In 1969, Italian animator Osvaldo Cavandoli and voice performer Carlo Bonomi created "Agostino Lagostina", an animated pitchman for the Lagostina line of cookware. This "sharp little man with a truly expressive nose" evolved into "La Linea", one of the most viewed animated characters in the world. In the jazzy series of 225 cartoons that bore his name, La Linea took on a role similar to that of Daffy Duck in Chuck Jones's famous "Duck Amuck" meta-animation, aware of his status as an animated character and asking Cavandoli to draw things into the frame for him. Those who grew up in the 1980s will remember these shorts from their frequent appearances on The Great Space Coaster...though La Linea's offshoots, "Eroslinea" and "Sexilinea" [those last two NSFW; boobies] did not see broadcast in that venue. [more inside]
In 1975, Roger Glover of Deep Purple staged a rock opera based on William Roscoe's poem "The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast". (The book had been reprinted the previous year, with illustrations by popular record sleeve artist Alan Aldridge.) The performance -- which featured such talent as Judi Dench, Vincent Price, Twiggy, and Ronnie James Dio (!) -- and subsequent recording met with enough interest that British animation company Halas & Batchelor had planned a feature-length animated adaptation. While the full animated movie never materialized, a Max Fleischer-influenced three-minute short accompanying the opening song, "Love is All", was broadcast frequently around the world. (Stateside viewers might remember it from such disparate programs as"The Great Space Coaster", "Pinwheel" and, uh, "Night Flight".) [Previously on MeFi: Alan Aldridge.]
Shadow play has been a part of human civilization for tens of thousands of years. After its birth in China, it spread to many other geographical areas and cultures, most notably Turkey and Greece. Shadow theatre is seen as a predescesor to cinema; in fact, the earliest existing animated feature is Lotte Reiniger's The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1927). (YouTube has her hand cream ad, "The Secret of the Marquise".) Today, a few regional companies still practice shadow theatre. Animators such as Thanh Nguyen of 300 infamy and Aleksey Budovsky [flash] have taken the influence of Reiniger and shadow theater in their own directions, and film students make their own silhouette movies. Learn about the history of this fascinating craft [flash], or make your own.
mysterio sympatico is the latest collaboration between jazz guitarist bill frisell and cartoonist jim woodring, who designed a few covers for frisell's records. in honor of flash friday, whimgrinder is online for your amusement (though sadly without frisell's score). what are some animation/music combos you'd like to see?