Disney may have eye on Clone Wars
Citing information from "animation insiders," Animation Magazine is reporting that Disney may have its sights set on securing broadcast rights to Clone Wars, the CGI-animated cartoon series based on George Lucas' Star Wars universe (the series would take place between episodes Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith). The series' debut has been set at fall 2008 for some time now, but no official announcement has been made as to which network or cable station would air the series. Rumor has it that both FOX and HBO would also like to broadcast the series.
If the Disney rumors turn out to be true, Clone Wars wouldn't be the only project between Disney and Lucasfilm. The two entities have already worked together on the Star Tours ride, with a revamped version (Star Tours 2.0) launching soon.
You can see a sneak preview of Clone Wars on the Star Wars site. As I've said before --and it pains me, because I grew up with Star Wars and will be a fan until the day I croak-- I don't quite see the point of this cartoon. I wanted to like it, but the "human" characters are far too stiff.
But that's the problem, isn't it? Clone Wars is supposed to be dark and moody, so they can't make it too cartoony. However, computer-animation hasn't quite reached a level in which human characters can be rendered realistically, so we're left with little more than expressionless, animated action figures. This problem is actually alluded to in the Animation Magazine article as something supervising director Dave Filoni wants to avoid, but I can't help but feel that Lucas is facing the same issues he did when the original Star Wars trilogy was released in the late '70s and early '80s: it's an idea too big for the technology available to him. One need only look at the chronology of Pixar's films to see how vastly computer animation has improved over the years, but I don't think it's where it needs to be for something like this. I say this not to be dismissive or pessimistic, but because I really, really want to be wrong in my assumption.