Two small-screen animation heavyweights will be making their first forays into feature filmmaking this year, though the projects couldn’t sound more different. This summer will see the premiere of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane‘s rather insane-sounding R-rated comedy Ted, while Genndy Tartovsky (Samurai Jack) will follow this fall with the more family-friendly animation Hotel Transylvania. After the jump, check out a new poster from the former and new images from the latter.

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Here are new images for a couple of upcoming CG animated features. One is Sony’s Hotel Transylvania, featuring the efforts of Dracula (Adam Sandler) to celebrate the birthday of his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez), which end up being complicated by the attentions of a regular ol’ human (Andy Samberg). The movie is directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (The Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Star Wars: Clone Wars) which for me at least, represents the primary appeal of the project.

There’s also The Croods from Dreamworks Animation, featuring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, and Cloris Leachman in a story about a prehistoric family of early humans.

New looks at both films showed up this week. That’s Mavis from Hotel Transylvania, above, and we’ve got a big image for The Croods below. Read More »

Whether it’s this weekend’s violent Immortals or next spring’s “sickeningly kiddie” Mirror, Mirror, the common thread running through all of director Tarsem Singh‘s works is a focus on uniquely striking imagery. After all, this is a man who once explained to a Comic-Con audience that “I start with a good visual, and see if the story will fall in.” So on that level, it makes quite a bit of sense that his dream job is apparently to direct a live-action feature version of Samurai Jack, the stylish Cartoon Network animated series that aired between 2001 and 2004. It may or may not be a good news, depending on how you feel about his oeuvre, but it’s not especially shocking news.

No, what’s much more surprising is that his next project won’t be that movie, or actually anything else that sounds like it’s remotely in the Singh wheelhouse. The filmmaker has said that wants to shift gears completely and focus on a small, talk-y film in the vein of My Dinner with Andre or Knife in the Water. Read more about Singh’s plans for his future after the jump.

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Hotel Transylvania won’t be out until this time next year but Sony Pictures Animation is giving its Facebook fans a Halloween treat. The film, which marks the feature directorial debut of animation guru Genndy Tartakovsky, features Adam Sandler as the voice of the famous vampire Dracula who opens a hotel to keep his young daughter occupied with a never ending run of other famous monster patrons like Frankenstein, Mummy and the Invisible Man. It also features the voices of Steve Buscemi, Fran Drescher, Cee Lo Green, Kevin James, Andy Samberg, Molly Shannon and David Spade. After the jump, get your first sneak peak at what Sandler’s character is going to look like. Read More »

Animation fans know Genndy Tartakovsky well. His shows like Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack and the first Star Wars: Clone Wars have long been revered but those unique talents have rarely been seen off the small screen. That’s about to change in a monstrous way.

Tartakovsky will direct Sony Pictures Animation’s 3D monster-themed family comedy Hotel Transylvania featuring the voice of Adam Sandler as Count Dracula, and a supporting voice cast including Steve Buscemi, Fran Drescher, Cee Lo Green, Kevin James, Andy Samberg, Molly Shannon and David Spade. Hotel Transylvania follows Dracula as he opens a hotel to keep his young daughter occupied with a never ending run of famous monster patrons like Frankenstein, Mummy and the Invisible Man. Things then get turned upside-down when a regular guy drops into the hotel and falls for her. It’s scheduled for release September 21, 2012. Read who each actor is playing and more about the film after the jump. Read More »

If you found the first few glimpses of Scott Stewart‘s Priest to be confusing — and I wouldn’t blame you, that last trailer was pretty “huh?”-worthy — here’s something that might help. Animator Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory) has created a three-minute animated prequel to the film that explains some of the setup and gives a taste of what kind of tone we can expect from the movie. Watch it after the jump.

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Note: There’s some Genndy Tartakovsky news in this post somewhere too, if you wait for it.

Peter Chung was the creator of Aeon Flux before Karyn Kusama put it through the lemoniser, and director of a couple of Matrix and Chronicles of Riddick tie-in toons, a storyboard artist on the Transformers series and also their rawktastic animated film. He’s now preparing a CG feature called Firebreather and I’ve been told his fans won’t be the tiniest bit disappointed…

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