At the top, today’s (2/14/10) Ink Pen by Phil Dunlap (it looks like the arms/legs belong to: (1) Mickey Mouse, (2) Hippety Hopper, (3) Popeye, (4) Magilla Gorilla The Grape Ape, (5) Snagglepuss & (6) Heathcliff); in the middle, Argyle Sweater by Scott Hilburn (2/11/10); and Adam at Home by Brian Basset (2/7/10).
According to the blog, “…the property’s owners seek to tear down the structure and replace it with condominiums. Failing that, they’re attempting to subcontract it to the city for a new life as a halfway house or homeless shelter. What should be done is a full restoration and landmarking.” We couldn’t agree more.
Animator Nick Childs just finished this dream-like, semi-abstract, stop-mo music video he’d been working on during the past year.
“It’s a stop mo piece that the folks at LAIKA/house in Portland Oregon were kind enough to give me some space on the stage to shoot. It’s for the band Eulogies, off their 2009 album Here Anonyomous. The song is called Goodbye. As I recall from back in my school days it may considered kinesthetic animation. I see it as a stop motion piece with a minimal style that fits with the song, hopefully.”
Any excuse to post David Silverman (The Simpsons) playing his flaming tuba on The Tonight Show is worth it. My excuse this time is Silverman’s upcoming appearence with Fire Groove as part of the evening’s entertainment at the upcoming Pasadena Rock’n Comic Con this Memorial Day (May 28-30th) at the Pasadena Convention Center.
This event is a “film, art, music & entertainment convention” sponsored by Animation-Ink.com. They are planning rock concerts each night, and a full comic con experience during each day. “Top talents from major Animation Studios & Comic cons, lecture panels, art demos, autograph signings, recruiters, portfolio reviews, and an Animation Festival in a 3000 seat theatre”. Tickets for this have just gone on sale. For more information, visit their website.
Well, it’s official. Disney’s Rapunzel has been renamed Tangled. *sigh* Not as bad a title as The Emperor’s New Groove, but still…
They obviously want to make it very clear that this isn’t a traditional re-telling of Rapunzel. In fact, according to Tangled’s producer Roy Conli on Facebook, “It’s a really fresh, smart take on the Rapunzel story.”
“In our film, the infamous bandit Flynn Rider meets his match in the girl with the 70 feet of magical golden hair. We’re having a lot of fun pairing Flynn, who’s seen it all, with Rapunzel, who’s been locked away in a tower for 18 years.
“I’m so proud of the crew working on this film — they’re doing a fantastic job creating an awesome story with great characters and a stunning world — and it’s all going to look amazing in 3D. All of us here at the studio are incredibly excited for you to see Tangled when it comes out in theaters this November.”
Over at Bob Shea and Lane Smith’s wonderful Curious Pages blog, they’ve posted the classic Jim Flora children’s book, The Fabulous Firework Family (1955). Flora is best known for his distinctive designs for RCA and Columbia Record jackets, magazines and various commercial art projects of the 40s and 50s. The Fabulous Firework Family launched Flora’s second career as a children’s book author and illustrator.
The book was acquired by Terrytoons during the Gene Deitch era (1956-1958) and the resulting film turned out to be the last cartoon Deitch personally produced at the studio. Al Kouzel directed and, though Flora was involved with adapting the story to the screen, the final result wasn’t entirely successful in translating the charm of the original book.
It’s illuminating to compare the book to the cartoon. Below is a pan-and-scan TV version of the Terrytoon, sans credits. (The original CinemaScope version of the film, with full credits, will be screened March 2nd at my Wide Screen Cartoons program at the CineFamily/Silent Movie Theatre).
Animation students Henril Sonniksen and Benjamin Neilsen made Vegeterrible in their third year at The Animation Workshop in Viborg, Denmark. The film takes place inside a refrigerator, where a hungry, rotten avocado crashes a Mexican fiesta and starts devouring the guests… and the struggles of a tomato’s fight for survival.
Warner Bros. and TCM are running a Classic Film Festival in Hollywood on April 22nd-25th, showcasing restored prints of more than a dozen classic movies on the big screens of the historic Chinese and Egyptian Theatres. Robert Osborn will be hosting in person, Jerry Lewis will introduce The King Of Comedy, Tony Curtis will present Some Like it Hot and Leonard Maltin will introduce a program of classic MGM and Warner bros. live action shorts.
However, for cartoon buffs, here’s a big screen program we’ve been waiting decades to see publicily:
Removed from Circulation: A Cartoon Collection — Presented by author Donald Bogle
Donald Bogle, author of Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: A History of Black Hollywood, will present cartoons that have been kept from the public eye because of negative racial or cultural stereotypes. The collection includes several classic Warner Bros. cartoons. Bogle will provide insight into the racial attitudes of the times in which the cartoons were created. Titles include Clean Pastures (1937), Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarves (1943), Goldilocks and the Jivin’ Bears (1944), Hittin’ the Trail for Hallelujah Land (1931), The Isle of Pingo Pongo (1938), Sunday Go to Meetin’ Time (1936), Tin Pan Alley Cats (1943) and Uncle Tom’s Bungalow (1937).
My sources say all the infamous Censored 11 cartoons will be screened. A complete list of all previously announced programming for the TCM Classic Film Festival is available here. Festival passes and additional information are available at www.tcm.com/festival.
Longtime readers of the Brew know I collect old Little Golden Books of the 50s and 60s because the standards of the artwork, particularly for the titles based on animation properties, is so high.
Ten years ago, in 1999, Craig McCracken ushered in a new era by illustrating a Powerpuff Girls book (“Big Terrible Trouble?”) in classic Little Golden Book style of the 50s. Since then, Pixar and Disney artists also began creating Little Golden Books, tied into their studio’s current features and shorts, using the same aesthetic.
Yesterday, while in a book store, I came across two more recent Little Golden Books – not tied-in to any animation – that didn’t suck, and I’m wondering if this is the beginning of a new trend. Do any of our readers know? The books I found up were Lasso The Moon by Trish Holland, illustrated by Valeria Petrone – and I’m A Truck by Dennis Shealy, illustrated by Bob Staake.
Lasso The Moon, from 2005, is a charming bedtime story told in pictures that are worthy of glossy pages and hardcover presentation. I’m A Truck (2006) features Bob Staake’s classy shape-driven designs and bold colors. Eye candy for kids of all ages. And only $3.99. Are these flukes? Is there more? I did a quick online search and found that Staake also illustrated a Little Golden Picture Dictionary, and Come Back Zack illustrated by Japanese painter Sachiko Yoshikawa. If anyone knows what’s going on at Random House regarding this line of books, I’d love to hear. I’m becoming a fan.
Head on over to Facebook to view a 12-minute unaired 2007 Nickelodeon pilot created by Chris Reccardi and Lynne Naylor. The Modifyers is a sixties spy spoof with incredibly beautiful design in every shot. Gorgeous eye candy – and funny too. Direction and Music score by Chris Reccardi.
This is seven minutes long, but I promise you it’s well-worth watching. It’s an animated film from Armenia, in Russian with sub-titles, written, produced, animated and directed by Robert Saakyants. It’s based on an Armenian folk tale, and at about 1:30 a wizard appears — the animation of this shape-shifter makes this a classic. Check it out: