Dingo Productions Haas und Ickert Partnerschaft, Filmemacher (more commonly known as Dingo Pictures) was a German animation company based in Friedrichsdorf, founded by the musician Ludwig Ickert (born 1946) and the book author Roswitha Haas (born January 28, 1940, died December 8, 2015) in 1992 under the name of Media Concept.
Very little is actually currently known about Dingo Pictures' formation and the inner workings of the studio. From both Georg Feils and Can Oral's accounts about working for the company, the crew seemed to mostly comprise of family and friends of both Haas and Ickert.
Their first films, Griechische Sagen: Perseus and Die Nibelungen Sage: Siegfried were both produced in 1992, and depict the two main "types" of the company's films: animated films, and "storybook" films, the latter of which were eventually phased out as the studio progressed. The animated films were animated with Deluxe Paint for the Commodore Amiga, however, although the exact method is unknown, the method seems to have involved recording the backgrounds, and then syncing the animation up to the camera. Although probably less time-consuming than "traditional" animation, which involves use of cels and photos, this also led to many issues, e.g. a fly appearing on the camera recording in Pocahontas. The first film to use this technique was Die schönsten Geschichten vom Osterhasen, namely the Das Osterhasen-Verbesserungslied music video, with Aladin being the first movie to use this technique entirely.
The company was officially registered in 1996 under the name of Dingo Productions Haas und Ickert Partnerschaft, Filmemacher, with the last known company report taking place on February 5th, 2020, with the last change in the register entry taking place on June 3rd, 1996.
The films were originally released on VHS by the companies Jünger and Best Entertainment/Best Buy Video, with Jörg Zahradnicek being responsible for most of the covers for the former company. Best Entertainment also released some of the later-era Dingo productions that Jünger seemingly did not, such as ...noch mehr Dalmatiner and Atlantis: Der verlorene Kontinent. During the 90's and early 2000's, the films were released on VHS and DVD in Scandinavian countries by Danish Video Duplication/Kids Only, and were infamously released in European countries on the Sony PlayStation and PlayStation 2 by Midas Interactive Entertainment and Phoenix Games during the early 2000's (PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo Wii versions were also planned, but seemingly never came to fruition); Phoenix Games went bankrupt in 2009, and Midas Interactive's website is still online, but has not been updated since 2014.
The Phoenix and Midas releases, alongside the Italian VHS/DVD releases from Legocart, were seemingly licensed from a Dutch company called T.R.S. Media B.V. What this company's direct relation to Dingo Pictures was is currently unknown, but it seems to have licensed the films from either Dingo themselves or one of the distributors. T.R.S. Media mostly seemed to publish Dingo movies through CD-ROM games, however they are known to have published one French DVD of Der König der Tiere: das grosse Abenteuer.
The last "regular" film produced before the company's temporary hiatus was Atlantis: Der verlorene Kontinent in 2001, and it is currently unknown what specifically happened to the company between the years of 2001 and 2004. One common theory is that the rise of computer-generated 3D films threw the company into a problem of attempting to rip off 3D films whilst still using the 2D-animated assets, which led to the company going into a hiatus; in 2004, the company produced the film Benni und seine Freunde, a re-edited version of both Peter und der Wolf and Balto, narrated by Rainer Maria Ehrhardt, and produced Die kleine Hexe Arischa, in 2005. The film notably features more complicated special effects and more music tracks compared to the rest of Dingo's output, and would turn out to be Dingo's last movie before stopping production entirely. In 2006, the website was updated and according to one witness, the residents (probably only Haas) had moved out around 2006, however, this contradicts evidence that Ickert still lives in the house, including a Couchsurfing account, and the deletion of the website in 2021.
Many of the Dingo staff were/are also actors who work at Die Dramatische Bühne, a theater house residing in Frankfurt. Among the staff known to work there are Simone Greiss, Armin Drogat, Raija Siikavirta, and Thorsten Morawietz. Roswitha Haas died in 2015 at the age of 75.
In 2017, Edutain4Kids, a company based in Ipswich, England, and with very close ties to Danish Video Duplication/Kids Only, released a set of ebooks based on five Dingo Pictures movies. Dingo Pictures' website was shut down in January of 2021, with all but the main page being deleted, with the main page saying that the site is "closed indefinitely."
Their works have been criticized for the English dubs of their productions, which usually only consist of a handful of people, or even one person, voicing the characters, as well as its low-budget and amateurish animation, and most of the company's output mostly consisting of "mockbusters"; films that are specifically designed to capitalise on a popular film.
The company has gained infamy in recent years, with both its output in general and specifically a clip from the Italian dub of Abenteuer im Land der Dinosaurier; in which Oro, the teacher dinosaur, scolds Peek for mocking Tio, the protagonist, for his parents having a new baby whilst he was gone. The clip was originally uploaded by the YouTuber "Celyciah" on June 6th, 2010 under the title of "Dinosauri antropomorfi con voci ambigue". Two years later, the YouTuber "revergo" uploaded an edited version of the clip, with Peek's voice being edited to sing along to the Bluevalley Filmmusik song "Hallo + Guten Morgen," composed by Martin Rennicke. The edit was uploaded under the title of "Yee", and was eventually added to the infamous "important videos" playlist. The video has 82,252,622 views and 1 million likes as of February 10th, 2021.
In January of 2021, Amelia Tait wrote an article for The Guardian about "mockbusters." In the article, she has interviews with the founders of animated studios Video Brinquedo and Spark Plug Entertainment, and mentions trying to contact staff for an interview regarding the company. In the article, she refers to the company as producing "the world's most infamous mockbusters," refers the animation as "childish" and also mentions a specific incident in the Art Media English dub of Aladin, where one of the actors reads out a stage direction.
List of filmography
- Griechische Sagen: Perseus (1992)
- Die Nibelungen Sage: Siegfried (1992, storybook movie)
- Die schönsten Geschichten vom Osterhasen (1993, storybook movie)
- Aladin (1993)
- Lustige Weihnachten: Max' wundersames Geschenk (1993, storybook movie)
- Sing mit Aladin (1993)
- Neue Geschichten vom Osterhas' (1994, storybook movie)
- Goldie: Abenteuer im Zauberwald (1994)
- Der König der Tiere (1994)
- Hampie ein kleiner Wal entdeckt seine Welt (1994, storybook movie)
- Es Weihnachtet sehr... (1995, storybook movie)
- Artige Katzen (1995)
- Pocahontas (1995)
- Ein Fall für die Mäusepolizei (1995)
- Toys: Das Geburtstagsgeschenk (1996) (Remake of Es Weihnachtet sehr)
- Wabuu der freche Waschbär (1996)
- Der Glöckner von Notre Dame (1996)
- Janis das Schweinchen Baby (1996)
- Peter und der Wolf (1996)
- Der gestiefelte Kater (1997)
- Auf der Suche nach den Dalmatinern (1997)
- Balto (1997)
- Hercules (1997)
- Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten (1997)
- Anastasia (1998)
- Das unglaubliche Fussballspiel der Tiere (1998)
- Das Schwert von Camelot (1998)
- Ein Prinz für Ägypten (1998)
- Der König der Tiere: das grosse Abenteuer (1999)
- Tarzan: Der Herr des Dschungels (1999)
- Im Tal der Osterhasen (2000) (Remake of Die schönsten Geschichten vom Osterhasen)
- Winkie der kleine Bär (2000)
- Abenteuer im Land der Dinosaurier (2000)
- ...noch mehr Dalmatiner (2000)
- Atlantis: Der verlorene Kontinent (2001)
- Benni und seine Freunde (2004) (redub/re-edit of Peter und der Wolf)
- Die kleine Hexe Arischa (2005)
- A list of Dingo Pictures' movies on IMDb (28 of the 38 movies known to exist are listed)
- Photo source
- Dingo Pictures on German Wikipedia