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Archive for the ‘Animation’ Category

Shane Acker’s 9: Tim Burton’s latest animated project

9 movie poster

In 2005 an architecture student at UCLA by the name of Shane Acker released an 11-minute silent CG animated short film called “9” that had been produced in his spare time over four and a half years. Another four years later and it’s been developed into a Tim Burton-backed feature length film (here, like The Nightmare Before Christmas, Burton is the executive producer, not the director).

In an interview with Shane in Frames Per Second magazine (check out the whole thing, it’s a good read), he names some of his favourite movies as Brazil, The Thing, Aliens and Delicatessen and you can certainly see the influence of those films come across, both in his original short and in the trailer for the new film.

Talking of the short, here it is:

9 Nine Shane Acker Short Animation
Uploaded by FrFKmeronArts and animation videos.

It’s interesting to note that the forthcoming film is a talkie — and an all-star voiced one at that. I’m always a bit wary when I see an animated film with so many A-list actors on-board, as if they’re being used as the pull to see it rather than the merits of the movie itself… we’ll have to wait and see.

The Beatles Rock Band intro by Pete Candeland

Beatles Rock Band intro animation

Harmonix have just released this superb animated game intro video / trailer for the The Beatles Rock Band game due to be released in September. It’s directed by Pete Candeland who’s most well known for the numerous videos produced with Jamie Hewlett for Gorillaz. Have a look at his portfolio over at the Passion Pictures website.

A new gameplay video was also released and is available to view and download from the game’s website.

First Toy Story 3 Teaser Trailer

Pixar’s latest feature Up was released to cinemas yesterday and, with it, a teaser trailer for next year’s Toy Story 3.

Toy Story 3 will be released in June 2010.

A Preview of Pixar’s Partly Cloudy

Pixar's Partly Cloudy

Update 10th June: Here’s the Partly Cloudy short in full.
Absolutely superb! Be quick though, I doubt it’ll be around for long.

Here’s a fleeting 30 seconds from Partly Cloudy, the Pixar short that will accompany their next feature, Up. Directed by Peter Sohn, the voice of Emile in the movie Rataouille, it tells the story of Gus, a lonely grey cloud who makes babies for storks to deliver.

From the Pixar wiki:

Everyone knows that the stork delivers babies, but where do the storks get the babies from? The answer lies up in the stratosphere, where cloud people sculpt babies from clouds and bring them to life. Gus, a lonely and insecure grey cloud, is a master at creating ‘dangerous’ babies. Crocodiles, porcupines, rams and more—Gus’s beloved creations are works of art, but more than a handful for his loyal delivery stork partner, Peck. As Gus’s creations become more and more rambunctious, Peck’s job gets harder and harder. How will Peck manage to handle both his hazardous cargo and his friend’s fiery temperament?

There’s a lengthy interview with Peter about the short at Animation World News.

View a higher quality version of the trailer. Partly Cloudy will debut with Up on May 29th.

(via Cartoon Brew)

How Disneyland Helped to Send Man into Space


Stephen Worth has an interesting article over at the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive on how we’ve imagined the future throughout the past century. It includes scans of an article from a 1950 issue of Coronet magazine, illustrated by Chesley Bonestell, about a family trip to Venus in the year 2500, along with some clips from the Disneyland TV show’s “Mars and Beyond“. Mars and Beyond was one of three space-themed specials:

It’s impossible to overstate how important the Disney space shows were to the American space program. President Dwight Eisenhower requested a copy of “Man in Space” to screen for his top military officers to convince them that space travel was indeed possible. Six months after “Mars and Beyond” aired, congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act which established NASA. The launch of Russia’s Sputnik satellite in October 1957 might have been the immediate impetus for the swift passage of the funding for the program, but the groundwork for the concept behind NASA was laid by Wernher von Braun and Walt Disney.

Clearly, scientists like Wernher von Braun and politicians like Eisenhower and Kennedy were responsible for America’s space program. But it took more than science and funding to put man on the moon. It took will. The awe inspiring imaginary vistas of Chesley Bonestell and the fantastic animation of Ward Kimball and Walt Disney became our collective dreams. The day after “Man in Space” aired, every man, woman and child in America had the same fantasy in their head- the burning desire to go to the moon. The visions created by these artists and filmmakers became reality because they crystallized and energized our collective will.

Animation has the power to mobilize society to do great things.

Mars and Beyond can be found on the Walt Disney Treasures – Tomorrowland: Disney in Space and Beyond DVD along with “Man in Space” and “Man and the Moon” as well as, of course, on YouTube:

  1. Man & the Sky
  2. Mars in Pop Culture
  3. History of Life on Earth/Solar System
  4. Mars from Earth
  5. Life on Mars
  6. Travel to Mars

If that’s not enough, here’s some Ward Kimball concept art.

John K’s “Art of Spumco” book to be published in 2010

ren and stimpy

John Kricfalusi, creator of Ren and Stimpy and the Spumco animation studio, is currently putting together a book explaining how Spumco (and the “Spumco style”) came to be. The book will feature stories about the artists and animators that contributed along the way — “the definitive book of John’s work – from childhood through Ren and Stimpy to today” — hopefully it’ll contain plenty of artwork too!

The book is being published by PictureBox and edited by Amid Amidi (he’s the guy who produces Animation Blast magazine and who created the book on 50s animation style, Cartoon Modern) and John K has just posted a rough excerpt about his early interactions with Ralph Bakshi over at his blog.

Animated Protest to Foie Gras at Disneyland Paris

Dutch animators Jurjen Bosklopper and Mustafa Kandaz created this wonderfully executed short in just a couple of weeks to protest the sale of Foie Gras at Disneyland Paris. Loving the backgrounds too which have a bit of an Eyvind Earle feel about them. (via Cartoon Brew)

“Where the Wild Things Are” Trailer

The long-awaited (for me, certainly) proper glimpse of the Where the Wild Things Are movie. Directed by Spike Jonze and based on the classic children’s book written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak.

Spike Jonze is best known for his work on the films Being John Malkovitch and Adaptation — plus the awesome Beastie Boys promo video to Sabotage.

HD version also available on Apple Trailers. (via Ain’t it Cool News)

A first look at Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland film concept artwork

Update: If you’re looking for the new images, you’ll find them here!

You’ll find the trailer here.

The premier issue of Disney twenty-three magazine includes an article on Tim Burton’s part live action, part CGI-animated Alice in Wonderland movie which is due for release in Spring 2010. The article features the first glimpses of some wonderful looking concept artwork and photography and the Tim Burton Collective blog has some scans of the pages.

If anyone has any better scans of the images, do let us know!

(thanks Jenny!)

Happy 80th Birthday Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck model sheet

Today is Mickey Mouse’s 80’s birthday!

Plane Crazy (1928)

Steamboat Willie (1928)

He’s sure changed quite a bit over the years, from a wreckless plane-flying letch to a guy who got a tune by wrenching animal tails and hitting them with sticks to the wonderfully appealing Freddie Moore design in Fantasia‘s Sorcerer’s Apprentice to homogenised theme park bobble-head.

Fantasia: Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1940)

Mickey Mouse Club Intro (1955)

What better way to celebrate than by digging up a bunch of old links:

A Biological Homage to Mickey Mouse: “He has assumed an ever more childlike appearance as the ratty character of Steamboat Willie became the cute and inoffensive host to a magic kingdom. By 1940, the former tweaker of pig’s nipples gets a kick in the ass for insubordination (as the sorcerer’s Apprentice in Fantasia). By 1953, last cartoon, he has gone fishing and cannot even subdue a squirting clam.”

How Mickey Mouse Lost His Way

Photos: Around the World in 80 Mickeys

The Runaway Brain: The last Mickey Mouse short, I believe, made in 1995.

BBC Radio 4 Today Programme: Mickey Mouse Turns 80.

Photos: Mickey Mouse Through the Years

And some obligatory affiliate links: Walt Disney Treasures Mickey In Living Colour, Mickey In Living Colour Vol. 2, Mickey Mouse in Black and White, Mickey Mouse in Black and White Vol. 2.