Pioneers of Stop Motion Animation - Willis O'Brien

Pioneers Of Stop Motion Animation Is Amazing!

In my youth I had a vision of becoming a filmmaker. Not just your average Director however but one that focused on stop motion animation. This was because of a wonderful book from my Junior High School library that went into great detail on animation itself. Traditional cell, claymation, as well as the Pioneers of Stop Motion Animation. The major hurdle to this endeavor was the lack of getting my hands on a camera.

Although that would change when I made it to High School. However it is not as if I was able to produce animation worthy of those I admired. Of course I didn’t actually have a camcorder with which to attempt a short. My choice was an ancient camera that could be attached to an 100 lb VHS unit. I was forced to count to three seconds, since the VHS deck would roll back around two seconds after each “shot”. To add a little salve to my attempt, I will admit that at least I won an award for Gorp/Ed vs The Critters. I came in second place at the local public access awards show!

As a bonus you were able to see my Family moving about in the background while watching Dallas. As well as listening to the finest Commodore 64 music at the time, the second piece was from the game High Noon. Over the years I have managed to dabble in stop motion animation now and again, just as a hobby of course. Perhaps I will eventually piece them together for the internet to scoff and ridicule.

What no one in their right mind will scoff at though is Pioneers of Stop Motion Animation. Put together by Laird Jimenez for Birth.Movies.Death., it gives you a wonderful look at how the cinematic technique has progressed through the years. Ranging from the likes of J. Stuart Blackton’s The Haunted Hotel
Pioneers of Stop Motion Animation - J. Stuart Blackton

…Ladislas Starevich’s The Tale of the Fox and of course Willis O’Brien.
Pioneers of Stop Motion Animation - Ladislas Starevich

As well as his protege, the equally legendary Ray Harryhausen. The stop Motion animation maestro who brought us the likes of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Clash of the Titans, and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad to name a few!
Pioneers of Stop Motion Animation - Ray Harryhausen

Pioneers of Stop Motion Animation continues through artists like Art Clokey (Gumby), to Will Vinton and Phil Tippett’s work on Star Wars and Robocop!
Pioneers of Stop Motion Animation - Phil Tippett

Enjoy Pioneers of Stop Motion Animation and be sure to share your memories of the art form in the comments!

[Via] Birth.Movies.Death.

ReBoot: The Guardian Code - Title

Are You Ready For ReBoot: The Guardian Code?

ReBoot blew me away when it debuted on ABC one Saturday morning in 1994. With my love of all things video games and computer related, Mainframe Entertainment, Alliance Communications and BLT Productions certainly captured my attention. In that year I was working a full time job but I made sure I was up and watching ReBoot every week. Which is why of course the news of a…reboot… took me by surprise. As well as the fact that ReBoot: The Guardian Code is totally going live on Netflix on March 30th!
ReBoot: The Guardian Code - Mainframe

When I think about the original series, I generally recall the humor and winks to popular culture the show managed to include in almost every episode. Whether that be throwbacks to the popular video games of the day. Or even film franchises such as the James Bond series, including a fantastic song intro from the third episode of Season three. Firewall!

[Via] Reboot HD

Granted the animation might seem a little dated by today’s standards. I can assure you though it was pretty amazing stuff back in ’94. Of course it was the characters and story line that made so many fans. I think it is safe to say that the show borrowed a few elements from the likes of 1982’s TRON. A lone Guardian named Bob, whose mission was to protect the inhabitants of a city called Mainframe. Not just from the wicked deeds of Megabyte and his Sister, Hexadecimal. But from those of us playing video games, the Users.

[Via] Shout! Factory

Now then, we have a new series. Entitled Reboot: The Guardian Code. Immediately upon watching it I paused the official trailer. Some things have certainly changed in this updated version…like it has live action elements!
ReBoot: The Guardian Code - Bad guy

That took me quite but surprise. Granted this show is being aimed at an audience younger than myself. I will admit I am okay with this as it also appears to possibly have ties to the original series. At the very least it looks like Megabyte has been resurrected by the series’ mysterious villain.
ReBoot: The Guardian Code - Megabyte

Much like the first series did with borrowing elements of TRON it seems that ReBoot: The Guardian Code will do the same. Although in this case it is a mix of TRON: Legacy, Pacific Rim and even Ready Player One.
ReBoot: The Guardian Code - Guardians

ReBoot: The Guardian Code - Firewall

Which seems quite appropriate, friends. As Ready Player One of course hits theaters on March 30th. Which I am sure that Netflix is very well aware of. Will it be any good? I have no idea but I am certainly going to at least give it a chance. Things always change and I for one won’t begrudge a new generation their own joy of being introduced to ReBoot.

I’ve talked a bit about the first series, so without further ado, check out the trailer for ReBoot: The Guardian Code!

[Via] ReBoot The Guardian Code

Do You Remember “Sports” Cartoons?

A hippo and a cat (and sometimes a pig and/or a dog) engage in a competition of sports…and that’s not the beginning of a bad joke. In the world of 1980s animation, it actually exists as Sports Cartoons!

And in the spirit of the Olympics, there was no way I could let this one get past me!

But Seriously, What Are Sports Cartoons?

Sports Cartoons are a series of short cartoon produced by Lamb-Perlman Productions in 1985, and resemble the National Film Board of Canada’s animation style. The shorts feature anthropomorphic animals as the participants of various sports.

The participants are:

The Hippo….

The Cat…

The Big Cats…

The Pigs…

And the Dog.

The concept is simple – the animals (usually the Hippo and the Cat) engage in various sporting events. By his own disastrous design, the antagonistic Cat never wins.

However, through pure dumb luck, the sweet Hippo (or the Pig) always succeeds.

Actually, there was that one time The Big Cats won…

Cha-cha-cha!

That’s it, really. No dialogue, no voices (except for the screeching cat). The shorts range in running time – 40 seconds to two minutes in length.

Sports Cartoons As Filler Material

In the United States, Sports Cartoons filled commercial space between programs on Nickelodeon in the late 1980s and until the mid-1990s. I have vivid memories of watching the animals duke it out frequently, and loved watching the Hippo come out on top. When one watched, one never rooted for the Cat. You rooted for the Hippo (or Pigs).

Besides, the Hippo was adorable.

Those ears!

All told, the entire series ran forty-five minutes (for forty-five episodes), and saw a home video release by Family Home Entertainment.

Yes, mom and dad…you’ll love it too!

What Types of Sports Were Featured in Sports Cartoons?

Well…everything! And probably some you haven’t thought of! Common sports, such as Basketball, Baseball, Football, Soccer, Hockey, and Boxing had their moment, as did anything construed as a sport.

That’s right – nestled with the “typical” sports, Hippo, Cat, and Friends also competed in Darts, Chess, Skydiving, Karate, Swimming, Pommel Horse, Gymnastics, Skeet Shooting, Hot Air Balloon, Javelin, Shot Put (this one was a two-parter), Fencing, and Table Tennis.

And that’s not even scratching the surface!

Would You Like To See Some Sports Cartoons?

Of course you would!

And thanks to You Tube…you can!

Upload via Twin Peakser

Now do you remember?

The Hole - 1962 - ICBM

Toon In: The Hole (1962)

It has certainly been a while since the last Toon In offering, friends. You might have thought we’ve dropped into The Hole perhaps? I have definitely missed sharing what I believed to be worthy animated shorts of course. However it was getting a little discouraging to constantly find the subjects of the posts getting yanked. Especially when they are Academy Award winning shorts like in the case of 1962’s The Hole!

The Hole was written by Faith and John Hubley. While some say they also animated the short I have in fact found sites that claim it was Bill Littlejohn as well as Gary Mooney. For the Hubley’s legendary animation studio, Storyboard Studios, of course. If that studio sounds familiar it might be because you remember their work on The Electric Company!

Nanto Vision 1

By the way, Littlejohn also worked on the likes of 1965’s A Charlie Brown Christmas and other Peanuts TV specials. With Mooney being involved with Jay Ward’s George of the Jungle and Underdog to name just a few of the projects they had a hand in. Furthermore the animation for the short is rather different for the time. Instead of animation cells the short was shot using watercolors on paper.
The Hole - Toon In

Certainly giving it a very unique look I would say.
The Hole - Dizzy Gillespie

Also of note are the voice actors that were hired for The Hole. None other than George Mathews (Gunfight at the O.K. Corral). And the iconic jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie. Furthermore the dialogue in the short film was improvised. Which indeed suits the two characters quite well.

In The Hole we listen to two construction workers talk about a myriad of subjects. Dirty dishes, citizenship, dancing, Saints, as well as nuclear war. It’s an enjoyable short to say the very least. The humor coming not from hijinks but ‘real life’ conversations between two co-workers. It also feels incredibly timeless. Which is probably why the Academy Film Archive preserved it in 2003. With the Library of Congress inducting it in the National Film Registry in 2013!

You have a little information on The Hole now, friends. So set aside fifteen minutes of your time and enjoy the short.

[Via] Amesea

Here on Toon In we have shared the work of John Hubley before. Back in February of 2016, the Oscar nominated short Rooty Toot Toot. It’s a little lighter than The Hole and also worthy of your time.