This comic from Tex Avery’s days at North Dallas High School (see larger version here) is currently up for auction on Howard Lowery’s site. Bidding is currently up to $610 with 13 days left in the auction. It’s hard to see any signs of the future cartoon genius in this drawing, but it’s interesting as a historical piece.
It’s that time of the month again. Monday June 27th, the perfect time for the apocalyptic hilarity of Cartoon Dump, with its rapturous mixture of sketches, songs, puppets, stand-up comedy and actual Saturday Morning Cartoons from the 50s, 60s and 70s that are so bad you’ll be praying for the destruction of the Earth.
I’ll be introducing Frank Conniff (MST3K), Erica Doering along with guest comedians Carlos Alazraqui (voice of Rocko on Rocko’s Modern Life), Emo Phillips and our usual gang of animated suspects, Mighty Mr. Titan, Johnny Cypher and who knows what-the-hell else…
Always loved Commando Cody and was the biggest fan of Dave Stevens’ homage The Rocketeer. Disney made a live action film in 1991, so why couldn’t Pixar make a new one today? French animator John Banana couldn’t wait and made this “fan film” in tribute to Stevens and his creation:
Canlandiranlar is a new animation society in Turkey, which organizes free educational courses, holds panels and supports independent animation in Istanbul. They held a project called “Animation Talent Camp” last year and produced several short films themed around “Istanbul” supported by professionals from the industry. Idil Ar’s film is a beautiful example of bold animation design in service of telling a story, setting a mood and capturing a moment:
Direction: Idil Ar
Animation: Idil Ar, Emre ErgenÃ§
Art Direction: Idil Ar
Music and Sound: Can Ãœnal
Voice: Osman Poroy, Idil Ar
Producer: Berat Ä°lk, 2010 Avrupa KÃ¼ltÃ¼r BaÅŸkenti
Best Animation Award ’22.Ankara International Film Festival’
Best Script ‘Canlandiranlar Talent Camp 2011′
Independent animator David O’Reilly (The External World) is hosting two animation programs next Saturday (7/2) at the Cinefamily theater in Los Angeles. Both are extremely intriguing and well worthwhile for our more adventurous readers.
From the deepest, most corrupt corners of David O’Reilly’s hard drive comes a collection of lost animated wonders, forgotten by time and YouTube, destined to break hearts, minds and sense of common decency. David says: “There will be work I found from now-defunct private torrent sites, old video tapes, friends & places I cant remember, gorgeous 3-D tentacle porn, footage of bizarre video games, and work by surrealist animation genius Charley Bowers (who was forgotten in his own lifetime and died in poverty). If you love Pixar, you will hate this!”
The world premiere of The Agency, which O’Reilly co-wrote with Vernon Chatman (creator of Wonder Showzen). He’s claiming it’s the world record for fastest created feature length animation – from conception to completion in one week.
It’s official: one of the most twisted new animated works we’ve seen in a very long time is also a new record holder. The film very, very loosely follows several office-bound characters as they plot their upwardly-climbing corporate destinies, continuously insult each other with non-stop vicious flair, and morph their reality with that of a duo of cute panda bear-looking creatures for whom the office dimension is just a dreamâ€¦? This baffling slice of cough syrup-like comedy dementia was created entirely with “Xtranormal”, an online service that lets users make their own CGI mini-movies through a limited library of characters, sets and music, and with awkward text-to-speech synthesis – serving to produce a sublimely blobby experience that’ll sautée your cerebellum with love!
He made it with Xtranormal– an online service that lets users make their own CGI mini-movies through a limited library of characters, sets and music, and with awkward text-to-speech synthesis –and basically has them streaming dialogue of insanity, profanity, and other craziness.
In the post earlier this week about animation executive Max Howard, I wrote (somewhat flippantly) that nobody understood why “almost anybody who worked in musical theater could become an animation executive at Disney” in the 1980s and ’90s. Of course, many people do know. A Brew reader, who prefers to remain anonymous, emailed a nice capsule history of what happened during that period:
Roy Disney was seeking a leader to put animation on a solid footing to move forward. He sought the advice of Robert Fitzpatrick, then-President of CalArts. Bob had just finished his stint as the director of the highly-successful Olympic Arts Festival, and he suggested that perhaps an arts management structure might be the most natural for Animation–both are project-based, but maintain ongoing management and cultural growth/identity.
Bob’s lieutenant on the Olympic Arts Festival was Peter Schneider. Bob connected Peter and Roy, and the rest is pretty well-known. Peter had worked with Howard Ashman and Alan Menken on “Little Shop of Horrors,” he brought in a lot of the Olympic Arts and theater colleagues in those early years in the 1980s including Thomas Schumacher, Kathleen Gavin, Karen Schmidt, etc.
As Ashman and Menken further identified Animation as a form of Musical Theater, the talents from that world naturally began to migrate to Animation. People often forget that there was no real paradigm for how Animation might work, structurally, in the 1990s, so they brought in all kinds of talents from all manner of entertainment, a lot from Theater, since it seemed to bear a stronger resemblance to the creative environment of Animation.
Richard Corliss has compiled a list for Time Magazine of “25 All-Time Best Animated Features”. I’ve posted his choices below.
1. Pinocchio (1940)
2. WALL-E (2008)
3. The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie (1979)
4. Dumbo (1941)
5. Spirited Away (2001)
6. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
7. Up (2009)
8. The Triplets of Belleville (2003)
9. Finding Nemo (2003)
10. The Little Mermaid (1989)
11. Toy Story 3 (2010)
12. Toy Story (1995)
13. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
14. The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)
15. Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
16. Happy Feet (2006)
17. Akira (1988)
18. The Lion King (1994)
19. Tangled (2010)
20. Paprika (2007)
21. Kung Fu Panda (2008)
22. Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! (2008)
23. Yellow Submarine (1968)
24. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
25. Lady and the Tramp (1955)
With all due respect, Mr. Corliss, this list is flawed. Very flawed. Where’s Bambi, The Incredibles, Toy Story 2, The Iron Giant, or Ice Age? What about Fritz the Cat or Heavy Traffic? Allegro Non Troppo and My Neighbor Totoro? Perhaps Nightmare Before Christmas or Mr. Bug Goes To Town?
And c’mon, even I can’t put The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Movie on such a list, much less at #3. It was essentially a compilation from classic shorts. Horton Hears A Who? You’ve got to be kidding.
Check out the original post on Time’s website. Each of his choices includes a brief write-up and an embed of the trailer. What else do you think Corliss forgot? Perhaps we’ll compile the Cartoon Brew Top 25 Animated Features as a rebuttal.
Anybody can draw in a naïve art style, but few do it well. Muscular Princesses (original title: Izmos királylányok) by JÃºlia Farkas uses a deceptively childlike style to illustrate a decidely “fractured” fairy tale. There is expressive character animation, creative staging choices, and a playful sense of visual humor that matches the absurd tone of the story. The results brought a smile to my face. It’s a 2009 graduation film from the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest.
Me? I set the bar pretty low and wasn’t as disappointed as I thought I’d be. On the plus side, this is one slick piece of family entertainment, with visual opulence to spare. Great action sequences and yeah, even a few laughs. On the downside, the story (Pixar’s usual strong suit) was surprisingly cliche. For this film, you have to buy into the world of “Cars” or you might as well go home. There isn’t the emotional pull of the previous several Pixar blockbusters, and no relatable characters – just regional stereotypes (and several annoying ones at that). Oh, and be sure to understand that this is a “Mater” Movie. He’s the star, not Lightning McQueen.
The spy stuff is fun, but I couldn’t help wondering if this story would’ve been more fun if it were enacted by human characters. My biggest disappointment: Cars 2 feels like the first Pixar picture aimed at children exclusively. Before, audiences were delighted that a Pixar family film could be so sophisticated. Here, Pixar’s made a children’s film first, with numerous references to things children won’t understand.
There’s an old Hollywood saying I just made up: “When in doubt have a character fall into a tub of shit”. Nice to see Pixar include such a scene here. Here’s my prediction: this film will get Pixar’s poorest critical reception, and it’ll be Pixar’s all-time biggest moneymaker.
So, is it the “Best Cars movie Ever?” or has Cars run out of gas? Now it’s your turn. As with all of our other talkbacks, please comment only if you’ve seen the film.
Interesting way to market the latest Pixar movie – by leaking posters, images and a trailer (coming soon) to the next Pixar film (a year away). Okay, I’ll bite, because Brave looks (to me) so damn good… here’s the cast, above our heroine Merida; and below left to right (click thumbnails to enlarge): Queen Elinor, Lord Macintosh and the Wise Woman.
(Thanks, Elena Ceballos via Nerd Reactor – and reader Darrin for the image above)
Four second-year students from the Netherlands Utrecht School of Arts, aka HKU, recently produced this haunting and heartfelt short film entitled Silence. It was completed in four months using Maya, Cinema 4d, After Effects, Photoshop and Final Cut Pro.
Director: Olivier Ballast
Animation: Joost de Jong
Art Direction: Erik van Helvoirt
Technical: Michael Koning
Music: Gijs van Amelsvoort
Pixar’s Cars is preceded in animation history by such shorts as Warner Bros. Streamline Greta Green (1937), Tex Avery’s One Cabs Family (1952), and even Disney’s Susie The Little Blue Coupe (1952). But I grew up watching a boring Automobile Club pedestrian safety film called The Talking Car, which my gym class ran endlessly on rainy days. Some future rainy day I’ll subject you to the original ten-minute 1955 black and white version I was routinely tortured with. For now, I just found an embed to the equally bad, sixteen-minute long, 1969 color remake with Brian Forster (The Partridge Family) as “Jimmy”, voices by Hal Smith and some very cool vintage Burbank locations.