Belushi widow & Aykroyd produce Blues Brothers animated series

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Judy Belushi and Dan Aykroyd are developing a kid-oriented Blues Brothers animated series with Bento Box, the studio behind Bob's Burgers. Read the rest

Virus trading cards, animated and 3D-printable

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Eleanor Lutz used files from the Protein Data Bank to model the molecules comprising the viruses that are the scourge of our human race. Read the rest

New Walter Robot animated video for Death Cab for Cutie

Our pals in Death Cab for Cutie have just released a terrific new animated video by Walter Robot (BB contributor Bill Barminski and Christopher Louie) for the track "Good Help (Is So Hard To Find)" from DCfC's sublime album Kintsugi! You can catch Death Cab for Cutie live at numerous festivals this summer and a handful of co-headline shows with Chvrches!

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An animated series about women who dared defy history

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Ordinary Women: Daring to Defy History is a video series about women overlooked by history raising production funds at crowdfunding site Seed & Spark. Creators Anita Sarkeesian, Laura Hudson (recently of Boing Boing and Offworld) and Elizabeth Aultman plan to feature Murasaki Shikibu, credited as the first modern novelist, 19th-century computer pioneer Ada Lovelace, womens' rights advocate Emma Goldman and others.

Unusually for a crowdfunded production, the series will be lavishly animated, reports Bustle, creating a work of art in its own right.

It's an exploration of women throughout history who have decimated gender stereotypes and contributed to humanity in truly impactful ways. The series will seek to remind us not only that these kinds of women — the rabble-rousers, the undercover reporters, the activists, the pirates — are extraordinary individuals, but also that women doing extraordinary things is actually quite ordinary. And that's a good thing. Here's why.

Women kicking ass and taking names shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, because we've been here all along, propping up society with our accomplishments. Unfortunately, the telling of history has a way of being whitewashed, male-focused, and more, excluding the contributions of far too many women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and other marginalized groups. With this new video series, Feminist Frequency hopes to address that glaring imbalance by bringing to life the stories of some of history's most rebellious and remarkable women.

USA Today reports that the creators hope it will inspire more women.

“We want to normalize these women in history,” says Sarkeesian.
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Why Ren and Stimpy was one of the greatest cartoon series ever

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Nerdwriter Evan Puschak put together a video about The Ren & Stimpy Show, a "seminal cartoon of the animation renaissance." When the psychotic chihuahua and imbecilic cat debuted in 1991, I couldn't believe how fantastically funny and weird it was. There was nothing else like it on TV at the time. Before Ren & Stimpy, television cartoons were awful. Show creator John Kricfalusi paved the way for all the great cartoon series we've seen since.

[via] Read the rest

Vintage demo reel from computer graphics firm behind the original Tron lightcycles

Marvel at this computer graphics demo reel created c.1980 by the company Mathematical Applications Group (MAGI). More specifically, you're seeing the work of the firm's MAGI/SynthaVision group, one of the main outfits that created the CGI for Tron, including the light cycles (clip below)! From Wikipedia:

In 1981, MAGI was hired by Disney to create half of the majority of the 20 minutes of CGI needed for the film Tron. Twenty minutes of CGI animation, in the early 1980s, was extremely gutsy, and so MAGI was a portion of the CGI animation, while other companies were hired to do the other animation shots. Since Synthavision was easy to animate and could create fluid motion and movement, MAGI was assigned with most of Tron's action sequences. These classic scenes include the light cycle sequence and Clu's tank and recognizer pursuit scene. Despite the high quality images that Synthavision was able to create, the CSG solids modeling could not create anything with complex shapes and multiple curves, so simpler objects like the light cycles and tanks were assigned to MAGI. MAGI was given $1.2 million to finance the animation needed for Tron. MAGI needed more R&D and many other engineers who were working in government contacts at MAGI were assigned back into MAGI's "Synthavision" division.

MAGI sped up the process of supplying its work to Disney Studios in Burbank by a transcontinental computer hook-up. Before each scene was finalized in MAGI's lab in Elmsford, New York, it was previewed on a computer monitor at Disney.

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The Art of Zootopia – A fantastic companion book to a fantastic movie

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

I got my hands on a copy of The Art of Zootopia last week, days before the movie opened, and was so enamored with the fresh yet classic Disney-inspired art that I was already set on reviewing the book. Then over the weekend I watched the movie with my 12-year-old daughter and friends, and wow! What a brilliantly humorous and moving winner of a movie it was. Bravo to directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore! But this is Wink, so back to the book…

The Art of Zootopia is such a treat in the way that it not only revisits the movie’s delightfully heartwarming characters and fantastic art, but gives us an engaging look at what went into the making of Zootopia. The book starts with author Jessica Julius describing the movie’s original story pitch – a 1960s spy story – and how it evolved over four years into the modern day tale of underdogs, prejudice, and fighting for justice for all. She gives us the scoop on how the characters were developed (balancing a feminine yet tough, naïve yet sharp, optimistic yet challenged bunny cop isn’t so easy!), shows us amazing “sets” I don’t even remember in the fast-moving film, and she lets us in on all kinds of fun details, like the fact that it took eight months to get the various animals’ fur just right (color, texture, and direction of fur growth takes more contemplation than I realized). We are also privy to many sketches and scenes that were eventually cut from the film. Read the rest

4 artists 1 tree

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4 Artists Paint 1 Tree is a short documentary released by Disney in 1958, in which four of its best animators (then working on Sleeping Beauty) each paint the same old oak tree. An illustration of the depth of artistic brilliance and individuality informing the technical uniformity of an animated feature, it's well worth 15 minutes of your day.

They're all great, but my favorite is Eyvind Earle's, top, closely followed by Josh Meador's on the left. To the right, Walt Peregoy ("Walt Disney was a shit. We made Walt. Walt didn’t make Walt. Walt was an asshole.") holds his modernist rendering. At bottom is Mark Davis, whose technique seems delightfully contemporary. [Thanks, Wendy!] Read the rest

How a sewing machine works (gif edition)

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An ancient mystery revealed. Read the rest

Digitally animated photos from last year's Burning Man

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Ari Fararooy writes, I digitally animated my photographs from the Burning Man festival to create a surreal illustration of my experiences. Read the rest

Video: All the classic movie references hidden in Pixar's animated films

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Okay, this may not in fact be ALL of the classic movie references in animated films from Pixar, but it's a whole lot of 'em.

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Deeply weird animation of a clay man assembling himself

Czech filmmaker Jan Švankmajer's Tma/Svetlo/Tma ("Darkness Light Darkness"), a stunningly surreal stop-motion animation from 1989.

(Thanks, UPSO!)

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A fan's animated homage to HBO's 'The Wire'

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“I designed and animated this piece as an homage to my favorite show of all time, HBO’s The Wire,” says animator Elliot Lim.

What an absolutely stunning piece this is. One of my new year's resolutions is to watch the entire series, start to finish, in one big binge.

[Laughing Squid, animation stills via elliot-lim.com]

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The beautiful geometric GIFs of Erik Söderberg

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Erik Söderberg, a multimedia artist based in Sweden, created this series of geometric GIFs: "Fractal Experience Part 2."

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Watch this elegant dance of triangles by animator René Jodoin (1966)

From 1966, René Jodoin's beautiful minimalist animation of a geometric ballet, "Notes on a Triangle." Jodoin, who died earlier this year, was founder of the National Film Board of Canada's animation studio. "Note on a Triangle" was only one of several films meant as an introduction to geometric forms. See more here.

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Kickstarting a stop-motion black-light movie inspired by dark rides

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Screen Novelties' Witch Doctor kickstarter is looking to raise $60,000 to finish a gorgeous-looking, tiki-themed stop-motion black-light movie inspired by classic dark rides. Read the rest

Animated interview with Nina Simone about fashion, shock, and her daughter

The high priestess of soul in an interview with Lilian Terry from July 1968.

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