Ever since Rob Thomas’s beloved TV show Veronica Mars got canceled, he’s wanted to make it into a movie. Turns out all he needed was the help of 91,585 of his biggest fans
. [more inside]
Of course matte art has for a long time played a major part in Hollywood's recreation of the old west, with effects shots ranging from simple top ups of mood enhancing skies right through to entire recreations of frontier settings to often wonderful effect. Todays blog will take a look at some of those marvellous visions - the product of the many often uncredited artists who worked tirelessly in the various studio matte departments.
Mattes Ride The Range: The art of the matte shot in Westerns
Although the new Superman movie by Zack Snyder (previously
) has put off critics with its appropriation of 9/11 imagery
and riled fans with its revision of the superhero's moral code
, Warner Bros. Studios is hoping Man of Steel
will win over the Christian market
. In interviews, Snyder is talking up "Christ-like parallels
" in his reboot of the character created by Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel
. For those who'd like something more theologically grounded, the studio's marketing department is offering sermon notes entitled "JESUS - THE ORIGINAL SUPERHERO
" [PDF] by Dr. Craig Detweiler, M. Div., and organizing free pastor screenings through faith-based PR firm Grace Hill Media
. They aren't the first, however, to notice similarities between Jesus and Superman (among other popular cultural figures)
As has been
, today, May 1
, Netflix is letting thousands of titles
expire (link down due to heavy traffic)
mostly licensed from Warner Bros, Universal, and MGM. Some will possibly to move to the new streaming service
offered by Warner Bros itself. (Warner Archive denies
that they are "taking" content from Netflix.) Less widely reported is the fact that Netflix has also let their deal with Viacom
expire this month, removing large swaths of children's favorites (including Dora, Thomas, Bob the Builder, and Backyardigans) from the service. Despite forecasts that this could be the end
for Netflix (again
) The company maintains
that they are headed in the direction
they want to go
Fans of Veronica Mars, the gone-too-soon TV show that's had a cult following since it's cancellation in 2007, are finally getting a movie
. [more inside]
You may remember an animated film from the early '90s. Set somewhere in 'Arabia,' a land of bazaars and minarets, the story featured a bored, harem-panted princess, an orphan boy, a treacherous vizier with bird sidekick, a rotund and oblivious sultan, a blue-skinned magic user, et al.
But it wasn't Aladdin
- and the movie
had started production
in 1964 ... [more inside]
: "The first nine Superman cartoons produced by Fleischer Studios from 1941 to 1942 are a wonder of animated retrofuturism, giving us a peek into a world that not only had a flying superstrong protector, but also filled viewers' heads with dreams of autonomous robots, comet-controlling telescopes, and machines that could shake the Earth. These films are in the public domain and have been available on the Internet Archive," but now Warner Bros. is releasing them (remastered) on YouTube. The first short, "Superman"
(also known as "The Mad Scientist,") was nominated for an Academy Award. Also see: The Super Guide to the Fleischer Superman Cartoons
. Find links to all nine episodes and more inside. [more inside]
The world of science fiction is filled with strange tales of alternate futures where one minor event reshaped the entire history of the world. In our world, one minor event in 1935 could have changed the world of animation and science fiction ushering in an era of adult animation. But, alas, that did not happen and is the topic of our sad story today.
Though Bob Clampett
is often remembered for his Warner Brothers cartoons
, including some surreal shorts
, he could have been known for bringing John Carter of Mars to life in animation
. [more inside]
Mel Gibson and Joe Eszterhas have announced their latest, Warner Bros.-backed epic
: a film about 'legendary Jewish warrior
' Judah Maccabee. American Jewish leaders are plotzing
. Rumors about a Maccabee movie were raised in 2004, but nothing ever came of them. Back then, at Christopher Hitchens' direction, Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic met with Gibson to (sorta, but not really) talk him out of it. [more inside]
Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" arranged for 8 pianos
- performed by Leif Ove Andsnes, Emanuel Ax, Claude Frank, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, James Levine
, Mikhail Pletnev, and Staffan Scheja. [more inside]
Beloved anime classic Akira
) is in the process of getting a live-action adaption courtesy of Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. In fact, they're currently trying to assemble a cast
. Oddly enough, despite keeping the leading characters' names Kaneda and Tetsuo, all the actors approached are white. This hasn't gone unnoticed, and Racebending.com is preparing a campaign
to protest. Just last year M. Night Shyamalan's adaption of The Last Airbender
) drew massive criticism for having an all-white cast in an Asian setting. [more inside]
Tasmanian Devils rebranded after Warner Bros cartoon 'ruins reputation'.
The Tasmanian Devil is being rebranded in an attempt to restores it reputation, which conservationists say has been damaged by the Warner Brothers cartoon
. They believe the animal has been depicted as ferocious, aggressive and bloodthirsty
and are now trying to give the devils an image overhaul and portray them as shy and retiring in an attempt to convince the Australian public that they are worth saving.
Wild populations of Tasmanian devils are under grave threat from Devil Facial Tumour Disease Previously Discussed Here
, a type of contagious cancer that has decimated their numbers by 60 per cent in 10 years.
of Too Much Joy
blogs about the royalty statement he received from Warner Bros. detailing their income from online sales, totalling $62.47. Via.
- IMDB - Directed by Chuck Jones, written by Michael Maltese, voices by Mel Blanc
Classic-era Warner Bros. Generally absent (with exceptions, sometimes butchered) from the airwaves due to its connotations of cruelty, the troublesome get-up they put the mouse in at the zoo, and the ending. Quite a devious and funny cartoon. (SLYT)
- The next Superman movie will be ignoring 2006’s Superman Returns, something that has been suggested by comic book writers when asked how to save the franchise
. Mark Millar
has his own idea of what Superman needs: Mark Millar
The 50 Greatest Cartoons Ever:
- including links to the full-length videos of the corresponding toons
. Based on a twelve year-old-vote by the animation industry, which explains why there are no appearances by Cartman, Bart, or Fry.
Back in the dark days of World War II, the man
who would become Dr. Seuss
was in the business of military propaganda . One of the characters he created was Private Snafu
Private Snafu was an animated depiction of a bumbling soldier in military training films, whose voice sounded suspiciously close to Bugs Bunny
. Warner Bros. animation studios produced the cartoons with the talents of Mel Blanc
, Chuck Jones
, and Bob Clampett
Private Snafu has been discussed here previously
but now you can watch some of the original cartoons on youtube
and download them here
! (unfortunately, I am still unable to locate the awesomely-titled "Private Snafu vs. Malaria Mike"
Warner Music set to buy Rykodisc.
Although Rykodisc has already lost its independence,
its apparent corporate resting place
is bad news to fans of Ryko's many remarkable but commercially underperforming artists
, and particularly to the legion and devoted fans of Frank Zappa
[flash, audio], whose conflicts with and hatred for WB are well documented
. Prove me wrong, Warner Bros. For the love of that which is best (music), prove me wrong.
CAVEAT It would be dishonest of me to post at WB's expense without publicly giving them credit for letting Mr Bungle do whatever they wanted.
AOL Time Warner's Marketing Wizardry
: "With its Hollywood studio, Warner Bros., AOL leveraged its promotional and advertising might across its empire of Internet, cable TV, movie, music and magazine outlets to ensure that kids, parents, teens and everyone else knew that "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was debuting in theaters Nov. 16. In the days leading up to the film's release, tracking studies showed an extraordinary 100% awareness among moviegoers that "Harry Potter" was coming."
"The gremlin in Falling Hare (who, let us reiterate, is *not* Wendell Willkie) has an elegant flying helmet/plane tail design and a Benny Rubin-like laugh."
The Warner Bros. Cartoon Companion covers the heyday of Merrie Melodies and Loony Toons, with capsule biographies of Warner Brothers animators, explanations for no-longer-obvious cultural references, and brief notes on the characters. No design to speak of, but a wonderful resource for anyone searching for a list of WB cartoons that parody Cab Calloway, arguing about whether Elmer Fudd predates Yosemite Sam, or just wondering what the heck Marvin the Martian's given name was.
Madonna's new song leaked
to the net, and the Warner Bros. machine is none too pleased.