MISS SPIKE AND MIKE'S '96 FESTIVAL OF ANIMATION The new edition is by
far the best chosen selection of films to come from Craig "Spike"
Decker and his staff in many years. There are no raw sick and twisted works
in the program (you can see them when Spike returns to the Bay Area later
in the year) and the program is well planned for a change. It opens with
two really delightful comedies. One is nose hair, a very sweet short by
Bill Plympton that lacks the violence seen in much of his work (he designed
it for Hanna-Barbera's What A Cartoon Series, but they didn't "get
it" so he made it on his own). Do Nothing Til You Hear From Me, the
final film before the intermission, is a masterpiece from Sweden with superb
character animation set to music by Duke Ellington. The second half ends
with A Close Shave, Nick Park's latest Oscar winner. Along the way there
are five or six remarkable shorts including two Oscar nominated shorts,
Gagarin from Russia and The End from Canada.
The show has several wonderful surprises in it including Passages, another
gem by Raimund Krumme from Germany that distorts space in a surreal manner
similar but different form his film Crossroads . The second half of the
show opens with a very sophisticated Ah Pook is Here with the voice of William
S. Burroughs reading some of his work. The Janitor, by a former CAL Arts
student, was added to the program at the last moment as it is not listed
in the program. It is fine piece of drawn animation by Vanessa Schwartz
that won her an Oscar nomination in 1994.
In my opinion the show had two duds in it that should have been left out.
Both were 3 minute films, so they are over quickly. There are also three
will made shorts in the program that the people I was with liked a lot more
than I did. I also feel the current show lacks films I would put on my all
time great list, with the possible exception of Do Nothing Til You Hear
From Me. Seeing The Wrong Trousers for the first time was more thrilling
for me than seeing A Close Shave, but both are far better than 99% of the
shorts being made today. In other words the show is excellent, but not exceptional.
I think anyone who loves quality animation will really enjoy this two hour
The Festival continues at the Palace of Fine Arts on weekends through May
19. The show will play the Castro May 3 & 4 at midnight due to David
Letterman using the Palace of Fine Arts for a few days. The program will
be at the Lark Theater in Larkspur May 17-23 and in San Jose at the Towne
Theatre from May 3-16.
P.S. Also making the program a special treat is the festival's tradition
of having the audience hit dozens of balloons into the air before the show.
I've seen some rather uptight people get into the spirit of things and have
fun with the rest of the crowd.
Also, if you are lucky you will get to see Spike's "Scotty, The Shredding
Wonder Dog." He goes on stage and loves to break balloons as the audience
sheers him on. Scotty auditioned for The David Letterman Show's Stupid Pet
Tricks. Hopefully he is about to become a TV star. KC
PDI DOES LEGO AD FOR FOREIGN TV The ad
features thousands of Lego blocks that spill out of the product's package
to form a series of images. The ad takes us onto a pirate ship, on a ride
atop a semi-truck and on an adventure with aliens. Cliff Boule directed
the animation. He worked with Adam Chin, technical director and two character
technical directors, Fred Nilsson and Gilles Dezeustre. Assistant animators
were Noel McGinn, Chanda Cummings and Don Venhaus.
PDI EXPANDS IN SIZE AND MOVES TO A LARGER
LOCATION The company had 90 people on its staff before they signed their
contract to work on features with Dreamworks SKG. They have moved to a space
about three times the size of their former facility and are adding about
45 people to their staff.
The new facility is at 3101 Park Boulevard, Palo Alto, CA 94306 (415) 846-8100.
Their fax is 848-8101.
"GOOD GRIEF, YOU'RE 45 CHARLIE BROWN"
IS A LARGE EXHIBIT OF WORK BY CHARLES M. SCHULZ, COMING TO THE CARTOON ART
MUSEUM MAY 8 - SEPT. This will be the largest retrospective of his work
Also coming to the museum from May 15 to Sept. 1 is an exhibit of original
animation art from The Tick, The Mask, Conan the Adventurer, Bucky O'Hare,
and The Littlest Pet Show. All are shows produced by Sunbow Entertainment.
CARTOON ART MUSEUM WILL BE OPEN FREE TO THE
PUBLIC ON SUNDAY, MAY 19 1 to 5 PM, to celebrate their first anniversary
at their new location. They are at 814 Mission Street, SF on the 2nd floor.
In a separate press release the museum announced admission prices are going
up to $4 for adults as of May 9.
TASTE BEN AND JERRY'S DOONESBURY SORVET AT
THE CARTOON ART MUSEUM ON WED. JUNE 5. The unusual promotion is free
and admission to the museum on the first Wed. of each month is "pay
as you wish." There will be no charge for the Ben and Jerry treats.
There will also be a raffle featuring prizes donated by the ice cream company
including a year's worth of ice cream!
ANIMATION AND EFFECTS DIRECTED A CORPORATE
VIDEO FOR SUN MICROSYSTEMS USING ANIMATION BY PIXAR Pixar animated paper
clips coming to life for the video.
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