Jerry Beck at Cartoon Scoop has posted on Frank Tashlin’s 1946 children's book The Bear That Wasn’t. In case you are unfamiliar with the famous story, a bear in a forest goes into a cave to hibernate for the winter. He emerges next spring to find that a human factory has been built around him. When a foreman orders him to get to work, and he protests that he is a bear, not a man, everyone tells him, “Don’t be silly! Bears are in the zoo, not in a factory! You are just a silly man in a fur coat who needs a shave!” So he becomes a factory worker, until the next winter when he has to hibernate again.
The moral was not new. It was one of President Abraham Lincoln’s favorite jokes.
“If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?”
“Four, because calling a tail a leg don’t make it one.”
Between May 30th and June 2nd, UK fans of comics and graphic novels can attend the BD (bande dessinée) & Comics Passion 2013, a series of events at the Institut Français in Queensberry Place, south-west London. [Facebook page]
The programme includes film screenings, artist talks and drawing workshops for children, teenagers and adults. There's not much on the menu that's explicitly furry, but the festival logo should appeal if nothing else! [Trailer]
Animation Scoop has the new American trailer and poster for the 2011 French animated feature Le Tableau (The Painting), due for May 24 release.
Back in March 2012, Flayrah had a post about the “Gag Me With a Toon 4” art exhibition at the WWA art gallery in Culver City, California.
Now the WWA gallery has “Gag Me With a Toon 5” coming up, on May 4–June 1, 2013. Over fifty artists will be represented with their tributes to the cartoon stars of their youths.
Past paintings have included Scooby-Doo with a gun to his head, Smurf orgies, Mickey Mouse defying the universe, Garfield and Odie on an Indiana Jonesish rollercoaster, Chip ‘n Dale as two realistic chipmunks in a Rescue Rangers situation, and more.
As always, the anthropomorphic animals will be outnumbered by the human cartoon pop-cultural stars like Superman, the Flintstones, G.I. Joe, Wonder Woman, Jem, etc., but there will be enough cartoon animals to satisfy Flayrah’s readers.
This is extremely short notice, but this Saturday (6-10PM) the Van Eaton Galleries in the Sherman Oaks suburb of Los Angeles are holding the opening reception for The HB Show, “a group art show tribute to Hanna-Barbera” of paintings by numerous artists including some of HB’s former staff. The paintings are mostly of HB’s human characters such as the Flintstones and Penelope Pitstop, but there are some of Yakky Doodle, Scooby-Doo, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, and H-B's other anthropomorphic animal characters.
More importantly, the whole art show/auction is online. You can still see it all and bid on unsold paintings.
The HB Show will be up at the Van Eaton Galleries, 13613 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, Calif. 91423, (800) 599-3693, until April 20 (Adolf Hitler’s birthday! Is this significant?), so if you can get there, you can still see it all even after the art auction. And, of course, the Van Eaton Galleries have other animation goodies on display.
Flayrah's accomplished reviewer Fred Patten has been invited to contribute to cartoon historian Jerry Beck's revitalized blog, Cartoon Research. He's since reviewed his own history, along with that of Osamu Tezuka, Astro Boy and Atomcat, and described how home video created anime fandom (including a brief mention of Mark Merlino and the C/FO).
Beck co-founded Cartoon Brew nine years ago, but was 'bought out' last month by co-editor Amid Amidi, who plans to "evolve the site while retaining its candid and authoritative voice". The move was discussed at Deadline Hollywood and Toon Zone; FLIP has a brief interview.
The story has long been told of how the production of the 1969 TV special “The Pogo Special Birthday Special”, a collaboration between Pogo creator Walt Kelly and animator Chuck Jones, turned into a “Hollywood ain’t big enough for the both of us!” feud, that ended up with the two not talking to each other. Jones dismissed Kelly as “he thinks that he’s an animator just because he did about 20 seconds of the easiest animation in Dumbo twenty-five years ago.” (Kelly animated the silhouettes of the clowns carousing inside the circus tent.)
Now Amid Amidi reveals that Kelly was so displeased that he decided to create his own animated Pogo half-hour TV special, “We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us”. But due to the difficulties of producing a half-hour of animation personally while in declining health, Kelly only completed a rough cut of thirteen minutes before he died in 1973.
Amidi has found that thirteen minutes, and presents it on the Cartoon Brew website. It may be unfinished, but it’s pure Kelly, from the drawings of the cartoon funny animals of the Okefenokee Swamp, to their animation, to Kelly performing all of the voices.
Jenner, better known in the medical world as Melbourne GP Dr. Craig Hilton, has been cartooning for over 25 years. Within the fandom, he is best known for the adventures of Dr. Benjamin Rat, which started June 2006.
The Duck Dodgers TV series — based, as if you didn’t know, on the Chuck Jones-directed cartoon Duck Dodgers in the 24th 1/2 Century — ran on Cartoon Network from 2003 to 2005. [My, was it really that long ago? Sheesh... Ye ed-otter] Besides the obvious cast of Daffy Duck as Duck Dodgers, Porky Pig as The Eager Young Space Cadet, and Marvin the Martian as the terrible Commander X-2, the show featured a host of Warner Brothers characters in bit roles — not to mention new characters like the dreaded Martian Queen. The regular voice cast included well-known voice actors like Joe Alaskey, Bob Bergen, Richard McGonagle, and John O’Hurley, as well as Michael Dorn (from Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Tia Carrere (as the Martian Queen). Now Warner Brothers Home Video have (finally!) released the first 13 episodes on DVD in a collection entitled Duck Dodgers – Season 1: Dark Side of the Duck. It’s available now in stores and on-line everywhere.
Despite the implication on Flayrah, Los Angeles is not the only city to have festivals of animation with anthropomorphic stars. On February 28th through March 24th, the 16th Annual New York International Children’s Film Festival will play at seven different locations in NYC. The Festival will screen 100 different films (some live-action), and is expected to draw an attendance of 25,000+. It will present many of the films in the U.S. for the first time, to qualify them for 2013 Oscars.
Among the films are several that have been covered on Flayrah, including the Belgian Ernest & Celestine, about a mouse and a bear who become friends (French with English subtitles; Feb. 28 at Tribeca Cinemas); The Wolf Children (Ame & Yuki, the Wolf Children), about a college student who marries a werewolf who dies, and must raise their two werewolf toddlers alone (Japanese with English subtitles; March 3 at the Asia Society and 16 at SVA); The Day of the Crows, mostly about a feral child raised in the forest, but with some fantasy scenes of anthropomorphic animal-headed forest spirits (French with English subtitles; March 10 at FIAF); Welcome to the Space Show “with an intergalactic cast of thousands” (premiere of the English dub; March 9 at SVA), and Meet the Small Potatoes, for pre-schoolers about a musical group of animated potatoes who rise from small-town beginnings to international rock stardom (March 16 at the IFC Center and March 24 at the DGA Theater).
This is an announcement rather than a review because I have just found out about these two albums of bandes desinées, and I have not read them yet.
In the world of Pongeo, where all the animals talk and walk on two paws, Atlas and Axis are two mutts of very different characters and pedigrees: the first is intelligent and rational, while the second is controlled more by his feelings. One day when the two companions return to their village for a festival, they discover it ravaged by the cruel Vikiens, bloody brutes from the North who pillage and kill all who fall under their claws. So begins the saga of Atlas and Axis, the astonishing epic of two friends overflowing with courage, who leave to brave the great North to avenge their folk. In the grand tradition of adventuring duos, prepare to live a story funny and terrible, tender and epic … The kind of story that you’ll want to read and reread, wherein you’ll lose your innocence of a young puppy! (translation)
On Presidents’ Day weekend in Los Angeles, February 16 – 18, The Cinefamily and the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity will present a three-day Chuck Jones Centennial Celebration, in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth (which was on September 21, 1912 actually, but what’s a few months among friends?), at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036; (323) 655-2510. The program begins at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and at noon on Monday.
Cartoon Brew has a new 3’04” trailer for Disney’s forthcoming video game, Disney Infinity, coming in Summer 2013, that apparently has every Disney and Pixar character in it that are not already in the other Disney “team” video games such as the core funny animal stars and the Princesses. Anthropomorphic characters? Plenty of 'em!
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.
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.