Unified Pictures announces its Noah’s Ark cartoon… again…

noahsark-unifiedUnified Pictures announced today that John Stevenson, one of the directors of the original Kung Fu Panda, will direct an animated version of Noah’s Ark for them, and that the film will be completed two years from now, in 2016.

None of that is news, though, to anyone who has been following this film. Stevenson’s involvement with the film was first announced in March 2013, and Unified Pictures has been saying the film will be ready in two years ever since it was first announced in 2007. Maybe what’s new now is that Stevenson will direct the film by himself; today’s press release makes no mention of Cameron Hood, who was announced as co-director last year.

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The Prince of Egypt came out fifteen years ago today.

It was fifteen years ago today that The Prince of Egypt opened in theatres across North America. To mark the occasion, here are twelve things you may or may not know about the movie. (I would have come up with fifteen things, but didn’t have quite enough time.)

1. It came very close to being the first DreamWorks cartoon. It may seem hard to believe now, given that the DreamWorks brand has become associated with adolescent wise-ass humour and lots of pop-culture references, but when Jeffrey Katzenberg left Disney and co-founded the DreamWorks studio with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen in 1994, he aspired to epic greatness. After Katzenberg pitched the idea that animated films could take place on a grand scale like Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Spielberg suggested that they make an animated version of The Ten Commandments (1956) — and the resulting film was supposed to help establish the DreamWorks brand. [Read more...]

An update on several recent/upcoming Noah’s Ark cartoons

It can take a long time to make a film. Six years ago, an outfit called Unified Pictures announced that it was going to make a computer-animated film about Noah’s Ark, told from the point of view of the animals. One of the Unified executives even said he expected the film to be finished within two years.

Then, four years ago, the folks at Unified said they had struck a deal with a company called Rising India, which would allow the film to be finished by 2011.

And now, here we are in 2013, and the trades are reporting once again that things are starting to move on this film. But this time, the news is not about corporate deals, but involves actual animators: specifically, we are told that the film will be overseen by John Stevenson, director of Kung Fu Panda (2008), and Cameron Hood, an animator on several DreamWorks cartoons including The Prince of Egypt (1998) and How to Train Your Dragon (2010). So that bodes well, at least.

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