Brew readers with a keen eye and a vast knowledge of Disney TV and movies, here’s a question for you. These cels (above) were recently acquired by self-admitted animation addict Rob Richards, House Organist at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre (If you’ve been to the El Cap, chances are you’ve heard Rob. He’s played over 4000 performances since the organ debuted in 1999). These are Disneyland Art Corner setups. Rob is completely stumped. I don’t know what they are either – but I suspect they are from a Wonderful World of Color episode.UPDATE: Rudy Agresta and Darrell Van Citters wrote in to identify the cels, both will get a free copy of Rob’s El Capitan Theatre CD, Mighty Wurlitzer! Darrell says:
Those cels were from a project done for Latin America. All I can with certainty is that John Lounsbery animated the opening stuff up to the point where the pigs become the Disney version of the Three Pigs. I saw the scenes in the old morgue (as we called it). The drawings are awesome – I loved them so much I photocopied some of them. There’s even some of the Big Bad Wolf. They were done with lots of blue colored pencil under-drawing and the extremes were tied down quite loosely, along the same lines as John’s drawings of the Colonel in 101 Dalmatians. The sheets indicated that the tracks were in Spanish so I don’t think it was ever shown here. If someone on the inside wants to do more research or get better quality scans, the production number is 5954, Los Tres Cochinitos.
The cels in question on your site are from the film titled Cri-Cri el Grillito Cantor (Chi-Chi, the Singing Cricket). This was a Spanish made live action film that the producer (Carlos Amadour, S.A.) made in 1963. The Disney studio was contracted to produce the animated segment. This was left in the capable hands of Bill Justice and X. Atencio. It featured the 3 Little Pigs, their mother and the wolf.
Lino Corio, a Brew reader in Mexico adds this:
The movie is a biopic of Francisco Gabilondo Soler, a Mexican that wrote dozens of songs intended for children. However, his music was not simple… it is the kind of music that both children and adults can enjoy: funny, touching and, sometimes, very sad. One of his most popular songs is called “Cochinitos Dormilones” (Sleeping Pigs) and is some sort of lullaby that talks about the three little pigs going to bed and what kind of dreams they have (one dreams of becoming a king, another one dreams of sailing on a boat and the third one dreams of helping his mom). When the movie was made, Disney animated the song and then, some extra stuff was added… like the three little pigs breaking a piÃ±ata.
Rudy also tells us that Didier Ghez posted the sequence on You Tube back on November. Click here for the poster. Thanks to all who’ve responded.
Since we’ve been down for several hours (changing servers), we have a lot to catch up on. Yes it’s true. Dreamworks and Aardman have officially split up. Is there anyone, anywhere, upset by this news? I think this is a good thing for Aardman. They are free to pursue making the movies they want. I would love to see them enter into a distribution deal with Disney, however I doubt they will have any trouble finding another U.S. studio to align with. We plugged Fred Cline’s blog last week, but it’s worth another visit. Cline is posting his color keys for the aborted 1993 BETTY BOOP movie – and he’s posted video of the animated Mary Blair/Lee Blair Meadow Gold commercials. Cool. Jules Feiffer will recieve the Writers Guild of America’s Animation Writing Award for lifetime achievement. The WGA West’s Animation Writers Caucus tapped Feiffer whom, it should be remembered, wrote Terrytoons (including Tom Teriffic) in the 1950s, as well as a recent series of animated films being directed by Gene Deitch. Feiffer also wrote the live action Popeye (1980) feature, but let’s ignore that for the moment. Feiffer will be feted at the Writers Guild Awards on Feb. 11 at the Century Plaza in Los Angeles and simultaneously at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York.
As part of a “marketing campaign” for its series “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” Cartoon Network planted suspicious electronic devices around bridges, subways and highways in Boston, sparking city-wide fears of terrorism. It seems quite appropriate that the bomb squad would have to be called out to dispose of an Adult Swim series.
Apologies to our readers who’ve had trouble logging into Cartoon Brew over the past day. We just switched servers, which was a little less seamless than it was suppposed to be. Thankfully, the tech folk at our host, Webintellects, were excellent as usual and worked to quickly get everything back into working order. Regular posting will resume shortly.
How do they make those drawings move? The chart above (click on it for the BIG version), a separate pull-out from the 1943 booklet The Ropes At Disney, explains the whole process. You’ll note that it all starts with “Walt”. And his main focus was “Story” and “Direction”.
Ever wonder what it was like to work at the Disney Studio during the Golden Age of Animation? Think it was the “happiest place on Earth”? Think again. This 1943 booklet, given to all new employees, spelled it out for you. Gals ain’t allowed in the Penthouse Club, personal phone calls will be charged to you, and if you need to leave the studio, you cannot do so without an “Off the Lot Pass”. Oh, and “Any violation of the U. S. Espionage Act” will get you discharged.
UPDATE: We’ve learned the illustrations in this book were done by Tom Oreb.
(Thanks to Mike Van Eaton for sharing this with us)
A hearty CONGRATS to Don Hertzfeldt who earlier tonight won the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival for his new film EVERYTHING WILL BE OK. An animated short winning top honors at Sundance is a rare and noteworthy event because at the festival, animated films compete alongside dramatic live-action shorts and documentary short subjects. It’s refreshing to see Sundance recognize a piece of animation with a strong point of view, intelligent storytelling and legitimate artistic merit, particularly after the embarassingly subpar slates of animated short nominees chosen this year by ASIFA-Hollywood’s Annie Awards and the Oscar’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
I was visiting the Van Eaton Gallery in Sherman Oaks this week (and you should too if you are in the area), and Mike Van Eaton, knowing I am a big fan of pressbooks and old animated movie advertising, showed me this newspaper clipping of SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS from its premiere Hollywood engagement at the Carthay Circle Theatre. I’m always wondering what cartoon shorts played with what feature films back in the 1930s and 40s. But have you ever wondered what live action shorts played with SNOW WHITE? This ad tells you: A newsreel and a Pete Smith Specialty – matinees only.UPDATE: Disney historian J.B. Kaufman tells us more about the short subjects that played with SNOW WHITE dsuring its initial engagements:
The story of short subjects playing with Snow White at the Carthay Circle gets a little more complicated. Snow White was at the Carthay Circle for four months, and the supporting bill changed periodically during that time. According to the theater’s programmes, there was a newsreel every week — The March of Time, Pathe News, Pathe Parade, and sometimes more than one of these on the same program. The Pete Smith short A Friend Indeed was on the bill for five weeks, apparently, from February into early March 1938. For the last four weeks there was a short called The Quintuplets, surely about the Dionnes. (The ads read: “They Sing, They Dance, They See a Movie.” No short titled The Quintuplets appears in the Copyright Catalog, but in 1935 Pathe News had copyrighted a short about the Dionnes called The Quintuplets’ Second Christmas.)Another item of interest: the Spanish-language edition of the feature, Blanca Nieves y los siete enanos, was unveiled at the Carthay Circle on Sunday, 27 February 1938, and became a regular Sunday-afternoon feature during the remainder of Snow White’s run there.Finally, for what it’s worth, when Snow White opened at Radio City Music Hall in New York in January 1938, it played for five weeks. For the first three weeks it played with The March of Time, for the fourth and fifth week there was a different newsreel which I haven’t identified, and during that last week there was an added attraction: the Warner Bros/Vitaphone short Ski Flight.
(Thanks, Mike Van Eaton)
I don’t know how I missed mentioning this last Tuesday, but it should be noted here that our good friends Mike Glad and Leslie Iwerks were nominated for an Academy Award for their live action film, Recycled Life in the catagory of Best Documentary Short.Mike Glad has one of the largest and finest collections of vintage animation art in the country. His various collections of animation movie posters, cartoon sheet music, backgrounds, cels and all manner of production materials have been the backbone of many exhibits at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and museums around the world. He’s donated numerous pieces from his incredible archive to Amid’s Cartoon Modern and to several of my books and DVD projects. Leslie Iwerks is, of course, grand daughter of Ub Iwerks and an incredible documentary filmmaker. She’s best known in our circles for The Hand Behind The Mouse and will be better known outside our circles with her forthcoming documentetry on Pixar (I’ve seen it and it’s teriffic).For more information about Recycled Life, go here and here. Congratulations to Leslie and Mike. We’ll be rooting for you.
USA TODAY writes about the new Disney print ad campaign which features Annie Leibovitz photographs of celebrities dressed as Disney characters.
(Thanks, Eliza Kinkz)
This article, which was originally published in the WALL STREET JOURNAL earlier this week, offers some details on DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming slate of films, which includes three planned MADAGASCAR sequels and a Nick TV series featuring the penguins from MADAGASCAR. But lest anyone think that DreamWorks is only interested in milking their existing franchises, Jeffrey Katzenberg says in the piece, “Fortunately, our next six or seven movies are unlike anything we’ve done before or anything anyone else is doing.” The forthcoming films include BEE MOVIE, KUNG FU PANDA, MONSTERS VS. ALIENS and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. Katzenberg also talks in the piece about how they’re adding a year of production to their films because, “We’ve been racing to the finish line and that has meant compromising on story telling sometimes.”
This is pretty funny: a 1970 JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS comic where the characters visit the Hanna-Barbera Studios to learn how an animated cartoon is produced. Besides Bill and Joe, there are guest appearances by Iwao Takamoto, Carlo Vinci, Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, all drawn by Dan DeCarlo.
Spotlighting talent from Cartoon Network’s local team of designers, animators, graphic artists and, according to the press release, “producers and writers,” the Museum of Design Atlanta will present an exhibition, Design at Play: The High Design and Low-Brow Humor of Cartoon Network opening on February 1st. The exhibit will include samples of print advertising and marketing materials, billboard executions, premium design, on-air spots, Web sites and online games.Artist Stephanie Gladden tells us:
This exhibition shows off the talents of the designers and illustrators from Cartoon Network Atlanta. The displays will include posters, premiums, and some CN Studios production art. Also I’m hyping it ‘cuz my fellow illustrators and I are gonna paint cartoons on the walls!
The installation runs through May 19 at the museum’s downtown facilities at 285 Peachtree Center Avenue. More information here.
The Oscar nominations from yesterday are stirring a lot of controversy in the animation world: the animated shorts for how uniformly mediocre the selections were (a topic for another time) and the features for whether the films are even animated. That’s because two of the three feature nominees – MONSTER HOUSE and HAPPY FEET – use performance- and motion-capture techniques, which means that the acting performances aren’t created frame-by-frame by animators, but are based on live-action performances which are subsequently enhanced by digital artists.
CG animator Keith Lango writes on his blog:
Only one of those three films used actual animation as the foundation for the character performances. The other two films captured live motion for the primary core act of imbuing the illusion of life to the puppets. When it comes to performance they have more in common with The Muppets Take Manhattan than they do with The Lion King. But it’s too much bother to worry about that. Nobody’s keeping score anyhow, so let’s just call it all “animation” and be done with it. And so we are witnessing the end game of the slow redefinition of terms.
Animation directors Mark Mayerson and Michael Sporn offer similar thoughts on their blogs about whether these films deserve the animation label. While I tend to have a pretty broad definition of animation and personally won’t label these films as not animated, when two of the three films in the animation category are contested like this, it’s probably time to have a debate about exactly what does and doesn’t qualify as animation. As it stands, it’s fairly silly (not to mention, demeaning to the art form) to have an animated film like CARS competing against two films whose character peformances were created by live-action actors.
More OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT merchandise we can’t have (or can’t afford). Jeremy Povolny points out that Japanese clothing brand Comme Des GarÃ§ons has started a line of Oswald T-Shirts (one of their nifty styles pictured above).If this new wave stuff isn’t your bag, click here, scroll down past Oscar the Grouch for a few vintage Oswald rubber dolls.