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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Classic, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 543
1. Pixel desert

Desert scene in a minimalistic pixel art style, for a Talk Retro site redesign.

Available as a high quality art print.

More images: MetinSeven.com.

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2. John Canemaker Unlocks The Secrets of ‘Fantasia”s Sweatbox Notes

What do long-lost sweatbox notes reveal about the creation of one of Disney's finest films?

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3. Daffy Duck Crazy Laugh Supercut

This supercut of Daffy Duck looniness is a masterclass in how to combine animation and audio to build a great cartoon personality.

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4. Happy 100th Birthday, Disney Legend Bill Peet! (Gallery)

Happy centennial birthday to Bill Peet (1915-2002) who was born in Grandview, Indiana exactly one hundred years ago today.

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5. Louis Zamperini, Hero of Angelina Jolie’s ‘Unbroken,’ Has An Animation Connection

The story of Louis Zamperini, hero of Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken," seems far removed from anything animation-related, but he did have a significant, and previously untold, connection to the animation world.

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6. Reasons to Be Thankful: Classic Cartoons

Today we're thankful for many reasons, including classic animated shorts.

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7. Happy 55th Birthday, Rocky & Bullwinkle

55 years ago today: "Rocky & His Friends" premiered.

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8. Blog Tour Launch & $100 Giveaway: A Year in the Secret Garden by Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters

The Blog Tour has begun!

A Year in the Secret Garden

Just this week our delight was compounded when Valarie announced that the physical version of the book had arrived, just in time for the upcoming launch and blog tour.

A Year in the Secret Garden

This book was a labor of love between two creative people (Valarie and Marilyn) who not only wanted to bring a classic children’s tale to life, but encourage families to step away from the computer and into the garden, craft room and kitchen.

Title: A Year in the Life of the Secret Garden | Author: Valarie Budayr | Illustrator: Marilyn Scott-Waters | Publication Date: November, 2014 | Publisher: Audrey Press | Pages: 144 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 99

Book Description: Award-winning authors Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters have co-created A Year in the Secret Garden to introduce the beloved children’s classic, The Secret Garden to a new generation of families. This guide uses over two hundred full color illustrations and photos to bring the magical story to life, with fascinating historical information, monthly gardening activities, easy-to-make recipes, and step-by-step crafts, designed to enchant readers of all ages. Each month your family will unlock the mysteries of a Secret Garden character, as well as have fun together creating the original crafts and activities based on the book.Over 140 pages, with 200 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. A Year In the Secret Garden is our opportunity to introduce new generations of families to the magic of this classic tale in a modern and innovative way that creates special learning and play times outside in nature. This book encourages families to step away from technology and into the kitchen, garden, reading nook and craft room.

Amazon * Audrey Press * Goodreads

 

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A Year in the Secret Garden provides the perfect companion to the original story.  The book is divided into major sections by months of the year.  For each month, a character from the book (e.g., Mary Lennox, Dickon, Colin) is introduced and their role in the story is described.  Each month also features a number of activities including planting activities, crafts, recipes, children’s games, as well as snippets of information about some of the themes covered in the story (e.g., death in Victorian England, language spoken in Yorkshire), and so much more!’-Renee @Mother/Daughter Book Reviews

In honor of this exciting new release,  there will be a special blog tour that will run from November 1 to 30, 2014. We encourage our readers to stop by and experience the magic of A Year in The Secret Garden through book reviews, author interviews, guest posts and excerpts from this activity-packed book.  The blog tour will include a shared giveaway for a $100 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize, open worldwide.

To get a snapshot of A Year in the Secret Garden book month-by-month AND a sneak peek at the blog tour schedule, go HERE.

For a chance to enter to win our Amazon $100 Gift Card, Go HERE

A Year in the Secret Garden Blog Tour Schedule

A Year in the Secret Garden blog tour

EXPLORING SEPTEMBER

November 1

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch)

Coffee Books & Art (Guest Post)

WS Momma Readers Nook (Book Review)

November 2

Cherry Mischievous (Excerpt)

Hope to Read (Excerpt)

November 3

Eloquent Articulation (Book Review)

Enter Here Canada (Excerpt)

 

EXPLORING OCTOBER

November 4

BeachBoundBooks (Excerpt)

Books, Babies and Bows (Book Review)

November 5

Monique’s Musings (Book Review)

November 6

SOS-Supply (Book Review)

 

EXPLORING NOVEMBER

November 7

Randomly Reading (Book Review)

November 8

Adalinc to Life (Book Review)

 

EXPLORING DECEMBER

November 9

100 Pages a Day (Book Review)

November 10

Edventures With Kids (Book Review)

 

EXPLORING JANUARY

November 11

Icefairy’s Treasure Chest (Book Review)

November 12

Girl of 1000 Wonders (Book Review)

 

EXPLORING FEBRUARY

November 13

Seraphina Reads (Guest Post)

November 14

Juggling Act Mama (Book Review)

 

EXPLORING MARCH

November 15

Pragmatic Mom (Author/Illustrator Interview)

Purple Monster Coupons (Book Review)

November 16

Stacking Books (Book Review)

 

EXPLORING APRIL

November 17

Oh My Bookness (Book Review)

November 18

Crystal’s Tiny Treasures (Book Review)

 

EXPLORING MAY

November 19

The Blended Blog (Book Review)

November 20

All Done Monkey (Book Review)

November 21

Geo Librarian (Book Review)

Grandbooking (Author/Illustrator Interview)

 

JUNE

November 22

My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews (Book Review)

November 23

Christy’s Cozy Corners (Book Review)

My Life, Loves and Passions (Book Review)

November 24

Bookaholic Chick (Excerpt)

Hide-N-(Sensory)-Seeking (Book Review)

JULY

November 25

Ninja Librarian (Guest Post)

November 26

Jane Ritz (Book Review)

Rockin’ Book Reviews (Book Review)

November 27

I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach (Book Review)

 

EXPLORING AUGUST

November 28

Deal Sharing Aunt (Book Review)

November 29

Mommynificent (Book Review)

November 30

This Kid Reviews Books (Book Review)

Java John Z’s (Author/Illustrator Interview)

Visit our A Year in The Secret Garden page to learn more about this one-of-a-kind unique keepsake book for children and families.

PicMonkey Collage

The post Blog Tour Launch & $100 Giveaway: A Year in the Secret Garden by Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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9. Right Now: Classic Animation All Night Long on TCM

If you're looking for something cartoon-related to watch tonight, Turner Classic Movies is running an entire evening's worth of animation.

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10. Watch Footage of the Unmade ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ with Paul Reubens

"Who Framed Roger Rabbit" was one of the most seminal animated projects of the last thirty years, but few people are aware of the long gestation of the project.

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11. 15 Unpublished Photos of Hanna-Barbera Making ‘The Flintstones’

In November 1960, "LIFE" magazine published an article about the breakout success of Hanna-Barbera's seminal primetime animated series "The Flintstones." The piece featured three photos of the studio, but what they didn't publish is even more amazing. Photographer Allan Grant took 850 photographs for the piece. Amazingly

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12. 93-Year-Old Cel Painter June Patterson Talks About the Disney Classics

June Walker Patterson worked as a cel painter on Disney classics like Pinocchio, Fantasia and Bambi. Today, she is 93-years-old and lives in the Los Angeles area. Animation artists Larry Whitaker, Chance Raspberry and Luis Escobar had the brilliant idea of visiting her to record a video interview. It’s part of their new animator interviews website called TheCornerBooth.net.

If you’re looking for more details about what it was like for women who worked as ink-and-paint artists at Disney, I recommend this Vanity Fair article from a few years back.

In the video interview with June, she mentions her husband Ray Patterson, who also worked at Disney and later became a core member of the Tom & Jerry crew at MGM. I had the good fortune of interviewing Ray in 2000 and published an interview with him in Animation Blast #5. This was the title page of the piece:

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13. Weird, Incredible Animation From Poland

Starting with its title—Dziwne dziwy, czyli… Baśń o Korsarzu Palemonie—this Polish film is nearly impossible to explain. As soon as the title of the film appears onscreen, the letters of the title morph into question marks and exclamation points, which then melt into a flag adorned with a skull that is smoking a pipe. The skull emits pipe smoke out of its eye, which quickly engulfs the screen. Then, the sun breaks through and shines. And that’s just the first 10 seconds! Add another 30 minutes of uninterrupted surrealist insanity and you begin to get an idea of this incredible piece of film.

Krzysztof Dębowski (pictured left), a veteran of the Polish animation scene, was in the twilight of his career when he made this film in 1986. It’s a difficult film to classify because it doesn’t fit into any conventional timeline of animation history. Some of the character designs are a throwback to the blocky ‘cartoon modern’ style of Sixties and Seventies Eastern European animation, but the facial expressions resemble the crude graphic exaggeration of manga and the cartoonish painted stills foreshadow the Spumco style of the early-1990s. Such efforts to compare the film’s individual elements to other visual work are inadequate though. It is the totality of Dębowski’s vision that is so striking and utterly original.

Dębowski gleefully disregards the Western animator’s narrow-minded obsession with achieving the “illusion of life.” He breaks every rule that is sacred to the character animator and moves things however he damn pleases. His universe functions on the level of pure graphic cinema and exists exclusively on its own terms. Characters distort in grotesque ways, and they move in fits and starts that suggest human locomotion in only the most abstract sense. Dębowski has no use for things like perspective and instead suggests space through design and movement. Effects like waves, clouds and cannon fire are conveyed through gorgeous patterns of shapes and lines that move to their own unique rhythms.

The film is visually lush, but its heavy narration makes it difficult to decipher. I called upon Pawel Wieszczecinski, a film studies major at the New School in Manhattan as well as the founder of the Kinoscope film series, to explain what I was looking at. Here’s what he told me:

The title is “A Fairytale about Palemon the Pirate.” This particular film is based on a fairytale by a famous fable writer named Jan Brzechwa. His stories are generally aimed at young audiences. I even remember his fairytales from when I was a kid. He is definitely the most famous fairytale writer in Poland. This particular piece was written in 1956. It’s about a King who dies, but before he does so, he announces to his four daughters that the one who will overcome the Palemon the Pirate will get the crown. Palemon owns all the seas and his empire is enormous. Eventually one of King’s daughters, the ugliest one, conquers Palemon’s empire and she becomes the new Queen. But besides that, she also hooks up with Palemon and they get married.

Dębowski should be an animation legend on the basis of this film alone. Yet, I’d never heard of him until I randomly stumbled across this film during a late-night cartoon binge. Further searching yields absolutely nothing written about him in the English language. His lack of recognition in the West is a shame considering his prolific body of work. He started directing in 1960 at Studio Miniatur Filmowych and made dozens of films over the next thirty years. The only other example of his work that I can find online is this early piece called Wzeszło słoneczko.

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14. This is What A Woody Woodpecker Radio Show Would Have Sounded Like

Randy Riddle has uncovered an extremely rare bit of Hollywood cartoon history: an an audition for a children’s radio series based on Walter Lantz’s creations like Woody Woodpecker and Andy Panda.

Listen to it now:



The half-hour pilot, titled "Sally in Hollywoodland," was recorded June 3, 1947, but apparently never went beyond this single test episode. Highlights include a creepy-sounding Woody at noraml recording speed, as well as performances by Billy Bletcher and a young June Foray. Had the show gone into production, it would have been the first time the Lantz characters appeared on air.

The show features Norma Jean Nilsson voicing the human protagonist Sally, Theodore Von Eltz as Woody Woodpecker, Billy Bletcher as Wilbur the Wolf, June Foray as Oswald the Rabbit, Sarah Brenner as Andy Panda, and Herb Lytton as Wally Walrus.

(Thanks, Eric Wilson)

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15. Walt Kelly’s Even-More-Lost “Pogo” Storyboard

Here’s a little added-bonus to the recent post about Walt Kelly’s self-animated Pogo short.. Before he began animating, Walt Kelly laid out a complete storyboard of his planned Pogo special. He then made a Leica reel and recorded his voice over it.

Of course, there is a lot more here then what ended up in the final short. Because of his poor health, he had to leave out a great deal of material. Sadly, it makes the final piece feel unfinished.  Albert’s hallucination sequence especially would have been marvelous to see fleshed out in animation. Fortunately, not all of his hard work went to waste. His storyboard for this special laid the foundation for his final Pogo book, Pogo: We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us.

As much as I love seeing Kelly’s animation, watching and listening to the storyboard is a much more enjoyable experience. His storyboard panels have as much time and care put into them as his comics, with full color, fleshed-out poses and backgrounds. Each panel is expertly laid out, making every action clear and easy to read.

But I think the most enjoyable aspect is Kelly’s mostly ad-libbed narration. You can tell what kind of person he was just by his vocal delivery. At times he’s full of bravado, belting out lines in a bombastic tone. Other times he can be soft-spoken, sincere and passionately poetic. And sometimes he makes absolutely no sense at all, talking in almost complete gibberish, fumbling over words and mumbling nonsensical sounds. Most of all, what stands out is his unparalleled wit, which is on display throughout the entire 25-minute presentation. I especially love his impromptu descriptions of scene transitions and camera movements.

With this storyboard, Walt Kelly has come full circle. Starting at Disney in the mid-30s, working for five years refining and strengthening his drawing abilities, leaving animation to pursue a lengthy career in comics, and finally returning to animation once again, this time with the added benefit of decades of experience.

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16. Today Only on Amazon: Over 350 Looney Tunes for $65

Amazon’s Gold Box Deal of the Day—good for today only—is an amazing value for anyone who is even slightly interested in classic Hollywood cartoons. They’re offering all six Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD sets for $65. That’s 24 discs with over 350 cartoons and far too many extras to mention. Go to Amazon by midnight to order.

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17. The Secret History of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”

ROSS ANDERSON is currently writing the definitive book about the making of Roger Rabbit, beginning with Gary K. Wolf’s novel and Disney’s early Roger Rabbit development unit, continuing with the production of “Who framed Roger Rabbit”, and through the follow-up shorts, merchandising and theme park presence, and development work on sequels. He wrote this piece exclusively for Cartoon Brew about the 25th anniversary screening of “Roger Rabbit” that took place last week in Los Angeles.


On Thursday evening, April 4th, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosted the first public screening of the new digital print of Who framed Roger Rabbit. The preparation of the digital print coincides with the release of the 25th anniversary Blu-ray edition of the film, and the Academy hosted a terrific show.

When the tickets were made available on-line they sold out within a day or two. The film was enormously popular when it was released and it has been a touchstone for film and animation enthusiasts ever since. I can’t take credit for the touchstone/Touchstone remark—that came from Rich Moore, director of Wreck-It Ralph, who was the moderator of the panel discussion that followed the film screening.

The event attendees were polite and mature in their behavior, although many of them hadn’t been born when the film was released. The enthusiasm for the film has some of the earmarks of coltishness, but it is not as though the adoration is a personal ‘find’ and a delight against all reason. There are ample reasons to delight in the film, and everybody has their own joys that they find in it. Mine – is that I had been a life-long animation enthusiast who found it difficult to share my enthusiasm with friends. I was in university when Robin Hood was released. I would have been harassed unmercifully if my interest in Disney animation had become known to my dorm-mates. Who framed Roger Rabbit made animation ‘cool’ again…and it made money, which increased the enthusiasm of the studios. Many people in the animation industry credit the film with ushering in a silver age of feature animation.

Academy member and veteran animation director Bill Kroyer introduced the screening. Bill was a young animator at the Disney studio prior to the first onslaught of CalArts grads, who included John Lasseter, Tim Burton, Brad Bird, Henry Selick, John Musker, Jerry Rees, and Darrell Van Citters. They were all frustrated with how Disney animation was functioning in the early-1980s.

Tom Wilhite, the young Disney Live-Action Studio Head, saw their frustration and did what he could to enable projects that would satisfy their creative juices and keep them at the studio. Aside from John Musker, they were all eventually fired or left the studio of their own accord, but out of that early grouping came Tim Burton’s Vincent and Frankenweenie and John Lasseter’s The Brave Little Toaster, which Wilhite eventually produced, with Jerry Rees directing, as ‘Hyperion Pictures’, after he, too, left Disney. Wilhite also brought Tron to the Disney studio and was responsible for setting up the Roger Rabbit development unit at Disney in 1981, helmed by Darrell Van Citters.

Bill Kroyer was one of the first ‘animators’ to do computer animation. He and Jerry Rees were assigned to the Tron production to work with the early CGI providers. The computer software at that time was not intuitive at all, so there was more hand-drawn ‘logistical guidance’ for the programmers than most people realize. That was Bill and Jerry. Their involvement also fired up John Lasseter’s interest in computer animation. The Brave Little Toaster was intended to be the first full length CGI animated feature.

Tom Wilhite sent memos to scoop up Bill Kroyer, Jerry Rees, John Lasseter, Ron Clements, Mike Gabriel, Randy Cartwright, and Glen Keane for the Roger Rabbit unit… Wouldn’t that have been something?

Tron was released in 1982, at a time that the Darrell Van Citters’ Roger Rabbit development unit was getting into full swing. Screenwriters Peter Seaman and Jeffrey Price had just come off of Trenchcoat, a Disney mystery/comedy, and Wilhite assigned them to prepare a screenplay for Roger Rabbit. At that time Wilhite also sent memos to Darrell and Marc Stirdivant, the Disney house producer assigned to the development unit, to scoop up Bill Kroyer, Jerry Rees, John Lasseter, Ron Clements, Randy Cartwright, Mike Gabriel, and Glen Keane for the Roger Rabbit unit. Other things were happening at the studio, and soon most of those people were gone… but wouldn’t that have been something?

Back to the screening – Bill Kroyer called out many of the attendees who had been instrumental in making the film. This list isn’t exhaustive, but those who did stand up included voice actors Charles Fleischer (Roger Rabbit, Benny the Cab and others), June Foray (Lena Hyena), and Tony Anselmo (Donald Duck), animators Andreas Dejas and Nik Ranieri, screenwriters Seaman and Price, editor Artie Schmidt, London studio manager Max Howard, producers Steve Starkey and Don Hahn, and, of course, director Bob Zemeckis.

The film screening was wonderful. The digital print was clear and fresh and the colors popped out at you. Not having seen the film on the big screen for twenty-five years, I found it difficult to discern whether the viewing pleasure was due to anything particular associated with the digital print or simply that I was sharing the big screen experience with a room full of similarly enthusiastic viewers. The quality aspects of the digital restoration were being hotly debated within knots of people after the screening was over.

A panel discussion followed the screening. It was hosted by Rich Moore and included Peter Seaman, Jeffrey Price, Andreas Deja, Charles Fleischer, Joanna Cassidy, Steve Starkey, Bob Zemeckis, and Don Hahn. There were many reminiscences from the production. Most of them were well known to the real Roger Rabbit enthusiasts, but the ones who resonated the most for me were those that put the ‘25-years’ into perspective. We have heard about Who framed Roger Rabbit having way more special effects than Star Wars, but it was also one of the last of the great ‘optical’ effects films. It was a different era.

Zemeckis reminisced that, “we had FedEx and ¾” tape – we had technology by the tail.” He spoke about the first finished animation that came over from the London studio unit. It was the portion of the introductory Something Cookin’ cartoon in which the chili sauce falls off the shelf in Roger’s kettle-head. The British animators spelled ‘chili’ in the British manner, with two l’s (‘chilli’). The scene had to be completely re-animated.

In the scene which the camera trucks over the newspaper headlines showing the Toon cases solved by Valiant & Valiant on Eddie’s desk, the London studio had used the banners of LA newspapers of the time (1947), without having asked permission of the newspapers. One newspaper ended up refusing permission to use their banner – and this complicated scene had to be completely re-shot. Another anecdote was that Paul Newman had been considered for the role of Eddie Valiant. Charles Fleischer immediately shot back that Judge Doom would then have had to use ‘dressing’ instead of ‘dip’.

The greatest benefit of the digital presentation was the close-ups on the actors’ faces…there was sublime acting and emotion that contributed enormously to the ‘reality’ of their interaction with the ’toons.

Don Hahn made a call out for Richard Williams, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday. Richard had hoped to attend but was unable to make it. Also, during the panel discussion, it became clear that the presence of Bob Hoskins was greatly missed. He was universally acclaimed for his work on the film. I must say that the greatest benefit that I saw with the digital presentation was in the close-ups on the actors’ faces. There was sublime acting and emotion that contributed enormously to the ‘reality’ of their interaction with the ’toons. We ‘felt’ it and it was an integral aspect of the great ‘conceit’ of the live-action/toon combination, but the subliminal effects were often lost in the chaos of the action. In this viewing, they popped out at me.

It was a great night. Following the conclusion of the panel discussionm, the many Roger Rabbit production participants reunited on stage to catch up on 25 years. The ‘celebrities’ amongst them were cornered for autographs, and the ‘no photography’ policy of the Academy theater was completely thrown out the window as the hundreds of cameras that were spirited into the theater finally came out.

A group shot was hastily organized and there were many more Roger Rabbit alumni present than had been called out during the evening’s introduction. I counted at least twenty-five alumni. I had the pleasure of speaking to many of them and seeing several of them the next day. It was a special night for Roger Rabbit fans and a special night for those who were involved in making it.

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18. Gallery: The Square Dance Art of Warner Bros. Director Chuck Jones

Chuck Jones is one of the marquee names of American animation history. He created characters such as Pepe le Pew, Marvin Martian, Gossamer, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, and directed classic shorts like Rabbit Seasoning, Duck Amuck, Feed the Kitty, The Dover Boys, One Froggy Evening, Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century and What’s Opera, Doc?, to name just a few. A lesser known fact about Jones is that during the 1950s he and his wife Dorothy (nickname: Dottie) were avid participants of the Southern California Western square dancing craze, a style of dance explained in this video:

Jones never spoke of his love for square dancing in either of his biographies: Chuck Amuck or Chuck Reducks. His appreciation for the dance never manifested itself in the films he made either. In fact, the quintessential Warner Bros. square dance cartoon, Hillbilly Hare, was directed by Jones’ colleague, Robert McKimson. Jones’ enthusiasm for square dancing was well known around the studio, however. He organized lunchtime dances, and claimed that the other directors, like McKimson and Friz Freleng, as well as producer Eddie Selzer, became fascinated with the dance as well.

Throughout the 1950s, Chuck contributed magazine covers and a regular column to a Southern California magazine called Sets in Order. Within the past year, the University of Denver Digital Archive has added a PDF archive of Sets in Order. (Go HERE for a more clearly indexed list of back issues). In the gallery below, I’ve compiled all of Chuck’s covers, a couple illustrated articles he did, and one of his columns which was especially animation related. Should you wish to dig through the archives, there are dozens of other “Chuck’s Notebook” columns within the 1950s and early-’60s issues. They’re esoteric and often obtuse, but are decorated with Chuck’s spot illustrations and provide some unique insights into his personality.

There are lots of hidden goodies in the columns that Jones wrote, and now that they are so readily accessible, they will hopefully be scrutinized more closely by historians. Animator and historian Greg Duffell introduced me to these drawings when he did an article about them in my ‘zine Animation Blast. In that piece, Greg pointed out astutely how some of Chuck’s drawings in the magazine foreshadowed the designs of characters who later appeared in films like The Phantom Tollbooth, Deduce You Say, Rocket-bye Baby and I was a Teenage Thumb. Whether you recognize the references or not, the drawings that Jones created for Sets in Order stand on their own and can be appreciated today as exquisite examples of mid-century cartooning.

Sets In Order November 1950 Sets In Order January 1951 Sets In Order August 1950 Sets In Order August 1950 Sets In order December 1950 Sets In order December 1950 Sets In Order March 1951 Sets In Order August 1952 Sets In Order April 1954 Sets In Order May 1954 Sets In Order June 1956 Sets In Order January 1957 Spot Illustrations by Chuck Jones Sets In Order May 1957 Sets In Order November 1957 Sets In Order November 1958 Sets In Order November 1958 Sets In Order November 1958 Sets In Order October 1959 Sets In Order June 1962

All the material in here was drawn by Chuck Jones for Sets in Order which is copyright Bob Osgood.

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19. A Part of The Don Bluth Archive is Viewable Online

In 2005, Don Bluth and producing partner Gary Goldman donated their animation archives to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). The substantial collection includes all the artwork they had saved beginning with Banjo the Woodpile Cat in 1979, as well as administrative and legal documents, scripts, unproduced concepts and publicity materials.

SCAD is currently on a years-long mission to process and catalog the material so that it will be accessible to researchers and students. They’ve posted a generous sampling of the materials on the Don Bluth Collection website including pencil tests from Space Ace, storyboards from The Secret of NIMH, and character designs from Thumbelina. Even if you’re like me, and find Bluth’s work to be mechanical and generic, it’s hard to deny the immense value of preserving an archive of this scale and making it available to future generations.

(via Michael Sporn’s Splog)

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20. Coming Soon from Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, and Matthew Myers: Battle Bunny

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I am a big fan of subversive books, say the ”recommended inappropriate books for kids” featured in Lane Smith’s Curious Pages.  That said, I also have observed that kids respond better to some of these more than others, an issue I explored years ago in a Horn Book article “Pets and Other Fishy Books.” And so, when I ran into Jon Scieszka a few months ago and he excitedly told me about the forthcoming Battle Bunny, I was intrigued but also wary — was this a book kids would get or would it be something more amusing for adults?  So when an advanced copy of the book showed up in the mail recently I took it to school to see what my students thought.

First of all, let me try to explain just what it is (and how tricky it was to read aloud). If you look at the cover above you can perhaps see that it appears to be a sweet book of the Golden Book sort, originally titled Birthday Bunny, that has been erased, scribbled on, and reworked by…someone. I began by showing the cover to the kids and we discussed what that original book was; some of them knew Golden Books, but all of them appreciated that it was meant to be one of those sweet little journey books they’d all read when very small.  Next we explored the scribbles — evidently someone named Alex had received the book from his grandmother for his birthday (there is an inscription on the inside front cover), wasn’t too happy, and decided to make it into a completely new story.  And so he thoroughly erased the original title and put his own in instead. As for the interior, he crossed-out text, added new words and art, and turns the story into something completely different.  

The first day I tried reading the book aloud on my own— alternating between the original text and Alex’s. The next day I invited one child to join me, reading Alex’s story and then had the kids take over completely — one reading Birthday Bunny and the other reading Battle Bunny.  They had a great time!  It may well be that the best way to take in the book is solo or with one other child, but I still think it was a blast to read this way. The group reacted, pointed out small things to one another, and just had a lot of fun.  Jon tells me they are planning on providing a copy of The Birthday Bunny online for kids to print out and rework just as Alex did.  Great idea!

So for those like me who go for this sort of thing (and not everyone does, I know),  The Battle Bunny is an excellent addition to the world of subversive books for children.


1 Comments on Coming Soon from Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, and Matthew Myers: Battle Bunny, last added: 5/15/2013
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21. Bob Clampett Centennial Screening in Zurich

On Thursday, May 30, the Filmpodium Zurich in Switzerland will present a screening of nine Warner Bros. shorts directed by the legendary Bob Clampett. The show is being presented in honor of his centennial, which was earlier this month. Clampett’s work isn’t well known in Switzerland and the film lineup is a solid primer to his work:

  • Porky in Wackyland (1938)
  • A Tale of Two Kitties (1942)
  • A Corny Concerto (1943)
  • Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (1943)
  • Draftee Daffy (1945)
  • Book Revue (1946)
  • Baby Bottleneck (1946)
  • Kitty Kornered (1946)
  • The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (1946)

Better yet, each film will be introduced by Swiss animator and historian Oswald Iten, who will discuss different facets of Clampett’s visual style. Iten runs one of my favorite animation blogs Colorful Animation Expressions, where he has recently been writing some fantastically informative posts about Clampett’s art. Ticket and screening details are available on the Filmpodium Zurich website.

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22. Mel Brooks Talks About Ernest Pintoff’s “The Critic”

The clip above is an animation-related outtake from the new Mel Brooks documentary Make a Noise which debuted earlier this week on PBS. In the clip, Brooks talks about the genesis of Ernie Pintoff’s Oscar-winning short The Critic:

This wasn’t the first time Pintoff had collaborated with a Jewish comedian. An earlier film he’d made, The Violinist (1959), featured the voice of Carl Reiner:

Neither of the shorts, however, can live up to Pintoff’s greatest collaboration with a Jewish actor—Flebus—the 1957 Terrytoons short that featured the vocal stylings of the inimitable Allen Swift.

(Thanks, Rogelio Enrique Toledo, via Cartoon Brew’s Facebook page)

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23. Anti-War Short “Mickey Mouse in Vietnam” Resurfaces Online

There’s been a lot of buzz online this past week about a newly discovered Mickey Mouse short, but it’s not anyhting made by the Disney studio. It’s the resurfacing of the rare 1968 short Mickey Mouse in Vietnam produced by painter W. Lee Savage and graphic designer Milton Glaser.

The one-minute short isn’t technically accomplished, but manages to make a powerful and subversive statement through the manipulation of the famed graphic icon. Within seconds of arriving in Vietnam, Mickey Mouse—that all-American symbol of goodness and positivity—is destroyed, and along with it, the myth of American moral superiority.

(via DangerousMinds.net)

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24. DreamWorks Buys 95-Year-Old Felix the Cat To Make Him A ‘Fashion Brand’

DreamWorks Animation has bought the rights to the 95-year-old feline cartoon icon Felix the Cat. The studio acquired the character by paying an undisclosed sum to Don Oriolo, whose father Joe helped revive Felix in the 1950s and later assumed ownership of the character.

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25. These Disney Commercial Cels Designed by Tom Oreb Can Be Yours

A little Cartoon Modern inspiration for a Monday morning: these Donald Duck and Alice in Wonderland production cel/master backgrounds from mid-1950s Disney TV commercials are currently up for auction at Heritage Auctions. They’re affordable at the moment, but likely won’t be by the time the auction is over. The character designer on these spots was Tom Oreb (better known for his work on Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, and Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom), and the background layout artist was Vic Haboush. (Disclosure: Heritage Auctions is an advertiser on Cartoon Brew.) Here are a few other characters and spots that Tom Oreb designed for Disney’s short-lived TV commercial unit:

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