Funny Animals and More: From Anime to Zoomorphics, based on Fred Patten’s weekly columns from Jerry Beck’s Cartoon Research animation website, was published March 26 by Theme Park Press. It is available in paperback and digital formats, and on Amazon.com.
The book is about animation and comic books rather than specifically anthropomorphic animals, but cartoon and CGI funny animals are a major theme. Topics include anime cat girls; Pokémon and Monster Rancher; Astro Boy and Atomcat; how a popular 1970s anime TV series led to the import of thousands of baby North American raccoons into Japan as pets, whose descendants are ruining thousand-year-old Buddhist and Shinto shrines today; animated Summer Olympics mascots like Misha the bear cub, Sam the eagle, Hodori the tiger, and Cobi the sheepdog, from 1972 to 2012; Patten’s favorite childhood comic-book funny animals like Amster the Hamster, Doodles Duck and his nephew Lemuel, Nutsy Squirrel, Dunbar Dodo, and SuperKatt, and how he would still like to see them animated; Crusader Rabbit; rats in animation; Reynard the Fox in animation; and Disney’s forthcoming 2016 Zootopia.
Jerry Beck’s Animation Scoop website noted on December 18 that the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry has announced its 2013 selection of twenty-five new additions. Several of the films are animated, or contain animated sequences, and among those, several feature anthropomorphized animals.
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.”
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.
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.]
For fans of anthropomorphized mice, Jerry Beck has announced on The Cartoon Brew website that Warner Bros. is releasing “Looney Tunes Mouse Chronicles”, a complete DVD and Blu-ray set of all Chuck Jones’ Sniffles the Mouse and Hubie and Bertie cartoons, on August 28.
The two-disc, 133-minute set will contain 19 restored complete cartoons and one brand-new featurette, “Of Mice and Pen”. There will be the usual audio commentary by animation historians and animators.
Some of these cartoons have been released for collectors before, but this is fans' first chance to get all of the Sniffles and Hubie & Bertie cartoons together, in the latest state-of-the-art film restoration.