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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Video Sunday: The Sweet, the Profane, and the Owl Pellets (not necessarily in that order)

That, in case it is unclear, is Wes Anderson’s acceptance speech given when he won the Special Filmmaking Achievement Award from the National Board of Review for the film Fantastic Mr. Fox. In the event that he wins Best Animated Film at the Oscars, one hopes for something similar. Thanks to 100 Scope Notes for the link.

I was originally going to lead off this with one today. Then I decided it needed some context. Do you remember when comedian Michael Ian Black wrote the picture book Chicken Cheeks? For the record, it is the first celebrity children’s book to my knowledge that has ever cracked NYPL’s 100 Books for Reading and Sharing List. But that’s not important. The point is that he advertised his book with a very funny, cynical, adult video over at Funny or Die (it appears to be gone now, or I’d link to it).

Well, the fellow is at it again.  And this time he realized something.  Illustrator Peter Brown?  World’s greatest straight man.  Plus the camera loves him.  This is definitely ADULT material, so workplace friendly it may not be.  Whatever the case, funny stuff.

Thanks to Jules at 7-Imp for the link!

On the sweet side of things, Charise Mericle Harper writes books for kids that manage to be cute without upsetting ye olde gag reflex.  Not sure how she does it, but this quickie studio visit she made may hold some of the answers.

It is my general understanding that while you can make a book trailer for a novel or picture book, the format that lends itself most naturally are graphic novels.  I am so very very thrilled to see that Raina Telegemeier, one of my favorite graphic novelists, has a book with Scholastic coming out called Smile.  I cannot WAIT to see it either after watching this.

FYI, the music for that was performed by Raina’s buds in the band Harry and the Potters.  Small world.

That was Example A of my comics-make-better-trailers theory.  Now check out Example B.

Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher Book Trailer from jakeparker on Vimeo.

Thanks to Aaron Zenz for the link!

And finally, this isn’t entirely off-topic, but I worried that if I posted it too early in this piece that it might melt your brain.  When I was a kid, children’s programming was still heavily influenced by strides made in the late 1960s and 70s.  These days, entertainment for children has grown a bit. . . soft, let’s say.  Not universally.  But generally I think that this is true.  So when I see children’s programming that shakes things up a bit, I pay attention.  And if the shorts on Sesame Street I watched as a kid were influenced musically by disco (and they often were) what are we to make of a science video about owl pellets that is CLEARLY influenced by music from the mid-90s? 

We are to praise it for its insane awesomeness, that’s what.  Deep apologies to whoever sent this to me.  I’ve lost your name!  Ack!

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. JMyersbook says:

    Yes, your concern about brain-melt if you presented the ‘Owl Pellets’ video too early in the post was right on target. Compelling/hypnotic/repulsive/intriguing! lol

  2. I, too, am so excited about “Smile”! I pre-ordered it and just got an email saying it’s on its way! WOO!