Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Links of Toonage

The Secret of Kells

Now with Add On.

Now that the Oscars are upon us, Creative Loafing runs down the animated shorts that decorate the ceremonies:

...[T]he 2009 animation nominees handily outshine the live action shorts, some of which prove to be shamelessly manipulative ...

... Japan offers a fascinating, melancholy entry, “Le Maison en Petits Cubes,” which involves a village of homes constantly built up to avoid Waterworld-like rising flood levels. An old man uses scuba gear to dive into his house and retrieve his pipe, and flashes further back into his past the further he goes in a haunting metaphor for memory ...

Mouse Planet offers an interview with Uncle Walt, circa 1933:

... “I’m not interested in money, except for what I can do with it to advance my work. The idea of piling up a fortune for the sake of wealth seems silly to me. Work is the real adventure in life. Money is merely a means to make more work possible.

“The average cost of a cartoon in black and white is $18,000. In color this runs to about $20,000. These figures represent only the actual production cost and don’t include cost of prints" ...

“It takes a Mickey Mouse comedy 12 months to pay for itself, while the average Silly Symphony doesn’t crawl out of the red for 18 months" ....

(See? Costs haven't come down much in the last 75 years. An outrage, truly.)

To be less U.S.-centric for a couple of moments, across the Atlantic non-American cartoon features are unspooling ... at a non-American cartoon festival:

Sneak previews of "A Town Called Panic" and "Gaston Lagaffe" are promised at the Anima toon festival ... in Brussels...

"Panic" is a feature-length treatment of the stop-motion series created by Vincent Patar and Stephane Aubier ... "Gaston Lagaffe" is the first animated adaptation of the cult comic series created in 1957 by Andre Franquin, featuring accident-prone slacker Gaston.

Moment Number Two: The EAAF has rolled out a gaggle of animated nominees for its latest awards gathering. And what is the EEAF? I'm so glad you asked.

The European Association of Animation Film has announced the nominees selected for the Cartoon Movie Tributes 2009 .. [T]he awards for best director, distributor and producer of the year seek to reward companies and personalities who have contributed to the development of European animation over the last year.

The nominees are for Best European Director of the Year are Thorbjørn Christoffersen, Craig Frank and Kresten Vestbjerg Andersen from Denmark for Journey to Saturn; Jacques-Rémy Girerd from France for Mia and the Migoo, and Tomm Moore from Ireland for The Secret of Kells ...

See? There's a universe of toonage out there beyond Massachussetts. You just have to look for it.

And so like, what is this Secret of Kells at all?

Made by Cartoon Saloon as a co-production with Les Armateurs in France and Vivi Film in Belgium, the film follows the adventures, action and danger that await 12-year-old Brendan (newcomer Evan McGuire) who must fight Vikings and a serpent god to find a crystal and complete the legendary Book of Kells

Add On: The L.A. Times profiles animation wizard James Baxter:

[For the simpler sequences of the Kung Fu Panda opening] ... when it came time to render complicated kung fu spins, Baxter shut down his computer and broke out his trusty HP pencil. "Computers have a hard time just looking at a flat picture and turning it around dimensionally," he explains. "[It looks] like a cardboard cutout. So things which are really moving dimensionally I would animate in the traditional manner.

"We use animation paper, which is the same kind of paper they've used since 'Snow White.' It's just slightly see-through, so you can shine the light through it, and you can see all the drawings in sequence that you're working on. You stack them up, and they've all got peg holes in them so you can put them on these pegs to register them to each other every time. It's basically like making a flip book, page by page." ...

Have a fine weekend.


ralpho said...

Just to carify. Kandor Graphics-Perro Verde Films and Green Moon are nominated at the European Asociation af animated Films as "European Producers of the year" for the film "The Missing Lynx" directed by Manuel Sicilia and Raul Garcia.
Green Moon is Antonio Bandera's production company. Kandor Graphics operates in USA trough R&R COMMUNICATIONS. Raul Garcia's company.

Anonymous said...

Love them Milt Kahl type hands!

Anonymous said...

Disney's comments about money were probably the correct thing to say at a time when many people were without money. He emphasizes his cost and not the return.

You can multiply depression era costs by about 15 to get today prices.

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