Last time I saw Seamus Walsh and Mark Caballero, genius founders of stop motion studio Screen Novelties International, they were telling me about this wacky project they’re working on that involved producing stop motion tests of Hitler, Mussolini and robots. I didn’t quite know what to make of it, but it sounded intriguing to say the least. Now Harry Knowles at Aint It Cool News has a big PREVIEW of the project-in-development, called AUTOMATONS, from the perspective of the writers: Ed Solomon (MEN IN BLACK, LEVITY) and Chris Matheson (BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE). And if it’s anything like Harry is saying it’s going to be, this could be one of the most outlandish and subversive animated features in years. You can bet I’ll be bugging Seamus and Mark to show me some of the animation tests for this project next time I see them.
Reg Hartt is a controversial figure on the film scene in Toronto. I’ve never met the man myself, but I’ve been following his enthusiastic writing on classic cartoons and admired his numerous local film screenings from afar. During the past 27 years he’s earned a reputation as one of the foremost authorities on film history in Canada.Right now he operates the Cineforum out of his living room. Before his shows start, he stands up and lectures, sharing his knowledge with the audience. Here are his upcoming toon shows:Saturday, June 26 at 7pm: BEST OF THE SEX & VIOLENCE CARTOON FESTIVAL: You will be amazed how much we missed as kids! Highlights: Betty Boop, Tom And Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd $20. $10 under 24.Saturday, July 3, 10, 17. at 7pm: JAZZ IN HOLLYWOOD CARTOONS FILM FESTIVAL. This two hour retrospective includes:MINNIE THE MOOCHER (1931) SWING WEDDING (1936) SNOW WHITE (1932) Max & Dave Fleischer; COAL BLACK AND DE SEBBEN DWARFS (1942), BOOK REVUE (1946), RED HOT RIDING HOOD (1941) CLEAN PASTURES (1936) GOLDILOCKS AND THE JIVING BEARS (1945), SCRUB ME MAMA WITH A BOOGIE BEAT (1940), THE BOOGIE WOOGIE MAN (1944) and JUNGLE JIVE (1945), THE PIED PIPER OF BASIN STREET (1945), RHAPSODY RABBIT (1947), and TIN PAN ALLEY CATS (1943).THE REG HARTT FILM SCHOOL AT THE CINEFORUM, 463 Bathurst Below CollegeToronto, Ontario Canada. 416-603-6643. The Cineforum is private. Membership is required for admission. (Membership is free on request). Members are invited to bring their own food and drink. And wipe your feet on the mat before you enter.
What is surely to be one of the must-have animation DVD releases of next year. In early-2005, the National Film Board of Canada will release a seven-DVD boxed set of the complete works of Norman McLaren. The comprehensive set will also include drawings, tests, unfinished projects, archival materials and interviews with friends and colleagues. The NFB site about the DVD is HERE.
Mark Evanier has posted an important public appeal on his website about a vital issue that affects every American citizen: the upcoming DVD release of Hanna Barbera TOP CAT cartoons. Now personally, I could care less about TOP CAT on DVD, or anywhere else for that matter, but the historian in me says it’d be nice if somebody could help Mark make the set accurate from a historical standpoint. Help him out if you can.JERRY BECK ADDS: To clarify, Warner Home Video is looking for 16mm prints of TOP CAT with the original network end titles. These prints, which are on the film collectors market, are usually in black & white with all ABC network commercials. Even if you have a bootleg video dub of these network prints, please contact us. We can use the credit information. We are also looking for similar network prints of the second season of THE FLINTSTONES.
What kind of person reads CARTOON BREW?Robin Joseph, a struggling cartoonist at Sheridan College in Ontario, does. That’s Robin’s charicature of Tim Burton (at right). Robin’s website Patch Of Orange is filled with more nifty artwork.Marc Spess is another dedicated reader who runs a stop-motion website www.animateclay.com and has a film in production, ZOMBIE PIRATE which he’s been working on in his spare time.Brian Kolm is another young artist with a website and he volunteers at the very cool Comic Art Museum in San Francisco. Check it out. We get many requests by various people, companies and events for a plug on Cartoon Brew. We are flattered, but that’s not how this blog usually works – until today. I’m not normally a pushover, but every once in a while, I feel generous. Today was that day.End of Plugs.
This Saturday, June 26th, in Burbank, Asifa-Hollywood is hosting a 2-D EXPO.I will be plugging this a few times this week with re-posts and updates – and I urge my readers to spread the word.The 2-D EXPO is a full day of panels, screenings and discussions on the current state of traditional (aka hand drawn) animation. Confirmed panelists & guests include Eric Goldberg, Shane Glines, Raul Garcia, Mark Kausler, Mike Nguyen, Bert Klein, Tom Sito, Eddie Mort, Lili Chin, Jorge Gutuerrez and Gabe Swarr. Amid Amidi, Rita Street, Tom Sito and I will be moderating panels. Panels cover topics such as “2-D THE NEXT DIRECTION”, “FLASH ANIMATION”, “DOING IT YOURSELF”, “DISTRIBUTION” and “NETWORK PROGRAMMING”.In the evening we will be presenting a program of UNSOLD PILOTS. There will be a networking area with a few exhibitors, including bookseller Stuart Ng, animators Stephen Silver and Bob Harper, The Animation Show and an Asifa booth which will take consignments, selling artists sketch books and artist materials.All of this starts at 9am on Saturday June 26, 2004- and keeps going on till 10:00pm on the Burbank campus of WOODBURY UNIVERSITY 7500 Glenoaks Blvd. (Buena Vista & Glenoaks). Admission prices for the panels vary: Asifa Members $20. Students $15., Networking area is free admission.Join us! It’s going to be fun. Please check the Asifa website for more info. If you’d like to help us out, be on panels, sell sketch books or volunteer your time to this event, contact me directly email@example.com and I’ll point you in the right direction.
I’m bound by a confidentiality agreement not to discuss the contents of the LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION volume 2 (due out in November).However, a list of the cartoon contents has leaked to the internet (see here) and the buzz on several message boards is very enthusiastic.
I won’t confirm or deny the contents just yet, but I will tell you one thing: wait’ll you see the list of bonus materials!
Animation legend Bruno Bozzetto has posted a hilarious series of flash animations in honor of the Olympics here.These little vignettes get progressively more funny and subversive as they go along – and are done in a stick figure style, not unlike Don HertzFeldt. But clearly the gags and timing are Bozzetto’s – and shows why this man is still one of animations greatest talents.
Two names that helped shape early 1960s TV animation – Al Brodax and Fred Ladd – will both be making live appearences in the Los Angeles area in late August.Al Brodax will be at the Santa Monica Barnes & Noble on Tuesday, August 24, at 7:30 PM to promote (and sign) his new book Up Periscope Yellow: The Making of the Beatles Yellow Submarine. I’ve been informed that his friend, cult actress Julie Newmar (Catwoman), will be in attendance. Brodax of course, was the czar of 1960s King Features animation and producer in charge of churning out the Popeye, Krazy Kat, Snuffy Smith, Beetle Baily, Cool McCool and Beatles TV cartoons of the era.Fred Ladd will appear at the monthly Asifa-Hollywood meeting on Saturday August 28th at 3:00pm in the AFI Warner Screening Room – where we will screen rare anime pilots, as well as scenes from Astro Boy, Kimba, Gigantor, The Big World Of Little Adam, Pinocchio In Outer Space and discuss his colorizing of classic cartoons. As a bonus, we will screen Fred’s copy of the rarely seen THE SPACE EXPLORERS.August is shaping up to be a feast for fans of classic cartoon kitsch…
In case we didn’t mention it before, it’s Donald Duck’s 70th Anniversary this year.The short-tempered duck will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame next year. He is not, as this article says, the first cartoon character to have a star in cement on Hollywood Blvd., I know at least Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse already beat him to it.Donald will also appear on a set of Disney character first class U.S. postage stamps this summer.
If you act fast, and have $2,295. dollars, you can own the uber-rare, uber-cool one sheet poster for SCRAPPY’S PUPPET THEATRE. It’s on ebay today.
I’m still poring over all the Licesning Show material sent into the Brew by our New York spies.Warner Bros. KRYPTO THE SUPERDOG and THE BATMAN (a new animated series not by Dini & Timm) look very good – but I noticed that they were offering SUPERBABY licensing. Scary!Meanwhile Tribune Media Services were offering “younger, hipper” versions of Little Orphan Annie (now simply “Annie”) and Dick Tracy (as “Rick Tracy”). Very Scary!And our friends at Classic Media mention in their promotionals some things I hadn’t read before – Gerald McBoing Boing is being developed for Cartoon Network, and George Of The Jungle has 26 new half hours in production through Studio B (in Canada) – both scheduled for 2005.
This is sad.From the studio that brought you THE IRON GIANT… YU-GI-OH The Movie.
At the Lion King reunion on Monday night in Glendale, Steve Worth gave a great introductory speech about traditional animation and Asifa-Hollywood’s plans for its animation archive. Steve printed the text on the Animation Archive Project blog here.
Belvision’s ink & paint staff working on PINOCCHIO IN OUTER SPACE (1965)
(Click on picture above for larger image.)
While everybody was in Anncey last week, French filmmaker Philippe Capart was in Los Angeles and handed me a copy of his new documentary, “BELVISION: The Goldmine At The Bottom Of The Corridor” (that’s the english translation).Even though it was in French (no subtitles) I could tell this is a superb work, documenting the history of a pioneering Belgium studio that first animated Tintin, Asterix, Lucky Luke, not to mention Bozo The Clown, The Smurfs, the feature Pinocchio In Outer Space and even a pilot for The Flintstones (if my video card wasn’t broken I’d display some grabs from the clips in the documentary – man, the French “Flintstones” look cool – I’ll try to update this post with an image when I can).There are interviews with key surviving personnel, as well as Fred Ladd, Norm Prescott and Larry Harmon. But the highlights are the vintage behind the scenes film clips (apparently Belvison shot behind-the-scenes footage for most of their productions) and scenes from classic French animated TV films and commercials… stuff we American rarely see.
I remember seeing their limited Tintin animations on (U.S.) TV in the early 1960s – it got me interested in the character, whose exploits were being serialized in CHILDREN’S DIGEST (anyone remember that publication?).I don’t know where anyone could see this documentary, but I assume Philippe will be submitting it to animation festivals. I understand it ran on Belgium television a few months ago. Hopefully someone will translate it and air it in the U.S. someday. It’s a fascinating chapter in animation history and I highly recommend this film.