Week Links

Week Links 17-2013

Fewer week links than normal today; it’s been a busy week.

Elliot Cowan on Film Making

The New York-based animator continues production on his feature film and comments on the process thus:

Making a film is like deciding to adopt an orphan from some war torn, strife ridden corner of the world. At first it seems like a great idea. There’s a lot of energy and excitement of what’s to come. Then after a while it starts waking you up screaming in the night, and freaking out in company.
Shitting all over your regular plans and costing you more than you expected.
Eventually you want to avoid it but you can’t, because if you do it’ll wither away and die and by now you feel some responsibility for it.
And people keep asking “How’s the film? Is it doing well?”.
So you stick with it, through the exhaustion and late nights and drama.
One day it grows up and it heads out on it’s own and you’ve either grown to love it or you never want to see it again.

Hopefully Elliot loves it, as will everyone else 🙂

Warner Brothers sued for unauthorized use of Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat

Ars Technica (amongst others) reports on the lawsuit being brought by the creators of Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat against major Hollywood studio Warner Bros. The issue concerns the use of said cats in a video game published by them and created by 5th Cell.

It’s still at an early stage and some aspects of the complaint are slightly dubious but expect Warners to settle this one fairly quickly. The central issue of copyright infringement should serve as a reminder that the onus is on creators to defend their work.

‘Rise of the Guardians’ Rebounds for DreamWorks Animation

I’m putting this down as yet another reason to not believe most of what you read from mainstream sources. As it turns out. Rise of the Guardians has done better on home media than expected and raising profits at the independent studio.

Tweets of the Week

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/BoxnRoundhead/status/329653507122679808″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/LouiedelCarmen/status/329866181542543360″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/jasontammemagi/status/330037949733416960″]

Lastly, Disney Princesses as Sailor Senshi

Via: Buzzfeed
Via: Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed has the entire collection of this fan-made mashup that’s oddly appropriate. Hat tip to Sarah Marino for the link 🙂

Via: Buzzfeed
Via: Buzzfeed

Week Links 16-2013

More week links!

Make Art, Not Law

Nina Paley has posted an interview she did recently where she discusses how she came to be a free culture advocate and why the concept plays an important role in our lives. She also touches on how some of the issues she faced while making her feature film Sita Sings the Blues forced her to make tough decisions.

Animation Sketchbooks

Via: Parka Blogs
Via: Parka Blogs

Parka Blogs has a review of an intriguing book that offers an insight into something that isn’t normally on display for all to see; namely animator’s sketchbooks. The list of contributors is long and features many noted artists and at 320 pages is quite a substantial tome.


Fran Krause's page via Parka Blogs
Fran Krause’s page via Parka Blogs

Why For does Disney think that “No Nudes is Good News”

Jim Hill delves into the delightful history behind the practice of slipping cels into animated films that would, well, not be considered appropriate. A must-read.

Tweets of the Week!

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Week Links 15-2013

Some week links for your perusal!

CinemaCon: The End of Film Distribution in North America Is Almost Here

Not strictly animation-related but certainly having an impact on the wider industry. Sadly, film appears to have run its course despite still being superior in many ways.

Laputa – Castle in the Sky: Animating Weight

Via: Colourful Animation Expressions
Via: Colourful Animation Expressions

Oswald Iten’s excellent Colourful Animation Expressions blog features this post regarding weight in animation utilising a scene from Laputa: Castle in the Sky:

Since flying, floating and thus overcoming gravitation is such an integral part of Miyazaki’s films, indicating the weight of characters is of paramount importance to the success of those fantasy worlds. In yet another scene from LAPUTA – CASTLE IN THE SKY I am looking at the transition from weightlessness to gravity

A fascinating post that’s well worth your time.


Via: Jimmy Something
Via: Jimmy Something

Artist ‘Jimmy Something’ created this massive pixel art piece featuring just about every single comic book/animation/pop culture character you can think of. Bravo sir! Click through to view extra large.

Tweets of the Week

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Week Links 14-2013

Your regular dose of week links for April 7th to the 13th!

Animation Scoop

You’ve probably already heard by now, but if not, Jerry Beck’s new blog Animation Scoop is up and running. Differing from Cartoon Research, it covers animation news and current affairs and is written by himself and a group of contributors.

In Kids’ Rooms, Pink Is for Girls, Blue Is for Boys

Via: Slate
Via: Slate

Coming via Slate is this interesting project by Korean artist JeongMee Yoon entitled “The Pink and Blue Project” that illustrates the level at which both pink and blue have been genderised as well as how marketing departments have overwhelmingly dominated their use.

Chris Ledesma Lists His Favourite Simpsons Songs

The Simpsons’ music editor lists his favourite original songs from the series and you can be sure they’re all great 🙂

Tweets of the Week

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/SandraDRivas/status/319227925444575232″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/CookingUpComics/status/319518827622846464″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MingjueChen/status/321673381055438850″]

Just a short time ago we discussed how the big players in the animation game could abuse Kickstarter and it already seems like that’s the case thanks to Peter Gutierrez:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/Peter_Gutierrez/status/322427815989501952″]

This blog should be one to keep an eye on:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/le_bibo/status/322618442865848320″]

An interesting theory, discuss:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/Shaggyshan/status/322739565662195713″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/amymebberson/status/322830255771508737″]


Week Links 13-2013

Better late than never!

The Leroy Dorsalfin pilot

Via: Mike Geiger's Blog
Via: Mike Geiger’s Blog

Animator Mike Geiger has posted a lot of material from a pitch project he worked on back in 2009. If you’re looking to get familiar with the kind of work that pitching a project involves, you could do yourself a few favours by checking out this post.

Why Shorts (The Animated Kind) Still Matter

The Ladies of Comikazi serve up a great post that looks at animated shorts and why they still matter in an age when they seem irrelevant.

Genius Doesn’t Know Genius

You’re probably already familiar with Pixar’s ’22 Rules of Storytelling’ but do you know how well they translate into the writing process? If not, then Jim Hull’s post is for you!

Pixar Announces ‘Finding Nemo’ Sequel

Via: The Onion
Via: The Onion

Tweets of the Week

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/alikigreeky/status/318489177400434688″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/samo_blamo/status/318615105162059776″]

Little Witch Academy hit the internet this week, prompting tweets like these:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/potatofarmgirl/status/318802185557270528″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/ElRoflstomp/status/318805543806455808″]

A whole host of Cartoon Network shows hit Netflix this week:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/Tanakaisfired/status/319216855283814400″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/fredseibert/status/319605886739951616″]

Week Links 12-2013

Some interesting week links for you today.

Sad Jetsons: Depression, Buttonitis and Nostalgia in the World of Tomorrow

Via: Paleofuture
Via: Paleofuture

The Paleofuture blog at the Smithsonian takes a look at one particular episode of The Jetsons wherein Jane suffers from depression and attempts to get away from it all. The post makes a link between the show and the debates that were taking place at the time (1962) about recreational space in America. It’s an interesting post and one that illustrates how animation can reflect on the unnoticeable changes in society.

Back From The Dead

The Animation Guild Blog takes a look at the cancellation of Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series and ponders the role that fans might play in their resurrection.

Princess Mononoke / B2 / Ashitaka style / Japan

Via:Film On Paper
Via:Film On Paper

If you like movie posters (and who doesn’t), I cannot recommend Eddie Shannan’s Film On Paper enough. This week, he posted the awesome one above for Princess Mononoke. He posts just about one a day so it’s well worth becoming a regular follower.

Tweets of the Week

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/BradBirdA113/status/315720171136360449″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/jessiesarah/status/316295322450161665″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/Caboomtweet/status/316503361551732737″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/sashmorky/status/316956696125784064″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/cdkellman/status/315289710094327810″]

Lastly, an alternate Samurai Jack

As part of a school assignment, Canadian Franco ÉgalitĂ©, was asked to come up with a character design. He chose Samurai Jack but decided to explore what it would have been like if it was a female in the lead character role. His creation, Samurai Kiyomi is what resulted. Be sure to click through to visit Franco’s blog and the rest of his awesome work.

Via:Franco ÉgalitĂ©'s Blog
Via:Franco ÉgalitĂ©’s Blog

Week Links 11-2013

Lots of links this week!

When Jobs In The Animation Industry Disappear

Chris Oatley is constantly beating the drum of optimism and in his latest post, he breaks down the latest developments for all levels in his trademark soft-spoken manner laced with his genuine concern for others. If you haven’t already read Chris’ post, now is the time to read it, ponder it and act on the lessons contained within.

How TV has Replaced Animated Films as Disney’s Biggest Brand Ambassador

If you had to guess who sells more family saloons (sedans) in Europe between BMW and Nissan, you’d probably guess the latter right? Well as it turns out, a BMW 3-series is actually more ‘exclusive’ than the ‘mainstream’ Nissan Primera was during the last year of that model’s life.

The same is ocurring over at Disney right now. Feature films used to be the main engine of the Disney empire. They drive toys, TV series, even Broadway musicals. All that has changed however.

The Variety piece outlines how television is now the primary driver behind most Disney products. Phineas and Ferb are the ones being noted as cleaning up shop but plenty of other Disney Channel properties lend a helping hand.

All this means that features, for 80s years the recognised pinnacle of animated entertainment, are being shunted into second place in executive’s minds. You should read the article to gain an understanding of how things will progress within that company for the next couple of years.

Fantasia Program Recap

Via: Michael Sporn's Splog
Via: Michael Sporn’s Splog

Michael Sporn has uploaded some beautiful scans of the booklet that was handed out at the premiere of Fantasia. In addition to the gorgeous design, the booklet features the credits that are not included in the film itself.

Why We Bother

Josh Selig over at the Kidscreen blog has a great wee post where he ponders the question about why those involved in animation put up with it in spite of a litany of obstacles.

Fans Gone Wild: The Brave Little Toaster

FLIP BLT compactor

Fans and fandom are a favourite topic of this blog so it is with some amusement to learn of the extents of some fan’s devotions. From the FLIP blog comes this piece about a fan (namely Ian Knau) who figured out the design to the compactor from The Brave Little Toaster and even made detailed plans. If only every animated film had such devoted fans!

Tweets of the Week

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/VertMB/status/314470154572550145″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/SandraDRivas/status/314504824559386624″]

David OReilly proves yet again that he knows his fans:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/davidoreilly/status/314826242824216577″]


Week Links 10-2013

Quite a few week links for you today. Enjoy!

The Problem with Processed Storytelling

Richard Brody at The New Yorker touches on the 22 Rules of Storytelling at Pixar that have been making the rounds recently. His issue is that the results of such processes result in “the cinematic equivalent of irresistibly processed food, with a ramped-up and carefully calibrated dosing of the emotional versions of salt, sugar, and fat.”

Tom Sito’s History of Computer Animation

The FLIP Animation Blog has another excellent interview up. This time it’s not only with Tom Sito, but it’s all about CGI and computer animation in its early days and how it developed. Well worth some of your time to see how the technology developed.

2D or Not 2D, The Disney Feature Animation Legacy.

Thomas Coleman over on the Skwigly blog has a post where discusses whether or not traditional 2D animation is the legacy of Walt Disney and his company. His conclusions may surprise you.

Postman Pat is a beloved figure in Jordan

Via:Cartoon Brew
Via:Cartoon Brew

Yes, my childhood hero of a postman is apparently popular enough in the middle eastern country of Jordan to warrant his own CGI feature film. The Guardian takes a tongue-in-cheek look at this curious scenario.

Careful! You’ll Hurt Disney’s Feelings!

Mark Mayerson has a brilliant post over on his blog where he points out that the censorship that Disney engages in. Basically they use their copyright as a tool to squelch any parts of books that they do not like. As Mark points out, this immediately makes any book that is approved for publication immediately falls under the cloud of being potentially tainted by the Disney legal department’s hand and being considered “damaged goods” as far as the truth is concerned.

There is a term to describe this practice and it’s called ‘copyright abuse’. Copyright provides for the holder to prevent and prohibit unauthorised use of their material for commercial gain. Using it as a tool to prevent their inclusion under otherwise ‘fair use’ terms, is far outside of the intended use of copyright and thus becomes an abuse of the system.

Tweets of the Week

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[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/amymebberson/status/311667011442839552″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/BoxnRoundhead/status/312544494811750401″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/jasontammemagi/status/312634799384821760″]

And Lastly

Via: yourfriendlyunicornhunter.tumblr.com
Via: yourfriendlyunicornhunter.tumblr.com

Yes, someone did cosplay as Jenny Wakeman (XJ-9) from My Life as a Teenage Robot at Momocon. Fair play to them 🙂

Week Links 09-2013

A lot of week links today. Some you may have already read, others probably not. Enjoy!

The Life and Death of Looney Tunes Producers: Schlesinger and Selzer

Via: Cartoon Research
Via: Cartoon Research

The reincarnation of Jerry Beck’s Cartoon Research site is throwing up plenty of golden nuggets. One of the latest is this excellent post about Leon Schlesinger and Edward Selzer and two non-animating men were responsible for some of the greatest cartoons ever committed to celluloid. As I say in my comment, it’s a real shame their style of management has fallen by the wayside.

DreamWorks Animation: Where Innovation and Imagination Collide

The Motley Fool has this mostly-fluff piece about DreamWorks and how technology is used throughout the company. The gist of the article is that the company is worthy of investor interest and has potential. Its still worth a minute of your time though.

Animation Learns a New Language

Michael Sporn over on his Splog has a complete article from the July, 1946 issue of The Hollywood Quarterly of the above title. Written by John Hubley and Zachary Schwartz, it discusses how animation was adapted during World War II to much more than entertainment. A comprehensive article that will be of interest to anyone with an interest in animation history.

How Disney Bought Lucasfilm—and Its Plans for ‘Star Wars’

You might have already seen this on other sites, but if not, definitely head over to Businessweek and have a read. Essentially, it was a very lucrative business deal for both parties.

Shopping as the New Prince

Peggy Orenstein details a new video game from Disney entitled ‘City Girl’. Here’s the description:

With suitcase in hand, it’s time to leave your small-town life behind and head to the big city to make your dreams come true! Do you have what it takes to skyrocket to stardom? In the spirit of Sorority Life, Disney City Girl gives players the chance to engage in a stylish and aspirational virtual world!

As a recent New York transplant, the player will explore the city with the help of her fabulous friends, from BFF Jenna to adventurous Auntie Kate. She’ll discover the best places to shop and hang out, choose from a variety of glamorous career paths, and visit exotic locations. As she progresses through her career, your City Girl will accrue style points, continually decorating and upgrading apartments, expanding her wardrobe, and facing off with her friends in “Daily Look” fashion competitions! From a grungy studio to a Park Avenue penthouse, from overworked intern to successful CEO, from country bumpkin to glamour girl, City Girl will keep you coming back again and again.

Peggy does a good job of outlining why such a game is totally unrealistic and not just because it encourages false dreams. It’s a bit of a shame that a large corporation like Disney feels the need to pander to perceived tastes rather than taking a stand.

 the Little Mermaid gave up her voice!

On the subject of Disney, Rebecca Hains saw the trailer for (now-shelved) The Little Mermaid 3-D release and noticed that the trailer proclaims that the film “gave voice to a whole generation”.

Eh? I’m scratching my head with that one. Head over to Rebecca’s blog for her thoughts and comments.

Animation Studies Blog

The Society for Animation Studies has launched a blog on their website. It looks at animation in a much more ‘academic’ sense and covers topics that you are unlikely to find anywhere else on the web.

Korra by Courtney Godbey

Via: Courtney Godbey
Via: Courtney Godbey

 Tweets of the Week

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Remember Tugg? Apparently it’s doing pretty well:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MediaReDEF/status/309577982471708672″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/crashtesterX/status/309756910209478659″]

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Week Links 08-2013

Week links! The stuff I read this week that you should too!

I Hear Voices

The always excellent Yowp blog has a great collection of photos (both publicity and otherwise) of all the great voice actors of the Golden Age. Well worth a few minutes of your time, if only to see Arnold Stang in drag.

An Interview with animation producer Don Hahn

The FLIP blog continues its hot streak of great posts with this interview. Don Hahn should be a recognisable name from all the films he’s produced over the years, as well as the books he’s authored. The interview also features a great checklist for breaking into the industry but this is the most salient and I feel obliged to post it here:

Don’t let the obstacles scare you away. Each studio has firewalls built up in order to keep the hobbyists and fan boys out. As a serious artist, it’s part of the rights of passage to get beyond those firewalls with your talent and persistence. If they don’t return your call, don’t like your reel, can’t talk to you unless you have an agent, or don’t have anything for you, see these for what they are…obstacles to keep the amateurs out. If you want to be professional, you’ll find a way to break past these with time and persistence.

Tweets of the Week

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/colmtobin/status/305859727877873666″]

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And Finally

Here’s Fionna and Cake dancing by Shmorky:

Via:Shmorky on Tumblr
Via:Shmorky on Tumblr



Week Links 07-2013

A good few week links for you today. Enjoy!

Linda Cardellini on Freaks And Geeks, ER, and homewrecking

The A.V. Club has a fairly detailed interview with the actress with some discussion on her current role as Wendy in Gravity Falls.

We Love Fine Gravity Falls T-Shirt Contest

ViaWe Love Fine. (Not a competition design though because I couldn't get a large enough image)
ViaWe Love Fine. (Not a competition design though because I couldn’t get a large enough image)

While we’re on the subject of Gravity Falls, the good folks over at We Love Fine are running a contest where fans can vote for their favourite designs to appear on clothing. Such campaigns have been used by Adventure Time to great advantage and with Gravity Falls enjoying similar levels of cult popularity, hopefully the contest does well for them too.

Tiny Cartoon Kids Put Into Real-Life Scenes

ViaThe Laughing Squid
ViaThe Laughing Squid

Via The Laughing Squid comes this cute collection of photographs from French artist Lowra and her Paperchild Revolution collection; the entirety of which is well worth a peek 🙂

Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld  Model Sheet

Via:Potato farm Girl
Via:Potato farm Girl

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of these tragically short shorts, but much props go to Brianne Drouhard for going over and above the call of duty in posting lots of fantastic art from the show just like the one above. Check out her blog for much much more!

Invader: Pink Panther

Via:Animated Review
Via:Animated Review

Via Animated Review comes this photo of a piece by street artist Invader that should be instantly recogniseable despite its pixelated composition.

Art of the Title: ParaNorman

Via:Art of the Title
Via:Art of the Title

Last but certainly not least is this overview of the ParaNorman title sequence and an interview with Aaron Sorenson over on the Art of the Title site. A definite must read.

Scrooge McDuck by Dirk Shulz


Finally this week is this awesome bit of art by German artist Dirk Shulz of the eminently famous Scrooge McDuck.

Tweets of the Week

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[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/Giancarlo_Volpe/status/302908394606571520″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/EddieWhiteJr/status/304169901906612224″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/SheaFontana/status/304391206689992705″]

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