Thursday, August 25, 2016

Glass Cannon Animations Unveils 'Tales From Coracle Lake'.

Glass Cannon Animations, an independent team of animators from Yorkshire, have made a bold new leap into the world of animation through the release of “Tales from Coracle Lake: The Search for Spring”. The film brings viewers back 8,000 years to the Mesolithic Era, at the time of the thawing of the icy tundra. The story follows a young girl, Mela, who explores the forgotten wilderness north of her homeland with her friends. While winter’s end threatens her group’s survival, Mela and her best friend Carr decide to find Spring and bring life back to their world.

Their animation is family-friendly and promises excitement and thrills, brought to life through hand-drawn animations. Through a collaboration with archaeologists from the University of York, the production studio has attempted to resurface a lost world, inspired by Star Carr, an archaeological site in North Yorkshire. Site director Prof. Nicky Milner explains, “The site is world famous in the archaeological world for the amazing range of artefacts it has uncovered and the insights into the Mesolithic period that it gives. One of the most amazing artifacts are incredibly rare headdresses made out of red deer skulls thought to have been used in shamanic practices. The site has captured the public imagination and has been featured on a number of television programmes, and in newspapers and magazines.”

'Milo Murphy's Law' Intro Lands

The intro sequence for Milo Murphy's Law has premiered online and appears to be promising for the freshman Disney XD series debuting this fall. Created by Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, the creative minds behind the highly successful Phineas and Ferb, the series follows young Milo Murphy who is just about the unluckiest kid on the planet. If you recall, Murphy's law touts that anything that can go wrong will go wrong and for Milo everything does just that. You would think that this would make him a sour and embittered kid, but Milo is the exact opposite of that. He exudes an optimistic and cheerful spirit in the face of everything going wrong for him and appears to be well prepared for anything that is thrown his way.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Crowdfund This: Cartoon Roots: 'Bobby Bumps and Fido'

AFA is a big supporter of the work of early animation historian and archivist Tommy Jose Stathes. For a number of years he's been working to ensure that important and often forgotten works from the era of early and silent animation is preserved and available for current and future generations. He has previously run a crowdfunding campaign to secure a Blu-ray and DVD release of the work of the first major animation studio Bray, and now he's back with a new similar project.

Bobby Bumps was a mischievous young boy- and obvious precursor of the likes of Dennis The Menace and Bart Simpson- who starred in dozens of films between 1915 and around 1925. He was the creation of a newspaper cartoonist and animation pioneer by the name of Earl Hurd. Alongside his canine sidekick Fido, young Bobby got in to a great deal of mischief over the years and became one of the most popular characters of his time. Like much of the pre-sound era of animation though, he has been largely forgotten- and much of his shorts were thought to have been lost.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The AFA Podcast: Episode 50- The Otakon Episode

We're back with a special episode for our big five-o! Last week Rachael attended the final Otakon to be held in Baltimore, and she was kind enough to regale us with tales of her adventures at the East Coat's biggest anime-focused event (0:02).  That takes up most of the episode but later on we also found time to talk about the Sausage Party controversy (1:00) as well as some stuff we watched, (01:06) including The Good Dinosaur and Pete's Dragon. 

Porco Rosso (1992)

What is a good Miyazaki-directed Ghibli film to watch if you're just not that into films directed by Miyazaki?  How about the one set in the real-world, between the two world wars with air combat, pirates, a daring duel and a flying pig?  Is that a good place to start?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Giovanni's Island (2014)

In the light of its crushing defeat in 1945, Japanese creators understandably haven't often chosen to tell stories set in or around World War II. However, some storytellers hit upon the device of depicting events from the perspective of children- who on either side can be seen to be blameless victims of the wars of the older generation. In this tradition is Giovanni's Island, an animated feature that is based on a little known chapter in history

Mizuho Nishikubo's film begins at the very tail end of the war, as news of Japan's surrender begins to come in.  Junpei and Kanta are two young boys living on the (real-life) remote island of Shikotan with their fisherman grandfather and firefighter father. Their mother has passed away some time ago, but their location has seemingly allowed them to live their lives relatively untouched by the war up until this point. The island's population anxiously awaits the arrival of "the yanks", but when the ships do arrive, it turns out to be not the Americans, but the Soviets instead.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sayonara Baltimore - Otakon 2016

If I had to pick a single word to describe the three day event that has been the Otakon Japanese Animation Convention in Baltimore, it would be big.

Big location, guests that are big names in the anime industry, with an abundance of big personalities walking to and from the different halls.Which makes it all the more interesting that due to the convention's ever rising attendance numbers, that this volunteer run event will be changing locations in 2017. From Baltimore to Washington DC, equally big changes are on the horizon for this beloved convention. Despite the uncertainty that is sure to come with a big change like this, Otakon 2016 remained the unique spectacle it has always been. A celebration of Japanese animation and culture that is unparalleled on the east coast of the United States.