: a series of films about tiny machines in the city like a tiny bulldozer
, a tiny logging truck
, and a tiny submarine.
Here are some compilations of old drive-in theater intermission shorts, obsolete advertising for vanished venues. Won't you please visit our celestial snack bar? The show starts in ∞ minutes. Hover over links for more detail.
1 (10m, corn dogs, Dairy Queen)
- 2 (10m, Butch, Eskimo Pie)
- 3 (7m, public displays of affection)
- 4 (3m, cable TV)
5 (10m, PSAs)
- 6 (10m, performing food!)
- 7 (9.5m, racist indians, snack bar gnomes)
- 8 (10m, Jay Ward-like cartoon roundup)
9 (4m, daylight savings time)
- 10 (13m, shrimp rolls, local ads)
- 11 (10.5m, Dr Pepper robbery, conformity, PSAs)
- 12 (14m, Creepy the Clown and "Dutch Treete")
13 (10m, Optigan music spectacular!)
- 14 (2m, EAT CANDY BARS)
- 15 (9m, Swiss people are magical)
- 16 (5m, assorted animation)
17 (17m, Snacks in Space) [more inside]
The Asylum gets all the attention (and the lucrative gig filling time for "SyFy") but they're far from the only company out there making "mockbusters," those ultra low budget, direct-to-DVD movies named similar to big Hollywood blockbusters, in the hopes that an inattentive purchaser will buy their movie in the hopes they're getting something better. But The Asylum's not the only ones making them, and a prominent mockbuster subgenre is that of companies making really
poor CG movies that resemble Pixar and Dreamworks hits only to the extent that they can maintain plausible, legal deniability, their profit margins relying on clueless grandparents getting something nice for the little ones.
Two of these companies are Video Brinquedo (trailer for their Little & Big Monsters
and some clips from its sequel
) and Spark Plug Entertainment (trailer for An Ant's Life
). Far more of their output, including whole movies, awaits you than you could ever hope to stomach.... [more inside]
"High school was a lot like the Civil War: it lasted four years, you were defined by what you wore, and I lost 1 in 10 of my friends to gangrene."
Daria: The Live-Action Movie, starring Aubrey Plaza. [more inside]
On June 7th, the Disney XD channel will premiere a new, 10-part miniseries: Tron Uprising
. The series, which will feature the voices of Elijah Wood, Lance Henriksen, Bruce Boxleitner (reprising his role as 'Tron',) Mandy Moore and Paul Reubens, will combine 2D and CGI animation styles, and is set between the events of the first and second Tron movies. Trailers: 1
. 2011 ComicCon Preview
. Disney released a full-length "prelude episode" yesterday evening (US Only): Beck's Beginning
) [more inside]
In 1982 the manga, Akira (previously
) , began its run. It would ultimately spawn a film that would lead the way for the growth of the anime medium outside of Japan. An attempted Americanized remake (previouslyer
) was in production before being ultimately canceled
The manga’s creator, Katsuhiro Otomo, in the meantime, had taken a 20 year break from long-form manga. It was recently announced that this break was coming to an end and that Otomo would be working on a new long-form shonen series
Two and a half years ago, we explored the early history of Cartoon Network
... but it wasn't the only player in the youth television game.
As a matter of fact, Fred Seibert
-- the man responsible for the most inventive projects discussed in that post -- first stretched his creative legs at the network's truly
venerable forerunner: Nickelodeon
Founded as Pinwheel, a six-hour block on Warner Cable's innovative QUBE
system, this humble channel struggled for years before Seibert's innovative branding work transformed it into a national icon and capstone of a media empire.
Much has changed since then, from the mascots and game shows to the versatile orange "splat."
But starting tonight in response to popular demand, the network is looking back
with a summer programming block dedicated to the greatest hits of the 1990s
, including Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple
, and All That
To celebrate, look inside for the complete story of the early days of the network that incensed the religious right, brought doo-wop to television, and slimed a million fans -- the golden age of Nickelodeon. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
Rioting robots on the streets of Brixton
, a gorgeous sci-fi/architecture/animation short film by architecture graduate Kibwe Tavares
. [more inside]
“Highbrow critics talk in ornate polysyllables about the ingenuity and art of the German filmmakers. If they condescended to witness the nonsensical genius of a Charley Bowers comedy they could drool dictionaries.” Educational Pictures Press Book for THERE IT IS, January 23, 1928
is a genius of silent film and animation that never got the level of attention of his peers Buster Keaton
or the Fleischer Brothers
. You'll have to search hard
to find him
in film literature
. But watching his work—as a bird lays a Ford Model T
or a scruffy ghost tortures a Scotsman and his insect sidekick
—you can see the inspiration for the later sight gags of Ernie Kovacs, the visual non sequiturs of Looney Toons, the cut paper trickery
of Terry Gilliam and surrealist Andre Breton citing one of Bowers' shorts as the most influential film of 1937. [more inside]
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library today launched its latest online research tool, the Production Art Database. The database contains records for more than 5,300 items from the library’s collection, including motion picture costume and production design drawings, animation art, storyboards and paintings. Nearly half of the records include images, making this an invaluable online resource for researchers interested in motion picture design.
It was bound to happen eventually. After a quarter-century
, 26 Academy Awards
, and an unparalleled streak of eleven artistic and commercial triumphs
, Pixar's latest project, Cars 2
, is Certified Rotten
. Critics have assailed the film
as a slick but hollow vehicle for Disney's $10 billion-dollar Cars
merchandising industry "lifestyle brand,"
replacing the original's serviceable tale of small-town redemption with zany spy games
, hyperactive chase sequences
, and even more lowbrow aww-shucks potty humor
from Larry the Cable Guy
. But it's not all bad news! Along with a fun new Toy Story 3 short
, preceding today's (3-D) premiere showings is a first look at next year's Brave
-- a darkly magical original story
set in ancient Scotland featuring the studio's first female lead (and director
). Evocative high-res concept art [mirror]
is available at the official website, and character sketches
have leaked to the web, with the apparently striking teaser trailer sure to follow. Also, be sure not to miss the sneak peak of Brave
's associated short, "La Luna"!
Some early test shots
from legendary filmmaker and animator Ray Harryhausen's
unfinished film, Evolution
. [more inside]
"In Japan, animation is not seen as the exclusive realm of children's and family films, but is often used for adult, science fiction and action stories, where it allows a kind of freedom impossible in real life. Some Hollywood films strain so desperately against the constraints of the possible that you wish they'd just caved in and gone with animation." -- Roger Ebert on anime
, with this excerpt being related to Tokyo Godfathers
. Ebert has been a fan of anime for a while, especially the works of Hayao Miyazaki
. Ebert has reviewed 6 of the 18 Studio Ghibli
films released to date, and even interviewed Miyazaki
with a bit of fanboy glee. More reviews and videos inside. [more inside]
Toy Story 3
hits theaters today, and it's already winning universal acclaim
as an enchanting and heartbreaking wonderwork, employing understated 3D
and a "real-time"
perspective that deftly capitalizes on the nostalgia and can't-go-home-again angst
of a generation that grew up with the series.
It has a strong pedigree, with 11-year-old predecessor Toy Story 2
the rare sequel to equal its forebear, 1995's Toy Story
(itself the first CGI feature in history).
And it joins a lofty stable of films: over the last 15 years, Pixar has put out an unbroken chain of ten commercial and critical successes
that have grossed over $5 billion worldwide and collected 24 Academy Awards
(including the second-ever Best Picture nom for animation
), a legacy that rivals some of the greatest franchises in film history
But there's rumbling on the horizon. Although the studio has been hailed for its originality
(of the 50 top-grossing movies in history, only nine were original stories -- and five of them were by Pixar
), two of their upcoming projects are sequels
, both of them based some of their least-acclaimed films (Cars 2
in 2011 and Monsters, Inc. 2
in 2012). And while 2012 will also bring
The Bear and the Bow Brave
, the first Pixar flick to feature a female protagonist [previously]
, fellow newcomer Newt
has been canceled
. With WALL-E/Up/Toy Story 3
guru Andrew Stanton focusing on his 2012 adaptation
of John Carter of Mars
and with forays into live-action
already in development, does this mark the end of the golden age of Pixar?
Or is this latest entry lasting proof that even the toughest case of sequelitis can be raised to the level of masterpiece? [more inside]
Disney restyles "Rapunzel" to appeal to boys. Disney is wringing the pink out of its princess movies.
After the less-than-fairy-tale results for its most recent animated release, "The Princess and the Frog," executives at the Burbank studio believe they know why the acclaimed movie came up short at the box office.
Brace yourself: Boys didn't want to see a movie with "princess" in the title.
Dear Disney: Boys Aren't Stupid, but renaming "Rapunzel" is.
Coloring the Kingdom
: the story of the all-female “finishing school” of hand-drawn animation that worked behind the scenes to create the first animated full-length Disney feature, Snow White. (via.
While some might believe that Walt Disney had the first feature-length animated film with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
in 1937, the Disney film is the fourth animated feature-length film, and was two decades late for first place. The first two animated feature-length films were directed by an Italian in Argentia
in 1917 and 1918, though all prints of those films are presumed lost or destroyed. The third animated full-length feature, Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed
(The Adventures of Prince Achmed
), came out the same year that the first two were lost to fire. This third animated film was a silhouette animation made by a German artist named Lotte Reiniger
. The original negatives are considered lost, but a supposedly first-generation positive (from the camera negative) remains and the film has been restored from this stock (full film with limited subtitles
, 5 minute preview with English subtitles
and the full film viewable with Veoh plug-in). More information and videos inside. [more inside]
And then three frames again. And repeat. [more inside]
The National Film Board of Canada's 5th annual online short film competition
"Internet votes will decide the best film, and the winner will be announced at Cannes on May 21." NFB previously
. [via Drawn!]
The Oscar-nominated "Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello"
is an "adventurous tale of a navigator’s journey to save his ailing wife set in a beautiful world of Victorian science-fiction" and one the many fine film shorts and videos available to watch at shortof theweek.com
- a site dedicated to "finding those few [video] gems amongst the enormous heap of garbage they're buried in..." [more inside]
Visual in jokes from Pixar Animation
Forget the film, watch the titles
is a collection of high quality streaming video versions of graphically well-designed title sequences from a number of movies, both famous
& less well known
, with the only prerequisite being amazing design
. My favorite from the collection is this one
, which is very similar to my favorite title sequence ever
. For rabid Title Sequence enthusiasts with 20 minutes to spare, these YouTube
clips contained edits of the top 25 best title sequences ever, (as chosen by the guy who put the clips together).
Cloned Disney cels: page 1 [Russian
, bad English
], page 2 [Russian
, bad English
is a series of five evocative animation/live action Quicktime shorts by Eric Lerner, including Mr. Deja Vu
, Mr. Fortune
, Mr. Afraid of Anything But Heights
, Mr. Sunken
and my fave, Mr. Dreamer
, bouncing around the beautiful urban decay.
Sometimes movies don't finish the way we'd like
. Short, off-beat, animated re-imaginings of selected movie endings, in torrent and .wmv format. The archives
are yet young, but might be worth keeping an eye on for future chuckles.
Animation of Steven Hill's
3186 movie title screens. (via Waxy via B3ta)
is Disney's first feature length 3d animated movie (without Pixar
). Mark Dindal
, director of Cat's Don't Dance
and Emporer's New Groove
, is at the helm. Is there a chance that the sky won't hit them in the face
Since 1994 Claymovie
has been producing clay animation movies with kids, adults, teachers, and professionals.
Here are some random clips of some of the funnier, unpredictable, unexpected and outrageous moments.
Watch the videos and see...you have to click [download movies], then go nuts. The really outrageous ones are at the bottom...try Something in the Taters
Oh My Stars-N-Garters! In addition to the Aardman Animations Wallace and Gromit
films online here
(previously MeFi-ed here
), you can also view the Oscar and Academy Award winner Creature Comforts
online! One of my all-time fave films. Joy!
Take a stroll through some famous works of art
(larger version here
.) More Pocket Movies
. [Via The Cartoonist.]
Pixar Dumps Disney: "It is impossible to know how bad this is for Disney."
On the other hand: Disney can begin creating sequels to all of Pixar's films, something it could not do under its current arrangement and is almost certain to exploit.
On the third hand: One film executive suggested that Mr. Jobs could now be considered a candidate to run Disney if indeed Mr. Eisner ever left.
is what you get when you give Iron Giant director Brad Bird the keys to the Pixar machine.
What is the AniMatrix?
A direct-to-video release of 9 animated shorts (comic book style, pure CGI, etc) by 7 directors looks at possible visions of the world pre-Matrix. Looks like it could be an interesting collection.
brought wonder to my childhood, with the painstaking process of stop-motion animation
. In these days of CGI special effects, perhaps a look back to the days of the Hydra
and the wondrous skeleton army
would not be amiss. There was a real humanity to Harryhausen's creations, as detailed on this nice site. Perhaps even more interesting are the films that never were, like his Baron Munchausen
, The Tortoise and the Hare
and his vision of War of the Worlds
. Also, criticism of Harryhausen
. Last link: a chat with Harryhausen
It's the plot, stupid. USA Today
runs their usual insightful commentary about the upcoming release of Lilo and Stitch. It obsesses over the absence of CGI graphics pointing to Atlantis
as evidence for the failure of traditional animation to draw box office. Funny me, I thought that Atlantis
bombed because of a plot better left in 50s serial format, a cast of sterotypes rather than characters, and no sense of humor beyind dirty French jokes repeated over and over again. And is huge success of Pixar
due to their pioneering animation, or their brilliant comic talent?
What causes FX myopia anyway? Granted I can understand why fanboys obsess over the wrong things in a movie. Do the studios set it up by trying to hype each new summer release as the next big technical development (while the artistic development gets trumped by Waking Life