Daily post 31 Jul 2007 07:58 am

Ramble on Tuesday

Mark Mayerson has a thoughtful interesting website filled with genuinely intelligent animation commentary. I truly enjoy reading much of his writing, hence I’ve so often linked posts to his site.
He has commented negatively on two trailers recently released on the internet, and I think it worth reading if you haven’t already.

I’m often reluctant to make decisions based on trailers I see. I’ve been wrong once or twenty times in my pre-judgement and don’t want to attack films based on trailer-bits I see. I find that with the two films Mark talks about, the Chipmunk feature and Horton Hears A Who, I have prejudged both in different ways than did Mark.

My immediate reaction to the ugly cg chipmunks was absolutely negative. There is nothing that could make me go to that film. The designs of the characters are completely off kilter. To think back to those limited animation but beautifully designed Format film originals, I can only sigh when I look at what a bastardization of ugly design people do today. It’s sad, really. I like Jason Lee, so perhaps he might interest me, but I hate the way they’ve cross cut from him to the chipmunks in the trailer. If the trailer is poorly directed, there’s a good chance the same will be true for the movie. I also know David Seville was a real person, not just the creator of the Chipmunks. (You can see him in Hitchcock’s Rear Window as the pianist/composer in the apartment across from Jimmy Stewart.) Somehow an animated guy might have been more acceptable – though a cg guy would have prompted other complaints.

As for Horton, Jim Carrey‘s name always makes me squirm. I don’t want to see him as Ebenezer Scrooge, and I don’t think he’s perfect casting for Horton. Perhaps the fact that he played the Grinch (shivers go up my spine) makes him eligible for all Dr. Seuss characters. As for Steve Carell, I found myself listening very closely to the readings he gave. I don’t even remember the character he did in the trailer, but I was curious to see more. I do like Blue Sky‘s work. They haven’t hit a bulls eye yet, for me, but their work is always so interesting. I can’t think of any stories they’ve told that I enjoyed completely, but the graphics and the approach are always strong. A film like Robots had so much going for it (despite the presence of Robin Williams‘ voice) that I can’t help but think fondly on the film. I only wish the script had been good. Excellent set-pieces do not make a good film.


- There’re a lot of new dvds out there for animation fans of golden age cartoons to buy.

Today’s the day that the Popeye dvd’s are released. I’m looking forward to this dvd for all the extras and the brilliant prints that have already been so well promoted on other sites. (See Cartoon Brew 1 and 2.)
Jaime Weinman also reports that there’s a trailer for the new Smurfs dvd included on this Popeye dvd. A collector’s extra worth owning.
The NYPost has a nice little PR article about the dvd.

- Last week the much heralded Woody Woodpecker dvd appeared. I want to own this, but I’m not sure it’s on a rush-to list for me. I already have all those Columbia House Woody Woodpecker Shows that were released years ago on an umpteen number of dvds.

Woody Woodpecker is more nostalgia for me than real animation greatness. It’s not something I’ll watch over and over. (As a matter of fact, I’m not sure there are many dvds I’d watch over and over.)
I am interested in the early work of the Lantz studio. However, once they got into the mid forties, I was never much attracted to their work. Tex Avery did some notewrothy films for Lantz, but I can’t think of any episodes of the “Bearies” that I’d be searching for. Michael Barrier has a good commentary on this dvd at his site.


- Some sad news hearing of the death of Ingmar Bergman and Tom Snyder. Of course, they are not in the same class. Bergman was a supreme artist and Snyder was a good interviewer. However both made an impact on their times and, in fact, their times overlapped. A whole generation is going too quickly, and I get to feel older every day.

Bergman’s work challenged me in my youth and made me think of the greater side of film and filmmaking. One wonders where this brand of movie making went.

I just recently saw his interview with Dick Cavett. Despite the annoying Cavett, it was interesting watching the master director chat about his work. It was a very odd coupling.


Kevin Langley has a study of Bobe Cannon’s “smear” drawings in The Dover Boys. It makes for an interesting viewing seeing selected frames YouTubed at 2fps. Kevin’s been offering some excellent material recently on his site, and you should check it out.


Mark Kausler has an excellent analysis of the varied versions of the animated Krazy Kat. It makes for an excellent read if you’re into KK at all.

5 Responses to “Ramble on Tuesday”

  1. on 31 Jul 2007 at 11:12 am 1.Galen Fott said …

    Michael –

    This was long ago enough that I can’t entirely trust my memory…but I swear that on Sesame Street, maybe 20 years ago, I saw an incredibly faithful adaptation of Krazy Kat in an animated short segment. Any idea what this might have been…or was it a hallucination?

  2. on 31 Jul 2007 at 11:38 am 2.Michael said …

    It looks like you’re right. David Gerstein on his site talks about this spot, “And, of course, in the 1970s there was the two or three-minute “L is for Love” sequence on SESAME STREET, which IMHO matched “Li’l Ainjil” as an excellent adaptation. You don’t expect a Sesame Street sequence about love to include the brick hitting Officer Pupp, but it does. (Of course, good ol’ Krazy gets Hers, too.)”

    There”s no mention of who produced it, but I’ll keep looking.

  3. on 31 Jul 2007 at 11:16 pm 3.Galen Fott said …

    This isn’t what I was talking about…but it’s interesting…


  4. on 01 Aug 2007 at 3:26 pm 4.Ken Priebe said …

    Speaking as a big Chipmunks fan, I had been avoiding the trailer for a long time, but finally decided I should see watch it there on Mark’s blog.

    I wish I hadn’t. I’m very depressed now. Whyyyyy, God, whyyyyy???????

  5. on 25 Nov 2012 at 12:31 pm 5.THOMDAX said …


Subscribe to the comments through RSS Feed

Leave a Reply

eXTReMe Tracker
click for free hit counter

hit counter