Friday, October 24, 2008


Hey ho! Disney is up to its canine ears in dog pictures.

Now that I've returned to the Monday-Friday routine, we return you to the fabled Animation Link Fest.

Animation producer Don Hahn expounds on his book "Alchemy of Animation":

...the best thing you can do [in animated features] is try to keep reaching out in new directions. I think WALL-E is a good example. It's a film with no dialogue for a half-hour. Up is a film that that stars a man in his 70's. They're very unexpected. In its day, I think Lion King was probably unexpected. It was, you know, the Joseph story meets Hamlet in Africa with music by Elton John. It was a nutty concept in its time, but those risks, I think, are the kinds of movies that end up paying the biggest dividends.

Singapore rolls out its first English language animated feature:

Singapore's first English animated feature film "Sing to the Dawn" will open on October 30.

Dawn has finally come for the movie, which took over four years and S$7.5 million to make ...

The director draws inspiration from the "Jungle Book" movie, which he counts as the first movie he can remember watching and which also made a huge impression on him.

Former Mouseketeer Michael Eisner holds forth on what he's been doing -- in live action and animation -- with his new company Tornante.

WS: Tell us about the new sitcom, Glenn Martin DDS, for Nick at Nite.

EISNER: It’s pretty exciting. We had this idea—what job allows you to [pick up] and take your family on a cross-country trip? If I were a dentist I think I’d like to get away! So we have a dentist’s family traveling around America. It’s comedy. Nick at Nite’s prime-time schedule is for all of the family and not just for kids. They read the script, liked our idea. Then we shot the first act in stop-motion puppet animation. They said it was great, and we are doing 20 episodes.

We’re starting to show it internationally—Canada loved it. Hopefully we’ll deliver on the promise. The key is execution, always. You start with a very good idea, which I think it is. You put good people on it and then you have to hope that it gets executed up to the idea or better than the idea that you started with.

The Hollywood Reporter profiles John Lasseter, "Innovator of the Year."

... His voice trembling with emotion, [Lasster] spoke of how thrilling it was getting to know Johnston when he first came to Disney in 1979.

"We weren't embraced at that time by many of the people leading (Disney)," he recalled. "The Nine Old Men were starting to step away and retire. But it was the Nine Old Men who embraced us. They wanted to teach us everything that they knew. They recognized, more than anybody else, that they were handing the torch off."

Our friends to the north ramp up for World Animation Day:

The National Film Board is getting an early start on World Animation Day festivities and is turning the party out well after. From October 24 to November 12, Canadians in 13 cities will be able to enjoy free screenings of the Get Animated! series to celebrate World Animation Day (October 28).

Besides Bolt and Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Disney has yet another animated dog picture that you probably haven't heard quite as much about:

... With Roadside Romeo, Indian animation films have taken a giant leap forward and kudos to Yash Raj Films and Walt Disney Studios for being the one to raise the bar up by many notches.

Bottom line is the fact that Roadside Romeo is ultimately a movie that has stemmed from the land of masala films, so expecting anything different is sheer blasphemy. The film has lovers, a villain and great humor - the ultimate essentials for a Bollywood caper. But then being animated and convincing is what whisks this film away from clutches of the inane Bollywood film monster ...

The Washington Post reviews a newer collection of Looney Toons shorts that encompasses some of Warners' lesser known eight-minute wonders:

... [T]his "Golden Collection," releasing today, definitely offers its share of standard, delightfully Looney fare ... But we also get an entire DVD devoted largely to "patriotic" cartoons from the World War II era in which, among other things, Bugs Bunny impersonates Joseph Stalin, viewers are encouraged to buy bonds and an animated Adolf Hitler invariably gets whacked on the head with a mallet.

(Regarding some of the WB wartime shorts, the company failed to copyright a large number of these short productions, an error the craftier Disney never made.)


Tim said...

There are a couple that Disney let slip through the copyright cracks that I've seen released by GoodTimes video:
"The New Spirit" - a 1942 Donald Duck short about paying your taxes to defeat the axes.
"The Winged Scourge" - (1943) The Seven Dwarves tell us how to wipe out malaria: by draining swamps and putting oil on standing water to destroy mosquito breeding grounds.
"Hooked Bear" - (1956) A classic Humphrey the Bear short with the Ranger of Brownstone.
"Suzie the Little Blue Coupe" (1956) - Bill Peet's endearing "Auto"-Biography.

Steve Hulett said...

Ah. I stand corrected.

Many thanks.

Tim said...

Well... they virtually never let one slip.
I wasn't trying to bust your chops over it. Just adding history.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

There was also "The Mad Doctor," a black and white Mickey that fell into PD due to some copyright issue in the UK (as an animation historian friend tells me...)

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