Saturday, March 26, 2016

Zootopia meets Pixar Presto mashup

Sorry, with all the death and destruction going on in the world, I could not resist bashing this together.

(copyright Pixar and Disney)

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Social Commentary of Zootopia

I finally saw Zootopia, and I was surprised at some of the issues the directors took on, such prejudice, class and disillusionment. For example:

Good people fall back on old negative stereotypes.

(Every Disney movie has plot point where the hero makes a horrible mistake, and then has to overcome the consequences of that error. Judy's press interview for instance.)
"Treat me like a criminal, I will act like a criminal."

(Nick Wilde is Zootopia's Han Solo, but he is also finally coaxed away from his criminal past.)

 Characters get hurt emotionally as well as physically.
(Both Judy and Nick during their childhoods.)

(my photo from CTN 2015, characters copyright Disney)

While the world of Zootopia doesn't have our level of wars, poverty and injustices, the basic personal issues still remain:

I have an image to maintain.
Jumping to conclusions.
Not sure who to trust.
What's in it for me?

 On the other hand, Zootopia did cheer me up a little bit, when I look past their cloying cutesiness:

 Things are not what they seem.
The strong don't always prey on the weak.
People can go beyond their apparent limitations.
The past does not have to decide your future.

Imho, Some of the old cartoon jokes hurt the movie, like the population counter of Bunny Borough, but that's showbiz.
This blogger has a more severe view:

 Good points. What are our real cultural and ethnic blind spots? How do you present these issues to younger children without sugar-coating it too much?

Minor points:

Where does the protein for carnivores come from? What forests were cut down, and what mountains were strip mined to build the city? There all kinds of  logistical and technical questions that interfere with my suspension of disbelief, but Zootopia is still a clever, thoughtful movie nevertheless.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Gnomon Workshop presents an Evening with Grzegorz Jonkajtys

Polish animator Grzegorz Jonkajtys has an interesting technique in combining miniature hand built sets with CG characters. Glad I made it over to Gnomon to see the talk.

Grzegorz's film credits include Sin City, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Mist, Rango, Pacific Rim, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Warcraft, and The Revenant. His titles were VFX Artist and Lead Animator.

(copyright Grzegorz Jonkajtys?)

After such grim short films such as ARK, where an animated Leonard Nimoy type character is trapped on a doomed plague ship, Grzegorz is bringing us a family oriented film based on a Polish character, Teddy Floppy-Ear. 
Teddy, and his friend Hare find out that a toy factory is not all fun and games. Grzegorz slips in some social commentary when the system tries to toss Teddy into an incinerator for having one minor defect, in this case, his floppy ear,
After years of CG work, Grzegorz said it was refreshing to build miniature sets by hand. He pointed out that his hand built sets have a more convincing depth and character than the usual CG backgrounds. This was his strategy in filming "ARK". Grzegorz had his crew do lighting checks with real miniature models so the lighting on the CG characters would match the hand made backgrounds in a more convincing way.
Using kit-bashing and Styrofoam containers, drinking straws and mint candy box tins, Grzegorz and his crew built the charming, and at the same time, frightening world of Teddy Floppy Ear.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wander Over Yonder cancelled

Well, this is not what I wanted to hear:

(copyright Disney)
I was enjoying this series, even though it was designed for a younger audience. There are a few, *ahem*, mature quirks in the show, but you have to look very closely.

Some of the episodes really pushed the artistic boundaries, such as "The Void" where everything this side of "Yellow Submarine" was possible.

"WOY" creator Craig McCracken has confirmed this. Personally, I think Wander was railroaded the way the original Star Trek was put into lousy time slots by NBC during its original broadcasts. The Mouse picked up a Cartoon Network type show, and didn't know what to do with it.

No toys, no other merchandise, All I can say is "Bah, Humbug".
Speaking of Star Trek, I was hoping we would see Lord Dominator get her comeuppance. Maybe in the way Trelane did in the "Squire of Gothos".

Still, I fell in love with the characters, and the designs, so Wander, Sylvia, and all the villains will still have a place in my heart. 
Except for Hater, he's still a jerk. 

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Crunchy Bunches- A serial about breakfast!

One more web comic, worthy of further perusal...

Follow Munchy as he and his pals go on fantastic adventures to bring home the ultimate crispy, crunchy breakfast experience.

Friday, March 04, 2016


Disney, furry, adorable, humor,
more to come!