Miami World Cinema Center

We try to avoid political commentary here on the Brew, but the above by Miami Herald’s Jim Morin is a fine example of the new wave of animated editorial cartoons that are fast becoming the norm for online newspapers these days (so much so, last week Mark Fiore of the San Francisco Chronicle won the Pulitzer Prize for his animated editorials).

This gives me an excuse to mention Jim Morin’s son, Spencer, who is the head of animation for the Miami World Cinema Center. A non-profit filmmakers co-op, MWCC is dedicated to returning South Florida to its traditional animation roots. Spencer Morin says:

We are currently raising funds to build an animation studio that’ll be about 80-90% traditional, and 10% compositing/(2d3d motion graphics). Currently, we’re working on several no-budget productions featuring hand-drawn animation (character and rotoscope), stop motion animation, claymation, and “Roger Rabbit” compositing. We also hold regular animation workshops for the students attending animation schools in Miami that don’t practice traditional animation techniques.

We’re also looking for more animation projects that can dig our philosophy. We offer a short film incentive of a 25% budget boost to animators that’ll work completely out of South Florida and have a budget of at least $1000. This’ll also guarantee the animator a production office/work space and any hands we’ve got.

If you live and love animation in the Miami-Dade County area contact Spencer Morin, via their blog, for more information on the local activities of the Miami World Cinema Center – and get involved!


  • http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/ Charles Brubaker

    It’d be interesting to see what will come out of this. Nick Anderson, cartoonist for Houston Chronicle, did some CGI cartoons (although he stopped updating about a year ago).

    Even Ted Rall is doing animation. David Essman, who comments regularly at Cartoon Brew, does the hand-drawn animation using Ted’s designs.

  • http://www.davidessman.com david essman

    Nothing will come out of it if there isn’t some more support for it.

    Morin has done 2 other shorts both worth watching in my opinion. http://www.youtube.com/user/jaymor2n ( they are also posted on the Miami Herrald’s youtube channel)

    Jim Morin, like Nick Anderson(Who had a 3D Dick Cheney ask a question in the 2008 CNN/Youtube Republican debate), seem to have just been doing it for fun or to experiment. It doesn’t look like their newspapers are paying them for it. Like Charles pointed out, Anderson and his animator for his 2D films, Todd Ramsay(Honkbarn), haven’t released a new animation in over a year.

    Mark Fiore and The Washington Post’s Ann Telnaes (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/anntelnaes/?nid=roll_telnaes)
    are the only ones I know of regularly producing political animation and being paid for it. I’m not sure if Walt Handelsman is still producing animation, as his newspaper Newsday is under a pay wall.

    P.S. thanks for the mention Charles

  • http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/ Charles Brubaker

    “Nothing will come out of it if there isn’t some more support for it.”

    True. Hopefully Fiore’s Pulitzer win will lead to more support.

  • Alfons Moline

    Wow! That sounded like Peter Potamus’ Hippo Hurricane Holler! BTW, cool cartoon, it´s nice to see than in Miami someone still cares for good ol’ 2D traditional animation.

  • http://asteriskpix.blogspot.com richard o’connor

    That’s very nice work!

    Adding to inherent difficulties of animation, political commentary has to be topical. These days, that means a front page issue on Monday is forgotten by Friday. Turning something around that quickly is no mean feat -especially considering it can sometimes take a day to come up with a half decent idea.

    We were fortunate to work with Steve Brodner during the campaign to produce an (almost) weekly series for The New Yorker. They were one of a few operations willing to actually pay for work. Now there are more and more who understand that good content requires good wages.

    That series with Brodner has had a few spin offs, a big one looks to be launching next month.

    The work that Fiore and Jim Morin and Joe Founier in Chicago and Jeff Scher and Gary Lieb are doing for the NY Times is breathing new life into the field of illustration. It’s turning into a “young person’s game” again.

  • http://www.miamiherald.com Jim Morin

    Thanks for all the kind comments, folks. Dave – very much like your work with Ted. I got into cartooning at the age of 7 and came back to it 50 years later. I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t love it, believe me. I work 7 days a week, on weekdays until 2 or 3 AM after drawing the regular print cartoon. No, they don’t pay me for the animation but I’m sure all that will work itself out eventually. As for these first three cartoons, they are all learning experiences for me. The one I’m working on will be better than the last one and that’s all I ask. The time between cartoons will lessen as I master the techniques and software. I am not a fan, to put it diplomatically, of CGI or 3D animation. Frank Gladstone and I were friends when he had his studio here many years ago and he put it to me succinctly: humans don’t move like computers so why use computers to make them move? Again, many thanks for the kind words, all. I’m really honored and thrilled to be part of this great art form.

  • http://deleted OtherDan

    Weird how art seems to making a dimensional leap across the board. I liked this one. It reminded me of Melendez’ Peanuts animation.