Behind the Two Pixar SparkShorts on the Oscars 2021 Animated Shortlist

It’s been a little more than 25 years since the CG breakthrough of “Toy Story,” and Pixar still continues developing new animation tech. And that includes utilizing its vaunted shorts program as a training ground for testing new techniques and launching new directing careers. But, with the recent launch of the more indie-minded SparkShorts program […]

Netflix’s Animated Shorts Provide a Poetic Gateway for Hard Conversations

Oscar-nominated live-action short films often tackle human-rights violations and other issues plaguing society. The animated shorts tend to lean toward lighter fare, such as a celebration of Black hair and single fatherhood in Mathew Cherry’s 2019 winner “Hair Love,” or Pixar’s fanciful 2018 winner “Bao.” However, short-form animation also has a unique ability to spin […]

Doug Crane Dies: Animator For Terrytoons, Hanna-Barbera, MTV Was 85

Doug Crane, whose animation skills graced cartoons ranging from Hanna-Barbera family fare to MTV’s Beavis & Butt-head, died on Dec. 17 from cancer. The death was confirmed by his daughter, Rose-Ellen, in a Facebook post. Crane was an animator for Terrytoons, Hanna-Barbera, MTV, Filmation, Oriolo Films, Zander Animation Parlour, as well as a former Professor […]

‘Soul’: Pixar Gets Ethereal in Animating the Characters of the Great Before

Pete Docter was at his most inquisitive on “Soul.” That’s because, unlike the Emoji-like personalities that embodied “Inside Out,” the animated characters that inhabit Pixar’s celestial fantasy are more abstract. “What do souls look like? What are they made of? Where do they come from?,” asked director and chief creative officer Docter. “There must’ve been […]

‘Blue Eye Samurai’ Animated Series Set at Netflix

It’s been a busy month for animated television at Netflix. The streaming service has greenlit “Blue Eye Samurai,” a new animated action series from Michael Green and Amber Noizumi. The upcoming series focuses on a mixed-race master of the sword who lives a life in disguise while questing for revenge in Edo-period Japan. The voice […]