Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy 102nd Tex Avery

If you don't know who Fred "Tex" Avery is, you probably shouldn't be here.
That animation pioneer of the Golden Age of Animation would be celebrating his 102nd Birthday today if he hadn't passed on back in 1980.
Tex Avery was the ultimate animation director because he created cartoons that took full advantage of the art form. When you watch a cartoon filled with outrageous gags, wild takes, unexpected 4th wall jokes and ultimate humor, you know you are watching a Tex Avery cartoon.

He helped shape many of the classic Looney Tunes characters at Warner Bros during the 30s and early 40s and perfected his craft at MGM during the rest of the 40s while introducing The Wolf, Red, Droopy and Screwy Squirrel. He went onto create Chilly Willy at Walter Lantz, invented the crazy cartoon bugs that still feature in Raid commercials to this day, and continued to create characters and stories for Hanna-Barbera up until his death.

Back in 1995, Dark Horse Comics wanted to celebrate the animation director's career with his own line of comic books featuring his characters that were created at MGM. The Mask live action feature with Jim Carrey was based on a Dark Horse comic line and the film featured a heavy influence of the classic shorts by Tex Avery, this could have been their way to say thanks for the inspiration. Here is a story that was featured in Tex Avery's Wolf & Red #1...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Panini: Disney's Tale Spin

I received an interesting stocking stuffer this past Christmas, a couple of packs of Tale Spin Panini album stickers from 1991.If you grew up during the 80's and 90's, you may have collected these along with similar sticker sets featuring popular animated TV shows and films.
I had thought that Panini was long gone, but according to their current website, they seem to be prospering in Europe and many other countries rather than North America like they used to.
Being a cartoon nut, I collected many of these sets because it was a unique way to own screen-shots of your favorite cartoon characters. I may still have some collections packed away somewhere and maybe I'll share some examples in the future.
If memory serves me, I collected album sets featuring the Looney Tunes, Tiny Toon Adventures, Darkwing Duck, Roger Rabbit, The Transformers, Garfield, Ghostbusters, Slimer!, Alf, The California Raisins, etc..etc...
Also I remember during the 80's, Panini was trying something creative with their sticker albums by providing 3D glasses with illustrations that would animate when you closed one eye and switched between blinks. That little trick taught me simple animation techniques for sure.
And yes, I actually owned the I Love Snoopy album at one point. LOL

Thursday, February 18, 2010

3-D Beauty and the Beast in '11

According to Animation, Walt Disney Animation will be releasing the 3-D version of the classic film, "Beauty and the Beast" in 2011 to coincide with the original film's 20th anniversary.
There are no immediate plans of re-releasing other classic films in 3D, but it could be a possibility in the future.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Anvil Shooting: It's Actually Real

Hope they have their little umbrellas with them, just in case...

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Coke: Hard Times

The 2010 Super Bowl Coca-Cola spot featuring the cast of The Simpsons...