Once again, my friends at HERITAGE COMICS AUCTIONS have released their latest drool-inducing catalog of “stuff I would buy if I were a billionaire”.Among the offerings in Auction #811 (June 11-12, 2004) are: THE WISE LITTLE HEN model sheet – which is perhaps the first Donald Duck model sheet; original art for a complete 1953 CASPER comic book story; tons of mint copies of classic comic books including Harvey’s PARAMOUNT ANIMATED COMICS #5 and DC’s FUNNY STUFF #1; and lotsa Walt Kelly POGO art.
The folks at Heritage are good guys (I did a consulting job for them in March) and their catalog (which is online) must be seen to be believed. From Curt Swan to R. Crumb, from Frank Frazzetta to Schulz – Amazing stuff!
Let’s add another international animation festival to this year’s calender: If you are in Italy in September the Chiavari Animation Festival will take place from September 21-25, 2004. Animation historian Giannalberto Bendazzi is hosting this event. It’s exactly opposite Chrs Robinson’s international cartoon party (aka the Ottawa Animation Festival). Perhaps the two events can have a video hook-up and compare awards?
SCREENPLAY BY DISNEY is supposed to give “tips and techniques to bring magic to your moviemaking.” If you’ve ever wondered, ‘How can I get a little bit of that sweet BROTHER BEAR storytelling magic in my animation screenplay,’ then the book may prove useful. But to understand the Disney story development process used for their good features, look no further than John Canemaker’s PAPER DREAMS: THE ART AND ARTISTS OF DISNEY STORYBOARDS.
Just what we need: another kids cartoon channel! PBS KIDS is considering spinning itself into a 24 hour basic cable channel.However, this time I’m actually semi-excited about the idea. Why? Because our pal Linda Simensky (formerly of Nick & Cartoon Network) is now a development exec for PBS Kids – and this move to turn PBS Kids into a profit-making round-the-clock service could provide her with the funds to stimulate some of the more interesting animation creatives, who could ultimately generate some cool new shows for the channel.
Reader “Lyris” sent this in: “You may or may not know about this, but there’s a DVD in China of Tom & Jerry featuring all the Hanna-Barbera shorts (except for the cinemascope ones) in chronological order.”It’s actually not a bootleg set, it’s distributed by a company named Bo Ying and is packaged fairly nicely. All of the shorts seem to be uncut, except for the fact that the MGM cards at the start of each short has been replaced with a card for the company that distributes the DVD. The image quality’s fairly decent (definitely watchable and far better than VHS) and although the package states the set is encoded for Region 6, the versions I received are actually Region 0 and since China uses the NTSC video standard, this means you’ll be able to play them in America without any special hardware.”We just missed one on ebay – but methinks this is a bootleg. I’ll look into it.
Brew regular David Gerstein asks: “Did you know PIXAR made Shrek II?”Neither did I, but somebody thinks so: in this review from Oshkosh West“And doing a Google search shows me that whole squadrons of people
think *Disney* made Shrek. Wow, the great unwashed…”
Brew reader Mike Crandol sends in this sound bite: “Have you heard this new song released by Patterson Hood? The entire song is about what Walt would think of what’s become of his company.”The question is has Roy heard it yet? Lyrics include: “When they thaw out Uncle Disney, gonna be some changes made. Pointing fingers, asking questions. Forty years of decisions made…”Listen to the song here.
Rick Dominicus of DVD ANGLE has posted a review of the Joseph Losey thriller TIME WITHOUT PITY noting that Losey’s debut short, PETE ROLEUM AND HIS COUSINS, made for the 1939 New York World’s Fair (Petroleum Industry Exhibit) is included as a bonus feature.This industrial short was animated by surrealist stop-motion master Charley Bowers (Pop & Mom In Wild Oysters) and is also available on the incredible, must-have, CHARLEY BOWERS DVD from Image Entertainment.Image is on a roll – while I’m at it, I might as well give another plug to their WINSOR McCAY: THE MASTER EDITION dvd collection which goes on sale next week. Wall to wall Canemaker commentary, rare still gallery, and every piece of Winsor McCay animation all in one place! Great stuff!
It’s not often that I feel compelled to run a news item related to myself, but I figure it’s best to get all of this personal and site-related info out of the way at once. First and foremost is ANIMATION BLAST #9. Due to an unforeseen project (see below), the issue has fallen behind yet again. The good news is that the issue is very nearly finished and I’m preparing to send it off to the printer. However the BLAST is being printed overseas for the first time and my Asian printer informs me that the issue will take three months to print and ship back to the States. At this point it’s looking like BLAST #9 will definitely be out around September. My sincere apologies for the delay as I know many folks (myself included) have been anxiously awaiting this issue for the past year. Rest assured that I’m working long hours to get the issue finished. If you have pre-ordered and have any additional questions, please feel free to email me at amid_at_animationblast_dot_com.
Next, a little about the unexpected project which led to the delay of ANIMATION BLAST #9. Jerry Beck alluded to this last week in his BookExpo comments. In early-’04, Chronicle Books approached me about writing the “art of” book for Fox/Blue Sky’s forthcoming feature ROBOTS. I accepted and have had a fine time working on the book for the past few months. ROBOTS is one of the more visually distinctive animated features of recent memory, with a perfect melding of Bill Joyce’s illustration style and Blue Sky’s CG prowess, and the resulting book (co-authored with Bill Joyce) will hopefully reflect the unique design qualities of the film. The BOOK will be out in January 2005, with ROBOTS itself opening in March of next year. This project came my way because I was already writing another book for Chronicle, and although that’s even further down the line, let me just say that if you enjoy the work of Tom Oreb, Ed Benedict, John Hubley and other geniuses of animation design, then you’ll probably dig this second book. It’ll be out in Spring 2006.
A couple other brief notes. AnimationBlast.com hasn’t been updated since the launch of this website, but it will be soon. Interviews from out-of-print editions of ANIMATION BLAST, as well as other long-form material, will be posted on the site. The first piece, which will be on-line within the next few days, is in honor of the recently departed Pete Alvarado. It is an extended version of the interview I conducted with him in BLAST #2. The interview originally appeared in the fall 1999 issue of ANIMATION JOURNAL.
Also, I’m heading out to the Annecy Animation Festival next week. It’ll be my first time in Annecy and I’m really looking forward to checking out some great animation, not to mention the city itself, which I’m told is quite beautiful. If my laptop cooperates, I plan on posting regular updates from Annecy. If you want to get together at the festival, you can email me at amid_at_animationblast_dot_com.
This month’s WIRED cover story about Pixar is now on-line HERE.
A German exhibit of art through the ages – as it might seem in Duckburg: Die DUCKOMENTA – is online.Recreating great moments in art history with animated ducks was an obsession with Ward Kimball and Chuck Jones. This gallery, with eight rooms of art and a catalog, is the most extensive collection yet.
A reminder that the Disney animated short LORENZO will be released on Friday with the Kate Hudson feature film, RAISING HELEN.Artist and animation art conservationist Ron Barbagallo has written a nice page about the film, with quotes from the filmmakers on the techniques used.
Also check out the rest of Ron’s Animation Art Conservation website, where Ron discusses his spectacular work in restoring original animation production art.
Gerald writes in from Paris to remind me that Peter de Sève has his own website at PeterdeSeve.com. If you’re unsure of buying his sketchbook which I mentioned yesterday, you can get acquainted with his work on this site. Then again, most BREW readers are likely already familiar with de Sève’s talents.
The LOS ANGELES BUSINESS JOURNAL has published their annual list of the richest Angelenos and there are 28 billionaires living in the LA area, up from 23 a year ago. One of the five new members of the billionaire’s club is none other than Roy E. Disney. Looks like Roy has a few extra bucks to spend on his campaign to oust fellow 10-digits-club member Eisner. The BUSINESS JOURNAL doesn’t have the article on-line, but this bit about Roy was reported on LA Observed.
The WASHINGTON POST’s Lisa de Moraes files an amusing report (“On NBC’s Lineup, ‘Pride’ but No Shame”) from NBC’s 2004 upfront for advertisers and critics in which she sardonically notes that it’s the first time a network has used a partially paralyzed mauling victim to help promote a new TV series. Of course, that person was “Siegfried and Roy”‘s Roy Horn, who made an appearance in New York last week to promote DreamWorks’ primetime animated series FATHER OF THE PRIDE. De Moraes writes in the POST:
In clips shown to advertisers, jokes took on a tacky inappropriateness, as when Animated Roy says to Animated Lion Family, “Goodbye my lions, or should I say ‘GRRRRRR!,’ ” as he crouches down and tries to look like a wild cat.
And then she notes Conan O’Brien’s routine about said show:
“He’s been horribly mauled — let’s make a show about it!” O’Brien said, pretending to be an NBC suit, to nervous tittering in the audience.
The article notes that right before FATHER OF THE PRIDE debuts, NBC will broadcast a special hosted by Maria Shriver about Horn, the tiger incident and his recovery.