Are you a fan of inventive, black-humored sci-fi/fantasy animation? Desperate to fill the Futurama-shaped hole in your heart? Look no further than Rick and Morty
, the superb new Adult Swim series from animator Justin "Lemongrab" Roiland and Community darling Dan Harmon
. Inspired by a (terrible and very NSFW) Back To The Future knock-off
, the show pairs a naïve young teen (Morty) with his cynical, alcoholic, mad scientist grandfather (Rick), each episode exploring a trope -- dreams, aliens, innerspace, parallel universes, virtual reality -- and turning it inside-out with intricate plotting
, eye-catching art
, and dark, whipsmart humor
(with plenty of improvisation
along the way). A ratings hit
already secured for a second season
, the show returns from an Olympics-induced hiatus tomorrow -- in the meantime, why not sample the six episodes aired so far: Pilot
- Lawnmower Dog
- Anatomy Park
- M. Night Shaym-Aliens!
- Meeseeks and Destroy
- Rick Potion #9
. Want more? Promo/highlight reel
- AV Club reviews
- Rick & Morty ComicCon panel
- Storyboard Test
- Soundtrack samples
- Play the "Rushed Licensed Adventure" point-and-click game
posted by Rhaomi
on Mar 9, 2014 -
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]
posted by Room 641-A
on Nov 12, 2013 -
Welcome to mcbess
, a land of odd illustrations
in black and white*, something of a dark and dingy take on Merry Melodies
, where the men are bearded
, and the ladies are toothy, busty (and often topless, in a vaguely NSFW cartoony way)
. There are also some large-scale illustrations
with all those elements, and more. Matthieu Bessudo, aka mcbess, is also in a band, The Dead Pirates
, and his art and music met with the video Wood
(Vimeo; also on YouTube
; more info here
). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Jan 28, 2013 -
"The latest stop motion music video from animation duo Katarzyna Kijek and Przemysław Adamski for Japanese singer-songwriter Shugo Tokumaru." [via
posted by dhruva
on Jan 23, 2013 -
When Captain America
throws his mighty shield, all those who chose to oppose his shield must yield. Doc Bruce Banner, pelted by gamma rays, turns into The Hulk
; ain't he unglamorous? Tony Stark
makes you feel; he's a cool exec with a heart of steel. Cross the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard, where the booming heavens roar, you'll behold in breathless wonder the god of Thunder, mighty Thor
. Stronger than a whale, he
can swim anywhere; he can breathe underwater and go flying through the air. [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on May 17, 2012 -
The cautionary tale of the shiny new device that's smarter than its users and ends up taking over is pretty much cliché... but it took Australian pop musicker Gotye
(prounced like Gaultier, if that helps) to apply it to a Lowrey Organ
(the Cotillion D575
, a vintage model he acquired for $100 and uses both in his recordings and concerts). Add retro-style animation, and you have something scary yet whimsical and truly "State of the Art"
. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop
on Dec 11, 2011 -
Nants ingonyama bagithi baba!
It's been nearly two decades since that glorious savanna sunrise, and once again The Lion King
is at the top of the box office
. It's a good chance to revisit what made the original the capstone of the Disney Renaissance
, starting with the music. Not the gaudy show tunes or the Elton John ballads, but the soaring, elegiac score by Hans Zimmer which, despite winning an Oscar, never saw a full release outside of an unofficial bootleg
Luckily, it's unabridged and high-quality, allowing one to lay Zimmer's haunting
tracks alongside the original video
), revealing the subtle leitmotifs and careful matching of music and action.
In addition, South African collaborator Lebo M
wove traditional Zulu chorals into the score, providing veiled commentary
on scenes like this
; his work was later expanded
into a full album
, the Broadway stage show
, and projects closer to his heart
. Speaking of expanded works, there were inevitable sequels -- all of which you can experience with The Lion King: Full Circle
), a fan-made, three-hour supercut of the original film and its two follow-ups.
Want more? Look... harder... [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Oct 1, 2011 -
"I decided I wanted to buy the Dorsey Brothers’ mambo record. However, I did not have the required 39 cents."
Over at The Comics Journal
, cartoonist Kim Deitch (previously)
, son of animator Gene Deitch (previously)
, has been posting a wonderful, rambling memoir about the music in his life.
Part 1: The Dorseys and Beyond
"Watch for Russ Columbo playing some hot violin in this one
."Part 2: An Early Education - Jazz, folk and the ’40s
- Alan Lomax, Jelly Roll Morton and jazz fandomPart 3: Our hero stumbles on the birth of television
, specifically, music on televisionPart 4: Rock ‘n Roll
- "For a lot of Americans it was like the whole damn African jungle had landed in the middle of Ed Sullivan’s stage
"Part 5: Rocking Forward [more inside]
posted by mediareport
on Aug 7, 2011 -
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]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jul 25, 2011 -
Meaghan Smith took an unusual route to the music business.
She can't read music, for one thing. She went to school to study animation for another. Yet, along the way, she took her hobby of playing the guitar to work with her, giving impromptu performances of her songs in the stairwell of the animation building for her friends. One thing lead to another, and she just won the Pop Album of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards
in Canada for her recording called "The Cricket's Orchestra."
Her sound is a mixture of the music of the 20s 30s and 40s with the pop songs of today.
Her videos often feature animation. A good place to start is "A Little Love"
and also "I Know."
Her song "Here Comes Your Man"
was featured in the film 500 Days of Summer.
She is also a pretty good artist!
posted by Quasimike
on Jun 2, 2011 -
IS TROPICAL - THE GREEKS
: Official music video (Vimeo, 3.25); live action combined with animation for real comic-book violence. NSFW owing to boys being shot, blown up, shot, electrocuted, shot, slashed and then shot some more.
posted by bwg
on May 29, 2011 -
I Feel Better
: A brief rotoscoped video for the song by the Scottish band Frightened Rabbit, in which a real-life HUD and an infinite number of parallel universes conspire to help our hero get motivated. [SLYT]
posted by jbickers
on May 24, 2011 -
posted by JHarris
on Apr 23, 2011 -
- It was written by Raymond Scott in 1937, and first heard by the world played by the Raymond Scott Quintette on CBS Radio's Saturday Night Swing Club.
- It was first recorded in 1937 and released by Master Records. It was later re-released by Brunswick and then Columbia.
- It contains a middle section that has a greatly different tempo and style from the rest of the song, to the degree that it is sometimes considered to be two different songs.
- It was a popular tune of its time. Among Raymond Scott's admirers was Carl Stalling, music director for Warner Bros. cartoons. Stalling's appreciation for Scott lead to his music being featured frequently in Warner cartoons. Itself, it has been used in dozens of classic cartoons, especially in places depicting rapid motion or heavy machinery. Despite this, no Warner cartoon contains a complete version of the work.
- It's now so recognized from its use in cartoons that most people can probably hum portions of its middle potion, and recognize the rest, even if they don't know it's name. It's so connected with cartoons that Cartoon Network used it as a distinctive bumper tune from 1997 to 2003.
- Regardless of its iconic nature, it's still in copyright and is controlled in the US by Music Sales Corporation, and elsewhere by Warner/Chappell Music.
- That song is called "Powerhouse."
"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance.
So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2]
-- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation.
Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix
trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster.
Using a blend of faux documentary footage
and visual metaphor
, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world.
Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions
galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for.
But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix
franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix
, a collection of nine superb anime films
in a wide variety of styles
designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies.
Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics
, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some
of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Feb 14, 2011 -
Ten years ago today, Cartoon Network aired a very special episode of The Powerpuff Girls
. Though nominally a harmless kids series about three adorable kindergarten superheroes, creator Craig McCracken
attracted an unexpectedly diverse audience (50% male, 25% adult) by sneaking in a surprising amount of violence
and adult in-jokes
-- and on that last point, this particular episode was king. Broadcast on the 37th anniversary of their debut on the Ed Sullivan Show
, "Meet the Beat-Alls"
was an extended and sophisticated metaphor for the rise and fall of The Beatles, cramming more than forty song references
and dozens of visual jokes into only ten minutes of animated allegory. Catch the original episode here
or read the transcript
, but for the full
effect, watch this remarkable YouTube mash-up
that splices the referenced song clips directly into the audio track and plasters the screen with helpful annotations. Want more PPG goodness? You can start with the special "Powerpuff Girls Rule!!!"
), a sly, hyperkinetic celebration of the show's tenth anniversary directed by McCracken himself that features every character (and totally subverts an important one). But as far as weirdness goes, it's hard to top Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi
, a long-running fan-made webcomic which stars the trio alongside Dexter, Samurai Jack, Invader Zim, and tons of other network icons
in an unusually dark manga adventure. Oh, and don't forget your plate of beans
posted by Rhaomi
on Feb 9, 2011 -
Unlike many cinematic exports, the Disney canon of films
distinguishes itself with an impressive dedication to dubbing
Through an in-house service called Disney Character Voices International
, not just dialogue but songs, too, are skillfully
re-recorded, echoing the voice acting, rhythm, and rhyme scheme of the original work to an uncanny degree
(while still leaving plenty of room for lyrical reinvention
The breadth of the effort is surprising, as well -- everything from Arabic
gets its own dub, and their latest project, The Princess and the Frog
, debuted in more than forty tongues
Luckily for polyglots everywhere, the exhaustiveness of Disney's translations is thoroughly documented online in multilanguage mixes
and one-line comparisons
, linguistic kaleidoscopes that cast new light on old standards. Highlights:
"One Jump Ahead," "Prince Ali,"
and "A Whole New World"
) - "Circle of Life," "Hakuna Matata,"
(The Lion King
) - "Under the Sea"
and "Poor Unfortunate Souls"
(The Little Mermaid
) - "Belle"
and "Be Our Guest"
(Beauty and the Beast
) - "Just Around the Riverbend"
) - "One Song"
) - "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo"
) - Medley
) - "When She Loved Me"
(Toy Story 2
) - Intro
posted by Rhaomi
on Nov 12, 2010 -
Once upon a time in the town of Point
- all the buildings, trees
, and even the people
were pointed. Except
for one little round-headed
kid named Oblio
"I was on acid and I looked at the trees and I realized that they all came to points, and the little branches came to points, and the houses came to point. I thought, 'Oh! Everything has a point, and if it doesn't, then there's a point to it.'" – Harry Nilsson" [more inside]
posted by ExitPursuedByBear
on Feb 6, 2010 -
anime-like characters created for the singing synthasizer program by the Yamaha Corporation, have been capturing the imaginations of Japanese fans for more than a year. They've inspired and starred in a large body of fan-produced songs and animated videos,2
ranging from macabre to sorrowful to dramatic to humorous. [Massive MLYTP] [more inside]
posted by anthy
on Jan 28, 2009 -
is an open source real-time animation software, designed to create animations, interactive background projections for concerts, theatre and dance performances.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Dec 8, 2008 -