The Ruffled Crow

Animation, Art, and Other Shiny Things

Category Archives: General

On the Same Page

St James Infirmary

Directed by Lafayette-based visual artist James Tancill, the music video for the Preservation Hall / King Britt remix of St. James Infirmary by the Preservation Hall Hot 4 is an animated romp in the style of Max Fleischer (Betty Boop, etc.) that plays out like a storybook caper set against a backdrop of beloved New Orleans characters and institutions both old and new. Audiences familiar with the iconography of New Orleans music and culture will thrill as characters and beloved landmarks from the past and present find new life in an animated tableau.

Great little video, and a very well done rendition of a classic. My favorite version of the song is done by Hugh Laurie. (Yes, that Hugh Laurie; half of Fry and Laurie, Jeeves and Wooster, Blackadder, etc. Saw his Let Them Talk concert. Most excellent.) He didn’t put out an animated video, though, and even if he did The Preservation Hall Hot 4 gets the well-deserved nod tonight.

Cinema Dehors

A fun little combination of time lapse video and animation.

Living in the modern world we are too busy with our daily routines and addicted to technologies that sometimes we forget that the real beauty of this world is right in front of our eyes.

Animation by Tatiana Poliektova, Music: Where’s My Banjo by Rimsky

Rock It For Me by Caravan Palace

On this Christmas eve I’d like to re-post one of the most powerful animations I’ve ever seen. We adopt our cats from the local shelters and generally look for the older, harder to adopt cats. While the last times of any pet can be difficult for a family, we hope that we enriched their last years as much as they added to ours. Please give a pet from your local shelter or pound a gift this holiday season and adopt. You and they will be rewarded every day.

The Ruffled Crow

This is an incredible little piece of animation. Akin to bringing a minimalist painting into three-dimensional reality, Omer Ben David uses shading, few lines, and movement to suggest forms and describe the world.

The film sets the story of an old house cat who bids farewell to his home, his owner and the world he used to know. via

I have lived with several geriatric cats in my time and Mr Ben David does an excellent job on the cat’s movements. The cat getting up onto the back of the sofa gave me a twinge, and by the time the film was over I was missing every old cat I’d ever had.

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Miscellaneous Shiny Things

This has been a very full week around the Crow household and the next few days are going to be non-stop. Generally, when Mrs Crow is gone (in this case to dog-sit for one of the kids until Saturday) my starvation is a definate possibility, or at best, a vitamin deficiency from a diet consisting of raman-based products and candy bars.

Oh Boy Oberto/Miss Madison

This time, however, I’ll be smack in the middle of dozens of food booths down at Stan Sayres pits, and, provided I can climb my way out of the space in the middle of the broadcast tower scaffolding, there is a possibility of my feeding myself. I forsee a diet of skewers and coffee so I may still be in poor shape by Sunday night…

Anyways, the point of this post is to note that I’m volunteering at the Seafair Hydroplane races this year and I won’t have much, if any, time to check the blog here. I have scheduled posts through Sunday, but nothing beyond that. Considering we’ll be tearing down the network late into Sunday night, Monday’s animation is in question at the moment.

And if that isn’t enough to make my year, one other spot of news is the proverbial cherry on top: my post about J P Patches has been linked to by none other than the official JP Patches website! (a big thanks to Super Patches Pal and Webmaster over there Bob Alexander!) It’s quite an honor!

I’ll put together a post of pictures and such sometime next week once I recover.

Thanks JP. Signed, A Patches Pal

With apologies to the folks that are stopping in for a daily animation, but in addition to a full weekend working on Seafair stuff (more on that next week, perhaps) a Seattle icon died yesterday.

My son was almost apologetic when he brought me the news that Chris Wedes had succumed to the blood cancer that had plagued him for the last five or so years. Like many of my generation that grew up here, I had to sit down for a few moments and I will admit to tearing up again as I write this.

I wrote about J P Patches last year just after he retired from public appearances. During the 1960’s and 1970’s every kid I knew (including me, of course) watched JP’s show. We loved JP, and that’s not exaggeration.

Anyways, today I offer you a video of the clown’s last public appearance as well as one of Chris Wedes’ last interviews

Thanks, JP. It was our priviledge to have grown up with you, or rather, thanks for being a kid’s best friend whatever our ages.

Do Not Adjust Your Set…

… I’m changing the theme and am trying my best not to break the blog in the process.

The narrowness of the theme I’ve been using for the last couple years makes the video size fairly small and, as the majority of the posts are videos, it is well past time I did something about that.

So don’t be alarmed if you see things get moved or go missing (as long as it’s not the posts that disappear. in that case a good panic is called for), I’m still messing about but hope to have things nailed together by the end of the weekend at the latest.

Maneki Neko, The Beckoning Cat

Gotoku-ji Cemetary watercolor by Mister Kha

The legends surrounding Maneki Neko are many and varied. The bones of the old narratives appear placeable in history, but much that wraps them have their roots in Japanese folklore and tradition. (as well as occasional, simple, voracity)

The legend I prefer takes place during a dark and stormy night at a monastery near Edo, Japan (now Tokyo) in the year 1615.

Gotoku-ji temple was very poor. The monk had barely enough food for himself and a cat he had taken in, Tama, but he made do, tending the monastery and following his path as best he could.

Ii Naotaka

Ii Naotaka

After splitting  a particularly meager meal, the monk said to Tama, “Your companionship means much to me, but I can not assure you a good meal. You should not starve with me, but find yourself a home worthy of your company.” The cat, of course, did not reply, but went to sit in a window of the temple as cats are wont to do.

Outside in the rain, Ii Naotaka, second son of Ii Naomasa, hereditary owner of Hikone Castle, was returning from the Battle of Tennōji. With the storm worsening, Ii Naotaka and his men took refuge beneath a tree. Looking around he saw the cat in the monastery window. It’s paw raised, the cat seemed to be beckoning the Daimyo to take shelter in the small temple. As he approached the monastery, lightening stabbed down and split the tree that he had just been standing beside. He surely would have been killed had he remained by the tree.

The urn purported to contain the ashes of Tama (Gotoku-ji Temple)

Welcomed in, Ii Naotaka found the old priest to be wise and kind and devoted to his path and his companion Tama. To repay the cat and priest for saving his life he became Gotoku-ji temple’s patron. When Tama died, the cat was given a place of honor in the temple cemetery, where many important members of the Ii family are also buried, and the first Maneki Neko statue was created in his memory.

Today, Gotoku-ji temple is still open for worship and attracts visitors from all over the world.

But the story of Maneki Neko is far from over. Read more of this post

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