Angel Vitamina is a personal project of animator Diego De Rose and a small team of independent animators in Argentina. This is the second time I’ve posted about this film’s progress (I posted an shorter teaser trailer here in 2009). De Rose has just debut a second, longer trailer – now five minutes, though the first two minutes is a talky set up – and has expanded his website and production blog. I wish them luck in getting this film finished!
My Animation Tuesday screening this month is the first in a new series of semi-regular face-offs: The Heavyweights of Cartoon Comedy. We will periodically pit two titans of animation anarchy against each other — and this month we’ll be comparing and contrasting the work of Tex Avery and Jay Ward.
Who was funnier: Avery or Ward? Does it matter? Avery was the “King of Cartoons” with his series of MGM theatrical shorts of the ‘40s and ‘50s. His animated masterpieces practically invented the language of cartoons, and are rife with exploding bombs, eye-popping doubletakes and girl-hungry Hollywood wolves. Jay Ward, the prize-winning Bay Area producer, revolutionized TV toons in the ‘60s with witty dialogue, funny artwork and zany characters like Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right and Super Chicken. This big-screen contest will screen some of the best of the best (in rare 35mm film prints) – and the audience will be the real winner! The showdown begins at 8pm on Tuesday July 5th at The Cinefamily (aka The Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax) in Hollywood. Advance tickets on sale now!
In 2009, we reported on the Ghibli Museum exhibit devoted to Max Fleischer’s Mr. Bug Goes To Town (1941). I believe this was somewhat tied into Studio Ghibli’s Arrietty (2010). Ghibli and Disney have since teamed to release Mr. Bug (aka Hoppity Goes To Town) on home video in Japan.
Brew reader Rick Nodal sent us this report about the DVD (and supplied the images in this post):
“Hoppity Goes to Town (Mr. Bug Goes to Town) was released on DVD (region 2) in Japan back in 2010 by Studio Ghibli through Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Japan. I just received the copy I purchased online and it’s fantastic. The audio & video quality is excellent, and although the disc defaults to Japanese subtitles when it begins, you can change the setting to “no subtitles.” I’ve attached a few screen shots/grabs including the end title Paramount logo.”
As Mr. Bug is still protected by copyright, does this mean Ghibli, Disney or Pony Canyon (their Japanese video distributor) sub-licensed the film from Paramount Pictures? If so, that’s very interesting! Disney presenting a Fleischer cartoon?!
Click thumbnails below to see larger images of the box (with Disney castle logo clearly visible, lower left on the label) and several frame grabs. According to Rick, this is a transfer of an NTA Technicolor print, with NTA’s reissue opening titles. This is a shame as the UCLA Film Archive recently restored the film from the original Paramount three-strip negatives. Hopefully we will see that version released soon – from Disney or anyone.
In the meantime you can order the Japanese Ghibli/Disney release from CDI Japan for $46.43 (U.S. $).
While we in the U.S. await word of a domestic release of Studio Ghibli’s latest film, an international trailer of an English dub has made its way to the internet. This UK release has Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones, Atonement) in the lead. Disney’s later English dub will feature Carol Burnett, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett and Bridget Mendler (Lemonade Mouth) as Arrietty.
Here’s a great way to begin the holiday weekend (in the States): a pair of newly released animated videos from Weird Al Yankovic. For his new album, Alpocalypse, much like how he did last time on Straight Outta Lynwood, Yankovic has employed several notable animators to create videos.
Here’s the music video for Another Tattoo (Parody of Nothin’ On You by B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars). Animation produced at Augenblick Studios, directed by Chris Burns.
Party In The CIA (Parody of the song Party In The U.S.A. by Miley Cyrus) was animated by Roque Ballesteros and his team at Ghostbot (the studio behind the Erin Esurance commercials).
The rest of Weird Al’s new videos can be seen on Yankovic’s YouTube page.
Check out Loom, an amazing piece from German studio Polynoid:
Directors: Jan Bitzer, Ilija Brunck, Csaba Letay
Technical director: Fabian Pross
Production company: Filmakademie BW
Producer: Regina Welker
Sound: Joel Corelitz / waveplant
Artists:Felix Mertikat, Jin-Ho Jeon, Roman Kälin, Tom Weber, Christian Hertwig, Silke Finger, Jacob Frey, Leszek Plichta, Georg Schneider, Anja Wacker, Andreas ‘Felix’ Gebhardt, Falko Paeper, Sarah Eim
(Thanks, Charlie Gore)
For your listening pleasure today, a classic recording of the Abbott and Costello radio show from November 18th, 1943. This one features guest stars Bugs Bunny (Mel Blanc) and Lucille Ball. In this episode, Lou goes to extremes trying to score a pair of nylon stockings… and if you listen carefully might also hear Elvia Allman, Iris Adrian or maybe Sidney Fields.
(Thanks, Mark Trost)
Today’s must-read/must-view history lesson: Conelrad (which covers the Atomic Bomb era of the 1950s) has posted a thorough history of A Short Vision, the acclaimed 1954 animated short by artists Peter and Joan Foldes.
The Conelrad post, by Bill Geerhart, essentially recounts the surprising U.S. reaction to this short, which was broadcast twice on the top-rated Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. The fact that a mainstream U.S. variety show ran this art-film-with-a-message in primetime is almost as shocking as the film itself.
Hungarian born Peter Foldes was a painter and experimental animator whose work won prizes at the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals. Foldes went on to create several pioneering computer animated films including NFB’s Hunger (the first CG short nominated for an Academy Award, in 1974). He passed away in 1977.
Watch the film (below), read the post. Still packs a strong punch.
(Thanks, Brenden Hyde)
The latest music video for the French pop group, The Betwitched Hands, is a psychedelic a love story; “a metaphor for two people who miss each other”. It’s co-directed by graphic artist Sanghon Kim and Paris studio Machine Molle, in a mix of animation technics including traditional hand drawn and CG animation. And the song is catchy, too:
Buzzing about the internet today was news concerning the Tom and Jerry Golden Collection, Volume 1. Whereas I’m working on this set and had been sworn to secrecy about it, I couldn’t mention it before. Since the box art was leaked and a bunch of mis-information is now being spread, I have no choice but to violate my arrangement with the studio and clear up some facts.
First of all, some basic information about this set: It goes on sale October 25th on both Blu-Ray and standard DVD discs. The DVD will go for $26.99 and will present the cartoons in their original 1.33:1 “full frame” video aspect ratio. The Blu-Ray set will cost $34.99 and will feature the shorts also in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, but with video in 1080p high definition. Both will no doubt sell for less on Amazon.
Each set will contain the first 37 Tom & Jerry shorts, in chronologic release order (from Puss Gets The Boot to Professor Tom, for those keeping score at home). There will be audio commentaries and bonus documentaries – but none of these are finalized yet. These sets will contain new, pristine transfers from CRI negative elements. These are not the Turner TV broadcast prints used on previous releases.
Many are asking about Mouse Cleaning. The original nitrate negative has been found on this rare title and it is being restored at great expense. This film is planned for release on T&J Golden Collection volume 2. Don’t even think of asking me about that set yet.
The information leaked about Vol. 1 today was early data made available to solicit sales from the retail trade. It was not intended to be spread publicly. A formal press release about the Tom & Jerry Golden Collection, with updated information, will be released in a few weeks.
P.S. I will be moderating a Warner Home Video Cartoon panel on Thursday July 21st at 3pm at the San Diego Comic Con – with guest panelists including George Feltenstein – to discuss forthcoming Tom & Jerry and Looney Tunes collections on DVD. If you are going to the Comic Con, I advise you (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) to attend this panel for more information.
(Special thanks to David Lambert)
The brilliant but rarely seen 1962 Academy Award nominated animated short Icarus Montgolfier Wright has finally been posted on You Tube by animator Mike Kazaleh, who had a 16mm print given to him by exec producer Herb Klynn many years ago.
This is another of those films I saw several times back in my elementary school years, in English class, and never forgot the haunting images by Joe Mugnaini — who had done illustrations for many Ray Bradbury books. Icarus is based on a story by Ray Bradbury with a script co-written by Bradbury and George Clayton Johnson. Jules Engel produced it at Format Films and actors James Whitmore and Ross Martin provide the voices.
The film was released in 1962, but takes place in what was then the near future. In this story, it is the night before the first manned flight to the moon: August 22nd 1970. The date turned out to be off only by a year, a month, and two days.
UPA veteran Osmond Evans directed the picture. Evans was a very astute filmmaker, always careful about using shapes and motion from one scene to the next to give his films a flowing but dynamic feel. Although Icarus Montgolfier Wright has very little animation, it moves at a brisk pace because of the creative use of camera moves and editing.
In 2009 we posted about VFX artist Ryan Leasher’s forthcoming book about illustrator Joseph Mugnaini. His book, Wilderness of the Mind: The Art of Joseph Mugnaini, contains a foreward by Bradbury and is planned for publication in later this year from Art of Fiction.
(Thanks, Mike Kazaleh)
I love Bob Clampett, and I’m happy to announce that BeanyandCecil.com is now online! This is the official family website of Bob Clampett and for his characters Beany & Cecil.
The site is still a work-in-progress, and you’ll note a hard-sell for Beany and Cecil Vols. 1 & 2 DVDs (and everyone reading this blog should own these – two of the best DVD compilations ever, loaded with great cartoons and important historical bonus material). That said, the site has much to offer as is – and I recommend you visit there today.
A couple of tips: When you check it out, hold your curser over the black and white logo in the top left corner…after a second it animates! The video on the TV will be rotated out regularly. The first video is Beany and Cecil taglines.
There are video interview clips under “Our Creator/The Surreal Side of Bob Clampett.” Much more will be added over time including interviews with people who worked with Clampett. I’ve been told there will also be feature pages added like, “The Night Ronald Reagan Opened for Beany and Cecil“.
A newly digitally remastered Bob Clampett’s Beany and Cecil The Special Edition: Volume 1 is in the final stages of authoring. It will have some ADDED elements including new menus and audio commentaries by Bob’s kids: Cheri, Rob and Ruth Clampett. It will have a rare unproduced storyboard, Cecil’s Scrapebook, with Rob’s commentary. This same storyboard will be added to the website in sections. The first section is up now, you can find it under Creator/My Life As a Sea Serpent. Readers will be notified when the DVD available, if they go to the order page.
Much Clampett goodness to explore and enjoy. My highest recommendation!
Another student film from The Netherlands’ Utrecht School of Arts (HKU), this one called Rooted. It’s an (unintended?) update of Disney’s Flowers and Trees (1932) that plays like the first five minutes of some bizarre Pixar feature about two characters who can’t go Up, two trees who fall in love with each other:
Here it is. Looks great. Can’t wait.
It’s that time of the month again. Monday June 27th, the perfect time for the apocalyptic hilarity of Cartoon Dump, with its rapturous mixture of sketches, songs, puppets, stand-up comedy and actual Saturday Morning Cartoons from the 50s, 60s and 70s that are so bad you’ll be praying for the destruction of the Earth.
I’ll be introducing Frank Conniff (MST3K), Erica Doering along with guest comedians Carlos Alazraqui (voice of Rocko on Rocko’s Modern Life), Emo Phillips and our usual gang of animated suspects, Mighty Mr. Titan, Johnny Cypher and who knows what-the-hell else…
Canlandiranlar is a new animation society in Turkey, which organizes free educational courses, holds panels and supports independent animation in Istanbul. They held a project called “Animation Talent Camp” last year and produced several short films themed around “Istanbul” supported by professionals from the industry. Idil Ar’s film is a beautiful example of bold animation design in service of telling a story, setting a mood and capturing a moment:
Direction: Idil Ar
Animation: Idil Ar, Emre ErgenÃ§
Art Direction: Idil Ar
Music and Sound: Can Ãœnal
Voice: Osman Poroy, Idil Ar
Producer: Berat Ä°lk, 2010 Avrupa KÃ¼ltÃ¼r BaÅŸkenti
Best Animation Award ’22.Ankara International Film Festival’
Best Script ‘Canlandiranlar Talent Camp 2011′
(Thanks, Karl Cohen and Betsy DeFries)
Independent animator David O’Reilly (The External World) is hosting two animation programs next Saturday (7/2) at the Cinefamily theater in Los Angeles. Both are extremely intriguing and well worthwhile for our more adventurous readers.
1) Found Animation @2pm
From the deepest, most corrupt corners of David O’Reilly’s hard drive comes a collection of lost animated wonders, forgotten by time and YouTube, destined to break hearts, minds and sense of common decency. David says: “There will be work I found from now-defunct private torrent sites, old video tapes, friends & places I cant remember, gorgeous 3-D tentacle porn, footage of bizarre video games, and work by surrealist animation genius Charley Bowers (who was forgotten in his own lifetime and died in poverty). If you love Pixar, you will hate this!”
In other words, he’ll be running stuff like this:
2) The Agency @11:59pm (aka Midnight Show)
The world premiere of The Agency, which O’Reilly co-wrote with Vernon Chatman (creator of Wonder Showzen). He’s claiming it’s the world record for fastest created feature length animation – from conception to completion in one week.
It’s official: one of the most twisted new animated works we’ve seen in a very long time is also a new record holder. The film very, very loosely follows several office-bound characters as they plot their upwardly-climbing corporate destinies, continuously insult each other with non-stop vicious flair, and morph their reality with that of a duo of cute panda bear-looking creatures for whom the office dimension is just a dreamâ€¦? This baffling slice of cough syrup-like comedy dementia was created entirely with “Xtranormal”, an online service that lets users make their own CGI mini-movies through a limited library of characters, sets and music, and with awkward text-to-speech synthesis – serving to produce a sublimely blobby experience that’ll sautée your cerebellum with love!
He made it with Xtranormal– an online service that lets users make their own CGI mini-movies through a limited library of characters, sets and music, and with awkward text-to-speech synthesis –and basically has them streaming dialogue of insanity, profanity, and other craziness.
This excerpt NSFW:
Richard Corliss has compiled a list for Time Magazine of “25 All-Time Best Animated Features”. I’ve posted his choices below.
1. Pinocchio (1940)
2. WALL-E (2008)
3. The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie (1979)
4. Dumbo (1941)
5. Spirited Away (2001)
6. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
7. Up (2009)
8. The Triplets of Belleville (2003)
9. Finding Nemo (2003)
10. The Little Mermaid (1989)
11. Toy Story 3 (2010)
12. Toy Story (1995)
13. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
14. The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)
15. Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
16. Happy Feet (2006)
17. Akira (1988)
18. The Lion King (1994)
19. Tangled (2010)
20. Paprika (2007)
21. Kung Fu Panda (2008)
22. Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! (2008)
23. Yellow Submarine (1968)
24. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
25. Lady and the Tramp (1955)
With all due respect, Mr. Corliss, this list is flawed. Very flawed. Where’s Bambi, The Incredibles, Toy Story 2, The Iron Giant, or Ice Age? What about Fritz the Cat or Heavy Traffic? Allegro Non Troppo and My Neighbor Totoro? Perhaps Nightmare Before Christmas or Mr. Bug Goes To Town?
And c’mon, even I can’t put The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Movie on such a list, much less at #3. It was essentially a compilation from classic shorts. Horton Hears A Who? You’ve got to be kidding.
Check out the original post on Time’s website. Each of his choices includes a brief write-up and an embed of the trailer. What else do you think Corliss forgot? Perhaps we’ll compile the Cartoon Brew Top 25 Animated Features as a rebuttal.
Me? I set the bar pretty low and wasn’t as disappointed as I thought I’d be. On the plus side, this is one slick piece of family entertainment, with visual opulence to spare. Great action sequences and yeah, even a few laughs. On the downside, the story (Pixar’s usual strong suit) was surprisingly cliche. For this film, you have to buy into the world of “Cars” or you might as well go home. There isn’t the emotional pull of the previous several Pixar blockbusters, and no relatable characters – just regional stereotypes (and several annoying ones at that). Oh, and be sure to understand that this is a “Mater” Movie. He’s the star, not Lightning McQueen.
The spy stuff is fun, but I couldn’t help wondering if this story would’ve been more fun if it were enacted by human characters. My biggest disappointment: Cars 2 feels like the first Pixar picture aimed at children exclusively. Before, audiences were delighted that a Pixar family film could be so sophisticated. Here, Pixar’s made a children’s film first, with numerous references to things children won’t understand.
There’s an old Hollywood saying I just made up: “When in doubt have a character fall into a tub of shit”. Nice to see Pixar include such a scene here. Here’s my prediction: this film will get Pixar’s poorest critical reception, and it’ll be Pixar’s all-time biggest moneymaker.
So, is it the “Best Cars movie Ever?” or has Cars run out of gas? Now it’s your turn. As with all of our other talkbacks, please comment only if you’ve seen the film.
Interesting way to market the latest Pixar movie – by leaking posters, images and a trailer (coming soon) to the next Pixar film (a year away). Okay, I’ll bite, because Brave looks (to me) so damn good… here’s the cast, above our heroine Merida; and below left to right (click thumbnails to enlarge): Queen Elinor, Lord Macintosh and the Wise Woman.
(Thanks, Elena Ceballos via Nerd Reactor – and reader Darrin for the image above)
Four second-year students from the Netherlands Utrecht School of Arts, aka HKU, recently produced this haunting and heartfelt short film entitled Silence. It was completed in four months using Maya, Cinema 4d, After Effects, Photoshop and Final Cut Pro.
Director: Olivier Ballast
Animation: Joost de Jong
Art Direction: Erik van Helvoirt
Technical: Michael Koning
Music: Gijs van Amelsvoort
Effects animator Jason Keyser created this film at Brigham Young University “in about 2 semester’s worth of work, spread out over 3 years”.
Pixar’s Cars is preceded in animation history by such shorts as Warner Bros. Streamline Greta Green (1937), Tex Avery’s One Cabs Family (1952), and even Disney’s Susie The Little Blue Coupe (1952). But I grew up watching a boring Automobile Club pedestrian safety film called The Talking Car, which my gym class ran endlessly on rainy days. Some future rainy day I’ll subject you to the original ten-minute 1955 black and white version I was routinely tortured with. For now, I just found an embed to the equally bad, sixteen-minute long, 1969 color remake with Brian Forster (The Partridge Family) as “Jimmy”, voices by Hal Smith and some very cool vintage Burbank locations.
(Don’t forget to “See and Be Seen”)
Say what you will about Cars 2 — Pixar’s 2012 release Brave looks hot. And this first teaser poster bodes well for the final results.
(See a larger image at HollywoodReporter.com).