“Not that surprisingly, given Richard Williams’ obsessive attention to detail and insistence that The Thief And The Cobbler be the most elaborate animated film ever made, deadlines became a problem. The film was animated at 24 frames per second (12 is more common), and every image was hand-drawn. The amount of work that went into a single sequence, the grand Vizier fanning a deck of cards, was astronomical—each card was individually painted. As one of the animators Kevin Schreck interviewed for [his Williams documentary] Persistence Of Vision put it, “It looked like people died making this film.” And people had: By this point, [veteran animators] Ken Harris, Emery Hawkins, and Grim Natwick were gone.”

Matthew Dessem concludes our Movie Of The Week discussion of Who Framed Roger Rabbit with a chronicle of the 30-year struggle of its animation director, Richard Williams, to create the last hand-drawn animated masterpiece. [Read more…]


These awesome jack-o’-lanterns were made by a marvelous crew of carvers from Passion for Pumpkins at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island. That’s where the acclaimed Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular takes place. From October 3rd to November 3rd, 5,000 jack-o’-lanterns will be lit in a truly spectacular display of spooky Halloween spirit.

"The crew from Passion for Pumpkins, led by John Reckner, consists of full-time artists and many part-timers who use ballpoint pens, oil-based markers and paring knives to create spectacular pumpkin art. Instead of cutting through the pumpkin, the crew shaves it with a paring knife, which allows them to remove some of the skin. Then, the bottom is cut out and the inside is cleaned, leaving the skin about a quarter of an inch thick. This allows the light bulb to illuminate the image on the outside."

This year’s theme is “Pumpkinville USA,” so we’re looking forward to photos of pumpkins decorated with all sorts of regional, cultural, and historic American images.

These photos show pumpkins carved during last year’s event, for which the theme was “All the World’s a Stage.” There were scores of stunning jack-o’-lanterns decorated with iconic characters and scenes from movies, TV, and Broadway shows. It probably goes without saying that the Dread Cthulhu pumpkin is our favourite.

Visit My Modern Metropolis to view even more amazing pumpkins from the 2012 Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular.

Cthulhu fthagn.


The Roger Rabbit You Never Saw

Before Richard Williams directed the animation for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, there was an earlier attempt at Disney, from 1981 to 1983, to adapt Gary K. Wolf’s book “Who Censored Roger Rabbit.” Some of the scenes here are straight out of the novel. The director was Darrell Van Citters.

DVD video: John Culhane takes us behind the scenes of the unmade Darrell Van Citters version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1983. With animator Mike Giamo and producer Marc Sturdivant.

Youtube video

Nearly 200 Images from the unmade Darrell Van Citters Roger Rabbit, 1981-1983.

Disney 1981-1983. Animators: Mike Giamo, Chris Buck, Mike Gabriel. Paul Reubens as Roger Rabbit. Peter Renaday and Mike Gabriel as Eddie Valiant. Russi Taylor as Jessica. Unknown as Captain Cleaver. Screenwriters Peter Seaman and Jeffrey Price. Producer Mark Sturdivant.

While Roger was a villain in the book, trying to solve his own murder, this Roger is a loveable goofball in white fur and red overalls - a prototype for the final film. Baby Herman is glimpsed only briefly, and Jessica Rabbit appears to be the villain of the piece. Still, this version clearly laid some groundwork for the Zemeckis/Williams production a few years later.

The prototype Roger Rabbit appears cheering in the stands in the featurette “Sport Goofy in Soccermania.”

More information:

The Roger Rabbit You Never Saw


Step 1: Flirt Innocently

Step 2: Look longingly into their eyes

Step 3: Hold their hand

Step 4: Give them a Hug

Step 5: Kiss them

Step 6: I think you know what happens next ;)


#BlackHistoryMonth 2014

CultureSOUL: *The Graduates* Post- Reconstruction Era - The African Americans

1. Fisk University Graduates including W.E.B. Dubois (right), 1888

2. Class from Roger Williams University in Nashville - 1899

3. Howard Univ. graduating class c. 1900

1. You Stepped Out Of A Dream (Tony Martin) 2. Frenesi (Artie Shaw) 3. I Wanna Be Loved By You (Marilyn Monroe) 4. Stardust (Artie Shaw) 5. Autumn Leaves (Roger Williams) 6. Peggy, The Pin-Up Girl (The Glenn Miller Orchestra) 7. Sing, Sing, Sing (Benny Goodman & His Orchestra) 8. Thanks (Bing Crosby) 9. I Only Have Eyes For You (The Flamingos) 10. Dancing Cheek To Cheek (Fred Astaire) 11. In The Mood (The Glenn Miller Orchestra) 12. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (Billie Holiday) 13. Moonglow (Benny Goodman & His Orchestra) 14. Once And For Always (Jo Stafford) 15. Moonlight Serenade (Glen Gray and the Time Life Orchestra) 16. The Memory Of This Dance (Glen Gray and the Time Life Orchestra) 17. Istanbul, Not Constantinople (The Four Lads) 18. La Vie en Rose (Edith Piaf) 19. Long Ago And Far Away (Jo Stafford)

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