Discussed in today's episode:
- Bob Sassone and Tex Avery show us what the future of TV will look like.
- It turns out that Hepatitis A feels the same way about Ashton Kutcher as the rest of us do.
- Allison Waldman and CBS give Trekkers something to go nerd-crazy about.
- Apparently, Maya Rudolph has one fan.
- Jay Black pimps for Jay Black (and also speaks about Jay Black in the third person)
(Music provided courtesy of Kevin MacLeud.)
I'm a sucker for cartoons of the 40s and 50s, whether it's Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, or those two squirrels that just wanted to have a nice life where everyone left them alone (their names escape me at the moment). I also like the great pseudo-documentary cartoons that you often saw, like the one after the jump.
It's Television From Tomorrow from MGM and Tex Avery. It shows what the typical household is going to look like in the future (the future meaning now - this was released in 1953). Specifically, it shows what the television of the future was going to look like. It's not serious, of course, but it's very clever and really fun. I like the big guns that pop out of the top of the television, and I think that complicated knob on the front of that one TV accurately predicts the complicated remote controls we have today. Oh, and the 4 out of 5 people who own TV sets? That could have been drawn today.
Can you guess who the narrator is?
[via Boing Boing Gadgets]
Here's some cool animation stuff I found over the past week or so:
Cartoon Brew has a lot of cool stuff, so I'll start there first. First of all, Jerry Beck has a new book, The Hanna Barbera Treasury. The book will focus mostly on the Hanna Barbera series created in the '50s and '60s. It comes out in October.
Also via the Brew comes this documentary about the life and work of animator Tex Avery, the man who was arguably the one most responsible for putting the "looney" in "Looney Tunes," and later brought that same magic to MGM. The doc is from 1988 and is split into several parts.
Tex Avery's Droopy: The Complete Theatrical Collection will be released May 15. Here's an early look:
Tex Avery made a name for himself at Warner Bros before moving on to MGM. He helped create such iconic characters as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck while working for Warner Bros, but what I've always loved about Droopy (whom Avery created at MGM) is that, save for rare moments of abandon, he's the polar opposite of his cartoon contemporaries over at Warner Studios. Sure, Bugs could be unflappable and insouciant, but he still had that "looney" quality. Droopy, however, never seemed to care about annoying his nemesis the way Bugs did, he just lived by a code that the good guy would always win, and his universe always stretched and squashed to make sure that's exactly how things went.
It's almost impossible to find any Tex Avery cartoons on television anymore, which is exactly why God created the DVD. Some people might argue that Man created the DVD, not God, but if that's true, then how did God know Adam and Eve ate the Forbidden Fruit unless he watched it on DVD? And don't tell me that's the most idiotic thing you've ever heard -- I hear enough of that from the Bible publishers who refuse to accept my revisions to the Book of Genesis.
A few years ago I received a Hanna Barbera three-disc set of cartoon themes, comedy bits and sound effects. I have the content of all three albums on my iPod, which is quite entertaining when the iPod is on shuffle. After every few songs there will be a short clip of some wacky sound effect. Trust me, you've never heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit" until you've heard it followed by Fred Flintstone yelling "yabba dabba doo!"
I like cartoon music, that's my point. So this caught my interest, naturally. Scott Bradley was the musical composer for MGM animation, scoring Tom and Jerry cartoons and the works of Tex Avery. The first three-disc volume covers the 1950s and is limited to 3000 copies. If enough people show interest in the project, other volumes will follow, covering other decades. I suppose people like myself would love to have something like this, but I think even cartoonphiles have to admit that what made these soundtracks so great was seeing them paired up with the cartoons themselves. The next time you catch Tom and Jerry, pay close attention to the music: it stops, starts, takes weird detours, adds subtle gags to the scene, and twists and contorts to fit the action. Some of the most talented musicians in the business worked on those old cartoons, but I get the feeling that hearing the music by itself might leave one as half empty as watching the same cartoon with the mute button pressed.
[via Toon Zone]
There's also a quick history of animation, from Max Fleischer and Walt Disney to Chuck Jones and Tex Avery. Adam, are you reading this?