A Compilation of 243 Animated Feature Titles

Irina Neustroeva made this chronological compilation of 243 animated feature film titles so you don’t have to. It’s both a nostalgia trip and a valuable lesson in design trends:

This video presents titles of animated feature films in order from 1937 to 2012 year which were produced in the USA. These video consists only 243 titles. Titles were selected in accordance with the ranking of IMBD and only the first part of the sequel was selected for video. Full list of animated feature films used in the video you can find here.

The Disney Architecture Legacy of Michael Eisner

In 1990, when the Dolphin and Swan hotels opened at Walt Disney World, it marked the start of the ill-fated Disney Decade, a plan developed by then CEO Michael Eisner. Completely enamored by the practice of architecture, Eisner commissioned world-famous architects to design themed hotels and office buildings for his company.

Eisner’s connection to the who’s who of architecture began when Robert A.M. Stern, the current Dean of the Yale University School of Architecture, designed a Manhattan apartment for Eisner’s parents in the early 1970s. Nearly 20 years later, Stern served on the Walt Disney Company’s Board of Directors during Eisner’s tenure, and designed the Feature Animation Building, which opened in 1994.

Michael Graves, the creator of the Dolphin and Swan hotels, was one of many architects who, in the 1970s, was sick of the clean lines and simple structures of the prevailing modernist movement in architecture. Graves became one of the leaders associated with the postmodern movement, which brought absurdity, decoration, and whimsy to architecture. This generation of architects, many of whom admit to growing up on Mickey Mouse, were ripe for embracing pop culture and, subsequently, Eisner’s vision.

For better or worse, Graves is most often remembered for the Team Disney Building, which was completed shortly after the Swan Hotel. Based on classical architecture, the building features the seven dwarfs as its structural columns. Eisner, who knew the building was a gamble, watched its construction progress from his office window. “The fact is, we’re the only company who can get away with it,” Eisner told Patricia Leigh Brown in a riveting New York Times profile from 1990. To this day, images of the building show up in slideshows presented in architecture classes around the world, often presented with a sneer and a shudder from professors.

As the Team Disney Building neared completion, it took the spotlight off an internal battle looming within the company, one that would eventually culminate in the ousting of Eisner by the mid-2000s. Roy E. Disney, the nephew of Walt Disney who had served as both vice-chairman of the Board of Directors and head of animation when he returned to the company in 1984, was disgusted by Graves’s building. In the prologue of Disney War, author James B. Stewart writes, “Though the monumental facade was leavened by bas-reliefs of the Seven Dwarfs in the pediment, Roy felt the building represented everything that was bloated and pretentious in the company that Eisner had created.”

For many others, Graves’s buildings for Eisner encapsulate the period of the early ’90s when the Walt Disney Company readied itself for an optimistic future, one that would be driven by the newly established home video market. The company had barely survived the 1980s and welcomed Eisner who oversaw the back-to-back releases of Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Little Mermaid, the studio’s first financially successful and culturally relevant animated features in decades.

Brown’s New York Times article is fascinating to read now that nearly fifteen years have passed. It shows how the high versus low art debate continued to haunt Disney and the field of animation in general. It also illustrates the internal struggle many architects fought over having Eisner as a client. “It’s precarious to be co-opted by Mickey Mouse,” said architect Frank Gehry before designing the infamous Walt Disney Concert Hall.

By the late ’90s, the Disney Decade had all but vanished as Eisner’s popularity declined within the company. Coincidentally, postmodern architecture mirrored this descent as younger generations of architects turned against pop culture references in their work. But for a brief moment, the separate visions of Eisner and the postmodernists crossed paths to create architecture that is still discussed and debated.

Women in Animation Relaunches With New Leadership

Women in Animation, the nineteen-year-old Los Angeles-based non-profit dedicated to promoting the role of women in the animation industry, has relaunched its organization under the leadership of co-presidents Margaret Dean (above left, director of production for Mattel’s newly formed Playground Productions) and Kristy Scanlan (Technicolor’s vice president of business development, animation and games).

In their roles as co-presidents, Dean and Scanlan will lead the restructured WIA, and communicate the organization’s current role and future vision to its members worldwide. “Women have always played a vitally important role in animation in spite of history’s having overlooked or underplayed many of their contributions,” said Dean. “I’m looking forward to collaborating with Kristy and WIA to organize and represent the collective interests of women engaged in all aspects of animation, whether as independent filmmakers, studio artists or business executives, and believe that by working together we can create greater opportunities for us all.” Dean and Scanlan will lead an executive committee that also includes:

  • Barbara Cimity (line producer, Robot Chicken) as treasurer

  • Dawn Rivera-Ernster (director of talent development and recruitment at Walt Disney Animation Studios) as secretary

They will also serve on the board of directors with the addition of:

  • Jinko Gotoh (executive producer, The Little Prince for Onyx Films) as Chair of Chapter Support

  • Tracy Campbell (senior manager studio training for Walt Disney Animation Studios) as Chair of Programming

  • Anna Jordan-Douglass (interactive producer at The Jim Henson Company) as Chair of Marketing

  • Karen Kirkland (executive director, talent outreach and development for Nickelodeon) as Chair of Member Services.

Retiring WIA co-presidents Rita Street and Jan Nagel will continue to serve on WIA’s new advisory committee that will include:

  • Bonnie Arnold (producer, DreamWorks Animation) as Chair

  • Jenna Boyd (senior vice president animation development for Nickelodeon)

  • Ann Le Cam (vice president of human resources and production planning for Walt Disney Animation Studios)

  • Lenora Hume (production and programming executive for Shut Up! Cartoons and LA representative for TeamTO)

  • Adina Pitt (vice president, content acquisitions and co-productions, Cartoon Network and Boomerang)

The aims of Women in Animation are worthwhile, but it’s disappointing that they didn’t include a single creative person within their executive ranks or advisory board. The executive leadership of an organization generally serves as an indication of its focus, and WIA’s exclusive committee of women who are currently in corporate, management and producer roles would seem to suggest that their focus is narrowly limited to that segment of the industry.

In fact, women have been entrenched in management and producer positions for decades. It is within the creative realm (directors, artists, story, vfx) that women have lagged noticeably behind and where they have made rapid gains during the last decade. An organization that focuses on the creative advancement of women in animation is just as much needed, if not more, as one that focuses on executive and managerial concerns.

Artist of the Day: Tim Peacock

Tim Peacock

Tim Peacock works as an illustrator in Brooklyn. He studied illustration at the Ringling College of Art and Design.

Tim Peacock

Tim primarily works with ink drawings on paper with gray washes of watercolor or diluted ink on top. After establishing the tonal values, he scans the piece, perhaps cleans it up a bit, and then colors it digitally with the ink layer multiplied on top of the color layers.

The result is a hybrid piece that feels traditional and hand made yet takes advantage of the options provided by digital coloring. The gray tones also unify the color of the whole piece, desaturating the colors and adding to the mysterious feeling of many of his drawings.

Tim Peacock

See more work from Tim on his Tumblr and portfolio website.

Tim Peacock

Tim Peacock

Tim Peacock

Watch the Trailer for Michel Gondry’s New Animated Documentary

Nowadays Michel Gondry makes mostly live action films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep, but he has been intimately connected with animation processes since his earliest days as a music video director. His new feature, Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?, harkens back to his experimental roots as he animates the theories of linguist, philosopher and cognitive scientist Noam Chomsky. It also might just be the first American animated film this year that isn’t packed with fart gags and bodily function humor:

Through complex, lively conversations with Chomsky and brilliant illustrations by Gondry himself, the film reveals the life and work of the father of modern linguistics while also exploring his theories on the emergence of language. The result is not only a dazzling, vital portrait of one of the foremost thinkers of modern times, but also a beautifully animated work of art.

Gondry receives the main title credit for animation, but the full credits also list Valerie Pirson and Timothée Lemoine as animators alongside Gondry. Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? will have its world premiere as the closing night selection of DOC NYC Festival in November. It will then be distributed by Sundance Selects in limited theatrical release, on iTunes and VOD on November 22.

“When I’m Scared” by Fernanda Frick

When a young rabbit goes to his first job interview, he can’t help but feel completly scared. What will he do to get over it? I made this short film as a personal project, it was supposed to be something simple I could finish in a month or two but in the end it took a lot longer to finish! I wanted to make a new short film with a simple story to focus on art and animation and around that time I came across Ze Frank’s song, and it inspired me to do something with it.

Animation, Story and art: Fernanda Frick
Compositing, post-production and sound: Glenn Lazo
Song: Ze Frank

Rob Letterman Will Direct “Captain Underpants” for DreamWorks

Tie on that cape and pull up those tightie-whities, because word is out that DreamWorks Animation has completed a script for the bigscreen animated adaptation of the Captain Underpants book series.

Nicholas Stoller (Get Him to the Greek, The Muppets) wrote the script and Rob Letterman (Shark Tale, Monsters vs. Aliens) is set to direct. A release date has not yet been set.

Written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey, the children’s novels focus on George and Harold, two fourth graders who use hypnosis to turn their principal into their favorite comic book superhero, Captain Underpants. Since the release of the first book The Adventures of Captain Underpants in 1997, ten titles and three spin-offs have been released with several debuting at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Captain Underpants has the added distinction of being “the most banned book in America.”

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

NFB Presents Get Animated!, An Online Showcase of Free Shorts

Yesterday, in honor of International Animation Day, the National Film Board of Canada launched a month-long online showcase of animated shorts called Get Animated! This is the seventh edition of the annual festival, but the first year that the NFB is presenting all of the films online. The collection of shorts will remain online through November 30th, and there’s some real gems in the bunch:

You can enjoy a selection of recent films that picked up awards this year at home and abroad: Patrick Bouchard’s Bydlo, which was honored at the Jutras and at the Clermont-Ferrand festival; Diane Obomsawin’s Kaspar (Inspired by the Life of Kaspar Hauser), which won an award in Poznan, Poland; Franck Dion’s Edmond Was a Donkey, which garnered 24 awards, including the special jury prize at Annecy and a Gémeaux; Michèle Lemieux’s Here and the Great Elsewhere, which collected nine awards, including the grand prize at Cinanima in Portugal; Martine Chartrand’s MacPherson, winner of two awards at the Montreal World Film Festival; Dominic Etienne Simard’s Paula, honored at Interfilm Berlin and at the Canadian Screen Awards; and Renaud Hallée’s The Clockmakers, which won an honorable mention at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

Petra’s Poem, a sensitive and touching film by Shira Avni; Paul Driessen’s Oedipus, a Canada-Netherlands co-production that collected prizes in Portugal and Brazil; Jenn Strom’s Assembly, inspired by Studio D filmmakers and dedicated to the memory of Kathleen Shannon; Sylvie Trouvé’s Reflection, an exploration of Montreal through an abstract lens; Jeffrey St. Jules’s Let the Daylight into the Swamp, winner of two awards at Yorkton, including best film; and Élise Simard’s My Little Underground, a sombre and beautiful autobiographical story.

The Get Animated! website also includes spotlights on two filmmakers—Theodore Ushev and Chris Landreth—whose films, Gloria Victoria and Subconscious Password respectively, are considered strong Oscar contenders this fall. The spotlight features not only their earlier films, but shorts by other filmmakers that Ushev and Landreth admire.

(Disclosure: The NFB advertises the “Get Animated” festival on Cartoon Brew.)

“Planes: Fire & Rescue” Teaser Trailer

Here is the teaser for Planes: Fire & Rescue produced by DisneyToon Studios and India’s Prana Studios. The film is directed by Disney TV veteran Roberts Gannaway (101 Dalmatians: The Series, Mickey Mouse Works, House of Mouse) and produced by Ferrell Barron.

Planes: Fire & Rescue will premiere into U.S. theaters on July 18, 2014:

The film features a quirky crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from a raging wildfire. When world famous air racer Dusty (voice of Dane Cook) learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of wildfire air attack. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his courageous air attack team, including spirited super scooper Lil’ Dipper (voice of Julie Bowen), heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter, ex-military transport Cabbie and a lively bunch of brave all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire, and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero.

“Another” by Sean Buckelew

A family’s idyllic life is interrupted when the father is killed while defending the family from an intruding bear. Asserting victory, the bear moves into the house and assumes the role of father for himself. Once his foot is in the door, however, he finds himself implicated in a family dynamic he did not expect. Another started as a senior thesis at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008 and was completed at the California Institute of the Arts.

Directed, Animated and Edited by Sean Buckelew
Written by Sean Buckelew, Kevin Buckelew and Michelle Yu
Sound by Corey Fogel
Bear vocals by Ian McDuffie
Color Assist by Sam Ancona, Jason Benson, Clara Kim and Ernest Kim
Composite Assist by Clara Kim
Original Music by Kevin Buckelew

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Disney Animator Don Lusk Turns 100 Today!

Celebrating the centennial of a great animator is something we don’t get to do very often, so it’s a particularly joyful occasion that today we are able to wish a happy 100th birthday to Don Lusk.

Don started his animation career at Disney in 1933 and worked there continuously (except for the Disney strike and military service) until 1960. Of the seventeen animated features made by Disney from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to 101 Dalmatians, Don was an animator on 13 of them. He animated Cleo and Figaro in Pinocchio, the Arabian Fish Dance in the “Nutracker Suite” of Fantasia, the title character in Alice in Wonderland, and Wendy in Peter Pan, to name but a few.

After being let go from Disney in 1960, Lusk spent many years animating at different studios, including UPA (where he worked on Gay Purr-ee), Walter Lantz Studios, DePatie-Freleng, and Bill Melendez Productions, where he animated on at least ten Peanuts specials. He spent the bulk of his later career working at Hanna-Barbera, where he timed and directed hundreds of episodes of countless TV series including The Smurfs, Snorks, Yo Yogi!, The Pirates of Dark Water, and Captain Planet and the Planeteers before retiring from the animation industry at the age of eighty.

In honor of Lusk’s birthday, the Animation Guild blog has posted the first part of an audio interview conducted earlier this month. And Don’s son, Skip, has generously shared with Cartoon Brew a selection of photos from throughout Don’s life, which can be viewed below. Congratulations, Don, on your 100th and best wishes and continued good health from all of us at Cartoon Brew!

Don Lusk Centennial Birthday Gallery

The Unofficial “Good Dinosaur” Poster

This poster from Pixar’s troubled film project The Good Dinosaur has been making the online rounds this weekend. The image, which was apparently leaked, is perhaps an internal mock-up or maybe even a fan-made poster. It’s been pointed out on other websites that the foliage was borrowed from a Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 poster.

In a now-deleted tweet, Pixar artist Daniela Strijleva commented that the image “looks like an unfinished unofficial piece of work that’s not supposed to be out there. Not Pixar endorsed.”

Whatever it is, it’s out there now, and everyone’s talking about it, so you might as well have a look.

Artist of the Day: Aymeric Kevin

Aymeric Kevin

Aymeric Kevin is a Gobelins graduate who is currently working on video game and animation productions in Japan. You can see the short student film, Le Royaume, that he collaborated on with Nuno Alves-Rodrigues, Oussama Bouacheria, Julien Chheng, Sébastien Hary, Franck Monier, and Ulysse Malassagna, embedded below:

Aymeric Kevin

Aymeric uses his digital painting skills to work as an illustrator, visual development and background artist.

Aymeric Kevin

Aymeric Kevin

Especially in the two pieces below, Aymeric focuses attention on his characters with carefully chosen areas of lighter values and saturated colors in otherwise dark compositions. To see more from Aymeric, visit his Tumblr and blogspot.

Aymeric Kevin

Aymeric Kevin

Artist of the Day: Charlotte Dumortier

Charlotte Dumortier

Charlotte Dumortier is an Antwerp, Belgium-based artist wo works as an illustrator, designer, and motion graphics animator.

Charlotte Dumortier

Charlotte Dumortier

Charlotte makes comics for zines and anthologies and collects a lot of the artwork on a blog here. Her “first real comic book” is called Murphy’s Miserable Space Adventures, from publisher Oogachtend.

Charlotte Dumortier

Charlotte contributed to the exquisite-corpse-style comics project, The Infinite Corpse (which was described in a previous Artist of the Day post). Here are her three panels from that project.

Charlotte Dumortier

Charlotte Dumortier

Charlotte Dumortier

To see more of Charlotte’s bright, iconic designs, click over to her Tumblr, website PixelPanda.be and Flickr.

Charlotte Dumortier

Happy 103rd Birthday, Tyrus Wong!

Wishing Tyrus Wong a happy birthday is something we enjoy doing on Cartoon Brew. Wong isn’t the oldest living animation artist but he’s darn close, and today he celebarates his 103rd birthday.

When I was in San Francisco a couple weeks ago, I had the chance to see his retrospective “Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong”, which is on view at the Walt Disney Family Museum through February 3, 2014. I highly recommend the exhibition, which provides a fantastic overview of the many facets of Wong’s creative life. His early years and work on Bambi are well represented, but the exhibition did a weak job of showcasing the breadth of his career as a live-action production designer at Warner Bros., the studio where he spent the bulk of his professional film career. The show is still well worth attending, and for thos unable to attend, the exhibition catalog serves as a sastisfactory substitute.

“Late for Meeting” by David Lewandowski

ALSO: Watch David Lewandowski’s earlier short Easy Walker.

Directed by David Lewandowski
Music: “The Mexican Cactus” by Jean-Jacques Perrey (licensed from UMPG)
Sound designer and original grocery store music composer: Jamie Vance
ON-set VFX assistant: William Mendoza
Fluids artist: Josh Johnson
Colorist: Christian Sprenger

Studio Ghibli Reveals Teaser for Isao Takahata’s “The Story of Princess Kaguya”

Studio Ghibli will release seventy-seven-year-old Isao Takahata’s new film, Kaguya-hime no Monogatari (The Story of Princess Kaguya), into Japanese theaters on November 23, 2013. Earlier this week, they unveiled a minute-long teaser, the most extensive look at the film to date:

Kaguya-hime is Takahata’s fifth feature directorial effort, and his first film since My Neighbors the Yamadas which was released fourteen years ago. His eclecticism has often been reflected in his choice of film projects—Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday, Pom Poko—and Kaguya-hime, which is based on the folktake “Tale of the Bamboo Cutter,” has many unconventional elements as well. Notably, the film’s textured pencil line and free-flowing animation style borrows liberally from the world of indie animation filmmaking and looks refreshingly different from the Ghibli standard.

One American film site commented that the animation “looks like unfinished storyboards waiting to be animated.” That assessment reflects how the average filmgoer who is accustomed to the lushness of CGI may perceive a more expressionistic animation style that doesn’t display ever tedious visual detail onscreen. Hopefully, audiences in Japan, where seven of the top ten films at the 2013 box office are animated, will prove themselves to be a receptive audience for Takahata’s stylistic experimentation.

Hayao Miyazaki Goes to Hospital for Heart Condition

Japanese media is reporting that Hayao Miyazaki went to a cardiovascular specialty hospital last week due to a heart condition. The famed animation director announced his retirement from feature filmmaking last month.

The women’s magazine Josei Jishin reports that a source close to Miyazaki said that he “did not state it during the [retirement] press conference, but the truth is he has a heart condition. He has been complaining of discomfort in his chest for two years. I heard that occasionally during walks or other activity, his chest would tighten and he would grab his chest as though he were in pain, and then would crouch down. According to the doctor’s diagnosis, the doctor had a strong suspicion that has angina pectoris.”

Miyazaki was previously hospitalized in 2010 for what was initially reported as a heart attack but later described as “extreme exhaustion.” Studio Ghibli has refused to comment on Miyazaki’s health and has said only that it is “a private matter.”

(via Anime News Network)

“El Macho” by Daniela Negrin Ochoa

Carlos yearns for order and calm amidst the chaos of his loud family of women. The arrival of Alfonso, an energetic poodle puppy, shatters any dreams he had of peace and quiet. Soon it’s even too much for the women. Something has to be done…

Directed and Animated by Daniela Negrin Ochoa
Written by Francesca Gardiner
Story by Daniela Negrin Ochoa and Francesca Gardiner
Director of Photography: Caroline Bridges
Production Designer: Chloe Kletsa
Editor: Adelina Bichis
Soudn design and re-recording mix: Tom Drew and George Lingford
Composer: Jon Wygens
Produced at the National Film & Television School, UK

“Billy and Mandy” Creator Maxwell Atoms Sells “Dead Meat” on Kickstarter

Maxwell Atoms, creator of the Cartoon Network series The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, is the latest TV animation producer to appeal directly to his fanbase for financial support on a project.

Atoms, who was recently a director and exec producer on the Disney series Fish Hooks, describes his Kickstarter project, Dead Meat, as a “post-apocalyptic black comedy/social satire/puppet gore web series about a guy and his mutant dog called Dead Meat.” His goal is to raise $50,000 by November 16th. In the first eight days of the campaign, 156 backers have contributed slightly over $10,000 (or 20% of his goal).

Other animation show creators who have funded projects successfully through Kickstarter campaigns include Joe Murray, Dino Stamatopoulos and John Kricfalusi. Dead Meat faces challenges that were not experienced by the campaigns of those other creators because Atoms plans to produce the project in a medium for which he has no track record (puppets), and is aiming the content toward a mature adult audience that may not share much in common with fans of his animation. Therefore, he must rely on a community of fans who respect his creative vision enough to follow him into new territory. Atoms will be conducting a Reddit AmA this evening at 8pm ET/5pm PT to promote his work and the Kickstarter campaign.