Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Looks like 2010 is my year to catch up with French-language films, with the animated A TOWN CALLED PANIC being a recent favorite, and a huge hit with my kids.

OSS-117:LOST IN RIO is not animation but it's star Jean Dujardin has managed to breathe new life into the James Bond parody genre (something I would not have thought possible at this late stage) and having watched it today on Netflix, I recommend it for it's startlingly precise 1960's Kodachrome visuals and it's antic (and admittedly hit-and-miss) grab-bag style of wildly inappropriate humor. It's been a long time since a movie made me actually glad to be alive, but this one did it. I guess it's the second in the series and I am working up the courage to see the first one (NEST OF SPIES) hoping I won't be disappointed.  Check it out if you don't mind subtitles and like a good laugh.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

QWERTY on the YouTubes

I've uploaded a higher resolution copy of QWERTY THE DINOSAUR onto YouTube, where you can see it more clearly in all it's scratchy, jittery, slightly less fuzzy glory. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Weird, creepy and kinda cool (possibly)

I love Japan but I confess I am not typically a fan of Anime. Nor of Mo-cap CGI (from any country), but united together and projected as a hologram I have to admit they both held my attention in this video. HATSUNE MIKU is an entirely un-real performer who nonetheless appears onstage with a live band and performs to wildly cheering fans by way of what appears to be a startling holographic projection. I just stumbled across this on a news media blog, where they were clucking about the awfulness of it all, but to me it seems like an intriguing new concept for stagecraft and animation.

I have seen videos of GORILLAZ performing live behind flat screens where giant projections of the characters as CGI animations are shown, but if this really is an actual hologram, it takes that idea a step further. The possibilities are endless and very intriguing. With enough firepower a "live" animated arena show could be done in the round--adding a genuine 3-D experience to a feature length story. Call me crazy, but I think it's ultimately kinda cool.

WHOOPS: UPDATE: A more careful study shows this is probably also a flat projection, on some sort of screen (there seems to be some sort of rectangular scrim around the character). Although some of the camera rotation shots make it look like the CG figure is actually 3D, that may be only an illusion served by a well-timed camera move in sync with the character's rotation. In that event, this would be a much closer cousin to the GORILLAZ experiments in 'live' animation, which I also like quite a bit (but are years old already).

Oh well. If someone has gotten this far, maybe the real [unreal] thing can't be too far off...

Monday, November 8, 2010


T shirt

I got a lot of good responses on the cat image below when I published it last year. I have opened a Red Bubble account in addition to my art site. A full color version can be yours on a t-shirt for around 20 bucks. If you've got better things to do with your money, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised...

Monday, November 1, 2010


Me, Nik Ranieri, David Pruiksma
My friend animator Dave Pruiksma currently teaches at Laguna College of Art and Design, where he recently hosted a reunion for Nik Ranieri and me to join him discussing animating our characters for Disney's BEAUTY & THE BEAST, released all of 19 years ago this month (which is hard to believe!). Dave was the primary animating hand behind the lovable "Mrs. Potts and her son Chip", Nik did the same for "Lumiere" and I did same for "Cogsworth." It was very invigorating to speak to and with the talented students and to visit and reminisce with Dave and Nik at length for the first time in too long. Dave has a slideshow HERE.
(Thanks Dave!)

I'm for sale

After more than a year of working on it, I have finally launched a separate site for selling digital giclee prints of my artwork at  http://willfinn.net/ . A few of the prints I will be making available are derived from designs I have posted here, but most of  it isn't and for the time being I am going to incline toward artwork I have done that is more decorative than narrative or character-oriented. In other words, most of it is not closely animation related in any direct way, which is why I decided to keep it separate. In any event, it's a stab at something new and I look forward to seeing how it turns out. I have a sizeable backlog of artwork I am preparing and will be adding stuff as I go along.

This blog remains my first and foremost home for cartoon and animation love and jabber. Like it or not, it isn't going away.