I’ve gotten more than several emails from readers concerned about edits, cuts and omissions from forthcoming Popeye and Looney Tunes DVD collections. Let me assure you that classic cartoons on both these series will remain uncensored on their upcoming DVD releases. Scenes, such as this brilliant take-off on Cab Calloway (that’s Porky Pig above, in Frank Tashlin’s Porky At The Crocadero), remain completely intact in Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 5.
In fact, the DVD will not only include the uncut suicide gag from Clampett’s Hare Ribbin’ (two frames pictured below), in which Bugs hands his opponent a weapon to blow his brains out, the DVD will also include the alternate “director’s cut” version (bottom image) in which Bugs Bunny himself pulls the trigger!
In today’s edition of South Florida’s Sun-Sentinel, television columnist Tom Jicha answers reader’s mail. Here is a slightly edited version of today’s first question (you can read the complete version here):
Q. What do you think of adults watching cartoons? Since your sense of humor is counterintuitive, I assume you won’t even dignify an adult watching a cartoon. But the writing in cartoons is sometimes brilliant and the jokes go way over most kids’ heads. I’d appreciate your opinion on adult cartoon watching. – S.E., via e-mail
A. If you’re out of your teens and still watching Bugs Bunny and Donald Duck, I don’t think I’d want you baby-sitting my kids. But The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Family Guy and South Park are among the smartest shows on TV. Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim apparently has some gems, too, although they’re not on my TiVo Season-Pass list. Going back a bit, Rocky and Bullwinkle worked for adults and kids for different reasons. I still get a kick out of those on DVD.
Well I don’t know about you, but as someone who still enjoys Bugs Bunny and Donald Duck – often over the antics of South Park and Family Guy – I’m insulted. Couldn’t Jicha have chosen two other characters to make his point than Bugs and Donald? Couldn’t he have used Clifford and Blue’s Clues? What would you suggest?
I just caught the teriffic trailer for next year’s big budget live action Iron Man movie. Looks like they nailed it – but we’ll wait and see.
Of course I couldn’t help but think about how far we’ve come from those cheapie Marvel Super Heroes cartoons from the late 1960s. Actually. most of us who grew up with these god-awful things have fond memories of them. At the time, it was all we had. Among its assets, John Vernon (“Dean Wormer” from Animal House) as the voice of Tony Stark (he also did double duty as Sub-Mariner), and the Iron Man theme song is a classic.
Score one for the nerds! Shares of Japanese companies involved in the production of animated films and comic books soared in Tokyo Wednesday amid speculation that Taro Aso, secretary-general of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party — and a well-known comic-book fan — may be the nation’s next prime minister. Following Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s surprise resignation, shares linked to hobbies associated with “otaku,” or nerds, jumped.
In May, while serving as Japan’s foreign minister, Mr. Aso unveiled plans to establish the International Manga Award to recognize foreign cartoonists. When the winners were announced in July, Mr. Aso told Kyodo News, “It is my hope that manga, through these works, will act as a bridge to the world.” Mr. Aso’s official Web site contains an ode to “manga” published in August that praises the genre for lifting Japan’s standing on the international stage and urges his countrymen to be proud of this success.
Check this out. Starting last month a portion Eric Calande’s Looney Tunes collection went on display at the San Francisco International Airport. The show is located in the international terminal (section A2) and consists of 20 cases worth of material featuring vintage production artwork and rare collectibles. The show is FREE to see and because it sits out side of the security area there is no need to be a ticketed passenger. If you are in the Bay area, or planning to fly through it, the terminal will display the exhibit through March 2008.
Readers of Cartoon Brew should know the name Jim Tyer. He’s the cartoonist whose each and every drawing will immediately make you laugh, and an animation style you can never forget. At first glance his animation looks wrong, sloppy and way off-model. You wonder how he got away with what he did. But upon closer inspection, you realize the guy knew exactly what he was doing, and was a refreshing counterpoint to the Disney-inspired “illusion of life” other animators were striving to achieve. If there is such a thing as a “cult animator”, Tyer would be leader of the pack.
Thad K., who updates his Animation ID blog with neat things everyday, just posted this incredible Tyer sequence below, from a 1950 Terrytoon, Dream Walking. It really sums up everything we love about this animator.
A quick plug for Mark Evanier and Earl Kress who will be live on internet radio today at 7pm Eastern (4pm PST). They’ll be on Stu’s Show for two hours, discussing TV cartoons from the late 60s/early 70s. Tune in!
I like Disney cartoons. And I like Disney music. So here’s a new Disney blog that pays unique tribute to the songs: Covering the Mouse, a blog dedicated to musicians and singers who have covered Disney songs.
Webmaster Kurtis Findley has just started blogging, posting Disney tunes by the likes of Usher, Bobby McFerrin and LL Cool J. My hope is that he delves into the stranger stuff from the past – like Louis Prima singing Supercalifgragilisticexpialidocious! and Satchmo covering Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.
Starting today, animator David B. Levy (president of Asifa-East) starts a new blog, Animondays, which he will update once a week. I’m really looking forward to this, as David has become one of my favorite commentators on animation with his clever, informative columns in the ASIFA-East newsletters and his excellent book, Your Career in Animation: How to Survive and Thrive. Here’s hoping David catches the blogging bug and adds AniTuesday, AniWednesday and so on, to his schedule.
Speaking of Mondays, next Monday night I’ll be presenting my Worst Cartoons Ever! screening for ASIFA-East in New York City. I’ll only be in the city for two days, (as I’m en route to the Ottawa Animation Festival) and I’m hoping to see as many of my old friends and Brew readers there as I can. This is a great way for everyone to meet up and say hello.
The screening will take place at NYU, Tisch School of the Arts, 721 Broadway (between Waverly and Washington Place), Room 017 at 7 PM. The program is technically for ASIFA-East members and NYU students/faculty/alumni only. However, if you are not a member of ASIFA (and you really should be) or not affiliated with NYU, please contact me by Thursday Sept 13th – and I’ll put you on the list. Should be fun… I can’t wait to inflict this bad stuff in the Big Apple.
Just a reminder that for those of you on the east coast, The Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention is the end of this week, September 13 through the 15th at The Clarion Hotel in Aberdeen, Maryland. Among the events scheduled are an in person appearence by Virginia Davis who will talk about working for Walt Disney at the start of his career – and a screening of Ray Pointer’s Alice In Cartoonland program featuring some of the earliest Alice Comedies. Thad Komorowski is running two separate programs of classic animation, A Salute To Frank Tashlin and Golden Age Cartoons there as well. Consult the convention website for more information.
Bert and Jennifer Klein just finished producing a very charming 4-minute hand drawn short called The Chestnut Tree. It was directed and animated by a young woman named Hyun-min Lee, who is making her directorial debut. The film was executive produced by Don Hahn. Sorry for the late notice, but it’s screening this weekend for Academy qualification with the filmmakers present at both of the Sunday showings. Here are the details:
Laemmle Sunset 5
8000 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90046
Sun, Sept. 9th, 2007 Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ 11:05 AM and 11:50 AM
San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum is holding its fourth annual fundraiser at Pixar Animation Studios next Saturday. Tickets are $200. a piece, a bit steep but all the money goes to keeping the Museum alive. Animation art is a large part what the museum preserves and celebrates. In fact, a Mary Blair retrospective featuring rare concept art, advertising illustrations and children’s book illustrations will be opening in late October and run through March 2008.
At next Saturday’s fundraiser Pixar’s Mark Andrews (Story Supervisor), Dylan Brown (Supervising Animator)and Sharon Calahan (Director of Photography) will be guest speakers. A premiere screening of a new short, Our Friend the Rat, with in person commentary by director Jim Capobianco, will highlight the evening presentation in the main theatre. For more info on the Pixar event, consult the Cartoon Art Museum website.
I know it’s hard to believe, but Richie Rich was a cool dude once.
Once upon a time the character, originally created by Harvey Comics in 1952 as a companion feature in Little Dot, actually had a personality, clever stories and appealing comic art chiefly by animator Steve Muffatti, and cartoonists Warren Kremer and Ernie Colon.
Leslie Cabarga and I spent the summer mining the Harvey Comics vaults and cherry-picked the best of the original Richie Rich comics of the 50s and 60s for a new trade paperback volume due out next month. This is the second of several high quality Harvey Comics reprint books we are compiling for Dark Horse.
If you’ve only been exposed to the latter spin-off comic books of the 1970s and 80s, the cheap animated TV shows or that Macaulay Culkin movie, I urge you to give this volume a look. Amazon has just put our Richie Rich book up for pre-order and has posted the the first several pages, including the entire first six-page Richie story from Little Dot #1 (click the Search Inside: Amazon Online Reader option).