Honolulu Nights (lost Diana Hansen-Young animated film; 1990)


(Redirected from Honolulu Nights (Lost Diana Hansen-Young Animated Film; 1990))

Honolulu Nights
The VHS cover for Honolulu Nights, from the official Mango Hill Hawaii website.
The VHS cover for Honolulu Nights, from the official Mango Hill Hawaii website.
Status Lost

Honolulu Nights was a 1990 animated film by Diana Hansen-Young, a famous painter known for her paintings of Hawaiian women and children in the 80s and 90s, her children's series Mango Hill, and former political work in Hawaii.

According to two available newspaper advertisements it aired on a Friday; November 29th at 8:00PM on KHON-TV, which is a television station in Honolulu, Hawaii.

From Hansen-Young's currently open and selling Etsy store, "I gathered five animators and we created an hour anime adventure entitled "Honolulu Nights," which aired on NBC Hawaii, sponsored by JC Penney. We were way ahead of our time (and I recall it as being an exciting, creative project), as the entire hour-length animation was created on Mac LC machines using scanned base drawings. There were many other corporate promotions, such as Jack-In-The-Box, who commissioned a series of mugs featuring women and children of Hawaii given away each week and have now become highly collectible."

Mango Hill Hawaii, the site for her children's work under Mango Hill Productions, has further information. Hansen-Young wrote, "I again paired up with JC Penney to write, animate and produce HONOLULU NIGHTS, a one-hour animated mystery set in Honolulu in 1931 for grown-ups - a kind of early anime. It aired prime time, and despite newspaper warnings that it was not for children, JC Penney's switchboard lit up with complaints from parents that their children were upset when the bad guy bit off a gecko head."

Hansen-Young went on to write, "People still write to tell me they grew up with the Mango Hill stories and want to read and show them to their own children. Many of the books are out of print. The animated films, including HONOLULU NIGHTS, are unavailable."

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Anonymous user #1

17 months ago
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i want to see this so bad
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Flashbcaks

14 months ago
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honestly, i want that crop top lmao
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Anonymous user #2

10 months ago
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This looks beautiful.
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Kobochat

10 months ago
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That's what I thought too, until I looked up some of the other "animation" work she was doing at the time: https://www....=_vSdUdrEvxs

Diana Hansen-Young seems like a talented artist but I guess computer animation just wasn't there yet - still though, this remains one of my top picks for things that I hope get found. It's a murder-mystery which is interesting to begin with, and what's more mysterious than a mystery that's impossible to watch, and on which zero information exists outside of what the creator has told us? Whether it's awful or amazing, it's surely an experience. Shame she never responded to my emails about it.
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Onyanko

8 months ago
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this sounds interesting, hope it surfaces!!
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Anonymous user #3

1 months ago
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Hey all,

This is Diana Hansen-Young - Just saw this -- mea culpa! for not responding to emails and requests for this. I'm far behind in answering emails - they come in too fast; this isn't an excuse, but there are now 564 unanswered emails. They come in at the rate of 10-12 per day, and I can thoughtfully answer about 5. So you see the dilemma. . . and I like to answer personally. Having said all of that, I do have the original recordings of all of the animation we did in 1990/91 using LC's and a program we jerry-rigged to create the "in-betweens" - putting color in the frames was by hand - each frame -- because we didn't have a way of carrying the same colors forward. Some interesting notes: the load was so great that one hard disc could hold maybe two (tops) frames. We had literally tens of thousands of hard discs (still have them) and we would have to save each drawing onto the disc (and take it off the hard drive because you couldn't do anything else on the computer while it was there. It sucked up all the memory). After hitting "save" it would be a 15-20 minute wait with the spinning beach ball, and then we would take out the disc, label it with the right number to correspond to the sequential images for the storyline, and load another disc. We were all artists, not computer-savvy, but we KNEW somehow that there had to be a way to do animation on computers. (The whole point was to TELL A STORY). During this time, we heard about an outfit doing animation with computers on the mainland - guys who made a video of an animated lamp -- and we wrote to them for advice on how to get the images OFF the discs and onto tape so we could go into a studio and edit it in a conventional way. They suggested an experimental place somewhere in Ohio, I think, where they could manually drop each disc's image onto a tape, one at a time, giving us footage of animation to edit. I remember going there and sitting in that room for about eight days, watching them drop images, one by one, onto the tape, which I took back into a studio in Honolulu where we put it together, then added sound, and voice overs, which we also recorded in an amateur studio with local (very fine) voice actors. Final comment - looking back at them -- they're a mess from today's perspective. I cringe. BUT - being an artist -- and trying new things -- ALWAYS means you have to be comfortable with making messes, chaos, trying stuff (and finding it does or doesn't work) - and putting it out there, for others to see or build on, DESPITE the criticism you know you're going to get. Yes. They now look amateur and jerky and all of those things. But we did it. We created about 2 1/2 hours of animation using five guys with 5 LC's in a kitchen at a total cost of $90,000 for all of it. We got a great response from viewers - including negative response from a scene in Honolulu Nights where the bad buy bites the head off a cute ghekko. (Edgy for the times and place). I've wrestled with putting this stuff out there because it looks so amateur now; but it was 1990/91 - 27 years ago!!! So I'll dig it out and put it somewhere online (not sure where yet) knowing the trolls are out there looking for fresh meat. All I can say to them is: Take yourself back 27 years in a time machine, and you do it better, and tell me how you did it. Art and innovation and creative thinking is always messy. Always. Half of being a maker, an artist, creating something, is inuring yourself to both the self-critic on your shoulder that says: That's gonna get criticized -- (you tell it to shut up) -- and to all the internet trolls - show me you could have done it better in 1990, or shut up). Having said all of that, there's nothing more rewarding than making a mess while trying something new. Thanks for these posts. Aloha, diana hansen-young NYC August 23 2017.
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Cecel

1 months ago
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Hi there Diana!

Wow! I'm the one who created thus entire article. My siblings and I grew up with The Great Hawaiian Volcano Adventure on VHS, which we still quote constantly today. Those memories led to me seeking out your other work and finding it unavailable. I never emailed you, but I'm glad others who found this article and your work interesting did.

Thank you for sharing the info on the creation process with us. How challenging but as you said worth it-- regardless of how you might cringe now (like all artists looking back on things!)

I look forward to when you post it online. Aloha!

-- Cecelia
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