Ralph Bakshi (1972)

Fritz speaks the truth.

Fritz the Cat is a 1972 American adult animated black comedy film written and directed by Ralph Bakshi in his directorial debut. Based on the comic strip by Robert Crumb and starring Skip Hinnant, the film focuses on Fritz, a glib, womanizing, and fraudulent cat in an anthropomorphic animal version of New York City during the mid-to-late 1960s. Fritz decides on a whim to drop out of college, interacts with inner city African American crows, unintentionally starts a race riot, and becomes a leftist revolutionary. The film is a satire focusing on American college life of the era, race relations, the free love movement and serves as a criticism of the countercultural political revolution and dishonest political activists.

The film had a troubled production history, as Crumb, who is politically left-wing, had disagreements with the filmmakers over the film’s political content, which he saw as being critical of the political left. Produced on a budget of $700,000, the film was intended by Bakshi to broaden the animation market. At that time period, animation was seen predominantly as a children’s medium. Bakshi envisioned animation as being a medium that could tell more dramatic or satirical storylines with larger scopes, dealing with more mature and diverse themes that would resonate with adults. Bakshi also wanted to establish an independent alternative to the films produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, which dominated the animation market due to a lack of independent competition.

The intention of featuring profanity, sex, and drug use provoked criticism from more conservative members of the animation industry, who accused Bakshi of attempting to produce a pornographic animated film, as the concept of adult animation was not widely understood at the time. The Motion Picture Association of America gave the film an X rating, making it the first American animated film to receive the rating, which was then predominantly associated with more arthouse films. The film was highly successful and also earned significant critical acclaim for its satire, social commentary, and animation innovations. The film’s use of satire and mature themes is seen as paving the way for future animated works for adults, including The Simpsons, South Park and Family Guy. A sequel, The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat (1974), was produced without Crumb’s or Bakshi’s involvement.

Fleischer Studios (1933)

Is My Palm Read is a 1933 Pre-Code Fleischer Studios animated short film starring Betty Boop, and featuring Koko the Clown and Bimbo.

Betty visits Bimbo the fortune teller for some advice, but Bimbo is only interested in making time with Betty. Bimbo’s crystal ball predicts that Betty will be shipwrecked on a desert isle (during which time she sings part of the Irving Berlin song All by Myself), and attacked by evil spirits resembling poltergeists, but rescued by Bimbo. When Bimbo reveals himself by removing his fake beard, a happy Betty embraces him. Unfortunately, a group of the ghosts from the vision burst in on this scene, and chase the two to the desert isle. Betty and Bimbo eventually escape from the ghosts by tricking them into going off a cliff into the sea.

Art Davis (1936)

Here’s a really funny little gem of a classic cartoon that I am pretty sure even I have never seen.
Please enjoy:)

After and elderly toymaker closes his novelty shop at night and heads home, all the toys come to life — including jumping beans, piggy banks, and matchsticks — and have fun until he comes back in the morning. Caricatures of the Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, and the Dionne Quintuplets are portrayed throughout this animated masterpiece.

Color Rhapsody was a series of usually one-shot animated cartoon shorts produced by Charles Mintz for Columbia Pictures. They were launched in 1934, following the phenomenal success of Walt Disney’s Technicolor Silly Symphonies. Because of Disney’s exclusive rights to the full three strip Technicolor process, Color Rhapsody cartoons were produced in the older two-tone Technicolor process until 1935, when Disney’s exclusive contract expired.

The Color Rhapsody series is most notable for introducing the characters of The Fox and the Crow in the 1941 short The Fox and the Grapes. Two Color Rhapsody shorts, Holiday Land (1934) and The Little Match Girl (1937), were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Short Subject.

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets (2020)

Listen to ‘Tally-Ho’ here – https://psychedelic-porn-crumpets.lnk
‘SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound’ – the new album, out 5th February 2021
Pre-order here – https://ffm.to/ppc-shyga.oyd
Follow PPC – https://psychedelic-porn-crumpets.lnk

More alcohol, caviar, carry on with our fluid conversation
On matadors, sycamore, furthermore
I establish ground for what is zero, patio, chemical basis
One more line of avalanche-winterland-handicap
Bleeding from the nostril

More dynamite, satellites to add to my frequency of communication
It’s televised, paralysed, subscribing to everybody’s station
Zero, patio, chemical basis
One more line of avalanche-winterland-handicap
Desolation, home at last
Home at last

Desolation riser
Desolation riser

More alcohol, caviar, carry on with our fluid conversation
On matadors, sycamore, furthermore
I establish ground for what is zero, patio, chemical basis
One more line of avalanche-winterland-handicap
Bleeding from the nostril

Desolation riser
Desolation riser

Will Vinton (1985)

Join Mark Twain on his airship to meet Halley’s Comet!

The Adventures of Mark Twain is a 1985 American stop motion claymation fantasy film directed by Will Vinton and starring James Whitmore. It received a limited theatrical release in May 1985.

The film features a series of vignettes extracted from several of Mark Twain’s works, built around a plot that features Twain’s attempts to keep his “appointment” with Halley’s Comet. Twain and three children — Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Becky Thatcher — travel on an airship between various adventures.

The concept was inspired by a famous quote by the author:

“I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.'”

Twain died on April 21, 1910, one day after Halley’s Comet reached perihelion in 1910.

Included are sketches taken from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Mysterious Stranger, The Diaries of Adam and Eve (Letters from the Earth), Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven, and, a rendering of Twain’s first story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. References are made to his other works, including The Damned Human Race.

This animated film was shot in Portland, Oregon.

Idles (2020)

Kill ’em with Kindness from the new album ULTRA MONO.

Directed by James Carbutt

Animation from Pip Williamson

Piano Intro by Jamie Cullum

“Ar! Ar! Ar! Ar! Ar!”, said the puppy to the snake
I’ve got a real big mirror of a smile and I hold it to the fakes
Hard boot slammed to the ground so I see what shakes
And I kill ’em with kindness

I kill ’em with kindness
Ain’t no doormats here

It doesn’t mean you have to bow, or say “Your Highness”
Just kill ’em with kindness
If you wanna beat the machine, keep your teeth clean
And kill ’em with kindness

Kill ’em with kindness
Kill ’em with kindness
Kill ’em with kindness
Kill ’em with kindness
Kindness

I guess you cannot tell from my tone,
I mean ba-ba-business and I ain’t on my own
I’m guessing it is hard for you to see
that-that-that-that empathy will cut down your throne
Don’t you mind people grinning in your face
“Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding,” said the champ to the chase
Whoo!

‘Cause we’re killing ’em with kindness
(kill ’em with kindness)

Your hum-drum, sarky slow lines don’t bother me none
“Wa-wa-wa, woo-woo-woo” said the flower to the sun
Our love-locked congregation gift will get you slapped
“Gna na na na na gnaw”, said the beaver to the dam

‘Cause we’re killing with kindness
Kill ’em with kindness
We’ll kill ’em with kindness

Whoo!
Ay ya ya ya ya ya ya ya there ain’t no doormats here

Shake!

Caravan Palace (2019)

This video was written and directed by Double Ninja for Cumulus
(www.cumulus-production.com)

Producer: Thomas Vernay

Production manager: Mathias Lemaitre Sgard

A&R: Thomas Vernay and Mathias Lemaitre Sgard

Mathias Lemaitre Sgard: Character design, animation

Marie Houssin: Character design, animation

Nayla Vanderweyen: Design, layout

Victor Tissot: Design, layout

Kora Von Prittwitz: Design, layout, animation

Maî-Suan Lepage: Design, layout

Gabriel Murgue: Design, layout

Marie Clerc: Design, layout

Martin Clerget: Design, layout, character design

Raoul Mallat: Design, layout, animation

Augustin Discart: Layout

Florent Ribeyron: FX animation

Arnaud Lefebvre: Animation

Victoria Pellet: Animation

Paul Raillard: Animation

Mylène Cagnoli: Animation

Yann Wallaert: Font design

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.

René Laloux (1973)

Fantastic Planet is a 1973 experimental adult animated science fiction film, directed by René Laloux and written by Laloux and Roland Topor, the latter of whom also completed the film’s production design. The film was animated at Jiří Trnka Studio in Prague. The film was an international co-production between companies from France and Czechoslovakia. The allegorical story, about humans living on a strange planet dominated by giant humanoid aliens who consider them animals, is based on the 1957 novel Oms en série by French writer Stefan Wul.

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.

Lynn Biederer, Millie Mara Mackie, Chloe Butchart, Jade Crooks, Aleksandra Szejko, & Sophia Austin (2020)

The Walk is the story of a man and his dog in the wilds of Scotland.

Inspired by the Scottish highlands and motivated by the love of dogs.

JADE CROOKS — Production Layouts & Backgrounds

MILLIE MARA MACKIE — 2D Animation/Character Design

LYNN BIEDERER — 2D Effects Animation/Concept Art

ALEKSANDRA SZEJKO — 2D Animation/Concept Art

CHLOE BUTCHART — Character Design/Concept Art

SOPHIA AUSTIN — 2D Animation Storyboarding

MUSIC BY BRUNO MAJOR & FINLAY ROBSON

Tom Ruegger (2020)

Animaniacs is a variety show, with short skits featuring a large cast of characters. While the show had no set format, the majority of episodes were composed of three short mini-episodes, each starring a different set of characters, and bridging segments. Hallmarks of the series included its music, character catchphrases, and humor directed at an adult audience.

Wilfred Jackson (1952)

As progress brings the city directly around a little house, she grows more and more depressed.

Walt Disney’s adaptation of The Little House is based on a 1942 book written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton who is quoted as saying, “The Little House was based on our own little house which we moved from the street into a field of daisies with apple trees growing around.”

Burton denied it was a critique of urban sprawl, but instead wished to convey the passage of time to younger readers. Being a very visually driven book, many times Burton changed the amount of text to fit the illustration:

“If the page is well drawn and finely designed, the child reader will acquire a sense of good design which will lead to an appreciation of beauty and the development of good taste. Primitive man thought in pictures, not in words, and this visual conception is far more fundamental than its sophisticated translation into verbal modes of thought.”

Ben Sharpsteen (1935)

The Cookie Carnival is an animated Silly Symphony produced by Walt Disney Productions and originally released May 25, 1935. It’s a Cinderella story involving a cookie girl who wishes to be queen at the cookie carnival, and an homage to the Atlantic City boardwalk parade and bathing beauty contest of the 1920s and 1930s.

Pinto Colvig, most known as the voice of Goofy, provides the voice of the gingerbread man. Vaudeville was dying out by the time The Cookie Carnival made its debut, but audiences would have been familiar with each of the acts represented by the different cookies.

When Miss Bonbon is being outfitted, she transitions from her cookie-like shape into a more humanoid-appearance. This might make her another early example of visually realistic human characters in Disney shorts, and even a precursor to the Snow White look in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

According to Film Superlist: 1894-1939, this cartoon entered the Public Domain in 1963 as its copyright was not renewed.

Rusty Mills, Ron Fleischer, Randy Rogel, & Tom Ruegger (1993)

Discover America with Wakko Warner from Animaniacs.

As I’ve said before, learning should be fun!

Wakko’s America is a song from Episode 21 of Animaniacs. Like Yakko’s World, it is a geographical patter song, this one listing each of the United States of America and their respective capitals. The song is framed as Wakko’s answer to a Jeopardy! Daily Double question asked in a lesson taught by Miss Flamiel, which Wakko ultimately gets wrong because he does not phrase his answer in the form of a question. The music is Turkey in the Straw, with lyrics written by Randy Rogel. The song is the eighth track on the album Yakko’s World.