Wednesday, August 01, 2007

At a loss for words...

I finally forced myself to check out the new Alvin & the Chipmunks trailer with those sad CG abominations in it....I wish I hadn't. As a long-time fan of their records and cartoon show, I feel like I've watched old friends executed before my eyes. The TV intro takes me back to the exact feeling in my childhood basement every Saturday morning. You won't find any links to the new trailer here, cuz it's not worth watching, so here's my tribute to how they were, thanks to whoever posted these.

...and this clip, though slightly disturbing at times, is a highlight from their feature film, a strange mix of iffy TV-quality animation and great rubbery feature-quality animation by some very talented animators (Glen Keane, for example) right before the early-90s boom.

1 comment:

David Nethery said...

Wow, I haven't seen that in a long time !

That "Chipmunk Adventure" feature film certainly was odd ... like you said, some great animation in parts by the likes of Glen Keane , Dan Haskett, Dave Pruiksma, Skip Jones. I'd have to see the credit roll again to remember all the names ...

I remember Dan Haskett's work in particular because one of my roommates at the time was an assistant on the film and used to bring work home on the weekends , especially a lot of great Dan Haskett scenes. I think I still have some xeroxes of those scenes around here someplace.

A lot of The Chipmunk Adventure was made during the period right after the big Disney lay-off at the end of production on Basil of Baker Street (aka The Great Mouse Detective) , so a lot of Disney animators and even more of the Disney clean-up dept. ended up over at Bagdasarian's working on that movie. It was a God-send in that respect because it allowed a lot of folks to keep working when they otherwise would have been unemployed while waiting for Disney to hire back for Oliver & Co. In those days they didn't keep people on between productions, except maybe the very upper echelon of animators. Glen Keane didn't get laid-off from Disney , but if I recall correctly had some sort of contract dispute with them at the time , so he just walked out and went over to work at Bagdasarian's until someone at Disney came to their senses and hired him back .

I didn't work on it because I was working on Who Framed Roger Rabbit at the time , but I knew a lot of the people who worked on it and I was in and out of the Chipmunks studio during that time period ... can't remember if I picked up some freelance scenes on it or was just visiting or what ?

That was an interesting time in animation , just before the " 90's boom" which really started with An American Tail, then even more so with Roger Rabbit and then Oliver & Co. and The Little Mermaid (The Great Mouse Detective , too , though it is often forgotten . It got good reviews and did respectable box-office, paving the way for John and Ron to do The Little Mermaid, which really got things booming. Let's hope John and Ron get the next boom going with The Frog Princess ! ) .