Produced by Sandra Walters
Directed and Designed by Mark Gravas
Designed and animated by Colin Bigelow
Additional animation Aaron Powell
Editor Gemma Amos
Storyboard Mark Gravas, Colin Bigelow, Ginny Wong, Sasha Wisinowski
Brew reader Rod Cockle found this item in an antique store: a plastic Mickey Mouse figure with a Hanna Barbera copyright on the back.
The figure is actually a bowling pin from a 1970s Mickey Mouse bowling game. Is this like those misprint postage stamps or coins that are worth five times their value because of a printing error? I would’ve liked to put one of these in my Hanna Barbera Treasury book – it would have drove the lawyers crazy.
There’s nothing like a French PSA done to tune of Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation, animated in the style of a 1930s Hollywood cartoon, to teach you a lesson about Aids prevention! We’ve come a long way from the days when Fritz The Cat was considered shocking.
Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Director: Against all Odds (Niklas Rissler and Kevin Grady designed, animated and directed the film with design assistance from Johan Idesjo).
Exec producer: Josh Thorne
2D Animation: Niklas Rissler, Kevin Grady
Set Design: Johan Idesjo
Production Company: Passion Pictures
Producer: Julie Murnaghan, Jon Drawbaugh
Executive Creative Director: Erik Vervroegen
Art Director: Andre Massis
Copywriter: Eric Boyd
Taking DIY to a whole new level, animator Joe Murray (Rocko’s Modern Life and Camp Lazlo) has launched his own personal cartoon channel on the internet, Kaboing TV, and with it the debut of his new animation series Frog In A Suit.
Joe raised funds to produce Frog In A Suit on Kickstarter and received over 346 “backers” to meet his funding goal in 45 days. Three original episodes were produced for the launch of Kaboing – The third episode makes its debut on Friday, the second is already posted there, below is the first one:
Once again, I will be the featured guest today on Shokus Internet Radio’s Stu’s Show. It’ll air live today beginning at 4:00 p.m. Pacific (7:00 p.m. Eastern). You are encouraged to call in with your questions and comments on the station’s toll-free telephone number.
Stu’s Show airs live each Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. PST, with rebroadcasts at the same time each day through next Tuesday March 29th. Access to the station’s feed is free, with no registration required, and is available either by clicking on the Enter Site button on the home page (www.shokusradio.com), by choosing one of the audio player links on the site’s main page. What do we talk about? Topics usually revolve around DVD releases of classic cartoons, and as always, whatever Stu or the listeners want to talk about. This video below sort-of sums up the mindset of the hosts and the listeners:
Two newspaper articles of note today, both concerning animation folk living life their way:
Did you know that Glenn Morrissette, who orchestrates music for Family Guy, does his thing out of an RV he drives around L.A.? The L.A. Times has the full story.
Ever wonder what happened to Frank and Caroline Mouris, Academy Award winners for their short Frank Film (1973)? The Wall Street Journal reports they are happily content being dog sitters in upstate New York.
Next Tuesday, Warner Home Video will release an all-new Peanuts special direct-to-video, Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown. It was directed by my old friend Andy Beall (Up, Ratatouille) and animator Frank Molieri (The Simpsons Movie, SpongeBob SquarePants Movie). The film is based directly on Peanuts strips from the 1960s, and the whole production was put together with incredible loving care. I’ve seen it and I love it. It may be the best Peanuts animation since… oh, lets say 1971. Here’s a video, narrated by Beall, showing several scenes in pencil test just to give you a taste.
After two-years on the festival circuit, animator Chris Perry is releasing his short, The Incident at Tower 37, online today in honor of World Water Day. It’s a sci-fi allegory with a message, well worth ten minutes of your time.
Mike Van Eaton (disclosure: he advertises on Cartoon Brew) is in the midst of compiling and co-producing a mammoth animation art-and-artifact auction with Profiles in History (run by Joe Maddalena) with over 1,500 lots, set to happen May 14th and 15th at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills. Day one will feature 700 lots containing some of the most coveted items in Disney Animation history, including a handwritten letter written in 1924 by Walt to his former colleague and soon-to-be designer of Mickey Mouse, Ub Iwerks (1901-1971). This is the letter – which has been quoted in such books as Mike Barrier’s The Animated Man, Bob Thomas’ Walt Disney: An American Original, and Leslie Iwerks/John Kenworthy’s The Hand Behind The Mouse – in which Walt convinces Ub to come to Hollywood and join the studioâ€¦ the rest, as you know, is history. Mike has graciously allowed me to post the letter exclusively on Cartoon Brew for all our readers to enjoy.
Note the envelope (above) and letter (thumbnails below, click to enlarge) is on Disney Bros. Studio letterhead, and addressed to his “Dear friend Ubbe,“. Disney pens (transcription in full): Continue reading →
The Light At The End is by Chris Burton, a 26 year-old self-taught animator (“…and still learning”) based in London.
“I’m actually a web developer my profession – I make films in my free time, and this – like my previous work – took six months from conception to final cut.
“Icebox Studios is just the moniker under which I show my work – the “studio” itself is little more than my desk and computer.I made the film using Blender and Gimp, both open source software, so apart from living costs the film didn’t cost anything. A friend of mine composed the music, and the sound was sampled from a creative-commons licensed website.
“I struggled quite a lot with the story details beyond the initial idea, and I actually started over and re-animated the whole thing after the first cut wasn’t entertaining enough. There are a lot of “pearly gate” comedy shorts out there, and I really wanted the divine aspect to take a back seat to the film’s underlying theme of learning to look out for yourself rather than being dependent on others.”
Haven’t posted a book review in a while, and I’m pleased to report I have several new acquisitions that are well-worth talking about.
First up, another great Craig Yoe IDW hard-cover comics compilation that I’d be raving about even if I didn’t write a brief introduction for it or have my picture in it. Popeye, The Great Comic Book Tales is a perfect companion to the excellent Segar Popeye volumes presently available. This book takes a look at the other great Popeye cartoonist, E.C. Segar’s successor, Bud Sagendorf. These are selected comic book stories from 1948 through 1957 and they are what I personally consider Popeye in his prime. That may be because I grew up reading this Popeye, so I have a particularly soft spot for Sagendorf’s version – which comes off as a combination of Segar, Fleischer, Famous Studios and a unique brand of lunacy that was Sagendorf’s own; the fact that he was a terrific cartoonist and hilarious storyteller only adds the fun. Stories here include Popeye’s battles with Jetoe (“The Champeen Fighter of the Planet Mars!”), The Sea Hag and the “Misermites”; The time he ate “Shrink Weed” and washes with “Spinach Soap”… and years ahead of Seinfeld, Sagendorf places Popeye in a story about “Nothing”! As usual Yoe starts off with 15 pages of unique one-eye sailor man introductory matter which includes rare press material and photographs – and the book itself is a beautiful production, a pleasure to look at, hold and display. It’s really good – and has my highest endorsement. Get it today!
I am a huge fan of this year’s Oscar-winning short, The Lost Thing. Scholastic has just released Shaun Tan’s original short story from which the film was based, along with two other tales illustrated by Tan (originally published separately in Australia between 1998 and 2001) in a wonderful new hardcover book. A girl finds a bright spot in a dark world; a boy leads a strange, lost creature home; and a group of peaceful creatures lose their home to cruel invaders. Three brilliantly visual fantasy tales, and a book that is itself a dazzling work of art. See for yourself – here’s a sample spread. The book is called Lost & Found and its a genuine winner.
Didier Ghez‘ ongoing series of Disney artist interviews, Walt’s People, is one of the all-time great projects of animation history and Disney scholarship. In each edition, Ghez rounds up a dozen-or-two interviews with the animators, writers, filmmakers and other Disney collaborators, famous and infamous, in published or unpublished pieces by noted historians, self-publishing a 300-plus page paperback loaded with new information and insights. His latest volume, just out, Volume 10 contains over 40 interviews by Bob Thomas – conducted in researching his 1976 biography of Walt. Interviewees include Ub Iwerks, Dick Huemer, Wilfred Jackson, Ward Kimball, Frank Thomas, Milt Kahl and on and on, including Disney himself, all in their own words. Jim Korkis provides additional insights and Diane Disney Miller contributes a Foreword. These volumes are vital to all who care about animation and how Disney created his world.
And finally, I want to give a shout-out to two animators who have just published new books that will certainly enrich their target audiences:
Celebrated animator and now educator Tony White preaches the gospel of 2D hand drawn every single day. He’s written several “How to” books and his latest is a bit different, but just as practical. It’s called Jumping Through Hoops, The Animation Job Coach and its essentially the primer for the aspiring animation artist. How to choose a great school; How to build a portfolio, find your first job and how to keep it – these are the topics Tony explores and discusses in frank, realistic terms. If you are just starting out – you should read this book.
Animator and character designer Brianne Drouhard (Batman Brave and Bold, Ben 10, etc), aka potatofarmgirl, has her first children’s book just out: Billie The Unicorn. It’s filled with gorgeous drawings of the type that used to be animated – this would have made a great TV special 25 years ago. In fact, it would make a great kids special or short childrens film today. I hope Brianne can figure that out – but until then, her new book will keep you and the small ones quite entertained.
Chicago based Tom Barrett shares this fan-made music video he made for the indie group, Neutral Milk Hotel, a decade ago. “Done over a 6 month period, in my spare time, using Maya 3D, Photoshop and After Effects. Everything was made from scratch for this video.”
Who needs drugs when you can watch (or make) films like this?