Kim Possible co-creators Robert Schooley, Mark McCorkle, and director/co-producer Steve Loter will appear at EnigmaCon 2005, this Saturday May 28th, 2005 at the University of California, Los Angeles.UCLA’s Enigma club combines Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Gaming and Real Science to bring a day of movie screenings, panels, vendors and gaming to the UCLA campus to benefit tsunami relief efforts. Other guests include author Harlan Ellison, Babylon 5 writer/producer J. Michael Stracynski, Elfquest artist Wendy Pini, and many, many more from the fields of movies, animation, video game development, comics, etc. Robert Schooley writes:
Mark, Steve and I have only done this once before and that was a month after the show premiered. So we’d like to get the word out to anyone who enjoys the show to stop by and say ‘hello’.As an added bonus the crack squad of Disney lawyers have given their blessing to allow Steve to do some sketches to auction off for the Tsunami charity that this con supports.
For more info, check out http://www.enigmacon.org(Alan Bodner original inspirational art above is © Disney)
I want to thank UNEARTHED FILMS for sending me a copy of their forthcoming dvd of ROCK & RULE.Nelvana’s 1984 cult sci-fi masterpiece has never gotten the attention, or distribution, it deserved. Steve Biro and the guys at Unearthed have done a lavish, first class job preparing this film for dvd. The 2-disc package includes a making of documentary, audio track commentary by director Clive Smith and a production sketch gallery. A second disc is loaded with bonus materials including an alternate version of the film, the great Nelvana TV special The Devil & Daniel Mouse and a behind the scenes making of it, workprint material, the complete script and a 12 page color booklet of interviews (put together by our pal, Emru Townsend of fpsmagazine.com).The film itself never looked this good. Restored from the original negative with a newly remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 surround soundtrack. The street date is June 7th. Highly recommended!
From our pal, Oscar Grillo:
Publisher Ediciones de la Flor just published this book. It is profusely illustrated by me (around 50 illustrations) -”Fausto” is a famous poem written in 1866 about two gauchos meeting in the Pampas after one of them saw an opera in the city and believed he had actually seen the devil. It is a comic masterpiece, unfortunately for you, this version is in Spanish but my pictures alone are worth the price.
If you are interested in getting it, it’s now listed on Amazon.com
Thurl Ravenscroft, who roared “They’re Grrrrreeeat!” in Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger ads and voiced a host of Disney characters, died Sunday of prostate cancer. He was 91.For more than 50 years, Ravenscroft was the voice behind Tony the Tiger, TV’s popular cartoon pitchman for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. He is also well known for his cartoon voice work with Disney and Chuck Jones – including singing the classic “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” – and lent his voice to characters on rides at Disneyland, including the Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Haunted Mansion. Born in Norfolk, Neb., Ravenscroft moved to California in 1933 to study art. By the mid-1930s he was appearing regularly on radio, and by the late-1930s he was singing backup for Bing Crosby. In 1952, Ravenscroft’s voice appeared in the first Frosted Flakes commercial.
Another classic cartoon voice has left us. Comedian-actor-director Howard Morris passed away Saturday afternoon. An announcement was posted by Howard’s son on his Ernest T. Bass homepage.Morris, well known for his appearances with Sid Ceaser and Carl Reiner on YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS in the 1950s, joined the regular cast at Hanna Barbera with his portrayal of Jet Screamer (above) on THE JETSONS in 1962. He also voiced Atom Ant, Mr. Peebles and Breezly Bruin among others for H-B. More importantly, Morris did most of the voices for Gene Deitch’s Oscar winning short MUNRO (1960), was King Features’ BEETLE BAILEY (1962) and enacted several voices on Filmation’s THE ARCHIE SHOW (1968), including Jughead.He was a regular voice in Disney films, a member of the Mel Brooks stock company, and directed numerous 60s sitcoms and comedy features.An enormous talent. Rest in peace.
Best known for his voice of Fred Flintstone (replacing Alan Reed after his death), character actor Henry Corden has passed away at age 85.Outside of his Flintstone work, my favorite role of his was his recurring stint as Mr. Babbitt, the gruff landlord of THE MONKEES.He shall be missed.
Howard Green informs us of the passing of Ollie Johnston’s beloved wife, Marie, Friday morning at her home in La Canada surrounded by family.She was 87 years old. She and Ollie had been married for 62 years.
He really really likes it! Link
Animator Oscar Grillo sends us a new drawing everyday. This was the one he sent today.
I’m moved! Now it’s a month of unpacking boxes and reorganizing my storage space. But my long national nightmare is over. Back to blogging!First, I must note that my buddy Martha Sigall is continuing her national book tour – or at least the west coast leg – by appearing at the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego this Saturday.If you love the classic Warner Bros. cartoons you will really enjoy Martha’s book, LIVING LIFE INSIDE THE LINES, written from her point of view as an inker & painter at the Looney Tunes studio (and her subsequent stints at MGM, Bob Clampett, Bill Melendez, etc.). She will be signing books May 21st at 2pm at the gallery at 2501 San Diego Ave. in Old Town. Check the Chuck Jones website for more information.
Please forgive the infrequent posts… I’m almost moved in – but it’ll take all week to unpack the boxes.A note to my personal friends reading the blog: My phone number, the one I’ve had for over ten years, is history. It’s been disconnected, and my new number won’t be connected until next Friday. As I do not have a cell phone, I will be a bit hard to reach this week. I’m working on a solution and should have a temporary phone number on Monday. Till then best way to reach me is by email. Tonight I move my computer to my new home and tomorrow morning Comcast is set to come over and hook me up… I hope!Wish me luck!
Margaret Loesch will speak on June 18, 2005, at 12 noon at The Smoke House restaurant when Women In Animation Los Angeles hosts a lunch in her honor.
Margaret has known nearly every one in the business and has so many tales to tell! She was five years at Hanna Barbera, and six at Marvel Productions. She has worked at Fox Kids Network, Jim Henson Television Group, Crown Media United States, the U. S. cable channel Odyssey, and launched the Hallmark Channel. She is currently the CCEO of The Hatchery LLC, a family entertainment company she launched in 2003 and serves on the Board of Trustees of Sesame Workshop, producers of Sesame Street.The Smoke House restaurant is located at 4420 Lakeside Dr., Burbank (across from Warner Bros.) Cost of the lunch is $20 per person, with a No Host Bar. Seating is limited. You may prepay (recommended) by sending a check to:WIA/Loesch lunch, PO Box 251, Topanga, CA 90290
I am moving from my apartment this week and into a new one. Thus my posts through next week will be even less frequent than usual.As anyone who’s ever had to pack up their life and move it to a new location knows – it’s hell! And in an effort to share the pain – I direct you to Albert Walker’s website The Agony Booth where he has just posted several lengthy (and humorous) reviews of Ruby Spears awful 1983 Saturday morning series Mt. T.Now you know how I feel about moving.
The official obituary of Joe Grant from the Walt Disney Company.
Most people who appreciate animation also enjoy the ancient art of hand lettering and vintage advertising graphics. Thus, I bring your attention to the website of Charles Bruss and his obsession with Wisconsin Drive In Theatres. In particular I point out his page devoted to old newspaper ads advertising Drive-In movie attractions. It’s great to see Baby Huey, Katnip and Donald Duck used as illustrations in the 1950s clippings – one ad actually mentions a cartoon by name, “Chew Chew Baby” (1958), a particularly notorious Paramount Noveltoon.This ad pictured above, from 1944, boasts six shorts (instead of a second feature, I guess) including The Three Stooges, a Pete Smith specialty, a L’il Abner and Screwball Squirrel! Now, that’s entertainment!
A true legend. From early Mickey Mouse cartoons to Beauty & The Beast through Lorenzo.Links: The Animation Podcast / Animation Nation / AWN (1999 interview) / AWN (2004 interview) /
Rick Goldschmidt has posted a set of rare stop-mo animation spots on his Rankin Bass website. We especially like the short 2-D FROSTY THE SNOWMAN pencil test footage (from the 1969 TV special).(Thanks to Mike Milo for pointing this out)
Don’t miss this – the May/June issue of PRINT (“America’s Graphic Design Magazine”) contains John Canemaker’s in-depth, profusely illustrated article “Farm Subsidy” about the 1954 Halas & Batchelor feature cartoon ANIMAL FARM and how it came to be funded by the CIA.Also, Canemaker reports that he will be in France next month: his new 28-min. animated film THE MOON AND THE SON: AN IMAGINED CONVERSATION has been accepted for competition at the Annecy International Animation Festival, June 6-12.Good luck, John!
If you are in Hollywood on Thursday night – and are looking for things to do – I highly recommend you spend an evening with Janet Klein And Her Parlor Boys. I’ll be there with my “opening act”: several 1930s musical shorts and cartoons in 16mm, preceeding a wonderful evening of live 1920s/early 1930s jazz, rag-time, blues and novelty songs. The fun starts at 8pm Thursday night May 5th at the Steve Allen Theatre in the Los Feliz area, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., (West of Vermont, across from Barnsdall Park). We do this the first Thursday of every month. Please check Janet’s website (under “Showtime”) for more details.
I’m happy to report our Saturday afternoon screening of rare Scrappy cartoons was a success – but I’d rather let co-host Harry McCracken and Asifa’s Larry Loc (scroll down) tell you about it with their own pictures and comments on their respective blogs.If you missed this once-in-a lifetime event, Asifa-Hollywood is hosting a fuller tribute to Dick Huemer with rare cartoons and special guests on June 9th at the Glendale Central Library. Ray Pointer is organizing this and it looks to be a very special evening.
As Amid is mired in deadline hell (see below) and I’m in the midst of a move (for the next three weeks), updating Cartoon Brew may be a bit spotty for the time being. Luckily with friends like Mark Mayerson and readers like Craig Harris, we will always have things to post.Mark sent me this link which is a very long, detailed account by Phil Vischer of the various problems that eventually killed Big Idea (The Veggie Tales company). Very interesting from a business and production standpoint.And Craig Harris has started a production blog for his promising 2-D short FRANKENBULB.
In the classic Looney Tune HIGH DIVING HARE (1949), Yosemite Sam — knocking loudly upon a door which has just been erected by Bugs Bunny — bellows, “Open the door!” Sam then takes a beat, and turns to us and says in a normal tone, “You’ll notice I didn’t say ‘Richard’.”For further background information about this gag’s dated reference, see David Hinckley’s article in today’s New York Daily News.(Thanks to B. Baker)
Saddened to hear of the passing of actor Mason Adams.He voiced Grandpa in Richard Williams’ RAGGEDY ANN & ANDY animated feature and was best known for his role as the editor Charlie Hume on the series LOU GRANT. Adams had a great voice (heard in many, many commercials) and was prolific in the golden age of radio drama. My favorite role of his was as “Atom Man” on the SUPERMAN radio show (I highly recommend the Radio Spirits CDs). It’s too bad he didn’t do more animation voice work.
Brew correspondant Steve Segal sends us a link to a San Francisco Chronicle article about Brad Bird, recently speaking at the San Francisco Film Festival. Steve was there and took some notes of his own:
He spoke rhapsodically about the communal movie going experience of days gone by, like waiting in line for the original Star Wars. He enjoys waiting in line, he understands the mindset of the people who are right now waiting in line for the final episode of Star Wars. He also related a story about seeing Spiderman 2 with his three sons opening day at midnight at one of the few single screen theatres left in the bay area. Days later his wife (a film person, “would I have anybody else”) was screaming at the projectionist of her hometown Vermont theatre because the film had a scratch through the entire film.He talked about the projection equipment called platters which allows an entire movie to be put on one reel. Wear is avoided by opening up the gate a little, which results in a slightly out of focus picture. Whereupon he went into his yokel impression, “Mr. Johnson sayed it wuz shot thet way”. He also dislikes commercials and congratulated audiences in LA who regularly boo at the commercials (not trailers, that’s part of the movie going experience, as long as they don’t give away too much of the plot). Googolplexes, as he calls them, has led to smaller screens, partly because of the well intentioned Americans with disabilities act, which stipulates that theatres with more than 300 seats must provide access for handicapped to every seat. The result being not better access, but smaller theatres. Bird reasoned you only need some of the seats to have that access not EVERY seat.He sees 3D (stereoscopic movies, not computer graphics) as a possible thwart to bootleggers, since the image is fuzzy if you don’t wear the glasses. So taking a video camera into the theatre wouldn’t work very well (I’m not sure if he’s given any thought to putting a lens from the glasses over the camera). He declared the new digital 3D projection the best 3D he’s ever seen, and even a clip from the original Star Wars, which had been converted from 2D to 3D, was “much better than you’d think”.In the Q & A he compared working on Iron Giant with being on the Titanic since Warners had already decided to close the studio, but it was as if they left the booze cabinet on the Titanic unlocked, “we could do anything we wanted, there was nobody around”. Warners was unprepared for the success and had no marketing in place. He was extremely complimentary of the three visionary geniuses at Pixar Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, and Steve Jobs. And mentioned when he decided to make Incredibles in wide screen Steve Jobs explained, very analytically, that there are many theatres where that will result in a smaller, not larger picture. He then complimented Jobs when he calmly accepted Bird’s decision to use wide screen. He pointed out that Lasseter’s Cars is also in wide screen When asked to do Edna he hesitated for a moment then said “You poosh to hard, dahling” and then mentioned interviewers who can’t believe he did the voice, or at least assume it’s somehow processed, so he must do the voice to convince them.
Saturday is Scrappy-Day in Hollywood, as Asifa-Hollywood presents a screening of brand new 35mm restoration prints of neglected 1930s cartoon icon Scrappy.The fun begins at 1pm when a an exhibit of rare Scrappy merchandise is put on display. This will be followed by a distinguished panel of Scrappy experts (including Jerry Beck, Harry McCracken (of Scrappyland.com), and Dr. Richard Huemer Jr.) who will ruminate on the merits of the greatest 1930s cartoon character that almost everybody has forgotten–the Mintz Studio’s Scrappy. A special performance by the Scrappy Puppet Theatre Players will then enact, live, a classic scene from a Scrappy cartoon!At 3pm: a rare screening of newly restored 35mm prints of classic Scrappy cartoons from the 1930s. Prints include the rarely seen promotional film for Scrappy’s Puppet Theatre as well as two cartoons unseen in over 70 years: The Beer Parade and Fare-Play (these two were banned from the syndicated Samba TV package – and contain unique original titles!). Prints courtesy of Columbia Pictures. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime (we guarantee that!) event!Saturday April 30th 1:00pm till 5:30pm Cartoons start at 3pm
The American Film Institute
TED ASHLEY/WARNER BROS. SCREENING ROOM
2021 N. Western Ave.
Hollywood, CAAsifa members FREE ADMISSION ($10. General public)
Well, I survived the income tax season – but now the missus and I are preparing to move during the month of May (less than a mile away). Thus more of my stuff is headed to ebay. Need the room and the extra cash for the move.So keep checking my ebay listings for cartoon rareties and bargains – like this so-ugly it’s-cool Looney Tunes frame tray “Super Brain Teaser” sliding puzzle (at right). Remember when cartoon merchandising art was this off-model?Ahh, those were the days!