Last night’s episode of SOUTH PARK did a parody of FAMILY GUY. It’s little surprise that the SOUTH PARK version is funnier than the actual Seth MacFarlane show. Also, now seems like a good time to link to Jaime Weinman’s perennial blog post “Why I Hate FAMILY GUY.”
Mighty Mouse fan Neil Beck (no relation) has posted some pre-production images from the long-in-development MIGHTY MOUSE movie on his Mighty Mouse Home Page. I have no idea what’s going on with this movie, nor if these images are still related to the film in development at Nickelodeon Movies. But if it were up to me, I’d hire John K to make the film with traditional hand drawn animation.
I love print cartoons, comic strips and comic books. Maybe that’s why three of my favorite websites affectionately skewer classic and current comics – and I get more laughs out of them than I do from the daily comics section in the newspaper. First stop is Scott Shaw’s newly redesigned and relaunched Oddball Comics site. Scott’s been doing this for years and has quite an online archive and a great discussion board. Next I check out Josh Fruhlinger’s Comics Curmudgeon a hilarious daily commentary on some of the lamest comic strips currently in print. Rex Morgan, Mary Worth and Mark Trail are regularly, and hilariously, analyzed. And lastly, every Thursday morning Shain Minuk and David Merrill post a new page of Stupid Comics, an in-depth look at some of the dumbest comic book stories of all time. This site has awful navigation, but it’s worth searching through to find goofy things like this page on Battle of The Planets and this one on Harvey Comics.
My buddy Earl Kress has just started a blog, and I’m sure he will add a lot to this so-called blogosphere. Earl’s the man behind the incredible Hanna-Barbera soundtrack and sound effects discs put out a few years ago by Rhino Records. He’s the guy behind the bonus materials on most of the current Hanna-Barbera DVDs (as well as the infamous John K. FLINTSTONES laser disc set ten years ago). He’s written Looney Tunes and Simpsons comics, numerous TV cartoons including THE X’s, PINKY & THE BRAIN, TINY TOONS, as well as my cartoon for Frederator, HORNSWIGGLE. In one of his first posts he talks about his role on the upcoming FLINTSTONES 6th Season DVD. I’m looking forward to reading his subsequent posts – I know he has a lot to share.
Studio aka has just completed a 1-minute spot for the UK’s National Lottery – titled “The Big Win” – and it’s one of the most charming pieces of CG animation I’ve seen in a while. It was directed by Marc Craste, of JOJO IN THE STARS fame. The brief from the commissioning ad agency, AMV, was simple: “A man is given a bag of smiles and he hands them out to everyone he meets.” Craste and crew delivered big on that idea with a commercial that is filled with lovely art direction, character animation with personality, and elegant visual storytelling. Man, what I’d give to see the makers of full-length CG films create animation with as much vitality and invention as this commercial. View “The Big Win” HERE.
I get excited about websites designed with Flash as often as I get excited about CGI wooly mammoths voiced by Queen Latifah, which is to say, not very often. That’s why I feel it’s worth pointing out the work of Also, a young design studio comprised of three RISD graduates: graphic designer Jenny Volvovski, animator Matt Lamothe and illustrator Julia Rothman. Their studio website is not only easy-to-navigate and functional, but the Flash animation and design is witty and fun. Equally impressive is the Flash site they created for the band Less, which features a daring blend of stop motion origami and illustration. I’m looking forward to seeing more of their site designs in the future.
Animation director Steve Moore, who previously posted Duane Crowther’s long-lost student film BLUM BLUM, has posted another amazing rarity on his website. It is an animatic from a 1993 attempt to produce a Betty Boop animated feature. The project was spearheaded by Max Fleischer’s son, Richard Fleischer (who passed away last month), and was to have been directed by Moore.
The animatic is for a musical sequence with Betty and her estranged father Benny. It was boarded by Steve Wahl and features a piano performance by the legendary Jimmy Rowles. The concept piece above was drawn by Fred Cline. Moore recalls that the difficult-to-please Richard Fleischer teared up after watching the reel.
Frederik Du Chau (QUEST FOR CAMELOT, RACING STRIPES) has been hired to “direct” another film. The project he’s ruining this time is Disney’s live-action adaptation of the 1960s cartoon series UNDERDOG. To get an idea of how the animation industry feels about Du Chau’s directing skills, look no further than this blog post.
East coast film reporter Eric Lurio sent us this note concerning The Wild:
“For the first time in its history, Disney will NOT, I repeat, will NOT be screening an animated feature for critics. As you know they’ve screened even live action shit like Meet the Deedles. I’ve been going to all-medias for Disney animated films for over ten years This has never happened before.”
On the heels of the Pixar acquistion, The Wild must really be an embarassment. The ad campaign, currently in progress, is probably a contractual obligation. I predict this film will make a very speedy trip to DVD.