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About Jlewis

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  1. An Animated Shorts Viewing Thread

    Une Nuit Sur Le Mont Chauve (Night On Bald Mountain) France Alexandre Alexeĩeff & Claire Parker Released January 1934 (produced '32-33) Probably needs no introduction. Those entranced by Fantasia eventually find this earlier pinscreen animation version of Mussorsky. Produced over an 18-month period and all of the obsession shows on screen.
  2. An Animated Shorts Viewing Thread

    Schody (Stairs) Poland: Studio Malych Form Filmowych Se-Ma-For Stefan Schabenbeck Released May 1969 (completed '68) Climbing and climbing will get you nowhere.
  3. An Animated Shorts Viewing Thread

    牧笛 (Mu Di / Buffalo Boy's Flute) China: Shanghai Animation Te Wei & Qian Jajun Released December 1963 Watercolors were often used in cartoon backgrounds but not often incorporated into the animated characters themselves. Shanghai Animation studios gave Japanese anime a good run for their money in the fifties and early sixties at least. That is, until political changes took their toll on film-making, prompting a shutdown of the animation studio for a seven year period and sending many artists into the rice fields and janitorial work. This was an award winner at the 3rd Odense International Fairy Tale Film Festival, but was then withdrawn from theatrical circulation in China by 1966 for nebulous political reasons. A crash course history on Chinese animation:
  4. An Animated Shorts Viewing Thread

    Inspirace (Inspiration) Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic): Filmové Studio Gottwaldov in Zlín Karel Zeman Released March 1949 (completed '48) Glass stop-motion, with some more traditional stop-motion, a slight variation to what Jiří Trnka was doing over in Prague at this time with his feature The Emperor's Nightingale. Zeman was later the Walt Disney/George Pal of Czechoslovakia's film industry during the 1950s through '70s, taking on Jules Verne with fantasy features combining live action with animation.
  5. An Animated Shorts Viewing Thread

    Lisa I Volk (The Fox and the Wolf) Soviet Union: Mosfilm Sarra Mokil Read full credits for this title here: http://www.animator.ru/db/?ver=eng&p=show_film&fid=2482 Released April 1, 1937 Technicolor was not available in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, but a couple processes were developed to counter this problem and mostly tested on animated cartoons. The cell-animated Strekoza I Muravej (The Dragon-Fly And The Ant), which was produced by Mezhrabpomfilm in 1935 with Ivan Ivanov-Vano, Valentina & Zinaida Brumberg (just before they got involved with mighty Soyuzdetmultfilm a.k.a. Soyuzmultfilm), was a major breakthrough in sound color Soviet animation. Yet technical cinematographer Pavel Mershin pushed the developments further with a chromatized gelatin process that got pretty darn close to matching the 3-strip Technicolor used in Hollywood and tested it out on some stop-motion puppet short films (running under 25 minutes) produced at mighty Mosfilm under the supervision of the great Alexander Ptushko. These were all made during a three year period sandwiched between two highly successful black and white features (also with stop-motion): Novyi Guliver (New Gulliver) and Solotoj (The Golden Key). Although Sarra Mokil is the primary director of The Fox and the Wolf, Ptushko was actively involved in the art and set designs and over-all supervision here. Of 15 short films made (at least one after the second feature), I think roughly 6-7 were originally in color. Another available on YouTube is The Fisherman and the Fish. What makes The Fox and the Wolf (unfortunately not complete in this surviving print) particularly interesting is just how gruesome in tone it is despite the very bright candy-colored lighting. The latter character actually eats a calf pulling a cart and leaves the skin behind! Eeeewww! (To be fair, both canines look incredibly skinny and famished.) In the 1958 remake, a cell-animated Disneyesque version supervised by Pyotr Nosov at Soyuzmultfilm, this part was left out. Both versions include the scenes of the fox tricking the wolf to fish in an ice pond with his tail getting stuck. In the latter version, we see the full scene play out, while this incomplete version is missing a few minutes at the end. Intriguingly, the very same month the earlier version was released (April 1937), Ladislas Starevich's French-made masterpiece, Le Roman De Renard (The Tale of the Fox), premiered in Berlin after a long post-production period awaiting financing (being mostly completed before New Gulliver). Although that was based on different tales of Renard, it too features the classic scene of the fox tricking the wolf into ice fishing with his tail and ultimately losing it after humans clobber him.
  6. An Animated Shorts Viewing Thread

    切紙細工 西遊記 孫悟空物語 (Krigamizaiku Saiyuki Songoku Monogatari / Journey To The West: Songoku's Story / Story Of The Monkey King) Japan: Jiyu Eiga Kenkyu-jo Noburô Ôfuji Released October 26, 1926 Some very early anime done with cut-outs.
  7. An Animated Shorts Viewing Thread

    Koncert Za Mašinsku Pušku (Concerto for Sub-Machine Gun) Yugoslavia (now Croatia): Zagreb Dušan Vukotic Credits listed here: http://zagrebfilm.hr/film/koncert-za-masinsku-pusku/ Released January 1959 (completed '58) I absolutely love the Zagreb school. A bank robbery conducted like an orchestra concert, a respectable millionaire by day and a mob boss by night, lots of dead bodies everywhere and a moral that, when you die, you can't take all of that fabulous money with you. All done in the post UPA “modern” style. What's not to love?
  8. An Animated Shorts Viewing Thread

    Sand Castle (Le château de sable) Canada: National Film Board Of Canada, producers: Pierre Moretti & Gaston Sarault Jacobus "Co" Hoedeman Released May 1977 I always liked this Oscar winner and can never explain why exactly. The music by Normand Roger is tranquil and very seventies-ish in mood (heavy on the flute), the characters molded in clay and sand are overly cute and there isn't any plot. Yet it all works.
  9. Figured that we needed a thread for classic theatrical cartoons already available online. Obviously the lifespan of anything on YouTube is temporary so some of these videos may need replaced later. Feel free to contribute more. I will try my best to provide as much information on these. Covered this one already here: http://forums.tcm.com/topic/36026-russian-soviet-films/?tab=comments#comment-1618034 Lev i Byk (The Lion And The Ox) Soviet Union: Soyuzmultfilm Fyodor Khitruk Released December 1983 and August 1984 (Ottawa International Film Festival) What I find most interesting is that acacia tree shown at the end resembling some sort of nuclear mushroom cloud. The lion and the ox seem to represent rival nations enjoying an uneasy peace and the jackal “trouble” instigating it. 1983 was a key year in the Cold War and the overall uneasiness on both sides was also reflected on American TV with The Day After.
  10. Making some "Shortie Checklists"...

    Covered this one as part of the Learning Corporation of America's delightful “Classics Dark & Dangerous” series here: http://forums.tcm.com/topic/114972-a-shortie-checklist-an-assortment-of-culinary-delights/ The Rocking Horse Winner is a short story by D.H. Lawrence initially published in Harper's Bazaar back in July 1926 and adapted into several short films and at least one 1949 feature with John Mills that is occasionally shown on TCM. However short stories do not adapt as well to feature treatment as the half hour framework as seen here, although this version has a more contemporary seventies feel to it than other versions. Also, being that its intended audience is younger than some of the other versions, the ending is a bit nebulous (does the kid actually die?) and less gloomy. Highgate Associates was a company that William Deneen combined with his Learning Corporation of America that was responsible for much television production (“After School Specials” on ABC included) given 16mm versions for classroom use as well. Many younger Baby Boomers and Generation Xers in school remember this material well. The seventies was a quirky decade for juvenile entertainment. produced by William Deneen and directed by Peter Medak cast: Kenneth More, Nigel Rhodes, Angela Thorne, Peter Cellier, Chris Harris & Gwen Nelson Released January 11, 1977
  11. Making some "Shortie Checklists"...

    Covered this title here: http://forums.tcm.com/topic/114972-a-shortie-checklist-an-assortment-of-culinary-delights/ Kilauea: The Hawaiian Volcano (The Volcano Kilauea) William Horsley Laboratories Inc./PrizmaColor camera: Ray J. Baker released December 29, 1918 Sadly the color doesn't hold up too well and it all looks more like a tinting process. Yet the reds featured in the lava scenes look better preserved than the other portions. Uploaded by apeters on YouTube, this is still a great rare find.
  12. TopBilled’s Essentials

    Never heard of the show, but am getting an education. She is on the very first episode that you can see on YouTube with her future hubbie Robert Foxworth, dated January 8, 1979. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bixLmCFXxcw
  13. Time Out 100 Best Animated Films

    If you include short cartoons, the list would have to include a lot more than 100. In fact, cartoons are probably at their greatest under an hour. Yes, there are many outstanding features too but the string of masterpieces in shorter length is endless. Plus, sometimes the most ambitious works come in smaller packaging. Yuriy Norshteyn's The Hedgehog and the Fog can hold its own against any Disney feature. Sticking to features running over an hour, my personal favorite is probably Starewicz's Tale of the Fox. Among the Disney output: The Three Caballeros, Mars and Beyond and Bambi are my top three. I also like Jiri Trnka's stop-motion features a lot, but only The Emperor's Nightingale with Boris Karloff narrating (U.S. version) is easily available on DVD. Many regard Prince Bayaya (or Bajaja) his masterpiece, but I have only seen excerpts. That is a key problem: fewer classic international animated features are available in the U.S. compared to live-action material.
  14. TopBilled’s Essentials

    Another interesting take on the story, broadcast on Suspense October 4, 1955. Instead of ABC TV, this is CBS radio.
  15. my fave film about the TITANIC

    The story behind it is even more fascinating... and bleaker... than the movie. Tragically the ship used in the movie would later (after the movie was released) claim more lives than the original. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrnRTL4bYsY

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