Monday, November 29, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

All the Great operas in Ten Minutes, Kim Thompson, 1992

Since most of us learned everything we know about opera from cartoons anyway.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B, Walter Lantz, 1941

An interesting, well made, and problematic cartoon, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy is certainly a product of its times; the rendering of racial stereotypes is a bit of a shock to the modern eye. It includes reused animation from Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat, which was pulled from distribution due to objections from the NAACP.

According to the Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia:

(Lantz) repeatedly stated that his cartoons were never meant to offend anyone. After the 1948 decision, Lantz made a major effort to make sure that offensive caricatures of any racial or ethnic group would never appear in his cartoons again. He also personally made sure that "Scrub Me Mama" would never be distributed on television.

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy was nominated for an Academy Award in 1941

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

7 Ways of the Meek, Ken Nordine, 2010

Ever have a bad week, no I mean a really bad bad bad week?
I haven't, but like you I can make one up.
-Ken Nordine

I am not a day person. I never have been; I was always more of a "middle of the night" person. A "wee hours" sort. Even as an infant, I used to stay up all night telling myself jokes, so I have been told.

The daytime is filled with shrill chattering(just now there is a murder of crows outside my window making some ungodly racket.) The voices of the night are much more distinctive. None more so than that of Word Jazz verbal virtuoso Ken Nordine.
"Stare with your ears," he instructs.

Imagine how thrilled I was that we can stare with our eyes as well; Nordine has been making animation to accompany his wordly visions.

an octogenarian curiosity, the originator of word jazz back in the 1950s, in love with the wow of now

Friday, November 19, 2010

John and James Whitney, Five Film Excercises - films 1-4, 1943-1944

According to DanSpegel-
...These films are visually based on modernist composition theory, the carefully varied permutations of form are manipulated with cut-out masks so that the image photographed is pure direct light shaped, rather than the light reflected from drawings as in traditional animation. The eerie, sensuous neon glow of these forms is paralleled by pioneer electronic music sound scores composed by the brothers using a pendulum device to write sounds directly on the film's soundtrack area, with precisely controlled calibrations.

Film One:

Film 2-3:

Film 4:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Len Lye, Free Radicals, 1958

In which pioneering New Zealand filmmaker Len Lye animates the sound of the music of the Bagirmi of Africa, with hypnotic results.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Early Abstractions, Harry Smith, 1946-1957

No.1: A Strange Dream (1946)
No.2: A Message From the Sun (1946-48)
No.3. Interwoven (1947-49)
No.4. Fast Track(1947)
No.5: Circular Tensions, Homage to Oskar Fischinger (1950)
No.7: Color Study (1952)
No.10. Mirror Animations (1957)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Eveready Harton in Buried Treasure, Anonymous, 1929



Don't say I didn't give you fair warning when you're watching this and you've got schvantzes all up on your screen when your boss sneaks up behind you.

If you've ever seen a naughty cartoon before, you know that most of them are not so great. This is a bit different - when I first saw an excerpt, I noticed that the animation, despite being a bit spare, was quite well done. There's a reason for that.

From the wiki:

The artists are unknown, but a widespread rumor states that a group of famous animators created the film for a private party in honor of Winsor McCay.[1] Disney animator Ward Kimball gave the following account of the history of the short:

The first porno-cartoon was made in New York. It was called "Eveready Harton" and was made in the late 20's, silent, of course—by three studios. Each one did a section of it without telling the other studios what they were doing. Studio A finished the first part and gave the last drawing to Studio B [...] Involved were Max Fleischer, Paul Terry and the Mutt and Jeff studio. They didn't see the finished product till the night of the big show. A couple of guys who were there tell me the laughter almost blew the top off the hotel where they were screening it.[1]

Some pretty impressive names were supposedly involved in the project, but none of them seem to have definitively stuck.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Suur Toll (Tyll the Giant) Rein Ramaat, 1980

Fantastic animation(with an amazing soundtrack) from Estonia.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Some Facts About Owls, Tony Dusko, 2008

Fifth grade teacher Tony Dusko makes short animations to motivate his students.

I suspect he also does it to crack himself up.

Anyway, this is about owls.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Private Snafu vs. Malaria Mike, Chuck Jones, 1944

Hey, it's everyone's favorite bumbling soldier, up to his old antics.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bermudu Ziedas, L. Stukiene, 1988

No subs, but the cartoon is mostly wordless aside from the theme song.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Fine Art of Goofing Off, Henry Jacobs and Bob McClay, 1972

Three excerpts from a longer series.
About the dvd:
In 1972, San Francisco public television station KQED aired the first of three half-hour
programs devoted to leisure titled The Fine Art of Goofing Off. Combining various
animation techniques — stop-action photography, claymation, collage, cut-outs,
and continuous drawing — this unique series celebrated pointless activity, dancing
between the silly and the philosophical with free-associative abandon.
With few if any creative limits set by the station, the films reveal a fresh, imaginative
collaboration between animator Bob McClay, Henry Jacobs, and producer Chris Koch.
Included are contributions from Alan Watts, author George Leonard, psychedelic poster
artist Victor Moscoso, filmmaker Jordan Belson, humorist Woody Leifer, as well as
members of the legendary San Francisco troupe and Second City antecedant, The
Committee. Amazingly, these three films were rescued by McClay on their way to the
dumpster about 30 years ago! Thanks to him, they've survived to still offer the advice,
"The pursuit of happiness can be extremely tiring— sit still and let happiness pursue you for a while."

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Factory, 2009

Dear Chantal Buck, Clarissa Matalone, Jan Heiman, Katie Siller, Rachel Whalon -

I really like this, but next time you collaborate, please elect someone to be the director. I appreciate your democratic, collective approach, but it's too hard to fit all of your names in the post title. So draw straws, rockpaperscissors, eenie meenie miney moe, roll dice, draw cards, consult the Oracle, JUST PICK SOMEONE.