Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Pumpkin of Nyefar - beautiful animated short !

Wow !

Watch this great animated short posted on Cartoon Brew TV:

The Pumpkin of Nyefar (2004) is a short directed by Tod Polson (El Tigre, Another Froggy Evening, Poochini). The story was co-written by Maurice Noble (1911-2001), who began his animation career at Disney in the 1930s, and eventually designed many of Chuck Jones’s classic Warner Bros. cartoons including Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century and What’s Opera, Doc?. The film is narrated by June Foray (the voice of Rocky in Rocky and Bullwinkle). Below is a some background information about the film from its director Tod Polson. Tod will also participating in the comments section and looks forward to your comments and questions.

“In 1994, Maurice Noble began training a group of young designers at Chuck Jones Film Productions. A lot of us were working on our own personal short projects, several of them based on ethnic folktales. Maurice thought it would be a great idea if the group of us could develop a series of shorts inspired by stories from around the world. We called this series “Noble Tales,” and we, his trainees, became known as the “Noble Boys” (which also included a few girls). Many of us traveled around the world and developed and together designed several dozen idea. “The Pumpkin Of Nyefar” was one short idea Maurice and I wrote while visiting Turkey. Our first morning in Istanbul we came downstairs to the dining room and around the table were twenty belly dancers and a lot of pumpkin dishes. All the girls of course were smitten by Mr. Nobles charm. Ha ha… I can still see him grinning from ear to ear.
 Afterwords we talked things over, and decided to write a story about a prince who could marry any beauty in his kingdom, but instead chooses to wait for true love. As fate would have it, the prince finds true love in the form of a pumpkin. While I was supervising a TV show in Thailand, James Wang (Wang Film) invited Maurice and I to use his Thai studio to make our short. Maurice underwent surgery so that he could make the flight to Bangkok. Unfortunately he died a few weeks later. I came to Thailand a few months later to work on the short myself. But my friends didn’t leave me to do the film alone. Soon after, my pal Mark Oftedal, came to town for a visit. His short vacation, turned into a several year working holiday, He became so involved with the project, that I just made him the co-director of “Pumpkin:. Other friends from America helped out too. June Foray donated her voice to the film. Ben Jones, and Lawrence Marvit both did short stints in Bangkok to help get things going. Sue Kroyer did a lot of inspirational character design as did Roman Laney. Jules Engel looked over a lot of the early design and color. Aaron Sorenson, Dave Marshall, Dave Thomas, and Mike Polvani all donated time to the project.

It was really a great collaboration of friends, just the way Maurice had dreamed about: doing a short film together, everything donated, just because they wanted to do it.”

Now that's the spirit ! 


Anonymous said...

Hey David,

I was looking for a way to get a hold of you to ask you a favor. What is the best way?

Anonymous said...

That was an amazing short. Being the short-attenion-span "ooh shiny" person that I was, I watched the video without reading any of the description that accompanied it and thought "My god, whoever worked on this understands storytelling and gags! This is just like a golden age cartoon!" and maybe something about saving 2D animation.

I guess having a highly trained artist FROM the golden age will yield such results. The question now is where I can find one to pester and to suck dry of knowledge...

But really, I don't think I've ever been that caught off guard by a cartoon- ever - especially by a fairy tale.

thanks for the links to the videos, by the way. The quality's actually about as good as I get it on my VHS (which I have rigged to my computer, so it only plays that default 640 by 480 with an annoying layman's smpte code that I can't get rid of). I actually used to have endurance races with my brothers to see who could sit through the first half hour of Raggedy Ann and Andy. When I tried to watch it after rediscovering the VHS in my house, I think I lasted all of 10 minutes.

They did play some clips at Richard William's MoMa retrospective (some of his newer commercial work is great), but I spent more time watching him than the screen (front row seats, and yeah, I feel creepy admitting it). Judging from his reactions, the only parts he really enjoyed were any of the Baby Herman segments on Who Framed Roger Rabbit; the rest of the clips he watched with that critical eye, probably spotting all the errors that no one else would ever notice (I've done this before too). That or he was tired.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing all these gems! Thios is a wonderful blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Dan,

email me at :

dnethery -at- academyart -dot- edu

Good to hear from you again.


Anonymous said...

Hi David,

I've tried emailing you a few times. Are you sure that's the right address?

Anonymous said...

Ok I sent it again to the new address. Hopefully you got it. I sent it from my nineoldmen.com addy :)