POwerpuff Girls Z

Powerpuff Girls ZFrom the “Isn’t This Incestuous Dep’t.”: At the recent Tokyo Animation Fair, Toei Animation, Aniplex and Cartoon Network announced a new series tentatively titled DAMESHITAA! POWERPUFF GIRLS Z. So the POWERPUFF GIRLS, an American cartoon that was originally inspired by Japanese anime, has now been optioned by the Japanese and translated back into a very conventional-looking piece of TV anime. Noticeable differences in the new version are that the Powerpuff Girls are now older, have fingers instead of stub-hands, carry weapons, and the Professor has been turned into an angry-looking preschooler. Promotional art can be seen HERE and HERE, while stills from the pilot episode are HERE. (Thanks, Scott Warren)

FELIX CHEVROLET

felixchevy.jpgAnother L.A. cartoon landmark is the subject of an L.A. Times article (registration may be required) today.Felix Chevrovet has been a fixture in downtown Los Angeles since 1923. According to the article, Winslow B. Felix traded Pat Sullivan a new car in exchange for use (apparently in perpetuity) of the Felix character as a mascot for his car dealership. The earliest example of animation licensing? Unless there is a long lost Gertie the Dinosaur hamburger stand or Farmer Alfalfa action figure, it may well be!

RADIO RIOT

filmclubair.jpgIt isn’t often that cartoons are discussed on talk radio – so it is with great pleasure that I alert you to my next radio appearence, Tuesday April 5th at 10:00am (Pacific Time, 1:00pm EST). Film Club of the Air on San Diego’s KPBS radio (89.5 FM), an NPR affiliate out of San Diego State University, will be discussing the current state of animation and I believe they will take phone calls. The show will be available on-line, both live and archived.
I hope you’ll “toon” in.UPDATE: At the last moment, I was informed that I won’t be on the show this week – however, they are rescheduling me for another day. Still – they will be discussing cartoons and its worth a listen, regardless.

R.I.P. DUDLEY DO-RIGHT EMPORIUM (1971-2005)

dudleyemp.jpg

The Dudley Do-Right Emporium – the Sunset Blvd. landmark started in 1971 by Jay Ward to sell unique merchandise, animation cels and moose antlers – closed earlier this year and is facing the wrecking ball at any moment. Mark Arnold supplied us with this photo taken last week. Asifa-Hollywood is in discussions with the Ward estate in efforts to save the sign.

More on Animation’s Greatest Executive

leonwb.jpg The post I did a couple days ago, “Animation’s Greatest Executives”, wasn’t really intended to be about Leon Schlesinger, but that’s what Mark Evanier and Larry Loc are talking about. So while we’re on the subject of Leon, here’s a great story from Warner Bros. background painter Zach Schwartz about his dealings with Leon.

UPA founder Zach Schwartz recalls his experience when he started at Schlesinger’s in the Thirties:

[I was] full of all the marvelous things I was going to do for animation, the color schemes and the compositions I was going to bring there. I was sitting there painting some watercolors one day and a fat, red, pudgy finger came over my shoulder, and the finger said, ‘Use poiple. We got poiple now. Use it!’ It turned out to be Leon Schlesinger, who didn’t care a terrible lot about the quality of his films. He just liked to be able to get them out on time, and get them over to Warner Bros. But they had finally gotten Technicolor, after muddling around with a two-color process that turned everything brown or green, and he was so proud of the fact that they had purple that he couldn’t stand it, because I was painting everything yellow.