Monthly Archives: January 2013

Cartoon of the Day: So Dear To My Heart

So Dear To My Heart

So Dear To My Heart

Prob­a­bly the least known and least watch Dis­ney ani­mated film of all time, So Dear To My Heart is even less watched than Song of the South. Most peo­ple cab at least sing Zipitty Do Dah  from Song of the South.… who can even tell you who starred in So Dear To My Heart?

This live-action and ani­ma­tion fea­ture stars Burl Ives, telling a story of a deter­mined young coun­try boy and his mis­chie­vous black lamb. While day­dream­ing of win­ning a blue rib­bon at the county fair, Jeremiah’s scrap­book comes to life with ani­mated sequences.

And, in addi­tion to Burl Ives, So Dear To My Heart fea­tured Bobby Driscoll, one of the stars of Song of the South and the boy who voiced Peter Pan.

Animated Films Made Up 6 of Year’s Top 20 Grossers

Brave

Brave

Six of the 20 highest-grossing North Amer­i­can films of 2012 were com­pletely ani­mated pic­tures, includ­ing Pixar’s Brave, which was sev­enth over­all with $237,262,307.

Oth­ers in the top 20 were Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (#10; $216,391,482), Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (#11; $214,030,500), Wreck-it Ralph (#13; $175,990,019), Ice Age: Con­ti­nen­tal Drift (#14; $161,990,019) and Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia (#16; $145,321,690).

In total, the ani­mated films in the Top 20 deliv­ered grosses of $1,150,135,597.

Although Rise Of The Guardians made much less than pre­dicted, its North Amer­i­can box office gross is expected to exceed the $100 mil­lion mark some­time next week.

Almost all other films in the Top 20 had con­sid­er­able amounts of spe­cial effects CGI, includ­ing the year’s top per­former, The Avengers ($623,357,910). Oth­ers using CGI were The Dark Knight Rises, The Hunger Games, Sky­fall, Twi­light: Break­ing Dawn Part 2, The Amaz­ing Spider-Man, The Hob­bit: The Unex­pected Jour­ney, Ted, Men In Black 3, Snow White and the Hunts­man and Prometheus.

Using lit­tle or no ani­ma­tion were the 17th, 18th and 19th fin­ish­ers, Taken 2, 21 Jump Street and Lin­coln.

Cartoon of the Day: Bewitched Bear

Bewitched Bear

Bewitched Bear

The episode Bewitched Bear is from the The Huck­le­berry Hound Show, the first suc­cess­ful ani­mated tele­vi­sion series by Bill Hanna and Joe Bar­bera. After mak­ing the tran­si­tion from the­atri­cal to tele­vi­sion, Hanna-Barbera became syn­ony­mous with TV ani­ma­tion, and were the pio­neers in the field.

 

Yogi and Boo Boo use a fly­ing broom from a witch to steal pic­nic baskets.

First aired the week of Jan­u­ary 18, 1960.

Yogi Bear began his long-lived car­toon career in his self-titled seg­ment on “The Huck­le­berry Hound Show.” Later, this episode was repeated in Yogi’s spin-off show “The Yogi Bear Show” and shown with “Yakky Doo­dle”, and “Snag­gle­puss.”

Oscar-nominated Animated Shorts Come to Theatres February 1

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Oscar

Oscar Time!

Short­sHD The Short Movie Chan­nel, work­ing with Mag­no­lia Pic­tures, will release The Oscar Nom­i­nated Short Films 2013 in over 260 the­atres across the United States, Canada and Europe on Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 1.

This is the eighth year of the Oscar Nom­i­nated Short Film The­atri­cal Release.

The announce­ment comes on the heels of last year’s record-breaking release, which was one of the top 50 gross­ing inde­pen­dent film releases in North Amer­ica, earn­ing over $1.7 mil­lion. Since its debut in 2005, the Oscar Nom­i­nated Short Films the­atri­cal release pro­gram has grown 800%.

A key fix­ture of the awards sea­son, the the­atri­cal release fea­tur­ing ani­ma­tion, live action and doc­u­men­tary short films is the only oppor­tu­nity for audi­ences to watch the nom­i­nated shorts prior to the 85th Acad­emy Awards cer­e­mony on Feb­ru­ary 24.

This year’s release breaks new ground: a past Oscar win­ner in that cat­e­gory will host each film. Host­ing the ani­mated shorts pro­gram are Bill Joyce and Bran­don Old­en­burg, who won the Acad­emy Award for their ani­mated short film The Fan­tas­tic Fly­ing Books of Mr. Mor­ris Less­more (2011).

This year’s release includes the fol­low­ing Oscar-nominated ani­mated short films:

Adam & Dog (dir. Minkyu Lee, U.S.A.)
The story about the dog of Eden. What hap­pened in those first days of Cre­ation that made Man and Dog so insep­a­ra­ble? The dog, as he lives through this curi­ous world, encoun­ters a strange crea­ture; a human being named Adam — and with that dis­cov­ers a new-found con­nec­tion to the world.

Fresh Gua­camole (dir. PES, U.S.A.)
Learn how to trans­form famil­iar objects into Fresh Guacamole!

Head Over Heels (dir. Tim­o­thy Reckart, United King­dom)
After many years of mar­riage, Wal­ter and Madge have grown apart: he lives on the floor and she lives on the ceil­ing. When Wal­ter dis­cov­ers a long-lost memento of their wed­ding day, he tries to reignite their old romance. But it brings their equi­lib­rium crash­ing down, and the cou­ple that can’t agree which way is up must find a way to put their mar­riage back
together.

Mag­gie Simp­son in “The Longest Day­care” (dir. David Sil­ver­man, U.S.A.)
Mag­gie Simp­son spends a day at the Ayn Rand Day­care Cen­ter, where she is diag­nosed at an aver­age intel­li­gence level. Long­ing to be grouped with the gifted chil­dren, Mag­gie finds her des­tiny by res­cu­ing a lonely cocoon from Baby Ger­ald, who is busy smoosh­ing butterflies.

Paper­man (dir. John Kahrs, U.S.A.)
Paper­man fol­lows the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose des­tiny takes an unex­pected turn after a chance meet­ing with a beau­ti­ful woman on his morn­ing com­mute. Con­vinced that the girl of his dreams is gone for­ever, he gets a sec­ond chance when he spots her in a sky­scraper win­dow across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imag­i­na­tion and a stack of papers to get her atten­tion, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him.

Cartoon of the Day: Somewhere In Dreamland

Somewhere In Dreamland

Some­where In Dreamland

From the Fleis­cher Color Clas­sics series, today we cel­e­brate Some­where In Dream­land. While this was not the first car­toon in the Color Clas­sics series, it does have the unique dis­tinc­tion of being the first from the series pro­duced in three-strip Tech­ni­color. The prior shorts were all done in the infe­rior two-strip process.

A poignant story of two poor chil­dren who are out col­lect­ing fire­wood when they pass by a toy store, mar­ket and finally a bak­ery. They drool over the wares in the bak­ery win­dow but walk away before the owner can come out and present them with two cup­cakes. The kids go home and eat a mea­ger sup­per before going to bed. They both dream they are in dream­land, where every­thing is free-cookies, candy, cakes, pop­corn and toys. When they wake up, it’s all gone, but the three mer­chants have stopped by to lay out a huge feast for them. Lovely story with time­less music.

Animated Films, TV Up For Canadian Screen Awards

Canadian Screen Awards

Cana­dian Screen Awards

Excel­lence in both film and TV was rec­og­nized Tues­day as the Acad­emy of Cana­dian Cin­ema & Tele­vi­sion announced its nom­i­nees for the inau­gural Cana­dian Screen Awards.

The new hon­ors com­bine the Genies (the Cana­dian ver­sion of the Oscars) and the Gem­inis (sim­i­lar to the Emmys).

For Best Ani­mated Short, the four nom­i­nees are Bydlo (Pro­ducer: Julie Roy; Direc­tor: Patrick Bouchard; Dis­trib­u­tor: National Film Board of Canada), Demoni (Pro­ducer and Direc­tor: Theodore Ushev; Dis­trib­u­tor: Mtd:films), Edmond Was a Don­key (Pro­duc­ers: Richard Van Den Boom, Franck Dion and Julie Roy; Direc­tor: Franck Dion; Dis­trib­u­tor: NFB) and Paula (Pro­ducer: Julie Roy; Direc­tor: Dominic Éti­enne Simard; Dis­trib­u­tor: NFB).

Almost Naked Ani­mals (Vince Com­misso, Tanya Green, Tris­tan Homer, Steven Jarosz and Noah Z. Jones; 9 Story Enter­tain­ment Inc.; YTV) is one of the four nom­i­nees for Best Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series. In addi­tion, the episode “The Green Banana” (Brad Fer­gu­son) was nom­i­nated for Best Direc­tion in an Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series. Another episode, “Horn Swog­gled” (Seán Cullen), is up for Best Per­for­mance in an Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series.

Also nom­i­nated for Best Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series is Pro­duc­ing Parker (Ira Levy, Jun Camerino, Laura Koster­ski and Peter Williamson; Break­through Enter­tain­ment; TVTrop­o­lis). For the episode “How Green is my Parker?”, Robin Budd was nom­i­nated for Best Direc­tion in an Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series, while Kim Cat­trall is up for Best Per­for­mance in an Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series.

Besides its nom­i­na­tion for Best Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series, Rated A for Awe­some (Ace Fipke, Ken Faier and, Chuck John­son; Nerd Corps Enter­tain­ment; YTV) gained a pair of nom­i­na­tions for Best Per­for­mance in an Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series in con­nec­tion with its episode “Scary Go Round.” Two sep­a­rate nom­i­na­tions went to Brian Drum­mond and Chiara Zanni.

Round­ing out the Best Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series nom­i­nees is Jack (Fran­cois Trudel, Wong Kok Cheong, Vin­cent Ler­oux and Vic Pel­letier; PVP Interactif/Productions Vic Pel­leter, Spark Animation-Wong Kok Cheong; TVO).

Other nom­i­nees for Best Direc­tion in an Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series are Mike The Knight: “The Knight Hider”/“Trollee’s Sleep­over” (Neil Affleck; Tree­house) and Side­kick: “House of Helmut/Supermodels) (Joey So; YTV)

Patrick McKenna was nom­i­nated for Best Per­for­mance in an Ani­mated Pro­gram or Series in con­nec­tion with his work in the Crash Canyon episode “Poker Night” (Tele­toon; Astral)

For Best Pre-School Pro­gram or Series, the nom­i­nees include the ani­mated Franklin and Friends (Greg Chew, Joce­lyn Hamil­ton, Pam Lehn, Doug Mur­phy, Derek Reeves and Mike Wiluan; Nel­vana Limited/Infinite Frame­works Pte. Ltd.; Tree­house), My Big Big Friend (Ira Levy, Andre Bre­it­man and Peter Williamson; Break­through Enter­tain­ment; Tree­house) and Stella & Sam (John Leitch, Michelle Melan­son; Rad­i­cal Sheep Pro­duc­tions; Dis­ney Junior Canada).

Brian Roberts has been nom­i­nated for Best Direc­tion in a Children’s or Youth Pro­gram or Series for his work on the ani­mated My Babysitter’s A Vam­pire episode “Three Geeks And A Demon” (Tele­toon; Astral)

The five nom­i­nees for Best Orig­i­nal Music Score for a Series include the car­toon Scaredy Squir­rel: “Per­fect Pickle”/“Goat Police” (Paul Intson; YTV). Terry McGur­rin is nom­i­nated for Best Writ­ing in a Children’s or Youth Pro­gram or Series for another Scaredy Squir­rel episode, “From Rodent with Love.”

Also up for Best Writ­ing in a Children’s or Youth Pro­gram or Series are Den­nis Jack­son, Melanie Jack­son for the ani­mated Wapos Bay episode “Long Good­byes” (APTN).

There are 120 cat­e­gories for the Cana­dian Screen Awards, includ­ing 22 for film and over 85 for television.

The awards will be pre­sented over three nights. Mar­tin Short hosts the final awards gala, to be tele­vised live at 8 p.m. (8:30 in New­found­land) Sun­day, March 3 on CBC.

Carton of the Day: Coal Black And De Sebben Dwarfs

Coal Black And De Sebben Dwarfs

Coal Black And De Sebben Dwarfs

Eas­ily the most con­tro­ver­sial of all Bob Clampett’s films, Coal Black And De Sebben Dwarfs was never intended to offend, but rather to enter­tain. What Clam­pett had intended as a cel­e­bra­tion of Black music and cul­ture of his time has turned into a touch­stone of racist film mak­ing at Warner Bros. Addi­tion­ally, being a War film, there are some very dis­parag­ing com­ments about the Japan­ese in the film. So what do you think– is this car­toon his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant enough to rise above it’s racial over­tones, or is this more of the man keep­ing prej­u­dice alive?

A black­face par­ody of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with a strong swing back­beat… and no apologies!

Mammy (who resem­bles Aunt Jemima) tells her “Honey Child” the story of “So White” and the wicked Queen who “was as rich as she was mean.” “She had every­thing,” includ­ing sugar, cof­fee, auto tires, scrap metal, Chat­tanooga choo-choos, and a fam­ily coat of arms con­sist­ing of dice and switch­blades. So White is a las­civ­i­ous sex­pot forced to wash miles and miles of laun­dry as she sings “Blues in the Night.” “Magic Mir­ror on the wall, send me a prince about six feet tall,” intones the Queen. When zoot-suited, thick-lipped hip­ster Prince Chawmin’ (who has dice for teeth!) finds So White “dyna­mite,” the Queen calls in Mur­der Inc. to “black out So White.” Prince Chawmin’ and the dwarfs are all minia­ture car­i­ca­tures of Fats Waller, except for one who resem­bles Stepin Fetchit. The prince kisses and tries to revive the heroine.

Accord­ing to Beck and Fried­wald, Coal Black is a Bob Clam­pett mas­ter­piece, and cer­tainly one of the great­est Warner Bros. car­toons ever made. Sure to offend, but not to be ignored.

In 1968, United Artists (then own­ers of the A.A.P. library of pre-1948 Looney Tunes and Mer­rie Melodies car­toons) com­piled the car­toons they con­sid­ered too poten­tially offen­sive to be shown on tele­vi­sion, and with­held those car­toons from dis­tri­b­u­tion. AT that time, UA felt that these eleven car­toons should be with­held from broad­cast because the depic­tions of black peo­ple in the car­toons were deemed too offen­sive for con­tem­po­rary audiences.

This car­toon is one of those with­held from dis­tri­b­u­tion, one of the so-called “Cen­sored 11.” (The “Eleven” are: Hit­tin’ the Trail for Hal­lelu­jah Land (MM,1931), Sun­day Go to Meetin’ Time (MM, 1936), Clean Pas­tures (MM, 1937), Uncle Tom’s Bun­ga­low (MM, 1937), Jun­gle Jit­ters (1938), The Isle of Pingo Pongo (MM, 1938), All This and Rab­bit Stew (MM, 1941), Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (MM, 1943), Tin Pan Alley Cats (MM, 1943), Angel Puss (LT, 1944), and Goldilocks and the Jivin’ Bears (MM, 1944)). More recently, when Ted Turner became owner of the library, he con­tin­ued the ban, and refused to allow any of these car­toons to be shown or released on video. To date, these shorts have not been offi­cially broad­cast on tele­vi­sion since 1968. How­ever, accord­ing to a recent e-mail, a woman in Phoenix claims that she has seen this on tele­vi­sion there recently.

Along with black stereo­types, this car­toon fea­tures sav­agely anti-Japanese jokes (the film was made a year after Pearl Harbor).

Vivian Dan­dridge (the voice of So White) and Ruby Dan­dridge (the voice of Quee­nie) were the sis­ter and mother, respec­tively, of actress-singer Dorothy Dandridge.

Jimmy Durante is caricatured.

A unique “That’s All, Folks!” card fea­tures an ani­mated shot of Mammy and a lit­tle girl rock­ing in an armchair.

Work­ing title: “So White And De Sebben Dwarfs.” It was changed at the last minute because some­one in film mar­ket­ing at Warner Bros. pointed out that in those days the the­aters some­times included the name of the car­toon short on the mar­quee, and was con­cerned that some peo­ple would think that the Dis­ney fea­ture was being shown, and be angry about the “false adver­tis­ing.” So the name was changed and became “Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs”.

Clam­pett wanted an all-black band to score the car­toon, much like how the Fleis­ch­ers had Cab Cal­loway score the Betty Boop car­toons they were fea­tured in. Pro­ducer and noted tight wad Schlesinger refused to fund the endeavor, and the black band Clam­pett had hired, Eddie Beals and His Orches­tra, only recorded the music for the final kiss sequence. The rest of the film was scored, as was stan­dard for Warner car­toons at the time, by Carl W. Stalling.

In the late sev­en­ties, Bob Clam­pett defended this car­toon. He said:

In 1942, dur­ing the height of anti-Japanese sen­ti­ment dur­ing World War II, I was approached in Hol­ly­wood by the cast of an all-black musi­cal off-broadway pro­duc­tion called Jump For Joy while they were doing some spe­cial per­for­mances in Los Ange­les. They asked me why there weren’t any Warner’s car­toons with black char­ac­ters and I didn’t have any good answer for that ques­tion. So we sat down together and came up with a par­ody of Disney’s “Snow White” and “Coal Black” was the result. They did all the voices for that car­toon, even though Mel Blanc’s con­tract with Warn­ers gave him sole voice credit for all Warn­ers car­toons by then. There was noth­ing racist or dis­re­spect­ful toward blacks intended in that film at all, nor in Tin Pan Alley Cats which is just a par­ody of jazz piano great Fats Waller, who was always ham­ming into the cam­era dur­ing his musi­cal films. Every­body, includ­ing blacks had a good time when these car­toons first came out. All the con­tro­versy about these two car­toons has devel­oped in later years merely because of chang­ing atti­tudes toward black civil rights that have hap­pened since then.

Alter­nate Title: “So White And De Sebben Dwarfs” (Work­ing Title).
 

Disney Sinks Planned 3-D “Little Mermaid” Release

The Little Mermaid

The Lit­tle Mermaid

Due to lack­lus­ter box-office results for 3-D releases of Mon­sters, Inc., Find­ing Nemo and Beauty and the Beast, Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios announced Mon­day that it’s scrub­bing plans for a 3-D ver­sion of The Lit­tle Mer­maid in September.

The Lion King 3-D had been a sleeper hit, gross­ing almost $100 mil­lion in the United States and Canada. In late 2011, Dis­ney announced the 1989 under­sea hit The Lit­tle Mer­maid as its fourth and last planned 3-D re-release.

How­ever, the bloom was off the rose for other follow-ups. Beauty and the Beast col­lected $47.6 mil­lion last Jan­u­ary and Find­ing Nemo brought $40.7 mil­lion in Sep­tem­ber, while Mon­sters, Inc. nabbed just $30.5 mil­lion since its release Decem­ber 19.

Dis­ney had already started work on con­vert­ing The Lit­tle Mer­maid to 3-D in Novem­ber, the studio’s ani­ma­tion chief cre­ative offi­cer, John Las­seter, said in an inter­view then.

Mean­while, Dis­ney announced Mon­day that the partly ani­mated The Mup­pets 2 will be released on March 21, 2014, with Ricky Ger­vais and Ty Bur­rell star­ring oppo­site Ker­mit the Frog and Miss Piggy

James Bobin, direc­tor of the partly ani­mated The Mup­pets (2011), returns as the direc­tor from a script that he co-wrote with Nick Stoller. The ear­lier movie was co-written by Stoller and its star, Jason Segel.

Cartoon of the Day: Hare Do

Hare Do

Hare Do

From 1949, Hare Do is one of the great Bugs Bunny-Elmer Fudd meet­ings. Directed by Isadore Fre­leng, the short was ani­mated by Ken Champin, Vir­gil Ross, Gerry Chiniquy and Manuel Perez, this short has a sur­prise char­ac­ter in addi­tion to the two stars.

Another clas­sic episode as Elmer chases Bugs into a the­ater and ends up being the main attrac­tion and the main course for a lion.

A paint­ing in the the­ater is appar­ently of a nude lady! (How­ever, there’s not much detail.)

The last car­toon where Bugs is seen sit­ting on The Warner Bros. Shield and then he pulls it down.

Brave wins Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature

Golden Globe

Golden Globe

The highest-grossing ani­mated film of 2012 won the Golden Globe Award for Best Ani­mated Fea­ture Film on Sun­day night.

Brave, co-produced by Pixar Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios and Walt Dis­ney Pic­tures, made $237.2 mil­lion in North Amer­ica alone to have the seventh-highest gross of any movie — ani­mated or oth­er­wise — released last year.

It won out in the cat­e­gory over fel­low Dis­ney releases Franken­wee­nie (Walt Dis­ney Pic­tures) and Wreck-It Ralph (Walt Dis­ney Pictures/Walt Dis­ney Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios; Walt Dis­ney Pic­tures), as well as nom­i­nees Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia (Colum­bia Pictures/Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion and Rise of the Guardians (Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion LLC).

Brave direc­tor Mark Andrews received the Golden Globe from come­dian Sacha Baron Cohen, who feigned drunk­en­ness onstage.

Holy cow! Being brave is about being true to your­self and allow­ing your loved ones the same free­dom,” said Andrews.

The Golden Globes are pre­sented by the Hol­ly­wood For­eign Press Asso­ci­a­tion. Sunday’s awards cer­e­mony aired live on NBC.