Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Dot And The Line (1965) – MGM Theatrical Cartoon

The Dot And The Line (1965) - MGM Theatrical Cartoon

The Dot And The Line (1965) - MGM Theatrical Cartoon

CotD: Last cartoon of the year and we choose “The Dot And The Line“, an Academy Award winner for Chuck Jones. Watch it today and see why this won!

The Dot And The Line (1965) – MGM Theatrical Cartoon

A love story in which the line has unrequited love for the dot; she only has eyes for the squiggle. He overcomes his straight-laced life, and the dot sees him for what he truly is. The moral? To the vector belong the spoils. The dot has an evil laugh and goes around doing bad things. It misbehaves quite a bit, but it shows colors, shapes, and a smily face which mouths off to the narrator. The first 30 seconds of the cartoon take place in an art room with easels.

Watch “The Dot And The Line” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

“Cars 2″ led domestic animation grosses in 2011

Cars 2

Cars 2

Pixar-Disney’s sequel “Cars 2” was the seventh most successful movie at the North American box office — and the only animated film in the top 10 — according to Box Office Mojo, an online movie publication and box office reporting service.

Cars 2 grossed a total of $191.5 million, slightly more than half that of the live-action Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which led the United States and Canadian box office at $381 million.

Another sequel, DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2, was 13th with $165.2 million. Puss In Boots was 15th with $143.9 million.

In close 16th and 17th places, respectively, were Fox’s Rio ($143.6 million) and Sony’s partly animated The Smurfs ($142.6 million). Rango placed 19th with $123.3 million.

Universal’s partly computer-animated Hop was 22nd with $108.1 million. Disney’s Gnomeo & Juliet (No. 28) collected just under $100 million.

The 3-D re-release of Disney’s 1994 The Lion King made $94.2 million for 31st place. Also a Disney release, the partly animated The Muppets made $78.9 million for 38th place.

Released just under two weeks ago, Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked stands at 46th with $69.8 million. The Warner Bros. flop Happy Feet Two was 50th with $60.3 million.

In 64th place, Sony/Aardman Animation’s Arthur Christmas has made $44.1 million since its November 23 release.

A late starter in North America (released December 21), Paramount’s The Adventures Of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn is 93th with $31.7 million. In 99th place is Disney’s Winnie The Pooh ($26.7 million).

Animated films fared much better abroad than in North America.

Overseas, Kung Fu Panda 2 was the most successful animated film at the box office, making $500.4 million to place fourth. In fifth place, The Smurfs made $419.9 million.

Cars 2 was eighth abroad ($360.4 million), while Rio came ninth ($341 million).

Puss In Boots was 13th ($247.4 million). In the next spot was The Adventures Of Tintin ($239.1 million).

The 25th spot went to Rango, which made $121.9 million. Gnomeo and Juliet was 37th with an even $94 million; Arthur Christmas was 40th with $90 million.

Hop was 49th with $75.9 million, and the 3D The Lion King was 52th with $69.6 million. Warner Bros. dog Happy Feet Two was in 58th place with $61.5 million.

The Japanese animated release Gekijouban Pokketo monsutâ Besuto wisshu: Pikutini to kuroku eiyuu Zekuromu (Pokemon: Best Wishes) was 68th ($53 million). The animated drama Kokuriko-zaka kara (From Up On Puppy Hill) was 69th ($52.1 million). Yet another anime, Meitantei Conan: Chinmoku no kuôtâ (Detective Conan: Quarter of Silence), was 83th with $42 million.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked was 84th with $41.3 million.

Once again, “Arthur Christmas” tops UK box office

Arthur Christmas

Arthur Christmas

In its seventh week of release, Aardman Animation’s Arthur Christmas has returned to the top spot at theaters in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Featuring the voice of James McAvoy as Santa Claus’s youngest son, the family comedy leapt from No. 3 over the weekend to collect £2.05 million ($3.16 million U.S.).

Arthur Christmas made an average of £3,729 ($5,746) from the 549 venues where it was screened. The movie has made a total of £19.7 million ($30.4 million) so far.

Third place — down from second on the previous weekend — went to Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wreckedwith £1.13 million ($1.74 million).

Staying in fourth place was Shrek prequel Puss In Boots with £899,231 ($1.4 million).

Happy Feet Twofell one position to eighth.

Because British movie houses were closed on Christmas Day, receipts were generally down on the weekend. Tracking company Screen International recorded just two days of box office takings.

The Bongo Punch (1957) – Pepito Chickeeto Theatrical Cartoon

The Bongo Punch (1979) - Pepito Chickeeto

The Bongo Punch (1957) - Pepito Chickeeto

CotD: “The Bongo Punch” featuring Pepito Chickeeto in this musical story from old Mexico animated by Walter Lantz.

The Bongo Punch (1957) – Pepito Chickeeto Theatrical Cartoon Series

In a musical story from old Mexico, we learn how Pepito Chickeeto made his father happy becoming boxing champion, but also satisfied his own wish to play the bongo drums.

Pepe Chickeeto, the world’s champion cockfighter, is knocked out in the boxing championship, losing the match and the title. Disgraced and discouraged, he returns home and tells his hen. She breaks the news that she’s expecting a little chick. Pepe is thrilled, anxiously anticipating the arrival of the “new champ.” The baby is named Pepito Chickeeto, and father brings him up with but one thought in mind: to have his son become the world’s champion cockfighter.

A rigid training schedule is laid out for Pepito, but his heart is not in fighting; he loves bongo music, and he’s only happy when he can beat the drums. Pepito pounds on drums, or anything resembling them, at every opportunity until he almost drives his father crazy. Pepito’s mother would like to have him pursue a musical career, but she’s afraid to cross her husband, so poor Pepito must train and fight from early dawn till late at night. Finally comes the day when Pepito’s ready, and a match is arranged with the world’s champion.

A huge crowd assembles, and Pepe prays that the championship which he lost will be regained by Pepito. But- alas- Pepito lacks his father’s fighting instincts, and Pepito’s knocked from the ring by a solid blow from the champion.

Pepito’s ready to quit, but Papa kicks Pepito back into the ring. Pepito lands with his foot caught in a pail. He kicks it loose, and it flies into the air and lands, bottom side up, on the champion’s head. In his dazed condition, Pepito mistakes the pail for a drum. He jumps wildly on the champion and starts beating out a dance routine on the pail. As the rhythmic pattern increases in intensity, Pepito beats harder and harder on the head of his antagonist and finally knocks him out. Pepito wins a fight- and the title- with his “Bongo Punch.”

Watch “The Bongo Punch” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Online Film Critics Society nominate 5 animated features

Online Film Critics Society

Online Film Critics Society

Five movies have received nominations for the 15th Annual Online Film Critics Society award for Best Animated Feature, the society’s governing committee announced Monday.

The five nominees are The Adventures of Tintin, Arthur Christmas, Kung Fu Panda 2, Rango and Winnie the Pooh.

The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick’s exploration of suburban family life in the 1950s, received seven nominations for the 15th Annual Online Film Critics Society awards. The film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Malick), Best Supporting Actor (Brad Pitt), Best Supporting Actress (Jessica Chastain), Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Cinematography.

Joining The Tree of Life in Best Picture are Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist, Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive and Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. Malick, Hazanavicius, Refn and Scorsese were joined in the Best Director race by Melancholia director Lars von Trier.

Each year, the OFCS also submits nominations for Special Achievement Awards, granted only by a majority vote of the membership. This year, the Online Film Critics have selected two individuals, Jessica Chastain and Martin Scorsese, to receive special citations.

Chastain was named the breakout performer of the year. Her tremendous and quality-filled output this year has brought her instant acclaim and recognition, marking one of the most stellar debuts in recent memory.

Scorsese is being recognized in honor of his work and dedication to the pursuit of film preservation. He has long been a champion of film preservation, and with his love letter to the cinema this year, Hugo, he continues to show his admiration for film history and the many pursuits to keeping those records alive.

Winners will be announced Monday, January 2.

Founded in 1997, the Online Film Critics Society has been the key force in establishing and raising the standards for Internet-based film journalism. The OFCS membership consists of film reviewers, journalists and scholars based in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Asia/Pacific Rim region. For more information, visit the Online Film Critics Society at ofcs.org.

“Bambi” named to Library of Congress film registry

Bambi

Bambi

Walt Disney’s timeless cartoon classic “Bambi” and 24 other films were selected Wednesday by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington to be preserved as cultural, artistic and historical treasures in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

Disney’s own personal favorite, this animated coming-of-age tale of a wide-eyed fawn’s life in the forest has enchanted generations since its debut nearly 70 years ago. Filled with iconic characters and moments, the film features beautiful images that were the result of extensive nature studies by Disney’s animators.

Its realistic characters capture human and animal qualities in the time-honored tradition of folklore and fable, which enhance the movie’s resonating, emotional power. Treasured as one of film’s most heart-rending stories of parental love, Bambialso has come to be recognized for its eloquent message of nature conservation.

Also named to the registry is Ed Catmull’s Computer Animated Hand (1972), which he made with Fred Parke.

Catmull, co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, renowned for its CGI animated films, created a program for digitally animating a human hand in 1972 as a University of Utah graduate student project, one of the earliest examples of 3D computer animation. The one-minute film displays the hand turning, opening and closing, pointing at the viewer, and flexing its fingers, ending with a shot that seemingly travels up inside the hand. Catmull created a computer rendering of his own hand.

In creating the film, which was incorporated into the 1976 science-fiction thriller Futureworld, Catmull worked out concepts that become the foundation for computer graphics that followed. Shown on a TV monitor in the movie, it was the first computer animation to be used in a Hollywood film.

Spanning the period 1912-94, the films named to the registry also include Hollywood classics, documentaries, home movies, avant-garde shorts and experimental motion pictures. Representing the rich creative and cultural diversity of the American cinematic experience, the selections range from Billy Wilder’s The Lost Weekend, a landmark film about the devastating effects of alcoholism, to a real-life drama between a United States president and a governor over the desegregation of the University of Alabama.

The selections also include home movies of the famous Nicholas Brothers dancing team and such avant-garde films as George Kuchar’s hilarious short I, an Actress. This year’s selections bring the number of films in the registry to 575.

The full list of this year’s selections:

Allures (1961)
Bambi (1942)
The Big Heat (1953)
A Computer Animated Hand (1972)
Crisis: Behind A Presidential Commitment (1963)
The Cry of the Children (1912)
A Cure for Pokeritis (1912)
El Mariachi (1992)
Faces (1968)
Fake Fruit Factory (1986)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Growing Up Female (1971)
Hester Street (1975)
I, an Actress (1977)
The Iron Horse (1924)
The Kid (1921)
The Lost Weekend (1945)
The Negro Soldier (1944)
Nicholas Brothers Family Home Movies (1930s-40s)
Norma Rae (1979)
Porgy and Bess (1959)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Stand and Deliver (1988)
Twentieth Century (1934)
War of the Worlds (1953)

Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 films to the National Film Registry that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. “These films are selected because of their enduring significance to American culture,” said Billington. “Our film heritage must be protected because these cinematic treasures document our history and culture and reflect our hopes and dreams.”

Annual selections to the registry are finalized by the Librarian after reviewing hundreds of titles nominated by the public (this year, 2,228 films were nominated) and conferring with Library film curators and the distinguished members of the National Film Preservation Board. The public is urged to make nominations for next year’s registry at NFPB’s Web site (www.loc.gov/film).

In other news about the registry, These Amazing Shadows, a documentary about the National Film Registry, will air nationally on the award-winning PBS series “Independent Lens” at 10 p.m. Thursday, December 29. Written and directed by Paul Mariano and Kurt Norton, this critically acclaimed documentary has also been released on DVD and Blu-ray, and will be available through the Library of Congress Shop (www.loc.gov/shop/).

Sale Of The Century (1979) – Plastic Man Cartoon Episode Guide

Sale Of The Century (1979) - Plastic Man Cartoon

Sale Of The Century (1979) - Plastic Man Cartoon

CotD: Today we have “Sale Of The Century” featuring Plastic Man who is able to stretch his body into any shape or size he needs to.

Sale Of The Century (1979) – Plastic Man Cartoon Episode Guide

An alien in need of the world’s energy approaches an earthling to buy the earth. The earthman is a fast-talking used car salesman, and he makes The Sale of the Century!

Watch “Sale Of The Century” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

An Elephant Never Forgets (1934) – Color Classics Theatrical Cartoon Series

An Elephant Never Forgets (1934) - Color Classics

An Elephant Never Forgets (1934) - Color Classics

CotD: The early Two-Strip Technicolor cartoon “An Elephant Never Forgets” make use of the three-dimensional background effect achieved through use of a revolving turntable set up behind the cel screen.

An Elephant Never Forgets (1934) – Color Classics Theatrical Cartoon Series

Animal children ship off to school in their daily routine, then go through their lessons in a musical review led by their duck teacher. Everyone remembers the routine but the elephant. Mayhem envelops the schoolroom every time that the myopic teacher turns his back.

Watch “An Elephant Never Forgets” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

The Tell-Tale Heart (1953) – UPA Productions Theatrical Cartoon

The Tell-Tale Heart (1953) - UPA Productions

The Tell-Tale Heart (1953) - UPA Productions

CotD: Academy Award Nominee “The Tell-Tale Heart” was an interesting adaption of the classic Poe tale, and put the fledgling young UPA Studios on the map. Oh, and did you know it was produced in 3D?

The Tell-Tale Heart (1953) – UPA Productions Theatrical Cartoon

A dark adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story about a man who is haunted by the beating heart of the man whom he has murdered.

Watch “The Tell-Tale Heart” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Barney Bear’s Victory Garden (1942) – Barney Bear Theatrical Cartoon Series

Barney Bear's Victory Garden (1942) - Barney Bear Theatrical Cartoon

Barney Bear's Victory Garden (1942) - Barney Bear Theatrical Cartoon

CotD: About a year into US involvement in World War II, “Barney Bear’s Victory Garden” helped make him- and the nation- more self-sufficient in a wartime economy.

Barney Bear’s Victory Garden (1942) – Barney Bear Theatrical Cartoon Series

Barney unsuccessfully attempts to keep a mole out of his victory garden.

Watch “Barney Bear’s Victory Garden” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase