Don’t miss Anthony F. Schepperd’s video for Ape School‘s “Wail to God.” The immediacy and intensity of his drawn animation is a real pleasure to watch. His stretchy character transformations and surrealist touches like the NSFW tit-trees give off a vibe of somebody who’s having fun with the possibilities of animation.
A graduation film by Sjors Vervoort of The Netherlands, with sound design by Steven Aerts. While I would have liked to see the interplay between the cardboard creatures and their real-world surroundings pushed even further, there’s some imaginative ideas throughout the piece.
Arthur Metcalf let me know that his first film, the festival-fave Fantaisie in Bubblewrap (2007), is finally online at YouTube’s Screening Room. The film’s premise is simple and the animation is even simpler, but Metcalf makes us empathize with bubblewrap, which is something of an accomplishment.
CONTEST CLOSED! The first six readers who provided a correct answer to this question in the comments section below will receive a copy of the new DVD feature, Rob Zombie presents The Haunted World of El SuperBeasto (courtesy Starz Media/Film Roman). This film is for adults only and will require the winners to state they are over 18.
Paul Giamatti plays Dr. Satan in The Haunted World of El SuperBeasto. Name any other animated film, animated TV series or independent animated short Giamatti has loaned his voice to.
See the answers in our comments section below. CONTEST CLOSED! NO MORE ANSWERS ACCEPTED!
I was going to write a post about this, but my friend Pete Hammond at the L.A. Times beat me to it.
This has been a pretty good year for animated features and by my count we have fifteen films that are technically qualified for an Academy Award nomination. In order to qualify for five nominees (as opposed the usual 3) the producers of all fifteen of these films must enter their features for nomination. Then a 16th (or better yet, a 17th and 18th) film must qualify – the rules state that five animated features can be nominated if 16 films qualify.
Here are the fifteen that already played (or will play) theatrically this year for at least one week in Los Angeles, in order of release:
1. CORALINE – Focus Features.
2. MONSTERS VS. ALIENS – Dreamworks
3. BATTLE FOR TERRA – Lionsgate.
4. UP – Pixar.
5. ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS – 20th Century Fox.
6. PONYO – Walt Disney Pictures.
7. 9 – Focus Features.
8. CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS – Columbia.
9. EVANGELION: 1.0 – YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE – Funimation.
10. MARY AND MAX – Sundance Selects/IFC.
11. ASTRO BOY – Summit Entertainment.
12. A CHRISTMAS CAROL – Disney.
13. THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX – 20th Century Fox.
14. PLANET 51 – Tri-Star.
15. THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG – Disney.
What, if any, other features are likely to open before now and the end of December? Perhaps The Secret of Kells, which had only one festival showing in LA. but no U.S. distributor that I know of. Perhaps the stop-mo A Town Called Panic, which recently played in NYC, will be given a run in LA? Maybe Disney, who are playing the direct-to-video feature Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure for one week at El Capitan in Hollywood, CA, next week, will submit it for Academy consideration?
With ten (most likely all live action) films being nominated in the Best Feature category, it only seems fair that the animated feature race is upped to five contenders. Personally, I think there are more than enough good films this year worthy of a shot at the prize.
Is there any chance we can construct a 60-foot Frankenstein Jr. in Manhattan?
Oregon Live is reporting that Henry Selick is leaving his home base at Laika. The studio did not explain the departure other than to say that Selick’s contract has expired. This follows Laika’s decision to focus primarily on stop-motion and lay off 63 CG animators.
You can read Laika’s official statement on Henry’s departure here.
Carlos Ramos, the creator of Nickelodeon’s The X’s, ponders on his blog, Why can’t we have more hand-drawn animated features like Pete Candeland’s trailer for the videogame The Beatles Rock Band:
It’s such simple animation but with so many great tricks your eye can’t see the strings. Things like blurred focus, CG instruments and props, fast camera moves, quick cutting and gorgeous held drawings make this some of the best animation I’ve ever seen. The shame is that there isn’t a feature in our near future in this style. I swear it could save 2D but I’m sure that money is currently being spent on the next CG feature based on a children’s book with shrill celebrity voices.
I’m in complete agreement with Carlos. The trailer, which we wrote up earlier, is one of the most daring and dynamic pieces of commercial animation I’ve seen all year long. What prevents Hollywood from producing modestly budgeted animated features that have a clear directorial vision like this piece?
ASIFA-Hollywood will celebrate the tenth anniversary of Warner Bros. Animation’s The Iron Giant with a panel discussion featuring several of the key animators and crew members responsible for the 1999 animated masterpiece.
Among the many artists expected to attend will be writer and director Brad Bird, background artist Anne Guenther, art director Alan Bodner, lead animator Steve Markowski, and artistic coordinator Scott Johnston. The panel will be moderated by animator Tom Sito.
The event will take place Friday, October 23, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. at the Fletcher Jones Foundation Auditorium, on the campus of Woodbury University, 7500 Glenoaks Blvd., in Burbank, California.
Seating is limited. Reservations are required for this event and tickets are available through www.asifa-hollywood.org/irongiant. Members of ASIFA-Hollywood and students of Woodbury are $5; non-members $10. Parking is free. Proceeds from this program will benefit the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive.
UPDATE: I was just informed, 24 hours after this posting, that this event is now SOLD OUT!
Three years in the making, and it looks damn good. Yellow Cake by Nick Cross – read his production blog and watch it here:
Kurt Vonnegut’s eight rules for writing short stories. With a few modifications, they also serve as a nice set of rules for makers of animated shorts. In particular, a lot of people would benefit from following his first one:
1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
Another cartoon Dennis and his Dad won’t be seeing on TV. From Cartoon Network’s aborted Cartoonstitute program, created and directed by Chris Riccardi.