Artist of the Day: Milos Rajkovic

Milos Rajkovic

Milos “Sholim” Rajkovic is a Serbian artist who has found a unique way to express his anti-war and anti-corrupt corporation/government/religion sentiments: with animated GIFs.

Rajkovic creates animated portraits of anonymous archetypes with deconstructed heads and symbolic components that operate like finely tuned machines. Everything is fair game: a religious figure with alter, candles, and a rotating luxury car; U.S. military figures with weight-lifting Ronald McDonald, skeletons, praying hands, and a flat screen TV playing 24-hour cable news.

The brains of these figures are compromised–sometimes portrayed as dropping into a pool of blood or being picked at by a vulture-like bald eagle–so comprised possibly that they are missing the capacity for human empathy. Are they all portraits of psychopaths perhaps? I’m guessing that Milos’ answer might be affirmative—these are the psychopaths who run your government, military, religious and corporate institutions.

Milos Rajkovic

A playlist of Rajkovic’s Minute Portrait series is embedded below, where you can properly experience each of these surreal loops with an accompanying soundtrack of sound effects:

See more work on Milos’ Tumblr and YouTube channel.

Milos Rajkovic

Milos Rajkovic

“Season’s Greetings from Krampus” by Screen Novelties

Post-holiday blues got you down? It’s still not too late to enjoy one final round of holiday cheer with this animated greeting produced by Los Angeles-based Screen Novelties. The beast-like character, Krampus, is rooted in Germanic folklore, and if the crew at Screen Novelties has their way, Krampus will star in longer-form tales in the future. Take a look at these behind-the-scene photos showing the impressive amount of effort needed to create this short animated piece.

The Most Viewed Cartoon Brew Posts of 2013

A few days ago, I shared some of my favorite Cartoon Brew posts from the past year. Today, we reveal the top 30 posts of 2013 based on the number of pageviews each post received. In other words, don’t blame us—you clicked on it!

The top three most-clicked posts of the year suggest the unpredictability of the animation community’s tastes: business, sex, and high culture, one right after the other. The overall list, however, is a surprisingly well-balanced portrait of Cartoon Brew’s content, and includes coverage of new animated projects (The Wind Rises, Wander Over Yonder, Frozen, Steven Universe), issues related to artists’ rights, historical finds, industry/business commentary, and some geeky cartoon kerfuffles. And one post made both our favorites and most-trafficked lists: “Max Headroom and the Strange World of Pseudo-CGI.” It’s from our thoughtful British correspondent, Neil Emmett.

And now, let’s begin our peek into the hive mind of the animation universe:

1. “Disney Just Gutted Their Hand-Drawn Animation Division”

(Note: With 308 comments, it was our most-commented post of the year. It was shared 2,296 times on Twitter making it the most tweeted Cartoon Brew post of the year, too.)

2. “SpongeBob XXX Parody”

3. “Listen to This Tom and Jerry Music Performed Like You’ve Never Heard Before”

(Note: This was shared over 36,000 times on Facebook making it our most Facebook-shared post of the year.)

4. “Rapunzel Cameo in Frozen Surprises The Director of Tangled

5. “Max Headroom and the Strange World of Pseudo-CGI”

6. “The Rise and Fall of the Funny, Sexy Cartoon Woman”

7. “PREVIEW: 2013 Animated Features”

8. “Breaking: Pixar Canada Just Shut Down; 100 Employees Let Go”

9. “James Baxter Teaches The Internet How To Draw Croods Porn”

10. “Disney’s Paperman Full Short Now Online”

11. “Fox Cancels The Cleveland Show

12. “First Look: Steven Universe by Rebecca Sugar”

13. Frozen Head of Animation Says Animating Women is ‘Really, Really Difficult’”

14. “Disney Is Producing New Mickey Mouse Shorts and Premiered the First One Today”

15. “Watch the Wander Over Yonder Title Sequence”

16. Family Guy Accuses Bob’s Burgers of Being Poorly Drawn”

17. “Big Layoffs Looming at DreamWorks”

18. “Stephen Silver: ‘Stop Working For Free!’”

19. “Lost Disney Gag Drawings of Snow White Artist Discovered”

20. “Disney’s Crankiest Veteran is Still Cranky, And Thinks Walt Disney Was ‘A Shit’”

21. Kairos is the Most Exciting Hand-Drawn Animation You’ll See Today”

22. “Why Foodfight! Cost $45 Million And Was Still Unwatchable”

23. “Disney Will Release Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises

24. “First Stills From Disney’s Frozen

25. “Disney’s Princess Makeover of Merida Leads to Uproar and Petition”

26. “Sneak Peek: Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe by Rebecca Sugar”

27. “Rhythm & Hues To File For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Today”

28. Dexter’s Laboratory: ‘Rude Removal’”

29. “Did Disney Steal Alice in Wonderland Artwork from A College Student?”

30. Boats Explains How Animation Blockbusters Are Made”

Artist of the Day: Kenard Pak

Kenard Pak

Kenard Pak is an artist in San Francisco who has worked as a visual development artist at DreamWorks Animation, PDI/DreamWorks, and Walt Disney Animation Studios. More recently, Pak has been illustrating picture books; his first of two books is due to be published in 2014.

Kenard Pak

Kenard Pak

Kenard Pak

Pak excels at capturing an expansive, airy feeling in his artwork–excellent for creating concept work of wide cityscapes from bird’s-eye views, as well as ancient light-filled buildings.

Kenard Pak

Kenard Pak

See more on Ken’s website, blog and Tumblr.

Kenard Pak

Kenard Pak

Preview: “The Lost Notebook: Herman Schultheis & the Secrets of Walt Disney’s Movie Magic”

Imagine this: A mysterious, dashing German émigré shows up at the Disney Studio on the eve of World War II. He works there for a little over two years on Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Bambi, and keeps a meticulous secret notebook of how the studio achieved its propietary special effects. He never works in animation after that, instead pursuing other interests as a photographic chronicler of mid-century Los Angeles and an ingenious inventor (he serves himself drinks with an automated push-button and his home office has switches and buttons that control “over a hundred circuits”). A decade-and-a-half after leaving Disney, while adventuring in Central America, he disappears in the jungles of Guatemala. Nearly forty years after his disappearance, the Disney notebooks are found hidden in a Murphy bed in the Los Angeles home of his widow.

That’s the unbelievable—and completely true—premise of John Canemaker’s upcoming book, The Lost Notebook: Herman Schultheis & the Secrets of Walt Disney’s Movie Magic (Weldon Owen, 288 pages, $75, May 2014).

The book attracted a fair bit of attention when we mentioned it in our 2014 book preview so here’s a little bit more to whet your appetite: the book’s cover, provided exclusively to us by the author, and some preview pages from the book. I had the privilege of reading a draft of the book a few years back, and can assure you that this will be one of the most unique and informative animation history books ever published.

If the Fleischer Studios Made a Videogame in the 1930s, It Would Look Like Cuphead

Next year looks like it might be a vintage year for fans of cartoony indie-produced games. Not only can we look forward to Cloudface, we can also anticipate Cuphead, a game that will be “hand drawn and inked in the 1930s style.” The developer Studio MDHR has the classic animation look pegged, from lush watercolor backgrounds to authentic pie-cut eyed, rubbery characters who look straight out of a Fleischer/Iwerks short. This is how they describes the game:

Cuphead is a classic run and gun that centers around 1-on-1 fights (2-on-1 in two player mode). With Cuphead, we aim to evolve the genre by adding new features such as: super arts, infinite lives, a playable world map and hidden secrets. In addition to that, we will have refined controls, additional boss patterns on harder modes and balanced weapons to equip (that you don’t lose!). We plan to release 10-15 bosses per episode and end up with over 30 bosses. If all goes as planned, we will defeat the current “Guinness World Record for Most Boss Battles in a Run and Gun Game”[25 total].

Studio MDHR is developing the game for PCs. After the PC version is released, they plan to port to Mac/Linux platforms and “hopefully consoles (PS4, XBoxOne).”

(Thanks, Corey Siskavard)

“Frozen” Has An Amazing 5th Weekend, On Pace to Set Disney Records

Moving back up from third to second place, Disney’s Frozen grossed a spectacular $28.8 million (estimated), pushing the film’s domestic total to $248.4M and all but guaranteeing that it will surpass the $300 million mark in the United States. The film also stands a solid chance of beating The Lion King’s $311.5M total to become the highest-grossing Disney film of all time in the US. Frozen exhibited mid-week strength, too, with a powerful Monday-Thursday frame of $27.5M.

These number are anything but normal for a film in its fifth week of wide release. Box Office Mojo offered some context: Frozen’s weekend performance was the third highest-earning 5th weekend of all time, behind only Avatar ($42.8M) and Titanic ($30M). Overseas, Frozen performed solidly with $50.5M for the weekend, lifting its global total to $243.5M. Worldwide, Frozen has racked up $491.9M in ticket sales.

Thanks to the holiday period, Fox’s Walking with Dinosaurs held steady with $7.1 million (est) in its second weekend, which is almost the exact same total from its opening weekend. The underperforming CG pic has scored $20.8M domestically and $33.4M internationally for a worldwide total of $54.2M. Faring better in its second weekend, the Walt Disney biopic Saving Mr. Banks earned $14M (est), which was 50% stronger than its debut weekend. Its domestic total is $37.8M; Banks hasn’t debuted in a substantial number of foreign territories yet.

Disney Files Trademark Lawsuit Over “Frozen Land”

Phase 4 Films, the esteemed Canadian film distributor of animated classics such as Kiara the Brave and Life’s a Jungle: Africa’s Most Wanted, has found itself in legal hot water over its latest masterpiece, Frozen Land. On December 20, Disney filed a lawsuit against Phase 4 alleging trademark infringement and false advertising. Read the full complaint here.

Frozen Land is, in fact, the French-Canadian animated film The Legend of Sarila, that was released earlier in 2013. After being picked up for distribution by Phase 4, its name, logo, and branding was suddenly switched to Frozen Land, allegedly to capitalize on Disney’s latest hit Frozen (and perhaps trick parents into buying the DVD). Considering that the actual content of the film had nothing to do with Frozen, Phase 4 could have saved itself a lot of headache had it not borrowed wholesale the Frozen name and visual design of the Disney film logo.

Disney has asked the courts for an injunction to stop Phase 4 from using its nearly indentical Frozen Land logo. Further, they want Phase 4 to destroy all the Frozen Land DVDs and pay compensatory and actual damages, and attorney’s fees.

(Story via Hollywood Reporter)

Our Favorite Cartoon Brew Posts of 2013

The past 12 months have been one of the most exciting, transitional periods in Cartoon Brew’s nine-year history. Besides doing what we’ve always done—that is, writing about artists and films, and delivering up-to-the-minute and exclusive news and commentary—we also published more long-form pieces than ever before. Some loyal readers have preconceived ideas about the type of content that appears on Cartoon Brew, but below you’ll get a taste of the varied writing that could be found here throughout 2013–a mixture of animated culture think-pieces, eye-opening cartoon history, horizon-expanding educational posts, and straight-up silliness, all of which you won’t find on any other animation media outlet. With a growing roster of contributing writers and guest writers, it’s safe to say that we’re only getting started.

“Max Headroom and the Strange World of Pseudo-CGI,” by Neil Emmett

“The Life of an Indian Visual Effects Artist,” by Bhaumik Mehta

“The Square Dance Art of Warner Bros. Director Chuck Jones,” by Amid Amidi

“What Every Animation Student Should Know About Title Sequence Design,” by Chappell Ellison

Walt: The Disney Biopic That Never Was,” by Mike Bonifer

“The Five Most Mentally Unstable Ladies of Venture Bros.,” by C. Edwards

“15 Reasons Why Frank Tashlin was Awesome,” by Amid Amidi

“The Secret History of Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” by Ross Anderson

The Milt Kahl Head Swaggle,” by Michael Ruocco

“How Can We Make Adult Animation Truly Adult?,” by Neil Emmett

“When Amsterdam Went UPA: Dutch Modern Cartoons in the 1950s,” by Jan-Willem de Vries

“Weird, Incredible Animation from Poland,” by Amid Amidi

Steven Universe Recaps: “Gem Glow,” “Laser Light Cannon,” “Cheeseburger Backpack,” “Together Breakfast,” “Frybo,” “Cat Fingers,” “Bubble Buddies,” by Kendra Beltran

“How Porter Airlines Bucks the Trend with an Animated Mascot,” by Chappell Ellison

“From Animation School to the Real World,” by Michael Ruocco

“The Disney Architecture Legacy of Michael Eisner,” by Chappell Ellison

“The Walt Disney Image Problem,” by Amid Amidi

“Turmoil in the Toy Box Revisited,” by Neil Emmett

Everything You Need to Know about Fanime

As you read this sentence, untold numbers of people around the world are uploading home-made videos to the Internet. Most will soon be forgotten, but some will stick around.

Every so often, the amateur Internet videos that stick around will cluster together and form a genre. The Internet has nurtured a good number of film genres. Some, such as the comedy review videos made by the likes of the Nostalgia Critic, have wide appeal and are accessible to large audiences. Others will definitely require the viewer have a certain frame of mind to be fully appreciated—the YouTube Poop being a classic example.

This post will cover a genre of animation which developed on the pale underbelly of the Net and definitely belongs in the second category. It is known to its viewers as fanime.

Although the term suggests any anime-style animation made by fans, “fanime” has come to refer to a very specific aesthetic. The word is closely associated with shorts made by complete newcomers to animation, often children; these enterprising youngsters, with no access to professional software such as Flash or Toon Boom, make do with a combination of MS Paint and Windows Movie Maker to tell stories inspired by the anime that they watch on television.

Animation made by children is nothing new – countless animators have started out by producing crude cutout or stop-motion films on kitchen tables—but YouTube added a new element. Fanime picked up an actual following, albeit one which arrived only to point and laugh at the crude animation.

Of course, this is another example of the more rotten side of the Internet; few people can defend the public ridicule of a 12-year-old kid’s drawings, after all. This case is unusual, however, as the amateur aesthetic of fanime was ultimately legitimized. People began parodying fanime by making deliberately bad cartoons with the same style – so many, in fact, that fanime became recognized as a full-fledged genre by TV Tropes, that esteemed chronicler of Internet crazes.

Although a few of these fanime parodies have something resembling conventional comedy writing—Kawaii Schoolgirl has an absurdist sense of humor similar to Adventure Time—most of them simply re-enact stock scenes and imagery from commercial anime, the main twist being that they do it very, very badly. In the process, the much-refined cuteness of anime is transformed into outright grotesquerie.

Amongst the people responsible for this wave of ironic fanime is Anthony W.H., the man behind Quest of Laizen and Tsuki Desu. TV Tropes quotes him as saying that, “The quality itself is not striving to be good or enticing, but is relying on its cheap production values to create a feel of ‘this is so terrible, it’s actually pretty entertaining!’”

As fanime parodists go, Anthony is unusually forthright. There is a strong element of subterfuge to the genre, as the creators of fanime spoofs often intentionally leave their audiences guessing as to whether their cartoons should be treated as jokes or taken at face value. Some will even create false identities to sustain the illusion, as evidenced by the TV Tropes page on a fanime called Prism:

“By the end of the first episode it’s hard to tell whether or not it’s a Stealth Parody of other Fanime, or if it’s really that bad, but considering the first two series by this person, it’s most likely the former… The creator has said his name is Nanako Imatoke, a Japanese female first name with a completely fake last name. He recently uploaded a video of himself revealing he’s black.”

Because of this factor, the parodies have sometimes themselves been parodied. Nyan~ Neko Sugar Girls, which was almost certainly intended as a spoof fanime, became the subject of a YouTube series in which a group of people make sarcastic comments on the animation quality (or lack thereof).

Humor derived from deliberately bad animation can only go so far, and this is why the hoax aspect became such a vital part of the fanime genre. It also places fanime into a continuum of Internet animation that gains its appeal from the element of deception.

Consider the case of the Dead Bart meme. This started out as an anonymous posting by somebody who claimed to have come across a lost episode of The Simpsons, entitled “Dead Bart,” that was deeply disturbing and possibly even cursed; the likely inspiration for this story was the haunted video cassette in Kōji Suzuki’s novel Ring and its subsequent film adaptations.

Although the Dead Bart story was clearly fraudulent, it was presented as the truth and went viral across the Internet; a search on YouTube for “Dead Bart” will reveal several efforts at recreating the supposed lost episode using doctored Simpsons footage. This was far from the only attempt to launch an urban legend about a creepy cartoon: Internet hoaxers have also spread rumors about horrific lost episodes of everything from Adventure Time to Naruto, and even entire fictional cartoon series such as Candle Cove and Happy Appy. Closer to home we have the incident in which award-winning independent filmmaker David OReilly made the childlike online series Octocat while pretending to be a 13-year-old named Randy Peters. The Internet is the ideal home for misinformation, and fanime is an example of animators integrating this fact into their work.

Pioneered by children, legitimized by people looking up weird stuff on YouTube, vitalized by online hoaxes, and existing entirely outside any kind of aesthetic considerations, fanime is something that could only have developed on the web. The Internet is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

Image Captions (Top to Bottom)
1. Anthony W.H.’s deliberately awful Tsuki Desu.
2. Kawaii Schoolgirl: Sailor Moon meets Adventure Time… with no budget.
3. Nyan~ Neko Sugar Girls, one of the more infamous fanime parodies.
4. A close cousin to spoof fanime, Suicide Mouse was created for a pseudo-Lovecraftian online hoax about a cursed Mickey Mouse short.

Artist of the Day: Carter Goodrich

Carter Goodrich

Carter Goodrich is an artist who creates illustrations for children’s books, editorial illustrations for magazines, and character designs for animated films. He has contributed designs to films such as The Croods, Brave, Open Season, and Finding Nemo, among others.

Carter Goodrich

Carter Goodrich

Carter Goodrich

Carter Goodrich

Carter’s designs for Despicable Me appear to have been especially faithfully referenced in the final 3D models when compared to some of the other films that he has worked on.

Carter Goodrich

Shrek’s final designs didn’t reference Goodrich’s design work as strongly. Goodrich’s Shrek designs (along with William Steig’s originals and Mike Ploog’s development art for that matter) are all more funny and likable than the designs the film ended up with.

View more magazine cover art, editorial illustration and character design on Carter’s website.

Carter Goodrich

Criterion’s First Animated Feature Release in 20 Years: A Sign of Things to Come?

On February 18, 2014, the Criterion Collection will do something that they rarely ever do: release an animated film onto DVD/Blu-ray. The film is Fantastic Mr. Fox, Criterion’s first animated feature release since Akira in 1993. To give you a sense of how long ago that was, Akira was released on laserdisc since DVDs hadn’t yet been invented.

No one is naive about Criterion’s sudden interest in an animated film. The release of Fantastic Mr. Fox has more to do with their fetishistic devotion to the work of Wes Anderson than any sudden desire to celebrate animation. I have mixed feelings about asking the animation community to support the title. On the one hand, Fantastic Mr. Fox is a fine film in its own right and Criterion should be encouraged for releasing animation. On the other hand, the film is readily available on DVD, and it’s clearly intended to cater to Wes Anderson fans, not animation enthusiasts.

By neglecting to include animation among its collection for as long as it has, Criterion has failed in its own self-proclaimed mission of “gathering the greatest films from around the world” and “publishing the defining moments of cinema for a wider and wider audience.” Their narrow definitions of film and cinema might have sufficed when they started the company in 1984, but it is incomprehensible for a contemporary company that promotes filmmakers and cinema on Criterion’s scale to remain so tone-deaf to the place of animation within the cinematic tradition.

It’s certainly not for lack of Criterion-worthy animated films. When we asked Cartoon Brew readers a couple years ago what animated works Criterion should release, you provided dozens of great suggestions. The pickings would be rich for Criterion—heck, any company—to begin releasing high-caliber animation cinema onto home video formats. Just for starters, you have the shorts of animation legends like Raoul Sevais, Jan Lenica, and John and Faith Hubley; contemporary masters such as Koji Yamamura and Priit Parn; experimental films by Oskar Fischinger, Len Lye, and Hy Hirsh; and animated features like Halas and Batchelor’s Animal Farm (1954, UK), Yūgo Serikawa’s The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon (1963, Japan), Per Åhlin and Tage Danielsson’s Out of an Old Man’s Head (1968, Sweden), Bruno Bozzetto’s Allegro Non Troppo (1976, Italy), Marcell Jankovics’ Fehérlófia (1981, Hungary), and John Korty and Chuck Swenson’s Twice Upon a Time (1983, USA). Just releasing the work of Czech animators would keep Criterion busy for years—think Karel Zeman, Jiří Trnka, Břetislav Pojar, or Jan Švankmajer.

Fantastic Mr. Fox is a positive first step, but Criterion is missing out on a much bigger opportunity to showcase great animated cinema from around the globe.

“Stanley Pickle” by Vicky Mather

An encounter with a mysterious girl turns Stanley’s perfect wind-up world upside down.

Director: Vicky Mather
Writer: Orhan Boztas (based on a story by Victoria Mather and Keaton Henson)
Director of Photography: John Lee
Production Design: Luke Hull
Editor: James Griffiths
Online Editor and Color Grader: Nikolas Almpanis
Sound designer: Dario Swade
Composer: Jean-Marc Petsas
Special FX and CGI Artist: Kassiani Koufaki
Visual FX Supervisors: Manuel Perez, Nikolas Almpanis
Stanley: Drew Caiden
Bluebell: Haruka Abe
Mother: Nadia Morgan
Father: Gareth Brierley
Made at the National Film and Television School, 2010.

Animation Books To Watch For in 2014

You’re probably still browsing through all the coffeetable art books you received for the holidays this year, but it’s never too early to start planning for next year’s animation-related tomes. We examined publishers’ catalogs and have identified some animation titles that you’ll want to check out in 2014. Not all of next year’s books have been announced yet, but the eleven books below should provide plenty of artistic inspiration and informative reading for animation enthusiasts.

1. Magic Color Flair: The World of Mary Blair
Pre-order on Amazon
by John Canemaker
Release date: March 11, 2014

Created for the Walt Disney Family Museum’s 2014 Mary Blair exhibit, Magic Color Flair is an authoritative collection of Blair’s life’s work—including the precocious paintings she made as a student at the renowned Chouinard Art Institute; the enchanting concept drawings she created for numerous Disney films; her lovely illustrated Golden Books, which are still treasured today; and the rarely seen but delightful advertisements, clothing designs, and large-scale installations that she devised later in life. Curated by Academy Award–winning animator John Canemaker and annotated with fascinating information about her artistic process, Magic Color Flair is a bold, lively look into the work of an equally bold and lively creative, whose invaluable influence and keen eye helped shape some of the world’s favorite Disney experiences.

2. The Art of the Disney Golden Books
Pre-order on Amazon
by Charles Solomon
Release date: April 8, 2014

The Art of the Disney Golden Books celebrates a legacy that has now thrived for more than eighty years and continues to influence new generations of artists and filmmakers. A remarkable lineup of talent, many of whom were Disney Studio artists- including Mary Blair, Alice and Martin Provensen, Gustaf Tenggren, Al Dempster, Retta Scott Worcester, and Bill Peet-created the illustrations for the early Disney Golden Books. Through interviews with contemporary animators who recall tracing the characters in their childhood Disney Golden Books, paintings by artists who influenced and inspired the Disney Golden Book illustrations, and a generous complement of Golden Book artwork-much of which was thought to have been lost until very recently-the rich tradition of the series is explored in this vibrant volume.

3. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
Pre-order on Amazon
by Ed Catmull
Release date: April 8, 2014

Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.” The essential ingredient in that movie’s success—and in the thirteen movies that followed—was the unique environment that Catmull and his colleagues built at Pixar, based on philosophies that protect the creative process and defy convention, such as:

  • Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better.
  • If you don’t strive to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead.
  • It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them.
  • The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.
  • A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.
  • Do not assume that general agreement will lead to change—it takes substantial energy to move a group, even when all are on board.

4. The Art of DreamWorks Animation
Pre-order on Amazon
by Ramin Zahed
Release date: April 15, 2014

Founded in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen, DreamWorks Animation instantly became a world-renowned animation studio with blockbuster franchises including Shrek, Madagascar, and Kung Fu Panda. Though its earliest films, such as The Prince of Egypt, feature traditional hand-drawn cel animation, DreamWorks soon forayed into claymation with Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit, and pioneered advanced computer animation with films such as Antz, Shark Tale, and How to Train Your Dragon.

Brimming with concept art, preproduction designs, and char­acter sketches, DreamWorks Animation marks the studio’s 20th anniversary and offers unprecedented behind-the-scenes access into its archives. An introduction by DreamWorks cofounder Katzenberg provides insider perspective on the studio’s most popular films, as does running commentary from artists and direc­tors on all of DreamWorks’ 30 films to date.

5. Genius, Animated: The Cartoon Art of Alex Toth
Pre-order on Amazon
by Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell
Release date: May 6, 2014

The third in a series of illustrated books—the first two books were Genius, Isolated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth and Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth.

6. America Toons in: A History of Television Animation
Pre-order on Amazon
by David Perlmutter
Release date: May 15, 2014

Animation has been part of television since the start of the medium but it has rarely received unbiased recognition from media scholars. More often, it has been ridiculed for supposedly poor technical quality, accused of trafficking in violence aimed at children, and neglected for indulging in vulgar behavior. These accusations are often made categorically, out of prejudice or ignorance, with little attempt to understand the importance of each program on its own terms. This book is a serious look at the whole genre of television animation, from the early themes and practices through the evolution of the art to the present day.

Examining the productions of individual studios and producers, the author establishes a means of understanding their work in new ways, at the same time discussing the ways in which the genre has often been unfairly marginalized by critics, and how, especially in recent years, producers have both challenged and embraced this “marginally” as a vital part of their work. By taking seriously something often thought to be frivolous, the book provides a framework for understanding the persistent presence of television animation in the American media–and how surprisingly influential it has been.

7. The Lost Notebook: Herman Schultheis & the Secrets of Walt Disney’s Movie Magic
Pre-order on Amazon
by John Canemaker
Release date: May 27, 2014

Discover the secrets behind Fantasia, Pinocchio, Dumbo, and Bambi—all through the lens of early animation’s most enigmatic and fascinating character, Herman Schultheis. A technician at the Disney Studio in the late 1930s, Schultheis kept a covert scrapbook of special effects wizardry, capturing in photographs and text the dazzling, behind-the-scenes ingenuity of early Disney films. Later, when he mysteriously disappeared into a Guatemalan jungle, his notebook was forgotten … and with it, the stories of how these beloved animated classics were made.

Miraculously unearthed in a chest of drawers in 1990, Schultheis’s notebook is now available for all to see at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco—and in this compelling and beautiful book. Part annotated facsimile of the scrapbook itself, part biography of the complicated, overly ambitious man who made it, The Lost Notebook is a goldmine for Disney and animation enthusiasts and a vivid, riveting account of one man’s plight to make it big in early Hollywood.

8. Mickey Mouse: Emblem of the American Spirit
Pre-order on Amazon
by Garry Apgar
Release date: September 2, 2014

The first illustrated biography of the cultural life of an enduring global icon, Mickey Mouse: Emblem of the American Spirit is the compelling story of how the singular artistic vision of a unique individual took on a life of its own and became an instantly recognizable character known the world over. Spectacularly illustrated with rarely seen archive images, art historian Garry Apgar, weaves a fascinating narrative about the nature of creation, changing generations, and how a fictional character came to embody the personality of a nation. Part art history and part cultural study, Apgar’s Mickey Mouse narrates how the character was initially developed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, how his irrepressible spirit grew to huge popularity during the Depression, and how he became a politically charged cultural icon of international reach.

9: A Mickey Mouse Reader
by Garry Apgar
Release date: September 2014

An anthology of articles and essays by, among others, Diego Rivera, E. M. Forster, Maurice Sendak, Stephen Jay Gould, John Updike, and Walt Disney himself.

10. Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo
by Chris McDonnell
Release date: Fall 2014

With five seasons under its belt, the hit Cartoon Network series will be the subject of a comprehensive ‘art of’/’making of’ book. The book will be written and designed by Cartoon Brew’s own Chris McDonnell, who curates and writes the site’s Artist of the Day feature.

11. Bendazzi’s Cartoons
by Giannalberto Bendazzi
Release date: Hopefully sometime in 2014

This will be the long-awaited update to Bendazzi’s invaluable reference book Cartoons: One Hundred Years of Cinema Animation. Anyone who is serious about world animation history needs a copy of this by their side.

The Favorite Christmas Cartoons of Nickelodeon Employees

Merry Christmas! We asked some of the movers and shakers at Nickelodeon to share their favorite Christmas specials with us. Here are their picks:

Russell Hicks, President of Content Development and Production, Nickelodeon

“I have three favorite holiday classics that I must watch every year. As a kid, I could not wait for Christmas to come around, not just for the toys, but for all the holiday specials. I loved Bob Hope, Bing Cosby and Andy Williams but the ones I really loved were the animated specials like Rankin Bass’ Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Bill Melendez’s A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Chuck Jones’ How The Grinch Who Stole Christmas! Back then, you only got to see these masterpieces once a year, and even now I still need to watch these every year. But now, thanks to all the technology I also get to watch them whenever I want. There is nothing better than, in the middle of summer, to turn up the air conditioner, put on the fire and click on one of these holiday classics. Try it with some hot chocolate and relive the most wonderful time of the year even when its 100 degrees outside.”

Ciro Nieli, Executive Producer, Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

“The biggest standout holiday movie for me is actually a segment of the 1972 anthology film, Tales from the Crypt, a little story titled, “…And All Through The House.” I saw this one Saturday afternoon as a kid on Creature Double Feature in Philadelphia. I had always found Santa Claus to be terrifying and to find a film that supported my suspicions elated me. Tales from the Crypt was directed by the late, great Freddie Francis for Amicus Productions. Francis had a great eye and later became an Oscar-winning cinematographer for amazing filmmakers like David Lynch and Martin Scorsese, to name a few. The story was directly adapted from the comic pages of “the Vault of Horror.”

Jim Dirschberger and Jay Howell, Creators and Co-Executive Producers, Nickelodeon’s Sanjay and Craig

“Our favorite holiday special would be The Simpsons Christmas Special. It was actually the first episode of The Simpsons to air and it left a huge impression on us when we were kids. It had all the ingredients of a perfect holiday show. It was sad, had tons of jokes, lots of slapstick humor and most importantly, got you into the holiday spirit. Every time we see a doggy chew toy shaped like a steak, we think of this episode…and Christmas.”

Frédéric Back, Director of “The Man Who Planted Trees,” Dies at 89

Animation legend Frédéric Back, the two-time Oscar-winning director of The Man Who Planted Trees, Crac!, and The Mighty River, passed away this morning at his home in Montreal. The cause of death was cancer, according to the LA Times. Born in France on April 8, 1924, Back was a prolific illustrator and graphic artist in addition to being a filmmaker and animator. He documented his life and work in extensive detail on his personal website. [UPDATE: Worth reading is this remembrance of Back by historian Charles Solomon.]

His films, beautiful and expressive works of art in their own right, are also noteworthy for their environmental and social consciousness. In his memory, we present a selection of films from throughout his animation career:

Abracadabra (1970)

¿Illusion? (1975)

Tout rien (1978)

Crac! (1981)

The Man Who Planted Trees (1987)

The Mighty River (1993, in French)

2014 Animated Feature Preview

From mainstream releases to independent foreign productions, we’ve got a guide to the animated feature releases that you can look forward to in 2014.

Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (1/10/14)
Released in 2012 in Japan, in this third chapter in the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy, the adventure continues for pilots Asuka and Mari after they are ambushed while recovering Evangelion Unit-01 from outer space.

Director: Hideaki Anno
Production Company: Studio Khara
Distributor: Funimation
Technique: Hand-drawn
Voice Cast: Spike Spencer, Jerry Jewell, Tiffany Grant
Japanese Website

The Nut Job (1/17/14)
A mischievous squirrel named Surly plans a nut-store heist with his rat friend, Buddy.

Director: Peter Lepeniotis
Production Company: Toonbox Entertainment
Distributor: Open Road Films
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Gabriel Iglesias, Liam Neeson
Official Facebook Page

The Lego Movie (2/7/14)
Ordinary LEGO figure is mistaken as “The Special” and goes on an adventure to save his LEGO mini-world.

Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Production Company: Animal Logic
Distributor: Warner Brothers
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman,
Official Website

The Wind Rises (2/21/14)
A fictionalized biography of fighter jet designer, Jiro Horikoshi, Hayao Miyazaki’s final film was a big hit in Japan last year and aims to repeat that success in the United States.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Production Company: Studio Ghibli
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures
Technique: Hand-drawn
Voice Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinki
Japanese Website

Mr. Peabody & Sherman (3/7/14)
Mr. Peabody & Sherman use their time traveling WABAC machine to keep the space-time continuum from being irreparably destroyed.

Director: Rob Minkoff
Production Company: Dreamworks
Distributor: Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter, Stephen Colbert
Offical Website

Rio 2 (4/11/14)
Blu and his family leave Rio de Janeiro for a journey to the Amazon rainforest where they encounter a menagerie of wild characters.

Director: Carlos Saldanha
Production Company: Blue Sky
Distributor: Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway,, Jamie Foxx
Official Website

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (5/9/14)
Dorothy returns to the Emerald City when The Jester threatens the world of Oz.

Director: Daniel St. Pierre, Will Finn
Production Company: Summertime Entertainment
Distributor: Clarius Entertainment
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Lea Michele, Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd
Official Website

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (6/13/14)
Taking place five years after the first film, Hiccup and his friends find themselves in the center of a larger conflict between humans and dragons.

Director: Dean DeBlois
Production Company: Dreamworks
Distributor: Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson
Official Website

Planes: Fire and Rescue (7/18/14)
Air racer Dusty must shift gears and join a quirky crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting a historic national park.

Director: Roberts Gannaway
Production Company: DisneyToon Studios
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Dane Cook, Julie Bowen
Official Website

The Boxtrolls (9/26/14)
An orphaned boy has to save his adopted family, a group of underground cave-dwelling trash collectors, from an exterminator.

Director: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi
Production Company: Laika
Distributor: Focus
Technique: Stop Motion
Voice Cast: Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg, Elle Fanning, Toni Collette
Official Website

Book of Life (10/17/14)
A young man named Manolo embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds, where he must face his greatest fears.

Director: Jorge Gutierrez
Production Company: Reel FX
Distributor: Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Christina Applegate

Big Hero 6 (11/7/14)
A brilliant robotics prodigy joins forces with a reluctant team of first time crime fighters in the fictional city of San Fransokyo.

Director: Don Hall
Production Company: Walt Disney Animation Studios
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures
Technique: CG
Official film website

Home (11/26/14)
An overly enthusiastic alien race are determined to take over Earth and relocate the human race to their planet – convinced they’re helping them.

Director: Tim Johnson
Production Company: Dreamworks Animation
Distributor: 20 Century Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Rhianna, Jim Parsons

The Canterville Ghost (12/25/14)
Set in rural England at the end of the nineteenth century, Sir Simon de Canterville has been haunting the Canterville Chase for hundreds of years but everything changes when an American family – the Otises from Boston – buys Canterville Chase and moves in. Canterville nemesis is a lowly gardener who is revealed to be Death himself.

Director: Kim Burdon
Production Company: D’Arblay Films and Arc Productions
Distributor: unknown
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie

The Congress (release date unannounced)
An aging, out-of-work actress accepts one last job, though the consequences of her decision affect her in ways she didn’t consider.

Director: Ari Folman
Distributor: Drafthouse Films
Technique: Live Action/Hand-drawn
Voice Cast: Robin Wright, Paul Giamatti, Jon Hamm
Official Website

Foreign Films

Tarzan 3D (1/24/14) (UK)
Tarzan and Jane Porter must face an army sent by the CEO of Greystoke Energies, the very man who took over the company after Tarzan’s parents death.

Director: Reinhard Klooss
Production Company: Constantin Films
Distributor: Filmförderunganstalt
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Kellan Lutz, Spencer Locke, Anton Zetterhorn, Jaime Ray Newman
German Website

Minuscule – La vallée des fourmis perdues (1/29/14) (France)
(Minuscule – Valley of the Lost Ants)
Two rival gangs of ants fight over a box of sugar leftover from a picnic.

Director: Thomas Szabo, Hélène Giraud
Production Company: Futurikon Films
Distributor: Le Pacte
Technique: CG
Official Facebook Page

Der 7bte Zwerg (1/30/14) (Germany)
(The 7th Dwarf)
The 7th dwarf Bubi travels into the future with his dwarf companions to stop a curse caused by an evil ice queen.

Director: Boris Aljinovic, Harald Siepermann
Production Company: Zipfelmützen Films, Erfttal Films
Distributor: Universal Pictures Germany
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Norbert Heisterkamp, Otto Waalkes, Nina Hagen
German Website

Jack et la Mécanique du cœur (2/5/14) (France)
(Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart)
Born on the coldest day in history, Jack lives with a clockwork heart that he must never touch, or use for anger or love.

Director: Mathias Malzieu, Stéphane Berla
Production Company: Duran Duboi
Distributor: EuropaCorp
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Mathias Malzieu, Olivia Ruiz, Jean Rochefort
Official Facebook Page

Tanta Hilda! (2/12/2014) (France)
(Aunt Hilda!)
Disaster looms for Aunt Hilda’s plant museum when industrialists develop a new chemical called “Attilem”.

Director: Jacques-Rémy Girerd and Benoît Chieux
Production Company: Folimage
Distributor: SND
Technique: Hand-drawn
Voice Cast: Sabine Azéma, Josiane Balasko, François Morel
Film Website

Giovanni’s Island (2/22/2014) (Japan)
In the aftermath of the most devastating conflict mankind had ever experienced, the tiny island of Shikotan became part of the Sakhalin Oblast… and on the unhealed border in this remote corner of the world, friendship among children from two different countries timidly blossomed, striving to overcome language barriers and the waves of history.

Director: Mizuho Nishikubo
Production Company: Production I.G.
Distributor: Warner Entertainment Japan
Technique: Hand-drawn
Film Website (Japanese)

Asterix: le Domaine des Dieux (11/26/14) (France)
(Asterix: The Mansion of the Gods)
Asterix and Obelix take on Julius Caesar after he attempts to seduce a village of Gauls off of their land by building a luxurious suburb nearby.

Director: Alexandre Astier, Louis Clichy
Production Company: MacGuff Ligne
Distributor: SND Sant-Ouen Films
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Roger Carel, Guillaume Briat, Alexandre Astier

Song of the Sea (Ireland)
The story of the last Seal Child’s journey home.

Director: Tomm Moore
Production Company: Cartoon Saloon
Technique: Hand-drawn
Voice Cast: David Rawle, Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan
Official Facebook Page

Malá z Rybárny (Czech Republic)
(Little from the Fish Shop)
The daughter of a fish shop owner meets a handsome, confident young man.

Director: Jan Balej
Distributor: Miracle Film
Technique: Puppet/Digital
Official Website

Artist of the Day: Will Kim

Will Kim

Will Kim is a Los Angeles based artist who creates “drawings and paintings in motion,” made primarily with oil pastels, watercolors and pencil on paper. For presentation on his blog, Will digitally processes the work and makes short animated GIF files.

Will Kim

Will Kim

The frenzied lines in Will’s work communicate energy and speed. The artist appears to be searching for the image to reveal itself as he works.

Will Kim

Will Kim

Will’s watercolor animated figures demonstrate a knowledge of classic animation principles: strong line of action, clear silhouettes, anticipation, among those principles.

Will Kim

Will Kim

See more from Will on his Tumblr, Art in Motion, and his website.

Will Kim

Will Kim

Apple Names Disney Animated as Best iPad App of 2013

After reviewing the 100,000 iPads apps that launched in its Mac App Store this year, Apple has chosen Disney Animated as the Best iPad App of 2013. Apple didn’t reveal its criteria for selecting the app.

Disney Animated was produced by UK-based developed Touch Press in partnership with Walt Disney Animation Studios and Disney Interactive. The app, which features large amounts of artwork and interactive animation ‘workshops,’ spans the nearly century-long history of Disney animation. Disney Animated is currently available in the App Store for a special price of $9.99.

“Frozen” Still Strong, “Saving Mr. Banks” Mild, “Walking with Dinosaurs” A Dud

In its fourth weekend of wide release, Frozen landed in 3rd place with a stellar $19.2 million (estimated). The film eased just 15% from last weekend, and its total gross of $191.6M has now surpassed Wreck-It Ralph’s $189.4M. In a few days, Frozen will also overtake Tangled’s domestic gross of $200.8M and may approach the $300M mark as it goes on to become Disney’s most successful CG feature to date. Overseas, Frozen has tacked on an additional $152.6M for a worldwide total of $344.2M.

Disney also pushed its Walt Disney biopic Saving Mr. Banks into wide release last weekend. The film landed in fifth place with $9.3 mil (est) and a mild $4,418 per theater average. Fox’s peculiar animated feature pickup Walking with Dinosaurs which was marketed slightly and only as a film for small tots, opened in 8th place with a paltry $7.3M (est). The film’s wide debut in 3,231 theaters netted a miserable $2,259 per theater average. The last animated film to flop so badly in a 3000+ theater debut was Disney’s 2011 release Mars Needs Moms. Dinosaurs performed poorly overseas as well, netting just $13.8M from 41 territories.

Mary Blair Exhibit Announced for Spring 2014 in San Francisco

The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco has officially announced their much anticipated tribute to the pride and joy of McAlester, Oklahoma: Mary Blair. Titled “MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: The World of Mary Blair,” the exhibit will be on view between March 13 and September 7, 2014.

Curated by animation historian and Blair biographer John Canemaker, the exhibition will feature approximately 200 pieces of artwork, spanning every phase of Blair’s artistic career. Her work will be organized into three major areas for the show:

“Learning the Rules”: Her student days at Los Angeles’ legendary Chouinard School of Art, and her fine art regionalist watercolors exhibited in the 1930s.

“Breaking the Rules”: Her artistic breakthrough with boldly colored, stylized concept paintings for classic Disney animated features during the 1940s and 1950s, including Saludos Amigos (1942) and Peter Pan (1953)

“Creating New Worlds”: Freelancing in the 1950s in New York where she became a popular illustrator for national advertisements, magazine articles, clothing designs, window displays, theatrical sets, and children’s books.

The museum’s current exhibit on Bambi production designer Tyrus Wong doesn’t shy away from showcasing Wong’s non-Disney work, and happily, the Blair exhibit will also cover a broad swath of her output, such as:

The exhibition includes Blair’s rarely exhibited student art, which was influenced by the illustrations of her mentor Pruett Carter, and her mid-to-late artworks from the 1930s as a member of the innovative California Water-Color Society which reveal an essential humanism and empathy for her subjects. The exhibition also showcases The Walt Disney Family Museum’s extensive collection of Blair’s conceptual artworks in gouache and watercolor—some of which have never displayed outside The Walt Disney Studios—that reveal the artist’s inexhaustible creativity in design, staging of imagery, visual appeal, and unique color sensibility. Also featured are original illustrations from several of Blair’s beloved Golden Books including I Can Fly (1951).

Walt Disney Performs an Appendectomy: Never-Before-Seen Private Photos of Walt Partying

With today’s wide release of the fabricated and manipulative Saving Mr. Banks, it is an appropriate time to take a look at a different and more authentic side of the man, Walt Disney. These incredible photos, which came to my attention a few years ago, completely altered my perception of his personality.

The advertised image of Walt Disney is that he was all business—gruff and slow to crack a smile. These revealing snapshots taken at a private party, away from the confines of work and business, unveil a man who knew how to have a good time, who could be playful and goofy, and who doesn’t fit the stereotypes often invoked about him. Disney animator Ward Kimball, who knew Walt on a more personal basis than almost any other Disney employee, often described Disney as excitable and child-like. These photos are the clearest visual evidence of that side of Walt.

This hand-made spiral-bound book popped up at an auction in 2011. Titled “Walt Disney demonstrates an appendectomy with Drs. Bowers, Avery & Nelson,” the photos depict Walt doing all sorts of crazy things like wearing his suit inside-out and backwards, checking his heartbeat, wearing a make-shift surgical cap and mask, and performing an operation on an orange. The set ends with a priceless maniacal look as he cuts into the orange.

The original mailing envelope was from Warner Bros. Pictures, and was addressed to Disney’s story director William Cottrell, who also happened to be Walt’s brother-in-law. The photographer of these pieces was Earl Theisen, who had a knack for taking candid snapshots of other famous people as well.

Click on any of the images to enlarge.

Help Kickstart The Preschool Series “Kit ^n^ Kate”

The subject of today’s Crowdfund Friday is Kit ^n^ Kate, a new animated series concept from Toonbox Animation Studios and written by Michael Mennies (The Fixies) and veteran New York animation director Mike de Seve (who directed sequences on Beavis and Butt-Head Do America and DreamWorks’ Madagascar). Intended for children ages 2-5, it teaches life lessons about important things like friendship, safety and patience.

Toonbox has launched a Kickstarter campaign to begin production on the first 6 episodes of the show, which stars two feline siblings who, while on magical adventures around the world, are confronted with choices, both good and bad. When bad decisions are made, things don’t worked out as planned and they must retrace their steps, figure out where they went wrong and repeat their journey, this time leading to a happy ending.

With 13 days remaining in their campaign they are a long way away from their $300,000 goal but the project looks fun and worthwhile. Backer rewards include downloads of wallpapers, soundtracks, episodes and an assortment of merchandise like stickers, T-shirts and buttons.

Disney Japan Celebrates the Holidays with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who is very popular in Japan, is the star of Disney Japan’s animated holiday greeting this year. It’s also a nice opportunity to remember how cool the character used to be—in both Disney and Walter Lantz shorts:

(Thanks, Anthony DiPaolo, via Cartoon Brew’s Facebook group)

Cloudface Looks Like a Goofy and Fun Game

Here is the ridiculously goofy teaser for Cloudface, a 2D platformer currently in development by the three-man team Futurebeard, comprised of animator Corey McDaniel, programmer Craig Johnston, and musician Calum Bowen. In the game, you play a smartly dressed business-cloud “on a quest to retrieve his important documents, stolen by King Konniver, a nefarious and fruity piece of bubble gum.” Your enemies: adorable exploding cats.

The animation in the gameplay looks like loads of fun, with hilarious bits of personality animation throughout, some of which can be seen on the development blog. The game’s dippy bossa-tinged soundtrack is perfectly appropriate, too. The gameplay demo below show how all these elements merge in a perfectly satisfying way. No word on platforms or release dates, but cartoon fans should keep an eye out for Cloudface.