Heads up! Animator Don Hertzfedlt (Rejected) is publicly screening his first feature this week at The Cinefamily (at the Silent Movie Theatre) in Hollywood.
This special engagement of It’s Such A Beautiful Day – a feature-length combination of his magnificent “Bill” trilogy of short films – will qualify the 70 minute film for Academy Award consideration. Screenings begin tonight at 10:30pm – and will play through Monday (each subsequent night at 10pm, except Sunday at 9:30pm). Tickets and info here.
Hertzfedlt has already begun self-distribution of the film and will be bringing it to Portland, Dallas, New York City (Oct. 5th at the IFC CEnter), Tucson and Chicago, among other cities, in the next few months. Complete list of theatres and dates is posted on Don’s Bitter Films website. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect:
I know nothing of games, but this debut project from Australian development collective, League of Geeks, looks pretty neat. Or at least the trailer is cool. Armello is a digital card & board game “of swashbuckling, character-based high adventure, set in a fairy-tale animal kingdom” and should be released in 2013.
League of Geeks collaborated with Melbourne-based 12 Field to bring this beautiful trailer to life.
The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed a new Looney Tunes movie is in development at Warner Bros., and it will be written by Jenny Slate, a one-season Saturday Night Live performer who most recently appeared on screen in Alvin and the Chipmunks 3: Chipwrecked (see clip embed below). Slate has voiced characaters on Bob’s Burgers and was Ted’s mom in The Lorax. She also co-wrote and voiced the viral stop-motion short Marcel the Shell With Shoes On.
Like Alvin, the Looney Tunes feature is being planned as a mix of live-action and CGI. Harry Potter producer David Heyman, as well as Jeffery’s son David Katzenberg (MTV’s The Hard Times of RJ Berger) and his creative partner Seth Grahame-Smith (Dark Shadows, Beetlejuice 2) are set to produce.
Image at top from recent CG Looney Tunes shorts – which you can now see online. (Thanks, Liam Scanlan)
I’ve been a fan of Jason Carpenter’s haunting student film, The Renter, since I first saw it – when it was nominated for an Annie Award in 2010. Amid interviewed Carpenter about the film back then and it has since gone on to great acclaim at festivals around the world, winning prizes at Ottawa and Anima Mundi. Finally, it’s online and we are especially proud that Jason allowed Cartoon Brew to be the first to post it.
Here’s a rarity: an industrial film from 1943 with animation by Paramount’s Famous Studios. We’ve long known of several non-theatrical industrial and educational films from Fleischer Studios – and it is known that its later incarnation, Famous Studios, did television commercials in addition to its annual output of Paramount’s theatrical entertainment cartoons. But examples of the studios supplemental commercial work have been incredibly difficult to locate.
To be sure, the animation here isn’t particularly exciting. In fact, it will probably bore most of our readers – but fascinate a fanatic few (like me). It’s essentially a live action film, extolling the virtues of vacuum tubes during wartime, containing several animated inserts that demonstrate electronic current flow. Dull? Yes, but it’s another piece of the puzzle – and I’m damn glad its been uncovered. Produced by Westinghouse, here’s Electronics At Work(1943):
Animator Luiz Stockler is a talent I’m keeping my eye on. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Stockler moved to Wales in 1994. In 2007 he attended the University of Wales, Newport, where he made his graduation film Vovô. Home is his first year film from the Royal College of Art in London, where he is going for his MA in Animation. It’s short and simple, subversive and sweet.
Why is this night different from other nights? No, wait… that’s not exactly what I meant to ask. But on this day and night every year we celebrate the life and career of Miss June Foray, the First Lady of Cartoon Voices. September 18th is June’s birthday and today she is 95 years young.
This past Sunday, Jeanine Kasun and Stu Shostack organized a private party for June in a local restaurant and it was filled with friends like actors Rose Marie, Marvin Kaplan, Margaret O’Brien, animators Bob Kurtz, Tom Sito, Art Leonardi, Bob Balzer, Jane Baer, Carl Bell; pals Will Ryan, Mark Evanier, Linda Jones (Chuck’s daughter), and even my new Facebook friend Jill Howard Marcus (the grand daughter of Shemp!). I took the photo above of June at the party, David Nimitz snapped these below (click thumbnails to enlarge): Left to Right – June reunites with her Phantom Toolbooth co-star Butch Patrick; June’s incredible birthday cake; June about to blow out the candles, surrounded by Fred Frees (Paul’s son) and Cima Balzer (Bob’s wife).
Here’s the pilot for animator Tim Bierbaum’s new mixed-media web series about young artsy types living in New York City: Real Artists. Bizarre looking characters, live action backdrops, hand-held shakey cam, teen angst… it has an MTV Animation vibe written all over it. And yet I find it oddly appealing – and worth a look.
I’ve just heard that John Coates, best known for being the “production supervisor” on Yellow Submarine, a co-producer of Heavy Metal, and producer of several notable shorts (The Snowman), series (The World Of Peter Rabbit) and features (When The Wind Blows) has passed away at age 84.
Coates co-founded TVC London (aka TV Cartoons Ltd.) with George Dunning in 1957 and was known as the business partner of the duo. In the 1960s, TVC produced the original Beatles TV cartoons and the Cool McCool series for King Features – and that led to them being the studio behind Yellow Submarine (1968). Coates continued to align himself with quality work throughout the years, and was most recently nominated for an Academy Award for Joanna Quinn’s short Famous Fred in 1997. A legend of the British animation industry, John Libbey published a biography of Coates last year.
This literally hand drawn music video, made for the group Goodron by Swiss artist/animator Simon Eltz, features an entertaining selection of various walk cycles, heads and body shapes – and a darn good little song.
Australia’s coolest boutique design/animation studio Dirty Puppet recently created this unusual rectangle-shaped piece, commissioned by Arts Centre Melbourne, under a super tight deadline. Animation director Cameron Gough told me, “It’s designed for the odd format of the new 6 x 1 metre LED screen. Evolution is a tapestry of poetic scenes inspired by the history of the Centre’s new Hamer Hall site”.
It all kicks off on September 27th at New York’s Museum of Art and Design (aka MAD) with a screening of the works of James and John Whitney. This is followed in mid-October every Friday and Saturday with a curated series of screenings dedicated to Ralph Bakshi, The Hubleys, Sally Cruikshank, Martha Colburn, Jim Trainor and Robert Breer. The restrospective is called Adults in the Dark: Avant-Garde Animation at MAD and it runs through mid-November. It’s an important compilation of landmark animated works by some of the true artists in the field. New Yorkers, check this out!
Here we go again… trendy New York hip-hop clothing maker Mishka is tying its new fall fashion line to Harvey Comics characters. I’m going to assume this deal was put in place before Dreamworks bought the characters…
From their press release:
“We were elated to pay tribute those characters by using them as the basis for the entire Mishka x Harvey Comics Collection. Here’s the Harvey Comics for Mishka Fall 2012 Lookbook starring none other than Casper The Friendly Ghost, Richie Rich, Spooky, The Ghostly Trio, Hot Stuff The Little Devil, Baby Huey, and Wendy The Good Little Witch. These beloved icons can be seen sporting the very best of our Fall Collection, decked out in everything from Richie’s khaki’s + button-up country club ready outfit, to The Ghostly Trio’s imposing camo uniforms.”
The Ghostly Trio’s “Camo uniforms”? I won’t even begin to dissect the schizo-illogic of invisible characters needing camouflage uniforms… But I’m also going to assume the characters are in better hands now and crap like this won’t be happening again.
Bare is a film about a bear who moves to the woods, but soon finds out that he doesn’t like nature’s messy ways. Helen Dallat’s quiet, delicate and charming 2011 graduation film from University of Wales, Newport.
With Halloween just around the corner, Warner Bros. has started selling a new crop of character costumes on their on-line store. Is it just me or do Scooby, Tom, and Jerry all look like demented PEZ dispensers about to vomit up small children?