Worker abuse at Disney and Mattel toy factories - China

The image above on the left is from an article dated November 26, 2004. The one on the right from another article dated August 19, 2005.

This is nothing new. Reports of abuse of workers, skirting labor laws, child labor, slave labor conditions, incredibley long work weeks, this is behind the sweatshop practices in factories in China which produce most of the toys that are marketed on the planet, including virtually all the toys sold by the Disney and Mattel corporations. 

For years, these companies have stated that they will investigate the situations at the factories they employ to produce their toy products, and yet the allegations continue to come to the public through the press.  Will anything ever be done to ensure some basic standards in the toy factories these companies utilize or is humanity something that doesn't suit the bottom line.

Initiated by long time ANer Greg Boone, the topic is being developed on the AN Forums. Please follow the link to read articles and commentary associated with this important issue.

Fun with Animated Music Videos

We've always had a special place in our hearts for animated music videos on AN. Lately I thought to feature a few that have gone under the radar with us over the past few years. This topic on the AN Forums is being developed with several videos to enjoy, starting out with "Young Folks" by Peter, Bjorn & John with vocals by Victoria Bergsman of The Concretes. It's been on YouTube since 2006. In that time it's accumulated 20,613,050 views as of this writing, a testament to its continuing popularity.

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500 People in 100 seconds - stop motion film within a film

Discovered this on YouTube yesterday. It was uploaded only three days ago. It's a stop motion video created by Eran Amir in Israel. The video consists of 500 people holding more than 1,500 developed sequential photographs at different locations, resulting in a movie within a movie. Very cool. Music is by Maxmaber Orkestar. The topic can be accessed on the AN Forums as well. 

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All these 'Planes' are Crazy

In reference to Walt Disney's famed Mickey Mouse cartoon from 1928, I started a topic on the forums a few months ago in regards to an upcoming animated project from DisneyToon Studios entitled "Planes", which is a continuation of the vehicle characters theme we've come to know through Pixar's "Cars". We can expect to see Planes in the Spring of 2013.

I've featured several versions of airplane characters that have preceded the Disney project in this topic on the AN Forums  which I'm sure folks will find enjoyable, along with a just released teaser for Disney's Planes.

Of all the versions of plane characters showcased in the topic, I'd say that the most intriguing interpretation of the concept is a short film created by animation students in China a few years ago. Uploaded to YouTube in 2008, it's very well done and quite surreal. I'm posting it here for our readers to enjoy.  

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Power-Con ThunderCon in LA - September 24-25 2011

He-Man PowerCon

Are you a fan of the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe TV series from the 1980s? Or perhaps She-Ra: Princess of Power, or the Thundercats. If you are, I'm sure you'll be excited to learn about the Power-Con Thundercon Fan Convention that will be taking place in Los Angeles the weekend of  September 24 & 25, 2011. This will be a special event as it will mark the first time that I'll be making an appearance at a venue related to the He-Man and She-Ra animated series. I was fortunate to have been a member of the original development crew for He-Man and She-Ra, as well as Filmation Studio's last TV series Bravestarr.

My participation in the Power-Con ThunderCon has just been arranged thanks to a topic on the AN Forums in which I'm endeavoring to describe the Origin of the He-Man series from my experiences with it. Good things can happen as a result of the AN Forums. I'll be at the PowerCon on Saturday, September 24 as part of the He-Man cartoon panel from 1 - 2 PM, with a signing from 2 - 3 PM. My name is a recent addition so if you don't see it on the program schedule at this moment, it'll be there none the less.

This will be a lot of fun. If you're in the LA area that day you're welcome to join in. Hope you get a chance to be a part of this very special event. For more info visit the Power-Con ThunderCon site or go to the topic on AN's Festivals and Events Forum.

"Master Kush" with Tommy Chong

If you recall the comedy team of Cheech and Chong from the 1970s and 80s, you'll appreciate a new cartoon that's emerged on the Web featuring Tommy Chong. It's called 'Master Kush' and was posted on the AN Gallery yesterday by one of our newest members on the forums who is with the project. Follow the link to see more animation from Master Kush. Meanwhile, here's Tommy Chong explaining the story...

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Mac 'n' Cheese - Student film from Utrecht

Here's another film submitted to us from the Utrecht School of the Arts in the Netherlands. The film is entitled "Mac 'n' Cheese" and is a wild ride with a surprising twist at the end. Check out what four students can do in five months fueled by a limitless supply of peanut butter sandwiches and a talented support staff. Here's the link to the topic on the AN Forums.

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Edwin Schaap's "Rooted"

In the Netherlands there's an up and coming animator who's recently completed a touching short he's entitled 'Rooted'. It was produced at the Utrecht School of the Arts where he's been a student.

It's a love story between two trees. Take a look at Edwin's Schaap's film, he did a great job with it. Follow the link to the AN Forums to view his impressive demo reel.

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