Saturday, July 29, 2006

This Week's Feature: The Mysterious Cities of Gold!

What is "The Mysterious Cities of Gold?" Only one of the best animated shows ever produced, and the first show I remember watching on television. It came to the states in the early 80s during Nickelodeon's infancy, right before "Spartakus and the Sun beneath the Sea," another awesome show that sadly is only available on DVD in French. (So if you speak French, you're in luck!)

Both shows were co-produced by French and Japanese companies and brought to the states, making them not only the first animated shows I ever remember watching, but also the first anime I ever saw - before I even knew what anime was.

MCoG chronicled the adventures of a young boy named Esteban and his companions, Zia and Tao, as they searched guessed it, the mysterious cities of gold, a.k.a. El Dorado. The show also featured an awesome giant gold condor and quite a bit of Latin American history (none of which I remember but I do recall thinking the whole show was cool).

Thanks to the power of the internet, I now know that I am not the only person besides my father who remembers this program. Turns out their are other children of the 80s lurking out there, one of whom put the the entire theme song online. And after watching the theme, I am still impressed by the work that went into creating this show - because sadly, not every nostalgic memory can stand the test of time (like "The Wuzzles"...shudder).

Watch the opening theme here at:

click on Play Intro 2 and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bringing the Best in Net Toons to You

I've discovered the next best streaming animation site: Toonami Jetstream. As a fan of Cartoon Network, it pains me to not be able to watch my favorite series daily (blast you, expensive cable!)

But now I can and so can you online. Go to
to watch new and old favorites like Samurai Jack, Megas XLR and (if you must) Naruto.


Kingdom Hearts Fan Art

This is Sora, the hero of KH who fights alongside Donald and Goofy. I really like the design of his shoes.

Kingdom Hearts Fan Art

I am a huge fan of Kingdom Hearts, particularly the character designs.
For those who don't know, KH is a video game fusing classic Disney characters and characters from various Final Fantasy games. The Final Fantasy designs are amazing - I really like all of the zippers, belts and huge shoes that the creators added to all of the characters.
The character to the left is Fuu.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tabitha Mowrey

Alex's Friends Continued...

Here is a turnaround of Comet's best friend, Tabitha (Tabby) Mowrey - a 13-year-old math prodigy currently in her sophomore year in high school. Tabby has always been special but she really wants is to be a "normal" girl like the ones she sees in class and on TV. Being an outcast of sorts (in the academic realm at least) enables her to get along well with the guys.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Jhohen Vasquez Fan Art

So I'm a big fan of Jhohen Vasquez, creator of such family-friendly fare as "Squee" and
"Johnny the Homicidal Maniac." Weird guy for sure, but great artist and creator of one of my new favorite shows, "Invader Zim." Alas, had this show debuted on Cartoon Network or MTV, it would have lasted longer than a season in the U.S. Thank goodness for TurboNick.

Here is Zim from the episode "Door to Door."

Sunday, July 09, 2006

This Week's Feature: Storyboards

This week we discuss one of the tools of the trade when creating a live action or animated film: the storyboard. A storyboard, according to Webster's Dictionary, is a series of panels on which a set of sketches is arranged depicting consecutively the important changes of scenes and action in a series of shots. These sketches help the filmmaker and his or her crew figure out what shots work or don't work in the scene, clarify sequences and figure out new and innovative ways to make the scene more interesting. Most importantly, it gives the filmmaker a sense of direction so that they know what and how they should film, thus enabling them to save time and money.

Below are some storyboards I found on the web that show the creative storyboard process at work. The first site is a sequence from the box office smash "Superman Returns" and includes informative commentary by Director Bryan Singer. The second site is a series of boards by Frank Forte from the episode "Public Enemies" from Nickelodeon's hit Nicktoon "Danny Phantom," created by Butch Hartman. The third site features several excellent storyboards from the film "V for Vendetta," based on the comic of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. The fourth site features boards from the episode "The Beach," drawn by animator and comic artist Scott Shaw for the Fox hit "The Simpsons," created by Matt Groening.

"Superman Returns"

"Danny Phantom"

"V for Vendetta"

"The Simpsons"

If you are interested in learning even more about storyboards, particularly for animation, check out Don Bluth's The Art of Storyboard, available online and in bookstores nationwide.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Introducing Alex Fox

Here is a sneak peak of the characters and wiseguys you will see in August, starting with our protagonist, Alex Fox. Alex is an independent thinker and all around social pariah. After falling from grace with the cool kids, Alex rebels against the high school norm to find his true self.

Alex Fox Expressions

The many faces of Alex Fox.

Comet Skunk Turnarounds

Comet Skunk is Alex's comedic best friend.

Comet Expressions

The many faces of Comet Skunk.

© 2006 Angela Entzminger

Jeff Cat Turnarounds

Jeff Cat is Alex's morose British friend who abhors all things popular and loves indie bands that no one has ever heard of.

© 2006 Angela Entzminger

Monday, July 03, 2006

Wizard Needs Food Badly

Channel Frederator is the greatest website EVER.

I checked it out today (as I do practically every day) and found a terrific music video by the guys at Ghostbot. You've never heard of Ghostbot, but you've seen their work. They are the folks responsible for those flash animation ads for Esurance - you know, the spy woman with the pink hair helping out the hapless dude while fighting evil spies and ninjas.

Their video is definatley worth watching.
Check it out at, episode 36.