Universal Studios’ Woody Woodpecker & Friends Classic Cartoon Collection DVD is now available to pre-order on Amazon – where it’s a steal at $27.99.
In addition to the 75 restored, uncut cartoons, there will be several juicy bonus materials, including:
Walter, Woody and the World of Animation a nice little 1975 documentary featuring Walter and his wife Gracie, discussing their careers in animation, filled with great clips.
Cartoonland Mysteries – a rare 1936 Lowell Thomas “Going Places” short subject showing step by step how the Lantz studio makes an animated short – in this case an Oswald Rabbit cartoon, Soft Ball Game. Restored from the original neg.
Behind-the-Scenes with Walter Lantz – six of the great Lantz segments from the 1957 Woody Woodpecker TV show explaining how they make cartoons – restored, in beautiful Technicolor.
1. The Origin of Woody Woodpecker (from Episode #1)
2. Drawing Woody and Andy (from Episode #5)
3. Creating the Stories (from Episode #6)
4. Animating Woody (from Episode #8)
5. The Development of Woody (from Episode #9)
6. Directing Animated Cartoons (from Episode #10)
“The Woody Woodpecker Show” Special 1964 Halloween Episode, Spook-A-Nanny – rarely seen, now restored, featuring all the Lantz characters in a strange made-for-TV one shot.
I was driving south on Cahuenga this afternoon and snapped this pic from my moving car with my cell phone. The signage was just erected. It’s official: The former Hanna-Barbera Studio is now an LA Fitness location.
Popeye is one of those properties that is such a pure cartoon, any attempt to personify him in live action simply does not work. Even three dimensional Popeye toys have a history of looking grotesque – in a fun way.
Any Baby Boomers out there recall those odd foreign cartoons that ran on TV in the 1950s and 60s, packaged under the Capt’n Sailorbird or Bozo Storybook names?
Toon Tracker has some information… but the burning question is: Where are these cartoons today?
The cartoons were usually rich and lush, and animated on ones. The original soundtracks were usually stripped off and replaced by an unnecessary narrator. But they were pretty cool.
An anonymous blogger has posted on Kino en Esperanto rete a group of very attractive animated shorts from 1951-3 based on folktales from Russia and various Asian countries. They look a lot like the stuff of Capt’n Sailorbird. These films are subtitled in Esperanto (as is the rest of the site), but if you can get past the language, our benefactor has the full films available for streaming and download. There is some bizzare stuff here.
Animator Dan Meth (of Hebrew Crunk fame) just completed an animation experiment. He animated his latest film while getting drunk in a local pub.
Dan went out to a bar with, as he says on his blog, “a stack of index-cards, some markers, a lightbox, and no storyboard”. He drew and drank himself silly, all the while covering over 300 cards with drawings for a short film he’s completing this week, part of a new Frederator shorts series of one minute cartoons.
He’s post all 329 drawings on a Flickr page for everyone to see in advance of the film. Don’t know if anyone’s posted any archive like this before, or used Flickr to create an animated film, but it sure seems like a good idea to me.
Charles Shopsin has been semi-regularly posting old articles on early cartoon production, from 1920s-1930s science and mechanics magazines, on his Modern Mechanics blog. Some of these we’ve plugged before, but they are worth compiling here again for easy reference:
Eric Pigors has worked at Disney Feature animation for fifteen years. He’s also contributed his art to Family Dog, Ed, Edd and Eddy and made his own demented Liquid TV cartoon short, Let’s Chop Soo-E, with Marv Newland’s International Rocketship.
But Pigor’s heart has been in creating his own world and expanding his Toxictoons empire, with a website showcasing his macabre art, toys, T-shirts, stickers, and so on. He’s got an artshow coming up at the Hyaena Gallery in Burbank April 16th-30th, and you can meet the mind behind the madness at the reception on Friday April 20th at 8pm.
No, this isn’t a frame from the forthcoming digital restoration of the Max Fleischer Popeye cartoons. It’s an actual production cel and background from Let’s You and Him Fight (1934).
Original art from Fleischer cartoons is scarce, but this cel and hundreds of other super-rare pop culture artifacts are on permanent display at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum in Baltimore Maryland. I haven’t visted the place myself, but I just recieved a copy of the beautiful souvenir book, Pop Culture with Character and if this book is any indication, Geppi’s Museum is a place I must visit next time I’m on the East Coast.
It’s the history of pop culture told through artifacts and mementos dating back to the early 1800s and continuing up through 2007′s Spongebob and Shrek. The book is a catalog of cool stuff, and I can only imagine that seeing this memorabilia in person, at the museum, would be mind blowing. Thanks Mr. Geppi for collecting this material and sharing it with us.
I’m very happy to announce that Universal is releasing The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection on July 24th. This new DVD collection includes three discs containing 75 theatrical cartoons, completely uncut and restored from the original Universal Pictures master negatives (and I promise, no DVNR). It’ll retail at $39.98.
In addition to the first 45 Woody Woodpecker cartoons–presented in original release order–from Knock Knock (1940) to The Great Who-Dood-It (1952), the first five Chilly Willy cartoons (which includes two Tex Avery classics), and five choice Andy Panda cartoons, there will be several Swing Symphonies (including Culhane’s Abu Ben Boogie and The Greatest Man In Siam, among others), Oswald Rabbit (Confidence, Hell’s Heels, Oscar nominee Merry Old Soul and others) and wartime cartoons (like Pigeon Patrol and Pass The Biscuits Mirandy).
That’s not all. Miscellanous Walter Lantz Cartunes (like Hysterical High Spots in American History, Pooch the Pup in King Klunk, Peterkin in Scrambled Eggs, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B and the Avery masterpieces, Crazy Mixed Up Pup and SHH-H-H-H-H) plus bonus material including six Behind-the-Scenes with Walter Lantz segments from the 1957 Woody Woodpecker Show and the rarely seen Halloween TV special Spook-a-Nanny.
And there’s more. I’ll impart further information in future posts, but for now let’s just say our friends at Universal did this one right. Plan on adding this to your collection–you won’t regret it.
A few days ago, Walt Disney World in Orlando re-opened the boat ride in the Mexico pavilion at Epcot Center. They have added a Three Caballeros storyline to the ride featuring new animation of Jose Carioca and Panchito on a search for Donald through Mexico. LaughingPlace.com has posted a complete tour of the attraction in still pictures. And naturally, someone took home video (Windows Media) of the ride.
The animation looks terrificÃ¢â‚¬”I believe our friend Eric Goldberg directed these pieces. Is that Rob Paulsen as Jose Caroica?
ASIFA-Hollywood is presenting two animation events this month well worth your time and participation.
Bill Plympton: On Wednesday night April 11th, at 7pm, I’ll be moderating a Q&A with independent animator extraordinaire, Bill Plympton. Bill is in town to promote the opening of his feature film Hair High on April 13th at Laemmle’s Sunset 5. The ASIFA screening on Wednesday will highlight some of Bill’s latest cartoons and music videos including The Fan and the Flower, Gary Guitar, as well as a sneek peak at Hair High and the premiere of a brand new short. The screening and Q&A will be on the Dreamworks campus and to get in you must RSVP by tomorrow (Tuesday 4/10) at publicity-at-asifa-hollywood.org.
The Stop-Mo Expo: Will Vinton, Corky Quakenbush , the Chiodo Bros., Mark Caballero, Seamus Walsh, Jim Aupperle, Tennessee Reid Norton, Gene Warren Jr., Randy Cook and a host of other puppet and clay luminaries will descend on Woodbury University in Burbank, on Saturday April 21st 2007, for a one day cerebration of all things stop motion. From 9am to 10pm there will be non-stop panels, screenings, how-to seminars and schmoozing. In the evening there’s a film festival of rare, classic and current stop-motion animation. There will also be an all-day display of stop-mo props, puppets and models. All tickets will be sold at the door. For more information click here.
Rich Drees at FilmBuffOnline.com reports that Roy Disney, speaking at the Philadelphia Film Festival this past weekend, made it clear that a home video release of Song of the South is long overdue. Said Roy:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got a bunch of cohorts working with me to convince the powers that be that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the smart thing to do. [Song Of The South] is a wonderful film that deserves to be back out in the public. All it needs is context. Some of that animation is stunning, even by todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s standards.Ã¢â‚¬?
In the meantime, for those who can’t wait, Disney has apparently released SOTS in France, in English, and was selling it at Disneyland Paris! Check this out. (This turned out to be a bootleg.)
Okay, this post is only for rabid Warner Bros. cartoon fans desparate to see any lost bits and pieces of animation created by the original animation studio.
On Memorial Day Weekend in 1962, Warner Bros. released a family film, Lad: A Dog which featured, on the same bill, the Chuck Jones pilot-turned-half hour featurette The Adventures Of The Road Runner. According to the film’s pressbook there were four different Technicolor theatrical trailers for LAD: A DOG – two of them featuring special animation of Bugs Bunny.
Trailer 1-A contained Bugs introducing the Lad: A Dog stars. Trailer 1-C is a special Adventures of the Road Runner trailer introduced by Bugs Bunny. There were two b/w TV spots which were shortened versions of the two theatrical trailers. I’ve just obtained one of the TV spots and, as you can see below, the brief animated inserts were produced by Chuck Jones’ unit (note the Maurice Noble background layout). Mel Blanc provides the voice characterization. Ed Prentiss narrates the trailer.
Jones left the studio in July 1962. This must be some of last Bugs Bunny animation produced before the studio ceased producing new Looney Tunes later that year. With any luck, we’ll dig up the longer, color theatrical trailers – and include them on a future Golden Collection DVD set.