Rinat Timerkaev‘s I Love You, evokes the gentle moods of Japanese directors like Hayao Miyazaki and Makoto Shinkai. In Russian, without subtitles, it plays both as a human love story as well as a love letter to its director’s home town, Yekaterinburg.
It wouldn’t be the end of the year without JibJab’s traditional musical summary of the years events. And, as usual, check out how they conceived this with several extensive behind-the-scenes videos: HERE.
This came to my attention just in time to celebrate the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: a Hello Kitty Assault Rifle. This prototype firearm, first posted on the Rifle Gear blog back in 2007, is apparently not for sale but does indeed work. I suspect this product was not authorized by Sanrio.
“This mostly live-action film is a bland 21st-century family comedy without a single moment that captures the wit, energy or sophistication of the original, which by now dates back more than 50 years.” – Mike Hale, NY TIMES
The critics have had their way with Yogi Bear and we’ll miss bashing this film ourselves. So here, one last time, we open the commentary to those brave souls who actually screened this cinematic travesty. C’mon – someone reading this blog must have seen it. Tell us who you are – and what you thought.
I had the pleasure of moderating a Q&A with Adrian Garcia, Alfredo Torres and Victor Maldonado of Headless Productions at the recent CTN Expo in Burbank. This Barcelona-based trio is fighting the good fight to revive hand drawn character animation in new exciting ways. Case in point: this test piece created for their latest project-in-development I’m A Monster. We sneaked this at CTN and I’ve been waiting for them to post it online to share with our readers worldwide – now, the wait is over. Someone, please, give these guys the money to make this movie:
Bart Simpson grows old and dies, over and over again, in Springfield Eternal, a conceptual piece by Philippe Blanchard. In a world of quick cuts and constantly shifting camera angles, the intense focus on a single animated character creates a surprisingly poignant viewing experience.
Here’s a rare holiday treat. Someone posted the original GE commercials, the open and end titles from the original 1964 NBC airing of Rankin Bass’ Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer on YouTube. It’s a black and white kinescope featuring Santa’s Elves showing off the latest GE appliances, and some bonus shots of the voice cast to wish you Season’s Greetings. The unidentified actors pictured are Janis Orenstein (Clarice), Paul Kliegman (Donner and The Coach) and Paul Soles (Hermey), then Paul Soles, Billie Mae Richards (Rudolph), Carl Banas and Alfie Scopp (Charlie-In-The-Box).
UK-based Cyriak‘s path to stardom has been an odd one. He made his name by becoming a master of one of the least glamorous yet most challenging forms of animation–the animated GIF. Today, he’s making music videos and commercials. His latest is this video for Eskmo’s “We Got More.” I’m continually impressed by his ability to create hypnotically recursive animated patterns using only the most trivial live-action footage.
For the past 10 years, animator/educator Frank Gladstone has presided over a very successful big-screen Three Stooges Festival each Thanksgiving weekend at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. Expanding on the idea of big-screen movie events, Gladstone and the Alex Film Society have decided to start an annual “Cartoon Hall of Fame” to screen each year, the day after Christmas.
I was asked to be a member of the selection committee, and I’m proud to say the inaugural presentation is shaping up to be a real event. The Greatest Cartoons Ever! on Sunday, December 26th, will screen studio vault prints of eight animated classics: The Rabbit of Seville (Bugs & Elmer), The Band Concert (Mickey Mouse), One Froggy Evening (Michigan J. Frog), Snow White (Betty Boop), Three Little Pigs, Duck Dodgers in the 24th and a half Century, Mechanical Monsters (Fleischer’s Superman) and a brand new restored print of Popeye The Sailor Meets Sindbad The Sailor – all projected as they were meant to be seen, on the big screen in 35mm.
It’s going to be a real celebration of classic cartoons. On-line tickets are available now for two shows, at 2pm and 7pm, and will also be available at the door – at the historic Alex Theatre, 216 North Brand Blvd. in Glendale. If you happen to be in Southern California for the holidays, join us!
As part of Google’s Demo Slam, a team of three artists created a piece of animation using the spreadsheet program Google Docs. Tu+ Uthaisri designed and directed the piece; Nam Doan and Arthur Metcalf animated the piece. Here’s a link to their source file (BIG!) if you want to see how they made it. It makes me smile to think that some day animation schools could be teaching students Google Docs instead of Flash.
Yesterday’s DVD release of Despicable Me was a smash hit and the film is on track to become the “second biggest-grossing animated home entertainment title of the year,” according to Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Its home video success is counter to the general trend in animated home video; The Hollywood Reporter writes that both Shrek Forever After and Toy Story 3 are underperforming on DVD.
Despicable Me made off with first-day sales on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download of nearly $25 million on December 14. Fueled by the exclusive debut of three all-new mini-movies on DVD Double Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and 3D Combo Pack starring the film’s wildly popular Minions, the mega-hit animated family comedy sold well over one million units to consumers (excluding rentals) in its first 24 hours of release and is poised to become the second biggest-grossing animated home entertainment title of the year.
Amazon is heavily pushing Despicable Me on its site, which is reflected in their sales rankings where Despicable Me currently holds three of the top ten slots, including number one. A screengrab of their sales rankings follows the jump. Continue reading →