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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R.I.P. Pokemon Gym

2The Pokemon Gym has left Tacoma, WA just as mysteriously as it appeared. Rumor has it that the Gym was an all-ages music venue created by some local college students for a senior project. Just who were these students and what grade did they get? No one knows for sure. What we DO know is that the Gym was ALSO an illegal squat, one that the local authorities shut down tout de suite. Still, that lovely blue and yellow paint-job remained for a few years after, providing smiles galore across the internet. Until now. Yes, the Pokemon Gym is gone, its exterior repainted a drab, muddy brown. Who painted it and for what reason? It doesn’t f*cking matter. It’s like Robert Frost used to say, “Nothing gold and blue can stay.” (Info, pics)

Andreas Deja Recommends:
Ken Hultgren’s ‘The Art Of Animal Drawing’

ad_khOver the years, Andreas Deja has animated quite a few iconic animals. There was the devious Scar, the lovable Tigger and the irrepressible Roger Rabbit. Oh, and who can forget the lower half of King Triton? More recently, Deja has been busily working on a new animal character – Mushka the tiger – for a feature film that he is personally writing, directing and animating.

According to Deja, there is ONE BOOK that made all of these characters possible: The Art of Animal Drawing by Ken Hultgren. Continue reading

Wanna See Some ‘Me and My Shadow’ Concept Art & Test Footage?

mamsDreamWorks’ Me and My Shadow was going to be the studio’s first CG/hand-drawn hybrid. How to Train Your Dragon 2‘s head of story, Alessandro Carloni, was going to direct. The film was initially scheduled to be released in 2013, then 2014, and has since been removed from DW’s official release schedule. Bummer, eh? Ah, but there’s hope. Recently, rumors have begun swirling that the project may still happen. Until then, though, howzabout some CG concept art and hand-drawn test footage? It’s pretty, witty stuff. Continue reading

Cartoons: 1, Sh*tty Childhood: 0

th_rrWant to hear an inspirational podcast that will make you laugh AND cry? The newest episode of The Champs Podcast features an extremely emotional interview with comedian Tiffany Haddish. In it, Haddish tells the heartbreaking story of her insane upbringing and the secret, cartoon-inspired source of strength that enabled her to survive it and become a successful stand-up comedian.

There’s one part, in particular, that gave me goosebumps. If you’ve got a minute, I’d like to share it with you… Continue reading

Are These Two Penguins Related?

11I just finished reading former Disney story artist Homer Brightman’s autobiography, Life In The Mouse House. It’s an incredibly candid book, full of uncensored anecdotes about the early days at Disney’s — some of ‘em heartbreaking, some of ‘em hilarious.

One thing confused me, though. Towards the end of the book, Brightman is said to have co-created the character Chilly Willy with Paul J. Smith in 1953. The book says that Chilly Willy was inspired by Pablo the Penguin, star of The Three Caballeros‘ short The Cold Blooded Penguin (1944) — a short which Brightman co-directed. Since I’d never heard this before, I went online to try and find out more. Only when I did, the credit for Chilly Willy’s creation goes solely to Smith. Which is correct?

UK-Only Bonnie Doll May Reveal The Top Secret Plot To ‘Toy Story 4’

96TIL that Disney/Pixar released a limited-edition Bonnie doll, and she’s scaled to the size of the previously released Toy Story dolls! While this minor retail-revelation was pretty cool in its own right, it was the unsaid, un-implied and entirely untrue follow-up thought that made the synapses in my sleep-addled brain light up like your neighbor’s seemingly year-round Christmas decorations:

I think I just discovered the top secret plot to Toy Story 4! Continue reading

Top 5: Creepiest Walk-Around Characters At Disneyland/Walt Disney World

9We all have a pic or two of ourselves posing with a Disney walk-around character. Maybe you were an adult on your first trip to Walt Disney World, or perhaps you were a child visiting Mickey and Minnie ‘where they live’ at Disneyland. Either way, the experience was a right-of-passage of sorts, and one you felt was worth preserving.

But there’s a second set of pictures hidden away in the scrapbooks and smart phones of some Disney fans. These photos forgo sentimental selfies in favor of the hideous, the nightmarish and the truly terrifying walk-around characters. Listed below are the worst of the worst. Continue reading

How’s this for geeky?

B3y8AFJIMAEtAsJ.jpg-largeOn Feb. 6, Disney Channel is premiering Miles From Tomorrowland, a sci-fi kids cartoon featuring the voices of Mark Hamill, George Takei, Wil Wheaton and Bill Nye the Science Guy! If that ain’t geeky enough for ya, Disney has hired experts from NASA and the Space Tourism Society to act as consultants on the series!

For more info pics and info, click through… Continue reading

HANNA BARBARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

2122This marvelous mash-up comes courtesy of Jay Fosgitt, the artist on such comic books as Bodie Troll and My Little Pony: Friends Forever. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I do believe we’re looking at the Guardians of the Galaxy versions of Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm (circa The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show), Mutley, Captain Caveman and Grape Ape. Pretty clever — and cute!

The Night Marilyn Monroe Met Mr. Magoo

mm_mm“Jim was in the 1952 film Don’t Bother to Knock with Marilyn Monroe. He came home one night during the filming and told me that Miss Monroe in her most seductive breathy voice asked him to meet her in her dressing room. His curiosity got the better of him and he went. Once there, she exclaimed like an excited child, ‘Do Mr. Magoo!’ And Jim did.”

- Henny Backus, wife of Jim Backus, the voice of Mr. Magoo (Via: A.S.)

Bob Iger On CG

1Variety reports: “[Walt Disney Co. chief Bob] Iger noted how the use of computer-generated graphics has made filmmaking seem ‘too easy.’ ‘There’s a sameness to a lot of these films today,’ Iger said. ‘The wow factor isn’t what it used to be.’”

Full disclosure: This out-of-context quote actually refers to J.J. Abrams’ use of practical effects in Star Wars Episode VII and NOT Disney/Pixar’s last few animated films. That said, if the shoe fits…

Click here to read the full Variety article.

‘Inside Out’ Trailer #2


My reaction? Not good. This is the first bit of Inside Out promo material that I haven’t loved. Judging from this trailer, it looks like one joke spread super-thin. And the gag about the dad thinking only of sports is bad, just bad. Pixar has proved itself capable of doing so much better than tired cliches. Still, I’m looking forward to it. Joy must be at the controls in my brain!

Every DreamWorks ‘Art Of’ Book…Ever

tumblr_ng505g7kuy1ske259o1_1280Believe it or not, the DreamWorks ‘Art Of’ books are a great gift for DreamWorks detractors. While they may not be enough to change anyone’s mind about the artistic merits of Turbo, they DO give a gorgeous glimpse at what could have been. I mean, YES — Shrek Forever After was CLEARLY a corporate cash-in, but did you see the eerie-as-f*ck concept art depicting Shrek’s decrepit tree stump home?! It’s AWESOME! But the only way you’re ever going to see it is by flipping through a copy of The Art of Shrek Forever After. The movie version was…blah.

Compiled after the jump are the covers and ordering info for each and every one of these books. There’s a bunch, so make sure you view on a full wallet.

(P.S. I love me some DreamWorks, but even I think Turbo was trash.) Continue reading

It’s Official:
Benedict Cumberbatch Is Doctor Strange

fyfs2o3kMarvel.com reports, “[Benedict Cumberbatch] will star in Marvel’s Doctor Strange, scheduled to hit theaters November 4, 2016. The film, directed by Scott Derrickson with Jon Spaihts writing the screenplay, will follow the story of neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a horrific car accident, discovers the hidden world of magic and alternate dimensions.”

Illustration by Jenny Harder

Impeccably Packaged & Endlessly Inspiring

24Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Nine Old Men: The Flipbooks

This box set of nine flipbooks pays tribute to Walt Disney’s legendary animators, The Nine Old Men: Les Clark, Eric Larson, Frank Thomas, John Lounsbery, Ward Kimball, Ollie Johnston, Mark Davis, Wolfgang Reitherman, and Milt Kahl. In addition to the flipbooks, the set contains a booklet of brief bios about The Nine Old Men, written by amazing animators like Glen Keane, Andreas Deja and Ron Clements. (Pic and GIF via A113.)

Problem, Solution

3When it comes to hipster hobbies, knitting is second only to micro-brewing. When it comes to cartoon-loving kiddies, Frozen is second-to-none. So according to my iffy, imaginary pseudoscience, that makes Drunk Girl Designs‘ ‘Cold as Fuck’ mittens the nexus (nadir?) of 2014′s pop culture trends.

Curious? Crafty? Cold as fuck? Click here to purchase the pattern.

Animation Essentials:
Character Vs. Personality

2Comedy for Animators has put up a nice post explaining the difference between personality and character. Animation students, in particular, would do well to check it out. In an industry that uses the term ‘character animation’ almost as often as ‘outsourcing’ and ‘imminent layoffs,’ it’s important to understand the true meaning of the phrase. Click here to read.

R.I.P. Bob Baker

1Puppeteer Bob Baker died Friday of natural causes. He was 90.

Baker’s Marionette Theater in Los Angeles is — no exaggeration — one of my favorite spots on Earth. It’s like visiting Disneyland or Pee-Wee’s Playhouse in the magical way that it transports you back to the innocence and wonder of childhood. This ‘magic’ isn’t limited to the shows, either. Thanks to Baker’s innovative approach to entertaining his audience, the ENTIRE THEATER is brimming with lenchanté!

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