Yeah, this is another post ragging on Cartoon Network as is spirals down the drainpipe of doom. I was at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood last night where found this flyer (at left, click to enlarge thumbnail), recruiting “male teens” for a new reality show. It reads: “Are you between 13 and 16 years old? Would you like to have a team of Former military SPECIAL FORCES train you and your friends to plan and execute real life missions? Learn how to use night vision? Hydro Reconaissance? Rappelling? Who wouldn’t!”
“We are looking for kids who have real problems that need to be solved by our team. Do you need to get something that belongs to you back from a friend? The Special Forces team will train you to get it back using all the high tech equipment available. Need to be at a family event, but want to take a girl out on the same night? Worry no more, for with this team, you will learn spy-like maneuvers that allow you to be in two places at once! Tired of being picked on? Those days are gone! The team will take you through Commando boot camp where you will transform from scrawny to superhero.”
“This is the biggest wish fullfillment reality show… maybe ever!”
Dear Producers of Going Commando,
I would like your Special Forces Team to overtake the building at 300 North Third Street in Burbank, California. A group of highly paid television executives have taken over a cable cartoon network I used to love, took away all my favorite cartoons and replaced them with a whole bunch of brainless live action reality shows. I wanna kick their ass and take over the channel. Who wouldn’t? I want Looney Tunes and Popeye (and about a zillion other things) back on the air so I can share them with a new generation of kids. This is would be my biggest wish fullfillmentâ€¦ maybe ever!
What a year. Coraline, Up, Ponyo, 9, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs – topped off with The Princess and The Frog and Fantastic Mr. Fox.
In Fantastic Mr. Fox director Wes Anderson injects an adult sensibility, along with his usual indie filmmaking quirkiness, turning a childhood classic into a uniquely satisfying filmgoing experience. As far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the best films of the year. The animation style is refreshingly, intentionally retro: Rankin-Bass meets Willis O’Brien, by way of Ladislas Starevich. In this exclusive promo (below) we get a quick peak behind the scenes at the London studio that put it together:
Here’s a few new 3D CGI films coming from Europe… is it me, or do these pictures have a slight resemblance to previous works from Emeryville?
Occhio Kochoi from Paris based TeamtTO is a feature film about birds migrating to Africa — the lead character looks a like he migrated from For The Birds or Partly Cloudy:
Finding Nemo with a turtle? That seems like the premise of Around the World In 50 Years (aka Turtle Vision) from Ben Stassen (Fly Me to The Moon) and Belgium based nWave Pictures. This is a 14-minute large format film scheduled for release to Imax theatres later this year.
A clip of the animation begins, below, at :34 mark and ends at 1:21 mark.
A reminder that tomorrow night Cinefamily @ The Silent Movie Theatre will present a tribute to animator Fred Wolf. We’ll screen rare clips from his movies, TV shows, vintage TV commercials (like the one above), and his award winning shorts during a live on-stage interview with Wolf himself.
Wolf will discuss his career starting at Famous Studios in NYC, working with Shamus Culhane in the 50s, Herb Klynn on The Alvin Show, his collaborations with Harry Nilsson on The Point!, with Frank Zappa producing 200 Motels, and with Peter Yarrow to make Puff The Magic Dragon. We’ll also get into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, his producing commercials, shorts and feature films – and how he ended up animating the iconic opening sequence to The Flintstones!
Join me Tuesday night, November 3rd at 8pm. The theatre is at 611 N. Fairfax Ave. just south of Melrose. The first 100 admissions will receive a free DVD of The Point!, and every admission will receive a free Tootsie Pop! Click here to Reserve Tickets.
The Tom & Jerry set (with gorgeous Milton Knight cover art) is particularly amazing. These hilarious cartoons are obscure to begin with, so a real treat is the fabulous film prints Stanchfield digs up and lovingly restores. Many of the cartoons look really great, especially A Swiss Trick (1931) from a 35mm nitrate sepia-tinted, spliceless print, with its original titles intact. This is as close as we’ll ever get to experiencing one of these cartoons the way audiences saw them in the early 30s. It really makes a difference.
Also on the T&J set, galleries of original trade ads, posters, home movie boxes, picture books, and four additional cartoons starring Tom & Jerry precursors, Waffles and Don. Stanchfield goes an extra five miles here, with the inclusion of a comparison reel of Tom & Jerry animation against a rare Egyptian knock-off by the Frenkel Brothers. Priceless stuff.
For more information on Thunderbean’s complete line of animation rarities, click here.
Phillppe sent me some details on the Future Fantasias folder:
During the making of the film, he asked Robert Spencer Carr to keep track of all ideas and projects discussed at the studio for quick reference and further discussion. Carr (March 26, 1909 — April 28, 1994) was Director of Educational Research for Walt Disney Studios. After he left the studio, he became Special Advisor to NICAP. He also served with the Army Orientation Service, produced educational films for the State Department and teached communication at the University of south Florida. He was also an American writer of science fiction and fantasy (selling his first story to Weird Tales at age 15) .
As stated in the opening memo to Walt, this was given to him on October 23, 1940 as a “field manual” for his trip east. This trip was Walt’s trip to New York for the world Premiere of Fantasia, 23 days later (Nov. 13, 1940). Of course, in view of the film’s disappointing box-office returns, the cost of the revolutionary Fantasound system in the theatres, and a closing foreign market due to World War 2, Walt put all these projects aside, but many ideas would eventually turn out as sequences in the package features: Peter and the Wolf in Make Mine Music (1946), Flight of the Bumble Bee (renamed Bumble Boogie) in Melody Time (1948), Rhapsody in Blue and The Firebird in the long-awaited sequel Fantasia 2000. Debussy’s Clair de Lune was even animated, ending up as the Blue Bayou sequence in Make Mine Music. Finally, two suggestions (Valse Triste and Afternoon of a Faun) were eventually used by Italian animator Bruno Bozzetto in his Fantasia spoof Allegro non Troppo (1977).
The folder lists all musical studio properties (and titles advised for copyright), story numbers assigned to pieces, detailed story research, development and production notes, as well as the Deems Taylor dialog written for many pieces (and often recorded, with recording dates). It also includes complete proposed programs for eventual sequels, and a nine page transcript of a story meeting held at the studio on may 14, 1940, with the participation of Walt, Leopold Stokowski, Joe Grant, Ben Sharpsteen and Ed Plumb.
The photograph (above, right) of Walt Disney in his office shows the Future Fantasias folder right behind him, on a shelf.
The auction will take place on November 24th in London. For more information click here.
Dr. Sketchy’s is an alternative life drawing salon and traveling artists social club – and it’s coming to California.
It started as a one-time Brooklyn art event and is now a nationwide movement. Founded in 2005 by artist Molly Crabapple, Dr. Sketchy’s Roadshow inaugural tour will take place throughout California between November 2nd and 14th, with stops in Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Long Beach, Sherman Oaks, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Bakersfield, Fresno, Monterey, San Jose, Sacramento and Alhambra. To quote their blog:
Artist and art voyeurs need only bring a $10 donation and their favorite drawing supplies. Dr. Sketchy’s and the Roadshow’s art-centric host venues will provide everything else (top notch models, refreshments, casual networking opportunities, and an all around good time).
No RSVP necessary, but space at each venue is limited. The L.A. date is Thursday November 5th at Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks. Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra will host the show on November 14th. Check the full list of locations and dates here.
More John Canemaker news! John will present his do-not-miss lecture/screening on the art and life of animation pioneer Winsor McCay (1867—1934) at the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, next Tuesday November 3rd.
As part of the lecture, Canemaker presents Gertie the Dinosaur (1914) the way it was meant to be shown — as a vaudeville act with live musical accompaniment (photo above is from Canemaker’s recent screening in Annecy). The program starts at 7:00 pm at the Wexner Center Film/Video Theater, 1871 North High Street in Columbus, Ohio. The event is part of the current Winsor McCay: Legendary Cartoonist exhibit at the OSU Cartoon Library and Museum. For tickets and information, please visit the Cartoon Museum website.
Brazilian artist Helder Santos drew, animated and directed this video for the local band Eddie and singer Karina Buhr. Santos writes:
The video is a protest against the violence and social problems in Brazil. Everybody thinks of Brazil as the fun, carnaval country. We tried to put what really happens here though the vision of a masked ball carnaval of horror. Hope you like it.
Santos produced it along with his wife Camilla and friends at production house CherryPlus.
The Paley Center for Media on 52nd Street will be hosting a screening and panel discussion celebrating The First Christmas Special: Revisiting Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 6:00 pm. Following a screening of the show, a panel including animator/author Darrell Van Citters; Judy Levitow, daughter of Magoo’s director Abe Levitow; and Marie Matthews, Voice of “Young Scrooge”, will examine the making of the program and its place in television history. Reserve tickets here.
Shokus Internet Radio is beginning a three-week arc saluting the animation industry starting today with two of the best voiceover artists in the business: Gregg Berger (Garfield, The Angry Beavers, Batman Beyond, Duckman, Transformers, etc.) and Michael Bell (Rugrats, Voltron, Superfriends, Jonny Quest, et al). Stu’s Show airs live on Wednesday and repeated each subsequent day at the same time 7-9pm Eastern / 4-6pm Pacific.
On November 4th, Bob Bergen (Porky Pig, Tweety, Lupin III) will be the guest, and on November 11th, yours truly (Jerry Beck) will be there to answer questions on the burning issues of the day. Turn on, Toon In, Click Here.
This past year I’ve been working with CBS Video and Paramount Home Entertainment on compiling the Ralph Bakshi/John Kricfalusi Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures complete series DVD set — and now you can pre-order it on Amazon.com. It’ll be released on January 5th 2010 and bonus materials include commentary by John Kricfalusi, Tom Minton, Mike Kazaleh and Kent Butterworth; three original Terry Toons cartoons (1943′s He Dood It Again with original “Super Mouse” titles, the 1945 Oscar nominated Gypsy Life, and one of the first cartoons Bakshi ever animated on, from 1961, Mysterious Package); and a bonus behind the scenes documentary, Breaking the Mold: the Re-Making of Mighty Mouse with Ralph, John K., Bruce Timm, Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Vicki Jenson, Libby Simon, Mike Kazaleh, Kent Butterworth, Tom Minton, etc.
The 1987-88 series has been beautifully restored and will be released uncut, and the documentary contains much rare behind-the-scenes footage and commentary. Take it from me – this is a must-have. Mike Kazaleh designed the wrap around cover(above, click image to see it larger).
If you are a member of Asifa Hollywood, this is a killer week: you can meet Henry Selick, Peter Docter and Wes Anderson and see their films at free screenings in Los Angeles. And at each one, yours truly, Brewmaster Jerry Beck will conduct a Q&A with the filmmakers (that’s my mug above with two puppets from Coraline from my session with Henry Selick last week in Ottawa). If you haven’t RSVP’d yet – do it now. Info is posted here.
Tonight at 7pm is the screening of UP with Pete Docter at the Chinese Theatre (6925 Hollywood Blvd.) in Hollywood. I know this is short notice, but they’ve opened it up to all members of the Animation Guild, students from Cal Arts and readers of Cartoon Brew. But you have to RSVP. If you can make it, call (818) 560-4350 right now to reserve your seat – it’s FREE!! See you there!