November 19, 2013 |
Although (and also because) they exist at the margins of what we talk about when we talk about television -- cable drama eating up most of that air, unfairly -- cartoons are among the most original, personal, forward-looking and also historically conscious works the medium has to offer. And much as advances in home-recording technology democratized music, better and more affordable animation software has helped open up TV, in its coat of many platforms, to new and independent voices.
October 30, 2013 |
The Gronkowski brothers never cease to amuse themselves. Like many other semi-famous people these days, New England Patriots tight end Rob "Gronk" Gronkowski and his four male siblings think their hilarious high jinks would make for a terrific TV show. Only their show would have a twist that sounds kind of interesting or at least somewhat amusing in concept -- it would be animated. The show already has the perfect cartoon name: "The Gronks," of course. The real-life Gronks -- Rob, a two-time Pro Bowler and the only actual celebrity of the bunch; minor league baseball player Gordy Jr.; Dan, who played for four NFL teams from 2009 to 2011; Chris, who played for three NFL teams from 2010 to 2012; and youngest brother Glenn -- already have a promotional video for their show, featuring mainly live-action clips that introduces the brothers and their dad, Gordy, a.k.a.
October 25, 2013 |
One of the commenters on the post "Watergate's Saturday Night Massacre gets more interesting with age" asked: "Why is the liberal/progressive LATs [sic] replaying 40-year-old history?" Here's the answer. First, illustrator Steve Brodner came to The Times with a cartoon about the events of Oct. 20, 1973. He was inspired by a friend who is in his 20s and whose reaction to Watergate is "What's the big deal?" To Brodner, that represented insufficient knowledge of the serious issues raised by the "long national nightmare" that began with the break-in at Democratic Party headquarters, tipped toward constitutional crisis as President Nixon tried to derail a criminal investigation by firing Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox in the Saturday Night Massacre, and ended only when Nixon resigned rather than be impeached by the full House and tried - almost certainly to lose - in the Senate.
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October 20, 2013 |
Lou Scheimer, who founded the Filmation animation studio that became a Saturday-morning cartoon powerhouse with characters such as Fat Albert, He-Man and the Archies, died Thursday at his home in Tarzana. He was 84. He had Parkinson's disease, said his wife, Mary Ann. Scheimer's company, which in the early 1980s was the largest animation operation in the country based on its number of employees, was lauded for being one of the last holdouts against shipping work overseas. But Filmation television cartoons were roundly criticized by movie buffs for lacking the artistry and full motion of theatrical cartoons of a bygone era. "Given the demands of the network schedules, it's practically impossible to take all care and love we would like to on the technical aspects," Scheimer said in a 1981 Times interview.
October 17, 2013
Re Editorial cartoon by David Horsey, Opinion, Oct. 15 David Horsey's implication that Ayn Rand's philosophy and work were oppressive to the poor continues the glib and reflexive tradition of disparaging Rand while remaining ignorant of her ideas. In fact, Rand's life and work were dedicated to eradicating poverty of every kind. She fought for freedom, opportunity and the creation of wealth that was not hindered by race, social class, religion, gender or government manipulation.
October 7, 2013 |
"Peg + Cat," pronounced "Peg Plus Cat," a new, math-themed cartoon, will be added Monday to PBS Kids, the preschool lineup that already includes "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That" and "Curious George. " (Added - get it?) It is the perky product of a collaboration between Billy Aronson ("Postcards From Buster") and Jennifer Oxley (the super-superb "Wonder Pets") and comes from the Fred Rogers Co., which is not quite the same thing as saying that Mr. Rogers made it. But it's as close as you're going to get anymore.
September 16, 2013 |
Linda Jones considered herself "incredibly lucky" to have had a father like Chuck Jones, the Oscar-winning animation director of Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies fame. "He was probably the best father anybody could have," said Linda Jones, an only child. "His father had a difficult time being a father, and he vowed he would never impose that kind of difficulty and challenge on a child. " Her dad, she said, "was pretty much a 9 to 5 guy. He didn't bring his work home with him. " PHOTOS: Behind-the-scenes Classic Hollywood That is until after he would finish one of the riotously funny 300 films he directed in his 60-plus year career starring such animated superstars as Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Pepe Le Pew, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner.
September 12, 2013 |
The fallout over Tokyo hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics has begun. So to speak. A satirical French newspaper called Le Canard enchaine has published cartoons that reference both the Games and radioactive leaks at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant. One cartoon shows a pair of sumo wrestlers with extra arms and legs. They are wrestling in front of the plant while a commentator says: "Thanks to Fukushima, sumo wrestling is now an Olympic sport. " Another cartoon shows two people in protective gear inspecting an Olympic pool with their Geiger counter.
August 29, 2013 |
June Foray, the woman whose voice can be heard coming from Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Cindy Lou Who and many grannies and witches in countless cartoons over the years will be honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences next month with a Governors Award. Foray, who began voice acting at age 12 on radio dramas and graduated to the big screen in 1943 with an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short, will receive the award at the academy's Creative Arts Emmys ceremony Sept. 15 at the Nokia Theatre in downtown L.A. During the course of the actress' 80-year career, she's voiced iconic characters, such as Rocky and his arch enemy Natasha Fatale, as well as the scheming Magica De Spell in the "Ducktales" series, the kindly Granny, owner of both Sylvester and Tweety Bird in the "Looney Tunes" shorts, and the cackling Witch Hazel, who always had it in for Bugs Bunny.
August 15, 2013 |
We learn in the opening moments of "Herblock: The Black & the White" that when famed Washington Post editorial cartoonist Herbert Block (best known by the signature in the film's title) was young, he drew a chalk caricature of Kaiser Wilhelm on the sidewalk, taking pleasure in the notion that his neighbors would be walking over it. Block never lost the glee that came from creating images that would stir the pot and champion causes close to his heart. Michael Stevens' (son of filmmaker George Stevens Jr.)