Here are a couple beautiful paintings by one of Disney’s Nine Old Men, Ward Kimball (1914-2002). He was, of course, a genius animator and director, but what few people know is that he was also a terrific painter who worked in a wide variety of styles. These two pieces are a couple of his more stylized efforts. The top one is from the 1940s and documents the day that Kimball took his son flying. Last October, I blogged “Ladies’ Hat Contest ” (ca. early-1950s), the Kimball painting below, but now if you click on it, there’s a much bigger version available. (Thanks for the bigger pic, Thorsten)
During his recent Orlando trip, Harry McCracken took some photos of the Mary Blair murals inside of the Contemporary Hotel at Walt Disney World. His final analysis: “I can’t say this is great art, great Disney art, or even great Mary Blair art. But I’m glad it’s been there all these years, and I’m not sure if I saw anything during this Disney trip that put me in a cheerier mood.” See the rest of Harry’s photos HERE.
This rare Jim Flora spot illustration is courtesy of Irwin Chusid, author of THE MISCHIEVOUS ART OF JIM FLORA, a terrific book which I can’t recommend highly enough. The above image wasn’t printed in that book and is being seen on the Brew for the first time in many years. It’s from an April 1943 issue of Columbia Records’ CODA magazine. Flora is also online at JimFlora.com.
This year’s edition of THE ANIMATION SHOW has a great opening sequence produced by a new German animation collective called studio soi. The 20-second ANIMATION SHOW spot, named BUNNIES, was a commercial originally produced for MTV. Check out studiosoi.de to see BUNNIES and lots of other recent work by soi.
I have some reservations about Robin Williams as an animation voice actor (and by some reservations, I mean many), but Emru Townsend reminds us on his fps magazine blog In-Betweens that Williams also deserves praise for some of the more positive things he does for the cartoon art form.
Bill Plympton, who was nominated for an Oscar this year for his short film GUARD DOG, writes about his experiences in LA during Oscar week. Read his diary and see photos HERE.
The SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE has an interesting piece on a touring film program called “The Dark Side of Dr. Seuss.” The program, curated by Dennis Nyback, screens the films of Dr. Seuss (then Theodor Geisel) from when he was in charge of the US Army Signal Corps’ animation unit during WWII. That unit produced the Private Snafu cartoons (through Warner Bros.), among other projects.
ColdHardFlash.com has a nice round-up of all the new and returning Flash-animated TV series that are being produced this year. There’s eight Flash series in total, with four new shows – COCONUT FRED’S FRUIT SALAD ISLAND, THE BUZZ ON MAGGIE, KATBOT and OMEGA DOME.
Stop motion veteran Tennessee Reid Norton has started a plog (production blog) documenting the making of his indie stopmo short RICHARD PRIVATE: THE PRIVATE DICK. Norton described the project in one of his recent entries:
This Dick is a hardboiled detective cut from the same bolt as any self-respecting character created by Chandler, Capote or Spillane. He likes his women like he likes his drinks – hard. His stories are set in 1940′ish Los Angeles. The lighting is black and white Noir inspired. And Richard is well … a dick! It’s your basic big dick trying to navigate his way through the human world while solving mysteries serial.
Goofy subject matter aside, the plog is a good read with plenty of solid details about the film’s production. T-Reid also talks about another recent project he worked on, the full-length stop-motion feature DISASTER! THE MOVIE, directed by Roy T. Wood. The film, which recently wrapped, is being billed as the first R-rated stop-motion feature.
The legendary Oscar Grillo has started his own blog HERE. It features a terrific drawing everyday and links to classic jazz tunes. Most of the text is in Spanish, but the drawings and music can be appreciated by all.
FPS (Frames Per Second), a great print animation magazine edited by Emru Townsend in the Nineties, is being published again — only this time sans paper. The first issue is available for FREE as a downloadable PDF at fpsMagazine.com. There’s a cover story on the “animated documentary” and other thought-provoking pieces.
Just wanted to mention that my friend and I went and checked out the Tim Burton garage sale thing today – and it’s really a bit of a bust. Actually, just plain disappointing. The only movie prop was that chair from Ed Wood (still there for a mere $20,000), and other than a smattering of used furniture and pricey used designer footwear and clothes (average going price for used shoes – $100-$400, dresses and skirts $400+), it was this odd collection of junky old yard sale stuff – salad spinner, old mugs, fabric, assorted boxes of electric cables and whatnot. But, all my friends back east are jealous that we even got to check it out, so hey.
Sander Schwartz can kick back and relax. Somebody has already done the work for him and animated the new LOONATICS cartoon, starring that one and only “Buzzed Bunny.” Actually, it’s a Flash parody of what the show might be like and it’s absolutely hilarious. WARNING: CONTAINS VERY STRONG LANGUAGE, but come on, WB deserves it. Click here to watch A NEW BUNNY. (Thanks, Daikun)