Several months ago I was interviewed for a segment of Animal Icons, a series on the ANIMAL PLANET cable TV network. I just found out it has begun airing this month, and is airing again on Saturday. Mark Evanier, Bob Miller and several Cartoon Brew readers saw it and have informed me it will be rerun again Saturday June 11th at 2pm Eastern (11am on the west coast).Entitled “Animated Animals”, the hour discusses the history of animated animal cartoon stars with June Foray, Mark Hamill, Tom Kenny, Noel Blanc, Billy West and with numerous clips.
Mark Kausler has made yet another discovery among his fabulous film collection…His nitrate print of Tex Avery’s 1945 cartoon THE SHOOTING OF DAN McGOO has several altered shots when compared to the common 1951 re-release version we are used to seeing on TV and home video. I’ve pictured several of these differences on my Cartoon Research.com MGM Original Titles page. Chief among the changes were the elimination of several gags relating to cigarettes – which in 1945 were rationed and considered valuable. Not so in 1951.MGM’s pre-1951 cartoon negatives were destroyed in a vault fire three decades ago. Thus the only master material available are dupe negs from the reissue versions – or rare one of a kind nitrate original release prints. Unfortunetly, not many of the volatile nitrate prints survive. Let’s hope more turn up before it’s too late.
Cartoon Brew reader Holly Melcher sent in this photo of a Bosko pillow pattern she found at an estate sale. Bosko merchandise is rare, but more and more of it keeps turning up. Apparently Harman & Ising exploited the character (The first Looney Tunes star) on their own after leaving the Schlesinger studio in the mid 1930s – and tried again in the early 1950s when the early cartoons were first sold to television.Holly’s find is a new one on me. Here’s a larger picture, and close up of the copyright and product info.
Here’s something we cartoon historians don’t see everyday. In fact, baby boomers and everyone born since then have never seen it: The original opening title to a Terrytoons SUPER MOUSE cartoon (He Dood It Again, 1943).Except for the few rare Super Mouse movie posters still in existence, all references to Terrytoons original ‘Mouse of Tomorrow’ were erased from history when the character was rechristened Mighty Mouse in 1943. Apparently another Super-Mouse was published in the October, 1942 dated first issue of Coo Coo Comics (Nedor Publishing Co.), the same month Terry’s mouse of steel made his debut appearence in theatres. According to Don Markstein, Nedor and its successors, Standard Comics and Pines Comics, continued to publish Super Mouse regularly until 1958. However, Paul Terry, either fearing a lawsuit from DC Comics or not wanting to give a comic book character undo publicity, made the name change – which was for the better, if you ask me. However, the 1942 and ’43 Super Mouse theatricals were altered in re-release to reflect the name change.We’ve never seen the original on-screen opening title – until Mark Kausler came upon this nitrate print in a recent purchase. Thanks to Mark for contributing this gem to my Terrytoon original title page.
Director Ward Jenkins has a really nice Flickr photoset of his workspace at Primal Screen. He writes more about the pictures at the Ward-O-Matic. It’s always fascinating checking out other artists’ workspaces and seeing the inspirational cocoons in which visually-oriented individuals enclose themselves in. I once even considered doing an article in the BLAST about some of the cool artist workspaces and personal art studios that I’d seen. Now, everybody can simply post their work areas on their blogs or Flickr.
The new designs are in.Somebody stop this… In the name of humanity…
“Loonatics Unleashed”, an all-new action packed, comedy-adventure series set seven hundred years in the future, stars an ensemble cast of six superheroes who are descendants of the Looney Tunes. Series will debut on Kids’ WB! in fall 2005. (L to R): Lexi Bunny, Rev Runner, Tech E. Coyote, Ace Bunny, Danger Duck, Spaz B. Wilde.
(Thanks to Robert Evatt for the link)
The Mystery & Imagination bookshop (aka BookFellows) on Brand Blvd. in Glendale is hosting a gala animation book signing this Saturday at 2pm.Yours truly Jerry Beck will be joined by Joe Adamson (The Walter Lantz Story), Maureen Furniss (Chuck Jones Conversations), Martha Sigall (Living Life Inside The Lines), Keith Scott (The Moose That Roared), and the infamous Gary Owens (How to Make a Million Dollars With Your Voice) and it should be pretty crazy. The book shop is on the same block as the Alex Theatre, at 238 N. Brand Blvd. – Join us!
Who would have thought: Michel Gagné and Nickelodeon? Michel has been contracted by Nick to produce eleven short animated pieces of his INSANELY TWISTED SHADOW PUPPET SHOW project. The cartoons will air during Nick’s Halloween programming this fall. The shorts range from bumpers (3-10 seconds) to interstitials (25 seconds), and Gagné will direct, produce and design all of them. Michel is one of those rare breeds who understands drawing and design, is an incredible animator and can tell a story. In other words, he’s a complete filmmaker. I personally can’t wait to see what he turns out, even in these truncated film lengths. Stay tuned to Michel’s website for more details. And give credit to Nick for recognizing a great talent when they see it…at least in this particular instance.
I usually wait until someone sends me a free copy of something before I plug it – but this new release from Thunderbean Animation looks so good, I gotta help spread the word now – before I’ve actually seen it.This collection of 16 Aesops Fables from the Van Bueren studio has just been released. Many prints here are from rare original 35mm nitrate material, with original title cards restored and/or reconstructed. Titles include: Happy Polo (reissue with sound of ‘Polo Match’ 1929), Summertime (’29),The Iron Man (1930),The Haunted Ship (1930),Noah Knew his Ark (1930), A Romeo Robin (1930), Hot Tamale (1930), Gypped in Egypt (1930), Makin’ ‘em Move (1931),The Family Shoe (1931), The Cat’s Canary (1932), Toy Time (aka Toyland Adventure) (1932), The Farmerette (1932), Chinese Jinks (1932) and Silvery Moon (aka Candy Town) (1933). Bonus Features include still galleries, original posters/ publicity materials, original title cards and much more.Thunderbean’s previous POPEYE and FELIX sets are superb – so based on their reputation, the price ($14.95 on Amazon.com) and this list of contents, I highly recommend this dvd collection.
One of our readers has been privately sharing some images from his private cartoon art collection with me. But this one (above) is particularly intriguing. Is it the original title card art from HUSH MY MOUSE (1946, Chuck Jones)?HUSH MY MOUSE is one of several dozen cartoons whose original title cards are lost – cut from the original negatives when Warner’s theatrically re-issued their cartoons as Blue Ribbon Specials.All the markings on the piece indicate that it was a production background – so it’s my guess that it is indeed the original title (the white square at the center would have been where both the main title and director Jones credit would have gone, on a seperately shot cels). But unless an original print from the 1940s is found, we may never be able to confirm this hypothesis.(Thanks Mike)UPDATE: Michael Barrier has confirmed source of this art:
That title card is definitely from Hush My Mouse. I had a transparency shot of the title card for my aborted Warner Bros. book about 25 years ago, when the artwork was still owned by Collectors Book Store in Hollywood. The title card has a production number at the top that matches up with the production number for Hush My Mouse that I have from two other sources.
Asifa Hollywood’s annual 2-D Expo, which had been announced for June 25th 2005, has been postponed.I am part of the committee putting this event on, and due to various factors (including my recent move and telephone problems, as well as other overwhelming factors), the Board of Directors of Asifa Hollywood have decided to move the event to the fall. We have many exciting things lined up – and we’ll keep them on hold. Stay tuned to Cartoon Brew for further updates on this event.
A few days ago, I mentioned a couple books that Chronicle Books will be publishing this winter in honor of Pixar’s twentieth anniversary. Equally exciting, the Museum of Modern Art in New York has just announced a major Pixar retrospective that will take place December 14, 2005-February 6, 2006. The exhibit is being organized by MoMA’s Steven Higgins (Curator, Department of Film and Media) and Ron Magliozzi (Assistant Curator). It is rare for an animation studio to receive such recognition at MoMA; the only other major studio exhibition at MoMA that comes to mind is when United Productions of America (UPA) was honored in the mid-50s. There’s perhaps a few other examples, but it’s certainly not an everday occurrence. Fortunately, I can’t think of a modern animation studio more deserving of the honor.
Here’s the MoMA press release:
The Museum of Modern Art presents Pixar, in the most extensive theater and gallery exhibition it has ever devoted to the art of animation. Pixar Animation Studios has had worldwide critical and box office success with its feature films, from Toy Story (1995) to The Incredibles (2004). The exhibition marks the first time Pixar is lending its art collection and films. In addition to six features and a number of shorts that will be screened in MoMA’s Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters, the Yoshiko and Akio Morita Gallery will be devoted to moving image work created especially by the studio for this exhibition, illustrating the processes involved in creating their signature works. Paintings, concept art and other works on paper will be installed in the Theater Gallery and on the first floor, showing the multiple evolutions that characters and environments go through before their final on-screen incarnation. Pixar illustrates the artistry and craft of a studio devoted to making believable animated imagery and acknowledges computer-generated animation as a moving image art form.
Tonight at 8pm, the Steve Allen Theatre (4773 HOLLYWOOD BLVD, 2 blocks west of Vermont) in Los Feliz, Janet Klein and her Parlor Boys preceeded by Jerry Beck’s 16mm movie short subjects. End of plug.
Tom Knott writes to let us know that there’s a lot of interesting and rare animation programs happening this month during the Los Angeles Film Festival (June 16-26). For tickets and other details, visit LAFilmFest.com. Here are the program listings for the animation screenings:
ToonTime with THE RZA
Wed Jun 22, 8:30pm The Ford Theatre, $15.00
A founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, THE RZA has been on a non-stop hot streak since the early Nineties. A multi-talented hip hop phenomenon, THE RZA has recorded and produced countless albums, he’s scored films for Jarmusch and Tarantino, he’s acted in movies, and recently he published his first book. But now, he faces his greatest challengeâ€¦ CARTOONS. While some of the strangest, coolest cartoons you’ve ever seen screen behind him, THE RZA will layer together a soundtrack live, demonstrating his skill at using music to complement the action on screen and evoke moods with a few notes. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime performance when the animated and the Wu collide.
Stan Brakhage: Last Films
Tue Jun 21, 7:15, Redcat, $10.00
The late Stan Brakhage became synonymous with personal and experimental filmmaking. This program of shorts from his last three years — most made up of painted and hand-carved elements — display an astonishing range and subtlety of emotion.
Before Anime: Japanese Animation 1925-1946
Tue Jun 21, 9:30pm / Sat Jun 25, 5pm, Directors Guild, $10.00
Long before anime became a multi-billion dollar industry, Japanese animation was already a thriving artform. From early attempts through the introduction of sound and culminating in propaganda from World War II, this program charts twenty years of work from some of the most influential artists of their times.
A Decade of Iranian Animation – The ’70s
Jun 18, 4:45pm, Directors Guild, $10.00
Iranian cinema has made a big splash in recent years, but rarely have animated films from Iran been shown outside that country. We present ten seminal animated films produced in Iran in the decade of the ’70s.
Tales and Legends from Africa
Sat. Jun 19, 4:30pm/Wed Jun 22, 1:30 pm, Directors Guild, $10.00
Frogs and princesses play a starring role in this collection of African animation from a number of different countries. The program starts and finishes with two films made 35 years apart by the inventive Moustapha Alassane, father of Nigerien cinema.
Walt Disney’s Alice Comedies
Sun Jun 19, 1:30pm, Directors Guild, $10.00
Before Mickey came along, one of Walt Disney’s early successes was a series of films starring a live action little girl who continuously finds herself in a cartoon wonderland.