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