Friday, December 24, 2010
Oh, hai loose end! - Thoughts on "Banjo the Woodpile Cat"
I have to say, watching "Banjo the Woodpile Cat" after having watched each and every Don Bluth film in order (hit the "Don Bluth Month" tab below if you missed that series) is quite the experience. Originally conceived as a feature film, and later as a Christmas Special, "Banjo" is an approximately twenty minute long short animated film made by the independent Don Bluth studio in it's larval stage. Many of the animators still worked at Disney while making "Banjo" on the side. And -according to animation mythology and, if true, then it gives this cute little special a punk rock touch- "Banjo" was produced entirely in a garage.
As for the film itself, "Banjo" is sweet and cute and charming. It's also interesting to see all the similarities it has with later, better-known Bluth productions. We've got a cute little character who is separated from his family, gets into adventures in a big city, and makes some new friends who help him find his way home -- just like in "An American Tail". The overall look of the film, however, is more similar to "All Dogs Go To Heaven". The characters sometimes look very odd, and there is a similar montage of characters getting into mischief in the city. The film is also visually consistent with the Disney films Bluth and company had worked on.
Overall, "Banjo" is a fun little short with terrific animation and a simple, sweet story.
Happy Holidays to everyone! I will likely start posting again the second week in January (I may be going on an adventure for New Year's). Have a great Solstice Holiday of Choice and a very happy New Year!
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Downy Woodpecker 2
Black-capped Chickadee 3
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Northern Cardinal 1
House Sparrow 30
Festive Thing of the Day!
First off, I found this on Best Week Ever, and they could only describe it as "A Kazaam wish come true!"
I will also share with you the traditional Christmas music of my people.
And finally, Comics Alliance has an annotated preview of the comic "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" in it's entirety. It is much, much better than it sounds.
Art of the Day!
Here's a Christmas commission I had recently. I was simply told, "Make us an album cover with cats on it". This is what they got. Fortunately, they got it right away and loved it. (Plus you can't have enough Christmas Cats.)