Despicable Me 2 and The Making of Longbird

by John Holbo on July 4, 2013

Took the girls to see Despicable Me 2. It’s good but we agreed the first was better ‘when Gru was bad’. Also, the minions are so funny they risk being the equivalent of a resource curse for the franchise. You just have to have them do any random, yet minion-y thing and they’ll carry the film along, the lovable scamps.

In classic animation news, early cutout animation master Vladislav Feltov – be ashamed you haven’t heard of him! – is finally getting the attention he deserves, thanks to 2013 BAFTA-winning animator Will Anderson and his brilliant restoration/reimagining, “The Making of Longbird”. I remember at the University of Chicago, in 1986 (was it?), I was a volunteer at Doc Films, helping organize stuff, and someone wanted to include some Feltov in an animation festival. Of course it was quite impossible.

Before “Longbird” Will Anderson was perhaps best known for his music and his documentary approach to the Scottish labor market and its relationship to issues of law enforcement and public order.

If you – your children, your whole family – are inspired by all this greatness to drop everything and take up cutout animation, probably the most sensible thing to do is start with the McClaren’s Workshop app for your iPad. It’s free and fun.



John Holbo 07.05.13 at 2:22 am

Hmmm, not a lot of comments. This means not a lot of opportunity for people to point out that actually Feltov doesn’t exist. (That was the problem back in ’86, too. He may be a genius, but …) I just don’t want you all bragging about how you know all about Feltov, thanks to CT. I want what’s best for you.


MTrost 07.05.13 at 8:31 am

That was an evil one.

There’s an animation festival I visit every year, mainly because it’s located in my Swiss hometown (but also because I love animated movies). Two or three (or four?) years ago they had a lot of Soviet shorts in the program.

So I really went there to look for Feltov.

But I didn’t even succeed in finding the relevant year/program (I think it only goes back to 2011, I couldn’t find 2010 and before). But be more cautious with fooling people. You could have stolen as much as 30 minutes of my productive morning time or something.


John Holbo 07.06.13 at 12:57 am

“You could have stolen as much as 30 minutes of my productive morning time or something.”

The internet strikes again!

No, seriously. I think the video is more fun if you get suckered in for a few minutes at least. (I did, when I first watched.) In fact, have you considered that maybe Feltov does exist but that his Wikipedia page just has a different spelling? You know how Russian names are.



That sort of thing. You should probably spend at least 30 minutes just trying orthographic variants to be sure.


Rakesh Bhandari 07.07.13 at 7:11 am

I actually liked the sweeter sequel more than the original. Gru still gets to be kinda evil–he really let the missing fairy princess have it on the phone. Yes, it ends in his humiliation. Dr. Nefario could have taken up the evil slack. His final turn just came out of nowhere. He could have been a worthy successor to Dr. Strangelove. But noooooo. Benjamin Bratt was well cast, I thought, as a tremendously overweight Mexican wrestler with hidden evil ambitions.


Walt 07.07.13 at 7:34 am

A couple of years ago I thought “They should make a movie where a movie villain is forced to adopt cute kids,” and then within 2 hours I saw the trailer for Despicable Me. It was the closest I ever came to believing that the world was entirely the product of my imagination.


MTrost 07.07.13 at 4:07 pm

Don’t misunderstand me, the movie looks like great fun and I have to watch the entire thing, probably later this evening. I just believed you that Festov doesn’t exist and so thought my search in the archive of the mentioned animation festival was a waste of time.

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