Lots of wonderful, crazy, and frustrating things happened in the animation world last year, and we covered most of it on Cartoon Brew. In case you missed some of the excitement, here are the 25 stories of mine that you read the most in 2012, in order of their popularity on the site.
1. Ricky Garduno, RIP. The untimely death of this well-liked artist happened in December 2011, but word spread about his passing in 2012, especially after a tribute to Ricky was run at the end of a Family Guy episode. This was the most viewed article on Cartoon Brew in 2012.
2. Pixar’s “The Avengers”. Pageviews don’t lie: unofficial mashups of cartoon characters earn more attention online than anything the studios themselves do with the characters.
3. Digital Domain’s John Textor Brags to Investors about Exploiting Animation Student Labor. A study last year revealed that the job of CEO attracts more psychopaths than any other profession. Anyone who reads about animation execs on Cartoon Brew could’ve told you that.
4. Disney Buys Lucasfilm, “Star Wars” Franchise for $4 Billion. In the past, corporations succeeded by being creative and innovative. Today, they eliminate those risks by simply buying companies that are more creative and innovative than themselves.
5. Full Text of Glen Keane’s Disney Resignation Letter. The end of an era.
6. The Hub Hopes Men Will Start Calling Themselves “Belly Bros” and “Care Dudes”.The Hub already has one show for preschool girls that is beloved by adult men. Now they’re just being greedy.
7. A Tale of Two Titmouses: A Cartoon Brew Investigation. Why work in retail when you can work twice as hard and make less money working in an animation studio?
8. “The Sweatbox”, the Documentary That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See. Far more people saw this documentary about corporate ineptitude in 2012 than when the film was officially released a decade ago.
9. Why “The Goon” Is A Troubling Kickstarter Project. People will crowdfund just about anything nowadays, even storyreels that they can’t see for films that may never get made.
10. Advance Praise for the Book That Disney Doesn’t Want You To Read. I knew I’d written a decent biography of Ward Kimball after the Disney Company spent all of 2012 telling me to change it.
11. Stephen Colbert’s Must-See Interview with Maurice Sendak. Cranky old animation artist, meet your new friend, cranky old children’s book illustrator.
12. How Much Money Animated Shorts Earn on YouTube. How much can successful online animators earn on YouTube? Almost enough to move out of their parents’ basement.
13. Animation Teacher Faces Termination For Refusing To Sell His Students Unnecessary Books. Bad: The Art Institutes chain has a money-making scheme wherein they sell unnecessary textbooks to students. Evil: When a popular animation teacher protested the policy, he was fired from the school.
14. “Kill Me Now”: An Artist’s Plea For Help? It may have been an in-joke, but it’s more fun to imagine that an artist who worked on The Lorax wanted to kill him/herself because that’s how most of the audience felt too.
15. Meet India’s Answer to Brave Called “Kiara the Brave”. To make the film more authentic to the Pixar version, the Indian company removed Kiara the Brave’s original female director.
16. “Disasterland” Depicts Disney Characters In Adult Situations. The line is blurring between artwork created by fine artists and artwork created by fifteen-year-olds on Tumblr.
17. Interview With The Artists Who Demand Better Working Conditions At Sony Pictures Imageworks. VFX artists fighting the good fight.
18. Disney Has Halted Production On Henry Selick’s Stop Motion Feature. Sad to hear about this one. Henry Selick is a consistently interesting filmmaker whose films I enjoy seeing.
19. The Disney Purchase of Lucasfilm: What Does It Mean? There’s always a lot of questions when rich people give each other money.
20. Seth MacFarlane Profile In “The New Yorker”: 10 Revelations. The New Yorker revealed some fun facts about Seth MacFarlane, just another typical animator who lives in a $13 million mansion, dates Hollywood starlets and get spray-on tans.
21. Does A ‘CalArts Sensibility’ Exist? Wreck-It Ralph director Rich Moore sparked a fascinating discussion about the influence of CalArts in contemporary animation.
22. Report: Animators Are Raising Big Money On Kickstarter. Crowdfunding went mainstream in 2012. Animators finally have an easy way to raise money without having to sell their bodies.
23. Rebecca Sugar Is Cartoon Network’s First Solo Woman Show Creator. It took Cartoon Network only 20 years to recognize that a woman is capable of having ideas just like a man. Next thing you know, they’ll start allowing women and men to work in the same building.
24. Worst Movie Tie-In Ever: Nesquik’s Deadly “Wreck-It Ralph” Chocolate Powder. What’s the world coming to when you can’t buy artificially-flavored, chemically-enhanced drink powders without fearing for your health?
25-A. Digital Domain May Be On The Brink Of Disaster. I’m guessing this isn’t going to end well.
25-B. 300 Digital Domain Employees Lose Jobs; “Legend of Tembo” Shuts Down Production; John Textor Ousted. What did I tell ya?
(2012 image via Shutterstock)