Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas and Elsewhere

To kick off this catch-up blog, here's the lastest installment of animation from my stop-motion students. We tried some green-screen shots for the first time with good-looking I added the facial expression exercises this time around.

After wrapping up this last class session of the year, another Christmas has come and gone...kind of crept up on everyone this year...that tends to happen when it's early in the week as it was. This year I felt like I did some catching up on my favorite Christmas traditions moreso at the last minute. For some reason I didn't muster up the spirit to embrace the holiday traditions I love until it was closer to the actual day. I didn't help Jay put ornaments on the tree or watch that many animated Christmas specials, or *gasp* play the John Denver Muppet Christmas album...not until Christmas Eve. I'm a little bit disturbed and perplexed as to the reason why. The only lame excuses I can think of would be I was too pre-occupied with work, or that Ariel is still not quite at an age that I can fully share these things with her, and have her understand. Or perhaps I still have lingering afterburn of Christmases past where I would lose the sense of magic there once was, or the over-commercialization of it all (and appalling, degrading commercials for the Deal or No Deal Christmas Special) makes me cranky. Or perhaps it's because my grandmother broke her arm and is going through a tough rehabilitation right now. Who knows...overall when it was all said and done, it was a special day for the family and we had a wonderful time, and even more wonderful food.

I've spent the last few days hastily preparing my presentation for the Hollywood Jesus Gathering in Renton, WA, where we are currently as I type this. Yesterday we spent the day driving down and combing the outlet malls so Jay could satisfy her kids' clothes curiosities and we could just have some family time. Today was the first day of presentations with Greg Wright, Peter Chattaway, Jeffrey Overstreet and David Bruce. Though I'm still a bit bleary-eyed from all that shopping and staying up until 2am the night before we left, overall I'm feeling inspired and empowered by the words that were said today. It's been nice seeing the people we met 2 years ago again, and also meeting some new faces...makes the e-mail correspondence more well-rounded and complete. Hollywood Jesus went through a bit of a rough patch last year with the many changes that had occurred in its management, but I feel that it's finally coming out of that shadow and moving towards bigger and better things again. I hope to contribute more to it as much as I long as there are more interesting movies to talk about. I've also had a book review idea for 'The NeverEnding Story' kicking around in my head, so perhaps I should tackle that soon. I got to meet the author and purchase a copy of Jeffrey Overstreet's book today, as I feel from seeing his writing and meeting him in person that we're very much from the same planet. I ended up having a conversation today about 'The Dark Crystal' (which I just picked up the 2-disc edition at the outlet mall) with Jeffrey and Peter that was good encouragement for the soul. (Peter had a comment that the split between the Skeksis and Uru was a metaphor for separation between the body and soul...and when they come together as the Urskeks, they are whole, spiritual bodies. Whoa!)

I find it endlessly fascinating that I have managed to put down roots in this part of the I keep finding more clues throughout my life that the Pacific Northwest had been beckoning me for so many years. Some gifts I got for Christmas were a live Queensryche DVD taped in Seattle, and the DVD box set for Twin Peaks. So far in peeking at the special features I was reminded that the series was shot only a matter of miles from where we are right now. Yet just a few fleeting examples of pop culture that made me go 'hmmmmm' when I was younger...just something about the flavor they had...the feeling...the calling, which only in hindsight do I see how I was led to put down roots and live here eventually...and as a result, meet some kindred spirits. Anyway, just another weird thing I ponder.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Concerts and Counting Down to Christmas...

Just a little bloggy update for the life of Ken...last weekend Jay and I had a night out on the town for the Bon Jovi concert. It was a really good show, and they sounded just like their records. I particularly liked the old stuff like Runaway, Raise Your Hands, Wanted Dead or Alive, all them 80s classics I grew up with. Funny thing about Bon Jovi is I've never actually owned an official copy of any of their albums, but rather snatched up singles I liked off friends. They were always sort of on the perimeter of the bands I was more obsessed with, but nevertheless I would say an important part of the soundtrack to my teen years. Jay is a really big fan, and it appears that Ariel is too.

So I suppose now the circle is complete by finally having seen one of the biggest rock bands from that whole genre of the hair-metal scene that I grew up with, and still have the occasional entry into my current ipod shuffles. I thought it would be fun to post a reminiscent blog about the various concerts I've been to over the years, if I can remember them all. Somewhere I have a whole bunch of ticket stubs still saved, but can't seem to recall where I've put them. But off the top of my head, I remember my first was Aerosmith in 1990, followed by Queensryche (eventually 4 times), AC/DC, Def Leppard (twice), Great White, Jimmy Page/Robert Plant (twice), Crosby Stills & Nash (twice), Metallica (twice), Pink Floyd, Black Crowes (twice), Jars of Clay, and Lollapalooza '92 (Pearl Jam, Chili Peppers, Ministry, Soundgarden). Also saw They Might Be Giants in an Ann Arbor record store. I know there are a few others I'm forgetting.

I shall muse on music once again the meantime, it's time to wrap up some freelance animation and my part-time courses and get ready for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ken Southworth 1918-2007♦

I found out today that my friend Ken Southworth passed away, so I immediately passed the news along to some of my friends in the animation community. Jerry has graciously shared my message on Cartoon Brew.

I thought I would post a few details on how I got to know Ken over the years. I first got to know who Ken was through his work, unknowingly by seeing films that he worked on, such as Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, etc...and then more intimately while I was working as an animator with Steve Stanchfield in 1997. We were working on a CD-rom title called Tonka Garage, and Steve told me he got an animation veteran named Ken Southworth to key out a scene for us, which I would be cleaning up and in-betweening. When Steve told me who he was, I was blown away that I would get to work with someone with that kind of experience on my first job!

Later in Spring 1998, we traveled to Los Angeles for the World Animation Celebration and made some time to visit him and his wife Carol at their home in Anaheim. Unfortunately, we didn't get to stay long because he arrived much later than we said we would, after driving around to pick up some other friends of ours who wanted to meet him! He was a bit disappointed that he only had about 20 minutes to spare with us, as he had to leave to pick up his daughter soon. But nevertheless, we got to have a nice visit and see the miniature train set that travelled around his swimming pool!

The following summer while I was studying at VanArts, I found the ironic twist of fate that Ken would be coming there as a guest instructor for the summer program, which I was also assistant-teaching. So it was great to see him again and spend more time with him.

(Ken & Ken, summer 1999)
In 2002, Janet & I went on our belated honeymoon to Arizona and Disneyland. We both paid Ken & Carol a visit and had a lovely dinner with them. Ken showed us his train again and played piano for us. Ken came to VanArts for a couple of summers afterwards, until recent years when his health made it too difficult.

My favorite quote from him was his description of what an animator is: "one-third artist, one-third actor, and one-third engineer." I use this description often to my students and find again & again that it rings true. I feel blessed to have known Ken and to have heard stories of his experience in animation. I deeply regret that I didn't try harder to keep in better touch with him for the past year or so. I need to remember to nurture the relationships I have with these animation legends.

Here is another link to my page about Ken featured on my old abandoned animation history website.

I'm proud to present here my collection of mementos from knowing and working with Ken Southworth over the years.

These are key drawings he did for Hasbro Interactive's Tonka Garage title, produced by Media Station in Ann Arbor, MI in 1997. Part of my job was to clean-up these keys and in-between them. Ken had a very methodical way of planning out his animation due to his many years organizing limited animation at Hanna-Barbera, and he really seemed to like 'stagger' movements.

I think this is one of my clean-ups for a key pose by Ken...I like the 'Scooby-Doo' quality in the design and posing.

For helping him teach his first summer course at VanArts, Ken gave me a copy of this classic book which had served as a guide for the early animators at Disney and other studios in the 1920s-30s. It was sort-of the preamble "Animation Bible" before the Preston Blair book came along. This is one of my prized possessions, even more so now.

In those days I was toying with using my middle name 'Ambrose' as a stage name, but it didn't really stick.

A few years later, on another visit to VanArts, he drew this for my wife, who was also a student there.

I also asked him to autograph my copy of this rare Disney book I had picked up at a used book store (Powell's in Portland, I think!)

(The same page is also autographed by Disney veteran Bill Matthews, so it's pretty special to me.)

Ken faxed over to us folks in the 2D animation department of VanArts these notes and photocopies of Mickey Mouse drawings, pointing out they were drawn by Freddie Moore and making reference to the fact that he had succeeded in drawing Mickey's ears more natural instead of round, apparently "behind Walt's back."

One year while tending to students in the classroom, Ken sketched out an animation scene, either for demonstration purposes or just for fun. He left the drawings behind so I kept them. These are just a few key poses and notes, followed by the resulting animation pencil test which I shot to the best of my ability based on his notes and timing chart.

Thanks Ken!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hollywood Jesus Gathering

More info...

A Hippo for Christmas

Here's a little video from Christmas morning last year, with our idea for me to give a puppet performance for Ariel's amusement. I'm not sure what she thinks though....she fell asleep shortly after we did this.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New Adventures

Well, since Jay has announced this at her blog, I figure I should break my silence here too. My next big project coming up is a new job offer I've accepted to build and teach an online stop-motion animation course for the Academy of Art CyberCampus based out of San Francisco. I was referred to them by David Nethery, who I met at the Ottawa Animation Festival last year. The idea has been in the works for a few months now, but it's finally been made more official. The process has barely started at this point; I've been assigned a team to work with me in putting the course together, and currently collecting resources and brainstorming the outline. I expect things to start rolling along within the next month or so, and will keep me pretty busy through most of the new year. The course is supposed to be launched in Sept 2008. So, I'm quite looking forward to this new challenge.

It's especially amazing to me to see how the hand of God has brought this opportunity to light. It was through more of a chance meeting with David, who had worked with Calvin, who came with me to Ottawa, and gave us a more unique chance to connect. And then nearly a year later...I had been contemplating how I really wished I could spend more time teaching, and then this option fell into my lap, much like how my book got started. So the chess pieces were very well aligned in this case!

Also coming up is the second Hollywood Jesus Gathering in Renton, WA over New Years. I'm scheduled to give a presentation on 'Animation as an Act of Worship' on the Monday Dec 31. All are welcome to attend! (I'll post more details soon)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Pixar Story Review

My new review of The Pixar Story is now posted live on Hollywood Jesus here.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

2D or not 2D Day 3

Saturday was the last full day for the festival. The first film scheduled to screen at 9:30am, a feature film (apparently about a farting pig?) was cancelled due to the fact that it didn't arrive in time. We were too wiped out to attend anyway, and found out when we did arrive that they replaced it with the festival winners from last year...which included A Mano. I was pleased to see at least a dozen of the full-time VanArts students (see below) make the trip down for the show today. Some of my part-timers too.

11am began the first initial program of shorts. This was probably my favorite line-up out of all of them. Included with this set was our Librarian from the Black Lagoon, which was received very well with many laughs. (Nancy Beiman was particularly taken with it, since her mother was a librarian). Other highlights from this program were A Dogs Life by Adam Comiskey (very funny 2D film about the various antics of a dog around the house while his owner is away), My Happy End by Milen Vitanov (also 2D, about a dog whose best friend is his tail), and Alien for Christmas (very well-directed Flash music video with excellent character design). There were a few repeated films as well, such as a live-action/CG animated short we ended up seeing a few times altogether, called Fish, about a fish that shares a flat with a human; starts off funny enough but ends with a stomach-churning burp & fart war. All of the films in this segment were narrative and more cartoony; no abstract stuff.

Following was lunch break with Calvin and Nancy, and then back to the theater by 2pm for the next program of shorts. This one was a mix of different styles, including both narrative and abstract. Highlights were Marcelino and Bartolomeo by my friend and fellow VanArts alumnus Mario Pochat, a CG short he completed through AnimationMentor...Everything will be OK by Don Hertzfeldt, which is still brilliant the second time around for me, and a brilliantly-executed Flash(?) sci-fi epic called Glitch with great editing, design and overall slickness. At the end of the screening, I got to see that Mario and another ol' friend from VanArts, Peter Fiala, had finally arrived, unfortunately too late to see his film play.

Next up was a presentation by Michel Gagne, who showed us his various character & effects animation from his own films like Prelude to Eden and feature projects Quest for Camelot, Osmosis Jones, Iron Giant, Ratatouille and Insanely Twisted Shadow Puppets. In addition were some top-secret projects he's currently working on, which I'm supposed to pretend I didn't see. Michel's work is breathtakingly amazing, and he is absolutely dedicated to his art & craft. I've seen very few artists as passionate and productive as this guy, and he's also slightly insane, but in a good way. Just shake your head and drool at the beauty of his work.

Next we had a brief window of time open for dinner so Cal, Nancy & I were joined this time by former Disney/Simpsons Movie animator/producer Bert Klein and Hyun-Min Lee, director of The Chestnut Tree. Hyun-Min is now in the apprenticeship program at Disney, and deservedly so! As I said yesterday, her film is wonderful. After dinner we rushed back for presentation by Tony White about his career with Richard Williams & Animus Productions, the Animaticus Foundation and DigiPen. The goals that Tony has for the future of animation are admirable and exciting, and should surely be supported by anyone who is passionate about the art form.

Next up was the keynote speaker Don Hahn, who was eloquent, humorous and incredibly enthusiastic sharing his passion for filmmaking, animation and illustration art. A literal gold mine of material was shown, including archive material by Disney artists from the early 80s and beyond. Trying to condense Don's talk into a summary would barely do it justice. A big highlight for me was the inclusion of Lorenzo, which I've been wanting to see for YEARS since reading about it. It was worth the wait...quite an amazingly surreal piece of work.

After Don's wonderful presentation was the Awards Ceremony, which went by pretty quickly since most of the filmmakers spread all over the world were not present. Librarian received a Certificate of Merit which I got to accept on Galen's behalf.

We closed the evening with a Gala Event of food and mingling. I got to chat with Don Hahn and was honored to discover that he owned a copy of my book and had made reference to it in preparation for a stop-motion panel he recently was in. He's a fan of stop-motion and is glad to see it becoming popular again. It was a great honor to meet him.

The 2D or not 2D Animation Festival is a great event that is still in the fledgling stages of gaining momentum, and I hope it continues to get bigger & better every year! I hope to make it an annual tradition, so I encourage all to check it out again in 2008!

2D or not 2D Day 2

Today was Friday, a very long day. Started with some shopping and a few random observations about local Everett. For starters, popping into Borders Books so Calvin could inquire if they possibly had the new Pixar Story BOOK in stock. It took the girls working there about 10 minutes to figure out how to use their computer, in order to tell us that NO, they didn't have it yet. Which brings me to the 'random observance.' Every girl working there (I believe we counted three different ones) had the exact same appearance: long dark-blonde straight hair tied in a ponytail, slender, about 5'7" with horn-rimmed glasses. (Think of the brainy girlin your high school yearbook who loved cats) All of them! The same! It was like the Stepford Book Store Employees! This gave way to many musings about their hiring policies.

Whereupon we shopped around for some movies, books, stocking stuffers for the family, whatever we could find for a good deal on our current US dollar. Got a few books for the VanArts library, and I also found a DVD of Walt Disney:Man Behind the Myth documentary and a small Gumby set including episodes spanning 3 decades and the original Gumbasia. This made me happy cuz all these years I always felt strange not having any Gumby clips to show in my stop-mo history lectures.

In Everett we also got to see some local statues and architecture.

Visiting with the world's largest pear.

Whoever lives on the top floor of this building got gypped on the size of their balcony, compared to everyone else.

In the afternoon we had some appointments with two prospective students, one of whom did not show, but the other girl came with her mom and had a fantastic sketchbook, so that was great to see. Then I killed some more time exploring the local comic shop and used book stores yet again with Calvin and Nancy Beiman. We also grabbed dinner together; Nancy had many amazing stories about working at Disney and various other studios, too multi-faceted to document entirely here, but they involved everything from the funny to the tragic...from studio pranks involving Saran Wrap to animators committing suicide. I found out through their conversation that Disney animator Nik Ranieri, whose work I've always liked, wrote a Christian childrens' book called The Great Elephant, so I'm gonna have to check that out.

The festival itself commenced at 7pm to a decent-sized crowd. Festival Director Ken Rowe (in picture) introduced the opening film program of shorts, which were all directed by women, including Nancy Beiman herself (with an intriguing short based on one of her nightmares!) Many of the films were student projects, and about half of them were abstract in nature, which is sometimes good and sometimes causing a bit of squirming. The highlights, I felt, were Geirald the 5-Legged Spider by Sam Rusztyn, Invaders from Inner Space by Tristyn Pease, I Am PillowCat by Elaine Lee, and Especially (the capital E is intentional) The Chestnut Tree by Hyun-Min Lee. The latter film, apparently a tender silent tribute to the filmmaker's late mother, listed the assistance of Don Hahn, Bert Klein, Eric Goldberg and other Disney people in the credits. Goldberg's influence was deeply was straight pencil on white backgrounds with the classic flowing Disney touch. Absolutely breathtaking! I hope to acquire a copy somehow.

Following was a presentation of Girls Night in Animation with three reknowned women animators. First was Nancy Beiman (in picture), who showed her character designs and animation work from Hercules (the three Fates) and Treasure Planet (Billy Bones). She had worked on these scenes also with Nik Ranieri, and Calvin whispered to me that he had done clean-up on Nancy's Treasure Planet sequence she animated. We also were lucky enough to see her amazing short film from 1983, Your Feet's Too Big. Though I've met Nancy briefly before upon her visit to VanArts in 2005, it was a treat to get a better sense today of her great artistic talent.

Next up was Kathie Flood from Microsoft, who talked about game animation vs. film animation and how the two are similar yet different. The game promo she showed, for a PC racing game, was incredibly realistic for an intro reel. Pretty interesting stuff, and many questions from the Seattle-game-happy audience.

Finally we heard from and met afterwards Kureha Yokoo, an animator from Pixar who started as a crowd animator on Bugs' Life and has been there eversince. Got to see progression reels from scenes she animated for The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Beautiful work, and a humble spirit. She was rather delightful to listen to.

Next up was the "Surprise Screening" of the evening, which turned out to be Dianne Jackson's The Snowman. I had never actually seen the entire thing on a big screen before tonight, so it was a joy to see. And finally, the late night 11pm screening of more 'adult' animated films for the midnight movie crowd. A rather eclectic mix of styles, techniques and genres, including film noir, blood, poop, zombies, an insane homeless guy, Mexican cowboys shooting robots, a young boy who leaves his clothes all over town, a messed-up My Little Pony parody complete with a burning castle, and a stop-motion vicar who wants to have a "relationship" (of a more explicit nature) with God. Yeah, I'm not kidding. One thing about some animated films that bothers me is the occasions when you have a great-looking film but questionable content. Oh well.

As you can imagine, I'm exhausted and ready to recharge for another full day of animation!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

2D or not 2D, Day 1

Here's my first post from Everett, WA where Calvin Leduc and I are in town for the 2D or not 2D Animation Festival. We drove down this morning and arrived at the Everett Theatre for our presentation to a group of high school students. Afterwards we explored the town and found some used book stores. One of them had a very good copy of 'Of Muppets and Men' for $14, which I would have bought on the spot if I didn't have a copy already. Calvin bought it instead. Another store was run by an eccentric old lady who said she didn't have any books that would have been published after 1960, unless we did a Google search for a specific title to see if they had it. (I don't know what it is about Washington...sometimes it's literally like traveling through Twin Peaks. Funny people.) In yet another book store we found, literally called 'Half Price Books', all the books'll never guess...half price! I got some good deals, but I can't reveal all of them here because some of them will be Christmas gifts. The only one I will mention is finding a good-condition copy for only $10 of Where the Sidewalk Ends, one of my favorite books which I plan on keeping to give Ariel in a few years when she can read. And I will also mention that if any hard-core Walt Kelly's Pogo fans out there (paging Mr. Fott? Mr. Nethery?) have an extra $350 kicking around, you can find a signed copy of one of his books inside a glass case there.

Today's other big event was making the trek to see the documentary The Pixar Story. As some others have said, most of the information about the studio itself was not new to us, as we have been following the studio in the news since its birth. The historical background of John Lasseter and his CalArts days was a bit more informative, highlighting the struggles the animators went through in those early days of computer animation. The film does a good job of tracing the roots of the medium, and really emphasizing it as a technique that was developed largely by scientists and artists working together, and that one group could not have advanced without the other. I've always felt the first Toy Story was a metaphor for this whole relationship, with Woody representing the traditional arts and Buzz representing the new technology. Overall, the whole film inspired me to re-watch all of the Pixar films again and soak them in more...and the ending notes signal a song of hope for what they will continue to do in partnership with Disney. No matter how much you already know about this amazing studio, you're bound to learn a bit more and see some amazing rare footage of the pioneering steps that brought them forward. Go see it, if it comes through your town!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Animation Shows

In the past few days I've had the chance to check out some local animation screenings hosted by the NFB for World Animation Day. Last Thursday was Ron Diamond's Animation Show of Shows, a touring program affiliated with AWN. We were asked to send Ron our thoughts on some of the films, so these are the ones I felt were the most worthy to write home about.

John and Karen - Nothing short of brilliant! Character animation at its finest. I'm glad this film was included and it was a perfect way to open the show.

Madame Tutli-Putli - Astonishing and beautiful, and definitely raises stop-motion to a new level. This one has been talked about alot, and deservedly so. It's probably the most interesting stop-motion film to come out of Canada since The Sandcastle.

I Met the Walrus - I'm not usually too impressed by films in this medium, the sort-of abstract quality that looks like it's done in Flash or AfterEffects(?), but this one was an exception. A clever idea using innovative use of computer animation. But what's up with Canada being described as "Nothing"?

Ujbaz Izbeneki Has Lost His Soul
- Loved it! Great puppets & animation, brilliant sets. Had a great Twilight Zone quality to the writing.

Pearce Sisters - I saw this film for the first time at the Platform Festival. Enjoyed it even more this second time. Very innovative use of 2D/3D and finding a new way to use technology but still maintain a hand-crafted look, while at the same time, creating an atmosphere. You actually feel like you are on that rainy island! The story, although slightly macabre, is still charming in a strange way.

How to Hook Up your Home Theater - the highlight of the evening, and the main reason I made sure I attended the show. I love the classic Goofy shorts and it's great to see the studio bringing this tradition back. I only hope the film gets the wide release it deserves. Outside of being screened along with 'Enchanted' it should be made available to the public afterwards. The writing and cartoon exaggeration was superb, and perfectly captured the essence of what it's like to hook up a home theater. I kept saying to myself, 'Yes, that's exactly what it's like!' Wonderful wonderful wonderful.

Administrators - Amazing, especially for a student film. Was extremely entertaining and funny, while at the same time it had a good message.

I found something interesting and enjoyable about almost all of the other films, some more than others...there's always the strange art-speak droning abstract stuff you have to sit through at these things, and funny films with really bad drawings (And why is it that ALL French films have accordion music?) I suggest anyone who gets a chance to see this travelling show to check it out.

These days I'm fighting off my annual cold into submission by drinking lots of fluids and trying to stay happy so I'm not down for the count for trick-or-treats or the animation festival this weekend.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Future of Animation

Gotta start 'em younger these days.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Tonight we carved pumpkins and afterwards I watched my favorite TV special...I'd like to incorporate the two events into an annual tradition, once Ariel can sit still through both of them. She seemed a little freaked out by the actual pumpkins, and she didn't stay awake long enough for the animated ones.

Here's a visual tribute to some memorable images from this masterpiece which always takes me back to childhood and represents the season for me. The animation is great, even when it's sloppy. The dialogue is very surreal, and overall it's just really strange, but I love every frame of it. And the music is perfect too. One of my favorite things about this show is the watercolor backgrounds.

Here's the REAL Great Pumpkin!

Friday, October 19, 2007

We have a winner!

Thanks to everyone who voted for Ariel's Bon Jovi Dancing video, which won the Crave 95 radio contest! Visit Jay's blog for more details on all the loot she got.

Here's the winning video:

This still cracks me up each time I see it. She sure loves to dance! This one cracks me up particular the little shuffle she does at about :11 seconds. I was showing it to my colleagues at work the other day as great animation reference.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Big Scary Pumpkins

Unfortunately I wasn't around for this, but I knew I had to document some of the activity from Jay & Ariel's day at the Pumpkin Patch. Looks like they sure had a good time! Wish I could have been there.


Is it gonna eat me, Mommy?

These things look curiously like the Greedy from the Raggedy Ann & Andy Movie.

And here is the official website for the Pumpkin Patch! If you visit the site here, Corny Corn will actually talk to you. Before I saw the site itself, it was funnier when Jay imitated it.

Corny Corn also looks curiously like...

Holy crap, I hope Ariel isn't having nightmares right now about big scary pumpkins and corn with giant eyes that turn you to stone. I know I might. The only thing worse would be if they suddenly emerged from around the corner and didn't make any sound.

Is this cute, brilliant, or simply wrong? I can't decide.