Director and animator Lucas Zanotto proves with his creative new app Drawnimal that drawing with a pencil on paper and digital apps are not incompatible technologies. The iPad/iPhone app not only teaches the alphabet and animals to children, but cunningly encourages kids to draw around their devices to create a complete image of an animal that will then perform an animated action. For more info, go to Drawnimal.com or download it from the Apple store.
The Richard Williams Animator’s Survival Kit iPad app that we announced a couple months ago is out today. It’s available for $34.99 on the Apple Store, a bargain when you consider the DVD version of the Survival Kit costs nearly a grand. If you’re on the fence about splurging, you can also download a free sample version.
Controlling creative people appears to be a popular topic in the mainstream media nowadays. Following on the heels of Harvard Business Review’s incendiary article “Seven Rules for Managing Creative People”, Bloomberg Businessweek has published a short piece titled How to Manipulate Creative People. Unlike the HBR article which sounded as if it was written by someone who had never met a creative person in their life, the Businessweek piece (which is part of their annual how-to issue) is written by Matt Selman, an exec producer on The Simpsons who has run the writers’ rooms for over a decade.
Agree with what he says or not, Selman’s advice clearly stems from experience:
If your team is still irritated with you, badmouth anyone not in the room. Dumping on an unseen third party or revealing tantalizing office gossip always takes the heat off for a few minutes. Though if you’re going to make fun of people who work for you, be prepared to be made fun of by them. No matter how mean it gets, have the thickest skin in the room. Reward the completion of assignments with YouTube clips: Key and Peele, octopus vs. shark, bank robbery fails. If nothing else works, stall till lunch. It’s hard to be full and angry.
The intersection between animation and fashion isn’t always well defined, but it is expanding. In the latest issue of Galore, Jerome LaMaar (aka Style Monk) illustrated a two-page spread of Jessica Rabbit wearing lingerie and evening wear from the recent collections of houses like Atelier Versace, Agent Provocateur, La Perla, Christian Louboutin, Azzedine Alaia and Dolce & Gabbana.
It’s a curious blending of real and imagined worlds that shows the potential for future collaborations between fashion and animation, like perhaps, a fashion designer designing the clothes for the characters in a CG animated feature.
Seth MacFarlane’s The Cleveland Show had been widely expected to be canceled, and The Animation Guild recently confirmed that the show is finished. The show had a respectable four-season run on FOX comprising 88 total episodes.
Fox Animation Studios is still humming along with Family Guy and American Dad so MacFarlane remains busy, though an undetermined number of Cleveland Show rank-and-file will likely be laid off.
[UPDATED—4/17—1:05pm ET]: According to Entertainment Weekly, a Fox rep says that they haven’t made an official decision on the fifth season. There is no reason to doubt The Animation Guild’s cancellation notice since they represent the artists working on the show, but in the interest of fairness, we’re mentioning FOX’s current position on the show.
You’ve read Cartoon Brew for years, but starting next week, you’ll be able to hear it, too.
Welcome Joel Frenzer and Alan Foreman, the rowdy bad boys of the animation podcasting world and hosts of the interview series Frenzer Foreman Animation Forum.
Frenzer and Foreman launched their show in 2010 and have recorded thirty-five episodes to date. Beginning with the next episode of Frenzer Foreman Animation Forum, the show will introduce a new fast-paced HALF-HOUR format with episodes debuting exclusively on CartoonBrew.com every two weeks.
In each episode, Joel and Alan invite movers and shakers of the animation community on their comedy hot-seat for bourbon-fueled chit-chat about animation, art, culture, filmmaking, life, and Joel’s dog.
The Frenzer Foreman Animation Forum is recorded and produced in Brooklyn, New York, but we’re hatching plans to send our adventurous duo on the road to far-flung locales like Los Angeles and perhaps even a major international animation festival or two.
Here’s a little bit about your new hosts:
Joel Frenzer is an independent filmmaker whose films have screened at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. He is also a professional animator with numerous industry credits, voice actor, puppeteer, exhibiting fine artist and sound designer. He has taught and assisted animation classes at Harvard University, Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Pratt Institute, and is currently the full-time professor of animation at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
Alan Foreman has worked on numerous TV and web series including Home Movies, Hey, Monie, Time Warp Trio, Word Girl, Speed Racer: The Next Generation and Cat Slap, the latter which he created for Mondo Media. He is currently working as a freelance animator for clients that include Buck, Hornet Inc, TED Ed, Nick Jr, The Electric Company, Six Point Harness, and Michel Gondry.
Bibo Bergeron’s A Monster in Paris is releasing on DVD today in the United States through Shout! Factory. The 2011 French animated feature was unable to secure theatrical distribution in the competitive U.S. market, but Bergeron’s earlier directorial efforts will no doubt be familiar to American viewers—DreamWorks’ The Road to El Dorado and Shark Tale. A blog featuring artwork from the A Monster in Paris can be viewed HERE.
Order A Monster in Paris for $10.49 on Amazon.com.
Reel FX and Relativity Media are sparing no expense when it comes to promoting Free Birds, Reel FX’s first animated feature which will be released theatrically in November. At CinemaCon, the Las Vegas convention for theater owners, they unveiled a 3D-printed display of the film’s main characters, who are voiced by Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson. It certainly puts your average cardboard-based theater display to shame, and gives one optimism that they’re putting a high level of effort and care into the actual film itself. These photos of the display appeared on Collider.com.
(h/t, Sarah Marino)
Libidinis manages to be gently erotic even though the two main characters spend the film ripping off each other’s skin. The filmmakers, Spanish twin sisters Rosa Peris and Mercedes Peris, create a fluid, ethereal space with sensuous pencil and ink linework, and splashes of color in gouache, pastel and marker:
A man and a woman uncover each other, taking off their skin as an intimate act. They are interrupted by two children who attend the Love School. Libidinis is a short film produced by the research group Plastic Art Expression of Movement, Animation and Light-Kinetics (Universidad Politecnica de Valencia), specially made for the exhibition SKIN, which aimed to show the human skin as a humanistic study object. It was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust London and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).
Chuck Jones is one of the marquee names of American animation history. He created characters such as Pepe le Pew, Marvin Martian, Gossamer, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, and directed classic shorts like Rabbit Seasoning, Duck Amuck, Feed the Kitty, The Dover Boys, One Froggy Evening, Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century and What’s Opera, Doc?, to name just a few. A lesser known fact about Jones is that during the 1950s he and his wife Dorothy (nickname: Dottie) were avid participants of the Southern California Western square dancing craze, a style of dance explained in this video:
Jones never spoke of his love for square dancing in either of his biographies: Chuck Amuck or Chuck Reducks. His appreciation for the dance never manifested itself in the films he made either. In fact, the quintessential Warner Bros. square dance cartoon, Hillbilly Hare, was directed by Jones’ colleague, Robert McKimson. Jones’ enthusiasm for square dancing was well known around the studio, however. He organized lunchtime dances, and claimed that the other directors, like McKimson and Friz Freleng, as well as producer Eddie Selzer, became fascinated with the dance as well.
Throughout the 1950s, Chuck contributed magazine covers and a regular column to a Southern California magazine called Sets in Order. Within the past year, the University of Denver Digital Archive has added a PDF archive of Sets in Order. (Go HERE for a more clearly indexed list of back issues). In the gallery below, I’ve compiled all of Chuck’s covers, a couple illustrated articles he did, and one of his columns which was especially animation related. Should you wish to dig through the archives, there are dozens of other “Chuck’s Notebook” columns within the 1950s and early-’60s issues. They’re esoteric and often obtuse, but are decorated with Chuck’s spot illustrations and provide some unique insights into his personality.
There are lots of hidden goodies in the columns that Jones wrote, and now that they are so readily accessible, they will hopefully be scrutinized more closely by historians. Animator and historian Greg Duffell introduced me to these drawings when he did an article about them in my ‘zine Animation Blast. In that piece, Greg pointed out astutely how some of Chuck’s drawings in the magazine foreshadowed the designs of characters who later appeared in films like The Phantom Tollbooth, Deduce You Say, Rocket-bye Baby and I was a Teenage Thumb. Whether you recognize the references or not, the drawings that Jones created for Sets in Order stand on their own and can be appreciated today as exquisite examples of mid-century cartooning.
All the material in here was drawn by Chuck Jones for Sets in Order which is copyright Bob Osgood.
Why produce expensive hand-drawn animation when you can placate your audience for the cost of lunch at Spago’s? Animation artist Henrique Jardim noticed that at yesterday’s CTN Road Expo animation event in Burbank, Disney was handing out papercraft animation desks complete with disc and peg bar. He tweeted the photo above along with this note:
I first saw this ad on Vimeo and by the time the cards started bouncing around in the “cloud,” I was convinced it was a parody of Google’s products. Well, after further research, it turns out that this is a real advertisement for an official Google product. It’s from the directing duo Wolfberg. While of dubious effectiveness as an ad, it strikes me as a superb example of photorealistic computer animation that is both inventive and fun to watch.
There are a lot of images that pop to mind when I hear the words ’2D animation.’ A man’s hand pressing down on a badly wallpapered alarm clock is not among those. The book Creating 2D Animation Revealed with the Adobe Creative Suite will be out later this month.
The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco has announced two new exhibitions for this summer centered around the works of lowbrow artist Camille Rose Garcia and Where the Wild Things Are author/illustator Maurice Sendak. The exhibit showcasing Garcia’s work alongside paintings by Mary Blair is an inspired stroke of curation. I hope they keep doing shows like this in which they explore the influence of classic Disney in contemporary visual culture.
Camille Rose Garcia: Down the Rabbit Hole (May 9-November 13, 2013) features some 40 works by Garcia alongside several Alice in Wonderland concept paintings by Disney artist Mary Blair from the Museum’s collection. Organized by guest curator Tere Romo, the exhibition celebrates not only Garcia and Blair’s artistry across decades and artistic styles, but also the power of art to draw us into magical worlds that spark engagement and inspiration. Go HERE for more details.
Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons (May 23–July 7, 2013) features 50 works by the legendary author and illustrator, accompanied by 50 statements from celebrities, authors, and noted personalities on the influence of Sendak’s work, all in celebration the 50th anniversary of his universally revered book, Where the Wild Things Are. Go HERE for more details.