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Sam & Max: Episode 2 hits the road

by Trevor May | 9th January 2007 | Asides Video games | Comment on this

Sam & Max: Situation: Comedy is out now. But you’ve already pre-ordered it and know already, right?

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Michael Barrier on Once Upon a Time… Walt Disney

by Trevor May | 9th January 2007 | Art Asides Disney | Comment on this

I read Michael Barrier’s recently posted report on the Walt Disney exhibition in Paris last night, which suggests that many of the “sources that inspired” the Disney artists are tenuous at best. I can’t disagree with Michael on this (I found myself questioning the validity of quite a number of the comparisons) but what I got out of it far exceeded the tenuity of the suggested theme. As for the “negative message, that the artwork, and the films for which it was made, are really rather low” — maybe I was just in awe of all the artwork on display, but I really didn’t notice that at all.

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Animal armour

by Trevor May | 9th January 2007 | Art Asides | Comment on this

Animal Armour: Some peculiar artwork here of armour designed for animals — cats, mice, birds… raccoons?

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2006: A year in music

by Trevor May | 6th January 2007 | Music | 1 comment

Broken Social Scene

Here’s my top 20 artists of 2006 according to play counts from last.fm. It’s not entirely representative because it doesn’t record tracks played on my iPod, or in the lounge at home, but interesting(ish) none the less!

1 Broken Social Scene
2 Wolf Parade
3 Be Your Own Pet
3 Rilo Kiley
5 Ikara Colt
6 The Fiery Furnaces
7 Beastie Boys
8 Nada Surf
9 Interpol
10 Editors
11 The Duke Spirit
12 Buzzcocks
13 Arctic Monkeys
13 The Arcade Fire
15 Man or Astro-man?
16 Mindless Self Indulgence
17 The Jam
18 We Are Scientists
19 Boards of Canada
20 Sunset Rubdown
20 Howling Bells
20 Kings of Convenience

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Meet the Real Sacha Baron Cohen

by Trevor May | 6th January 2007 | Asides Humour Movies | Comment on this

Meet the Real Sacha Baron Cohen: A great audio interview with the man behind Borat, Ali G and Bruno. What makes this especially interesting is that it’s not often you hear Sacha Baron Cohen as himself. (via PidgeonBlog)

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Saul Bass: The Hollywood Connection

by Trevor May | 5th January 2007 | Animation Art Design Movies | Comment on this

North by Northwest titles

The Skirball Cultural Center in LA is currently hosting an exhibition of Saul Bass’ film-based work until April 1st. I missed the show at the Design Museum in London a couple of years ago and kicked myself that I did. If you’re near to the sunny part of California it might be worth taking a look.

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Computer games rot the brain

by Trevor May | 5th January 2007 | Asides Video games | Comment on this

Boris Johnson, the lovable buffoon, attacks computer games in his recent blog, citing them as having a “catastrophic effect … on the literacy and the prospects of young males”. Nothing like a sweeping, hysterical, generalisation from a politician to start off the new year. (via Voodoo Extreme)

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Tick Tock Toys: Archives and galleries

by Trevor May | 5th January 2007 | Asides Disney Photography Retro | Comment on this

Tick Tock Toys: A cavalcade of images and ideas: Just stumbled upon this old website from Dan Goodsell; he’s the guy that does the great Mr. Toast stuff. It’s a collection of all sorts of photographs of old theme parks, cartoon characters, newspaper ads, food and commercials. I didn’t realise until now that he’s the same guy that produced the Taschen “Krazy Kids’ Food” book that I have at home. (via John K)

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Il Etait Une Fois… Walt Disney exhibition report

by Trevor May | 4th January 2007 | Animation Art Disney Illustration Travel | 1 comment

Eyvind Earle's concept work for Sleeping Beauty

Once upon a time Walt Disney: Remember the Walt Disney art exhibition that I told you about last month which is currently showing at the Grand Palais in Paris? Well, we’ve just got back and I have to say that it exceeded all expectations; the thing was huge — three floors of gorgeous animation history chronologically laid out for my consumption!

After a 20 minute queue outside in the rain (I put the long line down to being a holiday weekend) we finally got inside where I was immediately mis-recognised as a French actor. My poor grasp of the French language eventually gave me away as an imposter and the guy apologised and wished me a good holiday.

Highlights for me were seeing many many pieces of original Mary Blair concept art for Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, Eyvind Earle’s numerous, enormous, background pieces for Sleeping Beauty and other films, Salvador Dali’s concept work for Destino (and the film played in its entirety), and many original character sheets and sketches.

When I first saw the Mary Blair work I actually had to practically press my nose against the glass to check that they were the real thing and not just prints. They were, indeed, the real thing and I was delighted to be able to see her pencil outlines just visible beneath the paint! This is the kind of thing you never get to see in coffee table books, now matter how good. Just seeing how the Mad Hatter’s hat, for example, was originally sketched much larger brought her thought process to life.

Eyvind Earle wasn’t a Disney artist that I knew much about before this exhibition but I was blown away by his concept work and, in particular, backgrounds. The first time I saw one of his paintings I stopped and couldn’t move away from it… quite literally! After viewing the pieces from afar I was drawn in to inspect the detail of each one… the combination and use of colour, the painting techniques on his massive paintings. No print, or indeed DVD, could ever do this detail justice! What’s more fantastic is that these are backgrounds; emphasising that numerous art forms must be combined, with equal importance, to produce a truly outstanding animated feature or short.

Low lights? The inability to take any photos of all the fantastic stuff on display… (wishing I’d bought a notebook and pen with me) and the disappointing selection of prints and postcards available in the shop, postcards were mostly poor crops of incredible artwork and really didn’t do the originals justice, especially after just being overwhelmed by them in the flesh. The book and the guidebook were only available in French and printed on some rather cheap paper stock (when the exhibition reaches Montreal later in the year I’ll be interested to see if an English language guidebook becomes available). A shame really, but I couldn’t leave empty handed. I picked up a print of a Marc Davis sketch of Bambi’s Thumper which was a rather reasonable six euros. I also regret not purchasing the accompanying DVD but, as we were on a very tight budget, I just couldn’t afford to.

And talking of not being able to afford not to… if you’re in Paris before the 15th January, or in or around Montreal between March 8 and June 24th, you really can’t afford to miss this.

If you want a complete overview of the show, take a look at this article at Animated Views (thanks Jenny)

Update: Michael Barrier mentions in his post about the exhibition that an English language edition of the book is available to pre-order on Amazon.

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Happy New Year!

by Trevor May | 29th December 2006 | Design Disney Retro | Comment on this

Pirates of the Caribbean: Model from the 1962 Disneyland TV show

A bit early, but it’s the last chance I’ll get. Thanks for reading! I’ll leave you with another great post from Stuff from the Park. Not only does he have a fantastic poster from Disneyland, New Year 1962 but there’s also a fantastic photo of the Pirates of the Caribbean model used in the 1965 Disneyland 10th anniversary show.

See you next year!

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