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Toon Tuesday : In Defense of Mavericks
If you know anything about the Walt Disney Studio, you know that the Old Maestro exercised total control over his animated kingdom. From the studio's humble beginnings in the 1930's to his passing in 1966, nothing -- and I do mean nothing -- ever escaped the careful gaze of Walt Disney. Maybe Walt Disney...
13 Aug 2007
Toon Tuesday : Remembering Vance Gerry of WDAS's Story Department (1929 - 2005)
When we arrived at the Walt Disney Studio as young apprentices back in the 1950s, much of Walt's "Brain Trust" still labored in the upstairs story rooms. The Storymen -- as they were called back then -- were Disney's elite, and their names are legendary. Bill Peet , Winston Hibler , Ralph Wright , Milt...
18 Jun 2007
Toon Tuesday : Remembering Fred Lucky of WDFA's Story Department (1938 - 1999)
You could hardly call it a competition. But back in the early seventies, two feature films were being developed at the Walt Disney Studios. Ultimately, only one project would be given the green light for production. F-Wing was on the second floor of the Animation Building. And at the far end of the wing...
11 Jun 2007
Toon Tuesday : Remembering Pete Young (1948 - 1985)
I've always been fascinated by storytellers. Those gifted individuals who have the ability to spin a captivating yarn and pull you totally into a make-believe world. Animation has had its fair share of talented storytellers. Lucky for me, I've had the opportunity to know and work with a few of them during...
4 Jun 2007
Toon Tuesday : "Just finish the darned thing !"
I can't remember the production number of any Disney or Pixar movie I've ever worked on -- except one. "Sleeping Beauty's production number was 2082. I've never forgotten that number and probably never will. It was a number I had to write on every production slip, folder and drawing. And you better believe...
5 Mar 2007
Now in full color: A cartoonish take on Black History
I've always loved Toontown in the " Roger Rabbit " cartoons. Toontown was the special area of Tinseltown where cartoon characters were segregated because they were -- Toons. I've always thought this a brilliant metaphor for racial inequities in the real world. Being a cartoonist and a person of color...
19 Feb 2007
Playing with Toys -- Part IV : Coming in for a soft landing on a pile of ... shaving cream ?!
Picking up where we left off last week ... Things were a little bit different when I returned to Pixar Animation Studios in 1998. This was the second year in the development of " Toy Story 2 ," and it's not surprising to hit a few snags in this wacky process of crafting an animated feature film. Things...
29 Jan 2007
Playing with Toys -- Part III: "So where was the dog ?"
Picking up from last week ... As usual, I decided to sit in the rear of the theater at Pixar Animation Studios . It was the day of the John Lasseter screening of " Toy Story 2 ," and I decided it was best to remain out of sight. This was nothing new for me. I learned this back in the sixties at the Disney...
22 Jan 2007
Playing with Toys -- Part II : How Howdy Doody showed us the way
Picking up where we left off last week ... In early in 1997, we had been storyboarding on the sequel to "Toy Story" at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. Occasionally, our small crew would fly north to meet with our Pixar colleagues. Our meetings were always high spirited and energetic because things were...
15 Jan 2007
Playing with Toys -- Part I : Funky Filmmaking in Frogtown
It was the early nineties and I decided to stop in Pasadena's Old Town on my way home from the studio. I had just parked on Green Street when I noticed a car pull up directly behind me. A tall young man stepped out of the vehicle and called my name. Though I had not seen him in months I immediately recognized...
7 Jan 2007
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