Tonight at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, President Barack Obama released his birth video, which turned out to be an animation-related joke. He then followed it by saying, “I want to make clear to the Fox News table — that was a joke. That was not my real birth video. That was a children’s cartoon. Call Disney if you don’t believe me. They have the original long-form version.”
Young Song, a surfacer who has worked at DreamWorks Animation since 2003, is being accused of climbing into a neighbor’s yard and shooting a German Shepherd puppy with a pellet gun. Then he returned and hammered the dog into a “bloody, motionless pulp.” The dog is still missing but a surveillance video exists. “It’s one of the worst cases we’ve ever seen,” Hillary Gatlin of the the Pasadena Humane Society told the NY Daily News. Song is being held on bail, and faces up to four years in prison if convicted. Though his actions are unjustifiable, a neighbor has described Song in terms that make one wonder if there’s more to the story: “He’s a very nice and kind person. He has three dogs of his own and chickens in the backyard. It’s a total surprise.”
Here’s a news story about the incident:
“Six years after the original, of Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil, one of the most obnoxious and least necessary animated films of the century thus far; obnoxious because of the relentlessness with which it slams witless gags in the viewer’s face and unnecessary because the 2005 original didn’t exactly demand an encore.”
The New York Times added this:
“The letdown with “Hoodwinked Too!” is the animation. The images don’t remotely approach the nuance of, say, “Ice Age,” let alone anything from the mack daddy, Pixar. And while it seems there’s no getting away from this marketing aesthetic, the resemblance at times to a video game is far, far too acute.”
The L.A. Times had at least one good thing to say about the supporting characters:
“Hansel and Gretel are this movie’s breakout stars, but it’s not enough to make “Hoodwinked Too” feel like anything but a storybook hurled straight at your head.”
Did anyone in our readership check it out? If so, the comments section is open exclusively to you! (That means that if you didn’t see the film your comments will not be posted)
Disney-nerds like me want to see everything the studio ever made, particularly all the animated films done while the nine old men were still active. Here’s an oddball 60s era sponsored educational film featuring Eric Larson’s work; part of Disney’s Triangle of Health series, sponsored by the Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company, Understanding Stresses and Strains:
(Thanks, Ira Gallen)
About a year ago animator Kurtis Findlay asked if Brew readers would be interested in a book collecting Chuck Jones’ short-lived Crawford comic strip. Well, that book is now well under way and will be published by the Library of American Comics!
Kurtis is currently looking for the best available copies of every strip for this complete collection and is about 98% there. He’s gotten the cooperation of the Chuck Jones estate and family blessing to complete his research. Findlay is now reaching out to our community for help:
“Due to the obscurity of the strip, I’m having difficulty tracking down papers that actually carried it. Here’s where I need the help of you Brew readers: Do you know of any paper that carried Crawford dailies, Sundays or both? Please leave a comment! If you have any other information or material that relates to Crawford, please send me an email: kurtis-at-coveringthemouse(dot)com
I strongly second what Findlay is trying to accomplish. If you can help him with any further information on this obscure comic strip, please do. Above, one of the rare daily strips from the run (click to enlarge).
Lookit what I found at the Disney Store at the El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard: The one and only piece of Disney merchandise for Mars Needs Moms, the biggest bomb of the year and the film that saved us from a Zemeckis’ Yellow Submarine.
I had to buy it. It’s an instant collectible; the souvenir of the year as far as I’m concerned. I’m going to wear it proudly to the Annies. The package says “Limited Edition” but let me tell you, they had tons of them. The girl at the counter said they couldn’t give them away. I for one, will always cherish mine.
Here’s a massive plug/checklist for my numerous public activities during the next week. If you live in L.A. come one, come all!
Saturday Afternoon – CineFamily Special screening, The History of the Super Hero Cartoon 1pm – Everything from Fleischer Superman to Super President (above), with Roger Ramjet, Bat Fink and The Mighty Heroes in between!
Sunday Afternoon – Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, I will be there Sunday at 2:30pm signing books at the Insight Editions/Palace Press booth (#912) on the campus of USC. Free admission!
Tuesday Night – Fleischer Cartoons in 35mm 8pm – UCLA Restoration prints including Koko’s Earth Control, Snow White, Somewhere In Dreamland and many others as you haven’t seen them before… At the CineFamily/Silent Movie Theater May 3rd at 8pm.
Wednesday Night – Adobe First Frame will showcase works from students in USC’s John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts on Wednesday May 4th. It begins at 7:00pm and includes a 90-minute screening program of 24 participating student films. For more info: Click Here!
Thursday Night – As usual, the first Thursday of every month, Janet Klein and her Parlor Boys play 20s, 30s jazz and pop tunes, preceeded by me and my 16mm projector with rare musical shorts and cartoons of the 1930s. 8pm at the Steve Allen Theater.
You don’t see animated opening titles on live action TV series these days, much less on a game show. With that in mind we present the title sequence of a new BBC quiz show, Don’t Scare The Hare. The show began airing last week and co-stars a three-foot animatronic robot rabbit. The titles were animated by Rob Findlay at Glasgow’s Once Were Farmers.
Despite my distain for Robert Zemeckis’ mo-cap monstrosities – I believe live action can be effectively used to create great animated films. Here’s a good example. Commissioned by Sky Sports this rotoscoped piece, by Richard Swarbrick of London’s Hotspur and Argyle, beautifully transforms soccer footage (from Barcelona’s 5-0 drubbing of Real Madrid earlier this year) into fine art.
Directed by Richard Swarbrick
Produced by Luke Arthur.
Music: Lady Labyrinth by Ludovico Einaudi
(Thanks, Andy Reingold)
Over 6 months in the making and almost 3 years after Lucky, their first light painting collaboration, Darcy Prendergast and the creatives at Australia’s Oh Yeah Wow have again teamed with Melbourne-based musicians All India Radio to create their latest music video, Rippled. Painstakingly animated frame by frame, the piece is “all shot in camera, by real people, in the real world, using long exposure techniques”.
Ed Wynn on TV network executives in 1950: “You know what an executive is to me? An executive is a man who gets $50,000 a year, has a beautiful office, couple of secretaries, but no job.”
Plus Ã§a change, plus c’est la mÃªme chose.
Animator/Director Hans JÃ¸rgen Sandnes, via his studio Sandnes Media, is producing a new mini-series of children’s animated music videos for NRK:
“They’re based on the songs of famed Norwegian singer/songwriter Alf PrÃ¸ysen (1914 – 1970). The series is hand-drawn, made in-house by me and my five collegues. The episodes are short “music-videos” following PrÃ¸ysens original recordings. We’re very passionate about our work, trying to master the medium of traditional 2D animation.”
That passion really shows. The first episode (of four) premieres tonight. Here’s a sample of the series:
Two I couldn’t resist sharing.
First – Tuesday’s Editorial Cartoon by Mike Peters:
Next – Monday’s “Lio” by Mark Tatulli:
(Thanks, Uncle Wayne)
Back in 2009, Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe in London created six 3-minute pilots under the creative direction of Timothy BjÃ¶rklund, who had previously directed American shows like Teacher’s Pet and Brandy & Mr. Whiskers. The studio finally posted them on-line yesterday. The nicest thing one can say is that there’s a lot of talent in that studio and the graphics are fun, but the uniformly obnoxious and aggressive tone of the shorts is an unpleasant reminder of the early-2000s US TV animation industry when nobody seemed able to shake off the combined Spumco/Spongebob influence.
The London studio recently produced its first original series The Amazing World of Gumball, and from the previews I’ve seen, it suffers from the same retrograde tone of these pilots. In a post-Adventure Time world that emphasizes individuality and personal style, generic wackiness doesn’t cut it anymore.
Judge the pilots for yourself:
Elliot’s Zoo by David Needham
The Furry Pals by Rikke Asbjorn
Verne on Vacation by Sylvain Marc
Pinky Malinky by Chris Garbutt
Mutant Moments by Alan Kerswell
Hamshanks and the Himalolly Mountain Railway by Tom Parkinson
(Thanks to everybody who emailed about these.)
In 1941, the Fleischer Studio constructed this elaborate three-dimensional distorted perspective set for the feature Mr. Bug Goes to Town:
Built of balsa wood and plastics, it required architect-artists four months to construct. The entire set rests on a steel turntable which can both revolve and move up and down. Drawings will be photographed a full six feet in front of the set and the combination of the “set-back” photography and the “distorted perspective” of the set will provide the illusion of third dimension, according to director Dave Fleischer, who is seen moving the set.
Here is how the set appeared in the finished film: