Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Adam Hughes

I've decided that any time I feature the artwork from a particular artist that I will be calling it "Artist Spotlight"...not terribly original I know, but it will make a little easier to search through the blogs. Anyhoo, today i feature the incredible artwork of Adam Hughes. Best known for his interpretation of comic book women, Adam at one time did interior pencils before becoming almost exclusively a cover artist. So here is a small smattering of his work. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas everybody!!!! Now lets let Linus explain the true meaning behind this blessed holiday.

God Bless,
Brian James Fichtner

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Tintin day!!!

Today is the day Herge's intrepid boy reporter comes smashing onto the big screen in the U.S.! If you dont know Tintin and dont realize that you need to see this film, here's the trailer to entice you!!!
Of course this brand new film is based partially on the graphic novel the Secret of the Unicorn. Since I cant post the entire book here I thought id do the next best thing and post the episode of the Tintin animated series based on it. So for your viewing pleasure I offer this early Christmas gift.

Until next time...Happy Holidays!!!
-Brian James Fichtner

Winsor McCay Wednesday: Christmas 1905

From December 17, 1905

Monday, December 19, 2011

Norman Rockwell brings you Santa Clause.

Norman Rockwell had a knack for painting ol' Chris Kringle. Every year at Christmas time he'd reveal a new image delving into the secret life of the jolly old elf on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. In fact, it was he who gave us the popular modern look of good old Saint Nick. Here's a look at just a few. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Donald Gets Drafted

Today is Pearl Harbor day, so I thought I would showcase the first of Disney's phenominal run of WWII Donald Duck shorts. Personally my favorite Donald cartoon ever...Donald Gets Drafted, enjoy!!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Walt Disney!

On December 5th, 1901 a baby boy was born in Chicago by the name of Walter Elias Disney. Disney is regarded as a legend in the world of animation and theme park design. Growing up in relative poverty, Walt, with the help of his brother Roy, built one of the most successful multi-media companies in the history of the world. He (with a little help from some of the most creative employees in history) created some of the world's most well-known characters including Mickey Mouse, for whom Disney provided the original voice. During his lifetime he won twenty-two Academy Awards from a total of fifty-nine nominations giving him more awards and nominations than any other individual in history (I like using the word history in this post don't I?). Overall, the guy was pretty amazing and is the reason we have fantastic vacation destinations like the Disneyland and Walt Disney World  theme parks in the U.S., and the international resorts Tokyo Disney, Disneyland Paris, and Disneyland Hong Kong. Unfortunately, he died of lung cancer on December 15, 1966 making the Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, and the Happiest Millionaire the last films he would work on. Happy Birthday Walt, you have made a mark on this world that can never be erased.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Chuck Jones brings you the Grinch!

On December 18th, 1966 Chuck Jones' animated version of the Dr. Seuss classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas! first aired and has continued to air every year since. So as Christmas gets closer I thought I'd bring you an assortment of original Chuck Jones artwork from that short film. Enjoy!

Until next time..this has been..Brian James Fichtner

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Woody Woodpecker!

Today we celebrate the 71st birthday of Woody Woodpecker. He first appeared in the Andy Panda film Knock Knock on November 25, 1940.  The idea for Woody was reported to have come during Walter Lantz' honeymoon with his wife. A noisy woodpecker outside their cabin kept the couple awake, and when it started raining, they found that the bird had made holes in the roof. Walter wanted to shoot the pest, but his wife Gracie suggested he make a cartoon about it instead. Of course that story is highly debated since Woody made his screen debut prior to their wedding. Nevertheless however it happened, Woody was born from the mind of Walter Lantz and his trademark  "Ha-ha-ha-HAA-ha!" came from the incredible voice of the legendary Mel Blanc. After Knock Knock, Woody proved to be a hit and Walter now had a replacement for the fading Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a character he took over from Walt Disney. Woody went on to great success during and after the war, going through redesigns and slight personality tweaks along the way. In 1948, the Woody Woodpecker song debuted in the cartoon  Wet Blanket Policy and went on to become his theme song. Woody successfully made the transition onto television in 1957 and continues to be ingrained in pop culture currently serving as the mascot for the Honda Motorcycle Racing Team and the Universal Studios theme parks.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

In honor of Turkey Day I bring you something to be thankful for, Tex Avery and his classic Thanksgiving cartoon...Jerky Turkey from 1945.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

I Love Norman Rockwell. From time to time i'll post some of my favorite paintings by the prolific artist. Since it's nearly Thanksgiving  I bring you one of his most famous images. Enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy 83rd Birthday Mickey and Minnie

Today we celebrate the 83rd birthday of Minnie Mouse and her boyfriend, the most recognizable and iconic animated character in the entire world, Mr. Mickey Mouse. So ladies and gentlemen I present to you the animated shorts that started it all.

Steamboat Willy was the first Mickey cartoon released but not the first created. While Walt was still under contract to Universal for his Oswald cartoons, he turned to his best friend and animator Ub Iwerks to create the first two Mickey cartoons incognito. By the time the contract with Universal was up, he had two cartoons ready to go. The problem was no theatre thought they were worthy of being shown. Luckily the Jazz Singer was released, the first "talking picture", and Walt saw the opportunity to be the first to create a sound cartoon and Steamboat Willy was born. After its success, he went back and added sound to the original two and released them after, also to great success.

Until next time kiddies,
Brian James Fichtner

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Old Army Game

Well its 11/11/11 and it also just so happens to be Veterans Day. So in honor of those that have served our country I bring you a classic starring Disney's own war vet Donald Duck. Its no secret that the Walt Disney studios did alot for the war effort and one of those things was to entertain the troops and to bring them laughs where there were none. To do so they drafted the only guy in their roster that could handle combat...the Gable of their stable....Donald Duck. First they drafted him in the classic "Donald Gets Drafted" then they sent him on a series of adventures doing everything the soldiers had to do...except it was Donald. So for all those veterans out there I bring you "The Old Army Game" from 1943.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween everyone!!! I now present you with a truly amazing piece of animation, Night on Bald Mountain from Fantasia!! Enjoy!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Who Killed Who?

Every Halloween needs a good murder mystery, so I present to you the Tex Avery classic...Who Killed Who? from 1943.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Mighty Mouse Halloween

Wow two Mighty Mouse related posts in one month...well he deserves it and besides these are all about Halloween...it's getting closer!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Trick or Treat

Halloween is inching closer, so as a reminder to get those costumes prepared for a sugar overload, I bring you Walt Disneys Donald Duck in Trick or Treat!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Winnie the Pooh on Blu-ray Today!!!

Its a double post day! I just wanted to remind everyone that today Disney's newest traditionally(hand drawn) animated film is released on DVD and Blu-ray, Winnie the Pooh! It's great fun for the whole family! If you didn't catch it in theaters definitely be sure to check it out. Directed by Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall, it's a story taken from the original book with a few new elements and a soundtrack by Zooey Deschanel. It's worth an hour of your time (its short)....and be sure to watch after the credits, you won't be sorry. Winnie the Pooh! Winnie the Pooh! Winnie the Pooh!!!!

Batman: Arkham City

Well, today is the day one of the most anticipated video games in years is released, Batman: Arkham City. It is of course a sequel to the groundbreaking Batman: Arkham Asylum from a couple years back. So today I thought I would show off some of the amazing concept art for this game as a well as a few screenshots from the game itself. Enjoy! Btw, Batman: Arkham City is available now for PS3 and XBOX 360 at a retailer near you!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Mighty Mouse!!!!

On this day in 1942 the worlds mightiest mouse, Super Mouse, debuted in the animated short The Mouse of Tomorrow.  After 7 cartoons, Super Mouse was changed to Mighty Mouse with the 1944 short The Wreck of the Hesperus and he never looked back. Paul Terry created the character as a parody of Superman and included all of his powers. In his theatrical cartoons, Mighty was never particularly popular, although more popular than any other Terry Toon character. It was television that made the character into an icon. In 1955, the Mighty Mouse Playhouse premiered on CBS and ran for 12 years, but through other outlets he remained consistently on television for over 30 years. In the late 1970's and early 80's, Filmation created new adventures in the aptly titled The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle. But most famously, Ralph Bakshi revived the character in 1987 creating Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures for the CBS Saturday morning children's lineup. The series had a very adult themes and even landed its creator in hot water for a scene that was interpreted by some as Mighty snorting cocaine. The series only lasted for 2 seasons then the mouse of tomorrow faded into the background yet to be revived to this day. A Mighty Mouse CG animated film has been in production from Nickelodeon for the better part of the last decade and is currently slated for a 2013 release. Until then, the world eagerly awaits the return of the Mouse of Steel!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Pooh Bear!!!!

On October 14th, 1926 one of the most celebrated literary and film characters made his debut on the printed page, that tubby little cubby Winnie the Pooh. Well to be honest Pooh showed up in short stories printed in various magazines from 1924 on. But it was the actual book Winnie the Pooh that shot him to stardom and was released on this date. Of course we cant forget that this amazing book, by the incredible A.A. Milne and illustrated by E.H. Shepard, also saw the debut of Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, Kanga and Roo. Tigger would'nt show up until the sequel A House at Pooh Corner.  So since I cant give everyone a smackeral of hunny, I'll give you the next best thing, some original Winnie the Pooh illustrations by E.H. Shepard. Enjoy!!!....oh and one other thing, be sure to buy Disney's newest traditionally animated movie, Winnie the Pooh on DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday.