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February 13th, 2016
February 13th, 2016
Did you catch the Bravest Warriors updates yesterday?
Get yourselves ready with some Cartoon Hangover t-shirts:
Men’s Cartoon Hangover T-Shirt
February 13th, 2016
The Top Ten Anime Battles of All Time is up! Do you agree or did we leave one out?
February 12th, 2016
Top Ten Date Night Cartoons is up just in time for Valentine’s Day!
February 12th, 2016
I can’t seem to get enough of the graphics on 50 Million Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong, but then again, neither can anyone else. This limited edition postcard was adapted from a Channel Frederator poster illustrated and designed by Frank Olinsky. –Fred
From the postcard back
You are one of 300 people
to receive this limited edition
Channel Frederator postcard!
Channel Frederator Network
The Declaration of Cartoon Independents
529 million monthly views
5.6 billion lifetime views
2556 channels distributed
40 million subscribers
8 million monthly views
132 million lifetime views
862 thousand subscribers
*Source: Frederator/YouTube Analytics
Illustration by Frank Olinsky
Series 35.1 [mailed out February 12, 2016]
February 12th, 2016
7 Questions* for Jerry Beck
Everyone in animation knows that they have a best friend in Jerry Beck. Journalist, animation executive, producer, distributor, author/historian and now professor, Jerry loves every kind of animation that’s existed since the beginning of time and he’s relentless in shouting out that passion from the rooftops. It’s an understatement to say that professionals and fans alike are grateful for his public (and private) enthusiasm of our work.
Jerry and I first met when I moved out to Hollywood to run Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, more with a headful of gusto than any actual knowledge of what I needed to do to help the studio succeed after a decade of less than stellar performance after a quarter century of innovation. Jerry was one of the experts I was counseled to seek out. He’s been a constant source of information and inspiration ever since.
As the current president of ASIFA-Hollywood, Jerry was again instrumental in this past weekend’s Oscars of Animation, The 2016 Annie Awards, so I thought it might be good to start off the questioning there.
1 What’s going on at ASIFA-Hollywood?
Asifa-Hollywood is thriving. The Annie Awards are more popular than ever – and everyone is watching the event via video stream on the internet (tickets to the actual ceremonies at UCLA’s Royce Hall sell out way in advance). We added a new category this year to recognize independent and foreign animated features.
We are actively preserving rare animated cartoons via UCLA Archives, providing scholarships for aspiring young animators, and will be “breaking ground” later this year on a brick & mortar Animation Cinematheque - our own state-of-the-art screening room to host year round animation retrospectives, filmmaker Q & A’s and industry panels. So to answer your question: a lot is going on with Asifa-Hollywood.
2 You’re one of the most active, long lived journalists in animation. How come?
Well, I’ve been a journalist, an animation executive, a producer, a distributor, a writer/historian and now a professor (teaching animation history at Cal Arts in Valencia and at Woodbury University in Burbank). What I really am – under it all – is a “fan”. I have a life long love affair with animated films – and spent my entire life to spreading the gospel.
To do that, I used any-means-possible, which required me to vary my career choices at various times. When I was in my teens and twenties, being into cartoons (or comics for that matter) was considered embarrassing for an adult. I didn’t care because I recognized the art in these old cartoons. There were very few back then who did.
The “through-line” of my career has been my desire to inform the general public that classic (and current) animation isn’t only for kids. Whether writing books about classic Looney Tunes or distributing anime to theatres and video; or spreading the knowledge via articles, blogs, and lecturing; curating DVD collections or doing public screenings at MoMA, or the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It’s been my job to spread the word.
At some point, if you do something long enough, you become the “go-to guy” or the “expert” on the subject. It took a while to get here, but I’m doing things now I only dreamed about doing when I was 20. And I still love it.
3 It really seems like you’ve done it all. What was your career path?
You really know me Fred. You know I love to talk about myself…When I was a kid I loved comic books and movies. Who didn’t? I drew all through high school and went to the School of Visual Arts after that, with the intention of becoming an animator. During that time, my school mates (which included my long-time pals Eric Goldberg and Tom Sito), who drew much-much better than I, had hard times finding work in animation – which was going through a dark age. No work for young folks then.
But I knew I wanted to work in movies AND animation so, long story short, I began working at United Artists in New York and learned to be a film distributor. That became my day job. UA Classics, MGM/UA, Orion Classics, Cannon Films… meanwhile I hooked up with Leonard Maltin and became his associate in researching the history of animation at night and weekends for his book Of Mice And Magic.
I eventually combined my day job (film distribution) with my passion (animation) when I was brought out to L.A. by Terry Thoren to distribute animated films to theatres via Landmark Theaters. We also started Animation Magazine at that time.
Later, I started my own distribution company, Streamline Pictures, to bring anime to America – we were the first US distributor of Akira in 1989 and Miyazaki films like Castle In The Sky. I wrote books all along the way, The 50 Greatest Cartoons, The Hanna Barbera Treasury, The Animated Movie Guide, on and on. I later produced cartoons with Harvey Entertainment (Baby Huey), and was a VP for Nickelodeon Movies.
I could go on and on… done a lot of things… not sure if it was an actual career “path” per se. Just one thing led to another. But there was a general direction I was following. By the way, one of the most fun things I ever did was making my Hornswiggle pilot for a little company called Frederator. Ever heard of them?
4 Is there a difference between animation and cartoons?
Well… the definitions have certainly changed over the years.
25 years ago I would have said “animation” were the little art films from the National Film Board of Canada – and cartoons were things like Ren & Stimpy and Looney Tunes. Today the definition is a little more complicated.
“Animation” is any film with different images created individually frame-by-frame. That could mean stop-motion puppets, photorealistic computer generated graphics, hand drawn anime, etc.
“Cartoons”, to me, represents those animated films that utilize the classic animation disciplines that begin with hand drawn cartoon exaggeration. That would include CG films like Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Inside Out or the clay Wallace and Gromit – even the recent Peanuts Movie. It includes hand based TV like Adventure Time or The Simpsons – and even dramatic material like the never ending Batman TV cartoons.
5 Is there a particular style you’re divining rod draws you towards?
I’m a big fan of “cartoony-style” animated films – the type mentioned above. But I’m also into anything that progresses the medium. Anomalisa, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Adventure Time, Nina Paley’s films, Don Hertzfedlt: people with a vision, inspired by what came before to build what could be next. Animation is limitless. It can take us anywhere, show us anything. Make us laugh or cry – or just provide a visceral experience.
6 Do you have a favorite animation director of all time?
Bob Clampett (Looney Tunes, Beany and Cecil) wins that honor by a hair. How do I not include Chuck Jones and Tex Avery, who are also near the top of the list (a very long list). Clampett’s batting average is incredible – and his cartoons define the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes style.
7 What’s your take on what’s changed –creatively– in animation over the past decade?
You ask “creatively”, but one can’t ignore two factors that have emerged over the last decade.
#1 – the whole crowd-funding/Kickstarter way of financing films. This has allowed more ambitious films to get made, more creative voices to be heard.
#2 – more schools, more students, more animation. Colleges and high schools, in the US and around the world, are teaching animation than ever before. And the student films over the last ten years are incredible – the best short films being made today are student films – and most of them are hand-drawn.
The future of animation will be impacted by both these factors. And the future will include the return of hand drawn. Big time.
*7 Questions, an irregular series of interviews with interesting people. Coming up soon, graphic designers, educators, tech founders, start up investors, music producers, and more.
February 12th, 2016
107 Facts on Transformers: The Animated Series is up! Or should we say 107 Facts on FIGHT SUPER ROBOT LIFE FORMS TRANSFORMERS!!
February 11th, 2016
New friends of ours, Evan Viera & Charley Pope, have just released this trailer for their Aiko series. Produced through ROYGBIV Studios, Aiko is about a young girl who, as an inhuman army of unknown origin rips apart her homeland…
…discovers within herself a well of mystical power that she neither wants nor understands. Together with her sister and an old sage, she strikes out across the war-torn countryside, searching for the truth behind an ancient family secret that could save the world from annihilation.
As the guys look for financing and distribution for an Aiko series, you can take a look at this teaser and let them know what you think on Evan’s Vimeo page.
February 10th, 2016
We have 107 Facts on UnderTale up on The Leaderboard! Find out all the secrets and easter eggs hidden in the cult, hit game!