(Thanks, Trent Correy)
Animator Joseph Bennett’s (Odin’s Afterbirth) latest project for J. Walter Thompson is not for the squeamish. Its designed to promote a BBQ truck at the SXSW Film Festival this week, and will be projected (along with a companion film) on local buildings during the fest. All of the animators involved have been featured previously on the Brew: Jake Armstrong (The Terrible thing of Alpha-9), Chadwick Whitehead (Revenge of the Giant Toothpaste Tube) and Lizzi Akana (Your Love Is My Drug).
Disneyland is testing a new talking animatronic mask to replace the previously mute Mickey Mouse. It’s partially charming, partially scary:
Don’t even think of visiting San Francisco without a stop at the Walt Disney Family Museum. And if you are in the Bay area on April 16th you are in for a treat as John Canemaker makes one of his visits to the museum to discuss one of the Disney studio’s greatest artists, Mary Blair. The talk begins at 3pm, with slides, clips and Canemaker’s insights and knowledge. Go! More more information and advance tickets, visit the museum website now.
Here, courtesy of Hulu, is an excerpt from last Friday’s telecast of ABC’s The View which featured the first meeting, 69 years after the fact, of the voices of Disney’s Bambi and Thumper – Donnie Donagan and Peter Behn. If anyone locates the whole View segment online, let us know:
Not every animated film is aimed at families and children. Coming next fall from Spain, Perro Verde Films and Cromosoma are coproducing a serious adult animated feature about the friendship between two senior citizens living in a nursing home. Arrugas (Wrinkles) is based on an award winning comic book by Paco Roca. I’m not expecting UP, but its heartening to know that somewhere in the world such subject matter can be produced, hand drawn, in feature length.
I saw Rango and I recommend it, despite its flaws. SPOILERS AHEAD: The first 20 minutes – up to the early scenes in the desert town of “Dirt” – and the last 15 minutes (when Rango leaves town, crosses the road and meets the “Spirit of the West”, through to the end) are fun, innovative and an almost perfect mix of art and entertainment. That’s 35 out of 100 minutes worthy of current inflated admission prices. The remaining middle section is a mash-up of western movie cliches and spaghetti westerns – with a dash of Apocalypse Now and a pinch Chinatown – that goes on a bit too long. The characters are ugly, but that’s okay – they are supposed to be grizzled desert creatures. The “emotion capture” reference footage technique won me over, though I thought Verbinski relied on way too many close ups…
…but that’s me. How about you? Comments are open below to our readers opinions – but only if you’ve seen the movie. What did you think about Rango?
P.S. Having seen the movie, I can attest that the behind-the-scenes book, The Ballad of Rango; The Art & Making of an Outlaw Film, written by longtime entertainment reporter David S. Cohen, is a perfect companion to the film. As with most of these tie-in’s, it is loaded with incredible artwork that preceeded the CG images on screen and Cohen’s text goes deep into Verbinski and ILM’s creative process. Regardless of your opinion of the film, the book is an important document of an unusual production. If you loved the film, the book is a must-have.
Loved the first one — and the second one does not look like it will disappoint:
Disney fans like to look for “hidden Mickeys” – but here’s one they may have missed. When Disney’s mouse became an overnight sensation in 1928, almost every competing studio included a Mickey-like mouse (or a Mickey-like fox or Mickey-like bear) in their films. Now it turns out that these ersatz Mickey’s weren’t confined to Hollywood cartoons.
The frame above is from a 1930s Japanese short called (roughly translated) 2nd Class Lt. Norakuro and Mickey Mouse Play Disturbance. It was recently revealed on the Japanese site, Toy Film Project, which is documenting Japanese home movie films.
Norakuro is a Japanese comic series created by cartoonist Suiho Tagawa (1899-1989), which ran from 1931 up until the early ’40s, about a black dog in a canine Army, very much inspired by the Imperial Japanese army at the time. The comic stopped when World War II broke out, but the cartoons remained popular. It was animated several times – a series of short-films in the ’30s, two TV series (1970-71 and 1987-88). This cartoon is believed to be in public domain (if you can find it) – Mickey Mouse is still protected by international trademark.
(Thanks, Nicholas Pozega and Charles Brubaker)
Please forgive me for posting this. It’s a contender for Worst Animated Feature of the year. From Australia, NSFW, submitted for your approval: Little Johnny.