Here’s something different – and a nice way to start the week: French pop star Gregoire’s music video for his new song Rue Des Etoiles. It was directed and created by the Le French Bulldog animation studio.
Howdy, Pardners! This is a plug, slighty OT, for a musical event happening on Monday night, February 9th, in Hollywood California – sorry for the short notice.
Will Ryan (voice actor in Land Before Time, The Gummi Bears, G.I. Joe, The Little Mermaid and creator of Elmo Aardvark) has created a new live musical revue at the Steve Allen Theatre featuring all original songs off his latest album, the western themed Rhythm Rides The Range. To connect this to cartoons I will mention his band features John Reynolds (an amazing guitarist who happens to have been a background painter at Klasky Csupo for many years, but even more importantly, is the grandson of Zazu Pitts!), musician Ian Whitcomb (who recently performed at Pixar and was a friend of Bob Clampett!), cartoon voice actress Diane Michelle (Superman, Invader Zim, etc.), and Anna Kasper (daughter of Fleischer historian Leslie Cabarga).
Ryan will also screen, as part of the show, a vintage black and white western cartoon, The Wild and Woozy West (1942) a Columbia/Screen Gems gag cartoon (see images above and below) somewhat influenced by Warner Bros. style. The fun starts at 8pm. For more information and tickets click here.
Last year we made note of the planned revamp of a classic Disneyland attraction, It’s A Small World. This week the new version has opened. Thanks to this L.A. Times podcast (above) we can see for ourselves some of the changes without having to hear the chrous 500 times. What do you think of the additions?
(Thanks, Mark Caballero)
For your weekend pleasure, here’s a terrific interview with Walt Disney circa 1963, conducted by Fletcher Markle. Markle, who had just made The Incredible Journey for the studio, was a Canadian filmmaker and broadcaster. Clips from this interview have been seen in various specials and documentaries. Here’s the whole thing; it’s thirty minutes and delightful. It’s Walt just being himself, answering questions about his career, being candid about the failure of Fantasia, the success of Disneyland and his own Canadian roots.
(Thanks, Don Brockway)
A few years ago we posted about a musician applying a rock guitar soundtrack to a Tom and Jerry cartoon. Now a band from San Antonio called Spastic Ink wrote music to match directly with several animated sequences from Disney’s Bambi. It’s a pretty interesting experiment.
To experience all six videos in this suite click here, go to the middle of the page under the heading “A Wild Hare from ‘Spastic Ink -Ink Complete” to play the Bambi tracks.
(Thanks, Emmett Hall)
What would Clara Cluck say?
(Thanks, Lev Polyakov)
…we are planning on doing all 17 Max Fleischer’s Superman episodes later this year as well as using Max Fleischer’s original notes to re assemble them into the full length movie he had originally wanted to do and had planned on doing at a later date when he did the cartoons for Paramount.
Huh?? I never heard this before… and I don’t buy it. You’re telling me Max wanted to assemble the 17 Paramount Superman cartoons “into the full length movie he had originally wanted to do”??? Can anyone not connected to Cartoon Crazy’s confirm this? Methinks this is major B.S. – but then again, what do I know about Superman?
On Thursday February 19th, in Beverly Hills, Tom Sito will moderate an Oscar Nominated Animated Feature Symposium celebrating the work of the 2008 Feature Film nominees. The nominees (subject to availability) will discuss their film’s development and their creative process as well as present clips illustrating their techniques. This is the first year the Academy is hosting this event as a part of its Oscar Week festivities. Admission is free, but advance tickets are required.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is also screening all the Oscar nominated shorts publicly in New York and Los Angeles. New Yorkers can take a look at the live action and animated nominees this Saturday at either 12 noon or 4pm at the Academy Theatre at Lighthouse International on 59th Street. Details on the NY show are posted here. The Los Angeles screening will be held on Tuesday February 17th, 7:30pm, at the Goldwyn Theatre on Wilshire Blvd. – L.A. details here. Admission price for the Academy screenings on both coasts is $5.
In case you feel left out, Magnolia Pictures is distributing a program of this years Oscar nominated shorts to movie theaters all over the U.S. (to over 100 cities) beginning this Friday. A complete list of playdates and locations is posted here.
Once each year, at the DeMille Barn in Hollywood, the Animation Guild, ASIFA Hollywood and Women In Animation present An Afternoon of Remembrance, “a non-denominational celebration of departed friends from our animation community”. This year it takes place this Saturday, February 7th, at 1pm. Tributes will be paid to:
John Ahern, Gus Arriola, Phyllis Barnhart, Gordon Bellamy, Harriet Burns, Greg Burson, John W. Burton, Jr., Vivian Byrne, Joyce Carlson, Bob Carr, Rose Di Bucci, Charlie Downs, Ray Ellis, Joni Jones Fitts, Etsuko Fujioka, Steve Gerber, Fernando Gonzalez, Yoo Sik Ham, Larry Harmon, Margie Hermanson, Ollie Johnston, Ted Key, Eartha Kitt, Andy Knight, Harvey Korman, Lyn Kroeger, Brice Mack, Bill Melendez, David Mitton, Gary Mooney, Jim Mueller, June Nam, Ethan Ormsby, Bill Perez, Richard Pimm, Oliver Postgate, Denis Rich, Dodie Roberts, Irma Rosien, Gerard Salvio, Gina Sheppherd, Robert Smith, Jim Snider, Al Stetter, Dave Stevens, Morris Sullivan, Emru Townsend, Pat Raine Webb, Chiyoko Wergles, Bob Winquist and Justin Wright.
The Afternoon of Remembrance is free of charge and is open to all. No RSVPs necessary. Food and refreshments, 1 pm * Memoriams, 2 pm
Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn)
2100 N. Highland (across from Hollywood Bowl), Hollywood, California.
In case you haven’t noticed, the classic Warner Bros. cartoons are nowhere to be seen on broadcast television or on cable. It’s been that way for a while (except for the New Years marathon on Cartoon Network). Folks (like us) on animation blogs and forums can bitch about it all day long — but does it mean anything to an average person? Has anyone in the “real world” noticed their absence?
This article, written by the local movie reviewer in Great Falls, Montana, provides an answer. Listen up, network execs: People still want their Looney Tunes back on TV where they belong.
(Thanks, David Gerstein)
Click image to enlarge. (from an idea by Jake Friedman)
Buena Vista International (aka Disney division that acquires material like The Secret of The Magic Gourd and Roadside Romeo) is distributing a stylish hand drawn/2D feature from Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon (the creators of Skunk Fu):
The Secret of Kells opens March 6th in Ireland. Chalk this up as another intriguing animated feature with, sad to say, little or no chance of being seen in the United States.
(Thanks, Matthew Gaastra)
Friday night the Annie Awards were presented at UCLA’s Royce Hall. The complete list of winners are posted here.
It was quite an evening, with Kung Fu Panda winning almost everything it was nominated for – including Best Animated Feature. Robot Chicken and Avatar: The Last Airbender were also big winners. Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs won for best direct-to-video. There were several memorable moments, including Billy Crystal giving John Lasseter his Winsor McCay award and likewise Henry Selick (pictured, above left) handing Nick Park (above right) his lifetime achievement statue. Tom Kenny was hilarious as our M.C. and other great presenters included Fred Willard, Brad Garrett, Seth Green, James Hong and Ahmed Best (Jar Jar Binks).
It’ll be interesting to see if an Annie sweep for Panda will have any affect on Academy voters.
Though Max Fleischer’s Gulliver’s Travels in public domain and widely available on several home video formats, the film has never been digitally restored to its full potential. Unfortunetly, the company with access to the original negative and soundtrack elements is not interested in restoring it and making it available on DVD.
However, a company called KOCH Vision is releasing a “digitally restored, re-mastered and enhanced” edition on both Blu-ray and standard DVD versions on March 10th. According to their press release, the DVD will include:
…the complete 77 minute feature film, two “Gabby” cartoons edited from the film’s outtakes and a Fleischer Studios “Making of a Cartoon” documentary.
KOCH Vision attained the original 35mm film and not only restored and re-mastered the film using a state-of-the-art digital process, but also enhanced the picture to a 16×9 aspect ratio. In addition, the DVD allows for three audio options: the restored original soundtrack, enhanced stereo, and 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound. Both bonus cartoons and documentary have also been restored, making the KOCH Vision version of Gulliver’s Travels a must-own for fans of classic animation and children of all ages.
I’ll withhold judgement on whether this release is a good thing or not till I see this dvd myself… but “enhancing” the picture to a wide 16×9 screen ratio, and remixing the track for surround sound, are not my ideas of restoration. To some, this might be a desecration. And the box art, designed to resemble a Disney Platinum Edition, looks like a scam. Someone needs to revive Fleischer’s Gulliver and Mr. Bug, but until the corporation with the ability to do it correctly realizes what they own, this is all we can expect. I applaud KOCH for making an effort. Let’s hope they do justice to this long neglected classic.
I’m a big fan of the Syncho-Vox process. I regularly feature these cartoons at Cartoon Dump (speaking of which, there are still a few tickets left for our Saturday night show in San Francisco. End of Plug). I love how the article admits:
Clutch Cargo’s success is one of those things that defies all ordinary rational standards. Artistically speaking, it is hardly in a class with UPA’s Mr. Magoo, or Hanna Barbera’s Huckleberry Hound or with any of the creations of the master, Walt Disney…
The show’s creator claims they are creating “motorized movement” — to which the writer points out “is really no movement at all”.