Posted in New projects with tags on May 5, 2012 by eddie

The first time I heard the phrase ‘App’ I thought to myself “Is this just like the Flash stuff with buttons everyone has been doing for years?”. After finally experiencing an App, I guess it is…admittedly with more advanced touchy-feely interaction.

Unfortunately – and as everyone knows – mean old Apple won’t run Flash on their devices, which brings instant problems for animators wanting to create Apps of their own. And double unfortunately, it means seeking out lesser-than-Flash programs that export to more iPhone/Pad friendly formats like Html 5.

Having explored a few of these programs (I am interested in developing an App for ‘Ska-Ville’ our learn-how-to-dance-the-Ska cartoon) I am really upset that they hark a return to pre-Flash ‘FutureSplash’ days. While they are cheap – Hippo Studios ‘Animator’ costs $40 – all the animation I’ve seen coming from these programs looks really remedial and uninspiring.

So if there are any animators out there developing their ideas for Apps, I would be really interested in hearing what programs and techniques you are using.

Dead Ringo Episode 5 images

Posted in Dead Ringo, Graphics on May 3, 2012 by eddie

More Dead Ringo images are up on the Ringo series tumblr

Adios Big-Headed Rikochet…

Posted in Uncategorized on April 25, 2012 by eddie

Mixed emotions today. The Rikochet Halloween costume has finally been discontinued. I say mixed emotions because: a) the bulbous head on this thing has been freaking us out since 2004 and b) well, actually there is no b.

My wife actually searched for this to buy it for our 2-and-a half year old. Querida Edna Mort…you dodged a bullet ;)

Dead Ringo – Episode 5

Posted in blogging, Dead Ringo on April 24, 2012 by eddie

Images from Dead Ringo continue to be posted (as the animated scenes are completed) on my tumblr.
The series itself is a challenge; 13 x 3 min. episodes (though some are closer to 4 minutes!) with a very limited budget. It is a chance to tell an episodic story over the 13 episodes, and enabling me to do something very stylized, and experiment with our color pallette. Each episode has a different ‘seasonal’ approach to the colors that are used. Episode 5 – ‘Ringo & The Bad Day’ is the ‘Cherry Blossom’ episode…

Working rough…

Posted in Dead Ringo, New projects, Storyboards & Layouts, Uncategorized on April 21, 2012 by eddie

Storyboard page from our feature film ‘Los Campeones de La Lucha Libre’. Because other studios were involved in the production, the storyboards HAD to be detailed and on-model – especially as we knew some (most!) artists would be skipping the layout stage and working straight from the boards. Here are some more examples:

I personally love boarding as I feel it’s where true animation direction comes from. But right now I am enjoying working a little looser and rougher; because the cartoons we are doing are being produced from within, it means the storyboards become more of a blueprint for ideas, rather than rigid direction. And they don’t have to be consistently on model. Hell, when we work on our own stuff, we don’t even use model sheets.

Here are two examples of rougher boards; Super Computer & Dead Ringo. Note that some of the dialogue has been removed because these are still in production, and we don’t want to give EVERYTHING away! :)

Schoolhouse Rock

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2012 by eddie

Growing up in England and Australia, I never got to see this series of educational interstitials that American kids did in the 1970’s. That is until this week, when my wife found a bunch of them on VHS at the local thrift store.
And they are awesome – especially the ‘Grammar’ series from 1973. Simple, stylish designs, nice (not jerky!) animation, simple backgrounds and fantastic music. This stuff really shows up the so called ‘pre school on TV’ shows on Nick Jr as the bollocks they really are.
And you get the feeling that these were done to actually entertain and stimulate kids, rather than to sell them a Leapfrog device or a Dora playhouse. Most of them are on youtube. This is my fave…

EDIT: I should also point out that the vocalist on the clip is the legendary Blossom Dearie.

Dead Ringo series

Posted in Uncategorized on April 16, 2012 by eddie

The first images from Episode 5 (the Cherry Blossom episode :)are up on the Dead Ringo tumblr…

As mentioned previously, I’ll be posting images as the scenes are completed!

We all gotta start somewhere…

Posted in Uncategorized on April 11, 2012 by eddie

One of my first ever animated shorts from 1993. I know…lacks a little – well, a lot of things, actually. But what the hell, you can’t change history, so here it is! And while it may seem manic, the transfer from VHS to Quicktime HAS speeded the timimg up somewhat…

When Magoo Flew, UPA cartoons on DVD!

Posted in Books, Graphics, Inspiration with tags , on April 7, 2012 by lili

It has been such a blast reading When Magoo Flew – a new book on the history of  UPA animation studios – by Adam Abraham. What’s more, I am so thankful that many of the cartoons mentioned in this book are  on YouTube,  so I was able to watch what I was reading about at the same time, and I am even more thankful that I could attend last week’s 3 hour screening at LACMA of UPA films on 35mm!!! My all-time favorite – Rooty Toot Toot – looked amazing, and so did the cartoons I had been dying to see that are not (yet) on YouTube, like Ballet Oop, which is essentially an animated (parody of  a) classical ballet class with very cool stylized character posing and layouts.

It’s so exciting that these UPA cartoons are finally on DVD!

I am working my way through the UPA Jolly Frolics 3-DVD Set this month…  and loving all the stunning modern visuals and jazzy soundtracks.


I am currently sort of fascinated by the Ham half of the Ham & Hattie cartoons which are  so-bad-they’re-good. They are  very much products of their time, with silly cultural stereotypes… (Interesting too, that most of these 50’s  cartoons feature outsider-teenagers, doctors and psychiatrists…)

Hamilton Ham appears in Jamaica Daddy,  a calypso-ish musical number about having more BA-BEES to PER-PET-CHUATE the FAM-LEE.  Is it just me or do these Jamaicans look like Mexican caricatures? :)

Saganuki  is a story of a woodcutter boy who wants to become a Samurai warrior.  There is a Japanese singing accent and one hears “Ah-So!” quite often.

Dino’s  Serenade … in which Hamilton Ham goes Italian.

More screengrabs…

From The Jaywalker (On YouTube)

Baby Boogie – love the layouts and colors!

Gerald McBoing McBoing on Planet Moo – which is actually a pretty bizarre story…

More  screengrabs coming soon to my flickr set

Related Links:

LA Times article on UPA  (with pics)

When Magoo Flew Facebook page

Eye candy on Cartoon Brew.

Burn Baby, Burn…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 6, 2012 by eddie

Some people hold Smashing Parties; you know, they get their old computers, fax machines, and whatever has been frustrating them, make a night of it and pummel them with sledgehammers.

There are certain projects we have worked on over the last few years that I really wish I could smash to pieces, or burn beyond recognition.  Alas in this digital age, the best I can do is send the offender to the recycle bin.  Yeah, there are a lot of projects that deserve to be forgotten.  Top of the list could be this one…

Ah, Shaktimaan 5 – what a waste of time you turned out to be.  We were asked to come up with a new take on a live action Indian superhero – Shaktimaan, that would appeal to, you know – the kids!  After many roughs and takes Cartoon Network Asia decided well no, we didn’t really want to do this anyway, but hey, thanks!

So without any remorse or regret, I hereby consign all existing Shaktimaan images to oblivion!  Bye bye Shakti-loser.

Well except this one, ‘cos now I have posted it.  Grrrr!

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