Monday, August 29, 2011

Guys with Pencils Podcast

Andrew Murray and Adam Hines are two Sheridan graduates who have a podcast talking about what it's like to be starting out in the animation business. You can find all their podcasts here.

I'm their guest in episode 22, talking a bit about my career and a whole lot about creator rights.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Jack Kirby's 94th Birthday

August 28 would have been Jack Kirby's 94th birthday. Mark Evanier, who worked with Kirby, has his birthday tribute here, including an embedded documentary on Kirby made for the DVD release of one of the Fantastic Four movies. Tom Spurgeon prints a great gallery of Kirby artwork and Mark Seifert has a gallery of Kirby originals to enjoy.

I wish that we could be celebrating the success of the Kirby estate's attempt to recover copyrights, but the recent court decision that went against the Kirby estate is now being appealed. Perhaps there will be better news for Kirby's next birthday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Miss Devine

The Rauch Brothers' latest short combines documentary audio of grown children remembering their Sunday school teacher with animation designed by Bill Wray.

I love this kind of work, mixing real life events with animation. All of the Rauch Brothers' work for Storycorps can be seen here and all of it is worth watching.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Disney Animators Who Sculpt

I've been on the road for the last ten days: Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley (second time!) and now Loveland, Colorado. I'm guessing that readers are scratching their heads over the final location, but this weekend was the occasion for two annual shows that attract hundreds of sculptors who display their work. As I've been sculpting for the last two years, I wanted to see what was being done.

Sun Dog by Ellen Woodbury

I knew that I'd see Ellen Woodbury at Sculpture in the Park. I met Ellen a year or so ago when she visited Sheridan College and I learned that she's now living in Loveland and sculpting full time. Ellen works in stone and her subject is animals, not a surprise given her animal animation at Disney on characters like Pegasus in Hercules.

Reviewing the Troops by Mark Henn

I did not expect to see Mark Henn, who participated in the Loveland Sculpture Invitational Show. Mark is still at Disney, having recently completed work on the Winnie the Pooh film, but sculpts subjects from American history as a hobby and casts the work in bronze.

The link between animation and sculpture is a strong one. I know that Bill Tytla, Blaine Gibson, Milt Kahl and Andreas Deja, all associated with Disney, have done both. As Disney-style animation requires drawings that are structured and dimensional, it's only logical that animators can transfer their knowledge into a three-dimensional medium.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Jonathan Rosenbaum on Walt Disney and Tex Avery

In early 1975, Film Comment magazine devoted an entire, oversize issue to Hollywood cartoons. It's well worth finding in a library or through an online service, as it contains a comprehensive interview with Chuck Jones as well as an interview with Grim Natwick and articles by Greg Ford and Mark Langer.

One piece was an essay on Walt Disney by film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum has now posted the first part of that essay on his website with the second part to follow shortly. As Thad has pointed out in the comments, part 2 is now up.

And here is Rosenbaum on Tex Avery.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Animated Leo the Lion

Here's an oddity. The trailer for MGM's 1935 feature No More Ladies starts and ends with an animated Leo the Lion. According to Steve Stanchfield of Thunderbean Animation, the animator is Bill Nolan, a veteran of the silent era whose previous job was at the Lantz studio in the early '30s. The voice, of course, is by Billy Bletcher, who voiced the Big Bad Wolf in Disney's The Three Little Pigs and also did cartoon voices for Warner Bros. (Little Red Riding Rabbit).

(Link via The Golden Age Cartoon Forum.)