Hard to believe its been thirty years since the publication of Leonard Maltin’s Of Mice and Magic. The book came out sometime in the springtime of 1980 (I don’t recall the exact publication date), originally in hardcover from McGraw-Hill (pictured above left). It was issued as a trade paperback by NAL in October 1980, updated in 1987 (pictured above right) and hasn’t been out of print since.
It was different then… no internet, no DVD collections, and only a handful of serious books on the subject of animation history. Working on this book as Leonard’s research assistant was my college-level crash course on the subject – and I loved every moment of it. I recall it took three years to research, compile and write. The project was, for me, a dream come true and I’ve been proud of its success ever since. I still consult the book often to this day.
Brew reader Derek Tague gave me a extra hardcover copy of the book and suggested I get Leonard to sign it to commemorate the occassion. I have done so and will give it away to one lucky Brew reader tomorrow in a special contest which will appear in a separate post tomorrow (7/2/10). Our server crashes when we pre-determine a contest date and time, so I will not say when the contest will appear. You’ll just have to keep checking in and be lucky.
Below are several souvenirs from my files I thought would be worth posting on this occasion (click thumbnails below to enlarge image): Pete Emslie’s caricature of Leonard; the cover and interior of the Nostalgia Book Club’s offer of the original hardcover; the cover and interior of an industry “blad” which boasts of an ad campaign being planned for the paperback release; and one of those ads, clipped from the October 30, 1980 issue of Rolling Stone.
…here’s a remake of the Mighty Mouse theme song by a Native American singing tribe, The Black Lodge Singers. If you like this, check out their tributes to Mickey Mouse, The Flintstones and Looney Tunes.
These videos have recently been completed for the Sydney-based punk-pop band known as the Hard-ons. Directed by Mark Gravas at Australia’s Kapow Pictures, the two videos couldn’t be more different. Aaron Powell and Colin Bigelow led a small team to create both pieces using traditional hand drawn techniques, Flash and After Effects.
In the first, Pretend It’s Vanilla, Hammer seeks revenge and hunts down his old bullies tack, screw and nail. A nightmare tale of drunken violence.
The second one, In The End We All Die Alone, the Hard-ons descend into the bowels of hell:
Shields Pictures, the owners of the old Paramount Pictures Popular Science theatrical shorts, just recently released their very first App for iTunes (it plays on Apple mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch and even the iPad). And happily for us, they chose the short that features a tour of Max Fleischer’s animation studio in Miami, Florida circa 1938 – in Cinecolor!
A significant portion of all proceeds will go to preserve and restore titles from this series as well as their Unusual Occupations and Speaking of Animals shorts (they’ve informed us that they have the 3 Tex Avery Speaking of Animals films slotted for preservation in the coming months!).
The introductory price is 99 cents for the HD Max Fleischer Studio Tour iShort App – the sale ends June 30th. Show your support and buy a download at The iTunes Store.
I’m posting this more because I like the message, not for its artistic merits. Not that it doesn’t have that too…
Animator Chris Roth animated this spot for Lane Smith’s new book, a children’s story about a donkey and a monkey so engrossed with technology that they can’t quite grasp the concept of a “book.” Both the book and the spot deliver an important message to kids that sometimes its good to “unplug.” Roth animated, based on Smith’s illustrations, and also provided the voices for Z Animation. It’s A Book hits the stores on August 8th.
We don’t write ‘em, we just post ‘em. Every Sunday, we round up the comic strips that make reference to classic and current animated characters. This week, submitted for your approval, from the top: Medium Large (6/21) by Francesco Marciuliano; Brewster Rockit (6/22) by Tim Rickard; Argyle Sweater (6/27) by Scott Hilburn; The Other Coast (6/24) by Adrian Raeside; Strange Brew (6/21) by John Deering; and Moderately Confused (6/26 & 6/21) by Jeff Stahler.
(Thanks to our comic strip mavens: Jim Lahue, John Hall, Kurtis Findlay, Charles Brubaker, Ed Austin, Jed Martinez and Uncle Wayne)
The super-talented Rajesh Bhavnani just finished animating and directing his first music video (for hip-hop artist Ivan Ives) and decided to share it with Cartoon Brew. He tells us, “I spent two years on it, and after many false starts, completed it in a little over 2 months”. It’s definitely for adults only!
Here’s the trailer for the Studio Ghibli/Level 5 game, Ni no Kuni, for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo DS. It’s causing quite a stir in the anime/gaming community. Miyazaki’s composer Joe Hisaishi is doing the score. Looks good:
Joe Dante and our friends from Trailers From Hell have just posted the coming attractions preview for Ralph Bakshi’s Heavy Traffic (1972). This time, screenwriter Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood) gives his commentary on Bakshi’s career over the original theatrical trailer:
Cartoon Dump, the unholy alliance of Brewmaster Jerry Beck and writer/ producer/ comedian Frank Conniff (“TV’s Frank” from Mystery Science Theatre 3000) is back for another depraved offering of sketches, songs, puppets, stand-up comedy, and the most God-awful Saturday Morning Cartoons from the 50s, 60s and 70s — this week with special comedy guest: former Nicktoons receptionist-turned-world famous comedian, Maria Bamford!! WOO-HOO!!
If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, consider joining Jerry, Frank and Maria with Erica Doering as “Compost Brite”, J. Elvis Weinstein as “Dumpster Diver Dan” and Dave ‘Gruber’ Allen as “Whatever Crazy Character Gruber Decides To Do” at 8pm, Monday June 28th at the Steve Allen Theater. Advanced tickets can be ordered here. Also join our Facebook Page.
“It’s like a children’s show, in Bosnia.” — Patton Oswalt
(Thank you, CHOGRIN aka Joseph Games, for the new promotional artwork partially pictured above)