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.
Perhaps this should be subtitled: “How an animator sees the world.” The visuals in this delightful short film are, according to the filmmaker, from the POV of a very imaginative child wandering through France. Filmed with a mobile phone with integrated 2D animation by David Martins da Silva, a student at EMCA (Ecole des Métiers du Cinéma d’Animation) the famed animation school located in AngoulÃªme, France.
Thank you Facebook, for allowing us to to see another side of Disney – off model Mickeys, awkward Donalds and suggestive Pigs – courtesy of postings from around the world. Just had to share some of my favorites:
There are people who hate stuff like this — and then there are the rest of us. Ethan Clarke‘s wonderful and disturbing thesis film from CalArts:
If you ever hated (or loved) the Hanna Barbera feature length Charlotte’s Web (1973), you owe it to yourself read the latest two entries in Gene Deitch’s Roll The Credits blog. It’s the full heart-breaking account – throughly documented with personal letters between Deitch and author E.B. White – of how Hollywood producers went from John Hubley to Gene Deitch to ultimately using Hanna Barbera to bring this literary classic to life.
Read the full story here, then drool over the complete never-before seen 792-panel storyboard Deitch had drawn by the masterful Czech artist Mirko Hanák, who passed away shortly after creating it. Deitch says E.B. White was forbidden (by producers) to see his storyboard (though White died shortly after seeing the Hanna-Barberra version. Coincidence?). A must-read!
Samuel L. Jackson leads a team of flying heroes in… no, not The Avengers… in South Africa’s first 3D animated feature Zambezia. Produced by Capetown-based Triggerfish Animation Studios, the film is scheduled for release this winter in Africa – and next year by Sony (according to this report in The Hollywood Reporter). The cast also includes Jeff Goldblum, Abagail Breslin and Leonard Nimoy. Here’s what it looks like:
The Netherlands based Junaid Chundrigar (previously featured on Cartoon Brew with Sheeped Away) made Disassembled after drawing some Marvel characters in a cartoony style. It’s the perfect response to The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil and the X-Men (all of which I love – and I love this too).
Because I’m involved as a consultant on certain Warner DVD projects, I have to sign a non-disclosure form preventing me from talking about them before the company makes them public (That said, I wish I could tell you about the stuff coming out later this year. Consider this a hint that some of the most sought after animation the company owns is headed to DVD and blu-ray within the next year).
This Mouse Chronicles set contains 2-discs and runs 133 minutes long, includes an all-new featurette (Of Mice and Pen) and audio commentary by several historians and animators. This collection began life as one of the series of Looney Tunes Super-Stars and was designed to showcase only Chuck Jones’ Hubie and Bertie and Sniffles cartoons. While some of these have already been released on previous collections, most of this material is new to video – and beautiful restored. The DVD & Blu-Ray come out on August 28th – $18.89 on Amazon.com. Restored cartoon titles listed after the bump.
Morgan Miller (Teela!) and his quirky sense of humor are back:
(Thanks, Andrew Misha)
Owen Dennis, an English teacher working in China, took about 6 months in his spare time to create this 4 minute animated video for his band, Galactaron. The group’s new album is a musical “about an alien band that travels to Earth and meets their first human, Emily Wong.”
Says Dennis: “The reason the video looks reminiscent of a VHS is because I wanted to bring a childlike feeling to it. For me, childhood was the early 90’s. That means people had non-earbud headphones and they watched things on VHS.”
“It’s not exactly like a VHS however, because I wanted the audience to feel now what it felt like back then. Therefore, it’s HD, but with elements of the time period added in (film flicker, mild tracking issue, hand painted lens flairs, etc). It is voiced by myself and Delilah Zhang.”
Congratulations, June Foray!
It’s only taken over fifty years for the Television Academy to recognize the “First Lady of Animation”. This morning, June received her first-ever Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program. It’s for her role as Mrs. Cauldron on Cartoon Network’s The Garfield Show.
And additional congratulations to writer/producer Mark Evanier for directing June in this performance!
June’s competition in her category are:
Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program
June Foray, The Garfield Show
James Hong, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesome
Jeff Bennett, Penguins of Madagascar
Rodger Bumpass, SpongeBob SquarePants
Delta Heavy by Get By
Stop-mo. Directed and animated by UK based Ian Robertson. Illustrations by Annie Ward.
Mr. Overtime by Punks Jump Up
This music video was produced by ChezEddy and directed by Maxime Bruneel, a French director known for his psychedelic videos. And it shows!
Ten by Ten by Bluebrain
I just caught up with this mini-masterpiece, directed and animated by Gabe Askew.