I knew of the early 20th Century American cartoonist Winsor McKay from his Little Nemo strip, which has been collected in books. However, I was less familiar with his other work. “Dream of the Rarebit Fiend was a newspaper comic strip by… McCay which began September 10, 1904. As in McCay’s signature strip, Little Nemo, the strip was made up of bizarre dreams… Rarebit Fiend was printed in the Evening Telegram, a newspaper published by the Herald. For contractual reasons, McCay signed the strip with the pen name ‘Silas’.
“The strip had… a recurring theme: a character would have a nightmare or other bizarre dream, usually after eating a Welsh rarebit (a cheese-on-toast dish). The character would awaken from the dream in the last panel, regretting having eaten the rarebit. The dreams often revealed the darker sides of the dreamers’ psyches… This was in great contrast to the colorful, childlike fantasy dreams in Little Nemo.”
McKay’s 1921 film The Flying House fits into the rarebit category. Continue reading The Flying House by Winsor McKay, adapted by Bill Plympton
The day after our trip to Tanglewood, we decided to go to the Norman Rockwell Museum. It was showing “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic,” which had opened on June 8 and would be available through October 27, 2013.
The exhibition “features more than 200 works of art including conceptual drawings, early character studies, detailed story sketches, and animation drawings. Also featured are delicate thumbnail layout watercolors, meticulously rendered pencil layouts, rare watercolor backgrounds, colorful cels, and vintage posters all illustrating how Walt Disney advanced the creation of an entirely new art form.
Continue reading Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Norman Rockwell Museum
It was a Monday holiday. The daughter was at a friend’s house. But the Wife and I had a narrow window if we wanted to see a movie. In the time frame we had, we could really only go to the Spectrum and see the Oscar-nominated short animation films. My wife was wary because she had heard that a couple of these films were quite violent. In fact, only one was.
Dimanche/Sunday (Canada – 9 minutes)
Every Sunday, it’s the same old routine! The train clatters through the village and almost shakes the pictures off the wall. In the church, Dad dreams about his toolbox. And of course later Grandma will get a visit and the animals will meet their fate.
And the train is HUGE! But I didn’t see the point. I suppose there was violence in this story, but it was rendered so banally that it wasn’t particularly affecting.
A Morning Stroll (UK-7 minutes)
When a New Yorker walks past a chicken on his morning stroll, we are left to wonder which one is the real city slicker.
The winner of the BAFTA, the British equivalent to the Oscars, this shows the changes of people over time. THIS film is the one with quite violent images. Great last joke, though.
Wild Life (Canada – 14 minutes)
Calgary, 1909. An Englishman moves to the Canadian frontier, but is singularly unsuited to it. His letters home are much sunnier than the reality. Intertitles compare his fate to that of a comet. Continue reading MOVIE REVIEWS: 2012 Academy Award Nominated Animated Shorts
From Johnny Bacardi. Neither he nor I named these categories, BTW.
[X] 101 Dalmatians (1961) – probably in first run. The lead adult male is named Roger, a guy who loves music, which was great!
[O] Alice in Wonderland (1951)
[X] Bambi (1942) – probably around 1963, in the theater. Scary stuff.
[X] Cinderella (1950) – probably around 1964, but I was 11, and I found it too “girly”; like it better now.
[X] Dumbo (1941) – did I see this all the way through?
[X] Fantasia (1940) – saw as an adult, in a theater. Loved it.
[X] Lady and the Tramp (1955): probably c 1962. I related to Tramp.
[X] Mary Poppins (1964). But almost certainly NOT in the theater. On network TV, perhaps?
[X] Peter Pan (1953). Almost definitely on TV. Has not aged well.
[X] Pinocchio (1940). On TV. Quite intense.
[X] Sleeping Beauty (1959). In the theater c 1966, probably.
[X] Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). In the theater c. 1965.
[O] Song of the South (1946). Only seen excerpts.
DISNEY’S DARK AGE Continue reading All the animated movies in the world. Sort of.
The 2010 movie Unstoppable, which I saw with my wife on Black Friday in Oneonta in lieu of actual shopping, is a very competently-made thriller about a runaway train with toxic chemicals, and the heroic efforts of a couple railroad hands, a veteran (played by Denzel Washington) and a guy just out of training (Chris Pine, who played young James T. Kirk in the 2009 Star Trek movie) in stopping said train. It reviewed surpringly well, especially with the top critics. My wife’s stomach was in knots most of the way through, and mine wasn’t, but I enjoyed it as a pleasant diversion. “Pleasant?” my wife wondered aloud. Jaquandor’s take on the movie pretty much nailed it.
The movie was a production of Tony Scott, who last year created the remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, which I did not see, also starring Denzel Washington; from what I read, Unstoppable is the better movie, though it has no real villain, only a particularly incompetent worker.
I’m quite interested in the fact that the movie was based on an actual incident that took place on May 15, 2001. Continue reading MOVIE REVIEWS: Unstoppable, and Tangled