According to this piece in today’s LA Times, Ward Kimball’s family is dismantling his backyard Grizzly Flats Railroad – one of the major inspirations for Disneyland. John Lasseter is personally taking some of the depot buildings… the rest of the material donated to museums, or destroyed.
It isn’t everyday that the LA Times prints an editorial that mentions Song of the South (1946) and Alice’s Egg Plant (1925). But that’s just what they did today in condemning Farfur, the Mickey Mouse imposter that hosts Tomorrow’s Pioneers, a kids’ television show on Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV.
The LA Times editorial encourages using a power greater than the U.S. Army to confront to this terror threat: the Disney lawyers!
At the risk of encouraging lawyers, here’s a lawsuit we’d love to see: Hamas getting dragged through some international court by Disney’s implacable army of attorneys. If ever there were a real claim that the company suffered dilution to the value of its intellectual property, this is it.
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the video everyone is talking about:
On his post about Filmstrip propaganda, Gable posts frames from several cool old strips, religious parables aimed at Sunday School kids, mainly drawn by animator George Martsegis. But among the images he posts are two frames of a filmstrip created by Bill Hanna and Gene Hazelton!
Filmstrips were a popular teaching tool back in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, in the era before PowerPoint and video. The medium was a great outlet for commercial artists and cartoonists. I believe even Disney created filmstrips for educational purposes as well. I never knew Bill Hanna and Gene Hazelton did them. I wonder how many they made and when? Anyone have more info on these?
A Hollywood production artist, part-time performer and animator, Paul Manchester, has inherited a cache of rare World War II animation artwork of great significance.
Manchester’s great uncle, Harold “Al” Curry, served as a storyboard artist under Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) during the war. Paul recounts his story:
Before my great uncle Al died he was cleaning out a bunch of old stuff in preparation for a move and he gave me a manilla packet of old stuff he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really know what to do with. I was following in his footsteps as an illustrator who occassionally worked in animation. At the time I briefly looked through it but was more distracted by the old art books and art supplies he gave me at the same time. Ten years passed.
Last month the National Academy of Sciences presented PRIVATE SNAFU VS. MALARIA MIKE as part of their Cartoon Medicine Show exhibition. It rang kind of a bell in the back of my brain and I pulled out the old manilla envelope and right on top was a rough storyboard drawing from Malaria Mike. I found four painted cels- two with backgrounds attached and a whole stack of roughs from HOME FRONT, PAY DAY (and others).
But the cool thing was an entire storyboard from an animated short called A FEW QUICK FACTS: WEAPON OF WAR. It has been bound into a small book maybe 8″w x 4″h and is about 1 1/2 ” thick- it has the entire script copy printed on the left side of the page and the image on the right.
Paul has scanned and posted all this great artwork – he even created a video, shooting the entire 89 page storyboard from the Weapon of War, assembled it in iMovie and posted it on YouTube.
Paul has set up a webpage to showcase his find. Original 1940s wartime cartoon art like this is extremely hard to find, as most of it was destroyed as classified material. Thank you Paul for making these rare pieces accessible to all.
It’s too bad You Feets To Big had to be removed from You Tube. In it’s place we present, direct from the aforementioned Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park, the scariest music video we’ve ever seen. If you thought It’s A Small World was annoying…
It’s one thing to bootleg a DVD of Pirates of the Caribbean, but it’s quite another to rip off an entire theme park! While copyright piracy is a major concern in trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, Beijing’s Shijingshan Amusement Park has gone ahead a built an imitation Disneyland right down to the costumed characters who look awfully – and I mean awfully – familiar.
An article about the park in China’s business newspaper, The Standard, quotes a Chinese consumer who asks: “I don’t understand why that is such a big problem. Shouldn’t others be able to use those characters besides [Disney]?”
The article also describes Beijing as being a place where “one can spend a morning at an imitation Disney amusement park, have lunch at a KFC knock-off, shop for fake foreign-brand fashions in the afternoon and relax at night with a DVD of a Hollywood film that is still in the theaters in the United States.”
Japan’s Doraemon and Hello Kitty are also swiped. Here’s a TV news report where a park executive claims their Mickey Mouse is simply a “cat with a big ear”.
This Sunday, May 6th at 6pm, is the biggest annual animation event in New York City, the 38th ASIFA-East Animation Festival. Awards, films and a glorious reception afterwards – and it’s free. A wonderful evening of animation celebration! If you are in New York you’d be crazy to miss it.
@The New School
66 W. 12th St
Between 5th and 6th Ave.
Universal has posted a teaser page to promote the Woody Woodpecker DVD coming out on July 24th. Note that pre-orders can be taken from this site. The plan is to expand www.woodywoodpecker.com to a full site supporting the revival effort, with streaming clips of the restored cartoons, in the weeks to come. I’ll keep you posted.
Apple and indieWIRE are presenting several Filmmaker Talks at the Apple Store Soho during the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival. Tomorrow our friend, Oscar-winning animator John Canemaker, will discuss The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation and how the Mac played a significant role in the post-production process. New Yorkers: Go down there at 4pm and say “Hello” to John on behalf of Cartoon Brew.
I love old movie serials, and really admire Kim Deitch’s graphic novels. Strangely enough both converge at the Silent Movie Theatre in Hollywood this Thursday.
Kim has curated a selection of silent era serial chapters highlighting the great serial heroines Pearl White, Ruth Roland and others, in a program starting 8pm, May 3rd, at the famed Fairfax Ave. theatre, and he’ll be signing his new book, Alias The Cat, beforehand, at 6pm at Family bookstore down the block.
Is it possible to have an animation magazine about animators, written by animators, and edited by an animator?
It is… and animator Steve Moore is doing it. The first edition of FLIP: Lifestyles of the Hunched and Goofy is now online. The debut issue features an interview with Nancy Beiman, a profile of Jeff DeGrandis, James Baker on his drive-in movie memories, a feature on Blue Sky designer Mike Knapp, book reviews and more. Moore is doing this as a sideline hobby, and has no idea what he’ll put in the next issue. Let’s hope he can keep it goingÃ¢â‚¬”it’s quite refreshing and deserves our support.