This may be the silliest observation ever posted on the Brew, but I was reading the paper today and I couldn’t help staring at this photo of Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki with foreign diplomats in conference. I wondered what those red boxes in front of each board member was. Looking closely, I deduced they were boxes of tissues. How considerate. At home I also have several boxes of Kleenex in the same dark red color, in fact they are Pixar CARS Kleenex. Is it possible Maliki offers Kleenex decorated with Lightning McQueen at his board meetings?What next? Spongebob Whistle Pops for dessert?
Art director (Little Mermaid) and production designer (Jimmy Neutron) Fred Cline has just started a blog. Cline was mentored by Lee and Mary Blair in his younger days, and is researching their careers. We need to get him to post video of the rare commercials he has in his possession. He’s also researching the career of Hugh Harman. And maybe he’ll discuss the project he’s working on at Laika. It’s all at Fred World.
Courtesy of our pals at The Animation Show we have four copies of the new dvd set of the ANIMATION SHOW Volumes 1 & 2 just out from Paramount and MTV Home Entertainment. The first four entrants that answered the question posted earlier today won one of these beauties.
CONTEST NOW CLOSED!
Our winners were Stewart Shaw of St. Albert, Alberta, Canada; Raymond Delgadillo of Pico Rivera, CA.; Ian Jones-Quartey of Brooklyn, NY; and George Col–n of Hayward, CA.
Girl animation artists drawing girls. Cool. It’s a new book, it’s a gallery show, it’s an event on January 20th at Pehr Space in Los Angeles (near Echo Park). The gals include Anand Duncan (Disney), Anne Walker (Renegade), Nicole Filiatrault (South Park), Shannon O’Connor (Iron Giant), Crystal Chesney (Looney Tunes: Back In Action) and a whole slew from The Simpsons, including Melody Severns, Debbie Bruce, Nancy Kruse, and Jenny Moeller. More info at the Girls Drawin Girls website.
Forget Astro Boy! Digital Meme has announced an upcoming release of a new DVD collection of vintage Japanese anime that predates Tezuka’s classic by thirty years! The set includes fifty five rare cartoons from the Golden Age of Japanese silent film and early talkie period.
Japanese Anime Classic Collection is a digital collection of hard-to-find anime produced from 1928 through 1936. Entertaining, exciting, and startling, the collection will be treasured by enthusiasts, who will find it a valuable reference tool for retracing Japanese animation from its early roots to what is now universally known as anime. Presented chronologically, these anime have been painstakingly digitally reproduced for DVD viewing. Nothing has been altered or edited except for the integration of music in some titles.Some selections in the set are “record talkies.” These anime came to theaters together with a gramophone record, which provided a separate, simultaneous audio track with music, voice, and effects.
I don’t know about you, but I’m very intrigued. The price is $110.00 (or $40.00 per DVD when sold separately) and it’s scheduled for release on April, 30th 2007. For further details, please check Digital Meme’s website.
Who’d ever have thought that CHIP AND DALE (1947) would be a more obscure Disney short than DER FEUHRER’S FACE (1943)? Or that THE TRIAL OF DONALD DUCK (1948) would be harder to see than EDUCATION FOR DEATH (1943)? That’s the way it stands now if Disney Home Video has their way.Word is circulating around the Internet that Disney has put a halt to the series of Walt Disney Treasures, the annual set of archival dvds, packaged in a tin container, hosted and produced by Leonard Maltin. The series was close to releasing every short the company ever produced, but has now stopped short of completing the collection of its most important short subject star, Donald Duck. Wartime cartoons, silent rarities, lost Disneyland footage, the complete run of Silly Symphonies – all this and more have been part of the Walt Disney Treasures during the past six years (click here for a complete list).For more information on the situation, or if you want to support the effort to keep these DVDs alive, I refer you to this thread on HomeTheaterForum.com.
Leslie Cabarga and I are conspiring to get you to be friendly to Casper – his comics that is!I’ve made no secret of my love for the Paramount Harvey Comics of the 1950s and early 60s. These have been virtually ignored by the comics community, and unknown to animation fans. Now that we’ve completed our personal collections (through eBay and Comic-Con at bargain prices), Leslie and I are compiling a large volume of the 100 best stories, restored from printers proofs and original art, by permission of Classic Media and to be published by Dark Horse this summer. These comics were drawn mainly by the Famous Studios animators: Bill Hudson, Tom Johnson, Howard Post, Steve Muffatti and others. Warren Kremer’s classic early stories will be presented as well. I’m also contributing an introductory essay to this 480-page volume and we’ve got big plans for further editions. I’ll be plugging this again in the coming months, but you can place an advance order now, for Harvey Comics Classics Volume 1: Casper The Friendly Ghost at Dark Horse Comics.
Starting tonight, The El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood is running a sing-a-long revival of MARY POPPINS for the rest of the month. The El Capitan’s resident organist Rob Richards (a loyal Cartoon Brew reader) sent us this tip: Very early on Saturday January 13th, the El Cap will make a brief return to its historic roots as a live performance theater with a special musical program. On Saturday morning, Rob will be performing solo and in duet with Ralph Wolf, 88, a legendary Hollywood pianist (in addition to his Hollywood movie work, Wolf was the rehearsal pianist for the original Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950s). As part of this early bird program, Rob Richards will accompany, on the theater’s Mighty Wurlitzer organ, a restored print of Alice’s Wonderland (1923), the first of the “Alice comedies.” The concert is scheduled to begin promptly at 8 am, concluding at 9:15. Tickets are available at the El Capitan box office. Doors open at approximately 7:30 a.m. The El Capitan Theatre is located at 6838 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood CA.
Stripper’s Guide, a blog dedicated to newspaper comic strips, yesterday posted samples of George Stallings‘ little-known comic-strip Soapy Waters, which ran for a short time in the 1950s. Stallings, a former Van Beuren animator and Disney director and story man spent his latter career writing comic strips, mainly for Disney.This blog is loaded with interesting material. Today’s post is about an obscure solo Lois Lane comic strip from the mid 40s. Who knew? This is good stuff!
If you couldn’t make it to the ASIFA-Hollywood screening of Frederator’s new Random Cartoons last night, here’s some good news. They’ve just posted one of the funniest shorts in the series onto Google Video and you can watch it now. Pen Ward is a great new talent and his Adventure Time has been justly nominated for an Annie Award. Awesome!Good luck, Pen!
We should note that producer Steve Krantz passed away last Thursday in Los Angeles from complications of pneumonia. He was 83.Krantz is best known in our world for his production of the first, ultra low budget, syndicated The Marvel Superheroes cartoons in 1966. He also produced Max the 2000-Year-Old Mouse and Rocket Robin Hood. Krantz met Ralph Bakshi while making the ABC Saturday morning SPIDER MAN animated series. His relationship with Bakshi led to his producing FRITZ THE CAT, HEAVY TRAFFIC, and later without Bakshi, THE NINE LIVES OF FRITZ THE CAT. Krantz was also the husband of author Judith Krantz (Scruples, Princess Daisy).
Another of the old guard of animation, Pete Kleinow, has passed away. He was both a stop motion animator (with Art Clokey), and a renown guitarist (with The Flying Burrito Brothers). He wrote the Gumby song and animated on the original Davey & Goliath. Kleinow did many commercials in the sixties and seventies (including Poppin Fresh, The Pillsbury Doughboy), and animated the robot terminator in James Cameron’s THE TERMINATOR (1984). He also animated sequences for the Krofft’s LAND OF THE LOST and Arnold Leibovit’s THE PUPPETOON MOVIE. He passed away last Saturday night at age 72.(Thanks Joel Fletcher)
In 2005 Warner Bros. released, as bonus material on Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 3, a rarely seen 1963 TV pilot called PHILBERT, one of the last things produced by Warner Bros. Cartoons before they closed shop. The live action/animation show starred William Schallert as Griff, a bachelor newspaper cartoonist who lives with his creation, a mischievous hipster cartoon character named Philbert. I was honored to do some audio track commentary on the DVD with animator Art Leonardi and voice actor Trustin Howard. When the show failed to sell (it was intended for ABC), Warner Bros. stripped the show of its laugh track, did some re-editing and released it as a 26 minute theatrical short subject. The version released on the Looney Tunes set is the theatrical version.However, Friz Freleng (who directed the animation) once gave me a damaged copy of the original TV show version and I’ve posted a clip of the opening below for the sake of comparison. Note the lively theme song with lyrics missing on the DVD release. Other deletions include the illustrated titles and the laugh track. It’s worth noting that the pilot was directed by Richard Donner and the opening sequence of Philbert dancing was animated by Art Babbitt.
We’ve just heard that Iwao Takamoto passed away today. Takamoto is best known for his design work at Hanna-Barbera during the 1960s. He designed Scooby Doo, the Jetsons’ dog Astro, and Penelope Pitstop. He entered the business after World War II, where he was hired as an assistant animator by Walt Disney Studios. He eventually became the head of clean-up for Milt Kahl. He worked on films such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and Lady and the Tramp.Takamoto left Disney in 1961 and joined Hanna-Barbera Productions where he worked in many capacities including direction of several feature-length animated films, including Charlotte’s Web (1973) and Jetsons: The Movie (1990). Along with the late Ed Benedict and Joe Barbera, Takamoto was responsible for some of the greatest television characters of our generation. He will be missed.
Independent animator Dave Redl has created a mini-industry by writing, voicing and animating his own short-form cartoon series, Family Pants, out of his home in New Jersey. Without any studio support, he’s pumping out his own thing, sharing it on the internet – even explaining everything about how he does it on his website. Here’s a great podcast interview with Dave discussing the hows and whys. It helps that Dave is an incredibly good cartoonist and extremely dedicated to the craft. Family Pants started as an on-line comic strip and evolved into an on-going animated series. His latest, Canned Ham, is the best one yet. Check it out all at FamilyPants.com