First, director Simon Robson of Australia’s Engine recently created this beautiful “relief collage” styled spot for Mt. Franklin Bottled Water (below):
Afterward, the team decided to make a fun little “Making Of” film to go with it. Incorporating a combination of Photoshop, After Effects, Maya and a little bit of live action, the crew worked on it in-house in their down time, taking a total of 4 weeks to put it together. I like it better than the commercial that inspired it.
Morgan King had dreamed of making a Ralph Bakshi-ish rotoscoped fantasy animation all his life. This is the result of those dreams: a six-month project, teaching himself as he went along – Mongrel & The Wrath of the Ape King (you’ll note a bit of He-Man and Heavy Metal influence, thrown in for good measure). Says King, “while I didn’t even get close to the breadth of my 22-min script, as a stylistic attempt it gets pretty close to what I was shooting for.”
Here’s a curio from the early 1970s. In the days before computer colorization, after Fred Ladd found success re-painting and refilming the old black and white Porky Pig cartoons in color, another enterprising producer – Charles King of King-World (the syndicator of the Little Rascals shorts) – decided to re-film the live action Our Gang shorts – in color, using stop-motion clay models and miniature sets. Hal Roach historian Richard Bann tells me that ten (!!) of these were produced by a studio in England. Clearly this idea didn’t work… in fact, its a train wreck. Can you imagine if this had succeeded and someone had the idea to do this to Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin? Here’s a faded copy of one of Rascal re-do’s, Our Gang Follies of 1936 (1935):
For comparison, here is the original short (ironically, a colorized version is all I could find online):
“No one goes to Milt Kahl – or Marc Davis or Ollie Johnston or Frank Thomas – ‘Wow’ what pencil did you use?” That’s my favorite quote from last Monday’s Marc Davis Lecture, The Development of the Digital Animator, moderated by Tom Sito. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has posted online the ten most significant moments from the event. Panelists included Lasseter, Bill Kroyer, Tim Johnson and Phil Tippett. You can watch all ten segments here: on Oscar’s You Tube channel.
…it might look like these incredible designs by Matthew Humphreys, an artist currently at Hasbro Studios. Click on image above to seen the full line up. Honestly, if it were up to me, I’d be developing at least one Marvel property as a Disney hand drawn film… Dr. Strange, Sub Mariner, The Silver Surfer…
…actually, the makers of Life’s A Jungle are desperately trying to trick consumers to pick up this low budget travesty. People say the DVD market is dying – if it puts an end to crap like this I’m all for it. And if you think the box art is bad… wait’ll you check out the trailer:
This year’s intro video to Dreamworks “Animation Day” (a day long acting workshop for their animators) is a hoot. Look closely and you’ll spot several Dreamworks animators (James Baxter, Simon Otto, etc.) and Jeffery Katzenberg as well as some live action reference footage shot for their features. Can you imagine if the Disney staff made films like this in 1952?
It’s apparently a Japanese take on American cable cartoons. According to Amazon.com:
The Anarchy sisters, Panty and Stocking, are angels who were kicked out of Heaven due to bad behavior. They are sent to Daten City, a place located on the edge of Heaven and Hell, where creatures called “Ghosts” have run wild — feeding on human desire. Under the watchful eye of Reverend Garterbelt, it’s up to Panty and Stocking to destroy these Ghosts, in order to collect enough Heaven Coins to return to paradise. Only the Anarchy sisters can save humanity from these monsters and when they’re not bickering with each other, they’re unstoppable.
13 episodes come out on DVD July 10th. For those curious about seeing the actual show before it comes out on DVD, you can watch a few episodes on FUNimation’s official site.
Director Steve Moore has finally posted one of my favorite (and rarely seen) Disney shorts of recent (or semi-recent) vintage. Moore recounts the making of the film – a product of Disney’s Television Animation unit, that went on to be nominated for an Academy Award in 1997 – on his Flip Animation blog. Written by Dan O’Shannon (now of Modern Family), narrated by Garrison Keillor, and voiced by Mia Farrow, Michael Richards, June Foray and Adam West, here at last is Redux Riding Hood:
It was announced on last night’s Season Finale of The Simpsons that Maggie will star in her own stand-alone 3D animated theatrical short. The Longest Daycare will debut before Ice Age: Continental Drift opening in theaters on July 13th, 2012.
Storyboard artist Jane Wu (Mulan II, Shane Acker’s 9) has posted two of her dynamic boards from Marvel’s The Avengers. Click on images below to see them in animatic form. It’s nice to know that strong work like this, from seasoned animation professionals like Wu, went into creating the blockbuster hit movie.
Tonight at 9:30pm Eastern/Pacific, Disney’s Tron Uprising airs its pilot on Disney Channel (it’s also available online). I personally think this series is a breakthrough for a US-generated animated action series; a game changer.
For decades the standard look for adventure cartoons was the model started by Doug Wildey on Hanna Barbera’s Jonny Quest (1964). Later, Bruce Timm and the team at Warner Animation advanced the field with Batman: the Animated Series (1992), and there’s no denying Anime certainly brought a new feel to the genre.
Tron Uprising certainly borrows from those traditions and ups it a notch – a BIG notch. To be fair, the pilot airing tonight only shows off half the picture – the beautiful visuals designed by Art Director Alberto Mielgo and Lead Character Designer Robert Valley. The pilot Beck’s Beginning is a bit of a paste-up – as its constructed from the elements of the previously announced mini-sodes which were originally planned to preview the show (Disney execs decided to edit them into one 31 minute episode instead of presenting them as serialized bite-sized pieces, as first intended). Producer/director Charlie Bean (The Ren & Stimpy Show, Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, The Amazing World of Gumball) has the perfect sensibility for this show – and from what I understand the storyline for the actual series is far more complex than the set-up presented tonight.
But so far, I love what I see. How about you? What’s your take? You have no excuse not to give it a try. Take a look at some of this gorgeous production material below. Top row: two of Mielgo’s magnificent production paintings, and a third by Joon Ahn; second row: a model sheet for some of the lead characters; third row: a few of Valley’s storyboards and (at my request) a Beck model sheet (click thumbnails to enlarge). Click all images for larger, fuller views.