Public Domaine, a skateboard art and culture show currently on display at Gaite Lyrique in Paris, features an installation of classic board designs brought to life. The animated was created by skate legend Natas Kaupas.
(via Mike Geiger’s Twitter)
Dozens of love letters belonging to director and animator Hugh Harman have turned up on eBay. For those who are unfamiliar with the name, Hugh Harman was a legendary figure in animation history. The starting bid for the letters is $2,000 which I think is a bit overpriced considering they’re from the 1940s after Harman had already made his biggest contributions to cartoons. I’d also assume the likelihood of new animation history revelations to be low. However, it’s an interesting find for the animation buff who likes a little romance on the side.
(Thanks, “Dave and Frank”)
Here’s an Independence Day fashion suggestion from this patriotic animator.
From the “better late than never” department comes this box office report from last weekend. I thought I might as well post it since this week’s debut of Transformers 3 will knock Cars 2 from the top spot. Pixar’s latest effort debuted last weekend in the lead position with $66.1 million, topping the original Cars opening weekend of $60.1 million, but trailing it in terms of attendance. The number that caught my eye though was its dismal 3-D performance. As with Kung Fu Panda 2, the majority of audiences chose to watch the flat version, with only 40% paying a 3-D premium. Compare that to 60% who saw Toy Story 3 in 3-D and a 52% 3-D share for Up.
Even with the higher debut, Box Office Mojo predicts that Cars 2 won’t reach the original film’s $244 million domestic gross, not that it’ll make much of a difference to the smiling execs at Disney. The film is also tracking to do considerably better overseas than the original Cars.
In one other bit of box office news, earlier this week Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil finally passed the $10 million mark in the US after 62 days of release. Combine that with earnings of $3.6 million from overseas and it’s grossed a grand total of $13.6 million.
I’m not sure where the stereotypical image of the pudgy, slovenly animation artist originated, but animators haven’t always been sedentary creatures. Here’s the proof: some rare 1939 images I recently ran across in Life magazine of Clarke Mallery who went on to work at Disney and UPA. (Click on them for a bigger version.) He also played a mean clarinet, and was in Ward Kimball’s words, “a poor man’s Artie Shaw.” Mallery performed in the Firehouse Five Plus Two from its inception until 1952. Here’s some more biographical details about him culled from the liner notes of a Firehouse Five Plus Two album:
Born in Los Angeles, May 17, 1919 and lived in the Pasadena area since. He became interested in music at an early age; his mother was a fine singer, and his family were all musically inclined. He studied violin at first, then switched to clarinet, which he played in the Pasadena High School band. While at high school, he also sang with a local dance orchestra led by his older brother. At high school he was an outstanding track star, which led to a scholarship at the University of Southern California, Class of 1940.
In 1939 he took top high jump honors at the Big Ten-Pacific Coast Dual Meet at Berkeley. His best jump in competition was 6′ 7-1/2″. From earliest childhood he had been interested in drawing and during college worked as a sports cartoonist for the Los Angeles Examiner. After a summer job (1937) at Disney Studios, he decided on a professional career as an artist. He joined Disney in 1941 as an animation artist, and worked on almost every Disney feature since that time, except for 1942-1944, when he was in the Army. Clarke’s other interests include acting, theatrical direction and singing. In 1953 he left Disney to do free-lance work, and to form his own band.
We normally don’t post live-action trailers on Cartoon Brew, but there are exceptions to every rule, and Brad Bird is always an exception. Watch the trailer for his film Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol at MissionImpossible.com.
Rancho Girl by Jorge Ruiz (USA/Venezuela)
Various Fluid Experiments by Vladimir Jankijevic (Switzerland)
Myslivci by Jan Saska (Czech Republic)
SVA Dusty Animation Night Intro by Kaukab Basheer (USA/India)
“Bully” Album Teaser by A3+ (France)
This man has his priorities straight:
(original comic found on Super Punch)
Zoetrope-inspired animation techniques have made a big comeback this year. It’s a flexible technique that allows for many creative interpretations, as evidenced in this music video for The Weekend People’s single, “We Are Police.” The directors are Melbourne, Australia-based Sarah Phillips and Lachlan Dean. Phillips tells me that, “The music video was made using a record player and was made with no budget–even the record player was found as rubbish on the sidewalk.”
Sheila Barbera, the wife of the late Hanna-Barbera co-founder Joe Barbera, has listed their Studio City estate for $6.795 million dollars. According to the LA Times, Mrs. Barbera “will be making her primary residence at her Old Las Palmas estate in Palm Springs.”
The 2-acre property has a 6,900 square foot feet home with 4 bedrooms, staff quarters, and a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace in the living room. There’s also a 7,200 square feet car garage, lighted tennis court, pool and spa. The home was built in 1988 so it’s not the site of any real animation history, unless you’re an admirer of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo and Jetsons: The Movie.
The home is listed by Karen Misraje of Partners Trust, Beverly Hills. Here’s the ALL-CAPS listing from her site:
This comic from Tex Avery’s days at North Dallas High School (see larger version here) is currently up for auction on Howard Lowery’s site. Bidding is currently up to $610 with 13 days left in the auction. It’s hard to see any signs of the future cartoon genius in this drawing, but it’s interesting as a historical piece.
In the post earlier this week about animation executive Max Howard, I wrote (somewhat flippantly) that nobody understood why “almost anybody who worked in musical theater could become an animation executive at Disney” in the 1980s and ’90s. Of course, many people do know. A Brew reader, who prefers to remain anonymous, emailed a nice capsule history of what happened during that period:
Roy Disney was seeking a leader to put animation on a solid footing to move forward. He sought the advice of Robert Fitzpatrick, then-President of CalArts. Bob had just finished his stint as the director of the highly-successful Olympic Arts Festival, and he suggested that perhaps an arts management structure might be the most natural for Animation–both are project-based, but maintain ongoing management and cultural growth/identity.
Bob’s lieutenant on the Olympic Arts Festival was Peter Schneider. Bob connected Peter and Roy, and the rest is pretty well-known. Peter had worked with Howard Ashman and Alan Menken on “Little Shop of Horrors,” he brought in a lot of the Olympic Arts and theater colleagues in those early years in the 1980s including Thomas Schumacher, Kathleen Gavin, Karen Schmidt, etc.
As Ashman and Menken further identified Animation as a form of Musical Theater, the talents from that world naturally began to migrate to Animation. People often forget that there was no real paradigm for how Animation might work, structurally, in the 1990s, so they brought in all kinds of talents from all manner of entertainment, a lot from Theater, since it seemed to bear a stronger resemblance to the creative environment of Animation.
Anybody can draw in a naïve art style, but few do it well. Muscular Princesses (original title: Izmos királylányok) by JÃºlia Farkas uses a deceptively childlike style to illustrate a decidely “fractured” fairy tale. There is expressive character animation, creative staging choices, and a playful sense of visual humor that matches the absurd tone of the story. The results brought a smile to my face. It’s a 2009 graduation film from the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest.
Supreme Believers (Nowness edit) by Universal Everything (UK)
Fancy One by Anthony VanArsdale (USA)
Tram (excerpt) by Rozi Békés (Hungary)
Gahhd Beckay, first dialogue animation by Karl Hadrika (US)
Vintage animation test by Ollie Johnston, one of Disney’s Nine Old Men (US)
French animator Stephen Vuillemin created this on-line comic composed entirely of animated GIFs. The storyline is a tad on the crude side, but Stephen does classier work, too.