Pillow Peter is a junior year film made by Nigel Clark at the School of Visual Arts in New York. It’s an eccentrically drawn film about an eccentric boy who loves pillows. The droll storybook narration works perfectly as does the short’s gentle tone, which masks the heartbreak beneath the surface. Share your thoughts on the film here.
Pillow Peter is a junior year film made by Nigel Clark at the School of Visual Arts in New York. It’s an eccentrically drawn film about an eccentric boy who loves pillows. The droll storybook narration works perfectly as does the short’s gentle tone, which masks the heartbreak beneath the surface.
Nigel, who’ll be answering questions in the comments, made these observations about his film:
Pillow Peter starts out happy and then gets sad, very very sad. I hope you find it funny when Pillow Peter is happy; I also hope you find it funny when Pillow Peter is sad. If you cannot do that for me, I hope that you can at least find it sad when he is happy and sad when he is sad. Actually it would be even better if you find it happy and sad when he is happy and when he is sad, and then you could get hungry or something.
Aside for having once been a small boy, I have known a catholicity of small boys. This has lead me to an understanding. Small boys (and girls) don’t realize what is going on out there in that big wacky world of ours. Eventually most of these small people experience experiences that educate them as to what is out there. This painful education process may be more or less extreme than what Pillow Peter experiences, but regardless, the experience or experiences remove something from them. I am not sure if that something is innocence or naivety but what ever it is, it is irretrievable.
Filmmaker website: NigelDClark.blogspot.com
I’m not sure even Disney knows about this… Thanks to animation historians David Gerstein and Cole Johnson, The Museum of Modern Art has just finished restoring two lost Laugh-O-Grams cartoons they had long held in their archives, previously misidentified under alternate titles. International animation archivist Serge Bromberg (Lobster Films) is going to host a showing of the new prints on Halloween, Sunday October 31st at 2pm.
Cole Johnson located Goldie Locks and The Three Bears at MoMA under a 1929 sound reissue title “The Peroxide Kid” and Gerstein recently identified the lost Jack The Giant Killer, which the Museum had under the name “The K-O Kid”.
In addition to the two new discoveries, newly preserved and restored prints of Little Red Riding Hood, Puss In Boots and The Four Musicians Of Bremen will be screened at MoMA along with Disney’s original 1921 Laugh-O-Gram sample reel and several Ub Iwerks cartoons – Flip the Frog in Techno-Cracked (1933) and the ComicColor Don Quixote (1934).
Bromberg is coming in from Europe for MoMA’s annual To Save and Project festival to introduce the Laugh-O-Grams screening and provide piano accompaniment. The program will repeat only one more time, later that week, on November 4 at 4:30pm.
The two Laugh-O-Grams not being screened, Cinderella and Jack and The Beanstalk, are not held by MoMA. Beanstalk was also long considered lost, but has also been discovered by Gerstein in a private collection. This means that all seven 1922 Disney Laugh-O-Grams fairy tales – Holy Grails to Disney historians – are now known to exist.
For more background information on this incredible find, read David Gerstein’s blog for the full story.
A clever mash-up of Toy Story 3 visuals and dialogue from the upcoming Coen Brothers’ True Grit.
(Thanks, Gary Meyer)
Is this what Pluto or Minnie might see if they dropped some acid at Disneyland?
Nope. It’s just some more Disney merchandising goodness…this time from Hong Kong. It seems once a year we do a post featuring some way-out, way-off model Mickey Mouse vinyl toys produced by some country in Europe or the Far East. This time it’s from Bloc28 by Disney in China, based on designs from Japanese graffiti artist Suiko.
Who needs drugs with toys like these?
(Thanks, Jupey Krusho)
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We usually don’t do resturant reviews… but when a roadhouse eatery has a sign like this we can’t help but check it out. Way down yonder in New Orleans, in Gretna (near Terrytown) is a restaurant called Da Wabbit Drive In. It opened in 1949 and is reputed to have the best fried chicken in town. Our southern correspondent, Uncle Wayne (Dagriepont), snapped this photo of its vintage signage and confirmed that the food was indeed delicious – and well worth the trip.
Da Wabbit was recently renovated and reopened in December 2009 as Cafe 615 (located at 615 Kepler Street), a neighborhood diner. Not much is known about the origins of this resturant’s name, but I’ll bet it was named after a certain ‘wascally wabbit’ – or my name isn’t Laramore (and it isn’t).
“I had the great experience of working as an animator on Tangled,” writes Claudio de Oliveira, “and by the end of the production I found some time to put together this homage to keep some memories of the ‘people’ behind this amazing project. It would be great if you could pass it along and put some faces out, not only our work.” Just be careful guys, if people don’t like the film, they know what you look like now.
The anonymous Brew reader who submitted Awesome Reach wrote, “I thought the animation here was wonderfully grotesque and over-the-top,” and I agree. The one-minute short, celebrating the release of the video game Halo: Reach, was created by Arin “Egoraptor” Hanson.
There are a lot of wildly talented, self-taught animators who post work on Newgrounds, and while they sometimes achieve micro-celebrity status on the site, their work remains completely unknown to the animation community, and moreover, the general public. A lot of that has to do with Newgrounds itself; the signal-to-noise ratio on the site makes it impossible for an outsider to discover anything worthwhile. Hopefully, artists with as much talent as Arin can break out and achieve the broader recognition (and financial rewards) they deserve.
This is the trailer for I Want Your Money, an anti-Obama political documentary that opens in theaters this Friday. Like countless documentaries nowadays, it uses animation to help communicate its message. The film’s director Ray Griggs made no secret about why he inserted animation into the film, explaining in an article that, “I promised myself if I was going to make a documentary, it would be one that I’d want to watch and hold my interest, which is a big reason why we have the animation.”
I’m not sure who did the CG animation, but the bobble head-style politicians, who include Reagan, Obama, Clinton, Schwarzenegger, and Sarah Palin, are based on designs by Tom Richmond of MAD Magazine. Richmond apparently isn’t overly impressed with the results. He posted images of his original designs on his blog and commented, “Unfortunately Ray [Griggs] had a lot of trouble with the animation companies that did the CGI and frankly the final results leave a lot to be desired. I think the modeling and basic characters look fine, but the talking animation part is rough.”
Back in June we reported on Pixar’s Ralph Eggleston’s terrific poster for this year’s Telluride Film Festival. That poster is available for sale here. My old friend Gary Meyer, who happens to be the co-director of the Telluride festival, just pointed out to me that Eggleston created two posters and that the second one, a special edition poster, is now available on their online store.
This one is absolutely beautiful, summing up the magical, communal experience of watching movies in a theatre, surrounded by friends and like-minded film buffs. Nice job, Eggman!
Below, another viral trailer for Epic Mickey. I actually hate giving them so much free publicity, but this is a slick talking-head mini-doc on the history of Oswald The Lucky Rabbit. They score extra points for the cameos of books by pals Craig Yoe and Mike Barrier.
Apparently creative director Warren Spector revealed all sorts of information about the game at this past weekend’s NY Comic Con, which included this quote: “Epic Mickey is the first time Oswald ever had a voice of any kind. Oswald’s voice is performed by Frank Welker.” For the record, Oswald spoke frequently in many 1930s Walter Lantz’ cartoons with June Foray providing his voice in the final Oswald theatrical, Egg Cracker Suite (1943).
(Thanks, Matthew Gaastra)
A cute short made by Celine & Yann, a directing duo repped by Passion Pictures and comprised of Yann Benedi and Celine Desrumaux. A great example of how to tell a story in one minute. Student filmmakers could learn a lot from this, including the importance of having strong personality animation even when using an illustrative design style.
The Ottawa International Animation Festival takes place next week. If you’ve never been, GO! It’s a wonderful event to catch up with what’s new and fresh in the world of animation.
The festival is big, but not so big that the focus ever shifts from filmmakers and their films. The low-key vibe feels just right, and plenty of filmmakers attend which keeps things from getting boring. The all-you-can-watch buffet of special screenings and competition selections are impeccably programmed, and much of that can be attributed to the festival’s artistic director, Chris Robinson, who is also the author of many fine books on the subject of animation. He spoke with Cartoon Brew about this year’s festival:
CARTOON BREW: Having to watch so many films for preselection every year, you have a better perspective on indie animation than most. I’m curious what are the emerging trends you’ve seen in short films this year? Have you seen any broad changes in animation–stylistically, technique, or content-wise–over the past few years of directing the festival?
CHRIS ROBINSON: I dunno. I never have an answer to that question. Every year the films are diverse in terms of content and technique….so it’s hard for me to say that there are any specific trends. If there’s one thing I noticed this year it’s the length of the films. We’ve got at least a handful of 15 minute plus films in competition. All are strong works and it’s likely just one of those years, but I wonder if this is leading more animators towards features.
I guess if there’s a content trend at all it’s films dealing with social issues. A few films deal with war, environment and consumption. Normally not my cup of tea (cause they tend to be preachy) but these works were quite different, more mature and informed.
It’s very difficult for me to really be blown away by a film after all these years. I see some fantastic films (and a lot of crud) but few that are really ground-breaking. But that’s my problem. I’m disappointed by the quality of features and adult TV shows, but, again, this changes from year to year. Last year there were some great features. This year their ain’t. So it goes.
CARTOON BREW: I’m looking forward to checking out the four-part Japanese animation series you’ve prepared this year. Tell us about how you designed these programs and how it ties in with your new book? It seems like we don’t hear about a lot of the independent animation coming out of Japan because the mainstream anime industry is so overwhelmingly dominant. Is it the same in Japan or do they carve out space for independent creators within the country?
CHRIS ROBINSON: The programs feature pretty much features of all of the artists I visit in the book. There’s a focus specifically on Tezuka whose short films are miles away from his Anime work. The other two are overviews of indie animation from about the 1950s onward. Very eclectic mix including more known animators (Yamamura, Kawamoto, Kuri etc…) and lesser knowns. The fourth screening showcases work by two brilliant newish animators, Atsushi Wada and Kei Oyama. They’re not all that well known in the indie animation community but both have been making incredibly unique works.Â
Nobuaki Doi is curating the two indie programs. He went beyond the book and added a number of works that I don’t cover in the book. So combined, the book and screenings really offer an extensive and well rounded intro to this lesser known side of Japanese animation.
And yes… like every other bloody country, the indie are pretty much ignored and overshadowed by mainstream animation (in this case, Anime)
CARTOON BREW: What are some of the special events, workshops and guests that you think attendees should look for especially?
CHRIS ROBINSON: Aside from Pixar and Disney presentations (sort of an annual thing now), there’s three exhibitions with two of them focusing on non-animation artists (including our poster creator Andrea Stokes). The other is connected with Lipsett Diaries. Theo Ushev is creating a series of new works inspired by Lipsett.
There are a trio of masterclasses and one that stands out features Caroline Leaf. You don’t hear a lot about her these days so it’ll be a rare opportunity for people to meet her and get an inside scoop on her work. The NFB is also releasing a dvd of her works.
One other presentation that I find interesting is Kenk: Animating a Graphic Novel. Kenk is a graphic novel (with Toronto and Ottawa creators) that follows the true life of story of a Toronto bike store owner who is apparently the world’s biggest bike thief. His views on the world and what he’s doing with the bikes is quite fascinating. Anyway…they’re turning this into an animation film so the creators will be on hand to talk about the process.
There will also be a lecture about Tezuka given by one of the big chiefs at the Tezuka studio. So….it’s a pretty good balance again. Something for the artsy fartsy crowd and more mainstream youngsters. Oh…and parties too.