Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Animation Educators Annual Meeting!

Comrades! The Annual Meeting of the Animation Educators Forum is Coming!!

 Saturday April 16th 2016 , 10:00AM at the School of  Cinematic Arts at USC.
 Gate 5 at Jefferson Blvd and McClintock . VR Demos, discussion, refreshments.

Animation Fun Facts for March 31, 2016

Birthdays:  Roman Emperor Constantius Chlorus (the Pale), Rene' Descartes, Franz Josef Haydn, Serge Diagheliev, Harald von Braunhut 1926- the inventor of Sea Monkeys and X-Ray Specs, Richard Chamberlain, Cesar Chavez, Herb Alpert, Gordie Howe, Liz Claiborne, Gabe Kaplan, Rhea Perlman, Shirley Jones is 82, Richard Kiley, Volker Schlondorf, William Daniels, Lucille Bliss the voice of Crusader Rabbit, Christopher Walken is 73, Colin Farrell is 38, Ewan McGregor is 45, Al Gore is 68, Ed Catmull is 71.

1836- Charles Dickens first work published "The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club."

1930 -Reacting to charges that the movies had become too naughty, Hollywood producers accept the MOTION PICTURE CODE. It was regulated by Will Hays, former Republican Party Chairman. The regulation wouldn't really start to have strength until 1935-36 when pressure groups like the Catholic League of Decency went after Mae West and the Tarzan pictures.

The Hays Code forbade open sex and obscenity:
  - twin beds only in a bedroom, nightclothes buttoned to the neck.
  -if a couple were seated together on a bed they must have at least one foot touching the floor,
  -"kisses with a duration of no longer than 3 seconds, parting with lips closed."
   Lots of jokes were spawned like: "Give him the bird!" "If the Hays Commission would let me, I'd give him the bird!" One other little known clause was the forbidding of members of different races from kissing on camera. So Anna Mae Wong, the greatest Chinese actress of her time, could not play a Chinese heroine if her co-star was a Caucasian made up to look Asian.

1943- Rodger & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" debuts.  Despite the opinion of producer Mike Todd -"No legs, No Laughs, No Chance", the musical becomes one of the great hits of American musical Theater.

1962- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened on Wilshire Blvd. No, it didn’t display customized surfboards or the ideal tuna melt with sprouts, but an exhibit of paintings by Bonnard.

1973- Comic strip hero Smilin' Jack gets married, the strip concludes next day.

1991- Former child star Danny Bonaduce arrested for a fist fight with a transvestite prostitute.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for March 30, 2016

Birthdays:  Maimonides- Moses Ben Maimon, Anna Sewell (the author of Black Beauty), Vincent Van Gogh, Francisco Goya, John Astin, Peter Marshall, Warren Beatty is 79, Eric Clapton is 71, Arthur Lee Harrington the designer of the first Jeep, Tracey Chapman, Robby Coltrane, Paul Reiser, Celine Dion, Nora Jones is 37, Disney animator Marc Davis

1853- The pencil eraser patented.

1918- Thomas Edison sold his studio and got out of the movie business. He fired W.K.L. Dickson inventor of the movie studio set, Edwin Porter the inventor of the narrative film, and J. Stuart Blackton the inventor of cartoon animation for annoying him too much about filmmaking. Edison was more interested in finding a way to extract iron ore from rocks using magnets.

1968- In New York City’s Bowery district two children find the dead body of a homeless drug addict. The John Doe is later identified as Bobby Driscoll, 31, Walt Disney child star and the voice of Peter Pan.

2000- Dreamworks animated feature the Road to El Dorado premiered.

2007- Disney’s Meet the Robinsons.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for March 29, 2016

Birthdays: President John Tyler, Sir William Walton, Eric Idle is 74, former English P.M. John Major, Bud Cort is 68, LaToya Jackson, Eugene McCarthy, Jennifer Capriati, M.C. Hammer, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Cy Young, Christopher Lambert is 61, Disney animator Jack Kinney, Brendan Gleeson is 61, Lucy Lawless, Elle MacPherson, Amy Sedaris is 53

1936- Republic Pictures formed.

1939- Moviestars Clark Gable and Carole Lombard marry. They had a happy marriage until Lombard was killed in a plane crash in 1942. 

1951- 'The King and I' debuts on Broadway with Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner, who shaved his head for the first time for the role.

1971- First day of shooting on the film the Godfather. 

1989- As part of one of the silliest Oscar telecasts in history, actor Rob Lowe (The West Wing) had to dance and sing 'Proud Mary" with Las Vegas showgirl Eileen Bowman dressed as Disney’s Snow White.
Rob Lowe had just been embarrassed by the publication of a videotape shot in a hotel room of him having sex with two teenagers. The Walt Disney Company immediately threatened a lawsuit and the Academy apologized and replaced director Alan Carr with Gilbert Cates.

At that same Oscar ceremony Pixar’s short Tin Toy became the first CG animation to ever win an Oscar.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for March 28, 2016

Birthdays: Paul Whiteman, Pearl Bailey, Freddy Bartholemew, Dirk Bogarde,
Confederate Gen.Wade Hampton, pianist Rudolph Serkin, Swifty Lazar, Marlin Perkins, Diane Weist is 68, Reba McEntire, Vince Vaughn is 46, Julia Stiles is 35, Lady Gaga is 30

1881- P.T. Barnum formed a partnership with his chief competitor James Bailey to create Barnum & Bailey’s Circus. He proclaimed it the Greatest Show on Earth!

1920- Silent film stars Douglas Fairbanks & Mary Pickford married.

1928- Via radio broadcast, the public heard the voice of Charlie Chaplin for the first time.

1935- Leni Reifenstahl’s hypnotic movie paean to Nazism- Triumph of the Will, premiered.

1941- English writer Virginia Woolf filled her pockets with stones and drowned herself in the River Ouse in Sussex. Her body was never found.

1942- Albert Hurter, brilliant Swiss designer for Walt Disney's "Snow White' and 'Pinnochio" died of rheumatic fever.

1999- Matt Groening’s cartoon series Futurama debuted.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for March 27, 2016 Easter Sunday

Birthdays: French King Louis XVII –the boy during the Revolution who died in prison after his Royal parents were guillotined, Patty Smith Hill 1868- The composer of the song Happy Birthday to You, Edward Steichen, Gloria Swanson, Sarah Vaughn, Maria Schneider, Mies Van der Rohe, Snooky Lanson, Wilhelm Roentgen the discoverer of X-Rays, Nathaniel Currier of Currier & Ives, Donald Duck artist Carl Barks, cellist Mtisislav Rostropovich, Michael York is 73, Quentin Tarantino is 52, Mariah Carey is 45

1908- Bud Fisher's comic strip Mutt & Jeff debuted.

1940- “Rebecca,” the first Hollywood movie by Alfred Hitchcock opened.

1952- U.P.A.’s cartoon “Rooty-Toot-Toot” premiered. It’s music score was by jazzman Phil Monroe, the first African American to receive a screen credit for scoring a movie.

1952- “Singing in the Rain” starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor premiered.

1973- In one of the more celebrated stunts in Hollywood history, when Marlon Brando won an Oscar for his role in The Godfather, he sent a buckskin clad model named Sashin Littlefeather to refuse the award, and deliver a protest about treatment of Native Americans.

1989- Who Framed Roger Rabbit earned four Oscars at the Academy Awards. Sound Effects, Visual Effects, Film Editing and a special one for Richard Williams for the animation.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for March 26, 2016

B-Days: Robert Frost, Chico Marx, Conde Nast, Tennessee Williams, Alfred Houseman, Joseph Cambell, General William Westmorland, Erica Jong, Duncan Hines, Bob Woodward, Leonard Nimoy, Alan Arkin, James Caan is 76, Diana Ross is 72, Justice Sandra Day-O’Connor, Martin Short, Bob Elliot of Bob & Ray, Michael Imperioli is 50, Keira Knightley is 31

1900- The Happy Hooligan comic strip.

1937- A statue of Popeye the Sailor unveiled at the Crystal City Texas Spinach Festival.

1959- Writer Dashell Hammett died.

1969- The western movie 100 Rifles premiered. It broke taboos, because it featured uber-sexy Raquel Welch making love to uber sexy black hero Jim Brown.  And Burt Reynolds as the bandito Yaqui Joe Herrerra.

1975 - The Who¹s rock opera "Tommy" premiered in London.

1976- USC sophomore Levar Burton screen tested for the role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark TV miniseries  Roots.

1976 - Wings release "Wings at the Speed of Sound" album .

1977 - Elvis Costello releases his 1st record "Less Than Zero"

1982 - Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder release "Ebony & Ivory" in the UK

1997- Turner Animation's film 'Cat's Don't Dance" featuring the last film work of Gene Kelly. He was a consultant on the dance sequences.

2008- Arnold Schwarzenegger fired Clint Eastwood. No, its’ not a movie plot line. The former actor, turned Republican Governor, objected to a position of the actor/director and former Republican mayor took on the California State Parks Commission.

2228 - According to Star Fleet records- James T. Kirk, captain of Federation Star Ship Enterprise (Star Trek) was born.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for March 25, 2016

B-Days: English King Henry II Plantagenet, Joachim Murat, Gudson Borglum, David Lean, Gloria Steinem is 82, Mary Flannery-O’Connor, Arturo Toscanini, Aretha Franklin, Bela Bartok', Howard Cosell, Bonnie Bedelia, Anita Bryant, Simone Signoret, Elton John is 68, Sarah Jessica Parker is 51.

1954- RCA began mass production and marketing of color television sets. At the time the set cost as much as an automobile  -$1,000, 12 inch screen and there was very little programming in color.

1955- US Customs seize a shipment of 258 copies Alan Ginsburg’s poem Howl printed in the UK on the grounds it was obscene." I saw some of the finest minds of my generation destroyed by madness." Next year when Lawrence Ferlinghetti of San Francisco’s City Lights Bookstore printed the poem he was arrested.

1960- Thirty five years after it was written and published in Europe an American judge rules that D.H. Lawrence's novel 'Lady Chatterley's Lover" was not pornography and could finally be sold in the U.S. Whaddaya think of that, John-Thomas?

1966 - Beatles pose with mutilated dolls & butchered meat for the cover of the "Yesterday & Today" album, It was later pulled.

1967 -The Who & Cream make their US debut at Murray the K's Easter Show.

1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono began their week-long "love-in" for peace in the bed of Room 902 of the Hilton Hotel, Amsterdam.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for March 24, 2016

Birthdays: Steve McQueen, Lawrence Ferlingetti, Ub Iwerks (the first Disney animator), John Wesley Powell, Harry Houdini aka Eric Weiss, Edward Weston,  Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle, Clyde Barrow of Bonnie & Clyde, Bob Mackie, Robert Carradine, Jesus Alou, Laura Flynn-Boyle, Alyson Hannigan, Joe Barbera, R. Lee Ermey drill instructor in Full Metal Jacket ( Hoo-Rah!), Peyton Manning, Sir Elton John is 70

1912- Sir Arthur Conan-Doyles adventure novel The Lost World, first published in magazine installments. Conan Doyle was inspired when he in 1905 he attended a lecture at the Royal Geographic Society, when an Amazon explorer described finding dinosaur bones. It was the first of the Land-of-the-Dinosaurs type stories.
In 1925, Willis O'Brien made the Lost World into the first dinosaur monster movie.

1934-The Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour debuted on radio. It became a national craze to see who could be a future star. Frank Sinatra was among their finds. The show eventually moved to television and later spawned the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, Chuck Barris the Gong Show, Star Search, American Idol and the Voice.

1939- The film the Hound of the Baskervilles premiered with actors Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson. They became the most famous interpreters of the characters and went on to make a dozen more films.

1943 - The first Japanese anime’ feature premiered "Momotaro's Sea Eagles".

1955- Tennessee William's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" debuts at Broadway's Marosco Theater. Barbera Bel-Geddes was the first Cat, and Burl Ives was " Big Daddy".

1973- In Buffalo, a drunk fan bit singer Lou Reed on the ass.

2006- 13 year old Miley Cyrus debuts on TV as Disney’s Hanna Montana.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for March 23, 2016

Birthdays: US Vice President Schuyler Colfax, Akira Kurosawa, Joan Crawford, Dr Werner Von Braun, Juan Gris, Chaka Khan, Paul Grimault, Sidney Hillman Jack Ruby, Joan Collins, Eric Fromm, Fanny Farmer, Catherine Keener is 57, Hope Davis is 52

1936- Ollie Johnston got a job as Fred Moore’s assistant at the Walt Disney Studio.

1957- Art Clokey's "Gumby" Show.

2003- Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, Beating out Lilo & Stitch and Treasure Planet.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for March 22, 2016

History for 3/22/2016

Birthdays: Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Marcel Marceau, Stephen Sondheim, Karl Malden, Werner Klemperer- Colonel Klink in Hogan’s Heroes, George Benson, James Gavin, Allen Neuharth the founder of USA-Today, Milt Kahl, Fanny Ardant is 67, Lena Olin is 61, Bruno Ganz is 75, Reese Witherspoon is 40, William Shatner is 85.

1622-POWHATAN INDIANS SUPRISE ATTACK JAMESTOWN- While the Pilgrims were still thinking of coming to America and Plymouth Rock was just another rock, Jamestown Virginia was the only English settlement in North America. 

After the deaths of Pocahontas and Powhatan in in 1619, Opescanacough- pronounced Opee-cantanoo, became Mamanatowick- overall chief of the Virginia Powhatan Confederation. He had hated the English since the days of John Smith. So he resolved to rid his land of the white settlers once and for all with a simultaneous assault on them from all sides on the same day.
 The settlers were taken completely by surprise, many while tending their fields. 300 were killed, among them John Rolfe, the husband of the late princess Pocahontas.
    Despite such heavy losses the English recovered and in a slow war of attrition eventually killed Opescanocough and wiped out the Powhatan people.

1958- Hollywood producer Mike Todd was killed in a small plane crash. He produced hit movies like Around the World in 80 Days and romanced starlets like Gypsy Rose Lee and Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor and Todd had been married for one year and she was devastated by the accident. Years and many marriages later Taylor said Mike Todd was the only man she actually loved.

1991- Ivana Trump divorces Donald Trump. A celebrated court case ensued to see how the huge Trump fortune would be divided. Newspapers cry Ivanna More Money!

1995- First day of shooting on that utterly classic film- Dinosaur Valley Girls!

Monday, March 21, 2016

animation fun facts for march 21, 2016

Birthdays: Plato, Johann Sebastian Bach, Benito Juarez, Modest Mussorgsky, Fats Waller, Josef Pulitzer, Flo Ziegfield, Bronco Billy Anderson, Rev Ralph Abernathy, Armand Hammer, Harold Robbins, Matthew Broderick is 54, Gary Oldman is 58, James Coco, Timothy Dalton is 70, Rosie O’Donnell is 54, animator Kathy Zielinski.

1951- HOLLYWOOD COMMIES- House UnAmerican Acitivities Commitee (HUAC) under Judge J. Parnell Thomas moves from Washington and sets up in Hollywood to continue rooting out Communist subversion in the movies. They began in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and later move to the federal building downtown.

Their concerns weren’t total fantasy, actor Sterling Hayden confessed he was ordered by his communist operatives to try and influence the Screen Actor’s Guild. Still the point remains whether the authorities overreaction was justified and whether Congress could get more publicity looking for spies in Tinseltown than the Department of Games and Fisheries.

Out of 15,000 people who made a living in the movies and television, only 295 were ever proven or confessed communists. It was an open secret that for $5,000 delivered to the right committee member, your dossier would be moved to the bottom of the pile. The hearings stopped in 1956, the blacklist was broken in 1960 and Judge J. Parnell Thomas went to jail himself for embezzlement. 

1952- DJ Alan Freed put on an event of the new pop music in Cleveland Ohio. Called the MoonDog Coronation Ball, it was the very first Rock Concert.

1961- The Beatles first perform at the Cavern Club in Hamburg Germany.

1963- Barbara Streisand married Elliot Gould.

1988- the Screen Actor's Guild hits the bricks for the fourth time in twenty years, this time striking Hollywood for residuals for cable and videocassette income.

2006- The first Tweet sent on the new format Twitter. Scientist Jack Dorsey tweeted his friends “ Setting up my twttr…” Twitter went public that July.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for March 20, 2016

Birthday: Roman poet Ovid 43BC, Napoleon’s son Napoleon II "l'Aiglon" The eaglet, Henryk Ibsen, Lauritz Melchior, Ray Goulding, Mr. Rogers, Bobby Orr, Sheldon "Spike" Lee is 58, B.F. Skinner, Pat Riley, Sir Michael Redgrave, Edgar Buchanan, Holly Hunter is 58, William Hurt is 66, Carl Reiner is 93, Chris Wedge is 58

1841- Edgar Allen Poe's The Murder's in the Rue Morgue first published in Graham’s Magazine. Called the first true detective novel, Poe's detective C. Auguste Dupin was inspired by a real French sleuth named Jules Vinquoc who used disguises and scientific technique to solve crimes the Paris police could not handle. Dupin was the inspiration for Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot.

1852-Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" first published. It sold one million copies within six months. The book was the first to treat the horrors of slavery directly and portray slave families not as dumb brutes or happy minstrels but victimized human beings. Because of this book, Yankee soldiers referred to Southerners as women whippers, and baby sellers. Mrs. Stowe said modestly: “I didn’t write it, God did. I just took dictation.” When she visited the White House President Lincoln met her with:”So here’s the little lady who started the big war.”

1903- Henri Matisse exhibits at the Salon des Independents in Paris.

1943-MGM's "Dumb Hounded" the first Droopy Cartoon.

1991- A judge ordered the Walt Disney Company to pay Peggy Lee $3.8 million for the songs she wrote and performed in the film Lady and the Tramp. This additional income was from videocassette sales for a re-issue of the soundtrack. In 1955 she was paid $3,500.

1999- Legoland opened in Carlsbad Cal.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for March 19, 2016

Birthdays: George De La Tour, Wyatt Earp, Dr. David Livingston, William Jennings Bryan, Sir Richard Burton (The African explorer, not Liz Taylor's ex), Charles M. Russell, Jacky Moms Mabley, Adolf Eichmann, Phillip Roth, Adolf Galland, Ursula Andress, Patrick McGoohan, Ornette Coleman, Harvey Weinstein, Bruce Willis is 61, Glenn Close is 69, animator Richard Williams is 83

1853- Charles Dickens novel Bleak House first appeared in magazine installments. It is the first novel to mention dinosaurs-" It would be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill…"

1875- Mark Twain admits in a letter to a friend that he now likes to use a typewriter, a new technology accused of ruining the art of writing.

1895- The Lumiere Brothers shot their first movie, employees leaving their dad’s factory.

1914- A fire in the negative vaults of the Eclair Studios in New Jersey destroyed forever all the American work of pioneer French animator Emile Cohl. He had come to the U.S. to animate the first cartoon series, George McManus’ "The Newlyweds" later to be renamed in comic strip form "Life With Father".

1928- the Amos & Andy radio show debuted. NBC Blue Network, WMAQ in Chicago.

1953- First T.V. broadcast of the Oscar ceremony. That utterly memorable circus film
"The Greatest Show on Earth" won top honors. Ironically it was Cecil B. DeMille’s only Oscar of his career. Before TV, the Oscars ceremony included a dinner and an hour of dancing before the awards were presented.

1959- Disney released The Shaggy Dog, their low budget live action comedy hit.

1962- The first Pillsbury Doughboy commercial.

1964- IBM gives the green light to plans for the 360 series. The first compatible computers.

1964- First day shooting on the James Bond film Goldfinger.

1974- The band Jefferson Airplane changed its name to Jefferson Starship.

1979- C-Span cable channel started broadcasting live from the floor of Congress. The first Congressman to speak on camera was Al Gore.

1982- Randy Rhoads, the lead guitarist for Ozzy Ozbourne died when he playfully flew his plane buzzing the bands travelling bus and smacked into a farmhouse.

1984- I’LL BE BACK- James Cameron began shooting the film the Terminator. He first considered casting O.J. Simpson for the cyborg killer before settling on Austrian weightlifter Arnold Swarzenegger.

1993- Monkey-cam debuted on the David Letterman Show.

1996- J.J. Sedelmeir's The Ambiguously Gay Duo premiered on the Dana Carvey Show. Steve Carrell and Stephen Colbert supplying the voices.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for March 18, 2016

Birthdays: Amerigo Vespucci, John Calhoun, Nicholai Rimsky-Korsakov, Neville Chamberlain, Wilson Picket, Edgar Cayce, John Updike, Grover Cleveland, Edward Everett Horton, Vanessa Williams, F. W. DeKlerk, George Plympton, Peter Graves, Irene Cara, Luc Besson, Queen Latifah is 48

1902- BIRTHDAY OF THE RECORDING INDUSTRY. The RCA Victrola company sends it's engineers to Milan to record ten discs of the young tenor Enrico Caruso. He becomes a world celebrity and the phonograph moves from being a scientific curiosity to something every home had to have.

1924-The film “The Thief of Baghdad” starring Douglas Fairbanks released. Directed by Raoul Walsh and designs by William Cameron Menzies. It is considered the first great special effects blockbuster.

1931- Schick, Inc. introduced the electric razor.

1942- Paramounts “The Lost Dream” the first Little Audrey cartoon.

1965-The Rolling Stones are fined 5 English pence for urinating on a wall in Stratford at ABC recording studio Romford.

1967- The Pirates of the Caribbean ride opened at Disneyland, designed by master animator Marc Davis. In recent years rampant political correctness has disturbed the pirates fun. One diorama that portrayed a lusty buccaneer chasing a wench around a table while she giggles. It was changed to show he was only interested in her sandwich tray.

1968- Mel Brooks first film “The Producers” premiered with Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder and Dick Shawn. His screenplay beat out Kubricks 2001 for a Best Screenplay Oscar. In the late 1990s Brooks reworked the screenplay into a hit Broadway musical.