Recent Event Highlights: Daniel Waters, The Renaissance Age of Animation, and 7 more...
Created by RyanHippFTW on Jan 21, 2011
Last updated: 03/11/11 at 09:19 AM
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After previously hosting shows on MSNBC, ESPN, and Fox Sports, anchor Keith Olbermann returned to MSNBC in 2003 with "Countdown". The show began as a straight-news program, but by 2006, with the escalating scandals coming out of the Bush administration, Olbermann started introducing "Special Comments". These editorials brought dissent back to news and made a massive impact on cable news. MSNBC's primetime line-up quickly became a home for liberals like Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell. In 2011, Olbermann left MSNBC and announced his move to Current TV.
Created by artist Brad Neely in the mid-2000s, "Wizard People, Dear Reader" is a perfect representation of modern humor. Intended as a horribly inaccurate book-on-tape of "Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone" that's played with the film adaptation, "Wizard People" is filled with absurdist and surrealist humor, random pop culture references, and childish insults, an exaggerated reflection of today's popular humor. It has gone on to become a cult phenomenon, even being performed live a few times by Neely.
For years there had been accusations of a liberal bias in the mainstream news media. In 2004, Al Franken put the theory to rest in "Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them". The prominent conservative media had distorted facts in George W. Bush's favor in the early years of his administration, and the constant coverage of the Lewinsky scandal sought to ruin Bill Clinton's reputation. The book also outed the Fox News Channel as the go-to network for conservative talking points. It has left a great impact on the world of political media.
The worst terrorist attack in our nation's history, 9/11 made a great impact on our culture. Various media were edited to remove shots of the World Trade Centers or random moments of violence. Patriotism filled our stories and there was a strong sense of unity between people of all genders, races, and religions. Unfortunately, the impact of 9/11 went from bringing the nation together, to almost tearing it apart. Conservatives like Rudy Gulianni exploited the event for political gain, and Muslims were the subject of much hostility and hate from bigots.
A former writer and performer on "Saturday Night Live", comedian Al Franken delved into the world of politics. He wrote a series of books, including "Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them" and "The Truth (With Jokes)", which brought new facts to the public light and made him a prominent voice in the liberal community. After years of being a political satirist, he became a Minnesotan senator in 2009.
After the so-called Renaissance Age, which was filled with formulaic Disney hits and increasingly more adult Saturday morning programs like "Gargoyles" and "Freakazoid", animation made major changes at the dawn of the new millennium. Adult cartoons like "American Dad!", "Futurama", and "King Of The Hill" received critical acclaim, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block brought even more irreverent and outlandish shows to the airwaves, and Pixar released deep, emotional features that appealed to adults as much as it did for kids. Programs aimed toward children also changed drastically, arguably for the better. Taking cue from the Warner Bros. shows of the '90s, "Adventure Time", "Regular Show", and "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" took the idea of an "adult kid's show" and ran with it. Animation was distancing itself from kids, to fantastic results.
Paul Dini is a screen/comic book writer, best known for his work on the Warner Bros. cartoons of the 1990s. His work on shows from the Saturday morning Kids WB line-up (most notably "Batman: The Animated Series") brought a new level of maturity to "children's" animation. His work in the comic book world, with graphic novels like "Mad Love", have also gained praise. He is a five time Emmy winner, and was a major force and game-changer during the animation renaissance of the 1990s.
Daniel Water is an American screenwriter. He is best known for writing the 1988 comedy "Heathers" and 1992's "Batman Returns". Both of these films were major milestones in their respective genres. "Heathers" added a dark, snarky edge to the high school comedy. "Batman Returns" brought even more depth and psychology to the comic book movie, something its predecessor "Batman" had started 3 years earlier.
In 1989, Tim Burton's "Batman" was released. While far from being the first summer blockbuster, the dark style and story, the marketing, and the merchandising turned the film into a cultural phenomenon. 'Batmania' infected the nation in 1989. The ways in which studios dealt with their films, relying on opening weekend success and shortening the window between theatrical release and home video release. The way the general public viewed superheroes and comic books changed, with people being able to take the characters much more seriously. Stories in comics became much more darker, and their film adaptations follow a similar style in style and publicity as "Batman".
The 1980s were filled with uplifting, lighthearted, and fun teen comedies, like "The Breakfast Club" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", which received positive reviews and box-office success. But, by the end of the decade, most were tired of the genre, and the time for parody had come. But, instead of being a zany spoof ala "Airplane", 1989's "Heathers" took a very different approach. A cynical black comedy and deconstruction of the '80s teen comedy, "Heathers" was about two high school students who fall in love, kill some of their fellow students as revenge, and the rest of the students completely missing the point. Audiences in 1989 obviously weren't ready for anything like it, and the film tanked. However, a large cult following eventually formed, and it is now considered one of the greatest high school films of all-time for its dark humor.
After a severe decline in quality at the Disney animation studios in the late-70s, animator Don Bluth left the company and set out to return to classic style of animation of years past. With the release of his films "The Secret Of NIMH", "An American Tail", and "The Land Before Time", Disney faced their first true competitor in feature animation. They upped the quality and effort in movies like "The Great Mouse Detective" and "Oliver & Company", and returned to their former glory with the classics "The Little Mermaid", "Beauty & The Beast", "Aladdin", and "The Lion King". At the same time, the quality of animation on Saturday mornings greatly improved, too. "Batman: The Animated Series", "Animaniacs", and "Gargoyles" brought a more mature edge to subjects that were previously considered nothing more than kiddie fluff. There also came a rise in adult animation with hits like "The Simpsons", "Beavis & Butt-Head", and "South Park". A little studio in California, Pixar, which had previous done nothing more than commercials and short films, released the world's first feature-length computer animated film: "Toy Story". All of these works combined changed the industry, and our culture, forever.
Stephen King has released close to 50 books which have, collectively, sold more than 350 million copies. His greatest contributions are to the horror genre, writing novels like "The Shining", "Christine", and "It". Film adaptations of his stories, like "The Shawshank Redemption", "Stand By Me", and "Misery", are widely known and praised.