Monthly Archives: April 2011

Japanese actress, singer Yoshiko Tanaka dies at 55

Yoshiko Tanaka

Yoshiko Tanaka

Actress Tanaka Yoshiko, a for­mer mem­ber of the Japan­ese pop idol group Can­dies, died Thurs­day night at a Tokyo hos­pi­tal of breast can­cer. She was 55.

Tanaka pro­vided the voice of Kuniko Mit­suya in the 2006 anime fea­ture film Brave Story, an adventure-mystery.

Her first major role was as the star of Ima­mura Shohei’s 1989 film Kuroi Ame (Black Rain). Her por­trayal of Yasuko won her the Award of the Japan­ese Acad­emy, the Blue Rib­bon Award, the Hochi Film Award, the Kinema Junpo Award, and the award of the Mainichi Film Con­cours. The film itself received a tech­ni­cal jury prize at Cannes.

She was born Yoshiko Odate in Tokyo’s Adachi neigh­bor­hood on April 8, 1956. In 1972, she — along with Ito Ran and Fujimuri Miki — passed an audi­tion on an NHK music show. This spurred the trio to debut as Can­dies; in 1973, they released their first sin­gle, “Anata ni Muchu,”

While a mem­ber of Can­dies, Tanaka was known by the nick­name “Sue.” Still at the height of its pop­u­lar­ity, the group dis­banded in 1978.

After­ward, Tanaka returned to show busi­ness as an actress. Her films included Godzilla vs. Biol­lante, in which she played Asuka Okouchi. Among her TV cred­its were the Churasan series and Ie Naki Ko.

She mar­ried Odate Kazuo, the older brother of the late actress Nat­sume Masako, in 1991.

Mouse Wreckers (1949) — Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series

CotD: Clas­sic Merry Melodies and Acad­emy Award Nom­i­nee to boot– Hubie & Bertie in 1944’s “Mouse Wreckers” ~

Mouse Wreckers (1949) - Merrie Melodies

Mouse Wreck­ers (1949) — Mer­rie Melodies

Mouse Wreck­ers (1949) — Mer­rie Melodies The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

Hobo mice Hubie and Bertie are about to enter a nice new home. The only prob­lem is that the house already is inhab­ited by Claude Cat, a cham­pion mouser. They use var­i­ous tech­niques to drive Claude crazy.

They lower Bertie by fish­ing line down the chim­ney; he swats the cat and is then pulled back up fast. They pump Claude full of air, send­ing him zoom­ing around the room (caus­ing the feline to swear off cat­nip). They lower a vicious bull­dog to pum­mel him (the cat checks his own tongue and takes a tea­spoon of med­i­cine). And then…

Watch Mouse Wreck­ers at Big Car­toon DataBase

Defense invokes Wile E. Coyote at MA murder trial

Wile E. Coyote

Wile E. Coyote

The pros­e­cu­tion is mak­ing its case under the influ­ence of Wile E. Coyote’s car­toon physics, a defense attor­ney claimed Wednes­day at a first-degree mur­der trial in Massachusetts.

Attor­ney John Ama­bile deliv­ered his clos­ing argu­ment in the trial of Jabrai Jor­dan Cop­ney. He spoke to a Mid­dle­sex Supe­rior Court jury in Woburn.

Amaile said that Cop­ney is wrongly accused of shoot­ing Justin Cosby of Cam­bridge, who was at a Har­vard res­i­dence hall on cam­pus on May 18, 2009 to fin­ish a mar­i­juana sale.

Ama­bile invoked the always-at-the-short-end-of-the-stick coy­ote as he recounted bal­lis­tics evi­dence found in a Kirk­land House stair­well after Cosby was shot.

Bul­lets and shell cas­ings found at the scene showed that who­ever shot Cosby fired down­ward, the lawer said. As well, he said, the med­ical exam­iner tes­ti­fied that the fatal bul­let aimed at Cosby entered his left side and trav­eled down­ward. This would indi­cate that the shooter was stand­ing above him, Ama­bile said.

Ama­bile charged that the real killer was the prosecution’s star wit­ness, Blayn Jiggetts, who admit­ted bring­ing a 9mm hand­gun to the Kirk­land House dorm, but who tes­ti­fied that Cop­ney pulled the trigger.

Jiggetts tes­ti­fied that Cop­ney shot at Cosby from the foot of the stairs while Cosby ran out of the base­ment, Ama­bile said.

Wile E. Coy­ote, when he fires a gun or shoots a mis­sile at the Road Run­ner, the bul­let goes fly­ing up and down stairs and around the cor­ner,”’ Ama­bile said.

If you are going to believe Blayn ‘Bliz’ Jiggetts, you have to believe that the shot that killed Mr. Cosby went over his shoul­der, turned a cir­cle, and then came back down­ward the other way.… It’s like some­thing out of a Road Run­ner car­toon,” he said.

Jurors delib­er­ated for three hours Wednes­day. Delib­er­a­tion was to resume today (Thursday).

[Via Boston Globe…arvard_dorm_killing/]

Earthquake won’t change Studio Ghibli Inc.‘s movie

Kokurikozaka Kara

Kokurikozaka Kara

In spite of Japan’s recent earth­quake and tsunami dis­as­ter, there’s no need to change Stu­dio Ghi­bli Inc.‘s upcom­ing movie Kokurikozaka Kara (From the Kokuriko Hill), ani­ma­tor Hayao Miyazaki said.

Accord­ing to Miyza­zaki, the major con­cern about the ani­mated film, to be released July 16 across Japan, was whether the movie could hold its own against changes to the world as time progresses.

I think the project was right [in that sense],” said Miyazaki. The long­time direc­tor is cred­ited for the scriptwrit­ing and plan­ning for the film, which directed by his son Goro.

Miyazaki spoke dur­ing a Tokyo news con­fer­ence to intro­duce the movie’s theme song, sung by Aoi Teshima.

Based on a comic series for girls that ran about 30 years ago, Kokurikozaka Kara shows the life of a high-school girl and a boy from the sea in Yoko­hama in about 1963, a time when Japan under­went phe­nom­e­nal eco­nomic growth.

The heroine’s desire and the boy’s will to live in the film are def­i­nitely needed in our time from now on,” said Miyazaki. The film­maker is prepar­ing for his new movie project in which, he said, that “peo­ple will be por­trayed realistically.”

It’s worth invest­ing in Japan in efforts to renew its beauty through all the hard­ships and suf­fer­ing, Miyazaki added. He thanked peo­ple work­ing in the dam­aged Fukushima Dai­ichi nuclear plant and in disaster-stricken areas.

We’re tested in what we make in such a period of time when only anx­i­eties are hum­ming like basso con­tinuo,” he said.

Miyazaki said he has thought lately that the time isn’t ripe to make fan­tasy fic­tion. “It’s a pride of Ghi­bli not to jump on the band­wagon,” he remarked.

[Via Kyodo News —…2&show_article=1]

Bugs Bunny Nips The Nips (1944) — Merrie Melodies

CotD: You’d never see a car­toon (much less a title!) like this today, but 1944’s “Bugs Bunny Nips The Nips” give us a good idea of the war effort in WWII ~

Bugs Bunny Nips The Nips (1944) - Merrie Melodies

Bugs Bunny Nips The Nips (1944) — Mer­rie Melodies

Bugs Bunny Nips The Nips (1944) — Mer­rie Melodies The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

Some­where in the South Pacific, Bugs, float­ing in a crate, lands on an island filled with Japan­ese sol­diers. His peace and quiet come to a halt when bombs start hit­ting the island. Bugs tan­gles with an angry sol­dier, then a sumo wrestler, and finally, hun­dreds more Japan­ese, whom he out­wits in dis­guise as the “Good Rumor Man.” All finally ends up happy when Bugs finally runs into– of all things– a girl rab­bit in a sarong.

Watch Bugs Bunny Nips The Nips at Big Car­toon DataBase

Aardman and Sony Team Up

Arthur Christmas

Arthur Christ­mas

Aard­man Ani­ma­tions and Sony Pic­tures Image­works have teamed up for a hol­i­day 3D film at the end of the year, Arthur Christ­mas.

Arthur Christ­mas reveals the incred­i­ble, never-before seen answer to every child’s ques­tion: ‘So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?’

The film will release in the United King­dom on Novem­ber 11, 2011; released in the United States on Novem­ber 23, 2011.

We have a short trailer posted on our site here

Mars” goes on mission to Atlanta at film festival



Geoff Marslett’s 2010 ani­mated com­edy fea­ture film “Mars” will be screened at this year’s Atlanta Film Fes­ti­val, which runs from April 28 to May 7.

Mars is a 78-minute movie, and will be shown at 7:15 p.m. Tues­day, May 3 and 8:30 p.m. Fri­day, May 6 at Land­mark Midtown.

In the movie, the dis­cov­ery of life on Mars places a robotic expe­di­tion and a manned mis­sion in a race to the Red Planet. On the way, we dis­cover that love –bio­log­i­cal, spir­i­tual, and even mechan­i­cal — can flour­ish in all kinds of ways.

Land­mark Mid­town will also be the venue for a show­case of ani­mated shorts to be screened at 10:15 p.m. Sun­day, May 1 and 2:30 p.m. Mon­day, May 2. Here’s the rundown:

Bird­boy (Pedro Rivero; 13 min., Spain, 2010)
After a ter­ri­ble indus­trial acci­dent, Dinky’s des­tiny might be in hands of her eccen­tric friend Bird Boy, a root­less and intro­verted kid that hides in the for­est aban­doned to his fantasies.

Chief Serenbe (Evan Cur­tis; 5 min.)
As Jack Ker­ouac says: “Home in Mis­soula, Home in Truc­kee, Home in Opelousas, Ain’t no home for me. Home in old Medora, Home in Wounded Knee, Home in Ogal­lala, Home I’ll never be.”

Den­mark (Daniel Fickle; 6 min.)
Pily is a lov­able crus­tacean of mixed ori­gin who strug­gles to escape his under­wa­ter home when it becomes threat­ened by pollution.

Eye of the Storm (Christo­pher Alen­der; 5 min., U.S.A., 2011)
Set in a visu­ally arrest­ing steam­punk world, Eye of the Storm is the epic tale of a lonely sky cap­tain who must lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively brave a rag­ing tem­pest in order to find his sal­va­tion on the other side. Fea­tur­ing music by Lovett.

Grandpa Looked Like William Pow­ell (David Levy; 4 min., U.S.A., 2010)
Some­times a memento only reminds you how lit­tle you know some­one. Such a thing hap­pened to me when I came to pos­sess my Grandpa Herman’s high school auto­graph book from 1924.

Paths of Hate (Damian Nenow; 10 min., Poland)
A short tale about the demons that slum­ber deep in the human soul and have the power to push peo­ple into the abyss of blind hate, fury and rage.

Polo’s Robot (Peter Lowey; 9 min.)
In a strange land, an inven­tor builds a robot that will bring his night­mares to life.

Sketchi (Lily Sun; 3 min., Canada)
A girl strug­gles to revive her beloved dead dog.

The Man Who Shot The Man Who Shot Lin­coln (Drew Christie; 5 min., U.S.A., 2010)
Ani­mated in char­coal and pas­tels in the pages of 13 paper­back books, The Man Who Shot The Man Who Shot Lin­coln is a look into the strange and bizarre true life of Boston Cor­bett, assas­sin of John Wilkes Booth.

The Renter (Jason Car­pen­ter; 10 min., U.S.A., 2011)
Amongst fields of weeds and rot­ting pears, a young boy is dropped off at an elderly woman’s home for the day.

The Won­der Hos­pi­tal (Beom­sik Shimbe Shim; 8 min.)
In a mys­te­ri­ous hos­pi­tal, mod­i­fi­ca­tion of phys­i­cal beauty is not what you would expect.

ATLFF11 tick­ets are now on sale. To browse the lineup, visit

Animation Block Party 2011 open for submissions

Animation Block

Ani­ma­tion Block

Ani­ma­tion Block Party, the largest ani­ma­tion fes­ti­val on the East Coast, is open for sub­mis­sions until May 27.

The eighth annual Ani­ma­tion Block Party will run from July 29 to 31 at Rooftop Films and Bam Cin­e­matek, only in Brook­lyn, New York. Ani­ma­tion Block Party is ded­i­cated to screen­ing the world’s best pro­fes­sional, stu­dent and inde­pen­dent work of all genres.

ABP 2011 opens Fri­day, July 29 at Rooftop Films, with live music, fol­lowed by an out­door simul­cast screen­ing of world pre­mieres, inter­na­tional car­toons, excep­tional stu­dent films and fan-friendly shorts.

Ani­ma­tion Block Party will con­tinue Sat­ur­day, July 30 at Bam Cin­e­matek. On Sat­ur­day, July 30, ABP will hold its first-ever ani­ma­tion trade show, art gallery exhi­bi­tion and filmmaker-media brunch at Bam Cinematek.

Trade show atten­dees will include Ani­ma­tion Men­tor, NY Bike Jum­ble, L-Magazine and Green Moun­tain Energy and many more. The ABP gallery exhi­bi­tion will fea­ture con­tent from leg­endary artists such as Doug Crane and Howard Beck­er­man, along­side work from the newest ani­ma­tion talent.

ABP 2011 at BAM Cin­e­matek will fea­ture five indi­vid­ual pro­grams, each screen­ing twice.

A spe­cial Ani­ma­tion for Kids Pro­gram will screen at noon Sat­ur­day and Sun­day. The Ani­ma­tion for Kids Pro­gram at ABP will high­light ani­mated shorts for chil­dren from across the globe.

On July 30, Pro­gram One (2 and 6:50 p.m.) will fea­ture exper­i­men­tal ani­ma­tion, fresh music videos and sub­ver­sive design works, while Pro­gram Two (4:30 and 9:15 p.m.) will show­case sig­na­ture stu­dent films, pro­fes­sional con­tent and nar­ra­tive shorts.

On July 31, Pro­gram Three (2 and 6:50 p.m.) will fea­ture award-winning inde­pen­dent shorts, stu­dio ani­ma­tion and other stand­out works, while Pro­gram Four (4:30 and 9:15 p.m.) will mix global films with New York pre­mieres and local animations.

An ABP after-party, fea­tur­ing free beer with pur­chase of movie ticket, caps each evening.

For more infor­ma­tion, visit

Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue (1990) — Animated TV Special

CotD: Ever see Bugs, Pooh, Alvin and Garfield in the same car­toon? You would if you saw 1990’s anti-drug spe­cial “Car­toon All-Stars To The Rescue”

Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue

Car­toon All-Stars To The Rescue

Car­toon All-Stars To The Res­cue (1990) — Ani­mated TV Special

In this made-for-TV movie, many well-known car­toon char­ac­ters of past and present teach a young boy how wrong it is to take drugs. They show him the bad side effects and how it hurts his fam­ily and friends.

Nine-year-old Corey is very wor­ried about her older brother Michael. He’s using drugs, and he just stole her piggy bank to buy some more. Luck­ily, Corey has help. TV’s most pop­u­lar car­toon char­ac­ters leap into action to help free her brother from the clutches of Smoke, a decep­tive and cor­rupt­ing char­ac­ter who’s lead­ing Michael down the road to a drug-abuse dead end. What fol­lows is a roller coaster ride through the per­ils, pit­falls and real­i­ties of drug abuse in which the Car­toon All-Stars prove that there’s a smarter way to go.

Watch Car­toon All-Stars To The Res­cue at Big Car­toon DataBase

Aaron Augenblick to present SVA Animation Awards

School of Visual Arts

School of Visual Arts

School of Visual Arts alum­nus and ani­ma­tor Aaron Augen­blick (“Daria,” “Ugly Amer­i­cans,” “Super­jail”) will present the Ani­ma­tion Awards at the 22nd Annual Dusty Film and Ani­ma­tion Fes­ti­val, orga­niz­ers announced Tuesday.

The fes­ti­val — tak­ing place from May 6 to 10 — cul­mi­nates with an awards cer­e­mony at 6:30 p.m. Tues­day, May 10 at New York’s SVA The­atre. It fea­tures a full ros­ter of names from the world of ani­ma­tion and film.

We are happy to announce this year’s list of Dusty pre­sen­ters,” said Reeves Lehmann, chair of the BFA Film, Video and Ani­ma­tion Depart­ment at SVA. “With these awards, we cel­e­brate the many suc­cesses of our illus­tri­ous class of film­mak­ers and ani­ma­tors, as well as a stel­lar ros­ter of SVA friends and allies from the world of film and animation.”

The Dusty Awards are pre­sented to the win­ning the­sis stu­dents from the BFA Film, Video and Ani­ma­tion Depart­ment at the School of Visual Arts. Award– win­ning films and ani­ma­tions are cho­sen from over 100 the­sis stu­dents’ works. The awards cer­e­mony is part of the Dusty Film and Ani­ma­tion Fes­ti­val, which includes screen­ings of ani­ma­tions, short films and videos, All screen­ings are free and open to the gen­eral public.

Ani­ma­tion screen­ings will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. Sun­day, May 8 at the SVA The­atre, 222 West 23rd Street (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues). Screen­writ­ers Night is set for 6 p.m. Sat­ur­day, May 7 in the same location.

A reply is required for the Awards Cer­e­mony and for Screen­writ­ers Night. A screen­ing sched­ule will be avail­able on the SVA Dusty Web site in late April. For pub­lic inquiries regard­ing tick­ets, call (212) 592‑2124.

Past Dusty Awards pre­sen­ters have included ani­ma­tion direc­tor Bill Plympton.

This year’s Dusty Awards will be hosted by SVA ani­ma­tion fac­ulty mem­ber Sheila Evans and radio per­son­al­ity Valerie Smal­done. Find more infor­ma­tion at