Sorry to report that Patty Disney (Roy Disney’s Ex) died today of Alzheimer’s at her home in Toluca Lake. Also sorry I don’t have a photo of her, but instead a picture (above) of the cancer hospital building, across the street from the Disney Studio lot in Burbank, which she and Roy E. helped create. She was 77.
Before her marriage to Roy Disney in 1955, she lived in New York and worked in advertising. Patty was a great friend to animation and animators, and was an ambassador for the Studio for many years. She and Roy were married for 52 years (before the divorce). A memorial website has been established. In her honor, gifts may be made to: The Alzheimer’s Association, Southern California Chapter, attention John Seiber, or the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center, Providence Saint Joseph Foundation, attention Theresa Meyers.
“When I set out to make a video for my song “Some Hungry Guy,” the visual world of Little Nemo came to mind. The song is about how strange it can be to survive in a hostile world. The lavish panels of Little Nemo depict a young boy navigating a series of wonders and catastrophes in his dreams. It was a perfect fit.
“Director Benjamin Ahr Harrison really came through beyond my wildest expectations. He is not trained as an animator, but using a little digital magic, he was able to lend depth and motion to McCay’s sumptuous century-old panels, which are now in the public domain since their copyright expired. Because McCay was also a pioneer of “animated drawing”– what we now call animation – it felt right to set some his finest drawings in motion.”
(Thanks, Gary Meyer)
Alexandre Siqueira’s Voyage au Champ de Tournesols (Journey to the Field of Sunflowers) is a unique, delicate film about life and death. It was Siqueira’s graduation film from the French animation school La PoudriÃ¨re and has since been screened at Annecy and Anima Mundi, as well as broadcast on the French/German ARTE channel and Switzerland’s RTS. Here’s its internet debut:
I would not skip this film by San Francisco based animator Dan McHale.
Brad Bird will host a special screening and on-stage discussion with the filmmakers of the 2011 animated and live-action shorts on Tuesday night February 21st at the Academy’s Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills. The program, called Shorts!, will include all five animated short nominees and their respective directors: Patrick Doyon (Dimanche/Sunday), William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg (The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore), Enrico Casarosa (La Luna), Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe (A Morning Stroll) and Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby (Wild Life). The program will begin at 7:30pm. For ticket information click here.
The now traditional Academy Animated Feature Symposium will be held on Thursday February 23rd at 7:30pm. Actor/comedian Patton Oswalt will host a panel featuring the 2011 Oscar nominees in the Animated Feature Film category. The nominees (schedules permitting) include Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli (A Cat in Paris), Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal (Chico & Rita), Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda 2), Chris Miller (Puss in Boots) and Gore Verbinski (Rango). The panelists will discuss their films’ development and their creative processes as well as present clips illustrating their techniques.
Both events will take place at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Boulevard, in Beverly Hills, CA, and will begin at 7:30pm. $5 general admission/$3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID (limit 2 at the discounted price). Tickets will be available online and by mail on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Friday, February 3 at 9:01 a.m. To order tickets click here.
Mathematician and video-maker Vi Hart exposes the mathematical impossibility of SpongeBob Squarepants pineapple:
In ancipation of Andrew Stanton’s (Finding Nemo, Wall-E) live action debut, John Carter, this clip of Bob Clampett’s 1936 John Carter of Mars test footage has recently gone viral (thanks to Geeks of Doom, io9 and The Animation Guild, among others):
Of course, longtime readers of Cartoon Brew know this clip comes off the 1999 Beany & Cecil The Special Edition (Vol. 1) DVD, which we have championed for years. I am happy to report Volume 1 was just re-released in a newly remastered version last month. You can only get it through the official Beany & Cecil.com website, and according to the site “the remastered disc has new menus and loads faster, adds Spanish tracks for all of the cartoons (except Beanyland) and several new audio commentaries by Clampett’s kids on three cartoons. There is also a recently discovered storyboard for an unproduced Clampett autobiographgical cartoon titled Cecil’s Scrapebook. What makes it really unique and strange is that it recounts Bob Clampett’s creative and “surreal” life in the person of Cecil.”
I can’t tell you how much I personally love the work of Bob Clampett. These DVDs (Volume 1 and Volume 2) are vital for anyone interested in classic Hollywood cartoons – or anyone who simply wants to laugh. I’ll end this post with one of my favorite Beany and Cecil cartoons (many are now available on You Tube’s Beany & Cecil Channel). I’d be hard pressed to pick my favorite B&C cartoon, but this one is in the top ten – one of the funniest, cleverest and coolest TV cartoons ever, The Wildman of Wildsville:
Here’s the perfect film for me to post in the middle of the night. Andres Tapeton’s graduation film from the Classical Animation program at the Vancouver Film School. It’s quite a trip. Tapeton wrote us to explain:
“This one is really personal, since it’s a representation of the most recurrent dream I have since childhood. I’ve been writing my dreams sporadically through the years, and I always joked when I was in school that some day I would make films out of them. And well, luckily my life brought me to the point that I actually know how to do that now, hah. And that’s why this one is just a prologue of what hopefully will become a personal animated project.”
Actor/comedian Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille) will host the 39th Annual Annie Awards on Saturday, February 4th at UCLA’s Royce Hall. The annual event will begin with a pre-reception at 5 p.m. followed by the Annie Awards ceremony at 7 p.m. and an after-party celebration immediately following the ceremony. All events will be held at Royce Hall. And for the first time ever, Cartoon Brew will live stream the event!
This year’s Winsor McCay recipients are Walt Peregoy, Borge Ring and Ronald Searle. Searle’s award will be posthumous, as he passed late last year at the age of 91. Other animation luminaries and voice actors scheduled to present awards include Ty Burrell, JK Simmons, James Hong, Jib Jab founders Greg and Evan Spiridellis, Tara Strong, Daran Norris, Dee Bradley Baker and animation legend June Foray – among others to be announced.
For complete ticket information and up-to-the minute details on the 39th Annual Annie Awards, please visit www.annieawards.org or the new Annie Awards Facebook page. And remember, if you can’t be there in person, Cartoon Brew will live-stream the ceremony from 7pm PST (10pm EST). Now you have no excuse to miss this event!
Okay, here’s another post for the animation historians.
Animation pioneer Max Fleischer was an inventor and he was passionate about science and modern technology. When his cartoon studio became established in the 1920s he created several educational films for various clients – not to mention extra-length films devoted to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution (both in 1923). Many of these industrial films are lost.
AT&T has dug into its archives an unearthed a pair of sponsored films Bell Telephone commissioned from the Fleischer studio. Fleischer actually produced four nontheatrical titles for the phone company (How the Telephone Talks, 1924; That Little Big Fellow, 1927; Now You’re Talking, 1927 and Finding His Voice in 1929), but AT&T has posted two. Both are pretty rare – I’d never seen That Little Big Fellow myself. They are meant to educate and inform, and are not as inventive (or comedic) as the Koko the Clown theatrical shorts, but are fascinating nonetheless.
So, if you want to learn a little about the science of telecommunications in the 1920s, here are two of Fleischer’s finest. Thank you AT&T.
King Features has collaborated with rock band Wilco on a comic strip/music video tie-in with Popeye. The sailorman and his crew crossed over in last Sunday’s comic strip (1/22/12 by Frank Caruso and Ned Sonntag) and joined the group in this animated music video (embed below), directed by urban fashion designer Darren Romanelli and animated in Singapore by Peach Blossom Media.
Here’s a treat for Fleischer Studio aficionados. In 1935, animator Myron Waldman went to the hospital to have his appendix out. The artists at the studio created a giant hand made “get well” card packed with gag cartoons. Animation art dealer Ken Storms acquired this piece (yes, it’s for sale) and has allowed us to share. A terrific find – It’s great to see the animators behind Popeye and Betty Boop do some off-color gags. There are four pieces, sized 23″ by 13.5″. Click the image above to see the “cover” piece. The other three pieces are below.
Click the thumbnails below to see the art full size. Panel 2 (below left) contains cartoons by Graham Place, Jim Miele, Joe Stultz, Jack Quban, Bill Bird, Tom Antisell and Sam Buchwald (!); Panel 3 (center) has Dave Tendlar, Herman Cohen, Nick Tafuri, Georgew Germanetti, Lillian Friedman, Ed Nolan, Bill Sturm, Ted Vosk, Izzy Sparber and I think, Orestes Calpini; Panel 4 (below right) Max Fleischer, Willard Bowsky, Doc Crandall, Abner Kneitel, William Henning, Harold Walker, Seymour Kneitel, Jim Claboy, Dave Hoffman and Eli Brucker.
Allow me to go off topic (or slightly off topic) for a moment to pay tribute to an old friend, Bingham Ray (he’s at left in the photo above, with a younger, thinner version of me circa 1991 – that’s animator Gavrilo Gnatovich behind us). His unexpected passing yesterday at the Sundance Film Festival has generated a lot a press. The New York Times notes, “He started his formal career in 1981 in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s New York office, where he sold library titles to hospitals, colleges and ships at sea”. Yep, that’s where I met him, where we worked side-by-side in MGM/UA’s nontheatrical department, renting 16mm prints to various venues.
Bing was a hilarious guy and it was absolutely true that everyone loved him. He left MGM/UA and ultimately became the head of several movie companies including Samuel Goldwyn and United Artists. He started his own film distribution company, October Films, in 1991 and one of his first acquisitions was Bill Plympton’s The Tune. He was always there for advice, a joke, or to simply share his enthusiasm for film. He will be missed.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Bing.