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ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2014 | By Rebecca Keegan
Oscar's animated feature race is a clash of the major Hollywood studios this year, with Disney, Fox/DreamWorks and Universal/Illumination all contending. But one movie in the mix -- a French-Belgian production about the unlikely friendship between a mouse and a bear -- is the sort that is alien to the high-stakes U.S. animation industry. Made with hand-painted watercolor backgrounds and a modest $12-million price tag, "Ernest & Celestine," which U.S. distributor GKIDS will release in Los Angeles on Friday, is based on a whimsical series of children's books by reclusive Brussels-born author Gabrielle Vincent.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic, This story has been updated. See note below.
"Ernest & Celestine," the charming French-Belgium animated film and Oscar contender, is about a bear and a mouse whose artistic tendencies are forever getting them into trouble. Marked as outsiders by their respective societies, an unlikely friendship is forged, an ill-tempered uproar unleashed, and a delightful movie is the result. Based on the lovely children's books by Gabrielle Vincent, with a screenplay by noted novelist Daniel Pennac ("Cabot-Caboche"), this lively and larcenous tale is softened by its watercolor pastiche and minimalist animation.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 2014 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Rihanna will not only star in DreamWorks Animation's upcoming film “Home” but will also provide the film's music.  The pop star is working on a concept album inspired by the upcoming film, according to Variety . The 3D film is based on Adam Rex's 2007 children's book, "The True Meaning of Smekday. " Rihanna voices the teenage protagonist Gratuity "Tip" Tucci. Jim Parsons, Jennifer Lopez and Steve Martin also star. PHOTOS: Concert photos by the L.A. Times "Home” is directed by Tim Johnson, who also helmed “Antz,” “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas” and “Over the Hedge.” The film will arrive in theaters on Nov. 26. A release date for the album has yet to be announced, but interestingly, the singer's last four albums have all had November release dates.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
DreamWorks Animation took a $13.5-million charge on its animated movie "Turbo," which misfired at the box office this summer. The Glendale-based studio on Tuesday said the charge represented a loss of $0.12 cents of earnings per share in the fourth quarter.  The company said it also recorded a charge of $6.7 million, or $.06 cents a share,  related to other unspecified content. Nonetheless, DreamWorks Animation swung to profit in the quarter, posting net income of $17.2 million on revenues of $204.3 million in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $82.7 million on revenues of $264.6 million during the same quarter in 2012.
BUSINESS
February 24, 2014 | By David Pierson
The opening of the first Trader Joe's store in Boise, Idaho, has become the latest front in a campaign to get the Monrovia company to stop selling meat from animals raised with antibiotics. Consumers Union, which publishes Consumers Report magazine, took out a full page advertisement in the Idaho Statesman on Monday to warn about growing antibiotic resistance from industrial farming and urge consumers to demand Trader Joe's sell only antibiotic-free meat. “The antibiotics we depend on to treat infectious diseases are losing their power,” said Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives for Consumers Union. “We need to stop wasting these critical medications on healthy livestock. Trader Joe's can take an important stand for public health by no longer selling meat from animals that have been routinely fed antibiotics.” [Updated 11:33 a.m.]
ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
The green ogre is moving out of his swamp and coming to London. DreamWorks Animation said it was teaming up with Merlin Entertainments, based in Poole, Britain, to create a Shrek-themed attraction on London's South Bank. The show will transport visitors through a "live interactive adventure" featuring Shrek, Fiona, Puss in Boots and other characters from the popular DreamWorks franchise, the companies announced Monday morning. "It's not like anything else, if you can imagine a theater-like experience where you the audience are part of the story," DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said in an interview.
NEWS
February 14, 2014 | By Amy Hubbard
Happy Valentine's Day! It's the perfect day to look at monogamy in the animal kingdom. But if your first thoughts are warm and cuddly, you can wipe away those Disney delusions. When it comes to monogamy among animals, there are few ladies and many tramps. Certain species have been held up historically as models of monogamy -- swans, gibbons, the wolf pack's alpha male and female. But scientific research over time has chipped away at those paragons of virtue. Animals cheat.  MORE: Here's what happens to a brain in love Birds, in particular, were thought to be sexually steadfast with their mates.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2014 | Steve Lopez
Scarlet, Deakin, Fudge, Nugget and Shyla are in the prime of life and pretty good-looking to boot, but their puppy-making days ended for good Tuesday in the back of a big blue van in Sylmar. Nine dogs and a cat named Smokey marched up the stairs of the Lucy Pet Foundation's mobile spay and neuter clinic, unaware of what they were in for in the parking lot of Pet Supreme. Lucy, the Chihuahua whose picture is on the side of the bus, stood by for moral support. And here's the story: Actor Dick Van Patten, a guest on "The John Davidson Show" in 1981, struck up a conversation with the drummer in the show's band.
OPINION
February 11, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The killing of a young giraffe at a Danish zoo - after which it was publicly butchered and fed to a lion - breaks what should be the most inviolate if unwritten contract when humans remove wild animals from their natural habitat: to protect and keep healthy those animals and their descendants. A spokesman for the Copenhagen Zoo said the killing with a bolt gun of the 2-year-old giraffe was done to prevent inbreeding of the zoo's population. The zoo brushed off other options, such as giving the animal to another willing zoo (and there were several)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 5, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
Elton John knows a thing or two about ostentatious outfits, f rom fringed jumpsuits to oversize sunglasses to sparkly sequined jackets. Now he can apply that expertise to a newly announced animated film adaptation of the hit musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. " John's Rocket Pictures announced Wednesday that it has acquired the film rights to the stage production by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice, which is based on the "coat of many colors" story from the Book of Genesis.
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