From our friends at Mental Floss.
If you think the animation business is tough, try selling blankets.
Michael Marrer of Brackney Hills Knitting obtained a licensing agreement with Classic Media for Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends and Dudley Do-Right knitted products. He knew this would be a niche market, but he’s been surprised to see just how difficult it would be to sell them. He wrote me me for some advice:
We are very frustrated in finding ways to get the word out. To date we have not had any inquiries about them. So … how to reach the Rocky & Bullwinkle fans out there? We are working on some
sweaters to be released this fall, plus we have a Wossamotta U design coming for blankets too. More character designs will come out once we see some sort of action in the marketplace.
Not to be a shill, but these look pretty cool to me. I’ll probably pick up a Peabody and Sherman wrap for those cold winter nights. But I have no idea how one sells blankets.
However, I recommend to anyone with products like this to try advertising right here on Cartoon Brew. Everyone interested in obtaining blankets like these is probably reading this blog.
I like Casper. But I hate those direct-to-video CG Casper movies.
However, I just became aware of this new Casper movie which played on the Cartoon Network last year. I checked the website, the stills, and the music video. It looks kinda cute. I’m liking the design of the supporting characters. I think maybe I’ll give this one a shot.
Hey, it’s for kids – and we’ve seen worse. And I’m not saying this because I have my own Casper book coming out.
A new edition of FLIP is now up. I’d be plugging Steve Moore’s online magazine about animation (written and edited by animators) even if I weren’t profiled in it.
But since I am, I especially recommend it.
Auctioneers Bonhams & Butterfields will hold an Entertainment Memorabilia and Animation Art sale on June 4th 2007 in Los Angeles, featuring property from the Estate of Carl Barks. The auction will include rare original animation drawings, working storyboards and watercolors from his personal archive. From the press release:
From the early 1940s until the late 1960s, Carl Barks illustrated Walt Disney’s comics and stories and drew the beloved “Donald Duck” character as well as “Huey, Duey and Louie” (adding his own creation “Uncle Scrooge” in 1948). Having never signed his name to a single Donald Duck story, Barks received no biographical notes in any of the Disney comic books (unlike artists of comic book publishers of the 1950s). Barks toiled in privacy for more than 25 years before fans of comics and animation sought him out.
Featured highlights from the Estate of Carl Barks include: a large collection of preliminary drawings for many of his more famous Walt Disney Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge paintings (offered individually, estimates from $600 to $2,000); an unfinished painting of a Saloon Woman in a White Dress (est. $5/8,000); a selection of early paintings from Barks’ private studio including landscapes and historical portraits; a selection of framed and signed gold plate artist’s proofs; unpublished circa 1940s pencil cartoons; early finished watercolors; and a collection of five caricature cartoon drawings done by colleagues of Carl Barks while he was working at the Disney Studios.
The auction also includes other Hollywood memorabilia, Disneyana and animation art. Los Angeles public preview events are scheduled for June 1-3. Pick up the catalog on the website.
Looks like they’ve nailed it.
Considering the track record of most cartoon-to-live action movies, I’m not getting too excited about the new live action Speed Racer movie. But the Wachowski brothers sound pretty smart discussing it in yesterday’s USA Today article. I like that Chim Chim is going to be a real chimp – not CG animation.
(Thanks, Tommy Day)
Opening on Sunday, June 24, 2007, The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons will fill the Allentown Art MuseumÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Kress and Rodale galleries through September 16, 2007. This exhibit is an expanded version of the 1985 Museum of Modern Art retrospective, curated by Steve Schneider (author, That’s All Folks, The Art Of Warner Bros. Animation), consisting of over 150 drawings, paintings, cels, and animated films of WarnerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s classic cartoons from the 1930s through 1960.
If you are anywhere near the New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia area this summer, you gotta go. The exhibit’s opening will be celebrated with a public preview party on Saturday, June 23, 2007, from 6 to 8 PM. For more info, go to the museum website.
Some people would go to any lengths to get a autograph from Walt Disney. But would you go to any depth? An abandoned cave in Cody, Montana reportedly has Walt Disney’s personal endorsementÃ¢â‚¬”his signatureÃ¢â‚¬”scrawled on the cave wall. Is it for real? Check out this report from Channel 8 News.
(Thanks, Mark Gittman)
Well, there goes Popeye the Sailor Man, It’s A Hap-Hap Happy Day and Casper The Friendly Ghost. Not the characters (they were sold off years ago), but the theme songs and music from 80 years of Paramount Pictures. Viacom announced today the sale of Famous Music to Sony/ATV.
“This is a milestone event for Sony/ATV Music Publishing,” said Michael Jackson (yes, that Michael Jackson. He co owns Sony/ATV). In addition to all the Fleischer and Famous Studios cartoon themes (which include Superman, Little Audrey and Herman and Katnip’s Skiddle Diddle Dee) the Famous Music catalogue includes 125,000 songs, including themes from The Brady Bunch and Star Trek, songs from Broadway shows such as A Chorus Line and The Producers, and hundreds of pop tunes and Academy Award winning soundtracks.
The Famous brand name dates back 1912 when Paramount Pictures founder Adolf Zukor created Famous Players. In 1942 when the studio removed the Fleischer brothers and established their own animation studio, they named it Famous Studios, a sister company to Famous Music. All that tradition comes to an end today.
It all started on John Kricfalusi’s blog in a series of posts where he analyzes UPA’s modern graphics, comparing them to traditional character animation as practiced by Warner Bros., Walter Lantz and Terrytoons.
Michael Sporn then responded on his blog, igniting a series of comments that are, in no particular order, thought-provoking, frustrating, insightful and maddening. Whatever your opinion, it’s a fun read.
One of my guilty pleasures, when watching Paramount cartoons from the mid-1930s through the late 1940s, is admiring the incredible “Fleischer lettering” in the main titles (and occasionally in the body of the cartoon itself). I’ve never been able to identify the mystery studio calligrapher, but this person’s unique work is as much a part of the studio’s style as the animation, voices and music. This lettering style first shows up right before the Fleischer studio moves to Miami and is prevalent throughout the 1940s Famous Studios period (you can view some of this work on my Paramount Original Titles page). This individual also did the Famous Studios logo, Fleischer/Famous letterheads and in-house publications.
Graphic designer Mark Simonson has just created two new fonts based on “Fleischer lettering” and they look terrific. Coincidentally, Mark has also been working on a font resembling to my second favorite classic movie lettering: Columbia Pictures titles (most recognizable from Three Stooges shorts, Sam Katzman serials and just about everything Columbia released from the late thirties through the mid 1950s). But I digress. I’ll be ordering his Fleischer styled Snicker and Kinescope later this week.
Good news! Harry McCracken’s blog is back.
Also check out his many fun-filled archived articles and galleries like Those Wonderful, Memorable, Never-to-be-Forgotten Animation Restaurants of Yesteryear, his virtual museum of 8mm Cartoon Home Movie Boxes, and a curious section of Mystery Art.
In all my years of watching and collecting animated cartoons, only a scant few of the shows I grew up with have eluded my review in recent years. One of those, The Beagles, has just surfaced this week on You Tube. It’s a clip of the opening — a kinescope, in black & white — but it’s all we got.
The show was Total Television’s (Underdog, Tennessee Tuxedo) final production and it aired two seasons (26 episodes) on CBS during 1966-68 (Saturday afternoons at 12:30pm). That’s Sandy Becker doing a Dean Martin impersonation for Stringer, and Allen Swift as Scotty their agent. Toontracker reports the possibilty that all the master elements are lost due to being thrown away. The show was never syndicated, and hasn’t been seen since 1968. Even though the characters are not a parody of The Beatles (as reported in numerous cartoon histories), I suspect King Features (who had the cartoon rights to The Beatles) or the Apple Corps. themselves may have had a hand in this series mysterious disappearence.
Whatever happened, thanks to Freenbean, some of my brain cells can now rest easy with the Beagles garage band theme song now restored in my memory bank.
I don’t normally endorse corporate animation contests, but the one my friend Rita Street has been co-producing (with Frederator, the fourth year in a row) for the Nicktoons Network is a fair, well run and ultimately, an entertaining showcase for animators working in all techniques and media.
The top prize is ten grand and nominees are telecast on the Nicktoon channel in August. The deadline to enter this year’s contest is next week (June 1st). Calling all filmmakers: Go to the website and check the rules and requirements.
I’m still not sure about this flick… but the trailer looks pretty good to me.
Attention L.A. area artists. This one’s for you: on Saturday, June 9th, from 10 am to 1 pm, at Otis College of Art and Design on their campus near LAX, arts instructor Michael Dooley will moderate “Good Business is the Best Art: How to Succeed in Fine Art without Really Starving” with panelists Amy Kim Ganter, Camille Rose Garcia, Anthony Ausgang (art above), Coop, Mark Todd, and Esther Pearl Watson.
This three-hour presentation/discussion will cover a wide variety of art-related topics, including how they mix and blend their animation and cartooning work with their fine art careers.
Join these celebrated artists for three hours of revealing conversation, as they present their work, divulge behind-the-scenes secrets of their art entrepreneurship, and discuss artistic strategies for successful marketing and building name brand recognition. The artists will also be signing books and selling items immediately after the event.
Tickets are available online at ticketweb.com or call 866.468.3399.
Here’s an kinescope excerpt from the classic 1950s TV show, You Asked For It, from sometime during its first year of broadcast (1950-51 season). Here, host Art Baker is answering viewer mail about how animated cartoons are made, assisted by animator Ken Walker (flipping scenes from the short Plutopia) Ã¢â‚¬” and a rather pathetic Mickey Mouse puppet.
As enthused as I am over the big budget, widescreen Hollywood animated blockbusters en route to the cineplex this summer, I’ve been keeping my eye on this little black & white hand-drawn film based on Iranian author Marjane SatrapiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s comic book autobiography.
We’ve posted about it before, Persepolis is a coming-of-age story of a young Iranian girl that begins during the Islamic Revolution and follows her to Austria as a teenager at school, where she struggles to overcome stereotypes and predjudices. What it lacks in Hollywood visual pyrotechnics, it more than makes up for it with an intelligent story and realistic characters. It looks to be one of the most refreshing films of the year.
Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud co-wrote and are co-directing the film, which is coproduced by 2.4.7. Films and the Kennedy/Marshall Company.
New trailer (with actual footage from the film) posted here.
Here is one of the best MySpace pages I have seen devoted to a classic cartoon series.
Forgotten Flintstones contains a lot of fun images, facts, sound bites, and video devoted to offbeat Flintstonia (is that even a word?). Classic toys, commercials, and in-depth profiles of supporting playersÃ¢â‚¬”including Jay Bondrock, Ann-Margrock, Gary Granite, Rock Quarry, Hot Lips Hannigan, Professor Rockimoto, The Wayouts and Ed Sullystone.
What more can I say? Yabba Dabba Doo!
Not to be overlooked in this year of great classic cartoon DVD releases (the Droopy collection goes on sale today) are these programs from our friends at Thunderbean Animation and Inkwell Images.
Steve Stanchfield from Thunderbean has been rescuing obscure cartoons for years and his previous compilations are text book examples of How-To restore and present this vintage material on DVD. His latest videos, The Little King and Cultoons, Part Two are vital additions to the collection.
The Little King is a collection of all ten uber-rare Van Beuren cartoons based on the classic comic strip by Otto Soglow. These films were produced in 1933-34 and, in addition to being animated by Jim Tyer, they are as surreal as anything the Fleischers were doing at the same time. As a bonus Steve includes the one Fleischer attempt to animate the Little King (co-starring Betty Boop) in 1936. And, Steve includes two rare Sentinel Louie cartoons from 1933 (this character was the “topper strip” on The Little King’s Sunday pages). If it can be imagined, these are even more off beat than the Little King.
Thunderbean’s second Cultoons collection is subtitled “Animated Education” as it contains 13 educational, industrial and commercial films from such diverse talents as Fleischer Studios, Terrytoons, Hugh Harman and UPA. These are the rarest of the rare and this set includes some informative – and hilarious – audio commentary by the likes of Mark Kausler, Milton Knight, Steve Worth, Mike Kazaleh and that little old winemaker… me.
We’ve plugged Ray Pointer’s program of rare uncut Alice Comedies before. But if you haven’t picked this up yet, now is the time. Ray has recently revised the collection (adding Alice Gets Stage Struck) and restored many cut scenes with rare footage only available here. These DVDs are highly recommended.
As an addendum to our posts on Ward Kimball (can we ever post enough about Kimball?), our pal Don Brockway (Psst, check out his webpage devoted to Disney voice actress Kathryn Beaumont) is posting on YouTube a rare 1978 broadcast of Tom Snyder’s Tomorrow Show, shot on location at Grizzly Flats!
Like many of your readers, I was saddened to hear that Grizzly Flats is no more. Something IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve held onto, since the beginning of time, is a tape of this broadcast. I recorded it on Ã‚Â¾Ã¢â‚¬? video at the time, and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s one of my favorite shows. When I took my old Ã‚Â¾Ã¢â‚¬? U-matic in to be serviced, my buddy behind the counter said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Who gave you this, Fred Flintstone?Ã¢â‚¬? But he managed to get it working again, and I was able to salvage the program.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m posting the entire 45 minute show (editing out commercials) a piece at a time. It may take a couple of days. But I want to share this great show with everybody; itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an excellent tribute to Ward and to Grizzly Flats.
We agree. Below are all seven videos of the program that Don has graciously posted onto YouTube.