Friday, November 20, 2009

Children In Need

Every now and again, people get together to do something good. In the UK, they have this event night thing each and every year called Children In Need. Mostly, it amounts to pretty poor television but what people do during that pretty poor television is a very good thing - raise money for children who really need it.

It's on tonight and, this year, Peter Kay launched a charity single that brings together most of the UK animation industry. Or at least a hell of a lot of it. And it brings together characters from over 30 years of UK children's television.

Old classics like the amazing Paddington Bear, the Wombles, Bagpuss, going back as far as Muffin the Mule. More recent characters like Postman Pat, Pingu, Bob the Builder and even more recent characters like Fifi and the Flowertots, Peppa Pig and many, many more. Apparently, it has something like 120 characters in there.

It was put together by Chapman Entertainment and directed wonderfully by a man named Tim Harper and it's a lot of fun.

Apparently, the DVD single goes on sale on Monday in the UK. If you're reading this and you're in the UK, please go and buy it. It's for a bloody good cause and deserves to do well.

If you're not in the UK, well, go dig it up on YouTube and have a look but prod anyone in the UK to buy it.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I'm losing touch with the Bitter Animator part of who I am.

I actually think that's probably a good thing. But not so good when you've got a blog based around one particular part of your persona. Hence the lack of updates in a whole week - my longest post drought I think.

Part of it is being busy of course. My life is full. But I do think more of it is just not being the Bitter Animator for a while. That part of me just doesn't need expression right now. He has gone quiet. Is that weird?

Right now, I almost feel like starting a blog on pretty things. Like flowers and colours I like.

That is weird.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Winter. Yet again.

So... sleepy... yet... so... busy...

I want to crawl into a cave and hide. The urge is so strong. I'm having a real hard time resisting it. It's something deep in my gut.

Which backs up my theory that we should be hibernating. Or at least I should be hibernating.

Everyone is welcome to join me in my cave, although it's quiet time so there's no talking and certainly no getting up and doing stuff. There's nothing as upsetting to someone trying to relax than seeing busy people around them. It's borderline offensive. But please do bring food and some warm blankets. And a hot water bottle as long as the kettle you use to fill them with is quiet. Paper plates are recommended as dishwashers are noisy and washing them yourself breaks the rule about doing stuff.

Thanks to Andy for recommending Flipnote for the DSi. I'm looking forward to trying it. Check out what Andy has done with it here and have a look at these from Aardman. Fantastic stuff. When I get a free moment (sometime between retirement and death), I'm going to get it and see what I can do with it.

By the way, Andy has an excellent animation blog here. If you're into animation, especially just getting started, you'll likely find something useful there.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Catching up with people

Thing about this panel is that, usually, it's not like this at all. Oh yeah, somewhere in there, I'm comparing myself to others and managing to come out of it worse off but the truth is that most of the people I meet who I knew in school aren't settled and don't have that good life.

Some do. But most seem like they are still floating around like they're in their early twenties. Changing careers or working ridiculously hard at some worthless one, having been seeing someone for a year or so, look how drunk I got at some party, and that sort of thing. As a generation, we just don't seem to be able to settle. By my age, we're meant to be completely settled. We're the older generation. Sad but true. At least for me. And yet, we're really lagging behind.

Does it matter?

Yeah, I think it does. Because you only have to look at older people to know that old age creeps up very, very slow and then strikes fast. And one day we're going to wake up and we'll be old. We'll have trouble getting out of bed. It will take several hours to walk to the shops. We'll bitch about just about everything we see on television. We'll tell the young just how dangerous the world is and maybe even collect newspaper cuttings of horrendous stories to prove our point.

And we'll realise we're old.

And we skipped a whole stage of life. Probably a very good stage.

I wonder why that is? Why it's like that now?

I think I blame the corporate world, advertising and chick flicks. Yeah, that's a long topic in itself but I think we're focusing too much on this career thing for stuff we're constantly told we should have. A life we all deserve that is little more than a materialistic fantasy. And, on the relationship side (and this is where chick flicks come in), we're taught to expect some stupidly romantic happy ending that only occurs because you can end a movie at a very fixed point. Cut six months later from the end of any chick flick and you'll find something a little more like real life. Our stories don't end at that moment of connection. And it's rarely perfect.

But, whatever the reason, this generation, my generation, is very slow to grow up. And, even coming from someone who lives in a world of cartoons, games, toys and complete fantasy, I don't actually think that's a good thing.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Defining moments

Every moment I live dictates how the rest of my life will be. Every single choice or, more often, choice I don't make defines my future.

In a way, every moment of every day, I am fighting for my life.

But I live unaware of that fight. No, that's not true. I'm aware of it but I try to ignore it. Avoid it. Because, really, I just want an easy life. A simple life. But doing that, I'm losing the battle. Throwing the whole war.

It's November already.

All around, I'm seeing things listed for 2010. Release dates and so on. And every time I see 2010 written down, even here, I think it's a date from some fictional future. It's science fiction. The Space Year 2010. It's not a real year in my lifetime. It's the year some sci-fi story is set in. Where some guy has to escape some oppressive Big Brother society, running from robots with laser guns.

But, aside from the robots with laser guns, that's where we're at. That's now. Or almost.

And I can do things right now to change my future. A real future, not some robots with laser guns future (though that should be the real future). But keeping up that realisation, actually acting on it... well that's a lot of pressure and a hell of a lot of hard work.

And I'm so tired.