The Simpsons is set to reveal that Marge’s sister is a lesbian.According to Ananova.com, this season the purple-haired Patty decides to pursue women after being snubbed by every man in Springfield. She finds true love after being seduced in a bar by a butch lesbian. Homer – who dubbed Patty and twin sister Selma the “gruesome twosome – is horrified at first. But according to early scripts, he ends up being ordained as a minister – then marrying Patty and her girlfriend.
Ward Jenkins, a talented director and designer at Atlanta’s Primal Screen who I finally met in Ottawa last week after many email exchanges, points out that there’s another Toulouse, France-based graffiti artist, Miss Van who has been doing the ‘plump girl-style’ longer than Fafi. Says Ward, “[Miss Van]‘s work does fall into a certain rut, as all her girls look the same, with highly-stylized features and over-the-top sexuality, but there’s something more to them than from what I saw in Fafi’s work. My two cents.”
Evidence that a new “toon boom” is upon us – with the highly anticipated release of THE INCREDIBLES, ROBOTS, CHICKEN LITTLE, MADAGASGAR, CARS in the next 18 months – comes with this announcement about Wild Brain and Miramax.Is this another Disney buffer against losing Pixar? Sounds like it to me – but it’s an exciting move that adds another player to the growing list of current CGI cartoon factories: Blue Sky, Pixar, Disney, Sony, Dreamworks and ILM.
Now, THIS looks good: the teaser trailer for MADAGASCAR.
Ollie JohnstonLast night at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Disney held a memorial for Frank Thomas. It was a wonderful heart felt, loving tribute to the man and his life, produced with class by the Disney Studio and Howard Green.As we entered the theatre – large personal photos of Frank were projected on the El Capitan screen. Buena Vista President Dick Cook made a few opening remarks and introduced Amy and Howard Green, who acted as hosts for the evening. Among the speakers were animation historians John Culhane and Charles Solomon, animators Andreas Deja and John Lasseter, family members Gregg Thomas, Doug Thomas and Ted Thomas and personal friends Marshall Ayers and Alan Kay. Leonard Maltin did a short on-stage interview with Ollie Johnston.A few clips were shown: an excerpt about the spagetti scene in Lady And The Tramp from Ted Thomas’ Frank & Ollie documentary; Frank & Ollie’s cameo scenes in The Iron Giant and The Incredibles; Frank’s first computer animation (from 1986); a musical home recording Frank made in 1941; a great The Firehouse Five Plus Two performance from a 1962 TV show Jazz Scene; and the evening concluded with the squirrel sequence from The Sword In The Stone, a scene Frank apparently requested be shown at his memorial.Chocolate chip cookies were given to everyone as they entered the theater. The mood was upbeat, the presentation was tasteful, funny and reverent.Rest In Peace. Franklin Rosborough Thomas, September 5, 1912 – September 8, 2004.
This just in:
Get the New York Times this Sunday (Oct. 3) or visit them online, for John Canemaker’s latest – a lengthy article on THE INCREDIBLES and Pixar’s breakthrough animation of human characters.
Ottawa ’04 has concluded and a complete list of winners can be found HERE. Grand prize for short film went to Chris Landreth’s RYAN and best feature went to RAINING CATS AND FROGS. Numerous other awards were handed out in other categories, and notably, no award was given in the Machinima category (wink, wink…hint). Personally, I had a terrific time at the festival and it seems that everybody else did too (well, everybody but the Machinima filmmakers). I’ll file a lengthy report upon my return to LA. At the moment, I’ve taken a little side trip to Montreal and have found a charming (and quite crowded) coffee shop on St. Laurent with wi-fi access (thanks for the tips Emru).
I just recieved a copy of Fred Patten’s book Watching Anime, Reading Manga, and I highly recommend it. It’s hard to believe that this is technically Fred’s first book. (He’s contributed essays to several – and was co-editor of The Complete Anime Guide, 2nd Edition) I’ve known Fred for quite a long time now, and have always admired his knowledgable opinions and writings on anime. He may very well be anime’s first true scholar.This new book collects 25 years worth of Fred’s best articles, columns and reviews. Reading it will give you a comprehensive overview of Japanese animation, as well as the story of American anime fandom and the emergence of it’s influence in western popular culture. If you could only have one book on anime, this is the one to get. Fred covers everything from Tezuka to Miyazaki, From 8th Man to Dragonball Z in an entertaining, informative way.
Congratulations, Fred. Go-Go-Go!
According to the results of a just-released survey on behalf of Boomerang UK, Tom & Jerry are the most popular cartoon characters of adults aged between 25 and 54. Over 1000 adults were polled by telephone, according to this article on BBC News.It’s nice to see Popeye and Bugs Bunny rank so high. These results also explain why Warner Home Video is rushing a Wacky Races dvd collection to market. Can a Hong Kong Phooey season one boxed set be far behind? Here’s the complete top ten:1) Tom and Jerry (1940)
2) Scooby-Doo (1969)
3) Dangermouse (1981)
4) Top Cat (1961)
5) The Flintstones (1960)
6) Bugs Bunny (1940)
7) Popeye (1933)
8) Road Runner (1964)
9) Wacky Races (1968)
10) Hong Kong Phooey (1974)
Genndy Tartakovsky discusses his Emmy win, Samurai Jack, Clone Wars and his forthcoming ASTRO BOY feature with the Chicago Sun Times.
Sony officially announced it’s intent to buy MGM this week. To raise the billion-dollar plus asking price needed to make the purchase, cable TV megacorp Comcast chipped in several hundred million to become a partner with Sony and three other companies to close the deal. John R. Alchin, vice president and treasurer of Comcast, said earlier this week the company is already “looking at possible new channels using material from MGM and Sony’s film and television libraries”.
You’ve just bought into one of the greatest film libraries of all time. Over 8000 feature films, numerous classic television episodes, not to mention the short subjects (The Three Stooges), serials (The Iron Claw, The Lost Planet, etc.) and cartoons.I have an idea for you. A suggestion for a new cable channel you could create, that would be an instant success. A classic cartoon channel aimed at adults. Sort of a TCM for animation. A home for classic cartoon stars.Naturally the kids will love it – but you’re smarter than that. You know that adults will tune in great numbers – to enjoy all the cartoon characters they grew up with. Characters no longer running on any television channel, and barely present on dvd.The library you’ve just bought into gives you a head start: you now own cartoons starring The Pink Panther, Mr. Magoo, Li’l Abner, Gerald McBoing Boing, Krazy Kat, The Ant & The Aardvark, Scrappy and The Fox & Crow. You’ve got Oscar winning animation by Friz Freleng, John Hubley, Ernest Pintoff (1963′s The Critic). You own early anime features like The Little Norse Prince, Jack And The Witch, Alakazam The Great, and The World Of Hans Christian Anderson. Your ties with Sony give you rights to recent anime features like Metropolis, Steamboy, Cowboy BeBop, Tokyo Godfathers and who knows what else from Sony’s Animax anime channel. For late nights, you’ve got Fritz The Cat, Heavy Traffic, Heavy Metal and American Pop. You own TV series as diverse as Prince Planet, Super President, Jumanji, Hanna-Barbera’s Jeannie (based on I Dream Of Jeannie), Super Six, The Real Ghostbusters and Dilbert.And just think of the material you could acquire! Woody Woodpecker and Andy Panda from Universal, Betty Boop and Little Lulu from Paramount, Casper and Baby Huey from Classic Media, and on and on.
Who knows, maybe Disney will license Mickey, Donald & Goofy, and Warner’s will give you Popeye and Droopy – they don’t run them on their cable channels anymore.Please consider starting the Animation Station (clever title, eh?). I’d be happy to advise you further at this address.Sincerely Yours,Jerry Beck
Reminder: Saturday afternoon (9/25) Mark Kausler and I are hosting an Asifa Hollywood screening of classic Van Beuren TOM & JERRY cartoons at the AFI in Hollywood. These are NOT the Cat & Mouse comedies made famous by Hanna Barbera at MGM. These are funky 1932-33 black & white, jazz hot cartoons – not available on 99Â¢ dvds – including: Wot A Night (the first in the series), Trouble, Joint Wipers, The Tuba Tooter, Jolly Fish, Barnyard Bunk Tight Rope Tricks, Happy Hoboes, Puzzled Pals, and The Phantom Rocket (The last in the series). Join us at 3pm for a good time.
Disney continues to do a good job of keeping Mickey Mouse present in modern merchandising – everything from personal computers to soft drinks is endorsed by the mouse these days. But I am particularly impressed with a new series of Kleenex tissue boxes (now on sale) celebrating Mickey’s 75th anniversary – one of which features the earliest 1928 Mickey on one of its side panels. When was the last time you saw the black & white Mickey – limited editions and Disneyland merchandise excepted – promoted on such a mass market item?
Animator Mike Nguyen (The Iron Giant, Beauty & The Beast), who has been toiling away of late on his own personal animated film (My Little World), recently collected his paintings devoted to his pet cat, created over a 15 year period, into a just-released self-published book, Issa.Mike will be signing copies at the Brand Central Library in Glendale, CA on Thursday, October 28th, from 6:00pm – 8:30pm. Original artwork from the book will be on display, as well as trailers and clips from Mike’s work-in-progress feature film. You can see pages from the book and purchase it online directly from Mike at Julysky.com