Monday, December 31, 2007

The History of Animation 1 - J. Stuart Blackton: Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906)

Animation has been around for a long time, but we're concentrating on animating characters for entertainment. That started with a man named Blackton.


"J. Stuart Blackton was possibly the first American filmmaker to use the techniques of stop-motion and hand-drawn animation. Introduced to filmmaking by Edison, he pioneered these concepts at the turn of the 20th century, with his first copyrighted work dated 1900. Several of his films, among them The Enchanted Drawing (1900) and Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906) were film versions of Blackton's "lightning artist" routine, and utilized modified versions of Méliès' early stop-motion techniques to make a series of blackboard drawings appear to move and reshape themselves. Humorous Phases of Funny Faces' is regularly cited as the first true animated film, and Blackton is considered the first true animator."

J. Stuart Blackton:


"James Stuart Blackton (January 5, 1875 - August 13, 1941), usually known as J. Stuart Blackton, was an American film producer of the Silent Era, the founder of Vitagraph Studios and among the first filmmakers to use the techniques of stop-motion and drawn animation. He is considered the father of American animation."

"Blackton ended up as a reporter/artist for the New York Evening World newspaper. In 1896, Thomas Edison publicly demonstrated the Vitascope, one of the first film projectors, and Blackton was sent to interview Edison and provide drawings of how his films were made. Eager for good publicity, Edison took Blackton out to his "Black Maria", the special cabin he used to do his filming, and created a film on the spot of Blackton doing a lightning portrait of Edison. The inventor did such a good job selling the art of movie-making that he talked Blackton and partner Smith into buying a print of the new film as well as nine other films, plus a Vitascope to show them to paying audiences (Reader was brought back in to run the projector).

"In a series of films, Blackton developed the concepts of animation. The first of these films is The Enchanted Drawing, with a copyright date of 1900 but probably made at least a year earlier. In this film, Blackton the lightning artist sketches a face, cigars, and a bottle of wine. He appears to remove the last drawings as real objects, and the face appears to react. The "animation" here is of the stop-action variety (the camera is stopped, a single change is made..."

The Enchanted Drawing:


"Humorous Phases of Funny Faces is a silent cartoon by J. Stuart Blackton in the year 1906. It features a cartoonist drawing faces on a chalkboard, and the faces coming to life. It is generally regarded as the first animated film. It features movements as where a dog jumps through a hoop. The film moves at 20 frames per second."

Humorous Phases of Funny Faces:


"1906, Blackton directed Humorous Phases of Funny Faces, which uses stop-motion as well as stick puppetry to produce a series of effects. After Blackton's hand draws two faces on a chalkboard, they appear to come to life and engage in antics. Most of the film uses life action effects instead of animation, but nevertheless this film had a huge effect in stimulating the creation of animated films in America."


Our first blog on the history of animation is also our first and last blog on Stuart Blackton. He was the father of animation, but he abandoned it as soon as he discovered it.

Stuart Blackton did a few more animations and then concentrated on live film. Had he caught the vision that other people did who were inspired by his work, then he could have started the animation industry rolling in about 15 years before others did. He could have been as successful as Walt Disney was, 20 years before Walt got famous.



History of Animation 3 - Winsor McCay: How a Mosquito Operates (1912)

History of Animation 2 - Winsor McCay: Little Nemo (1911)

History of Animation 1 - J. Stuart Blackton: Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906)

Lokotv: THOR

Very well made, but I think I would have liked it better without the silly hammer who was trying to be funny. The humor didn't seem to add anything, so I would have made it more serious.

"Odinn, the King of the Gods, rules the world of eternal summer with Loki and Freyja by his side. His youngest son Thor has not yet become a God but eagerly tries to prove his worth to his father."


Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Four Color Problem - Game

Color the map alternately with the other player. The player that covers larger area wins the game.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Grant's 3D Head

"my head in 3d maya 06. just starting blend shape"

Grant did a great job on this head.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

3D Animation Tip 2: The Secret of the eye

The trick is to get it the eye to stretch into your proper shape and size.

There's a trick we do in 3D Studio Max where we make two more spheres on top of the eyeball sphere. And then we also make the pupil another sphere on top of the eyeball. There's a feature in Max where you can choose what percentage of the sphere you want, in order to cut it in half.

By creating four versions of the same sphere, we can scale the pupil sphere down to a smaller size that rests on the eye. We then make upper eyelid and lower eyelids with the other two spheres. These two are basically half spheres. We can then rotate them around the pupil to do blinking and emotion with the eyelids.

We then do a stretch scale on all four spheres together. They keep their center point even though they are being scaled. The result is a pupil that you can rotate perfectly around the eye and eyelids that also rotate around the stretched eye, and they keep the proper deformations as they move around. That's what we do in our 3D films here...

Fruits VS Bugs 1:

Fruits VS Bugs 2:

Now check this Bullet animation:

What they do is they actually painted on the uppereyelid on the eyeball. Then they blink and pull emotion with simple squash, stretch, scale, and rotation of the eyeball on the character. So they get the eyelid to express emotion just by rotating the eye, rather than rotating the eyelid separate from the eyeball.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

School Wars - Game

Real-time strategy game of school gang.

Click left to catch or move. Click right to cancel.

Tips: Get their corners to stop them from spawing more gang members. Kill all their members to stop them completely. You may have to divide up your forces for separate missions.



Coming in January...
- Disney blog every day!
- History of Animation every Monday!


Friday, December 21, 2007

How Seven Should Have Ended

"What was in the box? Do we really know?"

The HISHE dudes are great.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I am Legend - Animated Movie Review

Here's an animated movie review of I am Legend, from the dudes over at Spill:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Carried Away

Here's a very impressive college project that a student did with several of his friends.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pixar's BuyNLarge promotion for Wall-E

To promote their 2008 movie, Wall-E, Disney and Pixar made this fake commercial for BuyNLarge:

You'll also notice that they made this website:

It mostly takes itself very serious, unless you venture into their World News and Entertainment sections of the massive site:

They built the whole thing in Flash, which is proof that they don't plan on adding any content. Because it is in Flash, there is no direct linking to the web page. However, that didn't stop us:

A 4D film?

But how do people feel about the experience? When will it be finished?

Pixar is apparently making fun of how long their films take... or at least their PR company is. =^)

See if you can find where they refer to their news correspondent, Mr. Chuckles. =^)

I wish somebody would make a musical about our annual report. =^(


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Racism in Animation 1 - Disney Bans Fantasia's Sunflower the servant Centaur

A lot of Disney's more racist work wasn't intended to defame black people (or the specific culture). It was intended to reflect the current society. He often didn't intentionally create racist characters; he was just trying to show different cultures and more of the world, and to make it funny. However, in the process he showed a biased perspective and made light of some cultures. As you can see, he (and later other Disney execs) would realize that they've gone too far, and so they remove elements (or entire pictures) in order to save face. However, Disney was not the only one to include racism in cartoons (more on that later).

Fantasia was released in 1940, the third theatrical full-length animation, as shown in Disney's canon of animated films:

The character in question here, is Sunflower, a black centuar who served the white centaurs.



"The 1940 film Fantasia was astounding for it's time and still amazing today. Classical compositions performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Leopold Stokowski, are the soundtrack for dazzling Disney animation. It's been re-released a few times and was required viewing for every pothead I knew in high school.
The little secret of Fantasia is in the segment set to Beethoven's "Pastoral Symphony". Originally, there was a little female centaur named Sunflower who was pretty much a handmaiden/personal assistant for the tall, beautiful white, blonde, dare I say 'Aryan' centaurs. Sunflower is drawn along racist lines to be a "pickininny Negro" - big lips, nappy hair and all.

"Well, we can't have that. She was removed from the 1960 release of Fantasia, and edited out of the 1990 50th Anniversary edition, and laser disks. The 50th anniversary DVD is so badly edited that after removal of the third appearance of dear Sunflower, the sound track isn't matching up with the film any more. In fact it's really out of sync.

"What's fun though is that Disney says they never had such a character! We're all delusional! Fortunately, people who are more evil than Disney can find a copy of it. Was it was "acceptable" back then to portray characters that had such blatant racist features? I vaguely recall a few Bugs Bunny cartoons being withheld from release on some recent Big Deal Anniversary because it was decided they were racist or unacceptable, going by today's standards. Still, it's strange to deny it existed when..well, there it is. If you pay close attention to Disney's animation now, they're still full of racism and sexism. I guess the acceptable, trendy kind."


The portions with Sunflower removed in the current versions of Fantasia feature out-of-sync edits on the music as well ugly zooms in on the white centaurs.

Video description:
"This is the second of 3 scenes originally produced for the 1940 release of Disney's Fantasia. It wasn't until a 1960's theatrical re-release of the film which such scenes were censored from the film due to the characters being considered ethnically offensive during the civil rights movement."

And, um, here's a cool clip from the movie (this makes me see how it was logical for Disney to do Hercules):

More Racism in Animation...

Racism in Animation 3 - Pluto's Dream House (1940):

Racism in Animation 2 - Santa's Surprise (1940):

Racism in Animation 1 - Fantasia (1940):


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bathroom Tips 1: Secrets of the Stall

Want to know how to know whether or not someone is using a stall before you try (and hopefully fail, if someone is in there) to open the door?

Well, there is the obvious: look to see if the door is open a little.

Then you could always bend down and check, but that could be embarassing, especially if you make eye contact.

Often times you can use the power of reflection to glancing at the sink mirror to see underneath the stall in order to know if someone is there or not. This only works in some bathrooms, but it's a handy trick.

That's it. You can go back to the bathroom now.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Fight for Kisses

This is a good animation that is intended to be a commercial, but it's still very funny.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Black Cat - Game

The black cat must not go out. Click the green circles around the cat to entrap it. You'll want to think a few moves ahead of the cat.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Super Mario Reloaded

Mario fights some Luigis. Lots of them.


Friday, December 07, 2007

TheAnimationEmpire - The Watchmen

We did the special effects in this video of The Watchmen. It is 3D animation compositing. We created a cell-shaded look and feel to the effects.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Question: What font did you use to make your Mystery Guitar Man MGM logo?

Question for the Emperor: What font did you use to make your Mystery Guitar Man MGM logo?

We had to open Photoshop to answer that!

MGMonTheNet - Bottom

Times New Roman (bevel, emboss, and gradient to get it to fade out) - The bevel and emboss give it the 3D look. We had to scale the lettering and then give it a horizontal and vertical scale of 120% to get it the precise size and plumpness. Then the gradient fades the color from the gold down to the black so that it fades into the background.

Trade Joe - Sides

Cambria (85% horizontal scale) - This squished the sides in of the lettering to make it appear taller and more elegant.

You Suck Go Die - In the ribbon

Times New Roman (stroke to outline the edges) - You can't see the outline around the edges of the letter, because we made it a similar color as the lettering, but darker. This helps define the lettering a lot, even though you can't see it.

Mystery Guitar Man - The top MGM Logo

Hahaha!!! We couldn't find one! We even downloaded an MGM font and it wasn't close enough! So... We dissected the existing letters and put them together again. We even created new letters using parts of the actual letters! Then we had to recolor them to make them match! Isn't animation wonderful???

That's all. Ask us questions by commenting on the blogs or videos! You can also find my email if you look hard enough. =^)

- The Emperor


PS: This question comes from Tommy over at filburt50. He posted the question as a comment to our video on YouTube.

Check out Tommy's channel. It's a museum for studio logos (so this question makes a lot of sense that it is coming from him):

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

YouTube Marketing Tips 9: Ask people to subscribe in the descriptions of your videos

Tammpon asks people to subscribe in his descriptions of his videos (as well as in the videos; see Tip #8). He has over 5,000 subscribers.

Check out his description in his hit video, Say No to Porno:

We also do this in all our videos. Fruits VS Bugs 1:

We also link to the subscription page in our descriptions (and on our website). It's not a home run, but it certainly helps.

Just switch out your user name with ours to do this.


Who Would Win 6: Walt Disney or Bill Gates?

Who do you think would win? The man with the animatronic army or the man with cybernetic implants and a giant robot?

TheAnimationEmpire brings you episode 6 of Who Would Win: Walt Disney or Bill Gates.

Just vote in the comments or send a video response to vote!

We also made the 3D logo! More animations are coming!

"He's probably already super powered with like some computers in his body."

Honors for This Video:

#2 - Most Linked (Today) - Comedy
#90 - Most Discussed (Today) - Comedy

References: Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Microsoft, Windows, Transformers, Optimus Prime, Star Trek, Borg, Nerds (the Willy Wonka candy), Mickey Mouse, Disneyland, and Army of Darkness.

Monday, December 03, 2007

3D Animation Tip 1: How to learn Blender

A lot of people ask us what 3D software to use. Well...

There are three good software programs that do everything. Here they are in order of our preference, because this is the order of how easy they are to learn and use: 3DS Max, Maya, and Blender.

Blender is free; the other two are around $3K each.

So go to to check it out. Our recommendation is to not try to do anything or you'll go nuts and get frustrated. Instead, just find the easiest tutorials and do those for a few weeks (redoing the tutorials on your own). Don't try to do anything outside of the tutorials until you're comfortable, having already done that exact thing in a tutorial.

So if the tutorial tells you to model a cup, then you do it once (or even twice). Then make your own cup from scratch that's a slightly different design. Then find one that tells you how to texture a cup. Then texture your own cup with a slightly different design.

Go back and forth from doing a tutorial to doing the same thing on your own. It is slow; but this way you'll learn the software without getting frustrated and giving up. Go into this expecting this process to take several months, maybe even a year.

Let us know if you are able to do it. We can also have you intern for us and learn that way (internships are unpaid and you work from home).



Who Would Win 5: Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan?

The rail-splitter versus the man with lasers!!! Who Would Win in this new video from TheAnimationEmpire?

To vote, leave a comment or response video with your answer of who you think would win! We'll keep tally.

"They'll join forces and take on communism together."

Check out our other Who Would Win battles by clicking our name! We've got more 3D animations coming!

References: Star Wars, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Communism, Civil War, Reaganomics, lasers, gipper, James Bond, and Oddjob.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

YouTube Marketing Tips 8: Ask People to Subscribe, Favorite, and Watch your videos in your videos

Sometimes, asking people will lead to results, especially if they liked the video they just watched.

So ask people to Subscribe, Favorite, and Watch your videos in your videos.

Take a lesson from JamesAtWar, who boasts over 5,000 subscribers. Check out his Rainbow Remix video:

Tammpon asks you to subscribe near the beginning of his hit music video. He has over 5,000 subscribers as well. Check out his Say No to Porno music video:

And again in his Star Wars song:

So some good comes when you just ask people to subscribe.


Who Would Win 4: Ash from Army of Darkness or Ash from Pokemon?

Would a boy with Pokeballs be able to defeat a man with a chainsaw and a shotgun? What if those Pokeballs had any Pokemon in them?

TheAnimationEmpire presents Who Would Win 4: Ash from Army of Darkness or Ash from Pokemon? Directed by MattyO. Written by Ed 'word' Price. Edited by MattyO and Ed.

Vote by leaving a video or text comment. We'll keep tally!

Constructive comments only, please!

The voice "Run home and cry to momma" that we feature at the end of these videos is Ash from Army of Darkness. Our nostalgic silliness comes full circle!!!

Army of Darkness was directed by Sam Raimi, who did Hercules, Xena, Darkman, and he directed the Spider-man movies.

References: Pokemon, Blastoise, Charizard, Pikachu, and Mewtwo.

"He would wow him with science."

Thanks for watching! We did the 3D logo in this video.

Do you like Andy Samberg from Saturday Night Live? We blog about him about every day:

Do you dig Nintendo? Check out NintenDolts, the Nintendo Video Archive:

Visit The Animation Empire for all of our videos and websites:

Saturday, December 01, 2007

YouTube Marketing Tips 7: Title + Image = Gold

You'll never realize how important your title and image can be.

Let's look at a small example.

Cabbage Man ( posted two videos.

The more recent video (2 days ago), Stupid Short 101, has at least 80 views.

Stupid Short 101:

Another video from 1 week ago, Shocky Shocky Man, had at least 30 views.

The second video took a lot more work. It seems like it could be interesting, maybe a story about that character (which is exactly what it is).

However, Stupid Short sounds fun, it is fun, and it shows what looks like a guy puking.

This is an example of how the name/title and the image sell the video.


TheAnimationEmpire - Email Commercial

Just when you thought we were as stupid as you can get, we made a commercial for email.

Email Commercial was written by Ed 'word' Price and MattyO. Directed and edited by MattyO. Starring Ed and MattyO (voice only).

Top honors:

#67 - Most Linked (Today) - Comedy

References include Transformers, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, YouTube, and Strong Bad.

It used to be spelled "e-mail," but now it's spelled "email." No dash required!!!

Computer (n.): A collage of plastic and silicone. A computer is also a robot.

Friday, November 30, 2007

YouTube Marketing Tips 6: Controversy Is Viral

We're going to talk about the video again that we covered in YouTube Marketing Tips 5... a video called "Rainbow" that has 300,000 views:

Do you know why it has so many views? Does it seem like it doesn't make sense why this video has 300,000 views?

Here's my thought:

I think it makes sense in another way other than the fact that he posted three of them. Go to his channel ( and you see that people have been upset by his icon.

Next, I'd imagine that the gay community saw it as a statement and started spreading it, possibly just as a moment to reflect their pride.

So you now have people who hate it and people who love it watching. It became a controversy.

I know that this works, because he did the same thing one month later with Disgusting Teeth (75,000 views):

You'll notice that this video just disappears. It's 0 seconds long. Yet people still click on it based only on the image. It's controversial. You know it's probably just a still (especially if it's only 0 seconds long), but you still click it. You'll also notice that it's rated 1 star. People didn't like the fact that it's just a short image.

TheAnimationEmpire - Who Would Win 3: Superman or Himself?

This was actually a main story line in Superman 3. Superman fought himself. Clark Kent beat Superman.

Welcome to episode 3 of Who Would Win! Who Would Win 3: Superman or Himself? Leave a text comment or video comment to vote!

Check out the 3D logo animation we made for the introduction of this video. We are sticking with the intro from the second episode. We think it's cooler. Please subscribe! Thanks!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I found myself wishing Enchanted was an animated film

So who has seen Enchanted?

Who here wishes that it was an animated film?


When I was first watching it, I really wished it would stay as an animation. But, alas, it became a live-action movie, as advertised.

It was basically Snow White, with the wicked witch queen, the good prince, the queen turning into an old hag, the apple, Giselle communicating with the animals, and even the fact that she had to be awakened by true love’s kiss. However, they mixed in having the animals talk (Cinderella), the slipper (Cinderella), the stupid evil sidekick (Beauty and the Beast and others), the queen turning into a dragon (Sleeping Beauty), and more.

So maybe it would have been too close to Snow White for an animated film, but still. It made me want Disney to do another one. In the meantime, check out Happily Never After on DVD if you haven’t yet (more on that later):


So, Enchanted is actually a delight, so you probably won’t wish it was an animated film once it’s over. It’s a simple/lame idea, but they sell it very well with some good wit.

It’s doing fairly well at $52 million right now (and the #1 spot):


They got the perfect director for it, Kevin Lima:

Kevin started off animating/designing on Sporty Goofy (86), Brave Little Toaster (87), Oliver & Company (88), Little Mermaid (89), Rover Dangerfield (Why? 91), and Beauty & the Beast (91). He also wrote for Oliver & Company and Aladdin (92).

He then went into directing Goofy Movie (95) and the magnificent Tarzan (99). That led him to live action directing with 102 Dalmatians (2000).

So he was the perfect choice for a Disney movie that is both animated and live action.


Enchanted stars Amy Adams. You may have seen her in Talladega Nights, as the attractive baby sitter with glasses (the eventual love interest). You may have also seen her as the briefly seen fiancée in Catch Me if You Can. She’s been in lots of other stuff, but this is her first starring role, so you’ll probably say, “I’ve seen her, but I don’t know where.” If you’re still wondering, take a look at her credits to find out where else you may have seen her:


Enchanted was produced by Barry Sonnenfeld, who directed some of the greatest movies of all time: Addams Family 1 & 2, For Love or Money, Get Shorty, Men & Black 1 & 2, Wild Wild West, and RV. He’s produced some of those movies as well as Lemony Snicket (and others).

Before directing/producing, he was a legendary cinematographer:


YouTube Marketing Tips 5: Two is Better Than One

There is a video called "Rainbow" that has over 320,000 views:

Do you know why? Does it seem like it doesn't make sense why this video has 300,000 views?

Here's my thought:

I think it makes sense. Go to his channel ( and you see that people have been upset by his icon. He posted three of the rainbow videos, so that they all show each other more (they all show up when you watch one or when you watch a similar video).

So if you watch any related video, you see three videos of the rainbow. This makes people curious, so they watch the one with the most views.

Other people caught on, and one video parodied this to the tune of 36,000 views:

We achieved a similar effect on Extra Fruity, where we have two of the exact same video; one has 110K views, and one has 50K views.

Extra Fruity (original with 50K views):

Extra Fruity Improved (newer version with 110K views):

We didn't intentionally post more than one version of a video. However, we benefited from it, just like ScareyKatt did. We realized our first post was too low quality, but it already had 3K views, so we left it up. Likewise, don't be afraid to post multiple versions that are slightly different in case you have a different ending you want to try out or something else. Let your videos compete against each other, and see what happens.

However, we don't recommend posting five versions of the exact same video. At least, don't do it more than once. It could get annoying very fast and alienate your viewers if you go nuts with it.


EleFat - final project E4 EleFat

This includes a cute animation of EleFat getting frightened by the box and a really cool composited animation near the end. Grant has done it again.


TheAnimationEmpire - Who Would Win 2: Superman or Batman?

What if the baterang was made of Kriptonite?

So, Who Would Win in a fight? Superman or Batman? Add your text comments or video comments to vote!!!

We made the 3D logo a little more rigid and steel-like (and didn't use the goofy song).

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bullets - E4 Stings Entry

Pastrami hits another one out of the park. I love the eyes!


Bird and Egg - E4 sting entry 2007

Pastrami knocks this one out of the park. Great animation!

YouTube Marketing Tips 4: Ask People to Watch Your Videos

We started off by posting comments in the most popular videos asking people to click our name and watch a specific video. You can also do that on channel comments.

If you ask people to watch your videos on channel and video comments, you should make sure you are also writing a comment that is specific to the video/channel you're on in addition to your advertisement. Otherwise you'll get a lot of negative feedback (you'll still get some though).

It makes more sense if you're advertising a video that is similar to the one you're on. Plus, make sure you are telling them what video to watch, probably the one featured on your channel. People might be willing to watch one video if they like the name of it and your short description. But they won't just go to your channel without a good reason.


TheAnimationEmpire - Who Would Win 1: Punky Brewster or Pippi Longstocking?

Would Punky beat down Pippi? Would Pippi's powers prevail?

Who Would Win... in a fight, Punky Brewster or Pippi Longstocking? It all comes back to Punky and Pippi.

Give us your answer of who you think would win in a comment or video response, and we'll keep track in the comments. (Just click the video to see the comments.)

Please subscribe. Thanks!

We created the 3D logo and music introduction. Yes, Justin's wearing a Thundercats shirt.

Series created by MattyO and Ed 'word' Price. Episode directed by MattyO, written by Ed, and starring Ed, MattyO (voice only), and a bunch of people who we're not sure whether or not they want their names credited (to them: if you do, let us know).

Want to watch another 3D animation (cuz you just watched our 3D logo animation)?

Join the 3D animated world of Fruits and Bugs...
Fruits VS Bugs - Episode 1:
Fruits VS Bugs - Episode 2:
Fruits VS Bugs - Agents Always Win:
Extra Fruity:

Watch the 3D animation process in Making of the MGM Logo:

There's a great new product coming out called Email:

Who Would Win in a fight?
Punky Brewster or Pippi Longstocking:
Superman or Batman:
Superman or Himself:
Ash - Pokemon or Ash - Army of Darkness:
Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan:
Walt Disney or Bill Gates:

Check out our silly music video, Bucket Full of Cheese:

Our first actual VLog sketch, Following Directions...
Part 1:
Part 2:

Here's our Short Short that is nostalgic and insulting, Punky Brewster VS Pippi Longstocking:

Do phones annoy you? Get... Mad At Phone:

And our random 27-second short, Taking Care of Business:

Do you like Andy Samberg from Saturday Night Live? We blog about him about every day:

Do you dig Nintendo? Check out NintenDolts, the Nintendo Video Archive:

Visit The Animation Empire for all of our videos and websites:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Monster - Boujou test

Another video from Grant. This one shows off Boujou (Costs $10K), which is motion tracking software that matches the 3D camera to the video camera so that you can composite 3D into an actual environment.

It's cheaper to key frame your camera. =^)


Beowulf Update

Anybody seen Beowulf?

I haven’t been able to catch it yet. What did you think of it?

It had a budget of $150 million.

It’s probably going to hit a little lower than my assessment (around $120 million, domestic), currently at $56 million, domestic.

It’s also doing okay internationally, so I think it will end at around $160 million world-wide, making a small profit over the cost. Then they’ll make a decent profit back in DVD sales.

I assessed the movie as receiving a low box office, because I’m a firm believer that adults aren’t interested in viewing animated films that are marketed for them and not their children.


Monday, November 26, 2007

YouTube Marketing Tips 3: Boring Videos don't do well

You may have a video that is very well done with a lot of great effects. It might have a wonderful story. But, guess what. If it's boring, nobody will watch it.

Do you have a walking scene? Does your character walk along a street? Yeah, that's boring. Take that out. Is there a lot of dialogue that doesn't involve jokes or shouting. Yeah, that's boring.

Cabbageman614 just posted a video of him and his friends hitting each other with sticks, and it did better than many of his other videos with better stories and effects. Why? Because it was slightly amusing. Stuff was happening, and fun music was used. You're probably going to keep watching it, and you'll probably smile. And, guess what? Very little effort went into the video.

We'll be the first to admit that we've filmed our fair share of boring videos. =^)

A good way to think about it is to see if you can keep someone's attention for every two-second section of your video. This isn't a movie. Your audience isn't captive. You've got to keep reminding them to keep watching every two seconds or so.


Nuts eps 0001 of 1000

This one is truly nuts.

TheAnimationEmpire - Making of the MysteryGuitarMan 3D Logo

Mystery Guitar Man goodness.

174 images. 72 video effects. 53 titles. 6 videos. 5.5 minutes. 1 Earth.

MysteryGuitarMan has used this 3D logo animation in...
Menage a MGM
Joe Castillo - Movie Extra Extraordinaire

By the way, this is the 3D animated MGM logo made for MysteryGuitarMan. This documentary was created before "The Puzzle," so it doesn't talk about how he went back to wearing hats.

Special thanks fo Gnamp for modeling and animating this logo for us as part of his internship:

The logo animation can also be viewed by itself on his channel.

Top Honors:

#50 - Most Discussed (Today) - Film & Animation
#24 - Most Discussed (Today) - Film & Animation - English

Please subscribe to TheAnimationEmpire! Thanks for watching!

Some of the referenced videos... (go to the video page for the links)

Organized Community Hate
A Message from the Creators
The Puzzle
A Message to ED
MGM's Seal of Approval
The Fake MGM (LisaNova)
A Cheeky Joke (Golem image from Gnamp)
Me Breathing Fire (also Gnamp)
I Want You So Hard (image of Jack Black)

Some of the famouser YouTubers referenced: MysteryGuitarMan, TheHill88, VisibleMode, and xgobobeanx (in comment form).

Pop-culture references incude: Fruits VS Bugs, Metro-Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), Money Tree, Bill Cosby, Monica Lewinski, Steve Irwin (Crocodile Hunter), Lord of the Rings, Punky Brewster,, Gundam, Kirby, Crash Bandicoot, The Legend of Zelda, Dilbert, Santa Claus, Jack Nicholson, WWE (Kurt Angle), George Bush, Hilary Clinton, Superman, Spider-man, Jack Black, and Jurassic Park.

The logo model and animation were done in Anim8or, but you should go to if you're looking for free 3D software. The logo background was done in Photoshop. This video was mostly edited with Movie Maker, with a bit of Adobe Premiere. The 3D character at the beginning was modeled and animated in 3D Studio Max. We probably use Max the most, followed by Maya, and then Blender. All music in this video is royalty free.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

TheAnimationEmpire - Fruits VS Bugs: Episode 2 of 2

The journey continues as Agent Carl Coconut occupies the Nelson family dog, Agent Gary Grape battles the Trooper Bugs, and Agents Peter Pear, Angie Orange, and Brett Banana head upstairs to take on the Influence Bug. Also features appearances from Agents Adam Apple, Paul Pineapple, and Penny Peach.

Copyright 2007 The Animation Empire, Inc.

The "Spoffo" and "Swukt" sound effects were inside jokes. One of our animators, Chris Chin, draws comics. He uses these made-up sound effects in his comics.

Go to to purchase DVDs and Downloads of Fruits VS Bugs.

Top Honors:

#29 - Top Rated (Today) - Film & Animation - All
#24 - Top Rated (Today) - Film & Animation -- English
#24 - Most Discussed (Today) - Film & Animation - All
#24 - Most Discussed (Today) - Film & Animation -- English

Our channel got featured on the front page of YouTube the day we posted this video.

Here is our YouTube Episode 2 of the 3D animation, Fruits VS Bugs. It features references to Evil Knievel, Rocky, Tomb Raider, Metroid, Kung Pow, The Matrix, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood), Batman, Super Mario Brothers (Bros.), Star Wars Episode 1, and Metal Gear.

We used 3D Studio Max, Photoshop, Movie Maker, and Premiere. Check out for free 3D animation software.

Our work has been compared to Shrek, Disney, and Pixar films (Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Cars, etc.). We can tell the difference because we don't have their 80 million dollar budget. =^)

No Place to Park

It's hard finding a place to park when you have a large vehicle.

Wonderful Underworld - Aniboom Eyedoll

"Felix Prestigiacomo sings about the joys of being mafioso in this parody of Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)"


Saturday, November 24, 2007

YouTube Marketing Tips Part 2 - Video Responses

Most of the popular YouTubers have gotten popular by responding to really popular videos with their own amusing antics.

Also, you can regularly go through the featured, most viewed of the day, and highly viewed videos to see which ones automatically accept video responses, and then attach any one of your videos as a response there.


TheAnimationEmpire - Following Directions: Part 2/2

The contest is over. Thanks for voting, everyone!

The Following Directions videos are the proud winners of the Sketchies Rejects contest.

YouTube Marketing Tips Part 1

There are a lot of YouTube marketing tips. Not everybody can learn marketing.

Great videos are painful to make (and their greatness is highly debatable).

I'm going to list out a lot of things here without giving details. You're going to roll your eyes as you read these, because they seem obvious (they are obvious). However, most people don't understand what you can accomplish with these tools. Compare how you use these tools to how we use these tools. Go to

You may see a huge difference. If you have any questions, leave a comment on this blog or our channel. I'll lead you through those hoops, but I'm not going to do the discovery work for you.

Here are the marketing tools at your disposal:

- Video Annotations

- Video Comments (your videos)

- Video Comments (other videos)

- Video Responses

- Sharing Videos

- Channel Comments (other channels)

- Your Channel Description (keywords, personal, and synergy)

- Messages

- Friend Requests

- Subscribing Others

- Your Video Descriptions

- Your Video Title

- Your Video Image

- How many similar videos you post (including videos that are almost the same)

- Your Channel Background (we don't use this well)

- Videos (be more personal and/or go bigger)

- Relationships with YouTube stars (We're not stars, but this blog you're reading could be an example of this value)

- Synergy with your other websites and blogs

All these things lead to getting YouTube stars to subscribe to you, to get your stuff featured (we've had a video featured and our channel featured), and to slowly accumulate more views (it becomes a snowball effect).

So, if you don't understand any of this, then leave a comment. I can give you some specific examples to study.

As I get questions, I'll post more tips.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Zune Art - tokyo plastic

Here's another Zune Art piece.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bee Movie - 93 Million, US

Even with international sales, Bee Movie is only at $105 million.

Since it cost them $150 million to make, they lost on this one.

I attribute it to lack of romance (or any large emotional story arc) and a silly story that’s hard to get into (the “bees suing the humans and everybody learns from the process“ thing). I also thought the story was a bit too preachy, but Happy Feet was even preachier and it came out well. So I think the audience is willing to forgive that pretty easily.

Sim Lemonade Millionaire

Not our game, but this is a pretty good game about how you can sell lemonade. You basically just set up your day with your strategy and watch it happen. The actual game is just in setting up your day.

Sim Lemonade Millionaire


A Disneyland Story

I’ve got some good stories after working at Disneyland for three years. Employees can get their friends and family in (there’s a limit, but most employees don’t use them all). One of my favorites is how my friends and I decided to try to iron stomach Tea Cups. So we went to Toon Town and filled up on hotdogs (cheapest food in D Land) and other food. Then we went to Tea Cups on full stomachs. We immediately ripped into it, with three men. We were going pretty fast. People were pointing.

Well, we noticed that one of us was looking a little sick. We told him to stop looking at the blur and to concentrate on the circle in the middle (it stays constant). So he did, but as soon as we were done we all stumble out, and he runs over to the planter on the side. He heaves into it, as a mom and child and a few Asian tourists are watching only a couple feet away. Of course, they turn interesting colors and leave.

The best part of this story is when my friend turns to me and says, “Ed, do you have a towel or something that I can use to wipe my mouth?” I got nothing. I look at my shirt. Definitely not. So I reach out and rip a huge leaf off a nearby bush. He wipes his mouth off and tosses the leaf into the planter.

The end. =^)

- The Emperor

Planet Unicorn




Monday, November 19, 2007

The Masks

They stopped fighting. Must be tea time.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Following Directions: Part 1 of 2

The contest is over. Thanks for voting, everyone!

Following Directions is the proud winner of the Sketchies Rejects contest.

Please subscribe! Thanks:

All Fruits VS Bugs footage is Copyright 2007 The Animation Empire, Inc.

Top Honors:
#68 - Top Rated (Today) - Comedy - All
#82 - Most Discussed (Today) - Comedy - All

Here is Following Directions - Part 2:

References in this video:
Dax Flame (he's annoying, but he's a comedic genius):
The dance is from Bucket Full of Cheese:
The zoom is from Fruits VS Bugs - Episode 1 of 2:
The crying Influence Bug is from Fruits VS Bugs - Agents Always Win:
The shot of the Influence Bug with a dual light sabre is fom the Second Episode of Fruits VS Bugs:

Fruits VS Bugs: Agents Always Win

"Fruits VS Bugs: Agents Always Win" is our first animated Short Short. It features a few characters from the world of Fruits VS Bugs: Bobby Nelson and the Influence Bug.

Copyright 2007 The Animation Empire, Inc.


Top Honors:
#63 - Top Rated (Today) - Film & Anim. - All
#16 - Most Discussed (Today) - Film & Anim. - All
#14 - Most Discussed (Today) - Film & Anim. - Eng.
#83 - Most Discussed (This Week) - Film & An. -- All

We used Photoshop, 3D Studio Max, Premiere, and Movie Maker. Check out for free 3D animation software.

Our work has been compared to Shrek, Disney, and Pixar films (Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Cars, etc.). We can tell the difference because we don't have their 80 million dollar budget. =^)

Want to watch another 3D animation?

Join the 3D animated world of Fruits and Bugs...
Fruits VS Bugs - Episode 1:
Fruits VS Bugs - Episode 2:
Fruits VS Bugs - Agents Always Win:
Extra Fruity:

After Oz - Vancouver Film School (VFS)

This ends well.

Happy -- Vancouver Film School (VFS)

Michael Lewicki pulls out a great piece with light humor but with spectacular lighting and animation.


Friday, November 09, 2007

3D Water Splash (Blender)

Here's an example of what you can do in the free 3D software, Blender. Go to for more information.



Done by the excellent Stiktoonz.

"Exclusive footage of a UFO to Stiktoonz!"

Stampon the Hamster

Another masterpiece from Stik Toonz.

"Stampon the Hamster wishes you a Happy Birthday"


Bee Movie

I went and saw Bee Movie last week.

It’s not going to do nearly as well as I expected. It’s well made, and it’s very funny, but it’s missing an emotional connection, and the story is a little lame. The movie quickly becomes man VS nature, similar to Happy Feet. I think this is less over the top than Happy Feet, because the bees actually learn in the process, as well as the humans. However, Happy Feet sold the story on an emotional level with lots of action and adventure. This movie finds its adventure in a courtroom and its emotion in a lame tragic romance between a bee and a human (tragic because they are devoted to each other, but it will never work out).

So, good potential with the DreamWorks animators and Seinfeld writing, but they just head off in this lame direction. It’s cute, it’s funny, and it’s worth watching. But Seinfeld needs to go watch some Shrek and Pixar movies to figure out what sells (or at least an Ice Age or Madagascar movie).

Monday, November 05, 2007


This is a hilarious video from Willem Works! Solid Snake rules!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dragonslayer Junior: Chicken Gun

Another excellent episode from Momentum Studios.



Check out this episode of Dragonslayer Junior. It comes from the excellent Momentum Studios.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mad At Phone

Sometimes phones annoy me. So we made this video. Directed by MattyO and Written/EDited by Ed.

The images at the beginning include Maxwell Smart from Get Smart (Steve Carrell will be playing that role in the movie), Batman and Robin, President George W. Bush, and a cow.

If you liked being annoyed, please watch our other videos! =^)

Check out our music video, Bucket Full of Cheese:

Want something lame? Check out our Extra Fruity 3D animation:

Get insulted by Punky Brewster VS Pippi Longstocking:

And our 27-second short, Taking Care of Business:

Do you like Andy Samberg from Saturday Night Live? We blog about him several times a week:

Hey, want to watch more TheAnimationEmpire videos? Then head on over to The Animation Empire:


Here’s some speculation on three future Pixar movies.

Probably coming in 2011 (in the book, the world ends in 2012).

Happy Feet

I just watched Happy Feet on DVD. Did anybody see it in the theater?

I can see why it did so well in the theater ($384 million, worldwide):

Lots of dancing and fun moments

Great characters

Flawless models/animation/lighting/effects

Strong emotions

Moving story

They take you into very hopeless situations and always bring you out with enough satisfaction

The only negative:

It gets very preachy toward the end (this is a negative for most people but positive for some; definitely negative for me) and pulls you out of its own world into an evil version of our own.

Interesting side notes about the director:

George Miller - Creator and direct of Mad Max and Babe

He directed the Twilight Zone movie along with Steven Spielberg and two other cult director legends: Joe Dante (Gremlins, Small Soldiers) and John Landis (Blues Brothers, American Werewolf in London, Other SNL comedies)

This is his first animation

His next project is the Justice League of America movie

Animated Movies Later This Year

What are your predictions on these coming animated movies? Do you think either of them will be hits and break $100,000?


Bee Movie – Jerry Seinfeld leads with Chris Rock and others. IMDB

- Seinfeld wrote this, produced it, and it has the power of DreamWorks behind it. My early guess is $190 million.

Beowulf – Robert Zemeckis (Polar Express, Back to the Future, Forest Gump, etc.) directs this animation with Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins, etc. IMDB

- I haven’t seen the previews, but I’m predicting at least $120 million. Zemeckis is a hit-maker

- That said, animations for adults have yet to be hits in theaters. If I find out that this is aimed at kids (PG), then my prediction will be at least $170 million.


Enchanted – This really isn’t an animation. This is another Disney attempt at live action silliness. They didn’t do overly well with their last attempt, Underdog (which was originally an animation).

Simpson's Movie

One thing that impressed me was the humor. It was as funny as the best of the cartoon series, and that level of humor was sustained throughout.

Their process became clear when we saw the credits. There were 11 screenwriters and another 4 consultant writers. Basically, they got all the best Simpsons writers into a room and they talked out the movie.

This is how more movies (and TV) should be made. The closest I’ve heard of this process in the past was Emperor’s New Groove, where they had all the cast submit jokes. It shows in the final movie.

Surf's Up

Surf's Up didn't do that well.

Probably mostly because it was released in the same month as Ratatouille.

Fools! They should have released in the fall or winter!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Some Recent Animated Films

Have you seen any animated films lately?

We went through a dry spot last year where a lot of 3D films got past us.

So We're renting them on NetFlix now:

Over the Hedge – Interesting, as it is a bit of a departure from the artistic style and even the topic and humor of the comic strip. There are truly some hilarious moments, though, especially when they use effects. This is my third favorite in the list.

Open Season – Slightly interesting. I found this mostly annoying with a few amusing parts. I don’t think that Martin and Ashton can carry a film. It needed more story and more interesting characters.

Monster House – I finished this one last night. It was really good! The story concept is lacking (“House that is a monster”) but the script was really well done. The characters were very detailed and enjoyable. I can see why Spielberg and Zemeckis produced it. It was also written by the founders. I think this is my second favorite of these. They also used a Norman Roxwell style on their characters. This definitely deserved the nomination it got for the Academy Award for best animated film.

Barnyard – Not bad. Steve Oedekerk (Jimmy Neutron, Kung Pow) returns to direct his first 3D animation. This is silly, fun, and it has a good story. You can lose yourself in this story rather easily. However, nothing is overly impressive about this movie.

Ant Bully – This was also decent; it's from the director of Jimmy Neutron, John A. Davis. It has a good story, and the characters are fun. However, we really didn't need a third ant movie. There's nothing here that Bug's Life and Over the Hedge didn't do better.

Older recommendation:

Hoodwinked – Poor quality of animation due to the budget, but the story is very interesting and hilarious. It makes you wonder why nobody else has done a “story from different perspectives” type of movie. By far this is my favorite on this list.

Meet the Robinsons

We just saw Meet the Robinsons last night. It was actually really good. It was full of holes, but I saw what Lasseter did.

For those who don’t know, John Lasseter took over as the Disney Chief Creative Officer (the first animator to take the role since Walt himself). So John sat down with the Robinsons director when he took the job. Robinsons was just about finished. They had a 6 hour meeting, the director was told to redo about 60% of the movie, and the director said it was the hardest day of his life.

Well, the hard work paid off. Robinsons evokes a lot of the emotion that is found in the Pixar movies, and the quote at the end will give you chills. However, there are still holes; they are all because of the story and the fact that they pulled the story out of a kid’s book (but so did Shrek).

(1) There was just too much weirdness. If Pixar was going to create a future and family from scratch, they would have made it much more interesting and entertaining. They pulled too much of the weirdness from the book.
(2) They couldn’t advertise it properly. A friend of mine said, “After watching the previews, he still didn’t know what the movie is about.” The problem is that if you give away any of the actual story and emotions of the film, you are giving away the point of watching the film. That’s why they were limited in advertising it. They couldn’t really speak to the point of the film.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Fruits VS Bugs: Episode 1

Recently featured on the home page of YouTube...

Fruits VS Bugs: Episode 1

The Influence Bug and Trooper Bugs head out to Bobby Nelson's house to influence him to steal. It's up to the secret agent fruits, the Agents of the Spirit, to stop them!

We used Photoshop, 3D Studio Max, Premiere, and Movie Maker.

Of course, this wouldn't be a TheAnimationEmpire video without a double-dose of nonsense and nostalgia. Look for references to Loony Tunes, Indiana Jones, Charlie's Angels, Spiderman, Star Wars Episode 2, Mortal Kombat, Super Mario Kart, The Simpsons, Yoshi, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jurassic Park, Kung Pow, The Matrix, Super Mario Brothers (Bros.) and, of course, a lot of secret agent themes. Our preview for Episode 2 even references Batman, Toy Story, and several more Star Wars themes.

Our work has been compared to Shrek, Disney, and Pixar films (Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Cars, etc.). We can tell the difference because we don't have their 80 million dollar budget. =^)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Punky Brewster VS Pippi Longstocking

I was going for annoying, nostalgic, nonsensical, and insulting, all at the same time. How did I do?

Punky Brewster VS Pippi Longstocking stars Ed 'word' Price and MattyO. It is written, EDited, and co-directed by Ed. Directed and shot by MattyO.

If you liked being annoyed, please watch our other videos! =^)

Check out our music video, Bucket Full of Cheese:

Want something lame? Check out our Extra Fruity 3D animation:

Do phones annoy you? Get... Mad At Phone:

And our 27-second short, Taking Care of Business:

Do you like Andy Samberg from Saturday Night Live? We blog about him several times a week:

Hey, want to watch more TheAnimationEmpire videos? Then head on over to The Animation Empire:

Taking Care of Business

"Taking Care of Business" is a Short Short brought to you by the dorks over at TheAnimationEmpire. It stars O-Tizzle and Ed 'word' Price, written by Ed, and directed by MattyO.

I think this is the most annoying video under 30 seconds. Of course, that makes it pretty funny... to us.

Ed 'word' Price and O-Tizzle are also featured in the music video, Bucket Full of Cheese:

Here's our annoying, nostalgic, and insulting Short Short, Punky Brewster VS Pippi Longstocking:

Our 3D animation, Extra Fruity:

Do phones annoy you? Get... Mad At Phone:

Do you like Andy Samberg from Saturday Night Live? We blog about him several times a week:

Check out our websites and videos over at The Animation Empire:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Bucket Full of Cheese - Music Video

If you've got a Bucket Full of Cheese, and you want another one, then come on over and have some fun... with TheAnimationEmpire. Starring O-Tizzle, Ed 'word' Price, written by Ed, and directed by MattyO.

We are cheesey to the core... We filmed this in the U District of Seattle. This is our lame attempt at our own music video like Andy Samberg's Saturday Night Live - Digital Short, Lazy Sunday (the Narnia rap). Or like Young Chuck Norris or the SNL video Andy did with Justin Timberlake - Special Gift in a Box.

Want something lame? Check out our Extra Fruity 3D animation:

Here's our annoying, nostalgic, and insulting Short Short, Punky Brewster VS Pippi Longstocking:

Do phones annoy you? Get... Mad At Phone:

Check out our 27-second short, Taking Care of Business. It also stars Ed 'word' Price and O-Tizzle:

Do you like Andy Samberg from Saturday Night Live? We blog about him several times a week:

Visit The Animation Empire for all of our videos and websites:

Extra Fruity - 3D Animation

Here is Extra Fruity, our 3D Animation.

Extra Fruity means extra lame as lameness is a perfect description of this video. Look for references to Loony Tunes, The Fugitive, Hot Shots part Deux, Charlie's Angels, Spiderman, Back to the Future, Star Wars, Commando, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Our work has been compared to Shrek, Disney, and Pixar films (Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Cars, etc.). We can tell the difference because we don't have their 80 million dollar budget. =^)

Check out our music video, Bucket Full of Cheese:

Here's our Short Short that is nostalgic and insulting, Punky Brewster VS Pippi Longstocking:

Do phones annoy you? Get... Mad At Phone:

And our 27-second short, Taking Care of Business:

Do you like Andy Samberg from Saturday Night Live? We blog about him several times a week:

Hey, want to watch more TheAnimationEmpire videos? Then head on over to The Animation Empire:

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Coming Soon

Coming soon!

Check out

Popular Posts (of all time)