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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: Could animation studios manage to get by with fewer managers?

    The two young executives stood admiring the impressive artwork that lined the walls of the studio conference room. Of course, it's a studio that shall remain nameless. Clearly taken aback by the beautiful artwork and the stellar concept designs on display, the managers were eager to know the person...
  • 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: Toon Tuesday: Clothes Encounters of the Disney Studio Kind

    You probably didn't know this, but Ward Kimball 's "science unit" on the second floor of Walt Disney's Animation Building had a pretty intriguing development slate back in the 1950s. You see, once Kimball finished with his science films about space travel and future highways , there...
  • 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: Monday Mouse Watch : No Studio for Old Men

    I returned to the Walt Disney Studio in the early 1970s after a brief dalliance with my own production company. Not surprisingly, running my own shop proved to be a rather daunting task, and the thought of steady work at the drawing board didn’t seem all that bad. Plus word was out that there were opportunities...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: Remembering 2-C

    I’ve been spending a fair amount of time in Disney’s old Animation Building recently. A visit to the second floor always provokes a flood of memories. The structure has been renovated, and yet things look pretty much the same. At least enough remains to remind this Disney veteran of a time long gone...
  • Blog Post: Lots of entertaining tails ... er ... tales were told at "The Little Mermaid" 20th anniversary event

    I'll tell you a tale of the bottomless blue And it's hey to the starboard, heave-ho Look out, lad, a mermaid be waiting for you In mysterious fathoms belo w ... Twenty or so years ago, I gathered with a small group in a Walt Disney Animation Studios screening room in Glendale, CA. Directors John Musker...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: Funky Warehouse Syndrome

    Some years ago, I watched helplessly as Walt Disney's animation department was moved out of their old building on the Burbank lot. You see, the new management needed room to expand, and animators took up space. So clearly somebody had to go. The Animation Building on Disney's Burbank Lot. You can wait...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: Looking Back on Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" -- Part Deux

    The start of 1994 was an amazing time for the production crew of Disney's " The Hunchback of Notre Dame ." We were all energized and couldn't wait to move our film into production. As the team moved into its new quarters, I made it a point to learn the names and talents of my colleagues. Because Disney...
  • 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 : 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 : 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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