Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Cat Concerto (1947) — Tom and Jerry Theatrical Cartoon

The Cat Concerto

The Cat Concerto

CotD: Extremely sim­i­lar to a WB car­toon star­ing Bugs Bunny, “The Cat Con­certo” and Tom and Jerry ended up win­ning the Oscar that year– Bugs would wait another ten for his.

The Cat Con­certo (1947) — Tom and Jerry The­atri­cal Cartoon

Tom is an acknowl­edged mas­ter pianist primed to give his great­est per­for­mance of Liszt’s Sec­ond Hun­gar­ian Rhap­sody. As he pre­pares and finally set­tles down, ready to play, Jerry is deter­mined to dis­rupt Tom’s con­cert. Jerry pulls on the strings inside the piano, slams the shut­ter on Tom’s hands, and gen­er­ally runs amok. Tom fights him with the piano with­out miss­ing a sin­gle note.

Come see “The Cat Con­certo” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

The Stupidstitious Cat (1947) — Noveltoons Theatrical Cartoon

The Stupidstitious Cat

The Stu­pid­sti­tious Cat

CotD: Buzzy’s debut film was in “The Stu­pid­sti­tious Cat” an obvi­ous par­ody of Jack Benny (as the cat) and Eddie “Rochester” Anderson.

The Stu­pid­sti­tious Cat (1947) — Nov­el­toons The­atri­cal Cartoon

Buzzy uses super­sti­tions against the cat that caught him.

Come see “The Stu­pid­sti­tious Cat” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Scaredy Squirrel wins Canadian screenwriting award

Scaredy Squirrel

Scaredy Squir­rel

Noth­ing But the Tooth,” an episode of Nelvana’s “Scaredy Squir­rel” writ­ten by Dar­rin Rose, won a Cana­dian screen­writ­ing award for ani­ma­tion Mon­day evening from the Writ­ers’ Guild of Canada.

In “Noth­ing But the Tooth,” Scaredy loses a tooth and tries to dupe the Molar Owl. The episode aired in Canada and the United States last Novem­ber 4.

Scaredy Squir­rel is based on a series of books writ­ten and illus­trated by Melanie Watt and pub­lished by Kids Can Press.

Other Writ­ers’ Guild of Canada Award nom­i­nees for ani­ma­tion were the Side­kick episodes Hench­man For A Day, by Richard Clark, and Ye Olde Side­kick Vil­lage, by Dan Williams and Lienne Sawatsky; the Franklin and Friends episode “Franklin and the Creepy Clock,” by Karen Moonah; and the Kid Vs Kat episode “Hit the Road,” by Shane Simmons.

Bruce M. Smith won the Cana­dian Screen­writ­ing Award for movies and minis­eries for John A: Birth of a Coun­try, based on the first vol­ume of Richard Gwyn’s biog­ra­phy of John A. Mac­don­ald, Canada’s first prime minister.

The TV drama award was won by Larry Bam­brick for the Flash­point episode “Shock­wave.” In it, Strate­gic Response Unit offi­cers Sam, Spike and Raff are trapped in an office build­ing with nine civil­ians and a bomb.

For­mer Kids in the Hall star Mark McK­in­ney was given the WGC Showrun­ner Award to rec­og­nize his body of work and cre­ative vision.

North of 60 writer Bar­bara Samuels received the Alex Bar­ris Men­tor­ship Award for work­ing with up-and-coming writ­ers through the Cana­dian Film Cen­tre and Hum­ber College.

Other Writ­ers’ Guild of Canada Award winners:

Chil­dren and Youth: My Babysitter’s a Vam­pire, “Revamped,” by Alice Pro­danou.
Doc­u­men­tary: Wak­ing the Green Tiger, A Green Move­ment Rises in China, by Gary Mar­cuse.
TV Com­edy: Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, “A Farewell to Cur­tis’ Arm,” by Craig David Wal­lace.
Shorts and Web series: Mur­doch Mys­ter­ies: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs, “The Van­ished Corpse,” by Patrick Tarr.
Writ­ers Block Award: Chuck Lazer.

French Disney voice actor Jean Stout dead at 78

Jean Stout

Jean Stout

Singer Jean Stout, who lent his tal­ents to many French dubs of Dis­ney car­toon movies, died April 10 in his native France, just three days short of his 79th birthday.

Stout was a singer and reg­u­lar soloist in almost all Dis­ney sound­tracks from The Jun­gle Book (1967) until the early 2000s. His last dub­bing role was for a re-release of 1937’s Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs.

In The Jun­gle Book, he pro­vided the singing voice of Baloo. Stout also lent his beau­ti­ful, deep singing voice to the char­ac­ter of Shere Kahn, per­form­ing at the end of the sequence involv­ing a quar­tet of vultures.

Stout was the singing voice of Lit­tle John in Robin Hood(1973); Owl, Piglet and Eey­ore in 1980s Win­nie The Pooh films; and the spo­ken and singing voice of Tony the cook in the sec­ond Ital­ian dub, released in 1989, of Lady And The Tramp (1955).

His work for Dis­ney began in the mid-1960s, when he did voiceover work for doc­u­men­taries. Encour­aged by Jean Cus­sac, he passed the audi­tions for the singing voice of Baloo in the French release of The Jun­gle Book, which came a year after the orig­i­nal English-language version.

He sang in two car­toon film adap­ta­tions of the pop­u­lar Lucky Luke comic books: in 1971’s Daisy Town, per­form­ing “Dalton’s Theme,” and in 1978’s La Bal­lade des Dal­ton (The Bal­lad of the Dal­tons), as a mem­ber of the cho­rus in the title tune.

Born in Gironde, Aquitain on April 13, 1933, Stout moved in the 1950s to Paris, where his bass voice soon became a major suc­cess. He became the only bass dur­ing the “golden years” of French music in the 1960–70 period, per­form­ing on stu­dio record­ings, TV shows and tours.

Stout retired because gigs for film dub­bing requir­ing low vocals were becom­ing scarcer.

The Boy And The Wolf (1943) — MGM Theatrical Cartoon

The Boy And The Wolf

The Boy And The Wolf

CotD: Rudolf Ising was at the end of his career at MGM when he directed “The Boy And The Wolf” as a one-shot cartoon.

The Boy And The Wolf (1943) — MGM The­atri­cal Cartoon

A lit­tle Mex­i­can boy is herd­ing sheep with his dog Per­rito. The boy plays a prank on Per­rito, pre­tend­ing the wolf is attack­ing the flock. Later, when the wolf really comes, Per­rito at first doesn’t respond. How­ever loy­alty wins out and Per­rito saves the day.

Come see “The Boy And The Wolf ” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Alain Chabet’s Houba! stays at numero un in France

Sur la Piste du Marsupilami

Sur la Piste du Marsupilami

Com­bin­ing live action with ani­ma­tion, Pathe’s release of the adven­ture story Houba! Sur la Piste du Mar­supil­ami stayed at No. 1 spot in France for the third week­end in a row.

Cre­ated by Alain Cha­bet, the tale (known in Eng­lish as HOUBA! On The Trail Of The Mar­supil­ami) brought in $6.1 mil­lion from 750 venues this past week­end for a total in France of $29.8 million.

The Pirates! Band of Mis­fits, a Sony Pic­tures Animation-Aardman Ani­ma­tions co-production, made $7.8 mil­lion this week­end at 4,580 the­aters in 46 coun­tries, rais­ing its over­seas total to $55.9 mil­lion. It opens this com­ing Fri­day in the United States and Canada.

Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios’ 3D Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax col­lected $5.1 mil­lion from 3,298 loca­tions in 49 coun­tries abroad, rais­ing its total for­eign gross to $83.3 million.

Persepolis” trial resumes amid heavy security

Persepolis

Perse­po­lis

Tight secu­rity marked Thursday’s resump­tion in the trial of a Tunisian TV sta­tion direc­tor charged with vio­lat­ing sacred val­ues and dis­turb­ing pub­lic order for hav­ing screened the Franco-Iranian ani­mated fea­ture film Perse­po­lis.

Islamists and sup­port­ers of Nessma TV chief Nabil Karoui held rival protests out­side the court in the cap­i­tal, Tunis. Police stood on heavy guard, screen­ing any­one attempt­ing to get into the trial chamber.

Act­ing like spoiled 5 year-olds who don’t get their way, dozens of young hard­line Salafist Mus­lims set up a loud­speaker out­side the cour­t­house, wav­ing black flags inscribed with Islamic verses and plac­ards call­ing for Karoui’s exe­cu­tion. They shouted “Get lost! Shame­ful media get lost!” On the other side of the cour­t­house, Nessma sup­port­ers sang the national anthem and chanted “Free media in Tunisia!”

It’s a deci­sive day for free­dom of speech and of the press,” Karoui told French news ser­vice Agence France-Presse. “The ver­dict will be his­toric and will have an effect on the region.”

Free expres­sion is on trial in Tunisia after the rev­o­lu­tion, and this poses a dan­ger to Tunisians who call for the right to express them­selves with­out per­mis­sion from reli­gious lead­ers,” Karoui told reporters. “I hope that we can turn a page on this once and for all and return calmly to work at Nessma.”

Last Octo­ber 7, Karoui’s sta­tion broad­cast the Oscar-nominated Perse­po­lis (2007), which, through a young girl, tells about the Iran­ian rev­o­lu­tion and its effects. The film infu­ri­ated hard­lin­ers due to a scene depict­ing God, whose rep­re­sen­ta­tion is banned in Islam.

Within two days of the broad­cast, Islamic mil­i­tants held vio­lent demon­stra­tions in Tunis, attack­ing the TV station’s offices and Karoui’s home.

The court said Thurs­day that ver­dict will be deliv­ered May 3. Karoui’s trial opened Novem­ber 16 and has been adjourned twice.

The trial resumed with Nessma tele­vi­sion denounc­ing what it called an attempt to silence it and com­plain­ing that its right to oper­ate freely had been taken away.

Amnesty Inter­na­tional urged the country’s new Islamist-led gov­ern­ment not to repeat the repres­sion of for­mer Tunisian pres­i­dent Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the first leader over­thrown in the Arab Spring.

Pros­e­cut­ing and con­vict­ing peo­ple on the basis of the peace­ful expres­sion of their views, even if some might find them offen­sive, is totally unac­cept­able and not what we would expect from the new Tunisia,” said Has­siba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty’s regional deputy direc­tor. “It’s rem­i­nis­cent of the vio­la­tions of the ousted Ben Ali gov­ern­ment and must stop.”

The judi­ciary was used in Ben Ali’s day to attack free­dom of expres­sion, and we hope that it will not be used now to attack free­doms but to pro­tect them,” said human rights lawyer Rad­hia Nas­raoui, a mem­ber of the defense team for Nessma.

France’s Inter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Human Rights (FIDH) sent an observer. French lawyers were in court as well.

The trial “involves a fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple, that of free­dom of expres­sion and free­dom of cre­ation,” said French mag­is­trate Antoine Gara­pon of FIDH. He called the trial a test of Tunisia’s democracy.

French press free­dom orga­ni­za­tion Reporters With­out Bor­ders sent an observer to the trial. Olive Gre said that she hoped for an acquit­tal. The trial “never should have taken place,” she told AFP.

A trial over a film dam­ages the image of Tunisia abroad,” said long­time sec­u­lar politi­cian Nejib Chebbi.

Disney movie studio chairman Rich Ross resigns

Rich Ross

Rich Ross

Blame it all on an embar­rass­ment of Rich’s.

After less than three years in the job, Rich Ross has quit as chair­man of the Walt Dis­ney Company’s movie studio.

Under his watch, the Mouse House released this spring’s partly ani­mated John Carter, one of Hollywood’s biggest bombs in recent years. The big-budget science-fiction saga had been years in the devel­op­ment, with costs zoom­ing to over $250 million.

In March, Dis­ney announced that it antic­i­pated about $200 mil­lion in losses for John Carter, caus­ing the stu­dio to have $80 mil­lion to $120 mil­lion in oper­at­ing losses over­all for the movie division.

Last year, another Mars-set movie, the ani­mated Mars Needs Moms, lost $70 million.

Dis­ney will not name a new stu­dio head imme­di­ately, said a source famil­iar with the circumstances.

The best peo­ple need to be in the right jobs, in roles they are pas­sion­ate about, doing work that lever­ages the full range of their abil­i­ties,” Ross — named as chair­man in Octo­ber 2009 — told his staff in an e-mailed memo Fri­day. “I no longer believe the Chair­man role is the right pro­fes­sional fit for me.”

For more than a decade, Rich Ross’ cre­ative instincts, busi­ness acu­men and per­sonal integrity have dri­ven results in key busi­nesses for Dis­ney,” Bob Iger, CEO of the enter­tain­ment giant, said in a state­ment. “I appre­ci­ate his count­less con­tri­bu­tions through­out his entire career at Dis­ney and expect he will have tremen­dous suc­cess in what­ever he chooses to do next.”

Ross, 50, “was a super­star at the Dis­ney Chan­nel, and the results at the stu­dio have not been excep­tional,” said Ever­core Part­ners ana­lyst Alan Gould. Nonethe­less, he expressed sur­prise that Ross was leav­ing. Gould noted his suc­cess when pres­i­dent of the Dis­ney Chan­nel, where he cre­ated such block­buster fran­chises as High School Musi­cal and Han­nah Mon­tana.

One ana­lyst blamed his exit on his inabil­ity to fore­stall major writedowns.

At some level, he takes respon­si­bil­ity for not fix­ing them or shut­ting them down,” said Need­ham & Co. equity ana­lyst Laura Mar­tin. “They need to lower the risk of entry and build fran­chise films from that base. Not go all-in, hop­ing it works out.”

Ross joined Dis­ney in 1996 as Dis­ney Channel’s senior vice-president for pro­gram­ming and pro­duc­tion. He was pro­moted to posi­tions of increas­ing respon­si­bil­ity before being named Dis­ney Chan­nel pres­i­dent in April 2004. Due to his suc­cess at the Dis­ney Chan­nel, Iger chose him to suc­ceed long­time chair­man Dick Cook, whom Iger forced out, as head of the Dis­ney Company’s film division.

Prior to his tenure at Dis­ney, Ross was a mem­ber of the exec­u­tive team that launched FX Net­works. Ross also held sev­eral senior posi­tions from 1986 to 1993 at Nick­elodeon, where he over­saw tal­ent book­ing, cast­ing and pro­gram devel­op­ment, and was involved in the launch of the channel’s first suc­cess­ful syn­di­cated show and its first inter­na­tional network.

Ross is a mem­ber of the board of direc­tors for Hol­ly­wood Radio Tele­vi­sion Soci­ety and Cable in the Class­room — an orga­ni­za­tion that rep­re­sents the cable telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion industry’s com­mit­ment to edu­ca­tion. A native of New York and a 1983 grad­u­ate of the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia with a Bach­e­lor of Arts degree in Inter­na­tional and Eng­lish, Ross received his J.D. degree from New York’s Ford­ham Uni­ver­sity in 1986.

Ana­lyst Gould expects that investors will be affected lit­tle by Ross quit­ting, as Disney’s much-larger theme-park and cable net­work busi­nesses are much big­ger influ­ences on the company’s finan­cial results.

Dis­ney shares rose 34 cents (0.8%) to $42.42 in Fri­day after­noon trad­ing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Frog Jog (1972) — Tijuana Toads Cartoon Series

Frog Jog

Frog Jog

CotD: Pon­cho and Toro, the Tijuana Toads in “Frog Jog” were renamed Fatso and Banjo when the the­atri­cal series made it’s way to TV.

Frog Jog (1972) — Tijuana Toads Car­toon Series

Toro’s girl­friend finds Toro too fat, so he starts work­ing out. When his girl­friend goes out with Pan­cho, Toro des­per­ately asks an ani­ma­tor to draw Toro skinny, but instead, the ani­ma­tor draws Toro small, and Pan­cho and his girl­friend tries to step on him. Then Toro wakes up. It turns out that he had a nightmare.

Come see “Frog Jog” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

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

Bugs Bunny Nips The Nips

Bugs Bunny Nips The Nips

CotD: Despite the strong racial over­tones of the film, “Bugs Bunny Nips The Nips” has been released to home video, and was not even included in WB’s “Cen­sored Eleven” car­toons.

Bugs Bunny Nips The Nips (1944) — Mer­rie Melodies 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.

Come see “Bugs Bunny Nips The Nips” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase