Mickey Mouse is “one of Satan’s soldiers” and makes everything he touches impure… or so claims Sheikh Muhammad Munajid during a religious affairs program broadcast on al-Majd TV, as reported in today’s London Telegraph.
The Sheikh warned that depictions of the creature in cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, and Disney’s Mickey Mouse, have taught children that mice were, in fact, loveable. The cleric, a former diplomat at the Saudi embassy in Washington DC, said that under Islamic law, both household mice and their cartoon counterparts must be killed.
This new Nike commercial featuring British sprinter Nicola Sanders is a real winner, particularly in its artful execution. The mixed-media approach combines stop-motion, CG and live-action in a surrealist rainbow-colored package. It’s out of Wieden+Kennedy (Amsterdam) with direction by Nieto, model-making and animation by Brice Lartigue and lead VFX by Damien Martin.
The director, Nieto, is better known as Luis Nieto, who broke onto the scene with his student film Carlitopolis (2006). His subsequent follow-up–Prof. Nieto Show–gave the impression that he might be a one-trick pony, but this commercial, along with others for Sprint and Peugeot, prove that Nieto has plenty of tricks up his sleeve.
Seth MacFarlane recently launched his new ad-supported animated shorts series “Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy” through SethComedy.com. The show is structured through Google’s Content Network with sponsors such as Burger King. As you can tell by the embedded episode, the reason for discussing this on Cartoon Brew is clearly not because of the content (left-over Family Guy gags that demean both the terms “cartoon” and “comedy”) but because of its novel online distribution model, which could open doors for other filmmakers. According to Ars Technica, here is how money is made on the shorts:
The episodes are short, ranging from under a minute to no more than two, and so far, they only consist of a preroll sponsorship-type ad (which is animated in McFarlane’s style, so it’s not very jarring at all) before the actual video. For now, the two available shorts are sponsored by Burger King, and they are cross-posted to the “BK Channel” on YouTube…As with much web video these days, episodes of the Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy can be shared with friends and embedded onto blogs and websites. The interesting part of the deal, however, is the revenue distribution. The videos will be run on sites across the web, basically as both content and advertising. Each time a viewer clicks on a Cavalcade video or ad, advertisers will pay a fee that gets split between MacFarlane, Google, the production company partner Media Rights, and the site hosting the video.
No one has the solution yet for how filmmakers can consistently earn money by placing their work online and in fact there may be dozens of solutions. What’s not in doubt is that the integration of advertising and content has proven to be one driving factors behind the growth online short film distribution. Experiments like MacFarlane’s will only help everybody figure out the models.
Cynthia Petrovic of Red Tango spotted this package (above) in a local supermarket:
Maybe I’m just getting more perverted in my old age, but I could not resist this packaging by Vons, who has it’s own “eating right” selection of foods, and they are now enlisting Warner Brothers characters to help hock the goods. What stopped me in my tracks was this insane pic of Daffy, coated gleefully in pudding, having a gay old time. What pudding has to do with eating well I don’t know, but the image of Daffy reveling in being splattered with goop on the front of a food product certainly made my day!
These products, exclusive to Safeway, Vons and Pavilions supermarkets, are part of an initiative announced several months ago by Warner Bros. to begin linking their characters to healthier food choices for kids. For more information on this, here’s an intereview (below) with Brad Globe, President of Warner’s Consumer Products, shot earlier this year at the Licensing Expo in New York.
Here are the winners from our Ottawa International Animation Festival contest. The two winners will each receive an all-access AnimaPasses (valued at $200) to this week’s festival. The festival takes place this week from September 17-21. Thanks to our generous friends at the festival for making this contest possible.
The winning captions are below the photo:
Carter: “I think the gentleman behind me is really happy to see you.”
“Uh Mickey? I’m, ah, not so sure this is the, ah, appropriate venue for “whiteface”.
RUNNER-UP Brooke Keesling
Jimmy says: This isn’t exactly what I meant when I said, “I’d love to slip that rotten old Ayatollah a Mickey!”
This new trailer for Spaceballs The Animated Series is a lot more “adult” than the kiddie show I was expecting. I had no interest in seeing this show – the character design and animation look awful – but now I must admit I’m intrigued to see what low level this series has descended to. Spaceballs begins airing September 24th on G4 Network.
This just in! Mark your calendars! The animation event of the year! Nicktoons Network will start airing Random! Cartoons begining on Saturday, December 6th. Below are the premieres for 2008. All times are 1:30 p.m.
Another great photo from the Warner Club News. Here’s layout artist and background painter Robert Gibbroek from the December 1959 issue. He’s a real unsung hero of many classic Warner Bros. cartoons. His work appears in such great films as One Froggy Evening, Fast and Furry-ous, Operation: Rabbit and The Mouse That Jack Built to name but a few. Note the image below left (click on thumbnails to enlarge) where Gribbroek worked his name into the background of One Froggy Evening. His fine art was outstanding too (see examples below).
A can’t-miss event is coming up in NY. Richard Williams will appear at the Museum of Modern Art on Monday, September 22. He will discuss his career with historian and filmmaker John Canemaker. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students. Here is the event description:
Three-time Academy Award winner Richard Williams discusses his long and influential career in a conversation with animation filmmaker and historian (and fellow Oscar-winner) John Canemaker. Williams, who was awarded Oscars for Special Achievement and for Visual Effects as the director of animation of the Walt Disney/Steven Spielberg blockbuster Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and for his short film A Christmas Carol (1971), is one of the finest animation filmmakers of our time. His stunningly crafted, award-winning films have featured the work of veteran animators from the Disney studio’s “Golden Age” and from Warner Bros. Cartoons, most notably Grim Natwick (Snow White), Art Babbitt (Fantasia), and Ken Harris (Bugs Bunny). Williams also learned from his friends Milt Kahl (Pinocchio, The Jungle Book), and Frank Thomas (Bambi, Cinderella). A distillation of his acquired knowledge went into the exuberant animation he directed for Who Framed Roger Rabbit and, most recently, into an unparalleled and indispensable series of instructional DVD master classes based on his bestselling book The Animator’s Survival Kit. Illustrated with clips from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Charge of the Light Brigade, A Christmas Carol, Raggedy Ann & Andy, the animated titles from The Return of the Pink Panther, award-winning commercials, segments from The Animator’s Survival Kit, and more. Organized by Joshua Siegel (Associate Curator, Department of Film) and John Canemaker.
If you are anywhere near the Pacific Northwest this weekend, head on over to Spark Animation ’08, an animation festival and state-of-the-art showcase sponsored by SIGGRAPH ACM Vancouver.
The festival started yesterday and will run through Sunday night. All of the events are ‘a la carte’ so you can select which events you want to attend and buy tickets for those, either online or at the door. Featured guests include Mark Osborne & John Stevenson (directors of Kung Fu Panda), Jimmy Hayward & Steve Martino (directors of Horton Hears a Who!), Ed Hooks (author: Acting for Animators), and me, Jerry Beck (screening The Worst Cartoons Ever! on Saturday night, 7pm at the Vancity Theatre). Bill Plympton’s latest feature, a Marv Newland retrospective and Leslie Iwerks’ The Pixar Story are among the special screenings. A party following my screening is free for all festival-goers – come by and say hello!
More rare pictures from a stash of Warner Club News I picked up last week.
The Warner Bros. Cartoon Dept. had it’s own building, with its own gate and sercurity on the main lot in Burbank during the 50s and 60s. The building is still standing today. I’m not sure who’s occupying it this year, but it was most recently the headquarters for producers, writers and staff of Everybody Loves Raymond.
Scott is, of course, best known for his jazz compositions (such as Powerhouse) which were heard in numereous Warner Bros. cartoons, George Pal Puppetoons, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Animaniacs and other cartoon series. Scott was a band leader, composer, inventor and electronic music pioneer. Though he personally never wrote music for cartoons, his compositions work perfectly in the medium – and continue to do so today. For more information on Raymond Scott click here.
Anyone been to the post office lately? Anyone still use snail mail?
The postage stamps have gotten a lot better — even if I have no one to mail a letter to I couldn’t resist some of these new commemoratives. This one (above) devoted to Latin Jazz, with the distinctive artwork of Michael Bartalos, really caught my eye. Bartalos’ art is best known (to me) for Nickelodeon and Nick-at-Nite promotional materials, but here it evokes a cool Jim Flora feel.