I consider myself fairly open minded about different animation styles and techniques, but I simply fail to see any redeeming value in Beck’s latest music video, “Hell Yes.” [Watch the video in Real Player or Windows Media Player] It’s not that I’m against the video’s choppy, unabashedly lo-fi digital aesthetic, but the execution of that technique is just plain weak. It’s representative of everything that I loathe about modern design and graphics; I’ve never understood how showing a complete disdain for craftsmanship somehow equates to ‘hip’ but perhaps I’m missing something.
I’m still recovering from yesterday’s Annie Awards ceremony – and post-show party last night. As a member of the Board of Directors of Asifa-Hollywood, I’m very proud of this event. It really is a great moment for our industry to celebrate the artform and Asifa is the only organized group who champions the craft – and has done so for over 40 years.The Incredibles swept the awards. Brad Bird, Don Bluth and the woman accepting the award for historian Bill Moritz gave great, inspiring speeches. Stan Lee was a guest presenter for Best Animated Feature. Tom Kenny was hilarious as the M.C. and Virginia Davis (Disney’s Alice Comedies) was charming. The whole presentation was superb. You can read the details of the winners here and see some candid photos at Asifa’s Blog.
Chris Harding’s MAKE MINE SHOEBOX, a quite funny corporate film produced for Hallmark Cards, can now be seen online in its entirety HERE. I was ecstatic when I discovered Chris’s work a few months back – he’s a major new talent on the scene whose films deliver a solid combination of design, animation and content. Hopefully we’ll be seeing many more of his cartoons in the future.
The first volume of WALT’S PEOPLE: TALKING DISNEY WITH THE ARTISTS WHO KNEW HIM is now available at XLibris.com. Edited by Didier Ghez, this 270-page collection includes interviews with Rudy Ising, Dave Hand, Bill Tytla, Ken Anderson, Jack Hannah, John Hench, Marc Davis, Milt Kahl, Harper Goff and Joyce Carlson. A second volume is planned that’ll include interviews with Grim Natwick, Frank Tashlin, Ward Kimball, Floyd Gottfredson, Herb Ryman, Frank Thomas and Eric Larson among others.
Frank Tashlin was great.His live action films were hilarious – but, as we know, his print cartoons and animated films were even funnier. If you haven’t yet, please read Mike Barrier’s 1971 interview with Tash and Ethan de Seife’s biographical profile. One of Tashlin’s last live action films, THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT (1966), will be released on DVD in April with several behind-the-sceenes bonus pieces – including the oft-requested Chuck Jones MGM Oscar winning cartoon THE DOT AND THE LINE (1965).Another DVD of note (unrelated to Tashlin or Jones): Barnes & Noble is selling an exclusive DVD, Academy Award-Winning Classic Cartoons, a new collection boasting 7 Oscar winners for Best Short Subject Cartoon. Included are: Rudolf Ising’s “The Milky Way” (1941); Joseph Barbera and William Hanna’s “Quiet Please!” (’46); Barbera and Hanna’s “The Cat Concerto” (’47); Friz Freleng’s “Tweety Pie” (’48); Barbera and Hanna’s “Johann Mouse” (’53); Freleng’s “Birds Anonymous”(’58); and Freleng’s “Knighty Knight Bugs” (’59). This collection will only be sold through Barnes and Noble bookstores, or available for free with the purchase of two Warner Home Video Academy award winning features.
According to this FOX NEWS story, Disney is having a hard time getting its post-Pixar Toy Story sequel together.
That’s the word in Hollywood’s animation world, where the third installment of the incredibly successful Pixar series has no director, writer or, possibly, stars. “Every single animator of note has turned down the director’s job. They don’t want to cross Pixar. They’ve become the only deal in town.”
While I doubt Disney will halt it’s plans or have trouble finding a production crew, the fate of our favorite Pixar characters solely in Disney hands gives us reason to pause. Just seeing Buzz, Woody and Jessie on ice is scary enough, especially when we consider the possible fate of Mr. Incredible and Frozone.
I got an email from Brew reader Linda Drury today asking if I had a photo of Dave Barry – the comedian and cartoon voice actor who passed away on August 16th, 2001. Barry briefly voiced Bluto (for Famous Studios), Elmer Fudd (for Warner Bros. in Pre-Hysterical Hare), was a regular in Columbia Screen Gems cartoons and the Speaking Of Animals series. He’s best remembered for his Bogart vocal imitation in the Bugs Bunny cartoons Slick Hare(1947) and 8-Ball Bunny (1950). I had never seen a good photo of Barry myself, so I did a little research and found these two images (above) from the 1962 Academy Players Directory (an annual performer reference put out by the Academy of Motion Pictue Arts and Sciences). I thought it was worth posting here for future reference.For more information about this Dave Barry, go to Mark Evanier’s POVonline.com
I’m helping a certain animation legend (and I don’t use that term loosely) set up his own website. If you’re wondering who, here’s a big hint: there was a retrospective of his work at last year’s Ottawa Animation Festival. He’s currently looking for somebody to design the website. There will be monetary compensation. Preferably, it’ll be a designer in the LA area who can collaborate with him in person. If you’re interested, please submit samples to me at amid [at] animationblast [dot] com and I’ll forward the materials to him.
Tracy Mark Lee at Electric Tiki is doing it right – once again!He’s gotten me excited about these classic cartoon maquettes – Get a look at the rough sculpt of this sexy Betty Boop maquette. As Bert Lahr (and various cartoon wolves) used to say: “Gnong, Gnong!”And here’s a sneak peek at the Famous Studios Popeye maquette. Note the base, designed to look like the Paramount star opening.Both these statues will be ready to purchase later this year. They’ve got at least one sale from me.
Here’s the raw list:Best animated feature film of the yearThe Incredibles
Shrek 2Best animated short filmBirthday Boy (An Australian Film, TV and Radio School Production) Sejong Park and Andrew Gregory
Gopher Broke (A Blur Studio Production) Jeff Fowler and Tim Miller
Guard Dog Bill Plympton
Lorenzo (Walt Disney Pictures) Mike Gabriel and Baker Bloodworth
Ryan (A Copper Heart Entertainment & National Film Board of Canada Production) Chris LandrethAlso in these catagories: Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song): “Accidentally In Love” from Shrek 2 and “Believe” from The Polar ExpressAchievement in sound editing: The Incredibles Michael Silvers and Randy Thom; The Polar Express Randy Thom and Dennis Leonard.Achievement in sound mixing: The Incredibles Randy Thom, Gary A. Rizzo and Doc Kane; The Polar Express Randy Thom, Tom Johnson, Dennis Sands and William B. KaplanOriginal screenplay: The Incredibles Written by Brad Bird.Congratulations to the nominees!
Animation director/designer dynamo Jorge Gutierrez has released a new line of T-shirts which are guaranteed to make you the envy of all your Chicano friends. There are three designs, all most festive – Calavera Serenata, Muertito Skull and DJ Muerto. I just received my own shirt in the mail (a black Calavera Serenata) and am looking forward to wearing it around town. They’re $20 a pop and include free shipping at Muertito.com.
In response to the conservative charges about Spongebob Squarepants promoting homosexuality, John Martz at Robot Johnny.com presents a gallery of beautiful frame grabs (off the Looney Tunes Golden Collection dvds) that illustrate the questionable status of Bugs Bunny’s sexual preferences.(via Boing Boing)
A few Brew readers wrote in today to tell me of Ralph Bakshi’s announced plans to start a graphic novel sequel to WIZARDS. Interesting… but the bigger news is the fact that Ralph has added a blog to his established website.It’s always worth a visit to www.ralphbakshi.com Recent updates include video of a cut scene from his LORD OF THE RINGS, and it’s a place to view rare personal photographs, and buy Bakshi animation cels — and it’s the only place I know selling an official COONSKIN T-Shirt!
These little plastic Japanese statues are GRRR-REAT! Megahouse is making a whole series of these collectible Kellogg’s cereal character statues – including long-forgotten favorites like Sugar Pops Pete (in center, above) – in their original, most appealing designs. First Oswald the Rabbit, now this. I’m glad someone, somewhere is preserving – and celebrating – our classic cartoon hertitage!(via Scrubbles.net)