Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Midweek Winter Links

A mid-week mini-fest of links, starting with the House of SKG.

DreamWorks sees its stock jump. Nothing like a DVD release and buy back.

DreamWorks shares rose 9.1 percent, or $2.08, to $25.03 on the New York Stock Exchange ...

"They had $540 million in cash on their balance sheet when they exited the third quarter, so the release of 'Shrek The Third' should supplement the company's current cash balances despite underperforming 'Shrek 2'," [Drew Crum, analyst with Stifel Nicolaus] said.

Pixar's second WALL-E trailer rolls down the intertubes:

Pixar today released a new trailer for their upcoming movie, WALL-E. The movie is set in the semi-distant future where planet earth is covered with garbage, caused by an overabundance of consumerism, and leads to everyone leaving earth. Before all of earth's population leaves though, they set to work millions of robots to clean up the mess they've made. But things don't work out so well, and 700 years later one lone robot still works ...

The "Italian Disney" produces its first full-length animated feature? (You could have knocked me over with a baby Fiat):

Iginio Straffi's production house Rainbow has conquered a large chunk of the world with the television series "Winx Club" ...

Now Straffi has made his first feature film. "Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom" continues where the third television season left off. No doubt it will work best with those who already are followers of the TV show.

In Italy, the film opened strong, clocking up nearly €2 million its first weekend. So far, it has sold to almost 46 territories. The film should do well in the markets in which the show and Winx merchandising are popular, such as Europe and North America.

The Disney Co. releases the cartoons of that brave little animated character who didn't start it all (but, if not for copyright issues, might have):

Twenty-six silent animated Oswald shorts were produced, but only 13 survived over the years. And if you watch these things, sometimes Oswald's kissable, detachable rabbit's foot (yes, there's a kind of an Itchy & Scratchy element here) results in a happy ending, while other times he ends up in the same sort of feckless finale as that other rabbit who'd hit the screen years later for Warner Bros. So I don't exactly get the "lucky" bit. But in several frames where Oswald's long ears are cropped out of the picture, you can really see Mickey. After all, the same man [Ub Iwerks] who created Oswald created Mickey ...

The Jerusalem Post profiles the father of Shrek:

[W]hen he was over 60, [William] Steig [1907-2003] embarked on a new career as a successful writer and illustrator of children's books, like Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (1969) and Doctor De Soto (1982), about a mouse who stepped into a fox's mouth to attend to his teeth. His 1990 picture book Shrek! ("fear" in Yiddish) inspired the Academy Award-winning feature film Shrek (2001) and its two sequels - Shrek 2 (2004) and Shrek the Third (2007) - as well as an upcoming Broadway musical.

Steig's Shrek was not the lovable ogre of the film but a real fright, as was his quite hideous lady love. On view at the Jewish Museum show are the sculptured models of the film's characters, which are ingratiatingly pleasant recreations little related to Steig's originals. The film's donkey is a gem, but it is not a Steig.

Sadly, the House of Mouse is failing to wow them in old Hong Kong:

Mickey Mouse and his friends appear to have lost their charm as the number of visitors to the Hong Kong Disneyland theme park dropped 23 percent in its second year of operation.

According to a paper to be discussed by the Legislative Council's economic development panel on Friday, the park recorded just over four million visitors from October 2006 to September 2007, compared to 5.2 million in the first year after its launch on September 12, 2005 ...

On a brighter note, while overall attendance was down, the paper said the number of overnight family visitors was up 15.8 percent from 2005 and the number of visitors under the age of 16 had increased by 23.5 percent.

You're halfway through the week to the Big Holiday. Soldier on.


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