Attack of the Baby Pixars

Here’s a worthwhile read from Fast Company on a bunch of small CGI animation studios and their plans to make features without a lot of money or staff. It’s strictly a business story that doesn’t address the artistic merit of any of these films–which makes sense, since Fast Company is a business book. (And some of the movies sound terrible, although I’m at least intrigued by anything that might come out of Alligator Planet, a startup run by ex-Pixarian Ralph Guggenheim, and Edward Fudwupper Fibbed Big, which is based on a Berkeley Breathed book.)

But look on the bright side: Maybe gifted storytellers will use cheap hardware and software, outsourced animation, and distribution deals such as those outlined in the article to tell worthwhile tales. When the barriers to entry get lower, they do so for both junk and good stuff…

Walt n’ P.L.

Good story in this week’s New Yorker about P.L. Travers, creator of Mary Poppins, and her relationship with Walt Disney, the Disney Studio, and the movie it made about her character. We knew she wasn’t happy with the Disneyfied Mary (who could blame her?), but this article fills in a lot of details…

UPDATE: Mike Barrier wasn’t impressed in the least with the article; read his comments at this site. (Mike has been blogging at a furious pace lately, so scroll down…)

Department of Bushmiller Mysteries

So can anyone explain to me why this vintage boxed set of (rather creepy) Nancy and Sluggo dolls–currently up for auction at Hake’s–calls them “Sluggo and Girl Friend?” Why would Nancy not want to be named? Was Sluggo pleased or confused by getting top billing? It’s as if there were Thimble Theater dolls labeled as “Olive Oyl and her Sailor Companion…”



Nope, Scrappy wasn’t the only character that Charles Mintz merchandised–here’s a nifty Krazy Kat pin. Um, “Charles Mintz’s Krazy Kat?” As a Herriman admirer, I should be horrified. Then again, Charles Mintz’s Krazy really was Charles Mintz’s Krazy; the character had almost nothing to do with Herriman’s cerebral, extraordinarily personal creation. Perhaps George demanded that Charles take the blame…


Scrappyland Scores a Poster


It’s probably fair to say that no truly serious Scrappy collection is without at least one vintage Scrappy theatrical poster. So I’m pleased to report that the Scrappyland archives now contain one. (It was a deal, too, at half the price I’d seen other examples of this particular style go for.)

This poster (which seems to be the easiest-to-find example of Scrappy theatrical promotion) promoted Scrappy and friends generically, with room at the bottom for the printed title of the current short. It’s notable for spelling the pals’ names as Margie, Oopie, and Yippie–most often, they were known as Margy, Oopy, and Yippy. But Scrappyana is consistently…inconsistent, so getting the characters’ names wrong is entirely in the spirit of things.

As seen in Scrappyland’s section on Scrappy posters, at least some Scrappy cartoons were promoted with wholly original posters specific to the short in question. I’ve seen any of them for sale, let alone at a price I might rationally pay. I’ll keep looking…