Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day Linkomatic

Linkage to animation foreign and domestic, beginning with China International Business's overview of the Chinese animation industry:

Back in 2004, the Chinese government realized the need to offer additional support to the development of the local animation industry. In April of that year, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) released its Principles for the Development of China’s Animation Film and Television Industry, a policy document stating that domestically-produced animations should make up no less than 60% of all animated programs broadcast on Chinese TV ...

These policies have forced the development of what was previously seen as a weak industry. “In just a few years, both the quantity and quality of domestic animation has improved greatly,” says Deng Lili, animation research director at Peking University’s Institute of Culture Industries. According to her research, total domestic animation output reached 130,000 minutes in 2008, up from 20,000 minutes in 2004.

... But this growth is not necessarily benefiting the industry. “We have found there are many problems within Chinese animation companies,” says Deng. “Many companies don’t have the potential to fully explore the market or enough capital to support their productions, and are not making valuable or interesting programs.”

At the same time as developing original content, most domestic animation companies continue to work for US and Japanese clients. “They have to do this – they need to survive,” says Lu Shengzhang, director of the Animation School at the Communications University of China in Beijing.

So ... what we're looking at here is China's Five Year Plan for Animation, yes? ...

Newsarama offers up a capsule history of Warner Bros. Animation:

80 years ago, a number of under-employed animators banded together, struck a deal with a title-card manufacturer, and would so go on to make history.

The animators, Hugh Harmon, Rudolf Ising, and Isadore “Friz” Freling, were veterans of the first Walt Disney Studio. In fact, they all initially worked with Walt when he still lived in Kansas City. They had lost their jobs over Disney being robbed of his first true hit series, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit ...

Yet another take -- this time from Dvice -- on the permanence of 3-D. Unlike Jerry, they believe "3-D movies are here to stay":

... This 3D technique is yet another part of the language of film we can learn, and for me, it took all of five minutes in the DreamWorks screening room to become comfortable with the depth of 3D movie viewing.

And, because of the precision of digital video production and projection, 3D is more pleasant to watch this time around. "Captain 3D" at DreamWorks demonstrated to me how he's learned to use the 3D technique sparingly, and showed me the precise point where the depth becomes uncomfortable and gimmicky to watch.

Me, I don't really have an opinion on 3-D's long-term viability, although if it gets cheap enough to retrofit 3-D to older movies and there's money to be squeezed out of the deal, I imagine we'll see a lot of old titles popping off the screen at our defenseless eyeballs ...

Jay Stone at reviews a new French offering Fears of the Dark:

The animated compilation film Fear(s) of the Dark - Peur(s) du noir in the original title - includes black-and-white stories by six animators that are meant to frighten us, or perhaps just unsettle us or, in some cases, to impress us with the art of their drawing. I was neither frightened nor unsettled, but the artwork is great.

There are four mini-movies joined by two connecting stories that don't actually connect anything but set the mood, which is very dark and, in some way, very French ...

This is a tad old, but still useful. Animation Magazine questions Josh Weinstein about the upcoming Sit Down, Shut Up:

"The combination of the live-action backgrounds and animation was a look we didn't know for sure would work, but we wanted to take that risk—because if it works, it's such a totally new look. And, now having seen color animation back, I am really excited to see it does work, even better than I imagined. After a few seconds of watching it, it really appears to be one unique world you're looking at ..."


Sita sings the Blues proves that the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles features more than just the latest Bollywood imports. The film is an animated version of the Ramayana, a Sanskrit epic several thousand years old. The film oscillates between the modern couple in a troubled relationship and the ancient love story of Rama and Sita ...

One of the highlights of the film is the use of shadow puppets who give comments on the story of Rama and Sita which works on a number of levels. The shadow puppets explain backstory, provide snarky comments, and offer insight into story itself.

Any film that provides snarky candidates has more depth than most can imagine.

You're halfway through the week. Don't slack off now.


ken kahn said...

If anyone is interested, "Sita Sings the Blues" is available for free viewing at

There are options to download a DVD burnable copy as well.

Chris Battle said...

Even more impressive is the fact that "Sita" was animated entirely in the US by one person, artist Nina Paley.

Graham Ross said...

Sita sings the blues will be showing in San Francisco at the red vic next month btw ;)

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