Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Of Owls and Squirrels

Here are a few images from my senior project. Nothing is quite finalized yet. Gotta make that squirrel a different color too.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Disney's Mars and Beyond, Martian Plants and Animals

Here's something you want to see. It had been plaguing me for years: "What's that amazing animation I saw when I was younger? It was about life on Mars, and it had all these insane creatures and plants in it...I think it was on the...Disney Channel??" Thankfully, my friend Justin Weber brought droolworthy, expensive looking Disney DVDs to class one day a while back and this was on it. It's Disney's "Mars and Beyond," the Life on Mars segment specifically.

"Mars and Beyond," an episode of the 1957 TV show "Disneyland," begins with Walt Disney and his robot slave Garco introducing the show. Look at that robot, a real glimpse into the future.

Paul Frees talks us through this documentary-style look into various theories and suppositions about Mars. The great Ward Kimball, of Disney's famed powerhouse team of animators, the 9 Old Men, directs the picture and provides something particularly memorable with the section of the show that focuses on the possibilities of life existing on the Red Planet. These images have stuck with me since I was a kid.

You won't find any little green men in this selection of proposed Martian flora and fauna.

That's part of what makes these insanely inventive creature designs so great; they don't utilize the common notions of what aliens look like. Their approach to design is almost scientific. What could an animal that needs to survive on Mars eat? Dust of course!

Cute little flying balloon critters quickly become a meal for other cooler forms of Martian life.

If this were made much later than 1957, I don't think it would have been as great as it is. I'm actually surprised it wasn't made earlier.

I wouldn't be human if I didn't post the video for you all to see. BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE OTHER 5 PARTS OF THE EPISODE. You won't regret it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Batman: Brave & Bold: The Verdict

Guilty. Guilty of being the most fun I've had watching a superhero cartoon since the original Batman: The Animated Series. Brave & Bold takes us back to the days when Batman knew how to smile. Don't get me wrong, I love the deep, brooding Dark Knight of Batman: TAS, but I've seen that for over a decade now. I've seen Batman stalk the blackest alleys of Gotham in search of the man who laughs. In just the first episode of Brave & Bold, we get to see Batman team up with the Green Arrow and whoop on Clock King.

And that's just in the intro. The rest of the episode focuses on Blue Beetle and Batman travel through space to an alien planet, where the native species (some adorable little goo men) is being rocked by the evil alien dictator, Kanjar Ro....COOL. A nice change of pace from the more Earthly stories in past Batman cartoons.

The animation is great. Really snappy and fun to watch! Batman's voice is a little different than I'm used to, but I can get over that. The entire show has a really lighthearted feel that is like anything but a Batman show. That may turn some off, but I absolutely love it. I like both the dark "Tim Burton" version of Batman and the campy Batman, like the old live action show. By now, I know what Bruce looks like as he stews in his pitch black Batcave. Show me something different! Show me something with some real imagination! Something like this:

Is that Batman being chased by a T-Rex?! Yes it is. Why? Watch tonight's episode to find out. You should also watch it for a number of other reasons, like those I mentioned above, and these teasers for tonight's episode:

GOTTA find out what this is all about...

Who is that up there in the white coat and hat? The Gentleman Ghost?? I LOVE THAT THE SHOW USES SECOND TIER CHARACTERS. Batman's already got the greatest and most well known rogues gallery of all time, why not give this guy some play?

Great design, top notch animation, insanely imaginative stories, this show is F-U-N FUN TO WATCH. Love that theme song too! Clear your mind of all the images of Bats creeping through the shadows and check out Batman: The Brave & Bold tonight (Friday) on CARTOON NETWORK at 7pm CENTRAL and catch Gorilla Grodd and....P-P-P-PLASTIC MAAAAAAAANNN!

I also suggest you take a look at the new Batman: Brave & Bold Website! It's actually really cool. It's got some pretty killer behind-the-scenes videos. Betcha didn't know they still break down their dialogue track the old school analog way. Watch some of those behind-the-scenes vids, very interesting.

The InterAction Figures feature is pretty nifty. It's like having a real action figure, except this one is online and cooler and can do a bunch of stuff and give you information about the characters. Plus it doesn't cost money or take up space, like a real action figure does.

The Game is also pretty addicting, and it actually has some depth to it, which is nice. Team up Batman with other characters and defeat the missions. Pretty fun platformer, I'm not very good at it yet, but I'll keep trying.

DO NOT MISS Batman: The Brave & The Bold tonight, and every Friday at 7pm Central!! It's got Plastic Man in it, so you've gotta get on it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Batman: The Brave & the Bold



That looks AWESOME!!! SPECTACULAR!!! MAGNIFICENT!!! AND the show focuses on something totally new: Batman working with other heroes. And NOT Superman, Wonder Woman, or John Stewart Green Lantern, no no. This show is all about utilizing lesser known characters. I LOVE lesser known characters! They're the most interesting! PLASTIC MAN for Christ's sake! Amazing! The art direction looks amazing. While I love the Bruce Timm style, it's become pretty familiar. First Teen Titans, that's pretty alright. Legion of Superheroes was next to break the Bruce Timm stylistic touch, looked just as good as Teen Titans, maybe better. Now this Batman cartoon. Blows my mind. Way too cool. I know I'm a total dork, don't care. This cartoon looks very promising. Just check out that Black Manta!


I swear that the guy who drew this has read my diary. I have way too much love for this next image. The highest legal amount of love. The highest amount of love that I can have for it without risking legal repercussions.

Cool, exciting, interesting secondary characters. Refreshing art direction. Awesome Batman costume. Where could they go wrong? I'm not that pumped about the Blue Beetle looking like the current Blue Beetle:

Instead of the old Blue Beetle, which is obviously better.

I'll let that one slide though. I love the Dick Sprang inspired style. Here's a real "Spranger."

Starts tomorrow on Cartoon Network at 7 central. I'll let you know what I think about it.