Andy Warhol (1962)

In celebration of Andy Warhol’s birthday, born on this day in 1928, I wanted to share this interesting short documentary about him and his most famous creation the Marilyn Diptych. Enjoy!

Andy Warhol made Marilyn Diptych in 1962, right after Marilyn Monroe’s death. By the 1960s Marilyn’s film career as a sex symbol was all but over. Warhol would effectively immortalize Marilyn as the sex symbol of the 20th century. The seductive blonde Marilyn with the heavy-lidded eyes and parted lips is frozen in time. She is transformed into the personification of the allure and glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Marilyn would make Warhol a household name, and Warhol would make Marilyn an icon.

Marilyn Diptych is perhaps his greatest canvas, bringing together celebrity, death and exposure. It is both a warning and a love letter to America. Warhol, who is often criticized as vacuous or superficial, produced art, that is profoundly subversive and quite simply a perfect mirror of our times.

Andy Warhol and Marilyn Monroe were both the embodiment of the American dream. They also, both projected a vacant persona that made sure nobody knew the real person behind the mask.

The Marilyn Diptych is a silkscreen painting by American pop artist Andy Warhol depicting Marilyn Monroe. The monumental work is one of the artist’s most noted of the movie star. The painting consists of 50 images. Each image of the actress is taken from the single publicity photograph from the film Niagara. The underlying publicity photograph that Warhol used as a basis for his many paintings and prints of Marilyn, and the Marilyn Diptych, was owned and distributed by her movie studio. Marilyn Diptych was completed just weeks after Marilyn Monroe’s death in August 1962.

Silkscreen printing was the technique used to create this painting. The twenty-five images on the left are painted in color, the right side is black and white.

The Marilyn Diptych is in the collection of the Tate.

It has been suggested that the relation between the left side of the canvas and the right side of the canvas is evocative of the relation between the celebrity’s life and death. The work has received praise from writers such as American academic and cultural critic Camille Paglia, who wrote in 2012’s Glittering Images lauding how it shows the “multiplicity of meanings” in Monroe’s life and legacy.

In a December 2, 2004 article in The Guardian, the painting was named the third most influential piece of modern art in a survey of 500 artists, critics, and others. The artwork was also ranked ninth in the past 1,000 years by Kathleen Davenport, Director, Rice University Art Gallery, Houston.

Mike Judge (2022)

The iconic animated duo of Beavis and Butt-Head are back and dumber than ever! The ’90s pop-culture phenomenons return, voiced by creator Mike Judge, to confound common sense, torment each other, and showcase some of the dumbest comedy imaginable. Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head is streaming August 4th, exclusively on Paramount+!

“They watch YouTube videos and TikTok videos now. We have episodes where they’re middle-aged. Butt-Head is just this big old useless guy.”

Mike Judge

If you’re a fan of Beavis and Butt-Head, 2022 is a great year. That’s because not only has Paramount+ released a new movie, Beavis & Butt-Head Do the Universe, the streamer is about to launch a new series, Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head, on August 4. However, unlike the original Beavis and Butt-Head series, which had them talking over music videos, in the new series, they’re also watching YouTube and TikTok. As you can see in the first clip, this seems like a match made in heaven.

Shortly before taking the San Diego Comic-Con stage, Mike Judge stopped by the Collider studio. During the interview, he talked about making Idiocracy and the growing popularity of the movie, how he might be filming his next live-action movie next year, how all the original Beavis and Butt-Head episodes might finally be released with the music videos, and the new series and what fans can look forward to.

Odesza featuring Ólafur Arnalds (2022)

Taken from the album ‘The Last Goodbye’, out now on Foreign Family Collective/Ninja Tune.

Production Company: Blinkink

Director: Balázs Simon

Executive Producer: Josef Byrne

Producer: Máté Barbalics

Head of Production: Alex Halley

Concept & ODESZA creative: Luke Tanaka and Sean Kusanagi

Shooting Team Dop: Max Halstead

Stop Motion Producer: Sami Goddard

Art Director: Brin Frost

Studio: Clapham Road Studios

Studio Manager: Daisy Garside

Art Dept: Beattie Hartley

Post Production Team

Art Director: Péter Kántor (Greenroom)

Lead Previs Artist: Dane Armour

Previs Artist: Jonathan Meret and Dávid Dell’Edera

Character Sculpting: László Aszalós

Lead Compositor: Doma Harkai

Compositor: Adrián Majoros

Compositor: Csaba Bálint

Graphic Artist: András Gunda

Colorist: Szilárd Tötszegi

Dancer: Bea Egyed

Sound Design: Jacob Wheeler

Storyboard: Mysie Pereira

Sunnyside Animation

Producer: Dániel Szabó

Rigging TD: Hollósy Zoltán

Character Animation: Dániel Szabó, Barcsay Marcell and György Fábos

Mocap Recording: Gergely Rácz

Blendshape Artist: János Császár

Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker & Dean Lorey (2022)

The mayhem and madness continue in season three of this biting and uproarious adult animated comedy series. Wrapping up their “Eat. Bang! Kill. Tour,” Harley Quinn (Kaley Cuoco) and Poison Ivy (Lake Bell) return to Gotham as the new power couple of DC villainy. Along with their ragtag crew – King Shark (Ron Funches), Clayface (Alan Tudyk), Frank the Plant (JB Smoove) – “Harlivy” strives to become the best version of themselves while also working towards Ivy’s long desired plan of transforming Gotham into an Eden paradise.

Season 3 of Harley Quinn premieres July 28 on HBO Max.

Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker & Dean Lorey (2022)

The mayhem and madness continue in season three of this biting and uproarious adult animated comedy series. Wrapping up their “Eat. Bang! Kill. Tour,” Harley Quinn (Kaley Cuoco) and Poison Ivy (Lake Bell) return to Gotham as the new power couple of DC villainy. Along with their ragtag crew – King Shark (Ron Funches), Clayface (Alan Tudyk), Frank the Plant (JB Smoove) – “Harlivy” strives to become the best version of themselves while also working towards Ivy’s long desired plan of transforming Gotham into an Eden paradise.

Season 3 of Harley Quinn premieres July 28 on HBO Max.

Bruno Bozzetto (1974)

Just like we exploit earth by extracting its petrol, so do mosquitos behave over the human body by sucking our blood. An animated, allegorical film which portrays the activities of a group of mosquitos who build their city around a man’s vital fluids.

Hungry mosquitos, in search of a meal, find that fruit, flowers and other such fare doesn’t satisfy. One enterprising bug hits the jackpot – a human! However, the victim vigorously resists joining the food chain, causing a number of winged casualties. The little buggers wait until the man falls asleep, then set up a number of enterprises: cafes, bars, filling stations, all serving blood. Things are going well, but then the mosquito Cosa Nostra moves in, and ramp production into high gear.

“Synthesis is the most important goal for an artist. It’s a marvellous and yet difficult goal to achieve.”

Bruno Bozzetto

A 60-years career behind, Bruno Bozzetto is esteemed as one of the most eclectic and influential Cartoonists of yesterday and of today. His minimalist style focuses on the content more than the aesthetics to talk about universal themes with an educational approach and through a scratching irony that make his films suitable for a young adult audience.

From the 1960s up to today he has made over three hundreds films that earned him 130 acknowledgments among which the remarkable Winsor McCay Award, 5 Silver Ribbon Awards, an Honorary degree, 15 Awards to the Career, an Oscar Nomination for Grasshoppers, and a Berlin Golden Bear Award for Mr Tao.

Today Bruno keeps working in the industry by creating new subjects, by animating and sketching on his own, but also cooperating to wider projects through Bozzetto&Co Studio of Production. He also takes part to films festivals, events and masterclasses in Italy and worldwide.

Several exhibitions have been set up through the years, the most prestigious of which is “Animation, Maestro!”, wanted by Diane Disney Miller in 2013, at the Walt Disney Family Museum of San Francisco. The Bozzetto crew believes that an original artwork-based exhibition is the best way to show the magic of animation through original sketches, storyboards and especially cels.

To learn more about Bruno Bozzetto or to see more of his work, please visit his website: https://www.bozzetto.com

Guido Manila (1977)

Animated science fiction film based on biblical stories.

Guido Manuli is one of the most influential Italian animators and film directors. He started a long-standing collaboration with animation legend Bruno Bozzetto in the 60s; together they worked on cult movies like West and Soda, Vip Mio Fratello Superuomo, Allegro Non Troppo and many more.

In 1991 he won the Davide of Donatello Award for Best Screenplay for the Maurizio Nichetti-directed Volere Volare, a mixed technique feature film also awarded with the Globo d’Oro of International Critic, the Premio Corbucci for Best Italian Movie 1990 and finally the Best Film and Audience Award in Montreal. Later in the 90s he directed for the Italian pubcaster RAI the TV movie Monster Mash, followed by the theatrical feature Aida degli Alberi in 2001 (a Lanterna Magica production) and the full CGI animated series Water and Bubbles for RAI in 2008/2009.

During the last 40 years he also created dozens of short films that won scores of accolades worldwide. Works such as Opera (1973), Fantabiblical (1977), Count Down (1978), Just a Kiss (1983) and Incubus (1985) were screened and widely acclaimed at every major animation Festival: from Annecy to Trieste, Parigi and Lucca. His energetic style was often compared to Tex Avery.

Lily Allen & Olivia Rodrigo (2022)

Olivia Rodrigo performs Fuck You (feat. Lily Allen) at Glastonbury 2022.

As American musicians took the stage at Glastonbury 2022, many used their stage time to criticize the United States supreme court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Olivia Rodrigo surprised her audience by bringing out artist Lily Allen for a special duet of Allen’s song Fuck You while addressing the devastating news. During her speech before introducing Allen, Rodrigo dedicated the song to the five members of the supreme court.

“I wanted to dedicate this next song to the five members of the supreme court who have showed us that at the end of the day, they truly don’t give a shit about freedom. This song goes out to the justices samuel alito, clarence thomas, neil gorsuch, amy coney barrett, and brett kavanaugh. We hate you!”

Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo at Glastonbury ’22

Look inside, look inside your tiny mind
Then look a bit harder
‘Cause we’re so uninspired, so sick and tired
Of all the hatred you harbour
So you say it’s not okay to be gay
Well, I think you’re just evil
You’re just some racist who can’t tie my laces
Your point of view is medieval

Fuck you! fuck you very, very much
‘Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please, don’t stay in touch
Fuck you! fuck you very, very much
‘Cause your words don’t translate
And it’s getting quite late
So please, don’t stay in touch

Do you get, do you get a little kick out of being small minded?
You want to be like your father, it’s approval you’re after
Well, that’s not how you find it
Do you, do you really enjoy living a life that’s so hateful?
‘Cause there’s a hole where your soul should be
You’re losing control of it
And it’s really distasteful

Fuck you! fuck you very, very much
‘Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please, don’t stay in touch
Fuck you! fuck you very, very much
‘Cause your words don’t translate
And it’s getting quite late
So please, don’t stay in touch

You say you think we need to go to war
Well, you’re already in one
‘Cause it’s people like you that need to get slew
No one wants your opinion

Lily Allen at Glastonbury ’22

Fuck you! fuck you very, very much
‘Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please, don’t stay in touch
Fuck you! fuck you very, very much
‘Cause your words don’t translate
And it’s getting quite late
So please, don’t stay in touch

FUCK YOU!

Bruno Bozzetto (1967)

By restraining the whole cycle of life into just six minutes, the film underlines how our constant commitments often mislead us from the real meaning of life.

Bruno Bozzetto is an Italian cartoon animator and film director, creator of many short pieces, mainly of a political Hiii or satirical nature. He created his first animated short “Tapum! the weapons’ story” in 1958 at the age of 20. His most famous character, a hapless little man named “Signor Rossi”, has been featured in many animated shorts as well as starring in three feature films: Mr. Rossi Looks for Happiness, Mr. Rossi’s Dreams, and Mr. Rossi’s Vacation.

Bruno Bozzetto abozzetto.com

Patrick Smith (1985)

“There’s a way we talk and it includes profanity. We never figured we’d be arrested for it.”

– Mike D

Interview by Rocci Fisch for ABC News Radio 1985, Washington, D.C. Cassette Tape

More Beasties: http://blankonblank.org/interviews/be…

Executive Producer: David Gerlach

Animator: Patrick Smith

Beastie Boys were an American rap group from New York City, formed in 1981. The group was composed of Michael “Mike D” Diamond, Adam “MCA” Yauch, and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz. Beastie Boys were formed out of members of experimental hardcore punk band the Young Aborigines in 1978, with Diamond as vocalist, Jeremy Shatan on bass guitar, John Berry on guitar, and Kate Schellenbach on drums. When Shatan left in 1981, Yauch replaced him on bass and the band changed their name to Beastie Boys. Berry left shortly thereafter and was replaced by Horovitz.

Vitist https://beastieboys.com/ for more Beastie Boys!

Mike Judge (2022)

In perhaps the dumbest space movie ever made, Beavis and Butt-head are sentenced to Space Camp by a “creative” judge in 1998, leading to a trip on the Space Shuttle, with predictably disastrous results. After going through a black hole, they reemerge in our time, where they look for love, misuse iPhones, and are hunted by the Deep State. Spoiler: They don’t score. Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe is streaming June 23 exclusively on Paramount+.

Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe is an upcoming animated science fiction comedy film based on the MTV animated television series Beavis and Butt-Head. Written, directed by and starring series creator Mike Judge, it is the second film adaptation of the animated series and a sequel to Beavis and Butt-Head Do America.

Animation services for the film were provided by Titmouse, Inc, making it the first official Beavis and Butt-Head animation done with Adobe Animate.

James Brown & Betty Jean Newsome (1966)

Animated music video by James Brown performing It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World

Directed by Xavier Fauthoux

The world may be run and operated by men, but without women, none of it would be possible.

It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World is a song written by James Brown and Betty Jean Newsome. Brown recorded it on February 16, 1966, in a New York City studio and released it as a single later that year. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart and No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Its title is a word play on the 1963 comedy film It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

The song is written in the key of E-flat minor. The lyrics attribute all the works of modern civilization to the efforts of men, but claim that it all would “mean nothing without a woman or a girl”. Brown’s co-writer and onetime girlfriend, Betty Jean Newsome, wrote the lyrics based on her own observations of the relations between the sexes. Newsome claimed in later years that Brown did not write any part of the song, and she argued in court that he sometimes forgot to pay her royalties.

Animation Department

Marion Brunettoanimator
Thomas Buroncharacter designer
Martial CoulonCompositing
Matthieu Fouchieranimator
Liza Lussiezcharacter designer
Milan Starcevicanimator
Alexandre Tissotconcept art

Norman McLaren (1950)

This 1949 animation by Canadian filmmaker Norman McLaren is a moving vision of jazz activity. Featuring a soundtrack by the Oscar Peterson Trio the film ebbs and flows in unison with the energy of the performers. This is the explosion of color you’ve been waiting to hear.

Norman McLaren was a Scottish Canadian animator, director and producer known for his work for the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). He was a pioneer in a number of areas of animation and filmmaking, including hand-drawn animation, drawn-on-film animation, visual music, abstract film, pixilation and graphical sound.

His awards included an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject in 1952 for Neighbours, a Silver Bear for best short documentary at the 1956 Berlin International Film Festival for Rythmetic and a 1969 BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film for Pas de deux.

Drew Christie (2016)

Find out how the scent of a woman inspired Kurt Cobain to write an anthem for the ages.

The Nirvana song Smells Like Teen Spirit is associated with a story of Bakini Kill’s lead singer Kathleen Hanna who wrote “Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit” all over his motel wall. This was a reference to Bakini Kill’s drummer Tobi Vail who dated Kurt and wore Teen Spirit deodorant, implying that Tobi had marked Kurt with her scent. He later learned that it was a brand of deodorant after the single was released, having originally interpreted the slogan as having revolutionary meaning.

Directed by Drew Christie

Written by Drew Christie and Bill Flanagan

Narrated by T Bone Burnett

Chuck Jones (1943)

“Confidentially, those hunters couldn’t hit the broad side of a DUCK!”

– Daffy Duck

To Duck or Not to Duck is a 1943 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Chuck Jones. The cartoon was released on March 6, 1943, and stars Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd.

Robert Zemeckis (2022)

Here’s The Trailer for Pinocchio!

When you wish upon a star…. Well, I guess you get another live action remake of a beloved Disney classic.  In this case, the remake is Pinocchio.  Now before anyone rolls their eyes at another Disney remake, it should perhaps be considered that this one is being directed by Robert Zemeckis and it stars Tom […]

Here’s The Trailer for Pinocchio! — Through the Shattered Lens

Studio Brussel (1991)

In 1994, grunge icon Kurt Cobain died. A few years before his death, Studio Brussel got the chance to interview Cobain in ‘De Vooruit’, in Ghent on november 23rd, 1991. He was there with his band Nirvana after they just released their second album ‘Nevermind’. For more than 25 years the interview got lost in the huge archives of the Belgian public television and radio. Until now!

Animations by Bart Lodts.

Wilfred Jackson & Walt Disney (1935)

The Band Concert is an animated short film produced in 3-strip Technicolor by Walt Disney Productions and released by United Artists. It was the 73rd Mickey Mouse short film to be released, and the second of that year. The Band Concert was the first Mickey Mouse film produced in color.

The Band Concert was directed by Wilfred Jackson and featured adapted music by Leigh Harline. The only speaking character in the film is Donald Duck who is performed by voice actor Clarence Nash. The film remains one of the most highly acclaimed of the Disney shorts. The story is about a small music band conducted by Mickey Mouse which struggles through a distraction-filled public performance.

Although The Band Concert did not receive any Academy Award nominations, it has nonetheless become one of the most highly acclaimed Disney short films.

“None of the dozens of works produced in America at the same time in all the other arts can stand comparison with this one.”

Gilbert Seldes, Esquire Magazine

The Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini was such a fan of The Band Concert that he saw it six times in the theater and later invited Walt Disney to his home in Italy.

“one of the best cartoons ever made anywhere… There are nuances of expression in Mickey’s character throughout this film that had seldom been explored in earlier shorts. The pacing is also entirely different from the standard Mickey Mouse comedies of the early thirties. Instead of trying to pack in a thousand gags a minute, The Band Concert takes its time and builds to a crescendo.”

Leonard Maltin, Film Critic

Norman McLaren (1952)

In this Oscar-winning short film, Norman McLaren employs the principles of animation to animate live actors through the process of pixilation. The story is a parable about two people who come to blows over the possession of a flower.

Neighbours is a 1952 anti-war film by Scottish Canadian filmmaker Norman McLaren. Produced at the National Film Board of Canada in Montreal, the film uses pixilation, an animation technique using live actors as stop motion objects. McLaren created the soundtrack of the film by scratching the edge of the film, creating various blobs, lines, and triangles which the projector read as sound.

Neighbours has been described as “one of the most controversial films the NFB ever made”. The eight-minute film was politically motivated:

“I was inspired to make Neighbours by a stay of almost a year in the People’s Republic of China. Although I only saw the beginnings of Mao’s revolution, my faith in human nature was reinvigorated by it. Then I came back to Quebec and the Korean War began. (…) I decided to make a really strong film about anti-militarism and against war.”

Norman McLaren

The version of Neighbours that ultimately won an Oscar was not the version McLaren had originally created. In order to make the film palatable for American and European audiences, McLaren was required to remove a scene in which the two men, fighting over the flower, murdered the other’s wife and children.

During the Vietnam War, public opinion changed, and McLaren was asked to reinstate the sequence. The original negative of that scene had been destroyed, so the scene was salvaged from a positive print of lower quality.

The term pixilation was created by Grant Munro to describe stop-motion animation of humans in his work with McLaren on Two Bagatelles, a pair of short pixilation films made prior to Neighbours. During one brief sequence, the two actors appear to levitate, an effect achieved by having the actors repeatedly jump upward and photographing them at the top of their trajectories.

Pixilation is a stop motion technique in which live actors are used as a frame-by-frame subject in an animated film, by repeatedly posing while one or more frame is taken and changing pose slightly before the next frame or frames. The actor becomes a kind of living stop-motion puppet.

Friz Freleng (1942)

In the Canadian North Woods, Bugs is wanted dead or alive and Elmer is out to bring him in with the help of the Canadian Mounties.

Fresh Hare is a Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Friz Freleng, written by Michael Maltese, animated by Manuel Perez, and produced by Leon Schlesinger. It was released to theatres on August 22, 1942.

The title is a typical Warner Bros. pun on “fresh air” that has little or nothing to do with the plot, other than being set in the crisp, frigid air of a Canadian winter. Caricatures of Adolf Hitler and Veronica Lake make appearances during the animated short.

Richard Rich (1996)

A youthful Leonardo da Vinci studies art under his master Andrea del Verrochio in Florence, Italy in 1473. While working as an apprentice Leonardo learns about color, shading, sculpture, and painting. In 1498, Leonardo is under the service of the Duke and Duchess of Milan. He is commissioned to sculpt a statue of the Duke’s father and paint The Last Supper. The Duchess asks Leonardo to produce a play about stars, planets, and space. During the play, Leonardo sees a young boy, Salai, steal some money from the stagehands. Salai tells Leonardo that he is homeless. Leonardo invites Salai to live with him and teaches him how to paint. Leonardo then meets a young Michelangelo and it becomes apparent that their thoughts about training in the arts are very different: Passion and creativity versus discipline and rules.

Leonardo da Vinci was a painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect. He was a true genius who graced this world with his presence from April 15, 1452 to May 2, 1519. He is among the most influential artists in history, having left a significant legacy not only in the realm of art but in science as well, each discipline informing his mastery of the other. Da Vinci lived in a golden age of creativity among such contemporaries as Raphael and Michaelangelo, and contributed his unique genius to virtually everything he touched. Like Athens in the age of Pericles, Renaissance Italy is a summit in human history. Today, no name better seems to symbolize the Renaissance age than Leonardo da Vinci.

Matt Groening (1997)

Directed by Mike B. Anderson

Written by Ron Hauge

Guest starring John Waters

Homer’s Phobia is the fifteenth episode in the eighth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 16, 1997. In the episode, Homer dissociates himself from new family friend John after discovering that he is gay. Homer fears that John will have a negative influence on his son Bart and decides to ensure Bart’s heterosexuality by taking him hunting.

It was the first episode written by Ron Hauge and was directed by Mike B. Anderson. George Meyer pitched “Bart the homo” as an initial idea for an episode while show runners Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein were planning an episode involving Lisa “discovering the joys of campy things”. Oakley and Weinstein combined the two ideas and they eventually became “Homer’s Phobia”. Fox censors originally found the episode unsuitable for broadcast because of its controversial subject matter, but this decision was reversed after a turnover in the Fox staff. Filmmaker John Waters guest-starred, providing the voice of the new character, John.

Homer’s Phobia was the show’s first episode to revolve entirely around gay themes and received a positive critical response both for its humor and anti-homophobia message. It won four awards, including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less) and a GLAAD Media Award for “Outstanding TV – Individual Episode” in 1998.

Ub Iwerks (1930)

Flip the Frog is the featured performer at an outdoor nightclub in the forest.
He entertains the woodland creatures with his dancing and piano-playing.

Animated by Ub Iwerks, Fred Kopietz, and Tony Pabian

Backgrounds by Fred Kopietz

Fiddlesticks is a 1930 Celebrity Producitons theatrical cartoon short directed and animated by Ub Iwerks, in his first cartoon since he departed from Walt Disney’s studio. The short features Iwerks’ character Flip the Frog. It is the first complete sound cartoon to be photographed in color.

Fiddlesticks was the first film in the Flip the Frog series. The sound system was Powers Cinephone, the same system used for Disney’s Steamboat Willie in 1928.

The unnamed mouse in the cartoon bears a striking resemblance to Mortimer Mouse, the original concept behind Mickey Mouse, both of whom were first animated by Ub Iwerks.

Hanna-Barbera (1942)

Fraidy Cat is a 1942 one-reel animated cartoon and is the 4th animated short of Tom and Jerry.
It was released in theaters on January 17, 1942 and reissued for re-release on May 10, 1952.

Fraidy Cat was supervised by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, and produced by Fred Quimby, with music by Scott Bradley. Animated by Jack Zander, George Gordon, Irven Spence, Bill Littlejohn and Cecil Surry. This is the first Tom and Jerry cartoon to have Tom yelp in pain. He also screeches like a cat in this cartoon. It was the first Tom and Jerry wartime cartoon. The original print of this cartoon did not give Fred Quimby credit, crediting only Hanna and Barbera as the “supervisors” of the film. The title card of the original issue remains intact in the reissue.

Ralph Bakshi (1977)

Wizards is a 1977 American animated post-apocalyptic science fantasy film about the battle between two wizards, one representing the forces of magic and one representing the forces of industrial technology.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Producer: by Ralph Bakshi
Writer: Ralph Bakshi
Starring: Bob Holt, Jesse Welles, Richard Romanus, David Proval, Steve Gravers
Narrator: Susan Tyrrell
Music: Andrew Belling
Cinematography: C. Bemiller
Editor: Donald W. Ernst

The film is notable for being the first fantasy film by Bakshi, a filmmaker who was previously known only for “urban films” such as Fritz the Cat, Heavy Traffic, and Coonskin. The film has since become a cult classic.

Ralph Bakshi had long had an interest in fantasy, and had been drawing fantasy artwork as far back as 1955, while he was still in high school. Wizards originated in the concept for Tee-Witt, an unproduced television series Bakshi developed and pitched to CBS in 1967. In 1976, Bakshi pitched War Wizards to 20th Century Fox. Returning to the fantasy drawings he had created in high school for inspiration, Bakshi intended to prove that he could produce a “family picture” that had the same impact as his adult-oriented films.

The film is an allegorical comment on the moral ambiguity of technology and the potentially destructive powers of propaganda. Blackwolf’s secret weapon is propaganda, used to incite his legions and terrorize the fairy folk of Montagar; but Avatar’s willingness to use a technological tool (a handgun pulled from “up his sleeve”) destroys his evil twin. Bakshi also states that Wizards “was about the creation of the state of Israel and the Holocaust, about the Jews looking for a homeland, and about the fact that fascism was on the rise again”.

British illustrator Ian Miller and comic book artist Mike Ploog were hired to contribute backgrounds and designs. The crew included Vita, Turek, Sparey, Vitello, and Spence, who had become comfortable with Bakshi’s limited storyboarding and lack of pencil tests. Artist Alex Niño signed a contract with Bakshi to work on the film, and was granted a work visa, but was unable to gain permission from the Philippine government to leave for the United States until two months afterward, and later found that by the time he had arrived in the United States, not only had the film’s animation been completed, but Niño’s visa did not allow him to submit freelance work on any other projects.

The film’s main cast includes Bob Holt, Jesse Welles, Richard Romanus, David Proval, and Steve Gravers. Bakshi cast Holt based on his ability to imitate the voice of actor Peter Falk, of whom Bakshi is a fan. Welles, Romanus, and Proval had previously worked with Bakshi on Hey Good Lookin’, where Romanus and Proval provided the voices of Vinnie and Crazy Shapiro, respectively. Actress Tina Bowman, who plays a small role in Wizards, has a larger role in Hey Good Lookin’. Actor Mark Hamill auditioned for and received a voice role in the film. Bakshi states that “He needed a job, and he came to me, and I thought he was great, and Lucas thought he should do it, and he got not only Wizards, he got Star Wars.” Bakshi had wanted a female narrator for his film, and he loved Susan Tyrrell’s acting. Tyrrell performed the narration for the film, but Bakshi was told that he couldn’t credit her for her narration. Years later, Tyrrell told Bakshi that she got most of her work from her narration on the film, and that she wished she had allowed him to put her name on it.

John Grant writes in his book Masters of Animation that “The overall affect of the animation is akin to that of the great anime creators – one has to keep reminding oneself that Wizards predates Miyazaki’s The Castle of Cagliostro (1979), not the other way round. The backgrounds are especially lovely, even the simplest of them; and in general the movie has a strong visual brio despite occasional technical hurriedness.” Notable artists involved in the production of Wizards include Ian Miller, who produced the gloomy backgrounds of Scortch, and Mike Ploog, who contributed likewise for the more arcadian landscapes of Montagar.

Bakshi was unable to complete the battle sequences with the budget Fox had given him. When he asked them for a budget increase, they refused (during the same meeting, director George Lucas had asked for a budget increase for Star Wars and was also refused). As a result, Bakshi finished his film by paying out of his own pocket and using rotoscoping for the unfinished battle sequences. According to Bakshi, “I thought that if we dropped all the detail, it would look very artistic and very beautiful. And I felt, why bother animating all of this? I’m looking for a way to get realism into my film and get real emotion.” In his audio commentary for the film’s DVD release, Bakshi states that “There’s no question that it was an easier way to get these gigantic scenes that I wanted. It also was the way that showed me how to do Lord of the Rings, so it worked two ways.” In addition to stock footage, the film used battle sequences from films such as Zulu, El Cid, Battle of the Bulge, and Alexander Nevsky for rotoscoping. Live-action sequences from Patton were also featured.

Vaughn Bode’s work has been credited as an influence on Wizards. Quentin Tarantino describes Avatar as “a cross between Tolkien’s Hobbit, Mel Brooks’ 2000 Year Old Man, and Marvel Comics’ Howard the Duck” and Blackwolf as physically similar to Sergei Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible. In Jerry Beck’s Animated Movie Guide, Andrew Leal writes that “The central figure, Avatar sounds a great deal like Peter Falk, and clearly owes much to cartoonist Vaughn Bodé’s Cheech Wizard character.”

As War Wizards neared completion, Lucas requested that Bakshi change the title of his film to Wizards in order to avoid conflict with Star Wars, and Bakshi agreed because Lucas had allowed Mark Hamill to take time off from Star Wars in order to record a voice for Wizards.

Cordell Barker (1988)

Despite his mounting desperation, old Mr. Johnson just can’t get rid of a tiny, yellow cat. Directed by Cordell Barker, 1988.

The Cat Came Back is a comic song written by Harry S. Miller in 1893. It has since entered the folk tradition and been recorded under variations of the title—”But the Cat Came Back”, “And the Cat Came Back”, etc. It is also a popular children’s song.

Martin Rosen (1978)

I have recently had the pleasure of reading Richard Adams’ 1978 novel Watership Down, and have decided that it is now among my top-three favorite novels of all time. I highly recommend reading the novel and then watching this beautifully done animation. Thanks for watching!

Richard Adams was an English novelist and writer of the books Watership DownShardik, and The Plague Dogs. Adams originally began telling the story that would become Watership Down to his two daughters on a long car trip. They eventually insisted that he publish it as a book. He began writing in 1966, taking two years to complete it. In 1972, after four publishers and three writers’ agencies turned down the manuscript, Rex Collings agreed to publish the work. The book gained international acclaim almost immediately for reinvigorating anthropomorphic fiction with naturalism. In 1974, two years after Watership Down was published, Adams became a full-time author.

Watership Down is a survival and adventure novel set in southern England, around Hampshire. The story features a small group of rabbits. Although they live in burrows in their natural wild environment, they are anthropomorphized, possessing their own culture, language, proverbs, poetry, and mythology. Evoking epic themes, the novel follows the rabbits as they escape the destruction of their warren and seek a place to establish a new home, encountering perils and temptations along the way.

The British animated adventure-drama film adaptation of Watership Down was released in 1978 and was written, produced, and directed by Martin Rosen and based on the 1972 novel by Richard Adams. It was financed by a consortium of British financial institutions and was distributed by Cinema International Corporation in the United Kingdom.

It features the voices of John Hurt, Richard Briers, Harry Andrews, Simon Cadell, Nigel Hawthorne and Roy Kinnear, among others, and was the last film work of Zero Mostel, as the voice of Kehaar the gull. The musical score was by Angela Morley and Malcolm Williamson. Art Garfunkel’s hit song Bright Eyes was written by songwriter Mike Batt.

Animation Supervisor: Philip Duncan

Animation Director: Tony Guy

Senior Animators: Arthur Humberstone, George Jackson, Tony Guy, and Philip Duncan

Animators: Edric Raddage, Bill Littlejohn, Ruth Kissane, John Perkins, Ralph Ayres, Brian Foster, Chris Evans, Marie Szmichowska, Alan Simpson, Colin White, Doug Jensen, Bill Geach, Spud Houston, and Barrie Nelson

Carlos Baena (2018)

La Noria is an animated short film directed by filmmaker and animator Carlos Baena and produced as an online collaboration with artists from around the world.

Carlos was born and raised in Spain. He moved to the US in 1994 and has been living and working there ever since. La Noria is a very personal story for him and is very different than most animated films that he’s worked on. It combines suspense, horror, and emotion. It’s about a little boy who likes to draw and build toy ferris wheels who after a devastating loss encounters some creatures who turn his life upside down. Having found himself in a dark and difficult emotional situation at one point in his life, Carlos always wanted to tell a story based on the dark and emotional journey in a very visual way.

We wanted to do horror in animation. However, given the dark nature of the story as well as the psychological backstory of the main character, La Noria has a quality that is very different from most animated films. Creatively, we wanted to create a horror film that creates tension through horror rather than making people jump. La Noria has been inspired by the work of great spanish filmmakers such as Victor Erice, Alejandro Almenabar, Guillermo del Toro, and Juan Antonio Bayona. Being from Spain and given the quality of their films, Carlos looked up to their work often. Other filmmakers looked at for inspiration were Tomas Alfredson, Kim Jee-Woon, Ray Harryhausen, Stanley Kubrick, and Roman Polanski. Art wise, we studied the work of artists Clive Barker, Zdzislaw Beksinski, Nirasawa Yasushi, H.R.Giger, and Francisco de Goya to name a few.

We found that when pitching the film to the artists we wanted to collaborate with, that universally everyone could relate to a story of struggle and finding ourselves in a dark place at some point or another in some personal way.  We have all had that moment in our lives when everything went wrong. It’s in those moments when all you see are broken pieces around you, your courage has the ability to turn something dark into something unexpectedly beautiful. That is the essence of La Noria.

La Noria is bringing a new vision to animated films by exploring darker themes, elegant visuals and producing it using online production technology.