Animation Articles: 31 May, 2020

A selection of the best animation articles including news, opinions, and features from around the world for the week beginning the 31st of May, 2020. Featuring a Zoolander animated series, The Simpsons’ aspect ratio error, how a film gets stuck in development hell (and how it escapes), how similar Beastars is to Zootopia, and more!

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Animation Articles: May 24, 2020

A selection of the best animation articles including news, opinions, and features from around the world for the week beginning the 24th of May, 2020.

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Great TV is Like Punk Rock, But Our Screens Are Filled With Adult Contemporary

Great TV is everywhere nowadays, at least that what everyone is telling me. Creators are pushing boundaries, genres are being stretched, and cultural barriers are falling. If only it were all true! Great TV is like Punk Rock in more ways than one, and what is on our screens nowadays isn’t inspiring me to get a leather jacket, or a mohawk.

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Why is Mickey Mouse More Popular Than Bugs Bunny?

Baiting title aside, Mickey Mouse really is more popular than Bugs Bunny. He sells a lot more merchandise, appears in far more places around the world and is lauded as a mascot for the company that operates ‘The Happiest Place on Earth.’ Bugs never even got such opportunities and yet as a character, he is far superior to Mickey. Why is that?

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Week Links 21-2013

Halfway through the year already??? Well, have some more week links, and don’t forget to check out the archives for more that you may have missed.

Amazon moves ahead with three kids original series

Coming via the Kidscreen iKids blog but surely trumpeted elsewhere too is the news that Amazon is moving ahead with it’s original series as chosen by viewers. Of interest to us are the three animated properties as the post details as well as when we can expect to see the first episodes; later this year is all we know for now.

Lost in Translation

Through Fred's post, the author finally discovered the origins of the title of this book, one of his very favourites. Find out for yourself by buying it here!
Through Fred’s post, this blogger finally discovered the origins of the title of this book, one of his very favourites. Find out for yourself by buying it here!

Fred Patten over on Cartoon Research has a very thorough and insightful post about translation and the comedy of errors that can result. That’s something that continually seems to haunt animation. Live-action has less of an issue because, quite simply, less of it travels across borders thanks to its lower cost. Animation, being as expensive as it is, seems to require international sales in order to succeed and that means a lot of translation. Latin-based languages aren’t too difficult, but once you cross the Pacific, things get tricky; a fact that Fred’s post does much to enlighten us about.

Happy feet no longer tapping as animation studio sells upHappy feet no longer tapping as animation studio sells up

Animation is tough business, and the latest casualty is the Australian studio that produced Happy Feet 2:

Unfortunately, the only story Dr D managed to share was Happy Feet Two. The continual slate of production that had been anticipated failed to materialise, and the 650 or so staff who had been hired (mostly on contract) at the peak of production dwindled in the months after to about 50. In more recent times, it is believed fewer than half a dozen people were employed by the company.

Europa – Main Characters

Animator Robert Kohr is hard at work on his latest short film. Entitled ‘Europa’ after Jupiter’s moon, he recently posted some character models. Here’s the character Cindy:



Lotsa Cartoons

In a rare self-referential link, Michael Sporn read my post on Animation Scoop questioning the race for the easy dollar among major animation studios and posted his own, well-measured thoughts. The topic is of concern to me primarily because the gold rush that animation currently is has lead to a lot of formulaic films that I fear will result in audience burnout and an industry downturn.

Tweets of the Week

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And Lastly….

Gotta love that sly Looney Tune humour.

bugs stag reel

Looney Tunes Weetabix Commercial from 1992

Too often it seems that when cartoon characters make the leap into animated commercials, the quality isn’t quite up to par with the original material. Thankfully, sometimes one gets out that really shines and this Weetabix ad from 1992 is no exception.

Emulating the classic Looney Tunes shorts of the late 40s and early 50s, it condenses an entire plot from the usual 7-8 minutes down into under 45 seconds. It’s all accomplished, quite amazingly without much loss to either the characters or the plot (although naturally Weetabix plays a starring role) and it manages to maintain the high level of screwball comedy that the shorts were famous for. Enjoy!


This Needs To Hang in my Office

Since I’m on my honeymoon this week, enjoy some of the finer stuff I’ve collected on my tumblelog over the last 4 years or so.

I’m not even kidding! If someone out there would like to make a decent-sized print that I can hang on the wall, I will gladly give you money for it. It is, of course, from the classic shirt, Rocket Squad.

Character Sundays: Witch Hazel

I simply couldn’t let Halloween pass without mentioning a character with at least some connection to the holiday and I think a witch will suit just fine.

There’s not a lot to say about Witch Hazel except that she is constantly scheming but is ultimately thwarted by her own mistakes. She’s a quirky mix of you loveable old grandmother and a wicked witch. By far the funniest aspect to her character is her giggle. It’s as if she’s a schoolgirl and not an ancient old crone!

By far the best way to appreciate her is to watch her. Here she is in the absolute classic short, Broomstick Bunny. The whole short is a setup to the never-in-doubt ending but is hilarious nonetheless.