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Archive for November, 2009

Little Golden Books and other vintage illustrations

Alice in Wonderland Big Golden Book cover

If you’re a fan of Little Golden Books, or indeed the mid-century illustration by the likes of Mary Blair, Mel Crawford, Tom Oreb, Alice and Martin Provensen — to name a few — drag yourself over to the Golden Gems blog immediately.

Be sure to delve into the Walt Disney and Hanna Barbera stuff too.

I could honestly spend the rest of the afternoon pawing through the pages. (via John K)

The Open Road: London filmed in colour, 1927

Between 1924 and 1926, Claude Friese-Greene filmed “The Open Road” — a documentary of the United Kingdom from Lands End to John O’ Groats. What’s most remarkable about this footage is that it’s shot in colour using a process called Friese-Greene Natural Colour, based on the Biocolour process originally developed by his father William.

This is an eleven-minute segment of that film, restored by the BFI, shot in London.

The Lost World Of Friese-Greene (2006) DVD at Amazon.co.uk (via Boing Boing)

Happy 40th Birthday Sesame Street

Jim Henson and Frank Oz with Bert and Ernie

It’s hard to believe but Sesame Street was born 40 years ago to this day. The show was originally conceived in 1969 to teach less advantaged children, through the means of television, so that they would arrive in school with the same preparation as middle-class children.

The show’s 40th season also starts today featuring new title and end sequences, First Lady Michelle Obama and its very first CG-animated block, Abby’s Flying Fairy School.

To celebrate, Google has shown a whole bunch of Sesame Street-inspired logos throughout the last week. They have them collected in higher resolution on their website, including all the localised ones that you may not have seen in your country, along with a “behind the scenes” look at the making of the final day’s logo, below.

Sesame Street Google Doodle

Here’s some more to feed your Sesame Street fix:
Why did Britain fall out of love with Sesame Street?
TIME Magazine: Sesame Street’s 40-Year Cavalcade of Stars gallery
Feist’s performance on Sesame Street
Ricky Gervais and Elmo
Sesame Street Classic songs playlist

Halloween Papercraft Big Head costume

Eric Testroete's Papercraft Head

I’m going to make this a tradition. Each year I’ll pick out the best Halloween costume and post it up here. A couple of years ago I featured these fantastic Bioshock costumes — and they’re still one of the post popular things on this site.

This time it’s another videogame inspired creation. 3D game artist Eric Testroete has recreated his own head using Pepakura, 3D Studio Max and copy of Photoshop in the style of those Playstation-era video game characters in “big head mode”.

The emotionless expression is also very slightly unnerving.

A first look at How to Train Your Dragon

How To Train Your Dragon

Dreamworks have released a teaser trailer for their forthcoming animated feature “How to Train Your Dragon” — although billed as if it’s from “the makers of Shrek and Kung Fu Panda” it’s no such thing!

Dragon is written and directed by Chris Sanders and Dean Deblois. These were the guys behind the unjustly overlooked and under-rated Lilo & Stitch (which, incidentally, is right up there on my list along with The Iron Giant — the other other under-rated animated movie.) and, yes, that’s the same Chris Sanders who may or may not have been booted off production of Disney’s Bolt (formerly American Dog), who then went to work at Dreamworks where he directed an animated adaptation of British novelist Cressida Cowell’s book, How to Train Your Dragon.

I may have written myself into a circle…

Those familiar with Sanders’ work will quickly recognise his hand. The trademark big eyes and stubby noses are there, although he appears to have made a decision not to include any Viking girls in bikinis. Maybe he’s saving those for the sequel.

How to Train Your Dragon will be in cinemas from March 26, 2010. (via Ward)