November 29 2010 Time to shave off that Movember

The Manwhore from Pleasure Island series is back with his own music video. This would be a good time to remind you to find your browser's back button. You'll figure out why in about 4 minutes.

It's one of those escape games, and this time from Slinkers. If you get far enough, you'll get to interact with the Ducky from the Ducky series. The game should take you a half-hour to complete, and you'll want to keep a notepad beside you.

Anthony Price AKA KrEid is back post-TOFA with two new animations that he classifies as his Oddball style.

EPIK Adventures Volume 1 and Volume 2 are here. There is no need to mention similariries between EPIK and Nameless 6, but comments and feedback are still much appreciated.

LycanLizard tells me he had submissions rejected in the past, but would now like to propose an animated fantasy series for the Web. Please leave usefull feedback that can shape the upcoming episodes.

No updates for a week must not go unpunished. Perhaps daily updates for December is acceptable?

November 17 2010 Witchcraft & Wizardry Wednesday

Avada Kedavra scene

The above presentation required the animation efforts of some familiar ABS members including Andrew Kepple, Avid Lebon, Ryan Krzak, Nathan Malone, Benedikt Hummel and Peter Turner.

This isn't the first time you've heard music from Nuclear Bubble Wrap on Albino Blacksheep either. NBW were originally featured anonymously by choice when releasing Scientlolojyuuichi which parodied the Japanese Pokerap that Neil Cicierega featured in one of his first animutations. Two more Nuclear Bubble Wrap songs are featured in Draining the Lizard on a Dead Gay Wizard, and like Avada Kedavra, also contain a Harry Potter theme. Things come full circle since after experimenting with animutation, Neil Cicierega turned his attention to Harry Potter and created the Potter Puppet Pals which is now parodied in Avada Kedavra.

Puppet Harry

November 15 2010 Welcome to some Multimedia blog

Brilliant. A mixture between Forrest Gump and Harry Potter by Ducky series author Slinkers. I have a feeling this won't be the last Harry Potter themed submission before the new HP movie is released in theatres this month. Perhaps I feel a little too much.

Some of you may remember this homemade Soccer Time animation by Edmon Hawkins. I decided to check up on him after all these years, and he had just released an animated music video for Stucky & Murray.

I'm Here is a 30-minute short film by Spike Jonze. If you don't want to commit a full half-hour, watch the 1-minute trailer and decide if a story about robots is just too cool for a person like you to watch.

I think the message here is to stand up for what you believe in and 1 million people will take notice. I found it telling that D'Andre titled hos own video Black man loves Pokemon rather than I love Pokemon. He's titled it to be a "great find" rather than have it looked over as attention-whoring.

November 8 2010 Gargamel 80s on the 8th: The Smurfs

Belgium's Pierre Culliford AKA Peyo is the artist that created the Smurfs. The Smurfs were first published as side characters in a 1958 illustrated comics titled "La Flûte à six schtroumpfs" and then in their own series, "Les Schtroumpfs" in 1959. Fast forward to 1983 and I was taken to see my first movie in a theatre - The Smurfs and the Magic Flute where I am pretty sure I cried because of the dark room. I remember a few years later playing a ColecoVision version of The Smurfs at a friends house. Outside of TV, The Smurfs entered my life again shortly after at Canada's Wonderland where I threw a ball into a coloured cup at a carnival game. This enabled me to win the prize of my choice, and my dad shouted, "go for the record, go for the record". I thought this meant to get some high score, but to old people "record" means a vinyl album, and in this case, a collection of Smurfs music on vinyl that I still have to this day.

The Smurfs television series, which is our shared 80s culture, began in 1981 and ran until 1990. It was based on the story of an all-male community of blue creatures three apples tall who live a secretly located Smurf Village and spoke the Smurfs language, basically using the word "smurf" randomly in place of many verbs, nouns and adjectives. A sorcerer named Gargamel (a biblical name for the devil) wants to destroy the Smurfs or eat the Smurfs or use them as an ingredient to make gold.

What I did not realize in the 1980s is that Smurfette was a creation of the evil Gargamel to incite competition and jealousy between the members of the Smurf community, thereby causing the Smurfs to destroy themselves. The television series episode (first season, first episode) is watered down from the original comic strip version, so I'll give you a good retelling by mismashing the two stories plus my own imagination.

Smurfette was originally created by Gargamel as an ugly brunette with spikey hair. Either signifying Gargamel's weak magic or desperate lowered standards in sexual attraction. When Smurfette is found alone in the forest, she is brought back to Smurf village where she attempts to seduce various Smurfs, but is instead considered an annoyance. The Smurfs decide to make fun of her and tell her she's getting fat, causing her to become depressed and run away, but Papa Smurf takes pity on her and takes her to his lab undo her ugliness or evil (these go hand-in-hand). She emerges as a blond with a frilly dress and wearing high heels, and now, a real Smurf. Also, as the most successful Smurfs character (of 105 Smurfs) in Smurfs marketing, responsible for the whole female demographic.

The amazing cultural significance of The Smurfs is that it can either be seen from its simplified children's cartoon level to more mature themes. The Smurfs speak the most easy-to-imitate fake language - perfect for children. They are all good souls who work and play together, but attempted to be broken up by evil. More mature themes relate to specific personal characteristics of the stereotyped characters and their coinciding positive attributes and flaws. Not to mention the amazigly detailed sexist character traits the original creator, Peyo, intended for Smurfette.

From a broken link on The Straight Dope:

In a recent biography of Peyo, Hugues Dayez relates a story about the cartoonist's negotiations with NBC for the upcoming Smurf animated series. Peyo apparently spoke little or no English. When the discussion turned to Smurfette, Peyo's interpreter explains:

Peyo began by saying that she was "very feminine." They asked him to be more specific, so he went on to say: "She is pretty, blonde, she has all the characteristics of women..." Knowing the feminist spirit in the U.S.A., I diplomatically translated this as "all the qualities." I was banking on the fact that Peyo did not understand what I was saying (in English) and the others did not understand what he was trying to say. So naturally they asked him to expand. So he kept on going with: "She seduces, she uses trickery rather than force to get results. She is incapable of telling a joke without blowing the punch line. She is a blabbermouth but only makes superficial comments. She is constantly creating enormous problems for the Smurfs but always manages to blame it on someone else." I did my best to minimize the sexist nature of this description, but one of the participants at the meeting asked: "Would she at least be able, when the Smurfs are in danger, to take a decision that can save them?" When I translated this to Peyo, he looked astounded. "Come on now, do they expect me to make her a (female) gym teacher?" I obviously did not translate this remark. [Translation by Valteron]

Just like Walt Disney's sexism shown in a previous update here, you may be shocked to see it in Peyo as well, but this was common in old Europe. With sexism came the accusations of racism and any other impurities the children's characters might be carrying. It was an urban legend going around gradeschool that The Smurfs were KKK members and/or stoners and/or communists. If it wasn't for Smurfette, they'd be gay too. Just like the KKK, the smurfs wore white hoods with their leader wearing red and Gargamel symbolized a Jew. I think this was never intended by Peyo, nor did he intend that the mushrooms that house the Smurfs to be seen as hallucinogenic. The Smurfs as communists, however, may be a reflection of Peyo's personal ideology.

So where are we with The Smurfs in 2010? The marketing force and nostalgia of The Smurfs is so strong that they had reappeared often, almost always with controversy.

Albino Blacksheep had published an animutation by Grant Gourley AKA Double G and credited to this site in 2003. Had it not been for parody law, The Smurfs: Lost Episode, an animation referred to as "childhood-destroying" may cease to exist. The horror! Its lifespan was even threatened again when a DVD distribution company mistook it for piracy.

Before this, the Smurf language was parodied in the All Your Base craze of the Internet with All Your Smurf.

The same concept is covered in Family Guy, but I think South Park parodies the Smurfs best with comparing The Smurfs to Avatar in Dances with Smurfs. (You'll have to catch that one on TV.)

Even outside of the animation world's troublemakers, The Smurfs were officially licensed by surviving relatives of Peyo for this controversial UNICEF commercial.

The Smurfs movie is coming in 2011 with only the most teasing of teasers available for now, and unlike in 1983, I hope to like the movie experience enough to stay until the end. Though, without Peyo alive today to enforce stereotypes and sexism, it may be too simplified for an adult like me, and too noisy for its intended children's audience. I'll keep an ear out for any screaming toddlers who have to be carried out of the theatre.

And now you know... the rest of the story.

November 3 2010 The other half update

This is one of those updates where I wonder where all the submissions are from regular ABS members. Then, all of a sudden in one big wave they come in. This is also the update after Halloween when all the late Halloween files are submitted.

I'm pretty sure these are the same characters from 47times' previous animations[1].

These Ducky animations seem to becoming into larger and larger productions. Here is the 6th episode, Duckyween, and I highly suggest you watch the previous Ducky episodes as well.

Mark Porter actually has a legitimate excuse for getting this game in late. The day before Halloween, the day he was going to get his friend to convert the file to Flash was Saturday, the Sabbath (Shabbat) and day off for his friend. Press Enter to start the game.

A second episode based on the stuffed sheep given out before the Summer's annual TOFA contest. There were four stuffed sheep given out, but one of them was a little... screwed up. I would figure no one would want that one, but it was most in demand for its uniqueness.

Eustus is back, and seems to be here to stay too cooking up dozens of ideas for new songs. I'll have the MP3 up soon.

Lastly, but not leastly (because this update is in random order), jackbliss from India with another Public Service Announcement.

  1. Extremely Drastic Measures and Snow Fight


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