Hal Willner’s 1988 Disney tribute CD, Stay Awake, is going live.
Stay Awake: the Official 20th Anniversary Concert will take place at UCLA’s Royce Hall on October 30th. Willner has previously staged live concert versions in London and New York over the last year. For its LA performance Willner will attempt to bring in as many of the record’s artists as possible. Artists on the original album included Herb Alpert, Los Lobos, Natalie Merchant, Aaron Neville, Harry Nilsson, Sinead O’Connor, Buster Poindexter, Sun Ra, Bonnie Raitt, The Replacements, The Roches, Ringo Starr, Michael Stipe, and Tom Waits. Who will appear in person? That info will be revealed closer to show time. For now, you can order tickets here.
The fourth edition of The Animation Show continues it’s rollout across the United States with openings in Los Angeles (The Nuart), Boston (Kendall Square), Washington DC (E Street Cinema) and San Diego (Ken Cinema) this week.
I’ll be in attendance at the Nuart on Friday where filmmakers Mike Judge (King of the Hill) and Steve Dildarian (Angry Unpaid Hooker) will do a Q&A after the 7:30pm show.
In honor of the theatrical release of Vol. 4 we will have two trivia contests this week. The winners will recieve a copy of the just-released MTV-Paramount Home Video DVD of The Animation Show Vol. 3. The contests will be posted here Wednesday and Thursday at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific. For more information on The Animation Show and when it’ll play in your town, visit the website.
Chris Lopez has posted all the pages of a vintage Flip The Frog Coloring Book on his ComicCrazy blog. The beautiful artwork for this rare licensed piece was certainly done by the cartoonists at the Ub Iwerks studio. Says Chris:
The remarkable thing about this coloring book is that the colored pieces are original to the printing. They are beautifully done, too. The back cover is the same as the front, so I only posted one side. The cover is holding together by the slimmest of pieces. I dare not scan this book again. It’s stored away for safe keeping.
My “uncle” in New Orleans, Wayne Daigrepont, has just checked out the new Audubon Insectarium (“the first major attraction to open after Katrina!”). He reports that:
“…within its giant & wonderful splendor is a CGI animated film (with interactive seats!!), starring caricatured bugs with the voices of Jay Leno, Joan Rivers, & others! The 10-min. film is quite fantastic….(not unlike the “Tough to be a Bug” film at Disney).”
The CG-animated film, produced by Hollywood-based computer graphics studio Super 78, features a bug-like Rivers performing her typical preshow red-carpet interviews. The show, called the Awards Night Theater, was commissioned by Audubon Studios, and created by Technifex, a theme park ride producer. It’s described as a “sophisticated multisensory theater presentation is a 4-D experiential theater that pokes, prods, spritz’s, buzzes and shakes guests while teaching them about the wonders of the insect world.” CG Supervisor Robert Rose has some images and video clips from this project up at his website.
My friend Fred Patten owns this original Quick Draw McGraw painting (click on it above, or here, for enlarged image) created for a frame tray puzzle. Both of us are stumped as to who may have painted it. I’m no expert on merchandising art, but it doesn’t look like the usual suspects at Western Publishing to me (Pete Alvarado, Mel Crawford, Hawley Pratt, etc.) – or is it? Anyone have any theories?
Or so says the Visual Effects Society who will be holding a seminar on motion capture techniques on Saturday night, June 29th. Demystifying Motion Capture Techniques will be held at the Sony Pictures Imageworks studio in Culver City and will feature guest speakers from ILM, Henson Digital, Sony and others. More information on this event is here.
Dreamworks Kung Fu Panda opens today. I’ve seen it twice now and I think it’s a great film. It works on all levels – humor, action, heart, as well as artistically, etc. – but most importantly it’s pure entertainment. See it this weekend if you can. Oh, and here’s a tip: stick around after the end credits for an additional scene which concludes the story.
The purpose of this post is to solicit readers opinions of Kung Fu Panda. Please respond below only if you’ve actually seen the film (we will not post comments here by those who have not).
This has been around for almost two months, but I just caught up with it last night and had to share. It’s apparently a viral promo short created to boost comic book sales. It’s the best CG version of The Hulk I’ve ever seen, and the Spider-man and Iron Man characterizations seem spot on. I wonder who made it. Anyone know?
Brewmaster Jerry Beck will be broadcasting once again, live on Shokus Internet Radio today, Wednesday June 4th from 4pm to 6pm Pacific time (that’s 7pm to 9pm for you in the Eastern Time Zone).
Stu Shostak and I will be discussing the Universal fire, Looney Tunes Vol. 6 and all other classic animation. If you have a specific question you want answered, call in during the broadcast toll free (888) 746-5875. If you miss the show, it’ll be rerun for the next seven days at the same time. Tune in!
Harvey Deneroff has announced on his blog the forthcoming publication of his new book with Fred Ladd, Astro Boy and Anime Come to the Americas. The book details the story of Ladd’s involvement with bringing Astro Boy (and by extension, Japanese anime itself) to America in the early 1960s. Ladd was significantly involved with Tezuka’s pioneering series and subsequently responsible for bringing Gigantor, Kimba The White Lion and Sailor Moon to U.S. audiences.
The book will go on sale in November, from McFarland.
Meltdown is hosting a Ralph Bakshi bash in Hollywood next week with a gallery full of original drawings, paintings and animation production art. Chris McDonnell and Jon Gibson will also be on hand to sign copies of their new Bakshi book.
McDonnell tells us:
We are trying to invite as many people from Bakshi Productions’ past as possible. It’s a reunion, it’s a party, it’s Ralph in a room. Ralph is looking forward to talking and hanging with people so he’ll be signing books only as an exception to the rule, if at all. We are looking forward to this really being a great “reunion” for Ralph and all his old artists (and everyone else is welcome of course too).
Join us on Saturday night June 14th. The party starts at 7pm and will go on till 11pm. Admission free. Meltdown Comics and Gallery, 7522 W Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA.
Steve Moore’s summer edition of Flip is now online.
In it, Dave Pruiksma discusses the Fleischer Gulliver’s Travels and PD Famous Studios DVDs, Dan Jeup talks about Frank and Ollie, there’s a gallery of work by featured artist John Kleber (above), an interview with Disney Imagineer turned editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes, and much Moore (pun intended!). Check it out here.
A fire broke out this morning on the Universal Studios backlot. Current live TV news reports are saying that, in addition to the destruction of the New York street and King Kong ride, the film vaults are threatened.
Let’s pray this isn’t true. In addition to Universal’s own library of classic films (and Walter Lantz cartoons) the studio holds the master elements to Paramount’s pre-1950 feature films.
As I mentioned back in March, ForeWord Magazine, the only literary trade journal devoted exclusively to covering independent publishers, had nominated my book, The Hanna Barbera Treasury, for Book of the Year.
The winners were announced yesterday at the Book Expo in Los Angeles, and apparently the Hanna Barbera book was the first place (Gold) winner in the Popular Culture category. Congratulations to me! I’ll be heading down to the Book Expo today to find out what exactly winning this award means (and I’ll be autographing copies of the book there at 4pm).
The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco will be presenting a major exhibit of Harvey Comics artwork, “From Richie Rich to Wendy the Witch: The Art of Harvey Comics” from June 28 through November 30. Casper, Wendy, Richie Rich, Hot Stuff, Sad Sack, Joe Palooka, Little Dot, Little Audrey and many more will be showcased with original art from various Harvey comic books and merchandise by stalwarts such as Warren Kremer (1921-2003), who along with animator Steve Muffatti (1880-1968), defined the Harvey look.
The exhibition features artwork by Warren Kremer, Ernie ColÃ³n, Sid Couchey, Howard Post, Fred Rhoads, Ham Fisher, Dom Sileo, Marty Taras, and many more. Image above, a Bill Tytla Little Audrey gag drawing, will not be in the show (but you can click here to see a larger image). Details regarding the opening reception and other upcoming Harvey events will be announced shortly on the Museum’s website.
It’s getting crowded in outer space. In addition to Wallâ€¢E and Space Chimps, nWave Pictures is releasing Fly Me To The Moon, a 3-D animated family film this August in Imax Theatres (hence the overt science angle). Trailer below, production blog here.
Disney’s upcoming direct-to-video Tinkerbell series has just released its first trailer – and it’s feeling less like classic Disney and more like Sex And The City for fairies (the pixie kind, of course). Here’s John Lasseter introducing a clip and Tink’s voice (Mae Whitman):
In addition to his role as Gazoo on The Flintstones, Korman voiced characters on several other animated shows and movies, including Hey Arnold, The Wild Thornberrys and Buzz Lightyear. (The less said about his involvement with this, the better.) He’ll best be remembered by his appearances with Carol Burnett and Tim Conway. And as Hedley Lamarr in Blazing Saddles, he certainly won’t be forgotten. As a tribute, here’s a sample clip of Korman as Gazoo:
That’s what I love about Cartoon Brew, I learn something new everyday!
I never knew anything about string holders. The Bosko and Honey pieces I posted yesterday turned out to be string holders from the collection of Eric from Warnerart. Says Eric:
I actually have two sets of these and I’m looking to sell one. I understand they are the only sets in existence. String holders themselves are not unusual collectibles. There’s quite a large market for them. Hakes has several vintage character based string holders currently on auction. As we know, Bokso collectibles are extremely rare (Honey maybe even more so) so seeing Bosko and Honey depicted in 3D plaster relief was a stunner! They apparently date to the 30′s and were acquired from an elderly couple who collected string holders.
A client has found this pair of 9” x 6.5” plaster or chalk string holders in the shape of Bosko and Honey. On one edge of Bosko’s face, the words “Vitaphone Copr.” is embossed; on the other edge, it says Bosko. I’ve never seen anything like them, but I figured if anyone knew about these, it had to be you. Any thoughts on value?
Sorry, Dave. I’ve never seen anything like these before. I almost wonder if they weren’t merchandising, but perhaps theatre publicity to promote the early Looney Tunes? Perhaps one of our readers know something? If so, let us know – or call David directly at 1-800-872-6467, ext. 1232.
The animation is by CTTV, a new independent studio. Bill Kroyer and Howard Grossman are the producers, Stephen Silver (Kim Possible) designed it and Tom Sito directed the entire season. Ten episodes were produced and they begin airing on July 9th at 8pm. The program’s website contains only a brief promo clip, but I’ve been told it will be updated with more stuff very soon.
I’m a longtime fan of the incredible (and overlooked) stop motion paper cut-out animation sequences created by Bill Justice and Xavier Atencio for the Disney Studios in the late 1950s and early 60s. These remarkable little films have escaped wide attention by appearing in some of the least of Disney’s efforts during this period (their titles for The Parent Trap (1961) being an exception). The design and direction are top notch – and remember, these were created completely by hand, and animated frame by frame under a camera. None of the computer shortcuts employed by South Park here.
It’s hard to get the Sherman Brothers tune out of your head from the opening titles to The Mis-Adventures of Merlin Jones (1964):
This one is a little un-P.C., from the featurette A Symposium Of Popular Songs (1962):
Disney designer Kevin Kidney has posted his own tribute to these works on his blog, showcasing his own intricate recreations of these paper puppets (created with partner Jody Daily). Check it out here.
I’ve got a busy month ahead, and if you’re in the Los Angeles area you can share it with me:
â€¢ Tuesday May 27th: Join Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank), Erica Doering and me – along with guest comedian Jimmy Pardo – at the Steve Allen Theatre in Hollywood for another hilarious live action and animation performance of Cartoon Dump. The show starts at 8pm. Advance tickets sold here.
â€¢ Saturday May 31st: I’ll be signing copies of The Hanna Barbera Treasury at Book Expo America, at the Los Angeles Convention Center – in the author’s autograph area – at 4pm to 5pm.
â€¢ Tuesday June 3rd: I’ll be doing a Q&A with directors Mark Osborne and John Stevenson at an Asifa-Hollywood members screening of Kung Fu Panda. We’ll be screening the film in Imax at Universal CityWalk. If you are a member of Asifa Hollywood you will recieve the details via email and snail mail. If you live in the L.A. and aren’t a member of Asifa, you should be. We do free screenings like this all year long.
â€¢ Wednesday June 4th: Listen to me discuss classic cartoons with Stu Shostack on internet radio, Stu’s Show. We’ll be taking your phone calls as well. The program airs live 7pm to 9pm Eastern/4pm to 6pm Pacific.
â€¢ Thursday June 5th: I’ll be doing my regular monthly thing of showing 16mm film prints of vintage musical cartoons with Janet Klein and her Parlor Boys. Show starts at 8pm at the Steve Allen Theatre in Hollywood. Make your reservation here!
â€¢ Tuesday June 10th: I’ve joined the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax Ave. I’ll be doing a program of Pre-Code Cartoons at 8pm and will precede the screening with a short speech on the topic. Should be fun!
For his first solo show in Los Angeles, Ramos replicates the natural history museum experience for his audience, fusing the natural world with the art world. A series of twenty four large-scale paintings based on classic grand dioramas and a special installation of skeletal structures will transform the gallery into an epicenter of flora and fauna. The concept of the exhibition is based on Ramos’ childhood fascination with natural history museums and the “authoritative” impression they made on him growing up.
Located in the Culver City Art District, the Corey Helford Gallery was established by Jan Corey Helford and her husband, television producer Bruce Helford (The Oblongs). The opening reception is on Saturday, June 28, from 7 to 10pm, at 8522 Washington Boulevard in Culver City, California. Ramos’ show will be on view until July 16th.
Madhouse’s 2006 film, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, is going to get a limited U.S. theatrical release next month through Bandai Entertainment. It’ll be screening June 13 through June 19 at the ImaginAsian Center in Los Angeles (251 South Main Street, Los Angeles, California 90012), at the ImaginAsian Theater in New York (239 East 59th Street, New York, NY, 10022), as well as from August 29 through September 4 at the Landmark Varsity Theatre in Seattle (4329 University Way N.E. Seattle, WA 98105). In Los Angeles and Seattle, the English-subtitled version will be screened, and in New York, the English-dubbed version. Show times will be posted on the theater websites closer to the actual screening dates.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was directed by Mamoru Hosoda. The film was recognized with the Special Distinction honor at the 2007 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. It also won numerous honors at festivals in Japan, including the Animation of the Year Japan Academy Prize (akin to the American Academy Awards). I’ve seen it and it’s a wonderful film–well worth seeing on the big screen.