Die archivierten Nachrichten aus der Rubrik "Aktuelles"...
Bei Rope of Silicon gibt es Infos zu den US-Stimmen: Will Ferrell als "The Man in the Yellow Hat", sowie Drew Barrymore, David Cross, Eugene Levy, Dick Van Dyke, Joan Plowright und Ed O'Ross...
Und Jack Johnson liefert die Songs zum Film....
Universal Studios Consumer Products Group today announced a worldwide licensing agreement with Toy Biz, a division of Marvel Enterprises, Inc., pursuant to which Toy Biz will act as the master pre-school toy licensee for Universal Pictures' and Imagine Entertainment's upcoming animated feature film and PBS KIDS' television series based on the classic children's tales, Curious George. The film is scheduled for release on February 10, 2006, with the TV series set to debut in Fall, 2006. The Curious George toy line-up will include action figures, playsets and vehicles, novelty figures, animatronics, role-playing toys, pre-school matching/memory games, infant toys and plush, including a Curious George themed plush with book.
"We are excited to be working with Toy Biz on the 'Curious George' franchise," said Beth Goss, executive vice president of Universal Studios Consumer Products Group. "Toy Biz is a proven leader within the toy industry and will deliver a unique and extraordinary vision to the 'Curious George' toy line."
Alan Fine, president & CEO of Toy Biz and Marvel Publishing added, "We are extremely pleased to be selected by Universal to create a new pre-school and plush line for one of the true icons in children's entertainment. 'Curious George' has a broad multigenerational fan base and we are looking forward to working with Universal to create a compelling product line that celebrates his endearing and playful nature."
Eight years ago, Universal Studios acquired the rights to Curious George and has transformed the brand into a global franchise. Licensing and promotional opportunities are currently in development in support of the new Curious George entertainment franchise across all categories including, apparel, accessories, interactive games, collectibles, fine art, home furnishings, health and beauty aids, food and beverages, gifts, stationery products and wireless communication devices and accessories.
Bei RopeofSilicon gibt es neben einem ersten Szenenbild aus dem Film, folgende Meldung...
[...] It is also of note that not only will the little monkey be brought to life on the big screen but Universal Home Entertainment Productions (UHEP), with Imagine Entertainment and WGBH Boston, a leading public television producer, are in development of an animated Curious George preschool series, which will incorporate early childhood science and math educational content, and will draw upon George's curiosity-driven adventures to tell stories that encourage kids to explore their own environments, and the way objects, machines, people and animals act and interact.
The film however, follows George, the inquisitive little primate transplanted from the jungle to the big city by The Man With the Yellow Hat, as he sets off in a brand new tale, where his spunky and fun-loving nature endear him to new friends he meets along the way and lands him in a series of adventures.
The Man in The Yellow Hat will be voiced by funny-man Will Ferrell, while it is said that he will be joined by other well-known stars currently in discussions to voice additional characters from the film none of those names have been released as of yet.
Bei CS! gibt es einen Variety-Artikel zu "Curious George"...
[...] the film is in the works for a November, 2005 release date, with Universal envisioning the precocious monkey as the company's Mickey Mouse, adorning everything from water bottles to the studio's letterhead.
The filmmakers believe the traditional animation suits the classic children's book series about a mischievous young monkey who is adopted by the Man in the Yellow Hat. "George's" budget is said to hover around $40 million. That's midrange for an animated film but cheap by traditional animation standards due to a staff that is 60% outsourced animators.
The series of seven original books and later new adventures, by H.A. and Margret Rey, became a staple in school libraries and children's bedrooms since the first book was published in 1941. More than 25 million copies have been sold.
Producer Brian Grazer says he first began developing the project more than a decade ago, securing rights from John Shapiro and David Kirschner, who are also producers on the project. Universal acquired additional rights to Curious George from Houghton Mifflin, a one-time publishing affiliate of the studio under Vivendi Universal.
Universal and Imagine had originally contemplated adapting the books into a live-action feature with a computer-generated monkey, opting later to make it as an animated film -- entirely CG, with Industrial Light and Magic tackling the project as its first toon. But that plan proved too costly, with the budget double the film's current pricetag.
Grazer notes that all sorts of approaches were considered including puppetry. "I think we finally have the right approach, and we got incredibly lucky getting Will (Ferrell)," who will voice the Man in the Yellow Hat. 2-D gives the project "kind of a retro vibe," observes Ron Howard, who thought Disney's Brother Bear was a "real solid" movie and rejects the notion that 2-D is dead. He says this one will be driven by the character, not just the looks.
While Universal already has created a "Curious George Goes to Town" attraction at its Universal Studios Florida theme park, the studio and Imagine have also struck a deal with PBS affiliate WGBH to develop an animated kidshow based on "Curious George."
Karey Kirkpatrick (Chicken Run), Joe Stillman (the Shrek series), Michael McCullers (the Austin Powers sequels) and Daniel Gerson and Rob Baird (Monsters, Inc.) wrote the script for the feature film, which is directed by Jun Falkenstein (The Tigger Movie).
The original story will emphasize contemporary plot points with "edgy" humor, while sidestepping the "not exactly PC" aspects found in the "George" books (George was kidnapped from the jungle and later put in a zoo.). Despite some changes, the Man continues to wear a yellow hat, and George still gets himself into everyday adventures without the ability to speak.
The challenge will be to show "the real nature of the relationship with that Man in the Yellow Hat, filling in the blanks in a way that's engaging," Howard says. George's not talking is also a challenge, "but it's also what makes him a great character," Howard says.
The trade says that pre-production on Curious George started a year ago, with a staff of 75 animators taking up an entire floor of a Universal City high-rise near the studio lot. Fourteen-hour days have already become the norm for the crew, which is starting the animation phase. Once the film is completed, the studio may keep the animation arm up and running and its staff to work on other projects.
Greg schreibt für Yahoo! Movies...
As computer-animated movies like Ice Age and Finding Nemo continue to do quite well at the box office, and traditionally-animated movies like Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas and The Wild Thornberrys do quite poorly, there's a lot of talk in the film industry that perhaps traditional is on its last legs, and soon nearly all animated feature films will be CGI. There are still traditional movies being made, but it is true that it seems we keep hearing about more CGI movies being developed, and even many projects that were originally planned as traditional are now being converted to CGI. A glimmer of hope for the old school style, however, is the example this project provides, however, because after 10+ years of trying to get a 'Curious George' movie going that would incorporate some sort of CGI, they have finally decided that the best (and cheapest) way to capture the spirit of George, the Man in the Yellow Hat and the world they live in is to take advantage of the sweetness that traditional animation suggests. I think this is sort of a no-brainer; the simple drawings of the book seem obviously easier to transfer to 2-D artwork than to try and give them 3-D life (much less try to adapt that artwork in live-action). Of course, I feel the same way about the art of Dr. Seuss, but Universal keeps making live-action versions of his stuff, but it's good to see this is a case where they made what I think is the right decision.
A bit of news that I can offer the world today that I don't think has been reported elsewhere yet is that I heard from an anonymous source over the weekend that Will Ferrell has signed on to provide the voice for the Man in the Yellow Hat. When I first heard the news, I was under the impression that Universal was still going for live-action for the character, and I have to say... he immediately struck me as a brilliant choice. Will Ferrell would look INSANELY GREAT in that yellow hat. But, you know, even though it turns out they're just going to be using his voice, he's still a good choice. Will has a broadly comedic and acrobatic vocal range that should work well for El Hombre del Sombrero Amarillo.
I also think Jun Falkenstein might be just the director this project needs to properly adapt these sweet tales of a precocious chimp to the big screen. With a guy whose major project has been The Tigger Movie at the helm, I think we can safely be assured that this isn't going to be a puerile movie with "gross out" humor, etc. I think that's what some people might expect from a chimp movie, but really... Curious George isn't that sort of chimp movie. It's got to be sweet and nostalgic, or it's not really Curious George.
Animated Movies meldet...
The SF Gate published an interesting article on the newly formed LucasFilm Animation. Kevin Koch, president of the Animation Guild's 1,600-member Los Angeles chapter (Local 839 IATSE) had this to say about the new venture: "For several years we've been hearing that the people at LucasFilm were really eager to prove themselves in character animation. They were going to do Frankenstein, and then they were going to do Curious George." Both projects were for Universal Pictures; neither panned out. So why did Lucas and company wait so long to start an outfit less dependent on studio largesse? "I'm as baffled as anyone," Koch said. "They've certainly had the resources to pull it off." Koch said he and his colleagues will watch closely to see if LucasFilm Animation takes shape as a George-centric extension of its founder's personal storytelling interests. "The big question for us is whether this will all be driven by George Lucas and his tastes, or whether they'll bring in directors and producers from outside the company who would pursue their own visions. My impression is that Lucas likes to have people who hew very closely to his vision, whereas Pixar was founded on the Disney model where you have this large stable of story artists who visualize the script in storyboards and improve it all along the way. That's the model PDI/DreamWorks, Disney and Pixar all follow." It also remains to be seen if LucasFilm Animation can build a strong ensemble of story artists, which Koch says is crucial in crafting an emotionally affecting animation feature. "One of the raps I've heard about ILM is that they're best at effects and the technical aspects of CG, but some people have doubts about their ability to pull off the acting and the character work. Having artists who can do good story work is the most crucial part of the mix. That's going to be interesting for a lot of us, to see how they do with that."
Im Animation Nation Bulletin Board wird fleissig diskutiert... Hin und wieder gibt es interessante Äusserungen, u.a. von JHBucktooth...
Be afraid. The script I saw had kung-fu and Ozzy Osbourne jokes. Just like the beloved classic! Yeesh.
Animated Movies meldet...
A Universal insider revealed [...] that "Curious George (Imagine/Universal) is now being directed by Jun Falkenstein (The Tigger Movie) as a 2-D Theatrical feature set for 2005 release." Indeed, the Los Angeles Times confirmed a couple of days later that "Universal--concerned about a budget that topped $100 million--scrapped plans to enlist ILM in making a computer-animated adaptation of the children's classic Curious George. The studio and producer Imagine Entertainment now are now making a traditional, hand-drawn animated version for one-fourth the cost."
Laut Hollywood Reporter wird das Drehbuch überarbeitet...
Universal Pictures and Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment have hired two writing teams to rewrite a couple of franchise properties, "Curious George" and "The Incredible Shrinking Man." Dan Gerson and Robert L. Baird, who were writers on the animated feature "Monsters, Inc.", will rewrite "George," a CGI project based on the children's book series of the same name that David Silverman will direct for Grazer to produce. The writers are reuniting with Silverman on the project, as the latter co-directed "Monsters." [...]
Imagine Entertainment has tapped its Undercover Brother co-scribe Michael McCullers to write the script for the all-CGI adaptation of children's classic Curious George, reports Variety. McCullers also wrote Austin Powers in Goldmember with Mike Myers.
Based on the character created by Margret Rey and husband H.A. Rey, "George" will mark Universal's first foray by into all-CGI moviemaking. Curious George was originally developed as a star-driven, live-action film in the vein of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Universal Pictures is in negotiations with "Monsters, Inc." co-director David Silverman to direct an all CGI-adaptation of "Curious George," reports Variety.
Based on the character created by Margret Rey and husband H. A. (Hans Augusto) Rey, "George" would mark the first foray by Universal into all-CGI moviemaking, after spending years developing the project with producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard as a star-driven, live-action film. Now, in addition to Imagine, producers David Kirschner and John Shapiro will also produce the pic.
With "George," the Reys created one of the world's most enduring and best-selling children's book characters, the irrepressible but oddly silent primate, Curious George, who left the African jungle to live with the enigmatic man in the yellow hat.
Brian Grazer und die Firma Imagine Entertainment haben ihren Plan, einen Realfilm ueber einen Affen zu drehen zu den Akten gelegt. "Curious George" soll nun ein Animationsfilm a la "Shrek" werden - wobei der Erfolg dieses Films den Ausschlag gab, einen solchen Film zu produzieren. Laut "Hollywood Reporter" solle der Film urspruenglich mit John Travolta in einer Rolle gedreht werden.
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