The animation blogging community is growing in leaps and bounds, and we’ve updated our “Brew Recommends” links section (in the right-hand column) with six new sites that we recommend. They are:
Cold, Hard Flash
News and opinions about the rise of Flash-animated TV production from animation producer Aaron Simpson.
A collaborative weblog devoted to illustration, art, animation and cartooning.
Nancy Beiman’s Blog We Must
A blog by veteran animator Nancy Beiman.
Nick Cross’ Plog
Documenting the production of the hand-drawn animated short THE WAIF OF PERSEPHONE.
The Private Dick Plog
Documenting the production of Tennessee Reid Norton’s stop-motion short RICHARD PRIVATE: THE PRIVATE DICK.
Documenting the production of the Nick Jr. tv series WUBBY, WIDGET & WALDEN created by Bob Boyle.
This year’s edition of THE ANIMATION SHOW has a great opening sequence produced by a new German animation collective called studio soi. The 20-second ANIMATION SHOW spot, named BUNNIES, was a commercial originally produced for MTV. Check out studiosoi.de to see BUNNIES and lots of other recent work by soi.
From McSweeney’s: “If Only They Kept Diaries: Roadrunner.”(Thanks, Gary Meyer)
I just stumbled upon animator Nancy Beiman’s new blog. Beiman, a very talented cartoonist, director & teacher – and former neighbor of mine – has posted a great quote from Greg Ford on his reaction to LOONATICS:
“They are the perfect models for the current era,” Greg told me. “Bugs Bunny was created during a populist era in the second Roosevelt administration, and a few years later, he fought the Fascists.
These characters are the Fascists.”
Fred Seibert’s Frederator website has just posted online the title cards from his three current Nickelodeon series. 105 title graphics from ChalkZone, The Fairly Oddparents and My Life As A Teenage Robot.The Teenage Robot cards are particularly good – and these were all designed by one Joesph Holt (In fact, the one pictured above is probably the least creative one in the bunch – but the most appropriate for this blog). For more news on Seibert’s current doings, check his Frederator Blog.
I have some reservations about Robin Williams as an animation voice actor (and by some reservations, I mean many), but Emru Townsend reminds us on his fps magazine blog In-Betweens that Williams also deserves praise for some of the more positive things he does for the cartoon art form.
From Reuters News Service:
Fans dressed as cartoon characters, The Smurfs, watch a match during the second day of the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in Hong Kong March 19, 2005. The three-day international sporting event has a carnival atmosphere and attracts fans from around the world.
Women dressed supposedly like The Powerpuff Girls pictured here.
If THE INCREDIBLES on DVD isn’t enough for you – grab a Mr. Incredible Pez dispenser – heck, buy a whole case of Incredibles Pez – their super!The Elasti-Girl Pez is the best, because with her powers she could actually become a Pez dispenser! By the way, THE INCREDIBLES DVD is great – and a must-have for anyone who enjoyed the film. I haven’t reviewed the dvd here, mainly because the deserved rave reviews have been posted everywhere else, but I strongly recommend it.(via Scoop)
Bill Plympton, who was nominated for an Oscar this year for his short film GUARD DOG, writes about his experiences in LA during Oscar week. Read his diary and see photos HERE.
I’ve been neglect in mentioning the forthcoming publication of Maureen Furniss’s wonderful collection of Chuck Jones interviews, Chuck Jones: Conversations. The volume, which goes in sale April 1st, spans thirty years of talks with Jones and includes several previously unpublished interviews. Furniss is the editor/publisher of Animation Journal, the only regularly published scholarly publication on animation history. She has recently moved back to Southern California to teach at Cal Arts.Chuck Jones Conversations is available at discount on amazon.com
Tonight: Cartoon Network, Lucasfilm, and ASIFA-Hollywood present ANIMATION A-GO-GO! TWO NIGHTS WITH GENNDY TARTAKOVSKY at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.Wednesday Night:The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ 9th Annual Marc Davis Lecture on Animation, March 23rd at 7:30pm at their Samuel Goldwyn Theatre on Wilshire Blvd. The focus is on animator Frédéric Back, with a screening and a panel discussion with Pete Docter (Monsters Inc.), Production Designer Paul Felix (Lilo and Stitch and The Emperor’s New Groove), Glen Keane (Tarzan), Bob Kurtz (owner of Kurtz and Friends animation studio, & creator of Cool Cat), and Charles Solomon (animation critic for The Los Angeles Times). For more program information, go to oscars.org
Here is the cover of the new book – on sale in October – by cartoon music historian Daniel Goldmark.Tunes for ‘Toons: Music and the Hollywood Cartoon presents a set of case studies on cartoon music, with chapters on Carl Stalling, Scott Bradley, jazz, classical music, and opera in Hollywood cartoons, with particular attention to Warner Bros. & MGM. With this book your knowledge and insight on cartoon scores will double – and, more importantly, you’ll now be able to understand why Stalling used Raymond Scott’s “Powerhouse,” and Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2,” (among others) so skillfully in so many Looney Tunes.
I went to the unveiling of a wall sculpture dedicated to Bill Hanna & Joseph Barbera – and a birthday luncheon for Joe Barbera (94 years old!) – today. Mark Evanier explains it all HERE.
The SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE has an interesting piece on a touring film program called “The Dark Side of Dr. Seuss.” The program, curated by Dennis Nyback, screens the films of Dr. Seuss (then Theodor Geisel) from when he was in charge of the US Army Signal Corps’ animation unit during WWII. That unit produced the Private Snafu cartoons (through Warner Bros.), among other projects.
Here’s a clever use of Carl Stalling music – a Flash animation by Brian Emling that’s a tribute to Chuck Jones’ DOT AND THE LINE and NOW HEAR THIS.(Thanks to Charles Brubaker for the link)
ColdHardFlash.com has a nice round-up of all the new and returning Flash-animated TV series that are being produced this year. There’s eight Flash series in total, with four new shows – COCONUT FRED’S FRUIT SALAD ISLAND, THE BUZZ ON MAGGIE, KATBOT and OMEGA DOME.
Here’s ten all-too-brief but fascinating clips of vintage Soviet animation. I particularly like the Russian version of Winnie the Pooh (at right), which I believe was made by Fyodor Khitruk. (via Boing Boing)
Here’s an update on the Golden Awards Banquet that The Animation Guild is holding on April 9th, 2005 at Pickwick Gardens in Burbank, California.This event honors animation veterans with fifty years in the industry of screen cartooning and related fields. This year’s honorees began their careers between 1943 and 1955. The list of honorees includes:
John C. Ahern, Frank Andrina, Gerard Baldwin, Robert Balser, Carole J. Barnes, Kathy Barrows, Vincent Bassols, Howard Beckerman, Oliver “Lefty” Callahan, Paul Carlson, Rudy Cataldi, Cornelius Cole, Janis Cornell, Fred Crippen, Tissa David, Gene Deitch, Robert Dranko, John Emerson, Edward Faigin, Becky Fallberg, Ray Favata, Eve Fletcher, Rita Giddings, Lee Guttman, Victor Haboush, Ed Hansen, Martha Harrison, Bud Hester, Willie Ito, Sam Jaimes, Chris Jenkyns, Don Jurwich, Louie Kachivas, Darlene Kanagy-Brown, Sammi Lanham, Don Lusk, Bill Matthews, Burny Mattinson, Peggi R. Matz, Charles McElmurry, Jimmy T. Murakami, Ann Oliphant, Lew Ott, Doris A. Plough, Lloyd G. Rees, Rick Reinert, Robert Allen Revell, Beverly M. Robbins, Phil Roman, Joanna Romersa, Carmen Sanderson, Mel Shaw, Marcia Sinclair, Charlene Singleton, Ken Southworth, John Sparey, Herb Stott, Iwao Takamoto, Cliff Vorhees, Manon Washburn, Merle Welton, Robert “Tiger” West, Gwen A. Wetzler, John Wilson, Alan Wilzbach, Fred Wolf. Special Award: June ForayUnderline denotes those honorees whose attendance has been confirmed as of 3/14/05.
If you want to attend the banquet, tickets are $37.50 each with a choice of New York Steak, Chicken Marsala or a Vegetable Plate. Please note: Last day to buy tickets is next Wednesday, March 23rd, so if you’re thinking about attending, you’d better hurry. They are expecting an attendance of 300+.Presenting awards will be Floyd Norman, Mark Kausler, Tim Walker, Tee Bosustow, Scott Shaw, Tina Price, Leonard Maltin, Gary Owens and yours truly, Jerry Beck. MC Tom Sito is preparing a 4-minute introductory film with clips from cartoons and vintage footage of the period. Floyd Norman is preparing a series of short film clips to be interspersed throughout the evening, showing documentary footage, vintage TV commercials, rare home movie footage and other surprises.Photographer Moses Sparks will be photographing every aspect of the event from arrivals to departures, and all his pictures will be online and available for purchase on the internet about a week after the banquet. Martha Sigall’s new book, Living Life Inside the Lines: Tales from the Golden Age, will premier at the banquet and will be available for signing at Stuart Ng’s tables in the back of the room. Animation-related books, magazines and DVDs will be available at Stuart’s booth at the back of the room. The 64-page program book will be crammed with good reading, including a great 3,000-word article on the era by Tom Sito. Quite a few people have been very generous with the use of their vintage photos. Bios on each of the honorees will take up 17 pages of the booklet, and the usual sprinkling of cartoons and ads will fill out the program book.For further ticket information, please contact Dave Brain. Any questions, suggestions or if you’d like to advertise in their program book, please contact event organizer Bob Foster at [email protected] or check the Animation Guild website.
Stop motion veteran Tennessee Reid Norton has started a plog (production blog) documenting the making of his indie stopmo short RICHARD PRIVATE: THE PRIVATE DICK. Norton described the project in one of his recent entries:
This Dick is a hardboiled detective cut from the same bolt as any self-respecting character created by Chandler, Capote or Spillane. He likes his women like he likes his drinks – hard. His stories are set in 1940′ish Los Angeles. The lighting is black and white Noir inspired. And Richard is well … a dick! It’s your basic big dick trying to navigate his way through the human world while solving mysteries serial.
Goofy subject matter aside, the plog is a good read with plenty of solid details about the film’s production. T-Reid also talks about another recent project he worked on, the full-length stop-motion feature DISASTER! THE MOVIE, directed by Roy T. Wood. The film, which recently wrapped, is being billed as the first R-rated stop-motion feature.
The legendary Oscar Grillo has started his own blog HERE. It features a terrific drawing everyday and links to classic jazz tunes. Most of the text is in Spanish, but the drawings and music can be appreciated by all.
FPS (Frames Per Second), a great print animation magazine edited by Emru Townsend in the Nineties, is being published again — only this time sans paper. The first issue is available for FREE as a downloadable PDF at fpsMagazine.com. There’s a cover story on the “animated documentary” and other thought-provoking pieces.
April 30th has been declared International Scrappy Day by Asifa-Hollywood. That’s when an officially sanctioned Scrappy-Con – dubbed (with permission) SCRAPPY-LAND – will take place at the American Film Institute campus in Hollywood, California.From 1pm till 5pm, participants will gorge themselves with various Scrappy related events – a screening of several brand new 35mm restored prints of Dick Huemer (Mintz, Screen Gems) Scrappy cartoons (Courtesy of Columbia Pictures), preceeded by a panel discussion, exhibits of Scrappy memoribilia, and a live performance by the Scrappy Puppet Theatre Players!More details will be announced next month, as we get closer to the date. In the meantime visit Scrappy-Land online or Asifa-Hollywood for more information.
Once again, our friend and colleague Fred Patten is back in the hospital.Fred, who just recovered from a bout with pneumonia, suffered a stroke early Saturday morning (around 12 midnight). Fred is in stable condition, in the Intensive Care Unit, at Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital in Marina Del Rey, CA.Amid and I wish him a speedy recovery.
If you are as big a BATMAN fan as I am – or you like the 1966 camp Batman, the 1989 Burton Batman, the 1992 animated Batman, are a fan of Mark Hamill, Dick Van Dyke and Adam West – or Lego toys – you really should watch this: Batman – New Times
There are two great Birds in the world of art. One is, of course, the Brad Bird of animation. The other is the Bird of jazz – Charlie “Bird” Parker. Today marks the 50th anniversary of his death (August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955), and in commemoration, here’s a drawing by Oscar Grillo.
Daisy C. reports in on the Lisa Marie/Tim Burton garage sale (previously HERE and HERE):
Just wanted to mention that my friend and I went and checked out the Tim Burton garage sale thing today – and it’s really a bit of a bust. Actually, just plain disappointing. The only movie prop was that chair from Ed Wood (still there for a mere $20,000), and other than a smattering of used furniture and pricey used designer footwear and clothes (average going price for used shoes – $100-$400, dresses and skirts $400+), it was this odd collection of junky old yard sale stuff – salad spinner, old mugs, fabric, assorted boxes of electric cables and whatnot. But, all my friends back east are jealous that we even got to check it out, so hey.