Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh/ dir. Stephen Anderson & Don Hall/ 2011 

On the second to last day of the Seattle International Film Festival, I sit in a theater awaiting the North American premiere of Winnie the Pooh. To my left, my partner of about a year and all around me I am surrounded by an almost full theater of smiling parents, anxious kids, and general fans of animation (well at least the folks that can make it to an early morning showing on a Saturday). After the parade of speakers and thank yous, the lights go dim, and Winnie the Pooh comes on. Amidst the occasional laughs from the small children around me, my eyes are affixed on the screen, hanging on each beautifully animated frame while I reminisce of the days when I first met the round lovable bear known as Winnie the Pooh. Days after I’m still collecting my thoughts, reflecting on all the changes that have occurred in and around me in not only the 5 months since I last wrote, but also the 2 years since I took my first baby steps into the animation world. All this brought about by a mere children’s movie.  So after a very lengthy hiatus, I figured I should write something…

Winnie the Pooh is not your traditional “modern” animated feature. It’s doesn’t offer any flashy effects or well planned out action sequences. There is no magic, no plot twists and no added adult humor or pop culture references to entice the older audiences. No, Winnie the Pooh is an old fashioned Disney 2D/ hand drawn animated film through and through. It knows its core audience and it’s an effective film for 3 reasons: simple storytelling, a subtle yet powerful moral message, and a creative imagination. All these add up to something that gets lost in today’s films of CG, big action sequences, grand sets, and manufactured emotions… Innocence. Continue reading

Adidas Originals x Star Wars

Anyone else as excited as I am?

Let’s see, David Beckham, Snoop Dogg, Calle 13, Daft Punk, and a great cameo by DJ Neil Armstrong!

Oh and don’t forget Darth Vader!

What does this have to do with cartoons and animations?

EVERYTHING! I’m so inspired now!

A Christmas Carol 3D

A Christmas Carol 3D/ dir. Robert Zemeckis/ 2009

A Christmas Carol. You know the story. Ebenezer Scrooge, crotchety old man is visited by 3 ghosts on Christmas Eve and eventually learns the true spirit of Christmas, blah, blah, etc. it’s been told many times over. It has been adapted, spoofed, modernized, retro-ed, turned around, flipped, and some have even attempted sequels. I have some qualms with the story, for example its told in the perspective of a rich, old, bourgeois, white male, and at times it presents a “rich man’s burden” theme. But you know what, I actually enjoy the story. Redemption and spending quality time with friends and family, that’s the Christmas spirit I’m down with. So in my mind, you really can’t screw up the story.

What CAN be screwed up are the elements that go into  presenting that story. And as much I enjoyed the excellent animation, the visual effects, the Victorian atmosphere, and the voice performances by Jim Carrey and Gary Oldman, this newest Disney version of A Christmas Carol lacked that one thing that is essential to this classic story… heart… Continue reading

Bootleg Classics: Batman Beyond “Rebirth”

Welcome to 2010. A new year, and new look for Art of the Cartoon. What better way to start out the new year with a Bootleg Classic. (and yes, hopefully I’ve put behind me most of the cryptic, love-sappy posts =P)

For my return, I give you an animated series that really should’ve never worked. How can you have a show set in the future, and have someone else not named Bruce Wayne as Batman? How can Batman be a teenager? That’s just a recipe for disaster. But for some reason Batman Beyond worked, and brought about the rebirth of The Batman…

Hit the Jump to read more about this Bootleg Classic… Continue reading

Bootleg Classics: The Iron Giant

10 years ago, one of the finest animated movies ever to grace the bigscreen debuted in theaters. The Iron Giant was the breakout movie that put Brad Bird’s (The Incredibles, Ratatouille)  name out there among the elite animation directors. Even though it underperformed in theaters  and was  a box office failure because many felt Warner Bros. didn’t properly market the film, The Iron Giant was praised by critics and is still seen as one of the better examples of storytelling in animation. See the original trailer here:

(Hit the jump to read more about this Bootleg Classic) Continue reading

Top 5 Cartoon Wedding Moments…

For those of you not in school with me, this is a rare glimpse of the blogger behind Art of the Cartoon.

So every week for Animation Mentor (The school I’m attending) I make an intro video to the week. I try to be entertaining, it is more of a way to get my face out there and to put some fun into other students’ workspaces. Anyway, this last video I did I talked about my Top 5 Cartoon Wedding moments. Enjoy!

If this gets a good response, I may post up more of my intro videos in the future…

Set the VCR: Little Mac vs. Mike Tyson

nes-punchoutAt the moment there are 2 stellar video games that feature the sweet science of pugilism or boxing. Fight Night Round 4 is one of those games and the other is the revival of the classic Nintendo series Punch-Out!! on Nintendo Wii.  I think I have already demonstrated once before how animation and boxing are related, and these new video games bring out both the great physics (Fight Night Round 4) and the great enterntainment (Punch-Out!!) of the sport of boxing.

Even though one is more geared toward simulation and real-life and the other toward exagerration and cartoon, they both have a common thread in terms history. They both harken back to this Set the VCR moment, from arguable the greatest boxing video game of all-time!

Hit the jump to read more about this Set The VCR moment: Continue reading

90’s X-Men Animated Series: Japanese Intro…

I am huge fan of the 1990’s X-Men animated series. It is still the best cartoon X-Men out there (It’s out on DVD now!) I think the intro was classic:

However, after seeing the Japanese intro for the 90’s X-Men…

I kinda wish the 90’s X-Men looked like this. They even made another intro!

Can we get a special edition 90’s X-Men series set DVD and/ or Blu-Ray with selectable intros… PLEASE!