July 10th Monday
July 10th, 2006

Birthdays: John Calvin, Marcel Proust, James McNeill Whistler, Carl Orff, Camille Pissarro, Adolphus Busch the founder of Budweiser beer, George DiChirico, Jacky "Legs" Diamond-a gangster who was shot so many times it was said he could attract a magnet, Arlo Guthrie, Jake “Raging Bull” LaMotta, Joe Shuster- one of the creators of Superman, Fred Gywnne, David Brinkley, Arthur Ashe, Camilla Parker Bowles

1040 - Lady Godiva goes for a ride on horseback in the nude to force her husband, the Earl of Mercia, to lower taxes on the poor.

1099- The magical-mystical knight of Spain Rodrigo de Bivar, called El Cid, died at the castle of Valencia. The Cid had taken a loosely written promise from King Alfonso of Castile that he could keep any territory he took from the Moors, and used it to build a private army, capture the city of Valencia and rule it as an independent prince. Nine years after his death his wife Ximena surrendered Valencia to the Almohavid Moors, but the legend of El Cid Campeador, the Conquerer-Champion lived on.

1925- THE SCOPES MONKEY TRIAL-Tennessee school teacher John Thomas Scopes went on trial for violating a state law forbidding the teaching of evolution to children. Scopes was defended by famed lawyer Clarence Darrow sent by the ACLU, the prosecutor was William Jennings Bryan. The trial evolved (forgive the pun) from a small claims misdemeanor to a debate on Charles Darwin’s theory itself. This day the media descended upon the little town of Dayton Tennessee, which had hoped to attract attention for its slumping economy. It was the first trial broadcast live on Chicago radio WGN nationwide. Hundreds of spectators attended from hillbillies with squirrel rifles, a chimpanzee in a suit called Mr. Joe Mendy to famous newspaper columnist H.L. Mencken, packing 4 bottles of bootleg scotch and a typewriter. Darrow humiliated Bryan in the debate but Scopes was found guilty and fined. The ban on teaching evolution remained on the books in Tennessee until 1967. Evolution is still under attack in the U.S. today, now by the issue of Intelligent Design. Even I got some work out of it. www.flockofdodos.com

1950 - "Your Hit Parade" premieres on NBC (later CBS) TV.

1953- NIKITA KHRUSCHEV takes power in Moscow. After the death of Josef Stalin there was the inevitable shuffle of bureaucrats jockeying for top job. Commissars Bulganin, Malenkov and Molotov tried to hold power but the little bald Ukrainian with the big smile had the last laugh. At a secret meeting of the Presidium Khruschev arrested Laventi Beria, Stalin's dreaded chief executioner. Beria, a pervert who liked black silk sheets, underage girls and personally torturing prisoners, broke down and wept for his life before he was shot. Khruschev was more merciful with his other rivals: Bulganin was made manager of a Siberian power station, Molotov was made ambassador to Outer Mongolia. Comrade Khruschev held power until 1964. His earthy humor, like taking off his shoe and banging it on the table to get the attention of the United Nations General Assembly was great material for political cartoonists.


Oscar Grillo
July 9th, 2006



I've been impressed by the number of excellent animation artists who are using the blog as a direct conduit to the public. Free at last to come out from behind the Oxberry Camera, they are exhibiting some wonderful examples of their work. One of my favorite blogs is an old friend from London named Oscar Grillo.

Oscar Grillo was originally from Argentina but has lived in London for the past thirty years. He and his partner Ted Rockley came out of Dragon Studios and formed the animation powerhouse Klacto (orignally Klactovistane) where they did some of more daring and innovative animated spots on European TV, as well as award winning shorts like Seaside Woman, based on the song by Paul & Linda MacCartney.

Oscar is one of the great designers in our medium. He has several blogs where he invites us to share in his unique world view and view his inspirations.

oscartoons.blogspot.com
grillomation.blogspot.com

Often he will post his wonderful personal drawings, professional work and influences. They can be as diverse as a visual essay on the frame composition of Fritz Lang to an article in the London Times where a a man from Lincolnshire asked "Why don't my fish fart?"

Outrageous, opinionated and iconoclastic, but nevertheless never boring. Bravo Oscar!


History July 9, 2006
July 9th, 2006

Birthdays: Ottorino Respighi-composer of the Pines of Rome in Fantasia 2000, David Hockney, Samuel Elliot Morrison, Kelly McGillis, John Tesch, Chris Cooper, O.J. Simpson, Courtenay Love is 42, Tom Hanks is 49

1980 - Walt Disney's the "Fox & The Hound," released. The first film Walt Disney had no input on. Although the film has brief screen credits it marks the torch being passed from the Nine Old Men golden age generation to the modern generation of animators. A complete personnel roster would include Tim Burton, John Lassiter, Bill Kroyer, Don Bluth, Lorna Cook, Henry Sellick, Brad, Bird, Steve Hulett, John Musker, Glen Keane and many more. It was the last film project of Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Woolie Reitherman and Ken Anderson. (actually, Reitherman and Anderson continued on a bit longer on a project called Catfish Bend, but it was never made.)

1993-Starting with the film Jurrassic Park, Industrial Light & Magic completes it’s transition to digital technology by shutting down it’s Anderson Optical Printer. The Optical Printer system of mattes had been the way Motion Picture visual effects had been done since Melies in 1909, but the Digital Revolution had changed everything.


July 8th Saturday
July 8th, 2006

QUIZ:
WHICH MOVIE STAR NEVER WORKED ON AN ANIMATED FILM?

1-Jack Nicholson
2- Dustin Hoffman
3- James Stewart
4- Angela Jolie
5-Paul Newman

answer below.....

July 8th
Birthdays: Jean de LaFontaine , the creator of Puss & Boots, John D. Rockefeller Sr, Nelson Rockefeller, Kathe Kollwitz, Louis Jordan, Billy Eckstine, Phillip Johnson, Marty Feldman, Kevin Bacon, Billy Crudup,Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Angelica Huston, Raffi

1911- Burbank incorporated as a city.

1932- Tod Brownings disturbing movie "Freaks" about a family of circus sideshow performers, premiered.

1982- Walt Disney's TRON premiered- the first film claiming to be made chiefly with computer graphics. The film was created by Boston filmmaker Steve Lissberger using the CG houses Bob Abel, Magi and Triple I. It only had about 20 minutes of actual CGI and the computer images were still printed onto traditional animation cells and painted, but it was still a significant achievement. Remember in 1981 there were no off the shelf graphics software. Everything written was proprietary. Wavefront wouldn't exist for several years and Parallel processing didn't really get going until '84. Warping or morphing was about 4 years away in the future. The big deal at the time was that MAGI had just solved the "hidden Line" problem.

---------------------------------
QUIZ:
WHICH MOVIE STAR NEVER WORKED ON AN ANIMATED FILM?


2- Dustin Hoffman was the narrator for the Murakami-Wolf TV 1973 special The Point.
3- James Stewart- was the old hound dog in Amblimations American Tale II, Feival Goes West.
4- Angela Jolie- did a sexy fish in Dreamworks Sharktale
5-Paul Newman- was recently the old race car in Pixars CARS.

so the answer is 1- Jack Nicholson. While not yet doing any voice work for any cartoon, he was a intern for Hanna & Barbera at the MGM studio in 1957 doing Tom & Jerry shorts. Not too long ago at the Oscars, retired Joseph Barbera came up behind Nicholson in his front row seat and whispered in his ear;" Hey Jacky, go get me a Coke!" The dark-sunglassed thespian turned and smiled his famous grin:" Anything you say, Mister Barbera.." was his reply.


July 7 th Friday
July 7th, 2006

Birthdays: Gustav Mahler, Satchel Page, Ringo Starr, Robert Heinlein, Gian Carlo Menotti, Warner Bros master animator Ken Harris*, Shelley Duval, Ted Cassidy the voice of Space Ghost and Lurch in the Adams Family , Michelle Kwan, David McCullough, Pierre Cardin, and according to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle this is the birthday of Sherlock Holmes’ sidekick Dr. John Watson

* There is a website dedicated to Ken Harris called Masteranimator.com. I suspect the person who created it is from Dick Williams London Studio, for the preponderance of English memorabilia of the late, great animator.

1895-THE FIRST COLOR SUNDAY COMICS - The first modern comic strip Hogan’s Alley featuring "The Yellow Kid" by Richard Felton Outcault, debuts in the Sunday edition of Pulitzer's New York World. The main character sported a bright yellow shirt with a message on it. The strip was so popular it coined the name "Yellow Journalism" to the sensationalist tabloid press. Comic strips at this time became the mass media of the day. For people who couldn’t afford a theater ticket and couldn’t yet speak English, the little characters in the penny papers were extremely popular and made celebrities out of cartoonists like Outcault, Bud Selig George McManus and Winsor McCay. Richard Outcault later inventing the backend deal when he asked for a percentage of all sales from his new comic strip "Buster Brown and his dog Tige" Many an animator like Walt Disney and Max Fleischer first dreamt of being a famous cartoonist like Raymound Outcault or Winsor McCay.

1949-"I’m Friday"- The program Dragnet first debuted on radio. Jack Webb conceived, wrote, directed and starred in the show. His hardest job was urging actors "not to act" but to speak the lines normally like an average person does.

1960- First demonstration of a practical laser beam. In Russia it had been theorized since 1951. Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation or LASER.

1967- Vivien Leigh, the actress who played Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the Wind and Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, died in a mental institution at age 53.

1967 - Beatles' "All You Need is Love" is released. In 2002 for her Jubilee Queen Elizabeth II requested it because it was one of her favorite songs.

1967 – The Doors' song "Light My Fire" hits #1.


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