Animation Planet E-Newsletter
Nov. 14, 1999
Next Issue on Nov. 21, 1999
The Fine Print
Animation Planet E-Newsletter is a free publication from Inkwell Productions, 17 Spruce St., Springfield, MA 01105. This newsletter is e-mailed upon request and all addresses are confidential. It is also posted on the rec.arts.animation news group and at http://www.comicon.com.
To subscribe, send your e-mail address to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Send news and items for review to Mike Dobbs, Inkwell Productions, 17 Spruce St. Springfield, MA 01105 or to mailto:email@example.com.
©1999 by G. Michael Dobbs
Top of the Page: Review of BOOM DOT BUST
The Firesign Theatre
A preface for the uninitiated: The Firesign Theatre is the only American comedy group to rival Monty Python in producing multi-layer comedy and satire. Unlike their British colleagues, who concentrated in visual media, The Firesign Theatre have kept alive the traditions of classic radio production with their long list of intricately produced recordings. Although never a "big" comedy act, David Ossman, Phil Proctor, Phil Austin, and Peter Bergman have influenced two generations of listeners with their blend of savage criticism, whimsical word play, and comments of American history and popular culture. They are among the most versatile voice actors in show business and their work has been heard in a variety of animated production, most memorably in an episode of THE TICK in which all four members performed.
Their albums usually fall into two categories: the accessible and the challenging. The accessible work focuses on parody and includes their Nick Danger Third Eye Work and their hilarious Sherlock Holmes pastiche.
BOOM DOT BUST falls into the other group. Publicity materials have included quotes form the group's members that they wanted to produce an album dense with ideas and images and they have succeeded. This isn't a criticism. In the world of recorded comedy, I welcome people who want to do something more than reprise their television routines before a live audience, or string together scatological ditties. It's also refreshing to come across a comedy recording which pushes the boundaries of their media. Many music recordings are not as well produced as the "spoken word" of The Firesign Theatre.
BOOM DOT BUST is a biting attack on the pro-consumer, anti-human attitudes which still haunt this country as it prepares to enter the next century. Author Sinclair Lewis who attacked middle American over 70 years ago with books such as BABBIT and MAIN STREET would be right at home listening to the story of Billville run by the corrupt quartet of Mayor William C. P'nisnose, Dr. Guillermo Inferno, developer W. "Bill" Sprawl and high school coach Bill Swatt.
It's the year 2001 and the corrupt world of Billville is falling apart. The undesirables known as the Elmers are being dislocated from their property and they don't like it. The townspeople are in the street ready to hang the Mayor P'nisnose from a flagpole ( a Billville tradition). The coach is concerned about the mutant athletes he's been using ( his team is the "No-Necks"), and Dr. Inferno notes gloomily that the group is "doomed as he drinks another "Johnny-Cup," a Billville cocktail with special blue vodka.
This a album which demands and deserves repeated listenings. Do yourself and your soul a favor. Pry yourself away from that Adam Sadler and try something that's funny and subversive. GMD
NEW WIZARD OF OZ ANIMATED FEATURE
Montreal-based Cine-Groupe and Sony Wonder are producing a 75-minute animated musical titled LION OF OZ AND THE BADGE OF COURAGE. Written by the grandson of original OZ author L. Frank Baum, the film will be shown in the US on the Disney Channel in the fall of 2000.
New Anime Releases
From AnimEigo comes KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD TV SERIES VOLUME FOUR, the fourth installment of the series. The 100 minute subtitled tape is $34.95, and will be available on Nov. 23
Also hitting the stores on Nov. 23 from AnimEigo will be all four episodes of YOU'RE UNDER ARREST at the price of $29.95. Want more info? Go to http://animeigo.com
WILDCARDZ will be the first Dual VHS and DVD release from Central Park Media on Dec., 14. The adventure tail is from the directors of NEW CUTEY HONEY and CAT GIRL NUKU NUKU. The VHS version will be dubbed and will retail at $29.99 while the DVD will have a dual language track and retail at $24.99. Head over to http://centralparkmedia.com
for more info.
Next Disney DVD Releases
Out on DVD next from Disney will be THE LION KING II: SIMBA'S PRIDE, PETER PAN, and LADY AND THE TRAMP on Nov. 23. The price for each disc will be $39.99.
New Standard Crass Commercial Message
Before there was the Internet, there were magazines! And I published, edited and wrote a whole bunch on animation. I need to clear out my closets so here's the pitch.... Take any issue of either ANIMATION PLANET or ANIMATO!, just chock full of animation goodness, for just $6.00 (which includes postage) or any five issues for just $25.00 (includes postage). The super deal? Take the entire library of 14 issues for $50.00 (includes postage) !
Issue 22: Beauty and Beast coverage
Fall 1992 Issue 23: First Dobbs-edited issue; animator Walter Clinton profiled, coverage of Disney's ALADDIN; Yogi Bear; FERNGULLY
Winter 1993 Issue 24: Ray Harryhausen special with interviews by S.R. Bissette and Scott MacQueen; Jere Gulden writes on Pre-Code animation; Bill Plympton interview.
Spring 1993: Issue 25: As featured on ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT Popeye anniversary special; conclusion of Harryhausen interview.
Issue 26: SOLD OUT
Fall/Winter 1993: Issue 27: BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES coverage; Beavis and Butthead; Restored LOST WORLD reviewed.
Issue 28: SOLD OUT
Summer 1994: Issue 29: Special Walter Lantz interview and profile.
Fall 1994: Issue 30: Horror in Animation; June Foray Interview
Winter 1995: Issue 31: Interview with Gerald Scarfe on PINK FLOYD THE WALL; Don Messick; Stan Lee
Issue 32: SOLD OUT
Issue 33: SOLD OUT
Spring 1996: Issue 34: Jess Harnell; Jackson Beck; Charles Solomon; John R. Dilworth.
Summer 1996: Issue 35: Phil Tippett; Maurice LaMarche; DAVEY AND GOLIATH; and THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER.
Fall 1996: Issue 36: GARGOYLES; CATS DON'T DANCE; SPACE JAM; HEY ARNOLD!
Spring 1997: Issue 37: NOT AVAILABLE Last Dobbs-edited issue...sorry, I only have two copies myself!
Issue One: HERCULES; LITTLE LULU revival; voice actors
Issue Two: Bill Plympton interview; Frank Welker; the new JONNY QUEST
Issue Three: SOUTH PARK creators talk to the press; Jerry Beck tell all;
Checks or money orders to Mike Dobbs, 17 Spruce St. Springfield, MA 01105. Quantities are limited, so it's first come, first serve!
First Time Readers: Here's Your Standard Disclaimer! What is this Newsletter?
Ever have one of those days? How about one of those years? After absorbing some rather serious professional and personal setbacks since the start of this year, I wanted to return to reporting on the animation scene. After writing for Animato! since its digest days, then co-owning it and editing that magazine for over four years, and then rolling the dice with three issues of ANIMATION PLANET, animation is in my blood! Since a website is still in the future, I thought an e-newsletter would be a solid vehicle to spread some news and opinion.
There is no charge for this newsletter. I'm not selling anything (other than back issues of both magazines), but that's not the point. Ironically, at a time when there is so much activity in the animation industry, it has become more difficult to actually get news and opinion on this fascinating artform and business. Small press magazines and trade journals are having a hard time surviving in the cut-throat world of distribution, and Internet publishing seems to be the way to get out the word without going into debt.
Like any newsletter it will feature your responses and opinions as well, so let me know what you think by e-mailing me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who am I anyway? A former radio talk show host and film historian, Dobbs has 20 years experience writing about the entertainment industry. He's interviewed dozens of personalities as diverse as best-selling authors (Sidney Sheldon, Alan Dershowitz) to film legends ( Vincent Price, Lillian Gish) to television personalities ( Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, Clayton Moore, Elvira). Dobbs is also the former co-owner and editor of ANIMATO! and the publisher and editor of the print version of ANIMATION PLANET. He has worked closely with veteran film producer Richard Gordon on licensing authorized merchandise and wrote the introduction to the book Dark Visions: Conversations with the Masters of the Horror Film.