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Charlie Brown, Snoopy to Star in New 3D CGI Movie

For nearly 65 years children of all ages have treasured the lovable gang featured in the “Peanuts” comic strip. Now, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Woodstock, Lucy, and the rest of the gang are headed to the big screen, thanks to 20th Century Fox Animation.


The gang from one of the world’s most beloved comic strips.

In Development
Blue Sky Studios announced the film through a “Peanuts” Movie Press Release. Details are still being released; so far we know the project will be directed by Steve Martino (“Ice Age: Continental Drift,” “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!”) and he will shoot from a script by Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates.

The film will mark the first time the “Peanuts” gang will be showcased in a full-length film as 3D characters. Craig Schulz, the son of the late Charles M. Schulz, is President of Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates and working with 20th Century Fox on the movie. “We have been working on this project for years,” he said. “We finally felt the time was right and the technology is where we need it to be to create this film. I am thrilled we will be partnering with Blue Sky/Fox to create a ‘Peanuts’ movie.”


When the comic strip first appeared (the early 1950s), the characters—and their problems—were much simpler.

“Peanuts” and Its Impact
It may be difficult for today’s youth to understand just how much impact “Peanuts” once had on American pop culture. At its peak, “Peanuts” was everywhere.

At one time the comic strip was read by 355 million daily readers (in 75 countries). Then there are the classic holiday television specials—especially 1965’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (soon to be celebrating its own 50th anniversary) and 1966’s “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” Both TV specials became enduring classics and today seeing them is considered a rite of passage and a “must see” each holiday season.


 In theory, the starring character in “Peanuts” is everyman Charlie Brown…

Add to that, the popular “Peanuts” Broadway musicals, ice-skating shows and all types of “Peanuts” merchandise, like toys, calendars, books…and “Peanuts” became a billion-dollar marketing empire way before anyone had ever heard of Spongebob Squarepants…and this was back in the days when a billion was a truly astronomical amount of money.

The 65th Anniversary of “Peanuts”
The 2015 “Peanuts” project will mark the 65th anniversary of the debut of the “Peanuts” comic strip and the 50th anniversary of the landmark television special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The first movie, “A Boy Named Charlie Brown,” was a major 1969 success and caught the massive wave of popularity that surrounded “Peanuts” during the 1960s and 1970s. The movie franchise carried on with varying success during three sequels: “Snoopy Come Home” (1972), “Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown” (1977) and “Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back!!!” (1980).


…in reality, however, the star of “Peanuts” has always been Charlie’s pet dog, Snoopy, here assuming the role of a WWI fighter ace atop his airplane (cough)–uh, doghouse.

The gently humorous vision that cartoonist Charles Schulz created has lived on well beyond his death, and shows no signs of going away any time soon. He continues to inspire a new generation of cartoonists and animators and anyone else who wants to learn how draw cartoons.

“Peanuts” remains popular. The comic strip ran without interruption for almost 50 full years, from Oct. 2, 1950 until Feb. 13, 2000. One college professor called that fifty-year run “arguably the longest story ever told by one human being.”


Strip creator Charles M. Schulz turned his gentle humor and simple characters into a vast marketing empire worth more than a billion dollars.

Inspiring the Artist in You
Today, the world of cartooning and animation is light years ahead of what Charles M. Schulz may have envisioned. Kids and teens that want to learn animation or cartooning can attend animation camp, and with tools like Maya and Toon Boom Studio, making a cartoon or learning to become an animator has never been easier.

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posted by Phill Powell in Digital Filmmaking,Digital Photography,News Blog and have No Comments

2012 Summer Movie Round Up

“The Avengers” is currently ruling the box office. The mega-blockbuster exceeded $207 in domestic box office for its opening weekend, and this past Saturday, “The Avengers” churned more than $69.7 million in ticket receipts, making that the highest Saturday gross of all time. Name a box office record and “the Avengers” has either broken it, or has its eye on it.


Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, no…It’s the soaring box office totals for “The Avengers.”

I Believe I Can Fly
How high will “The Avengers” profits soar during its entire initial theatrical run? Some industry analysts are predicting that the film may not surpass the revenues produced by director/producer James Cameron’s one-two combination of “Titanic” and “Avatar,” but that “The Avengers” will probably blow by another superhero blockbuster, “The Dark Knight,” which made $533.3 million back in 2008.

Can anyone, or any film, defeat Earth’s Mightiest Heroes? There are plenty that are going to try – in addition to “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Avengers” will be competing with Spider-Man and Abraham Lincoln. But the summer has a slew of other great flicks lined up, let’s take a look at what’s adding up to be the best movie summer ever!

MAY

“Dark Shadows” is the eighth film Johnny Depp has done with director Tim Burton. (Warner Bros. 2012)

“Dark Shadows” (5/11)
Johnny Depp stars as Barnabas Collins, a vampire that returns to his ancestral home to find the current inhabitants (his descendants). Tim Burton directs the comedy, which is based on the 60s TV classic – the first horror soap opera.

“The Dictator” (5/16)
Sacha Baron Cohen–who made audiences howl with laughter as “Borat”–is back as the unhinged leader of the Republic of Wadiya (say it out loud). Directed by Larry Charles, of “Seinfeld” fame.

“Battleship” (5/18)
Aliens place a force field around a naval fleet and command them to battle it out. Part sci-fi action movie, part board game “Battleship” stars Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna and Liam Neeson.

“Men in Black III” (5/25)
Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith return as the Men in Black – this time joined by Josh Brolin who plays a much-younger version of Jones – in the third installment of Barry Sonnenfeld’s popular sci-fi series. While script re-writes could have derailed production, early buzz and the trailer have fans eager to take on a whole new alien menace.

JUNE

Thor, uh, Chris Helmsworth plays The Huntsman in the updated version of the fairy tale classic. (Universal Pictures. 2012)

“Snow White and the Huntsman” (6/1)
Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron join a cast that includes Ian McShane and Bob Hoskins in the live-action reboot of the fairy tale Walt Disney made into a household name. Cast also includes Chris (“Thor”) Hemsworth, fresh from appearing in “The Avengers.”

“Piranha 3D” (6/1)
A year after ravaging Lake Victoria, our favorite prehistoric eating machines are back – and swimming through the town plumbing! Next stop: water park! The 3D horror-comedy features Danielle Panabaker, Gary Busey and wait for it…David (“Knight Rider,” “Bay Watch”) Hasselhoff!

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” (6/8)
Produced by DreamWorks Animation, this “Madagascar” joins back up with Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo. This time, the gang is trying to return to the Big Apple despite detours to Africa, England and Monte Carlo.

“Prometheus” (6/8)
Call it what you like, Ridley Scott epic, sci-fi brain scrambler, but don’t call it a prequel to “Alien” (1979) – although it shares much of the same universe and references the movie. “Prometheus” is a sci-fi thriller that explores the dark corners of man’s origins.


“You think the Confederates are bad? Four score and seven years ago…I fought hordes of zombies.” (20th Century Fox. 2012)

“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” (6/22)
In the summer’s wildest movie concept, the beloved President does some serious moonlighting, taking the stake to legions of 19th Century undead. Set during the Civil War, the movie plays like “Sherlock Holmes” meets “The Walking Dead.” (Why are we not surprised that this adaptation of the popular novel is being brought to the screen by Tim Burton?)

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” (6/29)
Duane “The Rock” Johnson stars as Roadblock in the sequel to the 2009 dud, “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.” The trailer looks promising and co-stars like Bruce Willis and RZA (from the Rap group Wu Tang Clan) should help to bring much needed starpower to “Joe.” (UPDATE: G.I. Joe has been moved to March 2013, the studio says it’s so the movie can be converted to 3D.)

JULY

Spider-Man’s back! (Sony Pictures. 2012)

“The Amazing Spider-Man” (7/3)
More Marvel movie mayhem is set to pop in this reboot of the hugely successful film series. Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network”) plays Peter Parker/The Amazing Spider-Man with Emma Stone as famous love-interest Gwen Stacy and Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors, the geneticist who transforms into The Lizard. Rounding out the cast: Denis Leary, Martin Sheen and Sally Field.

“Ice Age: Continental Drift” (7/13)
The fourth “Ice Age” film will be the second to utilize Digital 3D, as well as the first to be shot in the really wide widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1. This time around, Scrat goes nuts over an acorn, leading him and his wisecracking posse on a huge adventure that has “world-changing consequences.”

“The Dark Knight Rises” (7/20)
The last Batman film with Christopher Nolan at the helm has some mighty big shoes to fill. Not only will it finish the “Dark Knight” series, the movie hopes to shatter the record and expectations set by its predecessor, “The Dark Knight.” Christian Bale returns to don the famous cowl, joined again by heavyweights like Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Morgan Freeman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This time Batman is the hunted villain, while trying to save Gotham from Bane, his latest super-foe.

AUGUST

Things get turned upside down when normal guy Douglas Quaid begins to think he’s actually a spy. (Sony Pictures. 2012)

“The Bourne Legacy” (8/3)
You almost need a scorecard to keep up with this franchise; this is the fourth film in this spy-action series, but Matt Damon won’t be returning as series protagonist Jason Bourne. Instead, Jeremy Renner (recently seen in “The Avengers”) plays the lead character against villain Edward Norton and with supporting help from Scott Glenn, Joan Allen and Albert Finney.

“Total Recall” (8/3)
Colin Farrell takes over the role of Douglas Quaid, first made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The “Total Recall” remake promises cooler special effects but sadly, no trips to Mars.

“The Expendables 2” (8/17)
With a call sheet that reads like an 80′s action hero who’s who, the sequel to the sleeper hit stars Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Summer of Entertainment Options
The world looks to Hollywood for its most popular entertainment. Summer blockbusters begin with ideas brought to life by talented creative professionals. Learning filmmaking can be your ticket to the show. Film production or movie-making camps can start you on the way to making your own blockbuster!

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posted by Phill Powell in Digital Filmmaking,News Blog and have No Comments