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I love animation, but I have to admit my knowledge of anime is rather limited. There's a lot of anime I enjoy and admire, but what I've seen doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of this popular animation style.
If you love anime, or you just want to start at the very beginning of this art form, Digital Meme is releasing a DVD titled "Classic Japanese Anime." Don't expect stuff like AstroBoy, Speed Racer or Gigantor in this set. Instead, think silent animation from the '20s and '30s. Some of the works contained in this DVD set were originally shown in theaters with a separate audio track played on a gramophone record. If your interest in anime goes far beyond casual admiration, this is something worth spending $110.00 on. Also, every one of the fifty-five cartoons is subtitled, so there's none of that gaudy American dubbing to ruin it.
The set releases on April 30.
[via Cartoon Brew]
Egad. I'm glad I purchased my Beany and Cecil DVD when it first came out, because it looks like the only way you can get it now is used, and it's not especially cheap. If you aren't lucky enough to own this DVD, you're not only missing out on a bunch of episodes of one of the best cartoons ever made, but you're also missing out on full episodes of Time for Beany, the puppet show created by animator Bob Clampett that he eventually retooled into an animated program.
Fear not, however, for Mark Evanier found a full episode of Time for Beany on Google Video, and I've placed it below for y'all. It's a full half hour, so get comfy first. This episode may very well be from the DVD I have, but I'm too lazy to check.
I figured since I honored Elvis yesterday I might as well also pay homage to Groucho Marx. You may wonder what these two people have in common, and the answer is: absolutely nothing. However, they both died within three days of one another, and news of Elvis' death overshadowed Groucho's in many respects. Also, I just happen to be a big Marx Brothers fan. Their movies are still as funny today as when they were first released, proving that the best comedy never goes out of style.Since this isn't a movie blog, it wouldn't make sense for me to stick a bunch of clips below from their many films, but I can show you a clip from Groucho's comedy game show You Bet Your Life. The game show began on the radio in the late '40s before moving to NBC TV in 1950. It ran until 1961, changing it's name to The Groucho Show near the very end. Two attempts were made to revive the game show: once in the '80s with Buddy Hackett as the host, and again in the '90s with Bill Cosby.
God damn it, Monk takes a midseason break and then tosses one new episode out in November and I totally miss it. What's doubly upsetting about that is I'm the one who posted about it in October. This may be a sign that my plan to stop reviewing the show is a good idea. I still love Monk, and I'll keep watching it, but I find I just don't have as much to say about it as I do other shows. Monk is kind of like popcorn to me: it's a lot of fun, and when it's all gone I wish I could have more, but there's just not a lot I have to say about it once it's over.
Now then, before the fifth season finishes off in January, there will be another episode airing on December 22, "Mr. Monk and the Leper." I'll try not to miss that one, though being so close to Christmas, who knows what'll happen? The episode will actually air twice, once in black and white (9 pm) and again in color (10 pm).
The latter half of the fifth season, which kicks off January 19, will feature several guest stars including Sean Astin, Steven Weber, Charles Durning and Andy Richter, among others.
Years before Porky Pig would become the first breakout character of Warner Bros. Animation, there was a little humanoid by the name of Bosko, the star of the very first Looney Tune, "Sinkin' in the Bathtub," a sugary-sweet animated short that debuted in 1930 at the Warner Bros. Theater on Broadway as a lead-in to the feature film The Song of the Flame.
This cartoon, and many that followed it, were created under the omnipresent shadow of Disney during a time when Walt ruled animation and the only way to get a cartoon produced was to stick to a Disneyesque formula (even the name "Looney Tunes" is a play on Disney's "Silly Symphonies" cartoons). It wouldn't be until many years later that Warner Bros. would develop a style separate from Disney and take animation to wonderfully ludicrous heights that would never be allowed within the confines of the Walt Disney Studio. While Disney focused on narrative and making images realistic, Warner Bros. chose to make cartoons with characters and worlds that that would twist, contort, and defy our laws of physics. This change in style was thanks in large part to Tex Avery, who joined the studio in 1935. "Sinkin' in the Bathtub" pales in comparison to what the studio would eventually create, but it's a great piece of animation history, nonetheless.
Watch the cartoon here.
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