Joel Sundberg created these fascinating characters, called “Dark Odors”. A bit creepy, but funny nevertheless. They do remind me a lot of the “Jojo In The Stars” (you can view the short animation here).
Larger image here
Ever felt that you just got lucky at some point? I sure did when I found this poster by accident on Google images, digging for some cheap stock photos.
Nocturna is a wonderfully animated motion picture, a 2007 spanish and french co-production (as it seems). What caught my eye from the begining were the beautiful colours, reminding me of one of my favourite french illustrators, Bengal. Then came the unusually drawn characters, the cartoonish-Dark-City-like town, the enchanting light present in all the screens I could see. It looked like the kind of movie that catches your imagination from the very begining, making you feel like a kid again.
And it sure is worth it. While its story might not compare to masterpieces like Tekkon Kinkreet or Spirited Away, its magical feel, honesty and ingenuity sure make up for it. The scenery is gorgeous (early storyboards and art direction made by Enrique Fernandez), the characters are hilarious and truly fascinating (you’ll just have to see for yourself, I won’t give them away), the music is magical, everything building up to form an enchanting universe where you can let your imagination roam for a long time.
Did I mention its superb soundtrack?
You can find some more information on Catsuka (french website)
Fun to see the great jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt‘s caricature in Les Triplettes de Belleville (one of the best animation films ever made – not kidding). If you’re wondering about his left hand fingers, Django lost two of them in a fire at the age of 18, yet he managed to relearn and master the quitar, becoming a jazz guitar legend, in spite of his handicap.
If you ever find yourself working late at night and want to be energized, hoping to work for hours without feeling the time flying by, do listen to Django. Highly recommended for sunny afternoons as well ;)
Brad Bird, talking about Pixar’s modus operandi through nine valuable lessons, touches a very-often-forgotten aspect in most companies: morale.
Brad Bird: In my experience, the thing that has the most significant impact on a movieâ€™s budget—but never shows up in a budget—is morale. [whatâ€™s true for a movie is true for a startup!] If you have low morale, for every $1 you spend, you get about 25 cents of value. If you have high morale, for every $1 you spend, you get about $3 of value. Companies should pay much more attention to morale.
I remember seeing The Bear That Wasn’t on Cartoon Network when I was a kid and being enchanted by its beautiful yet thought-provoking story. Chuck Jones made the animated short adapting Frank Tashlin’s book (hope amazon will be selling it again soon, i can’t buy from resellers in Romania).
(photo from Kip W’s The bear that wasn’t photo set – thank you Kim for scanning the whole book. Mind the beautiful typography in the title.)
The story beautifully touches the problems of urbanization, mass production, human alienation, workaholism and of course, the environment’s. It sounds over-ambitious for a cartoon, I know, but it’s amazing to see how easily these ideas are presented while keeping the cartoon entertaining even for small children (that will grow up and write rants like these :D). Graphic lines that entangle and move the characters, camera cuts made in an almost-comics-like manner (Samurai Jack‘s got nothing on this :P), suited and colored to match every masterfully-drawn character’s personality, music that gives you that 50’s industrial feeling but still manages to describe different social statuses and sometimes even have a hint of techno sound, and last but not least, the wonderful storytelling make this cartoon a true gem.
Too bad sometimes we let others convince us we’re just “a silly man who needs a shave and wears a fur coat”. Luckily some of us don’t buy that for too long.
I can’t believe they’re making this :)) Killer bean was a short animation that everybody had and showed everybody some good years ago. It was pure fun, just like Doom or Duke Nuke’em was. Check out the site for more details.