Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"The Illusion of Life" as an "e-book"

Last December I posted my resolutions for 2012 of what I would like to accomplish this year. Numbers 1 and 2 are in the works. I plan to start things up next month. But for me number 3 was a bit more challenging and one I have been wanting to do for a long time: to read a chapter a month of "The Illusion of Life". Things started off great but I quickly hit a few snags. IT'S A BIG BOOK! It's not a little hardcover or paperback you can throw in your backpack and lug around with you everywhere you go. It's a huge coffee table book, just not that portable. I tried reading in bed before going to sleep. The problem with that is when I start reading in bed I am out within minutes. Always had this problem, always will. I  tried and tried but could not get past the first couple of pages.

Then the other night I had a stroke of genius. I cannot recall how I came up with this idea but it just popped in my head. Have I mentioned before how much I love my new Droid Razr Maxx? Well now I am completely in love with this phone. Here's what I came up with: I can take a picture of the pages and read them on my phone! I turned "The Illusion of Life" into an e-book! I snap a picture with my phone and open it from my gallery. I then turn the phone to landscape mode, zoom in on the text and BINGO!! I can now read this book comfortably anywhere and any time I want!! It's only been a couple of days and I'm almost done with chapter two. And on the plus side, the book stays safely in my library and devoid of any scuff marks and possible damage. I do love my animation books! I have a new one that will be added to my library this weekend.

I have to angle the camera phone so as not to get a big white out right in the middle because of the flash. The page appears crystal clear except for the top part. It's slightly out of focus because of the angle but it is still very readable. I don't know if anyone else has ever thought of this because I have never heard of it yet, but I had to share this.

So Animators!! If you have "The Illusion of Life", and I know you do, start snapping!!

The following pages are property of Walt Disney Productions copyright 1981 and I only display them for educational purposes.

Once I finish reading this book, here is the next book on my list: John Canemaker's "Walt Disney's Nine Old Men."

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Art of Brave

Look what I found at work today!!

Cartoon Round-up 12: Sports Goofy!


"How to Play Football" (1944) directed by Jack Kinney

"Hockey Homicide" (1945) directed by Jack Kinney

"How to Play Baseball" (1942) directed by Jack Kinney

"Double Dribble" (1946) directed by Jack Hannah

"Tennis Racquet" (1948) directed by Jack Kinney

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cartoon Round-up 11: Goofy's "How To" Series


May 25, 2012 will mark Goofy's 80th birthday. He first appeared in 1932's "Mickey's Revue" and was known as Dippy Dawg at the time. He was later renamed Goofy and the rest is history. Here is a nice article from Disney Insider that tells a bit about the history of this beloved Goof!

"The Art of Skiing" (1941) directed by Jack Kinney

"The Art of Self Defense" (1941) directed by Jack Kinney

"How to Fish" (1942) directed by Jack Kinney

"Goofy Gymnastics" (1949) directed by Jack Kinney

"How to Sleep" (1953) directed by Jack Kinney

"How to Dance" (1953) directed by Jack Kinney

The thing I love about this short is the surprising cameo by The Firehouse Five + Two, a Dixeyland jazz band made up of Disney animators. They were Danny Alguire, Harper Goff, Ward Kimball, Clarke Mallery, Monte Mountjoy, Erdman (Ed) Penner and Frank Thomas.

In 2007, Goofy made his triumphant return to theaters in "How to Hook Up Your Home Theater." This short was attached to the release of "National Treasure: Book of Secrets." I remember going to see this movie mainly just to watch this Goofy short!

"How to Hook Up Your Home Theater" (2007) directed by Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"The Iron Giant" in Austin

One of my favorite animated movies of all times is going to be screened this weekend in Austin at the Alamo Drafthouse - The Ritz. I love this new poster designed for the show by Laurent Durieux.. I wish I could make it. I would love to see it on the big screen again.

Dreamworks Animators "PUSH IT!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

TRON: Uprising - Pilot

Cartoon Round-up 10: Mickey Mouse

"It all started with a mouse."

"Steamboat Willie" (1928) directed by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney

"Brave Little Tailor" (1938) directed by Bill Roberts

"Thru the Mirror" (1936) directed by David Hand

"Mickey and the Seal" (1948) directed by Charles A Nichols

"Runaway Brain" (1995) directed by Chris Bailey

The Amazing Spider-Man 4 Minute Super Preview

Sunday, May 13, 2012

AnimSchool: Tom Bancroft Webcasts

Tom Bancroft Webcast - Part 1

Tom Bancroft Webcast - Part 2

Tom Bancroft Webcast - Part 3

Thursday, May 10, 2012

SoundWorks Collection: The Sound of The Avengers

Cartoon Round-up 9: Animaniacs

Animaniacs (1993-1998) was one of my favorite shows! What I loved about it was that it introduces a whole new stable of cartoon characters. This show was not just focused on one set of characters for the entire episode. It had many stars that had their own individual shows. And there were SO many characters: Yakko, Wakko and Dot, Dr. Scratchansniff, Hello Nurse, Pinky and the Brain, The Goodfeathers, Flabio and Maria (the hippos) Mindy and Buttons (Ok. I love you. Bye bye), Slappy Squirrel and Skippy, Runt and Rita. Not only were they entertaining but they also threw in some knowledge from time to time ("Yakko's World"). But what I really liked about them was all the pop culture references. It reminded me of the old Warner Bros. cartoons that had caricatures of celebrities of the times. Now looking back at the Animaniacs  a lot of their jokes may fall flat if you don't know the reference. Bill Clinton playing the sax?!

So sit back and watch because....

It's time for....AN-NI-MAN-NI-ACS!!

"Animaniacs" Intro Theme

"Yakko's World"

"The Monkey Song"

"Video Review" - What I love about this one is that it is an homage to the classic Daffy Duck cartoon "Book Revue" (1946) directed by Robert Clampett

Quite possibly their most popular characters were Pinky and the Brain, one mouse that wanted to take over the world. The other who had not a clue in the world.

"Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
"The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world!"

Pinky and the Brain in "Don't Tread On Us"

Animaniacs also taught me a lot about animation. One of the first scenes I animated myself was a "Mime Time" short of pulling an imaginary rope. I took my animation table to the living room and drew the mime pulling the rope frame by frame. I then redrew it on the computer. I had a program called the Disney Animation Studio and I drew every frame WITH A MOUSE! Not an easy feat, believe me! I still have all my early work here on my computer somewhere. I will have to post them some day to see how far I've come.

The sad thing is I just realized the software is not in the box! I have no idea where it could be!! Not that I had a floppy drive to install it, but I'm just saying it would have been nice to still have it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

AnimSchool Webcast with Jeff Gabor

Jeff Gabor is an AMAZING animator and recently won an Annie Award for his work in Rio. He did one of my favorite scenes in the film which is Linda and Tulio having dinner at the cafe. For me it was their subtle movements that made that scene just jump off the screen for me. I remember watching it in the theater and sitting there amazed at what I just saw. I'm not kidding. My jaw was on the floor because I could not believe what I saw. This video starts off with some clips of the scene I'm talking about. I don't care for this fan video but it's the only one that had the clips. Take a look if you like but put it on mute and just watch the animation. Better yet go watch Rio! NOW!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tron: Uprising - New Trailer

Cartoon Round-up 8: Tex Avery's World of Tomorrow

I remember watching these as a kid and always loving them. I wouldn't mind living in the world of tomorrow according to Tex Avery. He always had a style and a flare to his films. His films are the ones many remember and try as they must can NEVER duplicate.

So here is the World of Tomorrow....according to Tex Avery.

 The gadgets in "The House of Tomorrow" always cracked me up. The one that always got me was the machine that removed the burps from radishes. 

"The House of Tomorrow" (1949) directed by Tex Avery

The one car of tomorrow I wouldn't mind having is the one with the built in shaver. But with all the bumpy roads around town, I think I'll pass. I like having my head and neck attached to my shoulders. And another funny note. This cartoon left such an impression on me that when he scratches out the scene of the new seal headlights, that is how I have been scratching out a drawing ever since. Why? I have no idea. It's just what I do.

"The Car of Tomorrow" (1951) directed by Tex Avery

Since I'm in the market for a new TV, I should check around to see if any of these models are available. It's funny to see they show a stove with a TV. We're not that far off since I've seen a refrigerator with a TV on the door. I also like the set to "get rid of those pesky commercials". It is now called a DVR.

"T.V. of Tomorrow" (1953) directed by Tex Avery

"Farm of Tomorrow" (1954) directed by Tex Avery

*unfortunately I was not able to find a decent copy on YouTube. The only one available sounded like it had a Russian overdub to it. If you'd still like to take a look just click here.

So to make up for that I will include one of Tex (Fred) Avery's shorts that created a star! If you are not aware of the significance of this short, this was the very first appearance of Bugs Bunny. It is also where he uttered his now famous catchphrase "What's up, doc?"

"A Wild Hare" (1940) directed by Fred Avery