One of Cartoon Brew’s most popular archived posts is my October 19, 2010 commentary about the end of creator-driven animation. The post, which discussed a common topic within industry circles, took on an unexpected life of its own among younger readers and spawned the well-known “Brony” fandom, which is the celebration of the TV series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic by male viewers. If you’ve ever wondered how my post led to Bronies, here’s Scott Spaziani explaining its history. My role in the movement pops up around the 6-minute mark. You’re welcome, guys.
The story of A Good Wife is fairly well summarized by its ironic title. What remains is a tribute to mid-century modern aesthetics and an eerie amount of stillness. W. Scott Forbes made the film while attending Sheridan College. The film doesn’t necessarily succeed in wringing out the emotions suggested by its sad story and musical cues, but Forbes’ approach is refreshing for a student film and a worthy experiment.
It’s rare to browse through someone’s on-line animation videos and enjoy everything they’ve produced. That’s the happy feeling I experienced watching the work of French animator Paul Cabon. In fact, it was too difficult to choose a single piece of his to share so I’ve included three more of his films after the jump. His work is packed with fresh visual concepts coupled with strong control of color and shape and a keen sense of humor. His animation of human figures moves in an almost experimental fashion, which is to say it doesn’t follow the rules of conventional character animation but fits perfectly with the rest of his style. Cabon graduated from the French animation school La PoudriÃ¨re a couple years back.
See more of his work after the jump:
Paramount Pictures/Nickelodeon Movies’ The Adventures of Tintin won the Best Animated Feature prize at tonight’s Golden Globe ceremony in Beverly Hills. Director Steven Spielberg accepted the award (video below) and seemed genuinely surprised.
How about you? Did you expect Rango, Puss In Boots, Arthur Christmas, or perhaps Cars 2 to win this award? Do you think a Golden Globe award will help Tintin’s chances with Oscar or Annie voters?
Welcome to the first 2012 installment of Cartoon Brew’s “Animated Fragments.” Covering the animation world used to be a lot easier five or ten years ago. Today there is a greater amount of animation being produced than ever before and more of that animation is being posted on-line. Likewise, our thinking is constantly evolving about how to cover this ever-expanding world of animation. We introduced Animated Fragments last year after realizing that a lot of the animation being posted on-line didn’t fit into the traditional categories that everybody uses (TV, feature, music video, short, etc.). On-line culture is built on openness and sharing, and emerging artists (as well as an increasing number of established animators) share just about everything they produce on-line: animation tests, experiments, small-scale commercial gigs, pilot projects, you name it. The Animated Fragments is our attempt to catalog and share these pieces with a wider audience, and to hopefully introduce you to more talented artists who choose animation as their medium of visual expression.
“Wolf-cub” by Loup Druelle (Norway)
“ThingSync Test–Seashells” by Javan Ivey (US): Toying with the idea of lipsyncing with objects and actions that are related to the dialogue.
“Random Animation about Anything” by Sophie de Jong (The Netherlands)
Morphology by Peter Sluszka (US)
Yesterday, Deadline Hollywood posted about Salma Hayek’s Ventanarosa Productions signing animation director Roger Allers (Lion King) to supervise an ambitious independent feature based on Khalil Gibran’s 1923 classic The Prophet. Allers will oversee the entire film – and will direct the opening, closing and bridging sequences – which will combine the work of a who’s-who of renown international animators.
The Prophet is a book of 26 poetic essays on life and the human condition. It’s divided into chapters dealing with love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death.
Already signed on (or in discussions) to participate: Tomm Moore (The Secret Of Kells), Sylvain Chomet (The Illusionist), John Stevenson (Kung Fu Panda), Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis), Chris Landreth (Oscar-winning short Ryan), Nina Paley (Sita Sings The Blues), Bill Plympton (Guard Dog) and Kunio Kato (Oscar-winning short Tsumiki No Ie). This “Super Bowl of animation” begins pre-production later this month – and is certainly one we will keep tabs on.
I do believe there is such a thing as over-art directing a piece of animation to the point where the message becomes buried within the polish of the artwork. Whether that’s the case with “A Year of Sun with Mr. Persol,” a glossy piece of advertising for Persol Eyewear directed by Kevin Dart and Stéphane CoÃ«del, is open to debate. What’s inarguable is that it’s an extremely competent piece brimming with sophisticated design and visual concepts throughout.
Credits after the jump
Deadline.com is reporting that director Roger Allers (The Lion King) has been tapped to write and direct a animated feature version of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet for Salma Hayak’s Ventanarosa Productions. The production is planned to have individual chapters directed by different filmmakers, with Allers doing the opening, closing and overseeing the production as a whole. The project is scheduled to begin production later this month.
This 1961 episode of Tales of the Wizard of Oz harkens back to a time when animation writers didn’t speak down to kids. It’s a perfect example of children’s TV animation that works on multiple levels, encouraging kids to question their surroundings and understand the realities of the world while entertaining them at the same time.
For generations of animation fans there is no greater legend than Chuck Jones. The creator of the famed Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts for Warner Bros., Tom & Jerry cartoons, the TV version of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and many other well-known classics, Jones was a pioneer in the art of animation and a fine artist in his own right. His life and legacy will be celebrated on January 19 with the official grand opening of The Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus Las Vegas. Many of Jones’ family will welcome celebrities, animation aficionados and visitors to the new attraction when they open the attraction in an appropriate and unconventional way at 11 a.m. Among those in attendance will be Jones’ widow, Marian Jones, daughter, Linda Clough, and grandchildren Craig, Todd, and Valerie Kausen.
The Chuck Jones Experience is a nearly 10,000-square-foot destination that provides 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. Designed to “Educate, Inspire & Entertain,” The Chuck Jones Experience takes visitors on a unique journey through Jones’ life, engaging guests with interactive exhibits, displays and learning experiences along the way. The Chuck Jones Experience is also home to the largest collection of original Chuck Jones animation and fine art anywhere in the world with more than 250 pieces on permanent display.
“This attraction will give fans an unprecedented window into my grandfather’s amazing life,” said Kausen. “We are proud to make Chuck’s original artwork, a lot of which has never before been seen, available to the public. Visitors will have a great time learning all about the inspiration behind the creation of some of Chuck’s most beloved and enduring animated characters such as Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, Pepé le Pew and many others. It’s an animation lover’s paradise.”
“The Grand Opening of The Chuck Jones Experience represents the culmination of a dream,” added Jones Clough. “We are so thankful to the developer, Neil Cantor, and the group of fans behind the project for bringing this concept to life. I know my father would have been thrilled to see The Chuck Jones Experience open, especially on what would have been his centennial year.”
The attraction includes a variety of exciting elements including:
Â· Chuck Jones Center for Creativity Learning Center — A 1,000-square-foot learning center where teachers from the field of animation and the arts lead creative projects.
Â· Chuck Jones Movie Theatre — A 1930s-style movie theatre where you’ll meet Jones via a short film introduced by one of his characters, the Connecticut Cat.
Â· Chuck Jones’ Studio — A recreation of Jones’ office where you’ll see how he worked and discover what inspired him to create his beloved characters.
Â· How Do You Measure Up? Room — Learn how characters are developed and view original key drawings Jones drew during their creation.
Â· Animation Alley — A multimedia wall where animation pieces are on display from the permanent collection of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and other animation studios.
Â· Acme Workshop — Create sound effects and voiceovers for a Chuck Jones cartoon at the Chuck Jones Experience Foley Stage.
“We are excited to welcome The Chuck Jones Experience to our collection of family-friendly entertainment offerings at Circus Circus,” said Don Thrasher, president and chief operating officer of Circus Circus. “This one-of-a-kind, interactive exhibit is sure to be a hit with guests of all ages, and we’re thrilled to introduce visitors worldwide to the wonderful world of Chuck Jones.”
For information about the Chuck Jones Experience, please visit www.chuckjonesexperience.com or on Facebook at chuckjonesexperience.
Lipsmackers by Beercan Rd. is a 2011 thesis film produced at the School of Visual Arts by Sachio Cook. The film has a quirky tone, stylishly mixing the mundane real world with fantastical elements. Some of the storytelling lacks clarity, but the overall effect (as well as the artwork) is charming. According to her LinkedIn page, Sachio works at Titmouse as an assistant animator. I hope she continues making independent films, too.
LOS ANGELES — The Hub Television network, a destination for kids and their families, has acquired the hit animated series The Super Hero Squad Show from Marvel Animation. The popular half-hour series, which features the world’s best-known Super Heroes including Iron Man, Wolverine, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America will join The Hub’s Monday through Friday lineup beginning Monday, January 30, at 4 p.m. ET (with encore presentations on the weekend).
“We’re delighted to be adding The Super Hero Squad Show to our lineup,” said Margaret Loesch, President and CEO, The Hub. “This terrific, high quality series is a bullseye for our key demographic and is perfectly aligned with our strategy of building our schedule with strong, beloved brands that audiences know and embrace. Additionally, we’re thrilled to be associated with Marvel Animation. As one of the world’s preeminent character-based entertainment companies, Marvel has a superb reputation for providing quality entertainment.”
The Super Hero Squad Show entertains young fans and their families with a unique mix of action, adventure, humor and satirical storytelling as Marvel’s greatest super heroes unite to protect Super Hero City from some of the world’s most infamous super villains. The Super Hero Squad Show was produced in 2009 by Film Roman and Marvel Animation.
“Marvel Super Heroes have always entertained fans of all ages in our comics, and we’re proud to offer an animated series that families can enjoy together,” said Jeph Loeb, Head of Marvel Television. “With the most exciting super-powered adventures, The Hub can now offer the greatest fun of all– experiencing Marvel for the very first time. So whether you want to fly with Thor, suit up with Iron Man or smash with Hulk, this series has everything your family wants to see from our heroes.”
Filmmaker George Griffin is donating his collection of nearly 400 books to the Prelinger Library. Founded by Rick Prelinger and his wife, Megan Shaw Prelinger, in 2004, The Library is an appropriation-friendly, browsable collection of approximately 40,000 books, periodicals, printed ephemera and government documents located in San Francisco. It covers a broad swath of popular culture of the U.S. in the last century. The Prelingers, well-known to media artists and researchers for their archives which have provided material for countless independent films, have set an innovative goal for their new project. They write, “We are interested in exploring how libraries with specialized, unique, and arcane collections such as ours can exist and flourish outside protected academic environments and be made available to people working outside of those environments, especially artists, activists and independent scholars.”
Griffin terms his collection “didactic ephemera”: D.I.Y. books and periodicals dealing with practical instruction in the visual arts. Starting in the 1970s, while searching in vain in used bookstores for books on animation technique, he discovered related subjects such as general drawing, cartooning, photography, film-making, technical graphics, and performance (chalk talks and pantomime). These “how to” books, most of them published between 1900 and 1960, were aimed at a popular readership hoping to advance from hobby to professional craft. There are no examples of fine arts by well-known painters; instead the focus is on generic, commercial art. The books contain valuable examples of fundamental, pre-digital techniques (illustrated with diagrams), and they are an interesting window on early 20th century vernacular style and social conventions.
Griffin says, “This material needs a special home which allows free access and opportunity for hands-on research, scanning and free use for artists, students, and scholars. I’m thrilled that the Prelinger Library has agreed to make it welcome.”
For additional information contact:
George Griffin, [email protected]
Rick Prelinger, [email protected]
(Chicago, IL) —SIGGRAPH, the world’s premier conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques, announces site selections for its 2013 and 2014 North American conferences.
SIGGRAPH 2013 plansÂ to return toÂ Anaheim, California, 21-25 July, to celebrate the 40th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive TechniquesÂ Â alongsideÂ thousands of research scientists, gaming experts and developers, filmmakers, students, the production community and academics worldwide. Mk Haley of Disney Research, Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University has been named SIGGRAPH 2013 Conference Chair. She will celebrate her 25th year with SIGGRAPH, fulfilling many volunteer roles during this time, including Student Volunteer Chair, Emerging Technologies Chair, Director of Communications for the Executive Committee, and SIGGRAPH 2011 Director.
After SIGGRAPH 2011 broke Vancouver’s previous all-time conference attendance records, it has become one of the most memorable SIGGRAPH conference cities. Due to this overwhelming attendance and community support, SIGGRAPH 2014 will return to Vancouver for the 41st International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, 10-14 August 2014. Dave Shreiner, Director of Graphics Technology at ARM, Inc, will serve as SIGGRAPH 2014 Conference Chair. Shreiner has been an active member in the SIGGRAPH community for the past 25 years as a presenter and volunteer (SIGGRAPH 2006 Courses Chair and SIGGRAPH 2009 Director ofÂ Knowledge Transfer).
“We are thrilled to be returning to these cities and it is a testament to their popularity both with our attendees and exhibitors,” said Joe Marks, SIGGRAPH Conference Advisory Group Chair fromÂ Disney Research at The Walt Disney Company. “The fact that we are returning to Canada is a direct reflection of its strong and growing computer graphics community.”
Both conferences plan to build on previous years’ achievements, showcasing the latest advances in computer graphics and interactive techniques, including animation, art, research, software, visualization, and education. SIGGRAPH provides attendees–from students to experts–the opportunity to gain amazing insights, enrich their skill set, and expand their worldwide contacts.
Visit the ACM SIGGRAPH web site for the most up-to-date information.
Fifteen years in the making.
35,000 hand drawn, hand-painted cels.
Shot onto 35mm movie film on a rostrum camera.
This is Neil Boyle’s The Last Belle, a recently completed short that will be playing on the festival circuit in 2012. If the mind-bending subway shot in the trailer reminds you of Richard Williams’s The Thief and the Cobbler, that’s no accident. Boyle worked as an assistant animator to Williams and the layout artist on Boyle’s short, Roy Naisbitt, also laid out the wild perspective scenes in The Thief and the Cobbler. Boyle discussed the path he’s taken to making this short on his website:
“I came into the animation industry on Who Framed Roger Rabbit and at 20 years old I was one of the youngest there. I was lucky enough to learn from the Disney veteran Stan Green (who had been assistant to the legendary Milt Kahl on many classic Disney films) and I became assistant animator to Richard Williams who was (and remains) amazingly generous with his vast knowledge of animation lore and technique. I was in the middle of all this, the archetypal kid-sponge, sucking up all the information I could. And then one day I went to bed and woke up 40 years old. Or so it seems. Then I was surrounded by a new wave of 20 year olds who – unlike me at that age – were already masters of their craft: the digital age of animation. So I had (and have) a lot more learning to do. The Last Belle is the project I’ve used to bridge the gap between old and new. A chance not just to read about the ‘old ways’, but to try them all out for real, guided by veterans of the craft.The interesting next step is to combine the old with the new and see where it takes us…”
More info and a blog with fascinating making-of details can be found on TheLastBelle.com. Enjoy it while you can because this will surely be among the last hand-drawn, cel-painted films shot on 35mm.