Tag: animation

Happy Birthday to It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Happy Birthday to It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Advertising
One of the greatest television specials of all time, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, is celebrating its 50th birthday this year! Let's take a moment to recognize this essential piece of our childhoods and to pay homage to the man behind it all, Charles M. Schulz. The now-yearly tradition began on October 27, 1966, when CBS debuted the half-hour animated special -- the third such Peanuts show -- as part of its Thursday evening lineup. Here are a few newspaper ads from that day. Now as far as I can tell, the first reference to the Great Pumpkin appeared in the Peanuts comic strip almost exactly 7 years before the show, in October 1959. Here is that strip:
Beautiful RKO Radio Pictures Ad for Disney’s Silly Symphonies

Beautiful RKO Radio Pictures Ad for Disney’s Silly Symphonies

Ephemera, Movies
In 1937, RKO Radio Pictures assumed the distribution rights for Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies animated shorts from United Artists. To help promote the acquisition, RKO ran this beautiful advertisement in its 1937-38 exhibitor book, which also features ads for movies like Stage Door (starring Katharine Hepburn). The first RKO Mickey Mouse short, Hawaiian Holiday, debuted in September 1937. The first RKO Silly Symphony cartoon, The Old Mill, came out in November of the same year and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subjects (Cartoons). RKO distributed just eight Silly Symphony installments through 1939, when Walt Disney Productions stopped making them to focus more on feature films. The Mickey Mouse shorts continued through 1953 on RKO, although they wer
Vintage Animation: “Who Profits from Profits?”

Vintage Animation: “Who Profits from Profits?”

Auction Finds
I came across one of the more unique sets of 35mm slides I've seen on eBay in some time. They purport to be from a 1960s animated business presentation film called "Who Profits from Profits?" No other information is provided, and a quick internet search for the film yielded no results. What I can confirm is that these are in fact some of the niftiest bits of vintage animation you'll see today. Even business films, with their admittedly short shelf life, were animated with more care than most commercial or entertainment productions today. If anyone has any information on this film please let let me know, I'd love to see it.
Venture Bros. Wrapup: “A Very Venture Halloween”

Venture Bros. Wrapup: “A Very Venture Halloween”

TV & Radio
Has it really been almost two years since I last wrote about a new episode of The Venture Bros.? Yup, seems so. And now here we are, with 2012 winding down, and we finally have a new episode from Jackson and Doc -- "A Very Venture Halloween." It's the first holiday-themed installment of the show since "A Very Venture Christmas" all the way back at the end of season one in 2004. Alright, enough history -- let's get into it. This episode was damn good, and sets the table quite nicely for the upcoming fifth season of the show. For awhile I thought this was going to be a typically light-hearted standalone episode, but Doc Hammer (who wrote this one) took things in a very dramatic direction toward the end. Let's get the frivolity out of the way first -- Dr. Venture and Sgt. Hatred han...
Hanna-Barbera Makes Me Want to Do Drugs

Hanna-Barbera Makes Me Want to Do Drugs

Funny Stuff, TV & Radio
And here I thought I had seen all the funky PSAs the '60s and '70s had to offer. I'm not sure how effective this 1970 public service announcement from Hanna-Barbera was at keeping kids off drugs, but even if it didn't it's still the coolest thing that bunch of hacks ever produced. Let's break this thing down, shall we? "Match"? I'd say that box has more than one, wouldn't you? Smoke 'em if you got 'em! (I do not endorse the use of illegal drugs.) That's either one hell of a doobie or the stink of patchouli on this kid is so strong it's formed a force field. We're almost one-third of the way through, and all this makes me want to do is get seriously stoned. (But seriously, I still do not endorse the use of illegal drugs.) Wait, is that some ki...
Sunday Jazz: Shorty Rogers, Stan Freberg, and “Three Little Bops”

Sunday Jazz: Shorty Rogers, Stan Freberg, and “Three Little Bops”

Music, Sunday Jazz
I'd like to deviate from the usual Sunday Jazz fare to pay small tribute to one of my favorite cartoons of all time. "Three Little Bops" is one of the great entries in the Looney Tunes catalog, and came out in 1957 -- a time when Beat culture was very much in the American consciousness. Not only is it funny, it swings! Dig it, man: I could watch that all day. So anyway, not much is absolutely confirmed about the men behind "Three Little Bops." Stan Freberg and Shorty Rogers are credited with vocals and music, respectively, but that's about it. Some enterprising folks have done a lot of digging to uncover the rest of the musicians, and have come up with this lineup: Vocals -- Stan Freberg (credited on the short) Saxophone -- Pepper Adams (or possibly Jimmy Giuffre) Trumpe...
Trailer Trash — The Lorax, A Thousand Words, and 21 Jump Street

Trailer Trash — The Lorax, A Thousand Words, and 21 Jump Street

Movies
I don’t have time to go to the movies much any more. So instead I’m going to just review some new and upcoming films based solely on their trailers. Because let’s face it, most movies only have about two or three minutes’ worth of good material anyway. The Lorax I'm not familiar with the Dr. Seuss source material for this movie, so I don't care a whit about whether it deviates from the book or not. What I do care about is whether or not that stupid Polyphonic Spree song gets played in the movie. I hate that friggin' song and every commercial it infests. In any case, this looks like a lot of fun. I'm still not 100% sold on CGI animation in movies, but I think the world of Dr. Seuss is particularly suited to this type of visual approach. I can even overlook the inclusion o
I Love You, Internet: DangerMouse fan art I would totally buy

I Love You, Internet: DangerMouse fan art I would totally buy

Internet
I'm going to get around to posting a tribute to Danger Mouse, my favorite all-time cartoon, some day. Until then, DazTibbles from DeviantART has produced something almost as cool with some DM art for a conceptual movie poster. Love it! It's weird seeing Danger Mouse, Penfold, and Baron Greenback looking so... realistic. Those Frog's Head Flyers are totally badass, as is the Mark III. If any entertainment franchise is worthy of a relaunch it's Danger Mouse, but you just know some Hollywood fart-sniffer would find a way to ruin it. So maybe it's best left alone. For a larger version of this picture as well as more excellent DM art -- sadly, no Stiletto or Colonel K yet -- head to DazTibbles' page.