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Archive for the ‘cartoon shorts’


An interview with director Robert Alvarez.

December 17th, 2010

Photograph of Robert Alvarez @ Cartoon Network by Steve Hulett, 2010    Robert Alvarez

Listen to Robert’s two part interview here and here.

Director & artist Robert Alvarez is one of the great ones, and incredibly important to me (and Frederator). So I was very pleased to listen to the oral history interview posted this week by feature film writer Steve Hulett of Hollywood’s Animation Guild.

As you can hear in the interview, Robert’s wanted to be in the cartoon biz since he was in the 8th grade, he succeeded in getting into the industry very early, and he’s been a thriving, creative stalwart for over 40 years. His imdb page has its first credit as 1969’s animated Winky Dink and You, and he’s worked on the full range of projects from The Smurfs to Samurai Jack (where he got his first Emmy®) right through to Regular Show.  You really can’t keep a good man down. Every new generation of talent is eager to make their own mark on the business and looks skeptically on the people who came before them, as if they’re somehow not good enough for their masterpieces. After initial doubts, Robert has won over every new group of creators that have invigorated cartoons for the almost 20 years I’ve known him. He’s done it with his skills, certainly, but it might be his patience, excitement, and generosity that have most triumphed.

When I arrived at Hanna-Barbera in 1992, Robert was one of the veterans who’s respect I seriously desired. He was the real deal, a talented, serious professional who was also a complete animation fanboy. If only I could convince him that my plans for the studio weren’t frivolous or mercenary. We had a minor tussle early on, when he thought I might be treating the characters recklessly and I think he was convinced my love for them was genuine. But, it was after he started working with Pat Ventura on his first short for us that we really bonded. I was extremely proud that Robert went on to create Pizza Boy and Tumbleweed Tex for What A Cartoon! (He’s nice enough to mention moi in the second part of the interview, talking about the changes we brought to Hanna-Barbera.)

I want to put in a word for the Animation Guild and its Business Representative Steve Hulett too.  There’s probably no institution more dedicated to keeping show business animation alive than the Guild (no, not Disney or Pixar), and Steve’s right at the front of the line. I was once a Doubting Thomas having grown up throughout my life in management (my parents owned their own business, and I’ve been running companies for quite a few years) and having had a few particularly unpleasant run-ins with a past Guild president. But, now I send every single new Hollywood animation arrival straight over to Steve. I know he’s there to make everyone’s entry into the industry as smooth and productive as possible, and that the Guild runs classes and events designed to broaden everyone’s skills and networking possibilities. They’re a bunch of solid citizens over there, and I encourage everyone with an interest to check out their site and blog as often as possible. We’re all indebted.

And I love these oral histories, four of which are posted on the blog now. Keep ‘em coming Steve, we’re all waiting.

Available on Amazon.

December 15th, 2010

Book cover illustrated & designed by Carlos Ramos
Original Cartoon Title Cards from Frederator Studios [cover]

OK, here ’tis on Amazon.com, Original Cartoon Title Cards from Frederator Studios, before Christmas, as we hoped. Not sure if they can actually deliver it by next week, but you can check. The official release date is in March, so at least you can get a head start on everyone else. In the meanwhile, you can preview the whole book below to see if it’s worth it to you.

Here’s the blurb (and here’s the entire introduction):

Please, consider the unconsidered art of the original cartoon title card.

For almost a century, the art of the cartoon title card has not been disparaged, disregarded, or dismissed. It has been completely ignored. And by the 1970s it had almost completely disappeared.

Over 200 full color original title cards from hit Frederator cartoon series, including The Fairly OddParents, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, Fanboy & Chum Chum, Adventure Time, and eight more.

Frederator loves you.

Original Cartoon Title Cards from Frederator Studios

“Man, those French animation students…”

June 3rd, 2010

Salesman Pete Trailer from Salesman Pete on Vimeo.

It’s a cloudy, humid day in New York, and this morning it seemed like it would be business as usual at Frederator East. Phone calls, meetings, lunch, more calls and meetings. Now, in the cartoon biz, that ain’t bad. We’re skimming oil from the Gulf here.

And then an email arrives from our friend, illustrator/animation director David Cowles, with a link to this trailer.

“Man, those French animation students…” says David.

He’s talking about Anthony Vivien, Marc Bouyer, and Max Loubaresse. Watch out, you’ll be hearing from them.

Just when you least expect it, talent rears its ugly head.

Bad-guy turn from Salesman Pete on Vimeo.

Pete turn from Salesman Pete on Vimeo.

WIP du premier plan du court Salesman Pete from Salesman Pete on Vimeo.

Plan 25 WIP from Salesman Pete on Vimeo.

The history so far.

May 28th, 2010

Frederator Postcards Series 9.13
Frederator Postcards Series 9.13, mailed May 28, 2010

When I started Frederator, the slogan “Original Cartoons since 1998″ was a bit of a joke (it was 1998, after all), but there weren’t too people who believed an indie cartoon company could survive with a mission to bring creators with true vision to the top of the pops. But I was pretty cocky from our experience at Hanna-Barbera with the first modern shorts incubator, What A Cartoon!, where the big ideas of 48 creators most people had never heard of exploded into the world. And, of course, today those kids are the backbone of the world-class cartoon business.

12 years later, I think we’ve been able to live up to our motto, where films like Adventure Time are reinventing the cartoon future all over again. I’m really lucky to have been able to put together a company team (please tip your hats to Eric, Kevin, and Carrie) that’s still working with the great creators.

Thanks everyone.

……

From the postcard back:

Congratulations!
You are one of 200 people to receive this limited edition Frederator postcard!
www.frederator.com

History of Frederator Studios
Adventure Time
A Random! Cartoons series
2010 - ?
Created by Pendleton Ward

Series 9.13

Postcard ©2010, Bellport Cartoon Company. Adventure Time ©2010, Cartoon Network. A Time Warner Company.

……
More Frederator postcards

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanboy_(disambiguation) & Chum Chum

May 21st, 2010

Frederator Postcards Series 9.12
Frederator Postcards Series 9.12, mailed May 21, 2010

The conventional wisdom at the networks had just about given up on original cartoon hits. But that was before our trademark-applied-for Frederator Cartoon Shorts System™ came back with Random! Cartoons and launched this mega-hit.

…..
From the postcard back:

Congratulations!
You are one of 200 people to receive this limited edition Frederator postcard!
www.frederator.com

History of Frederator Studios
Fanboy & Chum Chum
A Random! Cartoons series
2009 - ?
Created by Eric Robles

Series 9.12

Postcard ©2010, Bellport Cartoon Company. Fanboy & Chum Chum ©2010, Viacom Intl. All rights reserved.

……
More Frederator postcards

サルゲッチュ

May 17th, 2010

Frederator Postcards Series 9.11
Frederator Postcards Series 9.11, mailed May 17, 2010

Our colleague Kevin Kolde is a videogame freak. He worked a lot of years to get the animation rights to Konmai’s Castlevania and then, Sony’s Ape Escape. Then, years more to put together our partners Hawaii Film Partners, Showcase Entertainment, and Konnie Kwakwith a great creative team. There are 38 two minute Ape Escape Cartoons shorts playing on the Nicktoons Network.
…..
From the postcard back:

Congratulations!
You are one of 200 people to receive this limited edition Frederator postcard!
www.frederator.com

History of Frederator Studios
Ape Escape Cartoons
2009
Produced by Kevin Kolde

Series 9.11
……
More Frederator postcards

“Original Cartoons, Volume 2: The Frederator Studios Postcards 2006-2010

May 8th, 2010

Original Cartoons, Volume 2
It took a while to get the gallies right, but the second collection of Frederator’s postcards is available over at Amazon.com (the first one’s there too).

Eric Homan is our resident postcard collector, but that’s not the main reason he has an insightful interview here. Entertainment journalist Michael Goldman wanted to get the scoop on how Eric developed the last round of big ideas in our Random! Cartoons shorts incubator, including the background on Fanboy & Chum Chum and Adventure Time. Their cards, and all 39 of the original Random!s, are included in the book.
back
And that’s not all! The complete postcard series 6 through 9 are here, including the black & whites, and the History of Frederator set. And, the non-series Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! collectibles that were made for the International Licensing Shows, and a bunch of stragglers that were produced here and there over the years. Plus, a preface by the guy we work for at Sony Pictures Animation, Bob Osher, and a short introduction from moi.

So, check it out. Broke? Too cheap? Here’s the free PDF download:

Original Cartoons, Volume 2: The Frederator Studios Postcards 2006 - 2010

They only come out at nite.

May 7th, 2010

Frederator Postcards Series 9.10
Frederator Postcards Series 9.10, mailed May 7, 2010

The chronic bickersons Penalty and Lloyd had argued their way through a memorable short from The Meth Minute 39 and their show Nite Fite became a leading candidate for a series spin-off. The Digitas advertising agency’s John McCarus agreed, and rapidly found a major sponsor in MarsStarburst Candies, a first for Frederator Studios’ internet productions and distributor Next New Networks.

…..
From the postcard back:

Congratulations!

You are one of 200 people to receive this limited edition Frederator postcard
www.frederator.com

History of Frederator Studios
Nite Fite
A Meth Minute 39 series
2008
Created by Dan Meth

Series 9.10

©2010, Bellport Cartoon Company.
……
More Frederator postcards

No. “Meth” is his name.

April 30th, 2010

Frederator Postcards Series 9.9
Frederator Postcards Series 9.9, mailed April 30, 2010

My wife saw a cartoon of Dan Meth’s on the internet and urged me to get in touch; it was funny, so I did. Soon Dan was ensconced at Frederator/NY working on web commercials for his clients while we figured out something to do together. He started working on a segment for one of our Random! cartoons and he presented the idea of his own shorts show. After I said no ($10,000,000 for one creator?) he explained he wanted to do internet minutes, not seven minutes for television and we were a go. Even though he sat 20 feet away, I wanted to give him room to make his films so I didn’t see any finished pieces until he’d done about 10 or so. 50,000,000 views, and James Brown, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sid Barrett, and Barry Jordan later, he clearly took great advantage of the room.
…..

From the postcard back:
Congratulations!

You are one of 200 people to receive this limited edition Frederator postcard!
www.frederator.com

History of Frederator Studios
The Meth Minute 39
2007-2008
Created by Dan Meth

Series 9.9

©2010, Bellport Cartoon Company
…….
More Frederator postcards

Dude! Random!

April 23rd, 2010

Frederator Postcards Series 9.8
Frederator Postcards Series 9.8, mailed April 23, 2010

By 2005, it had been almost five years since the last round of Frederator shorts. We’d always been proud of our tradition of incubating and introducing new talent with big ideas, and certainly the results spoke for themselves. Nickelodeon’s Herb Scannell (along with Albie Hecht, Tom Freston, and Judy McGrath), our biggest network supporter felt the same way, and fast tracked what was becoming Random! Cartoons (neé Oh Yeah! Cartoons, Season 4).

……
From the postcard back:

Congratulations!

You are one of 200 people to receive this limited edition Frederator postcard!
www.frederator.com

History of Frederator Studios
Random! Cartoons
2009
Created by Fred Seibert
Executive Producers: Larry Huber & Fred Seibert

Developed by Eric Homan
Supervising Producer: Kevin Kolde

Series 9.8

Postcard © 2010, Bellport Cartoon Company. Random! Cartoons ©2010, Viacom Intl. All rights reserved.
……
More Frederator postcards