Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Adventures of Tintin

Tintin Wallpaper
he Adventures of Tintin (French: Les Aventures de Tintin) is a series of comic strips created by Belgian artist Hergé, the pen name of Georges Remi (1907–1983). The series first appeared in French in a children's supplement to the Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle on 10 January 1929. Set in a painstakingly researched world closely mirroring our own, the series has continued as a favourite of readers and critics alike for 80 years.
The hero of the series is Tintin, a young Belgian reporter. He is aided in his adventures from the beginning by his faithful fox terrier dog Snowy (Milou in French). Later, popular additions to the cast included the brash, cynical and grumpy Captain Haddock, the bright but hearing-impaired Professor Calculus (Professeur Tournesol) and other colourful supporting characters such as the incompetent detectives Thomson and Thompson (Dupond et Dupont).
The success of the series saw the serialised strips collected into a series of albums (24 in all), spun into a successful magazine and adapted for film and theatre. The series is one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century, with translations published in over 50 languages and more than 200 million copies of the books sold to date.
Tintin Picture
The comic strip series has long been admired for its clean, expressive drawings in Hergé's signature ligne claire style. Engaging, well-researched plots straddle a variety of genres: swashbuckling adventures with elements of fantasy, mysteries, political thrillers, and science fiction. The stories within the Tintin series always feature slapstick humour, offset in later albums by sophisticated satire, and political and cultural commentary.
Tintin is a reporter, and Hergé uses this to present the character in a number of adventures which were contemporaneous to the period in which he was working (most notably, the Bolshevik uprising in Russia and the Second World War) and sometimes even prescient (as in the case of the moon landings). Hergé also created a world for Tintin which managed to reduce detail to a simplified but recognisable and realistic representation, an effect Hergé was able to achieve with reference to a well-maintained archive of images.
Though Tintin's adventures are formulaic—presenting a mystery which is then solved logically—Hergé infused the strip with his own sense of humour, and created supporting characters who, although predictable, were filled with charm that allowed the reader to engage with them. This formula of comfortable, humorous predictability is similar to the presentation of cast in the Peanuts strip or The Three Stooges. Hergé also had a great understanding of the mechanics of the comic strip, especially pacing, a skill displayed in The Castafiore Emerald, a work he meant to be packed with tension in which nothing actually happens.
Hergé initially improvised the creation of Tintin's adventures, uncertain how Tintin would escape from whatever predicament appeared. Not until after the completion of Cigars of the Pharaoh was Hergé encouraged to research and plan his stories. The impetus came from Zhang Chongren, a Chinese student who, on hearing Hergé was to send Tintin to China in his next adventure, urged him to avoid perpetuating the perceptions Europeans had of China at the time. Hergé and Zhang collaborated on the next serial, The Blue Lotus, which has been cited by critics as Hergé's first masterpiece. Interestingly, The Blue Lotus includes a reference to the European stereotypes associated with China, in a context that causes them to appear ridiculous.
Tintin Photo
Other changes to the mechanics of creating the strip were forced on Hergé by outside events. The Second World War and the invasion of Belgium by Hitler's armies saw the closure of the newspaper in which Tintin was serialised. Work was halted on Land of Black Gold, and the already published Tintin in America and The Black Island were banned by the Nazi censors, who were concerned at their presentation of America and Britain. However, Hergé was able to continue with Tintin's adventures, publishing four books and serialising two more adventures in a German-licensed newspaper.
During and after the German occupation Hergé was accused of being a collaborator because of the Nazi control of the paper (Le Soir), and he was briefly taken for interrogation after the war. He claimed that he was simply doing a job under the occupation, like a plumber or carpenter. His work of this period, unlike earlier and later work, is politically neutral and resulted in stories such as The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure; but the apocalyptic The Shooting Star reflects the foreboding Hergé felt during this uncertain political period.
A post-war paper shortage forced changes in the format of the books. Hergé had usually allowed the stories to develop to a length that suited the story, but with paper now in short supply, publishers Casterman asked Hergé to consider using smaller panel sizes and adopt a fixed length of 62 pages. Hergé took on more staff (the first ten books having been produced by himself and his wife), eventually building a studio system.
The adoption of colour allowed Hergé to expand the scope of the works. His use of colour was more advanced than that of American comics of the time, with better production values allowing a combination of the four printing shades and thus a cinematographic approach to lighting and shading. Hergé and his studio would allow images to fill half pages or more, simply to detail and accentuate the scene, using colour to emphasise important points. Hergé notes this fact, stating "I consider my stories as movies. No narration, no descriptions, emphasis is given to images".
Hergé's personal life also affected the series; Tintin in Tibet was heavily influenced by his nervous breakdown. His nightmares, which he reportedly described as being "all white", are reflected in the snowy landscapes. The plot has Tintin set off in search of Chang Chong-Chen, previously seen in The Blue Lotus, and the piece contains no villains and little moral judgment, with Hergé even refusing to condemn the Snowman of the Himalayas as "abominable".
Hergé's death on 3 March 1983 left the twenty-fourth and final adventure, Tintin and Alph-Art, unfinished. The plot saw Tintin embroiled in the world of modern art, and the story ended as he is about to be killed, encased in perspex and presented as a work of art, , although it is unknown whether he really dies at the end of the story.(wikipedia)
Tintin and SnowyTintin and Snowy

Captain HaddockTintin and Snowy

The Adventures of TintinThe Adventures of Tintin

Tiny Toons Adventures

Tiny Toons Image
Tiny Toon Adventures is an American animated television series created and produced as a collaborative effort between Steven Spielberg's company Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. Tiny Toon Adventures began production when Warner Bros. reinstated its animation studio in 1980 after a decade of dormancy. During the 1980s, the new studio only worked on revivals of the classic characters. Tiny Toons was the first of many animated series from the studio. Tiny Toon Adventures premiered in as a syndicated cartoon in 1990. In the third season the show was licensed exclusively to Fox Kids and later Kids WB. It ended production in 1995.
The series centralizes on a group of young cartoon characters who attend a school called Acme Looniversity to be the next generation of Looney Tunes characters. Most of the Tiny Toons characters were designed to resemble younger versions of Warner Bros.' most popular Looney Tunes animal characters by exhibiting similar traits and looks.[citation needed]
The two main characters are both anthropomorphic rabbits: Buster Bunny, a blue male, and Babs Bunny, a pink female. Other major characters in the cast are generally anthropomorphic animals as well. These include Plucky Duck, a green-colored male duck; Hamton J. Pig, a pink male pig; Fifi Le Fume, a purple and white female skunk; Shirley the Loon, a white female loon; Dizzy Devil, a purple Tasmanian devil; Furrball, a purple cat; Calamity Coyote, a blue coyote; and Gogo Dodo, a green dodo. Two human characters, Elmyra Duff and Montana Max, also have secondary roles in the series, and are students of Acme Looniversity as well.
Tiny Toons Poster
According to writer Paul Dini, Tiny Toons originated as an idea by Terry Semel, then the president of Warner Bros., who wanted to "[…] inject new life into the Warner Bros. Animation department," and at the same time create a series with junior versions of Looney Tunes characters. Semel proposed that the new series would be a show based on Looney Tunes where the characters were either young versions of the original Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies characters or new characters as the offsprings of the original characters. The idea of a series with the basis of younger versions of famous characters was common at the time; the era in which Tiny Toons was produced had such cartoons as Muppet Babies, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo and Flintstones Kids. Warner Bros. chose to do the same because Spielberg wanted to make a series similar to Looney Tunes, as series producer/show-runner Tom Ruegger explained: "Well, I think in Warner Bros. case, they had the opportunity to work with Steven Spielberg on a project (...) But he didn't want to just work on characters that Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Bob McKimson and Bob Clampett made famous and created. He wanted to be involved with the creation of some new characters". The result was a series similar to Looney Tunes without the use of the same characters.
In 1987, the Warner Bros. Animation studio approached Steven Spielberg to collaborate with Semel and Warner Bros. head of licensing Dan Romanelli on Semel's ideas. They eventually decided that the new characters would be similar to the Looney Tunes characters with no direct relation. However, Tiny Toons did not go into production then, nor was it even planned to be made for television; the series initially was to be a theatrical feature-length film.
Tiny Toons
In December 1988, Tiny Toons was changed from a film to a television series, with Jean MacCurdy overseeing production of the first 65 episodes. MacCurdy said that Tiny Toons was changed to a television series to "(...) reach a broader audience". For the series, MacCurdy hired Tom Ruegger, who previously wrote cartoons for Filmation and Hanna-Barbera, to be a producer. In January of 1989, Ruegger and writer Wayne Kaatz began developing the characters and the setting of "Acme Acres" with Spielberg.
In January 1989, Warner Bros. Animation was choosing its voice actors from over 1,200 auditions and putting together its 100-person production staff. In April 1989, full production of series episodes began with five overseas animation houses and a total budget of 25 million dollars.[1] The first 65 episodes of the series aired in syndication on 135 stations, beginning in September 1990. During that time, Tiny Toons was a huge success and got higher ratings than it's Disney Afternoon competitors in some affiliates. After a successful run in syndication, Fox got the rights for season 2 and 3. Production of the series halted in late-1992 to make way for Animaniacs to air the following year.(wikipedia)
Tiny Toons AdventuresTiny Toons Adventures

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Jim Henson's Muppet Babies American Animated Television

Jim Henson's Muppet Babies Poster
Jim Henson's Muppet Babies was an American animated television series that aired from September 15, 1984 to December 29, 1990 on CBS, Nickelodeon in first-run episodes, and then until 1992 in reruns. It was loosely based on a sequence in the Muppet film The Muppets Take Manhattan, where Miss Piggy imagined what it would be like if she and Kermit the Frog grew up together. The show portrayed childhood versions of the Muppets living together in a large nursery in the care of a human woman called Nanny (the whereabouts of their parents are never addressed). Nanny appears in almost every episode, but viewers never see her face, only the babies' view of her pink skirt as well as her distinctive green and white striped socks.
Muppet Babies was produced by The Jim Henson Company and Marvel Productions and then after Henson's children sold the Muppets the rights to the show were given to Disney-ABC Domestic Television. Although the episodes were 30 minutes (including commercials), it was typically shown in 60 and even 90 minute blocks during the peak of its popularity. Outside of the United States, the show was distributed by Walt Disney Television Animation.
Jim Henson's Muppet Babies Picture
The series starred Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Scooter, Skeeter, Rowlf the Dog, and Gonzo as the main muppets. Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker made regular appearances as did Camilla in the form of Gonzo's stuffed baby chick. In the final two seasons, Bean Bunny and Statler and Waldorf began making regular appearances.
Several Muppets made guest appearances including Janice, and Kermit’s nephew, Robin.
The Muppet Baby character Skeeter, Scooter's twin sister, only appeared in this series, and was never a real-life Muppet. This was done because the producers wanted another female character added to the cast. Despite this, Skeeter was always voiced by a male actor.
The Muppet Babies live in a large nursery watched over by Nanny, the only human character in the show. The babies have active imaginations, and often embark on adventures into imaginary worlds and perilous situations from which they are eventually returned to reality by some external event, such as Nanny coming to see what the noise was. They are constantly finding ways to entertain themselves in creative ways, and learning to work together to solve problems and survive their wild imagined adventures.
Jim Henson's Muppet Babies Photo
Each episode included a single storyline. Usually the babies were confronted with a child-like problem, such as fear of the dentist, or a question, such as 'where do muffins come from?' Other times, they were simply finding ways to amuse themselves with old toys or video tape equipment. The babies would then enter into their imaginations, transforming their toys into everything from time machines to pirate ships. Nearly every episode contained one song, and occasionally more than one. After the credits, the episodes would end with Animal shouting out his catchphrase 'Go bye-bye!' usually while Gonzo blasted off into the sky due to some accident he or Animal had caused.
Although the program was a cartoon, live-action film sequences were added in unusual moments. Whenever the babies opened a door, box or book, they were often confronted with anything from a speeding train to a space ship. Foreign landscapes in their imagination were usually photos or bits of stock footage which the babies would walk across, interacting indirectly with the film’s actors. Though much of the live-action came from stock footage and old black-and-white horror/monster films, more recent films such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones were also played and parodied.
The show was drawn from the babies’ point of view, meaning the babies were always looking up to view the world. Objects like couches and doors were far larger than normal and more momentous obstacles for the babies. As a result of the upward view, the faces of adult characters were never shown. Nanny was only ever seen from the shoulders down as were the adults in the babies’ fantasies. Exceptions were made for Uncle Statler and Uncle Waldorf and a few ‘Muppet style’ adults in the fantasy worlds.(wikipedia)
Jim Henson's Muppet Babies American Animated TelevisionJim Henson's Muppet Babies American Animated Television

Jim Henson's Muppet Babies PictureJim Henson's Muppet Babies Picture

Super Mario Bros Top Game

Super Mario Bros Image
Super Mario Bros. (スーパーマリオブラザーズ, Sūpā Mario Burazāzu?) is a platform game developed by Nintendo in late 1985 and published for the Nintendo Entertainment System, a sequel to the 1983 game, Mario Bros. In Super Mario Bros., the titular character Mario must save Princess Toadstool (eventually renamed to Princess Peach) of the Mushroom Kingdom from the evil King Koopa (later known as King Bowser), king of the Koopas. In two-player mode, Mario is aided in his quest by his younger brother, Luigi. To save Princess Toadstool, the Mario Bros. must conquer the eight worlds that comprise the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario (or Luigi) must make his way to the castle in each world and defeat one of King Koopa's evil minions. To reach each castle, Mario or Luigi must battle through three "sub-worlds" by either destroying or avoiding King Koopa's henchmen. If Mario or Luigi successfully fights his way through the castle and defeats the evil minion, a Mushroom Retainer (later called Toad), is freed. Inside the eighth castle, the Mario Bros. will have a final fight with King Koopa and free Princess Toadstool.
As of 2008, Super Mario Bros. was the best selling video game of all time (selling over 40 million copies to date). It was largely responsible for the initial success of the Nintendo Entertainment System, as well as ending the two year slump of video game sales in the United States after the video game crash of 1983. One of Shigeru Miyamoto's most influential early successes, it has inspired countless clones, two direct sequels and many spin-offs, as well as the Mario series itself. Mario went on to become Nintendo's most well-known mascot. The theme music, by Kōji Kondō, is recognized worldwide, even by those who have not played the game, and has been considered a representation for video game music in general.
The game was succeeded by a direct sequel in Japan, and by a slight revision of Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (that introduces other characters from the Mario series) elsewhere in the world. In both cases, the games are titled Super Mario Bros. 2, causing both games to be re-released in different countries under different titles. There also have been many "alternate" versions of the game, such as All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros., which featured personalities from a famous Japanese radio show, as well as an arcade game. The success of Super Mario Bros. has caused it to be ported to almost every one of Nintendo's major gaming consoles, as well as the NEC PC-8801.
Super Mario Bros Wallpaper
Mario (マリオ, Mario?) is a fictional character created by game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Serving as Nintendo's mascot, Mario has appeared in over 200 video games since his creation. Though originally only appearing in platform games, starting with Donkey Kong, currently Mario appears in many genres of games, such as racing, puzzle, role-playing, fighting, and sports games, and others.
Mario is depicted as a short, pudgy, Italian-American plumber who lives in the Mushroom Kingdom, having originated from New York. He is best known for repeatedly stopping the plans of Bowser to kidnap Princess Peach and subjugate the Mushroom Kingdom. He also has other enemies and rivals, including Donkey Kong and Wario.
As Nintendo's mascot, Mario is one of the most famous characters in video game history, and his image has become synonymous with video games. Mario games, as a whole, have sold more than 201 million units, making the Mario series the best-selling video game series of all time.[3] Outside the platform games he is traditionally associated with, Mario has appeared in video games in other genres, including the Mario Kart racing series, Nintendo's arcade sports games (such as the Mario Tennis and Mario Golf series), and Nintendo's series of Mario role-playing games. Outside the original games, television shows, film, and comics, he spawned a line of licensed merchandise.(wikipedia)
Super Mario Bros and Luigi PictureSuper Mario Bros and Luigi Picture

Super Mario Bros Top GameSuper Mario Bros Top Game

Super Mario Bros Top GameSuper Mario Bros Top Game

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