Robbert Bobbert is a character and album created by Robert Schneider of The Apples in Stereo. The new music video, We R Super Heroes, was directed by Puny Entertainment. Super Hero Guest Artists include: Jordan Crane (The Clouds Above, NON, Uptight), Gene Ha (Top 10, The Fourty Niners. DC Cover Artist), Craig McCracken (Powerpuff Girls, Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends), Chris McDonnell (Meat Haus, Vice Comics), Mark Todd (Whatcha Mean, What’s a Zine?) and Todd Webb (Tuesday Moon, Nickelodeon Magazine).
On Sunday I visited the Disney Family Museum. If you’re even a casual Disney fan and you are in the vicinity of San Francisco you must make a point to visit it when it opens in the beginning of October. Unfortunately they don’t allow picture taking so you’ll have to come to see it yourself. I took some pictures from the outside and was able to sneak a few in less traveled areas (Click thumbnails below for larger images).
There are 9 separate galleries containing a staggering 214 video presentations. Some projected, most were small video screens populated throughout the museum. It covers pretty much all of Walt’s life and work. Here are some of the highlights (spoilers below):
In the entryway is a collection of awards, including the famous 8 Oscars custom-made for Snow White.
There are some recreations, but lots of original artwork, like storyboards, animation drawings and cels; the most memorable for me being Tytla’s drawings of Chernobog from Night on Bald Mountain in Fantasia. Exquisite draftsmanship was on display in some drawings from The Band Concert, and the Brave Little Tailor.
They have the actual train that Walt gave rides to his guests in his backyard.
Correspondence from famous people, dozens of TV screens playing his myriad television programming.
One of the most impressive recreations was an exact replica of the multiplane camera, you first encounter it from the second level and look down through several levels of art, then when you are down on the first floor the controls and background from Bambi (a recreation) is in the gift shop.
There is also a gigantic model of Disneyland (or at least what they claim is Walt’s original idea for the park, which is probably not true, but impressive nonetheless).
There are some interactive games for kids like making sound effects to go along side Steamboat Willie and Silly Symphony quizzes.
There are a large number of kiosks where you can hold an old timey telephone speaker to your ear and hear a personal story from a friend or Disney artist.
There is an interactive representation of the pages from the notebook of Fantasia effects animator Herman Schultheis. You can enlarge and move around the pages on a huge table. Check out Michael Sporn’s Splog for some pictures.
There is also a small state of the art theater that will have special guest lecturers and screenings of Disney classics. Fantasia, Sleeping Beauty, The Three Caballeros and Walt and El Grupo are scheduled.
The Walt Disney Family Museum is located at 104 Montgomery Street, in The Presidio district, San Francisco, CA. For more information, visit the website.
Shokus Internet Radio, where I occasionally appear on Stu’s Show (my next appearence there is scheduled for November 11th), now has a new regular daily show for classic animation buffs. Cartoon Carnival with Joe Bevilacqua is broadcast online everyday at 3pm (PDT), 5pm (CT) and 6pm (ET). This week, for example, host Bevilacqua (co-author of the biography Daws Butler, Characters Actor) will present part one of a tribute to Bob Clampett’s Time for Beany; an interview with Stan Freberg; and a live performance of Dudley Doo-Right featuring June Foray. For more information on previous shows and upcoming episodes, check JoeBev.com.
Next week, as part of it’s Perspectives on Editing series, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is hosting a seminar on Editing For Animation. Hosted by Academy Editor’s Branch Governors Donn Cambern (The Last Picture Show) and Mark Goldblatt (Teminator 2), the seminar will feature film clips and open discussion between audience and guests. Panelists include Kent Beyda (Scooby Doo), John Carnochan (Ice Age, The Simpsons Movie), Nancy Frazen (Runaway Brain, Surf’s Up), Lois Freeman-Fox (Fantasia 2000, Osmosis Jones) and Kevin Nolting (Up).
The event takes place at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater on Vine St. on Tuesday September 29th 7:00-10:00pm. For more information and tickets, visit oscars.org.
Pasta for War is a “1930s war propaganda film made to seduce naive rigatoni to join the fight against being eaten”. Dirtected by Zach Schläppi.
(Thanks, Dan Fiebiger)
ASIFA-Hollywood has announced its Call for Entries for this year’s 37th Annual Annie Awards.
Annie Awards will be presented in 25 categories including best animated feature, home entertainment, television production, television commercial, short subject, video game, as well as individual achievements. Entries can be submitted for consideration from productions released in the United States between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009. The deadline to receive entries is Friday, October 16, 2009.
Some big changes to the voting rules have been instituted this year, most significantly that ASIFA-Hollywood members will vote only on the Production categories, and that a final election committee of animation professionals will determine the award recipients for all of the Individual Achievement categories.
This year’s ceremony will be held on Saturday, February 6, 2010 at Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA. The updated ‘Rules and Categories’ list, entry forms and more information can be found online at www.annieawards.org.
It was bound to happen. Canadian TV execs greenlight a cartoon about… TV Execs!
Created by Kevin Gillis (Atomic Betty) and Laura Kosterski, Producing Parker looks rather attractive – art direction-wise. I hadn’t heard about this show until today; Wouldn’t mind seeing an episode if it ever makes it to the States. It’s currently airing in Canada on TVTropolis, and coming to GlobalTV later on this year.
Once again, a plug for my monthly comedy-and-cartoons craptacular: Cartoon Dump! MST3K’s Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank) and J. Elvis Weinstein (Dr. Erhardt & the original Tom Servo), Erica Doering and special guest star comedian/trickster Michael Rayner join me at the Steve Allen Theatre Tuesday September 22nd at 8pm. Comedy! Songs! Puppets! Magic! And God-awful cartoons from the wasteland of 50s and 60s Saturday morning television! Advanced tickets click here.
And on Friday September 25th, it’s Fleischer-palooza on Hollywood Boulevard! I’ll be introducing a double feature Max Fleischer’s two great animated features, Gulliver’s Travels (1939) and Mr. Bug Goes To Town (1941) at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Both will be presented in 35mm, with uncut IB Technicolor prints projected on the large screen, just as they were meant to be seen. And psssst! Surprise short subjects will be shown! More info here.
Auctioneers Profiles In History are currently having an incredible entertainment memorabilia sale which is including a Lot of 100 puppets and pieces-of-puppets from the George Pal’s Jasper Puppetoons. The bids start at $8000. Here’s the link. There are also separate lots for puppets from individual non-Jasper films such as The Gay Knighties, Rhythm In The Ranks, Two-Gun Rusty, John Henry, Tubby The Tuba and on and on! This lot was part of the estate of William Nassour who, with his brother, produced several Hollywood movies and experimented in stop motion animation. Apparently they took over the Puppetoon shop when Pal moved on into feature production – and held onto these puppets until now!
If those prices are too steep, you can own one of Pal’s most iconic movie models for a more modest $35. Pegasus Hobbies, under license from Paramount Pictures, is exclusively selling reproductions of the Martian War Machines from War Of The Worlds. They sell them as either plastic model kits or pre-built and plated. I actually have one of the pre-built ones and it’s quite beautiful.
Mark Evanier also points out that the Hollywood auction above is also selling an astonishing collection of Walker Edminston’s Time For Beany Beany & Cecil puppets and memorabilia. Lot’s of jaw-dropping Clampett puppets and ephemera here.
Her birthday was yesterday, Friday September 18th. Mark Evanier sent us this great photo of June and Walter Lantz (click thumbnail at left to see it at full size) to mark the occasion. June’s new autobigraphy can be ordered at her website, www.juneforay.com – and I highly recommend it. She’s a living legend – and been much more than animation’s greatest voice actress: she’s been a tireless worker in bringing respect and recognition to the animation field. We love you, June! I know she’s reading this website, so feel free to send her a greeting in the comments below.
Portland’s Laika studio (Coraline) has scrapped all its plans for creating CG features and will instead focus on making stop-motion films exclusively. The studio laid off 63 computer graphics employees today, according the website SlashFilm. UPDATE: Studio publicist Maggie Begley wrote in to clarify: “It’s not accurate to say that the studio is abandoning CG altogether. They will continue to use CG opportunistically in stop motion films and will continue to develop CG projects in house for further down the road.”
I personally think the decision to specialize with stop-motion is great move – not only for the health of the studio, but for the art of stop-motion animation itself. And this is shaping up to be a helluva year for stop-motion. I just attended an advance screening of Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox today. It’s not from Laika, but it’s an outstanding film – which, compared with 2009′s other stop-mo releases (Coraline, Mary And Max), shows the wide range of this technique. I’m delighted to know this ancient hand made animation process has a somewhat healthy future.
A Yom Kippur Public Service Announcement from Jake Rosenbaum is a film by Scott Roberts & Daniel Klein. Roberts is an artist, animator, and associate professor of animation at DePaul University. The voice work is by Jake Johnson, who’s currently co-starring in the film Paper Heart with Michael Cera and Charlyne Yi.
Saw Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs last night – and it’s hilarious. It’s 3 for 3 (or 4 for 4 if you count Monster House) for Sony Pictures Animation. Phil Lord and Chris Miller made a real “cartoon”, loaded with laughs and filled eye candy (the 2D end credits are especially gorgeous). See it in a theatre this weekend! The 3D effects are outstanding, and the directors really fill the wide-screen with all sorts of Kurtzman/Elder “chicken fat”. I loved it.
How about you? If you’ve seen it (and only if you’ve seen it), post your opinion here in our comments section.
Anyone who has been to the Shine Gallery at L.A.’s Farmer’s Market or has seen Shine’s collection showcased on the Walt Disney Treasures DVD know that Bernie Shine is one of the world’s biggest collectors of original Disney memorabilia.
Former LA County District Attorney Gil Garcetti has recruited Shine to host a party in his home for a very worthwhile charity, Wells Bring Hope. That’s Willie Ito’s art on the poster (above). Rarely does Shine allow anyone but his closest friends into his home see his entire collection. Please click this link for full details of a unique evening of cartoon fun for a good cause – a must for Disney fans who think they’ve seen it all. It’s happening on Friday October 16th at 7:00pm. If you are in L.A. that evening, it will be well-worth attending.
I have no-idea what this really is. Is it really a Chinese Mickey Mouse knock-off? Or is it from that Beijing Amusement Park we wrote about here? Prepare for five minutes of horror:
(Thanks, Robert G. Schaad)
We’ve highlighted the talented filmmakers at MAKE, the animation studio out of Minneapolis Minnesota, before. And as long as they keep making great little films, we will continue to point them out to you.
Here’s the latest short from the MAKE team: Fruitless Efforts: Fruit of the Womb. This cartoon highlights a day in the life of Apple, “an average fruit guy trying to hold a job, have friends and just live his life in peace like a normal apple.” It’s fast, funny and pretty cool lookin’. This short, which combines 3D and hand-drawn animation, was directed by Aaron Quist and Andrew Chesworth. See it here.
Pixar animator Jim Capobianco’s long awaited hand-drawn short film Leonardo will screen this weekend for Academy Award qualification. You can catch the short on Sept. 18th, 19th and 20th at 11:45AM and 12:25PM at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 in LA. Capobianco writes:
I may be there for the Sunday shows. The old fellow is showing with two other qualifying short films BIRTHDAY GIFT (animated) and AFTER TOMORROW (live action). I have no idea if they are any good or what they are about.
If you want to see LEO in glorious 35mm with a nice Dolby 5.1 sound then go check it out. And if you’re in the Academy tell your Academy pals to see it too and nominate it.
It doesn’t show much footage, and the video quality is poor, but this is our first glimpse at Dreamworks next feature – from Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois:
I’ve just read David Levy’s new book Animation Development: From Pitch to Production and it’s a must-read for anyone who plans to create a show for television. I am a huge fan of David’s first book, Your Career In Animation: How To Survive and Thrive and I particularly love Levy’s down-to-Earth, easy-to-digest writing style, peppered with humor and loaded with truth. This time Levy focuses in on what you should expect, how you should proceed and lots of sound advice on the animation development process – using his own experiences and choice quotes from all those who have been there – development execs, creators, artists and writers. It’s illustrated with examples of actual pitch bibles and development art, and he takes you through every step in the process – from securing legal services, through pitch meetings to producing a pilot.
I’ve been there myself, on both sides of the table, as both a development exec and as a creator and producer – so I can assure you that David has nailed the process from soup to nuts (the “nuts” being certain network TV big-wigs). If you can’t make the panel at SVA in NYC (mentioned in the post below), order the book and learn about the process from the inside. Highly recommended.
Kenny Scharf, one of the first “lowbrow” artists to popularize cartoon culture in ‘fine art’, is back with a new exhibit of Flintstone and Jetsons mash-ups. His new show, Barberadise, opened tonight at the Honor Fraser Gallery on La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles.
The show features several “re-appropriations” of cartoon characters created by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, including “the contrasting stone-age family, The Flinstones and the futuristic Jetsons amidst world annihilation”. The exhibition will run through on October 31st. Can’t make it? You can scan 20 pieces in the exhibit online if you click here.
A genuine animation expo is shaping up for this November in Burbank – and even Cartoon Brew will have a presence at the event. Tina Price (former Disney character designer and an animator herself) is putting together the CTN Expo at the Burbank Marriott Convention Center – conveniently located across the street from the Burbank Airport and an Amtrak Station – on Friday November 20th through Sunday, November 22nd.
My advice: Be there.
This may be the only place where you’ll be able to meet so many international animation industry professionals under one roof. Among those already committed to speak at this event: illustrator Peter de SÃ¨ve, director Don Bluth, comics artist Mike Mignola, art director Andy Gaskill, character designer Harald Siepermann, Dreamworks animtors Dave Burgess and Jason Ryan, production designers Alex McDowell and Kathy Altieri and on and on. Some of the artist exhibitors will include Damon Bard, Brittney Lee, Ben Balistreri, David Colman, Robin Joseph and Kathy Zielinski.
Disney, Nickelodeon, Dreamworks, Digital Domain, Exodus Filmgroup and other companies will have recruiters there to look at portfolios. Cartoon Brew will host an artists-only VIP lounge area. There is much, much more to this event and we’ll be posting updates in the upcoming weeks. Consider this an advance head’s up.
Early bird tickets are $25 for the exhibit floor only, $50 for a day pass and $125 for a 3-day pass. Early bird deadline is Sept. 30, 2009. Discounted rates are available to students, active military and professional industry organizations. Space is strictly limited at this groundbreaking event. Click here for more information or to register or call (800) 604-2238 and mention the special member discount code (BeckX09) to obtain an extra 10% off any 1-day or 3-day professional/general passport.
Incredible eye candy in this new animated music video by Watermark, an illustrator’s collective based in New Zealand and Australia. With only 8 weeks from start to finish, they created a music video for Greg Johnson’s song I Got Opinions utilizing the creative talents of eight different illustrators and their distinct styles. You can see a hi-def clip on the Watermark homepage, and check out the production blog with storyboards, pre viz and stills, as well as the animators credits here.
(Thanks, Dave Follett)
I dropped into the big D23 Disney Fan Expo in Anaheim today, attended Bob Iger’s talk and watched the Disney Legends ceremony. The big surprise at the show was a screening of the first half hour of The Princess and The Frog (PATF). I’m now officially enthused. If the rest of the film is as good as the first 1/3 I saw today, it will be a huge hit for the studio — and just could revive Hollywood’s dormant interest in hand drawn character animation. They’ve got the visuals, the humor and the heart down tight on this one. I had a huge smile on my face throughout the screening. What I really like about what I’ve seen of PATF so far, is that it combines familiar elements of classic Disney and throws them into a whole new stew, completely different in tone from the rest of the traditional “princess” films. I’ll leave the plot surprises for you to discover – but I must quickly comment on one musical sequence: The “I Want” song. It’s called Almost There and it’s terrific. But it’s especially interesting as it’s visualized in an art deco/poster graphics style of the 20s (can anyone inform me which artist inspired this sequence?) and its directed like an homage to the 1936 Tex Avery short, Page Miss Glory!
The other PATF news today, is that the studio is opening the film early in L.A. and New York. It’ll open November 25th exclusively at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan. In L.A., the studio is playing the film for two weeks on the studio lot. For the first time I know of, the general public will be able to buy a ticket (at $30 bucks a pop) and screen the film in a Disney screening room! In addition, Disney will “dress” the backlot like a mini-Disneyland with PATF-themed attractions! For more information and tickets click here.
Fred Seibert says he’ll be looking for new ideas that can be developed for all manner of animation techniques: hand drawn, CG, stop motion or any other form defined as animation. Sony Pictures Animation has recently announced other development deals, including a first look agreement with The Gotham Group, distribution of Aardman Animation features and the acquisition of several properties including The Familiars and Hip Hop from Platinum Studios. And of course, Sony Animation’s next movie, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, opens on September 18th.
I don’t have the mp3′s of these recordings, but the sleeves are too cool not to share. Click thumbnails below to see larger images.
Brew reader Hiland Hall sent in the front and back sleeve of a rare Mel Blanc promotional recording (below left and center) with nifty unidentified artwork. It’s hard to believe Blanc had to pitch himself like this – he must have been the world’s most famous voice actor at the time. UPDATE: Steve Worth at the Asifa-Hollywood Animation Archive posted the audio from this record here.
Below right is the cover of some bizarre kiddie record I got off one of my daily visits to the LP Cover Lover blog. Check that out regularly for the coolest in oddball albums.