Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dom, Walerian Borowczyk and Jan Lenica, 1958

In the 1950s, Jan Lenica joined with fellow animator Walerian Borowczyk and revolutionized the aesthetic of Polish animation.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Vinni Puh, 1969

Vinni Puh, is, as you've probably guessed, the Russian version of Winnie the Pooh.

There are no subtitles. You don't need them to enjoy the frikin' cuteness. And besides, you ARE familiar with Winnie the Pooh, right? NO????!!!! You poor thing, were you raised by wolves? You were? Oh, sorry, my bad.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Primiti Too Taa, Ed Ackerman and Colin Morton, 1988

An animated interpretation of a segment of the tone-poem Ursonate by Kurt Schwitters. All in animated type.

If you think that sounds boring and not entertaining at all, you are completely wrong. In fact, I will go you further and bet that after you watch this you are going to be saying "Primiti too taa, nn skr mu" ALL DAY.

Monday, April 27, 2009

excerpt from Prometheus' Garden, Bruce Bickford, 1988

There are some people out there who hate "claymation," who claim to be creeped out by the way the clay moves, the way the surface of the figures ripple and react to the animator's manipulations. If you are one of those people, you are REALLY going to be squicked out by this.

Good. I love tormenting the squeamish.

Bruce Bickford is best known for his work with Frank Zappa, on the film Baby Snakes and other projects. What is really incredible about Bickford's animation is the degree to which he revels in the plasticity of the medium. Things are transforming constantly in Bickford's world. Nothing is certain, at any moment, something will turn inside out, somebody will turn into a monster, the monster will be swallowed by the Earth, all in a flowing, hypnotic motion.

Here is an excerpt from Bickford's 28 minute animated feature, Prometheus' Garden

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Tale of How (and how) Blackheart Gang, 2006

The Tale of How is the work of a South African group, Ree Trewek, Jannes Hendrikz, and Markus Smit, that refer to themselves as The Blackheart Gang. It the second part of The Dodo Trilogy (the first and third parts are to be completed later.)

And here is the tale of how The Tale of How.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Closed Mondays, Will Vinton, 1974

Winner of the Oscar for best animated short film, 1975. You may know Will Vinton for his California Raisins, or for that creepy short film with the kids that go to Hell.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Merry Circus, Jiri Trnka, 1951

Known for his puppet animation, here Jiri Trnka uses cut paper, for a lovely, painterly short film.

In two parts.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Saint Inspector, Bolex Brothers,1996

Fantastic short from Bolex Brothers. Directed by Mike Booth.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Kachi Kachi Yama,Tadanori Yokoo, 1965

Part 2 of a series of three animations by Japanese artist Tadanori Yokoo.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hedgehog in the Fog, Yuri Norstein, 1977

After the soul rending I gave you yesterday, I think you need something more sweet and gentle. This is a beloved classic of Russian animation, for very good reason.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Martha Colburn, skellhellavision, 2001 and Don't Kill the Weatherman, 2007

Probably NSFW. A cacophonous dans macabe from animator Martha Colburn. Colburn's work is usually displayed in galleries and museums, or is used to accompany live performances, and is shot on 8mm or 16mm film.

That was a short excerpt; here's a longer piece. Don't Kill the Weatherman

Friday, April 17, 2009

Darkness/Light/Darkness, Jan Svankmajer, 1989

Can you believe I haven't posted any Jan Svankmajer yet? I can't. Enjoy this amazing short while I admire my own restraint.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kunstbar, The Petrie Lounge, 2003

Hey, bartender, mix me up a Max Ernst, please.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Red Hot Riding Hood, Tex Avery, 1943

Tex Avery is a name that guarantees maximum entertainment. This cartoon features one of his most legendary creations, Little Red, one of the sauciest cartoon vixens to perambulate across the screen.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Clangers;Treasure, Peter Firmin, 1970

The Clangers was a stop-motion animated British children's program (er, programme) that was written and narrated by Oliver Postgate and animated by Peter Firmin. I absolutely love what I've seen. I can imagine being a very young child when I watch this. Oliver Postgate had the most soothing voice ever.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Cameraman's Revenge, Ladislaw Starewicz, 1912

Strange stop motion animation tells a classic tale of lust and deceit among bugs.

This is a silent film. I highly recommend adding your own narration.
"Are you off to the city again darling?"
"Yes dear. You know, work, Busy busy!"
"Oh, honey, I'll miss you mwah mwah mwah!"
"CYA, you disgusting cow, I'm off to get me some strange!"
"What was that?"
"Ciao, my dearest,now, take care of our, uh, home on the range!"
and so on. Not too loud, though, people might think you're, y'know, kinda weird.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Girls Night Out, Joanna Quinn, 1987

I've had to replace the piece I originally planned for today. It happens. I know you're disappointed. In order to assauge your disappointment, I found you one with STRIPPERS in it. STRIPPERS!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Billy's Balloon, Don Herzfeldt, 1998

This man knows how to deploy a stick figure for maximum comedy.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Phantasy, Norman Mclaren, 1952

A surreal composition by the groundbreaking Canadian animator Norman Mclaren.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

OK, I fix.

So the people have spoken. And the winner was "fix it, bitch," by a landslide of three votes, one of which was mine.

Thanks to the two of you who were reluctant to call me a bitch. You are dears.

Thanks to the two random people who answered honestly. Your candor is appreciated, and your willingness to call me a name hs been duly noted.

I will be messing with the template, format, and colors for a bit. If it looks a bit wonky or off, rest assured, I did that on purpose.

Any additional comments or useful advice will be taken into account and reviewed. Snark*, as always, will be treasured.

*Unless the snark is a boojum, in which case, eff you. You know that is uncalled for and rude and NOT COOL, and you know why.

The Skeleton Dance, Ub Iwerks, 1929

Surreal fantasy from back when Disney did that sort of thing.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Labyrinth, Jan Lenica, 1963

Incredible film by Polish artist and animator Jan Lenica,in two parts. Lenica is often thought to have influenced the style of Terry Gilliam. I get the feeling that Lenica was influenced by Harry Smith, perhaps.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Nu Pogodi, 1969

Russian cartoon from 1969. According to the Wiki "Nu Pogodi!" means "Just you wait!" The smoking wolf in the pink shirt is my favorite thing right now.

According to one YouTube commenter, the Rabbit represents a Good Communist, and is sometimes seen wearing a red scarf as a symbol of his party affiliation.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Thank You Mask Man, John Magnussen,1971

Directed by John Magnussen and narrated by legendary comedian Lenny Bruce.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Balance, Wolfgang and Christopher Lauenstein, 1989

Oscar winning short animation from 1989. I saw this in the theater during what was mostly a raucous animation festival. You could have heard a pin drop.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I am fascinated by this cartoon. The character design, the fluid movement and the stylization of the faces, is clearly influenced by Disney and Fleischer studios cartoons, but the elements of the story are rooted in Japanese folklore, particularly the transformative powers of the tanuki and the fox.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tango, Zbigniew Rybczynski 1980

Oscar winning short animation from video artist Zbig Rybczynski.