The Nicktoons Film Festival Launches: Series Starts Sunday!

The Frederator and AniMag Co-Pro Showcases Talented Animators Worldwide

Hundreds of cartoons from around the world were received during The Nicktoons Film Festival call for entries, a co-production of Frederator Studios and Animation Magazine for Nicktoons. The first episode of the on-air portion of the competition launches Sunday, October 24 on the Nicktoons cable channel at 10:00 p.m. (EST) and 7:00 p.m. (PST), with a repeat at 1:00 a.m. (EST) and 10:00 p.m. (PST). The films featured in Screening Number: 1 are: Charlie and Chunk by Eric Fogel, creator of MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch; Timmy’s Lesson’s in Nature, from Mark Simon and his A&S Animation, Inc. studio; It Could be Worse from California Institute of the Arts grad Zach Horn; Childhood Trauma #17 from U.K.-based Michiel De Kraker; Lucky Penny from CalArts grad David Gerhard; and The Manly Bee from the shorts program of Canadian-based Nelvana, Ltd. and animator/director Steve Daye. All films are in competition for a $10,000 Grand Prize which will be announced during the last episode of the season. The Fest’s Grand Jury members are John Kricfalusi, Eric Goldberg and Gabor Csupo.

The Nicktoons Film Festival: Screening Number: 1

Airdate & Time: October 24, 2004, 10:00 p.m. (EST) and 7:00 p.m. (PST), Nicktoons

Film #1: Charlie and Chunk (Length: 3:30; Stop-Motion, Clay)–This film shows us what happens when a wild and wooly young fellow declares it’s "10-Year-Old-Boy-Day" and enlists his "large clay friend" to ride along. Created by Eric Fogel (MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch), this smart short is a stop-motion fan’s dream and reminds us all of the inherent pitfalls of childhood imagination–how it can land you and your best pal in unexpected territory real fast. (For more info on Fogel’s work visit www.animotionunlimited.com.)

Film #2: Timmy’s Lessons in Nature (Length: 5:30; Traditional 2D)–Filmmakers Mark Simon and Travis Blaise describe their leading man as a bit of a moron and Timmy’s Lessons definitely prove them right. Timmy’s Lessons is actually a series of 13 one-minute shorts and we’ve selected the first three for your viewing pleasure. Watch Screening Number: 1 to find out why you shouldn’t play with snakes, how to truly mess-up a cowtipping encounter and what not to do when coming across a rabid animal. (For more info on work from A&S Animation, Inc. and House of Blaise Productions, visit www.funnytoons.tv.)

Film #3: It Could Be Worse (Length: 5:32; Traditional 2D)–A student project of Zach Horn’s while studying animation at CalArts, It Could Be Worse tells the story of a sleep-deprived woman who tries everything–and we mean everything–to get her husband to stop snoring. Horn says he came up with this short while feeling stressed out over school. His mantra was "no matter how bad a situation may be, it could always be worse," and this film depicts his wisdom in grand and hilarious style. Horn says he also experimented with sounds instead of dialogue for Worse, using a great deal of playful gibberish to create the storyline. (For more info on the work of Zach Horn visit www.zachhorn.com.)

Film #4: Childhood Trauma #17 (Length: 3:00; CG created in Softimage: XSI)–Okay, nobody likes making that first big jump off the high-dive at the city pool, but it doesn’t help having Dad record the whole event on video. Michiel De Kraker’s super-charming short encapsulates this sinking feeling perfectly and provides a great cartoon payoff at the end. Michiel, who lives in London and animates on commercials for One Post, says his girlfriend actually came up with the idea. De Kraker decided it was especially good since the set-up for the cartoon required only one background–the blue sky. "That meant I could really concentrate on the animation of the two characters." (If you want to contact Michiel, you can reach him at [email protected])

Film #5: Lucky Penny (Length: 4:30, Traditional 2D)–David Gerhard, another talented CalArts grad, brings us the story of a quiet neighborhood and one really stressed-out guy. Lester has had it with the lack of common decency displayed by his neighbors and to his wife Lucy’s dismay, he confronts one of them. (You can view David Gerhard’s portfolio at www.davidgerhard.com.)

Film #6: The Manly Bee (Length: 5:00; Animated in Flash)– Created by Steve Daye for Toronto-based Nelvana, Ltd., The Manly Bee tells the story a legendary superhero returning to save his fair city from the forces of evil after a 50-year hiatus. He has, however, absolutely no recollection of ever being a celebrated crime fighter. Viewers will enjoy Daye’s 2D Flash animation style–lots of old-time comedy–and truly unique character designs. If you dig a comic book flair and washed up superheroes that appear to walk in the shoes of UPA’s Mr. Magoo, then The Manly Bee is a must. (You can find out more about Steve Daye’s work and other shorts created by Nelvana by e-mailing funpak@corusent[email protected])

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