Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Couple Short Films by Caroline Leaf

Hello fellow animation fans, I would guess many of you are probably aware of the National Film Board of Canada. From the 1960's until today this studio has brought us some absolutely incredible animation ranging from slapstick comedy to art house animation. One of the most artistically daring directors to work for this studio was Caroline Leaf. She allowed her work to take chances and dare to be different. Because of this and her sheer talent as a filmmaker, her films will always have a place in my heart. That is why today we will look at just a couple short films she directed.

Oud first short is The Street from 1976. This is a fantastic and very touching adaption of Mordechai Richler's short story, written by Richler himself. For this film Leaf used a very different style of animation than pretty much anyone had before. She used color oils to animate directly on the glass beneath the camera. Leaf animated this film completely by herself. The style proved very effective and so did the film.


Our second and last short for the day is Two Sisters from 1991. This is a dark and disturbing tale about what happens when you take trying to protect someone too far. The film has a very abstract style of animation provided by Leaf herself (with an assistant animator, Jacques Sainte-Marie). This style of animation adds to the uncertain and dark atmosphere of the film. However I cannot properly describe this film in words watch it below to see why this short is so brilliant.

-Michael J. Ruhland

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Porky Pig 101

Get excited my fellow Looney Tunes fans, something great is coming your way. This is a new Porky Pig DVD collection containing 101 classic cartoons staring everybody's favorite Ham, Porky Pig himself. 99 of these cartoons are black and white Looney Tunes and to add to that we have two color Merrie Melodies. Quite a few of these cartoons have never been available on DVD, VHS, or Blu-Ray making this a very exciting purchase. DVD commentaries will be provided by Jerry Beck, Mark Kausler, Michael Barrier and more. I do not know if there will be repeat commentaries as there were on the Platinum Collection (by the way Warner Brothers if you read this I will always be interested in doing commentaries for Looney Tunes (no I am not doing any for this set and haven't done any so far)). The set will not be available on Blu-ray, but only DVD. The DVD will be available on September 19th.

I have a special fondness for these black and white Porky Pig films as you can really see the filmmakers gradually work their way to what Looney Tunes would become later with a lot of experimentation on the way. Some of these black and white cartoons give a feeling of true comic energy and you can tell that the filmmakers had fun making these. With how big of a fan that I am of these cartoons, I am especially looking forward to this set and all the joy I know it will bring me and hopefully you as well.

You can pre-order it here:

By the way Porky fans let us all sing our praises to this great cartoon Pig to get ready for this set.

-Michael J. Ruhland

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