One of the principle elements in classic children storytelling, such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, is to throw order into chaos. Childhood is not only a…
Depending on your age, different kids’ TV cartoons will likely have been seminal influences on your childhood. Now if the cartoons were really leeching subversive ideas into the consciousness of those kids, what’s…
Unlike the Danish cartoonists who mocked Mohammed, the Israeli political cartoonist Amos Biderman who has caused massive controversy with a cartoon depicting a jet flying into the Twin Towers a la 9/11 probably…
Storyboard Artist Marty Cooper uses a combination of traditional animation techniques and his iPhone to create this series of charming cartoons (which you will watch because you’re not super cereal all the…
John Carpenter’s cult classic science fiction film ‘They Live’ has always been one of my favorites (Incidentally, if you haven’t read Jonathan Lethem’s book on the film then you should.), and now…
A lost cartoon classic via Vimeo:
In 1968, an underground, anti-war short film was produced by Lee Savage and Milton Glaser called Mickey Mouse in Vietnam. Mickey Mouse (unofficially) starred in a one minute animation that depicted the Disney icon travelling to Vietnam in a boat, entering the country, and being immediately shot in the head. The film was shown to associates of the creators in 1970 and onward. It is rumoured (though unconfirmed) that Disney tried to destroy every copy that they could get in their possession.
Until recently, the only known copies available for public viewing were one owned by the Sarajevo Film Festival, and one included on the Film-makers’ Coop’s 38 minute, 16mm collection reel. The only pieces of hard evidence of the short’s existence available online were a few screenshots (all but one found in a 1998 French book entitled ‘Bon Anniversaire, Mickey!’).
Wondering how to make your life a bit more weird? Gilliam explains how to produce strange and wondrous things from household materials on the 1970s how-to series the Do-It-Yourself Animation Show. The rare television show which flips the tables by encouraging engagement, not passive consumption, of media, it was created and curated by British cartooning legend Bob Godfrey, who died this past week. Cartoon Brew explains:
The Do-It-Yourself Animation Show, which made animation accessible to the masses by taking the mystery out of the production process, was vastly influential and inspired an entire generation of kids in England, including Nick Park, who created Wallace & Gromit, and Richard Bazley, an animator on Pocahontas, Hercules, and The Iron Giant.
Can the divide between pop culture and ancient wisdom be crossed? A particularly strange episode of the late-sixties Beatles cartoon series features the Fab Four journeying “to the inner world” and becoming extraterrestrial gods of a civilization resembling the Mayans:
I watch this every year at Christmas time. It frightened the holy hell out of me as a child, but now it just make me think. We’re not any closer to this “peace” we talk about at this time of year, are we? Maybe 2013 will be different. WAR IS OVER! (if you want it.)
Via MoveOn.org, another bit of amusing agitprop from Ed Asner:
Hat Tip: Lee Camp.
Suppose our War on Terror drones were at the center of our culture rather than the shadowy periphery? Absurdity and horror via Saturday Night Live:
A vintage film clip depicting the son of God’s vengeful return to Earth for Armageddon, during which he will smash cars, blow up buildings, and smite non-believers harshly and painfully. Seeing one of the bible’s most central predictions in animated form, one realizes that Jesus is essentially the American Godzilla:
Cartooning legend Syd Hoff wrote comics for the New Yorker for 44 years and illustrated dozens of children’s books. However, under the alias A. Redfield, he also created work with a harder-hitting…
Japan’s Tokyo-based Aum Shinrikyo (“Supreme Truth”) religious cult reached peak notoriety in 1995 when members conducted a string of terrorist attacks on the subway system, releasing sarin gas that killed thirteen people and injured thousands. Police raided the group’s compound and found a massive biological weapons stockpile including anthrax and Ebola cultures and chemicals that could produce enough sarin to kill millions of people.
Before their undoing, the cult used anime videos as their recruitment tool, portraying the secret origins of human life and the heroics of founder/guru Shoko Asahara. Even unsubtitled, they’re a fascinating view:
Curious how the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history will be taught to future generations? Here’s a clue via presidential candidate Huckabee, who’s hawking an educational 9/11 cartoon at $9.95 a pop. No mention of the two wars we entered into in the aftermath or even Osama bin Laden’s stated reason for the attacks (the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia). Refinery29 writes:
There’s now a 9/11 cartoon movie courtesy of Mike Huckabee, co-founder of Learn Our History, a for-profit company whose mission is to get kids excited and educated about history. The first initiative, an animated DVD series, has flicks on subjects like the American Revolution, and, perhaps more tellingly, “The Reagan Revolution.” The September 11th cartoon really explains, according to the literature, “How the ongoing War on Terror protects Americans at home and American ideals abroad.”
From Angela Watercutte on WIRED’s Underwire:
Everyone has at least one funny person they follow on Twitter just for the lulz, but sometimes the things they say would be even more laughable if they weren’t constantly spewing from the same avatar.
Peanutweeter changes that. The @Peanutweeter Tumblr blog and Twitter feed fulfill a very simple idea: Matching somewhat random Twitter posts with less-random Peanuts comics. The results are hilarious.
“The site arose from the concept that the amusing and sometimes outrageous tweets out there would be even funnier or sometimes darker if they came from someone that everyone could identify with,” site creator T. Jason Agnello told Wired.com by e-mail.
Meaghan Murphy writes on Fox News: Sacre bleu! The Smurfs may not be as innocent as they look. The tribe of little blue creatures who live peacefully among the mushrooms are “steeped…
Found these bizarre clips on Youtube . . . from an old RTÉ series called “Give Up Yer Aul Sins”
Pretty amazing in its own way. The narrative content shows a pretty deep familiarity with the characters and plots central to the Christian drama, even if its skimpiness with the gorey brutality of The Passion seems a little naive. I guess I have to keep in mind that this thing was produced by foreigners, so I shouldn’t expect them to demonstrate the sublte mastery of an American artiste like Mel Gibson…
“It’s the hula-hoop of the jet generation.”
Out of several decades worth of iconic anti-marijuana television scare-verts, my favorite is this vintage American Medical Association PSA, which appears to have definitely been made by animators who were high on something.
Via Entertainment Weekly: Japan’s nuclear power plant crisis is no laughing matter in Springfield: Networks in several European countries are reportedly reviewing episodes of “The Simpsons” for any “unsuitable” references to nuclear…