Back in July we posted about a new Nintendo game in development, Epic Mickey. Now, the November issue of Game Informer magazine has the scoop on this new game from Junction Point and Disney Interactive Studios.
BTW, if you look really closely at that cover painting you’ll spot Oswald the Lucky Rabbit behind the gates in the center.
I’m not a gamer, but this thing looks pretty cool to me. Game Informer also posted a video podcast with game creator, Warren Spector, where he discusses his love of Mickey Mouse, Disney and all things classic animation – and on another page they post a gallery of Spector’s Disney collection, which includes everything from a killer The Three Caballeros half sheet poster to several issues of Gemstone’s Disney comics.
Today’s Dennis The Menace panel. Is this a swipe at prime time and cable cartoon shows?
My caption would’ve been: “I remember when Cartoon Network ran Cartoons!“
Here are two non-narrative pieces that are quite pleasing to the eye. Adam Avilla and Tony Benna have joined forces to “try our might at becoming an artistic superpower.”
“Our most recent project spawned a notion to animate one of the most unruly mediums known to man: Yarn. After two cold months in a dark warehouse bedroom (which we transformed into a shooting stage) the spot was complete. The result of the exploration left us conjoined at the temple and deprived of precious vitamin D.”
“It involves a painstaking animation technique, whereby the team paints in the air with glow sticks, frame after to frame to create entire sequences of animation, sometimes taking a whole night to shoot.”
Are you ready??
What is the name of the actor who does the voice of “Wallace” in the Wallace and Gromit Films?
THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! WINNERS TO BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY!
The earliest person to correctly answer gets a copy of the latest Aardman Animation production, Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death (courtesy of Lionsgate). The second place winner will receive a copy of David Levy’s vital new book Animation Development (Thanks to Allworth Press). The lucky people who correctly answer fourth, fifth, sixth and beyond will get nothing (or as Stan Lee used to say, “a No-Prize”!) The poor unfortunate who’s correct answer is the third received will get an unopened, mint-in-box Scooby Doo and the Samurai Sword, the latest direct-to-DVD production from Warner Bros. Animation.
RESPONSE TO THIS CONTEST CRASHED OUR SERVER. OUR SECOND CONTEST (El SuperBeasto) WILL BE RE-SCHEDULED FOR LATER THIS WEEK!
Animator David Nethery pointed me toward this intriguing 2D animated feature coming from Denmark, The Apple & the Worm, directed by Anders Morgenthaler (Princess). It was apparently made totally paperless, drawn on Wacom Cintiq tablets, using TVP Animation software. If any of our bilingual readers can translate the trailer’s introductory dialogue, please send us a comment.
Don’t say we didn’t warn ya: We will be holding two contests on Monday (10/5) and be giving away a bunch of cool prizes.
Winning both contests require you being the FIRST few people to correctly answer a question about animation, a question somewhat related to the prize. The first contest will be posted at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern and the first prize is a copy of the latest, wonderful Aardman Animation production, Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death (courtesy of Lionsgate). The second place winner will receive a copy of David Levy’s vital new book Animation Development (Thanks to Allworth Press). The
booby prize third prize is Scooby Doo and the Samurai Sword, the latest direct-to-DVD production from Warner Bros. Animation (hey, they sent me a copy and a gotta give it away to somebody!).
At 11am Pacific Time (2pm, east coast), we will have a second contest question and the first six adults to answer correctly 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.
We ask that winners of recent Cartoon Brew contests of the past year not compete, and allow others a chance to win a prize. See you here tomorrow, and good luck to all!
Two separate independent projects, with little in common outside of both being made essentially by one person, each with a lot of dedication. First up, Matthew Reis’ Kid With a Rocket Launcher:
Danny Ochoa, an indie animator residing in San Francisco, was commissioned to direct and animate a music video by local Bay Area band The Greening. I think it captures the proper underground comix feel:
Danny tells us:
Yes, I made the entire cartoon by myself… Written, directed and animated. The cartoon took me a year to complete because I had to work nights on it and had a day job at the time. It was rendered entirely in Flash and I tried to keep the look of the cartoon as traditionally hand drawn as possible, as almost every frame was meticulously hand drawn with a wacom tablet.
I love underground comics and cartoons from the golden age of animation so I tried to combine those two looks to the cartoon. The characters in the video are actually from a comic I have been self publishing for years called Molly & Jo. I hope to someday pitch “Molly & Jo” as an animated series and hope that the video is the first step in that direction.
Here’s some show-and-tell. I found these odds and ends of UPA publicity at Cinecon, the classic movie convention held in Hollywood over Labor day weekend. None of these miscellaneous tid-bits are very important, but they are all part of the great jigsaw puzzle of film history — and can be telling on how the UPA cartoons were marketed and perceived by the public at the time. The first row is a four page spread from a pocket-sized movie magazine called Prevue (July 1953). I posted the cover below left (click on thumbnails to see full size image). You never know what you’ll find in oddball (and odd-sized) fan magazines such as these. In addition to the UPA pages, there were three pages promoting Disney’s live action feature The Sword and The Rose.
Next we have several clippings from Motion Picture Herald, a weekly trade magazine aimed at theatre owners. A dealer was selling a whole years run of 52 issues from 1952. I went through them all and found these items of interest: Columbia Pictures took out several back cover ads touting there current releases, done in a “newspaper” style, with press-style blurbs. At left, a bit about producer Steve Bosustow and his Academy Award; in the center, Columbia highlights a Bethesda Maryland theatre who billed Rooty Toot Toot and a bunch of Magoo cartoons over the main feature (Return of the Texan, a 20th Century Fox film); and at right, proving the incredible popularity of Mr. Magoo, the Herald ran this photo of a theatre in London who made a whole show of Mr. Magoo cartoons: “The First Mr. Magoo Show”. I wonder if there were ever a second or third?
And finally, a double-page ad in February 10th 1951 edition of Motion Picture Herald hyping the popularity and press (NY Times, Life Magazine, comparisions to Disney’s Three Little Pigs) of UPA’s Gerald McBoing Boing. It’s rare for any individual short to rate a full page ad – more so a two page spread.
Earlier this week, Wild Brain co-founder Phil Robinson and Wild Brain producer Amy Capen officially announced the launch of a boutique Bay Area-animation studio called Special Agent Productions. Details from the launch press release can be found at SHOOT. Over the past year, I’ve been hearing rumblings about turmoil at Wild Brain, but I was confused as to why the founder of the studio had left to start his own shop. It turns out that Wild Brain in San Francisco was shut down.
A source who asked not to be named offered some details about what’s been going on these past few months:
Basically, Wild Brain SF closed shop end of June. It was rumored that the board of directors/new management decided that the San Francisco branch was too much of a liability. There was a lot of politics behind that decision (i.e. the success of the TV business model of Yo Gabba Gabba!; the fact that the board and most of the executives are based in LA), and it got really ugly towards the end. It seems they wanted to cut their losses and open a new Flash studio in LA (which I heard is gobbling up all the Cartoon Network artists right now for a Ricky Gervais pilot).
Everybody scattered to the wind. Scary time. Since Phil and Amy were the main commercial people, they decided to form their own boutique shop and take the strength of their commercial reputation with them (i.e. Esurance, Lamisil).
Special Agent’s first project out of the gate is a 90-second Erin Esurance Bollywood-themed spot that premiered this week on IFC, and which can be seen on Special Agent’s website.
UPDATE: I just heard from the gang at Ghostbot, and they worked with Phil to produce the new Bollywood spot. Ghostbot, for those who may be unfamiliar, has animated many of the best Esurance spots to date.
NY animator Chrissy Fellmeth recently got an awesome tattoo that seamlessly combines two of my biggest passions: cartoons and kebabs. Click on the image below to get a closer look at Chrissy’s original tattoo design and the finished work on the back of her leg.
Lui Lui in Amelica is a thesis film project by Chinese-born Vera Wing Lui, who graduated this year from University of the Arts in Philadelphia. According to the filmmaker, “Because of her cultural background and the cultural differences she has experienced in America, she created her most recent short films…Since this is a mirror and metaphor to her life, the whole film is all based on true stories.”
Lui worked with Signe Baumane on her “Teat Beat of Sex” series, and like Signe’s films, the Lui Lui cartoons are short, self-contained episodes narrated by the filmmaker. Above is the second episode called “Tattoo.” The first episode is called “Crush Me.” They’re gentle and cute, but with just enough bite to make me want to see more. I don’t know if Vera is continuing production on the series, but Lui Lui does have a blog.
(Thanks, Fran Krause)
On Sunday, October 4th, Renegade Animation will host an exhibition of serigraphs by animation veteran David Weidman. Best known for his work on Mr. Magoo, Fractured Fairy Tales, King Features TV Popeye and Hanna Barbera cartoon series of the 1950s and ‘60s, Weidman will also sign copies of his new book The Whimsical Works of David Weidman, And Also Some Serious Ones. The event, which is open to the public, will occur from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Renegade Animation’s studio, 116 N. Maryland Ave., Lower Level, in Glendale.
We mentioned Weidman and his new book here back in March. Now, you have a chance to meet the man in person. Weidman, now 87, began his career as a designer at John Hubley’s Storyboard, and later worked as a designer at UPA where he developed his signature personal style while creating backgrounds for animated shorts. He also worked in magazine illustration and commercials. His many credits include Crusader Rabbit, Calvin and the Colonel, The Boing Boing Show, Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol and Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. Weidman will also be signing copies of Renegade Animation director Darrell Van Citters’ new book, Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol, The Making of the First Animated Christmas Special, which highlights Weidman’s work. For fans of the special, there will be production artwork for sale from Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol. Click on thumbnails above to see larger images of Weidman’s art.