Discovery Science Center and El Capitan Theatre Partner to Host “Frankenweenie” Science Fair: Sparking an Interest in Science

SANTA ANA, CA — July 31, 2012 — Calling all aspiring scientists! It’s time to put on your lab coat and let your imagination go wild. Discovery Science Center (DSC) is proud to partner with the famous El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood to host a Frankenweenie Science Fair in conjunction with the October 5th release of the movie Frankenweenie by acclaimed director Tim Burton.

In Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences. Participating students will conduct and submit their own inventive science experiment! This unique science fair will gather the best and brightest students to compete for three grand prizes.

The first 50 participating students will receive a ticket to see Frankenweenie at the historic El Capitan Theatre, and a pair of tickets to visit Discovery Science Center. The exciting first round of judging to determine the finalists will happen the week of September 10, 2012, and then finalists will be judged by VIP judges the week of September 27. Of all participating students, six finalists will be selected to have their projects on display at El Capitan Theatre from October 5 to November 1, 2012. In addition, the six finalists will each receive Disneyland tickets for them and three guests for reaching this distinguished level.

The Science Fair competition concludes at the El Capitan Theatre on October 5th when three Grand Prize winners will accept their awards at a special ceremony, on the El Capitan stage prior to the showing of Frankenweenie. Grand Prize winners will receive all prizes listed previously plus a behind-the-scenes tour of Walt Disney Studios.

Interested participants must be entering the 2012-2013 school year as a 5th — 12th grade student. All projects must present an experimentally based research design; illustrating scientific methodology or a demonstration/exhibition of a science or engineering concept based on themes from the movie Frankenweenie. To become inspired, please visit

For more information and registration, please visit

“Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Jake Saves Bucky” Primetime Special to Premiere on Sept 19, 2012


Playing with Skully Short-Form Series Starring the Voice of David Arquette To Debut

Disney Junior will debut the primetime special Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Jake Saves Bucky on International Talk Like A Pirate Day, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 (7:00-8:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel. In the family night special event episode, Peter Pan returns to Never Land once again to help Jake and his crew win back their ship after losing Bucky in a race against Captain Hook and the Jolly Roger. The series’ first primetime special, Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns, debuted in February 2012 and was the most-watched cable telecast in nearly 10 years in Kids 2-5.

The short-form series Playing With Skully, which invites viewers at home to help Jake’s popular pirate lookout parrot Skully solve an array of pirate problems, will debut the same day during the Disney Junior programming block on Disney Channel (9:55 a.m., 10:25 a.m., 10:55 a.m., 11:55 a.m., 12:25 p.m. and 12:55 p.m. ET/PT) and will also air on Disney Junior. David Arquette voices the role of Skully.

Beginning Friday, August 31, will launch Jake’s Heroic Race, a collection of four mini-games themed to the primetime special, as well as a pirate name generator where kids will be presented with various scenarios and then assigned a pirate name based on their unique responses. New printable coloring pages will depict Jake demonstrating his heroic characteristics including bravery, confidence, kindness, loyalty and helpfulness.

A full-length preview of Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Jake Saves Bucky will become available via Disney Channel on Demand on September 12. WATCH Disney Channel will simulcast the special in conjunction with the television premiere on September 19 on Disney Channel. The special will also be available the following day on WATCH Disney Junior and

Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Jake Saves Bucky stars the voices of Colin Ford as Jake; Madison Pettis as Izzy; Jonathan Morgan Heit as Cubby; David Arquette as Skully; Corey Burton as Captain Hook; Jeff Bennett as Mr. Smee and Bones; Loren Hoskins as Sharky; Adam Wylie as Peter Pan; Dee Bradley Baker as Brightly and the Dragon; and Russi Taylor as Gilly. Rob LaDuca is executive producer, Mark Seidenberg is producer/story editor and Howy Parkins is the director. The special is a production of Disney Television Animation.

2012 Australian Effects & Animation Festival Award Winners Announced

VFX Producer Meredith Meyer-Nichols at Weta with Feature Films Animation Award for The Adventrues of Tintin.

The AEAF Awards winners were announced at a gala screening in Sydney at Event Cinemas George St, on 24 July 2012.

The number and quality of entries in the Feature Film VFX category sparked a new Gold, Silver and Bronze system for winners, recognising MPC, Weta and Cinesite. Among the many Australian winners at the AEAF Awards Screening on 24 July were Brisbane’s Altvfx, Sixty40 and Digital Pulse in Sydney and Oh Yeah Wow from Melbourne.

The winners of the Australian Effects & Animation Festival have been selected in all 13 categories and announced at a very lively AEAF Awards event on 24 July at the Event Cinema in Sydney.

The winner in Commercials VFX, the Festival’s largest category this year, is Altvfx in Brisbane with Nocturnal Migration for Tooheys. Kia Share Some Soul from Method Studios in Los Angeles topped the Commercials Animation entries. Members of Method’s Sydney team were on hand to collect the Award.

The Feature Films – Visual Effects Gold award goes to MPC for Prometheus, Silver to Weta Digital for The Avengers, and Bronze to Cinesite for John Carter of Mars. Not only was the complexity, expertise and originality of all three entries excellent but the judges found the levels of attention to storytelling and contribution to the whole film were also very high.

Feature Films – Animation winner is The Adventures of Tintin from Weta Digital who generously supplied some great breakdown footage of their animation and effects work across the project.

The Titles & Openers Award went to Dvein in Spain for Eva – Film Main Titles, Digital Pulse won in Idents & Stings with their Foxtel idents and Framestore collected the Web/Viral award for Coca Cola Polar Bowl.

Taste Media, New Zealand received the Flash Animation award for their call for entries spot for Live & Love Film Festival 2011. The Game Cinematics award winners are Sydney’s Plastic Wax Animation with Civilzation 5 Gods and Kings and Oh Yeah Wow in Melbourne have picked up the Music Video award for Easy Way Out by Gotye. Winner of the Short Film category is Joyrider Films for The Gate by director, writer, VFX and concept artist and animator Matt Westrup.

The winning TV Series is the HBO production Game of Thrones from Pixomondo, who also supplied fascinating footage showing breakdowns of their Series 2 creatures and environments. The Education & Training winner is Sixty40 in Sydney for NBN Explained and the Student award was won by Christopher Potter for top animation work on Ernie the Echidna.


Feature Films VFX
Prometheus — MPC — Gold
The Avengers — Weta Digital – Silver
John Carter of Mars – Cinesite – Bronze

Feature Films – Animation
The Adventures of Tintin – Weta Digital

Commercials Animation
Kia – Share Some Soul – Method Studios

Commercials VFX
Nocturnal Migration – Altvfx

Education & Training
NBN Explained – sixty40

Flash Animation
Live and Love Film Festival 2011 -
Taste Media

Game Cinematics
Civilization 5 Gods and Kings – Plastic Wax Animation

Music Video
Easy Way Out – Gotye – Oh Yeah Wow

Short Film
The Gate - Joyrider Films

Ernie the Echidna – Christopher Potter

Titles & Openers
Eva – Film Main Titles – Dvein

Idents & Stings
Foxtel idents – Digital Pulse

TV Series
Game of Thrones – Pixomondo

Web / Viral
Coca Cola Polar Bowl - Framestore

Full details of finalists and winners is online at

Meet Bahi JD, Austrian GIF Animator Turned Japanese Pro Animator

How does a 21-year-old kid living in Vienna, Austria become a key animator on a Japanese anime series directed by Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo)? That’s the unlikely tale of Bahi JD, one of the fast-rising stars of the animation world.

Bahi first started receiving attention a few years ago as an eighteen-year-old when he created an epic animated GIF called Shithead Action. The piece (formatted as a YouTube video above) displayed exceptional command of drawing and layout, and became a calling card for the young artist.

Since then, he has gone on to animate on the Konami game Skullgirls, various Japanese animated music videos, and most recently on Watanabe’s new series Kids on the Slope. His story is documented in this fascinating interview on AniPages.

The thing that struck me most while reading the interview was how Bahi JD’s development as an artist and subsequent career in the field are inseperable from the Internet: he was initially inspired by the “sakuga” anime style that he discovered on-line; he created critical networking links by participating in on-line forums and interacting with other aspiring artists and Japanese industry pros; he became known by posting his work online; and today he telecommutes to Tokyo-based animation studios through an Internet connection from his home in Austria.

The remarkable part of the story isn’t that Bahi found a job in the animation industry, but that he found a job in a highly competitive sector of the industry that’s 5,000 miles away from his home. As the animation community grows online and animation software becomes as accessible as the Internet itself, Bahi JD’s path to the industry will be one that we may see repeated ever more frequently in the coming years.

(Thanks, Tim Drage)

“Toys In The Attic” by Jiří­ Barta

Jiří­ Barta’s dark, mixed media (combining stop-mo, hand drawn, live action) feature, In The Attic (2009), is headed for a U.S. theatrical release starting September 7th. Hannover House will be releasing an English-adaptation of the film to theaters across the U.S. this fall. It’s an analogy based on the cultural and political contrasts of the Cold War era; the world of the attic is divided into the land of happy toys in the West and the Land of Evil in the East. Here’s a look at the original Czech trailer:

“Spider-Man” Cartoon Music Cues

My friend Dan O’Shannon (writer of Redux Riding Hood, Modern Family, The Fan and The Flower) is slowly starting a new website, O’Shannonland, devoted to the many things he loves – including comedy writing, comics (his own) and the City of Cleveland. Knowing Dan, I fully expect to see posts on Fleischer’s Popeye and the Lost In Space robot relatively soon. In the meantime, he has compiled a group of music cues from the classic soundtracks to Grantray-Lawrence’s Spider-Man (1967) TV series. This is the cool-jazzy Ray Ellis music, not the public domain KPM library music that began to show up in the second season. Obscure – but someone had to do it. Thanks Dan. More about the Spider-Man TV music at WFMU’s blog.

“Brats” By Ian Cheng

Ian Cheng‘s expressive use of motion capture was featured on Cartoon Brew last year. His new music video for Liars’ “Brats” is a hunter versus rabbit scenario with an untamed kinetic energy that threatens to burst out of every side of the frame. Cheng says of his first commissioned piece:

For “Brats”, I used a familiar animated narrative– hapless hunter vs. terroristic rabbit– as a format to grow a garden of signature motions. This collection of motions becomes material to recompose a new non-narrative choreography that animates the bodies of Liars. The Brats video documents this entropic haunting– from the ingredients of familiar meaning arises the terror of reckless non-meaning. A dog wanders indifferently through the animation, true to its nature.

Director: Ian Cheng
Choreographer: Madeline Hollander
Producer: Christian de Vietri
Performers: David Yijae, Max van der Sterre, Ade Chike Torbert
Assistant animation: mike liu
Motion capture services: Motion Capture NYC, Steve Day, Henry Brito
Thanks: Patrick Daughters, Micaela Durand, Zelda Roland, Rachel Rose

“Tom & Jerry: Tricks & Treats” Available on September 4, 2012



Collection Features 20 High-Spirited Animated Cartoons Plus Two Bonus Cartoons

BURBANK, CA (July 30, 2012) — Get set for a ghoulishly good time with that tussling twosome, Tom and Jerry as they scare up some fun for the whole family this Halloween with their latest DVD release, Tom & Jerry: Tricks and Treats, available September 4, 2012 from Warner Home Video (WHV). This “spooktacular” collection showcases 20 Tom and Jerry cartoons plus two bonus cartoons. Tom & Jerry: Tricks and Treats will retail for $19.97 SRP.

Tom and Jerry are in for spooks galore in this monster collection. With 20 eerie cartoons plus two bonus cartoons, everyone’s goodie-bag will overflow with fun! Tricks and treats are at every turn, from ancient Egypt to Transylvania, from creepy houses to haunted forests, the hair-raising hilarity is non-stop! Our favorite Cat and Mouse mingle with ghosts, mummies, werewolves and witches in these terrific tales. Of course Tom and Jerry have a bounty of tricks up their own sleeves as well! Fear not, the chase is on! It’s a “scare-iffic” good time for the whole family!

In Over the River and Boo! The Woods, Tom and Jerry find themselves lost in a haunted forest. Tom leaves home to become a witch’s companion in The Flying Sorceress. In Haunted Mouse, Tom is put under a spell by Jerry’s magician uncle. Jerry meets a bat who looks just like him and together, they trick Tom into believing the bat is Jerry’s flying ghost in Bats What I Like About the South. Legendary monster hunter, Van Helsing, chases after Tom when he’s transformed into a werewolf in Monster Con. In Which Witch, Tom is a servant to a witch who needs a mouse to complete her magic potion. Jerry discovers the secret tomb of an ancient Egyptian cat in Tomb it May Concern. In Spook House Mouse, Tom and Jerry find themselves in an abandoned fun house where they embark on a rickety ride featuring lots of spooky attractions. These and several other “fang-stastic” shorts are featured in the collection.

Featured Episodes:

  1. More Powers to You
  2. Over the River and Boo! The Woods
  3. Fire Breathing Tom Cat
  4. Touché, Pussy Cat!
  5. The Flying Sorceress
  6. Tiger Cat
  7. Robin Hoodwinked
  8. Jerry’s Cousin
  9. Invasion of the Body Slammers
  10. Haunted Mouse
  11. Trap Happy
  12. Spook House Mouse
  13. Bats What I Like About the South
  14. Fraidy Cat Scat
  15. Which Witch
  16. Monster Con
  17. Tomb It May Concern
  18. Power Tom
  19. The Itch
  20. Hi, Robot

Bonus Cartoons:

  1. Ho Ho Horrors
  2. Doggone Hill Hog

“With over two hours of hilarious cartoons, Tom & Jerry: Tricks and Treats is the perfect seasonal DVD title to inspire the spirit of Halloween in the whole family,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Vice President of Family and Animation Marketing and Partner Brands. She added, “Tom and Jerry cartoons are timeless and appeal to a broad audience, especially to kids. This collection consists of Halloween-inspired themes and celebrates everything that is fun, playful and whimsical about the holiday. It’s a great mix of classic theatrical shorts and newer cartoons too and a must-have for Tom and Jerry fans.”

DreamWorks Animation Charitable Foundation Pledges Continued Commitment To Animation Academy At Inner-City Arts

Donates $250,000 Grant In Support of Animation Education

LOS ANGELES, July 30, 2012 – Inner-City Arts, an arts education provider based in downtown Los Angeles, today announced The DreamWorks Animation Charitable Foundation, Inc. has donated a grant in the amount of $250,000 over five years in continued support of the DreamWorks Animation Academy at Inner-City Arts, which provides instruction in digital media, film-making and graphic design to Los Angeles area students.

Non-profit Inner-City Arts, now in its twenty-third year of operation, uses arts education to positively affect the lives of inner-city children, improving their chances to lead productive and successful lives by developing creativity, improving learning skills and building self-confidence.

In 2008, an initial gift of $500,000 from The DreamWorks Animation Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic affiliate of DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA), established the DreamWorks Animation Academy at Inner-City Arts. Thanks to this support, Inner-City Arts expanded its offerings in animation and other art forms to middle and high school students throughout Los Angeles city and county, providing state-of-the-art equipment, additional staff, visiting artists, and a more robust Saturday program for its students.

“The most recent gift from The DreamWorks Animation Charitable Foundation will help Inner-City Arts expand its career-readiness programs, providing more opportunities for students to explore their creativity, build portfolios, and learn skills that are valued in the 21st Century workforce,” said Joseph Collins, President and CEO of Inner-City Arts.

“Since the animation program’s inception sixteen years ago, 100% of the participating high school students have graduated from high school (compared to the LAUSD graduation rate of 62%), more than 90% of the students have enrolled in college or post-secondary training, and at least 40 students have embarked on careers in film, television, teaching and the social sciences.”

The affiliation with DreamWorks Animation also provides Inner-City Arts students with media arts field trips and includes future plans for internship opportunities with DreamWorks Animation. One such field trip took place on July 27, 2012, when more than 40 middle and high school students visited DreamWorks Animation in Glendale, CA to tour the facilities, view animation demos and footage, and meet with DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Katzenberg.

“DreamWorks Animation remains deeply committed to continuing the important work done by Inner-City Arts every day: to help talented young people achieve their potential and reach their dreams,” Katzenberg commented.

In the DreamWorks Animation program, elementary to high school-aged students learn the fundamentals of basic animation, including Zoetropes, Flipbooks, hand and puppet animation, drawing on film and optical printing. Each class creates a collaborative animated film, which is screened at culminating festivals held at Inner-City Arts, the students’ own schools and local theater and other venues throughout the city.

“This experience has encouraged me to work at something I love,” Raquel, a 17 year-old high school student with Inner-City Arts said, after touring DreamWorks Animation Studios on Friday. “I learned that there are so many different little parts of an industry that you can work in. DreamWorks has opened my eyes to finding something in animation that I could really find interesting.”

Aardman Launches “Animate It!” App

BRISTOL, UK — Aardman Animations has boosted its grass-roots animation brand with a fantastic new Animate It! app which launches in the iTunes App Store for just $2.99.

This simple, easy to use app will have you creating your own stop-motion animations on the go in no time.  Perfect for any budding young animator!

It includes fantastic features and tools to bring your subjects to life, allowing you to edit and watch your animation whilst making it, a time lapse feature and variable frame rates to achieve a smooth animation style. Users can copy, paste and even reverse sequences and edit by deleting and reordering frames.  Within the app there is also an informative help manual and the option to export your animation files in HD so you can share them with family, friends and fellow animators!

The Animate It! team enlisted the help of two animation fans to create a video to demonstrate the simplicity of the software, shot entirely on an iPad using Animate It!

Through Animate It!, Aardman make the highly technical world of an Oscar-winning animation studio accessible to everyone — regardless of skill, experience or talent — nurturing and inspiring a future generation of animators. is fast-becoming the online destination for all young animators providing hints and tips from Aardman animators and the latest news from behind the scenes of the studios.

Aardman have partnered with Kudlian Software the UK’s longest-established and independent publishers of quality educational software for both Primary and Secondary education to create Animate It! which is also available for PC and Mac.

FUNimation Entertainment Announces Multiple Otakon Acquisitions

Flower Mound, TX —July 28, 2012- FUNimation Entertainment announced today at Otakon that it has acquired the streaming, broadcast, home entertainment, video on demand, pay-per-view, and DTO/DTR rights to the complete anime OAV series, Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar. This spin-off series takes place roughly 15 years after the events in Tenchi Muyo! GXP.

From the animation studio (AIC SPIRITS) that brought you Ga-Rei Zero and Tokko and the director of Baki the Grappler (Koji Yoshikawa) FUNimation is pleased to announce the acquisition of streaming, home entertainment, theatrical and merchandise rights to the complete Tenchi Muyo! franchise.

Synopsis: Kenshi — half-brother of intergalactic hero Tenchi Masaki — has been summoned to the mysterious world of Geminar, and his only hope of returning to Earth is piloting a bio-mechanical weapon in a shocking assassination attempt! When the mission fails and Kenshi is captured, he discovers he’s been lied to by the very culprits who transported him to this strange new world. Luckily, Princess Lashara kindly welcomes Kenshi and invites him to live amongst her followers. Now, caught up in a political whirlwind — and hotly pursued by Geminar’s female population — Kenshi must find a way to get home while civil war erupts all around him!

Additional information may be found at:

In addition, FUNimation has acquired the streaming, home entertainment, and digital rights to the complete anime series Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine.

Series Synopsis: What happened when Lupin III met Fujiko Mine for the first time? Find out in the first new chapter of the Lupin III franchise in 25 years!

More information may be found at:

FUNimation has also acquired the streaming, home entertainment, broadcast, pay per view and merchandise rights to the complete anime series, Maken-Ki! Battling Venus. The series is directed by Koichi Ohata, best known for directing Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians and MD Geist.

Series synopsis:

Based on the manga series by Takeda Hiromitsu, this romantic comedy is about Ohyama Takeru, a typical perverted teenage boy. His new school doesn’t require entrance exams, and it just turned co-ed! Unfortunately, his dreams of a happy high school life are dashed when he finds out the school is much more than it seems. All of the students wield a special item — a Maken — to unleash their magical abilities in duels! Can Takeru find a Maken that works for him? Even while trying to fit in at a new school and dealing with all kinds of girl problems?

Additional information may be found at:

FUNimation has also acquired the streaming, broadcast, home entertainment, theatrical and merchandise rights for the complete anime series Sankarea. The series is directed by Shinichi Omata, best known for his work in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica and Arakawa Under the Bridge.

Series synopsis:

Furuya’s not interested in the living, he’s got zombies on the brain! When Furuya’s cat dies, he decides he’s going to try and bring it back to life. In the process, he stumbles across a girl who is involved in an accident and turns into a real zombie! What’s Furuya going to do now that the thing he loves the most is right in front of his eyes?

Additional information may be found at:

Lastly, home entertainment rights have also be acquired for the following, with additional information to be announced at a later date:

Space Battleship Yamato Resurrection
Synopsis: A crisis is approaching Earth with the expansion of a moving black hole, in the year 2220. A plan is devised to move over 300-million people from Earth. When the latest transportation fleet is attacked, Space Battleship Yamato comes to its defense, the ship is now commanded by Susumu Kodai, also aboard is daughter Miyuki, child of Susumu and Yuki.

Fairy Tail Season 2- 24 New Fairy Tail Episodes — We’ll follow the continuing adventures of our favorite Fairy Tail Guild members: Lucy, Natsu, Erza, Gray and Happy as they take on new jobs, make new friends, go against incredible adversaries and solve big mysteries all in the Kingdom of Fiore.

Fairy Tail — The Movie- — We’ll be introduced to a new female character that carries a mysterious stone with her called the Phoenix Stone. We’ll also find out how the Fairy Tail guild gets tied up in the mystery. It’s a great story that you won’t want to miss!

Aquarion Evol
Synopsis:. The “Abductors” Invaders from Altea come to Earth with only one purpose, to harvest humans. DEAVA the Aquaria Academy exists to train men and women to use Aquaria, but they cannot ever merge because of Guize stones, these block an “unholy union” between genders. The story follows Amata and Mikono in their enrollment into DEAVA, and fight their fight with Abductors.

Synopsis: It’s the year 2019, thirty-one years have passed since the start of World War III. A top-secret child with amazing powers of the mind breaks free from custody and accidentally gets a motorcycle gang involved in the project. This incident triggers psychic powers within one of the gang members, Tetsuo, and he is taken by the army to be experimented on. His mind has been altered and is now on the path of war, seeking revenge on the society that once called him weak.

One Piece Season 5 Season 5 (Episodes 264 — 336) will span the entire Enies Lobby Arc, as the Straw Hat Pirates continue their battle with CP9, and ends with the Ice Hunter Arc.

Fans can look for One Piece Season 5 to hit DVD in the summer of 2013.

But that’s not all for One Piece fans! FUNimation Entertainment also announced the acquisition of the One Piece feature length film, One Piece Film: Strong World.

One Piece Film: Strong World takes place between the Thriller bark and Sabaody Archipelago Arcs as the Straw Hats Pirates return to their hometowns in East Blue to face off against the infamous, Golden Lion Shiki. When Shiki abducts Nami to use as his personal navigator, the Straw Hats must place their very lives on the line to save her.

FUNimation Entertainment has yet to announce any information regarding the release of this film.

“Money Bunny Blues” By Ellen Coons

Today, as part of Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival, we’re delighted to present Money Bunny Blues by Ellen Coons of Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. As stop motion animation in feature films becomes slicker and increasingly indiscernible from CGI, it’s refreshing to find a stop motion short that embraces the technique’s quirky and whimsical possibilities. The film’s setting is an intricate handmade universe comprised of common household objects–candy, coins, fruit, playing cards. Within this fantasy backdrop and accompanied by a folksy, unadorned song of economic woe, loose-limbed Dolly attempts to connect with the elusive Money Bunny. Whether you’re in need of a few bucks or have more money than you know what to do with, the free-spirited charm of Money Bunny Blues will put a smile on your face.

Click HERE to read an interview with the filmmaker Ellen Coons.

The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.

CBTV Student Fest: “Money Bunny Blues” By Ellen Coons

Today, as part of Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival, we’re delighted to present Money Bunny Blues by Ellen Coons of Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. As stop motion animation in feature films becomes slicker and increasingly indiscernible from CGI, it’s refreshing to find a stop motion short that embraces the technique’s quirky and whimsical possibilities. The film’s setting is an intricate handmade universe comprised of common household objects–candy, coins, fruit, playing cards. Within this fantasy backdrop and accompanied by a folksy, unadorned song of economic woe, loose-limbed Dolly attempts to connect with the elusive Money Bunny. Whether you’re in need of a few bucks or have more money than you know what to do with, the free-spirited charm of Money Bunny Blues will put a smile on your face.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker Ellen Coons:

Money Bunny Blues was built around a song I wrote last summer in the midst of unpaid work. It was written out of the frustration of dependency. The Money Bunny character sort of grew from the concept of Money Karma, believing that what you give will eventually make its way back around. I won a cash raffle with a dollar that I found in a parking lot that summer… it might’ve been what started this whole thing. Money Bunny was a sick infusion of childhood’s Easter Bunny with my semi-grown-up financial priorities.

The film is all stop motion animation, shot with Dragon Stop Motion on a Canon Rebel XS and composited in Adobe After Effects. Money Bunny has a steel ball and socket armature, and Dolly is made from wire–I like to think that this allowed for more contrast of movement between the characters. The sets were made mostly from cardboard and things that were lying around in disuse. I like to use what is available to me before I go gather new materials.

My biggest challenge was probably working on the story. It’s difficult to build one from scratch, and I’ve always struggled with endings. I wanted to work through a sort of cat-and-mouse storyline, with a lot of opportunity for animating action. Making it into something with a real climax and ending was a struggle, and I’ve learned to spend more time on these things before starting production. It’s always the tendency to want to jump in and start making things, but when you don’t finish the story first, it’ll get crammed in later, without the love and care it deserves.

During production, I was very interested in experimenting with materials. I think that stop motion is unique in allowing objects from everyday life to be incorporated into fantastical and completely unreal environments. It was great to make a rainbow out of candy, because I love rainbows, and I love candy, and together they make dreams come true! I tried incorporating things I’d found whenever it seemed right, and finding ways to sneak them in when I could was fun and gratifying. Other inspirations include Billie Holiday, George Pal, A Town Called Panic, bunnies, Screen Novelties, friends and family, competitive instinct, success and failure, and lots of other things I’m sure.

Ellen Coons

The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.

DO NOT MISS: Canemaker Lecture on the Hubleys at The Academy Sept. 14th

If you are in Southern California (or Northern California, the west coast or anywhere west of the Mississippi) you are summoned to what sounds like an incredible evening at the Motion Picture Academy in September. Oscar winning animator and acclaimed animation historian John Canemaker will present an illustrated lecture and screening of the lives and work of independent animators John and Faith Hubley on Friday, September 14th, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in Los Angeles.

Canemaker will host an in-depth, intimate look at the life and work of these two iconoclastic artists, including screenings of Flat Hatting, The Ragtime Bear, Rooty Toot Toot; Storyboard, Inc. TV commercials; Faith Hubley’s Northern Ice Golden Sun; John and Faith Hubley’s Adventures of an *, The Tender Game, The Hole, Windy Day, Voyage to Next, and newly discovered footage of a never-completed animatic by the Hubleys of Edith Sitwell and William Walton’s Facade. Anyone who’s been to any of Canemaker’s lectures know these are not to be missed.

Tickets for An Academy Salute to John and Faith Hubley go on sale later today, Mon. July 30th, online – and you can get yours if you click here. See you there!

Revisiting Cartoon Brew’s Crowdfunding Policy

Over two years ago, we instituted a strict “no links to crowdfunding” policy. In other words, we will never post links to any fundraising projects on Kickstarter, IndieGogo, or any other number of sites. If it’s a noteworthy project for reasons other than the creator needing money, we may write about it at a later date, but only after the fundraising campaign has ended.

To be clear, we have no issues with artists who use crowdfunding to raise funds for animation projects. We instituted the policy as a response to the growing volume of film funding requests, which threatened to overwhelm our ability to focus on more important topics, like films that have already been finished. Even though we haven’t linked to any crowdfunding projects in over two years, we still receive multiple submissions every single day–imagine the volume if we actually linked to them.

Further, if we linked to projects or artists whose work we personally enjoyed, we could be accused of giving unfair preferential treatment to certain people. Within the tight-knit animation community, we didn’t want to constantly be put in the position of defending ourselves about why we supported one person in their efforts to raise money and not another. The easiest solution was to remove ourselves from the fundraising pool and remain as objective observers of the broader fundraising scene.

In the two years since we’ve instituted the policy, crowdfunding has grown to become an even bigger part of the animation world. Today, mainstream artists like Phil Tippett and Ken Duncan use it to raise funds, and more ambitious projects are being undertaken thanks to this new type of film funding. We thought it would be a good time to revisit the issue and we want to hear what readers think.

Do you think we should treat crowdfunding submissions as we do any other news submission and give them editorial consideration for Cartoon Brew? Should we only focus on projects from established artists who have mainstream credits under their belt? Should we be completely objective and post any crowdfunding submission if they pay a small fee to be listed on Cartoon Brew? Or should we continue with our existing policy and not link to any fundraising efforts? There are any number of ways to handle this and we’re open to your suggestions.

PS – Just to be clear, we are not changing our policy anytime soon so don’t send us crowdfunding links.

AniMazSpot To Hold “Magoo At The Alex” & “I ❤ UPA” Events At Alex Theatre on September 15

Burbank, CA, July 29, 2012 — The historic Alex Theatre will be the host venue for the red carpet tribute to “Magoo at the Alex”, on Saturday, September 15, 2012, in Glendale, California. Animation enthusiasts will be treated to an afternoon event, “I ❤ UPA”, which will feature a panel presentation by premier animation professionals paying homage to UPA’s influence on them, showing clips of their work and UPAs, and reminiscing about UPA with moderator, animator and historian, Tom Sito.

The evening will culminate with the “Magoo at the Oscars” event, a screening all fifteen UPA Oscar nominations and winners, plus, five Mister Magoo favorites. All will be shown in gorgeously restored 35mm prints from Sony Pictures, including UPAs three Oscar winners; Gerald McBoing Boing, When Magoo Flew, and Magoo’s Puddle Jumper, the last two in Cinemascope…

…come and reminisce about your favorite Mr. Magoo moments, while mingling with industry professionals, and animation enthusiasts at the VIP reception … and fluidly segue under a night of stars for the evening screenings of the “Magoo at the Oscars”…

AniMazSpot 2012 International Festival of Animated Shorts will take place from September 10th thru September 16th at the Fletcher Jones Auditorium on the Woodbury University campus at 7500 Glenoaks Boulevard, Burbank, CA 91510. AniMazSpot foundation is built upon highlighting and honoring the talents and efforts of short animators.

Amongst the many festival activities, there will be a screening of the 15 nominated shorts, and animated panel presentations conducted by industry professionals. With the popularity of last years’ free studio, and school tours and archive presentations, they are being offered again this year.

Festival tickets can be purchased for an entire week of animation events, September 10th through 16th, for just $25, or separate tickets can be purchase to attend just the Saturday UPA events at the Alex, or all the rest of the events at Woodbury and other animation spots around LA.

To view the AniMazSpot 2012 International Festival of Animated Shorts agenda and compilation of surrounding festival events, please visit

Bob Givens Redux

A couple days ago, I wrote about Bob Givens, the 94-year-old artist who designed Bugs Bunny in his debut short A Wild Hare. While I was writing that post, I ran across a couple items related to Givens that are worth sharing. The first is a newspaper clipping from the Alhambra Post-Advocate annoucing that 18-year-old Bob Givens had been hired at Disney.

The second is an ambitious gag “bulletin” about Ward Kimball and his two assistants David Swift and Tom Oreb. The drawing, which makes fun of the trio’s lack of “mox”, is signed by Givens, who had moved over to Warner Bros. when this was drawn in October 1939, along with two WB writers Rich Hogan and Dave Monahan. Typically, gag drawings were confined to colleagues at the same studio, but there’s a reason why Warner Bros. artists are making fun of their Disney counterparts. At the time of this drawing, Givens lived with Swift (as well as Hogan and some other artists) in a rented mansion in Los Feliz. If any Cartoon Brew readers are in touch with Bob, ask him to explain the joke about “mox.” Inquiring minds want to know.

“ParaNorman” Posters

These striking illustrated posters promoting Laika’s latest film ParaNorman are being displayed around various US cities. I saw them in Manhattan yesterday. According to some of the artists who drew the posters for Mondo, passerby are free to grab them off the walls if they wish. Click on the images below for hi-res versions.

Glen Brogan

Little Friends of Printmaking

Drew Millward

Graham Erwin

Dave Perillo

MTV’s “Retro Mania” Ends Its Summer Run With The Return Of “Daria” Next Week

A Selection of MTV’s Favorite Episodes from the Critically Acclaimed Darling of Cool, Daria, Airs Monday, July 30 from 9:00a.m. to 12:00p.m. ET/PT until August 3, 2012
Tweet it: Daria returns for #retroMTV on Monday, July 30 Thru August 3 from 9am to 12pm

New York, NY, July 26, 2012 Everybody’s favorite animated anti-heroine, Daria, returns to MTV next week as its Retro Mania programming block comes to an end for this summer. Beginning Monday, July 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET/PT until August 3, a selection of MTV’s favorite episodes across five seasons of the show will air for viewers to hang out with the coolest non-conformist ever, Daria. As a special bonus, Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer, stand-up comedians and hilarious hosts of the upcoming Nikki & Sara Show on MTV, will be providing superfan Daria commentary throughout the week to add to the hilarity. Daria anchors the six week run of Retro Mania which previously featured the drama filled first two seasons of Laguna Beach, the entire fabulous series run of The Hills. Since its debut on June 25, the “Retro Mania” weekday programming block has increased MTV’s performance +14% year over year in the timeslot among P12-34, with ratings among our core demo of F18-24 up 53% year over year.
In 1997, Daria spun off of Beavis and Butt-head into her own self-titled series, a biting social satire about popular culture’s obsession with fashion and conformity, and fans quickly embraced the teen who was willing to take on the world. Daria never wanted to be “popular.” In fact, she despised anything that even remotely pandered to the masses. However, for five seasons, Daria’s sharp intellect — and even sharper tongue — dissected anyone she deemed superficial — which was basically just about everyone. With her trademark big, round glasses, combat boots, blazer and pleated skirt, Daria unintentionally became a cultural icon and the star of MTV’s wildly popular animated series.
For all you Daria super fans. All 5 individual seasons of Daria are available on as well as a new “Daria: Fan Favorites” DVD, which includes 16 all-time, fan favorite episodes. The DVD features the pilot episode, “Sealed With A Kick,” and interviews from the cast and crew! DVD’s are available exclusively at and Amazon. In addition, there are tons of great Daria t-shirts and other Daria merchandise available at

Two New Shorts to Watch Out For

With the Ottawa festival on the horizon, here are the trailers for two new shorts just hitting the festival circuit that look quite intriguing.

First up, from Connor Finnegan, a film about a bird with A Fear of Flying who tries to avoid heading South for the winter.

Next, animator Leah Shore illustrates a conversation between Canadian author Marlin Marynick and cult killer Charles Manson in Old Man:

BigStar Animates “Meat Without Drugs”

New York, NY — Creative strategy and production company BigStar recently partnered with Kenner Films to create a provocative and informative short film about the abundance of antibiotics in today’s meat products and the effect it has in the daily lives of consumers. The video is part of the newly launched Meat Without Drugs campaign, a project between FixFood and Consumers Union to address the rampant misuse of antibiotics by factory farms.

The film, narrated by actor Bill Paxton, relates the history of antibiotics’ introduction to the world in 1944 as a miracle cure (when used sparingly) for a wide variety of diseases, such as Tuberculosis, Salmonella, and Pneumonia. Through animation, the video shows how 80% of all antibiotics today are used on factory farm animals enabling them to grow faster and survive in unhealthy conditions. This system, in turn, creates antibiotic-resistant “superbugs,” which are contaminating our soil, water and the very food we eat. The powerful piece concludes with a call to action for consumers to change the system and petition retailers.

To view the short film, please visit:

“BigStar has a way of taking complex ideas and magically making them entertaining and compelling,” says director Robert Kenner. “They know how to take concepts and turn them into something more than the sum of their parts.”

BigStar has a longstanding relationship with Kenner, previously collaborating together on a series of projects, including the widely received 2008 documentary “Food, Inc.” When Kenner became involved in “FixFood,” a social media action project to engage Americans in transforming the food system, he consulted BigStar on the brand look and feel of the campaign.

“Once Robert decided to make a video about the overuse of antibiotics, we worked with him on developing a script, executing, and designing an overall approach,” explains BigStar President Josh Norton. “It’s such a huge story — to take the history, utility and current problems of antibiotics and frame it in a way that’s relevant and actionable. We’re proud to present this socially relevant and significant spot as a part of the FixFood team. This project was a great vehicle for BigStar to exercise its ‘For the Greater Good’ mantra.”

“Transformers Rescue Bots: Roll To The Rescue” on DVD October 2

From the creators of Transformers Prime comes an all-new animated series Transformers Rescue Bots, created specifically for the younger generation of Transformers fans by Hasbro Studios. Emphasizing the importance of teamwork and heroism, this hit show brings action, adventure, heart and humor, and follows a group of AUTOBOTS assigned by Optimus Prime to serve and protect mankind. On October 2, 2012, kids and families will be entertained by the adventures of the Rescue Bots – Heatwave, Boulder, Blades and Chase when Transformers Rescue Bots: Roll To The Rescue DVD hits store shelves everywhere from Shout! Factory Kids, in collaboration with Hasbro Studios. Featuring five fun-filled episodes, special DVD bonus content and coloring sheets, this DVD is priced to own with a suggested retail price of $14.93. This DVD is now available for pre-order at

Executive produced by Jeff Kline (Transformers Prime), Transformers Rescue Bots features the vocal talents of LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Lacey Chabert (Party of Five), Steve Blum (Transformers Prime), Maurice LaMarche (Emmy Award winner for Futurama) and the legendary Peter Cullen who voices OPTIMUS PRIME when he makes cameo appearances in the series. The Transformers Rescue Bots series is currently airing on The HUB TV Network in the U.S. and on Treehouse in Canada.

Griffin Rock seems like just another chunk of land floating off the coast of Maine. But if you look a little closer, you just might find more than meets the eye! Meet the Rescue Bots – Chase, Heatwave, Blades and Boulder! Stationed undercover, they’re given the task of protecting and learning about mankind by teaming up with a family of first responders, including a police chief, firefighter, helicopter pilot and engineer. With help from Cody, the family’s youngest, the Rescue Bots help keep people safe, and along the way they learn what it really means to be a hero!

AniMazSpot Announces 2012 Studio Tours

AniMazSpot 2012 announces its first six studio tours, with another six in the works. Free Tours of Animation Studios, Schools, and Archives were such a success at the AniMazSpot 2011 festival week that they’re back again this year, with about a dozen planned. Some have been brought back for this year’s festival goers, and others are available for the first time.

AniMazSpot 2011 had a tour of Disney’s main lot in Burbank, given by Mitch Richon. This year there’ll be a similar tour, but conducted by Disney Legend, Floyd Norman. The tour of DreamWorks in Glendale will be followed by lunch on the lot. Fred Crippen will be back again to give festival goers a look at his Pantomime studio in Studio City. Jason Mendoza is also back again to show the fantastic Gnomon hi-tech school in Hollywood, and Peggy Alexander will give a tour of the impressive UCLA Film and Television Archives in Westwood, featuring their Walter Lantz Collection. Plus, this year AniMazSpot 2012 features a Mystery Tour, guaranteed to please.

Tours are scheduled September 10 thru 14, the weekdays leading up to the main events of the Sept 15/16 weekend, and are available for all festival goers who purchase tickets to the Woodbury events. To find out more visit Scroll down to the “Tours” panel on the “events” page. More will Tours be added soon. First come first served.