Monthly Archives: February 2011

Duck Amuck (1953) — Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

CotD: Eas­ily one of Chuck Jones’ finest; per­haps even one of the best to come out of Warner Bros. Stu­dios, ani­mated or not~

Duck Amuck

Duck Amuck

Duck Amuck (1953) — Mer­rie Melodies The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

Stand back, mus­ke­teers!” swords­man Daffy cries, sur­rounded by Dumasian scenery, cred­its and music. “They shall sam­ple my blade!” But within a few thrusts and touches, Daffy notices that the back­ground behind him has ended: “Hey, psst, whoever’s in charge here, the scenery, where’s the scenery?” A paint­brush comes across the screen and puts down a farm­yard set­ting. Daffy leaps back in his mus­ke­teer garb, real­izes it’s inap­pro­pri­ate, and returns with over­alls and hoe, then notices that the scenery has changed into a North Pole set­ting: “Would it be to much to ask if we could make up our minds, hmmm?” And so it goes. After chang­ing from many clas­sic scenes and gags, Daffy yells, “All right! Enough is enough! This is the final, the very, very last straw! Who is respon­si­ble for this? I demand that you show your­self! Who are you?” Pull back to reveal Bugs Bunny, seated by a live-action animator’s light table, admit­ting to the audi­ence, “Gee, ain’t I a stinker?”

Watch Duck Amuck on Video Here

The Last Airbender” named “winner” of 5 Razzies

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Adapted from the Nick­toons Pro­duc­tions ani­mated series “Avatar: The Last Air­ben­der,” film­maker M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Air­ben­der received five Razzie awards — includ­ing Worst Pic­ture — on Sat­ur­day night, the now-traditional Night Before the Oscars.

The 31st Annual Razz­ies were announced in satir­i­cal cer­e­monies held at Hollywood’s Barns­dall Gallery Theatre.

The Last Air­ben­der was based on the TV show about a young hero who can reunite feud­ing nations of peo­ple who can con­trol air, water, fire and earth.

Not quite sweep­ing the cer­e­mony, but still hand­ily lead­ing the pack among this year’s Razzie choices, was Razzie repeat offender Shyamalan’s “reimag­in­ing” of the faux-anime TV series into a jum­bled, jump-cut mess of a movie that fans of the TV show hated even more than crit­ics did (if that’s even possible!).

More on The Big Car­toon Forum.

Toy Story 3 Takes Best Animated Feature, Song

Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3

Fear-based film­mak­ing” led to mak­ing the third install­ment of the Toy Story fran­chise, direc­tor Lee Unkrich said Sun­day night after get­ting Toy Story 3 the Acad­emy Award for best ani­mated feature.

The three­quel won a sec­ond Oscar for best orig­i­nal song (Randy Newman’s “We Belong Together”).

Though los­ing to The King’s Speech to best pic­ture, Toy Story 3 was the third ani­mated movie ever to be nom­i­nated in the top Acad­emy Award category.

More here at the Big CartoonForum.

No Barking (1944) Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon

CotD: Chuck Jones tries to start off a new character,his one was not as lucky or long-lived as his oth­ers. Watch it today to see what you think!

No Barking (1954) Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon

No Bark­ing (1954) Mer­rie Melodies The­atri­cal Cartoon

No Bark­ing (1954) Mer­rie Melodies The­atri­cal Cartoon

No Bark­ing: A home­less cat (Claude) search­ing for food is harassed by the play­ful antics and bark­ing of an ener­getic pup (Frisky). Frisky repeat­edly sneaks up behind the poor tabby cat (who hates the dog) and scares it into jump­ing ver­ti­cally when it barks. After Claude finally silences the pup, he encoun­ters a larger dog, whose bark has a dis­as­trous effect. Tweety Bird has two lines. Can you guess what they are?

The Zoot Cat (1944) Tom & Jerry Theatrical Cartoon

CotD: Tom is after a very cute black kit­ten, so he gets him­self a “The Zoot Cat”. But will it help?

The Zoot Cat (1944) Tom & Jerry Theatrical Cartoon

The Zoot Cat (1944) Tom & Jerry The­atri­cal Cartoon

The Zoot Cat (1944) Tom & Jerry

The­atri­cal Cartoon

The Zoot Cat: John Q. Pub­lic gives us a his­tor­i­cal and edu­ca­tional out­look on the Cap­i­tal­ism and Free­dom of the United States of America.

South Park threats contribute to 25-year sentence

South Park

South Park

A 21-year-old man was sen­tenced Thurs­day to 25 years in prison after admit­ting to post­ing threats against the cre­ators of South Park.

Court doc­u­ments said that Zachary Adam Chesser made posts that included the writ­ers’ home addresses and urged read­ers to “pay them a visit.”

Accord­ing to the doc­u­ments, Chesser encour­aged vio­lent jihadists to attack them for an episode on Com­edy Cen­tral that showed the Prophet Mohammed in a bear suit.

Zachary Chesser will spend 25 years in prison for advo­cat­ing the mur­der of U.S. cit­i­zens for engag­ing in free speech about his reli­gion,” said U.S. Attor­ney Neil MacBride.

His actions caused peo­ple through­out the coun­try to fear speak­ing out — even in jest — to avoid being labeled as ene­mies who deserved to be killed. The fact that a young man from North­ern Vir­ginia could sup­port such vio­lence and ter­ror is a sober­ing reminder of the seri­ous threat that home­grown jihadists pose to this country.”

More at The Big Car­toon Forum

Dragon” helps double DWA’s fourth-quarter profit

How To Train Your Dragon

How To Train Your Dragon

DVD sales of “How to Train Your Dragon” and a tax ben­e­fit helped dou­ble Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion SKG Inc.‘s fourth-quarter profit, the stu­dio behind the Shrek movies announced Thursday.

Net income rose to $85.2 mil­lion (99 cents a share) from $43.6 mil­lion (50 cents) the pre­vi­ous year. With the excep­tion of some items, ana­lysts had expected profit of 73 cents a share, the aver­age of 12 esti­mates com­piled by Bloomberg.

Sales jumped 42% per­cent to $275.7 mil­lion, although 11 ana­lysts’ esti­mates com­piled by Bloomberg thought that they would reach $291.7 million.

The tax credit added $45 mil­lion (52 cents) to earn­ings, Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion said.

DWA repur­chased 3.1 mil­lion of its shares for about $111 mil­lion over the year, said a state­ment from the stu­dio. The Glen­dale, California-based com­pany has $150 mil­lion left under its cur­rent authorization.

Home-video sales helped to off­set a weak per­for­mance at the box office, although Mega­mind — which was released Fri­day on DVD — won’t be a major con­trib­u­tor to the cur­rent quar­ter, DWA said.

More at The Big Car­toon Forum

No Boop for you, Fleischer family

Betty Boop

Betty Boop

Betty Boop mer­chan­dis­ing, the Ninth U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

The court ruled in a 2–1 deci­sion that the chain of title had been bro­ken after the orig­i­nal sale of the rights to Betty over 70 years ago. In essence, it said, Fleischer’s fam­ily lacks a valid copy­right or trade­mark for Betty.

A 1930 court opin­ion said that Fleis­cher cre­ated the appeal­ing female who “com­bined in appear­ance the child­ish with the sophis­ti­cated — a large round baby face with big eyes and a nose like a but­ton, framed in a some­what care­ful coif­fure, with a very small body.”

In 1941, Fleis­cher trans­ferred the rights to Betty Boop’s image and car­toons to Para­mount Pic­tures Inc. Accord­ing to the fam­ily, the rights were trans­ferred sev­eral more times before they reverted to the fam­ily through their firm, Fleis­cher Stu­dios Inc.

After­ward, the fam­ily started to license Ms. Boop for use in mer­chan­dise. A.V.E.L.A. Inc., a com­pany which licenses images of the char­ac­ter, were sued by the fam­ily for copy­right infringement.

More at The Big Car­toon Forum

Raggedy Ann and Andy writer Max Wilk dead at 90

Raggedy Ann And Andy

Raggedy Ann And Andy

Author, play­wright and screen­writer Max Wilk, co-writer of the screen­play for the 1977 Fox-distributed ani­mated fea­ture film Raggedy Ann And Andy, died Sat­ur­day at his Saugatuck Shores home in West­port, Con­necti­cut. He was 90.

Dur­ing sev­eral years liv­ing in Lon­don in the 1960s, he became involved with the Bea­t­les’ Yel­low Sub­ma­rine project and was com­mis­sioned to write the nov­el­iza­tion of the film.

Wilk was a long time dra­maturg for the National Play­wrights Con­fer­ence. His work with the National Play­wrights Con­fer­ence at the Eugene O’Neill The­ater Cen­ter spanned nearly three decades.

While at the O’Neill, Wilk helped both emerg­ing and estab­lished play­wrights refine their plays, work­ing with some of mod­ern theater’s top lumi­nar­ies, includ­ing Pulitzer Prize win­ners August Wil­son and John Patrick Shan­ley, Lee Bless­ing, OyamO, James Yoshimura, Jef­frey Hatcher, Wendy McLeod, Doug Wright, Willy Holtz­man, Judy GeBauer, Charles Shul­man, Sam Hunter, Ursula Rani Sarma and Lucy Caldwell.

More at The Big Car­toon Forum

Make Mine Freedom (1948) John Sutherland Productions Theatrical Cartoon

CotD: How can you not want to check out “Make Mine Free­dom”? It stars John Q. Public!

Make Mine Freedom (1948)

Make Mine Free­dom (1948)

Make Mine Free­dom (1948) John Suther­land Pro­duc­tions The­atri­cal Cartoon

Make Mine Free­dom: John Q. Pub­lic gives us a his­tor­i­cal and edu­ca­tional out­look on the Cap­i­tal­ism and Free­dom of the United States of America.