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  • Blog Post: Toon Thursday: Life lessons from the animation professionals

    My animation friends & colleagues can pretty much tell the same story. All of us benefited greatly by having the opportunity to work side-by-side with seasoned veterans.Our careers were enriched by the tips and techniques they generously shared with us over the years. However, there was one other...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: Remembering Ginny Tyler

    I recently learned of the passing of my friend and colleague, Ginny Tyler . Ginny and I shared our love for Disney. And I always regarded her as a true talent as well as one of the chief Mouseketeers much like the original head mouse, Jimmie Dodd . Back in the 1960s, Ginny performed live segments from...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: Taking a wild ride on the "Jungle Book" express

    The other evening, a pal who works for an animation studio that shall remain nameless was telling me about the project he was developing. It was great news to hear he had garnered the attention of the studio bosses and was moving into development on his new movie. But I couldn't but think how things...
  • Blog Post: Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Jim Henson and the matter of time

    The three men were engaged in a spirited conversation when I took a seat directly behind them. This was a screening room at the Walt Disney Studio and we were there to get a look at a new animated feature film being produced by Pixar Animation Studios . In front of me and to my right was the Vice Chairman...
  • Blog Post: The female artists & animators who changed Disney Studio’s “boys will be boys” culture

    There’s a mistaken notion that back in the 1950s the Walt Disney Studio was strictly a man’s world and women were not even allowed in the Animation Building. It was believed that women employees were restricted to the “women’s work” over in the Ink and Paint Department where...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: The Wow Factor

    I’ve often been asked this goofy question. “How would you run an animation studio if you were in charge?” Questions like this come from young people who assume I have answers. The truth is, I’m not in that position, and I don’t expect to be. However, I once ran my own business...
  • Blog Post: When you work in animation, there’s just no avoiding those Pink Slip Blues

    It was late summer 1958 and things had been going well. The mad rush to wrap the animated feature film, “ Sleeping Beauty ” was finally succeeding, and the film was well on its way to completion. Taking a break from the drawing board, I headed up to the second floor of the Animation Building...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : My Luncheon with Roy

    I don’t know who came up with the bright idea, but it was a darn good one. What about spending our noon hour with the Vice Chairman of Walt Disney Feature Animation ? Would Roy Edward Disney accept our invitation, we wondered? The only way to find out was to simply ask. The early 1980s proved to...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: Looking Back on Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" -- Part Un

    Though not an overwhelming success, I think " The Hunchback of Notre Dame " was one of the most sophisticated animated films I've ever worked on. I actually went to my old pal, Gary Trousdale when I got word that he and his co-director Kirk Wise might be adapting this Victor Hugo novel for the screen...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : Here's to the real survivors

    There's a popular television show called " Survivor ." I've never been able to watch this show or even take it seriously. It's difficult to consider the consequences of surviving on a desert island when craft services is located nearby. However, I did see some real survivors a few weeks ago as I walked...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : Getting a head with Blaine Gibson

    Like most old guys, I tend to get my brain stuck in a certain time frame. So I didn't immediately recognize the man sitting in the limo. For some odd reason, I expected to see the guy I remembered. The slender, dark haired young man with the horn rimmed glasses. However, this older gentleman didn't exactly...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: The curious case of Elizabeth Case

    We called her "Big Liz" because she was tall. Animation artist Rolly Crump even featured her in a series of black & white posters that he designed back in the 1950s. The wonderful stylized poster featured Elizabeth Case Zwicker giving poetry readings at a local Beatnik hangout. That's right, kids...
  • Blog Post: Toon Thursday : Mermaids, donuts and musical concrete

    Hey, folks -- Jim Hill here. Before this month's Floyd Norman column officially gets underway, I thought that I'd take a moment to let JHM readers know that Mr. Fun recently launched his very own blog. Appropriately titled Mr. Fun's Blog . So if you want more than just the usually once-a-month dose of...
  • Blog Post: Caught in "The Parent Trap" -- Part I

    Yes, it's true. Disney's " The Parent Trap " will always be special to me because -- unlike other Disney movies -- this one is personal. However, we'll get to that in a moment. Let's take a trip back in time. The year is 1960, and the Walt Disney Studio is still a beehive of activity in a laid back Disney...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : Disney's Night School

    Did you know Walt Disney Studios once provided what could be considered the finest animation course ever offered? That's right, kids. If you've shelled out the big bucks for an animation education at such institutions as California Institute of the Arts or Sheridan College , you might be surprised to...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : Home for the Holidays

    It's a standard thing this time of year. Travelers loaded with gifts are trying to make their way home to spend the holidays with family and friends. This scenario is often played out in movies where our hero finally makes his or her way home just in time to spend Christmas with the family. After all...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : A Disney kind of guy

    It's been a little over a week and I'm still trying to deal with reality. Sometimes, reality is hard to take. Although much has already been said and written , I feel there is still a little more to say about the loss of Disney Imagineer Bruce Gordon . It's difficult to believe that only two weeks ago...
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