Today has been officially declared as Batman Day! I'm not sure who the officials are that can declare such a thing, but they did, and so it is. Let the celebration of a fictitious man who dresses like a flying rodent commence!
This is in reference to a scene from the 1966 film, Batman: The Movie. In the film, Batman stumbles onto the bad guys' hideout in the back room of some disreputable seaside drinking joint. When he arrives, he notices that the hideout has been abandoned with a cartoonish bomb set to explode. Batman tries to get rid of the bomb, but... well... you get it.
Here's the scene.
I wish this clip played out just a minute or two longer. When Robin asks Batman why he would risk his life to save a bar full of "riffraff," Batman replies (in an Adam West fashion that this blog can not do justice), "They may be drinkers, Robin, but they're also human beings... and may be... salvaged. I HAD TO DO IT!"
Here's my second installment of Disney Park Meet and Greet characters, this time with the ever popular Queen Elsa!
Elsa is supposedly, as Mugato would say, "So HOT right now!" People just can't seem to get enough of her! At Walt Disney World, they had to move her and Anna from the appropriately themed Norway Pavilion in Epcot to a larger venue in Magic Kingdom. And even there, people will wait in line for HOURS to meet her!
And the merchandise! Oh my goodness, the merchandise! Good luck finding any of that stuff! I remember walking into toy stores right before Frozen hit theaters. There was Elsa and Anna memorabilia everywhere you looked! Not any more. Just a big empty space on the shelves where the coveted items probably only sat for about twenty minutes after being stocked.
Anyways, if you're like so many out there and have the blues from a lack of Elsa in your life, I might suggest getting a job... OR download my Elsa Park Pal above! After all, a random guy's fan art is an incredibly close second to a small plastic ice castle!
I think I talked before about how most of the famous characters from the Hanna-Barbera cartoons are voiced by actors doing impressions of other actors. In the case of Mr. Jinks here, supposedly Daws Butler was doing an impression of Marlon Brando while voicing the somewhat famous cat.
I, personally, don't hear it, but when I think of Marlon Brando, I think of the Godfather, and this was done before that. Maybe back then, this was how the world heard Don Corleone. Either way, its good stuff, as was all of Daws Butler's work, in my opinion.
I may be misquoting here, but I think voice actor Jim Cummings once remarked that a bad voice impression of someone works great as the voice of a brand new character. That's definitely true with Mr. Jinks.
Being the father of a toddler, you realize that there are a ton of children programs out there that are, well... NOT ANY GOOD! But rather than talk about those, lets talk about one of the good ones! Straight from across the pond, it's Peppa Pig!
This is my daughter's favorite show at the moment. She actually claims that her name IS Peppa Pig, and any attempt to argue this fact has repeatedly proven futile. Anyways, I thought it'd be fun to draw the show's characters in the silly way that they appear in my head.
My wife and I were big fans of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood while growing up. One of the things we love about Peppa Pig is that it, like Mister Rogers, teaches children about everyday life without talking down or shouting at them. I'm also a firm believer that kids learn more from children's programming if the parents watch with them, and Peppa Pig, in our house at least, is entertaining for kids and parents alike!
Plus, my daughter will say random words with a british accent. What's not to love about that?!?
You can't be a fan of something, and not imagine yourself within the context of that something! Or maybe you can, I guess, but not if you're me... which... you're not. Because, I'm me. Let me start over!
When I was in high-school, right before "The Phantom Menace" graced itself upon us, I had the bright idea to re-write (that's right... RE-WRITE) the original Star Wars trilogy. The purpose of this was mainly for me to practice with the format of screenwriting since, at the time, it was a field I considered getting into. I pretty much knew the films by heart, of course, and thought it'd be fun to go ahead and throw myself into the mix... in the form of this guy.
Meet Ay-Jay Barques!
Yep. This was my fantasy. Not only did I want to be a gunfighter in the Star Wars universe, but I apparently wanted to have a goatee and smoke those skinny Clint Eastwood-type cigars as well. Whatever.
Several people really dislike the Star Wars prequels and special editions, but if you ask me, THIS guy makes Jar Jar Binks look like Boba Fett! You may find that hard to imagine. How could anything be worse than the Episodes 1,2, and 3, you might ask. Well, here are a few excerpts to help me make my point.
First up, we have the scene in which my Ay-Jay Barques is introduced for the very first time. Up until this point, I kept the film exactly as it is. Then, about 20 pages into it...
Bam! I ruin Star Wars! After this, it doesn't matter who shot first! Han. Greedo. They could've just simultaneously flicked each other in the face and it would've been better than this!
Ay-Jay doesn't belong. This is obvious as about 90% of these scripts involve him saying or doing things without any acknowledgment whatsoever from the other characters.
I tried to make up for this akwardness wherever I could, by inserting brand new scenes featuring Mr. Barques... like this gem from "The Empire Strikes Back":
The character is also a master of "real world" colloquialisms that, like him, have no place in the Star Wars universe.
For example, this:
My computer crashed before backing up my "Return of the Jedi" script, but you get the idea, right? It's crap. Still... I enjoy looking at it from time to time for a little perspective. At the moment, we have a new Star Wars movie on the horizon and, of course, the internet is RIPE with negativity! Announcements about the new film trickle down little by little, and with each one, a monsoon of naysaying! "They better not do this!" or "They better not go there!" Apparently, getting a dynamite cast of new and old faces to star in a film directed by a powerhouse director who's consistently proven himself AND written by the man who wrote the greatest film in the entire Star Wars saga ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH!
"Why isn't Billy Dee Williams in the cast?" people ask. "Harrison Ford looks too old!" "This movie comes out in December instead of May!" "I thought Chewbacca died on Sernpidal during the Yuuzhan Vong war in an attempt to rescue the son of Han Solo!" ..."Hey, what about those little space bears?!?"
Whenever I find myself thinking thoughts like these, I like to remember Ay-Jay Barques, and remind myself that making Star Wars is something that belongs in the hands of filmmakers because, in the hands of fans like myself, it would be worse. Much much worse!
...said No Fan EVER.
To close this post out, here's my favorite of Ay-Jay's lines. It's the final scene from "The Empire Strikes Back" where Ay-Jay explains how he has to put his love life on hold to go and rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt. (Yes. I apparently felt it necessary to give my character a love interest, as well. Sigh.)
Keep in mind, if High-School Nate had his way, this would be the LAST line of spoken dialogue in, what I feel, is one of the greatest films of ALL TIME!
I would say about 90% of the stuff I draw comes from ideas I have for toys that I wish existed. I've spoken before about my Park Pals toys idea and how I eventually wasn't that happy with what I came up with. Well, here we have a take two, of sorts!
I decided that, instead of trying to draw the Disney Park characters as collectible figurines, I would just draw them as... well, drawings! Pretty bold concept, huh? There might not be anything particularly exciting or innovative about these, but I had a lot of fun making them!
Thanks to the very awesome Disney Character Central for providing several wonderful photos, which I used as reference. Stay tuned for more to come!
Are there any particular Disney Park meet and greet characters that you'd like to see in the lineup? If so, feel free to post your request below!