Paul Michael Johnson has created an intense and intoxicating animated Star Wars short — by himself! Yes, as unbelievable as it may seem, Johnson animated the WHOLE THING by his lonesome, only asking for help on the score and sound. Johnson’s visual inspiration (well, besides ILM’s awesome, original starship designs)...
A Mini Masterpiece Of Smears (Or: 1.5 Seconds, 27 Frenzied Frames)
In animation, a ‘smear’ is an image (or series of images) that uses bizarre, often grotesque distortions to mimic the blur seen when an object is in motion. When done right, they’re magical and manic and one of my favorite parts of hand-drawn cartoons.
Does Disney’s ‘Avengers Playset’ Spoil A Secret Superheroine Cameo?
Disney’s new Avengers Figure Playset contains one character who is definitely not part of the Avengers…yet. CAPTAIN MARVEL! Does that mean we might see her in Avengers: Age of Ultron? Uh…maybe. This cameo isn’t all that far-fetched when you consider that Captain Marvel — aka Ms. Marvel, aka Carol Danvers...
Steve Ditko Vs. His Fans
The eternally cantankerous Steve Ditko responds to a letter asking him what he remembered about designing Spidey’s costume. Hilarious! (x)
Air Force Officers Identified With Avery’s Wolf
“Personnel of the 667th Bombardment Squadron, training in Gainesville, Fla., have adopted this scene from the MGM cartoon, Red Hot Riding Hood, as their squadron insignia. The ‘Wolfe’ — in white tie and tails — appears on all their planes. In writing to Fred Quimby, in charge of cartoon production...
Dad & Daughter Make LEGO ‘Jurassic Park’
The Legend: Get ready for squeals and feels! The daddy/daughter team of Paul and Haley Hollingsworth made a stop-motion version of Jurassic Park using LEGO. The results are delightful! The Facts: Dad and daughter were joined by a small cadre of filmmaker friends who helped build sets, animate characters, shoot...
Paul Michael Johnson has created an intense and intoxicating animated Star Wars short — by himself!
Yes, as unbelievable as it may seem, Johnson animated the WHOLE THING by his lonesome, only asking for help on the score and sound. Johnson’s visual inspiration (well, besides ILM’s awesome, original starship designs) are the classic space anime of the 1980s. Do yourself a favor and set aside 9 minutes to really savor it. You’ll be glad you did!
(Post-prequels, I can’t believe I’m getting excited about Star Wars again.)
In animation, a ‘smear’ is an image (or series of images) that uses bizarre, often grotesque distortions to mimic the blur seen when an object is in motion. When done right, they’re magical and manic and one of my favorite parts of hand-drawn cartoons. Continue reading
Disney’s new Avengers Figure Playset contains one character who is definitely not part of the Avengers…yet. CAPTAIN MARVEL! Does that mean we might see her in Avengers: Age of Ultron?
This cameo isn’t all that far-fetched when you consider that Captain Marvel — aka Ms. Marvel, aka Carol Danvers — will be starring in her own Marvel film in 2018. Plus, Joss Whedon LOVES him some strong female characters, so it seems like a pretty likely cameo if you ask me.
To get a better look at the figure and playset, click here.
“Personnel of the 667th Bombardment Squadron, training in Gainesville, Fla., have adopted this scene from the MGM cartoon, Red Hot Riding Hood, as their squadron insignia. The ‘Wolfe’ — in white tie and tails — appears on all their planes. In writing to Fred Quimby, in charge of cartoon production at MGM studios, the commandant stated that they wanted the drawings because ‘the modern wolf is so typical of many of our officers here.’” — Showmen’s Trade Review 1/1/44 (x)
The Legend: Get ready for squeals and feels! The daddy/daughter team of Paul and Haley Hollingsworth made a stop-motion version of Jurassic Park using LEGO. The results are delightful!
The Facts: Dad and daughter were joined by a small cadre of filmmaker friends who helped build sets, animate characters, shoot the film and score it. Oh, and it cost $100k in LEGO! That said, it’s still a pretty rad testament to the cool stuff creative parents can do to inspire their kids. Hell, I wish I had friends/a dad/a LEGO collection like that!
“According to Chinese myth, when the bottom of the white part of the eye, known as the sclera, is visible it represents physical imbalance in the body and is claimed to be present in alcoholics, drug addicts and people who over-consume sugar or grain. Conversely, when the upper sclera is visible it is said to be an indication of mental imbalance in people such as psychotics, murderers, and anyone rageful.” — Wikipedia entry for Sanpaku
Ah, but what does it mean when the upper AND lower sclera are visible in CARTOON CHARACTERS?
Do you think these Hanna-Barbera ‘Lovable Smoking Pets’ stopped being made because (a.) they were a kids toy all about cigarettes or (b.) because they were a toy that required kids to LITERALLY play with matches?! Keep in mind, (c.) ‘all of the above’ is also an option.
Cartoon Brew reports that Rusty Citron (a.k.a. president and founder of the ‘Actors Hall of Fame Foundation,’ a.k.a. the former senior vice-president at New World Pictures in the late 1980s, a.k.a. just another one of those cliched, level-headed, Hollywood realists you always hear about in books and movies) is running around town, attempting to interest someone — anyone! — in his live-action/CG hybrid movie starring 80s ad icons, the California Raisins. Will this feature feature the original Raisins, A.C., Beebop, Stretch and Red? (Thanks, Wikipedia!) Or will this reunion be like every other Motown reunion and include one original member and a bunch of random, younger, more photogenic guys grapes? Honestly, who cares?
The Manga-Anime Guardians (great name!), a joint anti-piracy project created by the Japanese government, the government’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (bad name!), the Content Overseas Distribution Association (worse name!), and several of Japan’s largest animation studios and publishers, announced today that they have succeeded in deleting over 700,000 illegal online anime and manga files.
According to The Manga-Anime Guardians’ official press release, 447,096 illegal manga files from 577 titles and 264,601 anime files from 90 titles were deleted due to the campaign, which targets online manga reading sites, video streaming sites and torrent sites.
Back in 1989, Japanese animation addicts and their video game counterparts were blessed with the Famicom Disk System game, Roger Rabbit. The game was a Super Mario Bros.-esque ‘platformer’ loosely based on Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and would’ve surely been my favorite game at the time had it ever been released in America. Alas, conflicting copyrights prohibited this brief moment of happiness from ever entering my otherwise unbearable childhood. Woe was me. Continue reading
Remember in the old days (last year) when something like this would’ve had Cosby holding press conferences condemning the cursing? My, how times have changed. To follow the animated BasedGod, click here.
Posted below are some pristine pics of Ub Iwerks’ original storyboards* for Plane Crazy (1928). It’s amazing how much motion and emotion Iwerks was able to convey even in these simple, speedy, pencil sketches. The guy was a genuine GENIUS.
The Santa Barbara Film Festival recently held a screening of The LEGO Movie. After the screening, the film’s writers/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller took the stage for a Q&A session. Two minor spoilers/pretty big story points were unveiled there:
1. The LEGO Movie Sequel will take place in a “weird, dystopian version of Bricksburg.”
2. EMMETT HAS A SISTER(!), and she will be traveling side by side with Emmett as they navigate this “weird, dystopian version of Bricksburg.” Continue reading
PointlessComent has created a silly, skeevy photo set blending Vice President Biden’s almost-always-awkward photo-ops with anime’s almost-always-submissive moe girls. While the set is totally SFW, you probably won’t want your co-workers to walk by while you’re looking at it. They’ll never look at you (or Biden) the same. Click here to view.
Or maybe I should call ‘em ‘teasers,’ cuz I’m just teasing. Seriously, all due respect to the billionaire wage-fixers keeping the cereal bar stocked. You’re an inspiration. For full-sized posters, click through. Continue reading
Long Forgotten — a wonderful, Haunted Mansion-themed blog – has put together a piece detailing the many instances where Disney’s Imagineers found inspiration from the work of cartoonist Charles Addams. The Haunted Mansion concept art of Ken Andersen, in particular, borrowed quite liberally (i.e. SWIPED WHOLE) from Addams’ work. As a lifelong fan of both The Addams Family and the Haunted Mansion, I found it fascinating. Click here to check it out.
In what is perhaps the least surprising corporate cartoon news since DreamWorks’ last tax write-off, the Walt Disney Company has officially announced plans to make a sequel to their $1.3 billion hit, Frozen. The big reveal came during today’s annual Disney shareholders meeting. The only real shocker? John Lasseter made the statement sans specially-made Hawaiian shirt. (Via.)
John Lasseter has hired a co-director for Toy Story 4. Helping our Hawaiian-shirted hero elevate/desecrate (opinions vary) one of the most fully realized trilogies in cinema history is Josh Cooley, the head of story on Inside Out and director of an Inside Out-themed short scheduled to appear on that film’s Blu-ray. Congrats, Josh! (x)
Legendary’s upcoming Electra Woman and Dyna Girl web series (a modern-day reboot of the kitschy, 70s, TV original) has begun production. To help ignite the hype, the producers have released the first pic of stars Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart in costume and launched the show’s Twitter page.
(…and from the looks of things, not a moment too soon)
Laika Animation Studio plans to build a 105,000-square-foot addition onto its production facility, increasing its size by 70 percent. The studio wants more space as it ups its release schedule, moving from one movie every two years to one movie per year. (x)
While I’m happy for the studio and delighted by the idea of more Laika films, I’d be remiss if’n I didn’t share this jewel from Hayao Miyazaki: “Speaking from my own experience, I would say you shouldn’t grow your studio too big. You need to make fewer films. I think my producer would agree. Making too many films puts you in a hectic situation. Try to stay modest.”
Japanese illustrator Takumi has drawn a map of a hypothetical Studio Ghibli theme park. While I’d fight my way to the Nausicaä flume ride at rope drop, I think my favorite part of this park would be the Catbus-themed monorail. Too cute! To see the full-size map, click here.
Genie animator Eric Goldberg and his wife Susan have created this BEAUTIFUL and BIZARRE book where you take the iconic Disney villains (Maleficent, Cruella De Vil, Jafar, Ursula, the Queen of Hearts, etc.) and mix and match their costumes, faces and legs to come up with some truly hilarious results. What’s more, the text also changes according to your mixing, as does the appearance of the side-kicks and protagonists! The result is silly, twisted, mind-f*ck fun. Oh, and the best part? Disney’s Mix and Match Villains Book is currently $1 on Amazon.
Episode 1 of Powers, based on the long-running comic book series by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, is now online. The series is a ‘Playstation orginal,’ and has been garnering strong reviews from everyone from Forbes to Nerdist.
I just finished watching the first ep, and I’ve gotta say — it’s one of the better superhero series premiers in recent memory. The characters are sharp, and the world – although new – already feels familiar and believable. I know I’ll be back for future episodes. What about you?
It’s a fact: This handmade, silk-screened, officially unlicensed Gorillaz pillow case was the ONLY wedding gift Prince William and Kate Middleton didn’t return for cash. Now you, too, can lay your inflated ego upon the fine art of drunken chapbook artist Jamie Hewlett — for mere pence on the pound! Rest easy in the knowledge that this museum-quality textile was made in a factory unwilling or unable to report any deaths due to overwork and exhaustion. That’s guilt-free luxury! Normally $40, this lovely bit of machine washable ‘pop art’ is now on sale for just $4 on Amazon. Click here to order.
Remember ‘synergy’? bestnatesmithever does. He blended two of Disney’s biggest brands, creating a set of hilarious Star Wars/Frozen mash-ups. Now all we need to do is figure out a way to cram in ABC, ESPN and the Avengers sequel, and we’re full-on 80s corporate retro!
“In Frozen, a painting based on [Jean-Honoré Fragonard's] The Swing hangs in the palace, but the version in the film omits the male figure hidden in the bushes, peeping up the swinger’s dress.” — Mike Pants
THR reports, “Disney XD has picked up Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales, an animated take on the six Star Wars movies. The limited series consists of five 22-minute episodes that will air later this year. [...] But this is not an ordinary Star Wars in 22 minutes. The conceit is that the movies are being retold through the eyes of robots C-3PO and R2-D2 in a brand new story.” Continue reading
In 1989, Walt Disney Co. opened Pleasure Island as a way to keep adults on the Walt Disney World property after dark. Pleasure Island was restricted to guests 21+ (unless accompanied by an adult), and consisted mainly of shops, dance clubs and over-priced bars. Continue reading
Yesterday’s announcement that Disney would be re-booting DuckTales in 2017 reminded me of a GREAT interview that The Animation Guild Blog did with Tad Stones back in 2011. In that interview, Stone detailed the creation and decimation of the 90s ‘Disney Afternoon.’ Stone knows what he’s talking about, too — he played an integral part in nearly every show! Click here to listen. (Note: The Disney Afternoon portion begins at roughly the 21 minute mark of Part 2, then continues into Part 3.)
Rob Schrab will make his feature directorial debut on Warner Bros.’ upcoming The LEGO Movie Sequel. Schrab has directed quite a few great episodes of Community and Parks And Recreation, but he snatched my heart forever by creating the AMAZING action/comedy comic book, Scud: The Disposable Assassin.The LEGO Movie Sequel is scheduled for a May 2017 release.
Shadowmachine (BoJack Horseman) has announced their newest animated production, Hell & Back. According to the Shadowmachine website, Hell & Back is “an aggressive R-rated stop-motion animated comedy about three friends and their misadventure through hell.” Hell & Back will feature the voice-work of Nick Swardson, Danny McBride, Rob Riggle, TJ Miller and Bob Odenkirk. If you read that last line and thought, ‘Wow, that is an insanely awesome cast,’ drop me an email. We have super-similar taste in comedy!
Big Hero 6 is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. To help hype the release, Disney has put out a new line of BH6 digital posters. The designs aren’t perfect, but still pretty clever, aping the look of DIY stencils screened on old copies of Hiro Hamada’s local newspaper, The San Fransokyo Times. And hey, they’re FREE! (Psst, kids! Don’t forget to tell your recently divorced parents to buy you a copy for each of your homes! You don’t want to be without a copy for even a minute!)
A big tip of the LEGO Devo hat to Tegan & Sara, The Lonely Island, Mark Mothersbaugh, ?uestlove, Will Arnett and countless construction worker dancers for pulling off such an amazing Oscar performance. Your 2.5 minutes made the other 3 hours (almost) bearable.
This: “Because ALF was abruptly cancelled in its 8th season, what was [intended as] a season-ending cliffhanger became the finale, with ALF being caught by federal agents while rendezvousing with his kin. In season one, an agent told the Tanners they would basically torture and kill ALF if they were to find him.” — Vranak
Vulture’s Abraham Riesman has put together a thorough examination of the rise and fall and resurrection of DC Comics’ clown princess of crime, Harley Quinn. As a big fan of her early appearances in Batman: The Animated Series, Mad Love and The Batman Adventures comics, I completely agree with a lot of what is said in this piece about Harley’s post-B:TAS appearances — they’re out of character, unoriginal, cliche T&A. That said, she’s more popular than ever. Click here to read.
“If we look at the characteristics of the animated cartoons which are shown in movies, we find them to be of the purest and most definitive graphic style, of the greatest efficiency as social products, drawings joyous and simple that make the masses of tired men and women rest, make the children laugh til they are weary and ready for sleep and will let the grownups rest undisturbed.
“Mickey Mouse was one of the genuine heroes of American Art in the first half of the 20th Century.”
Diego Rivera, Mickey Mouse and American Art (1932), via
The term ‘funnybook’ is a holdover from a bygone era. An era when people still used the word ‘bygone’ and bought comic books that aimed to tickle their funny-bone instead of firing off some weird, alpha-male, wish fulfillment synapses in the pleasure centers of their brain.
Ah, but even in today’s grim ‘n’ gritty world of pseudo-realistic superhero comics there still exist a few books that aspire to be silly. There aren’t many (and they never last long), but they’re out there: Honest-to-goodness, capital-F Funnybooks — just like Grandma used to read! Listed below are five of my favorites. Continue reading
Jim Korkis and Cartoon Research have posted a swell piece detailing the creation of Disney’s one and only Orange Bird short, Foods and Fun: A Nutrition Adventure (1980). The best part of this post is the fact that they got the film’s jack-of-all-trades, Dave Bennett, (“my duties included character and prop design, storyboarding, track editing and reading, timing out the exposure sheets for the animators, layout, assistant animating”) to tell the tale! Click here to read.