70 Free Animated Films: From Classic to Modern

Open Culture has a list of 70 free animated films such Tijuana Brass; a precursor to modern music videos, this Oscar-winning animated film by John & Faith Hubley and many others. Some of the links don’t work due to copyright laws and bla bla  bla… go check them out!

From the site:

Watch over 70 free animations online. The collection features some classics, plus some modern gems. You’ll find a number of animations of literary classics in the mix too. For more great films, please visit our complete collection

You can see the full list here: http://www.openculture.com/free-animated-films


News: The Art of LAIKA Offered For First Time By Heritage Auctions

LaikaFocusThe Art of LAIKA Offered For First Time By Heritage Auctions

Production Puppets, Models, Props and Original Handmade Art from Oscar®-Nominated Animation Studio to Be Auctioned on February 12, 2015; Portion of Proceeds to Benefit The Art of Elysium    Non-Profit Arts Group

Heritage[Portland, OR and Beverly Hills, CA; January 6, 2015]  – LAIKA, the visionary animationstudio behind the Golden Globe and Annie Award-nominated The Boxtrolls and the BAFTA and Academy Award-nominated Coraline and ParaNorman, will open its archives for the first time for a limited auction of over 250 puppets, models, props and art in The Art of LAIKA, to be held by Heritage Auctions on Thursday, February 12, 2015, in Beverly Hills.

A portion of the proceeds of the auction will be donated to The Art of Elysium, a non-profit arts organization that works to make art a catalyst for social change by bringing creativity and inspiration to children, artists, and various populations in need.

“LAIKA is known for its artistry and revolutionary stop-motion animation techniques,” says Jim Lentz, Heritage Auctions’ Director of Animation Art. “The studio’s legions of die-hard fans regularly ask LAIKA for the opportunity to own some of the masterfully engineered puppets, props and other artwork used to make these beloved films. So the studio is finally offering a specially curated collection of items from its production archives. This is the chance that those fans, and animation and film collectors of all stripes, have been waiting for.”

“LAIKA’s films aim to promote thought, feeling, and connectivity through art, inspired by our shared humanity,” says Travis Knight, President & CEO of the studio and an Annie-Award-winning animator and producer. “We’re deeply gratified that the spirit of our work has resonated so strongly with audiences around the world. LAIKA’s artists and craftspeople are consummate creators, and each piece of this collection is a testament to their talents and imagination. These are beautiful, unique, and handcrafted works of art of the highest order. We’re so pleased to open up our vaults for animation fans around the world and to support The Art of Elysium, whose mission is so close to our hearts.”

Selected highlights from The Art of LAIKA will be on display in Dallas, Jan. 27-29, at Heritage Auctions (3500 Maple Avenue, Dallas, TX, 75219); Feb. 3-5 at Heritage Auctions Park Avenue (445 Park Avenue at 57th Street); and Feb. 9-12, Heritage Auctions Beverly Hills (9478 West Olympic Avenue).


Some of the items in the auction include, but are not limited to:

  • From Coraline

*  Coraline production puppet in her iconic blue-starred sweater

*  The Cat production puppet

*  Other Mother production puppet in her elaborately realized black dress

  • From ParaNorman

*  Norman production puppet in his baseball shirt outfit

*  Zombie Judge production puppet with fully articulated mouth and face

*Intricate large-scale production props such as Mitch’s Van and “Zombie Attack”

vending machine

*Original hand-drawn Annie Award-winning character designs

  • From The Boxtrolls

* Eggs and Boxtrolls production puppets complete with their “Box” outfits

                                * Snatcher production puppet in his exquisite hand and laser-etched velvet jacket

* Snatcher’s Mecha-Drill, at over five feet, the largest prop ever created for a   stop-motion film

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $900 million, and 850,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.  Want to get the up-to-the-minute updates and breaking news stories about Heritage Auctions? Get them as they happen at: HA.com/Twitter; Facebook: HA.com/Facebook. To view a complete archive of Heritage press releases go to: HA.com/PR. To link to this press release on your blog or Website: www.HA.com/PR-2222.


Fueled by the vision of its owner, Nike co-founder and Chairman Philip H. Knight, and its President & CEO Travis Knight, LAIKA (www.laika.com) is a Portland-Oregon based animation studio specializing in feature films.  Celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2015, LAIKA has begun production on its fourth film, Kubo and the Two Strings, being directed by Mr. Knight and set for release by Focus Features on August 19, 2016.  A sweeping, swashbuckling adventure set in a mythical ancient Japan, Kubo boasts a voice cast led by Academy Award winners Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey; Academy Award nominees Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes, and Brenda Vaccaro, and Art Parkinson, who plays Rickon Stark on Game of Thrones, as Kubo.

Also released by Focus Features, LAIKA’s current film The Boxtrolls has earned Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice nominations for Best Animated Film and 13 Annie Award (the animation community’s Oscar equivalent) nominations, the most of any animated film this year. The company’s first feature, Coraline (2009), earned Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, PGA, and Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature Film; and was named one of the year’s 10 Best Films by the American Film Institute (AFI). ParaNorman (2012) garnered BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, GLAAD Media Award, PGA, and Academy Award nominations, won two Annies and was cited as the year’s best animated film by 14 critics’ groups.

About Focus Features

Focus Features (www.focusfeatures.com) makes, acquires, and releases movies from rising and established talent and filmmakers. The company is moving forward with a diverse slate of wide releases appealing to a range of moviegoers. Staying true to the company’s roots, the slate will also include several specialty films each year.

In addition to the Golden Globe and Annie Award-nominated The Boxtrolls, current and upcoming releases from Focus include The Theory of Everything, nominated for 3 Screen Actors Guild Awards and 4 Golden Globe Awards including Best Picture; Black Sea, the suspenseful adventure thriller starring Jude Law for director Kevin Macdonald; the romantic drama A Little Chaos, directed by Alan Rickman and starring Kate Winslet; Leigh Whannell’s Insidious: Chapter 3, the newest chapter in the terrifying horror series; Tarsem Singh’s Selfless, starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley; Sinister 2, directed by Ciaran Foy; London Has Fallen, the sequel to the worldwide smash hit Olympus Has Fallen, starring Gerard Butler and directed by Babak Najafi; Juan Antonio Bayona’s visually spectacular drama A Monster Calls, starring Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, and Liam Neeson; and Stephen Hopkins’ Race, starring Jeremy Irons, Jason Sudeikis, and Stephan James as the legendary athletic superstar Jesse Owens.

Focus Features is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

Media Contacts:


Noah Fleisher, Public Relations Director

310.492.8613; NoahF@HA.com


Maggie Begley/MBC

310.390.0101; Maggie@mbcprinc.com 


Adriene Bowles

  1. 832.5494; adriene.bowles@focusfeatures.com


Wacom revamps its hybrid Windows tablet for 2015


Engadget is reporting that Wacom has finally updated it’s original hybrid.

If you remember last year Wacom came out with an expensive but sweet little device called the Wacom Companion which was a standalone portable tablet that let you draw on the go, but also connect to your PC or Mac when you were home for a bit of added extra power. It was a clever concept but also in true traditional Wacom flair, expensive as Hell. Well, today Wacom released a new updated model with better specs as well as a reduced cost by $200. Not bad Wacom, not bad!

From Engadget’s site:

 For 2015, though, Wacom has added more configurations, and knocked $200 off the price. Just like its predecessor, the new Cintiq Companion 2 doubles as a handy pen display when you’re working at home, pairing with either a Windows PC or Mac via the Wacom Connect app.

You can read the whole article here.

A bit more about the Wacom Companion 2 from Wacom’s site:

Arriving early 2015. Available in 5 models.

Enjoy total creative freedom and a superior, natural pen-on-screen drawing experience with a Cintiq Companion 2nd generation. Engineered to run your professional creative software, the Cintiq Companion 2 is ready to inspire the most demanding artists and designers. Create under open skies or plug into your Mac or PC to bring each remarkable detail of your expression to life with exquisite accuracy

Cintiq Companion 2 Features


Mac and PC compatible
Powerful Windows 8 creative tablet that you can also use as a Cintiq when attached to a Mac or PC

A professional grade creative pen and a highly responsive glass screen that’s finished to provide the friction of a natural pen-on-paper feel while reducing glare.

13″ widescreen HD display

ExpressKeys™, Rocker Ring and multi-touch gestures

Pro Pen – ultra-fine precision, 2048 pressure levels and tilt recognition

Ergonomically designed for professional artists and designers (left-handed or right-handed, doesn’t matter!). Work comfortably with the Pro Pen in hand, using conveniently placed ExpressKeys™, a soft-grip tablet back and 4-position adjustable stand to easily work wherever, whenever.

Intel® Core™ Processing Power

Cintiq Companion 2 Specifications

Fully portable or plug into your Mac or PC

Display Size & Resolution
13.3 inch
2560 x 1440 WQHD display

Overall Dimensions
374 x 248 x 15 mm (14.7 x 9.9 x 0.6 in)

1.7 kg (3.75 lbs)

Advanced Controls
Wacom Pro Pen and multi-touch

Productivity Boosters
ExpressKeys™ and on-screen controls

Compatibility (when plugged in)
Windows® 7 and later
Mac OS X 10.8 and later

Operating System
Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.1 Pro

Intel® Core™ processors

Available with 4 to 16 GB DDR memory

Available with 64 to 512 GB solid state drive (SSD) storage

News: Toshiba’s inexpensive Windows tablets now have a pen option


With CES in full swing, lot’s of interesting tech tidbits for us artists are surfaces, so here’s something interesting… Toshiba has just updated their cheap tablets to support pen input!

What does that mean? Well, you can now get a cheap Windows 8.1 tablet for under $500 and run full blown Sketchbook pro on it to draw to your hearts content. Now, of course that does NOT mean that you’ll likely be running Flash, Photoshop or any other processor intensive app on it’s tiny little Atom processor, but it does allow you to have a modern tablet that you can doodle with and not forgo a full interface by having to work around iOS’s refusal to include pen input or Android’s hit and miss implementation of the same. Now of course, whether the digitizer is powerful enough to handle real time pen input remains to be seem but it seems plausible since it it will have pressure sensitivity.

From Engadget’s site:

Though they are indeed inexpensive, they allow for pressure-sensitive pen input, something you’ll rarely see on a device in this price class. The two tablets come in 8- and 10-inch sizes, and will sell for $350 and $400 when they go on sale next week. For the money, you get a Wacom-made pen, with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. To put that in perspective, Microsoft’s own Surface 2 costs $449 and doesn’t have a pen option.

What’s also interesting to note here is Toshiba’s including three useful apps the third of which I find extremely useful. The first one  is called TruCapture allows you to scan newspaper clippings and other printed text using the tablet’s 8-megapixel camera, and then automatically brightens and straightens them. In addition, the app uses character recognition, allowing you to search for keywords later, as well as export raw text to Toshiba’s “TruNote” app which is the second app they’re releasing with this tablet. You can write, draw, doodle and clip anything in and out of this app, which could be cool for research etc.

The third app called TruRecorder, I find the most interesting. It can recognize different voices in a conversation, and then break up the recording according to who’s speaking, complete with color-coded labels for each person. From there, you can play back individual voices, or specific combinations of people. Anyone wanting to record their dialog for a short or animatic will instantly recognize the value of that!

The fact that tablet companies are finally seeing people would like stylus input but not pay $1500 for what really is about as useful as a sheet of paper is both encouraging and exciting. here’s to many more clever art related gadgets in 2015!


You can read the whole Engadget article here.

A Very Different Toy Story


i09 is reporting that toy story 3 initially had a very different story.

From the site:

Jim Herzfeld wrote one draft of Circle 7’s Toy Story 3, a script that was later polished by Bob Hilgenberg and Rob Muir (who also wrote Circle 7’s Monsters Inc. sequel script). In this version, Buzz Lightyear starts malfunctioning, so his fellow toys ship him back to his manufacturer in Taiwan. But when they learn of a massive recall on Buzz Lightyear toys, Andy’s toys fear that Buzz will be destroyed, so they head to Taiwan to rescue him. Visual development artist Jim Martin provided concept art of some of the key moments. You can see a few piece below, and more on his website.

For the rest of the story click over to their site to read on…