WWF presents "The Adventures of Harry Ficus"

Nope, it's not a new personality in the pantheon of the World Wrestling Federation, it's from the World Wildlife Fund. Did you ever think you'd see an animated commercial from this organization touting the processing of wood products, and using a little animated tree as the brand? Well, it's happened, as this promotional cartoon went online about two weeks ago. Nicely produced through the Leo Burnett Agency of Sydney, Australia in association with LoveYourForests.org. Here's the Forum Topic and here's the video.

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CTN animation eXpo 2011 in Burbank - Nov 18-20

If you haven't heard about CTNX yet, get acquainted with one of the most significant conventions in the animation industry. Especially if you're an artist. For the third year in a row, the CTN animation eXpo will be happening at the Marriott Hotel in Burbank, California, located on Hollywood Way, directly across from the Burbank airport. Sponsored by the Creative Talent Network, the CTN eXpo is a magnet for the industry's greatest talent on a worldwide level. This is an event that all artists involved with animation should place on their must attend list. It's a significant venue for our creative community. For further info follow this link to the CTNX website. Also check out the website for the Creative Talent Network. You can find the most recent Forum Topic here. The following video will give you a look at last year's eXpo.

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Frank Forte's "Cartoon Concept Design" Blog

There's a great new blog that's recently been launched by Frank Forte, a very talented designer, storyboard artist and comic artist working professionally in Los Angeles. Frank has been a member of AN for a long time. He's also a former student from a few years ago at my school, The Animation Academy in Burbank, California. Frank has a series of excellent blogs he's maintaining, and the content he's sharing in this particular one, his Cartoon Concept Design Blog, is a real treat. Model sheets, storyboards, and concept art from a series of vintage animated TV shows. Something else to add to your list of bookmarks. To access more links to the blogs Frank's created, head to the Forum Topic he started and you'll see a line up of links in his signature.  

Fleischer Studios 'Superman' - all in one YouTube movie

One of the greatest animated serials of all time, "Superman", is now a comprehensive movie on YouTube. Every episode ever produced in the early 1940s, 1941 and 1942, have been combined into a YouTube movie that anyone on the Internet can watch for free.

Now you can see every episode and be an expert on the series. With incredibly impressive production quality for the time, that holds up every bit in our own day and age. Fleischer's Superman set a standard by which all other action adventure cartoons that followed hold homage to. You can clearly see the artistic influence of the series on shows that came much later, especially WB's Batman and the Superman TV cartoons that ran throughout the 1990s.

Here's the real thing in a comprehensive collection to enjoy. If you can't watch them all at this time, bookmark the YouTube link and you'll have it available at your pleasure. Here's the Forum Topic for your reference.

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'Sintel' - Blender Foundation a year later

If you haven't seen this film yet, here's your opportunity to watch it. A year ago nearly to the day on September 30, 2010, "Sintel" went online and made a strong and immediate impression as to what can be achieved in the area of independent animation through open source software. The project was initiated by the Blender Foundation as a means to further improve and validate the Blender free/open source 3D creation suite. With initial funding provided by means of thousands of donations through the internet community. Sintel is a touching film involving the relationship between a girl and an injured baby dragon she rescues and nurtures back to health.  ANer Glen Moyes brought this to our attention last year at this Forum Topic. He writes... "What makes these open movie projects so important to the animation community? They are 100% open (as in open source). All of the software used to create these films are free. Blender for the 3D animation, GIMP and Krita for textures and concept art." He provides more info here.

A year later, Sintel has 2,620,248 YouTube views as of this writing. Enjoy the film.

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'Sintel' - Blender Foundation a year later

If you haven't seen this film yet, here's your opportunity to watch it. A year ago nearly to the day on September 30, 2010, "Sintel" went online and made a strong and immediate impression as to what can be achieved in the area of independent animation through open source software. The project was initiated by the Blender Foundation as a means to further improve and validate the Blender free/open source 3D creation suite. With initial funding provided by means of thousands of donations through the internet community. Sintel is a touching film involving the relationship between a girl and an injured baby dragon she rescues and nurtures back to health.  ANer Glen Moyes brought this to our attention last year at this Forum Topic. He writes... "What makes these open movie projects so important to the animation community? They are 100% open (as in open source). All of the software used to create these films are free. Blender for the 3D animation, GIMP and Krita for textures and concept art." He provides more info here.

A year later, Sintel has 2,620,248 YouTube views as of this writing. Enjoy the film.

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'I Love You' by Katy O'Connor

This strange yet dazzling animated short utilizes a very creative approach to rotoscoping, as well as free form shape oriented absract animation. It made the film festival circuit last year including Animafest Zagreb, the Vox Feminae Film Festival, Holland Animation Film Festival, Animanima in Serbia, it was also in the International Showcase at the Ottawa International Animation Festival and the Panorama Showcase at the Melbourne Animation Festival. Visit the Forum topic as I'll be expanding it to feature other rotoscoped works. From Katy O'Connor in brilliant color and crystal clear vibrant resolution, here's "I Love You"...

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'Secret Mountain Fort Awesome' debuts on Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network seems to be doing everything it can to break new ground in the area of the most unappealing animated shows anyone can conceive. Bizarre designs, absurdly ridiculous storylines, and of course the obligatory potty humor are the course that the cable broadcaster is embarked upon with their newest show. This evening at 8:30 PM Eastern and Pacific time,  "Secret Mountain Fort Awesome" will be making its premiere debut on American television. Who knows, maybe this formula works for Cartoon Network. Judge for yourselves as to what audiences can expect from this new primetime series by watching the two trailers below. There's more to see and read on the subject at the Forum topic

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'Sita Sings the Blues' by Nina Paley

How often does a film get a perfect score of 100% for positive reviews on RottenTomatoes.com? This movie is included in that elite club.

A modern day masterpiece of animation, "Sita Sings the Blues" is the story of two women and their man troubles, separated by the centuries as their stories come together in a comedy-drama from the genius of animator Nina Paley. Based on the Hindu folk tale "The Ramayana", vintage recordings of jazz singer Annette Hanshaw are used for Sita's voice against the junky beat of traditional Indian music.

Completed in 2008, here's the movie in its entirety...

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For more about Sita Sings the Blues, visit the film's official website. Here's the topic on the Forums. If you don't have the time at the moment to watch the entire film, check out the first few minutes for an idea of what you can expect from it...

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'Gary' - animated short film from Supinfocom

There's something about animated films from France that distinguishes them from everything else. The story content, the visual stylization, the sensitivity of movement, whatever the secret ingredient may be, they do it in exceptional ways. Another strength is their ability to allow viewers to follow the storyline even though they may not know the language and what exactly is being said.

Such is the case with this great little film called "Gary". It's about a boy who has romantic fantasies of an older girl, and tries to live them out vicariously through a drawn character he creates.

The film is a product of Supinfocom, an animation school in France, which makes it all the more extraordinary since it's the result of student work. Take a look at this excellent short from 2008. Here's the link to the Forum topic

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