In case you missed it this morning, here’s the segment on Brad Bird from ABC News. Lots of nice clips from Ratatouille. Also, after the segment on Bird, there is an interview with production designer Rick Heinrichs (Frankenweenie, Vincent, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure).
This is going to be a plug for ASIFA-Hollywood.
But first we need to inform all filmmakers that one of the best (and longest running) animation competitions in the U.S.Ã¢â‚¬”the ASIFA-East Animation FestivalÃ¢â‚¬”is accepting entries for its 2007 contrest. This festival celebrates the independent animator, but all animation (student, sponsored, commercial, etc.) is gladly accepted. The entry form is now available online. ASIFA-East members will be voting next month, and the Festival itself is one of the big nights for the New York animation community each year. The winning films tour the country, and screen for the various ASIFA chapters around the world.
That brings me back to ASIFA-Hollywood. Tomorrow night, February 21st, the Hollywood chapter is screening last year’s ASIFA-East Festival award winners. If you want to check it out, the screening is at Dreamworks Animation Studios in Glendale. You must RSVP todayÃ¢â‚¬”email your full name, guest name, and daytime phone number to publicity (at) asifa-hollywood.org. The screening begins at 7pm and photo ID is required for entry onto the DreamWorks lot.
Looney Tunes fans rejoice! Jon Cooke and Matthew Hunter have joined forces to start a new blog to collect and showcase Warner Bros. cartoon odds and ends, trivia and minutia. Initial offerings include a rare Mel Blanc Tweety and Sylvester test recording, an ABC promo for The Bugs Bunny Show, a Bugs Bunny Kool-Aid commercial and a comic book page that explains what the “E” in Wile E. Coyote stands for. If you love Warner cartoons, you’ll love this stuff! Visit Misce-Looney-ous!
There IS a need to fear. The UNDERDOG trailer is here.
Worth 1000.com held a Photoshop contest this weekend where contestants had to incorporate animated cartoon characters into classic paintings. I’m not sure who won, but you can judge for yourself here.
Calling all Krusty Krab fans. Amoeba Music in Hollywood will host a rare in-store performance by SpongeBob & The Hi-Seas, a rock band featuring Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants. This is to promote Nick Records latest CD The Best Day Ever, which includes songs written by Kenny along with producer and fellow band member, Andy Paley. It’s actually a really cool album, with guest artists including Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys and Tommy Ramone.
The in-store appearance will take place at Amoeba Records, 6400 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood on Saturday, March 3 at 2 PM. It’s a free show, and Kenny will autograph copies of the CD for all customers. For more information click here.
Ahhh, The things that turn up on eBay. For a measly $146,242.50 you can own the car created essentialy for the opening sequence of The Pink Panther Show (NBC, 1970). Place your bids here. And good luck.
Forget the fact that Glenn Barr did backgrounds for Ren & Stimpy, or The New Woody Woodpecker Show, or has contributed to Mad Magazine and DC Comics. Barr has emerged as a fine artist and painter in his own right and one of stars of the low brow art movement. He’s got a new book, Haunted Paradise, and he’ll be in L.A. tonight and in Palm Springs tomorrow to do book signings.
Catch him tonight from 6pm to 9pm at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Silverlake, at 4633 Hollywood Blvd. On Sunday afternoon from 4pm to 7pm he’ll be at M Modern Gallery, 2500 N. Palm Canyon Drive.
A few years ago, Ray Pointer (aka Inkwell Images) put together a superb DVD collection of seven Alice Comedies, Disney’s 1920s silent-era series combining live action and animation. About a year ago, Disney Home Entertainment put out vital set of Disney Rarities as part of their Disney Treasures DVD series, which contained six restored Alice Comedies from their archives. What we really need is a “complete collection” of these Alice films, but alas, several of the titles are lost, and many surviving prints are in poor shape.
What we don’t need is another incomplete DVD set of Alice comedies, especially one that repeats three cartoons available on the aforementioned two collections out there (and repeats two others that Ray also released). However, I’m here to tell you that VCI’s new collection, Alice In Cartoonland: 35mm Collector’s Set is worth buying. There are at least five Alice films here that don’t appear elsewhere – and all ten are spectacular 35mm restorations from nitrate negatives, and I have to say they look really great. These are 35mm negs of Alfred Weiss TV versions (with their wacky added sound tracks), and there are a few edits from the era (in particular, the drinking scenes in Alice Solves The Puzzle are out). But I’m delighted to have such great looking versions of these films, I’ll take them any way I can.
There is some additional bonus material here, including essays by JB Kaufman and Russell Merritt culled from their outstanding Walt In Wonderland book. There are three bonus “Life” cartoons by John McCrorry (silent shorts from 1927), also transfered from nitrate negs (retitled Krazy Kids Cartoons from their 1931 reissue in sound). These little rareties feel like Terrytoons of the era – bizzarre, cartoony and a lot of fun. All in all, I recommend the DVD. It’s great to see silent era animation that doesn’t look like “old movies.” And any effort to restore these cartoons deserves our support.
Great news for fans of Walt Kelly (like me). Fantagraphics Books has acquired the rights to publish a comprehensive series of Walt Kelly’s classic POGO comic strip. The first volume will appear in October, 2007, and the series will run approximately 12 volumes.
Kelly joined the Walt Disney Studio in 1935, where he worked on numerous shorts and features, including Pinocchio, Dumbo, and The Reluctant Dragon. Kelly left Disney in 1941, moved back east and began drawing comic books for Western Publishing (Dell comics). It was during this time that Kelly created the character Pogo Possum for Dell’s Animal Comics (as a supporting player in the Albert the Alligator stories). In 1949, the Hall Syndicate started distrbuting Pogo as a comic strip to newspapers in the United States.
Each Fantagraphics Pogo volume will be designed by Jeff Smith (Bone). This continues Fantagraphics teriffic series of hardbound comic strip collections – which already include Schulz’ Peanuts, Ketchum’s Dennis the Menace and Segar’s Popeye. For more information, check the Fantagraphics website.
Tonight I’ll be in Pasadena at the Rialto Theatre to catch the latest edition of The Animation Show. I will also be doing a Q&A with filmmaker and SHOW co-founder Don Hertzfeldt after the the 7:30pm show and before the 9:45pm. This is an incredible collection of the world’s best contemporary animationÃ¢â‚¬”presented the way the filmmakers intended, on the big screen. Join us!
(The Animation Show is also playing tonight at the Main Art Theatre in Detroit Michigan. Check out the remaining cities and playdates here)
Click here to see the large size version of this promotional image, above, from Foodfight.
Can you spot the product placement? Foodfight is now scheduled for theatrical release this fall from Lions Gate Films (the same people who brought us Happily N’ever After). It’s a great idea for a film: after midnight all the packages in a local food store come alive, with the goodguy characters (including Mr. Clean, Cap’n Crunch, Charlie the Tuna, the Engergizer Bunny, et al) taking on a villainous band of Brand X characters for control of supermarket aisles. Of course this plot harkens back to several Merrie Melodies of yore (September In The Rain (1937), Goofy Groceries (1941), etc.). So far so good.
However, the real trouble begins with a visit to the Foodfight website. The character designs look awful. B-list celebrities are doing the voices. The film’s partners (read: producers) include Proctor and Gamble, Del Monte and Tootsie Roll, among others. We already get enough commercials at the movies as it is. I don’t know about you, but I predict a short shelf life for this flick.
Earlier coverage of Foodfight on Cartoon Brew here.
What does this Scrappy toy (pictured above) have to do Humphrey Bogart?
Harry McCracken, the mastermind behind the much acclaimed Scrappyland website – and the expert on all things concerning this forgotten 1930s cartoon character – continues his extensive research on his blog. Recent updates include these incredible finds: Scrappy comics, French strips, U.S. panels and a theory linking them to Will Eisner(!); and Scrappy’s cameo appearence in Bogart’s 1942 film All Through The Night(!!)
All this and more at Harry-Go-Round.
This one’s even better.
Click here to see the new Seinfeld Bee Movie trailer with Steven Spielberg – and some actual animation.
Jim Hill blogged today about how Disney is revamping story of American Dog, now that Chris Sanders has been let go. Hill reports that:
“He’s no longer a cute little round brown hound dog. But — rather — a heroic-looking white German Shepherd with a lightning bolt-shaped patch that runs down the left side of his body. In fact, Bolt is actually this character’s new name. And Bolt stars with Penny (a 12-year-old girl) in the hit television show, “American Dog.”
After getting accidentally shipped to New York, Bolt is befriended by a hamster (named “Rhino”) who “is a huge fan of “American Dog,” having seen & then memorized virtually every episode of the series.”
For all the negative talk about direct-to-video sequels, some of these changes bring to mind plot elements and characters in 101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure (written by Jim Kammerud and Brian Smith). Co-producer Leslie Hough writes us:
Our film “Dalmatians II” features a German Shepherd deluded by his own stardom named Thunderbolt. In our version Patch, the puppy, is Thunderbolt’s biggest fan and has memorized all the episodes of his show. When I first heard about American Dog, I thought the story was similar, but now it is too close for comfort.
Is it possible that the people at Disney Features have never seen 101 Dalmatians 2? Or have they and thought it was so good that they would use the same story in a bigger budget arena? Or do they just not care? Leslie Hough says, “Disney is welcome to rip itself off, but we, the filmmakers of the first film are kind of shocked.”