Thursday, May 22, 2008

Maytime Links

"Disney Girls" from the ever informative, always entertaining BW.

Another round of cartoon linkage (with add ons and updates below), starting with the Blackwing Diaries, and Jenny L.'s terrific post on unsung Disney employees from seventy years back:

These were taken at the Hyperion studio, circa 1936-37. All this and more were scrapbooked (along with a wealth of discarded drawings, color models, doodles and company memos) by a girl with the unlikely name of Ingeborg Willy-a young woman who obviously loved her animation job inking in the best studio in the United States. By the way-none of the women pictured above is Ms. Willy, I think-she was holding the camera.

These come from the collection of Robert Cowan ... who acquired Ms. Willy's scrapbook in 1998. He made an absolutely lovely job of printing up a facsimile and offering this rare scrapbook at cost, thinking that he'd like to share his find with interested parties. Only a very few were ultimately sent out(Hans Perk writes about it in more detail here), but it may yet be reprinted ...

Looks like one of the leading contenders for the Palme d'Or at Cannes is an animated, feature-length documentary:

An animated documentary about a massacre in the Middle East is the current frontrunner to win the coveted Palme d'Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Waltz with Bashir uses animation to portray fragmented memories Waltz with Bashir is a daring and provocative attempt by director Ari Folman to bear witness to an atrocity committed during his stint in the Israeli army in 1982.

... "A lot of anti-war movies, if you look at them through the eyes of teenagers, they get it all wrong.

"Yes, they see war is useless. But they think: 'It's terrible but I want to be out there - I want to go through that experience.'

"And I hope that when young people watch this film they will think: 'No, I don't want to be part of this. It has nothing to do with my life.'"

(Sounds more controversial than your garden-variety 'toon, yes?)

Then there's the reality producer who wants to do cartoons.

Top reality producer Mark Burnett is venturing into TV animation ... Mark Burnett Prods. will produce Liquid Generation's first three TV projects, including originals "Witness Protection" and "Rapper in Chief." It also will consult Liquid Generation's efforts to take their existing content from online to television ...

I might be totally wrong on this, but it doesn't sound like Mr. Burnett has mega budgets going for these. No doubt I'm in error ...

This is my favorite headline of the week ... possibly the year:

Animation is the Sudden Cessation of Creativity Stupidity

A pity the accompanying article -- an overview of the growth of the animation business in India -- isn't as compelling.

Animation creator Mike Judge cobbles together his favorite cavalcade of newer cartoon shorts:

Every year, King of the Hill creator Mike Judge hand-picks his favorite cartoon shorts for a national tour of movie theaters that he calls The Animation Show. Now Judge and animator Don Hertzfeldt have compiled shorts from the 2007 road show and assembled their choice picks on DVD.

Set for release June 3, The Animation Show: Volume 3 features quirky experiments in hand-drawn and computer-rendered animation from 16 artists who are working way outside the Pixar/DreamWorks mainstream ...

Animation Magazine informs us that Gabor Csupo has sold a new cartoon series to the old eastern bloc ... as a long-form. (Nice to see a live-action director going back to his roots)

Immigrants, a 2D-animated adult series from Klasky-Csupo co-founder Gabor Csupo, has been sold to Hungary and Russia as an 89-minute feature film scheduled to debut in October. According to Daily Variety, Hungaricom acquired rights for Hungary prior to Cannes and sold it to Moscow's Ruscico for Russia and former Soviet territories during the market ...

Let's end with a clip from the next Big Animated Feature to be released this summer:

It turns out that watching CG-characters perform complex, gravity-defying kung fu moves is truly awesome to watch. If all the sequences in the film are like this DreamWorks has nothing to worry about at the box office ...

I'm keenly interested in its box office future. The bigger the better, as far as I'm concerned.

Add on: The Economist has a good, Economisty review of David Price's new tome about Pixar:

A number of interesting things about Disney emerge in this excellent, readable account of Pixar's early years. David Price claims, for instance, that Disney's chief executive, Michael Eisner, considered shutting down the company's animation unit after he took over as chief executive in 1984, an astonishing fact given the subsequent success of cartoon films such as “The Lion King”. Mr Price also makes clear just how much Pixar owes to Disney: it was the larger company's marketing for “Toy Story”, for instance, that gave Mr Jobs the confidence to launch an initial public offering of shares in Pixar in 2005.

Yep. Rumors were rampant in '84-'85 that disney animation was gonna get outsourced.

Add on Deux: Randy Miller provides us with a brief history of the life, death and rebirth of Futurama:

... the demise of Matt Groening's Futurama proved to be slow and steady. Not in quality, of course: this tale of a man frozen for a millennium only got funnier as the series progressed, though network support dwindled during its four-year lifespan. As the Simpsons machine rolled on, Futurama's timeslot was shuffled around; for a time, the series' broadcast directly followed Groening's most famous creation, but it didn't last long. The series was eventually cancelled in August of 2003 ...

Have a fulfilling end-of-week experience and a thrilling three-day weekend.


Anonymous said...

How would one get ahold of a copy of one of the Disney women scrapbooks? I'd be happy to pay for a copy. Please forward my address kerrygirl AT so I can find out what it might cost.

I also got to see the huge book put together by Bill Tytla's wife on his life..stunning and amazing! I love hearing the REAL stories rather than the sanitized stuff made for the masses.


Steve Hulett said...

It's probably best if you follow the link to Blackwing Diaries, since I picked the tops item up from Jenny Lerew's site.

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