You know how you don’t judge a book by its cover? Well, in the same vein, you don’t judge a movie by its trailer. So, anyway, Rise of the Guardians went from winner to not even showing up on my Oscar guess list, while Wreck-it-Ralph pulled the opposite trick. On one hand, this is a disappointing year; on the other, it’s a fun year to predict, because nothing is certain.
Note: Obviously, this is a bit late and out of date, but I was unable to post this last month due to computer issues, and the opinion part of it is still mostly valid, so I’m submitting it late. If you’re reading this, the editors decided to let it in; if you’re not, well, uh, you’re not.
Wired reports that Chicago artist Rob Loukotka has created an advertising poster for fictional ACME Corp. that shows 126 of its products that Wile E. Coyote has ordered in his attempts to catch the Road Runner, including the jet-propelled tennis shoes, rocket-powered pogo stick, and tornado seeds.
The giant poster (24” x 36”, or 2’ x 3’) is not quite ready to order. Loukotka has a Kickstarter project to raise $3,000 to print it. Considering that the project is still going and that he has $79,110 pledged so far, this looks assured. Loukotka is asking for $30 pledges; each pledger will receive the poster. Non-pledgers can buy it for $30 after it is printed; $40 outside the U.S
Loukotka has other posters, but this is the only one with an anthropomorphic tie-in.
Update (21 Dec): The Cartoon Brew reports that Warner Bros. trademarked the ACME logo, too, though Loukotka was careful not to mention WB or Wile E. Coyote on the poster. [Ed.: The USPTO cancelled the trademark in 2010 as they failed to file a 10-year renewal.]
One of the most beloved Christmas animated TV half-hour specials, Britain’s Channel 4’s famous adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, directed by Jimmy Murakami and Dianne Jackson and animated by TVC London, with a live intro featuring David Bowie and the haunting song “Walking in the Air” (video) composed by Howard Blake, has been an annual fixture on British TV since 1982. The Cartoon Brew reports that, for its thirtieth anniversary, it is getting a Christmas Eve sequel, The Snowman and the Snowdog.
The CB announcement includes the trailer for The Snowman and the Snowdog (The Guardian has more), a 8’35” The Making of The Snowman and the Snowdog, and a link to the entire 26’09” The Snowman. Anthropomorphic snowmen at Christmastime are nothing new, but if you have never seen The Snowman, you have missed what is arguably the greatest of all.
For Hannukah, the Cartoon Brew brings us this 3’42” film from independent animator Nadav Nachmany’s Kniedalach Productions of Jerusalem, Samurai Jew: The Eighth Night, about a Jewish superhero fighting evil ninja pigs to save an anthropomorphic jelly doughnut. (Nachmany spells it 'Channukah').
The Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association, which administers the annual Ursa Major Awards, has updated the 2012 Anthropomorphic Reading List to include the titles recommended by furry fans through the beginning of December. This list is often used by fans to nominate in the next year's Awards.
There is less than one month to add your favorites of the year to the List. All fans are invited to recommend worthwhile anthropomorphic works in eleven categories (motion pictures, dramatic short films or broadcasts, novels, short fiction, other literary works, graphic stories, comic strips, magazines, published illustrations, websites, and games) first published during 2012, if they are not already on the list.
Cartoon Brew has posted a sample of “Mike Carlo’s Cartoon Madness” to illustrate the Titmouse, Inc. animator’s personal short films. The 3’52” “Science Fare” was pitched to Nickelodeon a year ago. I guess that it did not sell.
The CB’s Jerry Beck says of Carlo's animation,
These are very polished, professional cartoons that look as good – and are just as funny – as anything on Adult Swim or Comedy Central. I predict he’ll be running his own show very soon.
I don’t care for the Adult Swim or Comedy Central style of animation, but “Science Fare” certainly is anthropomorphic.
Pups of Liberty: The Boston Tea-Bone Party, an educational animated short film by Bert and Jennifer Klein’s Picnic Pictures – available on DVD from Amazon.com for $15 (or from izzit.org); 18 minutes -- about the outbreak of the American Revolution, featuring dogs as the American colonists and cats as the British oppressors, has been referenced on the Internet since 2009; but I do not believe that it has been reported on Flayrah.
This new Cartoon Brew post reveals that it was made by moonlighting Disney animators, including many top names.
Of more anthropomorphic interest, however, is the commentary on this article, arguing whether it is “natural” to portray cats oppressing dogs. Why not dogs oppressing cats? Or cats oppressing mice? Or mice oppressing cats? Or any animals oppressing any other animals, because this is a humanocentric concept that animals do not really share?
Do any Furry fans have any comments on this? The Cartoon Brew’s website is open.
Fyodor Khitruk died today. He was the leading Soviet animator from about the 1960s to until the Soviet Union ended in 1991. I met him briefly at the 1989 International Festival of Animation here in Los Angeles. He had brought the leading animators from each of the 15 Soviet republics to L.A. with him. They stood around muttering something like, "What are we doing in America?" "I don't know, but Fyodor said that we had to come."
I remember that he was an extremely imposing personality, probably the most dynamic person at the festival even though he was a dumpy old man. He was the sort of man who dominated a crowd even when he was just standing around doing nothing.
Khitruk was born just before the Russian Revolution, so he lived through the entire Soviet era. His animation tended to be the "arty" style that won awards but lost money because it was too intellectual. The Soviet government subsidized that sort of thing in the name of "we are not profit-oriented capitalists", but when the Soviet Union ended and the new Russian government was profit oriented, Khitruk could not get his films funded any more because they were not commercial. He mostly taught animation at the Moscow Academy since then.
He was not known for anthropomorphic characters, but he made very cute films of three Winnie the Pooh stories in the 1960s and 1970s that are nothing like Disney's, and are good enough to justify his obituary on Flayrah. Here is the second of them.
ASIFA Hollywood (part of the International Animated Film Society) announced the nominations for the 2012 Annie Awards this morning. These are the Oscars for animation, folks: Chosen and awarded by members of the animation industry, from writers and artists to animators and directors. As usual, there are a great selection of furry-oriented works among the nominees. This year the nominees for Best Animated Feature include Brave, Frankenweenie, Hotel Transylvania, ParaNorman, Rise of the Guardians, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, The Rabbi’s Cat, and Wreck-It Ralph. Interestingly, two of the “furriest” films of 2012, Madagascar 3 and Ice Age 4, were not nominated for Best Feature — though they were both nominated in other categories. Wreck-It Ralph seems to be the film to beat this year — though both it and Brave were nominated for 10 awards each, Brave was not nominated for Best Directing while Wreck-It Ralph was. For the television categories, furry-notable shows receiving multiple nominations included Adventure Time, Dragons: Riders of Berk, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, The Penguins of Madagascar, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, T.U.F.F. Puppy, and Doc McStuffins. Once again, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic was absent from all categories. What is up with that? Anyway, the Annie Awards will be presented in a gala presentation at UCLA’s Royce Hall on February 2nd of next year. The L.A.
For fans of Robert McKimson’s Leon Schlesinger/Warner Bros. 1940s-1950s theatrical cartoons, there will be a screening of 35 mm. prints of eleven of them on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at the Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403; (310) 260-1528. The eleven, which McKimson was the director of, include Hillbilly Hare, Devil May Hare, Rabbit’s Kin, Hot Cross Bunny, The Foghorn Leghorn, Bedevilled Rabbit, Bill of Hare, Tabasco Road, The High and the Flighty, Falling Hare, and Walky Talky Hawky; featuring Bugs Bunny and Foghorn Leghorn & Henery Hawk.
This event is in celebration of publication of the brand-new biography I Say, I Say….Son! A Tribute to Legendary Animators Bob, Chuck, and Tom McKimson, by Robert McKimson Jr., with a foreword by John Kricfalusi (the creator of Ren & Stimpy) and an introduction by Darrell Van Citters. McKimson Jr., Kricfalusi, and Van Citters will sign copies of the book in the lobby beginning at 6:00 p.m., and hold a discussion following the screening.
(And don’t miss my review of the book.)
When you think of France, what do you think of? No, no; keep it clean – fine wines!
The Cartoon Brew website reports that a series of six animated TV commercials for Fat Louis Wines featuring Fat Louis, an anthropomorphic French duck, has been made by animation artist/director Andy J. Smith of Newburyport, Massachusetts. The six commercials are collected into a 2’49” compilation, Les Aventures de Fat Louis.
It’s known as Posledny Autobus, which translates as The Last Bus. It was created in the Slovac Republic by Martin Snopek and Ivana Laucikova. It features human actors wearing animal heads, animated in stop motion. And here’s its description: “It’s the start of the hunting season. The animals of the forest board a small bus and flee to safety. When hunters stop the bus in the middle of the night, its passengers reveal their true natures in fear for their lives.” We don’t know what else we can tell you about this, other than to show you this little clip from Vimeo. This short film has already won several film festival awards in Europe.
This special report from VOM-DT: Channel Fur includes an interview between RingtailedFox and SWAT Kats blogger Rusakov Dekkamaster.
I was contacted by Rusakov Dekkamaster (RD), after he noticed I ran a furry-themed internet television station, and thought it would help to get the word out on a potential SWAT Kats revival. Being a fan of the SWAT Kats universe, I was more than happy to oblige, and gained permission from RD to interview him about the prospective revival.
We are not men! We are chickens!!!
The Cartoon Brew website presents “Chicken Core: The Rise of Kings”, a 6’02" preview for an epic fantasy directed by Oricha Aliyu, about an oppressed kingdom of chickens (apparently all male) fighting against a dark crow overlord.
Not too impressive, until you consider that it has been made by a group of young self-taught animators in Lagos, Nigeria who formed the Sporedust Media studio just this May. With commentary on Nigeria’s nascent by-its-bootstraps animation industry by CB’s Amid Amidi.
Thanks to the folks over at Cartoon Brew, we now know about Chicken Core: The Rise of Kings — one of the first animated short films ever completely produced in the country of Nigeria. Here’s the description from YouTube: “Chicken Core is a Nigerian animated feature which follows the adventures of a group of chicken warriors in their quest to rid the land of Amaji from the clutches of the tyrannous Boar King and his minions.” Got that? It’s directed by Oricha Aliyu and produced by Sporedust Media. Animation in Nigeria is really starting from the ground up, as all the people who work for Sporedust are self-taught. Check out what they’ve created — and be on the lookout for what they do next.