Feature toon types play Namco vidgame

Bluth & Goldman to create movies, cut scenes

Longtime feature animators Don Bluth and Gary Goldman have been hired to create and direct the in-game cinematic sequences in Namco’s upcoming vidgame title “I-Ninja.”

Game, a comic adventure featuring a weapons-laden action hero, is due for release late this year on Sony’s PlayStation 2 and Nintendo’s GameCube vidgame consoles.

Goldman and Bluth will create opening and closing movies for the game, along with cut scenes and cinematics during the gameplay, using 3-D CGI animation and hand-painted backdrops. They will also advise on character development and the game’s storyline, said Namco, one of the biggest of the Japanese vidgame publishers.

It’s not the pair’s first foray into videogames, having produced a 3-D console version of the early arcade title “Dragon’s Lair.”

Bluth began working in animation with Disney in 1955 on “Sleeping Beauty,” and subsequently helped make “The Rescuers,” “Pete’s Dragon” and “Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, Too!,” among others, at the Mouse House. He and Goldman later left Disney and created pics including “An American Tail,” “A Land Before Time,” “All Dogs Go to Heaven,” “Anastasia” and “Titan, A.E.” for other studios.

Phoenix-based Don Bluth Films continues development work on several animated projects.

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