July 20, 2013 |
Fox, which once had the renegade TV network market pretty much to itself - "Married With Children" was transgressive in its time - has become semi-respectable as it grays and sprightly basic-cable channels, bound by looser rules, crowd in to occupy the edge. To get a little of its own back, the network is establishing a beachhead in youth-oriented late night. That is to say, it is going up against Adult Swim (indeed, Nick Weidenfeld, who is leading this charge, is late of Adult Swim)
July 18, 2013 |
Let's take a break from politics today and dip into the fantastical world of the San Diego Comic-Con. The image above is a slice taken from my latest Horsey On Hollywood cartoon. You can jump to the full image by clicking here . This is a reminder that, in addition to my Top of the Ticket cartoons, I am now doing a weekly cartoon lampooning the wonderful, wacky world of entertainment. Starting next week, those cartoons will appear on Wednesdays in the Company Town blog . You can also see them in print on page 3 of the Sunday L.A. Times Calendar section.
July 7, 2013 |
Particularly for those of us with children, Los Angeles residents are often left wondering why we live here. The basic costs of living are comically high, public transportation is woefully inadequate, and most public schools can't afford rudimentary arts programs. For all its size and sprawl, the city doesn't have nearly enough parks or public spaces but manages to generate choking traffic and diabolical motorists. And then you take your kids to "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II" at the Hollywood Bowl featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by George Daugherty, and you realize, oh, yes, this is why we live in Los Angeles.
July 5, 2013 |
"Futurama," the other cartoon series created by Matt Groening, is nearing the end. Now in its final 13-episode half-season, it was born on Fox in 1999, canceled in 2003 and revived from its state of suspended animation by Comedy Central in 2008. Given that it has come to this point once already, and given that cartoon characters look just as good, or just as bad, after even a long hiatus as they did before, something about this finale seems less than final. "There is a last even of last times," wrote Samuel Beckett; perhaps this is only the next-to-the-last of last times.
June 29, 2013 |
Warner Bros., where Bugs Bunny was born in 1940, understood the power of music. The studio's Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoon series avidly used music from Wagner, Rossini and Brahms, showed Bugs Bunny as an orchestra conductor, ballet dancer and an opera singer, and sometimes offered parodies of noted operas. A few years after Looney Tunes' inception in 1930 and Merrie Melodies' a year later, Warner Bros. brought on composer Carl Stalling as a staff member to set the animation to music.
June 7, 2013 |
If you are wondering what the cartoon above is all about, I confess it is a tease. To see the entire image -- my take on the HBO series, "Game of Thrones" -- you'll need to go to the blog, Company Town or wait to see it in our Sunday newspaper. Last week, I expanded my role at the L.A. Times by doing the first cartoon in what I hope will be a long string of weekly cartoons about Hollywood. In the months to come, I will be commenting on the business side of entertainment, caricaturing celebrities and stars and finding satire in all the glitz, glamour, greed and goofiness of the movie, TV and music industires.
June 6, 2013 |
"Hungry Hobos," a 1928 Walt Disney animated short film that was considered lost for decades, will screen Saturday at UCLA as part of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's 24th annual Silent Film Event. The short, which predates Mickey Mouse and stars the character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, is one of the earliest Disney cartoons. Staff at the Huntley Film Archives, a stock footage company in England, found a 16-mm print of the movie in a vault there in 2011, surprising many in the animation community who assumed it had been destroyed like so many silent-era films.
May 28, 2013 |
Television's latest animated superhero sports a purple skirt and cape, pink gloves and white go-go boots. She is also a he. Meet SheZow, the star of a cartoon debuting Saturday on the Hub, a kids' cable channel co-owned by cable programming giant Discovery Communications and toy manufacturer Hasbro Inc. In "SheZow," a 12-year-old boy - named Guy - uses a magic ring to transform himself into a legendary crime fighter. When evil lurks, Guy says, "You go girl!" and becomes SheZow.
May 25, 2013 |
"Sanjay and Craig," which premieres Saturday (tonight) on Nickelodeon, follows the adventures of a boy named Sanjay, voiced by Maulik Pancholy of "30 Rock," and his best friend, a talking snake named Craig, voiced by Chris Hardwick, the Nerdist. Linda Cardellini and Tony Hale are also voices on the show. Among other things, the goofy and delightful series represents the joining of two great names from the golden age of Nick with three as-yet obscure names from its possible future.
May 23, 2013 |
"Arrested Development" (Netflix, Sunday, then anytime). The 15-episode, seven-years-belated fourth season of what was formerly a Fox comedy and now belongs to the Internet is not being offered in advance for critical review, so you know as much as I do. Apart from appeasing the critical community, and, as my wife pointed out, not wrecking our Memorial Day weekend by making us work on Sunday, there doesn't seem to be any reason to make it available....