mike smith, there are so many memorable moments.
all in london, mid eighties, before ROGER RABBIT
the images are from a music clip, mike
did, one of many. there were all the GRACE JONES
and ART OF NOISE music videos. his work was unique,
very inventive and completely different from what
everybody else did. what an animator! he showed me
a lot of his original animation and for me it was
unimaginable that this would move. but it did!
I have no idea how he always came up with all
these new, fresh ideas.
what a c r a z y time -
there was the gang - mike, chuck gammage, rob
stevenhagen and - of course - uli meyer! we spent
so much fun time together, through all the soho
pubs and the best malaysian and singapore restaurants
there! mike's studio was FELIX FILMS, right in the heart
I remember, it must have been in the first months of
ROGER RABBIT - mike asked harald siepermann and me
if we wanted to do some sketches for a new tv-channel.
they wanted the animated logo very unconventional,
because it was for a younger audience, just music clips.
harald and I never did any work on it, it just sounded
too weird. well, much later we learned, that was - Mtv.
MOONBIRD, 1959, voices of mark and ray hubley, animated
by BOBE CANNON and ED SMITH, the first of three Oscar-
winning and seven Oscar-nominated shorts from the hubleys.
best short animated subject, 1959.
here is the official info from the KEYFRAME website -
john and faith hubley recorded the random conversation
of their children and then constructed an Oscar-winning
cartoon around it. the story concerns two boys who have
a nocturnal adventure outside their house, making a trap
to catch the mysterious 'moonbird'.
john hubley formed storyboard studios after he was blacklisted
by the house un-american activities committee, and fired from
UPA, for refusing to 'name names' or apologise for his previous
work. ironically he had helped form UPA after being involved
in the Disney animator's strike.
ADVENTURES OF AN *, 1957, the first film john and faith hubley
produced together commissioned by the guggenheim museum.
I never forget when I saw this jewel for the first time in an
animation exhibition in zurich in 1971. at that time I was
studying design in my 2.year. from then on I wanted to create
films like adventures of an * and moonbird. the sugar sweet
disney films were forgotten and I concentrated on the
NEW animation, like the zagreb film shorts, len lye and
norman mc.laren, lenica and even the new french and
please look at
for more info about the hubleys
another one of my favorite HUBLEY films
CHILDREN OF THE SUN.
the way modern art, picasso, braque, le corbusier,
klee and others are mixed with a simple children-
drawing style, combined with a charming animation,
this is a treasure! dick williams gave me this 30 min
tape with commercials from the 60s animated by
ART BABBIT in the hubley studio nearly 20 years ago.
the animation is of course exquisite, but the little
stories are very funny as well, the style is refreshing
and the character design - ...
just better than what you see today
iMovie is in the mac-world a very nice and very fast
video-editing program. I produce all my student
presentations with it.
in case you have used the IMPORT function
for designs or photos you might have noticed that all
your pictures were cropped.
to avoid that, I developed an iMovie field-guide.
just download it, move your image in photoshop within
the middle field. then import the w h o l e picture
into iMovie and your image will fit.
my version is iMovie 4.0.1 - let me know if it works
the same with other versions.
here in far east we still have major problems with the
internet. late dec. 2006 in a major earthquake near
taiwan some of the ocean cables for internet- and
phone connections were damaged. the repair will take
a while. so, my posts will not be as frequent as before
for some weeks...
puppet animation for a change - THE FOOL OF THE
WORLD AND THE FLYING SHIP. 1990, cosgrove hall
production, great britain. terrific animation and beautiful
designed puppets /environment.
the story is a kind of russian muenchhausen fairytale.
mark hall and brian cosgrove formed that animation
company in 1976 in manchester. their most successful
films are DANGER MOUSE, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS,
PETER AND THE WOLF, - puppet animation as well as
and my all time favorite puppet animated film -
THE MIDSUMMERNIGHTS DREAM by JIRI TRNKA,
1959 czechoslovakia. it is a masterful adaptation of the
shakespeare comedy, richard burton is the narrator in
the english language version. in my oppinion the MUST
SEE puppet animation masterpiece.
there are several books with trnka's puppet designs still
available. check -
the film is available on DVD in japan by GENEON,
JIRI TRNKA FILM WORKS VOL.5, 2004
images from RHINOCEROS made by JAN LENICA in 1963.
he used a cut-out collage technique for this short loosely
based on eugene ionesco's theatre piece. lenica was born in
poland and became famous there for his unusual movie-
and theatre posters. in the 60s he produced several very
stylized animated shorts in germany and france.
most of you have probably never seen this masterpiece,
sorry - another one! it was animated within 5 years by
hungarian animator/painter JOSEF GEMES. "HEROIC TIMES"
or the original title - 'dalias idoek'. 1985, same year grand
prize in annecy. he animated the whole film with acrylic
color on glass. it is a beautiful m o v i n g p a i n t i n g !
hope I don't bore you repeating myself - you might notice
a little bit of a difference between these traditional 'hand-
made' films and most of the ... crap you might, or maybe
not, have watched recently. and I am not excluding
'underwater'- or 'route 66' operas. or worse -
some still existing 'anime' stuff.
I will continue to bore you -
too bad - NEW YEAR's resolution!
these screencaps are from a chinese animation
masterpiece - MUDI, or - the boy with the bamboo flute.
animated in 1963 by TE WEI and QIAN JAJUN, produced
by studio shanghai.
when I was teaching in china last year I had a chance
to meet several of the animators of studio shanghai's
past. most of them are now teaching animation to
the new generation of artists.
the animation technique of the above film is very
interesting. when I was visiting studio shanghai
I saw a few originals. some of the animation was
done in the traditional chinese watercolor technique
on special watercolor paper. the backgrounds were
painted with cel paint and ink on cels and then photo-
graphed on top of the animation. the other way
around. beautiful watercolors!