After seeing our previous post on the ABC SUPER SATURDAY CLUB, J.J. Sedelmaier comes clean with his past transgressions by sending in the the above image – with a note:
“It’s SO sad that I still have this. . .”
(Click on image to see much larger picture)
I sat with June Foray at the CINECON banquet last night in Hollywood. I’m not trying to name drop, but I wanted to pass along this bit of news: June is scheduled for an appearence on CNN, with Larry King on September 22nd.
ABC’s Saturday morning cartoon line-up in 1969 must represent the pinnacle of low budget, cheapjack, crap-tacular TV cartoon production. But if you grew up with this kind of stuff, you might still have a warm spot in your heart for it. Who can forget (or remember) Hanna-Barbera’s THE ADVENTURES OF GULLIVER and THE CHATANOOGA CATS, Ken Snyder’s HOT WHEELS and SKY HAWKS (pictured above) – both designed by comic book great Alex Toth – Rankin-Bass’ SMOKEY BEAR SHOW, Filmation’s FANTASTIC VOYAGE and their Archies knock-off, THE HARDY BOYS? Not to mention those reruns of made for TV CASPER cartoons…. Ahhh, what a morning!If you crave the nostalgia of those times, check out Steven Thompson’s new blog where he has posted the complete contents of the ABC SUPER SATURDAY CLUB (direct link here), a failed attempt by the network to create brand loyalty to their kidvid programming.
When is a theatrical release not a theatrical release?As someone who is monitoring U.S. theatrical animated releases – for both my website and new book – I’ve established a criteria for what is and isn’t a legitimate movie theatre release. However, with ever-changing technologies and new marketing strategies continually evolvng, I find I’m wrestling with a new dilemma. What happens when a theatre is showing a direct-to-video movie on Saturday matinees, several weeks in advance of their dvd debut? Do I consider that an official theatrical release?An outfit called KIDTOON FILMS has started a weekly theatrical series of kiddie matinees, mixing old G-rated films with new direct-to-video movies. SPOOKLEY THE SQUARE PUMPKIN, THE GOLDEN BLAZE and CANDYLAND have received Saturday and Sunday morning showings in theatres accross the country. Small newspaper ads are taken. The films are digitally projected – no 35mm print is made. This weekend, the new direct-to-video Tom & Jerry movie, The Fast And The Furry (coming out on Oct. 11th) is playing these KIDTOON matinees.These films were never intended for theatrical showing, but for marketing purposes they are made available to KIDTOONS for a short period of time. Shall I consider these “releases” as legitimate? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences wouldn’t, as they dictate a weeklong booking as a requirement. Will I list them on my website? For now, I guess I will. Their lack of a film print might be an excuse not to list them, but within ten years I doubt any film prints will be struck for theatre showings.Such are the concerns of a diligent film historian.
My garage sale continues with some obscure pencil original art from Van Beuren and Lantz studios.
This’ll be slightly off-topic. I’m plugging my whereabouts the next five days. Tomorrow night I will be in two places at once. First I’ll be showing 16mm films, as I do each month, at the Steve Allen Theatre (at 4773 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Feliz) at 8pm, preceeding a concert by Janet Klein and her Parlor Boys. Then I’ll scoot over to the Egyptian Theatre (on Hollywood Blvd. near Highland) to catch the start of CINECON 41. As you may know, CINECON is the polar opposite of the San Diego Comic Con. This movie convention actually seems to get less attendence each year! The convention is based in the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel (located at 1755 North Highland Avenue) and runs through Monday September 5th. Cinecon is the oldest of the movie related fan festivals and Cinecon 41 offers an outstanding program of unusual classic movies, archive prints, recent film restorations and celebrity guests. Chapters from THE IRON CLAW (1941), Universal B-musicals with Shemp (this year, 1944′s “Moonlight and Cactus”), rare shorts and cartoons (Scrappy’s THE BEER PARADE will be screened Saturday morning at 10:15am) – and much, much more – are run all weekend from 9am to midnight, each day at the Egyptian. Here’s the complete schedule.For more information, please check their web site at www.cinecon.org
Just when you thought King Features couldn’t sink any lower – they do this.(Link to Mark Evanier’s News From ME)
Who says traditional animation is dead?Not Nelson Shin – the Walt Disney of Korea. His epic labor-of-love, EMPRESS CHUNG, has finally opened in North & South Korea. Nice article on Shin and Korean animation in today’s New York Times.The film will be screened at the Ottawa festival next month.(Thanks Michael Sporn)
Brazilian cartoonist Marcelo Braga (of the Macacolandia Studio) has started a blog, which is loaded with his, and some of his friends, artwork. Damn they’re good.
The current owners of National Lampoon have partnered with Art Clokey Productions to recraft the original Gumby TV series into an “edgy, irreverent” reinvention, called Gumby: The Lost Tapes. Lampoon will create and produce all-new dialog (and in some cases music) tracks. The “new” versions will appear on the National Lampoon Network, the largest college dorm television network reaching nearly 5 million college students on 600 campuses nationwide. National Lampoon will also be issuing the “new” episodes for sale on DVD. Full press release here.
Mike Mattesi is opening a new art school in Pasadena, ENTERTAINMENT ART ACADEMY.Stephen Silver will be there doing a lecture on Charater Design (Sept. 25), Tony Bancroft will discuss Animated Performance (Nov. 20th), Glen Murakami will be Interpreting Superheroes, and my ol’ buddy Jim Wheelock will look at Architecture as Narrative (Oct. 9th). Rik Maki (of Digital or Not) will teaching a 13 week class on Character Design. For more information visit www.enterartacad.com
I don’t know about you, but I just booked a hotel room for July 20-23 in downtown San Diego. Eleven months in advance.
San Diego Comic Con
We will be having a contest the week of September 12th relating to Tim Burton’s CORPSE BRIDE. Warner Bros. will be giving us prizes and we will hand them out to the first readers who answer our simple trivia questions that week.In the meantime, Ron Barbagallo has, on his website, posted a great behind the scenes interview with Graham G. Maiden (Mars Attacks and Chicken Run), Head of the Puppet Department at the London studio set up exclusively to produce Corpse Bride. The interview includes art and images from the film’s production that illustrate the process behind the craft of puppet making. Click here to read it.
My expectations were so low for VALIANT, that I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the film at an Asifa-Hollywood screening last night. I also noted the audience laughed often throughout the film.I was expecting a disaster, but the story was solid (cliched, but solid), the animation was well done and the characters were funny. It played like a B-Film – a 1940s B-film, and that’s not a bad thing.It’s worth seeing.
John Canemaker’s Winsor McCay – His Life and Art, his 1987 biography of the great newspaper cartoonist and pioneer animator, will be published again in October by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. in a revised and expanded edition. The original tome, long out-of-print, is one of the most valuable – and entertaining – animation histories on my bookshelf. This new edition has me salivating.The revised edition is now 272 pages – 48 more pages than the old edition – and filled with never-before published photos, artwork and research. New material includes:
Never-before published pages from McCay’s private animation production notebook revealing the filmmaker’s ideas for timing and visualizations in “Gertie the Dinosaur” (1914), “Lusitania,” and “Flip’s Circus” (c. 1921).Rare concept art by McCay for a second film starring Gertie the Dinosaur.New documentation of McCay’s early career, including the Wonderland and Eden Musee in Detroit, where he sold his first cartoons. McCay’s professional relationship and longtime personal friendship with cartoonist Apthorp “Ap” Adams, one of his two assistants on the monumental animated epic “The Sinking of the Lusitania” (1918). Full-page reproduction of a 1907 New York Herald showcasing eight top comic strip cartoonists and illustratorm including McCay, and their art. A complete Winsor McCay Chronology, and extensive additions to the Notes and Bibliography sections. Many rarely seen photos and drawings from private collections. A new cover, book design and page layout.
The book retails for $40.00, but I recommend you pre-order it on Amazon.com for $29.70.