This six-page article about Chuck Jones was written by John Canemaker in the late-1970s. I don’t remember how I got it or where the article was published (perhaps John can tell us himself), but I found the scans a few days ago and had to share them. Wouldn’t it be amazing if Chuck had written a book of drawing and animation advice like the kind that he shares with Canemaker in this piece?
UPDATE: John Canemaker informs us that the article is from the March 1980 issue of Cartoonist Profiles (#45).
If you’re a fan of Disney legend Bill Justice, here’s your chance to show your appreciation. Disney historian Jim Korkis recently told MousePlanet.com:
Bill Justice is getting ready to celebrate his 96th Birthday February 9th, but he’s been in a rehabilitation home for the last few years and visitation has been tightly restricted. A good friend of mine who is a talented Disney artist recently visited him and said Bill had difficulty remembering recent events but if the artist mentioned a name from the “Golden Age” of Disney, Bill perked up and his memories were clear as a bell.
Bill hasn’t been in the best of spirits so it has been requested that it would be nice for him to get some holidays cards and of course, some birthday cards, to let him know that he hasn’t been forgotten.
For those unfamiliar with Bill’s many accomplishments, he is probably best known for his animation on the characters Chip’n'Dale and for his early work programming audio-animatronics on such attractions as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Haunted Mansion”. He was the one who designed the recently closed attraction, the “Mickey Mouse Revue” and painted the huge mural of characters in Exposition Hall at Walt Disney World. Basically, his accomplishments were enough to fill a book…and they did in the limited edition self-published “Justice for Disney” book he authored.
Bill has been a long time friend of the Disney fan community and has attended many conventions, cruise ship excursions, and other events often drawing Disney characters on paper plates and then tossing them like frisbees into the crowd.
It is being requested that Disney fans show their love by sending him a card or letter (remember that he won’t be able to respond or fill a request for artwork) and perhaps include a photo that may have been taken with him. Something to remind him of his impact and how he is still very much loved and appreciated.
Bill is one of the few remaining connections to people who actually worked with Walt and Bill’s contributions include not just animation but work at the Disney theme parks.
The address is:
Arbor View Wellness & Rehabilitation Center
1338 20th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404
The Illusionist, the long-awaited follow-up feature from Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville), will debut next month at the Berlin International Film Festival. This article from Scotland’s The Herald confirms that the hand-drawn film is Scotland’s most expensive film production ever, with a budget “significantly north of Â£10 million.” In US dollars, that works out to a modest $16 million, which would be considered a bargain by most studios. According to the article, the film was made primarily in Edinburgh at ÂChomet’s Django Films, with further work done by ink.digital in Dundee, Scotland and another studio in Paris. Personally, I’ve heard that to get the film done, they farmed out large parts to service studios, including around forty minutes of assistant animation and clean-up to Sunwoo in South Korea.
To take advantage of Scottish film incentives, Chomet transposed the film’s action from Paris to Edinburgh and the Western Isles, which according to one person interviewed by The Herald, isn’t necessarily a bad thing:
Film-maker and critic Mark ÂCousins, who helped Chomet set up his Edinburgh studio, has seen several extracts of the film. “We should be very excited about The Illusionist,” he said. “Even though it wasn’t originally set in Scotland, the end result really is quite Scottish. It has a real feel of the marmalade and bracken colour of Mull in the autumn. The screenplay was one of the best that I’ve seen. This could be a Âclassic of Scottish cinema.”
I’m not going to pretend like I fully understand what’s going on in this short–alienation and dehumanization in modern society is always a safe guess–but there are a lot of interesting visual ideas in this 1968 Japanese short directed by Tatsuo Shimamura. A bio of the prolific Shimamura can be found on AniPages Daily, while this short can be purchased on Volume 10 of Something Weird’s Classic Cartoon Rarities collection.
This spot promoting the BBC’s Winter Olympics coverage is one of the finest examples I’ve seen of an illustrative style applied to computer animation. The atmospheric Inuit-flavored promo was directed by Marc Craste (Jojo in the Stars, Varmints) at Studio AKA. Co-designer was Jon Klassen, who posted a little bit about the design process on his blog.
A bigger and cleaner version of the spot can be viewed here.
The Chocolate Bar in Encino is hosting an exhibit of personal artwork by Walt Peregoy. The exhibition runs February 1-27. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, February 6, between 7-10pm, with Peregoy in attendance. Peregoy is perhaps best known for his work as a color stylist on 101 Dalmatians and how he brought a strong modern art sensibility to the Disney features. He’s had an extensive animation career beyond that film, and alongside his industry work, he’s been painting and drawing non-stop. Most of his personal work has never been exhibited which is why this upcoming show sounds like such a treat. The Chocolate Bar is located at 17312-A Ventura Boulevard.
The video above is about The Future, a twelve-minute animated short drawn and voiced entirely by artists who are members of League Treatment Center’s L.A.N.D. (League Artists Natural Design) Gallery in Brooklyn. What makes these artists unique is that they all have developmental disabilities. The film is being directed by NY animation artist M. Wartella (Wonder Showzen, Superjail) and is scheduled for completion this summer. To help complete the project, the organization is currently accepting donations through the fundraising website Kickstarter. The art looks like a lot of fun; can’t wait to see how it turns out!
As part of Cartoon Network’s efforts to reinvent themselves as a cheap knockoff of The Disney Channel, they’ve hired “Weird Al” Yankovic to direct a live-action feature film. According to Weird Al, “Cartoon Network had requested that I develop a show with a much younger protagonist — the actual star of the movie will most likely be teenage.”
I’m a big admirer of Albert Mielgo‘s paintings, and have often thought of scrounging up some dough to buy one of his acrylics, which might be described as a kind of stylized photorealism. I also think it’s great that he shares his skill and singular vision with the animation industry, mostly working on various UK-based projects. Recently though, instead of just designing backgrounds, Alberto deigned and animated four pieces entirely by himself, and the results are out of this world. The cinematic inventiveness and painterly approach to lighting give these pieces a unique feel that I’ve never seen before in animation, and frankly I want to see more of it. The four pieces (three of which I’ve included after the jump) are for a project called Pinkman.TV and were created with Photoshop and AfterEffects.
Comic and animation creator Doug TenNapel (Earthworm Jim, Catscratch) spoke earlier this month at the Art Institute Inland Empire about the topic of “Telling Your Story Through Art.” The 52-minute lecture is below. I haven’t watched it yet, but I know that TenNapel’s unique perspective on things is often very entertaining.
Take a look at this distasteful work-for-free ad that Virgin Records posted on the Anime Studio Forum under the title “Volunteer your work for Virgin’s new online music show”:
Hi, I’m one of the producers of Virgin’s new global online music show Red Room. The show is aiming to be community-based and feature lots of user-generated content. Each week we feature new titles to go over new title music supplied by unsigned bands wanting a bit of exposure.
So-oooo – we are on the look out for animators who want to create a 4-8 second title sequence in turn for full credit and something to add to your showreel. Sorry we can’t pay you – but we’ve hardly any money oursleves right now to produce the show! The show has just started so it’s early days but we are aiming to get it shown around the world on different Virgin platforms as well as YouTube etc
If you’re up for it – let me know! To prove I’m real – here we are:
The company is part of EMI, the third largest music company in the world, and not affiliated with Richard Branson’s Virgin company which owns the airlines and mobile service providers. Yet when it comes to paying a few bucks to an animation artist, they have the gall to claim that “we’ve hardly any money ourselves right now.”
The readers of Anime Studio Forum are way too smart for this, and immediately called out Virgin for its embarrassing ploy to take advantage of the animation community. Forum user Rylleman wrote, “Isn’t Virgin one of the largest music companies of the world? To ask for free work in that position sounds greedy to me. Call a school and get an intern if you can’t afford to pay people for their work,” while Parker wrote, “I dont want to be rude but dont expect users work for you for free, please offer some money.”
This is the trailer for Tinga Tinga Tales, a 52-episode children’s series produced by Nairobi, Kenya-based studio Homeboyz Animation. It will air on Disney Channel and BBC’s children’s network CBeebies, among other broadcasters. This is a BBC video news story about Homeboyz that shows glimpses of their studio and interviews artists working there. As far as I know, this is the first 100%-animated TV series to be produced out of Kenya.
The animation world is on the verge of a revolution in ideas and content. Tens of thousands of artists from Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East have entered the industry in the past decade thanks to digital technologies that have made animation production affordable and accessible to all. As one of the Homeboyz artists says in the BBC piece, they’re gaining experience and knowledge so they can someday start producing their own scripts and ideas. It’ll be really exciting when they do.
Make room for another solid addition to the animation blogosphere: Scribble Junkies is a blog by well-known New York indies Bill Plympton and Pat Smith (who is currently living in Singapore). I know them both well, and I enjoy hearing their perspectives on the art form, even if I don’t necessarily always agree with them. If it’s not clear from the name of their blog, both of these guys are driven by their passion for the art of drawn animation, and they’ve told me that they plan to have guest contributions from other artists who are similarly passionate about drawing and draftsmanship.
Inspiring piece in the NY Times about the growing trend of indie film distribution, and its historical roots in indie filmmakers like George Lucas and John Cassavetes. With more independent animated features being made than ever before, finding ways to distribute them outside of conventional Hollywood channels is more important than ever:
In the Old World of distribution, filmmakers hand over all the rights to their work, ceding control to companies that might soon lose interest in their new purchase for various reasons, including a weak opening weekend. (“After the first show,” Mr. Broderick said, repeating an Old World maxim, “we know.”) In the New World, filmmakers maintain full control over their work from beginning to end: they hold on to their rights and, as important, find people who are interested in their projects and can become patrons, even mentors. The Old World has ticket buyers. The New World has ticket buyers who are also Facebook friends. The Old World has commercials, newspapers ads and the mass audience. The New World has social media, YouTube, iTunes and niche audiences. “Newspaper ads,” Mr. Broderick said, “are mostly a waste of money.”