The early '90's t-shirt merchandising hysteria that accompanied The Simpsons' series premiere ignited an even larger bootleg "black Bart" social response that continues to resonate.
Episode 4 of Bendito Machine, titled Fuel Machines, has been released. (Previous three episodes, art and more on the blog)
The great Russian animator Fyodor Khitruk passed away on December 3rd at the age of 95. You might know him as the director of the delightful Vinni Puh. (Parts one and two can be seen here with subtitles, for part three see this previous post.) [more inside]
Disney has a new cartoon series called "Gravity Falls," created by Alex Hirsch who also created The Marvelous Adventures of Flapjack. It features X-Files style paranormal activity in the titular town in Oregon from the perspective of 12 year old twins, Mabel (voiced by Kristen Schaal) and Dipper. While this alone could cultivate a fanbase, it also helps that the show has secret messages and cyphers for viewers to decode. [more inside]
The Onion AV club looks at 13 movie opening title sequences that are far better than the movies they're attached to.
38 Fake Film Titles to the Tune of "Bob" by 'Weird Al' Yankovic made by Oliver Smith in which an aspiring animator has created a tour-de-force (and tour-de-farce) showreel of kinetic typography and film homages using the palindromic lyrics of The Weird One's Bob Dylan riff (with a few actor and director credits tossed in to remind you what he's referencing). If Oliver Smith doesn't get a ton of job offers from this, the animation biz is broken.
'TV historians will tell you that “Felix the Cat” was one of the first images ever broadcast on television (when RCA broadcast a Felix doll in 1928 on experimental station W2XBS) — but it wasn’t until the late ’40s that the first animated character was created expressly for TV. Crusader Rabbit appeared for the very first time on KNBH (Los Angeles) on August 1, 1950, and featured a Don Quixote-like title character aided by his friend Ragland T. “Rags” Tiger as they pursued adventures in serial (i.e. cliffhanger) installments.' On November 8th, the voice of Crusader Rabbit, Lucille Bliss, passed away at the age of 96. Ms. Bliss may be more familiar to younger fans as the voice of Smurfette, from The Smurfs, or as Ms. Bitters on Invader ZIM. [more inside]
Jingle cats SCREEN TEST - Crawling in my SKin. Ayuh, seems like Christmas comes earlier every year. [more inside]
Hamish Steele! Be moved by his brief-yet-poignant award-winning animated film The Right Time. Be charmed by his commissioned portraits of couples and their pets. Be inspired by his loose and fresh superheroes (Batman, Phoenix, Hawkeye)! And it wouldn't be Tumblr without an appearance by Sherlock Holmes (not that one).
Innovative and extraordinarily talented British animator Run Wrake is perhaps best known for the short films Rabbit (previously, details) and The Control Master (previously). Run passed away suddenly just a few weeks ago, less than a year after having been diagnosed with cancer. He was 47. Here is an interview with Run from APEngine. [more inside]
Animation of prime factorization of the integers based on Brent Yorgey's factorization diagrams, described here. [via Data Pointed, previously.]
Every year, Animation Magazine holds a pitch party, where, for the low-low price of $375, you can send a 2 inch by 5 inch card to represent your idea for a cartoon, and get judged by a panel of professionals. The actual results are a near-endless parade of bad ideas, bad art, and a liberal use of comic sans. (4chan archive, NSFW ads)
Initiate salutation cascade, star-citizens! Seven years ago tonight, Stephen Colbert introduced Tek Jansen to the world. Originally a one-off parody of vanity fiction by media blowhards, the "super-awesome spectacular ultraspy" became the center of a small universe of comics, cartoons, and books, his exploits satirizing awful pulp sci-fi, rampant
Mary Sue "Marty Sue" syndrome, and the cheesy melodrama of 1970s Hanna-Barbera. Look inside for US/Canadian links to both animated seasons along with other content available on the web. [more inside]
YouTube user ultramanvszetton makes oddly compelling Ultraman movies using action figures, stop-motion animation, and sound effects, such as The Return of Ultraman and Ultra Seven Vs. Bado Alien. YouTube user Goji73 has created an entire series of web videos using action figures called Godzilla and his Amazing Friends (there is some crossover between Godzilla and an Ultraman spinoff called Daikaiju Battle).
Much Better Now — A bookmark is stuck in a forgotten book that is one day knocked over by wind. It experiences its environment by surfing the pages that turn in to ocean-waves, enjoying the ride of its life. As the book cover closes, light reveals new challenges. [more inside]
"Mountain of Dinosaurs" (1967) A Russian cartoon, directed by Rasa Strautmane. WARNING: things don't end well for the Dinosaurs. [via]
The Maker. A gorgeous short stop-motion animation about a creature who has only one important mission (SLYT) [more inside]
Shtone mad for shpeed. The accent's what makes it.
Layered psychedelic animation goodness from mother Russia's Lyapis Trubetskoy. As I don't speak Russian i can't really tell you what this video is about -- although "something about capitalism" wouldn't be a bad guess. I can tell you that director Alexey Terekhov has a wonderfully trippy sense of layered animation. ('Shroms, Mr. Terekhov?) Viewing it certainly put a smile on my face this Friday morning....
LA-based electronic artist Flying Lotus has teamed up with the interesting animator Cyriak Harris (Previously) for a video to his new single "Putty Boy Strut". A small game based on the collaboration was released prior to the video. [more inside]
Why does some cave art feature animals with multiple limbs and heads? French and Finnish researchers claim that prehistoric man was deliberately creating animated art, with the animals appearing to move in flickering torch or fire light.
Jan Svankmajer: "Succumb totally to your obsessions; Keep interchanging dream for reality and vice versa"
"Jan Švankmajer is a major figure of contemporary East European animation whose surrealistic, often macabre work owes more to the nightmarish visions of Kafka and Buñuel than to the sunny daydreams of Walt Disney and his creative progeny. Noted for investing otherwise ordinary objects with ominous overtones, Švankmajer reached his widest audience to date with a feature-length adaptation of Lewis Carroll's "Alice" (1988) which blended animated and live-action footage--a technique he had earlier used to hair-raising effect in "Down to the Cellar" (1983)." -- TMC. Often credited with influencing the Brothers Quay, they hadn't actually seen his work until relatively late in their careers, as they mentioned in an introduction to their documentary on Švankmajer (YT playlist). More of Švankmajer inside. [more inside]
Poetry Reincarnations. "I hope you may enjoy these glimpses at some of the long-gone poets and literary figures, etc., in the form of scratchy old movies, as if they had been filmed by candle light."
Three cute shorts from the Bellecour School of Art's 3D graphics program: Boringtown (3:38), about three youths who battle monsters; Monsterbox (7:38), about a little girl, her monsters, and a kind old garden shop keeper; and Destiny (5:26), about a fellow and his relationship with time. [more inside]
Mysteries of Vernacular is a series of delightful papercraft animations about etymology, by filmmaker Jessica Oreck. Four of a projected 26 videos, one for each letter of the alphabet, have been completed so far: Assassin, Hearse, Pants, and Clue. (via)
Animal Soccer World is a release by the late no-budget European publisher Phoenix Games. The primary feature of the "game" is a 30 minute animated feature (Youtube playlist here) full of blatantly copied Disney characters, dozens of characters voiced by the same person, some of the worst animation you will ever see, and a throbbing jungle beat that literally never stops.
"Over the years in animation, there have been a lot of great animators. Ub Iwerks was one of those people. We know his work, but we don't necessarily know the man." The Hand Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story (in 5 parts on DailyMotion: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) tells of the life of Ubbe Eert Iwerks, from the formation of the friendship with Walt Disney when they met at advertisement studio in Kansas City, their artistic collaborations and Ub's 20 years of animation, to Iwerk's technical creations that kept Disney animated pictures ahead of other studios. [more inside]
"Although best-known for its restoration of feature films, UCLA Film & Television Archive has been preserving animated films for more than three decades, with over one hundred titles to its credit. The short subjects, trailers, and promotional films presented here provide a representative sampling of that work. They have been preserved from best-surviving and sole-surviving 35mm nitrate and 16mm prints, showcasing many forms of animation spanning the entire silent film era." The UCLA Preserved Silent Animation project, one of over 80 collections made available through the UCLA Digital Library Program.
The first color cartoon came out in 1957, from the Miami, Florida studio Soundac, beating out LA-based Hanna-Barbera's The Ruff & Reddy Show by a few months. Soundac's Colonel Bleep was styled after space-age design ideas of the era, featured in three to six-minute long segments with limited animation, designed for syndication into local kids shows with live hosts. Of the 104 episodes, less than half survive, as most of that and other Soundac material was stolen from a studio van in the ’70s, when the studio was closing. Luckily, episodes have been found in the collections and archives of various TV studios, so Col. Bleep and his side-kicks Squeek and Scratch are available online (YT), some clips on Archive.org, and more on YouTube (playlist with 43 clips).
The scarily honest animated facts of life for teens A disturbingly blunt and beautifully animated short film about the horrifying changes brought about by puberty. Part of the "Teen Facts" exhibit at the NEMO Science Center in Amsterdam. (via everlasting blort)
Disney researchers have created a new physical face cloning method. The automatic process designs, simulates, and fabricates synthetic skin.
Geek Art Gallery features many different kinds of geek-related art in round-ups and posts: art installations, animation, comics, film shorts, paintings, photography, sculpture - even desserts. Specifically craft-focused geek blogs: Geek Crafts and Sprite Stitch (previously)
The Dark Knight Rises trailers, Batman The Animated Series style: Teaser, Trailer 2, Trailer 3, Trailer 4. Side by side of Trailer 3.
Michael J. Ruocco is more than the self-described 'curator' of the Animation Smears and Multiples tumblr* (previously here), he's also a talented young animator - here's his short toon about a bird who picked the wrong place to nest - and a serious student of Animation History whose other site is 365 Days of Ward Kimball**, about the Disney animator who was considered one of the best and certainly the most adventurous of Walt's 'Nine Old Men'. Kimball's free-wheeling style showed up in everything from Snow White to Fantasia to The Three Caballeros to his Oscar-winning short 'It's Tough to Be a Bird'. His semi-NSFW irreverence is on display in off-model drawings of Mickey Mouse and caricatures of himself. And on the side, he made elaborate comics for an antique car magazine, formed the jazz band The Firehouse 5 Plus 2 (that's him on trombone)*** and put a full-sized railroad with working trains in his back yard. [more inside]
Un Petit plat pour l’Homme (A Small Dish For Man) is a cute animated short by Corentin Charron which looks at dining in space. [via]