I had a nice chat with the gang at TOONZONE about animated features, the Pink Panther and anime – and you can listen to part 1 of it in a Podcast now posted at Toonzone.net.Meanwhile Channel Frederator has now posted episode 6 of their series of video podcasts, this one including the first classic cartoon in the bunch – “Breakfast Pals”, a campy theatrical Rice Krispies commercial from 1939. I’ve been informed that further old-time cartoons are planned for this series. This week’s episode contains four other highly entertaining independent animated shorts of recent vintage. If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it now: this series of video podcasts is well worth subscribing to.
Here’s the TRAILER for what promises to be the next great hand-drawn anima…oh…wait a second.
Great job by Yowza Animation on this.
UPDATE: Bill Turner has some enlightening comments on the above:
Besides the actual animation by Yowza, the Best Buy “Soar” spot was produced by John Smith and directed by Elliot M. Bour & Saul Andrew Blinkoff. They were the team behind the Annie nominated “Springtime With Roo” and the upcoming “Kronk’s New Groove” from Disney. “Soar” was a freelance job, not Disney. Check out some of their other work HERE. Their sense of comedy and love of classic Disney really comes through, especially in “Kronk’s New Groove.”
Adrienne Tytla has recently released her long awaited book DISNEY’S GIANT. Part biography of Bill Tytla by his wife, part scrapbook, this huge volume (about 1000 pages) is extremely difficult to classify or to explain. Let’s just say that Disney historians had been awaiting this document for years and that it will not disappoint them. Let’s add that, because of its high price ($165) and its very specific focus (Bill Tytla), it is advised that only the most serious Disney historians buy it. To do so, send an email to Howard Green at howard (dot) green (at) disney (dot) com.
PES, one of the most singular talents working in animation today, has posted a couple great new films on his site — THE MAKING OF KABOOM! and THE MAKING OF ROOF SEX — which explain the thinking behind two of his best known films. I’d recommend watching the shorts first, and then the ‘making of’ films. And don’t worry, despite its title, ROOF SEX is sfw — unless you’re offended by furniture going at it.
(via as far as the eye can see)
I’ve mentioned these before, but am compelled to mention them again as the dates get close.This Thursday, December 1st, I will be showing several cartoons in 16mm for my regular monthly gig as resident film historian for Janet Klein and her Parlor Boys at the Steve Allen Theatre in Hollywood. Be there!Next Tuesday, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will explore how animation and live action have blended together to create “a new cinematic language”.
ROGER RABBIT, KING KONG, I-ROBOT, POLAR EXPRESS- where does the animated film end and the live action film begin? What is the future?THE SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL of the MOTION PICTURE ACADEMY PRESENTS: ANIMATION INVADES LIVE ACTION Tuesday December 6th, 7:30pm at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. Scheduled guests include John Dykstra, Bill Kroyer, Ken Ralston, Rob Minkoff, Alfred Molina, Bob Kurtz, Anthony LaMolinara, Steven Poster and Tom Sito. Plus lots of rare footage. Tickets on Sale NOW, $5.00 for the general public. Doors open at 6:30PM. For more info and how to order click here.
Actor Keith Andes passed away November 11th. His obituaries play up the fact he was Marilyn Monroe’s leading man in one film – but neglect to mention his most immortal role: that as the original voice of Hanna-Barbera’s BIRDMAN.Andes also had signifigant guest parts on STAR TREK and THE RIFLEMAN – and was the co-star of GLYNIS (a short lived 1963 Glynis Johns TV show I watched when I was a kid), but I digress. My point is, Andes earned his wings. “BIIIirdRrdMaAnnnnnn!”
Industry artists Kelsey Mann, Tim Szabo and Steve Meyer are working on an independent film noir short and they’re documenting its production HERE.Taylor Jessen writes an appreciation of the under-the-radar Hong Kong-produced animated feature MY LIFE AS MCDULL (2001). I’d heard good things about this film, but never really made an effort to check it out. After reading Taylor’s piece though, I want to see it.Jeremy Bernstein has posted some nice thumbnails from his scenes on MADAGASCAR.Shannon Tindle, supervising character designer on FOSTER’S HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS, now has a blog. (via Ovi Nedelcu)Tee Bosustow’s UPA website has a two-minute teaser for his forthcoming UPA documentary. Comments on the video are from Geefwee Boedoe, Leonard Maltin, Bill Melendez, Mike Kazaleh and Oscar Grillo, among others.
Way back in August I plugged this book, but now that I’ve got it in my hot little hands and have spent hours perusing its pages – I gotta demand you go out and buy it as soon as you can.Don’t judge this book by it’s cover – that’s its weakest point. This is one of the most throughly researched histories of Disney’s classic cartoons ever published. Most of the artwork in this book has never appeared in print (or been reprinted anywhere). Each page has new facts, new art, new details on Disney that appear no where else. If it sounds like I’m raving, I am!MICKEY AND THE GANG started as a simple collection of the famed Good Housekeeping monthly pages produced by the Disney studio for ten years (1934-1944) – pages which usually highlighted the latest Mickey Mouse, Silly Symphony or Disney feature-length release. If it were only that, the book would be well worth having as is. But author/editor David Gerstein supplements each GH page with a plethora of bonus materials: the film’s complete story, commentary, movie materials (posters, press ads, etc.), model sheets, other print adaptations, merchandising – and much more.This 360 page full color glossy book is a real treat. In a year of some great books (including Canemaker’s WINSOR McCAY, Goldmark’s TUNES FOR TOONS and something called THE ANIMATED MOVIE GUIDE) this one may top them all. My highest recommendation – at $29.95 ($19.79 on Amazon) it’s a steal – and a must for any fan of Disney’s classic characters, animation art and those interested in the history of the studio.
The new Kanye West music video “Heard ‘Em Say,” animated by Bill Plympton, that I mentioned earlier can now be viewed HERE. In the BET interview before the video, West says he used Plympton’s hand-drawn animation style because he wanted “something new, refreshing” and also that he wanted visuals that expressed “how natural the song feels, how organic the song is.” Now, Kanye West is certainly not a bellwether for animation trends, but I found those statements really interesting. Suddenly, it’s no longer computer animation that is considered hip and exciting, but rather hand-drawn animation, an art form over a hundred years old. Indeed, the raw messy esthetic of Plympton’s drawing style is a welcome change of pace from today’s endless parade of mathematically perfect CG models and animation, and the video is a great example showing that hand-drawn animation is still a vital and powerful art form, especially when used by artists like West who are savvy enough to know the technique’s strengths and the appropriate places to use it.
(via fps magazine)
Best wishes to all our readers!
QUICK PLUG: Nice little interview with Henry Selick posted on Animated News.
Americans will be feasting with family and friends over the upcoming weekend.On a semi-unrelated note, I’m thankful to ebay for making items like this easier to find.
I know we’ve done this a lot recently, but couldn’t resist pointing out a couple more designer blogs that I just ran across. One of the very best, Lou Romano (THE INCREDIBLES), arrived online a couple days ago. And I wasn’t familiar with the work of Pete Oswald, but he’s a designer on FOSTER’S and he’s also posting solid stuff on his new blog.
Not an animator, but an influential print cartoonist – Lou Myers passed away yesterday in New York at age 90.I’ve always enjoyed his sketchy, raw style in advertisements, New Yorker covers and illustrations (including his famous movie poster image for La Cage Aux Folles (1978) at right). He was one of the most popular cartoonists in advertising art during the 1960s. I hadn’t seen much of his later work in the last 20 years, I didn’t even know he was still alive – but I highly recommend seeking out his work.
AWN reports that Bill Plympton recently completed a new animated music video for Kanye West. The video, for the song “Heard ‘Em Say,” is scheduled to premiere today on MTV during TRL. Now what’s interesting is that the Plympton video is the second one produced for this song. Michel Gondry had already directed a video for “Heard ‘Em Say,” and for reasons unknown, this second video was commissioned from Plympton. According to this entry at Wikipedia:
A Christmas-themed video was originally set to be the official video for “Heard ‘Em Say”, set in Macy’s flagship NYC department store, it was directed by Michel Gondry. It featured Adam Levine as the store’s security guard. Shortly before the original video was to be premiered, MTV pulled it from the schedule. On November 12th 2005, the new video for “Heard ‘Em Say” premiered on Channel 4 in the UK. The video is a black and white animation by Bill Plympton, although the video occasionally cuts to scenes of Kanye and Adam Levine… MTV will premiere the original [Gondry] version as a Christmas special in December 2005.