What Mario Scietto Says April 15, 2014 What Mario Scietto Says Emmy Laybourne An original Monument 14 story. Something Going Around April 9, 2014 Something Going Around Harry Turtledove A tale of love and parasites. The Devil in America April 2, 2014 The Devil in America Kai Ashante Wilson The gold in her pockets is burning a hole. Anyway: Angie March 26, 2014 Anyway: Angie Daniel José Older She and Death are kissing cousins.
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Showing posts tagged: animation click to see more stuff tagged with animation
Apr 11 2014 11:00am

Batman: Strange Days

Batman: The Animated Series co-creator Bruce Timm has created an animated short for the caped crusader on the event of his 75th birthday. We're getting all teary over here.

[Check it out!]

Feb 12 2014 3:00pm

Lego Batman Will Arnett

With The Lego Movie winning over critics and families alike, one little detail seems to be a tiny bit overlooked: Will Arnett is voicing Batman! And while the decidedly comedic take on Gotham City’s silent defender works super-well for his LEGO incarnation, Batman has had a ton of other talented folks not just beneath the cowl, but behind a microphone, too. If you think about it, since the guy hides behind a mask, voicing Batman might be the most legit way for an actor to truly explore the character. Sure, we’re all familiar with Christian Bale’s “bat-growl” and its various parodies, but what about some of the Caped Crusader’s other voice actors?

Here are five of the best.

[Read more]

Jan 30 2014 11:00am

The Last Unicorn

Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn, while sometimes categorized as YA, is generally hailed as a story for all ages. As much as I love the book, I didn’t read it until I was in college, so my initial introduction into Beagle’s world (like many fans my age, I suspect) came courtesy of the 1982 Rankin/Bass animated movie of the same name.

While I can’t speak to the experience of reading the novel as a child, I certainly believe that a story as beautifully crafted and enduring as this one will resonate with readers of various ages and experience. I’d argue that the movie also has plenty to recommend it to adult fantasy fans, and is far more advanced in its themes than the vast majority of animated children’s entertainment. And while it stays very true to the book in many ways, the film manages to foreground certain elements of the original story that give it a very powerful, very unique appeal for children. Don’t get me wrong: it’s kind of a strange film, but therein lies its magic. It speaks to younger viewers in a manner that very few films ever do.

[“They passed down all the roads long ago, and the Red Bull ran close behind them and covered their footprints…”]

Jan 23 2014 11:00am

The winter anime season is upon us, and I’m sorry to say it, but it’s looking pretty grim. Like a polar vortex of mediocrity, winter has brought down a flurry of bland mecha, unfunny comedies, and half-hearted light novel adaptations. But all is not lost—in addition to continuing series from fall and the return of Silver Spoon, there are a few new cartoons that look like they can get us through this harsh winter. From the heavily anticipated Space Dandy to surprises like Noragami and the weird Hozuki no Reitetsu, new anime is a click away. Here are some of the best shows of the winter season that are available to watch right now.

[Read on for more shows from the winter season...]

Jan 3 2014 2:00pm

Terry Gilliam animation tutorial

The working dynamics of Monty Python were fascinating. While Cleese, Chapman, Palin, Jones, and Idle split into teams to write together and workshop each other, Terry Gilliam was squirreled away in his attic flat working alone on animation, providing most of the voices and sound effects for the interstitial cartoons that defined the visual look of the troupe. His descriptions of the process are predictably quirky, but now we’ve found a video that will guide you through your own cutout animation! Click through, and unlock your inner mob hedgehog.

[British accents and squishing sounds optional.]

Dec 22 2013 2:00pm

Nicholas Was Neil Gaiman 39 degrees north

Motion graphics studio 39 Degrees North needed a topic for their 2010 Christmas card, so they turned to Neil Gaiman’s poem, “Nicholas Was...” from his collection, Smoke & Mirrors. What resulted was a minute and half Christmas nightmare.

You can read the poem on Neil Gaiman’s website, and watch the video below:


Dec 21 2013 10:00am

R. O. Blechman CBS spot: Christmas with all the charm you would expect from Mr. Blechman. (1:03 minutes)

The Legend of the Turning Stone: A creepy Christmas tale. (6:38 minutes)

Frosty the Snowman: Oddly manic and sweet. From UPA, as so many good animated shorts are. (2:41 minutes)

[Watch Them All!]

Dec 16 2013 1:45pm

Disney, Moana art

Disney's latest venture is set for release in 2018, titled Moana. Said to be the adventures of the eponymous character, Moana is a chief's only daughter from a long line of navigators. Her adventure will take place on the high seas in the South Pacific, set 2000 years ago, and will likely have mythic underpinnings.

It is being directed by John Musker and Ron Clement (Aladdin, The Princess and the Frog), and is said to have the same animation style as the praised animated short, Paperman. Are you excited for this one, or skeptical until you see more?

News via io9.

Dec 7 2013 11:00am

Imago: An orphaned boy dreams of his father. If this doesn’t make you both smile and get teary-eyed, then you have no heart. Equally beautiful for its storytelling and drawing, sentimental in the best possible way. (11:38 minutes)

Leo’s Song: “When a geometric visitor from another planet becomes your new roommate and shares with you the tragic state of its home world, you drop your guitar and see what you can do.” This will make you feel happy all day long. (2;46 minutes)

[Watch both!]

Dec 2 2013 1:00pm

Before I discuss Frozen, I feel it only fair to start this review with a disclaimer: Hello, my name is Leah Withers and I am a Disney Fan Girl. Yes, yes, I am one of those. Those 20-something people that re-watch The Rescuers Down Under on a Saturday night, totally sober, and live tweet commentary to absolutely no one. One of those people who falls gleefully down the Tumblr rabbit holes of Disney fanart (ermahgerd have you guys seen Pocket Princesses??) and who may or may not have a dedicated Disney board on her Pinterest… So hop on board good folks, see me after the jump, and let the squeeing commence!

[Mild spoilers ahead!]

Nov 23 2013 11:00am

Tir Nan Og: A little sad and a lot sweet.  (3:59 minutes)

Syrinx: Pan and Syrinx, a ballet in charcoal. (2:55 minutes)

[Watch Both!]

Nov 20 2013 12:00pm

In the 1980s, Disney’s imagination was growing stale. During the era of Walt himself, classics such as Cinderella, Pinocchio, and Peter Pan had made Disney the most respected animation company in the world. But its newer movies—titles such as The Great Mouse Detective and Oliver and Company—seemed to lack the timeless magic of those earlier ones. The company’s theme parks, though profitable, relied heavily on aging characters. And while Disney was still a brand to be reckoned with, it needed to do some serious wishing-upon-a-star when it came to new content.

[Read More]

Nov 20 2013 11:00am

Star Trek: The Animated Series

It weighed on my heart to hear that Lou Scheimer, founder of Filmation Studios, had died this past October. Like a lot of Gen X’ers I grew up part of the Filmation Generation, in thrall to a studio whose output (along with that of Hanna-Barbera) shaped the landscape of my every Saturday morning: Fat Albert, The Adventures of Batman, The New Adventures of Flash Gordon, and yeah, even He-Man, were all required viewing for me.

[And of course, Star Trek: The Animated Series]

Nov 16 2013 11:00am

Flutter: Two high school students: the boy runs and runs while the girl paints...and runs. It’s pure energy and expression. (6:52 minutes)

Walls: Claustrophobia, isolation, and observation. (8:10 minutes)

[Watch Both]

Nov 9 2013 11:00am

Rabbit: Dick and Jane turn very dark in this surreal cautionary tale. (8:41 minutes)

Herr Bar: Trippy, sensual, and experiential—body parts as landscape. (3:08 minutes)

[Watch Both!]

Nov 8 2013 11:30am

Maleficent dragon Sleeping Beauty

Villains in animated films tend to have a bit of an edge in the whole Magnificent Bastards department. All the best villainous actors of stage and screen do a fair amount of scene chewing (I’m looking at you, Tim Curry), but animated villains can take things to a whole other level. Disney villains in particular have a way of worming their way into our hearts, thanks in no small part to campy theatrics, quippy dialog, and the occasional musical number. And they often have the sartorial chops to carry it off courtesy of some fantastic design work.

But in order to truly rise to the ranks of magnificent bastardry, a villain needs substance—some motivation or believable character flaw an audience can connect with. We don’t have to actively root for the bastards (though sometimes we do), but we do need to understand their point of view. I mean, we may love to hate Cruella de Vil, but it’s hard to actually sympathize with her end game of acquiring a puppy-coat. So which Disney villains make the grade?

[Read More]

Oct 31 2013 11:45am

Ever want to see the world through an artist’s eyes? Doctor Who did a lovely job of it in the episode “Vincent and the Doctor,” but there’s room to expand on idea, and this incredible piece of animation allows us to see Van Gogh paintings in color, light and motion.

[Click below to see...]

Oct 25 2013 9:00am

Popeye Spinach E C SegarThough E.C. Segar’s Popeye the Sailor Man is not as popular as he once was, there was a time the squinty-eyed sailor was an American icon on par with Mickey Mouse and Superman. The Fleischer Studio cartoons, which featured Popeye and the hulking Bluto battling it out over the stick-figured Olive Oyl, created the on-going one-on-one conflict plots that would dominate theatrical cartoons from Tom and Jerry to Looney Tunes. But perhaps Popeye’s greatest contribution to pop culture is his can of spinach, a story trope that would change the shape of cartoons, comics, and video games, in America and across the world.

The first thing to understand is just how popular Popeye really was, starting from his debut in Thimble Theater in 1929. By 1938, polls showed Popeye, not Mickey Mouse, was the most popular animated character in Hollywood. The Popeye cartoons and comics invented or popularized the words “wimp,” “jeep,” “goon,” and “doofus.” Spinach growers credited Popeye with a 33% increase in sales, and erected a statue of Popeye in tribute in 1937.

[The spinach can that changed the world]

Oct 19 2013 10:00am

“The Tell-Tale Heart”: Edgar Allen Poe’s story narated by James Mason and animated by the UPA. Of course it’s a classic. (7:48 minutes)

“The End”: A scarecrow is on trial for being kind to the crows. (6:14 minutes)

“Chainsaw Maid”: A zombie breakout rendered in claymation glory...I mean gory. “Chainsaw Maid” is violent, tasteless, gross...and very funny. (If you occasionally think that kind of thing can be funny.) (6:52 minutes)

[Watch All Three!]

Oct 16 2013 3:30pm

It is hard to put into words just what Superman means; he’s meant so much to so many people for so long. Superman is an organic, evolving symbol of heroism and ethics, but because he’s a character with seventy-five years of history behind him—happy aniversary, Man of Tomorrow!—expressing just who he is can be tricky. Grant Morrison famously and brilliantly reduced his origin story to four panels; here, Bruce Timm and Zack Snyder (and a small army of annotators) transform three-quarters of a century of publishing across genre and media into a two-minute short that will make you believe a man can fly.

[Superman over 75 years]