A live action-animation TV commercial starring Olive Oyl has caught my eye. It’s currently airing as part of an advertising campaign for Prego Italian sauces. Renegade Animation provided the animation and our friend Darrell Van Citters directed the spot. Says Darrell:
“Renegade has had a lot of experience in recreating classic cartoon characters for commercials (Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, SpongeBob SquarePants, and many others) and it’s a job we take very seriously. Our animators are cartoon fanatics and treat these characters with reverential care. For the Prego spot, we modeled our Olive Oyl after the character in the Fleischer cartoons.”
OliveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ad is one in a series of five different ads for Prego in which a “flavorful” character wonders aloud about what spice to add to their simmering pot of sauce (other spots feature “Baby Spice” and Olympic Silver Medalist Lea Ann Parsley). Scott O’Brien animated Olive Oyl and actress Diane Michelle provided her voice. Keep your pop-eye open for it.
Starting next Tuesday, Frank Conniff and I will presenting our live comedy show, Cartoon Dump, once a month at the Steve Allen Theatre in Hollywood. Every month we will showcase different selection of “Worst Cartoons Ever,” present new characters and welcome guest performers. In our August 28th show we’ll debut a new cast memberÃ¢â‚¬”a dumpster diving puppet created (and performed) by Joel Hodgson (creator, MST3K), and present a special appearence by comedian Dana Gould (writer/exec producer of The Simpsons).
Also joining our cast this month is Eddie Pepitone as Morty, the New Age Agent, who’ll join regulars Erica Doering (Compost Brite) and Frank Conniff (as Moodsy Owl) and… err… me. If this all sounds crazy — it is!
We sold out last month, so we recommend reserving your seat early. If you can’t make it this month, we’ll be back September 25th, October 23rd and Nov. 27th (the fourth Thursday of every month, except December). You can also catch our podcasts on CartoonBrewFilms.com (new weekly episodes will resume next week). Join us at 8pm next week!
There is something fascinating about watching the early silent films from Walt Disney’s studio. Knowing where Walt was headed and what he would later accomplish certainly adds to the experience – especially in the Alice Comedies where he was able to work a little of the “magic” in the combined live action and animation sequences. I was fortunate to be a consultant on the forthcoming Disney Treasures Oswald The Rabbit DVD (more about that when we get closer to the December release date) and I just spent the weekend dipping into Ray Pointer’s revised Alice In Cartoonland compilation.
I’ve previously mentioned that Inkwell Images had a reworked edition of their Alice DVD back in May. Now that I’ve reviewed it, I’m compelled to give it one last plug. This is a superior compilation of ten vintage cartoons. There’s excellent documentary material between each film, and all the cartoons are mastered from the best sources available. One of the new additions to this revised package, Alice Gets Stage Struck (1925), was taken directly from a Library of Congress 35mm transfer (the other newly discovered film Alice Wins The Derby looks great too) and it should be noted, all of the films contained in this revised edition are uncut and do not have DVNR. There are extra features that include a theatrical poster gallery with a printout feature, and bonus cartoons. Order direct from Inkwell Images.
We are not clear on the details, but it’s being reported today that Vancouver animator Paul Boyd was shot and killed by police on Monday night. Boyd was a director on Ed, Edd ‘n Eddy and The Mr. Hell Show and provided animation on Gary Larson’s Tales From the Far Side and Mucha Lucha!.
Letter from Bob Iger at Walt Disney Co., rec’d today: “…I am pleased to inform you that Dick Huemer has been chosen as a recipient of The Disney Legend Award. …On Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 4 pm, we invite you and your family to participate in the Awards Ceremony here at the Studio. A special dinner will be held… Dick will be honored as part of a distinguished group comprised of Roone Arledge (ABC TV Sports pioneer), Art Babbitt, Carl Bongirno (Imagineer), Marge Champion, Michael Eisner, [etc.]”
UPDATE: Mark Evanier writes: “I believe the “etc.” includes Floyd Norman.”
And our sincere congratulations to the Huemer family, Marge Champion, Floyd Norman and… Art Babbitt! Cool.
Last month we posted about Hans Bacher’s excellent blog Animation Treasures, in which Bacher does an amazing job re-creating classic cartoon pan backgrounds based on frame grabs.
Now comes Rob Richards with animationbackgrounds.blogspot where, likewise, Rob constructs long lost BG’s, mainly Disney’s, putting a spotlight on the artists who “set the stage” for our favorite cartoon performers. Above, a Thelma Witmer painting from Lucky Number (1951). Below, a frame from Mary Poppins.
And if you are in the L.A. area, don’t miss Rob on the Mighty Wurlitzer, in his day job at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. Rob says The Jungle Book will be back on the big screen there, Sept. 7th through 23rd.
Can animation exist in real time? Without film, without video, without digital tricks… this is the opening ceremony for football’s Asian Cup and these are apparently workers for Samsung in South Korea. Pretty amazing…
Philipp Lenssen’s ambitious comics website Cover Browser attempts to compile the covers to every popular comic book ever published. He has a long way to go, but I’m happy to report he’s just expanded his entries to include several of my favorite comedy and animation titles including Dell’s Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, DC’s Sugar and Spike, Funny Stuff and Real Screen Comics and Creston’s Giggle and Ha-Ha Comics. Lots of good inspiration here and well worth a browse.
Animator Mark Kausler (who has a great new blog, by the way) recently unearthed this 1955 article on Terrytoons, written for children, from Junior Scholastic magazine. This was written shortly before the studio was sold to CBS and Paul Terry himself retired. The piece explains the basics of how animated cartoons were produced in ’55, with a great photo we hadn’t seen before of director Connie Rasinski and storyman/voice of Mighty Mouse Tom Morrison. Mr. Terry also has a great quote at the end:
“My advice to a young artist is this: Always carry a pencil and pad with you. Draw anything and everything you see that may give someone a laugh. That’s what a good animator does. He makes people laugh,”
“Here we come, walking down the street, get the funniest looks from, everyone we meet…”
Hey, Hey.. I may be comin’ to your town in the next few weeks. Here’s a list of public appearances I’ll be making soon, just so you can mark your calenders (and spread the word):
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢Wednesday August 22nd Radio appearance: on Internet radio, Stu’s Show – two hours of classic cartoon talk and your phone calls. 7pm Eastern/4pm Pacific (And don’t miss Stu’s broadcast all this week in the same time slot, with animation writer Earl Kress and Yakky Doodle voice actor Jimmy Weldon).
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢Tuesday August 28th Cartoon Dump – I’ll be hosting another live performance of our popular podcast at the Steve Allen Theatre in Hollywood. Surprise guests are planned (to be announced as we get closer)!
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢Monday September 17th Worst Cartoons Ever! – a special screening for ASIFA-East at NYU (room to be announced). I hope all my New York friends will drop by. I’ll be en route to the Ottawa Animation Festival later that week.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Thursday November 8th Worst Cartoons Ever! – a special screening at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus Ohio. Meet me at this rare visit to Columbus.
I’ll post more information about these events as we get closer to each date. I always love meeting our readers and I hope to see you there.
In addition to a bounty of obscure audio downloads by the likes of Cindy Bear, Hokey Wolf and Snuffles, rare cover records and unusual tracks by Paul Frees and Daws Butler, Nesteroff’s post tells of (and links to) other offbeat product released by Hanna Barbera Records – obscure garage bands, psychedelic rock groups, folk singers and B-movie soundtracks – during the company’s short-lived existence (1965-1967). It casts the later work of The Banana Splits and Catanooga Cats in a whole new light.
Just in time to clear the stench of that current Underdog movie debacle from my memory cells, come these delightful KidRobot figures that restore the fun designs of the original characters.
Click here to see close-ups of (and get ordering information for) these cool vinyl figures of Underdog, Polly, Riff Raff, and Simon Bar Sinister. Like a breath of fresh air – these characters look great in three dimensions!
First, let me again apologize for foisting my face on the blog, but it’s an image from my latest starring role. The big news is that starting today, anyone – even you – can be in a JibJab video!
Starring You allows you to upload your own heads, cut them out, and star in a JibJab! They’ve made five template movies to begin with and this sample (starring me and Walt) gives you an idea of the possibilities. If you want to try out the tools and see the other movies just go to JibJab.com
Anyone can make a movie, but you have to register with JibJab to publish. You can then email your film or the links, post them on your blogs, MySpace pages, Facebook accounts… anywhere! And itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s completely free. Check it out.
Calling all animation haters! The second episode of our new web series Cartoon Dump is now up at CartoonBrewFilms.com. Somehow we are managing to keep up with our schedule to deliver a fresh episode once a week. This week, Compost Brite reads her fan mail!
The big news in Dumpster-ville is that we’ve arranged to perform Cartoon Dump live, one night every month, at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood, California. We’ll be there every fourth Tuesday of each month starting August 28th. (Mark your calender for Sept. 25th, Oct. 23rd and Nov. 27th in 2007). If you are in town, or planning a trip to L.A., please come by and meet the cast and crew in person. We will be introducing new cartoons, new characters, and guest “famous name” comedians each month.
(Click on images above for larger version) The painting above left is original art from Fleischer Studios Technicolor two-reel special The Raven and how it may have looked on screen in 1942. The image at right is a blurry 16mm frame grab of the same shot – the way it looks today as it sits unrestored and essentially unavailable to view. ASIFA-Hollywood is working with the UCLA Archive to help preserve neglected films like this (and in fact, The Raven may be ready later this year). It’s a real crime that these animation classics are allowed to rot in the vaults of the mega corporations who own them. The Raven is one of the Fleischer’s lesser efforts, but can we really judge it in the horrifying condition as it now exists?
If you’d like to see a larger, more complete version of the gorgeous background painting above, click here. And for those of you who might like to own it, the piece is being sold at auction by S/R Labs sometime during October 22-23, 2007, along with more than 250 fine pieces of animation art like it. S/R is an animation art conservation center that specializes in restoring vintage cels and paper (as well as doing ceramic, porcelain and oil conservation). They do good work.
Once again the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive provides a new piece of the giant jigsaw puzzle that is the history of animated cartoons.
Steve Worth has scanned sections of a December 1945 issue of Coronet magazine which includes an autobiography of Bugs Bunny (illustrated with original images loosely based on the storyboards from A Hare Grows In Manhattan (released in May 1947). Anybody have any guesses as to who did the art?