Disney Enlists Celebrity Hair Stylist Ken Praves For “Disney Fairies” Movie & Product Line

ANAHEIM, CALIF. (August 20, 2011) — Celebrity hair stylist Ken Paves and Disney announced today at D23 Expo, the ultimate Disney fan event, a creative collaboration with Disney Toon Studios and Disney Consumer Products for Disney Fairies including participation in an upcoming film and a personal care product line, both releasing next year.  To celebrate the collaboration, Paves was joined by Peggy Holmes, director of the new full-length animated Disney Fairies film, Secret of the Wings, releasing fall 2012.

“Inspiration from the women in my life has motivated my life-long passion to redefine the meaning of true beauty and encourage girls of all ages to embrace their own unique style,” Paves explains.  “I am thrilled to collaborate on Disney Fairies for several exciting projects that will encourage girls to be who they really are through a diverse group of strong characters that show how beauty takes many different forms.”

Built around one of Disney’s most famous and beloved characters, Tinker Bell, her fairy friends and the enchanted world of Pixie Hollow, Disney Fairies inspires girls to discover their own talents and build meaningful friendships.

Mercury Filmworks Hires Former Teletoon Prod. Exec Travis Williams


Mercury Filmworks announces former Teletoon production executive Travis Williams as the new head of its development team. In 7 years at Teletoon, Williams supervised the development and production of over 300 hours of television and such series as Jimmy Two-Shoes, Wayside, Johnny Test, Spliced, Total Drama Island, Hotwheels Battle Force 5 and Detentionaire.

“Travis is a great fit.” says Mercury President Clint Eland. “He has a critical eye, an appreciation for detail, and is as uncompromising in his passion for creating standout shows as we are. He also understands the definition of a successfully developed property — which is a perspective unique to someone who’s been a production executive at a major network.”

As Mercury’s Director of Development Williams will drive development on shows Mercury is servicing or co-producing — adding value to Mercury’s clients and partners at their project’s earliest stages. He’ll work directly with writers, designers, and creators to identify concepts with strong appeal and develop them to the point they are ready to present to Mercury’s partners.

“There is a wealth of creative talent at Mercury and I can’t wait to get in the studio and develop great projects for our partners around the world.”

Through August and September, Williams will transition from Montréal to Mercury’s Ottawa studio facilities where he will work with Chief Creative Officer Jerry Popowich to review and prioritize the company’s development slate. Williams will be meeting with creators and production partners at the upcoming Ottawa International Animation Festival in September.

Talkin’ Cartoon Music

The folks at New York public radio station WNYC 93.9 are doing a whole week of shows on cartoon music. Today’s show – Soundcheck airing at 2pm Eastern – will feature my old friends, two of the most expert cartoon musicologists I know, Daniel Goldmark (Tunes For Toons) and Will Friedwald (Jazz Singing). They will be discussing the music of Fleischer Studios, specifically Sammy Timberg and Winston Sharples no doubt. Downloads will be available after the live broadcasts. Listen live here.

A “Cartoon Dump” plug …again!

[Start of Plug]
What: Comedy! Songs! Puppets! Magic! And God-awful cartoons from the wasteland of 50s and 60s Saturday morning television! Every 4th Monday in Hollywood!

Who: Frank Conniff, Erica Doering, J. Elvis Weinstein, Kristin Arrigo, Jerry Beck and special guest star comedian Michael Rayner.

Where: The Steve Allen Theatre, Monday August 22nd at 8pm. Advanced tickets click here.
[End of Plug]

“Lighthouse” by Stefan Wernik

Lighthouse

Liberty Mutual has commissioned a handful of animated projects over the past few years as part of their long-term ad campaign The Responsibility Project. The shorts each contain thoughtful messages that explore the theme of “what it means to do the right thing.”

The latest animated piece is Lighthouse, a solid three-minute effort directed by Stephan Wernik. He tells Cartoon Brew a little bit about putting together the film:

I was the animation director as well as overseeing all aspects of production from the animatic to the compositing. A script as good as this only comes along once in a while. It was a very intimate story, but at the same time had huge crowd scenes and needed very careful handling animation wise to show the Lighthouse Keepers thought processes.

I shot a lot of reference videos and collated a library of footage of actors doing similar scenes for each shot. Funnily enough, I also studied reality TV shows like The Biggest Loser as they’re not actors and you can see real emotions. I really worked with the animators on striking the right tone for each shot. I’m really proud of what the team did in every aspect of the production. The production company was Exopolis in LA and the animation studio was ProMotion Studios in Australia.

DISCOVERIES: Childhood Sketches by Bob McIntosh

Bob McIntosh Sketches

Bob Schuldt was going through his grandfather’s possessions when he discovered an envelope addressed to his grandfather from Robert J. McIntosh:

Inside it was FULL of tiny little pen drawings and a few pencil drawings of various characters and that look like they were doodles cut out and sent to a friend. The date is what amazed me, 1929. Upon removing the envelope I found hidden behind it a full color drawing with a note saying “Bout time I kept my promise, but I kept it! Happy New Year!” of two amazing characters on a piece of paper a little bigger then a postcard also signed Robert J McIntosh, 1929.

Click on the image above to see all the drawings. Bob McIntosh was, of course, a superbly skilled background painter who worked on Bambi and dozens of UPA theatrical shorts. One of Bob’s background paintings appears on the back cover of my book Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in 1950s Animation. According to the date on the envelope, Bob would have been thirteen years old at the time. It’s amazing that these childhood sketches have survived for over eighty years.

The lesson: always look through your grandparent’s belongings, and when you find something, email Cartoon Brew.

D23 Report: New Pixar Films and “Tangled Ever After”

Tangled Ever After

The Disney-organized D23 Expo is going on this weekend in Anaheim and there’s been a couple of big Disney announcements. Firstly, the directors of Tangled, Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, are preparing a Disney Channel TV special for next year called, get ready for this, Tangled Ever After.

Pixar announced two new films of their own: Pete Docter (Monsters Inc., UP) is working on a 2014 film that takes place inside the human mind. An Osmosis Jones for the cerebral set? As long as I don’t have to hear Chris Rock for ninety minutes, I’m on board. Also, UP co-director and funny story man Bob Peterson is striking out on his own with a film. The 2013 pic takes place in a world where dinosaurs never died out, and (presumably) mingle with humans. Currently, the only place where that fantasy is possible is in Kentucky. I smell some marketing synergy!

(Tangled Ever After poster via /film)

Disney’s “Planes” …again

We don’t usually post trailers twice, but three months ago we posted the trailer for Disney’s “Cars-inspired” direct-to-DVD movie Planes – and after two days and 100 plus comments the studio pulled the video from the internet. They’ve just officially uploaded it to You Tube again today and we thought we’d let you have at it once more (embed below). Above, the first official image of lead character “Dusty” voiced by Jon Cryer. The movie goes on sale Spring 2013.

TV Guide on Jiminy Cricket (1955)

Here’s some fun for a Saturday afternoon. Courtesy of Stuart Shostack, and his incredible collection of TV GUIDE magazines, comes this 1955 piece of the career of Cliff Edwards (then currently employed doing Jiminy Cricket for The Mickey Mouse Club). Edwards has always been a favorite performer of mine, whether a scat singing jazz vocalist, character comedian or western sidekick – he’ll never be forgotten as Pinocchio’s companion and “official conscience”. (click image below to read enlarged version)

“The Venture Bros.” Special Premieres Aug. 28 on Adult Swim

See the Venture Family as you’ve never seen them before: in a 15-minute documentary-style animated special, The Venture Bros.: From The Ladle To The Grave–The Shallow Gravy Story, premiering Sunday, August 28 at midnight (ET, PT) on Adult Swim. Follow the meteoric rise, the equally meteoric fall, and the decidedly un-meteor-like second coming of the most important band Hank Venture, Dermott Fictel and H.E.L.P.eR. robot have ever been in: Shallow Gravy. If you’re hungry for rock, then open wide, because here comes a ladle of heavy metal fire and metaphoric meat drippings.

A marathon of Hank and Dermott episodes will air from 9:30pm — midnight (ET, PT) on August 28th followed by this new 15-minute behind-the-music mockumentary at midnight (ET, PT) on Adult Swim. The Venture Bros. is created and directed by Jackson Publick and written by Publick and Doc Hammer, both of whom also provide voices for the series. The Venture Bros. is being animated by Titmouse, Inc.

In anticipation of the special’s debut on Adult Swim, starting August 23, fans of The Venture Bros. can download the five-song Shallow Gravy EP featuring different reinterpretations and remixes of the band’s smash hit “Jacket” plus a music video via digital retailers. Then, on Monday, August 29, just one day after The Venture Bros.: From The Ladle To The Grave–The Shallow Gravy Story airs on the network, fans can check back with digital retailers and download the full uncensored episode to own.

“Looney Tunes Platinum Collection” Vol. 1 on Blu-ray November 15, 2011

BURBANK, CA., (August 17, 2011) — Warner Home Video (WHV) unveils the first ever Looney Tunes collection on Blu-rayâ„¢ with the release of Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume 1. Available in stores November 15, 2011, this set features 50 of some of the greatest Looney Tunes shorts the studio has ever made, all of which have been remastered. Just in time for the holiday gift-giving season, this release will be available in two different packaging styles including a limited & numbered collector’s edition box set with memorabilia or a standard sized Blu-rayâ„¢ Book without collectibles. Both releases will feature a Blu-rayâ„¢ Book with rare images and a cartoon guide by animation historian Jerry Beck. Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume 1 Ultimate Collector’s Edition will retail for $79.98 SRP and Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume 1 will retail for $59.96 SRP.

Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume 1 contains some of Looney Tunes’ most beloved theatrical shorts. Together, these three discs contain 50 of the most enduring and some of the best theatrical shorts from the Looney Tunes franchise. The selection features works by some of the most renowned directors in animation history including Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Bob Clampett, Tex Avery, Robert McKimson and others. The featured lineup showcases a delightful mix everyone’s favorite characters including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety, Sylvester, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Marvin the Martian, Tasmanian Devil, Witch Hazel, Foghorn Leghorn, Pepé Le Pew and many more. Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume 1 is aimed at adult collectors of animation.

Disc one is comprised of 25 shorts that feature some of the best-known Looney Tunes characters. This disc features three Academy Award® -winning cartoons including Tweetie Pie, which united a famous cat and canary duo that would appear in more than 40 Warner Bros. shorts and would go on to earn several other Oscar® nominations through the years. For Scent-imental Reasons, the second Looney Tunes cartoon to win an Oscar®, stars the beloved French skunk Pepé Le Pew who tries to seduce a reluctant feline in an upscale perfume shop. Also featured is Speedy Gonzales, an award-winning short featuring the fastest mouse in all of Mexico.

Disc two, which showcases several Looney Tunes supporting players in their complete collection and classic one-shot shorts, includes some of the funniest, most memorable cartoons in animation history. One Froggy Evening, introduces us to Michigan J. Frog, the top hat-wearing-amphibian with the golden voice. Chow Hound, is the short about the dog who loves gravy. I Love to Singa tells the story about the little jazz-singing owl. The Three Little Bops, is a jazzy, modern-day update on the story of “The Three Little Pigs.” Marvin the Martian, Tasmanian Devil, Witch Hazel, Marc Anthony and Ralph Phillips are featured in their complete collection. Also included is the Academy Award® nominated From A to Z-Z-Z-Z, which focuses on a day in the life of an adorable, day-dreaming boy named Ralph Phillips, who escapes a mundane school day by use of his active imagination.

Disc three is entirely comprised of bonus content. Hours and hours of extras include several documentaries with expert commentary and behind-the-scenes information from popular animators, famous directors, animation historians and celebrated devotees. This disc features three-full-length documentaries about director Chuck Jones. Included are: Chuck Amuck: The Movie, Chuck Jones: Extremes and In-Betweens, a Life in Animation as well as Chuck Jones: Memories of Childhood. Also featured is a set of bonus cartoons that include some of Jones’ previously “locked-in-the-vault” rarities and much more.

All three discs are stored inside a gorgeous, must-own, Blu-rayâ„¢ Book that contains pages and pages of rare sketches and breathtaking images that are sure to captivate even the most expert animation connoisseur. The book contains insightful commentary by renowned animation historian Jerry Beck as well as a guide with synopses of the shorts featured in the collection. The Blu-rayâ„¢ Book and discs are also available in a beautiful collector’s box set edition that features Looney Tunes memorabilia, including framed Looney Tunes litho cel with a certificate of authenticity, souvenir tin sign magnet and character collectible glass featuring Bugs Bunny. For exclusivity, this Ultimate Collection is limited and numbered.

“Animation fans have fervently been requesting classic Looney Tunes shorts on Blu-rayâ„¢,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, WHV Executive Marketing Director of Non-Theatrical Franchise. She added, “We are pleased to have put together a gorgeous collection, with a carefully selected assortment of shorts. We know Looney Tunes fans are passionate, knowledgeable and discriminating viewers, and we think they’ll be pleased with this collection.”

LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION VOLUME ONE
(BOX SET AND BLU-RAYâ„¢ BOOK)

DISC 1
HARE TONIC
BASEBALL BUGS*
BUCCANEER BUNNY*
THE OLD GREY HARE*
RABBIT HOOD*
8 BALL BUNNY*
RABBIT OF SEVILLE*
WHAT’S OPERA, DOC?*^
THE GREAT PIGGY BANK ROBBERY*
A PEST IN THE HOUSE*
THE SCARLET PUMPERNICKEL*^
DUCK AMUCK*^
ROBIN HOOD DAFFY*^
BABY BOTTLENECK*
KITTY KORNERED*
SCAREDY CAT*
PORKY CHOPS
OLD GLORY*
A TALE OF TWO KITTIES*
TWEETIE PIE*
FAST AND FURRY-OUS*
BEEP, BEEP*
LOVELORN LEGHORN
FOR SCENT-IMENTAL REASONS*
SPEEDY GONZALES*^
+ 6 BEHIND THE TUNES (FEATURETTES)
• Wagnerian Wabbit: The Making of What’s Opera, Doc?
• Twilight in Tunes: The Music of Raymond Scott
• Powerhouse in Pictures
• Putty Problems and Canary Rows
• A Chuck Jones Tutorial: Tricks of the Cartoon Trade
• The Charm of Stink: On the Scent of Pepé le Pew

* Includes Commentaries ^ Includes Alternative Audio Tracks

DISC 2
ONE FROGGY EVENING*^
THREE LITTLE BOPS*^
I LOVE TO SINGA*
KATNIP KOLLEGE
THE DOVER BOYS AT PIMENTO UNIVERSITY*
CHOW HOUND*
HAREDEVIL HARE*
THE HASTY HARE
DUCK DODGERS IN THE 24½th CENTURY*
HARE-WAY TO THE STARS^
MAD AS A MARS HARE
DEVIL MAY HARE*
BEDEVILLED RABBIT
DUCKING THE DEVIL^
BILL OF HARE
DR. DEVIL AND MR. HARE
BEWITCHED BUNNY*^
BROOM-STICK BUNNY*^
A WITCH’S TANGLED HARE^
A-HAUNTING WE WILL GO
FEED THE KITTY*^
KISS ME KAT^
FELINE FRAME-UP^
FROM A TO Z-Z-Z-Z*^
BOYHOOD DAZE*^
+5 BEHIND THE TUNES (FEATURETTES)
• It Hopped One Night: The Story Behind One Froggy Evening
• Wacky Warner One-Shots
• Mars Attacks! Life on the Red Planet with My Favorite Martian
• Razzma-Taz: Giving the Tasmanian Devil His Due
• The Ralph Phillips Story: Living the American Daydream

* Includes Commentaries ^ Includes Alternative Audio Tracks

DISC 3 (ALL SPECIAL FEATURES)
• A GREETING FROM CHUCK JONES
• CHUCK AMUCK: THE MOVIE
• CHUCK JONES: EXTREMES & IN-BETWEENS, A LIFE IN ANIMATION
• CHUCK JONES: MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD
• THE ANIMATED WORLD OF CHUCK JONES (9 CARTOONS)

Point Rationing of Foods
Hell-Bent for Election
So Much for So Little
Orange Blossoms for Violet
A Hitch in Time
90 Day Wondering
Drafty, Isn’t It?
The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics
The Bear That Wasn’t

• HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! PENCIL TEST
• THE DOOR
• BONUS CARTOONS (9 CARTOONS)

Fright Before Christmas
Spaced-Out- Bunny
Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24 1/2th Century
Another Froggy Evening
Marvin the Martian in the Third Dimension
Superior Duck
From Hare to Eternity
Father of the Bird
Museum Scream

PBS Greenlights Second Season of Animated Documentary Series “POV”

NEW YORK, Aug. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Following the success of its first season on television, StoryCorps will bring its Peabody Award-winning storytelling back to PBS’ documentary series POV (Point of View) for a second season in 2011.

Animated and directed by the Rauch Brothers, the shorts use StoryCorps’ original recordings and capture the intimate and emotionally resonant conversations that have become renowned as NPR’s quintessential “driveway moments.” This second edition of animated shorts will take viewers on a journey through America with stories about an indomitable Sunday school teacher and a strong-willed grandmother remembering late-life adventures as a Bloomingdale’s detective.

Since 2003, the national nonprofit organization StoryCorps has been recording and preserving the voices of everyday people, one conversation at a time. Every Friday morning, millions tune in to NPR to hear the diverse voices of their nation, and now PBS viewers can enjoy these StoryCorps animated shorts on POV in summer 2011. StoryCorps’ animated shorts are funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

POV, American television’s longest-running independent documentary series, began its 24th season on PBS on June 21, 2011. The films of POV “Short Cuts” will have their national broadcast premieres on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 10 p.m.

Second season of StoryCorps animated shorts on POV:

“Miss Devine” (Total Running Time: 3:39)
Cousins James Ransom and Cherie Johnson recall their formidable Sunday school teacher, Miss Lizzie Devine, the only woman who scared them more than their grandmother. Set in the small Florida town of their memories, this short will have you laughing out loud as James and Cherie remember the fearsome Miss Devine.

“No More Questions!” (Total Running Time: 4:00)
Kay Wang was a strong-willed grandmother who was coaxed into a StoryCorps booth by her son and granddaughter. Though Kay was reluctant, she still had stories to tell – from disobeying her mother and rebuffing suitors while growing up in China to late-life adventures as a detective for Bloomingdale’s Department Store. Kay passed away just weeks after that interview, and her son and granddaughter returned to StoryCorps to remember her gentler side, which she kept to herself.

The POV “Short Cuts” website includes interviews with StoryCorps founder Dave Isay and animators Tim and Mike Rauch, a photo gallery of the real people the animated shorts are based on, and additional StoryCorps shorts featuring stories about 9/11 launching September 6, 2011. Beginning the week of August 15, 2011, StoryCorps will feature daily sneak peeks on Facebook and Twitter that include Q&A with the Rauch Brothers, and a selection of their early sketches.

Kimballana

Ward Kimball

First, a research request, because if Cartoon Brew’s readers can’t help out with this one, I don’t know who can. I’m looking for two episodes of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color that Ward Kimball was heavily involved with: “A Salute to Alaska” (1967) and “The Mickey Mouse Anniversary Show” (1968). If you have copies of these and can help out, please contact me HERE. (UPDATE: Got the Anniversary Show, only looking for the Alaska special now.)

Second, here’s a real Ward Kimball curio: a 1965 newspaper article about a panel discussion that he participated in at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. CLICK HERE to read the article (and try to ignore the poor quality of the iPhone photo).

What’s so odd about Ward’s participation is that the topic of the debate was “Is Couture Design an Art Form?” It’s hard to imagine many other animators from that time who would have had the curiosity and interest to participate in such a discussion. The other panelists at the talk were equally respected in their fields: fashion designer Gustave Tassel, architect George Vernon Russell and silkscreen artist Sister Mary Corita. The debate over whether fashion design is art or not has long been settled (see the record-breaking success of the recent Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met), but nevertheless, it’s fun to read their thoughts and gain some historical perspective on the issue.

Disney & Pixar End Annie Awards Boycott


The Wrap is reporting that Disney and Pixar have ended their boycott of the Annie Awards. This news comes on the heels of the announcement of a “Call For Entries” by award-organizer ASIFA-Hollywood. Disney withdrew from the Annie Awards last year over disagreements about the rules governing the awards and the judging procedures, but after signification procedural and organizational changes since the Annie award ceremony earlier this year a source familiar with the ASIFA has said Disney plans to rejoin the field of nominees.

“Cars 2″ Hits The Streets November 1, 2011 on Blu-rayâ„¢ Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3Dâ„¢, DVD and Movie Download

Disney•Pixar’s fast-action summer hit Cars 2 comes home on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D, Movie Download and DVD — November 1, 2011. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Pixar Animation Studios, the high octane in-home release invites families and fans of all ages to come along on a journey around the world with the #1 animated film of the year and introduces an exclusive all-new animated short Air Mater, featuring the fan favorite character spinning his tales in an exciting adventure high above Radiator Springs. The must-own animated release also includes fascinating commentary from award-winning director John Lasseter and Hawaiian Vacation, the delightful animated short that accompanied the film in theatres.

The immersive Cars 2 bonus features include an one-of-a-kind interactive “World Tour” map that takes viewers through nine different locations, including those featured in the film and more. A global thrill-ride, it allows viewers to go behind-the-scenes with the Pixar artists and filmmakers as they circle the globe finding inspiration for the most international of all Pixar films to date. Cars 2 is also the first Pixar film to be released in spectacular Blu-ray 3D.

Academy Award®-winning filmmaker John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, returns to the driver’s seat as director. Cars 2 is produced by visual effects industry veteran Denise Ream (associate producer, Up; visual effects executive producer, “tar Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith). Oscar®-winning composer Michael Giacchino (The Incredibles, Up) provides the electrifying score with a surf-rock-meets-spy-thriller flavor and a variety of global accents, evoking a sense of thrills, mystery and emotion. Brad Paisley, Robbie Williams, Weezer, French singer Bénabar and Japanese girl band Perfume lend their diverse musical talents to the film’s soundtrack.

The film features an all-star vocal cast including Owen Wilson who reprises his role as hotshot racecar Lightning McQueen. Larry the Cable Guy provides the voice of Mater (proprietor of Tow Mater Towing and Salvage), Lightning McQueen’s best friend and the heart and soul of Radiator Springs. Bonnie Hunt is back as Sally, the baby-blue Porsche 911 Carrera whose motor races for Lightning. Acclaimed actor Michael Caine makes his Pixar debut as Finn McMissile, a top British spy who mistakes Mater for an undercover American agent with a genius disguise. Emily Mortimer brings charm, cleverness and cachet as Holley Shiftwell, a rookie field spy who knows every trick in the manual. Versatile actor John Turturro gives a free-wheeling performance as Francesco Bernoulli, the world-renowned Italian racing champ who is Lightning’s chief rival. Tony Shalhoub, Joe Mantegna, Peter Jacobson, Jason Isaacs, Eddie Izzard, Paul Dooley, Cheech Marin, John Ratzenberger, Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave also lend their vocal talents. Real-life Formula 1 racing champ Lewis Hamilton and NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon add a touch of authenticity with their cameos in the film.

Film Synopsis:
Star racecar Lightning McQueen and the incomparable tow truck Mater take their friendship to exciting new places in “Cars 2” when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the world’s fastest car. But the road to the championship is filled with plenty of potholes, detours and hilarious surprises when Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage. Mater finds himself torn between assisting Lightning McQueen in the high-profile race and towing the line in a top-secret mission orchestrated by master British super spy Finn McMissile and the stunning rookie field spy Holley Shiftwell. Mater’s action-packed journey leads him on an explosive chase through the streets of Japan and Europe, trailed by his friends and watched by the whole world. The fast-paced fun includes a colorful new all-car cast, complete with menacing villains and international racing competitors.

Call For Entries: 39th Annual Annie Awards

BURBANK, Calif. (August 18, 2011) — The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, announces its ‘Call for Entries’ for the 39th Annual Annie Awards. The Annie Award is recognized by the entertainment industry as the highest and most prestigious honor given in animation by the animation industry. The 39th Annual Annie Awards ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, February 4, 2012, at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles.

The 2011 Annie Awards will be presented in 28 categories including two new categories — Outstanding Editorial in an Animated Feature and Outstanding Editorial in an Animated Television Production —added to the slate this year. A ‘Member’s’ Favorite’ award has also been added, but will be on a separate ballot located on the Annies website. While Annie voting is limited to professional members, all members, both professional and associate, will be able to vote on this award.

Entries submitted for consideration will be from productions that were released in the United States between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011. Details on how to enter may be found at www.annieawards.org. The deadline to receive submissions and materials is Friday, October 14, 2011 by 5 p.m. The deadline to join ASIFA-Hollywood or to renew membership in order to participate in the Annie Award voting is Friday, November 4, 2011. Membership information can be found at www.asifa-hollywood.org.

41 Entertainment Delivers Pilot of “Blake: Double Identity”

41 Entertainment LLC (“41e”), the New York, London and Barcelona based animation production and distribution company announced today that it has delivered the full pilot of its new 2D-3D animated show, Blake: Double Identity® (www.blake-doubleidentity.com) and is embarking on a global road show to allow major customers to screen it prior to MIPCOM.

Co-produced with RGH (Rubicon Group Holding) Studios, the pilot reflects the full range of 2D and 3D animation.

“This is an espionage program with lots of humour produced in part by talented artists in Barcelona, Berlin, Manila, Amman, London and Los Angeles,” states Allen Bohbot, Managing Director of 41e and Executive Producer.

Adds David Corbett, Executive Producer at RGH Studios in Los Angeles, “This project appealed to us from the very beginning. While we knew the complex mix of 2D and 3D animation would be challenging, this is precisely what makes the project exciting and we are thrilled to be a co-production partner.”

The series (26 x 22’) is in production and scheduled to be delivered at the end of 2012. We are also in discussions for a stereoscopic 3D feature (1 x 80’) based on these characters and storyline for 2013.

“Our plan is to present the pilot to all of the major customers who have patiently waited for its release and to sign deals to be announced at MIPCOM,” states Cynthia Kennedy, VP of Sales and Marketing at 41e, “as well as to allow all to screen the materials at both MIP Junior and MIPCOM.”

Randa Ayoubi, CEO of RGH – Rubicon Group Holding, added, “This new co-production with 41e is another example of our mission to partner with the most respected creative forces in the kids industry and stretch the limits of animation technology to produce the highest quality programming for a global audience.”

Directed by Will Meugnot, with Art Supervision by Torsten Schrank and Written by Andy Briggs, this project reflects the full collaboration by 3D artists in Jordan and 2D artists in Europe and Manila, all supervised in Los Angeles with music and voice recordings in London at Tamborine.

The Company will be launching this new FIRST RUN property at MIP Junior and MIPCOM (Booth 09.19).

“The Chuck Jones Experience” Opens at Circus Circus Las Vegas in October 2011


HOLLYWOOD, CA, August 17, 2011 — The legacy and creativity of Chuck Jones, one of animation’s pioneering director-producers, will be brought to life with the opening of The Chuck Jones Experience, an interactive exhibit at Circus Circus Las Vegas designed to “Educate, Inspire & Entertain” people of all ages. The attraction will celebrate its grand opening in mid-October with a press conference featuring some of animation’s brightest stars.

A four-time Academy Award-recipient, Jones created some of today’s most beloved and enduring animated characters including Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner and Pepé le Pew among many others. In 1999, with the establishment of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, Chuck Jones envisioned a time when people of all ages could explore their creativity…when all ideas would be welcome, when inspiration would be nurtured without prejudice, and creativity would blossom and grow. The Chuck Jones Experience, utilizing the art, writings and films of Jones, will nurture that spirit of creativity in an environment that is playful, lively, inspirational and educational. The project is being developed by Jones’ grandson, Craig Kausen, Jones’ daughter, Linda Jones Clough, and a group of Chuck Jones fans who have believed in and supported its creation for years.

“My grandfather said that if you provide the right materials and an environment of love, creative magic will come out of young people,” said Kausen. “The Chuck Jones Experience will provide kids, and animation fans of all ages, with an extraordinary place to not only learn about the art of animation, but to discover the creativity and magic that’s inside us all. We are thrilled to kick off Chuck’s Centennial year with the opening of this exciting new venture.”

The Chuck Jones Experience is a nearly 10,000 square-foot destination. At its entrance is the 1,000 square-foot glass-enclosed Chuck Jones Center for Creativity class room where creative art projects will be encouraged and guided by teachers from the field of animation and the arts. Heading inside, your first stop is the Chuck Jones Theatre, designed to simulate a 1930s-style movie theater. There, you’ll meet Chuck Jones via a short film, introduced by one of his characters, the Connecticut Cat.

Moving on, you’ll walk down a virtual street surrounded by many of Jones’ most memorable characters and a timeline of his extraordinary life. Next, you’ll arrive at a re-creation of Jones’ studio, where you’ll see how he worked, and discover what inspired him to create his beloved characters. From there, you‘ll enter the “How Do You Measure Up?” room where 3-D characters are on display. You’ll learn more about how characters are developed and experience some of the original key drawings Jones drew during the creation of these characters.

Continuing along, you can view some of Jones’ fine art work from various periods in his life and see classic photos of him, his fellow animators and his family. This leads into “Animation Alley,” a multimedia wall where animation pieces are on display from the permanent collection of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and from other animation studios and collections.

Finally, you’ll arrive at the Acme Workshop, where you can create your own sound effects and voiceovers for a Chuck Jones cartoon at the Chuck Jones Experience Foley Stage. You can commemorate your experience forever at the Chuck Jones Experience Gift Shop with a variety of creative gifts and souvenirs.

“My father knew that creativity was the key to any innovation and breakthrough and therefore it must be encouraged and supported in order for society to succeed,” added Jones Clough. “It has been our family’s dream to develop locations where creativity could flourish. We established the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Orange County, CA, as a first step in bringing this vision to life. The opening of The Chuck Jones Experience represents a delightful next step in making creativity accessible to everyone, whether they’re visiting Las Vegas, or living nearby.”

“We are pleased to be joining forces with such a great partner as Circus Circus to make this project a reality,” continued Kausen. “Creative inspiration can be achieved in a very short time and being on vacation is a perfect time to tap into it. Circus Circus is well known for the fun and wonderment it inspires in guests, and it’s a crossroads for travelers from around the world. These qualities make it a great location for The Chuck Jones Experience.”

“The Chuck Jones Experience is an exciting addition to our assortment of family-friendly entertainment offerings at Circus Circus and we are honored to become home to such a fascinating interactive attraction,” said Don Thrasher, president and chief operating officer of Circus Circus. “This experience is unlike anything else in Las Vegas and it is certain to create hours of fun and enlightenment for guests of all ages.”

“Speaking on behalf of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, I am very excited that the programs which have been so successful here will be accessible by a much broader group of people at The Chuck Jones Experience,” said Tracy Tanner, president of the Chuck Jones Council for Creativity.

How Pixar Artists Wish Someone Happy Birthday

Ronald Searle drawing by Jamie Baker

The legendary British illustrator and cartoonist Ronald Searle turned 91 years old last March, and for a good fifty of those years he’s been influencing and inspiring animation artists around the world. That’s why Pixar story artist (and Ronald Searle expert) Matt Jones wanted to do something special to celebrate the occasion of Searle’s birthday. So he asked the artists at Pixar to fill up a sketchbook with tributes and mailed it to Searle, who lives in southern France.

Over 70 artists participated including Jason Deamer, Ralph Eggleston, Teddy Newton, Ronnie Del Carmen, Erik Benson, Josh Cooley, Jamie Baker (artwork above), Bill Presing, Emma Coats, Victor Navone, Mark Andrews, Enrico Casarosa and Pete Docter. You can see all of the drawings and paintings created for the book on the Happy 91st Birthday Ronald Searle blog. Upon receiving the book a few months ago, Searle responded, “It was worth hanging on for 91 years to receive such a gem.”

“t.o.m.” by Tom Brown and Daniel Gray

I saw Tom Brown and Daniel Gray’s t.o.m. several years ago, when it played the festival circuit in 2007 (winning the top student prize at Annecy that year). This charming film deceptively walks the line between innocent and twisted. I hadn’t known it was on the net until our colleagues at Motionographer posted it yesterday. Since 2009, Brown and Gray have been running Holbrooks Films in the UK, producing stylish commercials and viral pieces.

Lantz piece spotted in Columbia Picture

Here’s one of the most trivial discoveries in all my years of cartoon research.

So last night I was catching up on some movies I recorded off TCM and in the middle of a 1944 Columbia Pictures B-musical, Kansas City Kitty (1944, Directed by Del Lord), star Joan Davis is standing in the office of a music publisher. On the wall behind her (see frame grab below) are several pieces of sheet music tacked to the wall. It isn’t hard to notice that one of them is Cow Cow Boogie, from the Universal Walter Lantz cartoon, with a cover by Alex Lovy.

It just goes to show, you never know where references to classic cartoons will show up…


Here’s a close up of the real deal…