June 24th, 2007
Cartoon Brew today pointed out a great piece written in the WFMU blog about comic actor Arnold Stang.
Stang is still active at age 81. In his long career he did a myriad of voices for animation. He was Top Cat for Hanna & Barbera, Shorty in the Famous Popeye Cartoons and Herman in the Herman & Katnip cartoons. I always maintained that Herman & Katnip were some of the most violent cartoons ever made, and the inspiration for the Simpson's characters Itchy & Skratchy. The blog has a link to watch one- Mice Meeting You.
I recall Arnold as the voice of the parrot in 1977's The Adventures of Raggedy Ann & Andy. And his memorable live action appearances iinclude It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Hercules in New York, where he plays a sidekick to young Arnold Schwarzenegger and his dubbed in voice.
June 24th, 2007 sun
June 24th, 2007
The High School of Art & Design in 1960
Back in New York my old High School of Art & Design is having a reunion of the Class of 1973. I couldn't make it out there this time but I want to wish all my old schoolmates congratulations! Fine memories of Mr Bellin and Mr Nagle's Cartooning and Animation class.
Our rooftop playfield, and the strange lady who lived in a condo above the Woolworths across Second Ave from the school who used to expose herself to the kids during my watercolor class. I love New York!
me in cartooning class in 1972
Birthdays: Earl Kitchener, the Sirdar of Omdurman, E.I.Dupont, Ambrose Bierce, Jack Dempsey, John Ciardi, Mick Fleetwood, Phil Harris- singer and voice of Baloo in Disney’s Jungle Book, Billy Casper, Michelle Lee, Claude Chabrol, Chief Dan George, Pete Hamill, Peter Weller, Sherry Springfield
Happy St. John the Baptist or St. Jean Baptiste’s Day.
1219- Pope Innocent III set today as the deadline for deadbeat knights who volunteered to go on Crusade to get off their ironclad butts and get going. Knights had an economic incentive to taking the Crusading vow: no one could collect a bad debt from you and you couldn't be imprisoned. So some knights would take the vow for the perks but then stall on making the dangerous trip to the Middle East where two out of three never returned.
1812- NAPOLEON INVADES RUSSIA with the largest army yet assembled.
Around 600,000. By December ,barely 30,000 came out alive. This day while inspecting the troops Napoleon’s horse stepped in a rabbit hole and threw him on his butt. This was taken as an ill omen.
1853- Joaquin Murrietta was an outlaw who ranged up and down the California midlands. Called the Terror of the Stanislaus, he and his friend Three-Fingered Jack were finally hunted down and killed in a shootout by Marshal Harry Love. This day Murietta’s head and Jack’s three-fingered hand went on display in front of the Stockton Cal jailhouse.
There is some dispute whether the man Love killed was Murietta or some one else.
1876- CUSTER APPROACHES THE LITTLE BIG HORN- General Custer's scouts reported a large Indian camp at the Little Big Horn River. Custer decides to attack tomorrow without waiting for the other armies to catch up. Through his interpreter Mitch Boyer he tells his Indian scouts that after he has destroyed the Sioux he will go back east and become the Great White Father. The Republican presidential nominating convention was next month. The Crow and Mandan scouts were troubled by the signs and began their death-songs. Embedded N.Y. Herald reporter Mark Kellogg made a final entry in his diary: "I go to ride with Custer and will be there at the death...” In the dawn's light a survivor from Renos command overheard Custer's chief Mandan scout Bloody Knife tell Custer: " You and I are going Home today -but by a different path."
1901- The first exhibit in a Paris salon on the Rue Lafitte of a dark-eyed ,young, Spanish artist named Pablo Picasso.
1945- Meet the Press debuted on radio. Two years later it moved to television and it remains t.v.’s longest running program.
1947- THE FIRST MODERN UFO SIGHTING. A commercial airline pilot flying out of Seattle notices 6 silver disc shaped objects hovering over Mt. Reynier near Seattle. They then shot off at terrific speed. They are never identified nor explained. The pilot, Kenneth Arnold had impeccable credentials as an ex-combat Marine pilot and chamber of commerce member. The government response was to hit him with an IRS audit. The "flying-saucer" craze, with allegorical overtones to postwar atomic paranoia, sweeps the American imagination throughout the 1950’s.
1949 - "Hopalong Cassidy" becomes the 1st network western on television-NBC.
1950- THE KOREAN WAR BEGAN- June 25th in some records because of the International Date Line- 30 North Korea divisions armed with heavy Soviet tanks and artillery crossed the 38th parallel and invaded South Korea. The attack was a complete surprise and most South Korean officers were at a party dedicating a new Officer’s Club. The US had deliberately kept the Korean Army lightly armed to diffuse Cold War tension. Mao and Stalin were equally surprised by North Korean Kim Il Sung’s attack. The previous January Secretary of State Dulles had said during a conference that the US "was not interested in the Korean Peninsula." But when President Harry Truman was informed of the invasion he responded in typical Truman fashion:" We gotta stop those Sons of Bitches!" At this time there were only 500 US troops in Korea called KMAG, for Korean Military Advisory Group, which one Yank this day changed to Kiss My Ass Goodbye! This is considered the first war fought by the United Nations, since Truman pushed through a resolution sending troops under the UN banner. The Russians were boycotting the Security Council over its refusal to seat Red China so they were unable to veto the move.
1963 - 1st demonstration of a home video recorder, at BBC Studios, London
1970 – The movie "Catch 22" opens in movie theaters.
1997 - Brian Keith, actor (Family Affair, Dirty Dingus McGee), shot himself at 75. He was suffering from incurable cancer and tired of fighting the disease.
2004- On the Senate floor, the Vice President of the United States, Richard Cheney, told the Democratic Senate leader, Patrick Leahy, to “Go F**k Himself!” Republican Majority Leader, Senator Tom Delay, said the Vice President “was having a hard day”. At the same time Bush Administration was getting the FCC to stiffen penalties on DJ’s like Howard Stern for his use of naughty language.
June 23, 2007 sat.
June 23rd, 2007
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Augustus, Josephine DeBeauharnais-Bonaparte, Bob Fosse, Justice Clarence Thomas, James Levine, Dan Ogilvy of Ogilvy & Mayers, Joss Whedon, Dr Alfred Kinsey, The Duke of Windsor formerly King Edward VIII, Wilma Rudolph, Selma Blair, Frances MacDormand
1868- Christopher Latham Scholes patents the typewriter. In 1873 he sold his patent to the Remington Company. In 1874 Mark Twain secretly admitted to a friend that he enjoyed writing on the newfangled technology.
1940- HITLER THE TOURIST. After the defeat of France, Adolph Hitler takes his one vacation out of Germany. A plane flies him to Paris in the early morning and he is driven around to see the sites. While his Mercedes is waiting at a traffic light a newsboy, not realizing who he was, stuck a morning newspaper under his nose yelling "le Matin! Le Matin!” Hitler was back in Berlin that evening.
1972- Title Nine passed by the US Government. It called for women’s collegiate sports to be funded equally as the men’s sports.
1976- Toronto’s CN Tower opened. Called the world’s tallest free-standing structure.
1979- The Knack released the single My Sharona.
1989- Tim Burton’s film " Batman" opened.
1992- Head of the New York Mafia John Gotti was sentenced to life in prison for murder and racketeering. It had been so hard to pin anything on Gotti that he was nicknamed the Teflon Don. Finally, crusading prosecutor Rudolph Giuliani secured the testimony of the Dons top henchman Sammy ‘the Bull’ Gravano. For turning informant, Sammy dodged any penalties despite admitting killing 32 people, including killing and cutting up his own brother in law, whose pieces he buried in his backyard. Gravano wrote a best selling memoir. John Gotti died in prison in 2002.
June 22nd, 2007 friday -Die Trikfilm Zeichner
June 22nd, 2007
Last night I attended the ASIFA/Hollywood Archives benefit starring animator Andreas Deja at the Van Eaton Gallery. Andreas told many great anecdotes and we shared a few laughs together about days on Lion King and with the first story crew on Beauty and the Beast in England with Dick and Jill Purdum. He brought many wonderful examples of his drawing as well as examples of work he admired. These included work by Milt Kahl, Frank Thomas, Heinrich Kley and Sullivant. If you never saw Andreas do his overhead projector show with drawings you should check it out, it's really quite good.
courtesy of kualoa.com
Little anecdote- Around the time of Beauty and the Beast (1991) The Disney Studio began running want ads for animators in European newspapers. Suddenly they began to get responses from German Brewers! These people said they'd be happy to come to LA work on Animator.
There is a brand of German brewed beer called Animator, a cartoonist who draws animated cartoons is a Trikfilm zeichner. The Disney studio said thanks but no thanks. Michael Eisner may have had some unique plans for marketing, but brewing Snow White Lite or Thumper Heffeweisse was not one.
EM-eye-Cee..See ya real soon....Kay- Eee- Why...
Birthdays: Captain George Vancouver, Eric Maria Remarque, John Dillinger, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Mike Todd, Billy Wilder, Joe Papp, Bill Blass, Oscar Fischinger, Pistol Pete Maravich, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Ed Bradley, Emmanuelle Seigner, Prunella Scales, Meryl Streep, Kris Kristofferson
1342 – According to JRR Tolkeins’ book the hobbit Bilbo Baggins returned with the one true Ring to his home at the Shire.
1876- Gen. Custer and the Seventh Cavalry ride out of Fort Lincoln. Custer was to scout for a larger army under General Terry and not to engage the Indians when he found them but wait. Custer turned down an offer of two companies of Colorado militia, artillery and Gatling guns for fear it would slow him down. Many men upon leaving the fort immediately emptied their canteens and refilled them with rotgut whiskey bought from peddlers outside the walls. Gen. Gibbon called out to Custer as he rode out: "Remember George, save some Indians for us!" Custer laughed: "No I won't!"
1894 - Harry Houdini marries Bessie Rahner. She remained devoted to him even after his death. Every Halloween for twenty years she held a séance to try and contact him.
1897- THE BRITISH EMPIRE- Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. Now considered the zenith of the British Empire. In Victoria's reign the empire grew ten times its early size, encompassing one quarter of the globe and one third of the world's population. The little queen dressed in her habitual black with a little gray bonnet started the festivities by pushing an electric button that send a congratulatory message around the world simultaneously to Delhi, Capetown, Hong Kong, Ottawa and Sydney. Praises poured in from notaries like Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle and her grandson the German Kaiser.
1898- US Troops including Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders landed on the Cuban coast near the town of Daiquiri. This is when the mixed drink named Daiquiri was introduced to American drinkers as well as the Cuba-Libre, which we now call a Rum & Coke.
1938- In Yankee Stadium in the Bronx Joe Louis "the Brown Bomber" KO's German Max Schmelling in one round to regain the world heavyweight title. There was wild partying in the streets of Harlem The bout had the heavy ideological overtones of Nazis ideology claims to be a master race. Schmmeling ironically was anti-Nazi and had hid Jews from arrest. After the loss Hitler would have nothing to do with him and Schmelling joined the army.
1966 – The film "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" opened. Based on the play by Edward Albee and starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor it was the first to use four letter words. Just a year before comedian Lenny Bruce had gone to jail for saying the same words, although everyone including President Johnson swore in everyday parlance.
1969- Singer actress Judy Garland OD’s on sleeping pills. She was 46. Whether it was an accident or a suicide we will never know. A pillhead from early age, she had gotten hooked when MGM chief Louis B. Mayer ordered studio nurses to put her on amphetamines so she would have the energy to finish the Wizard of Oz. Fellow contract actress June Allyson explained- “You didn’t argue when the nurses brought them to you. They told us they were vitamins.” Garland was amazed by her great popularity among young gay men. She once joked: When I die, I have visions of fags singing Over the Rainbow, and the flag at Fire Island being flown at half-mast."
1990- "Checkpoint Charlie" in Berlin dismantled. John Le Carre' and other spy novel writers mourn. There is a replica and a Cold War Museum at the site today.
June 21, 2007 thurs
June 21st, 2007
1987 Snow White Crew Reunion. L-R –Thornton “T.”.Hee, Cal Howard, Eric Larson,Grim Natwick,Ward Kimball,Shamus Culhane,Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas. click to enlarge.
Last holiday season after a bunch of parties, all of us in LA animation noticed something curious- there were no more old animators. With a few exceptions, all the Golden Age legends who were habitual at such soirees were nowhere to be seen. Jules Engel, Art Babbitt, Chuck Jones, Maurice Noble, Bill Hurtz, Ed Friedman, Frank & Ollie and Marc Davis, Dale Oliver, Joe Grant, Vance Gerry, Irv Spence and Ray Patterson and more. These wonderful men and women, who mentored us and advised us, had in the main passed on to their reward. Oh, of course Jack Zander, Bill Littlejohn and a few others are still around, but in the main, for those who made the Greatest Generation of Animation the average age is over 90. Last year the last living Max Fleischer Studio artists died- Harry Lampert and Myron Waldman. Of the Nine Old Men, only one, Ollie Johnston survives.
It seems, My Dear Boomer, that WE are now the Old Timers! When I tell young artists that I knew Chuck Jones, they look at me as if I knew Abe Lincoln!
So my message my dear colleagues, is this. The Golden Age Generation have one last message for us- Pay it Forward. For the Art of Animation to thrive, it is incumbent upon you and me to pass on the lessons they taught us. Our art form requires that a certain amount of the Sacred Knowledge we acquired be passed on to future generations not only in a school, but by oral tradition. They taught us all they knew not just to help our own careers, but they knew they had to pass this on. Else this beautiful artform that they entrusted to us, could die in our time.
So when a student asks you for input, don’t say you don’t have time. Tell the stories the oldtimers told you. The tricks on timing, the tips on how to hit deadlines and master character. It’s the best way we can thank them for all they meant to us. And maybe, just maybe, when we’re all footnotes in some dusty film history book, some young animators’ eye will moisten with pride and gratitude that they got to know you, and once got to learn from you. So Pay it Forward.
Birthdays: Martha Washington, Alexander Pope, Berke Breathed, Al Hirschfeld the Line King, Jean-Paul Sartre, Judy Holliday,, Jane Russell is 86, Mariette Hartley, Bernie Koppel, , Maureen Stapleton, Joe Flaherty, Juliet Lewis, Prince William the Duke of York -Charles & Di's eldest, is 25. He will be King William V some day.
Happy Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. The sun, at dawn, aligns perfectly with the entrance to Stonehenge and in Persia the Zoroastrians would light ceremonial fires on altars on their roofs to the sungod Ahura Mazda.
1527- Political theorist Niccolo' Macchiavelli died. - His last words were:"I hope I shall go to Hell, for there I shall consort with kings, popes and princes.In Heaven one can only meet beggars, monks and apostles."
1866- First recorded train robbery by Jesse James.
1871- The Los Angeles Star newspaper announced the first trainload of pretzels had reached town!
1879 - F W Woolworth opens his 1st five and ten cent store.
1893- The FERRIS WHEEL -George Washington Ferris, Jr. decided that the Columbia Exhibition, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery, needed to surpass the French Eiffel Tower (introduced during the centennial celebration of the French Revolution). So he created his wheel so each compartment could hold 12 people plus a butler in a parlor-like atmosphere and rotate them 250 feet in the air. People were afraid they would gasp for oxygen up so high but it was a big hit anyway.
1939-Eugene O’Neill’s wife Carlotta wrote in her diary- Gene kept me up all night talking about this outline for a new play about his family- The Long Days Journey into Night. It took him two years to write and it almost killed him.
1948- Columbia Records introduced the 33 1/3-rpm long playing record, the LP. Inventor Peter Goldmark was annoyed that he had to change his 78 rpm records several times to hear just one Brahms Symphony. He decided to invent a way to fit all of a symphony on one side of a record. His immediate supervisors told him to stop it because people would not throw away all their 78 rpm records to replace them with his. So Goldmark went over their heads to CBS chief William Paley and Paley loved the idea. RCA and David Sarnoff tried to compete with the 45-rpm record, but all it was good for was singles. The 33 1/3 dominated recording until replaced by the Compact Disc in the 1980’s.
1948 - The Manchester Mark I computer introduced with the first stored program.
1998- Paleontologists in Canada announced the discovery of the largest Tyrannosaurus turd yet found. The search intensified for a T-Rex with a relaxed look on his face.