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The Bunny Before Bugs

Before he (and his wife!) created a world-famous mouse, Walt Disney was already well-known for his Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons (co-created with the great Ub Iwerks, of course). Now in celebration of Oswald’s 90th birthday Animation Scoop let us know about a new hardcover book dedicated to his legacy. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons (whew!) is coming out this week from Disney Editions. From editor David Bossert’s press release: “For the first time ever, all the known material and information relevant to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit has been aggregated into one book, including never-before-seen images, photographs, development art, production artwork, scripts, as well as gag and situation notes are all inclusive. This handsome volume contains a variety of color posters, many of which were found at auction houses and with collectors. This deluxe hardcover edition features an embossed cloth spine and is profusely illustrated with many rare images that reconstruct many of the still lost cartoons in the series.”

image c. 2017 Disney Editions


Guess Who??!

According to Animation Scoop, veteran director Bill Kopp (known for Eek! The Cat, Schnookums and Meat, Dan Vs., and more) has been tapped by Universal Pictures to revive none other than Woody Woodpecker — in his original manic glory. In the article Mr. Kopp says that currently an animated feature and a new short cartoon are in development. Long a mascot of Universal Pictures, Walter Lantz’ most famous creation originally appeared in cartoons from 1940 until 1972. According to Animation Scoop, “A new Woody Woodpecker feature was first announced two years ago by Illumination Entertainment, then developing the film with co-writers John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky – who were planning to ‘modernize the character for contemporary audiences’. ” That didn’t sit well with classic animation fans — including Bill Kopp, who has insisted that these new cartoons will feature Woody in his original silliness.

image c. Universal Pictures

Woody Woodpecker on the Big Screen

We swiped this bit from Cartoon Brew, since they put it so well: “The Hollywood Reporter is reporting about Universal Pictures new plans to revive Walter Lantz’ classic cartoon star Woody Woodpecker in a CG feature film.  Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Hop, and The Lorax) is now developing the film with Blades of Glory co-writers John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky, who are planning to ‘modernize the character for contemporary audiences’. Altschuler and Krinsky were exec producers and writers on Fox’s King of the Hill and currently on MTV’s Beavis and Butt-head.” Should classic cartoon fans rejoice or shudder? Stay tooned and we’ll find out!

image c. 2011 Cartoon Brew

Toons Take It Out On Us!

Now here’s something kinda different: Toons go meta. Oni Press has announced that Rascal Raccoon’s Raging Revenge, a new full-color hardcover graphic novel, will be released in early December. Brendan Hay (of Robot Chicken fame) wrote the script, and Justin Wagner did the toony illustrations. Here’s the publisher’s description: “Welcome to Toonie Terrace, home of the fun-loving Merries and their jealous, bitter rivals, the Meanies. For all their shenanigans, no Meanie has ever murdered a Merrie… until now! After thousands of painful failed attempts, Rascal Raccoon has finally killed his arch-nemesis, the charming and adorable Jumpin’ Jackalope. Rascal is overjoyed, but there’s one problem: What does he do now? With nothing left to obsess over, Rascal’s life falls apart. Fortunately, he soon finds a new target for his anger: The animator who created him!” Comic Book Resources has an on-line preview where you can see just what kind of havoc these toons create when they come looking for the humans who draw delight from their troubles!

image c. 2011 Oni Press

Punky Pets!

The newest cartoon band exploding on the scene is called Punky Pets, and this one is all funny animals! Well-connected funny animals it seems, as they not only have a whole line of t-shirts and plush dolls associated with them, but also sponsorship from the Vans Warped Tour and San Diego Comic Con. As you can see on their web site, they also have a whole set of Warped Tour bands promoting their stuff. The web site also features animated videos by the Punky Pets. Here’s what we can’t tell: Are they a “real” band, or just cartoons? Their web site is mum on that point. Stay tooned and you’ll find out more when we do!


image c. 2011 Punky Pets

Visit the New Toonseum

The Toonseum is currently located within the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (of course). This November, however, they will be moving to their new “storefront digs” at 945 Liberty Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh (across from the August Wilson Center). The move will give the Toonseum much more room, and allow them to display a much wider variety of cartoon art — including material which might not be appropriate for showing at a children’s museum.

Here’s the Toonseum’s mission statement, from their web site: “The mission of the ToonSeum is to celebrate the art of cartooning. Our goal is to promote a deeper appreciation of the cartoonists and their work through hands-on workshops, community outreach, cartoon-oriented educational programming, and exhibitions of original cartoon art.” We like it. Next time you’re in town — like, say, for Anthrocon — why not drop on in?