Novel Written by Richard Adams (1972)
Film Adaptation by 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 Down, Shardik, 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
Nuno Alves-Rodrigues (2010)
Paul Dini & Bruce Timm (2019)
Following an unsuccessful yacht robbery, Harley Quinn is sent to Arkham Asylum; though she firmly believes that her boss and lover the Joker will break her out. A year later, her best friend, Poison Ivy, gets her out during a prison break and tries to convince her that he does not love her. Despite Ivy’s support, Harley’s attempt to break up with the Joker fails after he sweet-talks her into staying with him. The Riddler, who also escaped Arkham, provokes the Joker into sending Harley to kill him. The Riddler captures her and Batman before giving the Joker the choice to save one while the other dies. When Joker ultimately chooses Batman, Harley finally realizes she never meant anything to him. After learning Ivy and Riddler devised the death trap to drive that point home and she was never really in any danger, Harley undergoes a costume change and officially breaks up with the Joker and declares her intention to make a name for herself in the criminal underworld.
The series follows Harley Quinn’s adventures after she breaks up with the Joker and her attempt to join the Legion of Doom, forming her own crew consisting of Poison Ivy, Clayface, Doctor Psycho, King Shark, and Sy Borgman. When she finally achieves this goal however, she inadvertently distances herself from her newfound friends and continues to face problems from the Joker, who refuses to accept the idea of Harley becoming a supervillain on her own.
Fleischer Studios (2020)
This Saturday, August 9, we can all sing “Happy Birthday” to our favorite cartoon sweetheart, Betty Boop! Created by legendary animator Max Fleischer, Betty Boop made her first appearance in the 1930 animated short called “Dizzy Dishes,” which was part of Fleischer Studios’ Talkartoon series. Set in a nightclub, the cartoon introduces Betty Boop as a cabaret singer. She only makes a brief appearance, but it is long enough to captivate Bimbo the waiter and the big star of the film.
Interestingly, Betty never speaks in her first appearance. Instead, she sings I Have to Have You.
Arthur Davis & Sid Marcus (1937)
The Little Match Girl is a literary fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen. It was originally published in 1845. This version, produced by Charles Mintz Productions, is set in 1937 modern day in a city that appears to be New York. It is New Year’s Eve, and revelers are out at midnight celebrating the New Year. None of the people drinking and partying notice a little girl, clad in nothing but a ragged shirt, barefoot in the winter cold. The little girl tries to sell her matches, but no one buys any. The little girl is homeless, so when she fails to sell her matches she retreats to her regular spot in an alley. Lighting the matches one at a time for warmth, she imagines all the things she doesn’t have, like a warm hearth, food, and a comfy bed. Eventually she has a dream of heaven.
Hans Christian Andersen (1845)
Most terribly cold it was; it snowed, and was nearly quite dark, and evening– the last evening of the year. In this cold and darkness there went along the street a poor little girl, bareheaded, and with naked feet. When she left home she had slippers on, it is true; but what was the good of that? They were very large slippers, which her mother had hitherto worn; so large were they; and the poor little thing lost them as she scuffled away across the street, because of two carriages that rolled by dreadfully fast.
One slipper was nowhere to be found; the other had been laid hold of by an urchin, and off he ran with it; he thought it would do capitally for a cradle when he some day or other should have children himself. So the little maiden walked on with her tiny naked feet, that were quite red and blue from cold. She carried a quantity of matches in an old apron, and she held a bundle of them in her hand. Nobody had bought anything of her the whole livelong day; no one had given her a single farthing.
She crept along trembling with cold and hunger–a very picture of sorrow, the poor little thing!
The flakes of snow covered her long fair hair, which fell in beautiful curls around her neck; but of that, of course, she never once now thought. From all the windows the candles were gleaming, and it smelt so deliciously of roast goose, for you know it was New Year’s Eve; yes, of that she thought.
In a corner formed by two houses, of which one advanced more than the other, she seated herself down and cowered together. Her little feet she had drawn close up to her, but she grew colder and colder, and to go home she did not venture, for she had not sold any matches and could not bring a farthing of money: from her father she would certainly get blows, and at home it was cold too, for above her she had only the roof, through which the wind whistled, even though the largest cracks were stopped up with straw and rags.
Her little hands were almost numbed with cold. Oh! a match might afford her a world of comfort, if she only dared take a single one out of the bundle, draw it against the wall, and warm her fingers by it. She drew one out. “Rischt!” how it blazed, how it burnt! It was a warm, bright flame, like a candle, as she held her hands over it: it was a wonderful light. It seemed really to the little maiden as though she were sitting before a large iron stove, with burnished brass feet and a brass ornament at top. The fire burned with such blessed influence; it warmed so delightfully. The little girl had already stretched out her feet to warm them too; but–the small flame went out, the stove vanished: she had only the remains of the burnt-out match in her hand.
She rubbed another against the wall: it burned brightly, and where the light fell on the wall, there the wall became transparent like a veil, so that she could see into the room. On the table was spread a snow-white tablecloth; upon it was a splendid porcelain service, and the roast goose was steaming famously with its stuffing of apple and dried plums. And what was still more capital to behold was, the goose hopped down from the dish, reeled about on the floor with knife and fork in its breast, till it came up to the poor little girl; when–the match went out and nothing but the thick, cold, damp wall was left behind. She lighted another match. Now there she was sitting under the most magnificent Christmas tree: it was still larger, and more decorated than the one which she had seen through the glass door in the rich merchant’s house.
Thousands of lights were burning on the green branches, and gaily-colored pictures, such as she had seen in the shop-windows, looked down upon her. The little maiden stretched out her hands towards them when–the match went out. The lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven; one fell down and formed a long trail of fire.
“Someone is just dead!” said the little girl; for her old grandmother, the only person who had loved her, and who was now no more, had told her, that when a star falls, a soul ascends to God.
She drew another match against the wall: it was again light, and in the lustre there stood the old grandmother, so bright and radiant, so mild, and with such an expression of love.
“Grandmother!” cried the little one. “Oh, take me with you! You go away when the match burns out; you vanish like the warm stove, like the delicious roast goose, and like the magnificent Christmas tree!” And she rubbed the whole bundle of matches quickly against the wall, for she wanted to be quite sure of keeping her grandmother near her. And the matches gave such a brilliant light that it was brighter than at noon-day: never formerly had the grandmother been so beautiful and so tall. She took the little maiden, on her arm, and both flew in brightness and in joy so high, so very high, and then above was neither cold, nor hunger, nor anxiety–they were with God.
But in the corner, at the cold hour of dawn, sat the poor girl, with rosy cheeks and with a smiling mouth, leaning against the wall–frozen to death on the last evening of the old year. Stiff and stark sat the child there with her matches, of which one bundle had been burnt. “She wanted to warm herself,” people said. No one had the slightest suspicion of what beautiful things she had seen; no one even dreamed of the splendor in which, with her grandmother she had entered on the joys of a new year.
Mike Judge (2020)
Characters Created & Voiced (Archive) by Mike Judge
Directed, Written & Animated by Steven Anderson
Produced & Additional Voice by Ruhi Bhalla
Comedy Central on Wednesday announced “Beavis and Butt-Head” creator Mike Judge will reimagine the Gen X MTV series in two new seasons. Judge also will create additional spinoffs and specials of the animated series.
“Beavis and Butt-Head,” which first aired in 1993, quickly became a pop culture hit. It centered around two oddball teenage couch potatoes whose commentary is anything but wise.
Judge is set to write, produce and provide voice-over for both characters for Comedy Central.
“We are thrilled to be working with Mike Judge and the great team at 3 Arts again as we double down on Adult Animation at Comedy Central” Chris McCarthy, president of Entertainment & Youth Group, said in a statement. “Beavis and Butt-Head were a defining voice of a generation, and we can’t wait to watch as they navigate the treacherous waters of a world light-years from their own.”
“It seemed like the time was right to get stupid again,” Judge said in a statement.
By Marianne Garvey
Fleischer Studios (1933)
Animated by Seymour Kneitel & William Henning.
A large factory complex struggles to produce a single package, which is rushed to a toy store. The box opens, and out steps a Betty Boop doll. The other toys come to life, parade around to the music of Parade of the Wooden Soldiers and crown her their queen. But a large stuffed toy of King Kong begins breaking things up by kidnapping Betty. Eventually, the big ape is defeated, and the somewhat damaged toys resume their parade, and afterwards fall still on a counter in a store selling damaged toys.
The instrumental title theme, Parade of the Wooden Soldiers (also known as Parade of the Tin Soldiers), was composed by Leon Jessel.
Frank Tashlin (1942)
Nick Anderson (2020)
The Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Nick Anderson has described Donald Trump as an “adolescent wannabe authoritarian”, after the US president’s re-election campaign failed to pull one of Anderson’s cartoons mocking Trump’s inaccurate suggestion that injecting disinfectant could protect against Covid-19.
Anderson put his cartoon The Trump Cult up for sale. The illustration shows Trump with supporters in Maga hats, serving them a drink that has been labeled “Kool-Aid”, then “Chloroquine” and finally “Clorox”, a US bleach brand. The cartoon is a reference to the 1978 Jonestown massacre, where more than 900 people died after drinking cyanide-laced punch at the order of cult leader Jim Jones, and to Trump’s widely denounced idea of injecting bleach to protect against coronavirus. Trump has also been taking the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a protection against Covid-19, despite a study showing it has been linked to increased deaths in patients.
But Anderson’s illustration was pulled from sale following a trademark infringement claim made by Trump’s campaign organisation, Donald J Trump for President Inc. Writing on the Daily Kos, Anderson said that he believed the claim was made due to his depiction of Maga hats, and described the situation as “absurd”.
“We live in a strange time when the POTUS can falsely accuse someone of murder with impunity, while at the same time bully a private business into removing content it doesn’t like,” Anderson added.
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) and other free speech organisations subsequently got involved, sending a group letter that accused Trump’s campaign of having “misused reporting mechanisms to suppress protected political expression in the form of parody, critique, and satire”, and arguing that the work and those who publish it are protected by the first amendment.
Anderson’s cartoon was reinstated on social media, saying that it strives “to respect IP rights and freedom of speech, but we sometimes make mistakes, as we did here … We’re sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.”
In a statement, Anderson praised social media for recognizing the error, but said there were some “troubling issues” raised by the affair, including that the cartoon was removed less than 24 hours after he posted it, before he had received a single order.
“I doubt anyone had even seen it yet on the site,” he said. “This reveals that the Trump campaign has a system in place, trawling for material they find objectionable. If it happened to me so quickly, it likely has happened to others. How much other content has been removed this way on sites?”
He added: “It must be pointed out: the president of the United States is a hypocrite who complains about the ‘violation’ of his free speech, then tries to actively suppress the free speech of others. These are actions of an adolescent wannabe-authoritarian.”
Trump criticized social media for “completely stifling FREE SPEECH”, after the social media platform put a warning label on two of his posts spreading lies about mail-in voting.
CBLDF executive director Charles Brownstein said the organisation was “sensitive to the issues companies face in balancing competing rights owner issues, and were alarmed to see the president’s re-election campaign exploiting those issues to suppress protected speech”.
“We’re pleased that social media has done the right thing in this case,” he said. “We hope that they will continue to assert the First Amendment rights they and their sellers are guaranteed by rejecting any similar censorship attempts.”
Lalo Alcaraz (2020)
Visit Lalo Alcaraz at https://laloalcaraz.com/
Lalo Alcaraz is an award-winning visual/media artist and television/film writer. A Los Angeles resident, he has been chronicling the ascendancy of Latinos in the U.S. for over a quarter-century.
The busy Chicano artist is the creator of the syndicated daily comic strip La Cucaracha seen in the L.A. Times and other newspapers nationwide.
Alcaraz is founder and Jefe-in-Chief of POCHO, which started out as a Xeroxed zine in the last century and now ranks a leading Latino satire website.
A prolific political cartoonist, Lalo is the winner of six Los Angeles Press Club awards for Best Editorial Cartoon.
He was an editorial cartoonist for the L.A. Weekly from 1992-2010 and now creates editorial cartoons in English and Spanish for Andrews McMeel Syndication, Daily Kos, and various newspapers, including Philadelphia’s Al Dia News.
His work has appeared on 60 Minutes, CBS News, NBC, Univision, and in hundreds of publications.
Lalo’s graphic novel and cartoon books include the New York Times bestseller A Most Imperfect Union, Latino USA: A Cartoon History, 15th Anniversary Edition; Migra Mouse: Political Cartoons On Immigration; and La Cucaracha.
Author of the forthcoming graphic history novel, UNIDOS, about the historic civil rights group formerly known as the National Council of La Raza (now UnidosUS), Lalo is also a highly sought-after Hollywood consultant and producer.
In 2014 he was a staff writer and producer on the animated Seth MacFarlane-led TV show Bordertown on Fox.
He next served as cultural consultant on the Oscar-winning Day of the Dead-themed Pixar movie COCO.
Alcaraz was recently cultural consultant, consulting producer, and writer on the animated series The Loud House and now on Nick’s The Casagrandes.
Alcaraz is the co-host of KPFK satirical talk show, The Pocho Hour of Power, heard on L.A.’s Pacifica station KPFK 90.7 FM.
He is a former illustration faculty member at Otis College of Fine Art & Design in Los Angeles.
He is a graduate of San Diego State University (BA in Art) and UC Berkeley (Master of Architecture).
Lalo was born in San Diego, California to Mexican immigrant parents from Sinaloa and Zacatecas.
He is married to a public school teacher and they have three somewhat obedient children.
Gary Larson (2020)
The Far Side creator Gary Larson is back to his drawing board with New Stuff! Click on the links below to explore his new works.
“I don’t want to mislead anyone here. This corner of the website—New Stuff—is not a resurrection of The Far Side daily cartoons. (Well, not exactly, anyway—like the proverbial tiger and its stripes, I’m pretty much stuck with my sense of humor. Aren’t we all?) The thing is, I thoroughly enjoyed my career as a syndicated cartoonist, and I hope, in spirit at least, we had some laughs together. But after fifteen years of meeting deadlines, well, blah blah blah … you know the rest. The day after I retired from syndication, it felt good not to draw on a deadline. And after moving on to other interests, drawing just wasn’t on my to-do list. Things change. But then a few years ago—and returning to the subject at hand—something happened in my life, and it started with a clogged pen.
“Despite my retirement, I still had intermittent connections to cartooning, including my wife’s and my personal Christmas card. Once a year, I’d sit myself down to take on Santa, and every year it began with the same ritual: me cursing at, and then cleaning out, my clogged pen. (Apparently, the concept of cleaning it before putting it away each year was just too elusive for me.) As problems go, this is admittedly not exactly on the scale of global warming, but in the small world of my studio, it was cataclysmic. Okay, highly annoying.
“So a few years ago—finally fed up with my once-loyal but now reliably traitorous pen—I decided to try a digital tablet. I knew nothing about these devices but hoped it would just get me through my annual Christmas card ordeal. I got one, fired it up, and lo and behold, something totally unexpected happened: within moments, I was having fun drawing again. I was stunned at all the tools the thing offered, all the creative potential it contained. I simply had no idea how far these things had evolved. Perhaps fittingly, the first thing I drew was a caveman.
“The New Stuff that you’ll see here is the result of my journey into the world of digital art. Believe me, this has been a bit of a learning curve for me. I hail from a world of pen and ink, and suddenly I was feeling like I was sitting at the controls of a 747. (True, I don’t get out much.) But as overwhelmed as I was, there was still something familiar there—a sense of adventure. That had always been at the core of what I enjoyed most when I was drawing The Far Side, that sense of exploring, reaching for something, taking some risks, sometimes hitting a home run and sometimes coming up with ‘Cow tools.’ (Let’s not get into that.) But as a jazz teacher once said to me about improvisation, ‘You want to try and take people somewhere where they might not have been before.’ I think that my approach to cartooning was similar—I’m just not sure if even I knew where I was going. But I was having fun.
“So here goes. I’ve got my coffee, I’ve got this cool gizmo, and I’ve got no deadlines. And—to borrow from Sherlock Holmes—the game is afoot.
“Again, please remember, I’m just exploring, experimenting, and trying stuff. New Stuff. I have just one last thing to say before I go: thank you, clogged pen.”
Directed by Juan Meza-León
Rick and Morty is Adult Swim’s most scientifically accurate animated comedy. Created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, it catalogues the bizarre misadventures of a bored scientific genius/drunkard and his socially awkward grandson, Morty. Their exploits tend to have unintended consequences for Morty’s dysfunctional family, especially his unfailingly mediocre father, Jerry. Watch Rick and Morty battle everything from interdimensional customs agents to Cronenberg monsters.
Walt Disney (1976)
Taken from Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, formely I love to laugh.
Trivia: It might interest you to know that in this clip, Paul Winchell provided the original voice of Tigger, while Jim Cummings took over Winchell’s role for the New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh from season 3 until the end of its run (with the exception of the final episode: And Christmas Too, because Winchell made his brief reprise as Tigger). A couple of Winchell’s last performances were for Pooh’s Grand Adventure and the WDW attraction based on the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
Zbigniew Rybczyński (1981)
Tango is a 1981 Polish animated short film written and directed by Zbigniew Rybczyński. The film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 55th Academy Awards.
Zbigniew Rybczyński is a Polish filmmaker, director, cinematographer, screenwriter, creator of experimental animated films and multimedia artist who has won numerous prestigious industry awards both in the United States and internationally including the 1982 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for Tango.
Tim Hill (2021)
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.