It’s been an Eyvind Earle kind of week. A couple days ago I stumbled onto an obscure post-Sleeping Beauty Chevrolet commercial that he directed and animated. And tonight I found this half-hour documentary that was written and narrated by him shortly before he died in 2000. The film contains lots of personal history, more of his rarely seen commercial and abstract animation, and a generous serving of his personal philosophies about life. Watch the entire program in three parts:
We’ve come a long way since The Reluctant Dragon. Here’s how Disney’s Phineas and Ferb is made. Except for the rap music, it’s a pretty accurate account.
Dice’s passion project for the past few years has been Sketchtravel, an idea that he hatched with illustrator Gérald Guerlais, and which features the participation of some of the world’s most well known illustrators, comic artists and animators. (We’ve written about it before on Cartoon Brew.) The project has finally come to a conclusion: an auction of the original sketchbook artwork was held last week and raised over $100,000 for charity. A printed version of the book is now available in France, too.
To support the Sketchtravel project, Dice made the following animated short using his color scripting technique:
In an email, he explained the challenge of making an animated film as someone who comes from a painting background:
“Since I’m not an animator, my focus is to carry a story through all the visual staging elements – color, lighting, and composition. I painted every single frame of the film by myself with a little help from friends and a small amount of After Effects movements. It took me six months to complete it while I was preparing for the auction event.”
Amazon’s website is now showing that they have copies of my latest book in stock. That would be The Art of Pixar: The Complete Color Scripts and Select Art from 25 Years of Animation, an important collection of color scripts from Pixar features and shorts. I haven’t seen the book yet, but those who have tell me it’s a handsome looking volume.
(Book cover photo via The Pixar Blog)
The team at Dallas based Element X Creative animated this 5-minute long sponsor reel for last week’s Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) Southwest Awards show. If one has to sit through dozens of company logos, this is the way to go – weaving the sponsors names into a haunting and beautiful Twilight Zone-like story about a little boy who stops time and sees his home town in a whole new way. It stands on its own as one of the best CG shorts I’ve seen this year.
Complete credits for this piece after the jump.
(Thanks for the loan, Mike Van Eaton)
Just in time for Halloween, UK’s A Large Evil Corporation produced this spooky retro-cool puppet-like CG sample piece, The Gawper:
(Thanks, Brian Lonano)
Creators of Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoing Boing, United Productions of America (UPA) was the most significant animation studio of the 1950s. Ushering in a whole new way of making cartoons, combining modern art with slapstick comedy, UPA challenged the way Disney made toons and dominated the Academy Awards during that decade. There’s no doubt of their inspiration on international and independent animators for decades to come.
Charles Solomon (who did a great job hosting the Mary Blair tribute last night at the Academy) recorded an audio editorial championing UPA that will run on L.A.’s public radio station KPCC (89.3 FM), Off Ramp, Saturday at noon and Sunday at 7pm. Solomon points out that a current local art show cooperative – Pacific Standard Time, which celebrates southern California’s contributions to pop culture – omits the UPA studio’s significant influence on art and animation. KPCC has just posted his piece online, in advance of its broadcast: Download or listen to stream here.
Meanwhile, I will be doing my part by mounting a tribute to UPA at my next Animation Tuesday screening, on Tuesday November 1st at 8pm. I will be introducing rare 35mm prints of the studio’s undeniable classics on the big screen – including their acclaimed adaptation Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart, Oscar winner When Magoo Flew (in wide screen CinemaScope), and rarely shown The Jaywalker, Willie The Kid and Fudget’s Budget and more – along with a selection of rare commercials, industrial films and TV films not seen in public for over 50 years. More info and tickets: click here.
This two-minute Chevrolet spot is a pretty epic bit of advertising, but you may be even more surprised to learn who made it. It’s this guy:
The artist responsible for this:
Around 1960, Eyvind Earle, the production designer of the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty, formed his own company Eyvind Earle Productions. The first spot he produced was this Chevrolet piece, which he made in two weeks. According to his autobiography Horizon Bound on a Bicycle, he was paid $16,000, which in today’s dollars would be around $122,000. That’s not bad for a one-man cut-out production, most of which was animated under camera.
(Eyvind Earle photo via Daveland)
Let’s give it up for Google! October 21 marks the 100th anniversary of animation legend Mary Blair‘s birth, and Google honored her with the Google Doodle above. And credit to the Google artist who drew it, Mike Dutton.
Just for the record, Disney’s own website has done nothing (as far as I can tell) to commemorate Mary Blair’s birth, though when I went there, I was treated to a pop-up congratulating me on being selected to take a Disney Online survey.
AWESOME+modest, the small Brooklyn-based animation studio who did all the animation for Waiting For Superman, the new U2 doc From the Sky Down, and the animated music video for The Mountain Goats posted here a few months ago. Their latest music video is for the very talented Dan Wholey. Amateur Rocketry is probably NSFW:
Take a look at WindMills, a beautifully stylish graduation film from France’s Georges MéliÃ¨s school, directed by Guillaume BergÃ¨re, Guillaume Coudert, Maria Glinyanova, Bruno Guerra and Charlotte Jammet.
Synopsis: It is a dead, lightless world, where a little girl, despite her father’s renunciation and despair facing the death of his wife, maintains their dream of building a machine powered by magic winds to fly and reach the sun.
Talk about your “adult swim”: this anime-inspired music video for DyE, directed by French animator Jérémie Périn, is clearly Not Safe For Work (NSFW). A group of teens break into the local pool for an innocent nighttime swim, or so they think…
Directed by Jérémie Périn
Written by Laurent Sarfati & Jérémie Périn
Artistic Direction by Mikael Robert
Produced by Excuse My French / PH & Tigersushi
Executive Producer : Constance Guillou
Production Coordinator : Perrine Schwartz
(Thanks, Mike Gettel via the Cartoon Brew Facebook page)
I have never seen a bad piece of merchandise from Bob Clampett’s Beany & Cecil. All of it looks incredibly appealing to me. These pieces (above and thumbnails below – click to enlarge) are currently available via the latest auction at Hakes. The current bids are a bit rich for my blood, but at least we can live vicariously through the photos.
(Thanks, Billie Towser)