Animated Shorts: ‘Wolf Daddy’

“Wolf Daddy” is an award-winning Korean animated short featured on the GKIDS website. Produced in 2005, it’s the story of a well-meaning wolf novelist who hides away in a countryside home only to be interrupted by his rapidly growing, unusual family.

This film is an example of the types of “artsy films for kids” Dave Jesteadt looks for when screening for the New York International Children’s Film Festival.


An Introduction to ‘The Secret of Kells’
March 30, 2010, 1:26 am
Filed under: Films, GKIDS | Tags: , , ,

Here’s a first taste of GKID’S Oscar-nominated film “The Secret of Kells”:

“Kells” is the story about a young boy who must fight a slew of mythical creatures to find the key to completing the legendary Book of Kells. What set this film apart from its contemporary counterparts was its non-conventional choice in animation-the New York Times called the film a “hand-drawn labor of love.”

The “Kells” Oscar night spot:

More details on “The Secret of Kells” to come…

The Best of Non-Indie Animated Movies
March 29, 2010, 3:50 am
Filed under: Films, GKIDS, Interviews | Tags: , , , , ,

Last Thursday I had my first of what I hope to be many chats with Dave Jesteadt, Director of Distribution and Jack-of-All-Trades at GKIDS, a children’s independent film distribution company. GKIDS is the distribution partner of the New York International Childern’s Film Festival, a festival that has taken place every spring for the past decade. The film festival’s primary mission is to bring compelling cinematic works to children from the ages of 3 to 18.

Though GKIDS as a separate distribution entity isĀ  a much younger venture than its parent festival, this year was a banner year for the fledgling company. Its film “The Secret of Kells” brought GKIDS their very first (and surprise) Oscar nomination for “Best Animated Feature” alongside animation heavyweights “Up,” “Coraline” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

So just weeks after Jesteadt’s first taste of Oscar glory, we talked for about two hours about the world of children’s films, the allure of Pixar, and the best and worst of today’s animation. Here were Jesteadt’s picks for his favorite non-independent children’s films of present:

3. Wall-E (2008)

2. Ratatouille (2007)

1. Up (2009)

Although Pixar may seem like one of GKIDS’ main competitors, Jesteadt can’t deny the quality and gusto of their most recent works. He says just the fact that Pixar was able to use an angry old man as their main character in “Up,” speaks volumes for the evolving state of children’s animation.