I will be introducing two programs of animated films – the first at 7:30pm which will feature ten newly restored 35mm prints of UPA classics including Rooty Toot Toot, Magoo’s Express, and Fudget’s Budget. Adam Abraham will sign copies of his newly released book at 8:45pm and at 9:15pm a second program of 35mm Hollywood cartoons that were influenced by UPA will screen. This second screening will include Disney’s Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom, Terrytoons’ Flebus (both of these in CinemaScope), Tex Avery’s SHHH-H-H-H and Gene Deitch’s Topsy TV (also in ‘Scope). Several UPA veterans will attend the show – and we hope you will too. Click here for information and tickets.
CONTEST: Courtesy of LACMA, I have two gift-pack prizes for two lucky Cartoon Brew readers in the Los Angeles area. The first two people to answer the UPA trivia question below will win a pair of tickets to Friday’s event and a copy of Adam Abraham’s book When Magoo Flew (both prizes will be waiting for you at the museum’s box office). Do not enter the contest if you cannot attend the event in Los Angeles. The Contest is now CLOSED:
This animated music video, a combination of cut-out animation and stop-motion photography by Rodrigo Hernández and Cecilia Beavan, is for Mexican pop-glam band The Dragulas. The song is a tribute to Illy Keller, one of the pioneers of punk and glam music in Mexico, who died in 2010.
Here’s a little treat I’d never seen before – and I don’t see it listed in any of the filmographies: a rare ten minute Felix the Cat sponsored short for General Electric. It was preserved by the Schenectady Museum who had it in their General Electric Archive. The film itself is quite good – the story concerns Felix’s midnight drive, to his wedding, in a car without proper GE headlights – and the print is in excellent shape. Animated by Otto Messmer (from 1925, or maybe 1927), The Cat and The Kit:
Yep, I still do this. Once a month I run a bunch of truly awful cartoons surrounded by an absolutely hilarious live comedy show with Frank Conniff, J. Elvis Weinstein (both of MST3K) and Erica Doering. We call it Cartoon Dump and perform it at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood. Our special stand-up comedy guests this month are Matt Kirshen and Hannah Gansen. Showtime is 8pm and tickets can be purchased here. Check out the new FaceBook page for more information and updates. Please come – it’s funny!
Longtime TV animation director and producer Jim Duffy passed away Friday night after a long bout with cancer. Duffy spent much of the last 20 years at Klasky Csupo supervising many of their Nickelodeon shows, particularly Rugrats – directing more episodes of that series than any other artist. He was Creative Producer and Director of Aaaahhh, Real Monsters, Rocket Power, As Told By Ginger, and All Grown Up. Before that he’d worked at Hanna Barbera and Marvel on various shows including Captain Planet, Smurfs, G.I. Joe and Jem.
According to his website, Duffy was born in the USA and grew up in London UK. He has been involved in the production of around 400 half-hours of animated TV series, commercials, and National Coal Board Safety Films as a director, animator, producer, writer, tracer/painter, storyboard artist, and/or designer. He has directed 3 shows nominated for Humanitas awards, two of which won. He’s also been awarded 3 Emmys out of 15 nominations. His personal films have been shown at festivals in Oberhausen, Tours, Nyon, Lucca, Bilboa, Zagreb, and Annecy.
On Facebook, Chuck Swenson wrote:
“Jim Duffy passed away last night at 3:15 am. On the good side, he went peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family. He was truly a good friend and a good man. To say he will be missed is a gross understatement.”
Hauke Scheer is a character designer from Germany, designing 3D characters for computer games, animation and advertising. He just completed this test film for his latest idea, Mechawhales – about whales in giant mechasuits protecting humanity from evil aliens. It’s ridiculous, but no nuttier than most TV cartoons of the 1980s. Check it out:
Those of you who only know of Marsupilami from Disney’s Raw Toonage 20 years ago, might be surprised to learn that the character has been a beloved Belgium comic book character since 1952. And you might even be more surprised to know there’s now a French live action/animation feature coming out next month.
Last year Huston Huddleston, son of late Disney songwriter Floyd Huddleston (“Love” from Robin Hood, etc.), released several vintage song demos to the internet that were collecting dust in his closet. The songs – Peoplitis, Sittin’ In My Favorite Position Doing Nothing, Misery I Never Had I So Good and an alternate Rescue Aid Society theme song – were originally written for Disney animated features of the 1970s. I posted several of them on the Brew. Then, Huston heard from Disney legal…
Huston explains what happened next:
“About a year ago I posted some songs from Disney’s Aristocats and Rescuers with Louis Prima that my father had written that were either different versions or never used. I included artwork I’d found from Disney books and compiled them for all to see on Youtube. I heard from a Disney lawyer at the time asking me what right did I have to release these on Youtube, and I told him “Why the hell hasn’t DISNEY released these in any form, DVD, Blu-Ray or CD? These songs should be heard and if you guys put it out, I’ll happily take it down, but in the meantime, this is celebrating my father’s work”
Months went by, and Huston remained firm about keeping his father’s work alive. The Disney lawyers retrenched – and yesterday called Huston back:
“Having seen my video on You Tube, I just today got a call from Disney saying they are releasing the COMPLETE version of “Peoplitis” (only half the song was on Youtube) with Original animation done at the time (that I’d heard Andre Deja speak of months ago) as well as the other Louis Prima songs for an upcoming release, as well as other goodies for The Aristocats. They WERE going to send me a “cease and desist” letter until they realized who I was. The videos are now OFF LINE from Youtube but will be in stores later this year! FIGHT THE SYSTEM people – it can work!
Just like a Disney movie, this is a happy ending; a rare win-win for all concerned: Floyd Huddleston, Disney – and all of us who enjoy the company’s history.
Mickey Mouse re-teams with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in the video game sequel Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. Game creator Warren Spector talks about the new game in this video, saying the sequel is more of a musical. I never played the first game, but anything involving Oswald Rabbit has my interest. Here’s the trailer:
Wes Anderson (Fantastic Mr. Fox) returns to animation – stop-motion animation – to cleverly illustrate a child’s conception of how Sony’s Xperia smartphone works. The animation, created at Laika/house, was directed by stop motion veteran Mark Gustafson, who also directed the animation in Fantastic Mr. Fox. Tiny bits of behind-the-scenes footage here. Or just watch the commercial.
Easy Way (Camino Fácil) by Juan David Velasquez Bedoya is from Bogota, Colombia, a country where CG animation is just starting to emerge. It’s about 8-minutes and well worth a look. It’s a metaphor for life, as Juan David explains:
Easy Way is the story of a man who, from childhood to adulthood, is prepared to follow a specific path. When he begins his travels, he discovers that it is more difficult than he thought. He decides to change course to a path that seems easier, but the travel is equally difficult – and he’s unprepared for this new challenge.
Beautiful stuff from Studio 4Â°C (Tekkonkinkreet, The Animatrix, etc.). This is for a new web promotional series called PES: Peace Eco Smile for Toyota Motor Corporation. It’s a romantic-comedy in animation about an alien called PES and a human named Kurumi. Do for Love, directed by Yuichiro Hayashi, has just gone online. It’s in Japanese and looks more like a trailer… but it’s delicious anime eye candy:
Hard times for the Scooby Doo Crew? Apparently the “Mystery Machine” is now on Craigslist! A six cylinder/3-speed 1969 A100 Dodge Van that the seller says “drives good”. Take it away for $3200… sounds to me like a steal!