Yes, Dracula, There WILL be a SpongeBob Halloween Stop-Motion Special!

 Animation, Film, Treats  Comments Off on Yes, Dracula, There WILL be a SpongeBob Halloween Stop-Motion Special!
Jul 232017

I’m trying really hard not to hyperventilate while typing this because I’m just SO EXCITED to learn that The Legend of Boo-kini Bottom is coming to your television (via Nickolodeon) this October AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!! While I was a wee bachelor’s student, running around CalArts and learning the joys and rigors of Experimental Animation, there was this GUY.

His name was Steve Hillenburg, and every time I was running in and out of the lab, he was working on his stuff. 

He was eleven years older than me, which felt super OLD, and super SMART. People even FIVE years older than you when you’re 18 seem like demigods. Where I felt pulled in all directions and trying to hush my overwhelmed mind, Steve’s presence in the Experimental Animation department was quiet, strong and steady. He did not mess around, he put pencil and pen to paper everyday to build his film, frame by frame. I watched it happen, wondering what he was up to, and then one day, it was ready! Here’s one of the films I saw him hand-drawing all those days at his desk, it’s called The Green Beret. 

So anyway, that GUY I went to school with invented SpongeBob Squarepants, and you can just SEE in the style, the humor, every last pitch perfect observation of a hilarious cartoon underwater weirdo world just couldn’t come from any brain but Steve’s. If you haven’t seen the Spongebob Squarepants Holiday Special, it’s well done, and such a love letter to the Rankin Bass stop-motion animation specials of old. I can’t wait to see this Halloween Treat from an ol’ school chum!  

(From L-R) Mr. Krabs, Flying Dutchman, Plankton, Squidward, Sandy, SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick in Nickelodeon’s stop-motion special, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom. Credit: Screen Novelties/Nickelodeon© 2017 Viacom International, Inc. All Rights

An Old Film/Music Treat for You!

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Jul 132017

Well well well, whaddya know, it’s 2017, and the Gothtober worm turns! Time to gather some wood and start a fire for the cauldron. While we’re doing that, we’ve got something for you to watch.

From 1937, here’s a little something to share, a somewhat pastoral and stressful animated evaluation of an abandoned windmill’s structural integrity during a passing storm. Will the windmill’s delicate eco system of residents survive the weather’s blustering braggadocio? Well we honestly just don’t know!!! It’s a stressful movie, because there’s a whole situation involving a mother bird and a water wheel that is not for the faint of heart. This film, a favorite of  Hayao Miyazaki’s, is beautiful because of it’s lush colors and painterly style, along with an appreciation for creatures of the night and their engrossing nocturnal antics.

Johann Strauss II (1825 — 1899)

The Silly Symphonies cartoons were intended to accompany larger features, all of them set to compelling musical soundtracks. This film uses “One Day When We Were Young” from Johann Strauss II’s operetta The Gypsy Baron. The Gypsy Baron is quite a fun operetta featuring mistaken identity, young lovers, old lovers, comic rustics, and buried treasure! It still gets played quite a bit today. Strauss the younger is possibly the most popular composter of all time, his nickname being “The Waltz King.” If you’d like to see this piece conducted by one of the 20th century’s greatest conductors (Carlos Kleiber) lead the Vienna Phil in performing it, by all means, check this out! At 6:13 you can hear the clarinet performing one of the most difficult excerpts in the history of the instrument, a sassy A-G#-F#-G#-A-F#-B-F#!!!

But THIS Silly Symphony is different than all the others because it is the FIRST to use the multiplane camera! It was a huge game changer in the industry that opened doors to special effects as we know it. Multiplane is basically shooting downward on a “layer cake” of backgrounds and elements on transparent glass platens. Pieces are tracked and animated at different speeds and distances, giving the impression of 3-D, although not stereoscopic (to be clear). It was invented by the largely overlooked and terribly under-appreciated animation titan, Ub Iwerks, then of Disney studios. The technology was further refined throughout the late thirties, officially tested on The Old Mill (seen above) which won an Academy Award for Animated Short Film in 1937. Multiplane was then used to make Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Pinnochio, Cinderella, Peter Pan, and many other films. Now we have digital multiplane cameras, the last animated film to use multiplane the old-fashioned way was Disney’s Little Mermaid.

Triple T Day 8 Drawings Show-n-Tell!

 artists, Drawings, Treats  Comments Off on Triple T Day 8 Drawings Show-n-Tell!
Oct 082016


Visit and click on DAY 8 to enjoy a slideshow from the family known as Triple T!

The artist of the drawings is 10 years old and VERY into minecraft right now, and rightly aligned her pencil skills to go along with some dragon metamorphosis illustrations to go with this year’s Gothtober theme “Metamorphosis.”

The drawings are available for download so that you may adorn your home or office with poster reminders of dragons, eggs, and destroying the city, and napping! Who doesn’t like napping?

In other news, the photographer, the Mom of Triple T has shared some seasonal recipes from other blogs on her cooking blog, sloCooking, so if you want to check out free recipes for Scary Treats, Frankenstein Cookies, Halloween Cupcakes and more, give it a peek!

Here is also a wonderful recipe for Triple T Chocolate-Avocado Mousse, which debuted at the Avocado & Margarita Festival in Morro Bay, where the requirement was to cook something for the guests using avocado.

What’s Brewing? Gothtober Harvest!

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Sep 212016


“Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
George Eliot

Somewhere in the southern hemisphere it’s Spring, but in the northern hemisphere, even though temperatures climb, we’re excited about even a hint of cool wind which would warrant eating something even remotely pumpkin-spice-oriented.

The daylight and the darkness have had their cup of tea, sitting just so on their tuffets, eyeballing each other’s portion of time allotted. Their exact point of equality won’t be here until September 25th, but still, the light bends, and on September 22nd we call it: It’s Fall!

Gothtober is always very excited about this autumnal arrival, the days officially begin to get shorter, we start madly gathering apples for all those pies we’re gonna make in our “spare time.” The Santa Ana Winds are tousling heads of hair all over the San Gabriel Valley, flinging up twigs and cactus spines and whatever other fun things it can throw in the air like “Wheeeee!” it goes. It’s that time of year where your allergies start to chill out, or they go into code red and you can’t go anywhere without tissues.

Tinkering late into the night, or during the mornings, or who even knows when, are all the Gothtober contributors, planning and checking their projects, preparing pieces of the calendar for you to see. As the watermelon moves over and the pumpkin waltzes in, anticipation builds for crisp apple cider, candy corn in bulk, and 31 days of Countdown Calendar joy.

DAY 4: Gothtober Coloring Contest!!!

 announcements, Craft Project, Treats  Comments Off on DAY 4: Gothtober Coloring Contest!!!
Oct 042015


For ALL AGES, the Gothtober Coloring Contest is HERE! Visit click on DAY 4, download and print your pumpkin page. Color it, send it in! DROP DEADLINE IS OCTOBER 25th!!! 

What will your jack’o’lantern look like? Will it have a scene? Will it be the face of an unknown monster, a spirit being, a scary politician?

We have FIVE DIVISIONS and we know you fit into one of them… unless you’re a vampire or some other form of undead, and if that’s the case, contact us. We will make a special division just for you.


  • Kitten Pumpkins – 5 and under 
  • Pumpkin Scouts – 6 to 10 
  • Tweens-n-Teens – 11 to 17 
  • Logan’s Runners – 18 to 30 
  • Bladerunners – 30 to 125 

Each Division will have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Prize Ribbons, as well as some very special Gothtober Treats! Prepare to win bizarre and inventive gift baskets containing specialty items hand-picked by Gothtober MONSTERS! Coloring Contest Winners will be announced and showcased on this blog on Gothtober 29th!

Bewitched FOREVER in 10 Minutes!

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Sep 282015

Make it a double, Sam, it’s time to sit down and celebrate the 51st anniversary of Bewitched!!!


Gothtober is being built, we’re almost ready to launch, but for your perusal, here’s something fun to distract you, from the TV archives!  Bewitched is about a housewife witch and her family that was filmed on Warner Bros. Ranch starting in 1964. It was about a witch in modern times, but it was also about drinking! A LOT of drinking!  View this drinking guide that lets you know which characters drink in what episodes and how much. Here’s a list of swanky bar names for the following episodes:

  • # 24 – The Diamond Slipper 
  • # 57 – Dundee’s Bar – Darrin refers to it as the best restaurant in town 
  • # 69 – Purple Popsicle night club 
  • # 108 – Joe’s Bar and Grill – Darrin drinks heavy 
  • # 109 – Happy Times Bar 
  • # 126 – Hearthstone Bar/Restaurant 
  • # 159 – Golden Spoon Restaurant 
  • # 217 – Elbow Room Cocktail Lounge

The most drinking-est character is Darrin, followed by Samantha, Larry, Endora, Louise, and then there are a host of other minor characters that take part in cocktail hour. Seems like everyone in 1964 had a cigarette between their fingers and a highball in their hand. Enjoy visiting yesteryear with this marvelous collection of clips, make yourself a strong one, wiggle your nose and press play.


Pumpkin Advice Vol. 2

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Sep 202015


1.) “Perfect Pumpkins” with no dings or warts are BORING. It’s the pumpkins that are shaped really funky with unique features that are the superstars of the pumpkin carving world!

2.) When making a pumpkin pie, don’t add your eggs until your spice mixture is complete. Pay special attention to your salt and sugar ratio, this makes or breaks the recipe. Forgetting salt and sugar well… that’s just blah, so don’t do that!

3.) The mini handheld saw tool is the best one for carving features out of a pumpkin. Use your saw methodically and gently, otherwise the finer aspects of your design may be botched if hastily carved.

4.) Save the fancy stuff for the side. People like pumpkin pie because it’s pumpkin, it’s fall, it’s tradition! If you’re going to have pecans that go with it, or bourbon whipped cream, serve it on the side so that others can have the option to “mess with tradition” or keep it classic. Emotions run high around pumpkin pie.

5.) Use a dry-erase marker to draw your pattern on your pumpkin. You can erase it if you don’t like it, and there won’t be lines around the carved areas because you can wipe those lines away and voila, an eyeliner-free pumpkin!

Zombie Jamboree with Harry Belafonte

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Sep 182015

A very catchy zombie song if there ever was one, and toward the end, a little pacifist message! We love Harry!

A lot of world leaders talkin’ ’bout war
And I’m afraid they’re going too far
So it’s up to us you and me
To put an end to catastrophe
We must appeal to their goodness of heart
And ask them to pitch in and please do their part
Cause if this atomic war begin
They won’t even have a part to pitch in
And we’ll be singing

Back to back, belly to belly
I don’t give a damn, I done dead already
Oho back to back, belly to belly
At the Zombie Jamboree

Tyra Banks and the Vampires

 media, Treats  Comments Off on Tyra Banks and the Vampires
Sep 122015

Do you enjoy vampire culture? Enjoy this exploration with Tyra, who interviews a long-haired halloween hunk with very sharp teeth!

Time for some Liberace!

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Sep 062015

From the wonderful whirlpool rabbit hole of YouTube is a seasonal treasure featuring everyone’s favorite piano showman and some dancing skeletons!  This is Liberace’s own interpretation of  the Danse Macabre (first performed in 1875). It is the name of opus 40 by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The composition is based on a poem by Henri Cazalis, Danse Macabre, here’s just a little of a translation of this poem by Peter Low:

Zigger-zigger-zig tapping on a coffin
Death has got a beat and a toothy grin.
At the stroke of twelve plays a crazy polka
zigger-zigger-zag on his violin.

The night is dark, the winter winds blow
the tree branches creak in the stormy clouds
and off the whitened skeletons go
they skip and they leap in their flowing shrouds.

Zigger-zigger-zig how they frisk and toss
dancing to the beat rattling every bone.
Now a lustful pair sit on the moss
hoping to repeat pleasures they had known.