How do you begin to encapsulate the life of a man who has meant so much to everything we hold dear?
You really can't. You can say that, though all death is tragic in its way, living to the age of 92 with so triumphant a career is the least tragic kind and begs celebration of the life more than it does tears for the loss. But that doesn't mitigate the loss.
From Mighty Joe Young to Clash of the Titans, Harrhyausen brought magical monsters to life, inspiring probably more than a few million battles with toys in boys' bedrooms around the world. I'm happy to say that in the years before covering all the big studio panels to the exclusion of most else became a mandate for Comic-Con coverage, I was able to watch 20 Million Miles to Earth there with a live commentary from Ray (my write-up from 2007 can be found here). Too frequently, those "legends" panels at SDCC get taken for granted and sparsely attended; let the recent losses of the great Rays, Bradbury and Harryhausen, be a lesson and go see some of those older guys before it's too late.
Honestly, the best way to pay tribute to the man is to show some of his stuff. So enjoy a handful of highlights after the jump. What was your favorite creation of his?More >>
Nestled in the heart of New York City is the fictional community of Sesame Street: a cultural melting pot where human and felt-skinned citizens come together to sing the praises of rudimentary math and reading skills. Unfortunately, in the chaos of the more warmblooded residents trying to keep pace with their Muppet neighbors' excessive enthusiasm over learning to count and spell, the television program's true yet unsung heroes go sorely unnoticed. Born of ink, paint or other artistic mediums, Sesame Street's animated denizens are the workhorses of the series, their segments filling in the voids between those of their corporeal counterparts for the past 44 years. There were many animated characters to be had, but very few were recurring fixtures or charismatic enough to ride the nostalgia wave of one appearance. It's time to give some credit where credit is due with eight of the best.
8) Sign Man
Sign Man resides in a dystopian world not to far removed from our own, one in which horrendous typos are of the norm and remain unchanged. Suffice it to say that he lives in a Grammar Nazi's very description of Hell. Outwardly rebelling against his society's flippant disregard for proper spelling, Sign Man relied on his inhuman ability to bend the fabric of reality and alter the letters of the word itself, standing back to admire his godlike handiwork. We haven't seen much of the guy in Sesame Street's more recent years, but that isn't to say Sign Man's editorial skills wouldn't be of use in modern times, especially given the practical slaughter of the English language thanks in part to the Internet. With him in charge, the worldwide web would be a more peaceful, well-spoken place.
These are part of the merchandising blitz that will accompany Disney Star Wars Weekend at Disney Hollywood Studios in Florida. They will presumably be made available at other parks later on.
The Mickey Jedi Starfighter is pretty genius. Unlike some of their other combo figures, it's actually in scale with other Star Wars toys.
Uncle Deadly as Palpatine? Seems obvious, doesn't it? The chickens with Imperial helmets are the highlight here.
There's more - including a Thermal Detonator "Hot Potato" game! - over at the Disney Parks blog.
Because part of the requirement of being Gorillaz is to sing songs about monkeys, right?
The show opens this summer, per the Hollywood Reporter, and sounds like fun.
Featuring Chinese acrobats, martial arts athletes and contortionists, the elaborate opera follows the fantastical odyssey of a monk and his animal protectors, led by the magical Monkey King across continents and centuries in search of sacred Buddhist scriptures. Conceived and directed by Chen, it features music by Albarn, with anime-influenced design, costumes and animation by visual artist Hewlett. Albarn's score mixes Chinese pop melodies, brass fanfares, percussion and electronic sound washes.
It'll have to go a long way to beat this version, is all I'm sayin'.
Gayle Middleton, a.k.a. "G-Ra," is responsible for the visual makeover of My Little Pony into the Friendship Is Magic world, as well as a similar style update to Littlest Pet Shop. But now she wants to do something slightly less PG, though only a little - a line of plush monster babies that include the likes of Frankenstein and the Yeti, complete with baby bottles filled with "blood."
Considering the success of Monster High at Mattel, I'm not sure why Hasbro wouldn't jump on this idea, but she's doing it herself through Kickstarter. And so as to guarantes her fanbase follows her...yes, there's a Ghost Pony:
She's nearly at her goal as of this writing. I can't imagine Hot Topic wouldn't carry these, as the intersection of goth and cute has made massive amounts of money for all licensees associated with that damn Tim Burton Christmas cartoon.
Watch her request video after the jump.More >>
It's a video kind of day. Behold "Compressorhead."
Honestly, this probably isn't that much different than your typical Chuck E. Cheese show, minus furry costumes. It just looks a lot cooler, and there are no cartoon vocals.
Would anybody actually notice at this point if AC/DC were replaced with robots?
h/t SlyDante via The AV Club
Entertainment Weekly has the exclusive first image of the new Muppet movie sequel The Muppets...Again! You'll have to go to their site to see the whole thing, but here's a small section...(yes, Walter's back, even if his "brother" isn't)
Disney also released the official plot synopsis:
Disney's "The Muppets ...Again!" takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe's most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine--the World's Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit--and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two, portrayed by Ricky Gervais
Hmmm...."the World's Number One Criminal and a dead ringer" for our hero? That sounds familiar. Where have I...?
First Tyler Perry cribs liberally on behalf of Madea, now the Muppets?
Y'all, it's time to acknowledge that Ernest Goes to Jail is the classic you'd never admit to loving while Jim Varney was alive. KnoWhutIMean?
Want to see all eleven Doctors and the TARDIS created in crochet? Of course you do.
If you really want to set yourself a timey-wimey consuming challenge, you can also preorder the patterns and recreate them yourself. You might be done in time for the next season after this one.
h/t Natalie Nichols via Digital Spy
It's a common misperception that everything the Jim Henson Company does is entirely family friendly. They're great at being family friendly without being cloying, but the Miskreant Puppets here are just a bit more warped and dirty-minded than your average Muppet.
Courtesy of the Nerdist Channel, they have a Christmas song to sing you that should put a smile in your heart and a sickness in your soul, simultaneously.
And I love the cameo by Marvin E. Quasniki, whom the Henson Company tried to position as a fictional presidential candidate, only to give up on the gag long before the election. His repurposing here is particularly hilarious if you remember him as a would-be politician.
Henson Alternative Wiki