Ah. We’ve had a good run in 2010, haven’t we? But now the time has come for me to sift through all the videos I posted on the blog in the previous year, to select those that I just thought were the best of the best. The cream of the crop. The jewels in the rough. The Hershey’s Kiss in the sea of tripe. Ew.
First up, book trailers. Of course, the undisputed king of the book trailer is Dan Santat. Authors should be begging their editors to allow Santat to illustrate their titles, not just because he’s a brilliant artist, but also because sometimes he’ll make you a book trailer like this one for Oh No (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World):
Did you notice the appearance of Mac Barnett in that video? Good thing because he cropped up in a couple other favorites of mine this year. Like this one for the Guys Read title Funny Business:
To say nothing of this ad for Adam Rex’s Fat Vampire:
I guess that brings us to the YA trailers of 2010. And the greatest of these, I think we can all agree, was this book trailer for Linger. Author Maggie Stiefvater actually created the stop-animation herself. Bow your heads, oh authors, in respect.
While we’re on the subject of YA, maybe Twilight was more of a phenomenon in 2009, but this How It Should Have Ended only came to my attention in 2010. This gets extra points for the phrase, “Woo-hoo! Let’s go eat some people!”
(Unrelated: They just posted How the Social Network Should Have Ended. Gold).
Getting back to book trailers, have you ever noticed that sometimes they end up better than the books themselves? You might say that for books like My Heart Is Like a Zoo or 13 Words but the most infamous example in 2010 was, without a doubt, It’s a Book. The timing, the voices, the animation, it was all pitch perfect. And, notably, it left off the ending which caused many an everyday schlub who purchased the book on the strength of the trailer alone to get it home and then go . . . . “WHAT???”
No, Werner Herzog did not actually recite this particular version of Curious George. But it sounds like he has, and that has made all the difference:
Later that same guy would go on to do Werner Herzog Reads Madeline, Werner Herzog Reads Where’s Waldo, and Werner Herzog Reads Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.
Earlier in the year there was a Tom Corwin documentary film project called Behind the Wheel of the Bookmobile that would follow, “a classic bookmobile across country on back roads with acclaimed authors taking turns at the wheel.” This was the Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler spot and when I originally posted this I had no idea that I’d meet him later in the year. Please note the shirt here . . .
. . . and also here, when he spoke with his lovely wife Lisa Brown.
By gum, that’s the same shirt! We’ve got the rotter now! Tally-ho, gents!
I posted quite a few interviews with famous authors and illustrators of children’s works, but none pleased me quite so much as this rare interview conducted with artist Ronald Searle on the eve of his 90th birthday in the south of France. The BBC has a nasty tendency of pulling this video from YouTube. Hopefully this one will last long enough for you to see it, in the event that you missed it the first time I posted it.
Movie trailers also abounded this year. You’ve probably seen them all at some point, but you may have forgotten this little preview made for a live action adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s Higgelty Pigglety Pop! It had certainly slipped my mind until I looked over the year once more. Big names. Big puppets too.
And while it posted originally two years ago, this was the year I discovered J.K. Rowling’s fantastic commencement speech at Harvard. You didn’t think I could get through an entire Best Of post without the mention of her name once, did you?
The only man who could reasonably match Mac Barnett for the number of videos posted on this blog would have to be Tobin (M.T.) Anderson. For him 2010 was a banner video year. First there was this absolute stunner of a movie for his Suburb Beyond the Stars. Made me actually gasp aloud, it did.
In this other video, Tobin proves that when I finally put together my band of children’s and YA authors, he shall be my frontman. Regard this ode to Delaware:
If Tobin’s run in the woods made me gasp, this fan video made from a scene from The Hunger Games actually caused a little tear to escape my ducts and plunge downward to freedom. Remarkable.
It was very difficult to sift through all the videos of the year to figure out which Off-Topic one really ended up my favorite. I always had a special fondness for the video of Italians singing fake English or the guy in L.A. who can imitate Ian McKellan reciting the lyrics to Ducktales. But when all is said and done, the creepy but delightful Alma wins, hands down. Every time. No question about it.
Thanks for reading this year, folks! Here’s to a jolly video-filled 2011.