More heart-breaking than the first ten minutes of Up: this story from the Orange County Register.
A dying 10 year old with a rare form of cancer wanted to see Up. Her mother cold called Pixar and got through to the right person. The next day “a Pixar employee” came to the girl’s house with the DVD and a bag of stuffed animals of characters in the movie. “He shared some quirky background details of the movie and the group settled in to watch Up.”
There’s a lot of speculation as to who the “Pixar employee” is, but more important is that the act happened at all. Read the full story here.
Awesome event coming up in London next Thursday, June 25: a retrospective of the work of British animation director Ian Emes, who created groundbreaking music-related animated works in the Seventies and still creates innovative work nowadays. The event, hosted by art/music collective Stomper, will include an exhibition of his artwork, a screening of his films (including a new collaboration with artist/musician John Foxx), and a conversation between Emes and writer Mark Fisher. It begins at 7pm at the The Horse Hospital art space (Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1HX). Tickets, which are Â£10, can be purchased online.
Check out the Stomper website for more background details about Emes including this quote about how he entered animation: “To begin with, I wasn’t attracted to the medium of animation, dominated by bouncy characters. I had no animation tutors, only practicing painters and sculptors to encourage me. I was entering the unknown, doing everything through trial and error, fumbling along and inventing my own techniques.” These pieces of animation illustrate what he’s talking about:
I’ll be there, in Columbus Ohio, next week (Saturday June 27th) to introduce a screening of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians (1961) and to celebrate the recently transferred International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection to OSU’s Cartoon Library and Museum. The union of these two collections creates the largest archive of original cartoon art in the world.
There will be several events going on next weekend, some of them free, all of them worthwhile. I will be doing a book signing Saturday 6pm at Wexner Center, then at 7pm we’ll be screening Disney’s 1961 feature. The movie will be preceded by the 1938 Mickey Mouse short, The Brave Little Tailor, and the 1949 Paramount cartoon Leprechaun’s Gold – all in beautiful 35mm! For information on this screening and tickets, go to the Wexner Center website.
On Sunday, the 28th, there are three free open-to-the-public events: In the Grand Lounge, The Ohio State University Faculty Club, 181 South Oval Dr. at 1:00 pm, Milestones of the International Museum of Cartoon Art: A panel discussion with former trustees Brian Walker, Jerry Robinson, and Arnold Roth. At 2:15 pm Keynote Speaker Jim Borgman (Zits) will give an opening address. An Exhibition Opening and Reception at the Hopkins Hall Gallery + Corridor, will commence at 3:30pm. Refreshments will be served. For more information, check the Cartoon Library website.
Combining two iconic Hollywood stars, pop artist Ron English has created a limited edition “bust” of Marilyn Monroe (click on image above to see full sculpture). For more info on these works of art, see the Toys R Evil blog.
Rolling Stone reports that Paul McCartney will be writing a score for a new animated feature, based on a book he co-wrote, High In The Clouds. Caroline Thompson (Nightmare Before Christmas) is writing the screenplay, Rob Minkoff (The Lion King) is attached to direct.
The Rolling Stone piece ties McCartney to Yellow Submarine as an example of his past involvement with animation. Truth be told, the Beatles had almost no creative input in that feature, but Sir Paul did produce several nice pieces of animation over his career. My favorite is the video for Seaside Woman (1980) directed by Oscar Grillo, and Rupert and the Frog Song (1985) directed by Geoff Dunbar. Here’s the big “frog song” number from Rupert; note the abstract sequence at the 3:50 mark:
Heads up on a new animated feature coming from China. Road To Home is in pre-production at Beijing-based Magic Dumpling studio, on track for an October 2011 release in China. The teaser above reveals the film as a hybrid of painted backgrounds and CG character animation. A report on the studio’s recent presentation at the animation conference in Stuttgart is posted here. A plot synopsis and some production art can be found on Twitch Film.
The infamous Lou Romano has been posting much inspirational art from Up on his blog. I don’t know if this is material featured in Chronicle’s Art of UP book, but no matter – here it is posted much larger, for closer study. Yesterday Lou posted his color script for the film. It’s absolutely gorgeous stuff.
This has to be the most trivial post I’ve ever written – and I’ve written some pretty trivial posts – but at least it gives me the chance to once again plug the latest Pixar Little Golden Book tie-in.
Animator Ken Priebe discovered on the first page (center image, click thumbnails below to enlarge) of the Golden Book adaptation of UP, if you look carefully at Carl’s scrapbook, spin it upside down (below right), you can see a microscopic image of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit! Those sly devils at Disney Publishing. Tried to pull a fast one on us, aye? Last year we found an Oswald “cameo” in the Wall-E Little Golden Book. Perhaps this is the beginning of a trend?
Kudos to designer Stuart Smith and illustrators Jean-Paul Orpinas and Scott Tilley. You keep making these books look cool, and I’ll keep buying ‘em!
According to an article posted today in the trade publication Broadcasting and Cable, Cartoon Network will start advertising its new CN Real (live action) block with a marketing blitz, which will include a Facebook page and a “fanzine”. The article states:
“Cartoon is also relying on decidedly old-school technology in an attempt to lure viewers to the new lineup: a fanzine. The network is printing eight million copies of the fanzine, which will blend pop culture tips with promotional messaging related to the new shows. The publication will be distributed at movie theaters, Six Flags amusement parks, the Essence Music Festival, Cartoon Network live tours and other events.”
Wait a minute… “a fanzine?” Eight million copies? Any publication printing eight million copies, being bankrolled by a major corporation, and distributed in movie theatres and amusement parks isn’t exactly a fanzine. But then again, Cartoon Network isn’t exactly a Cartoon Network anymore…