Animation writer Tom Gammill (The Simpsons, Futurama) visits with cartoonist Mell Lazarus (Miss Peach), and they check out his illustrated piano:
…but that ain’t gonna happen, though part of me wishes it could.
Turner made this statement in an interview today with Bloomberg News. Unfortunately Ted would remove Superman and run Captain Planet in prime time. But at least he’d return cartoons to the channel.
Watch the video of Turner’s statement here.
Talk about your Cartoon Brew: A new Australian beer campaign has co-opted Disney’s Snow White and renamed her Ho White — and the seven dwarves are now Randy, Filthy, Ugly, Freaky, Dodgy, Dirty and Smarmy. The initial ad features Ho White wearing a negligee, in bed with the naughty dwarves, blowing smoke rings. The concept was created by The Foundry for Jamieson Brewery.
The Walt Disney Company is not pleased.
The Paris-Tokyo-Shanghai AOKI studio created this mix of 3D character animation and live action as a pilot for a new kids series. The lead character is a bit obnoxious, but I found myself unable to look away.
Podcast du jour: Jason Anders and “some creepy fan girl” do a very enjoyable phone interview with Tom Kenny at Fulle Circle Productions blog.
I don’t know where Patrick McDonnell is going with this week’s continuity in his Mutts comic strip – but I like it.
(Thanks, Uncle Wayne)
This is not the ugliest kids show I’ve ever seen – but it comes darn close.
Found among the 1,050 look-alike cartoon shows offered at last week’s annual children’s TV market, MIP Junior, was this one: Twisted Whiskers, a co-production of American Greetings, Moonscoop Productions and DQ Entertainment.
The project’s entire pitchbook / powerpoint presentation is online, and you can see for yourself how “wacky, quirky, irreverent and attitudinal” these characters are. (Click thumbnails below to see images from the pitch book). I just can’t get past the eyes. They’re creeping me out, man.
To be fair, the development art — backgrounds and pencil sketches — in this PDF look good. Bill Kopp and Savage Steve Holland (Eek! the Cat) are attached to the show, and have already directed a series of nine 40-second web-shorts that try their best to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear – but why do these characters have to look so goddam creepy:
Ahhh… the things you’ll find on Craigslist.
According to the seller, “Felix the Cat (comic, strip AND animation) was created on this very table (I have no actual proof of this, though times/dates/people involved would point this towards the truth). This table was also used by Famous artists Joseph “Joe” Oriolo and Otto Messmer (as evidenced by notes on the animation disc’s backside.)”
Hmmm… maybe Casper the Friendly Ghost was created on this desk too. The seller certainly sounds “friendly”. Bid on it here.
(Thanks, Bob Foster)
Prepare yourself! That’s all I can say about David Sheahan’s Together! (2009). The first time I saw this film was like a punch in the face. It’s bizarre, unsettling, endlessly inventive, and wicked fun. In a nutshell, it’s a completely original take on traditional cartoon animation. The character animation of Candice is inspired, and the use of space and camera is dazzling. The multi-talented Sheahan also composed the music, and voiced the Spider and Candice (the words “I’m wearing a dress” have never sounded so disturbing). Sheahan made this as a graduation film at Pratt Institute, but his fully-realized vision of Together! pushes far beyond student film territory and into a realm of its own. Discover how a moth and roach come Together! exclusively on Cartoon Brew TV.
We’ve got a new short on Cartoon Brew TV today: Together! (2009) directed by David Sheahan. This was a thesis film created at Pratt Institute. David is participating in the comments section below so fire away if you have any questions. Also, be sure to visit his website TastyHand.com where he’s posted concept artwork and the original music that he composed for the film.
Here are director’s notes from Mr. Sheahan:
In the real world, you would never expect things to go well in the personal lives of bugs. You probably wouldn’t care. But this unhappy insect couple are fascinating and familiar. Yet at the same time, they are the squashably despicable stars of my film Together!
It’s fun and and traditional to hang a cartoon around a collection of gags and slapstick. I toyed with making that kind, but story drives this film. There is just enough symbolism in Together! to punctuate any gut reaction with a question mark. The main symbol is the television, representing the sinister side of the illusions that so often guide our lives. We all know that the glowing screens we watch make a nice, sticky trap.
It’s tricky to place my influences. Today, Madame Butterfly. Tomorrow, Meet the Feebles. So far, I’ve heard S. Clay Wilson. Amid mentioned Ralph Bakshi. I love late-Thirties and early-Forties American cartoons. I try not to imitate them though. That would bore me.
I benefited from getting to know New York animators while working on Superjail!, and from the talented students around me, all of whom I look up to in one way or another: Maya Edelman, Javan Ivey, Katie Cropper, Jake Armstrong, and Kat Morris (among many others). Thanks to all.
VFX artist artist Ryan Leasher is writing a book about illustrator and animation artist Joseph Mugnaini. His book, Wilderness of the Mind: The Art of Joseph Mugnaini, contains a Forward by Ray Bradbury and is currently set for publication in early 2010 from Art of Fiction.
Mugnaini is best known in animation circles for his work on Icarus Montgolfier Wright, the 1962 animated short produced by Format Films, which received an Academy Award nomination. All the artwork for the film was done by Mugnaini, based on an original story by Ray Bradbury; It was produced by Jules Engel, directed by Osmund Evans with narration by James Whitmore and Ross Martin. The painting above is from the film.
Leasher tells us that he obtained “a lot of materials relating to Icarus. Lee Klynn had a great number of items–including orignal artwork, the shooting dialogue script, etc. We’ve currently slated approximately 50 pages in the book for Icarus artwork – including concept artwork for post-Icarus projects with Format that never materialized..”
Other notable animation projects for Mugnaini were Concept, a pitch film for the Hollywood Museum in 1964, on which he did all the artwork; as with Icarus it was a static art, animated camera affair but with better use of multi-plane cameras; and Room for Heroes, a 1971 Walt Disney educational film about American folk heroes for which Joe did background paintings
Ryan also tells us:
We’ve had unrestricted access to the estate’s archives and, most importantly, to Joe’s journals. What we’ve found is nothing short of amazing. The book will include many pieces from Joe’s journals and give an unparalleled view into Joe’s creative process.
Joe is best know as the illustrator for many of Ray Bradbury’s books, including their first collaboration on Golden Apples of the Sun, the iconic Fahrenheit 451, The October Country, and my personal favorite The Halloween Tree. No previous book has come even close to showing the depth of the collaboration between Joe and Ray Bradbury. We’ve got stunning concept work, including the very first and never-before published Fahrenheit 451 sketches. They were discovered during the research, hidden in a scrapbook in the estate archives, safely tucked away by Joe’s wife Ruth some 45 years ago.
The book will include Joe’s views and teachings on art. Although Joe was best known to many as an artist and illustrator, his greatest impact was as a teacher. His focus on the structure of form has found purchase in animation studies; Walt Stanchfield references Joe’s approach to form and structure in his lecture series.
We’ve spent a lot of time making sure that the reproductions will be as close to the original pieces as possible, with an emphasis on color reproduction. The book will also present many 1:1 reproductions of segments of Joe’s larger pieces so the reader can appreciate and closely examine Joe’s mind-blowing line work.
Sounds like a book we have to have. For updates, check the Wilderness of the Mind website.
Charles Schulz’ son, Monte Schulz, will be the guest all this week on Stu’s Show, the internet radio show you can listen to each day at 4pm.
Monte will discuss his new novel, This Side of Jordan, then talk about what it was really like growing up in the Schulz household in Sebastapol. Monte is very grateful to Cartoon Brew because, as you’ll hear on the show, he owes his novel being published to the fact that the owner of Fantagraphics Books reads this site. When Monte was posting comments about the Michaelis book two years ago, the publisher saw his posts and contacted him. Monte sent him his manuscript and Fantagraphics bought it and four other novels almost immediately.
Tune in to hear right here!
Twenty-one-year old Leo Campasso, an animator at Buenos Aires studio HookUp Animation, created Wild Wind in his spare time. The short is an experiment that combines pixel-style characters with traditional cartoon animation principles. The results are a lot of fun and prove that one need not associate pixel animation with stilted, boring movement . Interesting sidenote: Leo said in his email to me that he’s been animating since he was twelve when he got his hands on a copy of Flash 4.
A high-res version of the film can be downloaded here.
Another purchase I made at Cinecon this past Labor Day, was an entire stack of Films In Review magazines, the entire run from 1956 through 1959. I’ve been going through them slowly and enjoying them throughly, finding many great insights and articles about the history of film. There was so little written about animation in these pages that I was surprised to find this piece on pioneer stop motion animator Ladislas Starevich in the April 1958 issue. It’s a nice overview of his career, written while Starevitch was still alive and working. Since I couldn’t find it posted anywhere else on the web, I figured it was my duty – in the interests of history – to add it here myself. (Click thumbnails below to enlarge)
For those who need to brush up on their Starevich I highly recommend the DVD collection, Cameraman’s Revenge & Other Fantastic Tales. In the meantime, here is the one of his classics, from 1933, The Mascot: