An absolutely delightful retro-60s cream-puff of a film. Made by Vivien Risser at Supinfocom.
Kaj Pindal, who turns eighty-five years old this year, ranks up there as one of my all-time favorite animators. Pindal typically works with a very basic library of shapes, but his animation is whimsical, funny, and filled with graphic quirks and tics. It all adds up to a distinctive and appealing style that looks even fresher today amidst the proliferation of mechanical Flash and After Effects animation.
The City: Osaka is not necessarily a Pindal classic–for that, see I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly, King Size, or Peep and the Big Wide World–but I was delighted to discover such a pristine copy posted onto the NFB website. A commissioned film for Expo ’70 held in Osaka, Japan, it was intended to give Japanese people a glimpse into Canadian life, which apparently consists mostly of deforestation and hockey.
The spare black-and-white design of the film, as well as the two minutes of blank screen at the beginning (albeit with excellent jazz music), are due to the film’s original mode of projection. “It played around the clock for the duration of the World’s Fair on a screen made of sixty thousand individual light bulbs,” Pindal said. Kaj talks about his experiences associated with the film on the Kaj Pindal blog.
Here’s a terrific documentary about Kaj Pindal called Laugh Lines from 1979:
Man, I can’t wait to see this film (I’ll be seeing it at an ASIFA-Hollywood screening tomorrow). It opened today to great reviews: Manohla Dargis of The New York Times calls it “a curiosity cabinet of visual pleasures”, while Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times says its “a clever piece of business that is a complete pleasure to experience”.
How about you? This talkback thread is open only to those who have actually seen the film (your comment will be deleted if we detect you haven’t seen it – and we can tell). Tell the world what you think in the comments section below.
Whatever happened to limited TV animation? For those of us who remember when Jonny Quest was state-of-the-art for TV adventure animation… this leaked footage (below) from Disney’s Motorcity is pretty amazing. The animation looks really slick for a TV production, and especially good for a show that’s digitally animated in flash.
Here is an eleven minute compilation of nine sequences pulled from upcoming episodes. These clips showcase the animation and compositing techniques employed in the series. Each sequence features the final composited footage, followed by the animation in it’s rough form.
Created by Chris Prynoski, Motorcity is produced by Robin Red Breast, Inc. (a subsidiary of Titmouse, Inc.) and Disney Television Animation. It premieres this Monday, April 30th at 9pm, ET/PT on Disney XD. The first episode is now available to watch for free on iTunes (there’s a free iPhone/iPad game on iTunes as well). More information on this clip reel after the jump.
Today’s news from around the industry:
In this LA Times story about the resurgence of stop motion animated features, Travis Knight, the producer of Laika’s ParaNorman and one of its lead animators, had this to say:
“Stop-motion is probably the worst, most painful way to make a film. It’s a completely awful process to engage in, an anachronism.”
The one thing stop motion has working in its favor? It’s not computer animation. Knight, who is also the president and CEO of Laika, added:
“But the stories have a warmth and a charm. You’re not looking at ones and zeros. You’re looking at the hands of the artists who made it.”
Photo of Travis Knight, with his father, Nike chairman and Laika owner Phil Knight. (Quote via Kirsten Lepore)
In today’s installment of “Animation WTF?”, I hereby submit this trailer for After School Midnighters (HÃ´kago middonaitÃ¢zu) by artist/animator Hitoshi Takekiyo. The official synopsis reads…
“The main character ‘Kynst Lijk’ is a human body model that stands in a science room of an elementary school. Kynst Lijk also reigns over the school after midnight. One day, when a naughty kindergarden trio accidentally meets him, his ordinary life changes. The scariest and craziest after midnight adventure begins…”
Around the same time we’ll be watching Brave, Ice Age: Continental Drift and ParaNorman, this film will be opening in Tokyo theaters:
Buzzco recently animated a short film for TED’s new educational initiative, TED Ed: Lessons Worth Sharing, an open platform dedicated to providing high school and college teachers a new way to use video content on the web. TED’s Chris Anderson described the new initiative on Posterous, where he explains the process for “flipping” web video content into lessons that can easily be assigned in class or as homework, complete with context, follow-up questions and further resources.
Buzzco’s Sex Determination: More Complicated Than You Thought is featured in Anderson’s post as an example of the collaboration between teachers and animators for the new platform. Additional short films can be viewed on the TED Ed YouTube channel, which launched in March.
New York animation icon Candy Kugel and the rest of the Buzzco team completed the project, which runs five and a half minutes, in only two and a half weeks from script to final product. Now there’s a lesson worth sharing!
Jason DeMarco has been promoted to vice president of strategic marketing and promotions for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, it was announced by Brenda Piper, chief marketing officer for Turner Broadcasting System Inc.’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media (AYAKM) group.Â In his new role, DeMarco will be responsible for developing promotional marketing programs that extend each network’s reach, visibility and brand messaging both on and off-channel.Â Additionally, he will oversee the development and execution of customized integrated promotions and sponsorships that drive revenues for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim’s sales and marketing efforts.Â DeMarco’s responsibilities will also include supervising all aspects of AYAKM special events and trade marketing activity, including the Cartoon Network and Adult Swim Advertising Upfront programs.Â DeMarco is based in Atlanta and reports directly to Piper.
Previously, DeMarco served as creative director, sales promotions for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.Â In this capacity, he was responsible for developing compelling and innovative national advertiser promotional programs and sponsorships across multiple platforms.Â Producing more than 150 projects per year, he oversaw the creative development and execution of promotions marketing efforts across the linear networks, video-on-demand, CartoonNetwork.com and AdultSwim.com.Â Among his accomplishments, in 2008 DeMarco also founded Adult Swim’s Williams Street Records where he served as the primary A&R (Artist and Repertoire) contact, creating original music albums, as well as successful programs like the Adult Swim Singles Program, supporting on-air series and delivering one of a kind creative partnership solutions for key ad sales clients.Â Earlier in his career, as associate creative director for Toonami/Miguzi–two of Cartoon Network’s premier animated action-adventure franchises–DeMarco was critical to the development of signature on-air packaging for shows such as Dragonball Z and Pokémon that helped established Cartoon Network’s on-air look and feel, and won multiple design awards in the process.
“Jason has that rare ability to be equally comfortable behind the camera as well as at the board room table,” said Piper.Â “I look forward to his contributions and to the places he will take us in this new role.”
DeMarco began his tenure at Cartoon Network as a senior writer/producer for Toonami, writing and producing packaging and on-air promos for the programming block.Â Prior to this, he rose as a production assistant to an associate producer at TNT, where he wrote and produced on-air packaging and promos supporting both original and syndicated films and television series.
DeMarco earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in film/video production from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, GA.
TRANSFORMERS PRIME – ONE SHALL STAND
FEATURING THE 7-PART STORY ARC SPANNING THE FIRST TWO SEASONS OF EMMYÂ® AWARD-WINNING SERIES SEAMLESSLY EDITED TOGETHER IN THIS SPECIAL PRESENTATION PRODUCED BY HASBRO STUDIOS
OWN IT ON DVD JULY 31, 2012 FROM SHOUT! FACTORY
This summer, get ready for a special presentation of Transformers Prime for home entertainment. On July 31, 2012, Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Hasbro Studios, will debut Transformers Prime — One Shall Stand DVD, featuring the compelling story behind the most iconic AUTOBOT ever, OPTIMUS PRIME, and an epic tale of deception, sacrifice, loyalty and triumph. Produced by Hasbro Studios, ONE SHALL STAND highlights the story that spanned the first two seasons of the acclaimed CGI animated series Transformers Prime, which currently airs on The Hub television network in the U.S and Teletoons in Canada. This action-packed story arc is edited together in a seamless, riveting special presentation for this home entertainment release. Packed with exciting bonus content, Transformers Prime — One Shall Stand DVD delivers spectacular CGI animation and captivating family entertainment for all ages. This highly collectible DVD is priced to own with a suggested retail price of $14.97.
Fans can pre-order now on Amazon.com
Transformers Primeboasts an all-star voice cast, including Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Steve Blum, Jeffrey Combs, Ernie Hudson, Adam Baldwin, Gina Torres, John Noble, among other notables. Transformers Prime is produced by Hasbro Studios, with Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Kline serving as executive producers. Kurtzman and Orci served as writers for the feature films Transformers and Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen.
Transformers Prime — One Shall Stand
With UNICRON’s awakening, extreme measures needed to be taken. An unlikely alliance formed between AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS to defeat UNICRON, a foe who could spell the end of the Earth. The action unfolds as the AUTOBOTS battle alongside MEGATRON against the evil UNICRON. Enemies became allies, allies became confidantes, and with the Matrix of Leadership, the planet Earth was saved.
Though at immeasurable personal cost, when OPTIMUS surrendered the Matrix, he lost more than the collective wisdom of the PRIME. He lost himself. With the power of the Matrix no longer within him, it would stand to reason that OPTIMUS has reverted to his pre-PRIME state as the historical archivist ORION PAX. MEGATRON manipulates the impaired OPTIMUS into joining the DECEPTICONS. But does the OPTIMUS and AUTOBOTS’ true key to salvation lie in the trusted hands of a teenaged boy named Jack?
DVD Bonus Content:
As excitement builds for this DVD, Shout! Factory and Hasbro Studios will announce in-depth bonus features and additional news in forthcoming months.
Transformers Prime — One Shall Stand DVD
Street Date: July 31, 2012
Running Time: +/ – 2 hours
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic widescreen
Audio: English, Audio 5.1 Surround
G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO SERIES 2, SEASON 2
Featuring All 20 Action-Packed Episodes in a Collectible 3-DVD Set
OWN IT ON DVD JULY 10, 2012 FROM SHOUT! FACTORY
On July 10, 2012, Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Hasbro, will release the G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero Series 2, Season 2 on DVD. This highly collectible 3-DVD set contains all 20 episodes from the complete second season and insightful bonus content. A must have for fans, collectors and animation enthusiasts to complete their home entertainment collection of this animated series, G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero Series 2, Season 2 DVD set arrives in stores everywhere and is priced to own at $ 29.93 SRP. Fans can pre-order now on Amazon.com
Pre-order link: http://www.amazon.com/G-I-Joe-Series…5399717&sr=8-1
The battle rolls on in the final season of G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero Series 2! General Hawk returns with his new team of G.I. JOE heroes, ready to take on any challenge by Cobra, a ruthless criminal organization out for world domination. And Cobra Commander’s clearly left the toughest challenges for last! Does G.I. JOE have what it takes to stop them? The popular second season of this series from 1991 sees the return of fan favorite characters including Duke, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow in adventures more exciting than ever!
Retrospective Featurette With The Hasbro Toy Team
G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero Series 2, Season 2
Street Date: July 10, 2012
Running Time: approx. +/- 7 hours
Video: Fullframe 1.33:1 – Preserving the aspect ratio of its original broadcast
Audio: Original Mono
My favorite publisher Chronicle Books just put out their Fall/Winter 2012 catalog and they’re releasing more animation and cartoon-related books this holiday season than ever before. Below are the six titles (including one by myself) that will be of interest to Cartoon Brew readers, followed by the catalog pages with images and descriptions of each book.
Full Steam Ahead!: The Life and Art of Ward Kimball by Amid Amidi
November 2012, Pre-order for $29.70.
Today’s news from around the industry, only on CB Biz:
The Rat Trap Gallery will be featuring original artwork by a group of 22 Artists, inspired by the world famous “Happiest Place on Earth”, Disneyland. This is a totally unofficial show and has no affiliation to the Walt Disney Company. I invite you to come to Downtown Anaheim’s very own Promenade Gallery starting Saturday May 12th from 6-10pm to take a look at a collection of original paintings, sculpture, and other pop art inspired by Orange County’s Magic Kingdom.
Featured Artists: Dan Almanzar, Keith Batcheller, RyanÂ Batcheller, Sam Carter, Tracie Cotta,Â Julianne Eckert, Ray Francisco, Bimal Gorajia, Ryan Hernandez, Ryan Hungerford, Rustin Jessen, Chris Lowk, Brandon Ramirez, Justin Ridge, Seth Reek, Amy Shimoshige, Israel Sanchez, Lance Thatcher, Brent Whittington, Chris Williams, Tim Wollweber and Nicole Yang.
Opening Night Reception: May 12, 2012, 6:00PM – 10:00PM
149 Center Street
ANaheim, CA 92805
Also on Opening Night, experience the Art Crawl! Art, Mmusic, Food & Crafts. 208 Center Street, Promenade, Anaheim, CA 92805.
Bruce Carter, Creative Director and former Head of Film and TVC Visual Effects at Animal Logic, has joined Auckland based animation, VFX & post company Toybox.
Bruce has worked alongside a number of international award-winning directors, producers, film studios, production companies and advertising agencies throughout the world and led diverse, multi-disciplined teams producing work across a range of award winning projects. Film and television credits include 300 by Zack Snyder, Oliver Stone’s World Trade Centre, Verizon Mercy and Comcast Rabbit by Noam Murro.
Most recently Bruce has been focussed on the development of feature film, television and new media projects as part of Animal Logic’s development group.
In his new role Bruce will lead the Toybox team to build creative opportunities and strategic relationships across the television, film and entertainment industries.
“The media world is shape changing almost daily, with the lines between design, art, fashion, advertising, games and film being blurred and distorted in all kinds of exciting ways. New Zealand is known for innovative talent and TOYBOX is no exception. With an amazing core group of artists and advanced technical infrastructure, Toybox offers end to end creative solutions across all media. The opportunity to return to New Zealand and work with the Toybox team was too good to pass up”
Joining Bruce at Toybox is leading VFX Artist Leoni Willis. After 15 years as Senior VFX Supervisor and Lead Compositor in TVC at Animal Logic in Sydney, Australia, Leoni has returned home to Auckland.
Leoni has supervised and composited many high profile, award winning projects. With a background in design, she brings a wealth of ideas, creativity and knowledge, which are ever present in her speedy compositing skills. Her credits include work with directors Baz Lurhman, Alex Proyas, Noam Murro, Steve Rogers, Bruce Hunt, Graeme Burfoot, Steve Ayson – to name just a few.
Says Leoni, “I’m looking forward to working with Bruce and the team at Toybox. Colourist Pete Ritchie and Animation director Andrew Newland are leaders in their fields and I’m confident that through sharing ideas and expertise we’ll be able to create some great work together.”
Nanette Miles of Toybox says “We are really thrilled about Bruce and Leoni coming on board. Leoni’s strong ability to collaborate with directors throughout a project, from initial preproduction to on-set VFX supervision, and work closely with our 3D department, will further strengthen our team. Bruce has a terrific reputation and his experience and commitment to creative excellence will ensure a strong creative culture at Toybox.”