CULVER CITY, Calif., July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Pictures Animation continues to expand its stable of talented filmmakers with the signing of three-time Emmy Award winner Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Star Wars: Clone Wars) to an overall agreement that extends beyond his current directorial film debut of Hotel Transylvania to include development and direction of his own projects, as well as an all-new take on Popeye. The deal was announced today by Bob Osher, President of Sony Pictures Digital Productions, and Michelle Raimo-Kouyate, President of Production, Sony Pictures Animation.
"Sony Pictures Animation is committed to attracting - and keeping - industry visionaries with the creative instincts to craft the style of vibrant storytelling that has been our trademark for 10 memorable years," says Osher. "I have known Genndy since his Hanna-Barbera days and am thrilled we are continuing the relationship with him. This is a very exciting collaboration, one that should yield wonderful animated stories in the years to come."
"Genndy's unique style and vision are evident through his fantastic direction of Hotel Transylvania," adds Raimo-Kouyate. "We are excited to have him as part of the family at Sony Pictures Animation and look forward to supporting his extraordinary talents as they expand and take us in new, innovative directions."
"I grew up watching the works of great animators, such as Tex Avery and Bob Clampett, who knew that animation had no limits," Tartakovsky explains. "At Sony Pictures Animation, I've found a new home where I've been given the opportunity to create new stories, characters and perhaps, even push the boundaries of animation."
Hotel Transylvania, which arrives in theatres on September 28, 2012, represents Tartakovsky's theatrical directorial debut. Tartakovsky's new overall deal includes development of his original concepts, as well as an all-new take on Popeye, based on the popular Hearst-owned King Features property and produced by Avi & Ari Arad, which Tartakovsky is also attached to direct.
Tartakovsky will lead a special presentation of Hotel Transylvania at Comic-Con in San Diego on Thursday, July 12 at 3:00 p.m. in the Indigo Ballroom of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. Fans in attendance will be the first to see all-new Comic-Con exclusive footage from the film, and have the opportunity to ask direct questions of Tartakovsky. Following the panel, Tartakovsky will be signing a Hotel Transylvania poster created specifically for Comic-Con fans at the Sony booth #4229.
A 20-year veteran of the art, Tartakovsky has received an impressive 12 Primetime Emmy Award nominations - winning three times - for work on the series Star Wars: Clone Wars and Samurai Jack, both for Cartoon Network. A recipient of the prestigious Winsor McCay Award, Tartakovsky's creative leadership helped shape the direction and the rise to national prominence of the Cartoon Network, where he developed four hit animated series between 1994 and 2010: Dexter's Laboratory; Samurai Jack; Star Wars: Clone Wars; and Sym-Biotic Titan.
Additionally, Tartakovsky served as a producer and director on Cartoon Network's Emmy Award-winning series The Powerpuff Girls and as an animation director for The Powerpuff Girls: The Movie. He is also co-creator of the Network's Dial M for Monkey and Justice Friends.
The Moscow-born, CalArts-educated Tartakovsky has been honored across the globe for his film festival entries (Ottawa, Annecy and Cartoons on the Bay). He started Orphanage Animation Studios in 2005, where he directed numerous well-known commercial spots and was instrumental in conceptualizing and storyboarding the final action sequence on Paramount Pictures' summer 2010 blockbuster film Iron Man 2.
Under the direction of Osher and Raimo-Kouyate, SPA celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2012 with a robust slate of upcoming films on the near and distant horizon. Following box office hits and award-winning favorites like Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and Open Season, Tartakovsky's Hotel Transylvania is next up in September, after which Sony Pictures Animation will welcome the July 2013 release of The Smurfs 2, the follow-up to the 2011 global sensation. Cloudy 2: Revenge Of The Leftovers, a sequel to Sony Pictures Animation's popular comedy, will reach theatres worldwide in February 2014. Also now in development are the aforementioned Popeye; The Familiars, directed by Doug Sweetland (who previously helmed the Academy Award® nominated Pixar short Presto) and co-directed by Fergal Reilly; Kazorn and the Unicorn, with Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2, Gnomeo & Juliet) at the helm and co-directed by Troy Quane; and Pooch Cafe, based on Paul Gilligan's popular, long-running comic strip.
ABOUT SONY PICTURES ANIMATION
Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated entertainment for audiences around the world. The studio is following its worldwide comedy hits-the 2011 hybrid live action/animated family blockbuster, The Smurfs (3D) and the 2009 mouth-watering Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (3D)-with the family comedy Hotel Transylvania (3D) in September 2012 and the Smurfs 2 (3D) in July 2013. Sony Pictures Animation, in conjunction with Aardman Animations, has produced two critically acclaimed feature films: the CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas (3D); and the stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, The Pirates! Band of Misfits (3D). In 2007, Surf's Up received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. The division, whose first feature film Open Season led to a very successful movie franchise, is turning 10 this year. Sony Pictures Animation is an operating unit of Sony Pictures Digital.
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SOURCE Sony Pictures Animation