The 10th anniversary celebration of Sony Pictures Animation (SPA) continues with a five-week series of special screenings in September featuring its legacy of animated and hybrid films, as well as reunions with filmmakers participating in Q & As following each screening, rare footage/materials from the SPA archives, and giveaways. The series, held in conjunction with ASIFA-Hollywood and Animation Magazine, will culminate with an exclusive screening of Hotel Transylvania (opening Sept. 28.)
The weekly events will be moderated by respected animation experts, and the proceedings will be filmed and documented for sharing across the social media channels of Sony Pictures Animation, ASIFA-Hollywood, and Animation Magazine.
The series’ initial four screenings will be hosted in Sony Pictures Animation’s revered Ray Harryhausen Theater, which will feature intimate exhibitions of SPA artwork in and around its facilities. Tickets for these one-time events will be primarily made available to members of ASIFA-Hollywood and through giveaways via Animation Magazine.
On Sept. 5, SPA will present Open Season, the first film in the studios’ decade-long history. Amongst the rarities of the evening will be a presentation of the Oscar-winning short, The Chubbchubbs, along with a panel discussion with Michelle Murdocca (producer), Steve Moore (exec producer), and William Haller (character animator).
The Academy Award nominated Surf’s Up will screen on Sept.13, followed by a panel discussion with directors Ash Brannon and Chris Buck, producer Chris Jenkins, and VFX supervisor Rob Bredow.
Breakout directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord (21 Jump Street) return to their animation roots to present Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs on Sept.20. The directors will be joined by producer Pam Marsden and VFX supervisor Bredow for a panel discussion of the film.
SPA’s international animation hybrid sensation, The Smurfs, will screen Sept. 27. A panel discussion will feature filmmakers and key artists.
The series will close Sept. 29 with Hotel Transylvania. Three-time Emmy Award-winning director Genndy Tartakovsky and producer Michelle Murdocca will lead the festivities.
Meanwhile, SPA will welcome the July 2013 release of The Smurfs 2. Cloudy 2: Revenge Of The Leftovers will open February 2014. The sequel is directed by Cody Cameron (whose story artist credits include Shrek, Madagascar, Surf’s Up and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) & Kris Pearn (head of story on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and story supervisor on Arthur Christmas) and produced by longtime Sony Pictures Animation producer Kirk Bodyfelt.
The lead voice cast from the first film returns, including Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live, Men In Black 3) as inventor Flint Lockwood; Anna Faris (Scary Movie, The House Bunny) as brainy weather girl Sam Sparks; James Caan (The Godfather, Elf) as Flint’s technophobic dad, Tim Lockwood; Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live, Hotel Transylvania) as Swallow Falls’ local celebrity “Baby” Brent; Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, The Smurfs) as Steve the gummy bear-loving monkey; and Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order, Miss Congeniality) as Sam’s mild mannered cameraman Manny. In addition, Terry Crews (The Expendables 2) joins the cast to take on the role of Earl, the town cop.
Also now in development is Popeye, directed by Tartakovsky with the screenplay by Jay Scherick and David Ronn (The Smurfs). Avi Arad (The Amazing Spider-Man)) and Ari Arad (Iron Man) exec producing; Kazorn and the Unicorn, with Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2, Gnomeo & Juliet) at the helm and co-directed by Troy Quane. Lloyd Taylor is writing the screenplay. Sam Raimi and JoshDonen are exec producing; and the hybrid live-action/CG feature Secret Histories, written by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein and produced by Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Eric Robinson of the Gotham Group with Greg Little.