Dispatch From Disney

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The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive has posted another gem, my favorite piece of Disneyana of all time: the wartime in-house publication Dispatch From Disney. They’ve scanned the pages (click here for Part 1, here for Part 2).

This publication (only one issue was produced in 1943) was beautifully produced and loaded with unique information and art by Fred Moore, T. Hee, Roy Williams and others. I always wanted a copy and now, thanks to the Archive, I can read it anytime I want.

Killer Koko

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Mike Van Eaton’s latest acquisition is a killer. An original Koko the Clown drawing, apparently related to (or for) the 1922 film called The Mosquito,signed and dated by Max Fleischer. Click on image above to see a larger version. The intriguing inscription reads “My Dear Raoul, Here’s wishing you success with my new productions. Sincerely, Max Fleischer, 1922″

Raoul Barre perhaps? If anybody has a copy of “The Mosquito”, I would love to see if this is one of the opening drawings.

Postmodern Times by Joao Amorim

Postmodern Times

Postmodern Times is a new series of short animated films presenting “ideas about global consciousness and techniques for social and ecological transformation.” The first episode, “Toward 2012,” introduces the project, explaining concepts from Daniel Pinchbeck’s book, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, in the author’s own voice. It’s an unlikely visual delight, combining motion graphics with performance capture and live-action in an inventive graphic package.

Future segments will focus on shamanism, sustainability, alternative energy systems, the Mayan Calendar, quantum physics and synchronicity and human sexuality, and a host of other subjects. The director of the series is Joao Amorim, who works out of Curious Pictures in NYC. The Postmodern series is developed by Amorim, Daniel Pinchbeck, Nikos Katsaounis and Fellipe Barbosa.

Like the Yamamura short I just posted about, Amorim’s Postmodern Times is a work of animation that aims for a purpose beyond entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, entertainment is a calling of the highest order, yet the art of animation is far too often stereotyped as a medium that is capable of only providing cheap laughs and nothing else. As filmmakers like Yamamura and Amorim demonstrate, animation (in all its many forms) is one of our most powerful and accessible forms of contemporary communication. It’s exciting to see filmmakers recognizing the medium’s potential and taking full advantage of its expressive qualities.

Man and Whale by Koji Yamamura

Man and Whale

I was half-expecting to see something like HornyManatee.com when I clicked on the site WhaleLove.org, but it turns out that it’s a legit Japanese site by Greenpeace about saving whales. Even better, the site has a new 2-minute animated short by the hand-drawn animation master Koji Yamamura (Mt. Head, The Old Crocodile). The piece, entitled Man and Whale, is a simple elegantly told story about a school principal and his students who help rescue a beached whale. There’s also an interview with Yamamura in which he talks about why he agreed to make the film:

Yes, I am interested in environmental issues including global warming. But they are not simple problems. When human beings live and act, you use electricity, and that’s ruining the environment. I try to save electricity at home. Also, when you think “what else can you do to solve the problem?� I thought the best thing I can do is to convey the message by making animation films for that purpose.

(via Michael Sporn’s Splog)

Cartoon Dump: Episode 1

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Combine the contents of my annual Worst Cartoons Ever! screenings with the warped comic mind of Frank Conniff (“TV’s Frank” from Mystery Science Theater 3000) and you have Cartoon Dump.

The first Cartoon Brew Films original production, Cartoon Dump is a new weekly podcast that exposes the seamy underbelly of cartoon history. Join us! Sing along with Mighty Mister Titan, Compost Brite and Moodsy, the Clinically Depressed Owl. Check it out. It’s funny, it’s flipped out and it’s free!