What If Pixar Decided To Do Pulp Characters?

When it comes to Pixar there really isn’t much they touch that doesn’t turn to gold. Having said that however there are genres they’ve yet to tackle. Sure, they have given friendly monsters a go as well as a sentient vehicle universe. Not to mention moving films dealing with growing old in addition to the greatest Fantastic Four movie made. That was of course not an official film of Marvel’s First Family – but it was…INCREDIBLE…nonetheless.

See what I did there?

Ahem. While 2004’s The Incredibles marked Pixar’s first foray into superheroes. The talented Phil Postma is always eager to present different genres that Pixar has yet to approach. You might recall some of the other artwork of Postma’s that we’ve shared on The Retroist before. Like what if Rankin and Bass had produce a 1977 stop motion version of The Hobbit. Or perhaps Fisher-Price had produced Adventure People Killers to their toy line?

Back in 2013, it turns out that Phil presented Pixar versions of some legendary pulp characters. Such as Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon, Dale Arden, and Ming the Merciless of course.

Images courtesy of Phil Postma.

He also shared a look at what Pixar could deliver with Lee Falk’s The Phantom.
Pixar - The Phantom - Phil Postma

Last but certainly not least and the film I wish Pixar would truly deliver is The Shadow!

Make sure to hop on over to Phil’s official blog – The Minion Factory. You can check out even more of his fantastic artwork and even purchase merchandise.

Now that we’ve seen what some pulp characters would look like if Pixar was in charge of character design. How about re-watching what an animated series for The Rocketeer might look like?

[Via] Amazing Cartoons

Toon In: Self Defense…For Cowards (1962)

Welcome back friends to another installment of Toon In, this week we have an offering from Gene Deitch entitled Self Defense…for Cowards that was originally released back in 1962. This short is actually an adaptation of Alice McGrath’s 1961 book with the full title Self-Defense For Cowards: A Guide To Non-Combative Action For The Rational, Resourceful Man.
Toon In - Self Defense for Cowards
Why You Should Know Gene Deitch
I would hazard a guess that Gene Deitch is certainly not a household name for fans of classic animation. Not as recognizable as the likes of Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, or Ub Iwerks to name a few but I feel you will know of a few classic animated short series that he had a hand in. Like the UPA Popeye television series or Krazy Kat and about a dozen of the Tom and Jerry theatrical shorts.
Self Defense for Cowards - Gene Deitch
Gene Deitch also was responsible for directing a previous Toon In entry that I shared back in April, the Oscar nominated anti-war short Munro – as well as the interesting adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
Gene Deitch - The Hobbit

So Why Is Self Defense…for Cowards Important?
I am very glad you asked that question. For one thing Self Defense…for Cowards was nominated for the 1962 Oscar for Best Short Subject, Cartoons. More importantly though is the fact that the short is incredibly funny. While I thankfully have only found myself in some of the same situations as the protagonist – I feel we can all relate to these situations in way or another.

Micah Hambrick
The short was produced by Rembrandt Films which was originally founded in 1949 by William L. Snyder. Gene Deitch actually left America to move to Prague in Czechoslovakia to join Snyder’s animation studio. Deitch had been let go from his position at Terry Toons in 1958 and this was after he had helped deliver the Academy Award nominated short Sidney’s Family Tree.

So perhaps Gene Deitch knew a thing or two about bullies himself?

Gene Deitch’s The Hobbit (1966)

Hey there my creeps! As you plunked yer lil’ retro rears down in front of the last flick in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy I just know you thought to yerself “I wonder what would happen if that crazy cat Gene Deitch turned his talents upon The Hobbit instead of deliverin’ the most surreal Tom and Jerry cartoons possibly imagined in order to retain the rights to a feature length animated version of the story in 1966, but he only had one month and twelve minutes to tell a basic, albeit drastically altered, version of the book?” Hmm, on second thought you probably were thinking “Do I really need a refill on this large corn tub and why can I no longer feel my butt?”

Anyway, whether you thought it or not, he made it; and here it is:

And the comments section fills up with absurdity in 5…4…3…2…

Kieran Duncan’s “Papercraft” Hobbit Short Is Quite Beautiful.

Image courtesy of Kieran Duncan.

Image courtesy of Kieran Duncan.

Kieran Duncan’s animated short “Concerning Dragons” is not only beautiful but the papercraft style used in it leaves the viewer desperately wanting to see further Tolkien history (though the Dragons coming from eagles is solely an idea from the film makers) presented in such a fashion.

Kieran directed this for an animation class project which is why it is merely 30 seconds long but looking at the comments on the Vimeo page it seems that there are more than a few people that would like to also see another short in the future. Maybe Peter Jackson can have a hand in that?

A big thanks to Lauren Davis from io9 for the heads up on the short!

Atari 2600: Lord of the Rings – Journey to Rivendell (1983)

In 1983 I had sadly not read J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic Lord of the Rings yet, though I knew of the might of the Dwarrows and the gentle nature of Hobbits thanks to the Rankin-Bass animated adaptations of the Hobbit and Return of the King. I had also seen the Ralph Bakshi version at this point thanks to the Movie Channel but I preferred the former more. Those Rankin-Bass films pretty much made sure I would become a fan of Dwarves above all other fantasy races for the rest of my life.

I did not realize however in 1983 that Parker Brothers had crafted an Atari 2600 title that allowed you to take on the role of Frodo as you left the Shire on your journey to Rivendell, trying to avoid the Black Riders while doing so.

Here are a few screenshots of from the completed but never published title.

Hope is not lost though! The good folks over at AtariAge have secured the prototype for the the cartridge and you may down load the ROM freely from the link above. A huge thanks to AtariAge of course for archiving this important title and for the pictures posted up top. Thanks as well to Glenn Returns for that stirring soundtrack segment from the Hobbit!