Monday, January 26, 2009


Looking through the list of animations that were at Sundance this year, Max and Mary caught my attention. It's by Adam Eliot- who made Harvey Krumpet (if you haven't seen that- it's a good one to look for!)
Short summary- It's about two lonely people connecting. That was short wasn't it.

Here's a link to a proper review-


Here's a link to the official site-

I can't find any kind of release date so we could see it in Boston- but once I find out I'll update here.

Donald Duck is funny

Donald always has bad stuff happen to him. He's picked on, taunted...his tail's always getting smacked or mistreated...and yet we laugh at him. He's one of the few Disney characters that we route against in a fun way, and yet he's likable. Ask most people who their favorite Disney character is (fighting off the Disney conditioning that wants them to say MICKEY), I bet most of them would say Donald. Is it easier to laugh at his misfortunes because he's so angry all the time? Sometimes he shows a softer side, but we all like him when he's waving his fist ready to give it to'em.

Anyway, think on that, and watch these classic Donald Duck cartoons :)

Donald Applecore (1952)

I always wondered about the "Applecore" joke in this. Wikipedia says it was a schoolyard sweet!

This one won't allow embedding for some reason:
--> Bee at the Beach (1950)

Note that these are a full 15 years later than the cartoons I posted yesterday. It's interesting to see Donald's design morph over the years.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

When Cartoons were Funny to Watch

Cartoons have always been good for a laugh, and still are. But there was a time when they were also funny to watch. I've been watching a lot of old Disney cartoons from the 30s as of late, mainly to admire the drawing and animation that went into all these great films. Man, some GREAT drawing. But seriously, you could watch these with the sound turned down, and still be just as amused. WHAT HAPPENED? Sure, a lot of the humor is in visual gags, but dialogue and writing have definitely stolen the attention in most contemporary animation. Where scripts trump storyboards. My guess is that funny writing is cheaper to create than funny animation. But if enough people demand it, the studios would bring it back. We've been lulled into talking heads delivering the goods (if there are any goods at all).

Anyway, here are 3 Disney Cartoons featuring Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. It's weird that we have to be reminded that Disney actually made really funny cartoons at one time. Even funnier to see a Mickey with a bit of a temper. If you click on the arrow in the corner of the YouTube window, you can select HQ and watch them in higher quality (a new feature I recently discovered).

The Band Concert (1935)

Moving Day (1936)

Mickey's Circus (1936)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Craig McCracken on deviantArt

Look what I found!

--> Craig's deviantArt page

Tons of goodies and sketches to look at. It appears to be mostly drawn in Flash.

A Foster's Home comic:

Here's also a great interview with Craig about the Powerpuff Girls on ColdHardFlash.

Monday, January 19, 2009

FlashTip #1: Drawing with a Brush

Greetings Creative Juicers! Over the next couple weeks I'll be doing Flash tips and tutorials over at my blog, Drip!. The first post is a walkthrough on how to unlock the power of the Brush tool in Flash.

-->View here

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Secretary of the Arts?

I was looking through 'causes' on facebook- and noted a petition to send (soon to be) president Barack. It was for a "secretary of the Arts" position.
I was wondering what other folks thought was on this.
My initial reaction was "oh hey cool! maybe we'd definetly ensure arts in public schools that way!" But with a little more thought I became skeptical. There is a lot at stake when talking about individuals intellectual properties. Who's to say that whomever that secretary would be wouldn't wake up one morning deciding that any art created in the us, belongs to the government and not the artist themselves. I know that is a bit of a stretch since that would cause quite an uproar, but it is a feasibility. It would be almost like there was an official art director of the US, and what if you don't agree with them. At least if you don't agree with the other officials you can express that in your art. I'd fear whomever that secretary was would be rating each artist- and that's not the point of art. I'd rather be able to express myself without worrying it wasn't good enough (goodness knows artists do that anyways!)
I do see how my fears could be slightly irrational, but at the same time I think they're ones to give serious consideration to. What if there were a board judging arts the same way teachers and doctors are judged. Granted I think the later is needed because of the affects a bad teacher and doctor can have on a person, yet I worry about art being censored completley.
What do you guys think?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Lorelay Bove

Once in awhile we like to feature standout artists at Creative Juices. Today I'd like to call your attention to Lorelay Bove, an amazing character animator/background artist from Cal Arts, now working for Pixar. Here is her blog ("must-subscribe" material!).

Her style evokes Mary Blair (that's a compliment), and she's definitely on to something very unique and provocative. I admire her approach to color more than anything else. It goes back to something I've said before: don't be limited to naturalistic color. Her backgrounds perfectly frame the characters within them. Her staging and composition--outstanding! Both playful, and clever in their design.

Here is a Degas inspired piece I really like of hers:

And here is her student film from Cal Arts. Pay special attention to how seamless the interaction and play is between character and background. They were conceived as one visual statement, which dances along with the music.

Siren's Song (2007)

There is so much to admire in her work. I can't wait to see more!

Antic/Settle Abuses in Flash Animation

I'm gonna share a bit of wisdom/humor from "Bitter Animator" via a post reassembled on Flooby Nooby.

Here goes:

The Antic/Settle Abuse System

a) Antic. Take Pose 1. Stretch or squash slightly for anticipation (just move away from Pose 2 like it has the plague).

b) Sweep. Create sweep image that is somewhere roughly between Pose 1 and Pose 2. It doesn't matter if pieces are all over the place, you're only going to show this for one frame and nobody will ever see it.

c) Overshoot. Squash or stretch Pose 2 to overshoot the animation (just move your animation away from Pose 1 this time).

d) Hit Pose 2. Bounce up into Pose 2 proper. This is the settle.

e) Wobble. Move random piece. Hair perhaps. Doesn't really matter - just move something and let's say it's secondary action.

Use this system no matter what the mood is, action is, expression is.


A further statement on "cheap" Flash animation:


"You have one goal when animating in Flash for broadcast. To tell the story? No, that's what the writer is for. To convey emotion? What are you, some kind of poncy method actor?! No, the one true goal of broadcast Flash animation is to hide the symbol changes. That's it...This is the top way to animate in Flash."


Anyway...good for a laugh, but definitely a ton of truth to it. Lets make sure as we continue to use Flash that we don't fall into any of these mindless traps and shortcuts! :)

For more rants, go directly to the source: the Bitter Animator's My Medicated Cartoon Life blog.

Special thanks to Ron at Flooby Nooby for calling our attention to it.