Monday, November 30, 2009

Silent E, Clark Gist (Produced by Tony Benedict), 1971, plus the film excerpt that ate my day yesterday

Classic Electric Company short, with music by Tom Lehrer.

Directed by Clark Gist, and produced by Tony Benedict, who we will discuss more after this brief interlude:

Now, more on Tony Benedict.

Yesterday Ian (you may remember Ian as the dirty person who sent me this) sent a short to me, asking if I knew anything about it. It's animation to Donovan's musical version of Jabberwocky.

This is that piece:

Now, as I have said before, I am not really an expert on animation, just an enthusiast. I had never seen it before, never heard of it. Donovan Leitch's IMDB turned up nothing. I eventually had to follow a trail from a picture on Google Image Search to find out that it was from a 1971 film called Old Fashioned Picture Book that featured animation interspersed with live action. Here's a clip with more context:

But I still couldn't find out who directed it, and it was absolutely driving me NUTS.

Finally, after literally hours of searching, I found an obscure movie site and an archived newspaper clip that had the answer; Tony Benedict. And lo and behold right here on Mr. Benedict's website is a little slideshow and presentation on the making of the film.

As you can see, the guy has had quite a career; Disney, UPA, Hannah-Barbara, his own production company. I wouldn't have guessed it at all. Watching some of his other work even put me off the trail a bit, because it's very, very different.

And the moral of the story is that I probably had other things I had to do yesterday, but I will drop everything to find out who directed what. And Ian knows this.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Balance of Fear, Eduard Nazarov, 1973

I am going to trust Youtube poster pavlovich74 on the translation.
(Her channel is absolutely wonderful, by the way - essential subscription for fans of Russian animation.)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tom Turkey and his Harmonica Humdingers, Hugh Harman,1940

Today, let us give thanks for Cartoons.
If you're from the United States, because it's the holiday.
If you're from somewhere else, because cartoons are the best.

SEE? You see what they would do if we didn't eat them?

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Strings, Ivan Maximov, 1996

I was so excited about the fiftieth anniversary of Rocky and Bullwinkle of Thursday that I neglected to notice that Novmber 19th is IVAN MAXIMOV'S BIRTHDAY.

Here is your present for his belated birthday:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Snow Man, Mannie Davis, 1940

A Terrytoons fable concerning building an idol to your demon god, Winter.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Routing of the Tengu, Noburō Ōfuji,1934

The tengu are yōkai(demons) that resemble birds, and are believed to be harbingers of war or unrest.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Be A Nose, Lars Edwards with Art Spiegelman, 2009

A short animated promotional piece for Pulitzer Prize winning comic artist Art Spiegelman's series of fully reproduced sketchbooks, which you can purchase from McSweeney's.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Now here's something we hope you'll really like!

I had no idea, but today is the 50th aniversary of the TV debut of Rocky and Bullwinkle! OMG!

Here's a link to the first episode on Hulu.

Via Metafilter

ETA: I also discovered that today is Ivan Maximov's birthday. I have pretty much decided today is a holiday.

Black and White, Ivan Ivanov-Vano, 1932

Powerful and disturbing Soviet propoganda film from 1932, condemning racism (in the US, I think. )

Ivan Ivanov-Vano is considered by some to be the patriarch of Soviet animation.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bathtime in Clerkenwell, Alex Budovsky, 2002

CAUTION: This music is extremely catchy. As is the multi-award-winning animation by Alex Budovsky.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Make Me Psychic, Sally Cruikshank, 1978

A short by the ever delightful Sally Cruikshank.

You simply must purchase her DVD this very instant.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Black Hula, Marv Newland, 1988

From the man who brought youBambi Meets Godzilla comes.... civilization!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Felix the Cat Woos Whoopie, Pat Sullivan, 1930

Felix the Cat gets all wasted and parties 'til after 3:00.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bi-Centennial, Vincent Collins, 1975

Produced by the US Information agency for the 1976 bicentennial.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Private Snafu - Booby Traps, Bob Clampett, 1944

Private Snafu was a series of instructional cartoons created for the U.S. military during WWII.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Omodaka, Teppei Maki, 2007

Music video for Kokiriko Bushi. (My cat hates this music.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Freedom River, Sam Weiss, 1971

Narrated by Orson Welles.

Screenwriter Joseph C. Cavella tells this tale:
Freedom River is getting more attention now than it did in 1971 when I wrote the screenplay. Here's the genesis of the film: For several years, Bosustow Productions, a small studio for which I wrote several films, had asked Orson Welles, then living in Paris, to narrate one of their films. He never responded. When I finished the Freedom River script, we sent it to him together with a portable reel to reel tape recorder and a sizable check and crossed our fingers. He was either desperate for money or (I would rather believe) something in it touched him because two weeks later we got the reel back with the narration word for word and we were on our way. IMDB

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How a Bill Becomes a Law, Tom Warburton, 1975

They make the entire process look so peaceful. Bill looks sufficiently beleaguered, but his optimism seems poigniant and tragic in light of the terrible fate that surely awaits.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Skeleton Frolic, Ub Iwerks, 1937

In 1929, Ub Iwerks worked on Disney's classic Skeleton Dance. Eight years later, he made this cartoon for Columbia productions.