Saturday, March 31, 2012

Foot-age Loose

Oh, these crazy Dreamworks animators are at it again. Another great parody video! I do believe I saw my Class 2 mentor Mike Walling there in the beginning, back row, screen right!

Cartoon Round-up: Special Birthday Edition

This post is dedicated to my father who turns the big 6-0 today! When I was growing up, before my beautiful sister was born, my dad and I always saw ourselves as the three bears from the Chuck Jones cartoons. We was the little poppa bear and I was the big junior bear. They would always crack us up.

So here are some shorts of The Three Bears!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cartoon Round-up 2

This week I've decided to go with probably the most influential animation director, Charles (Chuck) M. Jones. ( link)His cartoons are the ones everyone remembers. The thing that makes his films so memorable is the timing. He was a master of that. It was in that certain pause, that look at the camera. There were several scenes where there was no movement on screen, just the character looking directly at the camera. They weren't saying anything but you could just tell what they were thinking. I can go on and on but I would mainly be quoting the documentary "Chuck Jones: Extremes and Inbetweens - A Life in Animation". This is one of those films I never get tired watching.

Most of his shorts are available on YouTube but are able to be embedded. So I posted the ones I could embed. Also, there are so many I want to post so I am going to limit myself to five for now. I may do another post to Chuck Jones at a later date. Besides, four of the last five I posted were done by Chuck Jones. See what I mean?! GENIUS!!

And now for your view pleasure, may I present (again) the work of a true animation master....Mr. Chuck Jones!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Walt Disney's Nine Old Men Flipbooks


Pixar director Pete Docter has put together a nice tribute to some of the legendary Disney animators known as the Nine Old Men. They are Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Ward Kimball, Eric Larson, Milt Kahl, John Lounsbery, Wolfgang "Woolie" Reitherman, Les Clark and Marc Davis.

This is list priced at $60 but can be pre-ordered on Amazon for $36.70. Here is what the listing has to say:

This box set of nine flip books pays tribute to Walt Disney's original animators - the Nine Old Men: Les Clark, Eric Larson, Frank Thomas, John Lounsbery, Ward Kimball, Ollie Johnston, Mark Davis, Wolfgang Reitherman and Milt Kahl. Each flip book features a scene from an animated Disney feature in its original line-drawn form, having been selected from among a wide range of films for great movement and classic characters. Such iconic clips from the reel of Disney animation history include: Lady and the Tram's moonlit spaghetti dinner, Sorcerer Mickey's ordeal with a horde of mops; and Thumper's announcement that a prince has been born! In addition to the flip books, the box will contain a booklet providing additional information about the artists.

I would also like to add that one of my favorite films is the documentary "Frank & Ollie".

This film is directed by Frank's son Theodore Thomas. It is such a lovely tribute to the remarkable friendship between these two great animators. It chronicles their lives from when they met in boarding school, through college and their career at Disney up until Walt's passing and the completion of "The Jungle Book". 

This is the listing from
Before computer graphics, special effects wizardry and out-of-this world technology, the magic of animation flowed from the pencils of two of the greatest animators The Walt Disney Company ever produced -- Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. Frank and Ollie, the talent behind BAMBI, PINOCCHIO, LADY AND THE TRAMP, THE JUNGLE BOOK and others, set the standard for such modern-day hits as THE LION KING. It was their creative genius that helped make Disney synonymous with brilliant animation, magnificent music and emotional storytelling. Take a journey with these extraordinary artists as they share secrets, insight and the inspiration behind some of the greatest animated movies the world has ever known!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

My Sammy (1992 - 2012)

Today was one of the toughest days in quite some time. I had to say goodbye to my dearest cat of nearly 20 years. He's been with me and my family since he was a kitten. I remember when my Dad brought them home. I was sitting in the living room watching TV. He comes in with a box and places it in my lap. I look in the box and see the two little kittens. I was surprised because I didn't realize we were getting cats anytime soon. He points at them and says, "Sam and Rebecca". He named them after the characters from my favorite TV show "Cheers". And that was it. Sammy and Becky were here! I'm just glad my Dad was not a huge fan of Diane.

Sammy was definitely one of a kind. Unlike our Yorkshire Terrier Sparky, Sammy played fetch! He just loved the plastic bottle caps that came with the mini bottles of Sunny Delight. It must have started when he was a kitten and picked up a big bottle cap with his teeth. He grabbed it from the inside so it flipped up and blocked his field of view. Then the funniest thing happened. He tried to jump over it. Nothing so cute or funnier than a kitten trying to jump over something he's holding in his mouth. Then it was on to the small caps. Not exactly sure how it started but I would toss it straight up over his head and he would jump as high as he could, swat it away, go chase it down and bring it back to me. EVERY SINGLE TIME! The funniest thing was when HE wanted to play. I remember standing in the kitchen and hearing the cap hit the floor. I turn around and there was Sammy looking up at me saying, "Time to play!". As soon as I reached for the cap he got low to the ground, his eyes got big, his ears turned back and his butt would start shaking in anticipation. I would throw it into the living room and he was off like a shot!! A few seconds later, *tink*, the cap was at my feet again.

His food and water dish was up on the counter in my bathroom. I remember I would draw "racing stripes" along his side. He was so orange and so fluffy. I would get my finger wet and run them down his side. His fur got darker and looked like racing stripes.

I'll never forget the first time he got out. We went to Florida one year for vacation. We had no idea how we were going to set up the house so Sparky could go in and out but Sammy and Becky could not. We ended up leaving the living room window open a crack with a board covering up most of the hole. As for Sammy and Becky, we barricaded them in the hallway that led to mine and my sister's room and the bathroom. We had chicken wire mounted on a wooden frame, but it was too short! There was still at least 8 to 10 inches of opening on top. So we took some more chicken wire and stapled it across. Everything seemed fine. We had a great time. When we got back we did a head count. Sammy was not here. He left poor Becky all alone. We scoured the neighborhood looking for him. The trouble was that it was already dark outside. We were asking all around if anybody had seen a big orange cat. We finally found him several blocks over in someone's yard. The sad thing was that I feel Becky never forgave him for leaving her. She hissed at him from then on out. They used to cuddle all the time. Not any more. Crazy kitties!

When I first moved into my house I left Sammy with my parents. I did not want to have to worry about him getting out while I was cleaning up the place. Once I got everything settled I could not wait to bring him to his new home.

This is the first picture I took of him here. You see how much fur he has around his neck? Those hairs were long. I would roll them and make them point out. He was always a silly cat. When we were at my parents' home, any time I would put on my spray deoderant he would run for cover. I think the noise frightened him. I didn't even have to spray. I just show him the can, shake it a bit and he would take off. Once he got to my house, a stupid little spray can could not frighten him. He was sitting on my bed as I was getting ready. I took out the deodorant and sprayed. He didn't move a muscle. He was a brave little kitty now!!

This is how I want to remember him. This is how I want you to see him. He was big and fluffy all over, especially the tail. He loved to lick the condensation that would form on my drinking cups. I would just have to hold out the cup and he would start "drinking". He also liked to bury his head in my arm when I would hold him. And I always liked to wake up in the morning and see him laying right next to my pillow. The funniest thing, he got in the habit of waking me up EXACTLY at 7:30 EVERY MORNING! This went on for a couple of weeks. He would sit by my head and paw at my face. "Wake up. It's time for treats." If I didn't move he would paw at my mouth. Now THAT got me up because I knew where that paw had been! I don't know who had who trained. As soon as my alarm would go off he would come running to my bedroom. As I got up and moving he would head straight to his food dish. He knew it was time for treats. When I would get home from work, he would hear me come in and start meowing, "You're here! Time for treats!" And I would give him treats. When I was getting ready for bed he would start meowing, "It bed time! But not before treats!" Like I said, who trained who?!

Goodbye my good boy. I hope you know how much you were loved. I am surely going to miss you but you will always be in my heart.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Glen Keane Leaves Disney

It is a sad day in the animation world. Animator Glen Keane has left Disney. His work is unlike any other. He has a way with the pencil that is so unique. I remember looking through the "art of" book for Tangled and being able to point out Glen's drawings every single time.

Originally posted on Cartoon Brew:

March 23, 2012

Dear Colleagues and Friends of the Walt Disney Animation Studio,

After long and thoughtful consideration, I have decided to leave Disney Animation.

I am convinced that animation really is the ultimate art form of our time with endless new territories to explore. I can’t resist it’s siren call to step out and discover them.

Disney has been my artistic home since September 9,1974. I owe so much to those great animators who mentored me—Eric Larson, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston—as well as to the many other wonderful people at Disney whom I have been fortunate to work with in the past nearly 38 years.

Over these four decades I have seen so many changes, but the one thing that remains the same is that we all do this because we love it.

I am humbled and deeply honored to have worked side by side so many artists, producers and directors during my career here at Disney, and I am tremendously proud of the films which together we have created. I will deeply miss working with you.

With my most sincere and heartfelt good wishes for your and Disney’s continued artistic growth and success,


For me the one scene that defines Glen Keane is the Beast's transformation sequence in "Beauty and the Beast". You see him changing from this creature back into a human and it seems so effortlessly. Every line has a purpose. When "Beauty and the Beast" first came out in 1991, I saw it in the theater about seven times. I could not get enough of it. Not only was it a great story but the animation just blew me away. It was the Beast that kept drawing me in. It was like no other animated character I had ever seen. When I got my "art of" book for this movie I studied it and started drawing the Beast in my sketchbook over and over again. Such an amazing character. Such amazing animation.

The following year "Aladdin" was released and Glen Keane struck gold again! This time he was the supervising animator for Aladdin. I saw this movie about seven times in theater, too!! I saw it so many times that after each screening I would rush home and listen to the soundtrack. I would then storyboard out the musical numbers from memory. I sketched out the opening number all the way up to the Cave of Wonder, the "Friend Like Me" and "Prince Ali" sequences and a few others. All in all I would say I had storyboarded about 20 minutes of the film. This was great because now I could "watch" the movie any time I wanted! Disney aired a "making of" special on TV during this time. I recorded it on VHS and watched it over and over and over. Then over and over again on video and again on DVD.

But the one that really blew me away was in 1999 when he did the title character in Disney's "Tarzan". His work on this film was unbelievable! This character was the most complicated because it was the most human. When it came out on DVD I made sure to get the collector's edition for the second disc of nothing but behind-the-scenes. Again, I watched it over and over and over, especially this scene:

But I cannot leave out THE film that really pushed me into studying animation, "The Little Mermaid". I couldn't find many videos of Glen's work on this film. This is the best one I could find.

And finally the first part of a lecture series that is definitely worth watching.

Disney's "The Sweatbox" (2000)


**UPDATE** Yup, it's gone.


I came across this from Cartoon Brew in their post "The Sweatbox", the Documentary That Disney Doesn't Want You to See". It shows the transformation of how back in 1997, the film "Kingdom of the Sun" painfully morphed into "The Emperor's New Groove".

It shows you how it all began. I know a lot of work goes into making an animated feature, but I had no idea how far along they were into production when they decided to change it all up. There were tons of pre-production sketches and conceptual art, rough and cleaned up animation, even some fully colored final animation and SIX songs written and recorded by Sting. I was really surprised to see some of the talent that was originally attached to the project. There was some amazing animation of Yzma done by Andreas Deja. I  was REALLY surprised to see Owen Wilson providing the voice of an 18 year-old version of Pacha. He was later changed to a 45 year-old man voiced by John Goodman.

It was really hard to watch as all these great artist were collaborating together and everything just was not clicking. Changes were being made left and right. They had no idea what kind of film they were making. The story was just all over the place. Kuzco was called Manko. They show what was a possible love interest. There was a ballad between the two. Owen Wilson's Pacha looks just like Manko. They switch places like "The Prince and the Pauper". But somehow Yzma STILL changes Manko into a llama?! Uh....from here I have no idea where they were going. You see a little bit of what I believe is the opening sequence. A narrator is setting the tone of the film. Some god grabbed the nearest star and brought it here and called it "something". This became the sun. blah blah blah. I was bored right away.

I think the first clue for me that things were down hill was when Sting was writing songs for a movie that did not yet have a script locked down. It's not until the 40 minute mark in this film that the decision was made to scrap just about everything and start over. Andreas, who had previously animated Gaston, Scar and Jafar, was excited to work on a female villain for the first time. He loved that she had this grand scheme in play. Then to have her role reduced to walking joke caused him to leave the project. The director Roger Allers, who had been working on this for three years, was pulled off the project. He was just coming off the success of "The Lion King" when he started working on "Kingdom of the Sun." After all that hard work, his original vision was gone.

All the songs Sting wrote were scrapped. Luckily we get to hear snippets from a few of them. There were two songs they loved but there was no way they could fit into this new incantation of the film. All his work was reduced to a ballad that played over the end credits. And in my opinion, did not flow with the film. I've seen "The Emperor's New Groove" many, many times and can quote you line after line. The one thing I cannot do is remember the "big" song of the film. The movie ends with a big happy ending, orchestra playing, trumpets blaring, BIG finish! Then BOOM, everything drops to a snail's pace with this ballad. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful song...whatever it's called...but for me it threw off the groove. (pun intended) If they had kept the fanfare going for just a little bit longer, then faded out AND THEN started up the ballad. Hey, but what do I know.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Madagascar 3 teaser and trailer

Classic Cartoons 1!!

These are some of my favorite cartoons! I think this will become something of a weekly ritual where I post several classic cartoons. If you would like to share some of your favorites, send me the link in an e-mail and I will post it in the future.

Here are this week's selections:

I may also try to go with a certain theme each week. For example: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Mickey, Donald and Goofy, Tom and Jerry, UPA shorts, early Warner Bros. shorts, rare and obscure shorts, Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Tex Aver, etc. Like I said, send any and all suggestions my way!

p.s. Thank you YouTube!!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

2012 Oscar Winners

Holy crap! I forgot to post this the day after....

Best Picture
War Horse
The Artist
The Descendants
The Tree of Life
Midnight in Paris
The Help
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Best Actress
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Viola Davis, The Help
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady *WINNER
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Best Actor
Demian Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist *WINNER
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist *WINNER
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Short Film (Animated)
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore *
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life
Documentary Short Subject
The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
God Is the Bigger Elvis
Incident in New Baghdad
Saving Face 
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
Short Film (Live Action)
The Shore 
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic
Best Original Screenplay
Michel Hazanivicius, The Artist
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, Bridesmaids
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris *WINNER
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Asghar Farhadi, A Separation
Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants *WINNER
John Logan, HugoGeorge Clooney, Beau Willimon and Grant Heslov, The Ides of MarchSteven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin, MoneyballBridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Music (Original Song)
"Man or Muppet" from The Muppets, Bret McKenzie *WINNER
"Real in Rio" from Rio, Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown and Siedah Garrett
Music (Original Score)
John Williams, The Adventures of Tintin
Ludovic Bource, The Artist *WINNER
Howard Shore, Hugo
Alberto Iglesias, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John Williams, War Horse
Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners *WINNER
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Visual Effects
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon
Best Animated Feature
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Documentary Feature
Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Sound Mixing
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon
War Horse
Sound Editing
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon
War Horse
Film Editing
Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Kevin Tent, The Descendants
Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo *WINNER
Thelma Schoonmaker, Hugo
Christopher Tellefsen, Moneyball
Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help *WINNER
Best Foreign Feature
In Darkness
Monsieur Lazhar
A Separation 
Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle, Albert Nobbs
Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland, The Iron Lady *WINNER
Costume Design
The Artist 
Jane Eyre
Art Direction
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Hugo *
Midnight in Paris
War Horse
The Artist
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Tree of Life
War Horse

New Avengers Trailer

I will be seeing this movie over and over and over again!!!!

ParaNorman Trailer #2 and Poster

Frankenweenie Trailer and Original Short Film

Despicable Me 2 Teaser Trailer