Book Review: ‘Toons in Toyland’

Barney Rubble with green toenails, Yogi Bear mass graveyards, fake Charlie Browns: welcome to the weird wide world of cartoon merchandising!


Book Review: ‘Anime Fan Communities’ by Sandra Annett

I regret starting this review on a negative note, but it should be said that “Anime Fan Communities” is not the most accurately-titled book. Author Sandra Annett takes international anime fandom as her starting point, but she ends up engaging with a much wider range of topics.

Feature Film

‘Paddington’ Trailer Generates Entire Tumblr Devoted To Its Creepiness

Based on Michael Bond’s 1958 children’s book “A Bear Called Paddington,” the live-action/CG hybrid “Paddington” tells the story of a Peruvian bear who finds himself living in London. The film will be released on November 28, 2014 in the Uk, followed by a Christmas Day release in the United States by the Weinstein Company/ Dimension Films.
Based on Michael Bond’s 1958 children’s book A Bear Called Paddington, the live-action/CG hybrid Paddington tells the story of a Peruvian bear who finds himself living in London. The film will be released on November 28, 2014 in the Uk, followed by a Christmas Day release in the United States by the Weinstein Company/ Dimension Films.

Cartoon Culture

How Garfield Got His Groove Back: The ‘Garfield’ Remix Phenomenon

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.


Animake It Software Allows Anyone to Make Animation—In One Minute

The world of animation software is dominated by a handful of industry-standard titles. However, the margins are dotted with more specialized pieces of software, often designed for animators who prefer to work outside the demands of studio production. One such program is Animake It, a piece of software that aims to provide an accessible animation experience that ties in with current trends in online content.


Book Review: ‘Stray Dog of Anime: The Films of Mamoru Oshii’

I can remember looking at anime titles in British video catalogues back in the nineties; as the pastoral fantasies of Hayao Miyazaki would not reach prominence in this country until the new millennium, UK distributors placed a strong emphasis on futuristic thrillers. The films of Mamoru Oshii certainly fit that bill.


British Studios Locksmith and Double Negative Plan To Make CG Features

There are big developments in the UK animation industry in the wake of a much-heralded tax break received by the British animation industry that went into effect last year. Sarah Smith, the former creative director of features at Aardman Animations, is setting up a studio named Locksmith Animation. She bills it as the UK’s “first high-end CGI feature animation studio,” and it is focused on creating a long-term slate of films for worldwide distribution.


This Sunday in London: Centennial Tribute to Pioneering Animator Joy Batchelor

On Sunday April 13, as part of the Bird’s Eye Film Festival, the Barbican art centre in London is set to hold an event to mark the centenary of animator Joy Batchelor. Speaking at the event will be Joy’s daughter Vivien Halas; author and former Channel 4 commissioning editor for animation Clare Kitson; BFI animation curator Jez Stewart, and film critic Brian Sibley, whose work includes books on Disney and Aardman.

Feature Film

Teaser Trailer for Aardman’s ‘Shaun the Sheep Movie’

Starting out as a side character in the Wallace and Gromit short “A Close Shave” (1995), Shaun the Sheep became an unlikely franchise star. After getting his own line of merchandise and a spin-off television series (which was popular enough to spawn its own spin-off, “Timmy Time”) Shaun is set to become the subject of Aardman’s next feature in spring 2015. The film currently doesn’t appear to have a U.S. distributor.


Book Review: A Fresh Take on Anime History by Jonathan Clements

Jonathan Clements’ “Anime: A History” differs greatly from more populist overviews of anime available in the English-language market. This book is not about the anime texts themselves, but the surrounding industry: Clements delivers a tightly-packed account of anime production, distribution and viewership from the silent era to the present day.


Everything You Need to Know about Fanime

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.


Joanna Quinn Bakes an Animation Cake

Joanna Quinn’s ident for the 2013 Bradford Animation Festival, which takes place this week, marks the twentieth anniversary of the …


“Turmoil in the Toy Box” Revisited

Author Phil Phillips spent the 1980s warning parents about the occult forces in children’s TV animation. While his notoriety has passed, fear of the messages in cartoons still exists today.


“Sarah and Duck”: TV Review

Pre-school animation appears to have something of a stigma in the United States. Cartoons targeted at children aged 6-11, such as …