Disney got Oswald from NBC-Universal – now NBC gets revenge in this brilliant parody telecast last night on NBC’s Saturday Nignt Live. Watch it now before Disney sues SNL, and NBC yanks it fron Youtube.(Thanks, Rick Ewing)
MEET THE ROBINSONS trailer here.
Here’s some fresh talent. Two young Dutch animators, Joost van den Bosch and Erik Verkerk (Ka-Ching Cartoons), have posted a test section of their new film, a clever, well designed CG piece produced to look like paper cut-outs in stop-motion animation. Bosch and Verkerk developed this idea as a concept for a television series during their graduation at the Arts Academy in Rotterdam. According to them:
“It comes from an old tradition in the Netherlands of young children using old shoeboxes to make small theatres from cardboard figures. Through one small round opening on one side of the box one can look at the small motionless stages in 3D. The lid of the box can be used for lighting the ‘stage’. It is called a ‘kijkdoos’, a looking-box. Like a 3D drawing. In our animated series, thirteen short adventures come to life in ‘shoebox’ style.We are both very big fans of the old 30′s cartoons and wanted to make something that was influenced by that era – and hopefully can create films that will be as timeless funny as they are. At the same time we thought it would be nice to combine it with this old dutch tradition of making these lookingboxes which pushed us into the style it is right now. At the moment we are in production on our graduation film, which will be the pilot for the series, and will be finished at the end of June. The producers at il Luster Productions already are making plans to develop it into a real televison series.”
The completed film is going to be about ten minutes (six minutes of animation and four minutes of live action). We wish them luck. More information on their website.
After almost four years, J. J. Sedelmaier Productions and Robert Smigel, the creators of NBC’s Saturday Night Live “Saturday TV Funhouse” cartoons, are bringing back Ace and Gary, The Ambiguously Gay Duo, to host the “Best of Saturday TV Funhouse” on NBC, airing April 29th. This is the first ever collection of animation shorts to run as an SNL special. The ninety-minute program will showcase the recurring series of “Funhouse” segments including “The X-Presidents,” “Fun with Real Audio” and of course “The Ambiguously Gay Duo.” The SNL animated special will feature new material especially animated for this show, with Ace and Gary as the show’s hosts interacting “live” with the current cast throughout the program. Ace and Gary are voiced by Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell of “The Office.”
Heads up, New Yorkers! The Film Forum is presenting CARTOONS: No Laughing Matter?, a program of new animated shorts begining Wednesday, May 10th. These new works, by eight well known independent animators, include Suzan Pitt’s bizarre Mexican fantasy, “El Doctor” (pictured above), Lisa Crafts’s “The Flooded Playground”, a nightmare of childhood fears, the latest film from George Griffin, “It Pains Me to Say This” and JJ Villard’s riff on Charles Bukowski, “Son Of Satan”. Films from Andy & Carolyn London, Suzie Templeton, Chris Shepherd & David Shrigley and Debra Solomon are also included. CARTOONS: No Laughing Matter? will play for two weeks, May 10-23, and they say the program is not appropriate for children.
Pixar animator Andrew Gordon has posted an extensive 45-minute audio interview with fellow Pixarian, art director/production designer Ralph Eggleston, on his Spline Doctors blog.
On April 20th, Cartoon Network will be holding a silent auction to benefit Fyn Stec. Fyn is the young son of current Nickelodeon and former Cartoon Network animation art director Paul Stec (Fosters) and his wife Dayla Corcoran (production coordinator on Dexter’s Lab and Shrek). Fyn has recently been hospitalized with a rare form of liver cancer. They are raising funds to help defray the astronomical medical expenses that won’t be covered by insurance. Craig Kellman, Chris Reccardi, Lynne Naylor, Tim Biskup, Craig McCracken, Seonna Hong, Miles Thompson, Don Shank and many other great artists are contributing art for this cause. The studio will be open next Thursday night from 5:30 to 9:00pm, and they’ll be live music. Here is a website with more info. Here is a blog with updates on Fyn’s progress. Please help!
Better watch where you step!As if there isn’t enough s–t in Hollywood already, now there’s permanent Pooh on the sidewalk. From the AP:
Johnny Grant, the honorary Mayor of Hollywood, poses for a photo with from left, Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore and Tigger during a ceremony yesterday, celebrating Pooh’s 80th anniversary with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. Pooh, created in the 1920′s by British author A.A. Milne, debuted as a cartoon character in the 1966 Disney featurette “Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree,” and went on to star in dozens of films, specials and several cartoon series.
Find out in a short film now playing on Disney.com.
Peter Paltridge has posted a bunch of funny/strange pages on his website, such as this one devoted to the worst TV cartoons he’s seen, and another one devoted to weird Archie comics.However, his most obsessive rant is devoted to the last Looney Tunes cartoon INJUN TROUBLE (1969). This Cool Cat cartoon isn’t the worst cartoon Warner Bros. released, and it certainly wasn’t the last Looney Tunes (the series was revived several times in the 1980s, 90s and as recently as 2003). But the studio ended its regular theatrical distribution of cartoon shorts (dating back to 1930) with this film – and the cartoon has a surprising number of politically incorrect gags (which has kept it off television for years).
A company called Collector’s Guide Publishing is making Max Fleischer’s 1923 feature film The Einstein Theory of Relativity available on DVD, along with a reprint of its original companion book.(Thanks, Mark Mayerson)
Here’s a DVD I’ve been waiting for, Oskar Fischinger: Ten Films. This is the first DVD release by the Center for Visual Music, and contains ten of Fischinger’s pioneering visual music films plus many special features – including 1931 home movies from Fischinger’s Berlin Studio, never-released early animation tests and fragments, a selection of paintings by Fischinger, photos and a complete biography. The DVD features high def digital transfers and digitally remastered audio, and includes his famed Allegretto, Radio Dynamics and Motion Painting No. 1. Pre-orders are accepted now. The release date is May 15, 2006 and the price is right, $30. For more info, visit the website.
Pop culture historian Michael J. Hayde has a great website Better Living Through Television where he waxes nostalgically about the good old days of network and syndicated programming. His most recent post, about the Ted Eshbaugh/Van Beuren cartoon THE SUNSHINE MAKERS, deserves a look. This bizarre cartoon, originally a thinly veiled commercial for Borden’s milk, was widely shown on TV in the 1950s and early 60s, then became a fixture of 60s head shows and rock concerts. I still get many e-mails asking the where-abouts of this cartoon. For the record, it’s available on DVD collection entitled, Cartoons That Time Forgot: Van Beuren.
A confirmed FAMILY GUY hater named Randy has started a blog to “document every instance of Seth MacFarlane stealing jokes, and finally ending his completely undeserved reputation as some kind of genius.” Click here to read Family Guy Steals.