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I attended a screening of Waltzing with Bashir by Ari Folman the other night. A pretty powerful, intense work. Well done technique and art direction.

Some asked me, would it have been better had it had been done in live action?

I thought about it, and I think this way is more interesting. Since 1982 the events covered have been in mainstream media, ignored or glossed over. Some films that protest "why?" can get too preachy. Witness how in the last two years, every live action movie with an Gulf War theme has flopped at the box office. In Waltzing, the violence in a graphic novel look is somehow more digestable, almost subversive in it's restraint, like a videogame, or like doing the Holocast as mice in MAUS.

One point...Normally I'm a snob about subtitles, but for this film it would be worth doing a dubb version into English. I found I wanted to study the visuals, but I didn't want to miss any of the dialogue. The effort proved a little distracting.

Like Persepolis last year, it is a great step forward for the medium of animation being accepted as a mature storytelling medium. We in the industry always knew it could, but films like this help change the general public's perception of animation as just baby-sitter material.

See it, But don't go expecting Chip & Dale.

Question: What was the name of Duke Ellington’s first band?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Early TV star Danny Thomas “ Make Room for Daddy” had been a nightclub entertainer before. Many of those celebrities were of Jewish ancestry. Was Danny Thomas Jewish?
History for 11/18/2008
Birthdays: Armelita Galli-Curci, Karl Maria Von Weber, W.S. Gilbert, Johnny Mercer,
Astronaut Alan Shepard, Louis Daguerre, Brenda Vaccarro, Eugene Ormandy, George Gallup, Warren Moon, Pam Dawber, Delroy Lindo, Owen Wilson is 40, Chloe Servigny is 34

500 A.D.- Today is the Feast day of the Irish Saint Mawes, who was born in a barrel floating in the sea.

1602- In Transylvania, 22 year old English soldier of fortune Capt. John Smith killed three Turkish warriors in single combat. Such single matches were customary before a large battle. The Voivode or Duke of Transylvania, Sigmund Bathory, granted Smith a coat of arms with three Turkish heads. This is the same John Smith who will go to Virginia and meet Pocahontas in 1607.

1718- Francois Voltaire’s first major work, the play Oedipe, premiered in Paris.

1863- Abraham Lincoln boarded a train to Gettysburg to deliver “a few appropriate remarks” to dedicate the new national cemetery there.

1865 Mark Twain's first story "The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County' published.

1883- Congress divided the United States into standard time zones corresponding to timetables set by the railroads.

1902- THE TEDDY BEAR BORN-The Washington Evening Star published a story of how President Teddy Roosevelt while hunting couldn't bring himself to shoot a grizzly bear cub. Cartoonist Cliff Berryman illustrated the incident with one of his signature “dingbat” bear cubs. Brooklyn toymaker Morris Mitchcom sewed dolls from the illustration in the newspaper, and sent the first one to the White House.

1914- SABOTAGE - A secret message was sent out by Imperial German Naval Command to all diplomatic embassies to begin sabotage operations of war material being readied in America and Canada for shipment to England.
Bombs exploding in cargo ships and warehouses in New York, Boston and Baltimore became familiar sights. In one incident called the “Black Tom” pier explosion detonated two million pounds of explosive on a Jersey City wharf. The blast cracked windows on Wall St. and damaged the arm of the Statue of Liberty.
The success of German spies in the U.S. before America's entry into World War One sparked the buildup of a little known government office called the F.B.I. and the strict domestic counterintelligence work done in World War Two.

1928- HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICKEY MOUSE- At the Colony Theater in New York Walt Disney’s cartoon "Steamboat Willie" debuted- The first major sound cartoon success and the official birth of Mickey Mouse. Two earlier silent Mickey's had been done, but they were held back when the sound experiment went ahead.

1942-The KEYES RAID- The British army in North Africa had had enough of their German adversary Rommel the Desert Fox, so they sent a suicide commando mission to the Afrika Korps HQ just to kill him. Desert warfare was so porous the front lines were virtually non-existent. Unfortunately, Rommel was far away in Rome the night 50 British and Australian commandos shot up his offices.

1953- Singer Frank Sinatra had been having trouble with his sputtering career and his crumbling marriage to screen sex goddess Ava Gardner. This day songwriter Jimmy Van Heusen found Old Blue Eyes on his bathroom floor with his wrists slashed. Heusen bound his wounds then called his agent rather than the police. Sinatra recovered and soon his career revived and he had a new marriage. His subsequent rough use of women afterwards, calling them “broads” and using and discarding them may have come as a reaction to his rough treatment in the soft hands of La Gardner.

1963-The first push button telephones go into service.

1964- In a public statement to the press FBI director J. Edgar Hoover called Dr. Martin Luther King “The most notorious liar in the country!” This in response to the criticism Dr. King made that the FBI wasn’t trying hard enough to track down the murderers of civil rights workers. Hoover always believed Dr. King and the whole NAACP were communists.

1978- JONESTOWN- After visiting U.S. congressman Leo Ryan and his party were murdered, 912 American members of the Rev. Jim Jones cult in Jonestown Guiana commit suicide, many drinking from tubs of Kool Aid, spiked with cyanide.

1985- Bill Watterson’s comic strip Calvin & Hobbs debuted.
Question: Early TV star Danny Thomas “ Make Room for Daddy” had been a nightclub entertainer before. Many of those celebrities were of Jewish ancestry. Was Danny Thomas Jewish?

Answer: He was Lebanese Catholic. He was born Amos Alphonsus Muzyad Yaqoob in Deerfield Michigan of Lebanese immigrant parents. His stage name came from Danny and Thomas, the names of his brothers.

where's Uncle Tonoosh?