“A strong supporter of the independent animator, Newland’s contributions are unique, creating an indelible mark on the art of animation.” Mark Freedman. Take One, Summer 1997: 45.
This Vancouver based animator helped launch modern indie animation with the 90 second Bambi Meets Godzilla (1969), and founded International Rocketship, a company noted for its support of independent animation.
When the Los Angeles Art Center College of Design offered classes in filmmaking, Newland entered them. While under a tight deadline to complete his graduate film, and hampered by weather conditions from completing the project he had already begun, Newland shelved his live action film and switched to animation producing the now famous Bambi Meets Godzilla.
After graduating he joined LA based Springbuggy Works where he learned the basics of animation while designing animated TV commercials. In 1970, faced with the choice of working in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, he chose to come to Toronto where he freelanced for companies like Cinera Productions, where he was one of 2 designers and storyboard artists on Super Joe, and the Ottawa based Crawley Films on commercials, shorts and Sesame Street segments.
He then moved to Vancouver in 1972 and spent the next few years working among a first generation of Vancouver animators: Al Sens, Wayne Morris, Erik Ericsen and Malcolm Collett. He went to Europe, and in 1973 while working at Toonder Studios in the Netherlands, he created storyboards for the television series Barbapapa.
He returned to Vancouver in 1975. He launched International Rocketship and produced commercials for The Bay, Eaton’s, and Levi’s, plus TV inserts for Sesame Street, MYV, MuchMusic, Nickleodeon and CBC-TV. He co-produced films with the National Film Board (Deadly Deposits in 1993), and he did a pilot for the series Eek The Cat.
He began producing in other animators films: Dieter Mueller’s The Butterfly (1982), Danny Antonucci’s Lupo the Butcher (1987), J. Falconner’s Dog Brain (1988), Dan Collin’s Waddles (1989) and Debra Dawson’s Pollen Fever (1994).
A remarkable film was Anijam produced in 1984. It was made up off 22 segments in which each animator made his segment without knowing what was done before or after. Using the talents of animators from all over the world including Paul Driessen, Zdenko GAsparovic and Sally Cruickshank, it won the Jury Prize at the 1985 Toronto Animation Festival. This film was followed by a similar effort called Pink Komkommer in 1991.
In 1994 Newland directed the first of two TV specials Gary Larson’s Tales From the Far Side. The first won the Grand Prix at the Annecy International Animation Festival and made Time magazine’s top 10 TV list for 1994.
He created the award winning Sing Beast Sing (1980), followed by shorts like and Black Hula (1988). Lupo the Butcher whose hero was often featured chopping off his appendages launched the “sick-and-twisted” cartoon genre.
Cartoon Capers: The History of Canadian Animators. Writ., K. Mazurkewich,. McArthur & Co., 1999.
“The Great Animation Conspiracy.” Shift, July 1997: 39, 42.
“Marv Newland’s International Rocketship: A West Coast Original.” Writ., Mark Freedman,. Take One, Summer 1997: 45.