On Monday October 24th Cartoon Brewmaster Jerry Beck will once again be hosting Cartoon Dump, his monthly live comedy and worst cartoons showcase, in Hollywood. Join him, Frank Conniff (MST3K), Erica Doering and special guest comedian Andy Kindler for their our annual Halloween special. There’s nothing spookier than Mighty Mr. Titan… except maybe Moodsy, the Clinically Depressed Owl, Compost Brite, and Dumpster Diver Dan.
If the opening titles written on what appear to be toilet paper rolls aren’t an indication, “Le Soleil Chante” (“The Sun Sings”) has a certain quirky, hand-crafted charm. It was made over eighteen months by Delphine Burrus for French musician Ignatus, who has also used animation in past videos like “Dans l’herbe” and “Les p’tits chiens”. There’s some behind-the-scene photos here, which show the tiny set, as well as all the fabric, plaster, wire and cardboard that went into its making.
Nightingales in December is a hauntingly beautiful three-minute short by Theodore Ushev (Lipsett Diaries, Drux Flux). The film’s aggressive flood of painterly imagery, alternately violent and melodic, leaves a powerful impression on the viewer. Perhaps that’s because Ushev makes animated films with an emphasis on the filmmaking part of the equation. He understands that when space, time, and light are manipulated thoughtfully, animation can express a deeper emotional resonance. The individual pieces of artwork in Nightingales in December are lovely, to be sure, but it’s the way that Ushev builds it into an animated film that truly sings.
Here’s another clever stop motion music video for Jesse & Joy, directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada (Chocolate). Cameron Clark was the director of animation and Charles Pieper was lead animator on the piece, made with 3500 individual photographic paper cut outs, animated all in one month. Go behind the scenes here.
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Tonight in Manhattan: a FREE retrospective screening of work produced by J. J. Sedelmaier Productions. Among the projects that’ll be screened are episodes of “The Ambiguously Gay Duo” from Saturday Night Live and “Tek Jansen” from The Colbert Report, as well as animation from The Daily Show and the Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law pilot.
The outdoor screening, projected onto a beautiful HD-format LED screen, begins at 7pm at 851 6th Avenue (between 29th and 30th St., behind the Eventi Hotel). The screening is part of the Big Screen Plaza, where Cartoon Brew had a screening earlier this month too. There’s a fancy food court and bar connected to the screening area so come hungry!
Midnight in Paris: a stop motion Book Revue? Embroidered handbag designs by Olympia Le-Tan inspired director Spike Jonze to make this animated short, Mourir AuprÃ¨s de Toi (To Die By Your Side). The film, co-directed by Simon Cahn and animated by Sylvain Derosne, made its debut out of competition at Annecy last spring.
Never judge a book by its cover – especially the one pictured at left. The artwork inside is more like the fantastic painting above. I haven’t seen the new Puss In Boots movie yet, but two books in particular are being released this month, tying into the Dreamworks feature, that are seriously worthy of your bookshelf space. Puss In Boots: The Cat. The Boots. The Legend, adapted by Tina Gallo and illustrated by character designer/story artist Ovi Nedelcu, is a delightful children’s book made moreso by Nedelcu’s appealing images. This 24-page book is part of Simon & Shuster’s Spotlight line (their equivalent of Little Golden Books) and it only costs $3.99. Wanna see more? Check out all the cool art on Ovi’s blog.
Never judge a movie spin-off by its preceding Shrek connections, nor how good its “Art-of” book looks – but once again the concept art connected to a new Dreamworks film looks amazing. My friend Ramin Zahed has penned an informative text to accompany the gorgeous inspirational pieces (Richard Daskas, Ronald A. Kurniawan, Guillaume Aretos, etc.), character designs (Patrick Maté), storyboards (Bob Logan, Paul Fisher, Bob Persichetti), color script (Nate Wragg), and all the paintings, paintings, paintings (by Nathan Fowkes, Dominique Louis, Kirsten Kawamura and so many others) collected in the new The Art of Puss In Boots. I just got a copy and highly recommend it – a worthy addition to the collection. Now, let’s hope the film lives up to all this great visual material.
These elegantly styled and animated “cartoon modern” titles were made for the Flemish media news programs Voor de Show by Tom Hautekiet and Mark Borgions. Jazz trumpeter Bert Joris provides the music, and the show’s art director is Luc Lemaitre. I don’t know what follows these titles, but they set a nice mood, and evoke a positive feeling, kind of like the opening and closing titles of Calvin and the Colonel.
The Baby Peas were created by musician/voice actor will.i.am to immortalize his hip hop group The Black Eyed Peas (featuring younger versions of will.i.am, Fergie, Taboo, and Apl.De.Ap). According to their press release:
“The Baby Peas are a fusion of the “Little Rascals” mixed with the “Peanuts Gang”, with the edge of “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons.” Then add some Black Eyed Peas music vibe with the classical approach of the W.B’s Looney Toons and that’s The Baby Peas!
Well, I’m not sure they can live up to that hype – but the initial videos are certainly well made. They were produced at Dipdive, Inc., will.i.am’s digital creative agency. Key members of the animation team include executive creative director Pasha Shapiro, creative directors Ernst Weber and Huan Ngheim, and executive producer Julia Pistor (Lemony Snicket, Jimmy Neutron, The Rugrats Movie). Here’s the latest music video:
I don’t get out much, but luckily my readers do. Chris Stulz found these Looney Tunes USB flash drives during a recent trip to OfficeMax. These are quite cute and also come designed as Speedy Gonzales (photo below) and the Tasmanian Devil. They store 4GB – and it’s apparently the first set in a series.
James Curran created this clever unofficial title sequence for the upcoming Tintin feature incorporating elements from each of the 24 Tintin book in just over one minute. I like the clever contrast between the flat-colored circle and the spherical dimensionality created through the animation.
I’ve been super busy this week, but had to share this image of a Donald Duck brigade from 1930s Serbia. Who were the people under those masks and what were they thinking? The world will never know. More disturbing imagery can be found on the Disney History blog.
Nelson Boles, who’s sensitive Cal Arts student film Little Boat was a big hit with our readers when we posted it last month, created this early pencil test three years ago from a completely different POV.