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February 4, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
It looks like Animal Planet is barking up the right tree after all. The 10th annual "Puppy Bowl," a 12-hour marathon consisting of a two-hour broadcast played six times in a row, dug up its best viewership numbers yet on Sunday.   The highly publicized canine competition got a total of 13.5 million viewers to tune in over the 12-hour stretch.  PHOTOS: Cable versus broadcast ratings During the first airing, from 3 to 5 p.m., the show drew an audience of 3.3 million, 24% better than last year's comparable "Puppy Bowl" airing.
February 4, 2014 | By Jessica Gelt
Like the Seattle Seahawks, Animal Planet scored a massive victory on Super Bowl Sunday when "Puppy Bowl X" racked up a record 13.5 million viewers to become the No. 1 telecast in all of cable. The adorable show, which pits pound pups against each other in a furry-tastic game of faux-football, was also the most tweeted "Puppy Bowl" ever, generating more than 340,000 Tweets and trending on Facebook for much of the day. Its social media dominance extended to Instagram as an estimated 150,000 #PuppyBowl pictures were submitted to the network's inaugural "live Instagram integration," which featured viewers and their pets live on air. PHOTOS: Animal Planet's 'Puppy Bowl X' Ratings no doubt received a significant boost thanks to the star power on hand, which included President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with First Dogs Bo and Sunny, as well as Ricky Gervais, Rob Lowe, Lindsey Vonn, Pam Grier and Sean Astin.
February 4, 2014 | By Chris Barton
Looking back from the fragmented media landscape of 2014, it's hard to imagine someone like John Lurie was ever possible. An immediately recognizable character actor who appeared in landmark indie films including Jim Jarmusch's "Down by Law" and "Stranger Than Paradise," Lurie was also a brilliant saxophonist who helped push the boundaries of jazz in the '80s and '90s with his band, the Lounge Lizards. But Lurie was forced to give up music and acting after being stricken with advanced Lyme disease and has since switched to painting (his work has been exhibited numerous times and was collected in a 2007 book, "A Fine Example of Art")
February 4, 2014 | Elaine Woo
More than five decades ago, Arthur Rankin Jr., a producer-director working in stop-motion animation, had an idea to develop a family-oriented TV special around a popular Christmas song. He hoped a network would like it enough to run it two or three times. But when "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" aired in 1964, he and partner Jules Bass found they had a blockbuster - one that launched them into TV history as pioneers of the animated holiday special. Fifty years later, "Rudolph," with its catchy tunes and charmingly misfit characters, remains the longest-running Christmas TV special, "one of only four 1960s Christmas specials still being telecast," according to the Archive of American Television . The others are "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and another Rankin-Bass creation, "Frosty the Snowman.
February 1, 2014 | By Susan King
Walt Disney Animation Studio's box office blockbuster "Frozen" won the 41st Annie Award for animated flm Saturday evening at a ceremony at UCLA's Royce Hall. The film, which is nominated for an Oscar for animated feature, also won the honors for directing for Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee; music for Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez and Christophe Beck; production design; and voice acting for Josh Gad as Olaf. DreamWorks Animation's "The Croods" earned trophies for animated effects in an animated feature, character animation and character design.
February 1, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
The 15 short films nominated for Oscars each year, five in each category - live action, animation and documentary - usually feel completely untethered to their longer siblings. But this year, the shorts, like the longs, are a serious, substantial bunch, with a great many international contenders among them. Oh, a little cheek slips in here and there. In "Get a Horse," director Lauren MacMullan takes a satirical swipe at the animation form itself by waging a 3-D-versus-2-D, color-versus-black-and-white debate with a little help from Mickey Mouse.
January 31, 2014 | By Charles Solomon
Legendary Japanese animator Katsuhiro Otomo is known around the world for his work, particularly his groundbreaking cyberpunk action feature "Akira. " But Otomo doesn't spend time watching his own films. "The truth is, I don't read or watch my own creations," Otomo says. "When I'm creating something, I'm 100% immersed in that universe, so when I'm finished, I'm ready to journey to a different world. Once a work is completed, it belongs to the readers and viewers. " One of the most influential artists working in animation today, Otomo will receive the Winsor McCay Award for career achievement at the Annie Awards on Saturday.
January 30, 2014 | By Glenn Whipp
"Searching for Sugar Man," the absorbing investigation into the whereabouts of an elusive '70s singer-songwriter, won the Academy Award for feature documentary last year. It was the first time that the entire body of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences could vote on the category. In previous years, academy members had to attend special screenings of all five nominated documentaries, signing in at the theater in order to prove they were present. Did the feel-good "Sugar Man" win because it was the best documentary - or because it was the most publicized and thus the movie that the majority of academy members saw?
January 30, 2014 | By Martin Tsai
The five Academy Award nominees for animated short film this year split up into two disparate groups: happy meal and white tablecloth. Originally shown with the Disney feature film "Frozen," "Get a Horse!" is the best known and most seen of the bunch. As with "Saving Mr. Banks," Disney has mined its archives to bring us a 3-D meta update of 1920s Mickey Mouse cartoons. It's a blend of folly and nostalgia that won a nomination over "The Blue Umbrella," the whimsical Pixar short that ran before "Monsters University.
January 30, 2014 | By Susan King
Animator Floyd Norman vividly recalled the first time he encountered Walt Disney. In early 1956, Norman was one of a few young animators hired for a one-month tryout at the Disney studio in Burbank. A few weeks into its training, the group was told to report to a screening room on the third floor of the Animation Building. Because the room was occupied, they had to wait in the hallway. "We saw this figure step out into the hallway moving toward us," Norman said. "As the figure moved closer, we suddenly realized - oh, my God - it was Walt Disney.
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