I’m not hiding my enthusiasm for Teddy Newton’s short Day & Night, and neither is Pixar. Instead of releasing a Little Golden Book based on the short, as they had for several previous shorts, the studio contracted with Chronicle Books to produce a handsome little hardback edition. Teddy wrote and drew this adaptation and its a wonderful souvenir of the film — a cartoon sure to be nominated for this year’s Best Animated Short. I took these snaps with my iPhone above and below (click thumbnails below to enlarge). The book just came out and is listed on Amazon now for ten bucks ($10.19 to be exact)! 36 glossy pages, beautifully rendered and a must-have.
P.S. Next week we’ll have a surprise contest for an autographed copy of the book.
An armadillo lives in a perfect world that is threatened when a hunter enters the scene. Directed by Mike Klim, Stanley Moore, Dominic Pallotta and Mikey Sauls, Dilla was produced at Sarasota Florida’s Ringling College of Art + Design.
The ASIFA-Hollywood’s Animation Educators Forum Student Animation Film Festival will take place Saturday, November 6th at Cal State Long Beach. The event is open to all and there will be a full day of film screenings, panels and portfolio reviews, ending with an awards ceremony and a reception. The First place winner will receive their Student Annie Award at this years gala Annie Awards event in February. There are also additional prizes for the top films provided by their sponsors.
Deadlines to submit a film are September 1st (a soft deadline) and Oct 1st (the final deadline). The festival is also looking for volunteers and is already taking appointments for portfolio reviews. For more info, go to: Animator Educators Forum.com.
Jetset Studios in Los Angeles creates online campaigns and internet video for the major Hollywood studios. But between projects the studio has been quietly developing The Velvet Mouse Show. Created by studio co-founders Russell Scott and Patrick Young, The Velvet Mouse Show is anchored by a 2D cartoon that is a very deliberate love letter to Saturday Morning cartoons of the seventies.
So far, they’ve concocted a seven minute pilot and two teasers on their YouTube channel. Their main website and Facebook page features further background material, music, images, and “artifacts from the history of show”. Here’s a sample (with a nifty vintage Ice Bird commercial):
Nick DiLiberto is an animator currently working in Japan. He recently completed a fully animated 2D short film and just uploaded it to YouTube. He sent it to us with this note:
“I’m a really big fan of Cartoon Brew and was hoping you could watch my film and tell me what you think and, if you like it, I would be honored if you would be willing to post it on your site for others to watch. If you or your readers have any questions I would love to answer them.”
I like it – and I think our readers will dig it too:
The first three episodes of Signe Baumane’s outrageous Teat Beat of Sex, a funny and courageous fifteen-part series of lectures from a woman’s point of view. Watching these semi-autobiographical shorts makes one realize how little animation there is that expresses a personal viewpoint about sex. They’re NSFW as are most good things in life.
A Battle of Animation Studio Bands? Women In Animation International (WIA) is planning a “Battle of the Animation Bands” concert, an evening of indie music, to be held in late September in Hollywood that will feature bands created at animation, visual effects and game studios.
Bands will be selected by the Women in Animation board from CDs submitted to WIA before the deadline of Friday, September 3rd. All music genres are welcome however music with a dance-able beat is preferred. At least one member of the band must work for an animation, visual effects or game studio. The evening’s “Battle Star” will be chosen by the audience and win “a very huge, very tacky trophy”.
If you have a band, mail a CD of your work to: P.O. BOX 17706, Encino, CA 91416. Or e-mail a link to your demo to Rita Street: rita-at-radarcartoons.com. If you have questions concerning the event or would like to serve as a sponsor, please also contact Rita.
Jeff Varab, a veteran character animator with credits on The Fox and the Hound, All Dogs Go to Heaven, Balto, Mulan and Titan A.E., was arrested in Florida on thirteen counts of fraud. The story is reported on the Orlando Sentinel website. Apparently, it all stems from his faith-based animation studio Genesis, and a film he made, Tugger: The Jeep 4 x 4 Who Wanted to Fly. We first reported the sordid story of Tugger back in September 2006 and it appears that the situation was never resolved. The comments section of this post on the Animation Guild blog also help fill in pieces of Varab’s life.
Craig Yoe’s latest book is a beautiful love letter to the comic book legacy of Otto Messmer/Joe Oriolo’s Felix The Cat. As usual, Yoe has produced an art book that is unto itself a thing of art, a 226 page celebration of Felix’s four-color career. Previously John Canemaker covered the animated films and David Gerstein collected selected Sunday newspaper strips. Here, Yoe focuses on the Dell/Toby/Harvey periodicals created by animators Messmer, Oriolo and Jim Tyer. The book itself is lavishly produced (which is standard for Yoe’s publications) starting with the classy black and white cover – a clever contrast to rainbow-hued Messmer end papers and content to come. It begins with a 35-page introductory text, liberally illustrated with original Messmer/Oriolo art, rare photographs and odd-ball historical material (my favorite is a 1925 Photoplay magazine spread featuring a Ziegfeld Girl teaching Felix the latest dance craze, The Black Bottom). And then the real fun begins: twelve choice Felix stories, originally created between 1946 and 1954.
The Felix comic stories were always quite “trippy” (to use the 60s expression), usually starting off normally then drifting into worlds of giants, oversized talking vegetables, robots, magic carpets and trips into space. The artwork is always imaginative and very cartoony. This is a wonderful tribute to a cartoon super-star’s most neglected – but still significant – work. As far as I’m concerned, Yoe’s Felix The Cat: The Great Comic Book Tails is another must-have.
Doug Post of Woodbury University saves everything and recently found this article in a newsletter he used to get as a child. It’s a section of the November 1973 issue of General Motors American Youth magazine. It features an article on teenage filmmakers – and highlights future animator/director Eric Goldberg discussing how he got interested in animation and his afternoon visiting the Disney studio. Eric gave us permission to post the pages below (click thumbnails to enlarge), with this comment:
Okay, you can post it, complete with my use of top pegs (the horror!) and my somewhat less than modest credit crawl (not untrue, however!). Just as a side note, two years after that article appeared, I won the Grand Prize in that contest, and my roommate at the Plaza Hotel in New York (where the ceremonies were held) won First Prize. His name was David Silverman, of later Simpsons fame. We’ve been good friends ever since. We fondly recall the days when he had a “Jew-fro” and I had hair.
(Thanks, Doug Post, Dori Littell-Herrick and Eric Goldberg)
Scott Dikkers, who helped found The Onion and was its longest-serving editor-in-chief, also happens to be a cartoonist, and he’s launched a new Brooklyn-based animation company Dikkers Animation company. The company website offers three shorts–Tycoon Tykes, Ape Trouble and Bright Lights Big Steam. The hand-drawn cartoons are refreshingly simple family-oriented cartoons with nice little messages worked into each one. They’re paced a bit slow for my taste, but I imagine they’d do well with a younger audience. And isn’t it a refreshing change of pace to see a new animation company promote itself with storytelling-oriented pieces instead of visual prowess?