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  • Blog Post: As Walt Disney once said: "I think it's important to have a good, hard failure"

    If you're a fan of Pixar Animation Studios (and I'll admit I am) you're probably familiar with the evolution of their first animated feature. A little film called " Toy Story ." You see, the motion picture concept the boys from up north showed Disney back in the 1990s was hardly...
  • Blog Post: Why it's dangerous for animation studios to get fat & happy

    Several years ago a group of young artists were griping about things at their studio. Their behavior amused and annoyed me. I scolded the kids and informed them that one day they would look back and remember this time as the good old days and wonder why they ever complained about anything. Every studio...
  • 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: 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: What was it like to work at the Mouse Factory back in the 1950s?

    A group of young guys and gals gathered in the office of a Disney veteran on the third floor of the Animation Building. “Boy, you missed it,” the old timer rhapsodized as he spoke about the good old days of the late 1930s and early 1940s. “This used to be a great place to work, but the strike ended all...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: The End of Endless Development

    Recently, I was listening to a writer describe President, Barak Obama and the Obama White House as being impatient. In fact, White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanual has a known reputation for being impatient, and is a guy intent on getting things done. What the heck does this have to do with animation...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: Jim Fletcher, Disney Artist and the Ultimate Hollywood Fan

    I hope that you’ll allow me to indulge myself here with a new series that I’m going to call “The Disney Artists You Never Knew.” Only this time, it’s personal. Because I’m now going to write about my old pal & colleague, Jim Fletcher . James Lawrence Fletcher was born in Des Plains, Illinois, and...
  • 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: Caught in "The Parent Trap" -- Part II

    How do you create two Hayley Mills out of one? Well, the Disney effects experts had come up with a matte system that was far superior to anything the other studios had been using. The Sodium Matte Process was in such demand, that other production companies sought out Disney for their effects expertise...
  • 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 "B" Movie

    Back in the 1960s, our morning was interrupted by a special meeting. It was held in a small conference room just off A-Wing in Disney's animation building. I honestly don't recall everyone in the meeting. But I do know that production boss Ken Peterson and Andy Engman were present. Why this special meeting...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : The Failure Factor

    A couple weeks ago, we had a visit from John Lasseter and two hundred of his wizards from Pixar Animation Studios . The Pixar team was getting a special tour of both the Burbank and Glendale facilities of the Walt Disney Company. It was good to see so many old friends & colleagues again. And I couldn...
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