Brew reader “George” has just informed me of the publication of a Presto! Little Golden Book. With art by Teddy Newton, George says “it’s obviously fantastic!” If it’s as good as all previous Pixar Little Golden Books, I’m sold. It’s available on amazon here.
Eric at Warnerart.com just acquired this interesting find: a letter from Looney Tunes producer Leon Schlesinger to an Air Force Colonel, hoping the use of Bugs Bunny as an insignia will inspire the troops and wishing him luck on “dropping an egg on Tokyo and Berlin”. Click on thumbnail below to see enlargement.
A new series of British TV spots, featuring Paddington Bear for Marmite, are quite refreshing. They mimic the cartoon series from the 70′s and are made the old fashioned way – animated by hand, using stop motion, 2D and cut-out animation techniques. Here’s a short making-of video:
Animator Mike Kazaleh found this incredible Pink-Panther-meets-Bugs -Bunny sketch by Friz Freleng (click on thumbnail below to see full image). Says Mike:
As usual, I went looking for something in my house, and I found something else. It’s a Friz sketch from 1974. Please bear in mind that I scanned this picture from an ancient thermal fax, and the image had all but disappeared. It took a bit of work in Photoshop to make the image semi clear again. If memory serves me correctly, the “Lance” that the picture was drawn for was (writer/character designer) Lance Falk, and I believe it was he who faxed it to me in the first place. Quite an artifact, eh?
Mickey Mouse is “one of Satan’s soldiers” and makes everything he touches impure… or so claims Sheikh Muhammad Munajid during a religious affairs program broadcast on al-Majd TV, as reported in today’s London Telegraph.
The Sheikh warned that depictions of the creature in cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, and Disney’s Mickey Mouse, have taught children that mice were, in fact, loveable. The cleric, a former diplomat at the Saudi embassy in Washington DC, said that under Islamic law, both household mice and their cartoon counterparts must be killed.
Cynthia Petrovic of Red Tango spotted this package (above) in a local supermarket:
Maybe I’m just getting more perverted in my old age, but I could not resist this packaging by Vons, who has it’s own “eating right” selection of foods, and they are now enlisting Warner Brothers characters to help hock the goods. What stopped me in my tracks was this insane pic of Daffy, coated gleefully in pudding, having a gay old time. What pudding has to do with eating well I don’t know, but the image of Daffy reveling in being splattered with goop on the front of a food product certainly made my day!
These products, exclusive to Safeway, Vons and Pavilions supermarkets, are part of an initiative announced several months ago by Warner Bros. to begin linking their characters to healthier food choices for kids. For more information on this, here’s an intereview (below) with Brad Globe, President of Warner’s Consumer Products, shot earlier this year at the Licensing Expo in New York.
This new trailer for Spaceballs The Animated Series is a lot more “adult” than the kiddie show I was expecting. I had no interest in seeing this show – the character design and animation look awful – but now I must admit I’m intrigued to see what low level this series has descended to. Spaceballs begins airing September 24th on G4 Network.
This just in! Mark your calendars! The animation event of the year! Nicktoons Network will start airing Random! Cartoons begining on Saturday, December 6th. Below are the premieres for 2008. All times are 1:30 p.m.
Another great photo from the Warner Club News. Here’s layout artist and background painter Robert Gibbroek from the December 1959 issue. He’s a real unsung hero of many classic Warner Bros. cartoons. His work appears in such great films as One Froggy Evening, Fast and Furry-ous, Operation: Rabbit and The Mouse That Jack Built to name but a few. Note the image below left (click on thumbnails to enlarge) where Gribbroek worked his name into the background of One Froggy Evening. His fine art was outstanding too (see examples below).
If you are anywhere near the Pacific Northwest this weekend, head on over to Spark Animation ’08, an animation festival and state-of-the-art showcase sponsored by SIGGRAPH ACM Vancouver.
The festival started yesterday and will run through Sunday night. All of the events are ‘a la carte’ so you can select which events you want to attend and buy tickets for those, either online or at the door. Featured guests include Mark Osborne & John Stevenson (directors of Kung Fu Panda), Jimmy Hayward & Steve Martino (directors of Horton Hears a Who!), Ed Hooks (author: Acting for Animators), and me, Jerry Beck (screening The Worst Cartoons Ever! on Saturday night, 7pm at the Vancity Theatre). Bill Plympton’s latest feature, a Marv Newland retrospective and Leslie Iwerks’ The Pixar Story are among the special screenings. A party following my screening is free for all festival-goers – come by and say hello!
More rare pictures from a stash of Warner Club News I picked up last week.
The Warner Bros. Cartoon Dept. had it’s own building, with its own gate and sercurity on the main lot in Burbank during the 50s and 60s. The building is still standing today. I’m not sure who’s occupying it this year, but it was most recently the headquarters for producers, writers and staff of Everybody Loves Raymond.
Scott is, of course, best known for his jazz compositions (such as Powerhouse) which were heard in numereous Warner Bros. cartoons, George Pal Puppetoons, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Animaniacs and other cartoon series. Scott was a band leader, composer, inventor and electronic music pioneer. Though he personally never wrote music for cartoons, his compositions work perfectly in the medium – and continue to do so today. For more information on Raymond Scott click here.