Popp

Here's a Christmas movie that we should review!

Her child would change the world.

"The Nativity Story" is the lousy version of the story of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem to give birth to Jesus Christ, directed by Catherine Hardwicke.

Why do I call it lousy?  Some may find this just a reminder of what Jesus did for us, but there is a lot of inaccuracy that draws your mind away from the story.  For example, the Bible says that a multitude of the Heavenly Hosts filled the sky, praising God.  How does a multitude translate as one?  I also wish they had put it in Hebrew and the other languages that were used at the time and location of this historical event, like "The Passion of the Christ."

I'll leave the inaccuracy for a minute to another thing that offended me.  You may think I'm dumb for cringing at this, but Jesus was shown naked.  Sure he was only a baby, but still he's our Savior and I find it disrespectful.

But the thing that disappointed me the most about the movie was that there was trouble getting to Bethlehem because Joseph and Mary didn't want to marry each other.  Does anyone remember this incident in the Bible?  Didn't think so.  God's Word says specifically that they were, in fact, engaged.

They really could have done a great deal better if they had stayed with the Bible.

Rated PG for some brief scenes of violence.

Two stars out of four for "The Nativity Story."

Review by Alex Popp.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Phineas and Ferb interview Jack Black and Andy Samberg

From Wikipedia...

Take Two with Phineas and Ferb is an upcoming spin-off to Phineas and Ferb, premiering December 3, 2010.
Episode list:

December 3, 2010 - Phineas and Ferb interview Jack Black.

December 10, 2010 - Phineas and Ferb interview Andy Samberg.

Known guests:
  • Seth Rogen
  • Tony Hawk
  • Taylor Swift
  • Regis Philbin
  • Neil Patrick Harris
  • Emma Roberts
  • Randy Jackson
  • Cedric the Entertainer


Friday, December 03, 2010

New Disney Junior block of kids shows

Disney Channels Worldwide prexy Carolina Lightcap mapped out the rollout of young kids brand Disney Junior, which replaces the "Playhouse Disney" block on Disney Channel in early 2011, and takes over SoapNet's channel in 2012.

In the hopes of broadening the channel's aud slightly, Lightcap said Disney Junior would target kids 2-7, as opposed to 2-5. Lightcap said playing down the preschool age range makes it easier for 6- and 7-year-olds, many of whom still aren't ready for older fare, to tune in.

Among programs to join Disney Junior: "Jake and the Neverland Pirates," which uses Captain Hook in 2011; and then "Doc McStuffins" and "Little Princess" in 2012. Disney Junior will give "Minnie Mouse" her own show, in which she runs a hotel with Daisy Duck.

"It's 'Laverne and Shirley' meets 'Fawlty Towers,'" Marsh quipped.



To recap, Disney Jr. is both a block to replace Playhouse Disney (adds older shows for 5-7 year olds and competes more with Dora and other Nick toons), and it is also a dedicated cable channel that will replace Disney's SoapNet. I'd rather see Disney focus on family fair anyway (SoapNet was more of an offspring of ABC than Disney).

Here's the Disney Jr. teaser page:


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Disney XD to unleash Marvel cartoons

(This Incredibles/Captain America image is just a fan image.)

Disney XD ordered the live-action comedy "Wasabi Warriors," about a ragtag group of kids at the worst martial arts studio in the country. Starring Jason Earles ("Hannah Montana") and Leo Howard, show comes from exec producers Jim O'Doherty ("Grounded for Life") and Marc Warren. Among other series in the works for Disney XD is the stylish, futuristic toon "Motorcity."

And Marsh touted Disney XD as one of the biggest beneficiaries of Disney's Marvel acquisition. "Ultimate Spider-Man" joins the tween boy cabler in spring 2012, when the channel will also launch a Marvel-branded programming block.



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