Keane began his professional career after serving in World War II, first as staff cartoonist for the Philadelphia Bulletin, then broke into syndication with a panel called Channel Chuckles. His Family Circus strip began in 1960. It spawned three animated TV specials.
In tribute, here’s the 1979 Family Circus Christmas, directed by Al Kouzel, with animators including Fred Crippen, Marty Taras, Willis Pyle and his son–future Disney animator–Glen Keane.
UPDATE: It seems like an appropriate time to post this never-before-published questionnaire that Bil Keane filled out in 1995:
Here is a much better re-use for old cartoons… Steve Stanchfield’s entry in the Erasure Video Competition featuring synched clips from Van Beuren cartoons (and a few others) to the new song from Erasure titled Be With You.
The most ‘like’ votes on Steve’s YouTube page wins the piece a place on the official Erasure DVD… apparently this bunch of Van Beuren clips are getting the second-most votes so far! The contest ends mid-day tomorrow, so place your vote for classic cartoons.
Steve also says that the first person who can name all the cartoons featured in the video will win a free Thunderbean DVD (There’s clips from 29 or 30 cartoons!)
Film bootleggers have enjoyed distributing worn copies this Paramount Christmas cartoon for years, as the film fell into the public domain back in the 1970s. Apparently one enterprising entrepreneur decided to “colorize” the already in-color cartoon (original version above) and distribute it as if it were new. The characters were redrawn (or traced) badly, removing all their original appeal and charm. The colors were brightened and “airbrushed”; some shots are slightly restaged, with the whole film lightly re-edited – and all the racial stereotypes left intact! This copy (below), uploaded to You Tube, has a French track, though most of the songs are left in English.
Who did this and when? Anyone got the story on this “restoration”?
Santa’s Surprise (1947) is notable as the first “Little Audrey” cartoon; the character would replace Little Lulu at Paramount and would go on to become a popular Harvey comic book.
Oh, and whoever did this didn’t stop here. There’s a clip from another Paramount PD cartoon, Bill Tytla’s Hector’s Hectic Life (1948), on You Tube.
Created at the UCLA Animation Workshop in 2010 by Joaquin Baldwin, this sensitive little silhouette film was inspired by the drive back from a trip to Palm Springs. Says Baldwin:
A friend said that it must take them forever to plant and grow so many windmills. I wrote down the title The Windmill Farmer for an idea to explore later, and about a year later I started developing it into a character and story. This film took 4 months to complete from the first boards until the final mix.
This has been on You Tube for several years – and it’s what most people who don’t watch anime think anime is. Not Safe For Work (or perhaps anyone under 16), it’s a compilation of the most violent scenes in Japanese animation set to the song Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat? by Herman’s Hermits. This is pretty sick, and I’m not sure why I’m posting it myself – except that I really like Herman’s Hermits.
As reported yesterday on CB Biz, 18 films have qualified as eligible to be nominated for Best Animated Film at the 2011 Academy Awards. Here’s a run down of the titles – linked to their trailers on Cartoon Brew and to reader talkback posts (for those that opened in wide in the US). Which do you think will be nominated? Which one has the best chance of winning?
I previously posted about attending the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony for John Lasseter earlier this week. The highlight of the event was 85-year old Don Rickles saying a few words about honoree Lasseter (If you look close at the image above you may spot me in the crowd). Rickles was in fine form as he cut down Lasseter (and his wardrobe), his wife (and her hat), Tom Hanks and Tim Allen (who weren’t there), as well as Walt Disney himself. Luckily someone recorded his bit and posted it on You Tube, because I don’t think this will be presented intact as bonus content on some future DVD – its a bit un-PC, but totally hilarious!
Note, in the background, actors Owen Wilson (in the suit and tie) and Emily Mortimer (in green top), and on stage behind Lasseter is Cheech Marin, Bonnie Hunt, Patton Oswalt and Randy Newman.
This has been making the rounds for a year, but I just caught up with it today. Being a nut for the 1966 Batman TV series (and a fan of the recent Chris Nolan movies) I just had to post it here on the Brew. Tip of the Bat-cowl to Ohio-based animator David Rose for a job well done.
We all remember Ren and Stimpy, but where is the love for Disney’s The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show?
The American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood will remedy this situation when it holds Kopptoberfest: A Tribute To Bill Kopp on Saturday night November 12th. It’s a fund raiser for the Cinematheque, with Kopp in person and numerous clips from his work including episodes of Eek! The Cat, Toonsylvania, his violent retelling of the Three Little Pigs from Tales From The Crypt, Roger Rabbit in Roller Coaster Rabbit, as well as scenes from his live action features and Oscar-winning student films. Prior to the screening, hand-painted animation cells will be sold, with all proceeds going to the American Cinematheque.
Voice actors Brad Garrett, Tom Kenny, Jess Harnell, animator Jeff DeGrandis and producer Margaret Loesch will join Kopp on stage in a panel discussion. It’s FREE admission (with suggested donation of $10.) and starts at 7:30pm at The Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, CA. For more information, click here. For a refresher on Shookums and Meat, see video below:
These screen shots were taken with my iPhone off my cathode-ray tube television set. The images are from the new Looney Tunes Blu-Ray disc set, the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Vol. 1, which I just got my hands on. Don’t judge this set on my blurry shots above. I actually ran out and bought a $79 blu-ray player and hooked it up to my old TV set so I could start watching all the blu-ray discs I’ve been accumulating – even if it’s NOT the correct way to watch them.
That said, the cartoons on this collection look incredibly good. Obviously I’m a bit biased as (#1) I love Warner Bros. cartoons and (#2) consulted on the set and wrote the liner notes. We’ve previously posted about the contents of this collection (official press release here), but seeing and holding the actual packaging in my hands is pretty incredible. It’s almost worth the price of the whole set just for the restoration of the (previously lost, now found) 1955 Chuck Jones Air Force re-enlistment film, A Hitch In Time. It’s got incredible animation and layouts by Ernie Nordli that go beyond what they were doing in the regular Looney Tunes of the time.
I’m not a regular blu-ray collector, but here’s what I appreciate about this technology – and this is something I tell my film collector friends: Blu-Ray the equivalent of the studios selling you a mint 35mm print. As someone who grew up during a time before VHS, when the only thing the studios would sell from their cartoon libraries were cut-down 8mm black and white (of color) cartoons, Blu-ray discs clearly are the gold standard for home video. With proper projection or a huge HD flat screen (two things I still don’t have), watching Looney Tunes at home will never be the same.
So consider this an unabashed plug: Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Vol. 1 goes on sale next Tuesday and is highly recommended – whether you have a blu-ray player or not.
Pixar/Disney’s John Lasseter received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame yesterday – in front of the El Capitan Theatre – surrounded Pixar voice talent including Bonnie Hunt, Owen Wilson, Brad Paisley, Emily Mortimer, John Ratzenberger, Patton Oswalt, Don Rickles, Randy Newman and Cheech Marin. However, those photos you can see anywhere online. Here on Cartoon Brew we congratulate him with this photo snapped on my iPhone (above) with Lasseter surrounded by Pixar colleagues (including Ed Catmull, Pete Doctor, Bob Peterson and Pixar GM Jim Morris). And instead of the glossy promo video piece prepared by Disney (to essentially plug Cars 2 on DVD), we’ll embed this fan video below showing how his star was made…
The low-brow La Luz de Jesus Gallery in L.A. is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the largest art exhibition in its history – including this piece above by artist José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros. The current show, La Luz de Jesus 25, features more than 120 artists including Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, Al Farrow, Chris Mars, Elizabeth McGrath, Mark Mothersbaugh, The Pizz, Mark Ryden, Shag, Peter Shire, Mark Todd and Eric White. The exhibition opens on November 4th and will remain on view through November 28th. The gallery is located at 4633 Hollywood Blvd. (near Hillhurst).
Tonight at 8pm is that tribute to UPA I told you about last week. Its the latest subject of my Animation Tuesday screenings, held each month at the former Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax (near Melrose Ave). Tonight we will be running gorgeous 35mm prints on the big screen direct from the studio vault (Thank you, Sony) of some the UPA’s true classics and oddities – including their acclaimed adaptation Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart, Oscar winner When Magoo Flew (in wide screen CinemaScope), and rarely shown The Jaywalker, Willie The Kid and Fudget’s Budget (pictured above) – and more (ever seen a Dick Tracy in 35mm?). Plus: a special surprise guest voice actress in-person (hint: she narrates one of UPA’s greatest shorts). Info and tickets: click here.
Here’s one for you Disney historians and cartoon musicologists. Brew reader Eric Graf has made a remarkable find which I hadn’t heard (literally!) before. I’ll let Eric, in his own words, share his research with you. Says Eric:
“Yesterday I found a 78 that I’d been searching for for years … the Victor Records soundtrack of the Dwarfs’ Yodel Song (aka “The Silly Song”) from Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.
“Here’s the story as I understand it: Snow White was banned in Boston (and a few other cities IIRC) because of a verse in the Yodel Song that was supposedly off-color. Disney removed it from the Boston prints, and at some point also removed it from all the other versions of the movie.
“Since then Disney’s gone out of their way to pretend it never happened. It’s not included, or even mentioned, on any home video release I’m aware of, and it also isn’t on the Disney Snow White soundtrack CDs. But it WAS included on side 5 of the soundtrack album released by Victor Records in early 1938.
“My copy hails from the mid-40s, but it’s pressed from the original 1938 metal parts. The deleted verse is the one Sneezy sings starting at 1:04. It’s not off-color by today’s standards. Maybe a little unsanitary though… (Click to play embed sound file below)
“But here’s something else interesting, that I discovered while syncing up the 78 with a YouTube video of the song (Feh, wrong aspect ratio): The 78 is missing the dwarf’s vocals on the choruses.
“The chorus at :52, which starts with Snow White giggling, doesn’t match the backing track that’s in the movie (YouTube 1:09), but it does match the animation WAY better than the current version – if you ignore the singing dwarfs in the background. Snow White is obviously giggling on-screen (a perfect match to the 78), and the drum thing fits beautifully with Happy’s dance. On the current soundtrack – no giggling, no drum thing. But they’re singing.
“Then you get to the second sung chorus (at 1:51 on both the record and YouTube) – and the dwarf’s mouths aren’t moving! The onscreen dwarfs start singing at 1:59 with the yodeling – which is where they start on the 78 as well.
“The mid-50s Disneyland LP issue of the Snow White soundtrack matches the current version. Therefore, my inner Sherlock maintains that the 78 is the original mix, and that the vocals were left out of the movie by accident. They fixed the mistake at some point, but then they made another mistake – which still stands today – when they added vocals to the other chorus as well.”
Tonight Fox unveiled its latest attempt to create a successful animated series that can fill the gap between its Sunday night superstars, The Simpsons and Family Guy. Actor/comedian Jonah Hill co-created the series (with Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul) and voices the lead character, Allen Gregory.