Randy Peters is a 14-year old boy from Chicago. Here’s the link to his youtube channel with the first 4 mini-episodes of Octocat Adventure:
Aaand here’s the finale:
Actually no, Randy Peters is David OReilly, genius in denial, from Ireland, which makes the name “Randy Peters” much funnier.
I think it’s David OReilly week.
Antidote for the TMNT post. Alice is a few of my favorite things.
This appears to be two trailers — one short and one long — for a Toei Company animated feature from 1963 called Wanpaku Ouji no Orochi Taiji (literally “The Naughty Prince Slays the Giant Serpent”) — released in English as The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon.
The movie is available undubbed in eleven pieces on YouTube, and though the story is legible even to the non-Japanese speaker, I believe I’ll need to find and procure this film legitimately for myself, if possible.
The animation and design are astonishing, particularly for Japan in 1963. Simple, clean lines lend economy of form to appealing and believable characters; the motion, though simple, is subtle and nuanced. The absolute believability of masses during rotations and deformities is as sure and solid as rotoscoped shapes. The color design and backgrounds are generally gorgeous, and the layouts and staging are all very clear and forthright.
The director of animation, Yasuji Mori, was also an illustrator of children’s books; three years later he was working as an animator on another Toei feature, Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon. The film didn’t have a satisfactory ending, but a 25-year-old inbetweener named Hayao Miyazaki suggested a better one, which was used. This brought Miyazaki notice within Toei, and started him on the path to directing.
Miyazaki’s work clearly exhibits much of the directorial philosophy of these early Toei pictures, including a clear-eyed and ingenuous sentimentality and the inclusion of actual peril for contrast.
It’s Blow-Your-Mind Friday! Belgian Mathieu Labaye directed and animated this short film. The animation reminds me quite strongly of Peter Chung, flavored with some Presstube- and Plympton-esque morphing action.
The narration is in French, but given the philosophical nature of the piece, I suspect it’s one of those things that’s better if you don’t speak the language, like foreign films, or anime. If you don’t get the nuances, you can’t tell if they’re awful. I know Waking Life would have been better in French.
Update: My thanks to the commenter who notified me that a subtitled version is now on YouTube, and shown below.
And I take all the cynical comments back — the nuances are better than I could have imagined if I were being optimistic. It’s a tribute to his late father, who had MS.
It’s Blow-Your-Mind Thursday! How did I just find out about this guy? “Kings of Power 4 Billion %” is Paul Robertson’s amazing ultra-violent sprite-tastic seizure-riffic heavy-metal cosmic anime-pocalypse opus, shown below in two parts:
Aarg! It cuts off! Amateurs! What kind of Internet is this, anyway? You can see the last few seconds starting at 5:12 of this lower-quality version, or you could download the entire high-quality 321MB version from BitTorrent.
Havoc in Heaven, Part 1:
This is the first sixth of an animated feature made from 1961-64 by the Shanghai Animation Film Studio. It’s adapted from the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West, and depicts the rascally Monkey King in his battle against the Heavenly Army.
Continued monotonous congratulations to director Pen Ward, co-directors Larry Leichleiter, Hugo Morales, and Frederator Studios in general on their smash hit “Adventure Time,” proof to everyone everywhere that people like things that aren’t lame.
I will withhold congratulations from Nickelodeon, who assisted in the short’s production, until they successfully refrain from scuppering it somehow like they did with Ren and Stimpy and Invader Zim. Until then: take that, network TV, the internets, and all other forces of evil!
Another amazing capitalism propaganda piece from John Sutherland Productions, apparently commissioned in 1948 by Harding College in Arkansas. The film isn’t in great shape (it’s missing bits here and there) but the tone is too classically condescending to pass up.
I wonder how they’d explain the sub-prime mortgage crunch in terms of American superiority?
I particularly like the space-kid’s square future-shoes.
Sylvain Chomet, best known these days as the man behind Les Triplettes de Belleville, produced the short “La Vieille Dame et Les Pigeons” (“The Old Lady and the Pigeons”) in 1996. It was nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Short in 1997. It’s 20 minutes long but witty and engaging.
The setups are solid and sure-footed. There’s no mistaking the motivations or the reveals, it’s all quite satisfying. The American tourists were plenty fat, but they weren’t quite stupid enough — they had a little too much personality, and it rang false.
The contrast in styles works pretty well for me — more of either would have been too much. The visual treatment of the 3D matches the old-school electro sound nicely, and the video’s progression matches the song’s perfectly.
“The progress of man… is the progress of STEEL” says this cartoon by John Sutherland Productions, commissioned by U.S. Steel in 1956.
Below are the last four minutes; view all 22 amazing minutes in low-res Quicktime here.
The design is excellent throughout — the modern era is depicted in classic mid-century cartoon style, but the past is rendered in cartoon styles of antiquity, and the future looks just like a Heinlein paperback cover.
Dimitri Tiomkin‘s score is a relentless progression of downbeats with very little melodic progression at all, like Stravinski played on a metronome.