Media FX Newsletter
Vol. 1, No. 9 - July 15, 2001
(2) Rugrats Celebrates a
(3) Problems for Planet of
(4) New Animated Series -
Stanley - Set for Playhouse Disney
(5) Shrek Now Second Highest
Grossing Animated Movie
(6) Top News Stories of the
Past Two Weeks
(7) A Look at
Jurassic Park 3
Welcome to another edition of the Digital Media FX (dFX) newsletter,
covering the world of animation and visual effects. This newsletter
is published on or near the 1st and 15th of each month with original
animation/FX content, insider news, and sneak peeks at new dFX
contains stories on Rugrats celebrating a decade, Planet of the
Apes problems, and a new animated series on Playhouse Disney.
Plus there's a review of Jurassic Park 3. Enjoy! -- Joe Tracy
Celebrates a Decade
(by digitalmediafx.com) The 10-year anniversary celebration of
the hit Rugrats animated series begins this Saturday with a special
episode that ages the Rugrat babies by 10 years. Now the wacky
group of kids have new interests - like boys and girls. The episode
is titled "All Growed Up," and the kids are now in school
dealing with issues that many 10 and 11 year olds face. The episode
will be an hour long and airs this Saturday on Nickelodeon.
A few weeks
ago the Rugrats received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
for Planet of the Apes
(by digitalmediafx.com) According to Inside Magazine, Planet of
the Apes is cutting its release date tight due to CGI work that
is still not complete, a partial remix of the soundtrack, and
scenes that had to be reshot just a few weeks ago. The result
is that the film will not be ready in time for early press screenings
(which have been canceled) and a special of "Making of The
Planet of the Apes" has been postponed.
bank so much on a set opening date that a movie is often be released
even if it isn't up to par. A prime example is Tomb Raider. The
filmmakers hired a new composer the last minute, giving him only
10 days to finish and record the score to the movie. Tomb Raider
also lacked a lot of composition and balance as poor editing and
lack of time for reshoots resulted in a disjointed story.
a film's release date could result in temporary negative publicity,
releasing a film that is not up to par with the original vision
can spell disaster after a film's opening weekend and negative
reviews that cloud the work of the cast and crew.
Series - Stanley - Set for Playhouse Disney
(by digitalmediafx.com) A new original half-hour animated TV series,
named "Stanley," will premiere on Playhouse Disney (on
the Disney Channel) this September. It will make its move to the
new Playhouse Disney cable channel next year when broadcasting
of the preschool station begins. "Stanley" is a new,
interactive, learning-based animated series created and executive
produced by Jim Jinkins and David Campbell's (Disney's "PB&J
Otter") Cartoon Pizza Productions, in association with Disney
Channel. Cartoon Pizza Inc. is a newly formed animation production
company based in New York.
is based on characters from the "Stanley" children's
book series and follows the adventures of six-year-old Stanley
Here is an
official synopsis of the series:
is an extremely imaginative and creative little boy who is wild
about animals. In fact, he loves to make simple drawings of his
favorite animals. His supportive and loving parents as well as
his teasing, yet affectionate, older brother are privy to only
part of Stanley's world. They can't see or hear the conversations
he has with his pet goldfish, Dennis.
best friend and closest adviser, Dennis serves as a guide throughout
each episode, bringing Stanley to an important understanding or
life lesson that adds to his personal growth and self-confidence."
Second Highest Grossing Animated Movie
(by digitalmediafx.com) Shrek has become the second highest-grossing
animated movie of all time, surpassing Toy Story 2 this
weekend. The mega-successful Toy Story 2 finished its domestic
box office run with $245.8 million. Shrek's box office
total, through Sunday, stands at $247.2 million. Only one movie
remains in Shrek's path to ultimate box office glory -
The Lion King. The king of the jungle will be hard for
Shrek to top as its total domestic box office take (in
1994 while playing in fewer theaters) was a majestic $312.8 million.
To view the
top animated movies of all time (including the inflation-adjusted
Stories of the Past Two Weeks
(digitalmediafx.com) Digital Media FX is updated 365 days a year
including Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. If you don't visit
daily you may have missed some important news. Here is a list
of what we consider the top five news stories (in order of importance)
of the past two weeks, including links to each story.
Abruptly Halts Animated Feature!
Fantasy Nosedives at Box Office in Opening Weekend
Tom Hanks: "Digital Actors May Replace
Loses It's Magic (Opinion Article)
& Dogs Nudges Out Scary Movie 2
at Jurassic Park III (Contains Minor Spoilers)
(review by Joe Tracy of digitalmediafx.com)Jurassic Park 3
has been hit with a lot of negative publicity that started severalmonths
ago when word was leaked online that the original
script was thrown out just weeks before production began, creating
a flurry of problems when the time came to begin filming. It also
resulted in an "on the fly" script where writers tried
to stay a few days ahead of filming while trying to put together
a story. Instead of postponing production of the movie (like Aardman
did with Tortoise vs. Hare when script problems arose),
the studio and crew pressed forward in order to meet a summer
is a movie with weak character development, story problems, and
a weak ending. The movie is one of the poorest examples of director
Joe Johnston's work (October Sky, Jumanji). Yet even with
all these problems, Jurassic Park 3 manages a better overall feel
than Jurassic Park 2 even though both movies still a far
cry from the original (which also had its own problems).
teach their students that the first thing you should work on when
creating a movie is the ending. By creating a solid ending, the
writer has a direction for the creation of the rest of the story.
It seems that the "writers" and director didn't have
a direction for Jurassic Park 3 as it mostly just plays
itself out to a point where the filmmakers wonder how to end it
and throw in a quick "chicken exit" sequence to wrap
up the movie. This has become a pet peeve of mine with so many
poor endings to Hollywood films this year. It is time for a new
slate of writers and directors to invade Hollywood with fresh
ideas and solid endings to wrap up well-written (and produced)
stories. Yet that isn't likely to happen anytime soon.
Park 3 has a weak story, weak character development, a weak
ending, and a script written on the fly like the hastily written
(and poorly produced) score for Tomb Raider. So how does JP3
manage to be better than JP2? The answer is in the casting
(particularly Sam Neill) and the introduction of new dinosaurs
like the flying Pterandons. The Pterandons are quite possibly
the best dinosaur villains yet because of their strategic ability
to attack from the air. This new element of "dino-fright"
plays well in Jurassic Park 3; so does a short (and I mean
short) battle between a T-Rex and Spinosaurus.
Park 3 also does an amazing job at humor (a few hokey lines
aside), making it more lighthearted than Jurassic Park 1
and 2. The humor works too, particularly with scenes relating
to a satellite phone. Another impressive aspect of Jurassic
Park 3 is the differences between the trailer and movie. The
trailer makes you believe one thing for a particular scene, but
when the scene plays out, it is a bit different resulting in the
preservation of some of the "surprise."
So what dinosaurs
will you see in Jurassic Park 3? Here's the list (with
the first three being the main focus and main villains):
Park 3 opens domestically this Wednesday. The movie is only
an hour and a half long. By entering the movie with low expectations
you are likely to enjoy it (particularly after seeing a massive
amount of bad and disjointed movies like Tomb Raider).
This movie should have been postponed, however, to fully flesh
out the script and character development. It would also have given
ILM more time to create a longer T-Rex versus Spino sequence and
would have preserved the solid name director Joe Johnston had
built for himself.
Most of all,
enjoy the visual effects as, once again, ILM and Stan Winston
do an amazing job of bringing history to life:
go completely CGI, you end up with a movie more like Toy Story.
If you just go with the physical effect, you are limited by physics.
The idea is to combine them, defy physics and do things the audience
would never suspect is possible.This was by far the most physical
of the three Jurassic movies." - JP3 Special
Effects Consultant Michael Lantieri.
for being a part of the Digital Media FX team through your daily
visits to www.digitalmediafx.com.
I hope that you've enjoyed this edition of the Digital Media FX
newsletter and I look forward to providing you with continued
coverage of the animation and visual effects industries.
Joe Tracy, Publisher
Digital Media FX - The Power of Imagination
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