The Best Halloween Costumes of 2011

Fear not! The dastardly Dan Backslide won’t win this round. The Dover Boys–Tom, Dick and Larry–have come to the rescue!

Dover Boys

Actually, the quartet behind this brilliant classic cartoon tribute is a group of animation students who attend the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Andy Scherman is Tom, Adam Coren is Dick, Morgan Bobo is Larry and Robert Crisalli is Dan Backslide. All are seniors except Crisalli who is a junior.

Dover Boys

Dover Boys

Dover Boys

Dover Boys

Most readers should be familiar with the Chuck Jones cartoon being celebrated, but in case you’re not, go and watch The Dover Boys at Pimento University.

Chicago Hosts Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation

The Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation showcases abstract animation and unconventional character animation that is innovative, challenging and inspiring. Festival programs feature outstanding experimental animation of all sorts: classic films, new works, and rare masterpieces.

The Eyeworks programs showcase a range of animation techniques, including paper cutouts, stop-motion, computer animation, camera-less films, and a wide variety of hand-drawn methods. The content of the films is even more varied, and includes cosmic collages, psychedelic characters, surrealistic narratives, and pioneering work with computer animation.

The 2011 festival will feature animator Lori Damiano in person, who will present a program of her films, including a preview screening of Lord I: The Records Keeper. Other festival highlights include Joie de Vivre, an art nouveau fantasy ballet from 1936, and Cibernetik 5.3, an extremely rare psychedelic computer animation from the early 1960′s by John Stehura

Eyeworks celebrates animated moving images that express unusual vision, unusual approaches, and unusual style.

Festival directors: Lilli Carré and Alexander Stewart

Program One

Saturday, November 5, 3:00 pm

80 minutes

Robert Breer – LMNO 9:30, 1978

Zeitguised – Peripetics 3:20, 2009

Max Hattler – AANAATT 4:45, 2010

Bill Porter – On Time Off 4:21, 2008

Thorsten Fleisch – Kosmos 5:30, 2004

Mike Maryniuk – Tattoo Step 1:11, 2008

Barry Spinello – Soundtrack 10:00, 1969

James Otis – Jacob’s Ladder 4:00, 1981

Ed Ackerman – Primiti Too Taa 3:00, 1986

Atsushi Wada – In A Pig’s Eye 10:00, 2010

Lei Lei – Magic Cube and Ping-Pong 4:04, 2009

Niki Lindroth von Bahr – Tord and Tord 10:44, 2010

Peter Larsson – Seven Days in the Woods 6:00, 2010

Anthony Gross and Hector Hoppin – Joie de Vivre 9:00, 1936

Program Two: Festival Guest Lori Damiano

Saturday, November 5, 6:00 pm

Portland animator Lori Damiano will present a program of her work, including a special preview screening of her hand-drawn animation “Lord I: The Records Keeper.” Lori D’s highly energetic animations and illustrations have a distinctive graphic style and charm, and she has done work for a wide range of clients, including Yo Gabba Gabba, Girl Skateboard Co., and Bonnie Prince Billy. She earned an MFA in Experimental Animation from CalArts, and is the Animation Department Chair at the California State Summer School for the Arts. She writes a monthly column in The Skateboard Mag called “The Learnings of,” and works with the Independent Publishing Resource Center in Portland.

www.lori-d.com

Program Three

Sunday, November 6, 1:00 pm

65 minutes

Len Lye – Tusalava 10:00, 1929

Takashi Ito – Thunder 5:00, 1985

Eric Patrick – Ablution 13:00, 2001

Gary Beydler – Glass Face 3:00, 1975

Jesse McManus – Macavity 3:00, 2011

Bendik Kaltenborn – The End 10:00, 2008

Eric Dyer – The Bellows March 5:30, 2009

John Stehura – Cibernetik 5.3 8:00, 1961-65

Paul Bush – While Darwin Sleeps 5:00, 2004

Johan Rijpma – Tape Generations 2:30, 2011

Program Four

Sunday, November 6, 3:30 pm

70 minutes

Paul Rayment – Piano 2:00, 2010

Josh Bonnetta – First Snow 2:00, 2004

Larry Jordan – Solar Sight 15:00, 2011

Scott Wolniak – Work Movie 2:40, 2001

Laura Heit – The Deep Dark 7:07, 2011

Takashi Sawa – Mathematica 8:00, 2000

Priit and Olga Pärn – Divers in the Rain 24:00, 2010

Nicolas Mahler – Mystery Music 5:00, 2009

Dalibor Baric – Pain so light that it appears as tickle 4:05, 2010

Looping program

Playing on monitors on view in the theater lobby throughout the festival

Julie Doucet - I Need An Escape Plan

Phenakistoscopes by Florent Ruppert and Jerome Mulot

Google Announces YouTube’s New Original Channels (Including Two Animated Channels)

Wonderful things happen when cool technology meets great entertainment. Cable television expanded our viewing possibilities from just a handful of channels to hundreds, and brought us some of the most defining media experiences of the last few decades— think MTV, ESPN and CNN. Today, the web is bringing us entertainment from an even wider range of talented producers, and many of the defining channels of the next generation are being born, and watched, on YouTube.

Today we’re announcing that even more talented creators and original entertainment will soon join YouTube’s existing channel lineup, including channels created by well-known personalities and content producers from the TV, film, music, news, and sports fields, as well as some of the most innovative up-and-coming media companies in the world and some of YouTube’s own existing partners. These channels will have something for everyone, whether you’re a mom, a comedy fan, a sports nut, a music lover or a pop-culture maven.

Our goal with this channels expansion, along with the grants and educational programs we’ve launched in the past year, is to bring an even broader range of entertainment to YouTube, giving you more reasons to keep coming back again and again. And for advertisers, these channels will represent a new way to engage and reach their global consumers.

The first of these new original channels will appear on YouTube starting next month and continuing over the next year. They’ll be available to you on any internet-connected device, anywhere in the world, with all the interactivity and social features of YouTube built right in.

For a sneak peak, check out the list of partners and channels below. We’ll have more information very soon:

Alchemy Networks, Alchemy Networks
Alli Sports, Alli Sports
Bedrocket Media Ventures, Official Comedy
Bedrocket Media Ventures and Full Picture Productions, Look TV
Bedrocket Media Ventures & Wasserman Media Group, Network A
BermanBraun, theLOGE
BermanBraun & Rodale Inc., Vigor
BermanBraun & Rodale Inc., Taste
Big Frame, BAM
Black Box TV, Black Box TV (Anthony E. Zuiker, Tony E. Valenzuela, and Collective Digital Studio)
Bleacher Report, Bleacher Report
Brady Haran, DeepSkyVideos
Brady Haran, numberphile
CafeMom, CafeMom Studios
Chopra Media/Generate, The Chopra Well
Clevver Media, ClevverStyle
Clevver Media, ClevverNews
Clevver Media, ClevverTeVe
Comedy Shaq Network, The Comedy Shaq Network
Cooking Up a Story, Food Farmer Earth
DanceOn, DanceOn
DECA, KinCommunity
Demand Media, eHow Home
Demand Media, LIVESTRONG
Demand Media, eHow Pets & Animals
Digital Broadcasting Group (DBG), Spaces
East of Center Productions LLC, YOMYOMF
Electus, Pop Culture Channel (name TBD)
Electus NuevOn, Latin Channel
Electus, Food Channel (name TBD)
Emil Rensing International, Auto Channel (name TBD)
EQAL, u look haute!
Everyday Health, Inc., Everyday Health TV
EYEBOOGIE, POP SPOT
FAWN by Michelle Phan
Fine Brothers Productions, MyMusic
Frederator Networks, Channel Frederator’s Cartoon Hangover
FremantleMedia Channel, Pets & Animal (name TBD)
Hearst Magazines, Fashion & Beauty Channel (name TBD)
Hearst Magazines, Car and Driver Television
Iconic, Life and Times
IconicTV, 123UnoDosTres
IconicTV, myISH
IGN Entertainment / Shine Group, START
Intelligent Television, Intelligent Channel
Jon M. Chu, Dance Channel (name TBD)
Katalyst, Thrash Lab
Knights of Good Productions, Geek & Sundry (with Felicia Day)
Lionsgate, Lionsgate Fitness Channel
Machinima, Machinima
Magical Elves and InStyle magazine, Little Black Dress
Maker Studios, The Maker Music Network
Maker Studios, The Moms’ View
Maker Studios, Tutele
Meredith Corporation and Meredith Video Studios, Digs
ModernMom, ModernMom Channel
Mondo Media, New Animators
monotransistor, werevertumorro
My Damn Channel, My Damn Channel: Live
New Nation Networks, New Nation Networks
Pharrell Williams, i am OTHER
Philip Defranco, Sourcefed
Pitchfork, Pitchfork TV
PMC, PMC Entertainment News
Radical Media, Education Channel (name TBD)
Red Bull Media House North America, Red Bull
Roadside Entertainment/BAC, The NOC
SB Nation, SB Nation
Seedwell, American Hipster
Slate, Slate News Channel
Smart Girls at the Party, Smart Girls at the Party
Smosh/Alloy Digital, Smosh Animation
Soccer United Marketing & Bedrocket, KickTV
SoulPancake Productions, SoulPancake
Source Interlink Media, Motor Trend
Steve Spangler Science, The Spangler Effect
TakePartâ„¢, TakePartâ„¢ TV
TED Conferences, TEDEducation
The Bowery Presents, The Bowery Presents
The Nerdist Channel, The Nerdist Channel
The Onion, Onion Broadcasting Company
The Wall Street Journal, The Wall Street Journal
The Young Turks, Town Square
Thomson Reuters, Reuters.com
Tony Hawk’s production company, 900 Films, Inc., RIDE Channel
Uncommon Content Partners, The Conversation Channel
Uncommon Content Partners, Taste & Access
Varsity Pictures, Awesomeness
VICE, VICE
VICE, Noisey
Vlogbrothers, CrashCourse
Vlogbrothers, SciShow
Vuguru & POW! Entertainment, Stan Lee’s World of Heroes
Walter Latham Digital, Walter Latham’s “Kings of Comedy”
WWE, WWE Fan Nation
Young Hollywood, Young Hollywood Network

New York’s SVA Computer Art To Host Evening of Animated Thesis Projects November 5th


SVA Computer Art is pleased to present an evening of thesis projects by eleven alumni from the class of 2011 at the Big Screen Plaza. Visit us during our Open House Saturday November 5th, 2011. For more info go to www.svacomputerart.com

The projects being screened are:

Witch October
Jason Bakutis
SVA Computer Art Jury Award for Best in Show
Accepted and Screened at MetroCAF 2011

Subject Code Q80-203
Yunsung Cho
SVA Computer Art Award for Outstanding Achievement
Bounty + Hunter
Eugene Chu
SVA Computer Art Award for Outstanding Achievement
Accepted and Screened at MetroCAF 2011

Rabbitkadabra
Dave Chen, Naomi Chen, Michelle Czajkowski & Krzysztof Fus
Jury Award for Best in Show
Special Recognition Jury Award at MetroCAF 2011

Celsius
Jared Eng
SVA Computer Art Award for Outstanding Achievement

Aquatic Bloom
Susie Hong & Bo Kyeong Kim
SVA C /b>Award for Outstanding Achievement
Accepted and Screened at MetroCAF 2011

Toast
Henry Jean
SVA Computer Art Award for Outstanding Achievement

King Killian
James McKenzie
SVA Computer Art Award for Outstanding Achievement
Special Recognition Jury Award at MetroCAF 2011

Hz
Seungmi Nam
SVA Computer Art Award for Outstanding Achievement

Cipher
Catherine Nguyen
SVA Computer Art Award for Outstanding Achievement

Sad Robot :-(
David Wendl
SVA Computer Art Award for Outstanding Achievement

HAPPY HALLOWEEN: “Duck Pimples”

Let’s celebrate Halloween with the creepiest Disney short ever made: Jack Kinney’s Duck Pimples. It’s quite unlike any of Kinney’s Goofy shorts from the same period, not to mention unlike any short ever produced at Disney. The weirdness may be attributed to the writing team of Dick Shaw and weirdo-genius Virgil Partch, who were parodying radio crime/noir dramas, but veered off into some wildly surreal territory. It’s not exactly a great cartoon, but it’s entertaining, which I can’t say for most other Disney shorts. The animation is top-drawer work, and the human character designs are big fun. The effect of Donald’s hallucinatory dream is enhanced by the backgrounds that abruptly change each time a new character appears in the film.

The biggest mystery in this whodunnit is who’s responsible for the animation of Pauline, which is one of the finest pieces of cartoony female animation this side of Preston Blair. Milt Kahl is the most likely candidate if we look at the credits, but Marc Davis and Fred Moore have both been credited as working on the cartoon too (see Graham Webb’s Animated Film Encyclopedia). Disney didn’t use a strict unit system in the 1940s like other studios; usually whichever animators had downtime would work on a short, so it’s conceivable that Kahl, Moore and Davis all contributed to Pauline’s animation. Now that’s a scary amount of talent!

A Lost SNOW WHITE Lyric – found!

Here’s one for you Disney historians and cartoon musicologists. Brew reader Eric Graf has made a remarkable find which I hadn’t heard (literally!) before. I’ll let Eric, in his own words, share his research with you. Says Eric:

“Yesterday I found a 78 that I’d been searching for for years … the Victor Records soundtrack of the Dwarfs’ Yodel Song (aka “The Silly Song”) from Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.

“Here’s the story as I understand it: Snow White was banned in Boston (and a few other cities IIRC) because of a verse in the Yodel Song that was supposedly off-color. Disney removed it from the Boston prints, and at some point also removed it from all the other versions of the movie.

“Since then Disney’s gone out of their way to pretend it never happened. It’s not included, or even mentioned, on any home video release I’m aware of, and it also isn’t on the Disney Snow White soundtrack CDs. But it WAS included on side 5 of the soundtrack album released by Victor Records in early 1938.

“My copy hails from the mid-40s, but it’s pressed from the original 1938 metal parts. The deleted verse is the one Sneezy sings starting at 1:04. It’s not off-color by today’s standards. Maybe a little unsanitary though… (Click to play embed sound file below)


“But here’s something else interesting, that I discovered while syncing up the 78 with a YouTube video of the song (Feh, wrong aspect ratio): The 78 is missing the dwarf’s vocals on the choruses.

“The chorus at :52, which starts with Snow White giggling, doesn’t match the backing track that’s in the movie (YouTube 1:09), but it does match the animation WAY better than the current version – if you ignore the singing dwarfs in the background. Snow White is obviously giggling on-screen (a perfect match to the 78), and the drum thing fits beautifully with Happy’s dance. On the current soundtrack – no giggling, no drum thing. But they’re singing.

“Then you get to the second sung chorus (at 1:51 on both the record and YouTube) – and the dwarf’s mouths aren’t moving! The onscreen dwarfs start singing at 1:59 with the yodeling – which is where they start on the 78 as well.

“The mid-50s Disneyland LP issue of the Snow White soundtrack matches the current version. Therefore, my inner Sherlock maintains that the 78 is the original mix, and that the vocals were left out of the movie by accident. They fixed the mistake at some point, but then they made another mistake – which still stands today – when they added vocals to the other chorus as well.”

“Tintin” Euro-talkback

The press is beginning to report on the huge European opening box office figures for Steven Spielberg’s mo-cap adapatation of The Adventures of Tintin. The feature opened in many countries (including France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K.) this past weekend. Have any our readers seen it? How does it work as a film? How fluent in Hergé do you need to be to enjoy it? Is the mo-cap at the high level of Avatar – or sink to the Mars Needs Moms depths?

November 18-20 in Burbank: CTN EXPO III

First off: In case you haven’t bought your tickets yet – the CTN Expo is two and a half weeks away. What are you waiting for? This is our “Comic Con” and it is going to sell out. Anyone who’s attended the previous CTN shows know that this event is the closest thing we have to an animation artist and creators convention in the United States – and its a helluva lot of fun. (That’s Peter De Seve above, addressing the appreciative crowd in 2009).

This year’s CTNX is set for November 18-20, and organizer Tina Price is planning bigger and better panels, seminars and exhibits. Like what? Like this:

On stage interviews with Oscar Grillo, Bill Plympton, Eric Goldberg, Andreas Deja, Florian Satzinger, and Carlos Grangel; Panels and special events including a “one on one” with French graphic novel artist Régis Loisel moderated by Christophe Lautrette (Dreamwoks); sneak preview of Aardman’s latest feature Arthur Christmas; a creature creators panel with Terryl Whitlatch, William Stout, Greg Baldwin and David Thomas Guertin; and a seminar on DIY Self Publishing with David Colman, Sean “Cheeks” Galloway and Stephen Silver.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s over 150 planned sessions, a sold-out exhibit floor, book signings, gallery shows, live demonstrations, sneak peak screenings, networking at night …and, of course, The Cartoon Brew Over-Flow Lounge (a place to hang in case you can’t get into your favorite panel – or just wanna grab a drink!). I’ll be there. I’ll be in the exhibit room. I’ll be moderating panels.

You’ve been warned… Register Now (Cartoon Brew discount code: CBREWX11). For even more info on the CTN Expo, click here. See you there.

“Puss In Boots” talkback

Dreamworks’ Puss In Boots (directed by Chris Miller) opens today and I really liked it. Michael O’Sullivan says it best in his review in The Washington Post: “Almost shockingly good. And not just because a lot of you will approach it with lowered expectations.”

It’s visually beautiful, the 3D is actually great and the story was fun and exciting. There is always something going on, every moment seems to be either a funny gag or an action sequence; the whole film mixes fantasy, adventure and humor in a very pleasing way. The only flaw is the carry-over of ugly human character design, already established in the Dreamworks’ Shrek universe. I’ll give them a pass on this, as the film is supposed to connect as a prequel to Shrek. All the new anthropomorphic characters, including Humpty Alexander Dumpty and Kitty Softpaws, are terrific – and picture, on the whole, is absolutely worth a view.

What did you think? Here’s our talkback post and we welcome your point of view. (The comments thread is open only to those who have seen the film – all other comments will be deleted)

News Around The Net for Friday, October 28, 2011

iPad Star Swampy To Star In Disney Web Toon (Animation Magazine)

Japanese Anime Film Festival Opens In Islamabad (Pakistan Observer)

Touched By An Angel star Roma Downey Produces Bible Animation (Christian Post)

Animation biz leads China’s cultural exports (ChinaDaily.com)

Disney Channel To Launch In Russia (Deadline)

Saban Names Sony’s Joshua Milton Director of Digital Production (LicenseMag.com)

Dreamworks Animation Extends Contract of CMO Anne Globe

GLENDALE, Calif., Oct. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) today announced the extension of Anne Globe’s employment agreement. As the Company’s Chief Marketing Officer, Globe will continue to have responsibility for overseeing all global marketing activity, including corporate brand-building as well as theatrical, television, and ancillary marketing efforts for all of DreamWorks Animation’s properties.

“I am thrilled that Anne is going to continue in her leadership role at DreamWorks Animation as our Chief Marketing Officer,” said DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Katzenberg. “Her creativity, dedication and amazingly hard work over the last 15 years have been vital to establishing DreamWorks Animation as a premiere family entertainment company.”

“As the DreamWorks Animation brand grows both in the U.S. and internationally, I look forward to working with my team in the pursuit of global marketing efforts that highlight the amazing creative work done by our artists every day,” added Globe. “It is an incredibly exciting time at the Company as we look around the corner at the many opportunities we have to build on all that DreamWorks Animation has accomplished to date.”

Globe is currently focused on the launch of Puss In Boots, which hits theaters today. Earlier this year, she oversaw the successful launch of Kung Fu Panda 2, the #1 animated movie and the fourth highest-grossing film of 2011 on a global basis. Since joining DreamWorks in 1996, Globe has created and implemented all consumer products and promotional campaigns for DreamWorks Animation’s feature films and other creative properties. Prior to joining DreamWorks, she served as Vice President of Promotions at MCA/Universal. Globe began her marketing career at The Walt Disney Studios.

Early Signed Walt Disney Drawing Going To Public Auction

On November 29th and 30th at the Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno, Nevada, Holabird and Kagin Americana will give collectors the opportunity to bid on a unique collection that shows the genesis of a career and man that has become a worldwide icon in the world of entertainment. Hitting the auction block is an original, autographed, very early illustration by Walt Disney, entitled “Fill Up My Can”. The pen and ink work was done in the early 1920s, most likely prior to Mickey Mouse, who didn’t make his screen debut until 1928. The collection also includes several stock certificates issued by the O-Zell Jelly Company of Chicago, including what may be the very first stock ever issued to Walt.

These items were formerly owned by Walt Disney, his parents Flora and Elias, and his sister Ruth. They may be the only surviving O-Zell items known to exist. In the spring of 1917 Elias Disney, had tired of the newspaper delivery business and decided to make a career change, which also included bringing his youngest son, Walter into the venture. There is a distinct possibility that family revenue gained from work at the O-Zell Company gave Walt his first needed grub stake that allowed him to venture into the world of animation.  While it’s’ unknown what happened to the O-Zell Jelly Company in later years, that 16-year old kid from Kansas went on to make quite a name for himself.

This once-in-a-lifetime offering of incredible collectibles from America’s rich animation history, and the man that built it, is free and open to the public. The collection is estimated to bring $70,000-$100,000. For more information on the auction or to request an auction catalog, call 775-852-8822 or visit www.HolabirdAmericana.com. The Ruth Disney archive is part of the “2011 Grand Finale Auction” of Holabird-Kagin Americana and is also available for viewing and bidding on the internet through the company’s website.

th1ng Creates Animated Commercial for Cadbury’s Screme Egg

Mixed media and animation production company th1ng has directed and produced a new animated commercial to promote Cadbury Screme Egg during the Halloween season.

The advert, commissioned by Fallon, is a 10-second stop motion animation directed by th1ng’s Tom, Dick and Harry and is being shown on digital screens in Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham.

The execution is based on the brand’s infectious sense of humour and features an animated Screme Egg once again trying to devise gruesome ideas to get its goo out. In the spirit of Halloween the Egg goes for a medieval iron maiden and explosively executes itself making the familiar goo sounds with a goo ‘splat’ effect at the end.

As part of an integrated campaign to increase consumer awareness and drive sales, the outdoor advertising is supported by a print campaign featuring stills taken by th1ng.

Credits:

Project name: Screme egg
Client: Cadbury
Advertising agency: Fallon
Creative director: Shish Patel
Director: Tom Dick & Harry
Producer: Ru Warner
Production company: th1ng

Target Ent. Founder Steps Down As CEO

London: Leading rights management company Target Entertainment is today announcing a key change to its management team as founder Alison Rayson steps down from her position as CEO and hires a new Managing Director, Emmanuelle Namiech.

Rayson has taken the decision to leave the company after 13 years to explore new ventures, but leaves the company in a strong position following the sale last year to Metrodome Group. She has worked closely with Metrodome’s Chairman and CEO Mark Webster to bring in a Managing Director with the skills and experience to continue Target’s growth both in the UK and internationally.

Emmanuelle Namiech joins Target in November with a wealth of experience and track record in international rights management. Most recently she was Senior VP Global Content at Fremantle Media Enterprises and prior to that was Director of Acquisitions and Co-productions at ITV Global Entertainment. Previous positions have included Director of Acquisitions and Co-productions at Granada International and Territory and Co-production Manager at Carlton International.

In her new role, Namiech will work with Mark Webster and the management team at Target to expand the company’s core business of international rights management.

Commenting on her decision to leave Target, Alison Rayson says: “It has been an incredibly tough decision to make, but also a positive and amicable decision. I am proud of how far Target has come since I founded it 13 years ago, but now feel ready to explore new opportunities in my professional life. I’m happy leaving the company in a strong commercial position and in the hands of an incredibly capable new MD.”

Rayson will continue to work on specific projects with the company but has no further announcements to make on future plans at this stage.

Mark Webster Chairman and CEO of Metrodome Group PLC commented said: “Alison not only founded the company but has built it up over 13 successful years and after Metrodome Group plc took over Target in 2010, Alison has continued to show energy, initiative and commitment to her and our business. She will be missed greatly by us, but we appreciate that the time is right for her to seek a fresh challenge elsewhere. We are delighted to welcome an MD of Emmanuelle’s calibre to Target and look forward to working with her to further expand the company. Emmanuelle will be taking over the day to day running of the business on Alison’s departure and there will be handover with the business continuing as normal going forward.”

Emmanuelle Namiech added: “Target is an exciting company at a key stage of its evolution and I am thrilled to be working with Mark and the team to expand the business further. With support from Metrodome Group we plan to have an enviable portfolio of properties with worldwide appeal.”

MTV talkback: “Good Vibes” and “Beavis & Butt-head”

MTV revives its commitment to animation with the much ballyhooed revival of Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-head and the premiere of David Gordon Green’s Good Vibes.

Can Beavis survive in MTV’s post-Snooky universe? Does Good Vibes hold its own against the animated shows from Fox, Adult Swim and Comedy Central? It’s your turn to let everyone know what you think. (Please only post below if you’ve watched tonight’s shows – we will delete those who haven’t).

“How Beavis Saved My Life” by John Andrews

When it started airing on MTV in 1993, Beavis and Butt-Head was more than just a popular animated series, it was a cultural phenomenon. Its subversive humor centered around two terminally moronic teenagers became a hit with MTV’s viewership, not to mention a lightning rod for controversy and a focal point for discussion on the state of American culture: was the show promoting ignorance or a sly commentary on the inanity of contemporary society? The debate continued throughout the 1990s as Mike Judge’s dimwitted creations rocketed to stardom.

Tonight a new episode of Beavis & Butt-Head will air on MTV for the first time in 14 years. It remains to be seen whether the new incarnation can connect with a snarkier Internet-bred generation, but to mark the occasion, we thought it would be fitting to take a look back at the show’s roots. Cartoon Brew invited the show’s original producer, John Andrews, to write a personal essay recalling his experiences as a key member of the original crew and tell us about the behind-the-scene challenges of producing the show in the early nineties.

Andrews was hired in 1992 to produce MTV’s new series Beavis & Butt-Head and stayed for several years. He co-produced the 1996 feature Beavis & Butt-Head Do America with Abby Terkuhle. After a subsequent 13-year run at Klasky Csupo, he is now at Six Point Harness running 6 Point Media.

Beavis and Butt-Head

HOW BEAVIS SAVED MY LIFE
by John Andrews

I’m a fan of Mike Judge. In all my years working with animation creators, I have met very few others who have known their own creations with the thoroughness and vision Mike had from the very beginning. This is the true story of how Beavis & Butt-Head found me and changed my life.

* * * * *

As a budding animation producer with a few slightly tamer animation projects to my credit, mostly for PBS, I had the opportunity to jump into the job of producing the animated shorts and music video commentaries that MTV had ordered as the first season of Beavis & Butt-Head. For me this led to a five year run producing the series, co-producing the feature and launching a number of other MTV animated projects. But it all started with a leap onto a train that had already left the station, a series that already had an air-date, first scripts on the table and a whole lot of animation ahead with only a few months to make sense of it all and get something on air.

I moved to New York from Providence, Rhode Island, in 1981 with my rock band The Mundanes. The early eighties recession got the best of us and we all moved on. I settled in to a life of producing graphics and animation for TV and trade shows. I even won a few Emmys for the goofy Monty Python-esque animations that partner Todd Ruff and I put together for a business series called Adam Smith’s Money World in the mid to late eighties. But by 1990, life was getting dull.

Then I got the opportunity to produce the animation for a series called The Creative Spirit for PBS, underwritten by IBM. That series gave me the opportunity to sit at Chuck Jones’ feet for a day long interview/shoot and to meet many terrific animators including Alison Snowden and David Fine, Maciek Albrecht, the folks at Buzzco, Joey Ahlbum and several other denizens of the New York scene.

One relationship I gained out of working on that series was with John Canemaker. He created wonderful animations for the series and became a real friend in that period. One night I went to a party with John, a party thrown in honor of some animators from the film board of Canada. As we stood amidst the crowd, I said to John “Who should I meet in this room?” Without hesitation he answered “Linda Simensky”. Linda was then a part of the development team at Nickelodeon. Linda and I hit it off immediately, finding that we shared a taste for off-beat bands and went to a couple of shows together over the next few months.

* * * * *

With The Creative Spirit under my belt, I was ready for new work opportunities, but following the rule to never appear needy in the job market, when talking to Linda I always stressed how much I enjoyed my job but how open I was to anything else that might come along. Well one day she called to say MTV had signed Mike Judge to create a series called Beavis & Butt-Head based on some shorts Mike had done for Spike & Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival. MTV’s VP of on-air promotion Abby Terkuhle had called her looking for producing candidates. It sounded good to me. So Linda helped arrange an interview.

The story continues after the jump.
Continue reading

“Don’t Swim After Lunch” by Jens Blank

Jens Blank’s imaginative new film Don’t Swim After Lunch was created for a traveling art exhibition that started in London and went on to Shanghai and Beijing. Says Blank:

It’s my take on daydreaming and changing everyday environments into something exciting. It was done over the stretch of 6 weeks grinding away in my room. Live action, Maya, AE, and pfTrack. You can find info on crew, concept art, behind the scenes on my webpage.

CREDITS
Direction & Design – Jens Blank
Cinematography – David Liddell
Sound Design – Jussi Honka
Music – David Pringle
Additional animation – Bence Varga & Balogh Zsolt

Michael Eisner’s Vuguru Partners with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment For Original Digital Content

Comic book legend Stan Lee and his company POW! Entertainment Inc. (OTCQB: POWN) today announced a partnership to produce original digital content with Michael Eisner’s independent studio Vuguru. The deal brings together two storied powerhouses in the world of entertainment that will produce and distribute studio quality films, episodic series and a variety of digital content across multiple platforms.

“As a fan of Stan Lee and the iconic characters he has created, we are thrilled to work together with POW! Entertainment,” said Larry Tanz, President of Vuguru. “This is a tremendous opportunity to bring compelling and heroic stories to a mass audience.”

POW! Entertainment’s President, Gill Champion said, “This announcement is an important move for POW! Entertainment and Stan Lee. It is the start of an exciting new chapter that will enable us to expand our storytelling into the digital realm and more quickly and effectively reach our global audience. Stan and the creative team are delighted to begin developing new worlds and amazing characters and cannot think of a better partner than Vuguru to help realize this ambition.”

Scott Nocas, a seasoned digital strategist who formerly held positions at Microsoft Xbox and Sony Network Entertainment, has been helping build out POW! Entertainment’s digital strategy, brokered the deal and will now help the companies further expand and develop opportunities.

Nocas, added, “The opportunity to create a collaboration between POW! Entertainment and Vuguru presented an unmistakably unique opportunity. To bring together the iconic Stan Lee brand alongside one of the most innovative digital content studios was a rare and exciting proposition. Their collaboration will certainly lead to a whole new experience in storytelling.”

Stan Lee is known to millions as the man whose Super Heroes propelled Marvel to its preeminent position in the comic book industry, Stan Lee’s co-creations include Spider-Manâ„¢, The Incredible Hulkâ„¢, X-Menâ„¢, The Fantastic Fourâ„¢, Iron Manâ„¢, Daredevilâ„¢, Silver Surferâ„¢ and Dr. Strangeâ„¢. In 1977, he introduced Spider-Man as a syndicated newspaper strip that became the most successful of all syndicated adventure strips and now appears in more than 500 newspapers worldwide — making it the longest-running of all Super Hero strips. In November 2001 he founded POW! Entertainment and serves as the Chairman and Chief Creative Officer.

Arc Partners With Vanguard For CG 3d Animated Feature, “The Nut House”

Vanguard Animation is partnering with Arc Prods. on its CG 3D animated heist film, The Nut House with production to start in January. Ross Venokur making his directorial debut from his own script with John Rice also directing.

SC Films International is handling worldwide sales efforts at the upcoming American Film Market.

The story begins when mega-conglomerate Nut House Nuts harvests the forest for its own commercial gain and ex-con squirrel plans the heist of the century — breaking into the high-security packaging plant to reclaim the nuts with the aid of his trusty, right-hand porcupine and an elite team of scrappy forest dwellers.

Film will be produced by John Williams and Kung Fu Panda director John Stevenson. Williams producing credits include the first two Shrek films, Valiant, Space Chimps and the upcoming On the Road, directed by Walter Salles. Geneva Wasserman, longtime licensing exec in feature animation, is also an executive producer and will mount a worldwide licensing and merchandising program for The Nut House.

Anima Brussels Announces 2012 Dates

The next Anima, the Brussels International Animation Film Festival, will take place in Flagey from February 17 to 26, 2012.

Over one hundred and fifty films in the international competition (shorts and features, commercials, music videos), retrospectives, exhibitions, lessons, workshops for the kids, the Futurama professional days, round-table discussions, numerous guests and concerts make Brussels an international appointment not to be ignored. It’s also the place to find out about Belgian animation with a national competition and screenings in panorama. Add to that a very “Animated Night” full of films, a special animation Cosplay show, and Anima easily confirms itself a “must” for the thirty five thousand spectators that flock to Flagey, the prestigious cultural centre of Belgium’s capital city.

Anima 2012 Competition:
-Awards for Best Feature
-Awards for Best Shorts Films
-Awards for Best Advertising Film
-Awards for Best Music Video
-Nomination for the Cartoon d’Or

The 2012 poster, was created by the Belgian illustrator Peter Elliott. His work includes a number of comic books published by Pastel / L’Ecole des Loisirs, such as Poussin Noir or Barbedure, along with the series Les chouettes aventures de Ringo, Nénette et Napoléon, in collaboration with Rascal and published by Delcourt. He also regularly works for the press.

“Ice Age”‘s Blue Sky Studios Gets State Incentive To Expand In Connecticut

(HARTFORD, CT) — Blue Sky Studios today announced it will expand its headquarters in Greenwich and create 70 jobs, a move that will allow the Oscar Award winning digital animation company to grow even more in the future. The state, through the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), is providing financial support for the project.
“In 2009 Blue Sky Studios opened its digital animation production facility in Connecticut, and in just two years, the company is ready to expand its operations and add jobs.  This proves that film studios like what Connecticut has to offer and are willing to invest here,” said Governor Malloy.  “State support for Blue Sky will ensure the industry will grow and other film production companies see Connecticut as a great location and an important partner in their plans.”
Blue Sky plans to hire 70 and expand its office space by 43,000 square feet at One American Lane in Greenwich.  The expanded facility, which will total 150,000 square feet, will include seating for up to 140 artists, conference rooms, a screening area, editorial space, and a data center.
The additional space will allow the company to better utilize its facility, decrease production cycles – which means more movies in less time – and to do more work in house rather than outsourcing certain aspects of production.
“We are pleased to announce the expansion of our facility in Connecticut and look forward to the continued production of many new and exciting films within the state,” said Brian Keane, Blue Sky Studios chief operating officer.  “One of the reasons we are so proud to partner with the state on this project is the governor’s commitment to our industry’s growth.  Blue Sky, which was one of the first stops on Governor Malloy’s Jobs Tour, is as committed to job creation as the governor.”
Financial assistance for this project includes a $3 million loan for space and equipment upgrades, and a tax credit of 20% on infrastructure costs over $3 million.
“Growing jobs is the number one priority and the film tax credit is one of our best tools that will help us do that,” said Catherine Smith, commissioner of DECD.  “Digital media is an emerging sector, one that requires smart, innovative workers.  This is the workforce Connecticut can provide and production companies know it.  That’s why they’re coming here and it’s why they’re investing here.”
When Blue Sky relocated from White Plains, N.Y. and opened its headquarters in Greenwich in 2009, 300 high quality jobs were added to Connecticut’s fledgling media industry.  Blue Sky has since grown to more than 400 employees and has demonstrated a commitment to invest in the industry’s growth in the state.