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June Foray, Voice of ‘Bullwinkle Show’s’ Natasha and Rocky, Dies at 99

June Foray, Voice of ‘Bullwinkle Show’s’ Natasha and Rocky, Dies at 99
June Foray, the voice of “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show’s” Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his nemesis Natasha Fatale of Boris and Natasha fame in the early 1960s and a key figure in the animation industry, died Thursday. She was 99.

Her close friend Dave Nimitz, confirmed her death on Facebook, writing “With a heavy heart again I want to let you all know that we lost our little June today at 99 years old.”

Foray was also the voice behind Looney Tunes’ Witch Hazel, Nell from “Dudley Do-Right,” Granny in the “Tweety and Sylvester” cartoons and Cindy Lou Who in Chuck Jones’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” among hundreds of others.

The first lady of voice acting, one of the original members of animation organization Asifa-Hollywood and founder of the annual Annie Awards, was also instrumental in the creation of the Oscars’ animated feature category.

“We are all saddened by the news of June’s passing,” said
See full article at Variety - TV News »

June Foray, Voice of ‘Bullwinkle Show’s’ Natasha and Rocky, Dies at 99

June Foray, Voice of ‘Bullwinkle Show’s’ Natasha and Rocky, Dies at 99
June Foray, the voice of “The Bullwinkle Show’s” Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his nemesis Natasha Fatale of Boris and Natasha fame, died Thursday. She was 99.

Her close friend Dave Nimitz, confirmed her death on Facebook, writing “With a heavy heart again I want to let you all know that we lost our little June today at 99 years old.”

Foray was the voice behind Looney Tunes’ Witch Hazel, Nell from “Dudley Do-Right,” Granny in the “Tweety and Sylvester” cartoons and Cindy Lou Who in Chuck Jones’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” among many others.

The first lady of voice acting and founder of the annual Annie Awards was instrumental in the creation of the Oscars’ animated feature category.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

How DreamWorks Animation Went Retro with ‘The Boss Baby’ 2D Fantasies

  • Indiewire
How DreamWorks Animation Went Retro with ‘The Boss Baby’ 2D Fantasies
For DreamWorks director Tom McGrath (the “Madagascar” franchise), “The Boss Baby” not only provided a personal story about sibling rivalry and corporate displacement, with Alec Baldwin voicing a Trump-like corporate bully, but also the opportunity to create a separate 2D graphic design for several fantasy sequences.

“I think we’ve forgotten our roots a little bit [with CG],” McGrath told IndieWire. “But since we were doing a movie about a 7-year-old’s imagination, we could be very stylized, very abstract, and very colorful. And we had our heroes of animation from the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s to drawn on: Maurice Noble, Mary Blair, Ward Kimball, and Chuck Jones.”

Read More: ‘The Boss Baby’ and ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Fight for Second Behind the Unstoppable ‘Beauty and the Beast’

After dabbling in a 2D sequence for “Madagascar 3,” McGrath experimented further with 2D environments inside the mind of his protagonist, Tim Templeton (voiced by
See full article at Indiewire »

‘The Boss Baby’ Review: Alec Baldwin Is Newborn On A Mission In Funny & Frenetic Toon

  • Deadline
It seems that most animated movies aimed at kids these days are mostly exclusively laden with animal characters with human traits, but DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby has other ideas, and as I say in my video review above for lovers of genuinely amusing toons it is a wildly funny, original and entertaining flick for all ages. In fact it really seems a throwback to a zanier Chuck Jones-Ward Kimball form of animated treat — one full of non-stop antics, comic action and…
See full article at Deadline »

Strictly Come Dancing 2016: week two - as it happened

Whch couple was the first to waltz away from this year’s contest? We followed all the Strictly action

7.57pm BST

They dance their final dance to ‘Yesterday’, which is a song about when this was actually filmed. They give it their own personal spin with some Running Man and disco moves, which probably would have kept them out of the dance-off. Oh the irony.

So that’s it for Strictly Week 2! Next week it’s Movie Week, so let’s endure it together from 6.45pm next Saturday. In the meantime you can find me on Twitter @heidistephens, so feel free to swing by and give me a wave. Thanks for joining in, and have a brilliant week! Hx

7.55pm BST

Ooh, Twist! Anastacia and Brendan aren’t going to dance again, so the dance-off has been cancelled. So instead the public vote is deciding who is going home, and it’s…
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Going Inside Out with Disney’s ‘Inner Workings’ Short

  • Indiewire
Going Inside Out with Disney’s ‘Inner Workings’ Short
Like Pixar, Disney continues pushing the envelope with its shorts program, and “Inner Workings” offers yet another innovation in hybrid animation and quirky narrative.

Director Leo Matsuda (story artist on the Oscar-winning “Big Hero 6” and “Wreck-It Ralph”) takes us inside the cartoony body of a hapless clerk named Paul, whose brain and heart engage in a tug-of-war that nearly tears him apart.

But unlike Pixar’s Oscar-winning “Inside Out,” the intent is purely physical, not cerebral. “I’m a Japanese Brazilian so I’m very disciplined, but I also like to party,” said Matsuda, who was inspired by the human anatomy illustrations from the “Encyclopedia Britannica” that he flipped through as a youth.

Matsuda recreated the graphical look of those layered acetate transparencies in his short along with an ’80s vibe that’s pushed and theatrical. His influences were Jacques Tati, Wes Anderson, Disney’s Ward Kimball and Bruno Bozzetto,
See full article at Indiewire »

John Culhane, Disney Animation Historian, Dies at 81

John Culhane, Disney Animation Historian, Dies at 81
John Culhane, a journalist, author, Disney animation historian and inspiration for the characters of Mr. Snoops in the 1977 Disney animated feature “The Rescuers” and Flying John in the “Rhapsody in Blue” segment of “Fantasia/2000,” died at his home in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., on July 30 from complications due to cardiac failure and Alzheimer’s disease. He was 81.

Culhane was a writer for the Chicago Daily News and media editor at Newsweek, and later was a freelance writer for publications including the New York Times Magazine and American Film.

His books on Disney animation include “Walt Disney’s Fantasia” (1983), “Aladdin: The Making of an Animated Film” (1992) “and Fantasia/2000: Visions of Hope” (1999). Culhane also wrote books about the circus (“The American Circus: An Illustrated History”), and special effects (“Special Effects in the Movies: How They Do It: Dazzling Movie Magic and the Artists Who Create It”).

For more than four decades,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Dick Bakalyan, Character Actor Who Appeared in ‘Chinatown,’ Dies at 84

Dick Bakalyan, Character Actor Who Appeared in ‘Chinatown,’ Dies at 84
Character actor Richard (Dick) Bakalyan, who famously appeared in “Chinatown” as Loach, the partner of Jake Gittes’ former partner, who plays a key role in the movie’s climax, among many other films and TV shows, died in his sleep in Elmira, N.Y. on February 27 of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 84.

Bakalyan was known for his broken nose and a streetwise twist of a phrase. Some fans might not remember the name, but everyone knew the face; they’d wave and call to him from cars or on the street. He said, “You have to the ride the horse you’re given” — a dedication to authenticity and subtlety that ensured his portrayal was always appropriate to the role and the scene.

In his mid-20s, Bakalyan appeared as an antisocial teen in “The Delinquents,” “The Delicate Delinquent,” “Juvenile Jungle” and “Hot Car Girl,” among others. By 30, he graduated to
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Dick Bakalyan, Character Actor Who Appeared in ‘Chinatown,’ Dies at 84

Dick Bakalyan, Character Actor Who Appeared in ‘Chinatown,’ Dies at 84
Character actor Richard (Dick) Bakalyan, who famously appeared in “Chinatown” as Loach, the partner of Jake Gittes’ former partner, who plays a key role in the movie’s climax, among many other films and TV shows, died in his sleep in Elmira, N.Y. on February 27 of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 84.

Bakalyan was known for his broken nose and a streetwise twist of a phrase. Some fans might not remember the name, but everyone knew the face; they’d wave and call to him from cars or on the street. He said, “You have to the ride the horse you’re given” — a dedication to authenticity and subtlety that ensured his portrayal was always appropriate to the role and the scene.

In his mid-20s, Bakalyan appeared as an antisocial teen in “The Delinquents,” “The Delicate Delinquent,” “Juvenile Jungle” and “Hot Car Girl,” among others. By 30, he graduated to
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Nick Toons Into Next-Gen Talent

Nick Toons Into Next-Gen Talent
Where will the next “SpongeBob” creator come from?

If Nickelodeon has its way, he or she will be a homegrown artist. That’s because the cabler thinks it has found an edge in the race for animation talent in the booming toon business, launching internal mentorship programs to nurture talent — and hopefully keep it inhouse.

For Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon’s president of content development and production, the programs are a way of paying it forward. A former children’s book illustrator and animator, Hicks had a family connection to Disney animator Ward Kimball — an industry legend who was instrumental in Hicks’ own career path. “I had a mentor. I had education. I had somebody who helped me navigate a very complicated world,” he says. “[I wanted to find] the way that we could nurture and help artists like I got helped.”

To assist others along that path, Hicks oversees a group dubbed the Artists Collective,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Watch: 6 Minutes Of Only Known Footage Of 1939 Union Station Opening, Shot By Oscar Winner Ward Kimball

Ward Kimball might be the most important name in animation you've never heard: one of Disney's first animators, he worked on the dwarfs for “Snow White,” designed Jiminy Cricket for “Pinocchio” and redesigned Mickey himself in the '50s. Later he became a member of the “Nine Old Men” who advised and counseled Walt and the Disney company for decades. All that, and he mentored Brad Bird, Pixar's presiding genius and one of the most important figures in animation today.Kimball had hobbies too, though, and one of them was trains: he was fascinated by railways and collected railway memorabilia (Kimball is part of the reason Disneyland features lots of train-related attractions). So it's hardly surprising that when Los Angeles' Union Station, the last of the great, palatial American train stations opened in 1939 just down the road from Disney, he was there with a camera, shooting the only known footage of the opening.
See full article at The Playlist »

Meryl Streep Slams Walt Disney as a "Gender Bigot" While Honoring Emma Thompson

Meryl Streep Slams Walt Disney as a
Meryl Streep stole the show at last night's National Board of Review Awards in New York City with an amazing speech in which she simultaneously honored Emma Thompson for her role as P. L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks while also slamming Walt Disney as a sexist and anti-Semite. "Some of [Walt Disney's] associates reported that Walt Disney didn't really like women," Streep said from the stage. "Ward Kimball, who was one of his chief animators, one of the original 'Nine Old Men,' creator of the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, Jiminy Cricket, said of Disney, 'He didn't trust women, or cats.' And there is a piece of received wisdom that says that the most creative people are often odd, or...
See full article at E! Online »

Meryl Streep Blasts Walt Disney at National Board of Review Dinner

Meryl Streep Blasts Walt Disney at National Board of Review Dinner
The National Board of Review dinner is like the big pre-game to the Golden Globes, where wine bottles are uncorked in New York and don’t stop flowing until the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s gala on Sunday. But this year’s ceremony will forever be remembered for its nine-minute tour-de-force speech from Meryl Streep.

Streep, for once, wasn’t invited to accept an award. Instead, she was there to honor Emma Thompson for her portrait as “Mary Poppins” creator P.L. Travers in Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks.”

There was plenty of effusive Thompson praising in the speech — with phrases like “she’s practically a saint” and “she’s a beautiful artist” — and it ended with a poem that Streep had written for her friend titled “An Ode to Emma, Or What Emma is Owed.” But Streep also made a point of blasting Walt Disney for his sexist and anti-Semitic stances.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

John D Wilson obituary

Innovative animator whose credits include Lady and the Tramp, Petroushka and Grease

The pioneering animator John David Wilson, who has died aged 93, launched his studio, Fine Arts Films, in 1955 and found success with his first short subject, an adaptation of a Japanese folk tale, Tara the Stonecutter, which was screened in America with Teinosuke Kinugasa's Oscar-winning samurai drama Jigokumon (Gate of Hell, 1953). Next came Petroushka (1956), for which Igor Stravinsky (despite negative feelings towards animation following Disney's Fantasia) was persuaded by Wilson to prepare a shortened score for the film and conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the soundtrack. Petroushka won several festival awards and was the first animated film to be accepted by the Venice film festival.

Wilson's diverse productions ranged from innovative TV commercials for Instant Butter-Nut Coffee, made with the actor and humorist Stan Freberg, to a groundbreaking 15-minute film, Journey to the Stars, for the United
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Extended Thoughts on ‘Alice in Wonderland’

  • SoundOnSight
Alice in Wonderland

Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, and Hamilton Luske

Written by Winston Hibler, Ted Sears, Bill Peet, Erdman Penner, Joe Rinaldi, Milt Banta, Bill Cottrell, Dick Kelsey, Joe Grant, Dick Huemer, Del Connell, Tom Oreb, and John Waltridge

Starring Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Verna Felton

I should not pride myself in my ability to not be bored stiff by black-and-white movies, or by a supposedly stilted style of acting present in films from before the 1960s. There is a perception in the world, though, that audiences under the age of 30—I’m nearing the precipice of being on the opposite side of that line, but not yet—are, for the most part, unable to deal with older films or engage with them properly. On one hand, I bristle at the stereotype, not just because of my love for film of any age, but because I know from writing for this website,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Did the U.S. Air Force Ask Walt Disney to Make a Movie Revealing That UFOs Are Real?

  • Movies.com
Ward Kimball was one of Disney's "Nine Old Men," referring to a group of original Walt Disney animators who created some of the studio's most iconic animated characters. Kimball, for example, is the man who brought Jiminy Cricket to life, later going on to help spearhead the animation in some of Disney's feature films (like Mary Poppins), as well as playing a large role in a Disney television series which began as Disneyland in the 1950s and went on to take a number of titles throughout the years, with it currently known as The Magical World of Disney Junior. As part of that Disneyland television series (itself created as part of a deal to help fund the creation of Disneyland), Ward Kimball was responsible for a three-part documentary series under their...

Read More
See full article at Movies.com »

‘Peter Pan’ mostly delightful on the new Diamond Blu-ray

  • SoundOnSight
It’s been 60 years to the day since Peter Pan, the Walt Disney animated classic, opened in theaters nationwide. So what better way to commemorate the birthday of the boy who wouldn’t grow up than by checking the film out on Blu-ray for the very first time? That, at least, is the thinking behind Disney’s decision to release the Diamond Edition of Peter Pan today, hoping to remind children of all ages of this iconic animated entry. A few movie-specific issues aside, this is a fully packed home media release, a massive new Blu-ray, overstuffed with special features, even if some of them might be too familiar.

The story of how the always-young Peter Pan takes three British children to the fabled island of Neverland and their exciting adventures against the villainous pirate Captain Hook is one of the most familiar of the last 100 years. Who among us
See full article at SoundOnSight »

The Extended Disney Family And Peter Pan

The new Blu-ray/DVD/Digital release of Walt Disney’s Peter Pan includes the bonus features from previous DVD releases plus a few additions, including Growing up with Nine Old Men, a short documentary in which Ted Thomas, the filmmaker and son of top Disney animator Frank Thomas, checks in with the children of the other artists who were nicknamed the Nine Old Men. There are no revelations or airing of dirty laundry, but if you’re a diehard Disney buff you’ll enjoy learning about the personal lives, families, and hobbies of such animation titans as Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Ward Kimball, Milt Kahl, Wolfgang Reitherman, Les Clark, and John Lounsbery. (Marc Davis and Eric Larson...

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See full article at Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy »

Lella Smith Takes Us Through the History of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

  • MovieWeb
The Creative Director of the studio's Animation Research Library shares some rarely-seen concept art from the film and talks about this classic.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will debut on Blu-ray and kick off the studio's wonderful new Diamond Collection DVD/Blu-ray line on October 6, and I recently was fortunate enough to participate in a web event that gave this animated classic - the first feature-length film from the legendary studio - some new context. The web event was with Lella Smith, the Creative Director of the Walt Disney Animation Studios Animation Research Library, and before fielding questions from the press, she showed us a slideshow presentation filled with rare concept art images and information on the film.

We were shown images of some of the early dwarfs that didn't make the final seven, like Baldy and Jumpy and we also saw how some of the early images of
See full article at MovieWeb »

[DVD Review] Walt Disney Animation Collection: Volume 4: The Tortoise and the Hare

Volume 4 of the Disney Classic Short Films collection has an odd problem in that the title cartoon, while undeniably classic, pales in comparison to the rest of the cartoons in the set. For adult Disney collectors the older make-up of the films on this disc won’t be a problem, but for the kids it’s hard to say whether or not they’ll be all that enthralled with many or any of the cartoons in the fourth volume.

The Tortoise and the Hare (1935)

Kids have been told the tale of The Tortoise and the Hare for decades. The best part of this cartoon (used briefly in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) is the way the tortoise moves; as his shell moves along a perfectly straight line, his arms and feed move in a smooth motion that just looks really neat. The Tortoise and the Hare as a story has aged
See full article at JustPressPlay »

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