Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Communist Mickey
Recently, Cartoon Brew has posted two articles about a different type of Mickey Mouse.

This first is a Nash car commercial produced by Disney in 1955. The redesign, by Tom Oreb, adapted the mouse and Pluto into a very 50s 'modern' style.

This was the first and only time that Mickey Mouse has ever appeared in this modern style. Apparently, Walt received many letters from a kid blasting Walt's modern art Mickey, calling it Communistic. Walt got so mad that he forbade Mickey from ever appearing in commercials that were not promoting Disney products.

Sputnik Mickey
This second version of Mickey and the video below is a pilot for a video game called Neo-Mickey.
Based on a Neo-comic style, Mickey exists in a world of transluscent imagery, shape shifting creatures and detailed patterns. With the help of a power-packed Neo-Suit full of gadgets, Mickey encounters extraordinary creatures from many new worlds, with stories and adventures that extend way beyond our galaxy.

This Flash animation was made by Barry Baker and Matt Cruickshank and has wonderful imagery and incredible imagination. I really like this Mickey and I hope that the video game takes off and we see more of this style.

Monday, February 26, 2007


Why so glum? You just won an Oscar!
Some people are surprised, others are not. But the fact remains that Happy Feet has won the Best Animated Feature Film Academy Award for 2006.

But what does this mean for the future of animated films? Will the motion-cature process become the new thing? Is 2D dead? Is CG on the way out? Even Disney is now jumping on the mo-cap bandwagon, setting up their very own department dedicated to motion-capture.

A quick look at this year's animated films tells us that not everyone is switching over to mo-cap...yet. Shrek the Third, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Bee Movie are all CG and the hand drawn Simpsons Movie is sure to be a big hit this summer.

But you can probably bet that because of Happy Feet's success, every studio will start production on a mo-cap movie and have them out as early as next year.

Also, Torill Kove's The Danish Poet won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Subject.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Welcome to another edition of the CCCCC! If you know who this cartoon character is then leave a comment and let everyone know! I will reveal the answer on Monday!

UPDATE: This week's winner is coolb who corectly identified this cartoon character as Owen Burnett from Gargoyles! He even went as far as to say that Owen is also the character Puck. I didn't need that much info but it is great to see that you and Meghan are such big Gargoyles fans! Thanks for playing and see you next week!

Da Points:

athena: 1
coolb: 2
coolshades: 1
eagle-man: 3
starlac: 1

Thursday, February 22, 2007


This week is the last installment of 'Toons Based on Video Games' Month. This week's theme is arguably the most popular video game of all time.


Pac-Man followed the adventures of Pac-Man, his wife, Mrs. Pac-Man and their child Pac-Baby. Together they live in Pac-Land and spend their time stopping the evil Mezmeron from getting his hands on the 'power pellets', the source of Pac-Man's power.

Mezmeron's hired help consists of Pac-Man's well known video game adversaries, the Ghost-Monsters: Inky, Blinky, Pinky, Clyde and Sue. They are the typical bumbling villains that always seem to be menacing at the beginning of the episode but goofballs by the end of the episode.

Pac-Man was created by Namco Games in 1978. Its popularity grew to epic proportions over the next decade and Hanna-Barbera decided to created their own show based on the game. This series lasted 43 episodes from 1982-1983. Originally, Pac-Man was part of a 90 minute programming block in 1982 by Hanna-Barbera called The Pac-Man/Little Rascals/Ritchie Rich Show but then broke of into its own half hour show in 1983.

The Pac-Man series also had its own video game spin-off, called Pac-Land which was a side-scrolling platform game, like Super Mario Bros.

Here is an interesting fact about the Pac-Man video game that I got from Wikipedia:

A "perfect Pac-Man game" is defined as one where the player completes all 256 levels with a maximum point score and without losing a life. The first such game was verified by the Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard on July 3, 1999. Billy Mitchell, of Hollywood, FL, achieved the feat in six hours. To attain the maximum possible score of 3,333,360 points, it was necessary for Mitchell to eat every fruit, every energizer, every blue ghost and every dot for 256 boards.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


My feet are really cold. And instead of getting slippers, I decided to write this blog.

The other day in my character design class we were discussing our favorite Disney villains. It got me thinking... what makes a great villain? What is it that makes someone truly villainous? I went through the list of Disney villains and discovered there are four basic villain types: Silly, Power-Hungry, Animal Killer, Evil.

The Silly villains are like Clayton (Tarzan), Captain Hook (Peter Pan)and Gaston (Beauty and the Beast). They're basically plot elements for the story. There needs to be a villain, but the movie wouldn't be the same with a truly evil villain. They're mostly stupid or oblivious.

The Power-Hungry villains would be Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty), Hades (Hercules) and Jafar (Aladdin). Their motivation is simply that they're not at the top and they'll get rid of anyone who stands in their way of getting there.

The Animal Killer category I know seems weird, but I think it deserves its own classification. Is Cruella (101 Dalmations) power hungry? Is McLeach (The Rescuers Down Under) really pure evil? The reason we hate them is because they're trying to kill our heroes simply because they're animals. Would Cruella kill a human? No, probably not.

The Evil villains are the villains who have no motivation to harm others or do the bad things they do. They're pure evil. We really hate them, even though they're just a bunch of drawings moving quickly in front of us.

So my Top 5 Disney Villains list consists of the following truly evil villains:

1. Judge Claude Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
2. Scar (The Lion King)
3. The Queen/Witch (Snow White)
4. Shere Khan (The Jungle Book)
5. The Stepmother (Cinderella)

I realize the last three have motivation in that their status or power is being threatened by the main character. But the reason I put the Wicked Witch and Stepmother on there is because they're heartless towards girls who should be treated as their own daughters. The Wicked Witch actually tries to have Snow White killed. And Shere Khan has what I would call the same kind of evil as the Borg from Star Trek. When he shows up, you know you're screwed. All of the animals of the jungle are scared to death at the mention of his name. He rules the jungle because his threatening presence has given him that power. I think he's one of the scariest Disney villains.

Scar is very similar to the two stepmothers. He does have motivation - he wants to be in charge. He is a power hungry villain. But whereas the stepmothers tried to get rid of daughters who weren't technically related to them... Scar kills his own flesh and blood. There's also the manipulation factor that really twists him.

My top, most evil, most despicable villain of all time is Judge Claude Frollo. He's racist, judgemental, cruel... and he does it all in the name of God. He judges on appearance. He manipulates. And everything he does is to make him look good before God. We're never really given a real motivation for why is the way he is, other than his religion. To me, he's as evil as they come.

And just because I feel like it... here are my Top 5 Worst Disney Villains:
1. Sir Ector (Sword in the Stone)
2. Governor Ratcliffe (Pocahontas)
3. Prince John (Robin Hood)
4. Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)
5. Clayton (Tarzan)

Not that I don't like these characters. They just aren't great villains. And then there are movies like Dumbo and Bambi that just don't really have villains. Maybe that's why they put me to sleep. Let me know how you would rate your villains!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


"Five minutes before the Big Performance. The Maestro is getting ready for the execution behind the curtains. Time is slowly ticking away..."

If you have seen this animated short yet, please take a few minutes to screen it.

Maestro is a five-minute, computer animated short by Hungarian director Geza M. Toth. The filmmaker, who has a very hefty resume, has created about 150 animated commercials and short films but this is the first Oscar nomination that he has received.

If you didn't the first time, pay close attention to the camera and sound design. Upon watching it for the first time, I was wondering why it was nominated. The animation is nothing spectacular and there was no story (until the end). But once you know the premise then everything falls into place.

A great film indeed but I don't think it should win.

Monday, February 19, 2007


A brand new Simpsons Movie trailer is out now and this time it's the real deal! No more teaser trailer! This is a full blown trailer with animation from the movie!

They really are making this movie look epic. Literally everyone will be in it and the animation looks really sharp!

Thanks to his dim-wittedness and carelessness, Homer accidentally pollutes the local river with toxic waste from the nuclear power plant where he works. The outcome is catastrophic as it forces everyone in Springfield to evacuate, possibly forever. While the town tries to figure out what to do, an angry mob of homeless citizens takes their aggression out on the newly unemployed Homer.

I've included the trailer below but if you want to see a higher quality (and longer) version click here.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Welcome to another week of the CCCCC! Do you know who this cartoon character is? Then leave a commetn with a guess! I'll reveal the answer on Monday!

Do your research! I want this character's real name!

UPDATE: This week's winner is starlac who corectly identified this cartoon character as Rainer Wolfcastle (McBain) from the Simpsons! Thanks for playing and see you next week!

Da Points:

athena: 1
coolb: 1
coolshades: 1
eagle-man: 3
starlac: 1

Thursday, February 15, 2007


It's week three of "Toons Based on Video Games" month here at Animated Toast and this week's entry is a funny one!

Earthworm Jim

Based on the popular video game series, Earthworm Jim ran two seasons, 23 episodes, from 1995-1996. The video game was notable for its completely absurd and surreal humour. The titular character was voiced by Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons' Homer Simpson) with many other popular voice actors and comedians filling the other roles: Andrea Martin (SCTV), Jim Cummings (Winnie the Pooh), John Kassir (Cryptkeeper), Kath Soucie (Rugrats' Phil and Lil), Jeff Bennet (Johnny Bravo), Charles Adler (Tiny Toons' Buster Bunny) and Edward Hibbert (Frasier's Gil Chesterton).

Jim was just an ordinary earthworm until a robotic suit fell on him and gave him superpowers. From that day on Earthworm Jim saved the world and the galaxy from evil. Each episode ended with a cow falling from the sky, which is the same way each level of the video game ended.

Many of the secondary characters and villains from the games made it to the series, including Jim's sidekick, Peter Puppy and love interest, Princess What's-Her-Name. The regular cast of villains included Professor Monkey-For-A-Head, Psy-Crow, Evil the Cat, Queen Slug-For-A-Butt and Bob the Killer Goldfish. The series also created a bunch of new characters, including Evil Jim who made it into one of the later video games.

Earthworm Jim was a laugh out loud cartoon. Its completely absurd humour made it a joy to watch and the animation was great. The only problem was that its humour was also its crutch. Many people, younger kids especially, didn't get that particular brand of humour and thus the rating dropped and the show was ultimately canceled.

A few episode have been released but no DVD is in the works for the near future. But you can guarantee that once the DVD set is announced the cult following will ensure good sales.

Master television and film composer William Kevin Anderson wrote the music, lyrics, orchestration and even sang it the theme for Earthworm Jim! Anderson also did themes for X-Men: Evolution, Biker Mice From Mars, Astroboy and Fantastic Four.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Here is a special Valentine's Day cartoon for you all. It is a Van Beuren Studios' Rainbow Parade cartoon from 1936. It is a behind the scenes look at Cupids and how they prepare for their biggest day of the year.

The film was bought by Commonwealth Pictures in 1941 who replaced the Rainbow Parade title card with their own bland title card. This youtube video has that bland title card.

Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


The advertising campaign for Dreamworks' upcoming animated feature has been a fairly clever one. Bee Movie, slated for release November 2, stars Jerry Seinfeld as a bee who files a class action lawsuit against humans after he finds out they've been selling the bees' huney. Even though this is an animated movie, the teaser trailers have been live action.

The premise: Jerry Seinfeld has been casted in a movie about insects. He plays a bee in a giant 'mascot' costume. But filming this movie is not an easy job.

If you thought that one was funny then you'll love this one! This new trailer actually shows some animation and proves that these trailers have a point. For a high quality version click here.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Cartoon Network has agreed to pay $2 million in compensation to the City of Boston over the Aqua Teen Hunger Force 'bomb scare'. It has now been announced that Cartoon Network President Jim Samples has resigned.

Samples was with CN for thirteen years and was one of the main forces behind the launch of the [adult swim] block of cartoons shown at prime time on Cartoon Network.

I have bolded some of the more important lines from his letter to the company below:

I am sure you are aware of recent events in which a component of an Adult Swim marketing campaign made Turner Broadcasting the unintended focus of controversy in Boston and around the world. I deeply regret the negative publicity and expense caused to our company as a result of this campaign. As general manager of Cartoon Network, I feel compelled to step down, effective immediately, in recognition of the gravity of the situation that occurred under my watch. It’s my hope that my decision allows us to put this chapter behind us and get back to our mission of delivering unrivaled original animated entertainment for consumers of all ages. As for me, there will be new professional challenges ahead that will make the most of the experiences I’ve had as part of this remarkable company. Through my 13 years at the company I have found myself continuously in awe of the talented artists and business people surrounding me, from those who realize their vision in creating a cartoon to those who so brilliantly deliver the animation to viewers. I will always cherish the experience of having worked with you. I appreciate the support that you have shown me. As a friend and a fan, I also look forward to seeing your best and most personally fulfilling work yet. Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang and each of you deserve nothing less.

Apparently there were 38 of these blinking signs in Boston alone! Several other major US cities had these signs distributed but none of their citizens thought they were bombs.

Also, the signs were up for two weeks before the firs 911 call came in. This scenario really was just a fluke and it's too bad that it happened. I'm glad Samples is taking responsibility for this mess.

While I'm sad that he will be gone, I'm glad that the studio will get some fresh blood. Cartoon Network has been slipping lately and maybe a new guy is what they need. Hopefully his first move will be taking Saved By The Bell off their roster!

Friday, February 09, 2007


Okay, this week's challenge is a bit harder. Do you know who this is? Leave a comment! I will reveal the answer on Monday!

Have a great weekend!

UPDATE: This week's winner is eagle-man who correctly identified this character as Calendar Girl from The New Batman Adventures! Thanks for playing and I'll see you next week!

Da Points:

athena: 1
coolb: 1
coolshades: 1
eagle-man: 3

Thursday, February 08, 2007


This week's theme song stars one of the most popular video game characters of all time:

Mega Man

In 1993, a three episode Mega Man series was made. It featured a young boy who accidentally releases Dr. Wiley from a Mega Man 5 video game into the real world. The boy releases Mega Man in order to stop Dr. Wiley and send him back into the game.

This short series was produced by Ruby-Spears Productions and ended up being a 'pilot' for the Mega Man animated series that aired a year later. It was released on DVD for the first time in 2003.

The american-made Mega Man animated series, produced by Ruby-Spears Entertainment, ran for two seasons from 1994-1995 and a one-episode third season. The animation above par with a lot of the tv animation of its day and featured a cast of great voice actors such as Ian James Corlett and Scott McNeil.

The series was quite different from the '93 pilot as well as the video game series. It takes place in the future where robots are reality. Dr. Light has created his ultimate boy robot whom he calls Rock, also known as Mega Man. Mega has two sidekicks: His sister, Roll, and his dog, Rush. Together, they must stop the evil Dr. Wiley who has stolen Mega Man's blueprints, created his own evil robot army and has a new plan to take over the world in every episode.

When this series was out, the most current Mega Man game was Mega Man 5 so the villains that you will see are largely from that series with appearances from some of the more popular villains from previous games. Dr. Wiley's main robot henchmen are Gutsman, Cut Man and Protoman, with common appearances from Cold Man, Snake Man and Bomb Man. The villains that show up usually correspond with Dr. Wiley's plan (ie. Dr. Wiley uses Cold Man to freeze everything).

The series boasted decent animation, terribly laughable jokes and pure Saturday morning fun. It was canecelled after two seasons dispite high ratings, but one episode was produced to tie up contractual obligations. This episode features some of the best animation in the series.

This theme song has the best animation in the whole series. It's too bad they put all the work into the theme song because you are expecting so much from the show upon seeing this theme but then you get a much lower quality when the actual episode comes on. The theme also has a pretty annoying song:

Super fighting robot!
Mega Man!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


A Canadian animator has been nominated for an Academy Award this year for her film The Danish Poet. It follows the story of a young poet who gets 'poet's block' and goes on a self realization journey in Norway. Events unfold and he finds that everything that happens in his life happens for a reason and it all unfolds in this 15-minute film.

Torill Kove, an animator from Montreal, made this film for the National Film Board of Canada. It is narrated by famous Norwegian actress, Liv Ulmann.

The Danish Poet is the second film for Torill Kove to be nominated for an Oscar. The first was My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts in 2000.

I couldn't find the whole film online, but here is a clip:

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Back in August, Robert Zemeckis was reported to be seriously considering moving his ImageMovers production company to The Walt Disney Co., in a multi-year deal. Now it seems that this romour has become reality. Yesterday, Zemeckis announced that he will be setting up his motion-capture shop in the Mouse House and will direct a number of productions that will be distributed by Disney.

ImageMovers, the company behind such motion-capture blockbusters as Polar Express and MonsterHouse, is considering their frist picture to be John Carter of Mars, the popular sci-fi novel series by Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs, that Disney just recently aquired the rights to.

"The creation of this new company is yet another step in our leadership role in cutting edge technology as it relates to the movie industry"

-Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook

It seems to me that Disney isn't really concered about inventing and creating new forms of animation any more. It used to be that in the day, if Walt wanted to do something new and unique, they would create what they needed to in order to get it done. But the purchace of Pixar Animation Studios and now the motion-capture studio, ImageMovers, makes it seem that if they can't have the new technology first then they will buy it out and make it their own.

C'mon Disney, don't just jump on the bandwagon! Build the bandwagon!

Monday, February 05, 2007


This Saturday's episode of The Batman is supposed to be a future story of Batman's later years. Rumour has it that it will be based on Frank Millar's classic work, The Dark Knight Returns. The episode will be set in 2027 and will guest star Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) as Oracle and Dick Grayson (Robin) as Nightwing. Here is a still for you to see:

Some of you may remember an episode of The New Batman Adventures that focused on three kids telling each other their own unique interpretations of the Dark Knight. One of those interpretations was a Dark Knight Returns story (pictured to the right). While the style of the show lent itself well to Frank Millar's designs, I believe that the style of The Batman will bring some really cool visuals to the story. I can't wait to see it.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Welcome to another installment of CCCCC! As always, take a look at the picture below and leave me a comment if you know who it is! I will reveal the winner on Monday!

This week's winner is CoolB who correctly indentified this cartoon character as Racer X from the popular Speed Racer! Thanks for playing! See you again next week!

Da Points:

athena: 1
coolb: 1
coolshades: 1
eagle-man: 2

Thursday, February 01, 2007


February's theme for THURSDAY THEME SONG is "Toons Based on Video Games" with the first installment being one of the most popular video games of all time:

The Legend of Zelda

The Super Mario Bros Super Show ran Monday to Friday from 1989 to 1990. The highlight of every boy's and girl's week was Friday when the normal Mario Bros episode was replaced with an episode of Legend of Zelda.

The premise was loosely based on the video games. Link and Princess Zelda are guardians of the Tri-Force of Wisdom. Every episode had the evil Ganon attacking the castle Hyrule in order to gain the Tri-Force's power. His plans were always thwarted by the heroic Link.

While the games played up a super heroic Link, the TV show played him more as a comedian. He would always be trying to get a kiss from the princess (which he would never succeed at) and many of the plot points would come from Link being a total klutz. He also had an extremely annoying catchphrase that you would be sure to hear a few times in each episode! Here's a taste:

The character designs were based on the video game with drastic changes made to the designs of the Princess Zelda. Her dress was replaced by a more practical outfit to fit her new, headstrong personality. Link's hair was also changed from blonde to brown.

The theme song, as well as the show's score, was all based on the video game themes by Koji Kondo.