Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Yakko and Hello Nurse -- Best. Animaniacs. Cel. Ever.

Okay, maybe it's not the best Animaniacs animation cel ever.  But it's definitely one of the prizes of my limited collection.   The cel comes from the unedited version of "King Yakko."  While Yakko, as ruler of Anvilania, cuddled up to Prime Minister Hello Nurse throughout this half hour episode, the close encounter pictured in this particular cel set-up did not make it into the final broadcast version of the show.   

Thanks to Dave Marshall, who co-directed the episode with Alfred Gimeno, for not only saving this cell from the retake dustbin, but for framing it and sending it to me.  It hangs in a prominent location on my office wall.   Let the anvils ring! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Animaniacs and Freakazoid Emmys -- 1996

This ad appeared in the trade papers, including Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, the week after the Emmy ceremonies in May, 1996.   

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Iggy" by Milt Gross

Of all the oddball characters drawn and created by Milt Gross, Iggy is by far my favorite.
In the "Count Screwloose of Tooloose" comic strip (1929-1934), Iggy is the emotionally unstable pooch with a Napoleonic complex who resides at the Nuttycrest Sanitarium along with the other patients, including Count Screwloose.   Iggy is hopelessly devoted to the Count, who is constantly escaping from the asylum, leaving Iggy behind in a state of utter distress and nonstop weeping at the thought of being away from the Count for even a moment.  Outside the walls of Nuttycrest, the Count invariably finds the real world to be much crazier than the nuthatch, and in the final panel of each Sunday strip, we find the Count racing back to Nuttycrest, where Iggy reacts with tears of joy at the return of his beloved pal.   Every time the Count jumps back into the compound, he calls out:  "Iggy, keep an eye on me!"

Milt Gross's drawings of Iggy were always a batch of fast and frantic lines that captured extreme cartoony emotions, filled with goofy expressions, tics, laughter and tears. 

At some point during the course of the strip -- and by the time Gross arrived at MGM to make a couple of Count Screwloose cartoons --  he had replaced Iggy with a different cartoon pooch named J.R., who didn't have a hundredth of the demented personality of Iggy. 

There have been many great cartoon dogs in the history of  comics, and while Iggy may not be one of the most famous of the group, he is truly one of the funniest and most emotive, quirky and unique canine creations in the realm of comics and cartoons.   

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation

Question:  What part of the animation industry began with Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation

Answer:   Direct-to-home video animated features.  Steven Spielberg presents "Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation" was the first animated feature film released directly to home video by one of the major studios.  It hit the retail stores March 11, 1992.  Disney's first direct-to-video animated feature, The Return of Jafar, came in 1994, as did the first of The Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels.  

I just uncovered my copy of the original promotional poster, which I scanned and posted directly above.  

Below are a few of the gag credits that appeared during the end scroll of  How I Spent My Vacation...

Reason This Movie Went Straight To Home Video
Cuz It's So Darned Good!

Original Running Time:    
8 Hours, 47 Minutes

Hey, What About That Urkel Kid?  
Is He Funny Or What? 

First Theatrical Screening:   
June 8, 1991, Old Orchard Theatre,  Skokie, Illinois

Last Theatrical Screening:  
 (Same As Above)

This Film Has Been Edited 
For Your Protection.

Do Not Back Up 
Severe Tire Damage

Man In Sound Recording Booth Who Pushes That Funny Red Button A Lot 
Link Poonie

Moral of the Story (Pick One):
1. Enjoy Your Vacation.
2. Relish Your Youth.
3. Don't Pick Up Chainsaw-Wielding Hitchhikers.
4. Feature Length Movies Should Not Have 18 Different Plots. 

These End Credits
Are Interminable. 

Top 4 Reasons A Caricature Of David Letterman Is In This Video:
4. We Admire His Comedy Stylings.
3. We Wanted To Use Merv Griffin, But He Threatened To Sue.
2. We Needed Some Filler.
1. We're Brown-Nosing Weasels Who Want Him To Mention Us On His Show.

Other Stuff Done By
Some Guy Named Bob. 

And That's The Final End Credit. 

We Lied.

The Cast
Valhalla ....... As Himself 

Suggested Retail Price
$19.95 Without Rebate

With Rebate 
About A Buck And A Quarter

Monday, October 3, 2011

"Facebook Addiction" by Luke Ruegger

From the September 29th, 2011 edition of the Pepperdine University newspaper The Graphic, here's a visual commentary from my son Luke, who is the editorial cartoonist and art editor for the paper.  

Nice job, Luke!