Beginnings: Part 1 and Beginnings: Part 2, aired as episodes 19 and 20 in the second season or Book Two of the animated show Avatar: Legend of Korra, and represented a shift from the show's straight forward animation to a style that embraced the aesthetic of traditional East Asian ink drawing/painting and symbolism with a dash of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli charm to tell the background story of the Avatar figure. The result is incredible. [more inside]
The Point! (1971) is the animated TV adaptation of singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson's fable about a boy named Oblio, the only round-headed person in the Pointed Village, where by law everyone and everything had to have a point. Despite his round head, Oblio has many friends. But an evil count, jealous that Oblio is more popular than his own son, says that without a pointed head, Oblio is an outlaw. Along with his faithful dog Arrow, Oblio is exiled to the Pointless Forest. There, he has many fantastic experiences (including encounters with a 3-headed man, giant bees, a tree in the leaf-selling business, and a good-humored old rock). From his adventures, Oblio learns that it is not at all necessary to be pointed to have a point in life. Directed by Fred Wolf and narrated by Ringo Starr, the film features all the original songs from Nilsson's album of the same name. [more inside]
In 2009, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, filmmaker Gilles Porte had children between the ages of 3 and 6, who have yet learn to read or write, and from around the world, draw themselves, without adult intervention, on a pane of glass. The result of which is this gallery of 80 self-portraits, that are in turn sweet, comical, and moving. At the end of each movie, the character drawn is animated and comes to life. (To play the movies, click on “voir” below each thumbnail image on the TV5 site.) [more inside]
From Brad Neely comes a brand-new character and a brand-new rap: Queeblo, starring in Whopper and a Forty.
Forward March (YouTube) is a silly little animated film, featuring four formal British military men and a furry fellow who emerges from the sewer. This short is one of the graduation pieces (Google auto-translate; original link) from the French arts school, ESMA (official French site). You can find more short animations on their YouTube and Vimeo accounts.
On Megami Tensei:
Based on the Japanese horror novel series by Aya Nishitani, this one’s about a student computer genius, who’s also the reincarnation of an ancient Japanese deity, who uses his giant clunky 80s mainframe to summon up some horrifying devils. This involves some not-bad animation of a well-endowed teacher’s frilly brassiere heaving up and down as she becomes the conduit for horrifying monsters from another dimension to invade our world. Then giant piles of red goop start crushing students and a big blue hairy devil named Loki fights our student computer genius hero, who fights back with his reincarnated girlfriend and his magic sword and his pet devil animal throughout several alternate universes.let's anime presents: The Top Ten Least essential OVA (anime) of the 80s. [more inside]
Shockheaded Peter (Struwwelpeter, Wikipedia), the classic 19th century German children's book of cautionary tales and grim fates, has been brought to deranged life through simple yet strange animation. [more inside]
Every frame of "The New America" was laser engraved into a block of maple then photographed.
An anonymous female protagonist takes on a phallic army in Mrzyk & Moriceau’s erogenous epic [caution: auto-play video, *deeply* NSFW] for Jackson and His Computerband.
Matthew DiVito is a motion graphics designer and an aspiring game developer, whose current specialty is animated GIFs that are hypnotic and beautiful. You can see a series of his animations on his Tumblr and a few individual works on Cargo Collective, which has a few of his short videos from Vimeo
"Knowing of Dina's artistic ability, Freddy asked her to paint a mural on the wall of the barracks to cheer up the children. She agreed, although she expected she would be executed if the Germans caught her. This was some time if February 1944. Using paints that were smuggled from various sources, Dina set to work painting a scene of Snow White looking out over the Swiss countryside. Dina knew that some of the children had seen the movie and would recognize the character. She had seen the movie 'seven times in a row' back in Czechoslovakia."
The amazing, sad, triumphant story of Dina Babbitt (née Gottliebová)—artist, animator, concentration camp survivor. [more inside]
The amazing, sad, triumphant story of Dina Babbitt (née Gottliebová)—artist, animator, concentration camp survivor. [more inside]
In 1975, CBS aired the half hour animated special "Really Rosie" with story and lyrics by Maurice Sendak (based on five of his children's books) and with music composed and performed by Carole King. Many have fond memories of the broadcast ("Chicken Soup with Rice" is a particular childhood earworm), and though it has yet to make it to DVD, you can watch it in full on YouTube. The special was later turned into an Off-Broadway production in 1980 and continues to be performed by kids across the country.
Mickey Mouse in Ghoul Friend is a new Disney short, featuring the reanimated corpse of Goofy. With this information, you might get the idea that this is not what you might expect from modern Disney cartoons, and you'd be right. It's one of 19 new shorts that are part of the new Mickey Mouse series of shorts that are inspired by the 1930s era Disney shorts. If you'd like to see more, 11 of the shorts are currently available to view on YouTube (in a playlist with two bonus behind the scenes clips), from the DisneyShorts YouTube acccount. [more inside]
While many of the characters on Archer may appear to be based on their voice actors, in reality, the models used were often people known or met in unexpected ways by the producers. Here are the actual models and the stories behind how they got involved. [previously]
Полигон (Polygon), also called Firing Range, is a Soviet short film from 1977. It concerns a tank that is able to read the brain impulses of enemy soldiers, and the man who designed it. The generals have great plans for this tank, but the designer, and the tank, have other plans. [more inside]
Zach Dougherty's hateplow tumblr is a surreal collection of looping animations, of distorted sculptures and glitches in reality.
Down Into Nothing | Jake Fried. 2013. Hand-drawn animation with ink, gouache, white-out and coffee (previously)
Carpark is a cute little animation which reveals the dangers of teasing a dog locked in a car. [slyt | via]
Danger Mouse (previously), Count Duckula, and Victor and Hugo were three of the many very silly, very British cartoons created by the Manchester-based Cosgrove Hall animation studio. First airing in the 1980s and early '90s, each of the shows were chock-full of wordplay, bad puns, absurd humour, and general zaniness. The studio stopped making original shows after being sold off by its parent company in 1991, and eventually shut down in 2009. The BBC recently covered the history of Cosgrove Hall in a short article and a much longer 30-minute radio tribute by David Jason, voice of Danger Mouse himself (as well as Count Duckula, Hugo, and many other characters). [more inside]
"Listen up. This is Mr. T. I pity the fool who misses my show. I pity him!" These words began about half of the episodes of Mr. T, the animated series. It was part Scooby Doo, part A-Team, and part American Anthem. But whatever it was, it was thoroughly 1980s, and its entire 30 episode run can be found below the fold. Each show featured a live action lead-in to that week's mystery, in which Mr. T. and his globetrotting, crimesolving band of child gymnasts brought down another bad guy. Following each show was another live action segment imparting a moral lesson. So, it looks like you have a few seasons to catch up, doesn't it? [more inside]
The Civil War Trust's animated maps provides viewers with a bird's eye view of American Civil War battles.
The Australian Red Cross has released a slightly warped and brilliant short: Band-Aids can't fix everything. Learn First Aid. [slyt | via]
Four days before her death in 1970, Janis Joplin spoke with The Village Voice's Howard Smith for what was to be her last interview. PBS Digital Studios presents an animation (SLYT) of that interview. (via BoingBoing; PBS Digital Studios animations previously)
4 Rules to Make Star Wars Great Again An animated open letter to JJ Abrams (SLYT)
Klubok, or Ball of Yarn, made in 1968, is a short animated film based on a Russian folk tale about a poor old woman and what happens after she finds a magic ball of yarn one cold winter's night. The movie was directed by Nikolai Serebryakov and the music was created by Eduard Artemiev.
Norwegian animators Twintrash have created the animated short "What Does The Fox Say," based on "The Fox" music video by Ylvis. [previously | via] [more inside]
A boy makes a violent pact with a wolf in Jeff Le Bars's bloody and beautiful animated short Carn.
Ghost Stories is a series of animated shorts by the Late Night Work Club, a group of animators working with their spare time and funding.
X inactivation is a type of gene dosage compensation. In humans, the sex chromosomes X and Y determine the sex of an individual - females have two X chromosomes (XX), males have one X and one Y chromosome (XY). All of the genes on the Y chromosome are required in male development, while the genes on the X chromosome are needed for both male and female development. Because females receive two X chromosomes, they inherit two copies of many of the genes that are needed for normal function. Extra copies of genes or chromosomes can affect normal development. An example is Down's syndrome, which is caused by an extra copy of part or all of chromosome 21. In female mammals, a process called X inactivation has evolved to compensate for the extra X chromosome. In X inactivation, each cell 'switches off' one of its X chromosomes, chosen at random, to ensure the correct number of genes are expressed, and to prevent abnormal development.
Here is a helpful eleven minute description of what it is and why it's important by Etsuko Uno and metafilter's own Drew Berry in a fucking gorgeous Goodsell-esque 3D animation.[more inside]
What if, rather than fight supervillians, the students and teachers of Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters decided to run an ad agency?
Remember that feeling of dislocation and anticipation while you watched with no clue as to what was going to come next, but knew it was going to be either strange or awesome or horrible or some combination of all three? Well, MTV has been quietly reviving it's Liquid Television brand over the past few years, essentially as an online destination for new "awesome" animation. Tonight, 9/9/13, five all-new episodes of Liquid Television will finally be released - on Hulu, iTunes, MTV Geek, Amazon, Xbox and Playstation. The network is still hoping to schedule a broadcast time slot for the revived series sometime in the remaining months in 2013, and there may be an announcement about that soon. [more inside]
Combining 3D scans of real life models in ultra high detail with the Oculus Rift and the Razer Hydra for movement controls to make one of the most realistic and spooky experiences in Virtual Reality [NSFW Artistic nudity] Welcome to the future. [more inside]
Aleksandr is a fantastic little animated adventure, made in 2010, about yarn production and knitting in a little village set amongst the clouds, and what happened the day a carelessly discarded yarn spool came to the attention of their neighbour down below. Learn more about the production of Aleksandr and the team that created it here.
An entire episode of the Simpsons sent through various Alignment And Distrubution vector tools becomes a mesmerizing, glitched out work of art
In 2002 the Eltingville comic-book-science-fiction-fantasy-horror and role playing club made the leap from the pages of Evan Dorkin's Dork comic into an animated pilot for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, as Welcome to Eltingville. Sadly the series wasn't picked up, but the pilot is available on Youtube: part 1, part 2, part 3 (bonus title music by the Aquabats. Sadly so far the Northwest Comix Collective hasn't made the same leap.
Gracht is a short stop motion animation movie about the perils of moving house in Amsterdam, created as a graduation project for the Utrecht School of Arts in Hilversum.
The "Charley" films were produced in 1946 - 1947 and released from 1948. There were eight films in total, looking at the new towns, schooling, the National Health, building up exports and working for heavy industry. Charley had his own chirpy theme tune, and opening titles, in which he would ride across the screen on his bicycle, writing out his name. And each film was billed as being part of an ongoing series, so you knew there were others to view and learn from. [more inside]
Ravelry is an animated short, written, directed and animated by Kathryn Parker (AKA the Evil Crochet Genius), about two crocheted and knitted neighbouring gardens and the rivalry that proves their undoing.
ライナーノーツ (translation: "liner notes") is a short video clip that makes sense if you imagine a fan of Terry Gilliam was inspired by the animated scenes from Monty Python, but set them in the grim future of Brazil, with the added twist that the dark future is built in/around giant giraffes, turtles, whales, and bison. From the Japanese artist Yuta Ikehara, whose website and additional work is available here (Google auto-translation; via Dark Roasted Blend's post on contemporary Japanese 2D artists)
Cyriak interviewed about taking inspiration from his cats, living in Brighton, making music videos, animated GIFs, and so on.
Requiem for Romance is a short animated film about a difficult phone call. It comes from artist and animator Jonathan Ng.
An English-subtitled trailer is now available for Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli's latest film, The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu), which will premiere to English-speaking audiences at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. [more inside]
A new set of Mickey Mouse shorts have debuted this summer. Mickey heads around the world, getting into slapstick situations on his own and with Donald, Goofy, Daisy, and Minnie.