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  • Blog Post: How Eric Stonestreet almost missed out on voicing Duke the Dog for "The Secret Life of Pets"

    Given that Eric Stonestreet has spent the past seven years working on " Modern Family ," this two-time Emmy Award-winner thought he knew how things worked in Hollywood. (L to R) Jesse Tyler Ferguson & Eric Stonestreet on ABC's "Modern Family." Copyright 20th Century Fox /...
  • Blog Post: "Oliver and Company" Studio Replica now on sale at Disney's Soda Fountain and Studio Store

    Disney's Soda Fountain and Studio Store is going to the dogs. And the cats. In honor of the upcoming 25th anniversary of the November 1988 release of " Oliver and Company ," this Hollywood Boulevard hotspot (which is located right off of the lobby of the El Capitan Theatre ) is now offering...
  • Blog Post: Why For does Disney think that "No Nudes is Good News"

    Earlier this week, Paul T. sent me an e-mail with an image attached that -- I'm sure -- will titillate a certain segment of the Disney fan community. Jim, Check out what I found on an animation art auction cite!! It's a bare-ass Ariel!! Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Well...
  • Blog Post: Why For Central Florida never actually became Hollywood East

    Earlier this week, Steve B. wrote in to ask: Dear Jim, When the Disney-MGM Studios theme park opened, it was promoted as a working studio. Both live action and animation were being produced there. There was discussion in the news about the high costs in California driving production out of that state...
  • Blog Post: How Disney's two-dimensional "Beast" became a 3D "Beauty"

    New and a bit alarming Who 'd have ever thought that this could be? Well, " Beauty and the Beast " co-director Kirk Wise doesn't seem all that surprised that this Academy Award-winning film (which was the first animated feature to ever be nominated for Best Picture) got selected for...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: "Mars Needs Moms" Simon Wells has his priorities well in order

    I was on the phone with Simon Wells last Friday morning as those first post-quake / tsunami images were coming in from Japan . And as the director of Disney's "Mars Needs Moms" put it: "Here in Hollywood, everyone seems obsessed with how much your movie cost to make or how much your...
  • Blog Post: Why it's dangerous for animation studios to get fat & happy

    Several years ago a group of young artists were griping about things at their studio. Their behavior amused and annoyed me. I scolded the kids and informed them that one day they would look back and remember this time as the good old days and wonder why they ever complained about anything. Every studio...
  • Blog Post: It was the Internet, rather than a fishing net, that helped make Disney's "Fish Hooks" possible

    "Book publishers send me out to schools all the time. And the kids there always ask me how they can get a job like mine. And my answer is: Put your stuff up on the Web. Because you never know who's going to see it." Trust me, folks. Noah Z. Jones knows of what he speaks. You see, this illustrator...
  • Blog Post: "Two Guys Named Joe" celebrates the creative legacy of two Disney Legends

    So why exactly should you buy " Two Guys Named Joe: Master Animation Storytellers Joe Grant & Joe Ranft " (Disney Editions, August 2010)? Because this new John Canemaker book not only does a brilliant job of paying tribute to these animation legends, this 192-page hardcover contains one...
  • 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...
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