Why Cartoon Characters Wear Gloves

When cartoons were wholly crafted by hand animators used all kinds of tricks to speed up the process, and one of their tricks made a character's hands more visible, emotive and easier to animate-they put gloves on 'em.

This small change made a world of difference for early animators who were discovering rounder was better in a character design, and simplification saved precious time during production.

(YouTube Link)

This toon-tastic video by Vox shows how gloves became an iconic part of a cartoon's character design, and how Mickey's gloves started it all.

-Via DesignTAXI


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A New Novel Reveals The Fate Of Jar Jar Binks After Revenge Of The Sith

Ever since he made his last big screen appearance in Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith Jar Jar Binks has been the butt of many jokes, and a few fan theories even speculate the Gungan may be a Sith Lord in disguise.

Mashable received an advanced copy of Chuck Wendig's new novel Star Wars Aftermath: Empire's End and found out that fan theory hit the Meesa right on the Binks- because Jar Jar was working for the Empire after all.

(Image Link)

In Empire's End a young refugee runs into Jar Jar, who is now a street performer, and the Gungan opens up to the kid about his dark past:

"Jar Jar makin some uh-oh mistakens," the Gungan says, explaining why he isn't wanted anywhere either. "Desa hisen Naboo tink I help the uh-oh Empire." He stares into the distance, suggesting he knows more than he's saying.

I knew that little bastard stank worse than Dagobah!

-Via The Verge


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The Difficult Journey of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

When Star Trek went to the big screen in 1979, audiences were excited, but Star Trek: The Motion Picture was too long and slowly-paced to stand the test of time. It was also extremely expensive, causing Paramount to rethink making a sequel. So changes were made: Gene Roddenberry was fired, a budget-conscious director was brought in, and the script for The Wrath of Khan was written by a writer who'd never seen a Star Trek episode. The production staff not only learned from the mistakes of the first movie, but used the existing sets and unused footage to save money. The changes had repercussions beyond Star Trek.

The cumbersome large model on wires approach was shelved for Star Trek’s motion control, and new models were built with usability and cost in mind, rather than screen presence. The only thing not cut back on was the aforementioned CGI. The large terraforming sequence could only be done in animation, and much like the sequence in the finished film it was presented as an advert for the skills of Lucasfilm Computer Imaging. And like in the film, the CGI video succeeded in its marketing purpose. The clip impressed a young Steve Jobs enough to part with $5 million to buy out the division, which renamed itself Pixar.

But what really made the The Wrath of Khan a hit was a plot that focused on the original cast and a villain that harked back to the TV series (to be fair, V'ger did, too, but not as charismatically as Khan). Read about the process of bringing The Wrath of Khan to theaters at Den of Geek.


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The Last Jedi: Singular or Plural?

When the name of the new Star Wars film was announced in January as The Last Jedi, we all wondered what that meant. As the story stands, Luke Skywalker is the last Jedi. But will he remain the last Jedi? Will he be killed off? Will someone else become the last Jedi? Then we realized that the word "Jedi" is both singular and plural. Which does the title mean? We were resigned to wait until the movie is released in December to find out. But the title is more complicated in other languages, where a definite article indicates a singular or plural. As the movie gets it title translated around the world, we have the answer, courtesy of Star Wars France. It's plural, as in more than one Jedi. Other European countries with languages that indicate plurality have announced the movie title using the plural form, as you can see at Slate.


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A Wonderful Short Documentary About The Art Of Clowning

Clowning is a comedic artform that dates back centuries, and although clowning has become less circus and more cirque over the years clowns are still doing classic bits and carrying on an ancient tradition.

Those who embrace the role of the clown have many skills to master, such as makeup, slapstick and miming, but most importantly they must develop a character the audience connects with and make 'em laugh.

(YouTube Link)

This wonderful episode of the American Theatre Wing series Working In The Theatre focuses on the art of clowning and reveals the true power of the clown- universal appeal.

-Via Nerdist


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Anime Artist Turns His Sons' Drawings Into Amazing Characters

Artistically inclined parents love to bring their kid's artwork to life in some way, either by translating it to a different medium or creating a more polished version.

It's a charming activity that gives parent and child the chance to work on an art project together, which kids really appreciate when their parent has a really a cool job in the animation industry.

French artist Thomas Romain works as an anime creator in Tokyo, and after having worked on shows like Space Dandy and Basquash! he has learned how to translate doodles into awesome anime characters.

So he started working with his kids on what he calls his "Father and Sons Design Workshop", turning their simple and extremely loose sketches into tight, ready to use character designs.

Someone needs to give this talented dad and his sons their own cartoon show!

-Via Nerd Approved


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The Dangers Of Stealth In Video Games

Video games that involve a lot of stealth are the bane of my existence, because I want to play the badass game I've been hearing about but can't get past that one part because the guy KEEPS HEARING ME FOR SOME REASON!

But, as this comic by Julia Lepetit shows, there's a hidden danger that is worse than wrecked nerves, a danger gamers don't consider while they're sneaking their way through an entire game- stealth knees. Keep the crouching to a minimum, people!

-Via Dorkly


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Will Arnett Prank Calls A Toy Store As LEGO Batman

Thanks to the LEGO Batman franchise Will Arnett gets to be Batman's voice, and he's enjoying the gig so much he'll start being the Bat at the drop of a hat.

Will was on BBC Radio 1's The Matt Edmondson Show promoting The LEGO Batman Movie when he decided to try his hand, err voice, at Matt's AlphabetiCall challenge by prank calling a toy store. 

Each sentence Will says during the call has to start with the next letter of the alphabet, so will he be up to the challenge?

And will the toy store clerk even get that he's doing a bit, or will they just say "...okay?" like a total space cadet? Tune in and find out!

(YouTube Link)

-Via Laughing Squid


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The Evolution Of Keanu Reeves In The Movies

Keanu Reeves is still kicking ass in Hollywood thirty one years after his debut in Youngblood, and during that time he has played so many different types of characters it's hard to pin him down.

Keanu played an iconic stoner dude in the Bill & Ted's franchise, a hacker turned cyberwarrior in The Matrix franchise, a cop, a detective, a fancypants, a junkie and even Lord Buddha himself! (Video is NSFW due to language)

(YouTube Link)

This video by Burger Fiction takes you through the evolution of Keanu Reeves one clip at a time, from those early mellow dude days to the aggressive action hero we love to watch today.

-Via GeekTyrant


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Doctor Strange Concept Art for Kaecilius

The artists involved with the Marvel movie Doctor Strange wanted the villain Kaecilius to be faithful to the comic book concept while also bringing something fresh to the character. They tried a variety of looks before they settled on the villain you saw in the film, portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen. You can see a half-dozen of those early ideas at TVOM. Which would you have chosen?  


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Massive Final Fantasy VII Snow Sculpture From The Sapporo Snow Festival

This year the skilled snow sculptors at the Sapporo Snow Festival chose to go old school by creating a massive homage to the classic SquareENIX RPG Final Fantasy VII.

The fifty-foot-tall diorama featured an incredibly detailed depiction of Cloud Strife and Sephiroth squaring off, and by some snowy miracle the sculpture stayed in place and didn't turn into an AVALANCHE.

-Via Nerd Approved


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Real Life Places That Inspired Disney Attractions

It shouldn't be too surprising that Disney's Matterhorn is based on the Matterhorn in Switzerland, but you might be surprised to see just how many real life locations the company has used as inspiration on their rides and attractions.

From Utah's Bryce Canyon (the inspiration for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad) to New Orlean's Jackson Square (which inspired its own section inside Disneyland park), it's amazing to see how many places you've never been to look oddly familiar thanks to Disney.

So check out Travel and Leisure's list of 30 real-life locations that inspired Disney attractions here.


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WETA Workshop Sculptor Shows Off Incredible Prototype For "Labyrinth" Board Game

Artists, crafters and writers who become obsessed with board games often wonder if they can make their own game, and I've heard some great ideas from my many gamer friends over the years.

But theory and execution are two very different matters, and creating miniatures, art for the game and the perfect playing surface is really hard- unless you're a WETA Workshop artist like Johnny Fraser-Allen.

Johnny is a lifelong Jim Henson fan and sculptor who is working on a 3D board game based on Labyrinth, which he was happy to share with Adam Savage on this episode of Tested.

(YouTube Link)

-Via GeekTyrant


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Pop Culture's Best In Show For Every Breed

I can't watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show without wondering about dog breeds, or more specifically why breeds look the way they do.

That's because dogs are often defined by the look of their breed, and we assume certain things about their temperament and even give them a basic personality profile based on their breed.

But dog breeds get to break free of these generalities when they're featured in pop culture, and breeds we assume are weak, like the Maltese or the Pomeranian, are made mighty by the gods of geekdom.

I never want to go near a Pomeranian again after seeing this cute little guy in Blade: Trinity!

Pop culture franchises also do a really good job of turning killer dog breeds into total lovers, which is a much more realistic transition. Remember that vicious pit bull Backup in Veronica Mars?

Yeah, he was a real brute, just like that vicious German Shepherd Samantha from I Am Legend or that angry and violent Bullmastiff Butkus from Rocky.

Of course, some breeds have a hard time burying the bad rep they gain from starring in movies and TV shows, like poor Cujo the Saint Bernard who became the stuff of nightmares for all 80s kids. 

See Our Favorite Pop-Culture Dogs For Every Breed here


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It's All In The Wrists

There are many little details of Mario's character design that seem like they were included just to give him the look of a lead character, and we're probably better off leaving our questions about his details at that.

Because, as this Fake Webcomic reveals, the less we know about what lies under Mario's clothes the better!

-Via Geeks Are Sexy


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The Best Movie Fight Scenes This Century

(Video Link)

Seventeen years doesn't seem like that long of a time, but when you look at this list of the best movie fight scenes from the 21st Century, you might find yourself surprised that certain movies were even released this century. Some of the great movies you'd expect are on the list -like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mad Max and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon- and there are some surprises on there that did have a great fight -like Anchorman. I'll leave the #1 spot as a surprise for you though.

So check out the full list over at Collider


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Tom Cruise Falling Into Other Movies

Tom Cruise's career has been falling very, very slowly since the 80s, with a few updrafts here and there during his otherwise perpetual descent from superstardom.

But what's causing this fall? A string of bad roles? His connection to Scientology? That one time he went crazy and jumped on Oprah's couch?

Maybe Tom should just embrace the fall and work a "falling Tom Cruise" cameo into every movie that comes out!

(YouTube Link)

-Via GeekTyrant


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KISS Is Now Selling Air Guitar Strings

KISS, or more specifically Gene Simmons on behalf of KISS, has been working hard to create as many types of KISS themed merchandise as possible, cashing in on everything from condoms to Kaskets.

But one of their latest releases seems too dumb to be true- KISS air guitar strings. It's a bag of air with a KISS header card on top, created for all those KISS air guitarists out there who keep breaking their strings.

If you think this $3.99 bag of air is taking KISS merchandising too far you're not alone, because Gene's son Nick seems to think this is a ridiculous idea too:

-Via Dangerous Minds


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Brilliant Fan Art Inspired By Rogue One

(Art by Derek Laufman)

Rogue One has captured the hearts of old school Star Wars fans and new fans alike because it's just that awesome, and when artists are inspired by a movie they show their love with illustrative lines.

(Art by Shane Molina)

Some were happy about the return of the Sith we love to hate, who hasn't changed a bit since the 80s, while other artists got a kick out of that sassy reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO:

(Art by SAMiJEN)

But after all the arguments are said and done the best thing about Rogue One is the fact that it gave us that good old fashioned Star Wars movie feeling again!

(Art by CodyOng)

See Rogue One: 25 Pieces of Brilliant Fan Art Inspired By The Movie at JazJaz


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The Best Romantic Movie From the Year You Were Born

Romantic movies have been made as long as they've been making movies. From cheesy chick flicks to epic love stories, this Good Housekeeping article features the best romantic movie from each year since 1930 so you can identify the best one from your birth year. For me it's Terms of Endearment, which I admit, I've never seen. How about you guys, what's the movie from your birth year, and did you like it?

See the whole list here.


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Disney's Biggest Flops And Their Most Underrated Movies

Disney used to be the undisputed masters of the animated feature, and they made some mighty fine live action films too, so when Disney movies started to flop in the theater people noticed.

Nowadays Disney's track record at the box office (not including Pixar or Marvel movies) is about fifty-fifty, which is pretty low compared to their classic days.

Movies like Mr. Magoo, Home On The Range and The Country Bears seemed destined for failure, but John Carter's failure was a surprise.

The Black Cauldron and Treasure Planet were even bigger surprises, because they both bombed hard despite being pretty great films that later got lots of love as cult classics.

(YouTube Link)

That's why The Black Cauldron and Treasure Planet are also on WatchMojo's list of underrated animated Disney films, because they were sadly overlooked just like The Great Mouse Detective and Brother Bear.

(YouTube Link)

-Via WatchMojo


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Complete Strangers Recreate the Pasta Scene From Lady and The Tramp

(Video Link)

Lady and the Tramp's pasta scene is one of the most classic scenes in animation history. But while it's cute to see dogs roll meatballs with their noses and suck on a string of pasta, it's kind of weird (and hilarious) to see humans do the exact same thing. It's even funnier when those humans are total strangers who are trying to be polite and not creep each other out while still trying to slurp a noodle together. It's surprising how hard it is to find a shared noodle without breaking it, but then that's exactly what makes this video so fun.


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Inspired by a Pizza

Video game designer Toru Iwatani wanted to get away from the shooter games that dominated arcades in the 1970s. This video tells how he came up with the idea for Pac-Man.

(YouTube link)

At the time, Pac-Man was simpler than it needed to be, but its very simplicity was a genius idea that made the game stand out among the crowd. Video Game Story Time explains Iwatani's reasoning for what became the video game icon of the 20th century. -via Geeks Are Sexy    


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Comic Characters Who Started Out As A Joke

Rocket Raccoon became a big hit with fans after appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy, The Tick is about to have his third TV show, and Howard the Duck got his own (albeit crappy) movie decades before Spider-Man.

Know what else these characters all have in common? They all started out as joke characters that became seriously popular.

Rocket Raccoon was initially named Rocky, created as an homage to the Beatles song, but after his first few guest appearances he became popular enough to get his own mini-series.

Then we didn't see him again for like 25 years...but now Rocket's one of the most popular Marvel Comics characters of all time!

The Tick started out as an absurdist parody of superheroes Ben Edlund created for the New England Comics newsletter, and folks liked The Tick so much he became the comic chain's mascot.

Ben began drawing Tick strips for the NEC newsletter, and then the company got into the business of making their own comics and started releasing The Tick as a series.

Lastly there's my favorite cigar chompin' duck Howard, who was created by Steve Gerber as a gag but became a pluckin' hero.

Howard came from an alternate Earth full of funny animals instead of humans, so he was the perfect everyduck to star in a comic series that satirizes American culture and genre fiction.

The original Howard The Duck series dealt with existentialist themes and life in a multiverse, and this is the series' main joke, according to Gerber-

"that life's most serious moments and most incredibly dumb moments are often distinguishable only by a momentary point of view."

See 15 Popular Comic Book Characters That Started As Jokes here


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Kick-Ass Movie Poster Art By Frank McCarthy

Movie poster artwork is supposed to capture the feel of the film, but over the years creativity has been replaced with generic mass appeal, leaving movie posters looking dull and lifeless.

But it's hard to tell just how boring they've become until you check out these action packed movie posters by Frank McCarthy.

Frank's posters were made for people who like to watch movies full of action, and his posters are so dynamic they're often more exciting to view than the movies they're advertising!

Frank created amazing poster artwork for movies like Where Eagles Dare, The Dirty Dozen, The Dark of the Sun (aka The Mercenaries) and Thunderball, and his art style influenced generations of comic artists looking to put the "pop" back in pop culture.

See The Kick-Ass Movie Poster Art Of Frank McCarthy here


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Gamer Grandma Gets Gritty In Conan Exiles

Conan ain't your grandma's fantasy hero, and his adventures are full of the kinds of things most polite people try not to discuss with their grandmas.

But Shirley Curry ain't your average grandma, as established by her love of Skyrim, so she's not afraid to embrace the bloody and lustful world of Conan Exiles.

Just don't expect to see a pro gamer playthrough, because as Shirley says "I don't know meanings of things, I just play games!"

(YouTube Link)

I wonder how Shirley would feel about this game if she knew it had an "endowment" slider during male character creation and genital physics? Heck, I don't know how I feel about that!!

-Via GameTyrant


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The Best Comic-Based TV Shows (So Far)

There have been comic book tv shows since the 1960s, but there's never been more than there are now. So which ones are worth watching? Depending on who you ask, all of them or none of them. And no one really agrees on which ones are the best. But if you're the debating type, you'll want to check out this list on Complex ranking 20 of the best comic book TV shows. Personally, I think Agent Carter and Luke Cage should be way higher on the list -but then, by next year there will probably 20 more shows that can be ranked on a list like this.

So check out the full list over at Complex and feel free to argue your favorite show's case here.


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The Faces Behind Your Favorite Comics Revealed!

Many comic artists reveal a bit (or a whole lot) about themselves through their comics, and yet they often remain unseen.

Sometimes this is by design, because they're shy or they want their comic to speak for itself, but more often than not it's because we're too busy posting their comics to speak on the creator.

So let's change that, shall we?

This grinning man is Brian Gordon, the guy who draws that duck you love in Fowl Language Comics.

And this gorgeous gal in the striped sweater is Sarah Andersen, the creator of Sarah's Scribbles, aka that comic you relate to and adore.

Neither of them look anything like the characters they draw, but Cassandra Calin draws a spot-on cartoon version of herself for her comic C. Cassandra.

The guy at the top of the post is Chris Grady, creator of Lunarbaboon, and he also looks a lot like his character, but the creator of Catana Comics, Catana Chetwynd, has a much smaller and more detailed head than her character.

See 10+ Faces Behind Famous Comics You've Probably Never Seen Before here


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These Colorful Illustrations Will Test Your Knowledge Of Hollywood Movies

Filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and David Fincher have had pretty eclectic careers in Hollywood because they don't limit themselves to any one genre or style of filmmaking.

And even though Abrams and Spielberg are best known for their sci-fi projects they've both done a great job of writing and/or directing serious dramas too, like Regarding Henry and The Color Purple.

Illustrator Maria Suarez-Inclan creates colorful montages she calls "Hollywood Kits", representing the careers of these writers/directors, which kinda ends up looking like a bunch of stuff laid out on a flea market vendor's blanket.

The movies and TV shows represented in each piece are listed at the bottom but it's still hard to figure out where all the symbols belong, and Martin Scorsese's is definitely the hardest.

See more of Maria Suarez-Inclan's Colorful Illustrations at JazJaz


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Watching Robots Stuck Doing Repetitive Tasks Can Be Stressful

When robots are stuck performing repetitive tasks the part of our mind that anthropomorphizes objects starts to feel sorry for them, but bots don't know any better so your pity is wasted on them.

Still, it can be a bit stressful to watch helpless robots do mind-numbingly repetitive tasks typically done by humans, especially when you know the cycle won't end until their motors give out.

Vicious Cycle from Michael Marczewski on Vimeo.

This 3D animated short by Michael Marczewski makes you think about life, work, and whether it would be all that bad if robots did all those boring jobs for us, because they can be rebuilt.

-Via Sploid


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