Brent Amacker's

Brent Amacker's
A Slightly Different Perspective

Sunday, February 28, 2010

George Lopez Voices 'Speedy Gonzales', Jonathan Winters To Voice 'Papa Smurf' in Upcoming Films

George Lopez to Voice Speedy Gonzales in New Line Movie
(from Animation, February 25, 2010
By: Ramin Zahed

It looks like another Looney Tunes character will be getting his own live-action/CG hybrid movie. A story in The Hollywood Reporter announces that New Line will be making a new feature based on Speedy Gonzales, penned by Garfield writers Alec Sokolow and Joel Cohen. Comic George Lopez is also attached to voice the fast-moving rat.

Known as “The fastest mouse in all Mexico,” Speedy (voiced by Mel Blanc) made his first official appearance in Friz Freleng’s Oscar-winning short, Speedy Gonzales in 1955, in which he saved the other mice from Sylvester the cat at the Mexican border. The cartoon was the source of some controversy because of the way it promoted negative stereotypes about Mexicans. However, the new producer Anne Lopez assures fans that the new incarnation will be politically correct.

"We wanted to make sure that it was not the Speedy of the 1950s—the racist Speedy," Lopez is quoted in the article. "Speedy's going to be a misunderstood boy who comes from a family that works in a very meticulous setting, and he's a little too fast for what they do. He makes a mess of that. So he has to go out in the world to find what he's good at."

Speedy joins Yogi Bear, The Jetsons, The Smurfs and Marvin the Martian on a growing list of 2D cartoons that are being used as source material for live-action/CG hybrid movies. Let’s hope the movies are at least watchable and honor the memories of the talented animators who created and worked on them.

Jonathan Winters to Voice Papa Smurf

Posted In | News Categories: CG, Films, People, Visual Effects, Voice Acting | Geographic Region: All | Site Categories: CG, Films, People, Visual Effects, Voice Acting
UGO reports that Columbia Pictures has hired comic legend Jonathan Winters to voice Papa Smurf in their live-action/CG animated THE SMURFS. SCOOBY-DOO director Raja Gosnall is helming.

Winters would be joining Wallace Shawn as Gargamel. John Lithgow and Julia Sweeney are also rumored to be involved.

J. David Stem and David N. Weiss have adapted a script from the characters created by Belgium cartoonist Peyo.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Al Swearengen: Pirate....?


Ian McShane (DEADWOOD) is in talks to play the villain Blackbeard in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES, according to THE HOLLYWOODREPORTER. The project, which is scheduled for release on May 20, 2011, is being directed by Rob Marshall at Walt Disney Pictures.

Above, McShane is seen in a guest appearance on "Space:1999" some time in the mid 70's.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Main Street Electric Parade" Returning to Walt Disney World in June

The refurbished "Main Street Electric Parade" that was a mainstay at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World will be returning to The Magic Kingdom in June, sources at WDE have verified. This welcome bit of info was posted over on Jim Hill Media.

Click on the title of this post or here for the complete story.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Viewer Loyalty Dilemma

Well, I know I'm a bit late, but I MUST comment on the recent NBC Late-Night Tonight Show Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien fiasco. If you recall, Jay was told a couple of years ago that he was to be replaced as host on the top-rated late night talk show.

Ever gracious, he accepted this news and handled the news as a professional. I always enjoyed Leno, since way back in the early 80's when he was a frequent guest on David Letterman (both on his morning show, and then later on the original "Late Night with David Letterman").

I had mixed emotions when he was anointed to replace the legendary Johnny Carson over Dave, since I was an appreciative fan of both.

His humor, though only sometimes self-effacing, was and still is mostly topical. Never hostile or insulting, Jay always took the high road and aimed for the pure comedy. No raunchy puns, racist rants or trashy and vulgar subjects. His was a long and successful run that appealed to a broad audience. He was given a chance to establish his audience, and even though he started slow out of the gate, he eventually steamrolled to the top. And stayed.

Where Letterman never evolved from the frat-boy 'inside joke' shtick that failed to be funny by the time all of the drama transpired, Leno always was broad and entertaining, even after having to re-invent the show early on in his run. His 'Tonight Show Band', led by Kevin Eubanks, was stellar and entertaining. He always seemed genuinely surprised at his good fortune, widespread acceptance and continued success. He connected with the viewer.

Conan O'Brien, on the other hand, seemingly appeared out of nowhere. He was initially a staff writer on HBO's "Not Necessarily the News", then was hired by Lorne Michaels to help revive a struggling "Saturday Night Live". His off-beat approach helped catapult "The Simpsons" to the top, and his contributions to the show were many, from scripts to story and joke contribution and eventually even producer credit.

Like Leno and Letterman, O'Brien's was initially self-effacing humor, and he often used his unusual appearance-- 6'5" height and carrot-orange hair-- as comedy fodder. Again, much like Letterman, his humor was an 'acquired taste'. But unlike Dave, Conan was funny. Consistently. And his band, led by 'E-Street Band' drummer Max Weinberg, was probably the best combo on television. (Until Fallon corralled The Roots)

I would suffer the consequences of sleep deprivation just to stay up long enough to watch the monologues, and was overjoyed when (for a time) the shows were re-aired the following evenings on MSNBC. (I was disappointed when these re-runs ceased.)

Admittedly, I had reservations about the movement of Conan to the earlier 'Tonight Show' time-slot, as his IS a totally different humor than Jay's. (Whereas Leno would cause me to chuckle, O'Brien sometimes made me laugh out loud.) But it was still funny, and apparently someone at NBC thought it was a good idea.

Unfortunately, in this new era of 'instant gratification', Conan didn't automatically unseat Dave from the top of the ratings after vacated by Leno. Six months into the gig, O'Brien is informed that he will be replaced.
By Leno.
No chance to build an audience. No chance to improve ratings or 'viewership'.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Disney Changing "Rapunzel" Title?

It has been reported that Walt Disney Studios plans to re-name the upcoming "Rapunzel" animated feature to "Tangled!".
What the--?
More on this later as it develops and is confirmed......

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Well, after forty some-odd years, The New Orleans Saints have incredibly won the Super Bowl.

Yes. THOSE New Orleans Saints. And THAT Super Bowl. The Saints beat the seemingly invincible Indianapolis Colts and NFL MVP Peyton Manning for their first Super Bowl victory in the franchise's first trip EVER.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Float Drawings Up on Website!

The designs for this year's various Mardi Gras parades are posted over on my website, , once they roll! Last night, the Order of Incas paraded with the theme of "Two of a Kind", including the "Yin & Yang" float. The design is pictured at left.

They were followed by the Mirthco-built Order of Polka Dots, who were rescheduled from Thursday due to rain.

The Polka Dots theme was "A Number of Things", and included the "Summer of '69" float, the design drawing which is pictured here.

Two more 'Brent-designed' parades will be featured today. The Mobile Mystics roll downtown this afternoon, and the Knights of Ecor Rouge will take place over in Fairhope tonight. The Incas, Mystics, and KOER are all built by Carnival Artists.

The TIDE Racks Up In Recruiting-- Again!

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide completed another stellar recruiting season, and although they weren't a consensus recruiting champ again, most rankings had them in various top-5 spots. ESPN ranked them at #3, behind Florida & Texas. Rivals has us 5th, behind USC, Florida, Texas & auburn. Scout has us rated 4th, behind Florida, Oklahoma & Texas.
By the way, did I mention that BAMA beat Florida, Texas and auburn on the field this year...? Coach Saban has a process and a thoroughly-prepared menu of what he's looking for, so I am pretty sure he got what he wanted, with one exception.
As the success continues, and the winning and championships pile up, look for The TIDE to continue to pull in top talent.


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