I wasn’t going to post about this. I was sent these images of CGI Yogi and Boo Boo a few days ago and decided they were so horrible that they couldn’t possibly be the finals. Now they seem to be all over the internet (you can see larger versions on The Movie Insider.com) and many readers have sent them in to me, wanting my opinion.
My opinion? As much as I hate the idea of this CGI Yogi Bear movie, I can’t believe these are the actual images of the characters that will be animated in the film. These designs are simply awful. What about you? What do you think?
Craig Yoe just posted a batch of rare print cartoons by animator Dick Huemer (Fleischer, Mintz, Disney) on his I.T.C.H. (International Team of Cartoon Historians) blog. Yoe posts much rare material there daily, and he is now devoting his Monday posts to obscure material relating to animators and animation. Bookmark it.
Bob Kurtz began his career designing the original Alvin and the Chipmunks for Format Films, wrote Pink Panther cartoons for DePatie-Freleng and created Cool Cat for Warner Bros. Perhaps his greatest achievement at this time was his hilarious animation on the Roger Ramjet cartoons. Since the 70s, Kurtz has run his own studio producing award winning commercials, shorts and movie titles.
Bob has recently expanded his website to include a blog, and has added numerous videos of his recent animated works (pssst, check his George Carlin page, and his short, It’s No Bullshit). Check it out and enjoy: Kurtz+Friends blog.
Husband-and-wife animation team Jorge Gutierrez and Sandra Equihua (the creators of El Tigre) were interviewed by Lynda.com about their animation careers. Three of the videos are available for free on Jorge’s blog, while the rest are behind a subscription wall. This video about their art education sheds light into the stigma that artists face in many countries for choosing a career in the visual arts:
Here’s an exclusive first-look at one of the 14 new characters being introduced in Pixar’s upcoming Toy Story 3. This is Chatter Telephone (voiced by Teddy Newton), a Fisher-Price toy I actually had when I was a kid.
To learn about the other new characters in the film, our friends at Upcoming Pixar have the details. Toy Story 3 opens June 18th and I can’t wait.
Tantalizing teaser for Glitch in the Grid, a forthcoming feature by Eric Leiser, whose earlier film Imagination was mentioned on the Brew a couple years back. I’m really digging Leiser’s eclectic mix of styles, especially how he applies stop-motion for site-specific landscape animation. Check out this article for more details about the film or visit Eric’s website AlbinoFawn.com to learn more about him and his work.
Well, I don’t know if it was a secret, but here’s a rare publicity photo of Dave Fleischer with a “story mood chart” indicating story beats for Mr. Bug Goes To Town (1941). Click the photo above to see a close up of the chart. I don’t know if they really used anything like this in production, but however they did it, they created a masterpiece – and that’s all that matters.
Adnan Hussain‘s short film Gul (Flower) draws the viewer in with its striking impressionistic CG imagery, but keeps the viewer engaged with its storytelling, which carries a clear and powerful message even as it verges on obliqueness. A Quicktime version of the film can be found on Adnan’s website.
I asked Adnan via email if he could share some details about the production of Gul. Here is what he wrote:
I’m a Los Angeles-based Pakistani-American artist working primarily in animation and live action vfx. Gul (Flower), an interpretive piece meant for the viewer to connect their own experiences, is my first short film. It is the culmination of personal art and skills learned as a technical director at Walt Disney Feature Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks and other studios. It was created in a stack of sketchbooks, 3D Studio Max, Photoshop, Painter, Digital Fusion and Premiere. I studied non-photorealistic rendering papers and works by Egon Schiele, Bill Sienkiewicz and Kent Williams besides doing a ton of my own paintings to create the raw painted look of the film. Scripts were developed to repaint rendered frames layer by layer with custom settings to create the painted look efficiently.
By the end of 2007, I had built enough models, animation and pipeline to quit my job and finish it. I worked on the film, then back packed through Central Asia before finding my way to Jamshoro, Sindh, Pakistan to record the score of a yet to be colored version of the film. Thanks to incredible Sindhi Folk musicians lead by Ustad Anb Jogi on Dholak, Jairam Jogi and Nasir Jogi on Murli, Mohammed Buksh on Pakistani Banjo, Ibrahim Jogi on Tali and LA-based Brian Stroner on sound design, the film was completed in May 2009.
So far it has screened at Slamdance, Patios Human Rights, Mill Valley, Anim’Est, Maelstrom and Montezuma Film Festivals as well as winning Canada Film Festival’s Rising Star Award of Excellence and the Accolade Award of Merit.
Hussain tells me that he is currently in pre-production on his next short and is looking for freelance opportunities around the globe.
My eyes cannot unsee what has been seen, and now neither can yours. This rendition of Spongebob combines a real sponge, features of Tom Kenny (the voice of the character), and Madonna’s arms. The artist is Nicole Hamilton.
Not many TV cartoon shows of the 50s and 60s made it into the pages of gossip and fan magazines – much less the cover – but NBC’s prime time Bullwinkle Show did. This article, from TV Radio Mirror (January 1962) by Roger Beck (no relation), is pretty slight – but in the interest of animation history, I post it below (click thumbnails to see pages enlarged). The basic facts are there – and Jay Ward and Bill Scott’s sense of humor comes through. I love Ward’s quote: “We feel it’s adult humor, but NBC can’t understand the jokes, so they think it’s a children’s show!”
Beginning today, the Wall Street Journal reports that many major movie chains, including Regal Entertainment Group, Cinemark Holdings Inc. and AMC Entertainment Inc., are raising prices for 3-D movie tickets. It reflects the steepest price increase in a decade. 3-D ticket prices are rising by as much as 26% in some areas, though the average increase will be closer to 8%. The average increase for IMAX screens is 10%. Some theaters in metropolitan areas will be charging nearly $20 for IMAX admissions.
The WSJ article, which is behind a subscription-wall, acknowledges that movie studios are wary the price increases could spark a consumer backlash:
Some movie-studio executives expressed concern that the price increases might be too much too soon. “The risk we run is that we will no longer be the value proposition that we as an industry have prided ourselves on,” said a distribution executive at one major studio, who added that he was worried movies would become “a luxury item.”
But studios also like the increases because they split box office proceeds with theater operators. Dan Fellman, who is president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros., a studio that can’t even be bothered to make true 3-D films, approved of the price increases. “The exhibitors are trying to push the needle on ticket prices and see where it ends up,” he said. “Sure, it’s a risky move, but so far charging a $3 or $4 premium has had no effect on consumers whatsoever, so I’m in favor of this experiment to raise prices even more. There may be additional revenue to earn here.” Warners will open Clash of the Titans, a regular film that has been retrofitted for 3-D screens, next week.
Related reading in today’s Wall Street Journal: a piece called Will This 3-D Fad Fizzle Too? In the piece, Peter Decherney, a professor at UPenn, drew a smart parallel to the first 3-D bust. He said that in the 1950s, “3-D died out when the studios realized that television was a boon for Hollywood, not competition.” He predicts the same will happen again. “As studios find ways to profit from Internet and mobile distribution, they will be less interested in competing with new technologies.”