We’re going to be open all night long to discuss the Oscars. We’re still waiting to hear the winners, but here are the results of Cartoon Brew’s Oscar Survey. Will ILM’s Rango and Pixar’s La Luna win the Feature and Short categories as our readers predicted, or will there be upsets in those categories.
While we’re waiting to hear the results, take some time to read our interviews with the five nominees of the Best Animated Short category:
Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis (Wild Life)
Enrico Casarosa (La Luna)
Grant Orchard (A Morning Stroll)
Patrick Doyon (Sunday)
Bill Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg (The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore)
Cartoon Brew: Leading the Animation Conversation |
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Post tags: A Cat In Paris, A Morning Stroll, Academy Awards, Chico and Rita, Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, Kung Fu Panda 2, La Luna, Oscars, Puss in Boots, Rango, Sunday, Wild Life
Welcome to a new column by Chris Arrant who is also the editor of CB Biz. In today’s inaugural column, he profiles artist Jon Klassen:
Jon Klassen might have made his first big splash as an animator, but in recent years he’s followed the path of animators like Mo Willems and Tony Fucile and applied his illustrative talents toward the picture book medium. After working as a concept artist and illustrator on films like Coraline and Kung Fu Panda 2, the Los Angeles-based artist is focusing the majority of his time on his burgeoning bibliography of illustrated children’s storybooks like Cats’ Night Out and The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series.
Klassen tells Cartoon Brew that making the leap to children’s book wasn’t as dramatic as it might have been in years past. “It’s pretty fantastic,” he said. “The tools to make illustration or film are merging closer together, and the more you jump back and forth, the more you see how they overlap even at the conceptual stage. I think that illustrators are finding themselves trying out more animation than they would’ve before, and people who are in animation are trying out more print stuff. Hopefully it leads to a lot of fresh work.”
Klassen has illustrated a number of print picture books over the years, but it’s his most recent, I Want My Hat Back, that holds a special place for him because it’s the first he wrote himself. Released in September by Candlewick Press, it was chosen a couple weeks ago as one of The New York Times Book Review’s Ten Best Illustrated Books of the Year.
“I’d never written anything for real before, and the formality of writing was really making me nervous, so it was a relief to try everything in dialog instead of narration,” Klassen explained. “The stiffness of everything in the book comes from my nervousness about the idea of trying a book, but it was fun to use that in the story itself. Also I wanted to do something that looked simple, and when you’re illustrating something for somebody else you get nervous about submitting something too simple for fear it’ll look lazy, so it was nice to give myself the excuse. The story really happened on its own once the tone was set. I got lucky there.”
Although picture books might seem like a long way from animation, the list of animators who have moonlighted as picture book illustrators is a who’s who of animation history: Tom McKimson, Pete Alvarado, Hawley Pratt, Al Dempster, Tony Rizzo, Eyvind Earle, Mary Blair, Paul Julian, Bob Dranko, Chris Jenkyns, and Campbell Grant, to name just a few Golden Age artists. Klassen came to work in picture books as an adult after realizing how much they influenced his early stabs at animation.
“After I got into the design and illustration end of animation, I realized how big a deal those books were and are to me. The amount of mood you remember from even pretty simple books is so cool,” he said. “I’ve wanted to do books since the beginning, probably, but it’s one of those things you sort of feel like you need to get invited to do.”
In a break from his drawing board, Klassen teaches a class at CalArts on Wednesdays ti
Here are several new publications that were sent my way during the past month that I think Cartoon Brew readers will like, or love, or at worst you should be aware they exist:
100 Animated Feature Films by Andrew Osmond (BFI/Palgrave Macmillan) is a great read. The animated feature is just coming into its own after decades of following one vision – that of the Walt Disney studio. Now that there are several strong voices to emerge in this medium, British film journalist Osmond has rounded up one hundred notable international animated features, studio and independent, to discuss, compare and contrast. This isn’t a “best-of” list, but a representative selection of worthwhile films culled from the first ninety five years of full-length animated movies. An important book for students of animation history – and anyone wanting to read intelligent commentary on where the field has come, and where its headed.
The Art of Kung Fu Panda 2
by Tracey Miller-Zarneke (Insight Editions). Whatever your opinion of Kung Fu Panda 2
, one thing is undeniable: the artwork, art direction, character designs, color keys and all things visual are simply superb. Just based on “looks” this may be the best animated film of the year. We’ll see, but in the meantime Tracey Miller-Zarneke’s book lays it all out and gives credit where credit is due. Raymond Zibach, Nicholas Marlet, and Bill Kaufman are among the dozens of artists work given the lavish “art-book” treatment here – and their work deserves it. And you deserve to own this souvenir of Dreamworks’ summer blockbuster.
Archie: A Celebration of America’s Favorite Teenagers
by Craig Yoe, designed by Clizia Gussoni (IDW Publishing). Do we really need another book about Archie? The answer is YES, if Yoe and his wife Clizia are behind it. There’s been several recent compilation volumes devoted to Archie comics, from Dark Horse, IDW and Archie Publications itself, but this is THE BEST one. This is actually the only book about Archie you really need
, as it covers everything about the Riverdale characters, their origins, the artists, writers, the nooks and crannies, including the coolest, rarest art, promotional pieces, photographs… the whole shebang! Yoe has a great chapter about Archie on radio, TV and animated cartoons, another highlighting oddball Archie merchandising – and in another part of the book, he offers a rare printing, off the original art, of the unpublished 1952 Andy Andrews
, a serious detective story featuring Archie’s previously unknown cousin! It’s one of those books (like my Hanna Barbera Treasury
) that you need to see – and when you see it, you’ll buy it. I love this book – take it from me, it’s really
great. Highly Recommended!
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