Don't Watch The New Looney Tunes Show

Cartoon Network’s new 'Looney Tunes Show', which is set to premiere May 3rd at 8pm in the US, have set up a new website loaded with images, downloads and many clips. For example, this musical Yosemite Sam video and a GC Road Runner & Coyote Short...





What the hell have they done? A Yosemite Sam Rap! The CG Road Runner short just craps all over my favourite classic Looney Tunes show. Why does the Road Runner fight the Coyote? Roadrunner isn't meant to fight he can just outrun the Coyote. And that Matrix reference towards the end? What year is this?

Please don't watch this; it'll only encourage them to make more.

It really annoys me that Cartoon Network can screen dross like this whilst the brilliant 'Sym-Bionic Titan' hasn't been picked up for a second season.

Indiana Jones RockSong

Rio de Janeiro-based animator Rodrigo Leme directed and animated this TV spot while working in-house at Globosat TV in Brazil. This piece promoted the airing of the four Indiana Jones films...

Disney Pixars Brave Concept Artwork

Brave (previously titled The Bear and the Bow) is an upcoming film that will be Pixar Animation Studios' thirteenth animated feature film. The film will be written by Brenda Chapman and directed by Mark Andrews. It will be produced by Katherine Sarafian. The film is scheduled to be released on June 22, 2012 and is currently in production.

Here is a short extract from a Disney press release about the project (there have been a few changes since the press release, most notably the working title to 'Brave' and a change of Director):

"A rugged and mythic Scotland is the setting for Pixar's action-adventure "The Bear and the Bow." The impetuous, tangle-haired Merida, though a daughter of royalty, would prefer to make her mark as a great archer. A clash of wills with her mother compels Merida to make a reckless choice, which unleashes unintended peril on her father's kingdom and her mother's life. Merida struggles with the unpredictable forces of nature, magic and a dark, ancient curse to set things right. Director Brenda Chapman ("The Prince of Egypt," "The Lion King") and the storytelling wizards of Pixar conjure humour, fantasy and excitement in this rich Highland tale."

Check out these recently released concept artwork images...


Jupiter - Saké

French electro disco duo Jupiter, Amélie & Quarles, have released their new track Saké on new compilation 'Kitsuné Parisien' and as a digital single. The video is just as weird and fun as the song itself. Ace! 

J Mascis - Not Enough

'Not Enough' is from the album 'Several Shades Of Why' out via Sub Pop. The video was created by the very talented Chad Van Gaalen.

New Short From Studio AKA & Grant Orchard

studioaka_morningstroll.png

Based loosely on a real life event recounted in Paul Auster’s brilliant book 'True Tales of American Life',  'A Morning Stroll' tells the story of one New Yorker’s early morning encounter with a chicken, an event that plays out over 100 years.

Director Grant Orchard was looking to do a quick project as a break from a large, ever more complicated script he was working on, and had always loved this one paragraph account of a city dweller’s casual encounter with a chicken. Sweetly humorous & intriguing - but also brilliantly slight - the story seemed ideal. Ultimately this new ‘small, quick project’ ended up taking 2 years to make during studio downtime, and in addition, instead of simply making one short story, Grant decided the story would be 3 times better if we made it 3 times in 3 different ways!  

As Grant says; "There is something in the constant repetition of the story that intrigues and yet underlines the utter whimsy of it all, and I like the narrative conflict in that."

The film was entirely self-funded by STUDIO AKA, utilising people’s talents in-between commercial work. The film’s 3 chapters were made mostly in XSI, but rendered in distinct styles, requiring additional art working in After Effects, Flash and Photoshop.

See more on Studio AKA's website:

http://studioaka.squarespace.com/

Onedotzero Adventures In Motion Festival 2011

Onedotzero is a London-based moving image and digital arts organisation which commissions, showcases and promotes innovation across all aspects of moving image, digital and interactive arts.

The organisation, founded in 1996, is known for representing a diverse array of artistic endeavour via the annual onedotzero_adventures in motion festival and associated touring. It has a cross media and collaborative approach attuned to technological advances and fast paced change within digital arts and the contemporary culture landscape.

Onedotzero are seeking new work, for their 2011 festival, which demonstrates innovative creative expression and ideas visionary moving image ideas across innovative short films, installations, interactive work and live audio-visual performances.

Be a part of it and submit now! this is your chance to showcase on an international platform and it’s completely free to enter!


Follow the link:

http://www.onedotzero.com/

Jim Henson Muppets Historical Material

Jim Henson's Red Book Blog has been posting some facinating historical footage of the Muppets. These are two particully interesting pieces...

Jim Henson created a TV pilot in 1969 based on Johnny Hart and Brant Parker’s Wizard of Id? Watch the rare excerpts posted below and then read more background about the project on the superbly curated Henson Company blog:

http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/

Also check out the advert for Aurora toilet tissue from the mid 60's with a delightful patomime hand by Frank Oz.



Secret Mountain Fort Awesome



Secret Mountain Fort Awesome: When a portal to the world opens and unleashes underground monsters, so goes the premise for Secret Mountain Fort Awesome. The human world had everything these creatures could ever want. The only problem is, humans hate monsters, and they treat them like second-class citizens (this is their world too). Created by Chowder writer and artist Pete Browngardt, Secret Mountain Fort Awesome follows a clan and their dim-witted efforts to break free of human oppression. The animated series is being produced at Cartoon Network Studios.

Robot And Monster

[pressler_robot_and_monster_bff_.jpg]

Created by Dave Pressler, Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia, Robot and Monster has been picked up by Nickelodeon for 26 episodes.  The animated buddy comedy is set in a unique world where gangs of Howling Cyber Monkeys roam the streets at night, everybody loves bacon, and robots and monsters live side by side, but typically don’t get along.  A self-proclaimed genius and amateur inventor, Robot is convinced he is capable of great things, an opinion that is shared by absolutely no one else except Monster.  Monster believes good things happen to good people and that all people are good.  Together, they prove you can handle anything with your best friend at your side.

Ah

This brilliant LEGO stop motion short film was created by Korean-based 'Studio Shelter'.  Director Lee SungHwan makes the most of a limited amount of LEGO blocks; its pixelated simplicity really works in its favour.

The Incident At Tower 37

After two-years on the festival circuit, Pixar alumus Chris Perry is releasing his short 'The Incident at Tower 37' online yesterday in honor of World Water Day. It’s a sci-fi allegory with a message, well worth ten minutes of your time.

Yellowbirds - The Rest Of My Life

Blinky

Director Ruairi Robinson will no doubt gain the full attention of A-list Hollywood producers with his latest short film, a mix of live action, motion capture and consummate CG integration called 'BLINKY™.'


Cyriak For Adult Swim

Cyriak Harris is a British freelance animator better known by his first name Cyriak. He is known for his surreal short web animations.

This video is a collection of weird clips he made for Adult Swim.

Buy his DVD:


Band Of Skulls - Fires

Yet another brilliant animated music video.

Directors/animators Anton Octavian and Andrei Staruiala rotoscoped and digitally painted over 2000 individual frames of live footage to complete this music video for 'Fires' by Band of Skulls.

Wagon Christ - Chunkothy

Das Pop - The Game



Today saw the launch of Will Sweeney's new animated video for the new single from Das Pop - 'The Game'. Will has been working on this for the last few months and finally it can be revealed! This is the second Will Sweeney music video to feature on Animated Review, I just love the style of his work. I can't actually post the video here (EMI - won't let me) just follow the link at the bottom of the post to watch on youtube.

Here's an excerpt from the EMI press release:

Will Sweeney on the video:
"When I was asked by the fine gentlemen of Das Pop to create a video for their new motorik pop single The Game, the first image that sprang to mind was 'motorbikes!' followed by 'post apocalyptic warrior punks'. These are subject close to my heart, and I wanted to do my best to create a mini movie for the minds eye, inspired by Mad Max 2, 70's pinball machine art and the hippy science fiction film Zardoz...

The original idea was to have the whole thing set inside a giant body - like the film The Fantastic Voyage. This developed over time and the world in the video became a bit more like an organic computer game. On the technical side, the video is a mixture of hand drawn background elements with flash animation and 3D modelling by two very talented animators, Dan Britt & Joe Pelling, with whom I had worked on a project for MTV2's Yo Gabba Gabba in the past. My friend Susumu Mukai, aka Zongamin, helped with some of the background art and created the giant brain drawing that we see at the end."

http://www.youtube.com/

The Ballad Of Nessie



These stills are the first look at 'The Ballad Of Nessie', a new Disney animated short set to premiere alongside the forthcoming Winnie the Pooh feature film. 'The Ballad Of Nessie' was directed by Stevie Wermers-Skelton and Kevin Deters.

Cyclotrope

'The Cyclotrope' was created and animated by Tim Wheatley, visit his website here:

http://www.timwheatley.co.uk/

Kaboing TV

Kaboing TV was a dream for Joe Murray, the creator of ‘Rocko's Modern Life’ and ‘Camp Lazlo’, pretty much since the internet came into being, but it wasn't until he wrote a chapter about "alternative distribution of animation" in his book ‘Creating Animated Cartoons with Character’, did he really begin pursuing the idea of an exclusive original programming Cartoon channel on the web.

In early 2010, after fruitless attempts at outside funding that matched Joe's vision, Joe was urged by others to take his idea "to the people." Joe started a pledge drive campaign on Kickstarter.com to raise some seed money for original episodes of his new series ‘Frog In A Suit’ to get the site up and running.

Over 346 backers stepped up to meet the funding goal in just 45 days. With the additional help of countless volunteers, interns, and favours from friends in the industry, (and additional funding from Joe himself,) a total of three original episodes of ‘Frog In A Suit’ were produced for the launch of KaboingTV.com.

Although this group effort came together to launch the site, it will take the support of viewers to watch, pledge and purchase from the Kaboing shop to keep the site up and running and producing new original programming. The website launched on the 9th of March with episode one, ‘All Buzzed Up’.  The next episode, entitled 'Tricky Business', launches March 18th and the third instalment follows on March 25th. 

Click the link below visit Kaboing TV, where you can purchase ‘Frog In A Suit’ stuff, pledge money and watch the forthcoming episodes:

http://www.kaboingtv.com/

Inception In 60 Seconds

Christopher Nolan's blockbuster of 2010 gets a Victorian style make-under in “Inception In 60 Seconds” by Wolfgang Matzl. Created by taking frame by frame photographs of paper cut outs, the film was one of 10 finalists for the Jameson Empire Awards - Done in 60 Seconds contest.

The Amazing World Of Gumball Sneak Peek

A first sneak peek of Cartoon Network’s upcoming show 'The Amazing World Of Gumball' has just been released on youtube. Created by Ben Bocquelet, Gumball was produced by Dandelion Studios Ltd , Boulder Media Ltd and Studio Soi.

The Smurfs Trailer



The Audreys - Sometimes The Stars

Luke Jurevicius recently produced and co-wrote this new animated music video for the band The Audreys. The traditionally-animated video tells the story of a lost girl making her way through a surreal landscape and her yearning to make a connection in this distant yet strangely familiar world.

Smartest Dog In The World

Graham Anable’s series, Grickle, returns with a new 4-minute short. Enjoy 'The Smartest Dog In The World'

Top 100 Animated Movies

This is my 100th post, so to commemorate this I’ve compiled a list of my top 100 favourite animated feature films. I've only included films I've seen. I've included a mix of films that incorporate animation into live action, puppet films and fully animated feature films to complete the list.

These films are of course listed in accordance with my own personal preference. You may disagree, so let me know what you think should top the list, or if I've missed a film altogether that you think should have been included.



100. Yellow Submarine (Dir. George Dunning, 1968)
99. Monster House (Dir. Gil Kenan, 2006)
98. Cinderella (Dir. Various, 1950)
97. Enchanted (Dir. Kevin Lima, 2007)
96. Heavy Metal (Dir. Gerald Potterton, 1981)



95. Fire And Ice (Dir. Ralph Bakshi, 1983)
94. Asterix And The Vikings (Dir. S. Fjeldmark & J. Moller, 2006)
93. The Muppet Movie (Dir. James Frawley, 1979)
92. The Plague Dogs (Dir. Martin Rosen, 1982)
91. An American Tail (Dir. Don Bluth, 1986)




90. A Scanner Darkly (Dir. Richard Linklater, 2006)
89. Interstella 5555 (Dir. Kazuhisa Takenochi, 2003)
88. 9 (Nine) (Dir. Shane Acker, 2009)
87. Waking Life (Dir. Richard Linklater, 2001)
86. Wizards (Dir. Ralph Bakshi, 1977)




85. Antz (Dir. Eric Darnell & Tim Johnson, 1998)
84. The BFG (Dir. Brian Cosgrove, 1989)
83. Astro Boy (Dir. David Bowers, 2009)
82. Powerpuff Girls The Movie (Dir. Craig McCracken, 2002)
81. The Land Before Time (Dir. Don Bluth, 1988)



80. Fritz The Cat (Dir. Ralph Bakshi, 1972)
79. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (Dir. Tray Parker, 1999)
78. Shrek (Dir. Andrew Adamson & Vicky Jenson, 2001)
77. Bambi (Dir. Various, 1942)

76. The Brave Little Toaster (Dir. Jerry Rees, 1987)




75. The Last Unicorn (Dir. Jules Bass & Arthur Rankin Jr., 1982)
74. Pinocchio (Dir. Various, 1940)
73. Persepolis (Dir. Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi, 2007)
72. Town Called Panic (Dir. Stephane Aubier & Vincent Patar, 2009)
71. The Black Cauldron (Dir. Ted Berman & Richard Rich, 1985)




70. The King And The Mockingbird (Dir. Paul Grimault, 1980)
69. Team America: World Police (Dir. Trey Parker, 2004)
68. Ice Age (Dir. Chris Wedge & Carlos Saldanha, 2002)
67. The Simpsons Movie (Dir. David Silverman, 2007)
66. The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (Dir. Stephen Hillenburg, 2004)




65. Strings (Dir. Anders Ronnow Klarlund, 2004)
64. Peter And The Wolf (Dir. Suzie Templeton, 2006)
63. The Sword In The Stone (Dir. Wolfgang Reitherman, 1963)
62. Grave Of The Fireflies (Dir. Isao Takahata, 1988)
61. Corpse Bride (Dir. Tim Burton & Mike Johnson, 2005)




60. The Lord Of The Rings (Dir. Ralph Bakshi, 1978)
59. A Muppet Christmas Carol (Dir. Brian Henson, 1992)
58. Sleeping Beauty (Dir. Clyde Geronimi, 1959)
57. Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (Dir. Various, 1937)
56. James And The Giant Peach (Dir. Henry Selick, 1996)




55. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Dir. Robert Zemeckis, 1988)
54. Ghost In The Shell (Dir. Mamoru Oshii, 1995)
53. Clash Of The Titans (Dir. Desomnd Davis, 1981)
52. Toy Story 2 (Dir. John Lasseter, Ash Brannon & Lee Unkrich, 1999)
51. Toy Story 3 (Dir. Lee Unkrich, 2010)




50. Waltz With Bashir (Dir. Ari Folman, 2008)
49. Faust (Dir. Jan Svankmajer, 1994)
48. Time Masters (Dir. Rene Laloux, 1982)
47. Animal Farm (Dir. Joy Batchelor & John Halas, 1954)
46. Robin Hood (Dir. Wolfgang Reitherman, 1973)




45. Dumbo (Dir. Various, 1941)
44. The Jungle Book (Dir, Wolfgang Reitherman, 1967)
43. Ratatouille (Dir. Brad Bird & Jan Pinkava, 2007)
42. Ponyo (Dir. Hayao Miyazaki, 2008)
41. Chico And Rita (Dir. Javier Mariscal & Fernando Trueba, 2010)




40. Watership Down (Dir. Martin Rosen, 1978)
39. Despicable Me (Dir. Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud, 2010)
38. Perfect Blue (Dir. Satoshi Kon, 1998)
37. Fantasia (Dir. Various, 1940)
36. The Emperor’s New Groove (Dir. Mark Dindal, 2000)




35. Chicken Run (Dir. Peter Lord & Nick Park, 2000)
34. Monsters Inc. (Dir. P. Docter, D. Silverman & L. Unkrich, 2001)
33. When The Wind Blows (Dir. Jimmy T. Murakami, 1986)
32. Coraline (Dir. Henry Selick, 2009)
31. Akira (Dir. Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988)




30. Metropolis (Dir. Rintaro, 2001)
29. Jason And The Argonauts (Dir. Don Chaffey, 1963)
28. Up (Dir. Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, 2009)
27. Kiki's Delivery Service (Dir. Hayao Miyazaki, 1989)
26. Wall.e (Dir. Andrew Stanto, 2008)



25. How To Train Your Dragon (Dir. Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders, 2010)
24. Aladdin (Dir. Ron Clements & John Musker, 1992)
23. The Incredibles (Dir. Brad Bird, 2004)
22. Kung Fu Panda (Dir. Mark Osborne & John Stevenson, 2008)
21. Mary and Max (Dir. Adam Elliot, 2009)



20. Kirikou And The Sorceress (Dir, Michel Ocelot, 1998)
19. The Nightmare Before Christmas (Dir. Henry Selick, 1993)
18. Alice (Dir. Jan Svankmajer, 1988)
17. The Secret Of Kells (Dir. Tomm Moore& Nora Twomey, 2009)
16. Spirited Away (Dir. Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)



15. Wallace & Gromit Curse Of The Were-Rabbit (Dir. Nick Park, 2005)
14. Belleville Rendez-Vous (Dir. Sylvain Chomet, 2003)
13. The Adventures Of Prince Achmed (Dir. Lotte Reiniger, 1926)
12. Secret Of NIMH (Dir. Don Bluth, 1982)
11. Finding Nemo (Dir. Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich, 2003)



10. Beauty And The Beast (Dir. Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise, 1991)
9. The Iron Giant (Dir. Brad Bird, 1999)
8. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Dir. Wes Anderson, 2009)
7. The Illusionist (Dir. Sylvain Chomet, 2010)
6. Fantastic Planet (Dir. Rene Laloux, 1973)



5. My Neighbour Totoro (Dir. Hayao Miyazaki, 1988)
4. Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind (Dir. Hayao Miyazaki, 1984)
3. Lion King (Dir. Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff, 1994)
2. Toy Story (Dir. John Lasseter, 1995)
1. Princess Mononoke (Dir. Hayao Miyazaki, 1997)

Orpheu's Pony By Michael Fragstein

Michael Fragstein is the co-founding member of the Stuttgart based design firm 'Büro Achter April'. I've been a fan of their work for a while now; the music video they did for 'Hat' by 'Max and Laura Braun' is superb. 'Orpheu's Pony' is Michael Fragsteins newest beautifully abstract film. The narration is done by Lisa Tuyala and the music by Marc Fragstein.

Alma Short Film

This short film is a couple of years old now, but I’ve just re-watched it. I’m glad I did, I’d forgotten just how brilliantly creepy it is.

‘Alma’ is Rodrigo Blaas’ first short film as a director. Originally from Spain, Rodrigo Blaas has worked in animation for more than ten years, in Spain and in the United States.

Seizing the possibility of directing his first independent short film, Rodrigo Blaas asked some of the best artists in their field to take part in the project: French animator Bolhem Bouchiba, character designer Carlos Grangel and Sergio Pablos, art director Alfonso Blaas, music composer Mastretta and sound designer Tom Myers.

Prius Goes Plural - When One Becomes More

This advert was actually released a few months back, but I just spotted it and thought I’d share it. It’s a musically-driven, stop-motion promo for the Toyota Prius, which asks what the plural of ‘Prius?’ Animation by Hunter Gatherer, direction by Todd St. John.

Meta By Jurriën Boogert

‘Meta’ is a visually-stunning experimental short film by Jurriën Boogert, a motion graphics/3D designer from the Netherlands. The short film was created as his graduation project at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. For this one it's worth turning the sound up and watching it full screen.

Thursday By Matthias Hoegg Trailer

Environmental Animation & Site Specific Installations

One of the most exciting evolutions within the animation art form in recent years has been its development beyond the traditional screen. Environmental animation and site-specific installations have the potential to occur throughout our natural surroundings and be woven directly into our day-to-day lives. In other words, animation no longer need be restricted to a passive viewing experience or limited to a rectangular screen.

I’ve posted a couple of fine examples below. The first example is a new installation for the lobby inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, designed and installed by The Rockwell Group. The second example is by NuFormer Digital Media Projections, they have designed site specific animations to be projected on buildings all around the world, this video is from an advertising campaign for Parker in New York.



Giant Films

CeLine & Yann recently posted the third instalment of their animated short series 'Giant'. I've posted all three episodes released so far. This newest episode, entitled 'Cloud' will be screened at the Pictoplasma event next month in Berlin.





MAC Wonder Woman

Brooklyn based motion graphics designer John Earle extrudes five original illustrations by comic legend Michael Allred into this full minute action/fashion/crime thriller for MAC Cosmetics’ new line of Wonder Woman inspired cosmetics.

Morph Vs. Banksy

Morning Teleportation - Expanding Anyway

New York based studio Phantasmic (aka Tripp and Jenna Watt) crank up their love of frenzied multi-media chaos for this Morning Teleportation video which the duo calls “A relentless mixture of stop motion, claymation, motion graphics, live action… and little bit of 3D… Inspired by childhood drawings and toys.”

Ray Harryhausen Myths And Legends Exhibition


I was in London last week and whilst there I took the opportunity to visit the London Film Museum for the Ray Harryhausen exhibition. The ‘Myths And Legends’ exhibition opened, to coincide with Ray Harryhausens 90th birthday, in June 2010. The exhibition runs until June of this year, so you’ve still got time to see it before it closes. The collection is then hopefully moving to a permanent home in the National Media Museum in Bradford.

The exhibition itself is quiet small, but well worth seeing. It was fascinating to see some of the few remaining original puppets used in his classic animations. A lot of the figures were destroyed after filming to re-use the armatures for the next project, the studios often had small budgets and the armatures were the most expensive part of the model making process. You get to see figures from many of Ray’s classic works including ‘The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad’ (1958), ‘Jason And The Argonauts (1963), One Million Years BC (1966), The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad (1973) and ‘Clash Of The Titans (1981) amongst others.

The Animation Workshop

Posted here are a couple of excellent short films from students at 'The Animation Workshop' in Viborg, Denmark.





Puss In Boots Trailer

Whilst I'm looking forward to the Dreamworks 'Kung Fu Panda' sequel, Dreamworks continue to flog a dead horse by releasing 'Shrek' spin-off 'Puss In Boots'.

Kung Fu Panda 2 Trailer

Loved the first one (despite starring Jack Black) and the second one doesn't look like it'll disappoint either.

Tron: Uprising Trailer

A quick first look at 'Tron: Uprising' which will be airing on Disney XD in summer 2012. A ten part micro-series will precede it this autumn. Charlie Bean (Ren & Stimpy, Samurai Jack and Robot Boy) will be producing and directing.

The Animated Works Of Brad Bird

Even from a young age Phillip Bradley Bird seemed destined to become a legend in the world of animation. On a tour of the Walt Disney Studios at age eleven, he announced that someday he would become part of its animation team, and soon afterward began work on his own 15-minute animated short. Within two years, Bird had completed his animation, which impressed the cartoon company. By age 14, barely in high school, Bird was mentored by the animator Milt Kahl, one of Disney’s legendary Nine Old Men. Bird recalls Kahls criticisms as ideal “Kahl would point out shortcomings by gently delivering thoughts on where I could improve.” After graduating from Corvallis High School in Corvallis, Oregon in 1975, Bird took a three-year break. He was then awarded a scholarship by Disney to attend California Institute of the Arts, where he met and befriended another future animator, Pixar co-founder and director John Lasseter. True to his word as an eleven year old boy upon graduating he joined Disneys animation department and started working on ‘The Fox And The Hound’.

Brad Bird has since had a long career across varied animation disciplines. Starting out as an animator for Disney he has since also worked as a character designer, layout artist, voice actor, consultant, producer, writer and director, quite the Renaissance man.

Below is an overview of the animated works Brad has been involved with. He seems more recently to be focusing his talent towards live action movies. He’s directing the new ‘Mission Impossible’ film and also trying to get his ‘1906’ feature back on track, which he started in 2007 before being side-tracked by ‘Ratatouille’.


Toy Story 3 (2010)
I don’t think Brad played a major role in the production of ‘Toy Story 3’, he was however listed in the credits as part of the ‘Senior Creative Pixar Team’.


Up (2009)
Slimily to ‘Toy Story 3’, I don’t think Brads role was a major one, again he was listed in the credits as part of the ‘Senior Creative Pixar Team’. I think this role entails acting as a consultant to the writing and directorial teams.


Ratatouille (2007)
Brad was starting work on his first live action feature ‘1906’ when he was called upon by Disney and Pixar to replace ‘Ratatouilles’ original director Jan Pinkava. Jan came up with the original concept and directed the film from 2001, creating the original designs, sets, characters and storyline. Lacking confidence in Pinkavas storyline development Pixar replaced him with Brad Bird in 2005. Brad rewrote the storyline, with a change in emphasis, he killed off some characters and expanded on the roles of others, he also slightly altered the appearance of the rat characters to give them a less anthropometric look. ‘Ratatouille’ was nominated for 5 Oscars winning the Best Animated Feature category.

 
The Incredibles (2004)
‘The Incredibles’ was initially developed by Brad Bird as a hand drawn feature for Warner Brothers, whom he’d been working with for the Iron Giant. When Warner Bros. closed their facility for making animated features Brad took the story with him to pitch to Disney and Pixar. This was Brads first outing with Pixar and the first time he had been reunited with fellow class mate John Lasseter since graduating from the California Institute Of The Arts in 1980. ‘The Incredibles’ posed several problems for the Pixar crew, as Brad had developed the film with a hand-drawn animation style in mind without knowing the limitations of a CGI produced feature. Many elements included in the script were difficult to animate with CGI at the time, most notably creating an all human cast, which required the development of new technologies specifically designed to animated detailed human anatomy. It posed so many problems Disney wanted to scrap the animated project in favour of a live action version, fortunately John Lasseter fought for the animated feature to continue production.

The film won many awards including 2 Oscars (including Best Animated Feature), the 2004 Annie award for Best Animated Feature and a 2005 Hugo Award.


The Iron Giant (1999)
‘The Iron Giant’ is an animated science fiction film based on Ted Hughes’ 1968 novel ‘The Iron Man’. Anybody who knows both the book and the film will know that they are nothing alike, the script for ‘The Iron Giant’ was however read and approved by Ted Hughes before his death in 1998. Such a shame he didn’t live to see the finished result as it’s a brilliant film.

The story of how the film developed is a long one, which I’ll try to explain it briefly here. It started with Pete Townshend writing and releasing a rock musical album called ‘The Iron Man: The Musical’ in 1989. In the same year a short live action and stop frame animated video was made to accompany a single release. This video resulted in a live stage adaptation in 1993. Pete Townshend realised the story would translate well to the screen and the project was picked up by Warner Bros. Development for the film started in 1994, although it didn’t really take off until Brad Bird took control as the director (his first time in the role for a feature film). Initially against his wishes Bird hired Tim McCanlies as an additional script writer. This new script was the version read and approved of by Ted Hughes. One of the other most critical changes Brad Bird made was to rescore the music, and not use the music from Pete Townshends musical. With the script rewrite and the change of score, the film had become completely detached from its origins.

The film wasn’t a huge hit on release, if fact its massive loss at the box office was the death knoll for Warner Bros. in house animation department. In retrospect it’s an utterly brilliant film, one of my favourite animated feature films, it’s a shame it wasn’t better received by the public upon its release.


The Critic (1994 – 1995)
‘The Critic’ was an American prime time animated series revolving around the life of film critic Jay Sherman, voiced by actor Jon Lovitz. It was created by Al Jean and Mike Reiss, both of whom had worked as writers on ‘The Simpsons’. ‘The Critic’ had 23 episodes produced, first broadcast on ABC in 1994, finishing its original run on FOX in 1995. Brad Birds role was simply to be an executive consultant for the character designers and layout artists.


Family Dog (1993)
‘Family Dog’ was a spin-off from a short created by Brad Bird for the ‘Amazing Stories’ TV series. Although credited as the series creator Brad Bird had refused to take part in the development of this spin-off series. It lasted 5 episodes before being pulled by CBS after being panned by critics for its poor scripts and cheap production values.

Thumbnail: click to play

The Simpsons (1989 – 1998)
Brad Bird worked as a story board artist, character designer, layout designer, executive consultant and even directed 2 episodes in his time working on ‘The Simpsons’. He started working for ‘The Simpsons’ right from the first episode and left at the end of seasons eight, in my opinion season three and four  still contains some the best episodes they’ve created to date. In this time Brad Bird also storyboarded and directed the music video for ‘Do The Bartman’.


Amazing Stories (1985 – 1987)
Brad Bird wrote two shorts for the ‘Amazing Stories’ TV series. One was a live action piece called ‘The Main Attraction’, the second was an animated short witch Bird also directed. The animated short was called ‘Family Dog’ there would later be a spin-off series based on this short.


The Plague Dogs (1982)
An animated adaptation of Richard Adams' novel, directed by Martin Rosen. The film is about a pair of dogs who escape from a research laboratory and try to survive in the wild with the help of a cunning fox. The lab director tries to keep the escape quiet, but as an increasing number of sheep are found killed, word leaks out, together with rumours that the dogs might be plague carriers...Brad Bird worked as an animator on this feature, not as good as ‘Watership Down’ also directed by Rosen, but still pretty good.


The Fox And The Hound (1981)
A young fox named Tod is taken in by an old woman after his mother is killed by a hunter. Full of mischief, Young Tod befriends Copper, a hound dog pup. As they grow up, however, their friendship becomes endangered by what they have become; Copper is a hunting dog, and Tod is his prey. Although not credited at the time Disney has since acknowledged Brids contribution in the animation department to the feature.


Animalympics (1980)
Brad Bird cut his teeth working in the animation department for this television series.

Streaming Gradient By Jen Stark

Xemoland Short Film

‘Xemoland’ is a short film directed and animated by Daniel Cárdenas and co-produced by Alex Fumero, both Miami natives. The film which was one of 6,467 shorts submitted to the Sundance Institute, and ‘Xemoland’ was one of only  four shorts selected for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Program.

Friends With You For Energizer Batteries Canada

Friends with You Studios were tasked with making lo-fi educational/musical pieces spanning a variety of different animation techniques harking back to the old sesame street vibe. They created these three adverts for Energizer batteries Canada with simple and clever ways of reminding you to put good quality in your everyday electronics. I think they turned out pretty good.






The Looney Tunes Show

Just after I'd finished praising Cartoon Network for the seemingly promising looking ‘Thundercats’ remake they release this clip of the new 'Looney Tunes Show', it looks simply awful. I'll be watching 'Thundercats', I won't be watching this dross.

Flip Books


Flip books are essentially a primitive form of animation. Like motion pictures, they rely on persistence of vision to create the illusion that continuous motion is being seen rather than a series of discontinuous images being exchanged in succession. The first flip book appeared in September, 1868, when it was patented by John Barnes Linnett under the name ‘kineograph’ (moving picture). They were the first form of animation to employ a linear sequence of images rather than circular (as in the older phenakistoscope). Santiago Melazzini has produced a huge range of flip books, including the title pictured above. See the full range on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk

The Regular Show UK Premiere

'The Regular Show' premiered on UK Cartoon Network today and it was super weird, it might be my new favourite. For those of you who missed it check it out here:

Toy Story Hawaiian Vacation


Beginning June 24, 2011 a new Toy Story short film titled ‘Toy Story Hawaiian Vacation’ will play before every screening of Pixar’s upcoming sequel Cars 2. This is the first in a series of Toy Story shorts, the second of which will premiere November 23, 2011 before screenings of Disney’s The Muppets. I think these dates are the scheduled US release dates, we might have to wait a while longer to see them in the UK.

Sylvain Chomet At Work

Below is an excerpt from the BBC series 'The Secret Of Drawing' from back in 2005. Director and animator Sylvain Chomet ('The Triplets Of Belllville' & 'The Illusionist') demonstrates his approach to drawing for animation. The work shown is a very early screen test for 'The Illusionist'.