Last November, Cartoon Brew brought us a phony trailer for a live-action Pac-Man theatrical feature. Today, it’s “Goodnight, Sweet Pak-Man”, a 3’10” revisioning by animator Chris Weller of Pac-Man as a modern, mega-gritty video game.
I broke the game down to its basics: You’re a mouth, stuck in a never-ending maze, trying to eat all the food while evading death at every turn. Every 3 levels there is an animated ‘cinema scene’ of Pac-Man meeting a Ms. Pac-Man. They fall in love and every 3 levels produce another Pac-Man Jr. So the game is analogous to the very primal basics of life: Eating, procreating, and trying not to die.
The Oscar nominees have been announced, and it is a weird year. It was so weird, most Oscar pundits had a better idea of what would win Best Original Song than Best Picture. Now that the nominees are out, it looks like Best Picture is finally clear, but most pundits (this one included) have a better lock on Best Foreign Language Film than Best Animated Feature. So much for “we’ll know come November.”
Did you know that Thor’s magic hammer has a name, Crusher, and is anthropomorphic?
I don’t recall that Marvel Comics ever taught us that. You can see for yourself on the 15th when the (bad) Icelandic 2011 CGI 3-D feature Thor: Legends of Valhalla, directed by Óskar Jónasson, is released in America Direct to Video. Or watch this 1’37” trailer.
Actually, Crusher is an accurate translation of Mjölnir, the mythological hammer's name.
The ALAA’s 2012 Anthropomorphic Recommended List will close on January 15, 2013, to allow for last-minute recommendations of last-week-of-2012 releases. The 2012 Ursa Major Awards nominations will open on January 17, the first day of Further Confusion 2013.
Go to the Ursa Major Awards website on January 17 to register for an online nomination form. You may cast up to five nominations in each of eleven categories: Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture, Best Dramatic Short Work or Series, Best Novel, Best Short Fiction, Best Other Literary Work, Best Graphic Story, Best Comic Strip, Best Magazine, Best Published Illustration, Best Website, and Best Game. If you do not have five nominees in any category, you may nominate less. To be eligible, a work must have been released during the calendar year 2012; must include a non-human being given human attributes (anthropomorphic), which can be mental and/or physical; and must receive more than one nomination.
If you cannot think of anything to nominate, you may refer to the 2012 Recommended List. That has at least five titles in each category, recommended by Furry fans. Remember, 2012 Recommendations are not nominations for the awards. Nominations of a work are separate. You may nominate a work that has not been recommended if it meets the eligibility criteria.
Animation Xpress #415, January 7, 2013, has the first trailer for Indian studio Green Gold Pictures’ second Chhota Bheem animated CGI children's feature, Chhota Bheem and the Throne of Bali, following the smash success (in India, in Hindi) of last year’s Chhota Bheem and the Curse of Damyaan. As before, the movie is not really anthropomorphic, but it does have Bheem’s talking monkey friend Jaggu (“Jaggu is surprisingly kickass”), and the trailer shows lots of evil Rangda’s anthropomorphized monsters. Out May 3, 2013 in India, in Hindi.
Jerry Beck at the Cartoon Brew has posted this gallery of sixteen World War II-related funny animal comic book covers.
This goes nicely with my retrospective, “Talking Animals in World War II Propaganda”, published here last January 5th.
It’s only 34 seconds, but the WSJ (via Cartoon Brew) has a preview of The Blue Umbrella, Pixar’s CGI short film (directed by Saschka Unseld) that will accompany Monsters University on June 21st. It features two anthropomorphized umbrellas, one blue, one red, who fall in love.
The Cartoon Brew has a preview list of animated features due out in 2013; at least those announced so far – some with trailers.
The Cartoon Brew has posted a new animated music video, “I Have Your Heart”, about a forbidden romance between a human girl and an anthropomorphic cat-man lover.
The 4’25” video is apparently not produced by an animation studio, but by three people; New York cartoonist/paper cutout artist Molly Crabapple, music composer Kim Boekbinder, and Melbourne stop-motion animator Jim Batt (and a small staff); it raised $17,280 on Kickstarter.
“Ormie”, about a pig trying to get a jar of cookies from atop a refrigerator, won several film festival awards during 2011. Its gags are a bit too close to WB.’s Roadrunner and Coyote cartoons in my opinion, and its climax was done first by Pixar in “Knick Knack”. But “Ormie the Pig” is still cute, and indisputably anthropomorphic.
Due to technical difficulties on my end, you get two columns this month to make up for the zero columns last month. Anyway, this month sees the Annies announcing their nominees, so this column will be all about that.
The Cartoon Brew has reported earlier on Warner Bros. making tests of live-action/CGI versions of Marvin the Martian and Hong Kong Phooey for “live-action” features featuring the cartoon stars. Now the CB has that test footage, thanks to director Alex Zamm.
The Cartoon Brew says, “Quick! Check these out before they remove them from the internet…”, which presumably means that this may be considered too embarrassing to leave up for long, due to the literal toilet humor..
Back to our friends at Cartoon Brew again, swooping in on one of their scoops. Not long ago they reported about an in-development Hong Kong Phooey live action/CGI feature, starring the voice of Eddie Murphy. The film is being developed and directed by Alex Zamm (Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2) and Alcon Entertainment for Warner Brothers. Now, Mr. Zamm has posted a short test-film of the CGI lead character on line, and Cartoon Brew has the link. See what YOU think. (In case the footage gets taken down, Cartoon Brew were kind enough to embed it in their article).
That Disney will follow up its/Pixar’s CGI anthropomorphized Cars with the forthcoming CGI anthropomorphized Planes, starring Dusty, the old-fashioned single-prop crop-duster plane who wants to compete with the fastest jets in an around-the-world air race, isn’t exactly news – it was announced in June 2011 as going direct to video in Spring 2013. But now, according to Cartoon Brew, in the wake of the announcement of DreamWorks’ June 2013 Turbo, about the snail who wants to be an auto race track speedster, Disney has decided to make Planes a theatrical release, on August 9, 2013. At least the plane looks cuter than the snail.
This is not Disney's first anthro airplane. Remember Pedro, the little mail plane trying to cross the Andes in Disney's 1942 Saludos Amigos? You don't? Oh, well ...
First off: Merry Christmas! And thank you for making us part of your lives for another year ^^
Also over at Cartoon Brew there’s a teaser trailer for a new short animation project by world-famous animator Andreas Deja. Here’s what they say: “Andreas Deja is a modern-day animation legend. He worked for 30 years at Disney where he was responsible for classic characters such as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Jafar in Aladdin, Scar in The Lion King, and Lilo in Lilo and Stitch. He left the studio a couple years ago to focus on personal projects, including producing independent animated films. This morning, Andreas teased audiences with a preview from his short film Mushka, featuring a girl and tiger as the lead characters. The film, which will be animated in a colored pencil style, is ‘a story of love and sacrifice set in Russia.’ On his blog, which also includes development sketches of the characters, Deja pointed out that he still has a long road ahead of him. He’s been working on story and pre-production this year, and plans to animate the film in 2013.”