In Memory of: The Disney Afternoon

80Yesterday’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 To Direct ‘LEGO Movie’ Sequel

15Rob 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.

Coming Soon: ‘Hell & Back’

gfShadowmachine (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!

Disney Releases 7 New ‘Big Hero 6’ Posters For Purely Selfless Reasons

11Big 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!)

Click through to view the lot of ‘em. Continue reading

Recommended Reading: The Hidden Story of Harley Quinn and How She Became the Superhero World’s Most Successful Woman

quinnVulture’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.

Diego Rivera Was A Big Cartoon Fan

27“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

Top 5: Superhero Funnybooks
(…That Are Actually Funny)

37The 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.
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Is Pixar Making A Musical?

60In a recent interview with the UK radio show Saturday Night At The Movies, frequent Pixar composer Randy Newman was describing the falling out he had with Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, when he said the following:

“Lee Unkrich had Toy Story 3 temped with my music and it was limiting to me. [...] Now he’s not going to use me to work with him again. He’s doing a musical now.”

For the sake of fueling rumors and creating hysteria, let’s repeat that last line, only this time in boldface and with multiple exclamation marks: “He’s doing a musical now[!!!]“ Continue reading

Dave Bennett On Disney’s ‘Orange Bird’ Short

24Jim 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.

Top 5: Sappy Spider-Man Comics

99Spider-Man has always had girl troubles. From his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 to whatever movie Marvel is releasing this year, the wisecracking web-head has rarely been lucky when it comes to love. Oh, sure, he’s had girlfriends. He’s even been married. But each and every affair inevitably ended in disaster. Death, dumping, a Marvel mandated mind-wipe — the deeper the love, the more messed-up the break-up. But does Spider-Man allow any of that to dim his dream of true love? Hells no. Skip ahead a few issues, and a new gal walks through Spidey’s door (or flies past his window…or punches him in the face while fleeing the scene of a crime…) and his lower half’s spider-sense starts tingling once more. Oh, comics. Ah, l’amour! Continue reading

The Nazis Vs. Mickey Mouse

222“Young people, where is your sense of self? Mickey Mouse is the shabbiest, most miserable ideal ever invented. Mickey Mouse is a recipe for mental enfeeblement. Healthy instinct should tell every decent girl and decent boy that those filthy, dirt-caked vermin, the greatest carriers of bacteria in the animal kingdom, cannot be made into an ideal animal type. [...] Down with Mickey Mouse, and up with the swastika!”

Nazi propaganda circa 1931, via the wildly fascinating A Mickey Mouse Reader

Happy Lincoln’s Birthday

216No, seriously. Able Abe not only played a humongous part in freeing the slaves, he also invented the musty-smelling log toys at your grandparents’ house, inspired Walt Disney’s first terminator and played a pitch-perfect cameo in the animated adaptation of Mike Mignola’s Amazing Screw-On Head. For those keeping track at home, that’s TWO high-points in the history of animation! And the slaves!

The Truth Is Stranger Than Twitter

55When I first saw Jeremy Conrad‘s humorous tweet, I figured he’d summed up the details of the Sony/Marvel deal as well as anyone ever would. Money, right? That’s what makes the world go round and keeps the ‘biz’ in ‘show biz.’

Then Variety released the actual details of the deal and, well, you just can’t make this stuff up: SHIT WAS FREE. No one is getting paid!

Animation Essentials: Designing Shapes

gkaeShiyoon Kim, a character designer at Disney Feature Animation, has released an old style guide that he and Glen Keane created for the animators on Tangled. The guide provides some great tips for studying and designing shapes, and features illustrations from Keane and quotes from Bill Moore — Chouinard’s legendary design professor!

Click through to get edumacated.

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Oscar Noms Reimagined As Animated Pics

10RIPT Apparel has unveiled their 2nd annual ‘RIPTcademy Award’ posters, and they’re even better than last year’s. There are twenty designs in all, most of them replacing the human cast with luminaries from the animation world. Looking over the collection, I’ve gotta admit — I think I’d prefer the fake versions to their critically acclaimed inspirations! Click here to purchase and/or view.

‘Bob’s Burgers’ Superfan Welcomed Into The Family Business

25Way back in 2012, college senior Cole Bowden had an unusual idea: ‘You know those burger puns on the blackboard in every episode of Bob’s Burgers? I wonder what they’d taste like.’ That fleeting, hunger-fueled thought was all that it took to inspire Bowden – at the time a complete NON-cook – to begin creating recipes for each and every one.

Fast-forward one blog, two years and nearly 100 burgers later, and not only has Bowden found a fan in the show’s creator, Loren Bouchard, he and Bouchard are creating a Bob’s Burgers cookbook! I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to make the veggie-burger versions of The Beets of Burden, Cheeses Is Born and Blondes Have More Fun-Gus. I’ll be that much closer to living my life as a cartoon! Continue reading

Here’s Some Fun, Non-Cannon Star Wars Mythology: Chewbacca Is The Sasquatch

98“TIL that in Star Wars Tales #19 Han Solo travels through time and crashes on Earth. Han is killed in an attack by Natives, but Chewbacca lives and becomes the Sasquatch. 126 years later, Indiana Jones is tracking down the Sasquatch only to find the crashed Millennium Falcon and the body of Han Solo.” – Skweres88

The comic being referred to is Into the Great Unknown by W. Haden Blackman and Sean Murphy, and it’s a delight. Click here to read.

Book Review:
Cinderella – A Dream Come True

tumblr_nina67jU5i1ske259o7_1280Cinderella: A Dream Come True may only be 8” tall, but it is PACKED with gorgeous concept art and insightful behind-the-scenes anecdotes.

The first half of the 160-page hardcover is a delightful re-telling of Walt Disney’s Cinderella. What makes this ‘storybook’ section so special are the illustrations. The book uses crystal-clear stills from the film, Mary Blair’s pretty pastel concept art and various pieces of pencil animation and storyboard excerpts to bring the text to life.

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Stay Up Late And Hurt Your Brains

1David OReilly has put his newest short, The Horse Raised By Spheres, online – and it’s free! What’s more, OReilly has released five other equally effed-up + enthralling shorts as well. I happened across them while I was getting ready for bed, and now I’m afraid to go to sleep.

Quick question: Is it possible to have a horrific nightmare that doesn‘t make you wake up screaming and crying whilst simultaneously lowering your ability to look your next door neighbors in the eye for at least a week? Anyone? Anyone?

Oh, well. I’ll find out soon enough.

(This is what I get for starting the day with a David Lynch post.)

Great Concepts Never Go Out Of Style

4Alka-Seltzer ad by MAD Magazine alumn Wally Wood (1967).

French poster for Pixar’s Inside Out by Stacey Aoyama (2014).

A special thanks to Jim Korkis at Cartoon Research for the Alka-Seltzer ad. In a recent ‘Animation Anecdotes‘ post, Korkis gathered together a bunch of deliciously demented storyboards Wood drew for an animated version of this ad. To check those out, click here.

OReilly Doh?

doDavid OReilly is going to Sundance! Not that I’m going or anything. I’m just excited because this means I’m that much closer to seeing his new short, The Horse Raised By Spheres. I am ALWAYS up for more David OReilly. His 2009 animated short, Please Say Something, remains one of my all-time favorite ANYTHINGS. If you’ve never seen it, save this link and watch it when you’ve got some downtime. It’s a visual, emotional and comedic masterpiece. CARTOONS DON’T GET NO BETTER!

A Closer Look At King Candy’s Walk Cycle

tumblr_mhkc6gs7mz1qejutxo1_400“Okay, I don’t normally do this, but let me just say something about [...] the sheer amount of detail they put into [King Candy's] walk-cycle in correlation to the character. [N]otice how his legs go straight out to the sides of him while he twirls his feet – like the wheels of the cars he has been programmed to drive. Not only that, but the lull in his walk is exactly like spinning your tires while breaking (or revving one’s engine), which happens at the start of every cart-racing game. Also, his hand [...] ‘changes gears’ [...] before his shooing gesture, before returning to the unseen ‘gear-shift.’ [King Candy] embodies both his car and racing games in general.” Noxaldia

Wow! That’s a fascinating theory. Makes sense, too. What do y’all think?

X-Men: Apocalypse Casts Its Young Mutants

112Next year’s X-Men: Apocalypse will feature teenage versions of Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Storm. Director Bryan Singer just announced via Twitter who will be playing them: Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones) as Jean Grey, Alexandra Shipp (Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B) as Storm and Tye Sheridan (Tree of Life) as Cyclops. Click through for full size pics. Continue reading

Charting The Voice Actors

44Jishai Evers has created voice-cast charts for The Simpsons and South Park. It’s incredible to see the number of characters handled by some of these folks. Dan Castellaneta does 26 voices. Trey Parker? 32! It’s a testament to these casts’ talent that not only is each character’s voice funny, they’re instantly identifiable. Click through for the full-size charts. Continue reading

Scooby Doo, Where Are You…Now?

12It’s been 38 years since Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? went off the air. Curious as to the cartoon cast’s current whereabouts, the internet sleuths at BuzzFeed hopped in their mystery machine and tracked ‘em down. Shown above are some recent pics of the 50-something-year-old ‘meddling kids.’ If you think these are good, wait’ll you read the gang’s present day ‘fun facts.’ They’re AMAZING.

Click here to catch up.

Flipping Out Over Flip Books

1Collector’s Weekly has a beautifully illustrated piece about vintage flip books. Covering a wide swath of time (the late 1800s to today), the article presents a concise, contextual history for flip books. It’s neat to see the role that flip books played in the development of not just animation, but also cinema in general. Take that, Academy!

Anyone who has ever scribbled a rocket ship blasting off in the margin of their math book should check this article out. Click here to read.

Related: Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Nine Old Men: The Flipbooks

Our Friend, Martin: An Awkward Yet Effective Time-Travel Tribute To The Slain Civil Rights Leader

Our Friend, Martin, Robert Brousseau and Vincenzo Trippetti’s 1999 time-travel tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., is as awkward as it is engaging. The dialogue is cringe-worthy. The jokes are even worse. The animation looks like Captain Planet, and the voice acting sounds like it’s comprised entirely of first takes. Yet despite its many, many flaws, the movie manages to be an oddly effective bit of After School Special-style ‘edutainment.’
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