Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Linkomatic

As you digest your turkey, peruse the 'toony links that have gathered here at TAG blog, all for your enjoyment and edification.

First, the edification. Time Magazine has a piece on a very non-Disney animated feature:

Waltz with Bashir, which ... opens in the U.S. in December, has already found fans well beyond Israel's borders: it earned a Palme d'Or nomination at Cannes and will be in the running for Oscars next year. The film's images may seem simply drawn, and move at a sleepwalker's dreamy pace, but Folman uses them to capture war's surreal brutality. The title refers to a scene when an Israeli soldier, pinned down by sniper fire from the surrounding Beirut apartment blocks, leaps up and starts firing his heavy machine gun as he waltzes across a rooftop past posters of murdered Lebanese President-elect Bashir Gemayel ...

A long way from Cinderella ...

Bolt might not be flying super high at the box office, but Disney artist's Mark Walton acting career appears to be taking off like a rocket:

... Walton is the unlikely voice of Rhino, an overweight, television-obsessed hamster who is shaping up to be the film's breakout character. (Sorry, Bolt.) Described in the script as "rolling thunder" because he is both excitable and confined to a plastic exercise ball, Rhino gets most of the laughs. Test audiences loved the character so much that Disney is playing him up in the marketing campaign.

Walton is so thrilled that he can barely contain himself, but it's not because an average guy like him is getting more attention than John Travolta, who provides the voice of Bolt.

"Who cares about fame and fortune?" he said, clenching his fists in excitement and waiving them in the air. "I'm going to be a plush animal."

Click your way over to the ASIFA Animation Archives where you'll find a plethora of Disney caricatures (also signatures) from 1952, created for artist Clair Weeks as he prepared to journey to India.

A missionary's son, Clair Weeks was born in 1912 in India. He lived there until the early 1930s, when he relocated to America. In 1936, he joined the staff of the Walt Disney Studio and set to work as an assistant on Snow White. He went on to assist Marc Davis on Bambi, Cinderella and Peter Pan, taking a brief break from animation to serve in the military during WW2.

In the early 50s, Weeks left the studio travel the world. He eventually settled in Bombay, India, where he headed up a government owned studio that produced animated shorts. Weeks' impact on Indian animation was immense.

Oh, and Professor Layton? From fabled Level 5? He'll now be coming to anime.

It was inevitable. Professor Layton, the DS title from developer Level 5, is getting an anime feature film.

Titled Professor Layton: The First Movie (there will be others?), the flick is slated for January 2010 in Japan and will follow the adventures of Professor Layton and his young assistant, Luke. This isn't the series first foray into features. Last year, Level 5 announced a live action Professor Layton film.

... It will be produced by Japanese studio TOHO and will get an entirely new story drafted by Level 5 president Akihiro Hino.

John K. explains the shortcomings of "The Illusion of Life," also the good things. Also what's wrong with Disney (and high time he got around to it):

Most of the book was just propaganda for the Disney studio. It was a written history of the studio that claimed everything that was ever done with any quality or worth came from Disney, and no one else ever did anything good, or invented anything important ...

But there was one chapter that I thought was great "The Principles Of Animation". This spelled out technically, the basic tools of how to make smooth animation. I wish the whole book would have been about this and had expanded each principle into actual methods and details.

... The funny part is that while I agree totally in theory what the importance of each principle is, I am also surprised that the Disney animators didn't actually practice all of them ...

Have a fantabulous Thursday and Friday. Go for several long walks.


Anonymous said...

"John K. explains the shortcomings of "The Illusion of Life," also the good things. Also what's wrong with Disney (and high time he got around to it)"

Ha-ha... good one , Steve.

(yeah, we were all wondering when John K would finally get around to the topic of what's wrong with Disney since he's never gone down that road before... )

My favorite line in the comments of that thread on John's blog was one of his followers bleating: "Disney is all about conformity" . This on a blog where 90% of the published comments can be boiled down to : "yes, John, you're so right John, I totally agree with you John."

Steve Hulett said...

Don't know about you, but I'm always eager to learn why everyone else's animated product is shitty.

And who better to teach us than John K.?

Anonymous said...

Here's the 24 million dollar question: what the hell does JohnK do to earn a living these days?

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