Dr. Seuss, Chuck Jones, and Mel Blanc's US Army cartoon warning against loose lips (1943)

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Private Snafu was the US Army's series of instructional cartoons from World War II, written and/or directed by the likes of Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel, Chuck Jones, and PD Eastman. The voice of Private Snafu is performed by Mel Blanc (Buggs Bunny, Daffy Duck, etc.). In this episode, written by Dr. Seuss and titled "Spies," Private Snafu learns a military secret but he can't seem to keep his lips sealed. Note the grossly racist depiction of an Asian man, sadly typical of the era.

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Where that Crazy Cartoon Music Comes From

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You’re sitting in a movie theater in the 1920s. Some nutsy cartoon is playing before the main feature and the characters are chasing one another around … what’s that wild music you hear? It came from a Fotoplayer. Roll tape …

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Here's how South Park records Ike Broflovski's voice

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Here's Trey Parker's technique for getting a good performance while recording the voice of toddler Ike Broflovski for South Park. In this case, Canadian adoptee Ike is voiced by none other than Trey's daughter Betty Boogie Parker. Read the rest

Make: a Rick and Morty-inspired butter-passing robot

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Andre was so impressed with the existential crisis of a butter-passing robot as depicted in the cartoon Rick and Morty that he created his own, and shows you how to make one for yourself. Read the rest

The life of a rock, animated

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An Object at Rest from Seth Boyden on Vimeo.

An "Object at Rest" is a 6-minute animated cartoon by Seth Boyden. He says, the cartoon "follows the life of a stone as it travels over the course of millennia, facing nature's greatest obstacle: human civilization." It was his final thesis film at CalArts. Well done, Seth! Read the rest

After advertiser complaints, Farm News fires editorial cartoonist who criticized John Deere & Monsanto

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Rick Friday has been the editorial cartoonist for Farm News for 21 years, with a weekly slot in every Friday's paper. Read the rest

It's time to stop the Powerpuff Girls

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Johnny Scuz ShadeX combined two awful things: the new PowerPuff Girls cartoon and the "it's time to stop" meme. If you want a picture of the future, Winston, imagine beloved things being drowned in irony, lame topicality and imitation of things young people don't even do anymore, forever. Read the rest

Stretch Armstrong cartoon coming to Netflix

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Netflix ordered 26 episodes of a new Hasbro-produced cartoon starring Stretch Armstrong, the iconic 1970s action figure whose rubbery body could be pulled and stretched until its skin inevitable tore or was punctured and the gross gel filling dripped out. I hope they do battle with the evil Stretch Monster! (Original TV commercial below.)

From Variety:

The 26-episode Stretch Armstrong series, Hasbro Studios’ first original programming for Netflix, is slated to debut in 2017. The animated animated action/comedy series is about an over-scheduled teenager named Jake Armstrong and his two best friends. Then the trio are accidentally exposed to an experimental chemical, they become Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters — a team of stretchable superheroes.

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Meet the composer of "Schoolhouse Rock!"

Conjunction Junction, what's your function? That iconic tune (below) and others from the "Schoolhouse Rock!" cartoon were the work of composer Bob Dorough, now 92-years-old and still playing music. (Great Big Story)

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The Dungeons and Dragons cartoon was better than it had any right to be

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The Retroblasting Youtube show -- which covers the 1980s cartoons that were made as 22-minute ads for toys after Reagan removed regulations aimed at protecting children from televised exploitation -- takes an in-depth look at the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon, a rare example of a show from the era that didn't have a toy tie-in. Read the rest

An Instagram feed of fun illustrated facts

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Children's book illustrator Mike Lowery has an Instagram feed worth following. Each image is an illustrated, Ripley's Believe It or Not style cartoon with an interesting fact. Check out a few samples below.

Giraffes have 21 inch (53 cm), purple tongues! #randomillustratedfacts #sketchbook

A photo posted by Mike Lowery (@mikelowerystudio) on Jan 6, 2016 at 2:13pm PST

Today's random illustrated fact! #randomillustratedfacts #sketchbook

A photo posted by Mike Lowery (@mikelowerystudio) on Jan 5, 2016 at 10:25am PST

It's called Akutaq and some times has ground up fish and whale oil. #randomillustratedfacts #sketchbook

A photo posted by Mike Lowery (@mikelowerystudio) on Dec 27, 2015 at 8:03am PST

Today's random illustrated fact! #randomillustratedfacts #sketchbook

A photo posted by Mike Lowery (@mikelowerystudio) on Oct 20, 2015 at 1:51pm PDT

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Bus station plays Alvin and the Chipmunks music to annoy homeless people

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If you visit the Bournemouth, England bus station after midnight, you'll be treated to the fine squeaky sounds of Alvin and the Chipmunks. Why? According to the BBC, the music is part of a Bournemouth Borough Council strategy to "deter anti-social behaviour and rough sleeping, which could cause waiting passengers to feel intimidated."

"The only way I can describe it is like how people are held at Guantanamo Bay," says resident Aron Kennedy. "If they're laying down in their sleeping bags and they've got this constant music going through their head, it'll make them go insane." ALVIN!!!

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Happy birthday, Mickey Mouse: creepy photo and first two cartoons!

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Above, The Mickey Mouse Club, circa 1930. Below, Mickey's first appearance, a May 15, 1928, test screening of the cartoon Plane Crazy. The film wasn't picked up by a distributor and as a result we celebrate Mickey's birthday on November 18 because that day in 1928 was the first public appearance of the mouse, in Steamboat Willie (below).

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“Long-lost” 1928 Disney animation with 'Oswald the Lucky Rabbit' found in BFI archives

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny's long-lost, long-eared ancestor has been discovered in the National archive of the British Film Institute.

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Weak Messages Create Bad Situations – A manifesto based on suppressed thoughts

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See sample pages at Wink.

According to artist David Shrigley’s message on the back cover of his book, Weak Messages Create Bad Situations, “We are in a bad situation and weak messages are to blame. Lots of individuals in society today are feeble-minded. They don’t know what the hell is going on ... It’s alright. I am here to help you.”

Weak Messages is an over-sized satirical “manifesto” or collection of Shrigley’s deep dark thoughts on all the little and big things that drive our world. Divided into eight chapters (Politics and Opinions, The Arts, Bugs and Insects, The World Explained...), each page contains a child-like drawing along with a hand-written simple opinion or declaration – one-page cartoons that can seem primitively funny at first glance. But read them as a collection and you suddenly find yourself in the depths of Shrigley’s mockingly blunt subconscious where truth, horror, and nervous chuckles abound. But fear not. Shrigley assures us that “If you listen to what I say things will quickly improve.”

Weak Messages Create Bad Situations: A Manifesto by David Shrigley Canongate 2015, 384 pages, 8.2 x 11.2 x 1.1 inches $35 Buy a copy on Amazon Read the rest

T-shirt: Bugs and Gossamer as Han and Chewy

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Deep Fried Art's t-shirt "Scoundrels" ($20 with shipping) depicts Gossamer (the Looney Toons monster) and Bugs as Han and Chewbacca: "I wonder what their ship would look like? The Millenium Carrot??" Read the rest

Watch Pixar co-founder's 1972 computer animations of face and hand

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In 1972, Frederic Ira Parke, while a grad student at the University of Utah, created the first computer graphics animation, above, of a human face, and with fellow student (and Pixar co-founder) Ed Catmull made the groundbreaking computer animation, below, of a human hand. Read the rest

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