You never know where you’ll find animation history. The Coca-Cola website has just posted this obscure model sheet of their Sprite Boy mascot of the 1950s, for a proposed animated theatrical commercial. Click on image above for larger picture. The Coca-Cola Company used this character in its advertising in the 40’s and 50’s (see left). He was conceived by the soft-drink staff artist, Haddon Sundblom, famed pulp cover painter and pin-up artist who created the Coke’s version of a Santa Claus. The model sheet is labeled “Minitoons” which I believe may have been Walter Lantz’ title for a series of Coca-Cola theatrical spots. No cartoon featuring this character has ever surfaced – but interesting, huh?
Someone just posted on You Tube several of the rarely seen 1963 King Features Snuffy Smith cartoons that were animated by Jim Tyer. Tyer is a real cult figure around here for his absolutely outrageous cartoony animation, way-off model, celebrated by the best in the business and rightly so. Not even limited animation could suppress his looney drawing style – and Tyer-philes will feast upon these links:
P.S. While we’re at it, check out the eight-minute Snuffy Smith pilot from Format Films: Snuffy’s Turf Luck. Not a very good film, but it was the first of the series, and directed by Jack Kinney and animated by Harvey Toombs (both long-time Disney veterans). Note Doodles Weaver doing his horse race routine in the cartoon. Mike Kazaleh theorizes: “I’m guessing that Joe Siracusa brought him in. They would’ve worked together when Joe (and Doodles) were in the City Slickers (Spike Jones). Or maybe Jack Kinney brought him in. He’d used Doodles earlier in Hockey Homicide. Note too that they added the Wm. Pattengill animated opening from the Paramount cartoons. I wonder if this cartoon had other titles when it was shot.”
I don’t think we’ve ever done this before – post an entire episode from a current TV series – but this episode of The Simpsons must be seen by all loyal Cartoon Brew readers. So stop what you are doing for 22 minutes and watch Episode 14 of Season 22: Angry Dad: The Movie:
Animator and character designer William Bradford in North Vancouver, BC created this test piece for a pitch package “for the show I’ve been passing to local studios without much success”. For more about Bradford and his Bubble Hub pitch, check out his Elephant March Sketchblog.
We’ve been pretty frustrated with Disney merchandising the last few days. But when Disney does something right, let’s be just as quick to note that. This “how-to” commercial for the Disney Cruise line, in the style of the old Goofy theatrical shorts, is right on the money. Hopefully they’ll make more commercials, and actual cartoon shorts, like this in the future.
Talk about Disney merchandising Fail. This is taking “urban” fashion to the extremes of bad taste: “roflerskatez” found this wallet for sale in Taiwan yesterday and posted it on Tumblr. It’s Chip and Dale with a lyric from a 50 Cent song called My Gun Go Off. Despite the copyright notice, this is (I hope) a knock-off.
My advice to New Yorkers looking for something to do this holiday weekend, GO TO THIS! Dances of Vice is paying tribute to classic cartoons of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s at the vintage Liberty Hall / Ace Hotel, featuring live big band cartoon music and hot jazz by Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra. Special guests include artist Molly Crabapple, juggler Michael Karas and DJ Miz Margo.
The music starts at 10pm. Betty Boop Pinup Contest at 1AM!
EVENT: POWERHOUSE STOMP: A Tribute to Classic Cartoons of the 1920-40s TIME & DATE: February 19, 2011 – 10PM-4AM LOCATION: Liberty Hall at The Ace Hotel, 16 W. 29th St. NYC ADMISSION: $10 In Advance (Order Tix), $12 At the Door
Mention MoCCA the door and pay only $10 for Admisson!!
Whenever I want to remind myself why I love cartoons, I simply have to watch a classic Warner Bros. cartoon. Whenever I want to remind myself why I love animation history I pull out my set of Funnyworld magazines, edited by Michael Barrier. Mike’s website is a fount of knowledge and he has just post a must-read interview with Looney Tunes animator/director Robert McKimson (1910-1977). The interview, recorded in 1971, is one of the few McKimson ever did, and the conversation yields much information from the man and allows us to get to know a bit of his personality. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the guy who designed Bugs Bunny, created Foghorn Leghorn and the Tasmanian Devil, go here now!
What goes around, comes around. So today Disney – or more accurately “DisneyToon Studios” – announced a new direct-to-video CG feature inspired “from the immensely popular Disney/Pixar’s CARS world”. PLANES will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD in Spring, 2013. From the studio press release:
PLANES will introduce an entirely original and hilarious crew of daredevils from every corner of the globe and draws inspiration from the immensely popular Disney/Pixar’s CARS world.
“We had such a great time exploring the world of ‘Cars’ over the course of two films, so it seemed only natural for us to see where our imaginations would take us in a film where planes were the main characters. By expanding the Cars world, ‘Planes’ gave us a whole new set of fun-filled situations and a great opportunity to introduce some fantastic new characters,” commented John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.
“The team at DisneyToon Studios has done such an amazing job creating a heartfelt story filled with great comedy, adventure, and emotion. I know audiences are going to love taking off into the wild blue yonder with these daredevil characters, as they experience a whole new kind of animated adventure.”
PLANES takes off with an international cast of the fastest air racers around, in a comedy packed with action and adventure starring Dusty, a small town dreamer who longs to enter the most epic around-the-world air race â€¦ despite his fear of heights. With the help and support of a fleet of new and hilarious characters, Dusty wings his way into the biggest challenge of his life.
Street artist Banksy, who has a documentary nominated for an Academy Award, has invaded Hollywood with a new series of graffiti (above and below) in a possible effort to garner votes for his film. The billboard (above) is on Sunset Boulevard and Laurel Canyon.
New York’s Parsons/New School of Design is doing a public event with Richard McGuire, who directed and designed the closing segment of the animated anthology film Fear(s) of the Dark (embed above) among other projects (including the animated bumpers for PBS Kids). Richard is also a notable comics artist (RAW) and illustrator (The New Yorker), has designed toys and authored children’s books.
This event is in association with an exhibit Bill Kartalopoulos curated at Parsons called Cartoon Polymaths, which features artists whose work proceeds from a cartoon sensibility but embraces multiple media – and includes Winsor McCay, Tony Sarg, Saul Steinberg, Mariscal, Richard McGuire, and Paper Rad. There are five screens of animation running throughout the exhibit, which is open through April 15 and is free to the public. If you live in NYC: GO!
Friday, February 18, 7:00 p.m.
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street
New York, NY 10011
For more information, Click here.
Even the National Film Board of Canada is getting into the act – the 3-D act, that is. Nicola Lemay’s upcoming new short, by way of the NFB, is called Privates Eyes, and its also a hand drawn film mostly in black and white. The trailer below is in 2D and it looks pretty good without the glasses.
Award Season continues: The British Academy Awards were announced last night in London. Congratulations to Pixar for winning Best Animated Feature – and to Michael Please for The Eagleman Stag winning in Best Animated Short. Complete list of BAFTA winners here.
On a related note: Toy Story 3 also won a Grammy last night for “Best Score, Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media”. Congrats to Randy Newman for this win.