In honor of Memorial Day, we present Christopher Dow’s lively history and critical analysis of World War II’s favorite cartoon fuck-up, Private Snafu, which appeared originally in Bright Lights in[…]
Not since Gene Wilder made nice with his monster in Young Frankenstein or the cannibal mutant got the girl (Tucker and Dale vs. Evil) have our deformed horror staples been so effectively pulled from their scar tissue and replaced with loving stitches. We needed these films, like a salve to our nation’s red vs. blue infection.
Hand-drawn animation, once the mainstay of Disney and other studios that created “cartoons” for popular consumption, is becoming something of a lost art. Audiences seem to prefer Pixar-style CGI. Disney[…]
“When you come at the king, you best not miss.”
The Avatar hype continues. There was a front-page piece in the L.A. Times today, whining – for lack of a better word – about how “unlike the great majority of[…]
“Anderson, like Dahl, seems to have told a story to appeal to a child’s inner adult.”
“It’s just a little less Disney”
“Tex Avery — Arch Radicalizer of the Hollywood Cartoon” consists of slightly glorified program notes that I wrote for the Zagreb Animation Festival in 1978. It was a big hit in the Old World and was published in Russian, Croatian, Dutch, French, and Italian (twice), but the only time it ever got printed in English was by Gary Morris in his cinephile-revered rag called Bright Lights. Now, thirty-one years later, Mr. Morris has decided to reissue the piece online. I have forgone attempting any actual rewrites, though, because the observations have not dated especially egregiously, except for my discussion of the then-current state of cartoon criticism. The biggest faux pas contained herein is my overconfident assertion that cel animation would inevitably dominate the future of the medium (oops – maybe not), as CGI was then but a distant pixel on the historical horizon.
Every one of Henry Selick’s four feature films to date has dealt with alternate realities. In the Tim Burton-produced The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), the ghoulish Jack Skellington finds a[…]
All three meet as adult women in Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s X-rated graphic novel, Lost Girls (above). Moore, the genius author of Watchmen, From Hell, and The League of[…]
“We were the Nazis.”
I’ve survived the family Xmas, and what saved us was the power of the movies. This got me to thinking about all the best dysfunctional family holiday films–I don’t mean[…]
Continuing an annual orgy of cartoon watching I decided to take a lengthy look at this classic in socio-philosophical, rather than belletristic, terms. Unfortunately, the full Atheist’s Guide runs over[…]
The by now hideously distended Muppet franchise received another subpar entry on network television last night in the form of “A Muppet Christmas: Letters to Santa”. Is anyone else willing[…]
There are three basic types of spy stories: 1) the one about the ultra-skilled professional spy who is almost always successful, e.g., James Bond; 2) the one about the civilian[…]