If the goodie-goodie Harvey Comics aren’t punishment enough for you, then this news ought to brighten your day. Apparently the mischevious antics of Little Audrey, Little Dot, Wendy the Witch and even Richie Rich contained the requisite comeuppance spanking scene enough times for someone to start a website devoted to them. These and other kinky discipline sequences in comics are part of spankingtoons.com.(Thanks to our pal Milton Knight for bringing this perversity to our attention)
The debate over Disney’s SONG OF THE SOUTH rages on. Though it’s not much of a debate… everyone wants it released on home video. Song-of-the-south.net has a great FAQ to get you up to speed. Golden Age Cartoons has a continuous thread on the subject. And of course there is the petition. Brett Wickham just wrote a passionate plea, on LaughingPlace.com, for a common sense release of the film:
Come on! Everybody knows the film was conceived in a less socially evolved time. If you truly don’t think people will “consider it in the context that it was made” then frame it for them. “Song of the South” deserves a proper seat at the celebration of a more evolved Disney – a U.S release on every available format for everyone to see.
Speaking of common sense, what kind of image is that (above) to place in the original lobby cards for the film? Three little boys, facing away from the camera, staring at poor little Ginny who has been pushed in the mud. Doesn’t this film have enough controversy?
I have no idea if this new CD by animation historian Rick Goldschmidt is any good – but any excuse to post some new artwork by animation designer/artist Dave Sheldon (Spumco’s LOG commercials, Nick’s Tales from the Goose Lady, etc.) is always worth doing. Goldschmidt is the author of several excellent books on Rankin/Bass and frequently updates RankinBass.com. The CD features 10 songs written and performed by Goldschmidt along with members of the GIN BLOSSOMS, THE BLACK MOODS, THE NEVERLY BROTHERS and his own band THE STARVING ARTISTS. Rick is sending me a copy. I’ll let you know what I think after I hear it.
Oh boy! I’ve been waiting for this one. Mouse Tracks: The Story of Walt Disney Records by Tim Hollis and Greg Ehrbar is coming out next month. Here’s the book’s cover – drawn by George Peed, brother of Bill Peet, best known for designing the characters for The Mighty Hercules, doing Peter Pan Record sleeves and Disney board game art.
Hollis and Ehrbar explain why Walt and Roy O. Disney resisted going into the record business for over three decades, until the success of “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” convinced Roy to take the plunge. Under the guidance of its first president, Jimmy Johnson, the record company experienced both feast and famine in the retail marketplace. Detailed in the book are the teen-pop success of Annette Funicello, the Mary Poppins phenomenon, a Disney-style “British invasion,” and even a low period when sagging sales forced Walt to suggest closing the division down. “There aren’t many areas of Disney left to be chronicled, and this is a subject that means a lot to us,” says Hollis.
A new website, mousetracksonline.com has gone live, and it will be expanded in May with updates and special information corresponding to the release of the book.
QUEER DUCK was one of the funniest internet cartoons in those golden years before the dot.com boom went bust. Now Queer Duck: The Movie is coming out in July. The voice cast includes Jim J. Bullock, Billy West, Maurice La Marche, Tim Curry, Conan O’Brien, David Duchovny and Kevin Michael Richardson. According to the Paramount press release:
Queer Duck, his boyfriend Openly Gator, and their friends Bi-Polar Bear and Oscar Wildcat come busting out of the closet on July 18, 2006 when they make their outrageous feature length animated debut on DVD from Paramount Home Entertainment and Icebox Productions.Filled with irreverent, no-holds-barred comedy and 15 brand new songs/musical numbers, this brazen extravaganza is created and written by Mike Reiss, four-time Emmy winner for his work on “The Simpsons” and creator of “The Critic,” with animation directed and designed by Xeth Feinberg.
My good buddy Xeth Feinberg is also the mastermind behind BULBO (my favorite Internet cartoon character), and we understand he animated the entire 75 minute QUEER DUCK feature in his New York City apartment. I look forward to seeing this.
The posting of the January 1940 Popular Mechanics article on Disney’s PINOCCHIO last week has inspired me to dig out this September 1944 issue of Popular Science. The magazine’s 6 page article is focused around the innovations of The Three Caballeros, Disney’s first large scale attempt, in color, to combine live action and animation. Unlike the earlier piece however, Disney animator Ward Kimball, storyman Ernie Terrazas (pictured above), and background painter Art Riley are credited in captions.
This Russian website documents, with frame grabs, some of the many times Disney animators recycled animation from one film into another. I’d love to see an expanded version of this listing (in English). Missing from this Russian post are the numerous appearances of the whirlpool from the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” sequence in Fantasia and the windblown weed from The Old Mill.(Thanks, Bob Miller)
This magnificent painting appears in the current Illustration House “Illustration Art Auction” catalog. The title of the piece is “Gremlins and Fifinellas on an airplane.” It’s by Gustaf Tenggren, and it’s a watercolor illustration for “What Every Pilot Knows,” by Quentin Reynolds for Collier’s magazine (October 31, 1942). The caption for this image reads “It’s no joke to be sitting up at 20,000 feetïÂ¿Â½ and hear them chattering among themselves out on the wings.” Quite a different interpretation of these characters than the Walt Disney/Walt Kelly/Bob Clampett versions we know and love. (Read the Disney version here.)In case you are interested in bidding for it, the auction takes place in New York on Saturday, May 20th. The pre-auction estimate is $9,000 – $12,000.
(Thanks, Don Brockway)POSTSCRIPT: Disney historian Jim Korkis adds: “While I have great respect and appreciation for Gustaff Tenggren, somebody made an error labelling the artwork Gremlins and Fifinellas on an airplane. According to the mythology that Roald Dahl developed with the Disney artists, gremlins are male, fifinellas are female, widgets are baby gremlins/fifinellas, and spandules are high altitude gremlins. There are no female gremlins on this airplane.”
Many readers of this blog have written in to ask about getting a recording of the big UPA Event at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood last month. In response to the requests, Tee Bosustow (who taped the event for an upcoming documentary on his father’s studio) has decided to offer a DVD of the panels for $40. (This price is only good through the following week; thereafter he will charge a higher price for it.) In addition to the DVD, Tee will throw in the full-color program book that attendees received that night and pay all postage costs (U.S. only). Tee says:
The DVD includes the opening montage of UPA characters, especially created to open the event, Jerry Beck’s opening comments, the 1951 UPA behind-the-scenes clips, scenes from the work-in-progress UPA documentary, plus highlights of the two panels at the Egyptian, as well as the panel Asifa-Hollywood had at the AFI about two years ago. It runs about an hour, a tad under, and it has menu buttons to start at the top, or go directly to the film clips, or panel discussions.But, at this time it doesn’t include any of the UPA cartoons that were shown, since we don’t yet have the rights to include them. But, once we get the rights, we will send the updated DVD to everyone who bought an advanced copy.The First Panel at the Egyptian includes; Bill Melendez, Willis Pyle, Alan Zaslove, and Mark Kausler. The Second Panel at the Egyptian is; Fred Crippen, Sam Clayberger, Lou Romano, and Amid Amidi. And, the Panel at the AFI was Bob McIntosh, Joe Siracusa, Alan Zaslove, Eddie Friedman, Fred Crippen, and Mel Leven. All, of course, were moderated by some guy named Jerry Beck.
If anyone has questions, email Tee at bosumedia (at) yahoo.com. If you are ready to buy, make a check out to Artist in Me, LLC and mail it, postmarked on or before May 1st, to:Tee Bosustow
6633 Woodley Avenue, #9
Van Nuys, CA 91406Include your mailing address, of course. Tee is also selling the program for the event separately, without the DVD, while they last, at $10.
Next Saturday, April 29th, ASIFA-Hollywood is holding a special film program and lecture illustrating the world of music as seen through classic Hollywood cartoons. Animation historian Daniel Goldmark will be discussing the story behind the musicians who made our favorite cartoons sing. Vintage cartoons will be screened (several in 35mm). Bring along your copy of Daniel’s great new book, TUNES FOR ‘TOONS and get it autographed. This special event is happening next Saturday, April 29th, at 3:00pm, over at the American Film Institute, in the Steven Ross Screening Room (Warner Bros. Building). The address is 2021 N. Western Ave. in Hollywood, CA (a block north of Franklin Ave.). Directions to AFI campus HERE. ASIFA-HOLLYWOOD members admitted FREE, non-members pay $10 bucks.
Spumco cartoons, the way they were meant to be seen: on the big theatre screen!Jot this down: John Kricfalusi will be making an appearence to introduce a screening of his best cartoons (uncut!) at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, on Sunday night May 28th at 6:30pm. Earlier that same day, across the street at 4pm, John will be making an appearence at Every Picture Tells A Story, the bookstore/gallery, which is hosting a month long exhibit “The Art of John Kricfalusi”. John will be on hand to personally sign original art and prints which will be for sale.
Here’s a chance to see what Pixar artists draw in their off hours. San Francisco’s Canvas Gallery will host Combined Weight, a collection of work by artists from Pixar Animation Studios, “produced in their spare time to show the world through their eyes”. Artists include Daniel Arriaga, Enrico Casarosa, Janet Lucroy, Jennifer Chang, Liz Holmes, Lori Klocek, Mark Holmes, Nate Stanton, Noah Klocek, Paul Topolos, Rich Quade, Robert Kondo, Robin Cooper, Ronnie Del Carmen, Simon Dunsdon, Steve Pilcher, and Steve Purcell. Opening reception is next Thursday April 27th, from 7pm – 12am. The exhibition runs from April 27 throuh May 22nd at The Canvas Gallery, 1200 9th Ave. at Lincoln, San Francisco.
Fox News is reporting that veteran Harvey Comics editor Sid Jacobson and long time Richie Rich artist Ernie Colon are teaming up on a serious re-telling of the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. Illustrating simultaneous events side by side on the page, using the timelines of the hijacked planes as laid out in the 9/11 commission’s findings, The 9/11 Report: The Graphic Novel is said to use the comic medium “to chilling effect”.
“I think we have taken a terribly important document, which I wish every American would read, and done it in a way that makes it far easier for people to grasp,” said publisher Thomas LeBien of Hill and Wang, a division of the prestigious Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Starting tomorrow, Frederator Studios establishes ReFrederator.com, a daily vintage cartoon video podcast – and you don’t even need an iPod to enjoy it. ReFrederator will feature classic public domain cartoons with Mighty Mouse, Daffy Duck, Betty Boop, Little Lulu, Felix the Cat, and many many more favorites as well as numerous miscellaneous ComiColor shorts, Merrie Melodies and Rainbow Parades.New episodes will appear daily Monday through Friday, grouped into weekly themes. The first week features a Mother Goose theme, beginning with a 1935 Humpty Dumpty cartoon from Ub Iwerks, followed by Mighty Mouse in Wolf! Wolf! (1945) and the Oscar-nominated Pigs in a Polka (1943) by Friz Freleng. The week will wrap up with Poor Cinderella (1934) the only color Betty Boop cartoon, and Foney Fables (1942) a parody of Disney fairy tales.Programming for ReFrederator is headed by producer Eric Homan and illustrator, cartoonist, and scholar Dave Kirwan. For a free subscription, search ReFrederator in the iTunes Podcast Directory, or visit ReFrederator.com and click “subscribe.” They also have a dandy ReFrederator Store featuring a cool Leslie Cabarga logo on a variety of shirts, backpacks and undergaments.