Way back in March 2009, we told you to keep an eye on animator Nate Theis. One person who took our advice was Evan Spiridellis at JibJab, who contacted the animator after reading Amid’s original post. Evan says:
“I was so impressed with his work that I reached out to him, explained how we were really trying to give our ecards some class and style by bringing amazing artists to it. He just emailed some storyboards and we were off.”
Above and below are Nate’s first two Birthday ecards for JibJab and they are just as funny and stylish as his past films. I want more!
Come celebrate the publication of my latest book tonight at the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax Ave. We are having a screening of Technicolor Looney Tunes in 35mm, and a special first-day-of-publication book signing (be the first to obtain a copy – autographed no less). On top of that, PBS’ History Detectives will be there filming a segment tonight and will be taping the audience reaction to Buddy’s Day Out (the first “Buddy” cartoon – and NO, not one of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes. Far from it, in fact).
Join us tonight night (6/1) at 8pm, in Hollywood, at the CineFamily/Silent Movie Theatre. (And if you can’t make it tonight, the book should ship today via Amazon and be in a bookstore near you in a few days.)
Here’s a 15 second clip from Teddy Newton’s Pixar short Day and Night which will be released with Toy Story 3 on June 18th. The short is essentially hand drawn, being Pixar’s second film to be animated in 2D animation (Your Friend the Rat was the first). The insides of the characters are CG. Man, this looks good.
Always on the outlook for animated features, good or bad, to post about – I came across this flick which was independently produced by a small post-production and animation studio in Glendale, California, Hyper Image. Animated in 3D Max and aimed towards gamers and Star Wars: Clone Wars fans (It’s rated PG-13 for “some suggestive images and action violence”), Race came out on DVD last week through Phase 4 Films after a decade of development, production, post production — and a long search for distribution. Hyper Image is now at work on their next feature, the furry-centric N.O.R.M.A.L. the Movie.
Our weekly survey of selected comic strips that reference animated characters. This week: Zippy (5/28) by Bill Griffith; Mother Goose and Grimm (5/28) by Mike Peters; Speed Bump (5/25) by Dave Coverly; Strange Brew (5/24) by John Deering; and Argyle Sweater (5/24) by Scott Hilburn.
(Thanks to our loyal comic strip crew: Jim Lahue, Ed Austin, Kurtis Findlay, Jed Martinez and Uncle Wayne)
Blow me down! On second thought, let me rephrase that.
First a Preston Blair piggy sex toy, and now this: A “Popeye” porn shop spotted in the main gay district of Tokyo. This is obviously not an officially licensed use of the character. Do you think someone over there is still sore over World War II Popeye cartoons like this one?
Need a powerhouse gift for the cartoon lover in your life? Look no further than this completely authorized (by the Raymond Scott Archives) Raymond Scott 100th Anniversary Doll + CD set. This came out two years ago, but I just discovered its existence yesterday. Designed by musician/cartoonist Archer Prewitt to celebrate Scott’s centennial anniversary in 2008, it comes with fabric cloth jacket, mini clavivox (carefully designed to look as close to the original model as possible), and a CD with 5 songs (Powerhouse, The Happy Whistler, and several previously unreleased super-rare demonstration pieces). Act fast, this is a limited edition. Apparently the first of the series, the Bob Moog doll, is long sold out.
We’ve posted so many examples of Preston Blair art swipes in the past, the novelty has long worn off. We’ve pretty much stopped paying attention to the emails that still pour in with various sightings around the world with images ripped from Blair’s seminal Animation Book, first published in the 1940s by Walter Foster.
Now comes one I couldn’t ignore. Thanks to our ever vigilant readers, perhaps the saddest Blair swipe yet: the Ms. Piglet Party Pig
I really don’t want to know what this is, but according the the product description:
“The inflatable Party Piggie is a hilarious addition to any event. Known as the Famous Erotic Love Piggy, you and your guests will get a kick out of the fun that can be had with this inflatable novelty party toy.”
(Thanks, Chris Garrison)
Here’s one for the history buffs: a link to a fascinating online archive of fifty vintage Japanese animated commercials.
This site is part of an on-line exhibition showcasing domestic life in Japan during the “Showa” period (the Hirohito era, 1926-89). Japan’s Research Institute for Digital Media and Content (DMC Institute) digitized of a large collection of TV advertisements obtained from the Momoya Co., a leading food company. The collection consists of 218 animated TV spots that date back to 1953. Of the 50 pieces posted on-line, the earliest one was produced in 1958. These provide a glimpse at a rarely discussed early phase of anime history.
(Thanks, Carlo Guillot)
I’m not a gamer, so I can’t speak for the playability, but the design work by Peter Wagner for the new Xbox Live Arcade game Snoopy Flying Ace works for me. I’m not thrilled by the character voices (see trailer below) but the 3-dimensional realization of the Peanuts characters is right on. Wagner writes:
Smartbomb Interactives team of artists were tasked to re-imagine Snoopy (as the WWI flying ace) and give the cultural icon a fresh new feel. My job was to capture the essence of what it was like to be the fearless beagle, piloting a little red doghouse over Europe during the Great War.
The game comes out on June 2nd.
Your worst nightmare comes true: Zartog Strikes Back!
Opens tomorrow in the UK.
When I heard the news that Art Linkletter had passed away, I didn’t think that was something to mention on Cartoon Brew. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was wrong. Mr. Linkletter was one of the most popular TV hosts of the 1950s and 60s. He was a personal friend of Walt Disney’s, and co-hosted the opening ceremonies of Disneyland on live TV in 1955. His celebrity was such that he was caricatured in Warner Bros. cartoons, and Universal Pictures used him to introduce the Russian animated feature The Snow Queen in a live action prologue for their 1959 U.S. theatrical release (btw, does this footage still exist?). Charles Schulz illustrated and Walt Disney contributed an introduction to his best-selling book, Kids Say The Darnest Things (click thumbnails below).
So here’s to you, Art Linkletter. Rest in peace. You entertained the public and made many (especially us baby-boomer kids) very happy with all you did.
I just received a copy of my latest book, The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes, directly from the printer and snapped the photo above for you to see (also a few sample spreads below, click thumbnails to enlarge. Forgive the blurriness of my cel phone camera). The pictures make the book look larger than it is. It’s actually a compact 7 inches tall and 9 1/2 inches wide, loaded with 216 pages of information and color images. It retails for $24.95, but amazon.com has it for $16.47.
Next Tuesday, June 1st at 8pm, I’m hosting a screening and book signing party at my usual monthly event at the CineFamily – Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax Ave. in Hollywood, CA. I’ll be screening ten 35mm classic Looney Tunes (some in IB Technicolor) and clips from most (if not all) of the other 90 selected for the book. A limited number of books will be flown in from the printer, making this the first place on Earth you can purchase the book and get it with my autograph.
It will start appearing in bookstores and comics shops in the U.S. and Canada sometime during in June. I hope you like it. Buy two – it makes a great gift!
This is a new stop motion video that uses an old wood burning technique called pyrography. It was directed by Sverre Fredriksen, a young animator from Norway who has settled in Amsterdam, who soldered ten tons (or thereabouts) of timber to create the images — averaging five hours of work per second shown. Everything was done analog, nothing digital. You can watch a making-of video here. It was produced by Yellow Submarine, a sister company of SubmarineChannel. The song is by Dutch singer songwriter Tim Knol from his fist album.
(Thanks, Remco Vlaanderen)