What it is advertising I’m not sure (rolling papers, I think) — but I love it.
(Thanks, Jason Deeble)
The NY Daily News has posted a fantastic 46-image, 70+ year photo history of Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade cartoon balloon characters. Check out image #15 – Behind the dachshund balloon, is a wraparound 2 story 3-D neon, Times Square billboard for Kleenex tissues featuring Little Lulu from 1950. Image #18 shows the Popeye balloon in 1957, #21 contains Superman from 1966, and other photos include Linus the Lionhearted, Mickey Mouse, Snoopy, Betty Boop, and Woody Woodpecker.
(Thanks, Brent Alexander)
A Thanksgiving rebuttal from the pen of animator James Sugrue:
(Thanks, Felicia Spano)
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers. Here’s a little turkey day treat – Tex Avery’s Jerky Turkey. For model sheets and animation drawings from the film, head on over to Kevin Langley’s blog.
Did you know that CARTOONS HATE FAMILIES? It’s true, I guess. Otherwise they wouldn’t say in in all caps at christiansagainstcartoons.com. At first I thought it was a crazy over-the-top parody, but it seems to be the real thing. I, for one, would never have guessed that Monsters Inc. is an attempt by the Godless Disney organization to introduce Satanism to innocent children. But sure enough, it is!
This site apparently has not been updated in a year, so I’d hate to push up their numbers and encourage them to post more. Still, it’s an interesting find — in the same way that the life forms one discovers hiding under a rock make for “an interesting find”. It’s too late for me, but you may still be able to save yourself from these filthy, vile cartoons!
(Thanks Joe Dante and special thanks to Dewey McGuire)
By far the coolest thing I’ve seen on YouTube all week is this Japanese short from 1990. From the video description: “This is not clay animation but gypsum animation. This movie was made by Katushi Bowda. It was broadcast by the Japanese TV program ‘EBITEN’. It was contest for amateur short movie directors. And his present occupation is professional Stop Motion Animator.” More recently, Bowda also created a segment for the feature Winter Days. His website (in Japanese) is Bowdas.com.
(Thanks, Tony Mora)
Disney is allowing a group of contemporary artists to turn Mickey Mouse ‘street’ through a new program called Bloc 28. The artwork displayed so far on the project’s site is, for the most part, vapid and uninteresting. There’s no real observation about the character of Mickey in any of these pieces, just a little paint splatter and rough edges to make it ‘urban’ enough for people with too much money to pretend that they’re buying art. I’m all for reinterpreting classic cartoon icons in subversive ways, but reinterpreting cartoons with the full sanction of a corporation defeats the purpose. Air Pirates these guys clearly aren’t.
Michael Sporn has a complete list of all the animated shorts eligible for an Oscar this year, along with links to their official websites. It’s heartening to see so many powerful and thought-provoking films in contention this year, among them Chainsaw by Dennis Tupicoff, Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor by Koji Yamamura, A Letter to Colleen by Andy and Carolyn London, I Am So Proud of You by Don Hertzfeldt, and Skhizein by Jeremy Clapin. I hope at least a few of these make the final cut.
Another one bites the dust.
Variety reported yesterday that the Fox broadcast network will abandon running cartoons on Saturday morning – and will replace the programming block with infomercials.
Saturday Morning broadcast television lost its allure as a kids destination since the advent of multiple 24 hour-a-day kids cable networks (Nick, Disney, CN), home video (DVD) and the internet, so this is no surprise. And besides, was anyone watching the crap 4KidsTV programmed on that channel? 4Kids was paying Fox $20 million dollars a year to foist things like Kirby: Right Back At Ya! on unsuspecting toddlers.
Fox is actually only replacing two hours (of the four hour block) with infomercials. The other two hours are being returned to local stations. Some of those may run news or sitcom reruns in that slot. If we’re lucky, perhaps some clever independent Fox affiliates will pick up some syndicated animation programming – or better yet, something like the Warner Bros. cartoons. Currently the classic Looney Tunes shorts are homeless (they were dropped by Cartoon Network two years ago) and Warners is actively seeking a new place for them on the tube.
Will Warners syndication execs and local Fox TV programmers see a golden opportunity here? Not likely, but we can always hope.
Count me in as a fan of Stephen Irwin’s eccentric little animated shorts (check them out here). The Black Dog’s Progress may be his most ambitious one yet. It tells the sad story of the Black Dog, created by animating dozens of small flipbooks:
Today we offer The Shoebox (de Kijkdoos), a 2006 Dutch graduation film from the animation team of Joost van den Bosch and Erik Verkerk. In this dialogue-less short, a real-life girl experiencing difficulties at the hairdresser finds a solution by watching an unconventional retelling of “Rapunzel” that takes places in a shoebox. Watch Shoebox on Cartoon Brew TV.