RIP: Kids WB!

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Bye Bye Batman, Tom & Jerry, and The Legion of Super Heroes. Hello more Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and crap like that.

Variety is reporting that The CW will shut down Kids’ WB! at the end of this season and turn Saturday mornings over to 4Kids Entertainment (which has taken over Fox’s Saturday morning kids block for the past six years). According to Variety:

Under the five-year pact, 4Kids will program five hours of children’s programming between 7 a.m. and noon on Saturdays on the CW starting September 2008. 4Kids will handle all national commercial advertising, and will share in ad revenue with the CW.

The CW is the last broadcast network to air original kids programming produced in-house. With one less outlet for homegrown animated shows, this announcement is another blow to the local SoCal production community.

On the plus side, it’s one less outlet for the perennial spin-offs of Scooby Doo. Zoinks!

Automania 2000 and Pan-Tele-Tron

YouTuber Phil Gray, who uploaded this rare Tex Avery documentary a while back, has posted more difficult-to-find pieces of animation online: the British animated shorts Automania 2000 (1963) and Pan-Tele-Tron (1957). As films, Automania is clearly the stronger of the two and the only one which I can recommend, but there are some fun design elements in the industrial short Pan-Tele-Tron which might make it worth a glance as well.

Automania 2000 (1963)
studio: Halas & Batchelor
directed by John Halas

Pan-Tele-Tron (1957)
A Pearl & Dean Production
directed by Digby Turpin

San Francisco International Animation Festival

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The San Francisco Film Society has announced its intention to mount the second annual San Francisco International Animation Festival (SFIAF), a four-day event from November 8th through 11th at Landmark’s Embarcadero Center Cinema.

Highlights include the opening night event, Thursday, November 8 at 6:45 pm, screening Leslie Iwerks new documentary, The Pixar Story. This special screening and reception will feature director Leslie Iwerks and an onstage discussion with a bevy of Pixar artists.

On Friday, November 9 at 2:00 pm is a free panel discussion Animating the Internet at the Apple Store, at 1 Stockton Street (at Ellis). Panelists will include Tiffany Shlain (founder, Webby Awards), Tom Sicurella (digital content lab mentor, American Film Institute) and Phil Robinson (animator, W!LDBRAIN). At 7:00 pm, Top Drawers, a screening of hand-drawn work from animators ranging from Joanna Quinn (Dreams and Desires: Family Ties) and Georges Schwizgebel (Jeu) to Signe Baumane (Teat Beat of Sex), as well as artist-driven computer-generated imagery, claymation and stop-motion works. At 9:00 pm Film Noir (pictured, above right) a new independent feature by Jud Jones and Risto Topaloski.

On Saturday, November 10 AT 1:00 pm: The Best of Annecy 2007; at 2:45 pm: Komaneko: The Curious Cat (Komadori eiga Komaneko, a new stop-mo children’s film from Japan, pictured above left); 4:30 pm: Maker’s Dozen a 13-film shorts program including Madame Tutli-Putli and several other festival award winners. At 9:15 pm: Play It by Eye, a program of new animated music videos.

Sounds fantastic! Go get the full schedule and ticket information online or call 415.561.5000.

June Foray Birthday Party!

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One month after her actual birth date, ASIFA-Hollywood is celebrating the life of our all-time favorite voice actress. This celebration is for ASIFA-Hollywood members and their guests only — so join up or miss out.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 7-10 p.m.
Pickwick Gardens
Terrace Room
1001 Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91506

7 p.m. Cocktail Reception (no host bar)
8:30 p.m. Cake Cutting
Admission $25

Tickets will be sold at the door, however you must RSVP by emailing juneforay-at-asifa-hollywood.org, in order to attend. The deadline to RSVP is Friday, October 12, 2007. In lieu of presents, June has requested that you make a donation to the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive.

Harley Jessup Speaks

Twice Upon a Time

I’ve always been interested in learning more about animation production designer Harley Jessup (Twice Upon a Time, James and the Giant Peach, Monsters, Inc.), and in the past week, two separate animation blogs have profiled him. Firstly, Ward Jenkins recently conducted a fascinating interview with Jessup in which he talks primarily about his work on the early-’80s animated film Twice Upon a Time. Also Jessup-related, the Spline Doctors have posted a new roundtable audio podcast featuring a discussion between some of the key figures in Pixar’s art department. I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, but the lineup of artists participating is amazing: Jessup and fellow production designer Bob Pauley, director of photography Sharon Calahan, art director Tia Kratter, and character designer Teddy Newton.

Popeye the Sewer-man

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Brew reader Jim Arnold sent in this shot of a remarkable Popeye rip-off mascot he spotted on a van in Syracuse, New York last week. Says Jim:

Look at that head! Even his forearms are swollen! Coincidence? It’s certainly comforting to know everyone’s favorite sailor is still finding work, regardless of how dirty the job is!

Calling King Features! This looks like a job for Lawyer-Man!