Mutts by Patrick McDonnell is one of the best comics strips of the modern era. McDonnell’s love of classic comic strips, comic book artists and animation history is obvious – and homages to the medium’s past are a regular part of the fun. Couldn’t resist posting today’s nod to Winsor McCay:
To hell with Foodfight! Here’s a teaser trailer for a proposed CG animated sci-fi Blaxploitation feature film called Soul Man. French director Guillaume Ivernel (Dragon Hunters) has prepared this piece to help find funding. It certainly looks hot:
We rarely plug specific items being sold on eBay, but the 1946 live action and animation feature is one of the few Disney classics never released on DVD. The seller says it’s an original grey track IB print with colors that will never fade. Technicolor prints in this shape are rare of any film, much less one of the most requested Disney titles of all time.
For more information about this 16mm print, click here. I also recommend joining the Song of the South page on Facebook and checking Song of The South.net for the most comprehensive coverage on the film. Oh, and I’m not bidding on the picture, so let me know if you get it.
UPDATE: Brew commenter Egbert Souse writes in our comments that, “Disney is remastering Song of the South from the original negatives in 4K resolution. It’s not in the immediate pipeline for a Snow White or Bambi level restoration, but they’ll have complete digital files by the end of next year.”
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has two different programs – one on each coast – worthy of your attention and attendence:
On Monday October 10th An Academy Salute to John Hubley. It will be hosted by Oscar winning animator, educator and author John Canemaker and co-curated by filmmaker Emily Hubley. The program will include rarely seen films and an illustrated look at his life and his art by Canemaker, Hubley and animator Michael Sporn. Tickets are $5 for general admission ($3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID). It will sell-out. Order your Tickets Online NOW!
Monday, October 10, 7 p.m.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Academy Theater at Lighthouse International
111 East 59th Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues), New York City
On Thursday October 20th, the 17th Marc Davis Celebration of Animation will present Mary Blair’s World of Color; A Centennial Tribute. This panel will feature Pixar director Pete Docter, Disney animator Eric Goldberg, art director Susan Goldberg, Pixar color key artist Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi and character designer Michael Giaimo in a discussion moderated by animation historian Charles Solomon.
Tickets are $5 for general admission ($3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID) and will go on sale starting October 3rd online, by mail, and in person at the Academy Box Office. This too will sell-out. Be there!
Thursday, October 20, at 7:30 p.m.
at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater
8949 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills
Here’s a delicious piece of eye-candy by artist John Loter to promote his latest merchandising brand, Good Girl, Bad Girl.
Loter’s company, Loter, Inc., does freelance merchandising artwork and design for various studios, particularly Disney. For the past several years the Loters have been selling their own original characters on merchandise at Comic-Con and other events.
About the GGBG piece above, Loter writes:
“The project started with an original song from Joel J Dahl of the band De Novo Dahl (currently By Lightning). We sent him our GGBG book and before we knew it, Joel had a song that we loved and became a huge inspiration for me.
“I drew the boards, with advice from my brother, animation director Steve Loter. Pascal Campion did us the huge favor of assembling our animatic. We had been discussing this project with our friends at Ghostbot and even though the production time was very tight, they agreed to animate it for us. I drew all character key poses (thanks Dancin’ Bob McKnight!). Kevin Martonick was a blessing, creating the Flash assets from my drawings.”
I’m a sucker for ANY Popeye anything, especially if animated to Jack Mercer’s voice. Here’s one of his later TV spots, his voice so identified with the sailor, the character hardly appears (though its a clever way to save money for animation). Note the comic strip “Brutus” twisting Popeye into a knot at the end:
Stephen Irwin‘s Moxie (trailer above) won the Grand Prize for Independent Short. Phil Mulloy‘s controversial Buried But Not Dead won the big prize for Best Animated Feature (see my opinion of it below).
Festival highlights for me were the tributes to Aaron Augenblick, Pen Ward and Thurop Van Orman, which were both highly entertaining and somewhat educational (hat tip to Pen for showing Rebecca Sugar’s Singles off of Cartoon Brew TV); John Canemaker’s incredible heart-felt tribute/talk for Joe Grant and Joe Ranft; Pixar’s Enrico Casarosa screening and discussing (in wonderful detail) his new short La Luna (which will be released with Brave next year); Disney’s screening of both The Ballad of Nessie and Winnie The Pooh with animator Mark Henn and Pooh directors Steve Anderson and Don Hall on hand to answer all questions; and Brandon Oldenburg’s whimsical presentation on the making of The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lesmore.
I watched all four feature films in competition: Chico and Rita is a beautiful film, grown up film based around the world of jazz of the 40s and 50s. Not exactly sure what technique is used here, but if its rotoscope, its one of the best uses of the form I’ve ever seen.
Mati Kutt’s Taevalaul (Sky Song) is an amazing non-narrative sci-fi/fantasy stop motion film (45 minutes) in the Brothers Quay tradition. Hilarious in parts, thought provoking throughout. Might be my favorite film of the week.
Colorful by Keiichi Hara presents important themes – like suicide, teen prostitution, reincarnation, bullying and dysfunctional families – in his compelling anime feature. I liked the film and its story, but it is told at a snail’s pace (126 mins!), and despite a fantasy premise concerning an angel there is nothing in this film that couldn’t have been said perhaps better in live action.
Dead But Not Buried I hated. I actually admire the shorts of Phil Mulloy, but this feature is a continuation of his previous Mr. Christie film. Talking heads in silhouette may be fine for 12 minutes on Adult Swim, but 80 minutes (twice) is too much to take.
As for the rest of the fest, I had a blast. Met many Brew readers, saw many old friends. I screened a bunch of violent cartoons at several venues and did a CBC radio show on Saturday morning to promote the screenings. You can listen to it here:
At the picnic Friday afternoon (above), left to right: Yvette Kaplan, me, Tom Knott, Steve Stanchfield, Mark Mayerson.
And finally, a strange taste of Chris Robinson’s late-night festival programming: a mock panel discussing the history of animation held on Thursday night, featured this piece (below) written and animated by Morgan Miller (“Teela“) and Josh Kleefeld. Here, they discuss the history of animated short films and the Ottawa Animation Festival’s role in fostering the medium.
Moodsy the Clinically Depressed Owl cannot be in Carton Dump this month because he’s in rehab for his auto-erotic-asfyxiation addiction. (In a very emotional group therapy session this morning he got all choked up.) So this Monday’s show will be guest-hosted by Andy Kindler and Dumpster Diver Dan with a sensational line-up of stand-up comedy guests mixed with the usual assortment of unbelievably awful cartoons.
Amid’s commentary on the state of TV animation, which was directed towards a professional audience, was interpreted differently by younger animation fans who aren’t as familiar with industry lingo like creator-driven animation. The unexpected reaction to the article spread on 4chan’s /b/ and sparked a world-wide fandom for this innocuous children’s show, leading to obsessive sites like this and this.
Now the folks at Know Your Meme have created the video history of this show’s popularity (and done a pretty good job of mangling the pronunciation of Amid’s name in the process):
We’ve been posting about Foodfight! since 2004 (the year Cartoon Brew began!) and every year we wonder if it will ever be released. (Click the Foodfight! tag to see all of our coverage.) It’s becoming The Day The Clown Cried of animated features. How bad can it be?
This bad: I spotted this classified ad (below) printed the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter (9/23/11):
So, next Monday you can purchase the film, lock, stock and barrel from Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, who obtained the rights when C47 Productions and Threshold Animation Studios defaulted on their loan. That is, of course, if you have at least $2.5 million dollars to throw at a film that looks like this: Click here to see Foodfight! trailer.
While I’m off enjoying a week of the finest animation in the world at the Ottawa Festival, I leave you today with this prime example of CG/hybrid commercial moviemaking at its finest. This trailer was released a few months ago, I think while I was at Comic Con – but I thought it was worth posting here for the record. It’s the trailer for the 3rd sequel to Alvin and The Chipmunks, opening in the US on December 16th: Chipwrecked. Enjoy!
The programs and retrospectives look to be some of the finest ever assembled: Panels devoted to the Supinfocom Animation School, special guests Pen Ward and Thurop Van Orman, John Canemaker on Joe Grant and Joe Ranft, a spotlight on Aaron Augenblick, numerous competition screenings, not to mention my very own Cartoon Fight Club, a selection of the most violent Hollywood cartoons ever made. Too much for me to list here. Too much for me to see.
I’m not sure where I’ll be and when, but Friday morning I’ll be hanging out in the Arts Court Studio at 10:30am, available to sign books or just chat. Check the festival website for all the programming details. If you can make it to Ottawa this weekend, please do. It should be a blast!