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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
“Milt Kahl : Animation’s Michelangelo” paid tribute to a true Disney Legend
Todd James Pierce
Known for both his temper and his stunning draftsmanship, Milt Kahl has been described as Disney’s “Jekyll and Hyde” figure, a man who defined animation and defied his fellow animators. More than any other artists, Freddy Moore and Milt Kahl defined the Disney style. Freddy Moore designed the studio...
30 Apr 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
CalArts celebrates the 100th birthday of animation pioneer Jules Engel
Todd James Pierce
This past Saturday, film directors and animators gathered to pay tribute to Hungarian-born artist Jules Engel , a man whose work combined a modernist orientation of serious art with the commercial leanings of animated films. This year marks the 100-year anniversary of his birth. A small man, usually...
20 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
"Defying Gravity" details Stephen Schwartz's sometimes difficult dealings with the Walt Disney Company
Mention the name Stephen Schwartz to a musical theater fan, and they'll automatically list his Broadway credits. Particularly this songwriter's trio of long running hits, " Godspell ," " Pippin " and " Wicked ." However, were you to mention Stephen's name to a Disneyana fan, they'd then mostly likely...
1 Oct 2008
"Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland" showcases Mary Blair's concept art
Forget about " When Harry Met Sally ." You want to talk about a truly magical movie moment? Then let's discuss when Mary met Alice. To be specific, when Mary Blair was assigned to work on Disney's animated adaptation of " Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ." Ever since May of 1938, when the Studio had...
17 Sep 2008
Monday Mouse Watch : Are you ready to go back to "The Black Hole" ?
As Summer gives way to Fall, Disney executives are now reviewing the revenues that the Studio's films produced over the past few months. And to be honest, the sharp pencil boys aren't all that happy. Everywhere you look, there are disappointments. Be they big (" The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian...
7 Sep 2008
Toon Tuesday : A tribute to Ollie Johnston
Todd James Pierce
Last Tuesday night, I traveled down to one of the cities I most dislike in all of Southern California: I went to Hollywood . Good ol’ Tinsel Town, with its sidewalk hucksters wearing eBay costumes of Bugs Bunny and SpongeBob , with its endless food courts and faux-trendy boutiques. Hollywood, that theme...
26 Aug 2008
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
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