July 30, 2009
If any Blockbusters are still not out of business, it's time for you guys to add a "Live-Action with Talking, CGI Rodents" section. THR is reporting the burgeoning, aggravating genre will be adding another title to its ranks, with The Illusionist writer/director Neil Burger adapting Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH for Paramount.
As you may recall, animator Don Bluth first attempted to bring the Newberry Medal-winning children's book to screens in the early '80s with The Secret of NIMH, shoehorning in some swords-and-sorcery elements that left children scratching their heads at the addition while also saying, "Rad--Swords! And Sorcery!" It's still unclear exactly what direction Burger's adaptation will take, but the involvement of a Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D producer and early (probably unfair) comparisons to Alvin and the Chipmunks are already worrisome
Hopefully this version will stick closer to the book and its more serious, allegorical themes. Or at least get Robin Williams to the voice of the crow, and have a part where he gets hit in the balls and it makes his voice really high. Either would be enjoyable.
Don Bluth's 1982 Secret of NIMH trailer:
With the addition of a couple ninjas, a lady in a leather catsuit, and some bad guys with metal heads, this seven-minute battle would capture the spirit of G.I. Joe far better than anything I've seen in the trailers for the upcoming film. Just the kind of laser and missile-filled war I was envisioning as I positioned the rival forces of Joe and Cobra along opposite ends of the coffee table.
The clip is from the hard-to-find classic Megaforce, also notable for starring Barry Bostwick and having one of the greatest theme songs ever recorded:
If you want to watch the whole thing (you do), someone with a big heart and great taste has put the entire movie on YouTube.
There's a whole slew of post-apocalyptic films coming out in the next year, here's a new trailer for another one coming soon, all of them are trying to be as dirty, gritty, raw, barbaric, textured, stylish and Mad-Max-ish as possible, could be lots of fun. Watch it here.
Here's just some of the post-apocalyptic films that have come out in the past, there's at least two per year, some of them are fun and make out to be good classics most of the time they fall short. Storylines take place in the aftermath of a disaster - typically nuclear holocaust, war, plague - that justifies a civilization's turn towards dystopian like behaviors. Although not a requisite, most post-apocalyptic visions have a man-made cause.
- 12 Monkeys
- 2019, After the Fall of New York
- 28 Weeks Later
- A Boy and His Dog
- The Blood of Heroes
- Cherry 2000
- City of Ember
- Def-Con 4
- Genesis II
- Hell Comes to Frogtown
- I Am Legend
- Le Dernier Combat
- La Jetée
- The Last Man on Earth
- Mad Max and its sequels The Road Warrior and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
- On The Beach (1959) and its remake On the Beach (2000)
- Origin: Spirits of the Past (Anime)
- Panic in Year Zero!
- Planet Earth
- The Postman
- The Quiet Earth
- Six-String Samurai
- Terminator: Salvation
- Tank Girl
- Time of the Wolf
- The Ultimate Warrior
- Ultra Warrior
- The Time Guardian
Such debates frequently surround literary and cinematic works that do not show the classic characteristics of dystopian fiction, such as a government like entity that seeks total control of individuals' lives.
July 28, 2009
Watch in HD at the Apple.
Not high art--and certainly not a ninjamazing as For Hire, aka Lethal Ninja--but it did give me some ninja sensations I didn't know I could feel anymore.
In the years between Back to the Future and Back to the Future II, Michael J. Fox visibly aged and the actress playing his girlfriend was replaced by Elizabeth Shue. Thus, to show the closing scene from the first film as the opening of the second, it was necessary to completely reshoot it. Dig?
Anyway, as you can see above, someone has made a side-by-side comparison of the sequence so you can now needlessly critique how well Robert Zemeckis and crew recreated the scene. The audio is layered together as well, and for some reason hearing a duet of Docs saying, in unison, "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need... roads," is utterly hypnotizing:
Luckily, the rest of the film holds up to intense scrutiny, and this is the only slight flaw.
July 26, 2009
July 25, 2009
Sean Flynn, the tech-savvy 27-year-old son of Kevin Flynn, looks into his father's disappearance and finds himself pulled into the same world of fierce programs and gladiatorial games where his father has been living for 25 years. Along with Kevin's loyal confidant, father and son embark on a life-and-death journey across a visually-stunning cyber universe that has become far more advanced and exceedingly dangerous.
Discovered at Signalnoise.
July 24, 2009
Also, the Canadian Animation Directory is up and running:
- the story of stuff with annie leonard
This is an awesome short film, check it out, you won't be disappointed.
Found on Pat's blog.
July 22, 2009
July 20, 2009
Variety reports Sony is close to negotiating a $50 million deal that would allow them access to the 80 hours of footage of the late pop star's final rehearsals currently held by AEG Entertainment. If the deal goes through, the studio plans to release the rehearsal as a feature film that would also include "at least three videos, including an alternative version of Jackson's Thriller." (This version, perhaps?) Kenny Ortega, director of High School Musical, shot the rehearsal tapes and will likely direct.
Boy, I didn't care at all about seeing a Michael Jackson concert a month ago, but now that I know every Moonwalk will like watching a spirit shuffle backwards into his own waiting grave, sign me up! [Via iwatchstuff]
While his article is aimed at writers, his advice applies equally to animators and illustrators - and all freelancers for that matter. Here’s what he says:
Design Sponge is kicking off a new video web-series - Design by the Book. Kind of a Project Runway but with a bunch of Williamsburg designers. And instead of the Parsons School of Fashion, it’s set in (drum roll) the NY Public Library.
The first episode is up and it’s got interviews with a bunch of interesting people. Notably:
Mike Perry (5:00) - an illustrator/font-designer and author of Hand Job: A Catalog of Type.
Julia Rothman (6:40) - a designer of beautiful patterns - [Via Drawn]
In this awesome post, Jillian Tamaki answers the question every artist dreads, Where do you get your ideas? She also points to this Frank Stockton article about inspiration. Both are great reads for any artist.
Andrew over at puppetvision has some interesting advise on a recent blog post regarding Linear Income vs. Passive Income. In a nutshell, Linear is the regular old, paid-by-the-hour thing (or in animation; paid by-the-scene or by-the-second), Passive Income is the concept of creating one product, a podcast, writing an article, creating a book, or illustrating designs to sell on Cafepress. Whether it's through the selling of large volumes of something in which you created the one time, and thus keep generating income because of that work, or generating higher volume of profits based upon that written material, or recorded item, than this (of course) can generate far more cash for the freelance artist from home, read it here, it might peek your interest, and make you think about how you can make a website, book, podcast, something that can generate revenue through online advertising, or by the selling of large volumes of your work.
One last bit of cool info is Nate William's Methodology For Creating New Ideas.
July 17, 2009
This may be somewhat dated, like around 30 years old, but I couldn't resist posting this unnatural photo most of the key Star Wars cast that's been going around (via Digg). How is it somehow more normal to see them dressed in fur, robes, and helmets than in regular clothes? I feel like I'm looking at the employees of an insanely mismatched, carnivalesque accounting firm.
Still though: Star Wars. Great movie, am I right?
Walter Crokite, the only person I'll ever trust to tell me anything, died in his Manhattan home Friday after succumbing to cerebral vascular disease. He was 92. From his longtime employer, CBS News:
Cronkite was the face of the "CBS Evening News" from 1962 to 1981, when stories ranged from the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to racial and anti-war riots, Watergate and the Iranian hostage crisis.
It was Cronkite who read the bulletins coming from Dallas when Kennedy was shot Nov. 22, 1963, interrupting a live CBS-TV broadcast of the soap opera "As the World Turns."
Cronkite was the broadcaster to whom the title "anchorman" was first applied, and he came so identified in that role that eventually his own name became the term for the job in other languages. (Swedish anchors are known as Kronkiters; In Holland, they are Cronkiters.)
And that's, unfortunately, the way it is.
Forces of Geek is reporting that Futurama voice actors John DiMaggio, Phil LaMarr, and Maurice LaMarche are claiming 20th Century Fox is trying to re-cast much of the vocal talent. The studio has even put out casting calls:
[ DR. JOHN ZOIDBERG (ZOIDBERG) ]Let's express some outrage. Who wants to burn down the police stable?
Dr. Zoidberg, a lobster-like alien, left his home planet of Decapod 10 to become a rich doctor but instead became the Planet Express staff doctor (doesnt pay so well). Zoidberg, who is usually shunned by the rest of the Planet Express crew, is always in search of his next meal. His skill as a surgeon, and basic knowledge of human anatomy, are often called into question. He secretly desires to become a stand-up comedian...SERIES REGULAR
(via AV Club, and Variety has confirmed the story.)
July 16, 2009
July 15, 2009
July 14, 2009
July 13, 2009
Beware... it's bloody and gorey for those who don't like that stuff.
But I found it to be incredibly awesome!
Halifax’s own Jason Eisener burst into the public eye a few years back with Hobo With a Shotgun - a fake trailer that won the Grindhouse contest sponsored by Robert Rodriguez and was subsequently added to North American prints of the double-bill feature. Hobo became an online sensation and fans began clamoring for whatever Eisener and crew would come up with next.
And what they came up with was Treevenge. An arborist’s nightmare, the coniferous revenge film turned the tables on everyone’s favorite holiday season by re-casting the humble Christmas Tree as the angry victim of an annual genocide with the time arriving to take revenge on the wielders of the axe. Treevenge is a blood soaked, splattery affair that provoked enormous reactions on the festival circuit, racking up awards by the armful as it screened at Sundance, Fantastic Fest, Fantasia, and too many others to name. With the main title art designed by my bud, Jim White and starring popular Nova Scotia actor Jonathan Torrens as the lead character, the only problem was that there was no way for audiences to actually see this short film outside of those festival appearances, until now!
July 12, 2009
Last year Dave Carroll witnessed United Airlines baggage handlers throwing and breaking his $3,500 guitar. After being told he would not be compensated for the damage, he vowed to write three songs, make music videos and publish them online to get revenge. This is the first. It became the first YouTube video ever to reach 2 million views in under one week.
Read the full story at Dave Carroll Music.
July 10, 2009
to read Mark Cappello's interview with Michael-Andreas of Collideascope over at Canadian Animation Resources.
It's a nice read, a great way for people to get more info about
the structure of the television animation business model in
Canada, how it got there, and where it might be going.
July 08, 2009
July 07, 2009
July 04, 2009
I bought this book last week from Strange Adventures, and boy, am I ever glad I did! The selection of artwork, the design of the book, the writing is top-notch, and the print quality are all jaw-droppingly gorgeous. The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics by Denis Kitchen and Paul Buhle ranks among one of my favorite cartoon/comic-related books ever. If you're a fan of the old Hey Look!, Two-Fisted Tales, Frontline Combat, Help, Trump, and MAD comics, then you'll love this amazing book on the life and art of the awesomely gifted artist and editor known as Harvey Kurtzman.
We're only half way through the year and there's been two amazing films so far (Coraline, Up), and plenty more on the horizon before the year's end, I'm looking forward to Mr. Fox and Ponyo especially, here's a list of the 2009 line up:
CORALINE (2/6/09) Focus Features. (stop-motion puppets) D: Henry Selick. A young girl walks through a secret door in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. Box office gross (as of 03/01/09): $61,145,000
MONSTERS VS. ALIENS (3/27/09) Dreamworks (Paramount). D: Rob Letterman, Conrad Vernon. When a meteorite from outer space hits a young girl and turns her into a giant monster, she is taken to a secret government compound where she meets a ragtag group of monsters also rounded up over the years.
BATTLE FOR TERRA (5/1/09) Lionsgate. D: Aristomenis Tsirbas. A peaceful alien planet faces annihilation, as the homeless remainder of the human race sets its eyes on Terra. Mala, a rebellious Terrian teenager, will do everything she can to stop it.
UP (5/29/09) Disney/Pixar. D: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson. By tying thousands of balloon to his home, 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. He soon learns he isn't alone on his journey.
ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS (7/1/09) 20th Century-Fox. D: Carlos Saldanha.
PONYO (8/14/09) Walt Disney Pictures. D: Hayao Miyazaki. (hand drawn animation) A mermaid runs away from her home in the sea and befriends a five year old boy who lives on a cliff.
9 (9/9/09) Focus Features. D: Shane Acker. A post-apocalyptic nightmare in which all of humanity is threatened.
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS (9/18/09) Columbia. D: Phil Lord, Chris Miller. A scientist trying to solve world hunger encounters a problem of global proportions, as food begins to fall from the sky.
SITA SINGS THE BLUES (9/ /09) Shadow Distribution/Gkids. 82 mins. D: Nina Paley. Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama; Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by e-mail. An animated interpretation of the Indian epic Ramayana, set to the 1920's jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw.
ASTRO BOY (10/23/09) Summit Entertainment. D: David Bowers. Based on Osamu Tezuka's famous character about a super-powered robot created by a brilliant scientist in the image of the son he has lost. Unable to fulfill the grieving man's expectations, Astro Boy embarks on a journey in search of acceptance.
THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX (11/6/09) D: Wes Anderson. 20th Century-Fox. Angry farmers, tired of sharing their chickens with a sly fox, look to get rid of their opponent and his family.
PLANET 51 (11/20/09) Tri-Star. D: Jorge Blanco, Javier Abad. The inhabitants of Planet 51 live in fear of alien invasion. Their paranoia is realized when an astronaut arrives from Earth. Befriended by a young resident, he has to avoid capture in order to recover his spaceship and try to return home.THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG (12/25/09) Disney. (hand drawn amimation) D: Ron Clements, John Musker. A fairy tale centered on a young girl named Princess Tiana who lives in New Orleans' French Quarter during the Jazz Age.