This Saturday, May 24, 2008, Women in Animation will present a salon featuring Virginia Davis, the original star of Walt Disney’s Alice In Cartoonland comedies. Animation historian Ray Pointer will screen several of the “Alice” comedies from his collection, and following the screening, Ray will interview Virginia about what it was like to work with Walt Disney at the start of his illustrious career.
The event starts at 11:30 a.m. at the Smokehouse Restaurant on 4420 Lakeside Drive in Burbank (off Pass Ave., opposite Warner Bros. studios). If you wish to attend, you need to RSVP as soon as possible by sending an email to LAchapterrsvps-at-aol.com. Lunch will be served. The event costs $25.
The Telus World of Science in Vancouver, which I believe is a children’s museum, is hosting an exhibit called Disney: The Music Behind the Magic, 1928-Today. It runs from June 8th to September 7th. Sounds interesting, though I’m not sure how scientific it is. If you live in the area and check it out, let us know what it is.
Ron Stark of S/R Laboratories in Westlake Village, California, sent me his latest animation auction catalog and it’s loaded with goodies. There are some amazing Disney, Warner Brothers, UPA, and Hanna-Barbera cels, drawings and backgrounds, but I was especially excited by several Private Snafu (above) and Seaman Hook originals. Most of the catalog is a collection of jaw-dropping Disney cels and backgrounds (like the Donald Duck title card below).
The event takes place Monday, May 26 and 27th, 2008 and it is not an internet auction – it’s a telephone auction, and Ron personally speaks to all bidders. You can preview all 255 lots online starting Monday, May 19th at S/R’s WebCenter. If you need assistance or have questions the telephone number is 818-991-9955.
One more plug for the The 2nd annual Animation Book Look this afternoon in Sherman Oaks. The Creative Talent Network and Van Eaton Galleries are presenting this all day book signing event on Ventura Blvd. It’s free and open to the public from 1:00pm-6:00pm. Join me at the Van Eaton Gallery, 13613 Ventura Blvd., with Martha Sigall, Tom Sito, Rik Maki, Tony White, Willie Ito, Jim Smith, Amanda Visell, Stephen Silver, Maureen Furniss, Jon Gibson, Mike Kunkel and dozens more. For a complete list of authors and books visit the Book Look website or call Van Eaton Galleries at 818-788-2357.
In case you were wondering what Tom & Jerry were doing:
Here they are selling cars – in Germany! I’m sorry, but these commercials from 1994 don’t quite recapture the Hanna Barbera magic (except the last one using vintage clips from MGM cartoons), but I certainly encourage the use of classic cartoon stars selling products aimed at adults (as opposed to toys, sugared cereals and vitamins).
Ryan Peterson, a student of Media Studies at Vassar College, created this mini-film (technically an animatic) about the Michael Eisner years and how Disney got to where it is today. A bit crudely assembled, but it sums it all up in a nice, concise way.
Blitz has also interviewed many others including cartoonists Mark Newgarden and Fred Hembeck, screenwriters Larry Doyle and John August, and he blogs about other creative aspects of popular culture. Worth a look.
Today is Joe Grant’s 100th birthday (or the 100th anniversary of his birth). Howard Green sent us these pix with a note, “He passed away in 2005, just one week shy of his 97th but his spirit lives on in the many folks he mentored and influenced. Attached is a nice pic of him at the DVD reissue event for Dumbo (below), and a studio portrait from 1938 (above).”
The illustration above appears in the latest issue of Southwest Airlines inflight Spirit Magazine. This month the magazine has a fun article written by a parent who spent a marathon day watching all the kids cartoon channels. It’s an interesting snapshot of what’s right – and mostly wrong – with kids TV these days. Read the whole article here.
The article also features several great illustrations (below and above) by Pasadena based cartoonist Mark Matcho.
This 1930 article from Popular Mechanics magazine (below) tries to explain the process of recording sound for animated cartoons in pseudo-scientific terms. There are all kinds of interesting and oddball facts bandied about, such as cartoons costing $20,000 per reel, and the artists themselves being able to draw the dialogue soundtrack (Huh??). The images are cool, and one seems to demonstrate an early method of matte photography. In a particularly dated reference the article’s author, in explaining that cartoons are popular all around the world, says, “They appeal alike to the Chinese Coolie and the Alaskan Indian”!
Click on thumbnail pages below for larger, readable images. (Thanks, Leslie Cabarga)
Former Disney 2D animators James Baker (Mulan, Tarzan, etc) and Joe Haidar (Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas) have directed a new combination live action/animation independent short film, Animated American. I don’t know much about it, but I was handed a postcard announcing a screening of it at the Rialto Theatre in South Pasadena on Thursday night. Click on image above to see the full poster for the film. Voice actors Jason Marsden (Batman) and Bill Farmer (Goofy) star. It sounds intriguing. Hopefully James and Joe will write in and give us more information.
One of the highlights of the forthcoming Popeye Vol. 2 DVD is the remastered print of the 1939 two-reel special, Aladdin And His Wonderful Lamp. The image above is from the very rare set of still photos released by Paramount for promotional purposes. A set of three are currently being auctioned off on ebay. These stills are actually black and white images of production cels and backgrounds, repositioned, “colorized” with inks using primary colors. Click on image at left to see the same set up, in full color, from the actual restored film.
Back in February I posted the rare opening title, previously lost, to this Technicolor Popeye cartoon. That image was snapped with my funky cel phone off a TV screen. Below are the actual frames (of the three cards that make up the titles) for your calligraphic pleasure. The DVD set goes on sale June 17th.
Whoa! I got quite a shock as I entered the lobby of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills tonight. I attended this evening’s incredible Marc Davis Lecture, but the Academy had a surprise for us attendees – the Ink and Paint exhibit, scheduled to open next Friday (with a reception next Thursday night), was up on the walls today!
It’s an amazing exhibit – a must-see if you live/work or are visiting L.A. in the next four months. Of particular interest: the lost Horton Hatches The Egg (1942) original title cel set up (image removed by request). There are dozens of pieces from Disney, UPA, Warner Bros. and even DePatie Freleng. But my favorite material was on loan from the fabled Bob Clampett archive. Here’s a partial list of the Clampett goodies on display:
1. HORTON HATCHES THE EGG (1942) Â Cel Set-up and model sheet
2. Clampett’s Employee Card 1940
3. WHAT’S COOKIN’, DOC? (1944) story sketch – Bugs
4. WHAT’S COOKIN’, DOC? (1944) cel set-up of Bugs at table in Coconut Grove
5. THE GREAT PIGGY BANK ROBBERY (1946) Â Two (2) pages of story meeting notes!
6. ROVER’S RIVAL (1937) Â a page of Mel Blanc’s recording script!
7. BIRDY AND THE BEAST (1944) Storyboard panels
8. BOOK REVUE (1946) an original Daffy Duck model sheet
The exhibit opens to the public next Friday, May 16th. Do not miss this! And it’s FREE!