Not to dwell on the FILMATION library, but this follow-up story of its sale to ENTERTAINMENT RIGHTS notes that the company plans to use the library to start another “kids channel”. Seeing as Ted Turner began CARTOON NETWORK on the bulk of the Hanna-Barbera library, this is an intriguing idea.But do we need another “kids channel”? The obvious answer is: No. We’ve already got CARTOON NETWORK, NICKTOONS, TOON DISNEY, BOOMERANG… not to mention NICKELODEON, DISNEY CHANNEL, ABC FAMILY, HBO FAMILY, WAM!, DISCOVERY KIDS to name but a few.What we need is a “Classic Cartoon channel” aimed at grown-ups. A TV LAND or TCM for vintage animated films. A home for the UPA cartoons, the Terrytoons, the Harveytoons, Walter Lantz, Screen Gems, Ub Iwerks, Fleischer and Famous Studios libraries; classic independent and international animated shorts and feature films; as well as episodes of Crusader Rabbit, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Roger Ramjet, Beany & Cecil and Q.T. Hush.ENTERTAINMENT RIGHTS and VOOM’S ANIMANIA HD are poised to enter a crowded marketplace – hoping to build a business using classic (and not-so-classic) animation as cornerstone programming. I wish them luck. To paraphrase HE-MAN: “They have the Power!”. The power to create a new kind of animation station – one that doesn’t exist, but can and should.
Here’s a nclass=”image”ew book that I’m planning on getting when it comes out next month: DUMB LUCK, a retrospective of the work of illustrator (and TEACHER’S PET creator) Gary Baseman. The book, described as “both an art manifesto and a raw celebration of idiocy”, totals over 300 pages and is the first major compilation of Baseman’s work. The book is being published by Chronicle Books, one of the finest art/pop culture book publishers around. On a side note, while Chronicle hasn’t published many animation books in the past (with the exception of the two terrific ‘art of’ books for MONSTERS INC. and FINDING NEMO), they’re starting to do more of them now. I know because I’m currently writing two animated-related books for them, one of which will be out in early 2005, the other in early 2006. More details to come.
AWN has a nice behind-the-scenes look at the production of Mike Gabriel’s new hand-drawn/digitally rendered animated short LORENZO. The Disney-produced short had been slated to open in front of THE LADYKILLERS but that plan was nixed at the last moment. A source tells me that Disney is trying to place the film in front of another upcoming Touchstone Pictures release.
Here’s a press release from ADULT SWIM. Most interesting thing, in my humble opinion, is Matt Groening introducing his favorite episodes of Futurama during a weeklong stunt, Sunday, May 23 through Thursday, May 27.
Good news for all you FILMATION freaks. A company called Entertainment Rights just bought the Filmation library from Hallmark Entertainment.
I’m sure they will start releasing season-one boxed sets of WALDO KITTY, BLACKSTAR and THE GROOVIE GHOULIES any moment now.
Here’s the announcement.
I’ve always been suspicious of Miramax’s relationship with animated features. Before they were bought by Disney, the company had picked up and released a handful of oddball animated films (LIGHT YEARS, TOM & JERRY THE MOVIE, FREDDY AS F.R.0.7). But since its Disney relationship, beginning with their release of ARABIAN NIGHT (1995), I’ve suspected that Harvey Weinstein’s company has been releasing animated films that Disney had secretly purchased, but were afraid to release themselves under the Disney or Touchstone labels.We all know Disney bought the Miyazaki films, so it’s clear they handed PRINCESS MONONOKE (1999) off to Miramax.
But why in the world would classy art film producer-distributor Miramax pick up the Pokemon franchise? POKEMON 4-EVER (2002) and POKEMON HEROES (2003) have been box office duds, but it’s transparent to me that Disney wanted to pull this anime fad out of theatrical competition – thus grabbed the opportunity to get the final films in the series to quietly dispose of them – through Miramax.Miramax has never done well with any of its animated features – so why do they continue to try? The answer since 1995 is that they are doing Disney’s bidding – following the corporate mentality to dominate the now-competitive U.S. animation market. Miramax is on track to release Miyazaki’s next film (HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE) and today announced a deal to acquire Sylvain Chomet’s new animated feature (through Miramax’s Dimension Films label).Despite the layoff of its greatest animation asset (its traditional animation staff), Disney is still competing in the animation arena… outsourcing 2D to India, doing CG in London and picking up French & Japanese cartoons for Miramax release.
No, I don’t care about Filmation’s ARCHIE. But because I do a film program at the San Diego Comic Con called THE WORST CARTOONS EVER, I get mucho e-mail from readers wondering where Filmation’s library is and why most of it isn’t on video.
You’re about to find out why.
Next week you can buy episodes of THE ARCHIE SHOW, SABRINA and ARCHIES TV FUNNIES on DVD (or VHS) directly from Archie Comics.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Here’s the LINK.
Nickelodeon Movies has officially announced its development slate – which includes THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE, Steve Oedekerk’s CGI film THE BARNYARD and the long rumored John Woo feature, MIGHTY MOUSE.
You can read the entire press release here.
A reminder that this Saturday March 27th at 3pm, at the AFI in Hollywood, animator Mark Kausler will host a screening that will premiere his new 3 minute cartoon IT’S “THE CAT” as well as other classic Hollywood cartoons that influenced his work.
For details click here.
Meanwhile, on Saturday April 17th at 2:00pm, at the Egyptian Theatre a special program of three animated short films written, produced, voiced and scored by Paul McCartney will be screened on the big screen: “Tropic Island Hum,” “Tuesday” and “Rupert And The Frog Song”
The program also includes two mini-documentaries showing Paul McCartney and his team creating the traditional hand-drawn animation and an interview in which Paul speaks of his passion for animation and the early Disney films that inspire him.
This program is tied into a new dvd release, Paul McCartney: The Music and Animation Collection
I had a delightful time at Walt’s Barn on Sunday. It’s in Griffith Park, open one Sunday (the third Sunday) of each month – and I recommend you visit this piece of authentic Disney history. It gave me some new insight into Walt’s railroading addiction.
Meanwhile, if you are wondering what has happened to Ward’s personal train collection, here’s the scoop:
Noel Barrett Antiques and Auctions Ltd. has been awarded the contract to sell the collection of toys, trains and accessories from the estate of Ward Kimball, who died July 8, 2002 at age 88.
Kimball spent four decades amassing a premier collection of European and American trains and toys.
Two or three auctions will be held to disperse the collection estimated to bring more than $4 million. The approximately 2000 piece collection whose contents and quality are widely known could bring intense competition from bidders all over the world via the internet and drive prices even higher.
The first auction is slated for the weekend of Nov. 21, 2004 at the
Philadelphia Airport Ramada Inn. The second sale is scheduled for the
weekend of May 28, 2005.
Thanks to Steve Waller for locating these links
I love the music in Fleischer cartoons. From Betty Boop, through the Color Classics, the Popeye cartoons and the original theme for Superman – It’s all great stuff. Lou Fleischer and his assistants Llyod Von Heyden, Arthur Turkisher, and Winston Sharples set the tempo. Composer/song writer Sammy Timberg also wrote numerous melodies found in the Fleischer cartoons and was one of the few to recieve screen credit. While Carl Stalling and Scott Bradley, even Philip Scheib, have gotten kudos for the animation they scored, Timberg & crew have yet to be properly recognized.
Timberg’s daughter Pat has been doing her part for the past decade. She’s staged concerts of Sammy Timberg music and started a website, Timberg Alley. Now Pat has produced a CD of new recordings of classic Sammy Timberg cartoon music: Boop-Oop-A-Dooin’ – The Songs of Sammy Timberg from Betty Boop, Popeye, Superman and Other Musical Classics. I’ve got it, and it’s wonderful!
Here are the details from the liner notes: After 14 years in vaudeville and composing for Broadway musicals in the late 20′s, Sammy produced a steady supply of spirited songs written for the classic Fleischer cartoons of the 1930′s and 1940′s. Although Sammy conducted a live, swinging band to accompany these timeless cartoons, much of the jazzy scores were lost behind the screen action, dialogue and sound effects. Boop-Oop-A-Doop compiles and recreates that music, with the help of some of today’s most talented musicians and singers, so it can be heard on its own, for the first time and for its own sake!
Songs performed by Shannon Cullem (the grand-daughter of Sammy
Timberg), Richard Halpern and Mora’s Modern Rhythmists.
Featuring 2 archival recordings, one of which has Sammy Timberg
singing and playing piano!
18 Tracks total:
1. Don’t Take My Boop-Oop-A-Doop Away
2. It’s A Hap-Hap-Happy Day
3. Got A Language Of My Own
4. Sweet Betty
5. I Wanna Be A Life Guard
6. Be Human
7. Brotherly Love
8. Keep A Little Song Handy
9. Hamburger Mine
10. I Want A Clean Shaven Man
11. Anytime At All
12. You Gotta Have Pep
13. Dizzy Debs
14. An Elephant Nevers Forgets
15. Little Lambkin
16. The Boopin’ Stride
17. The Superman March
18. I’m Glad We’re Through (sung by Sammy Timberg!)
The CD can be purchased by contacting pat-at-timbergalley.com.
There was a nice (albeit depressing) piece in yesterday’s LA TIMES looking at how Los Angeles animation artists are struggling to stay financially afloat nowadays and how some of them who can’t secure any cartoon-related work are finding employment elsewhere (like working at Trader Joe’s or opening their own retail stores). The article isn’t available on the TIMES website, but it’s been posted on this ANIMATION NATION thread. Next, BREW reader Brock Gallagher sends over a link to a terrific website that showcases Dr. Seuss’ early political cartoons, many of which were not published in the recent book DR. SEUSS GOES TO WAR. Last but not least, here’s a plug for artist Steven Wintle’s Flat Earth! blog, which offers insightful commentary on both animation and comics. In the past, Steve has been quite complimentary towards both Animation Blast and Cartoon Research, and now he seems to like the Brew as well, so needless to say, he has impeccable taste in cartoons.
Following the stunning 43% “no confidence” vote against his leadership at the annual Disney shareholder’s meeting earlier this month, Warner Books has delayed the June release of a book written by Disney CEO Michael Eisner. The book, CAMP, an account of life lessons that a young Eisner learned while attending a swanky summer camp for rich kids, was to have covered topics like teamwork, showing initiative and listening well. Insert your own ironic comment here.
Shane Glines has posted an interesting historical artifact on his CartoonRetro.com message board – a comic strip from the publication FRIDAY drawn by striking artists during the infamous Disney Studios strike of 1941. I wonder if that’s master animator Bill Tytla in the photo at right?
If they gave Clios for pretentiousness, then United Airlines’ new animated ad campaign would be a shoo-in. I just saw their second of four one-minute TV spots, and this one makes almost as little sense as the first ad that’s been playing all over TV these past few weeks.
The new spot, which has lots of light bulbs in it, is by British animator Joanna Quinn who has also recently created more straightforward and enjoyable animated spots for Charmin toilet paper (with the bears) and Whiskas cat food. All four of the United Airlines ads are set to George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and are produced through Acme Filmworks. Like Quinn, the directors of the other spots – Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis (image at right), Michael Dudok De Wit and Aleksandr Petrov – have all been either nominated or won an Oscar for animated short. I’m all in favor of distinctive quality animation in TV commercials and the two United ads I’ve seen so far are pleasing to look at, but the storytelling is unnecessarily confusing, and I still haven’t figured out what message, if any, United is trying to communicate through these spots.