Tag Archives: animation

Faster than a rolling O. Stronger than silent E. Able to leap capital T in a single bound. It’s a word! It’s a plan! It’s Letterman!

I was talking with my friend Barry about the cartoons on TV today — Thomas the Tank Engine, Max and Ruby, and the dreaded Dora. Barry wondered where the morals of the stories were. What lessons were they teaching?

I said that we grew up on Bugs Bunny, and there were no morals there. Very little sanity as well.

We agreed that TV was much better when we were small, and this led to a bit of reminiscing about The Electric Company. I haven’t watched it in decades, but Barry has the box set — for his daughter, he says.

It’s surreal, he told me. Morgan Freeman, Bill Cosby, big stars today, all regulars then.

Sure enough, he is absolutely right. It is a weird and wild and wonderful program, with a lovely balance or knowledge and whimsy. No wonder I loved it so.

I thought I would post the opening credits here, but then I found this clip of the recurring “Letterman” cartoon. Gene Wilder is the voice of Letterman, Joan Rivers is the nearly hysterical narrator, and the whole thing is wild.

Beautiful.

Also, this wonderful animation, “Cloud, Proud, Loud.”

And here’s “For You.”

Makes me think of Bill Plympton’s animations.

My new plan is to give boxed sets of The Electric Company as gifts to all children from now on. I’ll mix in a few Rocky & Bullwinkle sets too, and The Jungle Book. This will be my investment in the future of the world. Who’s with me?

Best part of the Super Bowl

UblUO0LjPUg

The best part of the Super Bowl this year was the commercials.

Ah, who’m I kidding? This was the best Super Bowl in years. Exciting, tense, closely fought. Great defensive performances from both teams, clever strategizing on all sides. Bill Belichick and his staff made a great call asking for a review of a play in which a Giants player turned out not to get off the field in time — key reversal there. Eli Manning held himself together in his non-showy way, and pulled off a couple of outstanding plays, especially in the play where he pulled off a bunch of defenders and threw an awesome pass to … well, frankly I don’t know to whom, because I never watch the Giants. But today they were impressive, and they won resoundingly.

An aside: What was the deal with Bill Belichick leaving the field with time left on the clock? I wouldn’t expect that his team would score, but it seemed unsportsmanlike to leave while the game was still in progress. That’s a Randy Moss move from way back, and as Uncle Crappy pointed out, even Moss stayed on the field until the end this time.

The commercials were not as exciting as the game, for once, but I still felt compelled to watch them. One I was particularly pleased to see was for the Pixar movie WALL-E. The first trailer for this movie was not impressive: It focused mainly on the genesis for the idea, which is interesting only to John Lasseter, and maybe not even to him.

The commercial shown during the game focused on characters from Toy Story, which was marginally better. But the commercial was enough to remind me that the movie will be out this summer, and that led me to search for any other trailers that might be about.

This brought me to the video I’ve embedded above. In each Pixar movie, there’s at least one new thing that they haven’t been able to do before. In Monsters, Inc., it was realistic fur. In The Incredibles, it was realistic animated water and hair. In this case, the new thing appears to be dust.

WALL-E lives in a future world in which he and the roaches are the only ones still around. Everything else is desolate — Mad Max desolate. From what I can see in this trailer, the surfaces, air, and light all play on each other like what you’d see in a spaghetti western. That’s gonna be awesome.

UPDATE: I forgot to add that you can see a much clearer version of this trailer, plus a lot more WALL-E stuff, at the Apple website.