Character animator Vitaliy Strokous didn’t have any films in the CalArts Producer’s Show last night (which was a great program btw, and I’ll be posting some of the films screened here in the near future), but I was told he is an animator to look out for. So I looked him up online and found this fun little film he made last year with classmates Eusong Lee, Christopher and Kyle Baeta-Orick, produced in 48 hours sometime last semester.
Here’s our feel-good story of the day: Dante Buford, 22, who recently completed his B.A. in animation at Loyola Marymount University, was selected by Gobelins to participate in the highly selective character animation workshop in Paris this summer.
According to information provided to us by LMU:
Born in the city of Whittier and raised in Pico Rivera, Buford moved to Los Angeles at the age of 13 and then relocated to Inglewood his senior year of high school. A member of the Crenshaw High School class of 2007, Buford’s first exposure to higher education was attending the LMU Summer Creative Workshop. Each year, a group of talented youth from the Los Angeles inner city are mentored by LMU faculty while creating films. After attending the summer program at LMU, he eagerly applied to the School of Film and Television his senior year at Crenshaw. Upon his acceptance to LMU, he was awarded the Cosgrove Family Endowment Scholarship, which covered his tuition and expenses throughout his four-year undergraduate education.
Buford’s senior project, Interview (image above), is a short animated film about a Mom stressing out over a job interview who is sabotaged by a vindictive woman competing for the same position. This trip marks Buford’s first out of the state of California and first time flying on an airplane.
My sincerest congratulations to Dante Buford, and his classmate Christina “Kiki” Manrique who was also selected to attend the Gobelins workshop, on winning this opportunity. We look forward to posting your films here in the future.
If you thought Superbook was didactic… TPM.com is reporting that former minister-turned-Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is producing a series of Learn Our History animated videos that tell the “true” story of American history, the story our “schools are afraid to tell”. Says Huckabee:
“Some teachers and education boards are using history and social studies classes as their soap box to promote their own political opinions and biases! Using animated videos that kids love, this series tells the tales of…a group of friends who create an incredible time machine that takes them back in time to relive history in the making.”
This one is going right into the Cartoon Dump. It’s so poor, it looks like a Saturday Night Live parody… but it’s for real! Here’s a sample:
(Thanks, Frank Conniff)
Good news, animation historians! The complete 1922 through 1929 run, 22,000 pages, of industry trade paper The Film Daily has just been posted online at Archive.org. Reviews of rare and now-lost silent cartoon shorts, trade advertising (like the Krazy Kat ad above) and articles of historic interest are here – but you’ll have to diligent and scour each and every page to find nuggets like this ad for Winkler Felix the Cat and Disney’s Alice Comedies or this review of the second Mickey Mouse cartoon, Gallopin’ Gaucho. This is truly a gold mine for researchers like myself.
(Thanks, Leonard Maltin)
Lest we forget: a tribute to a pioneer.
(Thanks, Matt Enlow and The Birthday Boys)
There’s a new tradition every May in the U.S. – Free Comic Book Day. It was created to help promote new wares by comics publishers as well as an attempt to lure new consumers into local comic book shops.
Free Comic Book Day was last Saturday, but if you visit your comic store this week you can most likely pick up some of the leftover freebies. This year’s batch included several animated tie-ins, including comics based on Kung Fu Panda and Batman: The Brave and The Bold.
The one I was most interested in was the new version of Richie Rich from Ape Entertainment (under their Kidzoic line) and I able to snag one today. This is not your grandfather’s Richie Rich. In fact, the Richie here is pretty unrecognizable to old purist’s like me. The old Richie was the ultimate kid’s wish-fulfillment fantasy – you know, a bowling alley in the basement, a fully stocked soda fountain in the den, tons of comic books to read.
This new Richie retains the old cast: girl friend Gloria, rival Reggie and pet Dollar Dog, along with super-robotic maid Irona and his buff, ass-kicking butler Cadbury. Everyones gotten a makeover to look more like characters in comics today – and that’s okay with me. I’m not sure how kids will relate to their globe-trotting adventures or Richie’s new personality, which is touted as a cross between James Bond and Indiana Jones, “with the bank account of Donald Trump” (they might want to change that). But the artwork by Jack Lawrence (covers) and Tina Francisco (interior stories) is somewhat attractive (check out her drawings of Casper, Scrappy, Bosko and Betty Boop here), so more power to them.
If I ever get nostalgic, I still have my old, pulp paper, 12-cent Richie Rich books from the 1960s and 70s. As for these new comics… let’s just say I paid the right price for the first issue.
Adventure Time – The Next Generation? Maybe. Travelers with short legs, by 23 year old, independent animator Leo Campasso from Buenos Aires, Argentina, has its own pace and sense of style. He mixes 2D, 3D and Flash animation to tell the story of a teen traveller on a strange journey, finding new friends and foes. Campasso’s previous film,Wild Wind, was featured on the Brew two years ago.
For your viewing pleasure, CalArts undergrad Sabrina Cotugno‘s third year film, animated mostly at Gobelins in Paris.
Dilcidio Caldeira at Paranoid in Sao Paulo directed this one minute station ID for MTV Brazil using images drawn on hundreds of balloons. They were popped by a needle-tipped camera, mounted on a dolly which traveled at a speed fast enough to pop and film 10 balloons each second.
Director: Duldicio Caldeira
Photography: Alexandre Ermel
Animation/Illustration: Daniel Semanas
Sound Track: Hilton Raw
(Thanks, Kent Osborne and Grey Wears)