Director/designer Dave Wasson (TIME SQUAD, MAX AND HIS SPECIAL PROBLEM) has launched a new line of T-shirts called Vot-Not. He’s starting out with three designs and they’re all quite fetching. Ordering info HERE.
(via Gabe Swarr)
An article in last week’s VARIETY reports that not only will Cartoon Network continue to air live-action films like ACE VENTURA and DUMB AND DUMBER, but that they’re also beginning to plan production of original live-action TV series and movies. Now I know a lot of people are probably going, What the hell? Why is Cartoon Network going to produce live action?
I, for one, however applaud this out-of-the-box thinking on the part of the CN execs. After all, just because a channel is called Cartoon Network doesn’t mean they actually need to air cartoons. That’s so obvious…so 20th century. By giving audience what they’re not expecting, Cartoon Network is showing it’s a risk-taker, and that they aren’t afraid to add an element of surprise to their programming.
The execs at Cartoon Net have stumbled upon a secret that will revolutionize the cable industry, and that’s if you ignore the name of your channel and just air whatever you feel like, the possibilities for programming are endless. If this catches on, I predict an exciting renaissance in cable TV. No longer will channels be limited to their tired routines. Seriously, how many weather reports does the Weather Channel really need? Imagine how much more interesting it’ll be to catch NBA games on The Weather Channel. And sports on ESPN? Been there, done that. What ESPN really needs to distinguish itself from the competition is a month-long film tribute to Edward G. Robinson. The idea could potentially even spread to individual shows. Bill O’Reilly on The O’Reilly Factor? We all saw that coming a mile away. But the O’Reilly Factor hosted by Oprah – now that’s what I call some innovative television. It’s a wonder that nobody’s every thought of this before, and to think we owe it all to those geniuses at Cartoon Network.
URMEL AUS DEM EIS is a German CG animated feature slated for release in August 2006. You can suffer through the trailer HERE. I’m not sure what the translation of the title is, but I think it’s something along the lines of, “Our attempt at making an obnoxious, bland, charm-deprived, aesthetically repugnant, American-style CG film.” The film, produced by Ambient Entertainment, is based on a fondly remembered German marionette TV series from the late-1960s, though chances are it won’t be fondly remembered after this film is released. On a sidenote, is anybody keeping track of the number of animated features in recent years that have used Sister Sledge’s song “We are Family” in their trailer or in the final product? And has anybody considered, instead of having a song that spells out to audiences that the characters are like family, wouldn’t it be more impressive to create characters who exude warmth and personality, and communicate that feeling of family through their actions?
Dateline: Hollywood has a hilarious parody piece about what happens when pharmaceutical companies start producing CG features, like Mucinex’s MR. MUCUS and Lamisil’s THE ADVENTURES OF DIGGER NAIL FUNGUS INFECTION. Don’t laugh too hard though; the way the animation industry is headed, these films will become reality soon enough.
(Thanks, Steve Moore)
It looks like Nick Park’s Wallace and Gromit feature has spawned a real-life were-rabbit in England. The oversized rabbit is eating prize-winning leeks and turnips in the town of Felton. A BBC article has this quote from farmer Jeff Smith:
“This is no ordinary rabbit. We are dealing with a monster. It is absolutely massive. I have seen its prints and they are huge, bigger than a deer. It is a brute of a thing.”
(click for larger version)
The Ottawa International Animation Festival website has been updated with details on its 2006 edition, which will take place September 20-24. This year’s festival poster (above) was designed by Gary Baseman. The entry deadline for films is June 1, and for the first time, films can be entered via an online entry form. Also, the festival has unveiled its programming schedule for 2006. Fans of the funny will be rewarded with retrospectives of three comedy masters: American Bob Clampett, Italian Bruno Bozzetto and Russian Konstantin Bronzit.
Here’s the teaser trailer for THE SIMPSONS MOVIE, opening July 27, 2007. The trailer premiered last weekend in front of ICE AGE 2.
Studio aka has just completed a 1-minute spot for the UK’s National Lottery – titled “The Big Win” – and it’s one of the most charming pieces of CG animation I’ve seen in a while. It was directed by Marc Craste, of JOJO IN THE STARS fame. The brief from the commissioning ad agency, AMV, was simple: “A man is given a bag of smiles and he hands them out to everyone he meets.” Craste and crew delivered big on that idea with a commercial that is filled with lovely art direction, character animation with personality, and elegant visual storytelling. Man, what I’d give to see the makers of full-length CG films create animation with as much vitality and invention as this commercial. View “The Big Win” HERE.
I get excited about websites designed with Flash as often as I get excited about CGI wooly mammoths voiced by Queen Latifah, which is to say, not very often. That’s why I feel it’s worth pointing out the work of Also, a young design studio comprised of three RISD graduates: graphic designer Jenny Volvovski, animator Matt Lamothe and illustrator Julia Rothman. Their studio website is not only easy-to-navigate and functional, but the Flash animation and design is witty and fun. Equally impressive is the Flash site they created for the band Less, which features a daring blend of stop motion origami and illustration. I’m looking forward to seeing more of their site designs in the future.
It’s only Monday and we’ve already got a quote of the week. It’s from Janet Healy, president of animation at IDT Entertainment, describing the current state of animated features: “This is a very exciting time. I feel like we’re at a moment where we’re reinventing the medium again.” She’s personally reinventing the medium with a film that looks like this. Well, at least she has a good sense of humor.
Yesterday I stumbled on this Polish movie poster site, and there’s amazing design inspiration throughout the site, including these trippy posters for American animated films:
RACE FOR YOUR LIFE, CHARLIE BROWN