DisneyToon Studios is best known for their spin-offs of Walt Disney Animation Studios films, like the Tinker Bell and Planes series, or the execrable string of direct-to-video sequels to Disney movies released from the mid-nineties to mid-2000's. But around 2005, they had a different spin-off in development: an epic, dark prequel to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
"It's an epic Urban Fantasy, a sci-fi thriller set Twenty Minutes into the Future, and a gritty crime-drama. And a tribute to William Shakespeare, where Puck, Oberon, Titania, and the Weird Sisters have prominent roles, and Macbeth kicks ass in a trenchcoat with a laser gun."Plus, Star Trek alums lend their voices to many regular characters and guest stars. On the eve of its 20th anniversary, Gargoyles is now being offered legally on YouTube by Disney. [more inside]
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]
In 1968, well loved cartoon character Donald Duck continued his educational film career by appearing in a Disney-produced short for the Population Council, called Family Planning. [more inside]
Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that work is performed entirely by young men. For this reason girls are not considered for the training school.
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]
Disney has a new cartoon series called "Gravity Falls," created by Alex Hirsch who also created The Marvelous Adventures of Flapjack. It features X-Files style paranormal activity in the titular town in Oregon from the perspective of 12 year old twins, Mabel (voiced by Kristen Schaal) and Dipper. While this alone could cultivate a fanbase, it also helps that the show has secret messages and cyphers for viewers to decode. [more inside]
'TV historians will tell you that “Felix the Cat” was one of the first images ever broadcast on television (when RCA broadcast a Felix doll in 1928 on experimental station W2XBS) — but it wasn’t until the late ’40s that the first animated character was created expressly for TV. Crusader Rabbit appeared for the very first time on KNBH (Los Angeles) on August 1, 1950, and featured a Don Quixote-like title character aided by his friend Ragland T. “Rags” Tiger as they pursued adventures in serial (i.e. cliffhanger) installments.' On November 8th, the voice of Crusader Rabbit, Lucille Bliss, passed away at the age of 96. Ms. Bliss may be more familiar to younger fans as the voice of Smurfette, from The Smurfs, or as Ms. Bitters on Invader ZIM. [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, 2. 2011 ComicCon Preview. Disney released a full-length "prelude episode" yesterday evening (US Only): Beck's Beginning. (Via) [more inside]
D. on Ice, in honor of the 110th birthday of Walt Disney, kinda.
Shoomlah illustrates Disney Princess in historically accurate costumes, givs explanations for her choices, and shows us her process. [more inside]
Right Wing Radio Duck "Donald's life is turned upside-down by the current economic crisis and he finds himself unemployed and falling behind on his house payments. As his frustration turns into despair Donald discovers a seemingly sympathetic voice coming from his radio named Glenn Beck. "
Take a solo trek through the back streets of toontown or gaze upon pastoral fantasia. You'll find an astonishing variety of familiar and fantastic locales at Bob Richards' Animation Backgrounds blog. [more inside]
Chilean graphic designer Juan Pablo Bravo (Flickr profile, blogspot blog) makes some pretty awesome character infographics. (Warning: the following links go to large sized flickr photos) 70 Disney Villains : 250 Disney Characters :
100 200 Pixar Characters (sorta previously) : 50 Movie Cars : and his most recent (and my personal favorite) 600 Hanna-Barbara Characters (via). [more inside]
Last month, Virginia Davis passed away at 90 years of age. She was the real life (warning: lousy formatting) little girl (warning: teh kyoot) whom Walt Disney sent into the land of cartoons, responding to the popularity of Max Fleisher's Out of the Inkwell series, which used his "rotoscope" and brought cartoon figures into filmed space. Walt reversed the formula, and found his first star.
1923: Alice's Wonderland [more inside]
1923: Alice's Wonderland [more inside]
And now presenting the 10 Best Uses Of Classical Music In Classic Cartoons!
Bill Peet (born Bill Peed) 1915-2002, was a Disney animator and children's book author. His work defined the Disney style, served as an inspiration for the movie Cars, and has amazed readers with the depth and expression of its characters. An exhibit of his work is running at the Art Institute of Chicago through May 24, 2009 (this Sunday). [more inside]
Peace on Earth - 1939 Disney animation directed by Hugh Harman. And Goodwill to Men, a 1955 remake by Hanna-Barbera.
4 Artists Paint 1 Tree, a segment from Disneyland included on the recent DVD release of Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty, features the artistic process of one of my favorite painters and cartoon modernists, Eyvind Earle. If you've seen Sleeping Beauty, Lady and the Tramp, Paul Bunyan or Peter Pan, you're familiar with the fantastical and brilliant landscapes he produces. His paintings show a particular fondness for Big Sur and Central California.
Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue was an animated drug prevention television special starring many popular cartoon characters from American Saturday morning television. Airing in 1990 and financed by McDonald's, it was simulcast on all three major American television networks. The VHS home video edition of the special also opened with an introduction from then-President George Bush Snr and Barbara Bush. And thanks to the wonders of the interwebs, you can watch the whole thing here. And you really should. After all, where else are you going to get to hear cartoon characters like Garfield and Winnie the Pooh talking about smoking crack and shooting juice? [more inside]
Eldon Dedini NSFW is one of several 1960's Playboy cartoonists featured over at the Animation Archive. [more inside]
Mars and Beyond - 50 years ago, this animated episode of Tomorrowland aired on Disneyland a few months after the launch of Sputnik - an entertaining melange of astronomy, sci-fi, pop culture, science, speculation, and surreality. Walt himself and Wernher von Braun make guest appearances and clip 5 is particularly trippy. (Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Comic Strip Artist's Kit Carson Van Osten's tips for cartoonists and animators, scanned huge for easy printout.
He had an awesome name for an animator. He created Mickey Mouse. He won two Academy Awards. He invented rotoscoping. Now he is mostly forgotten, except among cartoon aficionados. Also forgotten: Flip the Frog. He was Ub Iwerks.
The Story of Menstruation (youtube video) -- A 1954 cartoon from Walt Disney, created at the behest of Kotex.
The original plates for the famous parody work (that was never sued over) Disneyland Memorial Orgy, is on sale at eBay. Here's the whole story on the piece, which ran in 1967 in a small underground newspaper and was created by Paul Krassner. I bet a copyright/trademark lawyer with a sense of humor buys this to mount over his desk soon.