Beginning tomorrow morning and for the nine weeks that follow, get ready for Cartoon Brew’s 3rd annual Student Animation Festival. We can’t wait to share this year’s amazing line-up of student films with everybody.
We’re delighted to announce the selections for Cartoon Brew’s third annual Student Animation Festival. This year we topped over 200 submissions, which made programming this year’s festival a challenging task. We chose filmmakers whose work displayed confidence and maturity while being unafraid to experiment with new ideas, techniques and styles.
(A brief note: for the first time, we have multiple selections from two schools: Rhode Island School of Design and Sheridan. In particular, there are three films from Sheridan. We received a record two-dozen entries from Sheridan this year, and we appreciated the diverse range of voices coming out of there, as well as the consistently high technical proficiency of the school’s students.)
Each of the ten filmmakers below will receive $300. Further, we’re introducing a new twist this year. After all the films have debuted, we will conduct a poll where viewers can vote for their favorite film. The winner of the audience choice award will receive an additional $500.
Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival is made possible by JibJab, our major sponsor for this year’s festival. JibJab has consistently demonstrated generous support for young and emerging talent, and we are proud to recognize them as the sponsor of our festival.
Once again, a hearty congratulations to this year’s selections in our Student Animation Festival. Mark your calendars: the first film will debut on Cartoon Brew on Monday, July 2.
The Ballad of Poisonberry Pete
Directed by Uri Lotan, Adam Campbell, Elizabeth McMahill
School: Ringling College of Art and Design
Country: USA (Florida)
Directed by Kyle Mowat
School: Sheridan College
Directed by Noam Sussman
School: Sheridan College
Money Bunny Blues
Directed by Ellen Coons
School: College for Creative Studies
Country: USA (Michigan)
Directed by Evan Red Borja
School: School of Visual Arts
Country: USA (New York)
Peace One Day
Directed by Angie Phillips and Phoebe Halstead
School: Kingston University
Directed by Nooree Kim
School: Sheridan College
Directed by Eric Ko
School: Rhode Island School of Design
Country: USA (Rhode Island)
Directed by Philipp Artus
School: Academy of Media Arts Cologne
21 Years In Seven Minutes
Directed by Caroline Torres
School: Rhode Island School of Design
Country: USA (Rhode Island)
We’re extending the deadline for student film entries in Cartoon Brew’s 3rd annual Student Animation Festival through this Sunday, June 3. We’ve had a record number of entries so far this year, but we’d still love to to see a few more films. Go here for entry details.
(Submit photo via Shutterstock)
We’re excited to announce a call for entries for our third annual Student Film Festival, a yearly showcase of outstanding student films from around the globe. We’ve received hundreds of submissions in our first two years that have resulted in a fantastic selection of films, and we hope to continue that trend this year. Click to see the 2010 lineup and 2011 lineup.
Our mission for the festival is simple: to share student-produced animated shorts with the widest possible community of industry artists, fellow students and animation fans. And not just any student films, but films of the highest caliber…the most original, the most thought-provoking, the ones that make us laugh hardest and engage us emotionally. Of course, we present student films throughout the year on Cartoon Brew, but we want the festival to direct even greater attention to the exciting work being produced by today’s up-and-coming filmmakers.
Filmmakers who are selected to screen in Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival will each receive $300. We’re also adding a new twist this year. After all the films have debuted, there will be an audience poll where Cartoon Brew viewers can vote on their favorite film. The winner of the audience choice award will earn an additional $500.
Here’s all the info you need:
1. It has to be animated. (Obviously.)
2. It has to be a student film. (Even more obvious.)
3. Must have been completed after May 1, 2011.
4. Must be an online premiere. (Films that are accessible online to the public will not be considered.)
5. Submissions due by Sunday, June 3, 2012
Thursday, May 31, 2012
To submit, send an email to studentfest (at) cartoonbrew (dot) com with the following info:
â€¢ Your name, school and country
â€¢ Film title and synopsis
â€¢ Private link and password (ex: Password-Protected Vimeo link, Private or Unlisted YouTube link, or a website download link).
WHAT HAPPENS IF I’M SELECTED
Up to 12 films will be selected for the festival. We will announce the festival selections in early June. Screenings will begin on Cartoon Brew in late June. Every film that is selected to screen as part of the Cartoon Brew Student Film Festival will be paid a screening fee of $300(US). We don’t assume any exclusivity or ownership of your film. In other words, you are still free to submit to festivals, sell it to distributors, and post it anywhere else on-line shortly after its online debut in our festival.
ONE FINAL NOTE
Many students are informed in school that posting their film on-line ruins their festival chances. We’ve explored the issue before by speaking with festival directors and recommend reading this. None of the major animation festivals enforce such a rule today. However, some non-animation festivals, like Sundance, ask that a film be taken off-line during the course of their festival. As far as we know, the only awards organization that strictly demands films remain off-line is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, so if you’re trying to qualify for a Student Academy Award, you don’t want to post your film on-line. To understand the issues better, read this case study written by Avner Geller, who co-directed Defective Detective, a film that appeared in last year’s Student Animation Festival as well as won a Student Academy Award.
(Submit photo via Shutterstock)
Have an animated film or a piece of news to share? Here are some helpful tips for submitting to Cartoon Brew:
* If you are submitting a news item, DO NOT SUBMIT using our personal contact forms or Twitter accounts. Submissions via our personal forms will be junked. Use our SUGGEST A STORY form, which is conveniently located in the right sidebar.
* An easier way to get our attention is to submit items via Cartoon Brew’s Facebook page. The benefit is that even if we can’t post it, it becomes part of the public discussion among over 5,500 Brew readers. Our FB page is quite active and we look at it regularly.
* If you have a company press release, submit it to our CB BIZ news editor Chris at PR [at] cartoonbrew [dot] com
* Do not send links to film fundraising campaigns. We haven’t linked to a single fundraising campaign in over two years, yet we still get multiple fundraising submissions on a daily basis. We will under no circumstances link to a third-party fundraising campaign on Kickstarter, IndieGogo or any such similar site. We instituted the no-fundraising policy as the fairest solution to deal with the barrage of requests. If a film project is newsworthy for a reason other than the fact that it needs money, we may write about it AFTER the campaign’s completion (or after its fundraising goal has been met), or we’ll post about the project without promoting the fundraising effort.
Today’s news from around the industry:
Today’s news from around the industry, only on CB Biz:
Quick reminder: we’re soon going to begin accepting submissions for the 3rd annual Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival. Last year’s selections were fantastic and we’re planning to put together another showcase of outstanding student animation from around the globe. If you’re finishing up a student film this year, we hope you’ll submit to Cartoon Brew’s festival. Any student film completed after May 1, 2011 and not yet posted on-line is eligible. Full details coming soon!
Simian Mobile Disco by Cerulean
Jack Featherstone and Will Samuel designed, directed and animated this abstract video at London’s ISO studio. (Thanks to Felipe Robles for the link.)
Cpt. Metal by Die Arzte
Vienna, Austria collective LWZ, comprised of Martin Lorenz, Stefan Salcher and Markus Wagner, created Cpt. Metal for German punk band Die Arzte.
Te Koop / A Vendre by Pree
Maxwell Sorensen animated this piece over the last two months, during evenings and on weekends. Created entirely in Photoshop and After Effects after scanning “a big pile of real paper textures to keep it more organic”. Sorensen spends his days interning on stop-motion projects at Hornet Inc.
The Rifle’s Spiral by The Shins
That’s Jamie Caliri‘s new video for Portland-based indie rock band, The Shins. Caliri, best known for his Lemony Snicket end titles, created this surreal stop-motion animation inspired by Edward Gorey illustrations and Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. Go here to watch the making of video.
This past month we not only commemorated Cartoon Brew’s eighth anniversary, we also achieved the highest month of traffic in our site’s history. The twenty posts below were the individual posts that you viewed most frequently during March. Three of the posts, including the top one, were related to Glen Keane’s departure from Disney, but the pageviews were spread out across plenty of other big stories as well.
1. EXCLUSIVE: The Full Text of Glen Keane’s Disney Resignation Letter
2. The Sweatbox, The Documentary That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See
3. Digital Domain’s John Textor Brags to Investors About Exploiting Animation Student Labor
4. The Poster For The Walt Disney Biopic You’ll Never See
5. The Failure of John Carter and Analyzing Andrew Stanton
6. Why Kids Today Think Disney Was A Jew-Hating, Hitler-Loving Racist
7. How Much Money Animated Shorts Earn on YouTube
8. BREAKING: Glen Keane Left Disney Today
9. First Look at Genndy Tartakovsky’s Hotel Transylvania
10. Ricky Garduno, RIP
11. Pete Docter’s Flipbook Animation Set
12. Dick Clark is Selling His Flintstones Home
13. FIRST LOOK: Rise of the Guardians Trailer
14. Let’s Cast the Walt Disney Biopic
15. An Open Letter to Glen Keane
16. EXCLUSIVE: Nickelodeon’s New Shorts Program
17. Frankenweenie Teaser
18. Japanese Brave trailer
19. Brad Bird on Ollie Johnston
20. The Lorax Talkback
Cartoon Brew is eight years old today, and for what it’s worth, that makes us the longest-continually operating animation blog on the Internet. We had no idea what would happen when we launched the Brew in 2004, but we’re proud that it’s lasted as long as it has and that you’ve allowed us to be a voice for the animation community. In the past few years, we’ve launched new initiatives like CB Biz and the Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival, but we’ve got even bigger things in store for this year, including a major site overhaul.
Whether you’ve been with us since the pre-Brew era when we published our thoughts as Cartoon Research and Animation Blast or you’ve joined us more recently, we have a simple message to our readers. We want to thank each of you very sincerely for reading Cartoon Brew. We know that you have many choices today for animation news, and we’re honored and humbled that so many of you have chosen the Brew as one of your sources. The Cartoon Brew team spends large portions of time working on the site to keep the content fresh and everything running smoothly, and we intend to continue doing that for a long time to come.
Jerry Beck and Amid Amidi,
UPDATE: Our friends at the French animation blog Catsuka remind us that they’re twelve years old. So that make us the second longest-continually operating animation blog.
Through the first 70 days of 2012, we’re averaging 2.8 posts per day on Cartoon Brew’s homepage. That’s not counting all the posts on our industry news section CB Biz. For the curious reader, here are Cartoon Brew’s most viewed and most commented posts through the first two-and-a-half months of 2012.
MOST VIEWED POSTS IN 2012
1. Ricky Garduno, RIP
2. A Tale of Two Titmouses: A Cartoon Brew Investigation
3. Preview: 2012 US Animated Features
4. Why Kids Today Think Walt Disney was a Jew-Hating, Hitler-Loving Racist
5. Web Premiere: “Wild Life” by Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby
6. Stephen Colbert’s Must-See Interview with Maurice Sendak
7. Rediscovered: Long-Lost Version of “The Hobbit” by Gene Deitch
8. The End of the Creator-Driven Era in Animation
9. Out of Context Animation
10. Ghostshrimp Exposes the Hypocrisy of Cartoon Network
MOST COMMENTED POSTS IN 2012
1. A Tale of Two Titmouses: A Cartoon Brew Investigation – 350 comments
2. Ghostshrimp Exposes the Hypocrisy of Cartoon Network – 135 comments
3. New Brave Trailer – “The Prize” – 112 comments
4. Lou Dobbs Says “The Lorax” and “Arrietty” Indoctrinate Children – 100 comments
5. My Favorite Super Bowl Commercial – 95 comments
6. The Oscars: Animated Feature Nominees – 90 comments
7. Academy Award Talkback; RANGO and MORRIS LESSMORE win – 86 comments
8. Joe Murray’s Kaboing Goes Kaput – 75 comments
9. “The Adventures of Tintin” Wins Golden Globe – 74 comments
10. How Cartoon Brew Spawned Bronies – 68 comments
Easy Way Out by Gotye
Director Darcy Prendergast of Melbourne, Australia-based Oh Yeah Wow had one golden rule for this music video: “Nothing should be created in a computer. All of the elements were created in camera, then masterfully assembled by visual effects wizard Andrew Goldsmith. We animated the plasticine blood, the cat, the flames, the smoke–all in stop motion with a motion control set up. Andrew then composited all these elements together.”
Rock It For Me by Caravan Palace
Love Is Making Its Way Back Home by Josh Ritter
This stop-mo video was created with over 12,000 pieces of construction paper, shown as it was shot, with no effects added in post. A collaboration between director Erez Horovitz and animator Sam Cohen.
Romantic Crap by Some Toir
New Sum (Nous Sommes) by Hey Rosetta!
Using a roto-scoping technique similar to Waking Life or Scanner Darkly, Jesse Davidge directed this video at Blatant Studios, in Vancouver, BC.
UPDATE #1: The Oscar for Best Animated Feature was awarded to RANGO.
Accepting the award, Verbinski said, “Someone asked me if this film was for kids. I don’t know, but it was certainly created by a bunch of grown-ups acting like children.”
UPDATE #2: The Oscar for Best Animated Short was awarded to The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg (Moonbot Studios).
Joyce and Oldenburg seemed genuinely surprised at winning the honor. Joyce told the crowd “Look, we’re just these two swamp rats from Louisiana. We love the movies more than anything… and there are thousands of men and women, from the beginning of cinema, who inspire us. Everything we do everyday is to honor those people and those films. This is incredibly grand.”
In case you forgot, here were the results of Cartoon Brew’s Oscar Survey.
Read Cartoon Brew’s interviews with the five nominees of the Best Animated Short category. Congratulations to the winners and nominees.
The results are in from Cartoon Brew’s Oscar survey and the winners are Pixar’s La Luna in the Animated Short Category and ILM’s Rango for Animated Feature. The full results are below:
As an unfortunate sidenote, we had to end the survey a few days earlier than we’d anticipated because someone attempted to hack the survey over the weekend. Despite the system’s restrictions for allowing one vote per IP, a user with the IP 18.104.22.168 who lives in a residential neighborhood of Glendale, circumvented these safeguards. This person voted a total of 224 times, 221 of those votes for Kung Fu Panda 2. In a show of generosity, the other three votes were awarded to Puss in Boots. We eliminated all of those results and ended up with 618 legitimate ballots.
With no clear frontrunners in either the Best Animated Feature or Short categories, it’s time to call upon the wisdom of the animation masses. Tell us what films you think SHOULD win the animation Oscars this year. We’ll keep the survey open for a week until everyone has had a chance to make their voice heard.
GO TO THE SURVEY PAGE >>>
The nominees for BEST ANIMATED SHORT, announced today by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scienes, are:
A Morning Stroll by Grant Orchard (Studio AKA)
Read Cartoon Brew’s post about A Morning Stroll and our coverage of Grant Orchard throughout the years.
Dimanche / Sunday by Patrick Doyon (NFB)
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg (Moonbot Studios)
Read Cartoon Brew’s post about The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.
Wild Life by Amanda Forbis & Wendy Tilby (NFB)
Read Cartoon Brew’s post about Wild Life.
Congratulations to all the nominees. The Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday February 26th at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
The Oscar nominations were announced this morning.
Nominated for BEST ANIMATED FEATURE were:
A CAT IN PARIS – Jean-Loup Felicioli, Alain Gagnol
CHICO AND RITA – Tono Errando, Javier Mariscal.
KUNG FU PANDA 2 – Jennifer Yuh Nelson
PUSS IN BOOTS – Chris Miller
RANGO – Gore Verbinski
THE SCORE: It’s “2″ for Dreamworks and “0″ for Disney/Pixar. “2″ for International independent films, and “1″ for a live-action director making his animated feature debut (and that director isn’t Spielberg). And a big “zero” for Mo-Cap.
It’s not a complete loss for TINTIN – the film was nominated for Best Music (Original Score). And RIO got a nod for Best Original Song. A complete list of nominees in all categories is posted here. The Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday February 26th at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
You may have noticed that a lot of websites have gone “dark” today, most notably Wikipedia and Tumblr. There’s grave concern throughout the online community as a result of two bills currently in the US Congress: Protect IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). This animated video explains why the bills would almost certainly kill off sites like Cartoon Brew:
Our ISP sent us a note this morning explaining how it would affect both him and us:
As an ISP I will become responsible for all of your content. Currently I am not. Due to the massive logs requirements and policing I would either need to increase my fees or discontinue service if the law is passed. If you are interested about its impact on hosting please take a moment and read this at SaveHosting.org.
Keep the Internet alive. Send a message to your Congressperson today by visiting AmericanCensorship.org.
Jerry Beck and Amid Amidi
One of the true highlights of the festival circuit this past year was Wild Life by Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby, who were nominated for an Academy Award in 1999 for their short When the Day Breaks. We are pleased to present–courtesy of our sponsor The National Film Board of Canada–the exclusive on-line debut of this Annie-nominated short.
Told in a robust, rustic style that captures the spirit of the new frontier, Wild Life won the 2011 Canadian Film Institute (CFI) Award for Best Canadian Animation at the recent Ottawa International Animation Festival. Set in 1909, the film is from the POV of a dapper young man sent from England to Alberta to attempt ranching. It soon becomes clear that nothing in his refined upbringing prepared him for the harsh conditions of the New World. Wild Life is also part of the new NFB dvd compilation Animation Express 2.
Credits after the jump.
We are pleased to present–courtesy of our sponsor The National Film Board of Canada–the exclusive on-line debut of Patrick Doyon‘s Annie-nominated film, Sunday. It’s clever, quirky and stylishly hand drawn, with a limited color palette that defines its nostalgic point of view. Sunday captures a child’s imagination as only a keenly observant cartoonist can. Sunday is also part of the new NFB dvd compilation Animation Express 2.
Credits after the jump.
In memory of Ronald Searle’s passing, we present this tribute by Matt Jones. Besides working as a story artist at Pixar, Matt is the curator of the Ronald Searle Tribute blog, a fantastic repository of Searle’s artwork and a required first-stop for anyone interested in his work. In the piece, Matt speaks about the friendship he formed with Ronald Searle in the final years of his life.
My Friend, Ronald Searle
by Matt Jones
Disney’s Nine Old Men, Ken Anderson, Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, Joe Grant, Art Babbitt . . . all the American icons of animation had already left us. I moved to the United States too late to meet any of them, but at Pixar I work with many people who had the privilege of knowing and learning from these legendary artists, and I listen to their tales with glee. When I lived in Europe, however, there was still one legendary artist left who had outlived them all, one who had influenced them all, and one who I was fortunate to meet and get to know–the incomparable Ronald Searle.
I first became aware of Searle’s work trawling the second hand bookshops on London’s Charing Cross Road. His work struck me as the forebearer of a British cartooning tradition dominated by Ralph Steadman and Gerald Scarfe at the time. I had discovered them in art school and came to realize that Searle was the original master of the scratchy, spattered ink line, influencing all who followed. I was dissatisfied with the materials that were available online about Searle, and sought to establish a resource of choice scans from my growing collection of his books. I undertook the blog merely as a fan. Little did I know that I would later come to know the artist and even have him contribute material to the site.
In addition to his print work, Searle worked on numerous animation projects throughout his career including Energetically Yours and Dick Deadeye, and has indirectly been responsible for the look of countless other works of animation, most notably Disney’s 101 Dalmatians.
Here’s a Channel 4 interview with Searle on the occasion of his 90th birthday in 2010:
Below is the 1957 industrial film Energetically Yours that Ronald Searle designed. There are lots of behind-the-scenes photos and artwork related to the film on the Ronald Searle Tribute blog:
This is an animation test of his St. Trinian’s characters animated by Uli Meyer:
A photo of Ronald Searle visiting with Disney director and animator Ward Kimball in 1957. Click on the image for a larger version:
Note: Gallery Nucleus will present a Ronald Searle Exhibition January 7th through 29th, 2012. The opening reception is this Saturday at 7 pm — 10 pm.
Searle, an influential figure in the cartooning world since the beginning of the post-war era, his drawings identifiable by their scratchy textures, controlled gestural line quality, and often exaggerated human forms. This exhibit features a collection of Searle’s published and preliminary works including caricatures, illustrated typography, completed cartoons, and signed lithographs.
For more information on this Los Angeles area event, click here.
Let’s ring in the new year with a look ahead at the animated features of 2012. The animated feature glass was half-full last year. Whereas in 2010, five of the top ten highest-grossing features in the US were animated, last year only one animated film ranked in the US top 10–Cars 2. Around the world, however, animation fared better in 2011, earning 3 of the top 10 spots at the global box office (and if you count The Smurfs, four of the top ten).
Our 2011 list focuses primarily on films set for release in the United States, but we’ve also rounded it out with a few foreign films. Of course, we’ll be covering dozens of other foreign and indie feature productions throughout the year, but even with the films below, 2012 is already looking like a decent year. If you know of other must-see animated films this year, please let us know in the comments.
LIST OF 2012 FEATURES BY SCHEDULED RELEASE DATE
The Secret World of Arriety
The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family’s residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.
Release Date: 2/17
Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Production Company: Studio Ghibli
Distributor: Walt Disney
Voice Cast: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett
Plenty more films after the jump
Steven Spielberg’s new Adventures of Tintin is the most technically ambitious film version of Tintin to date, but it is hardly the first time Hergé’s boy reporter has been brought to life. To help place Spielberg’s efforts into context, we turned to someone far more qualified than us, French writer and artist David Calvo. In this exclusive piece for Cartoon Brew, he takes a look at the highs and lows of prior Tintin screen adaptations and helps us understand where Spielberg’s performance capture film fits into the picture. When he’s not being a Tintinologist, Calvo is a creative consultant and writer at Ankama, where he has played a key role in developing the popular MMORPG Wakfu. He has also written numerous novels, comic books and short stories, and draws the on-line comic Song of Beulah.
The History of Tintin Adaptations: From Misonne to Spielberg
by David Calvo
It’s been a long time coming. We can read everywhere how Steven Spielberg and Hergé missed their rendez-vous, at the dawn of the 1980s, a few weeks before the Belgian comic master passed away. We’re now resigned to the American side having the upper hand. Today, we can feel Spielberg and Peter Jackson oozing in every frame of the new Tintin, childhood memories and artist’s pride perspiring behind the dual banter of the Thomson and Thomson. The star filmmaking duo have managed to bring this hot, harshly defended property to a new media. Without delving into the technical aspects of this production, adapting Hergé’s master comic book is already a daunting task. It has been done before–sometimes for the best, mostly, for the worst.
“The Crab with the Golden Claws”
The crowning jewel of all Tintin adaptations is the “The Crab with the Golden Claws” handkerchief puppet extravaganza by Hergé’s friend Claude Misonne and her husband JoÃ£o B. Michiels. Splendid and boring, so abstracted, this stop motion tour de force managed to be a scrupulous, if non-inventive, duplication of the comic, filled with wonderful voice performances, horrendous stock shots, and plagued by severe budget problems. The movie was shown only once in theaters, in December, 1947, in front of two thousand kids. The film was seized next morning by the justice, because the adaptation fees wee never paid. The movie has now achieved cult status as the first Belgian animated feature, a visionary precursor in stop motion history.
“Tintin et le MystÃ¨re de la Toison d’or”
Often cited as the worst thing you can do to Hergé, the two live-action movies of the Sixties, “Tintin et le MystÃ¨re de la Toison d’or” (“Tintin and the Golden Fleece”, Jean-Jacques Vierne, 1961) et “Tintin et les Oranges bleues” (“Tintin and the Blue Oranges”, Philippe Condroyer, 1964), deserve to have their reputations rehabilitated today. If “la Toison d’Or” fares better than the “Oranges Bleues,” it’s because of the exoticism, the touristic adventures, and the multiple references to the Tintin canon. Despite their cruel lack of any cinematic values and terrible scripts (both are original stories by André Barret), these playful, lush productions were able to pull the major feat of having perfect main characters: a Tintin superbly played twice by Jean Pierre Talbot, and two Haddock incarnations, Georges Wilson and Jean Bouise–both major French actors bringing uncanny depth to this difficult character.
Belvision’s Tintin series
The Sixties were the apotheosis of the Franco-Belgian comic-book school, and Belgian studios Belvision, founded by Le journal de Tintin editor Raymond Leblanc, had a winning streak of flair. First they adapted Tintin as a cartoon TV show. Produced by Ray Goossens, the seven serials were aired between 1959 and 1964 as five-minute shorts, for a total of 50 episodes (only “The Calculus Affair” was bundled as a feature film). Despite having brought the best animators in Europe to Brussels, the old-fashioned animation and funny characterization perks struggled to overcome the horrid scripts and schematic action. To fit the format, the albums were condensed and chopped, often badly, but the overall thrust of non-stop action and cliffhangers, typical of any serialized mystery, worked perfectly on TV. Curiously, Belvision also produced a stunning fifteen-minute industrial film, “Tintin et la SGM” (1970), to promote a Belgian mining company. (Watch a clip from the industrial film.)
The animated feature “Tintin and the Temple of the Sun”
Next, Belvision seized the big screen with two animated features, which are still a Christmas fixture in France. “Le Temple du Soleil” (“Tintin and the Temple of the Sun,” 1969) was a deeply faithful adaptation of the source material (with thoughtful alteration by comic book artist and journal de Tintin editor Greg). A more technically challenging endeavor, enhanced by a splendid soundtrack featuring a song written by Jacques Brel, the musical alter ego of Hergé. Even if the movie only focused on the second part of the two-album story arc (which will be “adapted” next by Peter Jackson), it retains a large part of the adventurous setting and rhythm. The next feature, “Tintin et le lac aux requins” (Tintin and the Lake of Sharks, 1972) is a funny, original Tintin story pitched by Greg, featured an awesome visit to Syldavia and touching characters, though lacking animation brio and depth.
Opening titles for The Adventures of Tintin
In 1992, The Adventures of Tintin, a new animated TV series aired on FR3, co-produced by France Ellipse studios and Canadian outfit Nelvana (directed by Stephen Bernasconi, assisted by Tintinologist Philippe Goddin). It had a huge success in primetime. The sheer scope forces the admiration: all Hergé’s albums are converted, except for the most controversial (“Tintin in the Congo” and “Tintin in the Land of the Soviets,” while “Tintin in America” was heavily tweaked to erase the Native American problems). Eighteen 45-minutes episodes, and three 24-minute ones, achingly faithful and masterfully executed, were produced. Maybe too faithful. Clean and respectful, lacking any hint of craziness, this adaptation got rid of most of Tintin’s quirky element–guns, politics, alcohol–to provide neutered family entertainment devoid of any risk. One of the key aspects of Hergé’s work was his perfect balance between reality and fantasy. The episodes have been syndicated many times since, cut up and chopped in every possible combination to re-create a serialized experience.
At the dawn of the 21st century, Tintin is back for the masses. Belches and zoophilic jokes aside, it is a clever twist thrusting a quaint, old-school narrative into the future. The movie texture is stunning, everything reflects the overwhelming obsession of Spielberg, including reflection itself, and the fabric gives a sense of depth and place achingly relevant in achieving that “ligne claire” dryness to every overexposed shape. The details are inspiring: the tiny, drunkards eyes of Haddock, his cartoon nose, Tintin’s hands (beautiful), the Thomson’s moustaches and greasy skin. The somewhat jumble of the script, blending two majors storyline with details from all over the oeuvre, manages to remain faithful and utterly sacrilegious at the same time. The whole movie lacks the whimsical, restrained tempo of Hergé, that, despite their short-comings, the previous adaptations managed to pull out.
This over-emphasis on heavy action set pieces, with barely a pause for the characters to breathe, is deeply troubling. Are world mass audiences hungry for more action, more technical bravado, trampling the subtle inheritance of of the most idiosyncratic saga of our time? The shiny, invisible center of Hergé’s mind is still missing from all these adaptations. The endearing success of Tintin is not one of motion, nor emotion. It is tied to the page, to the frame. Subject and Form linked in a perfect, beautiful harmony that cannot translate, giving birth to a singular expression of a universal time frame, frozen forever in a quaint space between conservatism and rebellion. We will have to wait again–this time for Peter Jackson bravado–to see if the Hollywoodization of Tintin’s quirky sensibility can exist in another space.
Some days it seems that there are as many music videos as there are songs. We receive far more video submissions than we can possibly post on the site, and the number of submissions is growing all the time. That’s why we’re introducing the Music Video Round-up, a regular collection of new animated music videos. We won’t be posting every video we receive. The list will be curated to include the videos worth your time, but by creating groupings of videos in a single post, we will be able to present more videos than ever before. Also, we’ll still occasionally highlight individual music videos when the project merits greater coverage or if we have something unique to say about it. As always, keep submitting those videos, and we’ll keep posting them.
“Hurting” by David Lewandowski (US)
Music: Friendly Fires
Director: David Lewandowski
VFX supervisor: Dustin Bowser
Director of Photography: Christian Sprenger
Producer: Christian Heuer
Exec Producer: Laura Tunstall
Starring: Nikol Peeva, George Loomis
3D Modeling and Matchmove: Patrick Goski
2D Graphic Designer/Animator: Jake Portman
Editor: Trevor Durtschi
Additional Design: Brian Gossett
1st AC: Alyssa Soetebier
DIT: Chris Hoyle
Gaffer: Brandon Wilson
Key Grip: Yuki Noguchi
Stylist: Michelle Thompson
Makeup and Hair: Ashley Harris
PA: Mike Gammariello
Colorist: Mark Todd Osborne
“Thick As Thieves” by Kevin Parry (US)
Musician: Kalle Mattson
Director/Animator: Kevin Parry
Designer/Animator: Carla Veldman
Designer/Animator: Andrew Wilson
Live Action: Andrea Nesbitt
“Hired Killer” by James Reitano (US)
Musician: Layng Martine Jr.
“Do I Have Power” by Carlos De Carvalho
Director: Carlos De Carvalho
Production manager: Aude Danset De Carvalho
Animation: Pierric Danjou, Thomas Lecourt, Charles Lemor
Technical direction: Guillaume Baratte
Music: Timber Timbre
“Tribe” by Cyril Gfeller (UK)
Music: Piers Faccini
Production Company: Nomad Films Uk Limited
Producer: Spencer Wright
Director: Cyril Gfeller
Illustrator: Arnaud Mailly