At the Lion King reunion on Monday night in Glendale, Steve Worth gave a great introductory speech about traditional animation and Asifa-Hollywood’s plans for its animation archive. Steve printed the text on the Animation Archive Project blog here.
Belvision’s ink & paint staff working on PINOCCHIO IN OUTER SPACE (1965)
(Click on picture above for larger image.)
While everybody was in Anncey last week, French filmmaker Philippe Capart was in Los Angeles and handed me a copy of his new documentary, “BELVISION: The Goldmine At The Bottom Of The Corridor” (that’s the english translation).Even though it was in French (no subtitles) I could tell this is a superb work, documenting the history of a pioneering Belgium studio that first animated Tintin, Asterix, Lucky Luke, not to mention Bozo The Clown, The Smurfs, the feature Pinocchio In Outer Space and even a pilot for The Flintstones (if my video card wasn’t broken I’d display some grabs from the clips in the documentary – man, the French “Flintstones” look cool – I’ll try to update this post with an image when I can).There are interviews with key surviving personnel, as well as Fred Ladd, Norm Prescott and Larry Harmon. But the highlights are the vintage behind the scenes film clips (apparently Belvison shot behind-the-scenes footage for most of their productions) and scenes from classic French animated TV films and commercials… stuff we American rarely see.
I remember seeing their limited Tintin animations on (U.S.) TV in the early 1960s – it got me interested in the character, whose exploits were being serialized in CHILDREN’S DIGEST (anyone remember that publication?).I don’t know where anyone could see this documentary, but I assume Philippe will be submitting it to animation festivals. I understand it ran on Belgium television a few months ago. Hopefully someone will translate it and air it in the U.S. someday. It’s a fascinating chapter in animation history and I highly recommend this film.
Once again, Cartoon Research (and Cartoon Brew) takes to the airwaves!Tomorrow afternoon, Wednesday June 16th, at 4pm Eastern or 1pm Pacific Jerry Beck will be a guest on QR77 Afternoons with Dave Taylor on CHQR AM 77 in Calgary. We are going to spend a whole hour discussing classic cartoons and taking your phone calls. You can listen live on the web at the QR77 website. So if you have the time, listen in tomorrow for full hour of cartoon chat!
Start hanging out near stationery stores NOW!Brew correspondent Tom Giatras sent me this link from Carlton Cards showing off their 2004 Xmas ornament cartoon collection (yes, already). They have some good new ones featuring Dexter’s Lab, Gumby, Rankin-Bass’ Rudolf & Frosty, The Simpsons and Mr. Bill. But for me, the big news is this nice one based on UPA’s Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol! With Gerald McBoing Boing on his shoulder (as Tiny Tim)! Pretty cool.Perhaps Carlton will dig deeper into the UPA line and next year produce Joe Jitsu and Go-Go Gomez Christmas cards, Christopher Crumpet and Pete Hothead wrapping paper, and a Tell-Tale Heart snow globe.
The difference between this blog and other animation news websites is that, instead of reporting the news of SHREK 2′s box office achievements or the award winning films at ANNECY, we take note that the sale of CRUNCH TOONS (2003-2004) has ended.Poore Bros. has announced today that their saltly snack chips, that had packaging tied into the Looney Tunes brand, has officially failed. They are discontuing the brand as of September 30th. The press release is here.
I’m back!Where’ve I been? The Missus and me took an anniversary trip (it’s been one year since we got married!) up the coast to Hearst Castle.So I’ve been off the internet for three days, out of touch with the real world, and having a a great time exploring the towns along the US 101. And I found a few cartoon items in the Antique stores along the way… blogging to continue shortly.
If I were running the Museum of Broadcasting, I would schedule a program like THIS!
Our spy Tom Giatras snapped this sad shot of a section of the King Features booth, at the NY Licensing Show going on this week. Baby Popeye and Baby Boop are once again being offered to merchandisers who probably have no idea of the legacy of these classic characters. Heck, I don’t know if King Features themselves understand anything about them… Sigh!
A newly released import, Cartoon Melodies: A Tribute To The Classic Warner Bros Cartoons — Music Composed & Conducted By Carl Stalling (retail $9.99) appears to be a reissue of THE CARL STALLING PROJECT from small label Bud Movies in Spain. The 18 track set features music from “Hobby Horse Laffs”, “Porky In Wackyland”, “Curtain Razor”, “Hillbilly Hare”, “Satan’s Waitin”, “Putty Tat Trouble part 6″, “Calling Dr Porky”, “Porky’s Preview”, “The Good Egg”, and “Porky’s Tire Trouble”. (CD also features a bonus multimedia track to play on any Windows system — with information on the artist and other notes). If you’re curious, it can be ordered from Dusty Groove America.com.
Just came back from the above. GOD, I love that show. Anyway…Fears re: the Popeye CGI cartoon’s look seem unfounded. The King Features booth was running a 2-minute demo of the cartoon and the character design is nowhere near as offputting as that one sh–ty press shot would suggest. In fact, apart from the disorienting 3D look of traditionally 2D characters (will Peanuts be next?) and that horrible Popeye Rap they were running throughout the demo, it looks very good.And yep, Baby Pink Panther, Baby Popeye, Baby Betty Boop were there… nauseating.
Cartoon historian Cole Johnson sent me this jpeg of his cel from HOLLYWOOD STEPS OUT (WB 1941).The odd thing about it is that in the actual cartoon, Jimmy Stewart is wearing a tux – not an Army uniform. Cole thinks this might be the way the film was originally – and changed for its “Blue Ribbon” reissue. My guess is that this was a special cel made for publicity purposes.As HOLLYWOOD STEPS OUT was in production in 1940, and released May 1941, before the US entered the war – and as Stewart joined the Army in March ’41 – and that both characters are on the same cel (they were most likely on separate cels on the production art), I doubt this was an image from the original version of the film.But a damn nice piece of art, Cole. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Would you like to talk to a woman who’s animation career spans more than 50 years?Women in Animation Los Angeles presents a salon honoring Merle Welton, who began her life in animation as an inker on Disney’s Snow White. This informal lunch event will be at the Smoke House restaurant on Saturday July 10, 2004 beginning at 12 noon.
Merle will tell tales about her days at Disney, about the fun of working at Filmation and the golden days at Hanna Barbera. The Smoke House is located at 4420 Lakeside Dr., Burbank, across from Warner Brothers. To join this luncheon you need to call WIA’s reservation line (310-535-3838) to reserve a seat.
Monster Road is a feature-length documentary by Brett Ingram (Director/Co-editor) and Jim Haverkamp (Co-Producer/Co-Editor) that explores the fantastic work of legendary underground clay animator Bruce Bickford.The reclusive Bickford usually works alone in a small basement studio in Seattle. His films, especially the dark and magical clay animations he created for musician Frank Zappa in the 1970s (see BABY SNAKES), have achieved cult status, even though very little of his 40 year body of work has been released to the public.Bickford will be making several L.A. appearences this month in conjunction with screenings at IFP LA Film Festival. MONSTER ROAD is screening this week in ANNECY and has already won numerous awards at Sundance, Ann Arbor and the Boston Film Festivals. It screens in Hollywood on Tuesday, June 22 at 9:30 pm, Laemmle Sunset Theatre (8000 Sunset Blvd), and Thursday, June 24 at 5:15 pm, DGA Theatre 2 (7920 Sunset Blvd.). Bickford will be on hand at the screenings to answer questions and show some of his original clay sculptures.On Wednesday night June 23rd at 10:00pm at the Sponto Gallery, 7 Dudley Ave. in Venice, Bickford will personally screen some of his latest short films. (I will be screening some rare musical films that night peceeding Bickford’s appearence).
Movielink has acquired the right to carry all 52 episodes of the classic Speed Racer animated television series for legal download, to view on PC’s, laptops or on TV at any time, according to this press release.The Speed Racer episodes offered on Movielink will be packaged together and rented as 1 1/2 to two-hour segments.
On June 26th, in Burbank, Asifa-Hollywood is hosting a 2-D EXPO.I am one of the co-conspirators behind this event – and it’s shaping up nicely. Basically it’s a full day of panels discussing the current state of traditional (you know, hand drawn) animation. Confirmed panelists & guests include Eric Goldberg, Shane Glines, Raul Garcia, Mark Kausler, Mike Nguyen, Bert Klein, Tom Sito, Eddie Mort, Lili Chin, Jorge Gutuerrez and Gabe Swarr. Amid and I will be moderating panels.Panels cover topics such as “2-D THE NEXT DIRECTION”, “FLASH ANIMATION”, “DOING IT YOURSELF”, “DISTRIBUTION” and “NETWORK PROGRAMMING”.In the evening we are planning a sneak preview screening of a new 2-D feature (to be announced) and a program of recent UNSOLD PILOTS. There will be a networking area with a few exhibitors, including bookseller Stuart Ng, animators Stephen Silver and Bob Harper, The Animation Show and the Asifa booth which will take consignments, selling artists sketch books and art materials.
email@example.com and I’ll point you in the right direction.