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Ten years of the sponge under the sea

January 14th, 2009


Spongebob Squarepants has turned ten! Animation Magazine has the full story. From the article:

Nickelodeon is set to kick off a year-long celebration in honor of the 10th anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants. The festivities will include production of a SpongeBob documentary, the first-ever live cast performance, a new online destination, new episode premieres and a Seinfeld-esque TV movie due to air in November.

 I have enjoyed the show quite a bit during its ten years. Certain gags stick out in my mind, such as the soup being blown in Squidward’s face, Gary catching Spongebob watching a Banana Slug on TV (and Spongebob quickly changing the channel to football), and Nosferatu flicking the lights at the Crusty Crab.

Let’s hope Spongebob has another ten year run as solid as its first ten, and lets hope that more offbeat, wacky cartoon series are given

-Floyd Bishop

I Made it Out of “Hey!”

December 22nd, 2008


The best things about Hanukkah is latkes. The second is arguing about how to spell “Hanukkah” and “latkes” (not to mention “dreydl”). Third is re-watching Kyle Broflovski from South Park sing “A Lonely Jew on Christmas” (from the classic “Mr. Hankey The Christmas Poo” episode of 1997—has it been that long?) The South Park Studios site has kindly posted the song here. See a full collection of South Park Hanukkah clips here.

After the jump, a rootin’ tootin’ intro to “Mr. Hankey The Christmas Poo” featuring Trey and Matt in full cowboy gear:

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Do Fence Us In

December 11th, 2008


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Lookee Dere…it’s Donald and his Dawg!

December 10th, 2008


“Donald and his Dawg” is a new series of shorts by David Fremont of Glue infamy. This down-home, non-flashy Flash series has launched at 4mations. Episode One and Episode Two are up. When Donald and his Dawg step out to retrieve the newspaper, amazing things seem to happen every single day. What are the chances of that? Oh yeah, it’s a CARTOON!

Anne D. Bernstein

How Do You Get the Griffins to Carnegie Hall?

December 4th, 2008


The reviews are in (well, one is!)

Family Guy Sings! was performed on November 24th and 25th at Carnegie Hall. It featured the core cast of Seth MacFarlane’s animated series, backed by a 40-piece orchestra. The program consisted of an unedited live reading of two episodes, plus a selection of popular songs from the series. An earlier and less elaborate version of the shindig, Family Guy Live, was performed at the “Just For Laughs” festival in Montreal and later traveled to LA, Chicago, and New York City. But the Carnegie Hall night was far more fancy schmancy.

Broadway World has a review and a set of photos of the evening’s entertainment.


Here’s a New York Post article written in advance of the performance, with some Seth Green quotes.

After the jump, one of many YouTube shaky-shaky, from-the-audience clips of a Family Guy Live show. [Read more…]

Witches’ Brew and Pirates, Too

November 24th, 2008

It’s a big week for two of today’s top cartoonists fixated on centuries past. Last night was the premiere of Tony Millionaire’s The Drinky Crow Show on Adult Swim. Five episode summaries are currently posted including the intriguing-sounding “Episode Four: Organs” where “Drinky Crow infuriates his brain by quitting drinking, Gabby dates a sexy French spy trapped in a cage, and a young syphlis [sic] with a lot to prove fights his bladder.” Learn more, if you dare! Catch future episodes (but not syphilis) late Sunday nights at 12:15 AM.

Also, here’s a two-part- interview with Tony Millionaire and co-producer Eric Kaplan: Part One, Part Two.

And the more land-based creative storm Dame Darcy has a show up at Sloane Fine Art on the Lower East Side (until December 20th) which displays artwork from her new graphic novel Gasoline, about a family of orphaned Gothic witches.

The ever eerie trailer is here. Or on YouTube here. (Embedding is “disabled by request” so you have to go through the effort of clicking!) For another animated/puppeted take on Darcy’s dark and ornate world…after the jump, view “Golden Shoes” animated by Adam Gravois back in 1996.

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Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna explain how to make TV cartoons

November 9th, 2008

Mark Mayerson has posted a great news clip he found from a CBC news story from 1961. In the clip, we see Joe Barbera and William Hanna walk the reporter through the stages of production from the initial layout to the final audio mix. One interesting note is that even though the news clip (and the cartoons at the time) were broadcast in black & white, the cartoons were all produced in color. Joe mentions that when everyone gets to see the cartoons in color, it will be really exciting. I would have to agree.

 -Floyd Bishop

“King of the Hill” headed for ABC?

November 5th, 2008

king of the hill

Maybe there’s hope yet for Hank Hill. Variety is reporting that  ABC may pick up “King of the Hill”, now that Fox has decided not to order any new episodes of the series. According to Variety:

Fox’s decision not to order any new episodes of “King of the Hill,” meanwhile, came just three days before the animated laffer posted its best ratings in a year, averaging a 4.3 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 on Sunday night.


-Floyd Bishop

“King of the Hill” cancelled

November 3rd, 2008

Fox has cancelled “King of the Hill”. Above is the pitch trailer Mike Judge used to help sell the show, animated by Heart of Texas Productions back in 1996.

Mike’s new series, “The Goode Family”, will debut on ABC midseason.

-Floyd Bishop

Squishy Series

October 23rd, 2008

The Cobble Hill Theater, my local go-to cinema, has a great family series called “Big Movies for Little Kids”. On November 3 they will screen episodes of the French animated series Barbapapa. Barbapapa started out as a popular series of books, written and illustrated by Annette Tison and Talus Taylor. They star a shape-shifting blob that finds love and gets married. The bulbous couple then has a colorful brood of seven Barbababies. Barbapapa (barbe à papa) is French for candy floss, or a “father’s beard”. (Gotta say that he looks like a European cousin of the Shmoo from Al Capp’s Li’l Abner.)

Although I was not familiar with the books until now, they have been translated into 30 languages. There were two animated series based upon the books: a French series from the 1970’s (45 episodes, five minutes each), filmed by Polyscope in the Netherlands; and a more recent series (50 episodes, five minutes each), produced by the Japanese firm Kodansha in the late 90’s. The globe-trotting Japanese version was called Barbapapa Sekai Wo Mawaru (Barbapapa Around the World).

Apparently the first series was syndicated in the US in 1981. Does anyone remember seeing it?

You can buy tons of Barbapapa items at this U.K. website. Animation lover Harry McCracken has a photo of the Barbapapa store on his blog here.

So far, I have not been able to find any source of Barbapapa VHS or DVD in the United States. Even the official site is of no help. Too bad, because I think this cuddly cult could be big!

After the jump, a Barbapapa theme song techno remix and a rockin’ montage! [Read more…]