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Bill Kopp Signed for Universal's "Woody Woodpecker"

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by Jerry Beck
October 12, 2013 8:00 PM
8 Comments
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Clearly the stellar box office grosses for Despicable Me 2 are having an effect on Universal's future animation plans. Veteran animator Bill Kopp (Eek! The Cat, Schnookums and Meat, Dan Vs., etc) has just announced on his Facebook page that he has been tapped to revive Woody Woodpecker for Universal Pictures. 

"It's official folks. Universal Pictures has hired me to put the Woody back in the Woodpecker! Hooray!! There will be 3 stories woven together into a feature length cartoon - plus a 6-7 minute short that we will put into theaters hopefully."

Walter Lantz originally produced Woody Woodpecker in theatrical shorts for Universal (and one season for United Artists) between 1940 and 1972. The character made a cameo in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and starred in Fox Kid's The New Woody Woodpecker Show in 1999. The character has long been a mascot at the Universal theme parks.

A new Woody Woodpecker feature was first announced two years ago by Illumination Entertainment, then developing the film with co-writers John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky - who were planning to "modernize the character for contemporary audiences". Kopp has vowed on Facebook to return Woody to his original and proper insanity.

It sounds like the Woodpecker revival is finally on the right track. 

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More: Universal Pictures

8 Comments

  • Robert Fiore | October 16, 2013 2:26 AMReply

    The "good" thing about a Woody Woodpecker movie is that you can't can't make a travesty, since his cartoons were so mediocre in the first place. They do horrible things to the Looney Tunes characters, but Woody Woodpecker is like the old joke about yogurt -- how do you know when it's spoiled?

  • Nongag Auhsoj | November 10, 2013 1:20 PM

    ....You're joking, right?

  • GC | October 15, 2013 4:04 PMReply

    I have no faith in this movie.

  • Russell H | October 14, 2013 10:53 AMReply

    "Modernize the character for contemporary audiences."

    How many times have we heard that before? Practically every time a studio tries this, it fails: audiences members who are fans of the "original" don't like it because too much of what they liked has been changed, and audiences unfamiliar with the character don't understand why the studio just doesn't create a new character.

    In the words of Rocket J. Squirrel, "But that trick never works!"

  • droosan | October 15, 2013 11:52 PM

    Bakshi's MIGHTY MOUSE..? Faust's MY LITTLE PONY..? Character/franchise revivals don't necessarily 'always' fail .. even if they're changed quite a bit from the source material.

    I'm just happy to hear that this is being developed as an 'animated feature', now .. Universal had previously floated the idea of a 'live-action/CG hybrid' WW flick, around the time R+H's YOGI BEAR was released.

  • Mac | October 13, 2013 5:53 PMReply

    "...put the Woody back in Woodpecker."Even the announcement is a double entendre.So look for some poo-poo jokes and wink-wink,nudge-nudge stuff for the grown ups.Ugh!I mean,Woody was always causing trouble and being a bad boy is part of the attraction,but that stuff is not the way to go.

  • Fanatico | October 13, 2013 2:32 PMReply

    Hopefully this serves as an incentive to produce "Woody Woodpecker and Friends Volume 3".

  • Tony | May 15, 2014 2:09 PM

    If you don't like to wait 10 years for "Woody Woodpecker and Friends 3" let me know. Perhaps we can share some episodes.

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