Wednesday, December 24, 2008

9 to 5

merry christmas eve! how about some atmospheric animation?

this is the original "9" by Shane Acker, a recent UCLA MFA Animation student alum, who has been forever developing the concept as a feature film with producer Tim Burton. looking to expand the idea a bit, some famous voice actors were thrown in to boot: Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau, and Christopher Plummer.

while not exactly your typical animated voice cast, one wonders if it might have been a little dolled up by some suits to make it more pallatable to the general public. regardless, i don't think i've ever seen something like this film or concept in feature film animation (especially CG animation) ever. i bring all this up, of course, because this is the debut of the trailer, announcing 9's release on 9-9-09. take a look if you dare:

a followup to yesterday's post, here's another Christmas short by Harman and Ising, this time in full color while at MGM in 1936. we last left them at the Van Beuren Studios producing the Cubby Bear series, of which they did two episodes and part of a third before a contractual dispute that led the duo out the door and to MGM in 1934 along with a new series of Bosko shorts. they had much the same system at MGM that they did at Warner Brothers -- Harman would do the Bosko series and Ising would develop the one-shots, here named "Happy Harmonies." The Pups' Christmas has little to no plot this time -- they merely interact with the kids' new Christmas toys. i think the funniest bit is when one of the puppies swallows the voice-maker of a doll that says "mama."

once again, there was a bit of racism involved in the cartoon, though its been edited out of this TBS tv airing. according to a poster:
"There was a scene cut out in between 6:17. The brown puppy runs into a toy that I had what I believe was a black person on it that danced and said "Hey!" The puppy gets scared and runs again and that's when we get to the scene of the wooden monkey."

also once again, Harman and Ising refused to be bound by their budgets and were promptly fired by MGM a year later in 1937 when they couldn't rein in the budget for Happy Harmonies.

an interesting interview by Michael Barrier with Harman in 1973

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