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Faster! Cheaper! The Flip Side of the Art of Animation
Pixar Animation Studios
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Walt Disney Productions
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...
1 Mar 2010
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...
6 Oct 2009
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...
15 Sep 2009
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...
17 Aug 2009
"the boys: the sherman brothers' story" spotlights two complicated men who wrote deceptively simple songs
You already know this story, right? Richard M. & Robert B. Sherman , the house composers for Walt Disney Studios while Walt was still alive. Academy Award winners for their work on “ Mary Poppins ,” Dick & Bob (aka “the boys”) had a gift for producing eminently hummable tunes. As is demonstrated...
19 May 2009
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...
12 May 2009
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...
21 Apr 2009
Steve Jobs: A Tough Act to Follow
You couldn’t help but feel sorry for Phil Schiller , Apple ’s vice president of marketing, when he stepped onstage to deliver the keynote at San Francisco ’s MacWorld Expo a few weeks ago. Apple CEO and visionary leader Steven P. Jobs would not be making an appearance at this year's show, so the speech...
19 Jan 2009
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...
18 Aug 2008
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...
23 Jun 2008
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