The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive has posted another gem, my favorite piece of Disneyana of all time: the wartime in-house publication Dispatch From Disney. They’ve scanned the pages (click here for Part 1, here for Part 2).
This publication (only one issue was produced in 1943) was beautifully produced and loaded with unique information and art by Fred Moore, T. Hee, Roy Williams and others. I always wanted a copy and now, thanks to the Archive, I can read it anytime I want.
Mike Van Eaton’s latest acquisition is a killer. An original Koko the Clown drawing, apparently related to (or for) the 1922 film called The Mosquito,signed and dated by Max Fleischer. Click on image above to see a larger version. The intriguing inscription reads “My Dear Raoul, Here’s wishing you success with my new productions. Sincerely, Max Fleischer, 1922″
Raoul Barre perhaps? If anybody has a copy of “The Mosquito”, I would love to see if this is one of the opening drawings.
Combine the contents of my annual Worst Cartoons Ever! screenings with the warped comic mind of Frank Conniff (“TV’s Frank” from Mystery Science Theater 3000) and you have Cartoon Dump.
The first Cartoon Brew Films original production, Cartoon Dump is a new weekly podcast that exposes the seamy underbelly of cartoon history. Join us! Sing along with Mighty Mister Titan, Compost Brite and Moodsy, the Clinically Depressed Owl. Check it out. It’s funny, it’s flipped out and it’s free!
August 1st, and like clockwork animator Steve Moore has produced another issue of his online animation magazine, Flip. Lots of great stuff, including Fred Cline writing about Lee and Mary Blair. Check it out here.
Does it mean anything that filmmaking icons Ingmar Bergman and Michaelangelo Antonioni passed away the same week The Simpsons Movie opens? Jeff Stahler’s editorial cartoon yesterday nailed the sad truth about current movie going tastes, and the general public’s ignorance of film history.
Update:Will Finn also notes the irony of Bergman’s passing and the Simpsons opening.
Sure, The Simpsons Movie made over $70 million this weekend at the box office. But the big winner in all this is the estate of lyricist Paul Francis Webster and composer Bob Harris (anyone know what became of him?).
Webster may have won three Academy Awards for Best Song (including Love Is A Many Splendored Thing), but his lyrics for the 1967 Spider-man TV cartoon theme will apparently live forever. In addition to its inclusion in the three recent Spider-Man live action features, the tune has become one of the most popular gags (re-worked as “Spider Pig”, by Homer) in The Simpsons Movie.
Compared to his other work, Webster must have been slumming when he penned the words for the Saturday morning cartoon show. But like Spider-man and the Simpsons, the song has established itself as a mainstay of popular culture.
A quick plug for Stu’s Show, the internet radio program devoted to nostalgic pop culture. I’ll be on later this month (August 22) to discuss the recent classic cartoon DVD collections (and will answer your questions via listener phone calls). This week (tomorrow Wednesday August 1st 7-9pm East Coast/4pm-6pm West Coast) Stu interviews Eddie Carroll (pictured above at right, next to actor Alan Young, the voice of Uncle Scrooge). Carroll, best known for his tribute shows to Jack Benny, has been the voice of Jiminy Cricket since 1973.
The show is not archived so you’ll have to tune it tomorrow for the live show or tune in at the same time the next seven days if you want to hear a repeat broadcast. Stu’s show is great fun and very informative. Highly recommended.
Strange stuff! Good things and scary things abound. Here are just a couple of my comic book finds from this year’s San Diego Comic Con (Click on covers above to see a larger version).
Right to Left: SINBAD JR. is one of the favorites in my Worst Cartoons Ever! shows, especially the Sam Singer version which this particularly ugly comic seems to be based on. I bought this horrible copy of ARCHIE No. 114 for a buck, mainly because I couldn’t take my eyes off the strange cover. Click on it to get a better look. What is the “gag” here? Archie comics at this time (1960) usually featured a cover gag situation unrelated to the inside of the book. I couldn’t figure out why Archie was being arrested by a realistic policeman (and on what charges?). It turns out this cover is related to a story inside, one in which Archie’s knowlege of the Spanish language helps save a boy’s life. I don’t know how many Broadway plays or movie musicals were adapted into comic books, but Meredith Wilson’s THE MUSIC MAN is one of my favorites. I never saw this comic book adaptation before, but it’s quite good, all things considered. How about this 1946 NEW YORKER cover by Abe Burnbaum? Some guy was selling old New Yorker’s for $3 bucks. As a film collector and part-time projectionist myself I couldn’t resist this great cover – and a great issue loaded with ads, cartoons and articles.
But the scariest thing I got at the Con, hands down, was this free “Temporary Tattoo” handout at the Warner’s booth:
Amid’s gone. I’m still here. Look who I met this afternoon at the Mattel Hot Wheels booth (where they were selling a very cool limited edition Hot Wheels 1966 Batmobile). Spent the day trolling several panels and walking the dealers room (Yes, they still sell comics – I’ll post some I bought later this week). Photo snapped with my funky Motorola cel phone.
I apologize for all the pix of me lately. Dan O’Shannon and his magical iPhone took these shots of yours truly (above), last night in Room CDEF, warning the packed crowd (below) that they were about to see the Worst Cartoons Ever. And they did.
One of the best pieces of Fleischer Popeye memoribilia ever created was a 32 page compilation of sheet music, the Popeye Song Folio, published by Famous Music in 1936. Brotherly Love, Clean Shavin’ Man, I Wanna Be A Lifeguard, King Of The Mardi Gras, and of course, Popeye The Salior – and others – are each illustrated with a nice piece of art by one of the studio’s top artists (Willard Bowsky?). Coincidentally, with you know what going on sale next Tuesday, Brew reader Joe Busam has posted several of the best pages of the Song Folio on photobucket. These songs are great – and this is a perfect warm up to the restored cartoons which will soon be here.
Reader Lliam Amor spotted this 1968 Gene Hazelton Pete Alvarado (see Mark Evanier’s comment) Yogi Bear Sunday comic strip original on the Heritage Auction site and thought it was interesting because (a) “the great line work & paste up marks” and (b) “the fact that Yogi has no hesitation about reading Playbear in front of the young and impressionable Boo Boo…”
In case you missed our earlier contest, here’s another brain teaser courtesy of our friends from Mental Floss. Can you tell the difference between these recent news stories and the plots from Scooby Doo? Take this quiz and test your knowlege. Sorry, no prizes for correct answers.
I just got word that Alexander Tatarski, an internationally known and praised animator, has passed away. He died yesterday at age 57.
Tatarski (spelled various ways, aka Aleksandr Tatarskii) was an animation producer, director and screenwriter and was managing director of Pilot Animation Studios, the first privately owned animation studio in Russia (which he co-founded with Igor Kovalyov). The studio is the country’s biggest producer of animation as well as home to a world-renowned school for animators.
His claymation opening for the Russian show “Good Night, Kids” has been airing for more than twenty-five years. He also directed several episodes of Cartoon Network’s Mike Lu and Og.
Here’s one of his early colaborations with Kovalyov, The Investigation is Held by the Koloboks:
Okay, I admit it. I’m excited about seeing The Simpsons Movie. But why are they opening it on the same weekend as the San Diego Comic Con? Over 100,000 first day ticket sales will be busy at the Con buying comics or attending Mark Evanier’s panels. I predict The Simpsons Movie will have a helluva Monday night box office gross, when all the fans get home from San Diego.
In the meantime, I think this is the first official review of the film. It was posted today by the London Times – and it’s very positive.
We were greeted first by a great array of sideshow freaks, including a little guy named ‘Poobaa’ who the barker proclaimed as being the last living Muchkin from the Wizard of oz alive (he was 9 at the time). Poor Poobaa was made to swallow fire over and over to a bored looking crowd of locals.
Then, turning the corner, I see THIS. I’ve seen a lot of things before, but this is far, far beyond the normal Blair ripoff; it’s almost an outsider art homage! I took a bunch of pictures (forgive my not quite perfect alignment of the whole thing…). I have more if you want, but I think these tell the story pretty well. This is a walk though carnival attraction. I didn’t go inside, but I bet I would have seen Red in progression, the policeman and maybe even the hippos from Fantasia…
(Click on pictures above and below to see full sized images)
Please forgive all these Popeye and Woody Woodpecker posts, but here’s a YouTube find I had to share: a 1980s British Carling Black Label Beer commercial featuring Popeye and “Brutus”. Nice to know Popeye was considered adult enough as late as this period to be in an ad for alcohol.