The Simpsons intro as a Russian art film

Something uplifting to start the week with!

BONUS: The Simpsons intro as a dimly-remembered VHS nightmare:

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Billionaire newspaper monopolist family cancels editorial cartoonist after anti-Trump drawing

Canada's Irving family is one of the richest in the world, owning more land than anyone except the British royals and the Catholic church; they also own virtually all the media in New Brunswick, as well as the industries that those newspapers cover, and they augment their media control over the public discourse with a ruthless approach to their critics. Read the rest

Mickey and Minnie speak Thai in retro cartoon short "Our Floating Dreams"

If you haven't seen them already, do check out Disney's Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts. They're delightfully retro and great under-five-minute escapes. The latest one, Our Floating Dreams, has Mickey and Minnie speaking Thai!

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The Flintstones meet the Roman Empire, starring Dom DeLuise

This is the title sequence for The Roman Holidays, a Hanna-Barbera Productions cartoon that lasted for 13 episodes in 1972. It was quite similar to The Flintstones which itself was inspired by The Honeymooners. From Toonopedia:

The show's title came from the setting (ancient Rome) and the protagonists' family name (Holiday, which was just ever so typical a family name back then). Dad's first name was Gus and Mom's was Laurie. They had a teenage daughter named Groovia, an in-house son-in-law named Happius (usually called Happy) and a younger daughter named Precocia. Their pet cat, Brutus (no relation), was actually a lion. Like modern nuclear family heads, Gus went to work every day, where his boss was Mr. Tycoonus, and came home each night to the Venus de Milo Arms, where his landlord was Mr. Evictus (Dom DeLuise! -ed.).

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Watch this far-out Japanese animated "documentary" about UFOs (1975)

"That's a UFO! The flying saucer" (これがUFOだ! 空飛ぶ円盤) is a Japanese "documentary" about unidentified flying objects. It was first screened in 1975 at the annual Toei Anime Festival hosted by the famed Toei Animation studio, creators of Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball. The short film features classic UFO encounters like the Betty Barney Hill abduction case of 1961 and the 1948 story of Kentucky Air National Guard pilot Captain Thomas F. Mantel whose plane crashed while he chased a UFO.

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Supercut of Spongebob Squarepants characters screaming "My leg!"

It is, as they say, a running joke. One meticulously catalogued here by Noah Spongy and Jasbre. Read the rest

Alabama public television won't air Arthur episode featuring gay wedding

The first episode of the 22nd season of the children's animated show Arthur, titled "Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone," premiered last week but Alabama Public Television has refused to air it. Why? Because third grade teacher Mr. Ratburn's special someone is a chocolate maker named Patrick and the two are seen walking down the aisle. In 2005, Arthur spin-off show Postcards from Buster showed a lesbian couple which infuriated then-Department of Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.) From CNN:

The storyline about Mr. Ratburn's marriage conveys a positive message, (programming director Mike McKenzie) said. But while many parents will find it appropriate, many others will disagree, he said -- "either because their children are too young, or because of their beliefs."

"Our broadcast would take away the choice of parents who feel it is inappropriate," McKenzie told CNN in a statement.

PBS Kids programs are designed to reflect the diversity of communities across the nation," PBS Kids' Maria Vera Whelan told CNN. "We believe it is important to represent the wide array of adults in the lives of children who look to PBS Kids every day."

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Watch: "Your Face," the classic Bill Plympton animation and The Simpsons couch gag it inspired

Cartoonist and animator Bill Plympton's wonderfully weird "Your Face" animated short features vocals by Maureen McElheron, slowed down by one-third for maximum slurriness. Nominated for a 1988 Academy Award, "Your Face" inspired the below 2018 couch gag on The Simpsons with Homer's vocals by Dan Castellaneta.

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It has been years since I've heard Porky Pig say "That's all folks!"

I used to see/hear Porky say this 20x a day.

I want this on my tombstone, but maybe higher res. Read the rest

Teddy Ruxpin won't leave my tortured brain alone

Just now, I tried to recall what I had for lunch the other day. I had to wrestle with it for a few moments before I was able to pin a chicken chimichanga at Espi & T's to the mat for a ten-count.

I don't remember the face of the the woman who broke my heart while I was in my early 20s nor what happened to the boxes of the comic books I used to own. But my head absolutely refuses to let go of the theme song to The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin -- a cartoon that I watched MAYBE twice in my life. It's been slowly driving me insane for the past few days.

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Watch this new Disney-Pixar short, "Bao"

In this 7-minute animated cartoon, a woman cooks a bao dumpling that suddenly comes to life as a baby.

In “Bao,” an aging Chinese mom suffering from empty nest syndrome gets another chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings springs to life as a lively, giggly dumpling boy. Mom excitedly welcomes this new bundle of joy into her life, but Dumpling starts growing up fast, and Mom must come to the bittersweet revelation that nothing stays cute and small forever. This short film from Pixar Animation Studios and director Domee Shi explores the ups and downs of the parent-child relationship through the colorful, rich, and tasty lens of the Chinese immigrant community in Canada.

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Watch Stephen Hillenburg's fantastic pre-SpongeBob student animation from 1992

In 1992, seven years before the premier of SpongeBob SquarePants, the late Stephen Hillenburg was enrolled in CalArts' Experimental Animation Program. As a student, he created his first cartoons, including "The Green Beret" (1992) seen above, which landed him his job at Nickelodeon, working on Rocko's Modern Life and, later, developing SpongeBob SquarePants.

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Watch the first Toy Story 4 trailer!

Meet Bonnie's new toy "Forky" and head out on the road. Directed by Josh Cooley (“Riley’s First Date?”), Toy Story 4 comes to theaters June 21, 2019.

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Pop culture characters organized by color

French illustrator Linda Bouderbala did a fun exercise where she gathered some of her favorite characters from geek and pop culture and organized them by color. Read the rest

Watch Moebius's "Starwatcher," a pioneering 3D computer animation from 1991

In 1991, Jean Henri Gaston Giraud (aka Moebius) and a team of animators created this gorgeous short pilot for a film called Starwatcher. According to this Wired feature that Mark wrote in 1994, "Starwatcher was slated to be the first feature-length animated movie to be made with 3-D computer graphics. But the film's producer died in a car accident, and shortly thereafter it was discovered that the French production company bankrolling the film was FF85 million (US$15 million) in debt. (Many suspected the car accident was no accident.)"

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Do not miss this anime trailer for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

Absolutely stellar work by comic artist and "animotion" director Dmitry "Ahriman" Grozov of Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Follow Ahriman on Patreon and Instagram.

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This Rick and Morty green screen tattoo is fantastically effective (for now, anyway)

Tattoo by Roy Rowlett of Mama Tried Tattoo Parlour in Louisville, Ky.

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