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  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: Back when cartoon making was fun

    It's become a constant theme in my writing this past year. I've been comparing today's animation studios to the cartoon factories of years past and the changes I've observed. Most noticeable are the amazing technological advances as cartoon making has moved from traditional hand drawn...
  • 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: Toon Tuesday: Exploding on Lift Off

    I’ve only felt crushing defeat once in my career. It was 1959, and Walt Disney’s latest animated feature film opened to lackluster box office attendance and scathing reviews. As an animation professional still fairly new to the business, I took the whole thing personally. In later years I...
  • 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 Thursday: When Dad's a Disney Legend, that's a tough act to follow

    The sign on their office door at the Walt Disney Studio read “KKK.” Now before you get your knickers in a knot, let me first explain the meaning behind this silly sign. You see, back in the 1960s, there were very few young people joining Disney’s animation department. Unlike today, animation was still...
  • 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: 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: 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...
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