Genndy Tartakovsky is returning to his much-loved 2001-2004 cartoon Samurai Jack with a new season in development for 2016, Cartoon Network announced today. The original run of the series depicted the titular, time-displaced hero's quest to return to his own time and bring down the demon lord Aku. It was marked by Tartakovsky's unique art style, hand-painted backgrounds depicting a surreal future world, and storytelling that could deftly shift from parody to emotionally resonant drama to straight-up slapstick. [more inside]
This week’s cover, “Mirror:” a collaboration between The New Yorker (Ware) and the radio program “This American Life" (Glass) and Hanna Rosin.
Laurel Randolph comes up with Simpsons inspired recipes for Paste Magazine - Clove And Tom Collins Pie - Little Meatloaf Men - Üterbraten - Thanksgiving edition.
The term sakuga (作画) refers to a series of well-drawn movements in animation found in both western and Japanese animated shows. [more inside]
How Chuck Jones drew "The White Seal" (YouTube) / Animator Chuck Jones on creative work and not comparing yourself to others (YouTube)
Pixar's new film, The Good Dinosaur, is the second animated dinosaur film to come out in time for Thanksgiving. The previous one came out 22 years ago, with executive producer credits for Steven Spielberg and a whole host of stars lending their voices to the film, telling the story of dinosaurs coming to New York City. And it bombed. Let's go back in time and look at We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story. [more inside]
When You’re Just Drawn That Way: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Interestingly enough, the only two women to comment on/protest this objectification are the two women explicitly drawn to be objectified sex symbols: Betty Boop and Jessica Rabbit.
Kaizo Trap is an animated story about love, determination, and overcoming nearly impossible obstacles. Mostly that last thing. It pays tribute to ultra-difficult platformers like Kaizo Mario World and the speedrunners they inspire to achieve impressive results through brutal trial and error, as well as tool-assisted speedruns that make the impossible look easy. The title "Kaizo Trap" refers to a particular trope within these unfairly difficult games. Note: the first link has a photosensitivity warning and maybe more cartoon violence than you might expect. [more inside]
In the 80s, an arcade game called Dragon's Lair was released (previous). It was done in full hand-drawn animation at a time when most games looked like this. The animation was done by Don Bluth (who would later become known through movies like Secret of NIMH, An American Tail, All Dogs Go To Heaven and Anastasia.) The story of the game concerned Dirk the Daring's efforts to rescue the sleazily-dressed Princess Daphne from a dragon in an enchanted fortress. While the technology offered a limited number of options for how to play, there were plenty of ways to die. Otherwise, the game was basically a short cartoon series with each episode triggered by in-game actions. A successfully played game looked something like this. [more inside]
Onepunch-man (ワンパンマン) a comedy/superhero webcomic created by ONE in 2009 hosted on his site which quickly became a viral hit over the years. It features the adventures of Saitama (サイタマ), an unlicensed hero, and his disciple Genos (ジェノス) as they protect the citizens in Z-city from a variety of villains and monsters. However, after all his dedication to training to become a serious hero he feels empty as everything is too easily resolved with one punch. [more inside]
Extra History: The Seminal Tragedy (2, 3, 4), wherein Extra Credits' history subseries (previously) takes us into the series of coincidences, missed saves, miscommunications and bad decisions that led the world improbably into The Great War. (Bonus: Corrections, Retractions, and Lies!)
This animated short tells the story of a dapper young remittance man, sent from England to Alberta to attempt ranching in 1909. However, his affection for [polo and] badminton, bird watching and liquor leaves him little time for wrangling cattle. It soon becomes clear that nothing in his refined upbringing has prepared him for the harsh conditions of the New World. A film about the beauty of the prairie, the pangs of homesickness and the folly of living dangerously out of context. [SLYT Canada NFB] [more inside]
Terry Gilliam's deleted animations from "Monty Python & The Holy Grail" (SLYT - from the 40th Anniversary video gift set via the Official Monty Python Channel)
Chinti: a short animated film about an ant who finds a picture of the Taj Mahal. Written, directed, and animated by Natalia Mirzoyan (previously).
Cartoon Research takes an in-depth look at the 1952 Donald Duck short, Trick or Treat, directed by Jack Hannah and starring June Foray (previously) as yet another Witch Hazel. [more inside]
A series of 55 animated vintage book graphics by Henning M. Lederer
Some ways we can read Elsa: "Cold and Hungry: Discourses of Anorexic Feminity in Frozen," "Disney's Frozen and Autism," "Reading Frozen as a Feminist," and "Disney's Frozen: Gay or Schizophrenic?"
It's the trailer that everyone has been waiting for and everyone is talking about... VENTURE BROS. SEASON 6
On Pop-Up Porno, dating horror stories are lovingly animated as pop-up books.
Few people afford Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Cartoon Network’s strange, seminal comedy, its rightful place in the pantheon. But from its bargain-basement launch in 1994 to its place at the center of the wildly popular Adult Swim lineup in the 2000s, it helped introduce cringe comedy to the American viewing public, deconstructed the idea of the talk show beyond repair for a generation of comedians, and changed the look and feel of the entire animation art form.
If you watch only one completely-realized, well-lipsynched, full-length video mashing up Spongebob Squarepants clips with Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" this year, make it this one.
Dune: The Animated Series - Dragon Age: Inquisition concept artist Matt Rhodes reimagines the classic SF story as a Legends of Korra style animated show inspired by the art of Tarsem Singh.
The Simpsons title credits sequence is one of the most delightfully surreal animations in recent history. But when Yoann Hervo recorded it to VHS back in the 90's he must have turned the surreality setting up to 11.
"Clad in green robes, Mike Jittlov races at 500 m.p.h. through the Northern California hills, across an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, and horizontally along the wall of a downtown Hollywood building. He moves so fast that when he slips on a banana peel, he flies into orbit." [more inside]
Rescuing Ghosts is a short, emotional animation to the music of Fox Amoore.
The Emotions Of Pixar (SLVimeo)
The ARPANET came before it. And the World Wide Web and browser technology would later make it accessible for the masses. But in between, a small Ann Arbor-based group labored on the NSFNET in relative obscurity to build—and ultimately to save—the Internet.
Walt Disney - "An unprecedented look at the life and legacy of one of America's most enduring and influential storytellers -- Walt Disney."
Before the law sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a man from the country who asks to gain entry into the law. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot grant him entry at the moment. The man thinks about it and then asks if he will be allowed to come in later on. “It is possible,” says the gatekeeper, “but not now.”Franz Kafka's Before the Law, animated as a pinscreen prologue to Orson Welles' film adaptation of Kafka's The Trial (Pop Matters review), and a stand-alone "free interpretation" short titled The Guardian by N9ve Studios. [more inside]
Glen Keane drawing in VR -- (SLVimeo) Glen Keane, animator (The Little Mermaid, Tarzan, Beauty and the Beast) & son of Bil Keane, explores drawing with the Valve/HTC Vive VR system. [more inside]
In 1986, ABC executive SQuire (sic) Rushnell attempted to begin a Christian franchise on par with the Care Bears with a live-action/animated special: Kingdom Chums: Little David's Adventure (multi-video version) (also adapted as a book). Only one of several attempts to continue the series came to fruition: the initially direct-to-video Kingdom Chums: Original Top Ten (multi-video version).
Here is the first episode of Sam Sweetmilk. A funny/serious sci-fi cartoon, you know, like those that are all the rage these days, extra words. There is currently only one episode (and part of it is an animatic), but a second is nearing completion! Part one.
Herschell Gordon Lewis is best known for being a legend of gory schlock horror, but his resume also included two children's films. Of the two, the 'best worst' is the earlier by one year: Jimmy the Boy Wonder, featuring a low-budget Land-of-Oz-with-the-numbers-filed-off, a bizarre villain named Mr. Fig and a lengthy sequence of poorly-dubbed possibly-European animation. The other, The Magic Land of Mother Goose (aka Santa Visits the Magic Land of Mother Goose - guess who never appears in the film?), was the result of Lewis being hired to shoot a vehicle for a magician entirely on a high school stage. Both films are available for purchase from Something Weird Video (parts of site NSFW) as downloads and DVD-Rs.
In 1997, HBO hired animation legend Ralph Bakshi to create an animated sci-fi show for adults. The result was "Spicy City," which only lasted for six episodes. All six of them are on YouTube. [more inside]
"Pee-wee’s Playhouse is where you can stop at every roadside attraction in the world." Patreon's Art of the Title speak with Prudence Fenton, Phil Trumbo and Paul "Pee-wee Herman" Reubens about the two-minute animation that opened each episode of the classic 1980s television program Pee-wee’s Playhouse
"In July 2012, Roger wrote about viewing 'Spirited Away' for a third time and how he was then 'struck by a quality between generosity and love.' It was during that viewing he 'began to focus on the elements in the picture that didn’t need to be there.'" An analysis of some of the amazing level of detail packed into the Miyazaki classic.
Nina Paley Animates the Passover song Chad Gadya In one of the most labor intensive feat taking a year and a half, Nina Paley animates Chad Gadya on matzoh covers. She calls the process "embrodermation" Her work had been featured on the site previously and 1, 2
Once upon a time, three Australian friends decided to take their private jokes and characters and turn them into a cartoon. Then something unexpected happened: they actually did it. This is THE BIG LEZ SHOW. Here's the compiled first season - links to episodes from all three seasons are after the break. Oh, and here's a recent podcast episode about it I just discovered. Warning: series contains profanity and depictions of drug use, yeeeewww fukken druggo. [more inside]
Nudinits: Tickled Pink, an all-knit stop-motion animation. While the link itself is adorably SFW, the videos YouTube suggests in the sidebar are basically porn, so be forewarned.
Kaycie D. is an animator and artist who grew up on Disney films and has used that inspiration to create her own anthropomorphized illustrations of the chemical elements.
"If you grew up watching Looney Tunes, then you know Chuck Jones, one of all-time masters of visual comedy. Normally I would talk about his ingenious framing and timing, but not today. Instead, I’d like to explore the evolution of his sensibilities as an artist." Tony Zhou's "Every Frame a Painting" (previously here) 'breaks the format' to show how the great animator started with gags and developed characters (visually and psychologically), using clips from over 60 of his Warner Bros. shorts.