Yesterday, we celebrated the momentous decision to replace the practical effect-dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park” with CGI animation. Today, we look at the other side of the issue: the effect that CGI has had on traditional puppet-makers, animatronic artists, and stop motion animators whose work has increasingly been relegated to the sidelines.
Poor Garfield. In his heyday, he was amongst the most beloved characters on the funny pages, his plush likenesses fastened to car windows and his sarcastic barbs adorning office walls around the globe. Then, somewhere along the line, he underwent a pop-cultural re-evaluation. Jim Davis’ strip is now something of a pariah: just look at how “The Simpsons” paired it with “Love Is” as the kind of strip that Milhouse reads. What a comedown for a character once hip enough to be quoted in “Two Tribes” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. But yet, the orange cat has been saved from cultural oblivion by a peculiar trend: the remixed “Garfield” strip.
Last weekend, “The Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return” recorded the worst opening ever for an animated film in more than 2,500 theaters. The film’s exec producer, Greg Centineo, a former Florida coffee shop owner who raised over $100 million from investors to produce this film and its followups, thinks he knows what went wrong.
For the past few days on Cartoon Brew’s Instagram account, we’ve been running a series called 25 Cartoonists You Should Know. The entire series is below, and yes, the list could easily be twice as long and still incomplete.
Cartoon Brew officially launched on March 15, 2004. A decade is a long time to be doing anything, but it feels like an especially long time to be blogging daily. As we head into the site’s 10th anniversary year, here are some reflections on where we’ve been and where we’re headed.
Sony Pictures has demanded the removal of the CGI short film Sintel from YouTube due to a claim of copyright infringement. One small problem: they don’t actually own anything in the film.
With the entire Internet already yakking about the new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” trailer, it hardly seemed necessary to bring it up here. But for the sake of posterity, here is the trailer for the Jonathan Liebesman-directed film, which will debut on August 8th:
Disney’s Frozen will soon merit its own chapter in the entertainment industry Big Book. The 2014 Oscar winner for best animated feature has earned over US$1 billion at the box office, currently the second highest-grossing animated feature in history, behind “Toy Story 3.” The movie’s phenomenal financial success has obscured under-the-hood examination of its performance engine. As an acting teacher, I am an artistic purist; grosses and popularity awards don’t mean much to me. My standard of measurement is the emotional impact a movie has on its audience and its elegance as a work of art. “Frozen” is beautiful to see, fun to sing along with and is a modern day marketing marvel, but the script has structural and performance issues that are worth examining because they impact directly on acting.
In a world of dumb animation execs, Stu Snyder made a sincere effort to be the dumbest. He was the genius who led a campaign to remove cartoons from Cartoon Network. Now, he’s leaving Cartoon Network.