My next animation program for the Cinefamily is based on Film Noir – so naturally we call it Cartoon Noir. Private eyes, plainclothes cops, hapless grifters and starving putty tats all figure into the on-screen murder and mayhem. As usual, rare 35mm and 16mm film prints (and some video) of some of the funniest, violent and sexiest cartoons ever made. Join us Tuesday February 1st, 8pm at the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax in Hollywood. Order tickets now!
When George Pal stopped producing his stop motion Puppetoon short subjects in 1947, he kept his pioneering replacement animation technique alive in various feature films he made throughout the years (Variety Girl, tom thumb, Wonderful World of Brothers Grimm). He even made one last Puppetoon (The Tool Box Ballet) for Chuck Jones’ Saturday morning series Curiosity Shop (1971).
Stop-motion master Mark Caballero sent me this You Tube embed (below) and wondered if I’d seen it before. No, I haven’t… and it begs the question: Did Pal keep his Puppetoon studio going during the 1950s to do TV commercials? I hadn’t read that anywhere before or seen any others. But then again, how often is the studio and producer given a credit like this on a commercial?
At the time, Pal himself was immersed in producing sci-fi features like Conquest of Space or The Time Machine. It’s interesting that he kept the Puppetoon name (and logo) alive during this period, when the late series was finding renewed interest due to TV syndication.
Our friend J.J. Sedelmaier sent us these scans (click thumbnails at left and below to enlarge) from a 1945 book, Movie Lot To Beachhead, by Editors of Look Magazine (which has a spread on Private Snafu in Booby Traps on pages 56 and 57). J.J. sent the pages promoting the work Disney was doing for the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, in particular the film, The Unseen Enemy (1945 – aka What Is Disease?). This film was part of a series of simple, but very effective, educational films produced during the war as part of the studios Good Neighbor Program – which you can read about more in-depth in J.B. Kaufman’s highly recommended, South of the Border With Disney. The pages are intertesting, but it gives me an excuse to post the rarely seen film itself (above), which boasts simplistic graphics, contemporary with UPA techniques, conveying an important lesson on disease prevention with limited animation.
See the rest of the scans after the jump:
I knew it seemed a little familiar…
(Thank you, Ivan Guerrero)
Tezcatlipoca is a three minute animated short from 2009 by Robin George, inspired by the music from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and the Aztec myth of Tezcatlipoca, a “deity who descends from heaven in the form of a jaguar”. This was George’s senior thesis at Southern Adventist University’s School of Visual Art and Design. The animation department there is run by Disney veteran animator, Hendel Butoy (The Black Cauldron, Fantasia 2000). The school is currently producing an animated feature about The Life of Christ.
(Thanks, Jim Turner)
The Oscar nominations were announced this morning.
Nominated for BEST ANIMATED FEATURE were:
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON – Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
THE ILLUSIONIST – Sylvain Chomet
TOY STORY 3 – Lee Unkrich
Also: TOY STORY 3 was also nominated for BEST PICTURE, BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY, SOUND EDITING – and the song “We Belong Together” was nominated for BEST MUSIC (Original Song).
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON was also nominated for Best Music (Original Score).
TANGLED nabbed one nomination: for Best Music (Original Song), “I See The Light”.
And it’s worth noting Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland copped three nominations (Art Direction, Costume Design and Sound Editing) and Tron: Legacy got a nod for Sound editing.
Nominated for BEST ANIMATED SHORT are:
Day & Night Director: Teddy Newton. United States.
Let’s Pollute Director: Geefwee Boedoe. United States.
Madagascar, A Journey Diary Director: Bastien Dubois. France.
The Gruffalo Directors: Jakob Schuh, Max Lang. Great Britain.
The Lost Thing Directors: Andrew Ruhemann, Shaun Tan. Australia.
A complete list of nominees in all categories is posted here.
The filmmakers nominated for Best Animated Short will appear in person for Q&A at Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Samuel Goldwyn Theatre, on Tuesday February 22nd at 7:30pm — For more information check the Academy’s Oscar Event website.
The directors nominated for Best Animated Feature will appear in person for Q&A with Tom Sito on at Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Samuel Goldwyn Theatre, on Thursday Februry 24th at 7:30pm — For more information check the Academy’s website.
The Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday February 27th at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
Forget Carlo Vinci and George Nicholas. This 1986 Japanese Flintstones anime promo featuring teenage Pebbles and Bamm Bamm is an absolute gem. Especially the part where Bamm-Bamm kisses Dino on the lips.
(via Charles Brubaker)
Steve Hulett of The Animation Guild has started posting a wonderful series of audio interviews with the current “old guard” of Hollywood hand drawn animation. The first ten sessions are online now with more to come. My good friends Mark Kausler, Dan Haskett and Tom Sito (pictured above) relate some great stories of their almost 40 years (each) in the business. Other interviewees include Mark Kirkland (The Simpsons), Brian McEntee (Beauty and the Beast), Tim Walker (Warner Bros.), Robert Alvarez (Fosters Home), Ed Gombert (Little Mermaid), Bruce Smith (Proud Family) and Rubin Aquino (Lion King) – these are good long interviews, all worth downloading. Click here and enjoy!
We haven’t featured a post about cartoon cake in several months, so this is long overdue. Submitted for you approval, this clever “Up Cake” which was featured on GirlyBubble a while back. Apparently Pixar’s Up has inspired dessert chefs as much as it’s inspired the animation community.
And if this doesn’t make you hungry, check out these delicious Up Cupcakes!
(Thanks, Bill Perry)
The first Cartoon Dump of 2011 is Monday (1/24) at 8pm at the Steve Allen Theatre in Hollywood. My long running show is kicking off the new year with its usual blend of sketches, songs, puppets, stand up comedy and some of the absolute worst cartoons ever made – no shit, these are real life animation atrocities from the traumatic Saturday mornings of our shameful past.
With Frank Conniff (MST3K and, until last Friday, of Countdown with Keith Olbermann), Erica Doering as Compost Brite, J. Elvis Weinstein as Dumpster Diver Dan, Kristin Ariggo as Cue Card Goddess and April Hava Shenkman (Grand daughter of Fleischer/Warner veteran animator Ben Shenkman) as Madame Hava – and special stand-up comedy guest, Matt Braunger (Mad TV). Info: here. Tickets: here.
SHORTS INTERNATIONAL & MAGNOLIA PICTURES TO RELEASE
THE OSCARÂ® NOMINATED SHORT FILMS 2011
IN THEATRES FROM FEBRUARY 11
LONDON, UK, 21st January 2011 – Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures will release The OscarÂ® Nominated Short Films 2011 in over 150 theatres across the United States and Canada from February 11th, 2011.
Three theatrical programmes will give audiences around the country an opportunity to watch the nominated shorts in the Animation, Live Action and Documentary categories prior to the 83rd Academy AwardsÂ® ceremony on February 27th. This year will mark the inaugural theatrical outing for the nominated Documentary shorts.
The OscarÂ® Nominated Short Films has become a key fixture of the awards season. Last year the release exceeded the million-dollar mark at the US box office, charting a spectacular 289% growth in attendance since its inception in 2005.
Along with the theatrical run, the nominated short films will be released individually on iTunes from February 22nd in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany and other iTunes Stores throughout the world. The release will also be available via cable’s Movies On Demand (MOD), distributed by leading MOD distributor, iN DEMAND L.L.C.
“The OscarÂ® Nominated Short Films are some of this yearÂ¹s best entertainment. They’re made by the worldÂ¹s stand-out, emerging filmmakers and represent the cutting edge of entertainment,” said Carter Pilcher, Chief Executive of Shorts International. “Audiences this year will experience intense emotional highs, laugh-out-loud comedies and brilliant insights, all in the space of 90 minutes.”
“The only way to improve your handicap come OscarÂ® night, is to catch these incredible short film nominees,” said Tom Quinn, SVP of Magnolia Pictures.
Nominations for the 83rd Academy AwardsÂ® will be announced on January 25th. For more information, visit www.shortshd.com/theoscarshorts.
Here’s some news I’ve literally waited ten years to report. Sony’s syndicated classic-cartoon show Totally Tooned In is now being shown on U.S. television. It’s airing on Antenna TV, a new channel that broadcasts free via over-the-air digital transmission – which means, if you are like me and pay for Dish TV, Direct TV, Comcast, Time-Warner or any cable or satellite service, you can’t see it.
If you can receive the channel (in LA it’s telecast on the KTLA digital channel 5.2; in NY its broadcast on WPIX-TV’s digital channel 11.3), Totally Tooned In runs on Saturday morning for three hours (six formatted half-hour episodes back-to-back) starting at 4am Pacific/7am Eastern. Each episode contains three Columbia cartoons from 1934-1959 – this includes many UPA cartoons, Charles Mintz Color Rhapsodies, Li’l Abner, Fox and Crow and even a few Scrappy cartoons.
I was a producer on this series and helped compile each half hour – that was back around the years 1999-2000. Columbia restored its cartoon library for this show, which was immediately sold overseas and to South America (in some countries it aired on either Cartoon Network or Fox Kids). Until now it was impossible to view it in the States.
The Columbia cartoons were, for decades, the hardest cartoons to see as they have been off screens (movie or TV) for almost 50 years. There are good ones, bad ones – and many absolutely strange ones (Professor Small and Mr. Tall, Mother Hubba-Hubba Hubbard, Lo The Poor Buffal – to name but a few) – but all are worth a look. Frank Tashlin, Dave Fleischer, John Hubley, Art Davis, Mel Blanc, even Bob Clampett contributed to these films. I highly recommend you watch (and record) this show while you can.
For more information about the show and what cartoons are included in each episode, check my Totally Tooned In Episode Guide.
A new stop-motion video from Yuval & Merav Nathan, directors of the fantastic Her Morning Elegance. Lose This Child (for Israeli alternative group, EatLiz) was animated on an actual beach with real sand, by four animators including musician Guy Ben Shetrit, guitarist for the band.
(Thanks, Alfonso Estrada)
Too many cool t-shirts have come my way recently, here’s a few worth noting:
Photographer Vincent Gonzales has a very small line of stylish tees based on found objects. He has a shirt based on an old Krazy Kat 16mm cartoon film box (above) that I absolutely love. It isn’t posted on his website, but you can order it in any style (men’s, women’s, babies) and on any color if you request it. I got a long sleeve black shirt with this design and I love, love, love it.
That’s John Kricfalusi’s dad (above) posing in one of John’s great T-shirts, exclusively available on his Cartoon Thrills Store. George Liqour, Jimmy the Idiot Boy, The Heart-Aches, Blen and Kubercheebie, and my favorite Donald Bastard, are among the designs available.
TeeFury is one of those daily t-shirt sites that offer one-design-a-day. Today’s tee is this Tin Tin Tinman design – which already seems more faithful to Herge, and has more humor and heart than the stills from the upcoming mo-cap film have demonstrated. If you are interested in this one, you have to buy it today – $9 – at TeeFury.com.
(Thanks, Phillip Salomon)