Archive for cartoons & animation

I Like Dot. A Lot.

Posted in Art Lover, Cinema & Filmmaking, In Celebration of the Absurd, Movies & Movie Stars, Photography, Technicolor Pop with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2010 by alphabetfiend

And now a magical bedtime story for you , my loveys.

Meet Dot.

You’re gonna like Dot. You’re gonna like Dot alot. Just you wait.

Once you watch this, you will know how much I truly do love you. Be sure to watch it in full-screen mode!

Sleep tight, darlings. Dream like you mean magic.

Catch some Z’s like fire-flies, let ’em light up your mind like they light up a mason jar in July.

We’ll talk tomorrow.

Shush.

Shh.

***********************

*Peewee Herman turned me onto this. I heart Peewee.

“Cinderella” Dies at 81

Posted in Cinema & Filmmaking, Fame & Celebrity, Movies & Movie Stars, Mythos, Romance, Style & Fashion, Technicolor Pop, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2010 by alphabetfiend

OK, don’t freak out — Cinderella didn’t die because Cinderella shall live forever in Technicolor.

Ilene Woods died at 81. Ilene Woods was the voice — speaking & singing — of Cinderella in the Disney classic.

Woods was just 18 when Walt cast her as Cinderella, beating out 400 hopefuls for the coveted part. The fellas who wrote the lyrics for the feature film were friends of Ilene Woods — songwriters Mack David and Jerry Livingston — and so Woods sang in the demos that were submitted to Disney. Walt liked what he heard and gave Woods the part. How exciting that must’ve been!

I wanna be a cartoon!

I wanna end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.

When I got my boobs & hips overnight, taking on a pronounced hour-glass shape of near fetishistic proportions, I was immediately hailed as “Betty Boop” by all the boys (much to my dad’s dismay.) The Boop thing continues to this day but before that, I was called “Cinderelli” by my father. If I felt the least bit put upon or taken for granted (as the oldest of six, I often had cause to feel grumbly) Dad would mercilessly tease me in sing-song, “Wash the dishes, Cinderelli! Fold the linens, Cinderelli! Sweep the hearth, Cinderelli! Serve us stew, Cinderelli!”

Only I had no mice or birds to make me gowns of cast away gewgaws. O woe! I want mice and birds! I want a perfectly drawn up-do. I want a pumpkin carriage.

I want GLASS SLIPPERS, the most dreamy and absurd accessory of all. As silly as the diamond-soled shoes that Paul Simon sang of, “People say she’s crazy, she got diamonds on the soles of her shoes, well that’s one way to lose these walking blues. Diamonds on the soles of her shoes!”

Yes, I wanna be the itty-bitty specimen of footly perfection that slips, effortlessly, into that magical high-heel.

It looks like Woods had a real-life pair of glass slippers! (She’s posing with the heels in the above photo.) Lucky lucky cartoon lady.

Ilene Woods said that the best part about playing Cinderella in the timeless classic was that her children (and her children’s children and so on) would be able to connect with her long after she parted.

I wonder if they’ve watched the film since her death on July 1st.

Maybe their hearts are still too raw for that.

Like Janet Jackson was, after Michael Jackson died, when the film “This Is It” was in theatres. Janet refused to see the film, citing her grief and a lack of readyness. Someday, she said, Not yet. Not now.

After my Dad died we continued to pay his cell bill, for months, because we couldn’t give up the comfort of that phone number. We’d call the number just to hear his voice on the message. It was kind of like pushing a big purple bruise, flinching, ouch, and then you push it again. When I finally decided to disconnect the phone, I checked his voicemail one last time and was astounded to find that calls had been pouring in, at all hours of the day and night, from family, friends, kids, cousins, nephews, even his dry-cleaner/tailor who had once turned the flag my dad stole from the post-office into a subversively patriotic shirt. It took me forever to listen to all the messages, as people spoke to him with desperate yearning.

How could you do this to me, Paul? asked one friend, You sonofabitch asshole cocksucker. Why’d you leave me here alone?

Losing a loved one is never easy. I can only imagine how hard it would be if your mother was CINDERELLA. Maybe it is too soon for Ilene’s family to cuddle on the couch and watch as Cinderella enchants Prince Charming. But someday they will and Woods is right, that film will be a gift that keeps on giving.

Bon Voyage, Cinder-Ilene! I hope you are traveling by coach. I hope the journey is magical and Technicolor and glorious. I hope you are wearing your glass slippers.

 

**For more info, see Animation Magazine.  **“I wanna end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard”  is from “You Can Call me Al,” yet another song by Paul Simon.

Sita Sings the Blues: 1920’s Cartoon Bollywood Love Story

Posted in Art & Culture, Goof & Glamour, I Heart Tricksters, I like big butts & I can not lie, Movies & Movie Stars, Mythos, Romance & Relationships, Spirituality & Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2008 by alphabetfiend

I was enchanted by the film “Sita Sings the Blues” from the moment I laid eyes on a movie-still in the film fest catalog, which I spotted while peering over the shoulder of a strange man. We were in line to see an pre-screening of W and I hadn’t brought my own reading materials. I was trying to be covert but the image of Sita threw me off. I began to coo and tug at the man’s jacket. He tried to turn the page and I protested. Sita didn’t sing to him like she did me.

The imagery is definitely girly in a wondrous, playful way. It set off the glam clang that tolls in my soul. The colors, the costumery, the romantic gossip of three shadow puppets, the monkey warrior, the blue-skinned bad boy whose only bad cause he’s so good, the 1920’s jazz music (throaty vocals of old Annette Hanshaw recordings.) Imagine the saturation of Bollywood in a sacred cartoon.

There’s masculinity at work too, which is very true to Indian myth. The feminine and masculine swirl together visually as the love story unlooses. Nina Paley made an odd choice when she decided to tell the story using 3+ styles of illustration/animation. I wasn’t sure at first because I fancied one in particular — the one used in the scenes where Sita belts out Hanshaw’s obsessive blues songs. The Robo-boy said, “It looks like psychedelic punk rock! Like Shag goes to Bollywood.” Of course! If Shag departed from his usual tiki triptychs or beatnik depictions of mods living the good life. If Shag shifted from all things hipster to all things trickster. The animation’s delightfully familiar yet deliciously fresh. Mythic & modern. Which is why the different styles idea grew on me. It spoke to the multi-faceted aspect of reality. We all paint our own stories, from our own unique perspectives. Archetypes and myth have been with us through cultural changes, beauty ideals, value shifts. There is always a mutation of myth as the story is lobbed. The morphic field fattens as the myth grows. It was quite insightful really, on Paley’s part, to present the same two characters with staid antiquity in one moment and whimsical agony the next.

This eternal essence of human energy was also evoked through the use of 1920’s jazz recordings. The gods are always with us, wherever and whenever  we are. They create and re-create as we move through our unique versions of the world. Through us, they live a mirrored infinity of lives. The heartbreak of the goddess is carried like a torch — her heartbreak is our heartbreak. Why, our heart break is so profound an ache, so original a shiver, that it must be the drama of an ancient deity. Thus the modern, apparently autobiographical, story of “Nina” and the enormity of her hurt. Which brings me to my one critique — why did the goddess of 2008 have to be so dull? So dumpy? It was out of place in such a stunning, glamorous film and it didn’t have to be that way. In fact, the beauty who sat beside me is a heartbroken goddess and damn if she doesn’t look like one. With a head of hair not unlike Sita’s fabulous mane.  Next to sensual Sita, “Nina” was just a lumpling with female pattern baldness and a proboscis like Wimpy from Popeye. Sunday Comics’ Cathy is sexier than “Nina.” And more likeable. Maybe it’s just me but I like my mortals to have a little oomph. Especially next to luscious Sita who sounds like a jazz diva, has a belly dancer’s wiggle and possesses the crackling aura of a silent screen star.

I love cartoons especially when they’re for grown-ups. I prefer my XXX animated. There’s none of that here, but with Sita’s sexy moves it wasn’t hard for my mind to go there. I wouldn’t be surprised if a Sita+Rama sex tape surfaces. I can’t wait! I love nothing more than a mythic beasty-man so a tantric hunk with skin the shade of laffy taffy? Hell yea!

It wasn’t just Sita’s man that had me lusty. That chick had some fine loot! Exotic saris, bling galore, a flying bed, a peacock gramophone.

When she held a banana up to her ear, my heart panged for my 7th grade banana phone. If only I still had that phone I could take all my calls like a curvaceous Indian love goddess. Speaking of cool stuff — when this baby comes out on DVD one of y’all beloveds better wrap it up in a turquoise bow for me. I must have access to this film at any hour of the day or night. When I’m hurting, I can play “count the crowns” while wearing a rhinestone tiara. That’ll make my skull tingle and my heart soar. At 3 am, when I need some mental glitter, I can pop it in and SPARKLE.

“Sita Sings the Blues” is a a magical telling of the Indian epic myth Ramayana. (“The Greatest Break-up Story Ever Told.”) Sita’s too good for Rama but don’t bother tellin’ her that! The mythic masterpiece was written, directed, produced, designed and edited by one extreme talent — Nina Paley. If you want to learn more about this amazing film, check out the website  or peek in on Nina Paley’s blog here on wordpress.

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