Monthly Archives: January 2012

Oscar Nominated Shorts

Oscar Statuette, Academy Awards

Oscar Statuette, Academy Awards

The nominees for the Oscar at the 84th annual Academy Awards are in. Five short films are picked for Best Short Film (animated), and this year, the choices are:

Dimache (Sunday) National Film Board of Canada, Patrick Doyon Director. A small boy’s Sunday is filled with both ordinary and extraordinary events.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore Moonbot Studios, William Joyce, Brandon Oldenburg directors. A storm transports a young man to a place where books are living entities.

La Luna Pixar Animation Studios, Enrico Casarosa director. A young boy accompanies his father and grandfather to their unusual nighttime job.

A Morning Stroll Studio aka, Grant Orchard director. A New Yorker passes a chicken out for its morning stroll.

Wild Life National Film Board of Canada, Studio GDS, Amanda Forbis, Wendy Tilby directors. A young Englishman with more enthusiasm than practical experience emigrates to Canada to become a rancher.

A great range of films; good luck to the nominees.

Dick Tufeld, 85, voiced robot on “Lost in Space”

Dick Tufeld

Dick Tufeld

Danger, Will Robinson!

Dick Tufeld intoned that warning as the voice of the robot on Irwin Allen’s classic 1960s science-fiction series Lost in Space. He was the show’s narrator, as well.

Tufeld has died, longtime friend and co-star Bill Mumy (who played Will) announced on Facebook. He was 85.

Beyond Lost in Space, Tufeld frequently was heard in TV cartoons, frequently as an announcer.

The main title narrator on the 1979 DePatie-Freleng series Spider-Woman, he was also the main title announcer on the 1981 Marvel Productions show Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends.

Tufeld was the opening narrator of DFE’s The New Fantastic Four (1978). He narrated several episodes of Thundarr the Barbarian (1980), as well.

For Disney, he narrated Ward Kimball’s Man In Space, originally broadcast on the Disneyland television show in 1956. The half-hour animation was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary, Short Subject. He narrated Kimball’s 1955 animated Disney short Man and the Moon, which also first aired on Disneyland.

The 1998 Simpsons episode Mayored To The Mob offered Tufeld another chance to voice the Lost in Space robot. And he was the Ramber-Crane Series Robot in the 2004 episode Milhouse Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. (He repeated his role as the Robot in the 1998 feature film Lost in Space, starring Matt LeBlanc.)

In the Warner Bros. series Histeria!, Tufeld was the announcer in the 1998 episodes Show 17 (a.k.a. Hannibal’s Trails) and “Inventors,” along with 1999’s “Writers of the Purple Prose” and “The Teddy Roosevelt Show.” He also was in the voice cast of the 1992 Garfield episode “The First Annual Garfield Watchers Test.”

The 1962 TV pilot Adventures Of The Road Runner – released theatrically as a 20-minute featurette — cast him in an uncredited role as an ACME commercial announcer.

He was born Richard Norton Tufeld in Los Angeles on December 11, 1926.

In live-action TV, he was an announcer on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Time Tunnel, and commercials for bubble bath Mr. Bubble. He announced several live-action Disney shows, including Zorro (1957-59), starring future Lost in Space lead Guy Williams.

Bob May, the man who actually occupied the costume of The Robot in Lost in Space, died at 69 in 2009.

“Dick Tufeld was a really cool guy. He’s reunited with his wife Adrian now,” Mumy said. “R.I.P. Dick. You will be missed bigtime.”

Mumy later posted a jazz video. “This one’s for Dick Tufeld. He was close friends with Miles Davis. Peace on your journey, pal…”

Star Wirth was in charge of H-B’s Xerox department

Hanna-Barbera Cartoons

Hanna-Barbera Cartoons

Xerox checker and supervisor Star Wirth, head of the Xerox department at Hanna-Barbera from 1967 until 1999, died January 12.

Her age was not immediately available.

Wirth did xerography for a host of TV series. She also worked for DreamWorks, Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. until her retirement in 2001.

She was a xerographer for the TV series The Mumbly Cartoon Show, The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour and Jabberjaw (all 1976); The All-New Super Friends Hour and C B Bears (both 1977); Scooby’s All Star Laff-A-Lympics (1977-78); Dynomutt Dog Wonder, Yogi’s Space Race, Jana of the Jungle and Challenge of the SuperFriends (all 1978); Godzilla (1978-79); Casper and the Angels, Buford and the Galloping Ghost, The New Shmoo, The Super Globetrotters, The World’s Greatest SuperFriends, Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo and The New Fred and Barney Show (all 1979); The Flintstone Comedy Show (1980); Super Friends (1980-81); Space Stars, Trollkins and The Kwicky Koala Show (all 1981); Smurfs (1981-88); Shirt Tales, The Gary Coleman Show, Jokebook and Pac-Man (all 1982); The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show (1983); The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo (1985); Paw Paws (1985-86); Snorks, ogi’s Treasure Hunt and The Jetsons (all 1985-87); Foofur and Jonny Quest (both 1986-87); The Flintstone Kids (1986-88); Sky Commanders (1987); A Pup Named Scooby-Doo (1988-91); The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures, Potsworth & Co. and Gravedale High (all 1990); Timeless Tales from Hallmark (1990-91); Tom & Jerry Kids Show (1990-93); Yo Yogi! (1991-92); The Pirates of Dark Water (1991-93); Fish Police (1992); The Addams Family (1992-93); Capitol Critters (1992-95); Droopy: Master Detective and 2 Stupid Dogs (both 1993); Captain Planet and the Planeteers (1993-94); Dumb and Dumber (1995); The What a Cartoon Show (1995-97); Cave Kids (1996); The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest (1996-1997); Dexter’s Laboratory (1996-98); I Am Weasel (1997); Cow and Chicken (1997-99); Johnny Bravo (1997-2001); and The Powerpuff Girls (1998-2001).

For TV-movies, she worked on Davy Crockett on the Mississippi (1976); A Flintstone Christmas (1977); Scooby-Doo Goes Hollywood (1979); Christmas Comes to PacLand (1982); My Smurfy Valentine (1983), The Little Troll Prince, Yogi’s Great Escape, The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats and Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose (all 1987); Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf, Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School, The Good, the Bad, and Huckleberry Hound, Rockin’ with Judy Jetson and Yogi & the Invasion of the Space Bears (all 1988); Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby, The Town Santa Forgot, The Halloween Tree and I Yabba-Dabba Do! (all 1993); A Flintstones Christmas Carol, Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights, Yogi the Easter Bear and A Flintstone Family Christmas (all 1994); Jonny Quest Versus the Cyber Insects (1995); and Dexter’s Laboratory Ego Trip (1999).

Her TV shorts included The Flintstones: Fred’s Final Fling (1980), The Smurfs Springtime Special (1982), Monster in My Pocket: The Big Scream (1992), George and Junior’s Christmas Spectacular (1995), Kenny and the Chimp: Diseasy Does It! or Chimp -n- Pox (1998), King Crab: Space Crustacean (1999) and The Mansion Cat (2000). Worth also was a xerographer on the ABC Weekend Specials The Puppy Saves the Circus (1981) and Miss Switch to the Rescue and Bunnicula, the Vampire Rabbit (both 1982). Her other TV work included the documentaries The Flintstones’ 25th Anniversary Celebration (1986) and A Yabba-Dabba-Doo Celebration!: 50 Years of Hanna-Barbera (1989).

In movies, Worth was the head of xerography on 1994’s The Pagemaster and the Xerox supervisor on Heidi’s Song (1982), GoBots: War of the Rock Lords (1986), Jetsons: The Movie (1990) and Once Upon a Forest (1990). She did xerography on the shorts Rock Odyssey (1987), Larry & Steve (1996), and Babe, He Calls Me and Malcom and Melvin (both 1997).

Worth was a xerographer for the 1998 direct-to-video movie Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, along with the video shorts Moses, Joshua and the Battle of Jericho and David and Goliath (all 1986); The Easter Story (1990); The Miracles of Jesus (1991); and Queen Esther (1992).

She was involved in copying and shipping for the TV series Histeria! (1998), Batman Beyond (1999-2001) and Baby Blues (2000-02); the 1999 TV-movie Batman Beyond: The Movie; the videos Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker and Tweety’s High-Flying Adventure (both 2000) and Tom and Jerry: The Magic Ring (2002), as well as the 1999 TV short King Crab: Space Crustacean.

One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish (1991) – The Simpsons

One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish (1991) - The Simpsons

One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish (1991) - The Simpsons

CotD: As Homer found out in “One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish “, sushi is a very yummy food. Fugu Me! This 20 year old episode also starred Star Treks’ George Takei.

One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish (1991) – The Simpsons Cartoon Episode Guide

Homer believes that he has 24 hours to live after thinking he ate the deadly blowfish at a local sushi restaurant.

Come see “One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish ” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Grammy-winning R&B singer Etta James dead at 73

Etta James

Etta James

Blues singer Etta James, perhaps the quintessential R&B diva, died Friday morning, said her son, Donto James. She was 73.

Her legendary rendition of “At Last” was heard in the soundtracks of the Simpsons episodes The Strong Arms Of The Ma (2003) and The Wife Aquatic (2007).

James died of complications from leukemia at a Riverside, California hospital, said Dr. Elaine James, her personal physician. She had been in failing health for years.

Born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles on January 25, 1938, she spent much of her life in the city. Her dusky voice influenced generations of singers, ranging from Tina Turner to Bonnie Raitt and Christina Aguilera. Beyonce portrayed her in 2008 movie Cadillac Records.

“This is a huge loss,” Beyonce said Friday in a statement on her Web site. “Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I am so fortunate to have met such a queen. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime.

“Playing Etta James taught me so much about myself, and singing her music inspired me to be a stronger artist. When she effortlessly opened her mouth, you could hear her pain and triumph. Her deeply emotional way of delivering a song told her story with no filter. She was fearless, and had guts. She will be missed.”

In 1993, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“It really does mean a lot,” she told the Los Angeles Times upon her induction. “It shows that if you’re hanging around the candy store long enough, people start giving you things.”

Her recording career spanned six decades. Her naughty 1955 single “The Wallflower” (also known as “Roll With Me Henry”) soon made her a national star.

However, James was best known for the ballad “At Last.” A 1961 hit, it is in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

A 1994 album of jazz standards, Mystery Lady, earned James the first Grammy of her career, for jazz vocal performance. Two other Grammys followed : for 2003’s Let’s Roll, named best contemporary blues album, and her 2004 collection “Blues to the Bone,” named best traditional blues album.

Etta James is survived by sons Donto and Sametto James, whom she hired as co-producers; Artis Mills, her husband of 42 years; and several grandchildren.

“Tintin” wins Producers Guild Award for animation

The Adventures Of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn

The Adventures Of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn

Steven Spielberg’s “The Adventures of Tintin” was named Saturday night as the winner of the Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year Award in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures.

Besides Spielberg, the film’s fellow producers, Peter Jackson and Kathleen Kennedy, were singled out for recognition. Although Spielberg accepted the statuette with Kennedy, Jackson was not in attendance at the 23rd annual PGA Awards gala, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The 3D motion-capture The Adventures of Tintin won out in the category over Cars 2 (Producer: Denise Ream), Kung Fu Panda 2 (Producer: Melissa Cobb), Puss in Boots (Producers: Joe M. Aguilar and Latifa Ouaou) and Rango (Producers: John B. Carls and Gore Verbinski).

Spielberg received the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures as well. DreamWorks Animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg, the award’s presenter, said of Spielberg, “He’s a great storyteller. He’s maintained a deep affinity with his audiences.”

In the new category of Children’s Programs, the animated shows Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob Squarepants (both Nickelodeon) and Phineas and Ferb (Disney Channel) lost to the live-action Sesame Street (PBS). Because Children’s Programs is a new category, producers were not singled out this year.

Tunisia urged to drop charges over “Persepolis”



Criminal proceedings against the owner of a Tunisian TV station that screened the 2007 animated film Persepolis are an affront to freedom of expression, Amnesty International said ahead of his trial on Monday.

Nabil Karoui, the owner of Nessma TV, faces trial in Tunis on charges of “violating sacred values” and “disturbing the public order” after his station broadcast French film, which has been criticized for being blasphemous because of a scene showing a representation of God.

If convicted, Nabil Karoui faces up to three years in prison.

“Putting Nabil Karoui on trial simply for screening a film which shows fantasy scenes of God is a very troubling development,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s interim director for Middle East and North Africa.

“The Tunisian authorities must uphold Nabil Karoui’s right to freedom of expression and drop these charges immediately,” he said Friday.

Persepolis, an award-winning film on Iran’s 1979 revolution told from the perspective of a young girl, provoked angry reactions when Nessma TV aired it in October.

Karoui’s home was firebombed October 14 following a protest outside the Nessma TV offices in central Tunis. Salafist activists are believed to have carried out the attack.

A complaint by 144 lawyers and others was filed against the TV boss and two other Nessma TV employees.

Bottle (2011) – Theatrical Cartoon

Bottle (2011) - Theatrical Cartoon

Bottle (2011) - Theatrical Cartoon

CotD: Scarcely a year old, Kirsten Lepore’s “Bottle“, is getting great buzz. Watch it to see what you think!

Bottle (2011) – Theatrical Cartoon

A love story between a heap of sand and one of snow.

Come see “Bottle ” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Ridinghoods Anonymous (1961) – Fractured Fairy Tales Cartoon Episode Guide

Ridinghoods Anonymous (1961) - Fractured Fairy Tales Cartoon

Ridinghoods Anonymous (1961) - Fractured Fairy Tales Cartoon

CotD: From Rocky and His Friends show, “Ridinghoods Anonymous“, was a simple but oh, so funny and original take on the Red Riding Hood tale.

Ridinghoods Anonymous (1961) – Fractured Fairy Tales Cartoon Episode Guide

Little Red Riding Hood is SO contrite after her booby-trapped basket explodes in the Wolf’s face- especially as she’s just discovered that he’s a member of Riding Hoods Anonymous, a program designed to help him kick “the Riding Hood habit.” And this is just the beginning of the story! A wicked, wicked satire that takes on 12-step programs, the DAR and the NRA in only four minutes!

Watch “Ridinghoods Anonymous ” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Goliath II (1960) – Theatrical Cartoon

Goliath II (1960) - Theatrical Cartoon

Goliath II (1960) - Theatrical Cartoon

CotD: Disney’s first short to use the new Xerox process for transferring the pencil drawings to cels was “Goliath II“, an Academy Award Nominee.

Goliath II (1960) – Theatrical Cartoon

Goliath is a miniature elephant who is ostracized from the herd because of his size. But his size comes in handy when he has to rescue the herd from an invader: a mouse!

Watch “Goliath II ” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase