Tweety made the cut! So did Pixar, William Joyce, Wendy Tilby and the NFB. Here’s the official short-list of the ten qualified animated shorts that will be whittled down to five final nominees for this year’s Academy Award. Congratulations – and best of luck – to all!
The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee viewed all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting in screenings held in New York and Los Angeles. Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will now select three to five nominees from among the 10 titles on the shortlist. Branch screenings will be held in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco in January 2012.
We don’t usually post trailers for live action films but have, when time to time, one is closely related to our field (Brad Bird’s Mission Impossible, Cameron’s Avatar and Disney’s The Muppets come to mind). Pixar’s Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, Wall-E) has been working on a live action adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Princess of Mars for the past few years, and the trailer has just been unveiled. There’s plenty of CG character animation involved (did Pixar animators do it?) and lots of action. The movie will be released in March – and I’m crossing my fingers for its success.
Heads up fans of NBC’s Community. Tonight’s episode has a Retro Anime sequence created by our friends at Titmouse. The sequence has characters from Community animated in the style of 80′s anime (Robotech/Voltron/Bubblegum Crisis style designs). Enjoy these exclusive advance images below (UPDATE: full sequence is embeded above). The animation is directed by Grif Kimmins, animated by Parker Simmons, and Produced by Ben Kalina. Additional credits include: BG Layout & Paint: Lauren Airress & Khang Li, Composite by Mike Newton. Community airs at 8pm on NBC.
If only the new mo-cap Tintin movie had half the charm of this film, the first Tintin animated feature – a stop-mo adaptation of the The Crab With Golden Claws. Animated by Claude Misonne in 1947 with puppets, the film (embed below, in French no subtitles) closely follows the original story by Hergé.
I really like these limited edition Peanuts Special posters by artist Tom Whelan. The Great Pumpkin piece (below) sold out a few months ago. Now the Christmas special (above) will go on sale Thursday in three editions:
450 Standard Edition ($75)
100 Variant Edition ($125)
50 Silver Bells Edition (on metal with Variant image imprinted) ($250)
It’s pretty mysterious how these are being distributed. eMoviePoster.com will release all 3 editions exclusively on Thursday (12/1) at a random morning hour. The next day, Friday (12/2) publisher Dark Hall Mansion will make them available in their online Store. For more information on Tom Whelan and his amazing poster art, check Whelan’s blog.
Cartoon Brew is co-presenting Animation Breakdown at the Cinefamily this weekend. It kicks off Thursday night with Don Hertzfeldt in person with his brand new short (first two screenings sold out – but a 12:35am show has just been added). Tomorrow night is an opening reception for the gallery show at Synchronicity Space being done in conjunction with the fest – it’s also how we’re kicking the whole thing off. The show features artwork from animators, including Bruce Bickford (in his first L.A. gallery appearance), Adam Beckett, Andy Ristaino (of Adventure Time), Jim Tozzi (of Xavier: Renegade Angel), David O’Reilly, Amy Lockhart and more. So join us at Synchronicity Space (713 N. Heliotrope, LA, CA, 90029) Wednesday, November 30th for our opening night reception!
Clay-animation madman Bruce Bickford will also be on hand Sunday night (12/4) at 8:30 to present, in person, a rare evening of shorts, experiments, and brand-new works highlighting his vastly underseen and equally remarkable hand-drawn animation – plus, the world premiere of Bickford’s finally-finished, twenty-plus-years-in-the-making magnum opus Cas’l. A trailer for Bickford’s show is above.
Calling all Flintstone freaks! My friend David Nimitz is an animator, caricaturist and Flintstone fanatic par excellence. He always wanted a toy based on the first aired episode of the series, The Flintstone Flyer, but since none existed he built one himself. He took his prehistoric helicopter out to the Vazquez Rocks and shot a few pix (above and below) – and I just had to share. Well done, Dave! Perhaps these will inspire some toy-maker to create a mass-market version. Till then we will play vicariously through your photos…
Click thumbnails below to enlarge. Second row are some of Dave’s tributes to our favorite cartoon voices.
Going once, going twice… a long lost Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon by Walt Disney. It will be up for auction next month, December 14th, at Bonhams in Los Angeles.
The only known copy of Hungry Hobos (1928) has been found in UK’s Huntley Film Archives based in Herefordshire. It is being estimated to sell for $30,000-40,000. The Bonhams press release says:
Stephanie Connell of Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia department comments, “Hungry Hobos” an incredible find, a lost masterpiece and a cartoon with a unique and vital place in animation history.” Comprising a 16mm double perforated celluloid acetate positive print, silent, probably dating from around its distribution date of late 20s/early 30s, total running time 5 minutes, 21 seconds and 2 frames at a running speed of 24 frames per second.
The Huntley Film Archives recently re-discovered the film and when they realized its significance they decided to sell it, and will devote the proceeds to their collection of 80,000 films, which are badly in need of restoration. Amanda Huntley of Huntley Film Archives comments, “When we checked this film we couldn’t quite believe our eyes. For an archive, finding a lost masterpiece is incredible – you just don’t think it will happen to you. We are excited and delighted to offer this gem to animation aficionados and collectors.”
$30,000-40,000? Has any silent-era cartoon ever been sold for more than $1000? Is this cartoon really worth five figures. All I know is, I want want to see it. If you want to place a bid, or need more information: visit Bonhams website.
A beautiful example of pure visual storytelling. Gobelins students Chloé Nicolay, Manddy Wyckens, Anthony Lejeune, Gaspard Sumeireand Léa Justum animated this short during their summer internship at Cube Creative in Paris.
The final Cartoon Dump of 2011 is here! Your last chance this year to see some of the worst cartoons ever made, and also dive into the Dump’s mixture of sketches, songs and the stand up comedy of our special holiday guests Chris Hardwick, Wayne Federman and Jay London!
Join our regular cast: TV’s Frank Conniff as Moodsy, the Clinically Depressed Owl, Erica Doering as Compost Brite, J. Elvis Weinstein as Dumpster Diver Dan, Kristin Ariggo as Cue Card Goddess and me – your host, Jerry Beck – at the infamous Steve Allen Theatre – tonight at 8pm!
“My wife Monica and I moved from NY a year and a half ago to Ecuador where we opened our studio and did some production work for Superjail! season 2 and The Venture Brothers. The crew includes Artists from Ecuador, New York, Vermont and Canada. I wrote some of it on the beach in Ecuador and the rest at 8200ft in the Andes mountains. There were artists from Beavis and Butthead, Superjail!, The Venture Brothers, Ren and Stimpy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fast Forward, Celebrity Deathmatch, and Sesame Street to name a few. “Stephen gave me free range for the video, which left it wide open. I’ve always loved monster movies, so of course I took inspiration from The Wolfman (1941). I also looked at old classic noir, surrealist films and art to add interest and suspense. In addition, I tried to incorporate things from old ’30s cartoons, especially Fleischer. These are all things from the 30s and 40s which fits the feel of The Real Tuesday Weld’s music. I really wanted to make it exciting so I didn’t hold anything back.”
I just received Profiles In History’s latest auction catalog: Icons of Animation and its pretty incredible. Above are a few of the offerings that caused me to do a Tex Avery double take: a rare cel from one of The Flintstones sponsor bumper for Winston cigarettes; pencil animation from MGM’s Bosko and The Pirates (1937); and a cache of production photos from the Kinex stop motion studio – the one above from The Cannibal Isle (1927). Priceless stuff!
The Icons of Animation auction takes place on Saturday December 17th at The Paley Center in Beverly Hills. Van Eaton Galleries will be displaying the material in advance preview, December 9th through 16th (10am to 6pm each day). Their are literally hundreds of Disney items ranging from cels from The Band Concert (1935) to Mary Blair originals from Alice in Wonderland (1951). Lots of stuff for every taste, from Gulliver’s Travels cels to Leon Schlesinger Bugs Bunny comic strips… check out the entire catalog online here.
Click thumbnails below to enlarge images – L to R: a pan cel from Tezuka’s Astro Boy; The Icons of Animation catalog with the earliest surviving color Mickey Mouse Cel on the cover (note the green trunks!); and an incredibly rare cel set up from Iwerks’ Balloonland (1934):
Opening today is Aardman/Sony Animation’s Arthur Christmas and so far, the critics like it. Michael Phillips in The Los Angeles Times calls it “manic, but charming”. Neil Genzlinger writing in The New York Times says, “The plot may be a little too cluttered for the toddler crowd to follow, but the next age group up should be amused.”
Were you amused? Let us know in the comments below (and you know the rules: only those who have seen the film can post below).
Here they come – at long last. Columbia Pictures classic collection of UPA cartoons will soon be available as you’ve never seen them before. These revolutionary mid-century cartoons, in restored form – with as many of the original theatrical titles returned as possible – are a revelation. Full vibrant colors, clean sharp prints, crystal clear sound. The complete library of these films will be available on two separate sets, from two separate companies (sub-licensed from Sony). First up, TCM will make available on March 5th UPA Jolly Frolics. This 3-disc set contains 38 cartoons, including Gerald McBoing Boing, Rooty Toot Toot, The Tell Tale Heart and the rare Ham & Hattie shorts, a video introduction by Leonard Maltin, audio commentaries on select cartoons by Maltin and yours truly, Jerry Beck, UPA studio art consisting of model sheets, concept paintings, storyboards, background paintings and more. This set will only be available via mail order through TCM’s website. Pre-order it NOW!
On June 19th, Shout Factory will release The Mr. Magoo Theatrical Collection which will include all the original Magoo theatricals, including the Oscar winners When Magoo Flew and Magoo’s Puddle Jumper (both in letter boxed CinemaScope). Bonus materials include rare pencil tests, audio commentaries by the likes of Emily Hubley, John Canemaker, Charles Solomon and much much more. I will be telling you more details about these two amazing DVD collections as we get closer to each release date – but it wouldn’t hurt to pre-order them now. Here’s the Magoo Amazon link.
This new animated feature from South Korea, The King Of Pigs, tackles adult themes and examines on the social impact of high school bullying. The film opened earlier this month in Korea; director Yeun Sang-ho discusses his inspirations with The Korea Herald.
Yes, I plugged this last week and will be plugging it frequently the next ten days… Cartoon Brew’s first animation festival starts December 1st at The Cinefamily in Los Angeles. Be there! Here’s a trailer:
My Bloody Lad was produced as part of a summer training program at Paris based production house WIZZ, between July and August 2011, by Cyril Chauvin, William Dousse, Thibaud Petitpas and Pierre Rutz (collectively known as deadWALTER) – all first year students at the Ecole des Gobelins.
Manohla Dargis in the New York Times said it’s “Lighter in mood, softer in political outlook and less narratively ambitious than the first”. Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times was similarly luke warm, saying “Seeing thousands of penguins dance with Rockettes-like precision is still a kick, but coherent storytelling goes missing.” Happy Feet Two opens this weekend. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’d be curious to know what you think.
More importantly, the film opens with a new 3-minute three-dimensional CG Looney Tunes short, I Tawt I Taw a Putty Tat, with voices by Mel Blanc (from a 1951 recording) and June Foray. I have seen this short and think it’s great tribute to Blanc – and perhaps the most visually spectacular of the modern day Looney Tunes. (I’ll be posting an interview with director Matt O’Callaghan next week). If you’ve seen this, let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Comments accepted on Happy Feet Two and/or I Tawt I Taw A Putty Tat only if you’ve seen the films (all other comments will be deleted).
Not qualifying for an Academy Award is this new Scrat short from Blue Sky. Directed by Steve Martino and Michael Thurmeier, it’s more of an elongated trailer (for the next Ice Age sequel next summer). I predict this will be attached to the forthcoming Alivn and the Chipmunks sequel (Chipwrecked) and may be better than the main feature.
To heck with the Chuck Jones and Tex Avery blogs, and forget about all the Disney sites… Here’s what I wanted and now I got my wish: The Seymour Kneitel blog.
Seymour who? Kneitel was head animator at the Fleischer Studios during its hey day and became a director and partner in Paramount’s Famous Studios after the Fleischer brother’s ouster. His being Max’s son-in-law didn’t hurt. Kneitel was responsible for bringing Casper The Friendly Ghost, Little Audrey, Herman and Katip and Baby Huey to the screen – in addition to stewarding Popeye and Little Lulu cartoons to the Technicolor screen.
The site is now online with its first posts including rare images, behind the scenes info, including a page from Seymour’s original Famous Studios contract with Paramount. Ginny Mahoney, Seymour’s daughter, is moderating the site. Bookmark it.
Animator Mark Kausler has uncovered a rare 1950s “Terrytoons” comic strip, Barker Bill, and has started posting them on his blog. Paul Terry was a comic strip artist well over a hundred years ago, and became an animation pioneer in the early-teens. Apparently as a tie in to selling his old cartoons to television, Terry introduced his Barker Bill as a strip (drawn by animator Bob Kuwahara) in 1954. They appeared in only a few papers and copies of these strips are scarce. Kausler has grabbed them from various sources, including the Google News Archive from the Greensburg Daily Tribune. He’ll be posting them regularly, eight strips at a time, for the time being HERE. For classic cartoon geeks, this is a real find!
“Billy Dare” gets a mysterious note from “Zmekberg” to meet him in the Uncanny Valley. The latest installment of Ruben Bolling’s comic strip, Tom The Dancing Bug, is a parody of Spielberg, Tin-Tin and a statement about the use of Mo-Cap. Boing Boing posted it here and it’s a must read. Hilarious, sad and true!