Once again, another Euro 2D animated feature that looks intriguing – and with no U.S. release planned whatsoever. This is the latest Lucky Luke animated feature (Tous ÃƒÂ l’Ouest : une aventure de Lucky Luke) opening in France on December 5th and the trailer looks great.
Citizens of Los Angeles – please note: tonight we are once again presenting Cartoon Dump Live at the Steve Allen Theatre in Hollywood. That’s Joel Hodgson (creator, Mystery Science Theatre 3000) above with Dumpster Diver Dan. He once again joins our regulars Frank Conniff (Moodsy), Erica Doering (Compost Brite), Eddie Pepitone (Morty the New-Age Agent), Joe Keys (Hangover Hound), along with a new character, Lizzy Cooperman (as Quack Whore), and guest comedian Blaine Capatch. It’s our Halloween show, so expect some scary cartoons and a visit from a friendly ghost. And free candy!
Frankly I’m not sure what’s more disturbing: drawings of the Terrytoons characters Sourpuss and Gandy getting it on, drawings of characters from Ed, Edd n Eddygetting it on or drawings of characters from Ratatouillegetting it on.
What cannot be denied is that the artist behind all of these, Rebecca Sugar, is ridiculously talented, with drawing skills that are made that much more amazing when one learns that she is a mere twenty years old…she’s certainly an artist with a bright future ahead of her. She also has a website here.
It used to be that you had to live in Los Angeles or New York to make it big in the US animation scene, but today a whole new breed of artists are creating names for themselves while living far from these animation hubs. Among them is Joel Trussell, of War Photographer fame, who makes his home in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was recently profiled in the Knoxville weekly Metro Pulse. It’s an inspiring read that shows how it’s possible for contemporary animation artists to establish their identity via the Internet and to parlay that online notoriety into a steady stream of work…all while living in Tennessee.
If you have any desire to watch and own some of the best animated shorts of the last twenty years, Acme Filmworks has just released 18 DVD compilations of these films – available individually or in three box sets.
The filmmakers on these sets are a virtual who’s-who of the best contemporary independent animators: Cordell Barker, Borge Ring, Mark Baker, John Dilworth and on and on. The shorts collected include Bill Plympton’s THE FAN AND THE FLOWER, Gaelle Denis’ CITY PARADISE, Marv Newland’s ANIJAM, Virgil Widrich’s FAST FILM, Chris Landreth’s RYAN, Michael Dudok de Wit’s FATHER AND DAUGHTER, Paul Driessen’s 3 MISSES, Wendy Tilby & Amanda Forbis’ WHEN THE DAY BREAKS, Koji Yamamura’s MT. HEAD, Richard Condie’s THE BIG SNIT and Joanna’s Quinn’s GIRL’S NIGHT OUT, amongst many others.
You can buy them on individual DVDs (containing three shorts each) for $5.00 or you can obtain all 54 shorts in three box sets for $30 $90 bucks. An incredible bargain if you ask me. The DVDs are only available through AWN’s www.filmporium.com and the AWN Store.
Breaking away from Disney (and Charles Mintz) in 1930, they struck gold by hooking up with Leon Schlesinger and establishing the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies for Warner Bros. In an effort to upgrade their product and compete with Disney, the duo left producer Leon Schlesinger in 1933 and, after sub-contracting a few Cubby Bear cartoons for Van Beuren, accepted an offer to provide Happy Harmonies color cartoons for MGM. It was their work at MGM that ultimately laid the foundation for the later success of Hanna and Barbera and Tom & Jerry.
Hugh and Rudy gave it up to support the effort during World War II, creating instructional animated films for the Armed Services. They spent the rest of their careers creating educational, industrial and commercial films, never achieving the public fame they once enjoyed during the 1930s. Not that they didn’t try. One of their efforts, long thought lost, was this 1960 pilot for Sir Gee Whiz.
Limited animation was not something Harman and Ising could grasp easily. This short shows just how badly Hugh and Rudy didn’t get it. The problems start with the premise: A little old gnome who who knocks out adults and takes little girls to his home — on the moon. Because it concerns the moon, the whole show has an unpleasant, dark, look. Rudy Ising’s vocal as Sir Gee Whiz sounds scary – like a perverted old uncle. And then there are characters like “Senor Ropo” (pictured, above right) and the “Terrible Kinker”…
Enough talk! Check out Sir Gee Whiz On The Other Side Of The Moon this week on Cartoon Dump, now up at CartoonBrewFilms.com. And if you think this is a hoot, come see Cartoon Dump Live next week, on Tuesday (Oct. 23rd) at the Steve Allen Theatre in Hollywood!
The new classic Popeye DVD has ignited a long dormant interest in the East coast animators of the Max Fleischer studio. Animator Bob Jaques (Ren & Stimpy, Baby Huey, etc.) has been studying the animation in Popeye cartoons for years. As he has become one of best directors in the business, clearly there is a lot more to the Sailor than meets the eye (pun intended). So now Bob has taken the plunge and joined the rest of us in blogging, with a site dedicated to identifying the unsung animators of the classic Popeye cartoons of the 30s, 40s and 50s. First up, George Germanetti. Who? Check out Bob Jaques’ Popeye Animators ID and learn.
Cartoonist Kent Butterworth (Tiny Toons, Sonic, Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures) has done what other animators only dream of, he’s written and directed his own animated feature.
Independently financed, and with total creative freedom, Butterworth made Attila and the Great Blue Bean, and has even secured distribution. And tomorrow, Sunday October 21st at 3pm, the film will have its first public screening – at the Hollywood Film Festival, at the ArcLight Cinemas on Sunset and Vine. Good luck, Kent, I’m rooting for you.
Historians Jayne Pilling (from London, editor of A Reader in Animation Studies, Animation: 2D and Beyond, among others) and Giannalberto Bendazzi (from Italy, author of Cartoons:100 Years of Cinema Animation) will be in Los Angeles next week for a symposium, Animation: From the Avant-garde to Popular Culture, being organized by the San Diego Museum of Art. It includes three separate events, the first of which takes place at the University of Southern California.
Redefining Animation will be held at USC’s Davidson Conference Center, Embassy Room, on Thursday, November 1 from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. (plus a reception follows). Pilling and Bendazzi will be joined by animator and digital artist Greg Araya and multi-media performance animator Miwa Matreyek, as well as artists and educators Christine Panushka, Kathryn Smith and Sheila Sofian (moderator), all from USC’s John C. Hench Department of Animation and Digital Art.
Details on the other two symposium events, Animating Cinema in La Jolla and Animated Painting in San Diego, which take place November 2 and 3, can be found at: http://anim.usc.edu. All symposiums are free and open to the public.
The Wall Street Journal has a depressing article about a growing trend in the cartoon world: ‘transcreating’ cartoon characters, in which American cartoons are remade for foreign audiences. A notable example of this is the recently produced Japanese version of the Powerpuff Girls called Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z.
The characters mentioned throughout the piece, like the Powerpuff Girls, Mickey Mouse and Spider-Man, are successful in the first place because their American creators were passionate about and personally invested in the characters and stories that they were creating. It’s a shame that today’s corporations don’t believe that investing in foreign artistic talent could lead to similarly popular creations, and instead are commissioning foreign artists to simply churn out cheap copies of American originals. ‘Transcreated’ cartoon characters may result in short-term profits for these companies but not much else.
Good Grief! The conversation continues on our post about the Michaelis bio of Charles Schulz. Schulz son Monte adds some additional comments today, as well as new reactions from Schulz daughters Amy and Jill.
How did this one get by me? Did Walt Disney name his most famous creation after a toy, Micky Mouse (sic)?
On eBay today, someone is selling a 1925 Micky Mouse doll, along with a stock certificate from the long-defunct Performo-Toy Company. According to the seller:
“…it has been reported that all documents from the Performo Toy Company relating to this Micky Mouse toy were ordered to be destroyed after a Law suit filed by Disney that stated this mouse toy was originally taken from Disney…”
Apparently there are even TWO books about this Micky doll and Performo Toys: Broken Toy and Who Was First?
The grandson of Golden Age Hollywood animator C.L. Hartman has posted a reel onto YouTube of commercials animated by Hartman at John Hubley’s Storyboard and Quartet Films. The reel includes some ultrarare commercials that I’d only seen stills of previously. Lots of beautiful design and funny animation throughout. Also, for the curious, a while back I posted a UPA-era photo of Hartman onto Flickr.