Commentary &Daily post 28 Mar 2009 08:17 am

Bric and Brac and Clips

- Last Monday, PBS premiered a documentary on two women entrepreneurs — Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein. The Powder and the Glory features a number of different film clips and interviews and also several animated sequences done by Animator, Bob Flynn. He created several sequences for the film done with the help of those at Fablevision.

The program will air in New York on WNET, CHANNEL 13 today, Saturday, March 28, at 1:30pm.

You can see some of the animation here. It has a distinctive style and works well within the program. I particularly liked the sequence wherein Helena Rubenstein is robbed. The style is a bit reminiscent of James Thurber’s art.

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Hans Bacher has the post of the week that excited me most. On his site, Animation Treasures, he’s taken some Background layouts for Bambi and has placed them alongside their finished Backgrounds. The comparison is amazing and deserves your attention.

How many times have we seen animation drawings compared to the finished cels? Here are some brilliant designs in execution. Hans also talks a bit about the painting of these stunning Backgrounds on glass.

By the way, if you don’t own Hans’ book Dream Worlds: Production Design for Animation, get out there an buy it or demand your local library carry it. The book is an essential for those interested in pursuing any career in animation. Or even those who have a strong interest in the medium.

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- John Schnall sent a recent ad he did for Bzztrust, a business website. He asked that I post it, and it’s expectedly funny. So why not!


- Brian Sibley, on his very entertaining and informative site, has posted several excellent pieces about Alice in Wonderland. One includes a history of Snap, Crackle and Pop (there is a connection) that deserves your reading. (If anyone can identify the studio that did the British Alice commercial, please let me know.)

Brian posts a clip from a Jonathan Miller version of the story that I was not familiar with. The fact that Alan Bennett appears as the Mouse was enough for me to order the film.

Yes, that’s Peter Sellers as the king and Wilfred Brambell
(Paul’s father in A Hard Day’s Night), as the White Rabbit.

Other cast members include:
Michael Redgrave (Caterpillar), Leo McKern (Duchess),
Peter Cook (Hatter) and John Gielgud (Mock Turtle)

7 Responses to “Bric and Brac and Clips”

  1. on 29 Mar 2009 at 1:12 am 1.Jim C. said …

    You meant Peter SellErs, of course.

  2. on 29 Mar 2009 at 8:21 am 2.Michael said …

    Yes, of course, thankyou for catching my typo. It might have been apprpriate if Peter SellArs had directed it.

  3. on 29 Mar 2009 at 6:12 pm 3.Bob Flynn said …

    Hey, Michael! Thanks so much for posting about “The Powder & the Glory” animations. They are definitely one of the more interesting and rewarding pieces of animation I’ve had the opportunity to work on so far. Because they needed to look traditional, it gave me more reason to fight against the stiffness of Flash. The Robbery is my favorite as well. Hope you had a chance to see the full documentary.

    The Bambi layout to painting comparisons are striking. Talk about planning. The backgrounds are beautiful…it’s been ages since I’ve seen Bambi. Adding to my Netflix queue.

  4. on 30 Mar 2009 at 1:03 am 4.Jenny said …

    I was intrigued by this “Alice” since seeing just one photograph in the NY Times magazine in ’80 or so(accompanying an article on Miller, whom I adore)…years later I rented it and was disappointed.
    It had (what was then) cool and unusual settings–the derelict-looking parts of various outdoor and indoor places, photographed beautifully–but the overall “psych-out”/swinging 60s/”experimental”/drug vibe, and especially the deadly pacing wore me down. I hate rushed scenes..but this became the proverbial watching paint dry experience. I was terribly bored by it even with that great cast. And Alice herself was a stiff actress, very poor I thought.

  5. on 31 Mar 2009 at 5:33 am 5.Steve Brown said …

    I actually thought this was the best version (after Jan Svankmajer, that is). The thing I love is that it is absolutely faithful to the text of the book, and it doesn’t depend on silly animal costumes. I’d also recommend the Dennis Potter film Dreamchild, which is actually more about the relationship between Lewis Carroll and his real life muse Alice Liddell. A very challenging and somewhat disturbing tale.

  6. on 02 Apr 2009 at 4:56 pm 6.Liesje said …

    I’ve only ever seen bits and pieces of this version of ‘Alice’ on an old VHS taping I made of a TV special on Lewis Carroll’s life. The images have always stuck with me and now I know where to order it! Thanks! And yes, I second Steve’s suggestion to watch ‘Dreamchild’ if you get a chance. Henson’s shop does all the puppets for it.

  7. on 05 Apr 2009 at 3:45 am 7.Steve Brown said …

    Very scary puppets!

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