Archive for the 'animation' Category

Cal Arts Student Films

January 29, 2010

Cal Arts is a famous animation school in Valencia where many of the ‘big’ animators got their start. The goal of a semester at Cal Arts is to create an animated short, and these are labors of love in the purest sense. Some are more experimental than others, obviously. Here is one I just stumbled upon by Stevie-Wermers Skleton, who directs animated shorts for Disney. It’s called ‘Small Fry.’

Also, while we’re on the subject, I thought I would post one of my favorite Cal Arts student films ever, ‘The Whoopass Girls.’ It became the basis for Cartoon Network’s insanely popular ‘Powerpuff Girls,’ and despite the limited animation it’s really cool to see what Craig McCracken was thinking when he originally envisioned the series.

If you’d like to see more the school now has a YouTube Channel up to showcase all of their students work. Before we would only get to see some of these things if their creators went on to do something famous (which is actually the case with a lot of them.) Enjoy!

Dear Universal Studios,

February 6, 2007

Hello,

My name is Josh, and I am a lifelong fan of your movie studios, feature films, and theme parks. I would like to thank you for the quality entertainment you have given to me and my family by offering you my services in your time of need.

You see, I, like many others who bother to think about these things, feel that your studio has always had a very weak staple of cartoon stars, and the irony of that is never lost on me. You see, Walt Disney once worked for Universal. In fact, if Walt’s original creation, ‘Oswald the Lucky Rabbit,’ wasn’t stolen by you he probably never would have left to create Mickey Mouse.

Every time I walk into one of your theme parks I sigh when I see an enormous Curious George or Crash Bandicoot greeting the guests. While Spider-Man and Beetlejuice are quite cool, there is one Universal character in particular I’m always looking for and can never seem to find: Chilly Willy.

Chilly willy

In case you are unfamiliar, Chilly Willy is a small, adorable, semi-mute penguin who wears a ski cap and a scarf. Never quite as popular as that other Universal Studios bird, Chilly has starred in nearly 100 theatrical shorts throughout his career. The truth is that most of these cartoons were awful, but despite this the character has managed to develop a cult following of his own. The lack of presence at Universal theme parks is especially noteworthy when you consider that Woody Woodpecker and the gang are supposedly its’ official mascots. Worse yet, they haven’t made a notable public appearance in about 40 years.

Knowing these things, you’ll understand my shock when I found a women’s t-shirt of the character at Hot Topic, nestled between two especially large piles of Family Guy crap. While it’s not a big deal to see Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny on some merchandise, seeing the Universal cartoon stars on anything warrants a marching band and a ticker-tape parade. Kudos to you, good sirs! (And I do assume you are ‘sirs,’ because I doubt a woman would design a shirt featuring the words ‘Chilly’ and ‘Willy’ so prominently, but I digress…)

With the public’s renewed interest in penguins, perhaps the marketing genuises at the studio can try and capitalize on this somehow. Releasing some Chilly Willy cartoons on DVD would be a nice start, but I have something much more amibtious in mind.

Penguins

If Universal Studios would be willing to loan me the rights to the character for one year, and also, use of a real penguin, I guarantee I could rework the property into something modern and relevant. My proposal includes projects such as taking ‘Chilly Willy’ to summits on global warming, and also, teaching him to do adorable tricks in exchange for pieces of fish!

By covering both ends of the spectrum I can remain respectful of the property while also pushing it head first into the new millennium, While I have no interest in revitalizing Andy Panda or Woody Woodpecker anytime soon, I feel saving Chilly Willy from obscurity is the least I can do for the studio that brought me ‘The Wizard,’ ‘Bride of Frankenstein,’ and terrible ‘King Kong’ remake after terrible ‘King Kong’ remake. It is my hope that you take my offer seriously, and I look forward to receiving your reply!

Thank you again,

- Josh!

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