Check out this wonderful statue of Superman, adapted from the Max Fleischer theatrical cartoons of the 1940s. Sacramento-based sculptor David James has created sculpts based on every screen version of Superman – from Kirk Alyn to the forthcoming Henry Cavill. His Fleischer Superman is pretty incredible – makes me want to see new cartoons in this exact style. Click gallery below for some close-up images of the sculpt, unpainted and painted, from all different angles.
We get a lot of studio reels submitted here, but this one really stood out. A bunch of incredible animators, including several who have been featured on Cartoon Brew over the past few years (along with a bunch of awesome up and coming people), have banded together to do a big “top-secret” independent animation project together. Here is their “hello video”:
“It’s a way to gather a bunch of people who do independent, non-commercial animation to do something cool together. A bit of a loose collective or an imprint of sorts. Kind of like the way people do indie comics or music or zines, just for the love of it. We all tend to do that independently, but a lot of us are far from any sort of central animation community and so we meet up on twitter at night when we’re up working on our individual projects. The thought occurred that we should do something with our little late night animation scene, hence the name and the concept. We’re based all over. I’m in Pittsburgh, a few people are elsewhere in the US, some are in Ireland, England, Germany and one guy is in Australia. I wrote a big long blog post about it – if for some reason you’re inclined to read it for more background info and some art from our different members.
Our committed roster right now is:
and music by C Andrew Rorhmann, better know as Scientific American.
As to the project itself, we’re keeping it top secret for now, other than it’s a group project.
So that’s about it. Just about all of us read your site regularly. We’re trying to do something cool, and maybe inspire other people out there on their own to group up and support one another. We’ll see how it works…?”
To that, all I can add is “Good Luck”! Based on the talent on display, Late Night Work Club looks to be in pretty good shape.
This is a pretty good student film that I somehow missed last year. It was the 2011 Bachelor film project from Denmark’s The Animation Workshop. I love its design, color art direction and its funny storyline – and I’m happy to have a chance to post it here.
The Saga of Biorn was made by Benjamin J. Kousholt, Daniel D. Christensen, Mads Lundgaard Christensen, Jesper A. Jensen, Jonas K. Doctor, Steffen Lyhne, Pernille Ørum-Nielsen, Frederik Bjerre-Poulsen, Jonas Georgakakis.
It’s crazy-time in L.A. as producers scramble to get their Academy-submitted animated feature films qualified by finding screens to show them on. Eric Graf saw Hey Krishna which is playing in Norwalk, CA. Here’s his capsule review:
I’d describe it as a Sunday School movie for Hindus. It’s well done for what it is, and has some interesting moments here and there, but the target audience is obviously devout Hindus who already know what the hell is going on.
Well, except for one thing. It also contains this bizarre musical number that is almost worth the price of admission (if not worth sitting through the other 116 minutes of the movie). It hits at approximately the 51 minute mark, and its like Jessica Rabbit suddenly showing up to do a pole dance in the middle of a Veggie Tales movie. I found it unsubtitled on YouTube (see above), but you might want to wait and see it in context with the subs, so you’ll appreciate what a strange moment this is.
“Putana” is some sort of she-demon who specializes in the mass-slaughter of babies, and this is her introducing herself. None of the characters seen here, other than Putana, have anything whatsoever to do with the rest of the movie … and Putana is only disguised as a hottie anyway, a disguise that also has nothing to do with the rest of the movie.
Apparently this sequence was shoe-horned into the film, as a music video to promote a song by Hindi pop star Sunidhi Chauhan. If this is the high point, I can skip the rest of the flick…
Earlier this year I discovered Germany-based Bernd Müller and his fantastic one-of-a-kind figurines – like this one from Gulliver’s Travels. Apparently his love of all-things Fleischer didn’t end there. Check out Müller’s lastest creation: Koko The Clown.
I don’t think he sells these – but, by God, I want one!!!
I’ve been following (and posting here) UK-based Stephen Irwin’s films for several years now. His work is always fresh and surprising – telling unique stories in exciting, stylish ways. His latest film, Moxie, just gone online after months on the festival circuit, is about the final days in the life of a suicidal, pyromanic bear…
Animator Dave Nimitz has informed me that Lucille Bliss passed away on Thursday night (November 8th). Bliss was a pioneering television voice actress who’s vocal career began by voicing TV’s first cartoon character, Crusader Rabbit (1949), and crowned her extensive experience as the memorable “Miss Bitters” on Nickelodeon’s popular Invader Zim.
Other notable roles Bliss voiced included step-sister “Anastasia” in Walt Disney’s Cinderella (1950) and playing “Smurfette” in nine seasons of Hanna Barbera’s The Smurfs.
A New York City native, she settled in San Francisco in the 1950s as the hostess of a live local children’s TV show, ABC/KRON-TV’s The Happy Birthday To You Show.
Her vocal career brought her roles in Disney features (Alice In Wonderland, 101 Dalmatians), Hanna Barbera cartoons (The Flintstones, Space Kidettes), Don Bluth’s The Secret of Nimh (1982) and Blue Sky’s Robots (2005). Bliss appeared in several Warner Bros. and MGM theatrical cartoons in the 1950s. She was Suzanne in Friz Freleng’s A Kiddie’s Kitty (1955) and voiced characters in A Waggily Tale (1958). She was Jerry’s companion “Tuffy” in the MGM cartoon Robin Hoodwinked (1958), and played the Leprechaun in MGM’s Droopy Leprechaun (1958).
Needless to say, her unique vocal stylings will be missed. Click here for an extensive interview with Bliss, conducted in 2005 by Television Academy. Below, a gallery of her most famous characters, followed by the first episode of Crusader Rabbit.
After a summer and autumn at film festivals, London-based motion-graphics designer Adam Wells has now put his 9-1/2 minute short online for everyone else to see. Don’t let its deceptively simplistic look scare you, this is a clever little piece of experimental filmmaking. Wells sent us some background:
I work as a motion designer in London for TV and corporate stuff, and did this project after hours at home. It look me about six months in total, working haphazardly. It was completed in March and has been playing at festivals. I found the online vs. festival thing very frustrating, but watching the film with an audience in a cinema is a very gratifying experience. (One particular Cartoon Brew post here was very insightful – thanks!).
I really wanted to try something different with 3d animated storytelling. I feel that 3D is often sidelined, as been a little bit cheaper and less artistic (possibly because of the technical skills required to pull it off) in the festival scene. So I want to try and prove its potential by using what I call mechanical storytelling – as opposed to the cinematography route that so many 3D film makers use. I feel there is no reason why experimental films cannot be fun and entertaining as well.
Designers Bill Younker and Larry Gormley have created a series of “information art prints” which they sell on their site, History Shots. Their latest info-graphic (by Gormley, below) chronicles the entire history of feature films from the 1910s until the present day (“2000 films, 20 genres, 100 years“). At the very top is a layer of animated films, for which the criteria for inclusion was that the feature has either “won important awards such as the best picture Academy Award; achieved critical acclaim according to recognized film critics; are considered to be key genre films by experts; and/or attained box office success”.
So where’s Fritz The Cat? An American Tail? Hey There It’s Yogi Bear? Let the debate begin! Click the chart below to see at full size; for more information on purchase visit History Shots.
Screened in over 25 festivals around the world over the past two years, director Mark Sheard just posted his flash animated short, Squirrel Away, online for the rest of us to see. Made at tiny Melbourne-based Smart and Sheard Productions in just under 9 months, the film was produced by Damian Smart and designed by Brock Knowles.