Morph is a plasticine man, star of many short animated films made for the BBC from the 1970s onwards by Aardman Animations, who would later use the similar techniques for Wallace & Gromit. A Kickstarter campaign last year has paid for 12 new one minute episodes. [more inside]
Mario: animated short An animation of a chilling Italian children's (?) song, created by painting frames on glass! [via mefi projects]
The infamous letter denying women creative work at Disney Animation in the 1930s (previously) has an interesting addendum in a 1941 announcement by Walt Disney that the studio would be starting to admit women into the animation training program. Disney ends with a shoutout to "little Rhetta Scott, of whom you will hear more when you see Bambi."Rhetta Scott was to be the first credited female animator at Disney and drew the complex sequence of attacking hounds.Women's progress in the industry since has been slow but is recently accelerating quickly, so here is a random roundup of dazzling hand-drawn animated shorts by women: [more inside]
Pas a Deux - award-winning 1988 animated short of pop culture icons dancing. A collaboration between Gerrit van Dijk en Monique Renault. Via Your Daily Cartoon (via Mefi's own) [more inside]
The Light-Blue Puppy is a visually extraordinary India Ink-animated Soviet musical children's cartoon made in 1976, only recently translated into English. It tells the tale of a small, sad puppy who has been rejected by his peers for his unusual color, but nevertheless manages to find his way in the world (with some help from a few other colorful characters, of course). On its surface it appears to be a cute, cleverly-animated story with a simple message of tolerance. [more inside]
In March 2012, legendary animator Glen Keane sent out a letter to his colleagues at Walt Disney Animation Studios that outlined his resignation from the House of Mouse, where he'd worked for over 38 years on beloved Disney characters like Ariel, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan, and the Beast. His departure left many Disney fans wondering what was going to happen to the great master, whom many believe is one of the greatest character animators alive today, and for a while it seemed that his retirement might be permanent. Last week, however, Keane debuted his first hand-drawn animated short, Duet, which he produced with Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group in San Francisco. As you might expect, it's an absolutely breathtaking artistic and technical achievement. And it hasn't even been released in its final interactive mobile format yet. [more inside]
Skyler Page has been fired from Cartoon Network. The Clarence creator and voice of the title character has been fired for groping a co-worker on the show. The news broke yesterday from Maré Odomo (her work previously on the blue), and Emily Partridge came out shortly after as the person Odomo was talking about. And Partridge had been talking about an unnamed incident since June 29th. This morning, it was rumored that Page had been fired from Cartoon Network and banned from the premises, and later today, Cartoon Brew confirmed that this was the case. Pen Ward, creator of Adventure Time -- which Page had worked on prior to Clarence -- met with Partridge and the two talked about how to set up an online safe place for women in her situation. [more inside]
“Je Suis La Jeune Fille.” “Yes, that’s French they’re speaking. But no, these children aren’t French – they’re American!” If you grew up in the late 1980s and early 1990s, or watched children's TV programming from that era in the US or UK, no doubt you saw that commercial for Muzzy (formally titled Muzzy in Gondoland). The show was first produced by the BBC in 1986 to teach English as a second language, as seen in this playlist of five videos, and later expanded with Muzzy Comes Back in 1989 (six episode playlist). The shows were both translated in to French, German (playlist), Spanish (and the Spanish vocabulary builder), and Italian (Muzzy in Gondoland, Muzzy Comes Back).
A 9-minute Dutch animation about a daughter who remembers her father. The Academy Award winner in 2000 for animated short films, and multiple other awards. A more detailed review here and an in-depth interview with Michael Dudok de Wit, but these are best read after watching the film first. No dialogue, sepia-tinged and with an accordion-dominated soundtrack. Possibly NSFW if your workplace minds you suddenly bursting into noisy sobs. Dudok de Wit is now working on The Red Turtle, a dialogue-less feature and the first Western project with Studio Ghibli as co-producer.
Squirrel and Hedgehog - Yes folks, this is a North Korean cartoon produced in house ... The animation is really good, (episode 24 and on is animated in Flash, while before it was all hand drawn) the story is pretty complicated sometimes, and the characters are cool. The only thing actually wrong with this show, other than it being blatant propaganda, is that the lipsync is awful. [more inside]
"Doraleous and Associates are open for business." [Youtube] "An animated comedy/fantasy series that follows Doraleous & his associates as they travel Nudonia righting wrongs & promoting freedom." [Complete Channel Playlist]
Caveirão (SLVimeo) It's 3:33 AM! Do you know where the spirits of your city are? In honor of the Brazilian World Cup - and the sacrifices made for it - an animated short feature in the tradition of Ghost Busters and Night Watch, with a decidedly modern, Brazilian take.
DisneyToon Studios is best known for their spin-offs of Walt Disney Animation Studios films, like the Tinker Bell and Planes series, or the execrable string of direct-to-video sequels to Disney movies released from the mid-nineties to mid-2000's. But around 2005, they had a different spin-off in development: an epic, dark prequel to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Using a unique animation technique involving traditional animation cels and his iphone 5s, Hombre_mcsteez turns everyday life into an odd creature infested cartoon universe. (yt) [more inside]
Butter Ya'Self (Vimeo; YouTube) is "basically ... the story of Drake and Lil’ Wayne [as told with an anthropomorphic banana, hot dog bun, and stick of butter]. ButterKrust is 100% based on Wayne – Nana Splits isn’t based on anyone real but his relationship to ButterKrust is based on Drake’s relationship to Lil’ Wayne. The most important thing I wanted to express in this video is the relationship between them, how tight they are and how much Nana Splits looks up to ButterKrust." That's the story from Julian Petschek, who is studying at The California Institute of the Arts. [more inside]
"The Demo" [SLYT] is the original pilot episode of the animated tv show, Bob's Burger's (previously).The theme remains the same, although the art style is a bit rough. The plot is exactly the same as the first episode, "Human Flesh", with minor differences in animation and timing. Oh, and Tina was originally a Daniel! [more inside]
Since his death from cancer at age 32, comedian Bill Hicks's (very previously) legend and stature have only grown; American: The Bill Hicks Story (previously) fills in the details of a life cut tragically short, blending live footage and animation, and is narrated by the 10 people who knew Bill best. A comic's comic and unflagging critic of hypocrisy and cultural emptiness, American: The Bill Hicks Story is now streaming for free on Snag Films.
Disney Studios censors Miyazaki collection, pulls Studio Ghibli compilation. "On Your Mark" a video directed by Hiyao Miyazaki, and produced between early January and late May, 1995 by a team of over fifty animators at Studio Ghibli, in cooperation with other studios, is being censored from the upcoming 13-disc "Collected Works of Director Hayao Miyazaki" collection. Disney is also stopping shipments of a 2005 Ghibli Shorts collection, which features the video, along 22 other shorts that Studio Ghibli produced over the course of decades. The rationale?! Nineteen years after the video's release, one of the members of the band that did the music for the video has been arrested, along with a female acquaintance, after police found MDMA at his home. The musician was arrested Saturday, but has not been charged or convicted, as yet. Both he and the woman he was arrested with claim to be innocent.
Davy and Kristin McGuire do some amazing things with cut paper, light and animation that turn these beautifully cut paper dioramas into haunting installations - including an homage to Hitchcock. Via Colossal.
Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return set a record for the all-time worst opening weekend for an animated film. Executive Producer Greg Centineo attributed the failure to a "conspiracy" of Hollywood's powers-that-be against independent production company Alpine Pictures. In light of Oz's glacially-delayed release schedule and shabby production values, it would appear that the heads of Alpine are completely incompetent…or are they? [more inside]
This stop-motion video for British rock band James's song "Moving On" tells a tale of life, death, joy, and grief, using only yellow yarn. The video was created by BAFTA-nominated animator, writer, and director Ainslie Henderson. (SLYT)
In a black-and-white world, artists fight to defend their color from THE GOLD SPARROW. [more inside]
In the mid-1940s, surrealist artist Salvador Dali began collaborating with Walt Disney on a short film. The idea was fully storyboarded and an 18 second test animation was completed by Disney animator John Hench. Soon after, the idea was shelved due to a changing of focus with Disney Feature Animation. Almost 60 years later, Walt's nephew Roy E. Disney (with consultation from the now 95-year old Hench) spearheaded an effort to finish the film. In 2003, the finished product, "Destino", premiered. [more inside]
In the future, making a delivery will require dedication, intelligence and observation. Or not. A sunny sweetly-drawn Jetsonesque animated short Johnny Express about interplanetary delivery that evokes Independence Day and War of the World. Written, directed and animated by Kyungmin Woo. Found on Gizmodo. Safe for work, but if you laugh at this you may be a very bad person (I did).
Christian Zander may have a commercial design background, he has a significant amount of work in a more abstract, generative style, as seen in his House and Bike blog posts, and strewn among his work portfolio. He has also worked with animations, both live (Kiss Kiss Kiss - "Ponte 25") and recorded (Kenton Slash Demon - "Ore" / I Got You On Tape - "Run From The Rain").
Steadfast Stanley the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is left behind in the break of an apocalypse. All he wants to do is get back to his owner…
Curious Alice is a 1971 anti-drug film produced by the National Institute for Mental Health. Meant to reach children 8-10 years old, the film didn't really get it's intended message across. You can read more about it at the National Archives.
The Animated Genome is a spirited 5-minute film that uses graphics to explain the makeup of your genome and how it affects life and health. It's part of Genome: Unlocking Life's Code, an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History.
blankonblank.org takes unheard interviews with famous musicians, innovators, authors, Hollywood stars and cultural icons and animates them. Interviews include everyone from Johnny Cash to Carol Burnett, Tupac Shakur to Farrah Fawcett, and Tim Gunn to Al Jaffee. blankonblank.org previously and previously. (Most interviews are ~5 minutes long.)
OMEGA - A Stop Motion Animated Short. "The mechanical life form Ohm inhabits a bleak and devastated planet. The thousands of mechanical creatures of this world share a single cycle of energy. In this cycle, Ohm is a rogue element. His nature is to devour and absorb others. When one day a gargantuan foreign object appears in the skies. Drawn in by mysterious creatures of light, the Ohm tracks them across the planet, changing the known order of matter, time and space." [Via]
Here's 42 minutes and 27 glorious seconds of audio sound effects from Warner Bros. cartoons. And, should you want more (and of course you do), here's one hour and 17 seconds worth from Hanna Barbera studios.
From the mind of cartoonist KC Green (previously) comes The Ballad Of Dark Homer, a stranger take on our favorite animated family.
You may or may not be aware that voice actor Tom Kenny performs as both the Number One Employee at the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob SquarePants, and the nemesis of Finn and Jake, the Ice King. It is a strange nexus between the two shows, which otherwise come from very different imaginations and sensibilities. A 2012 article from the cartoon insider magazine Hogan's Alley spoke with many of the people involved in the creation of SpongeBob, while today The Awl featured this extended look at the creative forces behind Adventure Time, which can be read in full here.
Giancarlo Volpe, the showrunner for the short-lived but critically acclaimed Cartoon Network program Green Lantern: The Animated Series, has posted a minicomic about his bad experience when the studio ran focus testing on the show. Executive producer of GL:TAS and creator of Batman: The Animated Series Bruce Timm shows up in the end to provide some perspective. [more inside]
Animator Adam Brown took two Calvin and Hobbes comics as keyframes and animated the pair in motion, with some sound: dancing in the forest (Vimeo; YouTube; GIF without the background) and a fireside tiger attack (Vimeo; GIF). [more inside]
Good Grief, an animated short film from Australia about the process of grieving and the lessons learned from adjusting to loss, made using stop-motion animation and recorded interviews with real people.
Harvard University and XVIVO have come together again (Previouslyw/ a commercial focus, Previouslierw/an Academic focus) to add to the growing series of scientific animations for BioVisions -- Harvard's multimedia lab in the department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. 'Protein Packing' strives to more accurately depict the molecular chaos in each and every cell, with proteins jittering around in what may seem like random motion. Proteins occupy roughly 40% of the cytoplasm, creating an environment that risks unintentional interaction and aggregation. Via diffusion and motor protein transport, these molecules are directed to sites where they are needed.
Much of this is no doubt inspired by the beautiful art and explained illustrations of David Goodsell, a biologist at Scripps who has been accurately portraying the crowdedness of the cellular landscape for a long time now.[more inside]
Chad VanGaalen animates a surreal drive through Hollywood in the video for Timber Timbre's Beat the Drum Slowly. VanGaalen also produces animations for his own music: Molten Light, Flower Gardens, Clinically Dead, Peace on the Rise and Red Hot Drops. Some imagery slightly NWS.