I wasn’t going to announce this just yet – because its still over two months away – but since the information has already leaked and beginning to spread, there’s no reason to hold back. Turner Classic Movies will present a an evening of rarely televised animated films on Sunday night October 21st 2012. Yours truly Jerry Beck will co-host with TCM’s Robert Osborne this unique program block – six hours total – which will include restored UPA cartoons, Max Fleischer’s two feature length films, a selection of silent era cartoons from the collection of Thomas Stathes and Lotte Reiniger’s 1926 masterpiece, The Adventures of Prince Achmed.
Classic animation – which I define as theatrically-released studio or independent animated shorts and features from 1906 through roughly 1976 – has almost no outlet on television today. There is a smattering of Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry and sometimes Popeye on Cartoon Network, and a few classic TV broadcast channels (Antenna TV, This TV, KTV) with a several offbeat offerings. While much is on You Tube or other internet outlets, this is not the way to see or present such material. Public screenings at museums and repertory theaters (of the kind I do in Los Angeles at various venues) and festival retrospectives, are significant – but they do not reach the mass audience who do not know what they are missing: the incredibly entertaining legacy of animation history.
I’ve always wanted to see classic animation given its proper due; and Turner Classic Movies is the only channel capable of doing it right. And I have to admit, its been a goal of mine to make that happen. Please mark you calendar and tune in (or record) Sunday October 21st. I think you’ll enjoy the films we have lined up – and if you do, please tell TCM (via their online forums, or snail mail) that you want more. Here’s the schedule:
Max Fleischer’s Gulliver’s Travels (1939) at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific
Max Fleischer’s Mr. Bug Goes To Town (1941) at 9:30pm Eastern/6:30pm Pacific
A selection of UPA’s Jolly Frolics at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific
Silent Era Animation from the collection of Tom Stathes at 12 midnight Eastern/9pm Pacific
Lotte Reiniger’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed at 1am Eastern/11pm Pacific
More details and information will be posted periodically as we get closer to the air date. I wouldn’t want any of you to miss this.
Friggin’ hilarious, beautifully designed – and you’ll never see this on DC Nation! Safe for work, but let’s just say if “Mr. Hanky” offends you, do NOT watch. Brooklyn-based filmmaker Brett Underhill can really tell a story with minimalist movements, but what’s more important here is that he made me laugh.
I’ve been meaning to give this unique DVD a plug for sometime. If you’re a filmmaker looking to make perfect ball and socket armatures for stop motion animation, look no further. Larry Larson is an instructor at The College for Creative Studies in Detroit, teaching armature building, maquette scupture and stop motion animation. He’s worked for over 40 years in special effects animation in both feature films and television spots, on projects ranging from Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead ll, to low budget flicks like Flesh Gordon ll, as well as numerous local commercials (like this), and providing props and puppets for many other shows. Larson taught Ellen Coons how to build the armatures that were used in her CB Student Fest film Money Bunny Blues which we featured here a few days ago. Larson’s new step-by-step armature making video is a labor or of love – and an important reference for all stop motion filmmakers and aspiring puppet builders.
Another short making its online debut after several years on the festival circuit: Anna Blume, directed by Bulgaria-based Vessela Dantcheva. The film is “visual poetry about the lust of a man chasing a woman; a surreal journey dictated by the mind of the poet.” Actually, I’m not exactly sure what its about, but I can’t take my eyes off it. The film was completed 2009 and had a successful festival record of more that 80 screenings, winning nine awards. Check it out:
A wonderful minimalist fantasy, Jake Wyatt skillfully directed Metro last year at the Brigham Young University Center for Animation. Strong art direction and color design turn its simple story into an beautiful experience. Making the festival rounds and garnering much praise over the past year, it’s now online:
Jiří Barta’s dark, mixed media (combining stop-mo, hand drawn, live action) feature, In The Attic (2009), is headed for a U.S. theatrical release starting September 7th. Hannover House will be releasing an English-adaptation of the film to theaters across the U.S. this fall. It’s an analogy based on the cultural and political contrasts of the Cold War era; the world of the attic is divided into the land of happy toys in the West and the Land of Evil in the East. Here’s a look at the original Czech trailer:
My friend Dan O’Shannon (writer of Redux Riding Hood, Modern Family, The Fan and The Flower) is slowly starting a new website, O’Shannonland, devoted to the many things he loves – including comedy writing, comics (his own) and the City of Cleveland. Knowing Dan, I fully expect to see posts on Fleischer’s Popeye and the Lost In Space robot relatively soon. In the meantime, he has compiled a group of music cues from the classic soundtracks to Grantray-Lawrence’s Spider-Man (1967) TV series. This is the cool-jazzy Ray Ellis music, not the public domain KPM library music that began to show up in the second season. Obscure – but someone had to do it. Thanks Dan. More about the Spider-Man TV music at WFMU’s blog.
If you are in Southern California (or Northern California, the west coast or anywhere west of the Mississippi) you are summoned to what sounds like an incredible evening at the Motion Picture Academy in September. Oscar winning animator and acclaimed animation historian John Canemaker will present an illustrated lecture and screening of the lives and work of independent animators John and Faith Hubley on Friday, September 14th, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in Los Angeles.
Canemaker will host an in-depth, intimate look at the life and work of these two iconoclastic artists, including screenings of Flat Hatting, The Ragtime Bear, Rooty Toot Toot; Storyboard, Inc. TV commercials; Faith Hubley’s Northern Ice Golden Sun; John and Faith Hubley’s Adventures of an *, The Tender Game, The Hole, Windy Day, Voyage to Next, and newly discovered footage of a never-completed animatic by the Hubleys of Edith Sitwell and William Walton’s Facade. Anyone who’s been to any of Canemaker’s lectures know these are not to be missed.
Tickets for An Academy Salute to John and Faith Hubley go on sale later today, Mon. July 30th, online – and you can get yours if you click here. See you there!
This fan-made animated Batman film uses stop motion toys that turn out to be just as emotive as the actors in the live-action feature films – maybe more so. Bravo to filmmakers Derek Kowk and Henri Wong.
This very month in 2007, Cartoon Dump was born. Come celebrate our 5th anniversary with our performance, Monday night, filled with sketches, songs, puppets, and some very funny comedians! And some very awful cartoons.
This month’s guest stars include Jimmy Dore, Emily Maya Mills, Paul Gilmartin and Dylan Brody. Plus, as usual, TV’s Frank Conniff as Moodsy the Clinically Depressed Owl, Erica Doering as Compost Brite and J. Elvis Weinstein as Dumpster Diver Dan. Showtime is 8pm tonight, July 23rd, at the Steve Allen Theatre in Hollywood (4773 Hollywood Blvd; two blocks west of Vermont), and tickets can be purchased at the door or online here. Join our FaceBook Event page for more information and updates.
Finally, something appropriate to wipe yourself with…
This unusual toilet paper is part of a whole collection of collaborative merchandise between Sanrio and Gene Simmons, tying Hello Kitty and KISS. Other products include Hello Kitty/KISS dolls, T-shirts, tissues, and posters. These items are primarily being sold at KISS concerts worldwide.