Ready Steady Bang App

Animators Tom Judd and Ed Barrett teamed up to develop and produce the iPhone wild west dueling game, 'Ready Steady Bang.' To whet your appetite have a look at this and visit www.rsbang.com

Les Mains Ensorcelées - Sur Le Quai

'Sur le Quai' is the latest music video for the French pop group, 'Les Mains Ensorcelées' aka 'The Betwitched Hands.'

The Archiver

Not as well known outside Europe as Supinfocom or Gobelins, ArtFX in Montpellier, the South of France specializes in VFX and 3D animation.

But if 'The Archiver' by Thomas Obrecht, Guillaume Berthoumieu and Marc Menneglier is any indication of future work, that may be about to change and proves the Gaulish animation invasion is only getting stronger.

Protest Zapping

Another short animation from the ‘Obstacle Series’ created for the Dutch sports brand Protest.

Brave Teaser Trailer

My Dog Tulip On DVD



'My Dog Tulip' is due for release on the 11th July, I've just pre-ordered my copy. I was sorry to miss this one in the cinema so I'm really looking forward to finally seeing it.

Beautifully animated and featuring an all-star cast voiced by Christopher Plummer, the late Lynn Redgrave and Isabella Rossellini, My Dog Tulip is a touching, bittersweet adaptation of the late British author J. R. Ackerley's enduring memoir, exploring the 16-year relationship with his adopted Alsatian bitch, Tulip. A profound and subtle mediation on the strangeness that lies at the heart of all relationships My Dog Tulip was written and directed by the award-winning filmmakers Paul and Sandra Fierlinger.

The Weekend People - We Are Police

I've featured quiet a lot of zoetrope-inspired animation techniques over the last few months and this is one of my favourites. Take a look at the music video for The Weekend People’s single, We Are Police. The directors are Melbourne, Australia-based Sarah Phillips and Lachlan Dean.

Uniforms For The Dedicated - March Of No Coincidence

Top 25 Animated Features For Time Magazine



Richard Corliss has compiled a list for Time Magazine of “25 All-Time Best Animated Features”. Posted below is the full list of the 25 films and you can watch video with Richard Corliss explaining his choices for the Top 10 here: TIME Video

1. Pinocchio (1940)
2. WALL-E (2008)
3. The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie (1979)
4. Dumbo (1941)
5. Spirited Away (2001)
6. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
7. Up (2009)
8. The Triplets of Belleville (2003)
9. Finding Nemo (2003)
10. The Little Mermaid (1989)
11. Toy Story 3 (2010)
12. Toy Story (1995)
13. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
14. The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)
15. Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
16. Happy Feet (2006)
17. Akira (1988)
18. The Lion King (1994)
19. Tangled (2010)
20. Paprika (2007)
21. Kung Fu Panda (2008)
22. Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! (2008)
23. Yellow Submarine (1968)
24. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
25. Lady and the Tramp (1955)

What films do you think Corliss should have included?

You can check out the Animated Reviews Top 100 Animated Feature Films here: Top 100

Pixar's Brave Characters Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek of some of the characters from forthcoming Disney Pixar feature 'Brave'...

Pixar's Brave Poster And Official Website



Disney has launched the official website for 'Brave', the next great Pixar film that is due in 2012. The only two sections that are available to view right now are “Story” and “Gallery.” The gallery collects previously-released concept art, as seen on the Animated Review, and the poster revealed above. The story section only has the official synopsis currently listed. Hopefully more will be revealed soon.

Watch Megunica Online



Watch the video documentary, 'Megunica' exclusively on Wired.it. for the next 30 days. Directed by Lorenzo Fonda, the film tells the story of a trip he took to Central and South America with the street artist Blu. Produced by Warp Films.

Be Quiet

Henry Zhang is a Chinese student currently studying in America at UCLA. This is the first of his work I’ve seen and I’m quiet impressed, I'm already looking forward to seeing what he creates next.

Henry Waltz Trailer

Here’s the trailer for 'Henry Waltz', a feature film in development by Emil Goodman, an animation director from Budapest, Hungary. You don't learn much about the characters or story, but it's looks visually impressive.

Glassworks For TalkTalk

TalkTalk has launched its latest ad campaign bringing to life their new positioning of their tag line, “A brighter home for everyone’. The campaign includes a television commercial featuring ‘homes within homes’, in which animated characters living in a doll’s house, snow globe, model railway village and cuckoo clock enviously watch real characters enjoying the benefits and emotions associated with TalkTalk. Set against the soundtrack of Unchained Melody, the stop-frame animation ends with the characters rushing to their own computers and mobiles as loved ones make contact.

The Homes Within Homes campaign was developed at ad agency CHI & Partners. Directed by Adam Berg via Stink, with 3D post production done at Glassworks.

Watch Me Move Book

The incredible book published to accompany the 'Watch Me Move' exhibition currently on at the Barbican in London arrived on my doorstep yesterday. It's the perfect companion to the show with chapters matching the seven interconnected themes the exhibition is divided into: Apparitions, Characters, Superhumans, Fables, Fragments, Structures, and Visions. The book comprehesivly spans the last 150 years of animation from zoetropes through to new media technologies and virtual worlds, like Avatar.

Watch Me Move: The Animation Show

Watch Me Move: The Animation Show

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Merrell (20 Jun 2011)
Language English
ISBN-10: 1858945585
ISBN-13: 978-1858945583

Today's breathtaking digital animation by the likes of Pixar may have been unimaginable to such moving-image pioneers as Eadweard Muybridge and Winsor McCay, but over the course of the last century animation has become one of the most popular and prevalent visual art forms. Watch Me Move presents an extensive selection of animated imagery created over the past 100 years, from Felix the Cat, Mickey Mouse and Betty Boop to Astro Boy, South Park and Avatar, and covers a wide range of techniques, including hand-drawn, stop-motion, computer animation and more experimental forms. Organized thematically, the book explores the emergence of animation, its well-loved characters, heroes and villains, its myths and fables, dramatic narratives and alternative realities. With essays by animation experts and biographies of the leading studios and animators, Watch Me Move is the definitive guide to the dynamic world of the animated image.

Seed Animation For Asics

Following on from earlier projects with Asics in Japan Onedotzero worked with them again on their sponsorship of the 2008 Tokyo marathon. They secured an open brief and commission three films on the theme of running, all to be shown on public displays during the event. The films needed to capture the spirit of the race and give a taste of the host city. This is my favourite of the three, created by UK based studio Seed animation.

Stuxnet Infographic

'Stuxnet: Anatomy Of A Computer Virus' infographic dissects the nature and ramifications of the first weapon made entirely out of code. This was produced for Australian TV program HungryBeast on Australia's ABC1.

Lit Tree Installation

I've posted a couple of times now about site specific installation and environmetal animation. Check out my last post on Amon Tobin's live projections, they're incredible. Some exciting possibilities are explored in the impressive projection mapping experiment 'Lit Tree' by Seoul/London-based Kimchi and Chips which encourages audiences to interact with trees through an animated interface:


"Through the use of video projection, a tree is augmented in a non-invasive way, enabling the presentation of volumetric light patterns using itʼs own leaves as voxels (3D pixels). We have developed our own structured light system (called MapTools-SL) which scans the location of every pixel in 3D, allowing a cloud of scattered projector pixels to be used as 3D Voxels.

The tree invites viewers with a choreographed cloud of light that can respond visitors motion. As visitors approach, they can explore the immediate and cryptic nature of this reaction. The tree can form gestures in this way, and can in turn detect the gestures of its visitors. By applying a superficial layer of immediate interaction to the tree, can people better appreciate the long term invisible interaction that they share with it?"

Amon Tobin Live Projections

Chicago design and motion shop Leviathan team up with VJ Vello Virkhaus to create this visually stunning set design and projection mapping for Amon Tobin.

The team also developed “a proprietary projection alignment tool to ensure quick and accurate setup for the show, along with custom Kinect control & visualization utilities for Amon to command.”

Claymation Cult Horrors

Leeds-based animator Lee Hardcastle spends his days moulding clay into blood, vomit and other bodily fluids. His 60-second animations take on a variety of cult horror movies, including 'The Evil Dead', 'Eraserhead', 'The Exorcist' and 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'.







The Little Vampire



Just coming off winning the best feature honor at Annecy for 'The Rabbi's Cat,' French comic-book artist turned animator Joann Sfar is set to turn his best-selling book 'The Little Vampire' into an animated feature, Variety reports.

Sfar is teaming with StudioCanal for the project, which will be a 3D animated adaptation of his book. He will write and direct the feature.

Seasick Steve - Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

You'll need some old school blue and red 3D specs for this one...

Cassini Mission By Chris Abbas

Designer / director Chris Abbas downloaded a public domain archive of still images captured by NASA’s Cassini Solstice Mission and composited them into this stunning animated short...



"I truly enjoy outer space. It's absolutely amazing that we now have the ability to send instruments out into the void of the universe to observe all sorts of interesting things. Asteroids! Moons! Planets! Dark matter! This is the perfect opportunity for a Carl Sagan quote:

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."

The footage in this little film was captured by the hardworking men and women at NASA with the Cassini Imaging Science System."

Mytho Logique

Directed by two 3D artists, Guillaume Poitel and Alex Belbari, whilst they were in their last year of studies at the ESMA School of Arts (Ecole Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques), France.

Shot in both stereoscopic 3D and 2D, the humorous short pays tribute to mythical creatures such as centaurs, nymphs and Olympian Gods. It has already scooped a clutch of awards and appeared at a number of festivals including ANIMA and Stuttgart FMX.

Check it out below… and to learn more about the film, including a special making of, visit the official website:

www.mytho-logique.com

Zero By Christopher Kezelos

Born into a world of numbers, an oppressed zero discovers that through determination, courage, and love, nothing can be truly something.

'Zero' is a short stop motion animation written and directed by Christopher Kezelos and produced by Christine Kezelos. For more information or to buy 'Zero' on DVD, visit www.zeroshortfilm.com.

Wreck It Ralph AKA Reboot Ralph AKA Joe Jump



Today Disney announced details on the forthcoming CG feature 'Wreck It Ralph,' previously titled 'Reboot Ralph, and 'Joe Jump' before that. No trailer yet, but I'm sure it won't be long before one appears online.

The film, which will be directed by Emmy Award winner Rich Moore ('Futurama' and 'The Simpsons'), is a CGI animated tale about a video game villain desperate to show that he can be the Good Guy. The film’s main characters will be brought to life with the voices of actors John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, and Jane Lynch.

Disney also provided this official synopsis of the film:

Wreck-It Ralph longs to be as beloved as his game’s perfect Good Guy, Fix-It Felix. Problem is, nobody loves a Bad Guy. But they do love heroes… so when a modern, first-person shooter game arrives featuring tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun, Ralph sees it as his ticket to heroism and happiness. He sneaks into the game with a simple plan—win a medal—but soon wrecks everything, and accidently unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Ralph’s only hope? Vanellope von Schweetz, a young troublemaking “glitch” from a candy-coated cart racing game who might just be the one to teach Ralph what it means to be a Good Guy. But will he realize he is good enough to become a hero before it’s “Game Over” for the entire arcade?

Director Rich Moore says:

“I love the idea of a very simple 8-bit video game character struggling with the complex question: ‘isn’t there more to life than the role I’ve been assigned?’ In his quest for the answer, we journey with our hero through three visually distinct video game worlds. It’s unlike anything anyone’s seen before, and I’m thrilled to be to creating it here at Walt Disney Animation Studios.”

Der Kleinere Raum By Cristobal Leon & Nina Wehrle

Released back in 2009, 'Der Kleinere Raum' by Cristobal Leon and Nina Wehrle may be short, but its dark foreboding atmosphere is sure to fix it in your memory for a long time.

John Kricfalusi & Gary Painter Talk Marvel Comics

Series Two of the Stussy x Marvel t-shirts launched on Saturday 14th May. John Kricfalusi and Gary Panter speak about their choice of hero for the project.

Disney Pixar's Planes

With 'Cars 2' UK release date looming, Disney have released this first sneak peak at the DisneyToon Studios feature, 'Planes.'

Announced in February this year, 'Planes' is a full-length CG feature, set in the same world as Cars and will be released on Blu-ray and DVD sometime in 2013.

Cyriak Music Videos

I'd just been re-watching the excellent 'Baaa' by Cyriak and thought I'd search online for some older examples of his work. I came across a couple of incredible music videos directed by Cyriak that I'd never seen before...



Shane Acker's Thomas The Tank Engine



Shane Acker made his feature directorial debut in 2009 with '9', which was the culmination of years of work that began with the short film of the same title, released in 2005. The former WETA animator (he worked on The Return of the King) didn’t get the best reception with '9', but it certainly has fans, thanks in part to some excellent character designs.

Now he’s back with a very different sort of movie. We don’t have a title for the film yet, but it takes place in Sodor, which readers with young children will be able to identify as the home of Thomas the Tank Engine.

WETA and Mattel are working on the film, with a script by Chris Viscardi, Will McRobb and Josh Klausner. Shane Acker seems like a weird choice; '9' was a much darker film than anything based on Thomas The Tank Engine will have to be.

The director says he wants to broaden the audience for Thomas, but not really change the material. Shane Acker told Deadline,

"I’m a recent father, with a 20-month old daughter… We lead such busy lives in Hollywood, always running and hustling, but children tend to slow you down a bit and reconnect you with that inner world. It reinvents your imagination, seeing things through a child’s eyes It was transformative for me and that is what inspired me about the possibilities here. The tale will revolve around a pre-teen boy who has drifted apart from his father. The son is introduced into this world of Sodor, a place his father visited as a child but can’t remember. There is a bonding experience."

On a completely different note, Shane Acker also has a new short film, a far darker creation called 'Plus Minus'.

Pa! Pa! Zine - The Summer Camp Issue

I've just bought issue 1 (The Summer Camp Issue) of a zine called 'Pa! Pa!' created by Pearl and Anna. Amongst it's festival themed content was a DVD with the following short, but sweet animation...

Tim Wheatley For Africa Is Moving HIV/AIDS

Do you remember the Cyclotrope video by Tim Wheatley we posted earlier in the year? Well, lots of other sites posted it too and the film went viral within twenty-four hours of appearing on-line. Usually when an idea like this goes viral it's bastardised by some ad agency to pass of somebody else’s idea as their own and make a few quid in the process. A recent example being the Credit Confidential spot by Passion Pictures, they basically regurgitated ideas seen in 'MUTO' created by graffiti artist Blu 3 years earlier.

It's aggravating when ad agencies and art directors search the Internet for innovative ideas that they then pinch for their own gain. Especially as Saatchi & Saatchi’s Geneva office has proven that it doesn’t need to be that way and that agencies can collaborate respectfully with filmmakers. They did just that for their recent 'Africa is Moving' HIV/AIDS spot, a collaboration with Tim Wheatley and his Cyclotrope concept...

“It just shows the power of the Internet,” said Wheatley. “We are encouraged to put our coursework online and in my case it lead to a fully paid trip to Cape Town to work with some of the world’s leading media professionals. It was a fantastic opportunity and experience.”

Watch the video:

Studio Ghibli & Lego



I've just come across these brilliant Lego creations by Iain Heath. The Studio Ghibli themed creations went down well at the 2010 brickcon in Japan, with his tribute to the magic of Hayao Miyazaki winning the top award. Have a look at some of the other creations here: Lego Ghibli Flickr.

Sound Of Noise

Animated segment for the award winning feature film 'Sound of Noise', directed by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson. Music by Magnus Börjeson.

Memory Tapes -Yes I Know

Kung Fu Panda 2 - End Credits

Dreamworks have been kind enough to post a textless version of end credit animation from 'Kung Fu Panda 2' online. You can watch the version with text here: Shine Studio.

Mermaid By Aleksandr Petrov

Aleksandr Petrov’s style from the late 1980s onward can be characterized as a type of Romantic realism. People, animals and landscapes are painted and animated in a very realistic fashion, but there are many sections in his films where Petrov attempts to depict a character’s inner thoughts and dreams. 'Mermaid' was nominated for an OSCAR in 1998 for Best Animated Short Film.

Mossbits

Songwriter Brad Mossman has been collaborating with animator Jake Armstrong on a series of fun animated videos like 'Mossbits.'

MadInSpain 2011 Opening Sequence

Weird alien-esque opening sequence created by Toch for the MadInSpain conference.

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen



'The Fabulous Baron Munchausen' is a brilliant film mixing animation with live action, as well as incorporating a seemingly revolutionary technique of applying distinct and wildly varying colour jells throughout the movie.

Directed by Karel Zeman, who is known as the father of Czech animated film, 'The Fabulous Baron Munchausen' is an astounding work of genius, crafted with painstaking detail and dedication to truly capture the whimsical nature of Munchausen’s strange and surreal tall tales.

This is a typically bizarre clip from the film:

Shane Acker's Plus Minus

Shane Acker's feature length version of '9' was visually stunning, but ultimately lacked the charm of the earlier short. That hasn't stopped the director from his craft though, and as this new trailer for his next short apocalyptic film called 'Plus Minus' proves, Acker's still got formidable talent.

Trailer via Twitch.



Edit: The embedded trailer seems a bit temperamental, so if you can't view it you'll just have to believe me when I say it's awesome. Enjoy this picture for the time being:

Pixars La Luna Poster

Psyop For ING Direct

Psyop turn there storytelling talents to puppeteering (enhanced with Flame and supplemental 3D) in a series of three fables for ING Direct.





Kung Fu Cooking Girls

Created by a small animation studio called Wolf Smoke. 'Kung Fu Cooking Girls' was made to showcase the studios new style and method of cartoon animation:

"We did key frames on paper first then used vector software to do the between frames and color painting. This is the first time that we use this way to do stuffs. Over 4000 key frames hand drawing and over 10,000 betweens in this movie."

Visit their YouTube page for some other examples of their work.

Buddha - The Great Departure



The first in the animated trilogy of films based on Osamu Tezuka's manga series 'Buddha' will be screened at the Annecy film festival on the 8th of June.

'Buddha - The Great Departure' combines the story from the first two volumes of Tezuka's epic 8 volume manga series 'Buddha.' If you haven't read it, you should. It can be purchased here: Vertical Inc.

Many of Tezuka's works have been animated over the years including: 'Black Jack', 'Astro Boy', 'Kimba The White Lion', 'Metropolis' and 'Phoenix'. Tezuka's cinematic style to his Manga has enabled his stories to be translated very successfully into animated features, so I’m hoping 'Buddha - The great Departure,' created by Toei animation and directed by Kozo Morishita, will continue this success.

The Tibetan Dog Teaser Trailer

Have a look at this teaser trailer for 'The Tibetan Dog.'

'The Tibetan Dog' is based on a classic Chinese tale and lively animated by Japanese studio Madhouse.

'The Tibetan Dog' is part of the official selection of the 2011 Annecy festival that is currently taking place. The film is being screened there every day from the 6th to the 10th of June.

Geoff McFetridge Music Videos




The Maker



"A strange creature races against time to make the most important and beautiful creation of his life."

'The Maker' by Zealous Creative is the latest short film from this LA based production company. Run by husband and wife team, director Christopher Kezelos and producer Christine Kezelos. For more than a decade they have written, produced, directed and edited ads, viral videos and short films.

Keep up to date with progress on 'The Maker' here: 'The Maker'

Voices For Freedom




Beautiful and emotional new animated Amnesty International spot from director Oliver Durant at Captive in Lisbon based on the plight of Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen currently imprisoned by China for his documentary about human rights in his home country.

From the WeAreCaptive website:

Background...
"Leo Burnett's campaign for Amnesty International addresses the silencing of civil activists worldwide. One such activist, Dhondup Wangchen was imprisoned in 2008 for the making of his documentary 'leaving fear behind' which describes the feelings of modern day Tibetans regarding Chinese rule and the then impending Beijing Olympic Games.

Following his imprisonment in 2008 a massive wave of unrest tore through Tibet in the form of the rioting of Buddhist monks resulting in the disappearance of over 1000 monks unaccounted for until this day. Dhondup's story became for us a resounding analogy of a much greater worldwide struggle against authoritarian rule and the use of power to silence the minority."

Synopsis...

"Leo's poignant slogan for the Amnesty campaign 'Voices for Freedom' was the starting point for our animation leading us to narrate the story of Dhondup's own discovery and loss of his freedom of speech. It was important for us to convey the identity of Tibet which seems to have been trampled by Chinese rule, as was it seems the identity of Dhondup himself.

Our script was influenced strongly by Bhuddist and Tibetan proverbs which significantly inform the beliefs of the Tibetan people. The narrative involves many symbolic animals which are central to religion and lifestyle in Tibet, the Yak, Tiger and antelope are all Bhuddist prayer animals while the crane is a national symbol in China.

Key to our story was the idea that a single voice can influence thousands of others, represented in our animation as dandelion seeds free with the potential to create a thousand others but on a journey that may also end in an instant. Our final message is that one voice will always prevail through the masses who are silenced to inform a thousand others and in this case the voice is that of Dhondup Wangchen."

NFTS 2011 Student Films

The National Film And Television School (NFTS) have been revealing trailers for some of the graduate films from the 2011 class. Here are a couple of my favourites, but check the NFTS YouTube page for more: YouTube

Kahanikar (The Storyteller) - Directed by Nandita Jain.



Playing Ghost - Directed by Bianca Ansems.



Damned - Directed by Richard Phelan.

Italian Animation DVD From BAA



BAA (British Animation Awards) have released another new DVD. This title features the finest Italian animation. 'Italian Contemporary Short Films: ANIMAZIONI' is available to buy now: BAA shop

"Check out some of the best of recent Italian animation, currently undergoing a renaissance, reflected in a growing international festival profile and prizelists. From recent award-winning debut films by emerging talents to those by more established names such as Ridley Scott’s favourite animator, Gianluigi Toccafondo (who did the Robin Hoodtitle sequence), and films from urban graffiti artist-turned-filmmaker Blu, whose animated urban fantasy Muto has scored 9 million Internet hits and who was recently featured at Tate Modern."