Yes, in case you were wondering, I’m still co-producing the monthly live comedy-bad cartoons-musical show Cartoon Dump. We are now on the fourth Monday of every month at the Steve Allen Theatre in Hollywood. Different special comedy guests every month. More info here. Next show on Monday (1/25) – another plug to follow.
When the Fleischer Studio moved to Miami in 1938, Paramount built a state of the art studio building for them to create Gulliver’s Travels, the Superman cartoons and Mr. Bug Goes To Town (not to mention continuing the popular Popeye series). 70 years later, the building is still there at 1701 NW 30th Avenue (near the corner of NW 17th Street and 29th Ave. – current ariel view, above, via Bing Maps). It was, for over 30 years, a Miami-Dade County Child Development Center. Now, Brew reader Bob Frable sends us an update: the building was renovated to become a police station in 2007.
Photo’s below (click thumbnails to enlarge) shows the Miami Police Grapeland Heights Substation as it appears today (left), an overhead veiw via Google Maps (center), and a diagram of the original Fleischer Studio offices (right).
As award season continues, the British Academy Film Awards were announced today. Congratulations to Coraline (Henry Selick), Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson) and UP (Pete Docter) for the feature animation nominations. The animated short film nominations went to The Happy Duckling (Gili Dolev), Mother of Many (Sally Arthur, Emma Lazenby) and The Gruffalo (Michael Rose, Martin Pope, Jakob Schuh, Max Lang). The winners will be announced on Sunday February 21st.
I have no love for Cartoon Network these days, but I will not let that stop me from trumpeting the forthcoming debut of Pendelton Ward’s animated series Adventure Time (it’s official title is Adventure Time With Finn and Jake but it’ll always be simply Adventure Time to me). The on-air promos have started playing and the production blog is loaded with cool artwork. I’m excited!
Jason Brubaker, currently at Dreamworks, has been working in the freelance commercial world, art directing, animating and toiling on a graphic novel on the side. His “reMIND” graphic novel was originally going to be animated but, he says:
“I scrapped it after doing 5 minutes because it took way too long. Jim Ballantine suggested I make a graphic novel instead and here I am now. Most of this art is what got me hired at Dreamworks to do visual development, but I still force myself to work on it at nights and weekends. Gotta keep the dream alive. Luckily most of it was finished before I started at Dreamworks so I’m more or less just finishing the coloring now days.
“I’m giving myself the goal of November to finish so that I can have it ready for the next Comic Con. Basically by the time I have most of the pages online, It should be in print. Hopefully. My site features my working pages as well as what I’ve been learning in the process.”
The reMIND blog not only previews Jason’s incredible art and comics, but offers invaluable step-by-step lessons on creating a graphic novel. Well worth exploring.
Girls Drawin’ Girls is raising money to donate to the American Red Cross to help send relief efforts to Haiti. All proceeds from the sale of their artwork will be donated to the American Red Cross. Click here to contribute. This is one of the best ways you can help.
I’m way overdue in reporting on the current activities of cartoon creator Craig McCracken (Powerpuff Girls, Foster’s Home) and his wife, animator Lauren Faust (Iron Giant, Cats Don’t Dance). I caught up with them at the CTN Expo last November where they were displaying their latest projects.
Craig is developing Wander Over Yonder (above), a new character he hopes to bring to life in animation but is only available now in sneak peek form – in a sketchbook and on a T-shirt available directly from Craig himself. The sketchbook is really cool because, though it’s a series of still pictures, it tells a little story about an appealing oddball character. Check it out here.
Lauren has developed a line of girl characters and limited edition dolls (available only at FAO Schwarz) called Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls (below). Apparently it’s catching on, and gaining quite a cult among gals of all ages. I love it when animators like McCracken and Faust use their skills to create their own properties and find ways to bypass the traditional business model to connect with an audience. That’s the way it should be.
I figure a blog named Cartoon Brew should report on anyone who combines animation and beer. Thus, Magic Hat Brewing Company in South Burlington, Vermont, just released a new beer this week, named Vinyl. The intro to the beer on their website is done in stop-motion, old school style. Not sure who did it, maybe in-house, but thought it was cute and kitsch – and worth 45 seconds of your time.
“Animation is not just for kids. It is also for adults who take drugs.”
And there you go. That’s how Hollywood perceives us. Paul McCartney delivered that line (and yes I know it was a joke) – and referenced Rock Band and the forthcoming Zemeckis travesty of Yellow Submarine – in his introduction to the Best Animated Feature presentation at tonight’s Golden Globes.
As one of the “adults” who loves animation, I want to congratulate our friend Pete Docter and the whole team at Pixar for winning the animation prize for UP.
UPDATE: Here’s the video of Pete’s acceptance speech:
This is one of the most beautiful short films of the year. Everything you see is CG except for the photographer (shot on greenscreen), pigeons, timelapsed growing flowers, the flying airplane and sky backgrounds. Stunning realism, artfully done.
We don’t cover video game animation as much as we should, but this story erupting among animators in the gaming industry cannot be ignored. Apparently, Rockstar San Diego (a branch of the makers of the Grand Theft Auto videogame series in San Diego) has been working their crew six days a week, 12 hour days since last March. Conditions are said to be bad, and getting worse.
“Determined Devoted Wives of Rockstar San Diego” sent Gamasutra.com this letter, which describes the poor working conditions, which include “mandatory to work close to twelve hours a day including Saturdays” and that “for four consecutive years, salary raises have not adjusted properly to cover inflation.”
Rockstar has issued an internal email rebuttal, as mentioned in this article, on kotaku.com. All I know is Grand Theft Auto has made billions of dollars. There’s no excuse for any company to treat its employees like this. We’d love to hear from anyone with first hand knowledge of this situation.