Art of the Cartoon… moving forward

I only have a couple of readers left, but if you were wondering where I have been the past 7 months (and most of 2010), I was busy finishing up school at Animation Mentor. The last few classes definite required more attention on my part, but in return I now have this:

It’s not the greatest reel in the world, and in my eyes it’s not even that good, but the key thing I learned was the basic foundations for me to keep animating and keep my critical eye out on the world we live in.

A couple of changes I have made to sight. Artoftecartoon.com will now act as my professional sight. My name and contact info as well as my reel and my other artwork is now featured in the fun tabs above. Check them out! 1. About2. Demo Reel3. Artwork4. Resume5. Contact

Worry not though, I will still post my musings on art and animation and I promise to try to post more in the upcoming 2011. The old favorites like Bootleg Classics and Set the VCR will return, and reviews will come around from time to time.

Check out some new links I added on the sidebar, and here’s to happy, healthy, and successful 2011!!!

Coming up: Best Animated Features 2010…

PS: If anyone knows of any animator job openings, hit me up!

2009 in Review

It’s been awhile since I posted something on here. Animation has kept me pretty occupied, but some 4 months into 2010, I think it’s finally time I reveal my best animated features of 2009. 2009 was an outstanding year for animation. Seeing that there were 5 nominations for Best Animated Picture at the Oscars, and beyond that there were quality animated films this year that may have been considered in lesser years. Anyway before I get to the best, I wanna go over my ground rules for best of 2009:

  • I have to have seen the movie! (Secret of Kells, even though nominated for an academy award for best animated picture, is OUT! Just because I haven’t seen it! But I want to!)
  • If the animated movie was widely released in 2009, it counts! ($9.99 was made in 2008, but was widely released in 2009, so it’s in contention)
  • I (obviously) have to have enjoyed the movie. Technical merit counts (animation, sound, etc…) but its the sum of all parts, so if I’m not entertained for the duration, then you’re not making the list.

Without further delay, hit the jump to see the Best Animated Features of 2009… Continue reading

Dear Playstation: FFXIII

Its been quite a long time since a new Final Fantasy game came out and after many years Final Fantasy XIII is finally here! I’ve been watching and anticpating this one for the past couple of years, HOWEVER seriously, I have no time to play it right now, or any other video game for that matter. So I decided to make a Dear Playstation ad…

I Kill Giants

I Kill Giants/ writer: Joe Kelly/ art: JM Ken Niimura/ 2009

Another year come and gone and another birthday. I guess it’s time to reflect…

Getting older and wiser, I start to notice more things. Obstacles and struggles in life in general can become a little more daunting. Work can suck if you have a job, looking for work can suck if don’t have one, school can drag-on, love life at a stand still, finances swirling in the toilet, health going wrong, etc… Add to that the seemingly unending injustices and human rights violations out there and things can start to get really bleak. But that’s why we have inspirations, things that keep us going, keep us moving forward.

On the day of my birth, I present to you one of my many inspirations. In my opinion, one of the best, if not THE best graphic novel/ trade paperback of 2009. A book that everyone should read. Even though there really is no social commentary or political context involved in this book, it is one of the most poignant, genuine, and touching stories I have seen in a graphic novel. And its message and theme is as “in your face” and obvious as it seems, a metaphor waiting to happen…

I KILL GIANTS! Continue reading

9

9/ dir. Shane Acker/ (short film) 2005/ (feature length film) 2009

There are some things in life that seem marvelous, brilliant, and perfect when in the abstract, or in theory, but when it comes to fleshing it out in real life, in the actual world, it falls flat and fails to live up to its perceived greatness and magnitude. Shane Acker’s 9, begrudgingly falls into this trap. The short film of the same name was an Academy Award nominated animated short in 2005. In only 11 minutes, Shane Acker’s 9 (2005) presented an eerie and frightening post apocalyptic world, complete with climatic action scenes, and tense moments all without dialogue. Its main character, a sentient burlap sack doll, and its main antagonist a mechanical cat beast, along with the dark colors, heavy use of shadows and a steam punk style all seemed very Tim- Burton-esque. So when it was announced that Tim Burton had decided to produce the feature length version of the short, while retaining Acker to help write and direct, it seemed like a natural progression, a perfect blend. But as written before, some things are better in the abstract than they are in the real, and while Shane Acker’s feature length film 9 wasn’t bad, it wasn’t nearly as effective as the short it originated from. Continue reading

Lavatory Lovestory

Lavatory Lovestory/ dir. Konstantin Bronzit/ 2007/ Russia

Well its fake love day today, aka Valentines Day. I thought it would only be appropriate that I would visit this 2009 Academy Award nominated animated short film, Lavatory Lovestory, cute film about a restroom attendant and her attempt to find love. The simple and elegant animation set to white background with simple lines exemplifies the emotions that said woman go through. We experience her anticipation, we feel her pain, and in the happy ending, we feel like we have been through a whole lifetime of love with this woman, all in a span of 10 minutes, and all expressed without dialogue.

Now obviously we romanticize these types of meetings, but rarely do we ever experience them exactly like how they turn out in film. But you know what, its fun to be a romantic at heart, and even if you have no significant other this time of year, its still fun to dream…

Fall In Love With Me

Valentines Day, a supposed day to celebrate all things “love”, is actually a made-up holiday in order for corporate big wigs to make more money and for all of us single folk to feel insecure about our ineptitude of finding a significant other. So as a way to celebrate, Let me present to you Earth, Wind, & Fire’s Fall In Love With Me music video.

Fall In Love With Me/ Earth, Wind & Fire/ dir. ????/ 1983

In terms of animation, Earth, Wind & Fire’s Fall In Love With Me is nothing special, save for the fact that it was made during the very early pioneer days of music videos, and even then the animation in the background is so-so. And what on Earth were they wearing? I don’t know who told them that Egypt-wear was a good idea. So what’s makes this video so special? Besides the fact that there will probably never be a single shot, animated music video ever again (and based on this one, lets hope not), this is frickin’ Earth, Wind & Fire!!! And maybe, just maybe, its a message to someone out there…

“Baby, you know, I could pick you up
Turn your life around
If you fall in love with me
I would build you up, never let you down
If you fall in love with me”

Or not… But one thing is for sure, it’s Earth, Wind & Fire! What’s not to like? Just no more crappy animated music videos please…

Every Child

Every Child/ dir. Eugene Fedorenko/ 1979/ Canada

Vodpod videos no longer available.

In the world of animation in 2010, there are many elements that go into making an animated piece. Besides the actual animating, there are riggers, modelers, lighting artists, environment artists, textures artists, background artists, etc. and this doesn’t even include the music and camera work. All these can come together to create a compelling story and a convincing message. But sometimes the best animated works are the simple ones. Take for example Eugene Fedorenko’s Academy Award winning short of 1979, Every Child. A short and subtle 6 minute film about a society too engrossed about themselves to even take care of an abandoned child.  Every sound effect and voice done by the same two dudes, and the simple yet elegant animation compliments the tone and message of the film, which is to say that we’ll just pass this along until someone else deals with it… Continue reading