This looks like ____ ! (fill in the blank in the comments below)!
(Thanks, Paul Dini)
This looks like ____ ! (fill in the blank in the comments below)!
(Thanks, Paul Dini)
Smarter-than-the-average comments welcome below.
I really like the designs Danish artist Christyan Lundblad has posted on his blog. Here is a student film Lundblad did a few years ago with fellow animator Sylvester RiishÃ¸j – produced in one night, improvised under the camera:
It’s that time of year again. This month the gang at Cartoon Dump invites you to help celebrate their 3rd anniversary. Join Jerry Beck and Frank Conniff (“TV’s Frank” from Mystery Science Theatre 3000) with Erica Doering as “Compost Brite” and J. Elvis Weinstein as “Dumpster Diver Dan” for Cartoon Dump – for another depraved offering of sketches, songs, puppets, stand-up comedy, and the most God-awful Saturday Morning Cartoons from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
Is there any better way to wind down from Comic Con? Special anniversary guests include Duncan Trussell, Ron Lynch, Michael Rayner and Jimmy Pardo. It’s tonight, Monday July 26th, at 8pm at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood. Advanced tickets can be ordered here. Also join the Facebook Page.
This week we have Medium Large (7/22) by Francesco Marciuliano; Crankshaft (7/22) by Tom Batiuk and Chuck Ayers; Wizard of Id (7/22) by Parker and Hart; and Speedbump (7/22) by Dave Coverly.
(Thanks to Jim Lahue, Jed Matinez and Kurtis Findley)
Here’s a curio: a 1930s vintage toy projector slide show, featuring Max Fleischer’s Betty Boop, Koko and Bimbo in a new adventure in the “real world”. If you ever wanted to see Bimbo naked… here’s your chance!
(Thanks, Milton Knight)
We still don’t know whether the new Looney Tunes Show for Cartoon Network will meet our lofty expectations, but I was invited to a screening this past week to preview the three new CGI Road Runner-Coyote shorts for theatrical release — and my verdict is in: They’re terrific!
Coyote Falls is the first one out (it’ll be attached to Cats and Dogs 2 opening next Friday, July 30th). These are three-minute, three-dimensional cartoons in widescreen (scope). It works perfectly for these characters – the feeling of space in the vast desert only adds to Coyote’s desperation. This time he has ordered an ACME bungee cord and has set up a birdseed trap under a highway bridge. It’s a “foolproof” plan that takes everything into consideration â€¦ except oncoming traffic.
The characterizations, posing, even the sound effects and music (by Chris Lennertz) are spot on. I especially liked the explosions, which in cg have a stronger impact and thus are funnier. The 3-D is even used to extend into the audience – something most modern filmmakers are loathe to exploit. At three minutes these films really are too short (I think some trailers are longer than that), but they show real potential. This is the first Looney Tunes short produced by Sam Register’s new Warner Bros. Animation division. (BTW, the film is simply a Warner Bros. Cartoon with no Looney Tunes or Merrie Melodies designation). Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone are supervising producers along with Allison Abbate (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Corpse Bride, Iron Giant), Matthew O’Callaghan (Curious George) directed in respectful homage to Chuck Jones. The film begins with a very cool 3D CG WB-rings logo designed by Peter Girardi. Below is a 25-second clip to give you a taste. Below that are three exclusive images (click thumbnails to enlarge).
[clip removed at request of producer]
I’m on my way to “Comic Con” (aka The San Diego Comic Con) and I’m hoping to have a great time — despite the crowds.
To recap my scheduled appointments, I’ll be signing my book The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes Cartoons at the Insight Editions booth (#2913) on Friday 10:30-11:30am and Saturday from 2:00-3:00pm. I’ll also be signing the book TODAY (Thursday) at the Van Eaton Gallery booth #501 at 3:00pm. On Friday afternoon I’ll be moderating a special panel: Peanuts Turns 60 from 2:00-3:00pm in Room 25ABC. Panelists will include Jeannie Schulz (widow of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz) and Stephan Pastis (creator of Pearls Before Swine). And on Friday night, I’ll be screening my all-new edition of Worst Cartoons Ever at 9pm in Room 6BCF.
The photo above is not Stan Freberg at last year’s Comic Con. It’s Freberg with Peter Tork, Mickey Dolenz and Mike Nesmith from an episode of The Monkees in 1966. Stan and his wife Hunter will be appearing at the Con today in Room 6BCF in an interview with Mark Evanier at 11:45am. I’ll be there.
If you can get into Hall H, the very first thing you’ll see is a Dreamworks Megamind panel at 10am. Tron Legacy is previewed there at 11:15am. Bill Plympton will be discussing his work in Room 8 at 1:30pm. Nathan Greno and Byron Howard (directors), Glen Keane (animation supervisor), and other artists from Tangled discuss the new film in Room 5AB at 2:00pm. There will be a panel about The Hub, the new Hasbro animation channel/animation studio with producers Bob Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Jeff Kline, along with President and CEO Margaret Loesch, in Room 7AB at 4:30. Robotech and Carl Macek will be remembered at 6:45 in Room 6DE. And that’s just some of today’s activities.
Tomorrow (Friday) starts with a 10am Comedy Central panel devoted to Ugly Americans with series creator Devin Clark, animator Aaron Augenblick and several voice actors in Room 25ABC. Tom Sito hosts a State of the Animation Industry panel with Raul Garcia, Joe Haidar, Beth Sleven and Sean Petrilak in Room 9 at 11:30. The Adventure Time panel with Pen Ward (creator), Jeremy Shada (voice of Finn), John DiMaggio (voice of Jake), and Tom Kenny (voice of Ice King) is in Room 6A at 11:45. A Neighbors from Hell panel is at 12 noon with the voice cast including Molly Shannon, Patton Oswalt, Will Sasso, Kurtwood Smith in Room 25ABC. Don’t miss my Peanuts panel at 2pm in Room 25ABC. Pixar’s Ronnie Del Carmen discusses the story process and what it’s really like to work in Story at Pixar, followed by Q&A, at 4:30 in Room 26AB .
Saturday begins with a SpongeBob panel with producer Paul Tibbitt, creative director Vincent Waller, storyboard director Tuck Tucker, background painter Andy Clark and the voice of SpongeBob, Tom Kenny, 10am in Room 6A. This is opposite a panel called Writing Animated Feature Films with panelists Alan Burnett (Green Lantern: First Flight), Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After), John Musker (The Princess and the Frog), Dean DeBlois (How to Train Your Dragon) and Wallace Wolodarsky (Monsters vs. Aliens), in Room 8. The Futurama panel with producers Matt Groening and David X. Cohen, cast members Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, and Maurice LaMarche, is at 12:45 in Ballroom 20. The Simpsons panel with Groening, showrunner Al Jean, executive producer Matt Selman, and supervising director Mike Anderson follows at 1:30 in Ballroom 20. Mark Evanier’s Cartoon Voices panel (part 1) features Evanier and Earl Kress talking voice acting with April Winchell, Candy Milo, Gregg Berger, Tom Kane and Jason Marsden in Room 6BCF at 1:45pm. After this, I’m personally spending the rest of the day going through the dealers room…
There are so many booths I’m anxious to hit. One in particular is shared by Pixar artists Josh Cooley, Bill Pressing and Scott Morse (Booth #4800). Cooley has has a new book, inspired by his love of classic movies mixed with his love of Golden Book art, Movies R Fun- A lil’ Inappropriate Book, a parody depicting scenes from favorite R rated movies in the Golden Book/Mel Crawford-ish style. Pictured below is Bill Pressing’s limited edition Intercontinental Cuties playing cards, which will be available at the Con at the same booth.
On Sunday – after Cartoon Voices part II with Phil LaMarr (Futurama), Janet Waldo (The Jetsons), and Cheryl Chase (Rugrats), at 11:15 in Room 6A – I’m leaving. And if I’m lucky I will have bought some old comic books.
Several months ago we featured Sascha Ciezata’s hand sketched animated short When Lynch Met Lucas. Since then, Ciezata’s been busy with his latest shot-with-an-iPhone animation, this time produced by Random House. It’s based a passage from the new book by Bret Easton Ellis, Imperial Bedrooms, read by actor Andrew McCarthy.
Consider me impressed. Here’s a 30-second trailer promoting the San Diego Comic Con panel for The Goon on Friday night. Based on the Dark Horse comic by Eric Powell, the animated feature is being produced by David Fincher and is currently in production at Blur Studios in Venice California. This could be interesting…
Here’s the promo for the new Looney Tunes Show which ran this past weekend on Cartoon Network. It’s our first peek at the CG Road Runner and redesigned Bugs and Daffy.
Because we are changing servers over the weekend, Sunday comes early this week – as we post our weekly round-up of animation related newspaper comics a few days early – First up, a multi-part sequence from Heart Of The City (7/13-15) by Mark Tatulli:
Strange Brew (7/11) by John Deering; Argyle Sweater (7/14) by Scott Hilburn; The Quigmans (7/12) by Buddy Hickerson; Natural Selection (7/13) by Russ Wallace; and Reynolds Unwrapped (7/12) by Dan Reynolds.
(Thanks to Jim Lahue, Kurtis Findlay, Charles Brubaker and Ed Austin)
According to our friends at Toonzone, Peter Fernandez, best known to animation fans as the voice of Speed Racer, passed away this morning due to lung cancer at the age of 83.
Fernandez adapted scripts, voice directed and acted on Speed Racer and Marine Boy. Another significant credit for him was as the non-singing voice of Alakazam in Alakazam The Great (1961). He co-wrote the animated series Johnny Cypher In Dimension Zero for Joe Oriolo Productions, dubbed the animated French feature Light Years (aka Gandahar, 1988) and voice directed The Adventures of The Galaxy Rangers. He could also be heard in numerous live action Japanese monster movies – from Mothra and Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster to the Ultra Man series.
Most recently Fernandez had a cameo role in the live-action Speed Racer (2008) and was also the voice director for Cartoon Network’s series Courage the Cowardly Dog.
The images above and below are from a new environmental documentary currently making the rounds, Deep Green. The feature contains several animation sequences produced by Portland-based Bent Image Lab.
Interstitial sequences include Greenagraphics (pictured above), directed by Pascal Campion, using a stick figure line-art style for a Flash piece explaining the importance of energy conservation in the home; and Earth Faces, directed by Chel White and Brian Kinkley, a combination of 3D CGI, live action and still photography that provide different views of the Earth combined with images of human faces depicted in clouds, “implying that planet stewardship begins with each one of us.”
Bent also created the two animated shorts that accompany the film. Voiced by Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants), they take a comedic approach to explain the most serious manmade problems facing our planet’s forests and oceans: Trees directed by Randy Wakerlin, offers a humorous yet urgent warning about the effects of deforestation – told by two talking trees, “green-collar guys”, voiced by Kenny; and The Krill is Gone (pictured below), directed by Jeffery Bosts, is a mix of 3D CGI and 2D After Effects animation, featuring a comedic cast of marine life voiced by Kenny and his wife Jill Taley.
My old friend Mark Trost went to the Roy Rogers auction at Christies today and took some snaps of interest to us at Cartoon Brew. For some reason, Roy was in possession of the original art for the sheet music to Walter Lantz’ Chilly Willy. Does anyone have any theories as to why he would have this? (click thumbnail at left and below to see a larger images). Roy, of course, appeared in Disney’s Melody Time (1948) and narrates the story of Pecos Bill. Below are photos of three cels up for auction from the Roger’s estate: an unusual one representing Pecos Bill, and two production cels signed by Walt to Roy’s agent, Art Rush: Willie The Operatic Whale from
Fun and Fancy Free Make Mine Music (1946) – perhaps given to explain that Roy would appear in a musical package film? And a Three Caballeros cel – perhaps symbolic that Roy would appear in a live action animation segment?? Mark also reported that the auction included “a number of letters from Walt to Roy on personal stuff”. There’s also a Mickey Mouse piece. Don’t fret, there’s still time to bid… this material goes up for bid tomorrow (Thursday July 15th) and the estimated prices are relatively low. Let us know if you win something.
Children’s book author and illustrator Ed Emberley has used his books to teach a generation of children to draw using the simplest of ingredients: squiggles, triangles, dots, circles and the other shapes.
Some of the kids inspired by Emberley grew up to be professional artists themselves. Opening July 17th at Scion’s Installation L.A. Gallery, Ed Emberley & Friends will explore the influence that Emberley’s books have had on this new generation of artists. Curated by Caleb Neelon, the exhibition features Emberley originals as well as five artists who were inspired by him. The artists include Seonna Hong, Raul Gonzalez, Matt Leines, Christopher Kline and Saelee Oh.
Emberley will have the largest presence in the show, contributing work from his archives including dozens of pages from the 1970s original mockups of his books. He will have recent drawings of his classic characters for sale, as well as a limited-edition print made especially for the show. An opening reception takes place on July 17th, 7—10 p.m. at the Scion Installation Space, 3521 Helms Ave. (at National), Culver City, CA 90232. The reception is free with complimentary valet parking and an open bar. All the artists will be present. This exhibit will run until August 7th and more information is available at the Scion Space website. Here’s a little trailer created for the event:
Back in 2007, we reported on Acme Filmworks’ incredible 3-boxed set of 18-discs collecting 54 award winning animated shorts, The Animation Show of Shows. Today, I’m happy to report Acme has released a second set of three boxes (containing 18 more discs, an additional 54 shorts). And here is an unabashed plug:
The animated shorts collected here are celebrated works of independent artists, every film carefully curated and lovingly presented – and in the case of several older films, beautifully restored. Each box set contains six DVDs, each disc containing three shorts, held in its own slip case illustrated with still art from the film and a bio of each director. Watching the first box (Set #4, Vols. 19-24) I was struck by the the variety of styles included here. From the hand-drawn antics of Bill Plympton (Guard Dog and Santa: The Facist Years), to collage cut-out stop motion (an incredible restoration of Frank Mouris’ Oscar winning Frank Film) and the latest CG wonders (Jeremy Clapin’s Skhizein, Gobelins’ Oktapodi), there’s style and technique to spare. Unless you’ve attended the competitions at Ottawa or Annecy for the last ten or fifteen years you probably haven’t seen all of these before, but I’ll tell ya, there isn’t a bad film in the bunch.
To say this is an important compilation is an understatement. These are vital for any serious animation library and required viewing for students and all who want to see some of the best shorts ever made. To heck with downloads, owning them on DVD is the way to go. As you can tell, I cannot praise Acme’s Animation Show of Shows DVDs highly enough. For complete contents and ordering information, visit filmporium.com. The dvds are very reasonably priced — 3 films on each DVD for $5 (that’s cheaper than itunes). Each DVD will be offered individually (soon) and right now in the 6-DVD Box Sets for $30 each.
The San Diego Comic Con has posted its daily schedules – and if you are going to the Con and want to see me you’ll have ample opportunity. Right now I’m set to be at the Insight Editions (booth #2913) on Friday 10:30-11:30am and Saturday from 2:00-3:00pm signing The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes Cartoons book. This will be the best place to talk to me personally, especially if you have any questions about my various doings, including future DVDs and book projects and if, for some-unknown-reason, you want my autograph.
On Friday afternoon I’ll be moderating a special panel: Peanuts Turns 60 from 2:00-3:00pm in Room 25ABC. Panelists will include Comic-Con special guest Jeannie Schulz (widow of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz), Andy Beall (fix animation lead for Ratatouille, Wall-E, UP), Stephan Pastis (creator of Pearls Before Swine) and others. We’ll take an in-depth look at the work of Charles M. Schulz and get a sneak peek of an all-new animation project from Warner Premiere.
And on Friday night, I’ll be screening my all-new edition of Worst Cartoons Ever at 9pm in Room 6BCF. In addition to fresh episodes of old favorites like Mighty Mr. Titan, Paddy Pelican and Johnny Cypher In Dimension Zero, I’ll be screening new finds like The Magic Of Oz (the worst Wizard of Oz cartoon you’ve never seen) and Bat Beagle (a newly unearthed Sam Singer monstrosity).
I’ll do another post closer to the Con to plug the various panels I hope to attend (if I can get in) and booths worth checking out in the exhibit hall (if I can squeeze through the aisles). (Note: Attending any panel moderated by Mark Evanier is highly recommended). In the meantime, start setting your convention plans now by consulting the full schedule of events for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
This week we have Medium Large (6/28) by Francesco Marciuliano; The Fusco Brothers (7/6) by JC Duffy; Bound and Gagged (7/4) by Dana Summers; an editorial cartoon (7/2) by Signe Wilkinson; and The Argyle Sweater (7/9) by Scott Hilburn.
(Thanks to Jim Lahue, Charles Brubaker, Jed Martinez and Kurtis Findlay)
I went in to see Despicable Me with very low expectations… and came out very pleased with the film. It’s not Pixar… but it’s in the same ballpark Sony Animation plays in. The visuals are wonderful (Mac Guff, the Paris-based studio behind the neglected Dragon Hunters did the animation), particularly the layouts and color design, and though the story isn’t important, it is fun. It’s a kid’s film – and a good start for Universal’s new Illumination Entertainment.
But what did you think? The film opens this weekend and now its time for you to have your say. Comments accepted only by those who have seen the film.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has tweaked their rules concerning what qualifies as an animated feature in regards to running time and “motion capture”. According to their press release:
In the Animated Feature Film category, the rule governing running time for a motion picture to qualify was changed from at least 70 minutes to greater than 40 minutes, which is consistent with the running time requirements for feature films in all other categories. The running time for a motion picture to qualify as an animated, live action or documentary short film has been and continues to be a maximum of 40 minutes. The previous 70-minute threshold for an animated feature had left a gap for films that ran between 40 and 70 minutes, effectively preventing them from being able to qualify as either features or shorts.
Also in the Animated Feature Film category, a sentence regarding motion capture was added to clarify the definition of an animated film. The language now reads: “An animated feature film is defined as a motion picture with a running time of greater than 40 minutes, in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique. Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time.”
Just in time to debut at the San Diego Comic Con, Titmouse Inc. (the animation studio behind Metalocalypse and Black Panther, among others) has just published one of the best comic anthology’s I’ve ever seen. Titmouse producer Ben Kalina sent us some information:
We’ve recently put together a new project called: “Titmouse: Volume 1″. It is not a cartoon. It is also not a comic book, not a magazine, and it’s not a book–it’s a MOOK, a magazine-book. Like Sushi, MOOK is an addictive Japanese concept that will take the world by storm. It also goes great with saké, with a significantly lower risk of succumbing to the paralyzing effects of mercury poisoning.
We have assembled a team of weirdo artist-types to create this 100 page hardcover anthology and printed it in full color on fancy paper featuring comic strips, paintings, and interviews from some of the art world’s most interesting individuals. It’s 1/3 Heavy Metal, 1/3 Mad Magazine, 1/3 Juxtapose, and 1/3 Ralph Bakshi film-on-paper, fancy paper.
I got a chance to preview it and its really good stuff! It’s also a limited edition, so if you are interested I highly recommend you buying it sooner than later. Artists include Dave Cooper, Dave Johnson, Jon Schnepp, Andy Suriano, Dave Fremont, Jacob Escobedo, Richard Mather, Tommy Blacha, Travis Millard, Israel Sanchez, Kaori Hamura, Otto Tang, Kelsey Mann, Freddy Christy, Paul Harmon and Steven Daily.
Titmouse Volume #1 will be released via titmousestuff.com during the week of Comic Con. They’re also having a launch party and gallery show at Ghetto Gloss in Hollywood on July 16th at 7pm. Details of that event can be found here.
This is about a year old, but new to me – and I really like it. Guy Harlap did this 15-second opener for the 2009 Tel Aviv Animation Festival, all in classic 2d (flash) animation.
The lead characters (the band members) are a bit dull and the music does nothing for me, but the fantasy creatures and backdrops in this new music video – for the band Sociedade Soul of FlorianÃ³polis, Brazil – are nicely conceived. Directors Gustavo Brazzalle and JoÃ£o Pedro Agnoletto Cardoso spent six months producing this piece at the CafundÃ³ Studio. Check out the concept art here.
Written and Directed by
JoÃ£o Pedro Agnoletto Cardoso
Production: CafundÃ³ EstÃºdio Criativo \ www.cafundo.tv
JoÃ£o Pedro Agnoletto Cardoso
Pedro Henrique CorrÃªa
JoÃ£o Pedro Agnoletto Cardoso
Romel Germano Heidi GonÃ§alves
Eduardo Santaella Malaguti
A full house of animation fans had a blast at our Tribute to Gene Deitch last night at the CineFamily/Silent Movie Theatre in Hollywood. My thanks to all who attended – Gene especially appreciated the audience reaction to his films. He told me later that he really enjoyed that the crowd got all the gags and laughed right where they were supposed to during Flebus, Munro, Here’s Nudick and Self Defense For Cowards. He was truly touched by all the love he felt at the tribute.
Animator Jeaux Janovsky sent me some of his sketch-notes he took at the show (click below thumbnails to enlarge); next to that is a scan of Charles Solomon’s LA Times story (7/5/10), which was never posted online. Below that Mike Clark snapped this photo (second row, below left) of Gene, his wife Zdenka, me and Terrytoon animator Len Glasser after the show. I myself took a few snaps (center and right) of Gene and Zdenka with my iPhone before the show. Jamie Kezlarian Bolio also took some great photos (like the one above) and posted them in a Facebook Album. Jamie also shot video of our Q&A and has posted it on our Cartoon Brew Facebook page. Thank you everyone – but especially THANK YOU to Gene for making this special appearance and a lifetime of great films.