Power Salad, a comedy duo comprised of Chris Mezzolesta and Craig Marks, created this awesomely geeky musical plea demanding that vintage cartoon animals not suffer the ignoble fate of CG remakes:
Charles Kenny at the Animation Anomaly spotted these Mickey and Minnie Mouse plates at his local Target. They appear cool in that, “Look, Disney is celebrating its heritage” kind of way, but a closer look reveals a clumsily conceived idea.
The most glaring defect is that the construction lines are drawn OVER the final artwork. In actuality, the artist draws the construction lines first, a rough version to work out the pose and scale of a character. Not only are the construction lines here printed on top of the finished drawing, but the lines appear to have been inserted haphazardly after the fact and bear no connection to the drawing of Mickey. The construction circle over Mickey’s head doesn’t even follow the tilt of his head in the finished drawing. Construction lines are fascinating because they reveal an artist’s thought process and how he or she arrived at a finished drawing; these lines look like the random scribbles of a toddler struggling to copy a drawing. There’s no reason to insert these construction lines into a piece of merchandise unless the purpose is to draw attention to the heritage of drawing at the Disney company. So why not get it right? As it stands, it looks like a cynical attempt by the Disney company to exploit the fondness that people have for classic animation.
Will the general public who buys these plates notice anything amiss? Probably not. But when a company cares, it sweats every detail, even the ones that aren’t always noticed. That’s what Pixar does, that’s what Apple does, and it’s what Walt used to do.
Oh Willy… is a short film about a porky guy who goes to care for his sick mother who lives in a nudist colony. It’s directed by Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels, and debuts later this month at the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. I enjoyed the cozy-looking knitted animation of Emma’s earlier film, Soft Plants, and I’m really looking forward to checking this one out, too.
An elegant sense of symmetry and order forms the world of Boris Labbé‘s Kyrielle. The repeating rhythms and cycles have a hypnotic quality, and encourage the viewer’s eye to wander playfully and explore different figures. Labbé accomplished all this with just 285 watercolor drawings which he later composited digitally and projected as a video installation. Kyrielle was made at the French animation school EMCA (Ecole des Métiers du Cinéma d’Animation).
Unexpectedly thought-provoking and beautiful in its own way, In the Pig, Everything is Good (Dans le cochon, tout est bon) takes advantage of the unconventional narrative possibilities available to the animated filmmaker. Made by Iris Alexandre as a graduation film at the Belgian school La Cambre: Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts visuels.
I think we have a winner – “Makin’ with the Magilla”:
No song could possibly live up to the cover, but if you must:
If you have a more perfect cartoon-themed album cover, share it in the comments.
(via John K Stuff)
The Chuck Jones Experience opens Thursday at Circus Circus in Las Vegas. Just in time, too, considering that one out of three Americans don’t know who Bugs Bunny is, and nearly half (44%) don’t recognize Daffy Duck. If you’ve ever watched this or this or this, you’d understand why the American public is trying to forget these once-great characters.
Last week at an animation screening in New York, the MC of the event, Bill Plympton, invited a member of the audience to take the stage and introduced him as a New York animation legend. The suspender-wearing pot-bellied gentleman looked about the farthest thing from a legend. I’d seen him at screenings before and never knew who he was, but I was certainly familiar with his famous work-in-progress animated film. It was none other than Michael Sullivan, who’s been working for over a decade on a stop-motion robot porno epic The Sex Life of Robots.
Michael has had a long career in animation, working on sets and puppets for projects like Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Joe’s Apartment, and Bear in the Big Blue House,, but it’s the exquisitely crafted robot porn that he’s been making in his apartment that has captured the most attention. Now he’s about to become a lot more famous thanks to a short documentary–Meaning of Robots–that will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this week. The trailer is above, and it’s directed by Matt Lenski who describes it as such:
In the Spring of 2011, after years of hiring him to build miniature sets for my films I asked Mike Sullivan for his help on an art project — A doll-sized protest kit. During the process I got a peek into his world and discovered that it was anything but miniature.
What I found was a man dedicated, overwhelmed, slightly lost and happy to share it with honesty and a little humor. I also found thousands of Robots with wieners. This is a character exploration, a documentary, a Henry Darger-esque allegory set in one studio apartment on 27th street in New York City.
Sullivan has been profiled on multiple occasions in the past. Click after the jump for more videos about his animation work, with plenty of NSFW clips from his work-in-progress film.
This video offers a look at the memorial celebration for New York animation legend Vincent Cafarelli that took place on Friday, January 6. There are glimpses of Vinny from old home movies interspersed between the memorial clips. The lovely event was attended by a who’s who of the New York animation community. See if you can spot Vinny Bell, Candy Kugel, Howard Beckerman, Don Poynter, Tony Eastman, J. J. Sedelmaier, Jimmy Picker, David Levy, John Canemaker, Doug Crane, Michael Sporn, Larry Ruppel, Richard O’Connor, George Griffin, Debra Solomon and John Dilworth, among many others.
Michael Bay, Jon Favreau, Ray Liotta, Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel all participate in this Funny or Die video about the latest developments in motion capture. I don’t want to ruin it so just click on the link and watch the two-minute short.
Satori is another recent Sheridan thesis film that has popped up online. Along with yesterday’s A Good Wife, the film offers a glimpse of the new crop of animators emerging out of the Canadian school. The filmmaker Abhilasha Dewan was “inspired by the misty mountains of Nainital, India. She’s posted artwork from the film on her website.
2D special effects animators are a breed apart. Their work is extremely detail-oriented and demands an incredibly high level of craftsmanship, yet the animation they create is rarely the center of attention like the work of character animators. Last month when I was in LA, I visited with retired Disney FX animator John Emerson who showed me how he animated the wings on the hummingbird Flit in Pocahontas and the way he did it nearly made my brain explode. Let’s just say he’s really good at handling an airbrush and cutting friskets. If 2D FX sounds like your dream job, then you may want to look into a new weekly FX animation course run by Australian animator Adam Phillips.
Phillips used to be the special effects supervisor at Walt Disney Animation Australia, and has since achieved Internet fame as the creator of Bitey Castle and the successful Brackenwood shorts on Newgrounds. His online course covers all the principles: lightning, flames, ripples, wave motion, smoke, dust, steam, and surface tension, among others. He tells me that, “It’s aimed at complete FX beginners and is taught from a traditional perspective so there’s no particular medium or software angle.” The real attraction is that the program is just $24/month and includes weekly articles, demonstrations, examples, illustrations and videos. The program length is approximately three months and can be started anytime. Find out more at Bitey.com.
One of Cartoon Brew’s most popular archived posts is my October 19, 2010 commentary about the end of creator-driven animation. The post, which discussed a common topic within industry circles, took on an unexpected life of its own among younger readers and spawned the well-known “Brony” fandom, which is the celebration of the TV series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic by male viewers. If you’ve ever wondered how my post led to Bronies, here’s Scott Spaziani explaining its history. My role in the movement pops up around the 6-minute mark. You’re welcome, guys.
The story of A Good Wife is fairly well summarized by its ironic title. What remains is a tribute to mid-century modern aesthetics and an eerie amount of stillness. W. Scott Forbes made the film while attending Sheridan College. The film doesn’t necessarily succeed in wringing out the emotions suggested by its sad story and musical cues, but Forbes’ approach is refreshing for a student film and a worthy experiment.
It’s rare to browse through someone’s on-line animation videos and enjoy everything they’ve produced. That’s the happy feeling I experienced watching the work of French animator Paul Cabon. In fact, it was too difficult to choose a single piece of his to share so I’ve included three more of his films after the jump. His work is packed with fresh visual concepts coupled with strong control of color and shape and a keen sense of humor. His animation of human figures moves in an almost experimental fashion, which is to say it doesn’t follow the rules of conventional character animation but fits perfectly with the rest of his style. Cabon graduated from the French animation school La PoudriÃ¨re a couple years back.
See more of his work after the jump: