July 17, 2008

Animation World has a fantastic little interview with Aeon Flux animator, Peter Chung. In it, he speaks about his background working under Ralph Bakshi, storyboarding Transformers and finally arriving at his process for creating Aeon Flux. But what is he doing at the moment?

"One of the things that I'm working on now is an adaptation of Cyborg 009, which is a Japanese comic book character and an animation series from the '60s, which I grew up with...I've written a story and redesigned the characters."

Take a gander at what it might look like if the Cyborgs cram a Rally's 99¢ cheese-double-cheese, Chung-Style, right after the jump:

Via Animation World

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May 28, 2008

In case you didn't know, Kino Kid and René Walling, the two longest-serving Frames Per Second co-conspirators (aside from, well, me) have both been working on Anticipation, the 67th annual World Science Fiction Convention (aka the Worldcon), which is happening right here in Montreal next year. Just this morning I got word that I can take the gag off my mouth and spread the news: this year's Guest of Honor is none other than Ralph Bakshi, one of the few people I can call a maverick without rolling my eyes. Bakshi spent close to four decades in the animation business, starting on Terrytoons productions like Mighty Mouse but ultimately making his mark with gritty urban fare like Fritz the Cat, Heavy Traffic and Coonskin along with fantasy fare like Wizards, the first Lord of the Rings feature, and Fire & Ice—and along the way worked with comics and animation legends like Frank Frazetta, Jim Steranko, Virgil Ross, and a kid named John Kricfalusi.

Many of Bakshi's films continue to cause controversy, if not heated discussion, but the best part about all of them is that they display his belief that no subject is out of bounds for animation. When I wrote the introduction to our July 2004 interview, I commented that if he ever came to Montreal the drinks would be on me. I don't know if he ever read that, but the offer still stands.

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March 2, 2008
I'm looking forward to Blue Sky's adaption of Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who, which opens on March 14. I'm not looking forward to the continued misappropriation of the story's broader message by the pro-life movement, despite the fact Dr. Seuss (aka Theodor Geisel) didn't like the idea of its adoption (no pun intended) for such purposes before his death. His wife has continued the attempt to stop the famous refrain, "A person is a person no matter how small!" from showing up in pro-life literature. What am I saying, a quick check online shows it's already started.

The version of Horton Hears a Who that I grew up with will be released today on DVD. Chuck Jones produced and directed it, and it featured designs by Maurice Noble and voice acting by June Foray and Hans Conried. The DVD also includes two other specials (directed by Ralph Bakshi and Tony Collingwood) and the 1948 short, Horton Hatches the Egg, directed by Bob Clampett. I've no idea if it is the complete version of the short, as it has been re-cut at least twice.

Besides the many animated adaptations of Seuss' work, Ted Geisel animated the Private Snafu shorts during World War II with Chuck Jones.

Where to find it:
Horton Hears a Who Deluxe Edition on DVD at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, The Complete Uncensored Private Snafu on DVD at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca

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