The final Cartoon Dump of 2011 is here! Your last chance this year to see some of the worst cartoons ever made, and also dive into the Dump’s mixture of sketches, songs and the stand up comedy of our special holiday guests Chris Hardwick, Wayne Federman and Jay London!
Join our regular cast: TV’s Frank Conniff as Moodsy, the Clinically Depressed Owl, Erica Doering as Compost Brite, J. Elvis Weinstein as Dumpster Diver Dan, Kristin Ariggo as Cue Card Goddess and me – your host, Jerry Beck – at the infamous Steve Allen Theatre – tonight at 8pm!
“My wife Monica and I moved from NY a year and a half ago to Ecuador where we opened our studio and did some production work for Superjail! season 2 and The Venture Brothers. The crew includes Artists from Ecuador, New York, Vermont and Canada. I wrote some of it on the beach in Ecuador and the rest at 8200ft in the Andes mountains. There were artists from Beavis and Butthead, Superjail!, The Venture Brothers, Ren and Stimpy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fast Forward, Celebrity Deathmatch, and Sesame Street to name a few. “Stephen gave me free range for the video, which left it wide open. I’ve always loved monster movies, so of course I took inspiration from The Wolfman (1941). I also looked at old classic noir, surrealist films and art to add interest and suspense. In addition, I tried to incorporate things from old ’30s cartoons, especially Fleischer. These are all things from the 30s and 40s which fits the feel of The Real Tuesday Weld’s music. I really wanted to make it exciting so I didn’t hold anything back.”
I just received Profiles In History’s latest auction catalog: Icons of Animation and its pretty incredible. Above are a few of the offerings that caused me to do a Tex Avery double take: a rare cel from one of The Flintstones sponsor bumper for Winston cigarettes; pencil animation from MGM’s Bosko and The Pirates (1937); and a cache of production photos from the Kinex stop motion studio – the one above from The Cannibal Isle (1927). Priceless stuff!
The Icons of Animation auction takes place on Saturday December 17th at The Paley Center in Beverly Hills. Van Eaton Galleries will be displaying the material in advance preview, December 9th through 16th (10am to 6pm each day). Their are literally hundreds of Disney items ranging from cels from The Band Concert (1935) to Mary Blair originals from Alice in Wonderland (1951). Lots of stuff for every taste, from Gulliver’s Travels cels to Leon Schlesinger Bugs Bunny comic strips… check out the entire catalog online here.
Click thumbnails below to enlarge images – L to R: a pan cel from Tezuka’s Astro Boy; The Icons of Animation catalog with the earliest surviving color Mickey Mouse Cel on the cover (note the green trunks!); and an incredibly rare cel set up from Iwerks’ Balloonland (1934):
Opening today is Aardman/Sony Animation’s Arthur Christmas and so far, the critics like it. Michael Phillips in The Los Angeles Times calls it “manic, but charming”. Neil Genzlinger writing in The New York Times says, “The plot may be a little too cluttered for the toddler crowd to follow, but the next age group up should be amused.”
Were you amused? Let us know in the comments below (and you know the rules: only those who have seen the film can post below).
Here they come – at long last. Columbia Pictures classic collection of UPA cartoons will soon be available as you’ve never seen them before. These revolutionary mid-century cartoons, in restored form – with as many of the original theatrical titles returned as possible – are a revelation. Full vibrant colors, clean sharp prints, crystal clear sound. The complete library of these films will be available on two separate sets, from two separate companies (sub-licensed from Sony). First up, TCM will make available on March 5th UPA Jolly Frolics. This 3-disc set contains 38 cartoons, including Gerald McBoing Boing, Rooty Toot Toot, The Tell Tale Heart and the rare Ham & Hattie shorts, a video introduction by Leonard Maltin, audio commentaries on select cartoons by Maltin and yours truly, Jerry Beck, UPA studio art consisting of model sheets, concept paintings, storyboards, background paintings and more. This set will only be available via mail order through TCM’s website. Pre-order it NOW!
On June 19th, Shout Factory will release The Mr. Magoo Theatrical Collection which will include all the original Magoo theatricals, including the Oscar winners When Magoo Flew and Magoo’s Puddle Jumper (both in letter boxed CinemaScope). Bonus materials include rare pencil tests, audio commentaries by the likes of Emily Hubley, John Canemaker, Charles Solomon and much much more. I will be telling you more details about these two amazing DVD collections as we get closer to each release date – but it wouldn’t hurt to pre-order them now. Here’s the Magoo Amazon link.
This new animated feature from South Korea, The King Of Pigs, tackles adult themes and examines on the social impact of high school bullying. The film opened earlier this month in Korea; director Yeun Sang-ho discusses his inspirations with The Korea Herald.
Yes, I plugged this last week and will be plugging it frequently the next ten days… Cartoon Brew’s first animation festival starts December 1st at The Cinefamily in Los Angeles. Be there! Here’s a trailer:
My Bloody Lad was produced as part of a summer training program at Paris based production house WIZZ, between July and August 2011, by Cyril Chauvin, William Dousse, Thibaud Petitpas and Pierre Rutz (collectively known as deadWALTER) – all first year students at the Ecole des Gobelins.
Manohla Dargis in the New York Times said it’s “Lighter in mood, softer in political outlook and less narratively ambitious than the first”. Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times was similarly luke warm, saying “Seeing thousands of penguins dance with Rockettes-like precision is still a kick, but coherent storytelling goes missing.” Happy Feet Two opens this weekend. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’d be curious to know what you think.
More importantly, the film opens with a new 3-minute three-dimensional CG Looney Tunes short, I Tawt I Taw a Putty Tat, with voices by Mel Blanc (from a 1951 recording) and June Foray. I have seen this short and think it’s great tribute to Blanc – and perhaps the most visually spectacular of the modern day Looney Tunes. (I’ll be posting an interview with director Matt O’Callaghan next week). If you’ve seen this, let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Comments accepted on Happy Feet Two and/or I Tawt I Taw A Putty Tat only if you’ve seen the films (all other comments will be deleted).
Not qualifying for an Academy Award is this new Scrat short from Blue Sky. Directed by Steve Martino and Michael Thurmeier, it’s more of an elongated trailer (for the next Ice Age sequel next summer). I predict this will be attached to the forthcoming Alivn and the Chipmunks sequel (Chipwrecked) and may be better than the main feature.
To heck with the Chuck Jones and Tex Avery blogs, and forget about all the Disney sites… Here’s what I wanted and now I got my wish: The Seymour Kneitel blog.
Seymour who? Kneitel was head animator at the Fleischer Studios during its hey day and became a director and partner in Paramount’s Famous Studios after the Fleischer brother’s ouster. His being Max’s son-in-law didn’t hurt. Kneitel was responsible for bringing Casper The Friendly Ghost, Little Audrey, Herman and Katip and Baby Huey to the screen – in addition to stewarding Popeye and Little Lulu cartoons to the Technicolor screen.
The site is now online with its first posts including rare images, behind the scenes info, including a page from Seymour’s original Famous Studios contract with Paramount. Ginny Mahoney, Seymour’s daughter, is moderating the site. Bookmark it.
Animator Mark Kausler has uncovered a rare 1950s “Terrytoons” comic strip, Barker Bill, and has started posting them on his blog. Paul Terry was a comic strip artist well over a hundred years ago, and became an animation pioneer in the early-teens. Apparently as a tie in to selling his old cartoons to television, Terry introduced his Barker Bill as a strip (drawn by animator Bob Kuwahara) in 1954. They appeared in only a few papers and copies of these strips are scarce. Kausler has grabbed them from various sources, including the Google News Archive from the Greensburg Daily Tribune. He’ll be posting them regularly, eight strips at a time, for the time being HERE. For classic cartoon geeks, this is a real find!