Walter Lantz - Historic Lessons in Animation

Walter Lantz

There's a couple of fascinating videos I've discovered featuring Walter Lantz, the creator of Woody Woodpeck and many other memorable characters for Universal Studios.

One video is narrated by Mr. Lantz as he walks us through the responsibilities of an animation director, little changed over the time span of about 50 years from the time I'm guessing the footage was shot. The other video goes all the way back to the 1930s, as we see a production crew creating an Oswald the Rabbit cartoon with Walter Lantz at the helm. 

Both are must see videos for the animation enthusiast, and you can find them by following this link to the AN Education Forum. If here's more videos to be found along this subject they'll be added to the topic.

Terry Gilliam explains his animation process

Here's something I discovered recently that has given me a renewed appreciation for modern animation technology as well as how things used to be done in the days before digital production, where even the simplest approach to animation was tedious and labor intensive.

If you're a fan of Terry Gilliam's work, I'm sure you'll be interested to see how he used to make his cartoons back in the 1970s when he was creating hilarious shorts for Monty Python's Flying Circus. Take a look at the following footage to see an explanation of the process. The video is also posted in AN's Education Forum which is dedicated to featuring content, news and announcements that help to broaden one's artistic knowledge. 

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Help Josh Armstrong finish up "Tanks For Nothing"

AN member Joshua Armstrong is a talented Flash animator from California State University Northridge who's looking to put his independent film "Tanks For Nothing" in the can. He's raising funds through KickStarter.com to complete the film. Here's his topic from the AN Forums. To see his film and where it's at so far follow this link.

Here's Josh with his message to the world. Be a part of his effort to complete the film, and be thanked for something.   

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"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" - with no apes

The movie is opening this Friday, August 5, 2011. Although it is a live action film, all of the apes in this retooling of the original classic are CG animation. Every one of them. It's remarkable that no apes were used in its production, as I understand from interviews I've listened to recently, considering how realistic they appear to be in most of the scenes.

Here's the trailer for Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Follow the link to the AN Forum topic for more.

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"The Duck Factory" - Jim Carrey's debut in 1984

Not many people realize this, but the great comic actor Jim Carrey made his first major appearance in entertainment in a 1984 sitcom called "The Duck Factory". It was a short lived series, but historic in its content and made a memorable impact on me when it aired.  

The series took place in an animation studio that was having troubled times. It reflected in many ways the issues that were going on in the animation scene in Los Angeles back then, as major transitions were taking place that would put it on track for what's happening in our current day.

Here's the first part of the pilot episode. To view the rest of it, follow this link to the topic on the AN Forums.

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"Robot Bar Fight" by YourFavoriteMartian

I've been interested in the animated music videos posted on YouTube by YourFavoriteMartian. I discovered them in February with a video called Zombie Love Song and have since become a fan of not only the novelty of the animation, but the fact that a link to iTunes concludes the video and offers viewers an opportunity to purchase the song.

These videos are the clever work of  Ray William Johnson. When they come out on YouTube, they immediately go to the top of YT's Most Viewed Videos. In fact, when Robot Bar Fight was uploaded just three days ago, it's since had 2,553,584 views as of this writing. Follow the link to the AN Forums as I'll be updating the community as to the number of views the video gets. Meanwhile, enjoy Robot Bar Fight. 

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The Animation of Ivan Maximov

Adrian Foster (Skynet on the Forums) is AN's Webmaster and highly skilled at finding unusual animation that you don't often see or hear about in mainstream venues. Another reason why AN is unique. He's been maintaining our Video Gallery for a couple of years now.

Lately Adrian's been developing a topic on the forums dedicated to the animated films of Ivan Maximov, a Russian animator whose work is highly intriguing. Here's the latest that Skynet has posted. It's called 'Tunnellage' and was produced in 2005.

To view more of Ivan Maximov's work, follow the link to the topic on the AN Forums.

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Gang of Seven - Biker Mice From Mars - China and $100 Mil

Biker Mice From Mars

Big news today in the animation world, as the early 1990s TV series 'Biker Mice From Mars' is in line to be produced as a feature film. This is all the more exciting as I know of, met, or worked with just about everyone involved with this situation. From the artist who originally developed the show, to The Gang of Seven, whose deal with China and a $100 million production fund is making this possible.

AnimationNation from its inception 12 1/2 years ago, was at its core a movement to involve artists at levels that were previously unknown to us. Artists able to function at an executive level.  The Gang of Seven and the Biker Mice movie deal is further proof that a new age has arrived in our industry. Read more about this breaking news at AN's General Discussion Forums.

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