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.