Monday, January 20, 2014

Michael Sporn (1946-2014)

It's only been three weeks since the death of Frederic Back, and already we've lost another well-respected Oscar-nominated animator. Michael Sporn, the man behind the Oscar nominated Doctor De Soto and his well respected animation "Splog," has passed away at the age of 64. While Sporn has never won an Oscar, but his works with Weston Woods were a major part of my childhood, and that includes the aforementioned Doctor De Soto. Furthermore, his Splog was a great source of interesting observations into the world of animation from an insider, and often the source of the long-listed animated short films. A cause of death was not mentioned in his obituaries*, although whatever led to it may have explained why we never did get the full longlist this year. Many of his last few posts were related to the work of Miyazaki, including Kaze Tachinu. Regardless, he will be missed.

*Apparently it's pancreatic cancer. Screw pancreatic adenocarcinomas

Here's a good tribute to his work, and Doctor De Soto after the break.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Best Animated Short 2013 - NOMINEES

And then there were five...

So earlier today the Oscar nominees were announced, and that means the lineup for the 82nd annual Best Animated Short contenders are out. Unfortunately I was busy with work earlier in the day so I didn't get a chance to make a post until now, but the five films that will join the annals of Oscar history below:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ranking the Oscar Nominated Shorts: 1932-1941

Has it really been almost five months since the last time I posted one of these? Yes, after switching to the q 2 weeks posting schedule, I've had almost as much time pass as when I took the month and a half hiatus between 1972-1981 and 1962-1971. But I guess I just wanted to savor it, because this will be the last time I do one of these things until 2022, if this blog hadn't become abandoned like my other blogs. But you know how this works. I take the films between 1932 and 1941 that I reviewed over the past four months and rank them by how much I enjoy them. Simple as pie. Mmm...I like pie.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Best Animated Short - 1931/1932

Happy New Year, everypony! Hope it's a good one.

Let's kick off 2014 with my 81st - and final - least until the Oscar nominations are announced on January 16, and there's a new set of five films to review*. After that I'll be doing my darndest to attend one of the showings of the nominated shorts and reviewing those. But for now, this marks the end of the reviews that have dominated my life for a whole 22 months.

*My predictions have somewhat changed since I posted about the shortlist almost two months ago. I talked to Steve Segal, the professor of my History of Animation course a year ago. He had attended one of the screenings and had only raves about The Missing Scarf, which certainly looked interested but the design seemed a bit too new for the old-fashioned Academy. However, he described the film as being surprisingly deep, and as we saw from A Morning Stroll two years ago, new fangled technology has never stopped a film from being nominated. So perhaps we will see The Missing Scarf. I've added it to the predictions, replacing Hollow Land. Of course, almost everybody over at Gold Derby is predicting a nomination for Room on the Broom. It may be populist enough to grab a nomination. Eh oh well.