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Review: 'A Town Called Panic'

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A Town Called PanicAs the Franco-Belgian animated film Ernest & Celestine should soon be released on DVD, I thought this would be a good time to review A Town Called Panic (trailer), a movie produced by some of the same animators in 2009.

Actually, let's go further back to 2002, when Belgian animators Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier created a series of twenty shorts for TV called Panique au village (Panic in the village). Each was about five minutes long, and like Robot Chicken (2005), employed stop-motion animation with plastic figurines, clay and other objects.

Otherwise the two shows are pretty different. Robot Chicken enjoys mangling pop culture and doing random sketches; while Panique au village focuses on the bizarre daily adventures of a small, constant cast of characters. Something they both have in common is a joy of the absurd, and Panique is often more manic in this respect.

Animation: 'Shave It' presents a surrealistic story of environmental revenge.

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The Cartoon Brew presents the 4'11" “Shave It”, from the Buenos Aires CGI 3dar Studios, directed by Fernando Maldonado and Jorge Tereso.

A monkey whose jungle home is destroyed by humans, shaves his fur off, puts on clothes, and passes as human in the big city. He rises to the corporate top, and then takes his environmentalist revenge. The brightly-colored, ultra-stylistic design makes this a humorous cautionary parable rather than a horror story.

Animation: New Hanna-Barbera character art on display

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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.

Animation: Pixar to follow 'Finding Nemo' with 'Finding Dory'

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DoryThe Cartoon Brew reports that Ellen DeGeneres, who voiced Dory, the regal blue tang fish with short-term memory loss in Pixar’s 2003 Finding Nemo, has announced that Pixar has asked her to reprise her role in the forthcoming sequel, Finding Dory. It will also be directed by Andrew Stanton, who directed Finding Nemo. Its tentative release date is November 25, 2015.

Finding Nemo is Pixar’s #2 grosser, behind only Toy Story 3.

Animation: Yes! 'The Croods' is anthropomorphic, after all

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Belt, from 'The Croods'Well, minimally. I saw it yesterday with my sister, and we loved it. More importantly for Flayrah, we saw that, although it is 92% non-anthropomorphic, there is one definite if non-talking anthropomorphic character in it: the little sloth, Belt, who serves as Guy’s belt. His body language makes him a fully intelligent character through pantomime.

The blue-furred, long-armed Punch Monkeys confronted by Grug are also screamingly anthropomorphic in their actions.

The Croods, by DreamWorks Animation, was released on March 22. It is a bit late to introduce a story about it now (we covered an art print released at Comic-Con), but there should be someplace on Flayrah to discuss the movie.

History: Funny animals on the radio

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Woody Woodpecker portrait, by Walter LantzAmid Amidi at the Cartoon Brew presents a true rarity: a 1947 unsold half-hour recording for a children’s radio show, “Sally in Hollywoodland”. Recorded on June 3, 1947, the pilot is about a little girl who falls asleep and dreams herself into an adventure with Walter Lantz’s famous Hollywood animal cartoon characters.

This episode stars Woody Woodpecker (voice of Theodore Von Eltz), Andy Panda (Sarah Brenner), Oswald Rabbit (June Foray), Wilbur Wolf (Billy Bletcher, who was the Big Bad Wolf in Disney’s 1933 Silly Symphony), and Wally Walrus (Herb Lytton). Amidi says that the recording was discovered by Randy Riddle, and that notes show that if the pilot had sold, Sally would have continued to have adventures with the Lantz characters, not other studios’.

'Pogo' as animated and voiced by Walt Kelly personally

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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.

Return of the Street Sharks

One of the admittedly stranger TV series of the 1990′s was DIC’s Street Sharks, which ran from 1994 to 1995. Created by David Siegel and Joe Galliani of Mr. Joe’s Really Big Productions, the series followed the adventures of four teenage brothers who were transformed into human-shark mutants by an evil scientist’s genetic manipulations. Yes, yes, the show was riding on the coat-tails of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — in fact, it directly spoofed Turtles on more than one occasion. Previously, only a handful of Street Sharks episodes have been available on tape or DVD. But now Mill Creek Entertainment have announced that they are releasing all 40 episodes of the original series in a 4-DVD set at a reduced price. The set is available now at Amazon and other dealers.


image c. 2013 Mill Creek Entertainment

Furry Drama Show calls for videos and acts for new season

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The Furry Drama Show (FDS) completed its first season 2012-13, visiting six conventions: Wild Nights, RCFM, Oklacon, Fangcon, F3 and Furry Fiesta. As we start our new season, we continue to look for new performers to join us at these cons. If you cannot, we are also accepting videos of skits and music videos.

Do 'Despicable Me 2' minions count as anthropomorphic?

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Despicable Me 2's yellow minions stretch the definition, but here's its new trailer anyway.

It looks like the new Bad Guys are the Good Guys. Screenrant thinks that the minions can be overdone. How does Gru kiss the girls without stabbing them with his nose?

Animation: 'Dorothy of Oz' becomes 'Legends of Oz'

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Cartoon Brew reports that, “Now that Disney’s Oz The Great and Powerful is a box office hit, let the Wizard of Oz remakes commence.” CB goes on to report via Variety that, “Clarius Entertainment will theatrically release the 3-D CGI pic Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return in the first quarter of 2014. We posted the film’s trailer last fall, back when the film was called Dorothy of Oz, and the reaction was tepid.”

Flayrah announced Dorothy of Oz too last September, and it did get 13 comments. The link to the trailer still works. See Tugg the talking tree, Wiser the owl, the marshmellow soldier, and the new anthropomorphic characters in addition to the familiar Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the flying monkeys, and all of the beloved others.

2012 Ursa Major Awards voting now open

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Ursa Major Awards banner by EosFoxxVoting for the Ursa Major Awards for the Best Anthropomorphic Literature and Art of 2012 is now open, and will continue until May 15. The winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony at Anthrocon 2013 in Pittsburgh, July 4-7.

Anyone may vote, and you are encouraged to ask your friends to vote also — please help to spread the word!

There are five nominees in each of eleven categories, except where there was a tie for fifth place. To be eligible, a work must have been released during the calendar year 2012; must include a non-human being given human attributes, which can be mental and/or physical; and must receive more than one nomination.

Read on for the nominees...

Animation: Is Kimi too cute? ['The Legend of Sarila']

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Amid Amidi of Cartoon Brew announces that the 80-minute Quebec-made 3D-CGI feature The Legend of Sarila/La Légende de Sarila, animated by Modus FX in Montréal, debuted in Quebec last weekend on 32 screens, “grossing a modest $64,622 and landing in 10th place at the Quebec box office.” It is released in both English and French versions.

The movie, directed by Nancy Florence Savard, is about how in 1910 three young hunters of an arctic Iniut (“Eskimo”) clan – Putulik, who can (almost) talk with animals; the beautiful Apik, and their friend Markussi – search for the legendary paradisical land of Sarila for their starving people, despite many obstacles set by the evil shaman Croolik (who gets top billing because he is voiced by Christopher Plummer, the only “name” among the English-speaking voice cast). The hunters are accompanied by Kimi, a non-talking anthropomorphic overly-cute lemming; and Sarila has such magical creatures as the goddess/seal/mermaid Sedna.

Animation: 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2'

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

When Flint [Lockwood] discovers that his [food-making] machine still operates and now creates mutant food beasts like living pickles, hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees and apple pie-thons, he and his friends must return to save the world. [IMDb summary]


Let’s see … Anthro strawberry. Semi-anthro monkey. Anthro shrimpanzees. Anthro butter pats. Anthro sandwiches. Anthro giant taco supreme. Anthro celery. Anthro hamburgers. Anthro slice of cake. (And lots of humans.) Yep, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2: Revenge of the Leftovers, to be released from Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation on September 27, is an anthropomorphic animated feature.

Did anyone notice that the original children’s picture book, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (1978) by Judi and Ron Barrett, has a completely different sequel, Pickles to Pittsburgh (2000)? Just in time for Anthrocon, presumably.

More coverage: ComingSoon.net - Yahoo Movies - Cartoon Brew

Animation: 'Müstiline raba'/'Mysterious Swamp', by Chintis Lundgren

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Hmmm. I am not sure that I understand the 2’51” Müstiline Raba. Storks usually eat frogs, not the other way around. The Cartoon Brew says that this is “a delightful taste of that droll humor we’ve come to expect from Estonian animators.” Whatever. The fact that the stork wears a wristwatch and a frog plays a mandolin makes this anthropomorphic.

I have said previously that I do not understand Estonian animation. I still don’t.

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